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Product Type: Toys

 

 
2015 Awards
Kaloo Petite Rose Puppet
(Janod $29.99 Score:)

For lap time games of tracking, use a hand puppet like this sweet Petite Rose or the more colorful favorite Patchwork Bear puppet from the same maker. Both are made of soft velvety plush and will double as a snuggable huggable in time. With all stitched features and no doo-dads this is a safe lovie for infants and good prop for interacting with baby. 

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Kaloo My Activity Book Owl
(Janod $32 Score:)

A darling activity book that can also be a gazing toy to hang in the stroller. Use it for lap time together. The fabric pages lift to reveal interesting textures to feel, stitched on flower and sun on first page; owl on a branch on the crinkly second page with a peek-a-boo mirror.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Award
eeBoo Green Market Puzzle Spinner Game
(eeBoo $16.99 Score:)


A little luck, a lot of matching, and simple classifying all play a part in this game. Each player has a board that must be filled with dairy, baked goods, eggs, flowers, fruit and veggies. Kids take turns spinning the pointer and taking the playing piece that matches on of these items for their playing board. But before they can start collecting these items they must spin and land on a farmer to open their stand. This opening move can take time and with younger players you may want to skip it, leaving the farmer on each playing board to start. Recognizing the difference between fruits and veggies and classifying dairy goods calls for serious classifying for young preschoolers. They may also be a bit confused by the color of the eggs, especially the bluish ones. That said, this is a fun game with solid learning built into the mix. Marked 3 & up; we think older 4-6 will enjoy it more.

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

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2015 Awards
Janod Grand Prix Story Pop-Open Play Set Case
(Janod $49.99 Score:)

Pricey--but a most unusual puzzle that becomes a wonderful miniature play setting. Stored in a grandstand box that opens (and holds all the playing pieces) there is a 21-piece cardboard track that can be put together in many different shapes. In fact, there are drawings of some of the ways to do this that will challenge kids to experiment. Our testers like the open-endedness of the tracks that allows for  variety. Once the track is assembled let the races begin. Four colorful little wooden racing cars with drivers ready to go come in this road and track set for young players 3 & up.

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

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2015 Awards
Janod Chunky Construction Puzzle
(Janod $16 Score:)

Seven construction vehicles fit into this colorful puzzle board. Kids will love using the puzzle pieces for stand up props with blocks. The animal drivers in each vehicle is also pictured on the puzzle board, giving young puzzlers a clue as to where they should park the trucks. Playing pieces are thicker than the puzzle board making them easy for small hands to lift and maneuver in an out of the board. Marked 18 months and up we'd say this makes a better bet for 2 and up.

SNAP: Whole piece puzzles like this offer multiple kinds of learning for language, dramatic play, matching, and developing eye hand skills. Kids who are especially interested in transportation will be attracted to this beautifully crafted puzzle that can be used in so many ways. The raised pieces may be sufficient for grasping. If not, adapt them by adding small velcro strips to the center of each piece.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2015 Awards
Janod Wood Fish Shape Match
(Janod $26 Score:)

A perfect puzzle for beginners that develops eye hand skills as they rotate the pieces to fit them onto the puzzle board. It's also a matching toy for reinforcing color concepts and language. Beautifully crafted in wood, the pieces sit higher than the board making them easy to grasp. 2 & up.

 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2015.

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2015 Award
eeBoo 208 Piece Garden Creatures
(eeBoo $13.99 Score:)

One of six puzzles based on 19th Century chromolithographs. This one has 36 insects in various states of flying, creeping, and metamorphing. Also our favorites in the series, Wildlife of North America, and Wildlife of Africa. These are not simple with 200+ pieces and will challenge older and experienced puzzle builders. That said, these will be fun to do as a cooperative project and the creatures are labeled on the box, for identifying the assembled creatures.  8 and up.

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

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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
Faber Castell Outdoor Chalk Art Set
(Creativity for Kids $14.99 Score:)

Imagine having a dozen vibrant chalks to draw with outdoors and no need to get messy hands (if that bothers your young artist) or sore knees, either. This dandy set comes with a knee pad cushion, 2 foam grips to slid the chalk into and two blending tools. A brush and a piece of foam. The intense color of these chalks makes you want to get out there and draw all over the driveway! Marked for 4 & up, but we know older schoolaged kids are going to love it, too.

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

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2015 Award
My Family Trivia Game
(The Purple Cow $12 Score:)

We like this unusual multi-generational games that will be fun for a family occasions since it calls for a lot of talking and sharing of family stories. Players must collect six different colored cards that are drawn randomly from the pile. The tasks on the cards require players to tell about themselves or things they know about other players in the game. For example one task card asks a player to name "all my cousins from oldest to youngest" or to tell "an object I could not live without" or “three places where we have relatives." There are a few picture cards, too, that are supposed to evoke family stories that relate to your family. An uncomplicated game that is sure to produce good laughs and happy memories, this is designed for 3-7 players ages 6-99.

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

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