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

 


2014 Award
Disney Princess LEGO Cinderella's Romantic Castle
(Lego Systems, Inc. $69.99 Score:)

Cinderella has arrived in LEGO land. This multi-layered white castle has accents of blue, lavender and pink (of course). We love the detail (down to the glass slipper) so that once you're done building, you have a pretend setting to retell the story. With 646 pieces, this is a sizeable set to work on together with a new builder or for a more experienced intermediate LEGO builder alone. Set includes the unforgettable, Prince Charming--  and a place for him to dance with Cinderella. [Editors' note: with so many plastic castles that just scream pink and princess - this one refreshingly calls for some thought and building. After all, we want smart princesses.]

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
Airhogs HyperActives5
(SpinMaster $45 Score:)

A 5-wheeled RC stunt vehicle that is zippy thanks to the fifth wheel that helps deliver high speed. Kids can jump it, roll it, flip it and even drive it upside down. It has shock compression tires that can run on any kind of surface. You'll need 6 AAA and one 1.5V. 8-13

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
LEGO Creator Yellow Racers
(Lego Systems, Inc. $29.99 Score:)

A versatile 3-in-1 set with 328-pieces for building a helicopter with chunky main rotor, sleek cockpit, retractable front landing gear, and multi-directional rear wheel. Had enough of the helicopter? Turn the same parts into a speedboat or a high-speed racing car. This is a fairly complex set meant for experienced builders 7-12.

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
Playmobil Summer Fun Camping Site
(Playmobil $69.99 Score:)

Kids can replay or pre-play the excitement of camping with this elaborate group of settings that reflect the real experience. There is a camp store with lots of small accessories for sale; a sanitary station with toilet, shower, sinks, washer and swinging doors; an orange pop-up tent, trees and flagpole; and several Playmobil figures. A 262-piece set with plenty of pretend play power once the toy assembled. 4-10

Age: Preschool, 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 City Camper Van
(LEGO Systems, Inc. $19.99 Score:)

It's time to go camping! Why not with this big white camper van.. This is another of Lego's clever modular builds that is divided into sub-models to give builders an easier start. This 195-piece set is loaded with fine details that add to the builder’s delighted and plans that guide each step in the process. Kids will love the red canoe and two play figures, as well as the van with all of its accessories and working door. A relatively small set that helps develop fine motor and spatial skills along with their ability to stay with a task and deal with some problem solving--all important kinds of learning. Marked for 5-12, we think many 5-7's will need help getting started. Doing this gives them a roadmap for how to approach complex tasks.

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 Friends Sunshine Ranch
(Lego Systems, Inc. $69.99 Score:)

For kids who love riding and horses or dream of both, this Sunshine Ranch is a great pretend setting. A two story ranchhouse with stables for the three horses that Mia and Liza enjoy grooming and riding. They also like to do a fair amount of gardening at the ranch. This is an elaborate 721-piece building set with tons of small details and accessories to keep players busy pretending. But first they need to assemble the ranch and corral and even the hen house. Our 7-year old tester's mom wrote that the instructions were extremely easy and her daughter was ecstatic that it came with more than one doll. She did wish that the box was sturdier so the pieces could be put back in the box and then rebuilt. We know there are some who find the Friends sets as too gender specific, but in fact, we like the active roles the Friends play with their jobs and entertainment. If it brings girls to the construction toy aisle we say go for it! That's the way to help them develop dexterity, patience, spatial skills and imagination. 6-12

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 City Camper Van
(Lego Systems, Inc. $19.99 Score:)

It's time to go camping! Why not with this big white camper van.. This is another of Lego's clever modular builds that is divided into sub-models to give builders an easier start. This 195-piece set is loaded with fine details that add to the builder’s delighted and plans that guide each step in the process. Kids will love the red canoe and two play figures, as well as the van with all of its accessories and working door. A relatively small set that helps develop fine motor and spatial skills along with their ability to stay with a task and deal with some problem solving--all important kinds of learning. Marked for 5-12, we think many 5-7's will need help getting started. Doing this gives them a roadmap for how to approach complex tasks.

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 City SUV with Watercraft
(Lego Systems, Inc. $19.99 Score:)

It's time to go to the beach! Load up the SUV and trailer with the jets skis. One of Legos' clever modular builds that is divided into sub-models to give builders an easier start. This 219-piece set is loaded with fine details that add to the builder’s delighted and plans that guide each step in the process. A relatively small set that helps develop kids fine motor and spatial skills along with their ability to stay with a task and deal with some problem solving. All important learning. Skills. Marked for 5-12, we think many 5-7's will need help getting started. Doing this gives them a roadmap for how to approach complex tasks.

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 Friends Heartlake Juice Bar
(Lego Systems, Inc. $ 29.99 Score:)

Andrea and Naya are definitely thinking and eating healthy! They have opened a juice bar at Heartlake. What better way to deliver cool refreshment for the summer to all their friends? This is a big step beyond the typical lemonade stand. It has a very current look and all the equipment for smashing and whipping up smoothies and fresh juice are ready! Another fun setting for dramatic play once all the 277-pieces are assembled. We know there are some who find the Friends sets as too gender specific, but in fact, we like the active roles the Friends play with their jobs and entertainment. If it brings girls to the construction toy aisle we say go for it! That's the way to help them develop dexterity, patience, spatial skills and imagination. 6-12

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 Friends Stephanie's Beach House
(Lego Systems, Inc. $39.99 Score:)

Stephanie and her friend Kate are enjoying the summer at the modern yellow two-story beach house with pink, white and lavender trim. The house has big open windows to catch the breeze and all sorts of furniture and accessories for enjoying life at the beach. This is a perfect miniature setting for dramatic play, but first kids need to use their fine motor skills, problem solving, and stick-to-it power to build it.
A 369-piece set that will take time to build and then provide hours of play. We know there are some who feel the Friends are too gender specific, but in fact, we like the active roles the Friends play with their jobs and entertainment. If it brings girls to the construction toy aisle we say go for it! That's the way to help them develop dexterity, patience, spatial skills and imagination. 6-12

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

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