Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Preschoolers
Categories: Pretend Play

 


2013 Award
Calico Critters Adventure Tree House
(International Playthings $70 Score:)

Get your critters ready for real adventure in this three level tree house with a two-story slide, a cabin on top, and ladders for getting up and down. There is a swing big enough for two to share as well as a bucket on a pulley for getting supplies up and down with ease. There is plenty of room inside for cozy living. You can combine this setting with the Lakeside Lodge vacation house. Like all settings in this line, the animals and furniture pictured on the packaging are not included in the set, but sold separately.

Our tester loved the little log cabin playhouse that is on the top of the tree house and the slide. She also likes the pulley for transporting small treasures to the different levels of the tree house.  The only negative comment was that the swing comes off the branch easily. This experienced 6 year old Calico Critters fan, incorporated her Tree House into her other settings to create a village.  Her mom noted that she would recommend Calico Critters to other parents because the line has lasting play appeal. 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
Calico Critters Border Collie Family
(International Playthings $22.99 Score:)

Mama, Papa, brother and sister Border Coolies are done up with faces in crisp black and white markings. Also new this season, an Outback Koala Family. Mama is carrying the newest little one in a soft fabric backpack while their toddler size child is able to walk along with Papa. These are charming posable figures to use as props for the Calico Critter settings or for pretend play with blocks and other mini-settings.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Fairview Manor Dollhouse
(Big Jigs $184 Score:)

Players have full access to all the rooms of this splendid painted dollhouse. No decorator needed since it comes fully furnished with lovely painted furniture for every room plus a play family, including an oddly old-fashioned white haired granny and gramps. The staircase has a turned landing that took some figuring out and there is a back door that slides, but not too easily. This is one of those memorable play settings that will get long-term use.  3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Step 2 Creative Cooks Kitchen
(Step 2 $190 Score:)

Our two-year old tester loves having a kitchen of his own and his mom loves the fact that it is big enough for more than one child. He's also a tall two and this play setting "fits" him with ease. Offering his mom coffee from the coffee pot, talking on the phone, using the condiment bottles and opening and closing the window shutters are some of his favorite features. His mom says she has pushed this away from the wall so that he can get behind the windows and use it for taking orders--although she wished the backside was more finished for two-sided play. That said, she is happy with the many ways it is being used and said she would recommend it to others. Designed in bright gender-free colors, this is currently only available at Toys R us.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Awards
Hape City Parking Garage
(Hape $99 Score:)

A handsome wooden parking garage with working elevator to lift vehicles up to the two level garage with ramps for coming down. Comes with three small vehicles and has a heliport with little helicopter up on top. This is larger than the older garage from Hape. There are miles of pretend play waiting to happen. Great for developing pretend stories

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Janod Picnic Hamper
(Janod $35 Score:)

When the Teddy Bears have their picnic, this four-piece set of painted wooden dishes, cutlery and drinking glasses are ready for action. The sturdy round red checked box also contains a checked cloth and is fitted out for storing the pieces and has a handles and clasp to keep things in order. The glasses have holes near the top for safety, so they cannot form a suction around the mouth and nose.  3 & up

 

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Brio Adventure Tunnel
(Brio $39.99 Score:)

We're always looking for add-on props to enliven train play. Action figures can climb up the side of this Adventure Tunnel with a lift up walking bridge on top. Figures can slide down one side or use the stone steps on the other side. Meanwhile, the train can go right under them. However, there are no figures in the package. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013.

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2013 Award
Hape Playfully Delicious Shopping Cart
(Hape $63 Score:)

With its orange fabric basket and bright blue and sturdy wooden sides, this is a gender free push-about prop for pretend play. It will get miles of play for pretend shopping trips and also serve as a stroller for teddy bears and dolls that need a nap. Low and stable this cart has treads on its wheels so t will not fly away. It is pricey, but will go the distance and still have reserve so it can be passed along to younger sibs or cousins. 3 & up.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Hape High Chair
(Hape $45 Score:)

Easy to assemble, this all-wooden high chair is pink, white and natural wood finish. The feeding table does not lift, so no fear of pinched fingers. It is low enough for older two's to use for feeding dolls and teddy bears. Comes with a pink seat cushion for dolly's comfort. 2 & up

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
eeBoo Animal Village Play Masks
(eeBoo $14.95 Score:)

A set of seven cardboard play masks. These do not get worn on the face like your old Halloween mask. They are flat faces with cut out eyes and handles to hold onto. Fun for making up stories and playing them as you would with puppets, only here the players use their whole bodies if they like. Also available, Mystery in the Forest Set with three humanoid faces, with hat, crown or flowers in addition to four animals. Marked 3 and up. We think children who are slightly older and have more language will enjoy these even more.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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