Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products for 1996 : Text Only Version
In alphabetical order by manufacturer's name
Keys to the 100 Best Products
||Arts & Crafts
||Educational Skills Product
Great Word AdventureThis is a well produced activity product with animation, audio and games to teach language skills to children 6 to 9. The CD provides skill building, such as letter and word recognition, compound words, rhymes and problem solving. There are many exciting aspects and many interactive scenes with games, puzzles, songs and stories. A child can easily progress and adjust to the current skill level. Howie Mandell is a participant. There is also a well-designed activity booklet included.
AT CD B ESP CP
Book/Audio TapeThese are excellent products that will help children express and understand feelings. They will learn how to take responsibility, and to have reduced anxiety about what they feel. It's important also for adults to understand children's feelings and why they act as they do. This set of materials includes a tape children can listen to, a coloring book and other communications tools. There is a chart to help children discuss their feelings with parents and teachers. A place mat offers different words like confused, disappointed, helpful, loving, responsible and so on. This series includes excellent materials for use at school and home.
Ten Little DinosaursThis is an unusual book about dinosaurs, with the alphabet, numbers and names of the dinosaurs are built into each poem. Illustrations are excellent, large and quite a lot of fun. Ten dinosaurs and the eyeball animation will appeal to your young dinosaur enthusiast. Two moving eyes of the dinosaur pop up in different ways throughout the book to both amuse and delight.
Age Appropriate Puzzles T ESP
A basic puzzle to help your child begin their first puzzle experience. This toy is also excellent for a disabled child who will benefit from using these well designed and tested puzzles. Match pictures with easy-to-use shapes grooved for little fingers to easily lift the pieces up and put them back in place. Themes include clothing, holidays, animals and food. Designed by a special education teacher with experience in toy library work, these new puzzles will add value to your child's experiences.
T B AC ESP
Vegetable Garden KitThis product will provide your little gardener with easy, educational garden experiences by learning to plant and care for seedlings. Included in the colorful package is peat, see-through dome, vegetable stickers, seed packets, trowel, activity cards, growth chart markers and much more. If your gardener becomes more serious about their garden, there are additional tools to obtain. Many other wonderful creative products are in the line. Your child can also draw pictures of the growing seedlings. A perfect activity for any time of the year.
All Night Media
RS T ESP
Rubber Stamp Poet Jr.Rubber stamps are very popular with children. Unlimited creativity and learning opportunities are offered by this set of 80 words that children can use to stamp out their own poems, letters and messages. By inking only part of the stamp, they can also use hidden words. The possibilities are great for your child's imagination. The set will encourage them to write notes, letters and decorate their results. Some of the words included are friends, baby, party, school, imagine, rainbow, secret and magic. A great product.
Peg 'N LaceThis innovative product can be enjoyed by children over a long time as the pegs are especially designed with holes in them so children can lace them according to their ability. The laces are orange, yellow, blue, green, and red. Later they can be set up in different patterns so the child can actually design different shapes. There is a good instruction book. An excellent product to help children develop finger dexterity. Peg 'N Lace art allows the child to create in rows or in different shapes. One of a series of excellent products to provide practice in eye-hand coordination and other manual skills.
Moneywise KidsThis game helps children understand math in a fun way. First, they learn to count bills and denominations, make change, add, subtract and multiply. The set includes game boards, a set of bills and markers. The game also helps children learn how to handle money for budget and money management. Part of an excellent line of educational products.
Binary Arts Corporation
Block by BlockThis is a puzzle adventure in three dimensions. There are seven pieces to build and 60 potential combinations. There are puzzle cards with solutions on the card backs. This is a new, updated version of a game that was first distributed in the 1930s and remains a most popular puzzle. It helps the child develop spatial thinking as they learn how to remove and rotate the pieces. When they need help, they can flip the card. This is a fun product to be taken on travel or used at home or school. This is part of a series of colorful and challenging puzzles and games that encourage children to use their imagination and reasoning.
T BG ESP
Thomas the Tank Engine Math GameBased on the popular television series, this is a fun game for one to four children. There are four playing boards, 24 numbered pieces and one spinner. Each child can play at different levels. The 3- to 4-year olds without using the spinner can fit numbers onto the playing board so everyone wins. Five- to seven-year olds can play with specific numbers and after the spinner stops, they can take a numbered piece, so they learn matching numbers. Each player tries to complete the train collecting the numbered pieces to build the train. This fine game company produces high quality games with good graphics for different age levels.
T AC ESP
PuzzartThis innovative Canadian company provides a unique 3-dimensional wooden puzzle complete with paint, palette, scene and activities. This is an activity that can bring the whole family together to have fun There is a small easel to put the hand-painted puzzle on, after it's completed. The paint in the set is non-toxic. Remove a piece, paint it, and put two coats of paint on the top. Directions are clear in both English and French. The results are fun to play with and look at.. There are many different themes in the series.
Activity ClownThis 14-inch long Activity Clown has many wonderful features. It's soft, huggable and washable. It has a rattle, a zipper, a Velcro fastener, plus buttons and ties, all of which help a young child learn to dress. This is a great product for travel. It's a wonderful balance of soft textures for children to play with. A fine addition to a wonderful line of products. BRIO also makes wonderful wooden products, blocks, trains and construction sets.
Dr. Seuss: The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the HatDr. Seuss has enduring appeal through his whimsical characters that are delightful to children. In this wonderfully produced video "The Grinch" is unfriendly and mischievous. "The Cat in the Hat" decides to "ungrinch" the Grinch. It is a lively tape based on kindness and consideration. The video is well produced, filled with song and positive messages. This is a tape that will definitely delight the children during the whole year. Be sure to also read the Dr. Seuss' books aloud.
Children's Out-of-School Time
Activities Club Hobby KitsThis is a series of excellent products for activities after school. One is "Photography in a Snap" in which children take photos and also learn to use photos in science. Everything that you need to be a photographer is included, including a camera, film and a book of instructions. "Soaring with the Birds" helps a child learns about bird life, how to understand their activities and comes with binoculars. Many other products in this series are fun and educational for children.
College Street Publishing
Not Just for KidsIt's an original musical album by Jim O'Grady. Twelve songs that everybody in the family can enjoy together. A book comes with each tape or CD. This is music everyone enjoys listening to. The lyrics in the book are fun to read and are well-illustrated. The themes are taken from everyday life that all children can relate to. The cassette is $9.95.
Creative Teaching Press
Let's Take Care of the EarthCreative Teaching Press has many wonderful products for classroom and home. This giant 2x3 floor puzzle is entitled "Let's Take Care of the Earth." Six large pop-out play pieces of a polar bear, jaguar, giraffe, rattlesnake and other animals can be lifted out. There are 37 large pieces in total. The child identifies the animal's name, habitat and becomes more aware of each environment. They can read and learn about other creatures in each habitat. For example, in the jungle with the jaguar is a monkey, frog and a toucan. In the arctic with the polar bear is a walrus, whale, seal, and a puffin. This is a fun, learning activity.
Creative Wonders/Electronic Arts
CD SW ESP
ABC World Reference: Wide World of AnimalsAn amazing product with over 700 species presented. Your young explorer can identify animal habitats around the globe on the map. A 360° panoramic environment features the sight and sounds of the animal world. Video stories document animal behavior and puts your child face-to-face with the animals. Zoom in and out of 3-D environments to better understand how each of the animals relate to the planet and to one another. The realistic environments depict total settings. There are data cards, hundreds of photographs, movies and time-lapse exhibits showing migration patterns, games and stories. This is an extraordinary exploration of the animal kingdom for everyone.
Crescent Creative Products
Sand Magic BucketThis colorful sand bucket is full of ornaments, colors and instructions for many fun, creative activities for young children. Peel off the existing pre-cut design, cover the area with colorful Sand Magic and rub it in. This is a powder like paint with easy-to-follow instructions. Children will enjoy and have fun doing these projects and experience a new craft form.
Faces & Places PuzzlesTwo separate puzzles of washable fabric-covered foam blocks. On one side is a child's face and on the other are pictures. For example one side includes animals, or familiar things. These soft stacks are durable and are easy for a child to grip. The puzzle fits into its own nest . This product helps the child develop creativity, imagination and coordination and are safe and constructive play experiences. Part of a series of different themed soft puzzles and shapes. This company offers multicultural play at its best.
PT AC ESP
Ultimate HandcraftsIn this kit a child can learn to stitch a bookmark, magnet, pin cushion and a needlecraft box. The basic skills needed years ago of applique, cross-stitch, embroidery and needlepoint were skills all children learned. In this kit, four basic techniques can be practiced. The contents offer the child a treasure that they can enjoy keeping or giving as gifts. Projects include step-by-step instructions parent and child can do together. Box includes an embroidery hoop, tapestry needles, embroidery thread, fabric, yarn and other miscellaneous items. Curiosity Kits offer children many fine activities in the arts, sciences and world cultures.
Didax Educational Resources
3d Geoshapes Exploration KitThese crystal shapes, made from a new polycarbonate, are very strong and durable. Your budding mathematician or scientist can create math models with triangles, squares and pentagons, or design and build imaginative shapes. There are 72 pieces in each building kit, with 36 triangles, 24 squares and 12 pentagons, plus instructions. This basic set can be added to with additional triangles, squares and hexagons, and will greatly intrigue your young builder. There are classroom kits as well. These shapes are made in Australia. Didax produces many excellent educational materials for home and classroom.
To the RescueThis is a fun, first rescue vehicle. The fire truck is complete with siren sounds, doors that open and many related activities. The child can manipulate, take apart and put together the truck. This will help develop imaginative play. Everything is connected so pieces are not lost. Open up the side door and there is a ladder, a wrench, a wheel that turns and a key that makes sounds. This vehicle is well designed and provides many hours of fun. It is colorful, easy to play with and to keep clean. A little fireman drives the vehicle when moved by your little rescue worker. Another fine product in an extensive line.
Animated Storybook Toy StoryBased on the innovative movie "The Toy Story," this 3-D animation story book allows the child to enter into the 3-D world where the toys come to life. Each page is packed with surprises, music, and activities. There are many reading-along stories. These activities help the child develop problem solving and concentration. This is thinking and fun at a high quality level.
B ESP CP
Books/KitsAn outstanding series of books allows children to read and learn plus kits to help them with practical skills. In the Stencil Fun Kit or Starting Cookng Kid Kit, children can learn to make fun things. In the Great Animal Search, Big Book of Paper Craft, Puzzle Ocean, or the Origami Kit, children have the chance to learn and practice new abilities. Other books will help your child Learn About Windows computer software, assemble a model skeleton or change the pace with Juggling or Calligraphy. For the young scientist, there's a Big Book of Experiments, Batteries and Magnets. These well illustrated, high quality books to encourage your child to read plus be involved with a variety of constructive learning products and activities. Price Range $5.95 - $14.95
EDDU Toy Co.
Seesaw Kiddie CounterThis innovative toy will help your child learn how to balance colored rings on a small seesaw. At the same time the child will learn how to stack, balance and discern colors. The colors are primary blue, green, red and yellow. The base is quality wood grown expressly for this purpose. This activity will provide lots of learning and fun for the child. This is one of three models that become more complicated as they develop. This is a terrific modification of an old favorite stacking toy. The child can also learn to count while playing with this toy. This is one of several new, innovative, educational products from Thailand.
CD SW ESP
Mighty Math Number HeroesThis CD product helps the child master third to fifth grade math curricula. The program includes problem solving, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, interpreting graphs, charts and probability. There is a built-in calculator, a fraction calculator, plus many games and animation. This is a great program to assist kids to enjoy and do well in math.
GeoSafari Talking GlobeA well designed, beautifully developed globe of the world. This electronic quiz game has over 10,000 fascinating questions and facts. The electronic base includes digital speech, light and sounds. Games are part of the fun of this unusual 12-inch diameter globe. Every country is identified, showing all major cities, land forms , waterways and more. This one globe will intrigue your young explorer to learn more about the world. It requires four C batteries. This company has many excellent educational products.
Twinkle Little StarA 3-D maze for children to learn patterning, practice fine and gross motor skills, shape recognition, eye-hand coordination and number skills. A musical movement is locked inside the wooden base easily viewed with a see-through window. This allows the child to see how sounds are made when they turn the handle. Children can move beads over a wire and experience music. You can ask the child to find the stars, different shapes, play different games, make combinations of patterns and do simple number skills. The well-made durable base is safe, with strong metal loops. An excellent product to help your child learn and practice important skills. Good for home and school.
Deluxe ExploraScope Pro-SeriesThis is a 50x microscope with an Omni-directional light. Included with the microscope is a light system, a micro aquarium, a brine shrimp hatchery and eggs, sea salt, water droppers and a 28-page activity guide. Based on the "Beakman" television show, this product will delight your young scientist. Directions are well done with techniques on using the ExploraScope with and without its base. Children learn how to grow crystals, understand plants and flowers, and how to raise brine shrimp. Directions for taking care of the ExploraScope are included. This is a product your young scientist will thoroughly enjoy.
Magic Color CupsThese cups will delight the young child. The colors change quickly in warm or cold water. One cup pours, the other sifts. It's fun for bath time or at the beach. The infant will dump out and sift the water. The toddler will enjoy stacking the cups, floating them and pouring from one to the other. These cups can be poured halfway for two tone effects. A lot of fun, they are magical for the young child.
T ESP PL
Bungee BagsThis is a combination yo-yo, paddle ball, and squishy-ball enclosed in a net bag, with an elastic cord tether to loop around the child's middle finger. The child can bounce the ball back and forth, plus catch, throw, dribble and jump with it. It's fun for all ages. The bag is safe and encourages outdoor play, which is always a good idea.
Double Takes Fire EscapeThe popular micro-machine series offers a new action-set with a split-second transformation. The fire station transforms into a blazing building. The building is a cut-away with ramps, fire trucks, emergency vehicles and a helipad. Micro-machines have been popular for a number of years. This set helps to expand children's appreciation of an important community helper, the firemen. Language skills will be enhanced with playing with this product.
Make It Up!This is a fun, creative game to develop verbal skills. There are a set of questions, such as "How do you make something?", " How do you build a tree house? " ," What goes together? " , The child then makes a match. The piece will fit the picture. The parent guide provides information on topics such as how frogs develop, the value of a tractor, how to make ice cream, how honey is made, about fishing, plants, and how sweaters get made. This is an opportunity for children to learn about these topics and for parents to talk about their memories or use their imagination. It's a fun game with lots of good information. The game was developed by parents, who are also professionals working with children. The same company offer additional fun, such as "Fill 'er Up" and "Dish It Up."
Great American Puzzle Factory
Slylock Fox Brain BogglersThis puzzle leads you through several different visual brain teasers. The child also learns about geography, science, nature and much more. There are 90 activities, mysteries and solutions for children to solve. A fine addition to a great line of puzzle products.
Hands On Toys
OoblesThis is a new extension of the popular Toobers and Zots construction toy. Toobers, giant pipe cleaners, bend into any shape. Zots are an assortment of shapes, including circles, squares, and triangles that connect with Toobers. The new Oobles are soft foam balls both large and small. They are colorful, soft and non-toxic. They are part of a growing line of products that provides flexible construction experiences and learning.
Hasbro Interactive Worldwide
CD SW CP
Play-Doh CreationsJust in time for the 40th anniversary of Play-Doh comes the opportunity to invent creatures on a Play-Doh CD ROM. You can save and reshape the creations over and over. The child can make them and print them. The settings are a mall, factory, bakery, laboratory and theater. This product helps children develop creativity, imagination, construction skills and skills of design and construction. With over two billion cans of Play-Doh sold since 1976 this new CD is sure to be a big hit among electronically oriented children. However, electronic Play-Doh does not substitute for the real thing so get some for your child to play with after the computer is turned off.
Sing 'n Sign for Fun!Gaia and her friends sing, dance and sign to seven upbeat music songs that both deaf and hearing children can enjoy. Gaia's 'sing and sign' original songs inspire creativity, and encourage acceptance of one another. Deaf children demonstrate the manual, alphabet and signs for greetings. Gaia teaches signs for each song. The themes on this video tape support positive self awareness and mutual respect. A very good and useful product.
Hero Arts Creative Rubber Stamps
Ink n' StampA new series of stamps provide a wood block look plus bright-color ink pads to give your creative child an opportunity to design, decorate and have fun. They can decorate paper, letters, name tags, bookmarks and do other activities using these well-designed stamps. The themes in this series include shapes, nature, bugs, sealife and others. They are perfect activities for classroom or home. For example, the child can learn math concepts by stamping out flash cards or developing science projects. They are wonderful for illustrating stories children compose. This is a fun activity for your creative child.
L'il Makin' FacesEvery year many special dolls to delight your child arrive on the market . This year Irwin takes the prize for an adorable group of boy and girl dolls. The faces are soft, pliable, the clothes realistic, fun to dress, and the bodies are soft and cuddly. This is a perfect first doll for your preschooler. Ten inches high, this doll comes in a wide variety of choices. This doll will enhance communication skills and affection. Another great product at a good price from this outstanding Canadian company. Check their Website for more information.
Ribbon Dancer Performance SetThis is a fun, physical activity. Included in the set is a 30-minute instructional video, a performance wand, satin ribbon and an autographed poster of Dianne Simpson. The ribbons are easy to attach to the end of the wand. The ribbon is colorful with rainbow hues. It's a fun activity to get your child moving. This activity is relaxing to do anytime, especially after a lot of study.
Tea Bunnies Fancy Dessert Tea PartyThis tea party will be a delightful gift for your child. This gift will encourage an imaginary tea party. It comes complete with a tea bunny dressed in a chef's hat, pastries, serving trays, a tea cup for the parent to join the child, and a saucer. These delightful bunnies come in a variety of sets and each one is well designed with lots of play value built in. The other sets include a slumber party and ballet recital.
People in Our NeighborhoodAnother fine product in a line of excellent child-oriented tapes. This one helps the child learn about their own community and the people who work there. The songs are lively and upbeat. This is a fun tape that will provide a great deal of enjoyment to children and will be used frequently. Follow the tape with discussions about your community for more information.
Discovery SetYour young builder will enjoy this great Discovery Set. This product allows the child to build 28 different models from flat shapes to 3-D designs. The snap rods, connectors and wheels go together in easy-to-use, exciting color-coded instructions. This discovery set can also be motorized with a power pack. Everything is packed in a handy traveling case. This is an exciting product. It allows boys and girls to have lots of constructive fun. Building with K'NEX offers many possibilities as there are many different sets in their line.
Jump Start 2nd GradePart of a series of fun-filled curriculum programs, this introduces the child to basic grammar, written composition, geography, math skills, problem solving, science, solar system, music and social studies. It reviews the basic curriculum with 22 activities to cover all subjects. Pen pals ask the child to help decode messages, solve puzzles, and answer questions. They are rewarded with choices of animated postcards and stamps. This is part of an ongoing series of excellent products to help children expand learning skills.
Latz Chance Games
Survival or Extinction--The Dinosaur GameWe discovered this product during our best summer vacation products feature and it was a big hit. It's a fun board game to teach children more about dinosaurs. The players search for food, watch for attacks and natural disasters. The child learns the characteristics of each dinosaur, their habitats, and the factors that led up to extinction. It is on two levels of play with two or more players. The contents include 16 factual dinosaur cards, and 60 action cards. An excellent activity the whole family can enjoy, learning and having fun .
Phonics BusThe newest addition in an excellent line of phonics learning products. This is a fun way for children to learn phonic sounds and to get basic instruction to help them prepare for reading. By pushing each letter The Phonics Bus introduces children to letters and their phonic sounds. The child can push the animal pictures to make sounds. There is also a horn and a musical note. The bus is light, easy to travel with wheels that actually roll. This is a multi-sensory teaching toy. It stimulates and entertains the child while introducing letters and sounds. Listen for the frog that says, "ribbit!"
Learning Curve Toys
Grip & Grab RattleThis is a new high-tech, rattle the baby can see through and watch beads appear and disappear. All bright colors with easy to grip connections. This rattle is part of a new series of Lamaze Infant Development products distributed by this fine company. As baby shakes the rattle they will become curious to know where the beads go. They appear and disappear again with another shake. They make sounds. It can stand by itself. The child can also chew on the rattle. Part of sale proceeds go to the Education Fund of Lamaze, for childbirth education. Also in the Learning Curve line are Thomas the Tank Engine, Robotics, and many other fine products.
Pretend & Play Calculator Cash RegisterComplete with play money this solar-powered calculator has a large display and easy to push numbers. It will provide hours of fun for your young banker or storekeeper. The cash register is red with a bright blue, realistic-looking drawer. The cash drawer holds realistic-looking money. Simply turn it on and your child will soon learn how to add, subtract and count. The booklet of suggested activities provides guidance to parent or teacher. Set up pretend shopping, such as a shoe store, a restaurant, a train station or post office. Directions are included to replace the battery, if needed. Also in this series of pretend and play are supermarket checkout, snack shop, kitchen set, school house and airport.
Fort LegoredoIn this new fort your child will have a building set complete with figures, horses, fort and everything else needed for hours of activity. This playset will get lots of attention while helping to build language skill development, and manual dexterity. Children can also join the Lego Club to receive the LEGO magazine, building tips and prizes. Another great addition to an extensive line of fine building products.
Living & Learning
Jam Jar Science--BugsAn excellent project this jar can be turned into a bug house or a home for a caterpillar. It contains a magnifier, petri dish, muslin, straws, rubber bands and instruction book. The booklet is well illustrated with information on a variety of insects. It tells you how to make a bug house. It gives children directions on how to locate bugs and understand them better. There are directions for creating a caterpillar house. The metamorphosis of a butterfly is included plus other science facts. It comes from England, and is a perfect gift for a young naturalist interested in outdoor adventure.
Butterfly Sensory TeetherThis fun, learning butterfly offers the baby the opportunity to make sounds, experience crinkle, squeak and rattle as well as colors, texture and shapes. Products in this excellent line range from mobile to many soft toys of various types and for the growing baby are all fun .
Manhattan Toy Company
Topper Tiger PlaymatThis will be an exciting addition to your child's imaginative play. This realistic-looking tiger is soft, easy to play with and stretches out for plenty of play activities. It's got extra ribbing on the bottom to reduce slippage, and is easy to wash. This tiger will encourage the children to communicate, as it's a great place to sit while reading stories or talking. A new addition to a fine line of children's products.
Activity Surprise PoohA favorite character of all times, Pooh remains endearing. This lovable Pooh holds a tub of honey filled with activities. There are games to play and other surprises. Toys attached to the honey pot include a rattle, teether, and a mirror. Pooh himself is a big lovable bear. Your little one will enjoy interacting with him and sharing his games. Another fine infant product among many available from this expanding company.
Talking Bus Sentence MakerThis fun play set will provide your child with hours of learning as the bus moves around the base. There are 60 words and phrases on double-sided tiles. The child can create sentences. It also plays melodies, promotes color, and helps with matching skills. Melodies include the alphabet song, London Bridge, and Coming Round the Mountain. The whole set folds up flat to go with your child in the car or to preschool. This is a tremendous value. A $10 rebate is offered on the box that expires 3-31-97. Only available in the United States. Another great preschool product by Mattel.
Mayte Mouse Productions
Singing Bilingual, Vol. 1This tape from the talented 'World of Mayte' television show provides fun, games and songs while focusing on teaching Spanish and English. Teaching is done so that children don't feel it's work. Children learn how to make crafts, use their imagination and simulate their talent. The show is broadcast throughout the United States . Mayte has many friends on the show including Tommy and Izzy, the mascots, This video shows the dynamic qualities of the show. while helping the child learn and appreciate the Spanish language.
Jo-Jo's Reading RocketThis is an excellent software program to allow children to learn more about sentences and learning to read. It is filled with games and activities to help the child learn how to practice speech and language. They will practice word families, sentence checking and they can print out the words. sentences and pictures they create. It will help the child both at home and in school appreciate reading and develop different reading skills.
New Toy Classics
AstroJaxMany great toys come in small packages and this product is no exception. Specially designed ball-bearings make the action of this unique toy possible. It's a combination yo-yo, juggling ball, and lasso. One ball is held and the other two balls orbit. The balls can move in vertical, horizonal or figure 8 orbits. It is possible to do juggling tricks by throwing it in the air and catching it. The designer has a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, has taught and is a science consultant. He designed it as an opportunity to teach basic physics to children in a new and innovative way. The motion is like perfectly circulating molecules, or the orbiting moon. There is also a glow-in-the-dark model. A truly new classic toy. This is a product now available in science museums throughout the country.
The Cube ZooHere is an imaginative collection of blocks that fit together and can be twisted and turned to build shapes and develop skills building different patterns. It can also be used as a desktop sculpture. Excellent to take along on a trip. It is colorful, fun, safe and enjoyable to use by all ages. It's made in Nova Scotia, Canada by a very innovative company.
Orchard Hill Productions
VT B ESP
Word Clue AdventuresThis excellent video offers children a terrific opportunity to understand word clues. Set within the library, the original songs teach the child about phonics and grammar and how they can use these tools to strengthen reading. Topics include vowels, syllables and derivatives. It works well with other reading programs. Children tour the library to find out how to use it. They will easily experience success and develop a greater awareness of the use of words. They understand how to better use language. There's clever animation, songs, and easy-to-remember instructions. This is a fun video providing lots of learning.
Panasonic Interactive Media
Phonics Adventures with Sing-Along SamThis is a interactive and instructional software program providing phonic adventures and songs, three games, plus your child experiences success as his or her name is entered in the Hall of Fame. There's a parent/teacher guide to show how to use the 12 lessons that build on skills. Included are 15 original songs, three games, and a reading program.
Gramma's Surprise: Make a BannerNationally known Helen Webber, prolific and talented artist, created the first in a series of Gramma's Surprises. This is an innovative craft activity in a box. Inside the box is a colorful banner with detailed instructions plus assorted fabrics, trims, yarn, glue, patterns and dowels. This is a product that you and your child can do together and have lots of fun. The finished product is professional, high quality and something that can be hung proudly on the wall of your child's room or anywhere in the house. Terrific new addition to children's learning handcrafts.
Tutti FruttiThis is a card game with rules in English, French and Spanish. Collect the cards that have the same type of fruit. A person who collects the most cards wins. Added features include a second deck of bad fruit which do not count. This fun game includes two decks of 56 cards, a bell plus complete rules. This company produces many different games. One of them, Blurt, is a word game. A child can have fun at different levels of ability playing Tutti Frutti. It can be played with two to six players. Playing games are important as children learn to take turns, and experience winning and losing graciously. An important part of their developmental experiences.
Fingerplays and Action Chants: Family & FriendsIn this series of excellent audio tapes with good music and words children learn hand activities and songs. This is an activity parents and teachers and children can do together. It's lots of fun and encourages everyone to sing. Talented singer and composer Tonja Weiner, delights as always. The set comes with a well produced parent-teacher book.
Cybercrafts: Digital LabHigh quality learning for older kids in this next installment of a series called Cybercrafts. This is hands-on learning at its best. The electronic components come to life to explain functions and roles. Animated 3-D characters help kids understand the fascinating world of digital electronics. Step-by-step instructions create 12 real-life digital circuits, including timer, light sequencer, random number generator and more. This package with a work bench provides more than a hundred digital components and creates real-life, hands-on circuits. Games included are called Binary Blowout, Digital Fortune Teller and there are other games to help children reinforce learning. Components such as resistor, capacitor and much more are introduced . Gadgets included are hand-held video games, digital satellites, and pagers. There are facts and fun in this great new technical learning experience for your budding multimedia expert.
PhotoPals of San Diego
T AT ESP CP
Children of the World Travel ClubYour child can not only imagine traveling to different countries, but they can actually link up with children in other countries through a unique pen pal club. Each suitcase is a complete package, including paper dolls, passport and much more. The club offers music, reading and a great deal of information about each country. The series includes Mexico, France, Ireland, Italy and Spain, so far. This series provides multi-cultural, multi-sensory experiences. Portion of each sale goes to UNICEF.
Planet Dexter/Addison Wesley
Calculator Mania!This publisher creates many new activity books that are fun and unique. This one is terrific. A calculator is built in to provide secret messages, tricks and puzzles, weird numbers and mind bogglers that really work. The child learns to use the calculator, which is cut into the middle of the book on each page. The child learns how to calculate, do tricks, and play the games, so math becomes fun. Good work!
Magic Touch Talking BookChildren will love this set of monkeys that are engaged in many different fun activities. They move through the alphabet with sounds, letters and words. There are hundreds of different words and sounds. This is a series of books based on Pooh, Mickey Mouse, 101 Dalmatians and other themes. It helps children with early language, letters and word recognition. This is a book your child can enjoy alone or with you. The illustrations are delightful.It is easy to replace the three AA batteries are in the bottom of the book. Directions are included. Another fine product from this high quality company.
1) Be sure to insert the batteries as directed.
2) Do not mix old and new batteries, alkaline standard carbon zinc or rechargeable batteries.
3) Always remove exhausted or dead batteries from the product.
4) Remove batteries if the product is being stored for a long time.
5) Be sure your equipment has been tested and meets FCC regulations.
Prospect Marketing Company
T B ESP
Fridge FriendHeld up with a strong magnet, this activity book can go right on your refrigerator. It allows the child to use a page, tear it from the book and place it on the refrigerator to be held separately with its own magnet. The activity book teaches the child hand signs for letters, allows them to recognize and repeat the letter of the day, or play games such as connect the dots or answer a question . The child can also create a new object, or to do an activity like circle something or name something. This is a terrific activity set to have in the kitchen while preparing meals so your child can be nearby. Learning American sign language can be very helpful. An inexpensive, fun way to share positive learning experiences.
coot-AboutYour little one will love this easy riding toy from an outstanding company producing high quality products. This riding toy has a wide base for extra stability and a low center of gravity. The primary colors are bright red, blue and yellow. It is safe, easy to assemble and will hold up under tough outdoor play. It's easy to use in the house, as well as outdoors. It's very light and can be taken in the car. Total weight is under six pounds. Your child will actively enjoy this perfect first ride-on product from a very fine company. Can a red wagon be far behind?
Colorable Kids - KeishaA special African-American girl, dressed in Kente cloth pattern, with a Kwanzaa theme. The doll is holding the two symbols for the celebration, ears of corn and the unity cup. A small coloring book shows more illustrations of this even more popular holiday. Part of a series of international dolls from around the world to color in. Later they can be washed and colored again. An excellent gift, fun to travel with. The booklets have lots of information to help your child better understand the doll and the people she represents.
Let's Pretend: Vol 2: Space Is Our PlaygroundA great new product for making children's creative interaction more fun. This outstanding new CD ROM explores the planets and solar system so your child can learn more about space. There are animation fantasy characters and fascinating facts and words that appear enabling the child to spell. The child can visit nine planets to see how they look plus beam in playground surprises. There's are 12 paint and printout scenes with 16 colors so your child can print out the finished creation in black or white or color. A picture dictionary book accompanies the program.
Rock 'N Learn
AT B ESP
Colors, Shapes & CountingA combination of songs, games and big book to make learning fun for your preschooler. This 50-minute cassette with its full-color book provides songs about colors, shapes, music, counting and provides good listening and learning. The large size book is colorful, well designed and gives children plenty of opportunity to reinforce what they are learning. Colors are strong. They will have the opportunity to learn counting, primary colors, mixing colors and advanced shapes. Another great set of materials from Rock 'N Learn's Early Childhood Series of animals, nursery rhymes and other themes. Your child will enjoy using this material while getting a headstart on learning.
TRIOPSSomething different and interesting for your young scientist. The Triops is a form of crustacean that has been on earth for 200 million years. The eggs live in "suspended animation." By placing the contents of the package into distilled water, your child will grow the Triops which hatch within one day. The instructions with a step by step procedure are very clear . It is important to follow directions carefully so the Triops can live from 20 to 60 days. Another name for the Triops is "dinosaur shrimp." It inhabits temporary ponds which come back to life after it rains. Exciting new project for biology studies, excellent for home or school. Part of an exciting line of fun products.
Nature Adventures KitsScientific Explorer offers these new nature activities kits for children to help them learn science of all kinds. The Spice Adventures will appeal to children who learn where spices come from and about the early traders. Included are spice blends, teas, and a science guide. Another kit is about Birds, so the child can learn about neighborhood birds, and how to build a bird feeding station. Botany Adventures includes wild flower seeds and how to germinate them. Seashore Adventures is an exploration of a day at the seashore and learning about life at the edge of the sea. Wilderness Orienting shows children how to navigate with an astrolabe used many years ago when navigation was simpler. Geology teaches how to collect rocks and understand them. All of these activities will help your child appreciate, explore and learn about nature close-up.
SEGA of America
Scholastic's The Magic School BusSega's product Pico has been a big hit since it was first introduced several years ago. Fine products are added each year and this year is no exception. The Scholastic's School Bus provides the child with experiences about the solar system as they learn about planets; in dinosaur land, they learn about fossils. Then they move to the ocean. Later in the program they learn about a human body. The child can use objects from the story plus create original art to make their own adventures. This is a very exciting way for the young child to learn science. It plays like a video game, is instructive and useful in helping the child learn basics and expand learning.
Set-The Family Game of Visual PerceptionThis is a game that allows children and adults to play together. Based on visual perception, 81 cards, three symbols (ovals, squiggles or diamonds) and colors. The child will try to find all of the sets in a shifting series of 12-card layouts. Deal 12 cards face up on the table and look for three card sets. They can be all the same or different. This is a game of logic, perception and concentration developed by a female geneticist in England. Very good family entertainment.
Ice Skating PlayboardA series of play activities, this holiday ice skating scene is complete with 24 dramatic felt pieces, including two friends dressed for figure skating and ice hockey. The pieces can be rearranged for easy play. The backdrop includes mountains, cabin and pond. A child's level of communication skills expand playing with this form of playboard. They can move the figures around as they wish to create different dramatic play sequences. Other felt kids themes include Birthday, Farm, Out West, Medieval, Forest Animals, Alphabet and Family. The products are made to reflect multicultural diversity of skin and hair tones. Creative fun and perfect for school and home.
WordsmartThis is a well developed ten level, interactive program that assists children and adults with understanding language and verbal skills. Each set in this series provides listening, sentences, spelling and meanings. Included are antonyms, synonyms and derivatives. A brief history of each word explains the meaning of the word. Range in skills span 4th grade through advanced college graduate levels. Audio tapes work with the software in this unique and useful program.
T AC ESP
Rainbow Face Painting KitWhat caught Dr. Toy's eye was the brilliant color of the paint on the models. Outstanding. This is a water-based make-up for the face. It washes off easily with soap and water. There is a full-color painting guide. There's enough make-up in each box for 50 full faces. Turn your child into the special animal or dramatic creature they want to be with this fun paint. It's great for language and creativity. Plus this make-up is great to use when they want to be in costumes for Halloween, or other parties.
Counting StoriesEach page of the book offers an activity. The soft, fabric pages help to develop eye-hand coordination, understanding numbers and language skills. It's an easy-to-use cloth book and part of a series of interesting products to help children learn skills, shapes, colors and reading. There are also finger puppets and soft puzzles offered by Sweet Pea.
Big Screen MicroscopeA fantastic value for your little scientist. A 7-inch screen displays up to 32,000 times larger image. There is a pull-up eyepiece like a conventional microscope. It has interchangeable 30, 40, 60 and 80x objective lenses. It can be used by one child or by a group. There are accessories included for many experiments, including eye dropper, scalpel, spatula, tweezers and instruction booklet. There are slides that have been prepared, and cover slips. This is a professional quality, big screen microscope and an excellent value. This company is one of the finest companies making telescopes for all ages. Needs three C batteries.
KarambolageA unique game from Germany that requires dexterity and skill. The object of this challenging game is to hit specific targets to score or lose points. The color discs rebound almost like playing soccer on a board. Great for eye-hand coordination. Other new products include Serpentino, which is a wooden, marble track. Master-builder is a new set of architectural blocks in Russian, Japanese, castle and other styles, plus many different wooden trains and blocks. Playing with these products gives the child important construction experiences with different textures and shapes. TC Timber-Habermaass is a manufacturer of over 200 fine wooden products.
I.Q. Super PCAn exciting new electronic toy contains 49 activities, including word and grammar games, math and numbers, trivia games, concentration and memory games. Other aspects include a calculator, world time clock and alarm clock. Animations add to the child's fun. Some of the games include finding common missing letters, spelling words and unscrambling letters to make a new word. Other games include skills such as insert the correct tense or punctuation, select the right measurement, typing skills and many other surprises. An excellent company providing the latest in electronic learning activities.
World Book Learning CenterThis is a combination of the World Book encyclopedia and a laptop. It helps the child learn everything from science to history, math and nature. There are activity cards with full color graphics. Questions were developed by using World Book's Childcraft encyclopedia. The child can choose the subject area with a touch-sensitive game board and an LCD screen. The Learning Center makes learning fun and exciting. This is part of an entire series of wonderful new electronic products, including Word Chaos, My First Laptop, Talk Back, Dear Diary, and Goosebump's Fright Writer. It's hard to make only one choice when there are so many great products in this line.
T ESP CP
Kids' SchoolhouseFor the preschool child this 2-sided schoolhouse is a perfect play school. The desktop surface reverses for drawing and coloring on one side, and for building with LEGO Systems and other blocks on the reverse side. There's a chalkboard and bristle board that can be positioned for tabletop play or it can be removed to take along on travel. The locker pull-out drawer and accessories tray provide handy storage. There are bristle back numbers, letters, a clock with movable clicking hands and a pencil tray. This strong, well designed schoolhouse is another fine product from a company that makes terrific preschool products. Another great product is the Kids' Golfcart and Clubs, perfect for teeing off in the back yard.
You Can't Paint With ThatA creative paint set that allows a child to have fun with a variety of brushes: an elephant foot, an ant trail, shark tail, a chicken toe's brush and big thumb stamper. The set comes complete with three colorful, washable paints. The washable tray holds all the paint brushes, four sponges and five stampers and brushes. This is a well-designed product that allows your child to have lots of fun, continuing to enjoy art activities after school. This is the maker of the popular Doodletop.
Toshiba America Consumer
Personal Electronic DiaryThis electronic wizard will amaze your child. It includes a 100 entry telephone directory, a calculator, a diary and calendar, fortune telling and matchmaking, clock alarm and secret password. The letters and numbers are easy to access and there are plenty of built-in graphics. The keyboard is laid out in typewriter format so that it's easy to enter names and phone numbers. It holds lots of information. The Diary has a range of style and features, with costs up to $79.99. Two lithium batteries are included.
Twin Sisters Productions
AT B ESP
I'd Like To Be A ZoologistPart of a growing series of career-oriented audio and book combinations. This tape helps children to not only understand about mammals, reptiles and amphibians, but they will also meet a zoologist who explains why he loves his job. The twelve songs all relate to different aspects of zoology. Fun, enjoyable and educational with good illustrations in the book.
View-Master SuperSketch ProjectorThe classic View-Master has always been one of Dr. Toy's favorite toys. In this projector the child can take the reel, project, sheets of paper, and trace them and then continue drawing with the pictures. They have special View-Master reels with mix 'n match picture parts. You can work in your own collection of View-Master reels. Lots of creative fun for children. Requires two D alkaline batteries.
Uncle Goose Toys
ABC BlocksThere are several forms of blocks in this series of well-made wooden blocks. The standard set offers the child a chance to build and learn the alphabet and numbers at the same time. There is a wooden crate to hold the blocks for storage, or select a draw string bag or a hardwood wagon that can hold the blocks and be pulled. In addition to these educational, safe, fun, classic products, the new Make-A-Face Puzzle allows many different variations. Your child can explore their creativity and a range of emotions. Braille and groovy blocks with embossed numbers and letters in geometric shapes are also available from this fine company.
Uncle Milton Industries
Mobile Mania Arts & Crafts KitsA brand new series, Make a Mobile, allows children to create a moving masterpiece. Two or more mobiles are available in each kit. There are three versions: holographic, color and clip and black and white. With 24 themes, each set contains 8 stainless steel rods, nylon thread, connectors, dozens of pictures and patterns, marker set plus an assortment of 3-D diffraction glitter and other decorative items. The directions are clear. Topics include butterflies, sea creatures, enchanted castles, jungle animals, dolphins , whales and more. The mobile seems like a really fun, new addition to the realm of science and art. This company offers fantastic products in the realm of science, a classic series of ant farms, plus microscope and super geoscope.
Magical MazeThis new product helps children test their memory and concentration skills as they guide the magician through the maze. The magician is navigated across the game board. When the player successfully moves the magician to the safety of his or her corner, they win the game and use memory and strategy skills. Each player can compete at different levels so parents and children can enjoy the game together. Magical Maze is a quality product with good visuals. When the magician reaches a hidden wall, his wand magically drops. This is a game of fun, learning and strategy. Everyone can enjoy it together. Another great product from an innovative game company.
U.S. Games Systems
Alice in Wonderland Deck & Book SetThese over-sized cards include the original Alice in Wonderland card game. They're designed for building your own house of cards. Slits allow the cards to interlock and stay together. Included in the package is an Alice in Wonderland puzzle and game book . Lewis Carroll, who wrote "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass" would enjoy playing with this colorful deck of well designed playing cards and games . U.S. Games Systems produces very fine quality card games of all kinds.
Little Smart Talk 'n Tell PhoneYour child will love their portable phone, just like mom and dad's. This is an animated phone that introduces a variety of skills, numbers, counting, music plus your home phone number to help teach your child how to call his or her house. There are built in melodies and tunes . This first cellular phone has a movable antenna, a phone stand, a flip-down mouthpiece and many other features sure to be a delight. This is electronic fun at its best. It helps children with communication skills and will keep them busy at home and in the car. New addition to an exciting line of products.
What's Next Manufacturing
YoYoA review of best products would not be complete without this ideal toy, a yo-yo. This is one of the finest yo-yos in a series of different styles. It is made of hard maple and it is perfect for doing all sorts of tricks. It's perfect in balance and weight. It comes with its own bag for storage. These yo-yos are made from renewable wood resources. This product encourages children to develop their dexterity, eye-hand coordination, and also participate in friendly competition. Every child should have the opportunity to learn how to use a yo-yo. It's great for focusing, flexibility of movement, and eye-hand coordination.
Wild Planet Toys
Supersonic EarThis electronic listening device offers the child an opportunity to hear voices, noises and sound from a distance. For example, you can listen to friends talking or to birds chirping on a tree. Point the Supersonic Ear in the direction of the sound, pull the trigger and you begin to hear what no one else can hear. Head phones are included with the product. Requires one 9-volt battery. This product is part of an extensive collection of innovative products that encourage children to explore nature adventures out of doors.
Mind-ShapesEvery baby will love these soft, huggable, easy-to-grab shapes. They are made with great colors and graphics that babies like. They help the baby focus and develop tactile and auditory stimulation. There is an easy expansion of eye-hand coordination when the child plays with products like this. They are easy to grip and the child gets different reactions holding them . A fine series of baby product from this innovative company.
Windy Hill Productions
CD SW ESP
Menlo the Frog--A Musical Fairy TaleThis interactive CD provides your child with learning music and math. The fantasy is an animated fairy tale in which Menlo and the Princess try to stop the evil King who tries to eliminate music. There are songs for each level. As they move through curiosity doors, the child learns about rhythm that is reinforced through the series of activities. There are side trips, surprises, and endless combinations, plus tempos, instruments and a fantasy story that's lots of fun. Clearly music helps children learn better and is important in their overall development. This is a great product from an outstanding company.
Mini Eiffel TowerWonderful new 3-dimensional puzzles details the Eiffel Tower. 43 pieces can be assembled to become the Eiffel Tower in 3-dimension. This is an educational opportunity for your child to study France and one of its most famous landmarks. Other models in this series include "A Totem Pole" which will provide greater interest in understanding Native Americans. This imaginative Canadian company produces a wide diversity of excellent 3-dimensional puzzles for all ages that are fun for the whole family.
Mega MikeBring out the young performer in your child with this compact microphone. It empowers children to become the singer, comedian or rapper they have always wanted to be, and even provides them with an audience. With Mega amplification and six fun sound effects, the young performer will really enjoy these activities. They can add laughter, clapping, or cheering. It's a fun companion for the child who loves to entertain. This is a new product in a series of fun, innovative products that allow children to enhance communication skills.
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(c) 1996 Stevanne Auerbach, PhD San Francisco, CA.
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