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Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Pretend Play

 

 
2015 Awards
Janod Cat Cradle
(Janod $44.99 Score:)

Painted in deep pink this dolls cradle has a cat face cut out at each end. Big enough to hold several dolls it rocks gently and comes with a soft blanket and pillow. An ideal prop for pretend play, especially for new big sisters. One of those toys that will likely get passed along to cousins or younger siblings.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Awards
Calico Critters Chocolate Labrador Family
(International Playthings $24.99 Score:)

Newest of the posable families this year, four Chocolate Labrador Pooches; a Mama, Papa and brother and sister. Also cute, a family of four Cuddle Bears. These critters are pricey but good for dollhouse as well as their own settings. Look for the new Calico Critters Van, new for this holiday season. It's big enought to hold a family of seven! 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Fisher Price Thomas & Friends Daring Dragon Drop
(Fisher-Price $40 Score:)

A fun add-on for the Thomas & Friends train fans. This setting has plenty of action. Thomas rides along the track until he goes through a gate that sets off a volcano that lights up and rumbles. As Thomas reaches the top he slips into a zip line transporter style carrier that slips down and though the dragon's archway. The action is done without batteries and although it's a pretty closed system and may lose it's novelty before long, as an added setting for the train set, it adds a new element of action that will give the old train set a new focus. It's designed as a fold up take along, but it is not all that compact. 3 & up

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Hape Geometrics House
(HaPe $59.99 Score:)

A totally modular wooden doll house with geometric units that can be rearranged in endless ways. Rooms include a triangle, polygon, and divided rectangle. Build it side ways, stack it high like a condo, whatever way the imagination takes you. Comes with furniture and play figures. Ideal for beginning dramatic play that lends it self to language development and story telling. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Calico Critters Family Seven Seater
(International Playthings $39.99 Score:)

Built for a large family of Calico Critters, this navy blue seven seater has an open air top, doors that open on either side, a door to the trunk and wheels that really roll. It has two seats up front, two full benches and car seats that fit over the benches for the littlest passengers. Of course, the passengers are not included. Don't be deceived, they show critters on the box. But if your kids collect these cute little families, this will be a welcome prop for pretend play. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Janod Grand Prix Story Pop-Open Play Set Case
(Janod $49.99 Score:)

Pricey--but a most unusual puzzle that becomes a wonderful miniature play setting. Stored in a grandstand box that opens (and holds all the playing pieces) there is a 21-piece cardboard track that can be put together in many different shapes. In fact, there are drawings of some of the ways to do this that will challenge kids to experiment. Our testers like the open-endedness of the tracks that allows for  variety. Once the track is assembled let the races begin. Four colorful little wooden racing cars with drivers ready to go come in this road and track set for young players 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Diggin Kitchen
(Diggin $45.99 Score:)

A compact kitchen with stove top burners, an oven door that opens, storage for the wooden accessories, the spoons, spatula, knife, fork plate pizza, egg and donít forget the pepper shaker(might be salt, you know.) All made of eco-friendly bamboo and trims in pink and blue. When play time is over it all packs away in a storage box with easy to tot handle. 3 & up.

SNAP: A good choice for tabletop pretend play that will fit on a wheelchair table or accessible surface.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Diggin Tool Kit
(Diggin $49.99 Score:)

An eco-friendly bamboo wood playset with tot size tools are perfect for pretend building. The kit includes a mini-workbench with hammer, screwdriver, wrench, screws, nuts, bolts and wooden building pieces. This is a pricey minit tool set, but it will go the distance and even allows for some building.  When the fun's done, put all the pieces into the box and it stores away or take it along for repairs at Gramma's house. It has a handle for serious builders who have work to do away from home. Ages 3+.

SNAP A good choice for table top pretend. This sturdy set allows kids with limited mobility a mini setting for pretend play. 3 and up

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Neat Oh Dinosaur Brings Along Backpack
(Neat-Oh $19.99 Score:)

This is for the youngest dinohaulic, the one who likes to take his dinos along. The small green vinyl backpack opens to reveal a world where dinos can roam on a small playmat.  It comes with one T-rex figure. 3 & up

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Neat Oh Dinosaur Zip Bin 160
(Neat-Oh $23.99 Score:)

How to keep order to the oh so many little pieces of play? Here's a creative and playful solutio. A colorful storage vinyl box where all those dino plant eaters and meat eaters can be contained between playtimes. Unzip the corners and there's a big mat with swamps, trees and rocky ledged graphics where dramatic play can come to life. A lidded transformable box comes with two dino figures with room for lots more along with a setting for hours of imaginative play. 3 & up.  

Also nice for take along fun, Neat Oh Dinosaur Brings Along Backpack(19.99)

SNAP: Play settings and boxes for storing playthings can enhance playtime. Clean up time becomes another opportunity to sort playthings, as well. A storage box for animals, aone for vehicles another for blocks, perhaps can go a long way to staying ahead of chaos and a much better idea than one big toy box where everything gets lost in the shuffle. We like the idea of the big play setting that unzips with these Neat-oh containers.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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