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Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Active Physical Play

 


Award
Speed Stacks
(Play Along $39.99 Score:) This is a game that has caught on in gym classes in middle schools and high schools across the country. It's a great way to build eye-hand coordination as well as concentration. The idea is to stack and unstack the cups in the shortest amount of time. Fun and active - and great for the age that usually just wants to plug into their video games.

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

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2007 Award
Pin the Fairy on the Flower Party Game
(eeBoo $9.95 Score:) Remember Pin the Tail on the Donkey? Well, if you have fairy fanciers’ try this very special version of an old party game. Here there’s a large canvas-like poster designed by illustrator Melissa Sweet. Players try to put the self-stick fairies onto the fairy zone. Oh, yes, it even comes with a pretty pink and blue cloth blindfold. Reusable for future parties. 4 & up.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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Award
No Spill Bubble Tumbler
(Little Kids $2.99 Score:) The No Spill Bubble Tumbler solves that oh so familiar and upsetting moment when the bottle of bubble solution spills all over the ground. Here the wand goes into the container and is loaded with just the right amount of solution to make a bubble. If you turn the container upside down, nothing will spill out, really! The containers come in mini, regular and super sized (with three wands). A great example of a classic toy made even better by an innovative design.

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

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2007 Award
5 in 1 Super Sports Inflatable Bouncer
(Little Tikes $299.99 Score:) The 5 in 1 Super Sports Inflatable Bouncer is the latest from Little Tikes' line of inflatable climber/activity toys. This bouncer measures 10’ x 10’ x 7’. Comes with two hoops but if you have a large group of kids, we’d put the balls away and let them enjoy the bouncing and sliding part of this toy. Comes with a heavy duty blower for quick inflation and a storage bag. The neighborhood of kids that tested this toy loved it and the parents enjoyed that they could put it away at the end of the day without making a permanent commitment of lawn space!

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Wobble Deck
(Diggin $39.95 Score:) Great fun for active play with some mental calisthenics built in. This electronic balance board can be played at varying levels of difficulty. It calls out colors or numbers that are marked on the board. Players need to follow the commands that get more complex and faster as the level of play is increased.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2008 Award
ESPN Better Batter Baseball
(Fisher-Price $69.95 Score:) We had mixed reviews about this batting toy. All of our testers loved that the each time the ball is loaded, it plays music from ESPN and says encouraging baseball phrases. We agree, that part is really fun. In order to start the ball loading, you push (with your bat) or step on the red target on the "plate". That was also fun and easy to do. Here's where there was a source of disagreement. The ball is suspended (in the zone) by an arm that has Velcro on it. The ball sticks to the Velcro. For some of our testers hitting it off the Velcro was not a problem. Even some of our hard swinging 3 year olds could do. Others (including some grown ups) had great difficulty getting the ball off the Velcro. For this group, it was necessary to pull the ball of and then re-attach it. Once reattached (but not on as tightly) this group could now also hit the ball. We also found that if you hit out and down, it is easier to get the ball off the suspended arm. For some, a simple t-ball will do the trick. If your child is not a slugger, this may be the way to go. Our best advice, try your neighbor's before you invest in this one. It is much more expensive than a simple t-ball.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Pottery Barn Kids Water Balloon Toss
(Pottery Barn Kids $29 Score:) You're either a water balloon family or you're not. If water balloons are your thing, check out this new Water Balloon Toss game from Pottery Barn Kids. The banner comes with four different holes (of varying sizes) for kids (and adults) to try their hand at. The concept here is to throw the water balloons at the canvas, not at each other-- no guarantees! The banner comes with some rope for hanging purposes.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
HearthSong Great Big Outdoor Playball
(HearthSong $59.98 Score:) When they say BIG, they really mean it. This ball is 52" in diameter! We highly recommend that you buy the electric pump they sell ($29.98) if you don't already have a pump. Each chamber of the blue and green ball must be inflated separately. The ball will be enjoyed by early school aged kids. EDITORS NOTE: Because the ball has two openings that a child can climb into (it was the first thing everyone wanted to do)--this toy requires complete supervision. The company has submitted our safety verification form. Note, we did not test this independently in a lab.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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