This is where we started when Magformers were first introduced. It has all the basic pieces for making a dome, a square, a star and so many other geometric forms. We have to confess, we loved the dome that goes together like magic and remains a favorite at the toyportfolio. Like all of the Magformer sets, this involves, problem solving, fine motor skills, patience, science, and imagination. 6 & up.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014.
A set of 40 upper case magnetic letters with patterns selected from the Cooper Hewitt Museum collection. These have full magnetic coverage on the back instead of the old fashioned little magnets that were typical of letters you may have played with on the fridge. 3 & up
Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.
A giant 50"X 32" wall map for young geographers. Bring home this or a similar U.S.A. map for their room. Kids will like marking the places they have been or following sports or world news by seeing where in the world things are happening.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
A giant 50” X 32” wall map for young geographers. Bring home this or a similar World Map ($8.99) for their room. Kids will like putting stickers on their personal map--marking the places they have been (or want to see) and following sports or world news; locating where in the world things are happening. An interest in mapping begins early if encouraged by making maps relate to their interests and experiences.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Part Science/part art this is a kit with everything needed to turn old paper into new. Kids can make their own paper and decorate it for cards. Comes with shredded paper, but you can recycle the many kinds of paper that come into your home. The kit includes a basin, paper making tray, screens, sponge, paper punch, scissors, stencil and many more goodies. This is a kit that introduces how to create your own tags, cards and even jewelry.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Easy for little hands to grasp, this colorful toy can be used for tracking games with newborns and will be perfect as baby begins to reach out and take hold of things. It is easy to clean, light-weight and fun for passing back and forth and teething when baby gets to that stage, as well. It contains no water, but if you refrigerate it, it may be soothing for teething babies. The company says that the "Winkel is made of PU tubing (polyurethane) and as such does not contain BPA or PVC and meets the SPSIA and European requirements for phthalates." Newborn and up
SNAP: An uncomplicated but lightweight toy with endless ways to play. No lights or whistles, but it will be used it for tracking, grasping, rolling, tossing, tasting and teething.
Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Picking up on this year's political banter, the folks at Etch-A-Sketch have provided both blue and red versions of their classic product.
Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
What could be better than bringing home one of your childhood favorite toys and sharing it with your children or grandchildren? That's what you can do with this replica of the original Colorforms Set that has 350 geometric pieces in a spiral book and playboards to put them on. Unlike all the licensed images that followed since 1951, this is a more open ended set that allows kids to create their own themes. There is a small insert with images that can be copied, but best of all, this is an invitation to explore and discover how shapes can be transformed into designs and less literal images from one's own imagination. It's also an art form with no messy residue and no right or wrong rules. Getting the pages started may call for some adult help, but playing with the shapes develops fine motor skills, dexterity, and creative thinking.
Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Hands-on learning is built-in to this classic math for beginners puzzle. There are 16 wooden pieces that fit on the rounded pegs. They have 1-2-3 or 4 holes that fit on the 1-2-3 or 4 pegs. The smooth wooden pieces are colored with aniline dyes and made of eco-friendly rubberwood. Everything fits on the smooth natural finished base. Use these for color sorting as well as matching numbers. This comes with a small activity booklet with good ideas for introducing the toy and math and color concepts. This also develops fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. 2 & up.
SNAP: A good choice for beginning counting skills and developing visual discrimination.
Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Boy dolls are still not too abundant, yet boys and girls both like having boy dolls. This classic Cabbage Patch doll has a soft huggable body and is dressed with khaki chinos a striped buttoned shirt. He has big blue eyes and a pair of dark framed glasses. The glasses, a small extra, just might be a great hit for kids who are also wearing glasses. This is one of a collection of 14" newly refreshed Cabbage Patch dolls.
3 & up.
Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2011.
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