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Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2015 Award
Educational Insights Crowded Waters Game
(Educational Insights $19.99 Score:)

A challenging strategy game that calls for visual thinking and planning. Players take turns arranging their color-coded sharks from tail to snout without getting surrounded by other sharks. Players can only place a shark that is pointing to a blank space and not where another shark is pointing. The object is to trap others and keep finding space to swim free. Our older testers loved it. for 2-4 players. 8 & up.

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

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2015 Award
Creativity for Kids Bright Bead Boutique
(Creativity for Kids $14.99 Score:)

Kids can make a wardrobe of bright beaded bracelets and rings to wear or share. They get 800 flower-shaped beads in gold , aqua, purple, green, pink, yellow, white, and orange in two sizes for large and small finishes. String them together in patterns or random creations. There are three ring forms and enough elastic cord, bead threaders and glue to make eight bracelets and three rings to wear with pride. This kind of kit develops fine motor skills as well as stict-to-it skills and patience along with end products school age kids enjoy making and wearing with pride. There are enough supplies in this kit for sharing with a best friend on a play date or small sleep-over party.

 

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

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2015 Awards
Faber Castell Gel Sticks and Texture Art
(faber-castell $14.99 Score:)

We love these smooth, easy-to-blend gel sticks for drawing in bright intense colors. Use them for drawing or add water and the stiff brush provided to turn drawings into watercolor paintings. The kit comes with 8 gel sticks, 10 pieces of textured paper, 10 more of regular paper, and a rubbing plate for extra texture. There are stencils, glue stick, and three foam frames with hanging tabs, and double sided sticky foam for displaying finished art. An open-ended set of art materials with a new texture and style. 6 & up.

Materials that make using pencil and paper tasks fun are always welcome.These soft but brilliantly colored gel sticks will make such activities new again.Use them for exploring up and down motions and circles and blending colors. Keep it playful. The object is to use those small motor muscles and eye hand skills. Giving children paper and tools to explore is more than just fun; it's the way to build those skills without tiresome and off-putting drills.

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

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2015 Award
Creativity for Kids Decorate Your Own Sunnies
(Creativity for Kids $22.99 Score:)

Ready for sunny days, this summery craft kit comes with three pairs of sunglasses that have 100% UV protection-UV 400. One pair has a heart shape frame, another is oval and the most remarkable frame of all magically changes from white to dark purple in the sunlight! The kit includes stick on rhinestones, resin shapes, gem strips and glue so kids can design their own stylish look that makes every pair unique. Three colorful fabric sunglass cases make this a wining choice for 8's and up.

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

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2015 Award
Poof Sidewalk Chalk Ultimate Mandala Stencil Kit
(Alex $31.99 Score:)

This really is the ultimate sidewalk chalk set with 36 colorful chalks that should provide a summer full of fun. For those who like their hands clean and their chalk whole, there are 5 chalk holders and two giant stencils for tracing the parts of the mandala design. These chalks come shaped with writing tips and lots of colorful choices for making a unique mandala or whatever else their creative hands prefer. Alex sells these chalks in smaller packs without the stencils, but this is an interesting way to introduce kids to an art form from another culture. We suggest you hold back with some of the chalk instead of opening the entire supply all at once. Good fun for a family reunion party to keep the kids busy. They could use the chalk for hopscotch or an art show in the driveway, as well. Marked 5 & 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
Alex Painter's Tool Box
(Alex $40.99 Score:)

For older kids here is box chock full of new materials to explore. There is a tray of a dozen watercolor tubes and another with a dozen acrylic paints. It comes with four paint brushes, 2 pencils, 2 palette knives, painting boards, a small watercolor pad, a collapsible water bucket, sharpener, eraser and all stored in a sturdy tool box for safe keeping. This is for painters 8 up.

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

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2015 Awards
Creativity for Kids Macrame Terrarium
(Creativity for Kids $23.99 Score:)

A little bit of crafty action combines with science in this winning kit. It comes with all the ingredients to make the macramé sling that will hold the plastic terrariaum and all the decorative stones, potting mix, sand, and quick-to-sprout chia and wheat grass seeds. Before long a little garden will be sprouting where young gardeners can add the decorative little mushroom and deer. Clear directions are included. A great STEM product for future botanists with an artistic twist.

 

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

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2014 Award
Bugs in the Kitchen Game
(Ravensburger $29.99 Score:)

Our testers were hilarious as they played this movable maze game trying to get the hex bug into a trap on their side of the board. Before you can play you do have to set up the maze with moveable forks and spoons; this is a one-time set up but may require adult help. After that you are ready to play as often as you like. Players take turns rolling the die and get to move either a fork or spoon gateway to get the hexbug trapped. There's just one hexbug to the set, but it might be fun to add a few more, should you happen to be very fond of these little buggers that scurry in a hurry. A fast action game that calls for some strategy, a big dose of luck and a lot of laughter. 6 & up

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
Nancy B's Nature Keeper and Tree Diary
(Educational Insights $16.99 Score:)

A science kit that comes with a leaf/flower press, tweezers, and punch for doing crafts as well as science. It comes with a 22-page activity book with science experiments to do through the seasons along with space for keeping a diary of leafy finds along the way. Be sure to see the Black Light Illuminator kit in this collection that is directed to girls. 8 & up.

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

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2015 Award
Nancy B's Black Light Illuminator Journal
(Educational Insights $16.99 Score:)

Part book/part black light this is a fun activity combo with a working black light, an invisible marker and a book full of do-able experiments that will challenge and hold their interest. Part of the Nancy B's Science Club collection, the packaging features girls doing the experiment and a picture of a Women in Science story; a great way to spark early interest and connections to science for young girls. We also like the Nature Keeper and Tree Diary in this collection. 8 & up.

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

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