Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Construction Toys

 

 
2014 Awards
Magformers 55 piece Dinosaur Set
(Magformers $99 Score:)

There are step-by-step instructions for creating a brontosaurus, velociraptor, stegoaurus, tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops with the colorful magnetic pieces. Of course, the finished pieces are rather abstract representations, but, satisfying for kids who are heavily into dinosaurs. Of course, kids can make their own creations, as well. Like so many of the Magformer sets, this involves, problem solving, fine motor skills, patience and imagination. Also fun, for Deep Sea ($89) enthusiasts, a 46 piece set with instructions for making 10 nautical builds or the Forest Friends ($89) 47 piece set for making bats, butterflies, bunnies and other creatures of the forest. They say 3 & up, we think 3's will like playing with the pieces that are safe since the magnets are embedded in large plastic pieces. But making these complex builds is more like a task for 5's and up.

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

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2014 Award
Quercetti Tubation Transparent
(International Playthings $49.99 Score:)

A 70 piece set of transparent tubes that connect like pipes. What we love about this kind of building set is that it is completely open-ended. Putting the pieces together is not only fun, but it helps build hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills and creativity. Comes with 28 straight pieces, 7 t-shaped pieces, 7 crosses and 28 curved pieces. A nice set to explore together.

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

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2014 Award
Hape The Challenger Quadrilla Marble Run
(HaPe $199.99 Score:)

With three spiral boards this is a step up from last year's two spiral Cyclone Quadrilla. Like all the Quardrilla Marble runs, this is a great and elegant marble run--a building toy that is more complex than most. It comes with two suggested ways of building and no doubt your young builder will come up with other ideas as well. It comes with straight and curved rails, high-velocity funnels, a see-saw, accelerators, blocks, levelers, bases and 50 marbles. Made with birch and rubber woods. The box says 4 & up, but 4's will not be able to construct this. They will play with the marbles, but even 5-6-7's are going to need adult help with building this.

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

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2014 Awards
Plan Toys 50 Unit Blocks
(Plan Toys $90 Score:)

Fifty unit blocks makes a good place to start with basic gear for play. This handsome set comes with twelve shapes and no premade directions or suggestions. These are the most fundamental open-ended play materials that invite creative thinking and math concepts. 3 & up.

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

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2014 Awards
Lincoln Log Collector's Edition Homestead
(KNEX $99 Score:)

305 wooden logs, a covered wagon, plenty of roof slats and eaves, a chimney, a frontiersman and plenty of instructions all in a large barrel for storage. This classic building toy is marked for 3 & up but we suggest that Lincoln Logs are a more appropriate choice and challenge for 6 & up

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

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2014 Awards
Tinkertoy 30 Model Super Set
(KNEX $49.99 Score:)

With 200 colorful pieces, this classic building toy is packaged this season with bendable pieces as well as some that snap and stay together. Tinkertoys constructions tend to be more abstract and bare boned. Yet they are also more mechanical challenging kids to build their own moving parts to make a windmill that turns, a truck that rolls and other imaginative devices. Though it is marked for 3 & up and preschoolers will poke the rods and wheels together, to use the real possibilities of this construction toy, we think it’s a better choice for early school years builders.

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

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2014 Award
LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Roaring Power
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:)

Newest in the clever 3-in-1 builds the 374-piece set gives kids instructions for a roaring race-car, a T-Rex, and a sea plane.  A mid-size kit that shows kids they can use the same pieces for new constructions.

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

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2014 Award
LEGO STAR WARS V-Wing Starfighter
(Lego Systems, Inc. $24.99 Score:)

STAR WARS fans will love building this small red and grey spaceship. With 201 pieces this is a good place to start if you have a beginning LEGO/STAR WARS fan. Set comes with a V-Wing Pilot and an Astromech Droid. Also new this year and in the same level of building experiences: the yellow and grey Jedi Interceptor ($24.99 with 223 pieces and comes with Anakin Skywalker and R2-D2) and the blue/grey Vulture Droid ($24.99 with 205 pieces and comes with Buzz Droid, Pilot Battle Droid and Neimoidian Warrior). All marked 7-12. All come with new spring-loaded shooters which need some supervision.

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

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2014 Award
LEGO CREATOR Turbo Quad
(Lego Systems, Inc. $24.99 Score:)

The 3-in-1 series is always a hit with our testers who love the ability to take their models apart and try their hand at another two builds. This one has instructions for the Turbo Quad, a Monster Truck or a Buggy. With 186 pieces, this is a beginning/ intermediate build for kids 7-12. Also new in this line this year, the Twinblade Adventure (models also include making a biplane or helicopter). For even smaller builds, look at Red Thunder (66 pieces) and Power Digger (64 pieces) - ideal for stocking stuffers.

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

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2014 Award
LEGO CITY Monster Truck and Race Car
(Lego Systems, Inc. $9.99 Score:)

Both of these small builds are a great place to start with LEGO builds. The truck comes with 78 pieces, the race car with 100 pieces. Quite affordable for birthday party presents—especially when the parties come in rapid succession! 5-12

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

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