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Product Type: Toys

 


2004 Award
Alphadot Bracelet Kit
(Fashion Angels Enterprises $19.99 Score:) Our testers loved this kit that comes with three watch-like thin bands and 85 Alphadot beads that slide onto the bands. You can change your mind and come up with a new "word" everyday! Also top-rated, Block Party Bracelet Kit ($19.99) comes with metal sliding letters. Alphabet Soupcase ($13) is the same idea but with plastic block letters that go on chain necklaces or key chains. Past favorites: Ribbon Raps ($14), PLATINUM AWARD '03; and Mystix ($16) includes semi-precious stones. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Green Machine
(Huffy $100 Score:) You'll want a turn on this truly innovative ride-on. Steer the two chunky rear wheels by moving the two hand levers (one also has a brake). Solidly made for even bigger kids (and small adults!).

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Sodor Engine Wash Set
(RC2 Learning Curve $100 Score:) This 39-piece set comes with the Water tower and Sodor Engine Wash. You also get Percy and Gordon (trains). For a slightly larger set, consider Down by the Docks ($149.99/45 pieces) with Sodor Bay Bridge, Lighthouse, and Crane. PLATINUM AWARD ’03. New for , and a “grandparenty” kind of gift, Sodor Rescue Team Set ($300) —100 pieces that come in a storage box (includes our favorite add-ons, Fire Station and Rescue Hospital). Also noteworthy, Tidmouth Station Travel Set ($80) for the child who can’t leave home without some trains! Comes with Thomas, 20 pieces of track, and a zip-up case.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Pretend & Play Doctor Set
(Learning Resources $24.95 Score:) Doctors no longer make house calls, and even the traditional black bag from Fisher-Price is gone. Most of the medical kits do not come with cases large enough for easy re-packing. The roomiest is the Pretend & Play Doctor Set. Comes in a large plastic case with 19 pieces including a stethoscope with heartbeat and cough, a beeper, a cellphone, a blood pressure cuff, and other chunky tools.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Simple Embroidery
(Klutz $16.95 Score:) Learning to do 11 different kinds of fancy stitches is easy with the step-by-step drawings in this book, which comes with reusable iron-on transfer patters, a hanky, ten skeins of cotten floss in jewel tones, needles, and hoop. A fine introduction to a classic craft. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Critter Leg Stilts
(Critter Leg Stilts $-20 Score:) We love the look of these wooden stilts that come in three different sizes (48", 64", & 82"). They come in different animal designs and again take some time to get the hang of but are fun for older kids, teens, and even adults.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Yoga Play & Learn System
(YogaYears $69 Score:) Yoga is catching on as a great activity for kids. Here's a child-sized mat (24" x 50") with many standard yoga positions printed on the mat. Also comes with a fun game for introducing the concepts and positions.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Bird Diner Kit
(Balitono $17 Score:) This diner attracts smaller birds such as finches, chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches. We'd pair it with a set of binoculars, a bird book, and a log. Also for the outdoors, Spiral Windchime Kit ($17). 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Build a Bird Bath
(Creativity for Kids $24.95 Score:) A parent/child project for the garden. Three pieces need to be put together and painted. Part of the National Keep America's Birds Clean Campaign.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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2004 Award
Deluxe Clear-View Nature House
(TWC of America $15.99 Score:) The Deluxe Clear-View Nature House ($15.99) is a sturdy hut-shaped wooden house half see-thru, half screened with sliding door; a perfect temporary habitat for observing bugs and small critters. 6 & up. Also, Soil Dweller Nature House Kit ($20) for making a wooden-framed house for earthworms. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2004.

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