I’m excited to share some of my  2014 “Top 10 PAL Award Picks” today on a segment on NBC CT TV with Keri-Lee Mayland. I wanted to get my list up so those who watch will imgres-1have all the details of these outstanding language learning products. Click on the company to read my reviews and see where to purchase the product:

Disney Palace Pets Royal Pet Salon by Wonder Forge (3 and up, $20.00)

  • Little girls love choosing their pets
  • Spin to move through the 7 rooms, sudsy spa, tiara fitting, hair styling and collect cards
  • Find where that object is located, hair brush, kleenex or nail polish
  • Learn vocabulary within categories, great pretend play

839499295282eCook’n Serve Kitchen by Hape (3 and up, $150) accessories are sold separately.

  • Little chefs can pull this kitchen on wheels to any spot and start cooking
  • Reminds me of popular food trucks
  • Backside has 2 blackboards to announce changing menu, specials of the day
  • Pretend play has several  options to start a story, practice in oral and written language

imgres-4Ostrich Puppet by Folkmanis 

  • Kids are drawn out using puppets, take on a persona, here an animal
  • Facts of interest–3 pounds of rocks in his gut to grind her food–imagination going, start for story, twist and turn in the story builds language skills
  • set up show and sell tickets

PrintuKloo Riddle Edition Treasure Hunt Game (7-9 years old, $18)

  • Newest addition to uKloo family of fun treasure hunt games that promote reading
  • Agonizing time for some parents as their kids are learning to read
  • Fun “If there is rain or snow or sleet, put these on to protect your feet,” (boots)
  • Kids compose their own riddles, problem-solving and thinking

imgresPaint a Tea Set by Galt ( 5 years and up, $13)

  • Make-and -play toy provides a double opportunity for creativity as kids design the toy that becomes central to pretend play.
  • After the paint dries, let the storytelling begin, preparing little ones for later reading and writing
  • Invite dolls and teddy bears to the party
  • Add paper and pencil and now it’s a store, adding pre-reading skills to the pretend play 

imgres-4-1Mon Premier Bebe Calin Maria by Corolle (18 months and up, $42) with Stroller and Diaper backpack sold separately

  • First hispanic baby doll for mommies 18 months and older
  • Cuddly soft bean bag body fits into a child’s arms so realistically
  • Burping, hugging, changing and walking
  • Kids learn from imitating their world

imgres-7Fort Magic by Fort Magic LLC(51/2 and up, $200)

  • Perfect name, durable
  • Seen kids build castle, airplane, rocket
  • Critical thinking, group collaboration, problem solving
  • 165 straight and curved rods, tools to follow their imagination
  • Great prop for pretend play