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June 2011 | Vol. X - No. 6
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ASTRA Preview: Educational and Developmental Toys


See below for a sampling of Educational and Developmental toys from companies who will be attending this year's ASTRA Marketplace & Academy in Anaheim, Calif.



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MSRP: $15.00
Age Range: 5 and up
Target Age Range: 6 to 8
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: WH-925-1139
Launch Date: January 2011
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature
Educational
General Toys



In this simulation of a real paleontology fossil dig, children dig for a fossilized shark tooth, brachiopod shell, gastropod shell, and “squid” shell. These real, millions of years old fossils are enclosed in a “brick” and are revealed by using the supplied scraping and brush tools (similar to what real paleontologists use). Young paleontologists then take a closer look at these fossils with the enclosed magnifying glass and learn about each fossil using the provided fun fact cards. "This is a unique fossil dig in that there are 4 real fossils embedded in each brick," Esther Novis, president of The Young Scientists Club, told TDmonthly. Launch date: January 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31568      (added 1/25/2011)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books
Science & Nature
Educational



With The Klutz Guide to the Galaxy, kids can explore the universe without leaving the comfort of their backyard. This galactic tool kit has everything kids need: a build-it-yourself telescope, a night-sight flashlight, star and moon maps, a no-batteries-required sundial, a mariner’s quadrant to steer by the stars, tons of intergalactic activities, and more.
Awards: TDmonthly Top Toy Award, June 2011
— Why it won: Who knew you could build a telescope with a book? Everything needed to create a spyglass for space is contained within the Guide to the Galaxy's pages. There are lots of facts about the universe, plus other projects that kids can build to help navigate this world and others. It's a great gift that will appeal to both boys and girls.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32074      (added 4/6/2011)
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Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature
Educational
General Toys



This environmentally focused toy teaches kids how to test water for impurities, with the option of uploading their results online and comparing with other kids’ finds. Includes information on global water quality and encourages kids to think of ways to use science and chemistry to assist countries with unsuitable drinking water.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31722      (added 2/22/2011)
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MSRP: $12.99
Age Range: 5 to 8
Target Age Range: 6 to 8
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: WG010
Launch Date: February 2011
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Developmental Toys
Licensed Products



With the help of WordGirl and Captain Huggy Face, kids twist the rings to learn how to use consonants and vowels to build new words. Line up a letter on the left, and twist the next ring to find letters that make words from two to six letters long. Rings can be removed and rearranged. In addition, letters have numerical values, so kids can work on their math skills as they find words with bigger scores.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31559      (added 1/25/2011)
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MSRP: $8.00
Age Range: 3 to 10
Target Age Range: 6 to 8
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 859288002035
Launch Date: November 2010
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Toys
Educational
Developmental Toys



DoodleMark™ allows children and parents to interact with books together. Whether practicing sight words, working on vocabulary, learning to write letters, bookmarking their progress or just doodling a funny picture, this product is designed to help build a child's confidence in their reading and writing. It can be used as a classroom tool, at home to reinforce what's being taught in school, and as an incentive for reluctant readers. "DoodleMark is the world's only bookmark and drawing pad that clips to a book," Jennifer Kendra, VP sales and marketing at ReMarkable Reading Concepts, told TDmonthly. Launch date: November 2010.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31552      (added 1/25/2011)
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MSRP: $14.95
Age Range: 3 to 9
Target Age Range: 3 to 5
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: ed861410
Launch Date: February 2011
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Pretend Play
Preschool
Wooden Toys



A delightful combination of wooden and felt pieces that have been graphically-enhanced to help youngsters pull of a pretend healthy lunch. Educo does it again with silk-screen graphics on the veggie and fruit pieces that fit with lettuce and cheese in felt to tuck in a whole wheat pita pocket. Just what the new food pyramid suggests. Launch date: February 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31816      (added 3/4/2011)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 1 to 2
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Developmental Toys



A small cottage with rooms and doors for 5 fun animal characters and 5 shapes, which can be inserted into the corresponding slots. Children can either find the correct key to open the door, or lift the roof off and remove all of the contents in an instant. The Animal Cottage Shape Sorter helps children develop their hand & eye coordination and logical association skills.
Awards— Dr. Toy’s Best Classic Toys for 2011
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31872      (added 3/7/2011)
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MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Wooden Toys
Eco-Friendly



This pull-along wooden crocodile flaps his mouth as he rolls along. The wheels are coated in rubber to help eliminate the sound of the toy being rolled around the house. Made with water-based paint and wood from sustainable forests.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 32073      (added 4/6/2011)
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MSRP: $39.99
Age Range: 2 and up
Target Age Range: 3 to 5
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 716190
Launch Date: February 2011
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Developmental Toys
Construction
Foam



27 pcs of uniquely designed thick, chunky foam droplets stack and stay in place, allowing for creative design outcomes. Encourages creative thinking. Launch date: February 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31679      (added 2/9/2011)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Target Age Range: 3 to 5
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: 8527
Launch Date: February 2011
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Wooden Toys
Eco-Friendly



This environmental friendly wooden Rainbow Numbers Game is made of wood from FSC-monitored source, painted with water-based paints, packaged in a box made of recycled materials, and printed with soy-bean ink. Kids can learn counting and numbers. Color coded matching provides helpful hints to minimize frustration. The game helps develop motor and cognitive skills. Store the pieces in the nice and sturdy drawer box which comes with the toy. Tested to meet European and U.S. safety standards.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31390      (added 12/29/2010)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 2 to 6
Specialty: Yes (as of 2011)
Made in: China
SKU or Item #: PKTYSORB
Launch Date: April 2011
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Wooden Toys
Educational
Designer Toys



Funky Shape Sorter with Five Chunky Blocks. Kids learn about shapes and colors with the funky shape sorter. Rotate the gears, line up the shapes then slide the blocks through. Blocks drop inside the jet pack back with a funny clunky sound then slide out the side to keep the play going. Helps to improve fine motor skills and develop shape and color recognition. Launch date: April 2011.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31828      (added 3/4/2011)
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MSRP: $28.00
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Preschool



Kids writing their first letters will get helpful up, down and sideways instructions via easy-to-follow arrows. A magnetic stylus pulls beads up to create solid lines. Erases with the tip of a finger. Comes in lower case, upper case, and numbers.
— Mike McCollum, owner of Learning Express in Hoover, Ala., told TDmonthly in a November 2011 survey that their best selling educational product is the Magnatab. "Parents like the way children have fun pulling the magnet around," he said.
Watch Video from Toy Fair 2011
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 31784      (added 3/2/2011)
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Justina HuddlestonWriter's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author

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