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Product Type: Toys

 


Awards
Tissue Paper Flowers
(Klutz $16.95 Score:) Making paper flowers with the Tissue Paper Flowers book from Klutz introduces kids to the names and parts of the flowers and helps them notice the shapes that distinguish one flower from another. Again--there's reading involved along with dexterity and this is the kind of craft that can grow into a hobby that you might want to join in on.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: .

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Award
Wooden Dinosaur Models
(B.C. Bones $20 Score:) Kids who are wild about dinosaurs --will often spout off the dinosaur's long names and how big they grew--but how big is that compared to the living room-say or the block you live on? Kids can use a traditional yard stick, tape measures or they can count how many steps they need to take to measure 3 feet. Another choice is to measure off 10 feet of string. If the Allosaurus model they are building was 36 feet in real life --have them compare that to the house you live in…how many car length could that be? Other dinosaurs in books can be compared the same way. By the way, wooden dinosaur models (B.C. Bones $30 & up depending on size) requires working in a step by step way-translating directions from paper to real thing. Kids also need to use spatial relationships and a far amount of patience. New smaller kits with paint did not test well: "way too confusing, would be great with clearer directions." New architectural landmark kits looked stunning but were not ready for testing. 9 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: .

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Award
Pet Story
(Creations by You $28.95 Score:) Kids write their story about their family pet(s). Take photos and have kids draw pictures, too. Kit comes with stickers that can be added to photos and story. Send the manuscript and pictures to manufacturer and the book is sent back published and bound. You can even get extra copies of the book for an extra fee. School classes can also do a co-operative kind of book about the classroom pet. This is a project pet lovers of all ages can enjoy.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: .

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2001 Awards
Razor Scooter
(Razor Scooter $99 Score:)

Since we first reviewed the Razor Scooter in 2001, it has become the granddaddy of them all. When they first arrived on the scene, it was hard to walk around the streets of our Greenwich Village office without seeing dozens of kids on them (or parents carrying them to their kids for pick up!)  They have maintained their apply with kids as one the experiences of childhood. Here in New York City--they have replaced the "first bike" as the main mode of childhood transportation. We are always amazed by the really little kids that have mastered the scooter! 

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

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Awards
Lynn Kleiner Rhythm Sets
(Remo $24.95 Score:) Many instruments for young kids make noise instead of music and are basically unsafe. Strike up the rhythm band with these kits that are well crafted with sound and safety in mind. Babies Make Music includes jingle shaker, wrist jingle, and a small drum and scarf (safe enough for toddlers who still mouth their toys). 2 & up. Kids Make Music includes a 7" tambourine, triangle, wrist bell (with big jingles), rhythm sticks, and one maraca; Kids Make Music, Too has an 8" drum, scarf, finger cymbals, woodblock with mallet, and one egg shaker. 3 & up. SNAP Activity: Use drum or rhythm sticks for a math game. Make a stack of cards labeled with numbers 1-10. Put them face down. Player draws a card and taps that number. Other player must guess the number on your card. If she gets it, give her the card. At the end of the game switch parts. Now the other player does the reading and tapping. (800) 397-9378.

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

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Award
Jamtown
(Jamtown $8 Score:) We loved the sound quality and authentic folk beauty of a carved Peruvian shaker ($8), Gourd Scraper ($16), and rosewood Clave Sticks from Mexico ($12). You can buy a small drum, claves, and shaker in a Jamtown Jr. kit with a cassette tape ($35). These and other folk instruments from places like Africa and Indonesia make unusual gifts for the family.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: .

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2000 Awards
Oogly Googly
(Learning Resources $20 Score:) Our PLATINUM AWARD winner in 2000 is a motorized Gears! creation that can be built in three or more ways. Based on the original and still wonderfully open-ended Gears! Gears! Gears! this kit comes with giant Oogly Googlie Eyes that jiggle and wiggle as the creature rolls along. These are still great toys that develop problem-solving skills as well as dexterity. They don't come out of the box ready made, but once they are built kids can take extra pleasure in playing with what they have created. .

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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1995 Awards
Windows & Doors
(Haba $25 Score:)

We're always on the look out for props to add to building blocks and these are good fun. Add these working doors and windows that are scaled to unit blocks. Fitting them in place takes some problem solving.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 1995. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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1997 Awards
Tinkle, Crinkle, Rattle, & Squeak
(Gund $10 Score:) A classic velour caterpillar-shaped toy with multiple sounds in each section of the bug's body and bright primary colors for eye-grabbing attention. For the youngest, you'll need to squeeze the toy to get baby's attention. In time baby will be finding ways to activate and investigate this toy. Available in black, red and white as well as in primary colors. SNAP INFO: Each section of the brightly colored worm has a different sound. An ideal toy that matches your infant's sensory learning style.

Age: Infants. Award Year: 1997.

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2000 Awards
Familiar Things
(Lauri $18.95 Score:)

Twelve two-piece rubbery puzzles of familiar objects makes this a good place to begin with older toddlers. Start with a few sets at a time. Talk about the objects, what they are called, and what they do. 2 & up.

SNAP INFO: These whole piece puzzles are relatively easier to rotate and discover where and how they fit. They are also handsome for language games and dramatic play. ACTIVITY: Play an I Spy game with some of the pieces. Say," I'm thinking of something that flies-what is it?" Can the child find the butterfly?..."I spy something that has wheels." Can the child find the car.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2000. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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