Five Top Picks for $20 & Under
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Posted: 2012-12-21 16:17:55 By:

 

 

 


2012 Award
Pony Flag Race Lottie
(Arklu $19.99 Score: )

One of an adorable collection of 7-inch dolls with removable clothing and moveable joints for poseable play. They have painted faces with big eyes and plenty of hair to arrange. These are not fashion dolls in the traditional sense, but girl dolls. Their clothes have a high-end look, though the girls are plastic and not overly pricey. Marked 3 & up although kids under 5-6 will seldom have the dexterity to dress them. Also see Snow Queen doll and Spring Celebration Ballet doll from the same line.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 

 
2012 Awards
Hape Farm Animals Mix and Match
(HaPe $20 Score: )

A 28-piece set of picture dominoes with colorful graphics painted on the wooden playing pieces. Turn them over and have a game of traditional dominoes with dots. This is a good game for pre-readers learning to match images before they begin matching letters. Or, for early counting skills, dominoes helps children begin to sight read sets of two, three, or more and match them. 3 & up.

SNAP: A perfect choice for knowing and naming animals as well as beginning matching skills and counting.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 


2012 Award
Seeds for the Birds Game
(Peaceable Kingdom $15.99 Score: )

A fun way to learn about grids and simple counting. Players turn over picture cards to tell how many seed they can put on the grid on empty bird houses. If the card shows a bird the player gathers all the seeds in the grid on the matching line and puts them in the bird's nest above. If the player turns up a squirrel image the seeds in the grid go to the squirrel above. The object is to feed more seeds to the birds than the squirrel. In other words, all the players are playing against the squirrel rather than each other. Another easy to learn cooperative game for 2-4 players. Marked 3 and up, we think this is more like a game for older 4-5 year olds.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 


 

 


2012 Award
SmartLab DJ Rock Dock
(SmartLab  $20 Score: )

A science toy that will get plenty of play. First things first, kids follow the step by step directions to make a circuit that will turn into a plug in set of portable speakers. Now put them into one of the easy to assemble paper housing boxes. No special tools are needed. Now, plug it into your ipod and play!  A small scienctific fact: the sound is greatly amplified when the speakers go into the housing that ceates a sound box. This set of real speakers will work with an ipod, smart phone or any mp3 player.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 

 


2012 Award
Race to the Treasure
(Peaceable Kingdom $15.99 Score: )

We had good fun racing to beat the Ogre as we connected the pathway cards and collected the key tokens. This is a cooperative game that helps older players guide younger players with discovering strategy skills as well as learning to share decision-making. Set-up involves some math grid concepts, though the bigger lesson is teamwork with players beating the Ogre rather than each other.   It's an easy to learn game for 2-4 players that takes about 20 minutes and good for mixed ages. 5-50+.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

 

 
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