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Product Type: Toys
Award: Blue Chip

 

  
2010 Awards
Ambi Ted & Tess Carousel
(Schylling $19.99 Score:)

Welcome back, Ted and Tess! A classic toy that has been missing in action for a few seasons. These spinning bears go round and round when baby pushes the knob on top. The brightly colored spinning top is made of sturdy plastic and has a flat bottom that sits flat on the floor. A fun toy for learning about cause and effect and for making things happen. Babaies will need adults to sctivate the bears, but in time they will be able to make it happen. Such a feeling of power! 6 months & up.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

SNAP: It's not always easy finding toys that respond to a swipe of the whole hand. This classic spinning toy is sturdy and easy to activate.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Awards
Shark Attack
(Patch Products $19.99 Score:)

First introduced to a generation of kids in 1988, Shark Attack is back!  Our testers loved that the motorized shark moved around the board with the possibility of eating the fish (each player has a fish on the board).  You need to roll the die to keep ahead of the shark. The last fish on the board wins!  Rounds go pretty quickly.  A fun game for kids 5 and up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Awards
Calico Critters 2010
(International Playthings $19.99 Score:)

A wonderful collection of animal families are ready for pretend play in the Calico Critter Treehouse or with use them with blocks or other miniature settings. Among our favorites this year are the Pickleweed Hedgehogs, Ellwood Elephants, Sugar Bears, and Milky Mouse families.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Awards
Wimmer Ferguson Double-Feature Mirror
(Manhattan Toy $29.99 Score:)

There is not a better quality safety mirror for babies than this one. Recently updated with all new graphics, this is pretty much distortion-free and baby will enjoy gazing at his own moving images long before he recognizes who he is seeing in the reflection. However, even before baby can use the mirror side, the high contrast black and white graphics on the reverse side will be interesting for baby to gaze at. Hang this in the crib or beside the changing table. Keep in mind, that the black and white graphics are visually stimulating, so for quiet time, you may want to take this out of visual range. The graphics include among others a pinwheel with target, a cat's face, and a baby's face. Research shows that newborns do not see colors in the first weeks and these black and white images, especially the faces, are the ones they latch onto visually. Newborns & up.
The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2005 Awards
Corolle Drink & Wet Baby Paul
(Corolle $69.99 Score:)

If you are looking for an anatomically correct doll for big sisters or brothers, Paul is your guy. He's a 14" vinyl doll that can go in the tub, drink from a toy bottle and wet. He comes with his own potty chair as well as diapers. This is also a useful prop for kids who are in the potty training stage. Also available: Emma, a bath and potty training doll with a "small difference."

Age: . Award Year: 2005. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Geometric Puzzle Board
(Guidecraft $22 Score:)

Five big geometric shapes are easy for toddlers to grasp with the big wooden handles. In addition to knowing and naming these basic shapes the puzzle pieces are color coded as a clue for beginners.   Use the color words to reinforce color concepts and matching skills. 

 SNAP: These geometric shapes are especially easy to grasp with their oversized handles. In addition to learning the names of these basic shapes and colors, use them for tracing or stamping into play dough. 

Play an I SPY game: Pick up the circle shape and say I see more circles in the room. Let's see how many we can find. Now hunt for other circular shapes such as a dish, a clock, a wheel on a toy. Expanding what we mean by circles helps to build the concept. Work on just one concept for a few days before moving on to the squares or triangles. You can even bake cookies in the shape-of-the-day...use different size drinking glasses to cut out big and little circles.  

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Sassy Fascination Station
(Sassy $10 Score:)

An update of an old favorite, this high chair toy has a big suction cup to fasten on the high chair or it can be detached from its stand and used for two handed play. The bold contrast spinners are sure to attract visual attention and delight babies who love the power of toys that they activate with ease. There are two see-through balls with spinners inside and bright colored clackers that invite exploration by little fingers. 6 months & up.

 The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

 

SNAP INFO: Finding toys that respond with a swipe of the hand is not always easy. This clever spinning high chair toy can be used as a hand held tether and rattle. Suction held toys often do not hold well. This one is better than most, thus freeing you from holding the toy and empowering a child to make it work. There is plenty to see, hear, and feel as balls and clackers with bold graphics and textures turn. Best of all, it detaches to become a two-handed toy to explore.

Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2001 Awards
Lauri Alphabet Puzzle Boards
(Patch $29.99 Score:)

Crepe rubber puzzle boards.  There is one 5 piece puzzle for each letter of the alphabet. Each board has an upper and lower case letter and an object that starts with that sound. There are a lot of Alphabet puzzles around, but these have cut out letters that give kids a 'feel' for the shape and direction of the letters.

SNAP IDEAS: Kids can trace the letters or use them for spelling out their names. When kids are learning letters it's fun to put three in a bag and have child feel inside without looking. Can she pull out the letter "T" or one that says "M-m-m-m."

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2001. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Awards
Jumbo Bunnies
(International Playthings $12.99 Score:)

These colorful bunnies have been hard to find for a while. This is an old favorite toy for filling and dumping, banging together and eventually connecting in long rows or other funny stacks. They are easy to grab hold of and put together or pull apart. The nine-piece set has six bunnies in six colors and three connectors. 1 & up.
       The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.  This product has been discontinued.

 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2009.

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2009 Awards
Quercetti Interlocking Star Shapes
(International Playthings $12 Score:)

Toddlers like toys with multiple pieces and these six colorful star shapes are challenging for little hands to put together and pull apart. There may be a short learning curve for the putting together action, but these big plastic pieces they have no right and wrong order. These not only help build motor skills, they can help knowing and naming color words and simple counting. 1 & 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: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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