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

 


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
New Sprouts Cook It! My Very Own Chef Set
(Learning Resources $24.99 Score:)

Just right for twos, this new six piece chef set is ready for some pretend cooking fun!  Comes with a pan, a pot and lid, a slotted spoon, mixing spoon and bright orange colander. We're delighted with the gender-free color choices (purple, orange, green, teal and grey) - making this a set without any built-in agendas. Pieces are plastic and sturdy - and could also be used in the bathtub (especially the colander!).

 

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

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2012 Awards
Farm Activity Mat
(North American Bear Co. $75 Score:)

A scrumptious set of 12 fabric farm animals. Each fits into a pocket inside this zip up mat with a bright red barn and grassy green meadow all around. We could have done without the numerals on the animals. They each fit into a pocket that shows a small graphic of the related number of animals. For example, the cow with a numeral three on its side fits into the pocket with the image of three cows. Similarly, a pig with a  nine on it goes into a pocket with the image of nine pigs. The images are very small and hard to count for the age group this toy is going to reach. That said, this is a fun "knowing and naming" toy and the soft animals will be fun to use for pretend lay on the farm side. As for matching number words and numerals, or sequencing numbers, those are kindergarten and beyond skills that are beyond toddlers. The toy seems much younger than school years, but it is beautifully made and will also be a fun toddler toy for talking, pretending and for un-filling and refilling with help.

SNAP: Lots of knowing and nameing games can be played with this set of animals.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
New Sprouts Cure It! My Very Own Doctor Kit
(Learning Resources $24.99 Score:)

The black bag is back! But are there still doctors carrying them? Never mind, it will store all the chunky plastic tools a pretend doctor needs: a stepthoscope, ear scope, thermometer, syringe, and bandage. These upsized pieces are intended for early games of make-believe. Ideal for playing out feelings about those well-baby check-ups. Our tester found that the sticker o the thermometer ripped when the prop was twisted in play. That said, she reports that the kit made an awesome hit! "He loved everything about this set! He loved organizing the tools into the cute doctor bag. He loved using each tool one after the other, and the syringe is especially cool because it has the plastic accordion piece inside to mimic giving a real shot. He loved using the ear scope to check not only ears, but eyes and mouths as well!"

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Learning Resources New Sprouts Fix It!
(Learning Resources $24.95 Score:)

For pretend carpentry play, this set of plastic tools is scaled just right for toddlers. There's a tool box for carrying a small hammer( with soft hammer head), a screwdriver, wrench, saw and drill with sound appeal. All the pieces are designed for little hands and have soft rubberized parts. 2 & up.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Playskool Squeeze-a-Song Elmo
(Hasbro $14.99 Score:)

Smaller than a lot of electronic characters, this is still some cute Elmo! Squeeze his tummy and he sings a song; well actually he hums. The faster you squeeze the louder he sings. But listen. You will need to recognize the song so that you squeeze at the right beat to make recognizable songs happen. This is a reasonably priced novelty toy that might also be useful for kids who need to strengthen their hands in physical therapy. This guy is a little harder to activate than the Sing-a-ma-jigs. But if you are a Sesame Street fan, it is probably going to have more appeal. Another version featuring Cookie Monster is also available. They say 18 months & up, we'd say more like really strong twos. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Playskool Cookie Monster's MP3 Player
(Hasbro $9.99 Score:)

Turn the dial to see the "album covers" change faces. This is a rather chunky handful for toddlers, but they will like the repetitive action and the pay-off of making things happen. Everytime the dial is tuned the face that appears says a few words. Elmo, Big Bird, and Ernie appear and each of them sings, as well. A nice stocking stuffer and novelty for under $10. 18 months & up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Playskool Elmo's Cell Phone
(Hasbro $9.99 Score:)

Slide the phone open and you see who is on the phone. It might be Oscar or Ernie or Abby Cadabby. Push a button and the character says one of the three numbers on that line and then rings. This is a pretty big phone, but what with the sliding, button pushing and face changes, it will be interesting for beginning pretend play. A fun prop and just the right size for a stocking stuffer surprise. 18 months and up. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Kidoozie Little Roadster Steering Wheel
(International Playthings $28 Score:)

We had a toddler visitor who would not let go of this interactive steering wheel. He went all the way home to France with it and his mom reports it is still his favorite! We know steering wheel toys have always been a hit with toddlers. But this one is going to get more mileage than most. It's a big blue wheel with a broad green base that keeps it stabile on the table or floor. But that is just the practical part. This electronic steering wheel has icons on the buttons that kids may begin to "read" when they want to toot the horn, call for and emergency truck, or "listen" to the radio. As they steer side to side the blinker arrows light up.

It has a shift button; shift into Drive to activate the screen as they steer. Put it in Reverse and hear the back up signal sound. There is a turn on button that starts the engine and brake sounds when the car is put in Neutral. All those special effects are sure to be used hit and miss at first, but more purposefully as they get to find their way around on imaginary trips. Marked 12 months and up. We think slightly older kids will find many ways to use this for their pretend play.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Step2 Grill and Play Patio Cafe
(Step 2 $129.99 Score:)

We love that this combines kitchen/grilling pretend play with a real place for kids to sit down and have a snack. Preschoolers can make all kinds of meals on the cooking side of this unit while their friends take turns being the guests or customers. There is an adjustable umbrella to cover all...a nice toy to bring outside while the grown ups are grilling or to entertain the troops indoors on a rainy day.  Comes with lots of accessories and food-- if you're using this toy with a toddler, we'd recommend putting most of the utensils and food away.  A pot, a dish, and a cup are about all you need when you're 2 1/2.  We're also not big on plastic food--most kids do very well making up their own imaginary "dishes"! The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements.  We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP:This kind of housekeeping toy has great appeal to spark pretend play and language. Using scaled down utensils in make believe games will help develop eye hand skills, social skills, and dramatic play.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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