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Product Type: Toys
Award: Blue Chip

 

 
2004 Awards
Snuffles
(Gund $12 Score:)

With his round tummy, this short, lovable armful of a bear is likely to become a constant companion. New for , he has a shinier finish to his furóbut still huggable. 2 & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2004. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2004 Awards
PDQ
(Gamewright $9.99 Score:)

PDQ, short for the Pretty Darn Quick Word Game, works by players drawing three letter cards. The first player to call out a word that uses those three letters wins those cards. Not for shy game players! Much like Word Sense, but without the tiles. Great for travel. 8 & up.

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

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2004. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2007 Awards
Mad Math
(Patrix Communications $22.95 Score:) If math facts are a source of tension in your house, here are two games for working on those skills. Mad Math is a board game that has addition facts on one side and multiplication on the other. The goal is to get three pawns in a row on the board. You collect spaces by rolling the dice and finding the corresponding math fact on the playing board. The board is self-correcting, which is a plus.New for 2007, Delicio ($18.99 4), a clever memory game that teaches food families (in French and English). (888) 834-2380.

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

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200 Awards
Rollipop Toddler Starter and Advanced Sets
(Edushape $19.95 Score:) These are among our favorite toddler toys. Toddlers love to drop the oversized colorful plastic balls into the starter set (a tower) and track them as they go down. The balls also travel slowly down the advance set (a bridge) making it an ideal toy for developing visual tracking. 18 mos & 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: 200.

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2004 Awards
eeBoo Pin the Tail on the Donkey
(eeBoo $15 Score:)

eeBoo has brought back this classic game with a variety of themes that will fit just about every birthday party.  Here's the classic version--happily  printed on a sturdy reusable poster and comes with a bandanna blindfold and two sets of 16 self-adhesive tailsóno tacks needed!  A good party prop for several years of play. 

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

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2004. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2004 Award
Moose in the House
(Gamewright $9.99 Score:)

There's a Moose in the House remains one of our all time favorite card games.  It's unlike most other games you'll play with your kids nad has a sense of humor and great artwork. Calls for visual discrimination skills!  So we have elevated this unique game to BLUE CHIP status!

Here's our original review:

One of the most innovative card games we have played in years. The cards have pictures of empty rooms, doors, and moose in the same rooms. The object is to place as many moose in your opponents’ house of cards as possible. The player with the fewest moose at the end of the game, wins. Easy to learn and a lot of fun to play! 2-5 players.

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

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2004. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2002 Awards
CedarWorks Gazebo Slant 1 Playset
(CedarWorks $3100 Score:) The Gazebo is a big time investment in backyard fun. Made out of northern cedar, the company guarantees that its sets are splinter free. What we really like about the Gazebo system is that you can add guard rails all the way around the raised platform for added safety. As your kids grow, you can remove the rails for added climbing opportunities. Kids love having a clubhouse of their very own and that's what the Gazebo does (without having to build a tree house!) Starter sets begin at $1400 from this top of the line playset company, but you can always spend more. You can customize your "dream set" on CedarWorks website, on the phone or with an authorized dealer. With all climbing systems, adult supervision is a must. The government recommends a minimum of 6 inches of ground covering (wood chips, recycled mulch, pea stones, fine sand) with a minimum perimeter of 6 feet. For more safety guidelines, please visit www.cpsc.gov.

Age: Preschool,Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2010 Awards
Lauri Puzzles
(Lauri $7.99 Score:)

Lauriís puzzles come with rubber pieces and a pattern printed in the container/tray for beginners to follow. For building confidence, these are the perfect place to start.  They do make puzzle boards with whole pieces, such as tools and vehicles. These are ideal for beginners.

The five piece puzzles are a perfect place to start with 2 year olds. The puzzles are marked 18 months and up- but we'd say for most kids, this is rushing it.  There is also a Dog and puppy 5 piece puzzle that's a bit harder.

As with all puzzles-- it's really important to start with sets that your child can do with a minimum amount of frustration. The idea is to build their sense of confidence- save more complicated puzzles for later on.

Our 4-5 year old testers loved the 22-piece Race Car and 3-4's liked the 13-piece T-Rex, a 16-piece Farm Scene,  a wonderful Birthday Cake, and Airplane. This company will provide missing pieces so that your investment is not lost. The textured pieces on their simple one piece puzzles are also good for tracing.

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

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2009 Awards
LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Set
(LeapFrog $24.99 Score:)

For the 21st-century child, magnetic letters that talk! Put the "magnetic phonics reader" onto the fridge and it will play one capital letter at a time. The toy will say and sing each letters name and sing the sound they say. Letters are raised to give kids the feel for their shapes. Use these for letter name and sound recognition.  Look for the Fridge Words Magnetic Word Builder version for simple three letter word games. This is labeled 2 & up, but is more appropriate for preschoolers and early school kids. We're heard that the toy will scratch stainless steel fridge doors...so find another home for this if that is what you have. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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Award
Floor Standing Puppet Theater
(Alex $59.99 Score:) Puppet stages are great fun for the whole family. At first you may be the main performer but soon enough your child will want you to be the audience. Try out familiar stories and then make up your own. Kids often express themselves more openly when they use puppets-- so be a careful listener. You may be surprised by what you hear. This stage from Alex is smaller than their larger playhouses that also have puppet stages. Comes with a clock (for show time) and a chalk board for adding important info about the show.

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

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