Last week, Parents’ Choice Foundation announced their 2008 Toy Awards which includes new games, puzzles and toys.
Preschool: Topping the list was my favorite, “eebee’s Adventure Play Mat and Activity Play House” by Every Baby Company. This play house is begging to be put together for a child from 6 months to 3 years. What kid doesn’t like to build a fort and play house in it? When I brought this to a family’s house to play with their 2 ½ year-old, mom sat his 6 month-old sister in there too and they had a ball. The thick soft panels stick together with Velcro for endless possibilities for creative housing. For my full review go to the Parents’ Choice website.
Several new games made the list for the preschool set. Cranium introduced creative games that promote learning through activities your little one experiences every day-“Let’s Play Stamp and Mail”, “Let’s Play Measure and Cook” and “Let’s Play Neighborhood Sounds Bingo.” These are creative, fun games that I saw introduced at the International Toy Fair in February.
5 Years old and up: Games for the slightly older set, 5 years and up, that have been winners with the kids that I have played with include “Animal Soup” and “Clothespins! Game” by Briarpatch. With “Animal Soup”, every player gets a flip book with variations on their cartoon-style animal. Each picture varies with the addition of a scarf, tiara, jeweled necklace, lei, or varied hats. It’s a race to be the first one to match your picture to the figures on the game board so the winner can collect an animal disc out of the soup bowl. Kids love this game, not realizing that while they’re madly looking for their animal match, they are building their visual discrimination, memory, and fine motor skills. See my full review at the Parents’ Choice website.
“Clothespins! Game” is like a kid’s Gin Rummy where the player decides how to collect items of clothes to hang on the line—by color and pattern (stripes or polka dots) or by type of clothing (pants, shorts). Collect at least three of the same cards, put a pole at the end and no one can steal off of your line! See my full review at the Parents’ Choice website.
Babies: One of the products that received an award is the “Taggies First Touch Ball.” These soft, fuzzy balls dotted with taggies to touch and explore are easy for baby to squeeze and grasp and even for big brother to throw and catch. See my full review at the Parents’ Choice website.
8 years and up: For older kids the award-winners look really great. Try “Chocolate Fix” by ThinkFun Inc that garnered the gold award. Players place chocolates in order on a tray according to clues provided in a puzzle. Sounds yummy to me!