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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2015 Award
Sam, Your 1960s Girl
(A Girl for All Time $109.99 Score:)

Sam, a fashion plate of the 1960s is the newest of the historic dolls in the A Girl for All Time Collection. A 16-inch beauty, Sam wears a stylish denim mini dress with a bold yellow vinyl flower and cuffs with matching yellow shoes that stand out against her orange tights. Her dark hair and eyes are a perfect foil for her bright orange mod hair band. Like others in the collection she comes with her own book that captures the decade and gives young readers a bit of the colorful madness of the 1960s. Sam's story is rather elaborate; she is Parisian with an obsession with fashion who is about to visit London's famous Carnaby Street where the Beatles shopped and then she's off to visit her uncle in Greenwich Village.  

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Award
Mudpuppy Ballerinas 63 Piece Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $12.99 Score:)

Every aspiring little ballerina will love the charming picture of five ballerinas dancing against a background of flowers. Fitting the ballerinas together will make the 63-piece challenge somewhat easier, as the tutus, and the blue above and pink below will provide helpful clues. That said, this is marked for 4 & up and will probably be better for slightly older kids or with some help the first time through for younger girls.

 

 

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

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2015 Award
Crayola Star Wars Light-Up Tracing Pad
(Crayola $29.99 Score:)

For kids of a certain age, when drawing skills are not as perfect as they would wish and they prize realistic images, this kind of drawing pad can be a satisfying, if not very creative way to get results. Though we generally do not recommend tracing kits, this one is going to give them the pay offs they are looking for. The light-up LED pad comes with three Star Wars Transparency sheets, 10 sheets of images to trace with favorite Star Wars characters, ships, shields, plus 10 blank sheets, six colored pencils, six gel fx markers and a graphite pencil. You can get more images online at crayola.com/tracing. Though it is a tracing kit it does involve staying with a task, working with pencil and paper, fine motor skills and bringing their own imagination to retelling or extending a well loved story. 3 AA batteries are needed and not included in the package. Marked for 6 & up, we think kids of 8 and 9 will like this even more.

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

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2015 Award
Mudpuppy Paper Bag Craft Kits
(Mudpuppy Press $19.99 Score:)

We really like the idea of making your own puppets and these kits give young crafters the materials they need for learning how. There are three different sets: Forest Friends, Magical Unicorns, and Pirates Ahoy. We especially like the 70 piece  Forest Friends with bags, handsome craft patterned paper, felt, googly eyes, pom-poms and precut shapes. You do need to provide your own scissors and glue, but most home have a ready supply of both. You'll probably also need to provide some help with cutting the felt for younger crafters. We'd say this is the easiest of the  three kits to assemble. Once they are done, kids will enjoy making up their own little stories to act out. The art of paper bag puppets is something they can continue to do with found materials, but this kit sets them on that path with well chosen materials and appealing designs. Marked 4 & up, again, we think this is something kids as old as 6 and up would enjoy.

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

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2015 Award
Crayola Star Wars Storm Trooper Collectible Tin
(Crayola $12.99 Score:)

A long lasting collector's tin with a Star Wars Stormtrooper graphic with a box of crayons with a sharpener inside. Save this for a prize winning gift to your Star Wars fan; they'll love the collectible tin and the set of 64 crayons in 48 classic colors wrapped in black and grey labels.There are eight Star-Wars-themed colors and each includes metallic and glitter hues. Choose this or the Darth Vader tin.

 

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

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2015 Award
Crayola Star Wars Limited Edition Crayons
(Crayola $7 Score:)

A collector's item for under ten dollars. Save these for prize stocking stuffers; a set of 64 crayons in a special black and white cardboard box with built-in crayon sharpener and 48 classic colors all wrapped in black and grey labels. There are 16 Star-Wars-themed colors and each includes metallic and glitter hues. Choose from two themes. Darth Vader or Storm Trooper.

 

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

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2015 Award
Mudpuppy Keith Haring New York 100 Piece Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $14.95 Score:)

Keith Haring's Green Statue of Liberty is set off against a red background with three of his iconic people at the base. A beauty of a puzzle for kids experienced enough to handle 100-pieces and the idea of working at a task over time instead of doing it all in one gulp. This comes in a handsome keepsake tin. Marked for 6 & up, we think it may be a better bet for slightly older kids. 

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

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2015 Award
Creativity for Kids Fleece Fashions
(Creativity for Kids $19.99 Score:)

A three-piece beginners sewing kit that kids can wear after they put their own creative touch to the headband, scarf and touch screen friendly gloves. Pre-cut fleece petals and flowers, pearls, beads, and colored embroidery threads are packaged along with a needle threaders and instructions. Beginners will like the pre-punched stitch guides on the scarf and headband as they learn some basics. Of course, the colors may not go with everyone's winter jacket, but if the neon green and hot pink gloves are a go, this will be a hit for girls 7 & up.  

 

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

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2015 Award
Corolle Cherry Baby Sling
(Corolle $29.99 Score:)

Big enough for carrying 14-17-inch dolls. Beautifully crafted with two ways to wear their best take-along doll on the road. Soft cotton with a pattern of tiny hearts that look like polka-dots.

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

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2015 Award
Mudpuppy Dinosaur 63 Piece Puzzle
(Mudpuppy Press $14.95 Score:)

 A challenging 63-piece puzzle that will turn into a 18 X 14 inch picture of multiple dinos in a green world. There is no frame, so kids will need some strategies for finding the straight edged pieces to build the frame. Since the dinos are intertwined, they will need the box for reference as they work their way through. This is marked 4 and up, but we think it will be a better choice for older dino lovers.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2015.

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