July 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 7
Sort N Count by PLANTOYS
Plan Toy Sort and Count stacking toy can move preschoolers to the next level of basic math skills through play. It is designed to challenge children's sorting and counting skills. The natural wood frame has collapsible rods for safety and the large bead-like rings fit nicely into small hands. Kids sort the beads by color, counting as they stack the beads. Children will make basic math discoveries as they experiment and see that two yellow beads and one blue bead goes as high as three green beads. 5/25/2012 (MSRP: $17.99; Age: 2 to 4)
GeoBlocks by GEOTOYS LLC
One of a kind handcrafted wooden blocks to help childred become geography whizzes. GeoBlocks have country names in English and native languages, capitals, national icons, and a world map puzzle. Made in China from FSC-certified wood and non-toxic inks. Ages 2+. Launch date: June 2012. 5/21/2012 (MSRP: $40.00; Age: 2 to 5)
Newspaper Builders by ROYLCO INC
Go green with a new and innovative approach to building. Don’t toss out newspapers: recycle them to build incredible geometric sculptures. Tape the included tubes to both ends of a sheet of newspaper. Roll up the newspaper and secure with tape to make a connecting paper rod. Includes durable plastic connectors that fit into the rods. Follow the step-by-step instructions in the guide to make a triangular pyramid, a square anti-prism or design kids can design their own creations in the classroom, gymnasium or playground. Includes guide. 36 connectors, 200 rod-tubes.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval 5/18/2012 (MSRP: $39.95; Age: 4 and Up)
Polar Eclipse™ by TURN4TURN INC
Polar Eclipse is an educational board game created to raise awareness about climate change and lifestyle choices. Published in 2011 by turn 4 turn llc. based in Park City, Utah, the game is created for global citizens 8 years and older. Designed, tested and re-tested with students who attend a Utah K-8 charter school, the game offers players the opportunity to add their ideas to the discussion and move toward their survival by doing so. The game board is a warm to cool, and past to future grid; a game about time and temperature. The object of the game is, as one of five species, to make it into the future and get cooler, to survive. If you hit 100 your species becomes extinct and you are out of the game. The motivation to create this game comes from the inventors background as an elementary teacher and the concern for the natural world. By playing the game, it is hoped that the mix of experience that sparks awareness, concern and stewardship to protect the natural world will expand. Knowledge is power. The game includes a die to set your place in time, 184 event cards to experience cause and effect, 64 arctic cards to offer open-ended and multiple choice questions, five players/species, the game board and a rules and reference booklet. Playing time ranges from twenty to forty-five minutes depending on the set of cards you play and number of players. Eight blank event cards are included to create your own events to add to the game. A secondary activity is to sort the event cards into sets of eight cards, by a symbol on the card, and assemble puzzles that make up the photographs on the cover and sides of the game box.
Awards: 2012 Dr. Toy Best Green Toys 5/18/2012 (MSRP: $24.95; Age: 8 to 12)
makedo™ Find & Make Shop by TOYSMITH
Find & Make has added a new project kit that directs children to make their own original creations using Makedo connectors and packaging commonly found in the home. This product invites child to be resourceful by sourcing boxes and packaging from around the house and using them as the ‘building blocks’ . Once built, the Shop becomes the source of endless role-play fun. Through this experience, the child changes their perception of a box as something they would throw away. Instead it becomes an object of value. The child has learned about reuse and upcycling in a fun and playful way. Each Makedo Find & Make kit includes a safe-saw for cutting and punching through materials safely; re-clips and lock-hinges for connecting, themed decorative stickers, beautifully illustrated step-by-step instructions and a gorgeous inspiration poster. The material contents and packaging has been kept to a minimum. The reusable nature of Makedo’s connectors means that the child is able to pull apart and reconstruct their shop over and over for new building and role-play experiences. Construction with Makedo also minimizes the use of virgin materials by directing the child to make their own toy rather than going out to buy something completely new.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval, 2012 Dr. Toy Best Green Toys 5/18/2012 (MSRP: $19.95; Age: 5 to 12)
Treasure Hunt - Objects & Shapes Game by BEGINAGAIN
This 65-piece set features five game ideas that introduce and teach shapes and objects with unique tactile game play. Little pirates will be ready for games like "The Sneaky Seeker", "The Blindfold Grab", matching games, and more. For a traditional favorite, flip the game board over and play a classic game of Checkers. Clean up is easy as the 18"x18" game board has a Velcro pocket for storage and play. The gameboard is also a great map for role play adventures. BeginAgain uses plant-based and recycled materials whenever possible. The treasure map game board is made from natural (unbleached, unprocessed) cotton and the 20 game cards and 20 matching game pieces are made from recycled paperboard and colored with water-based inks. The 24 treasure coins are made from natural rubber (from rubber tree).
Awards: 2012 Dr. Toy Best Green Toys 5/18/2012 (MSRP: $25.00; Age: 3 to 6)
Eco-Crafts 2 Birdie Banks by ALEX BRANDS
2 Birdie Banks™ is a new activity kit in the ALEX Eco Crafts series. Kids can save their money and at the same time help to save the planet! This all-in-one environmentally-friendly craft kit lets kids create 2 bird-shaped banks out of recycled paper molds. It comes with 2 makeshift banks (fashioned from recycled paper) that kids can outfit with coin slots and lids before decorating them with colorful squares. Using the included sponge brush, kids can easily affix the paper tape with glaze and wait a while for their creation to dry. Launch date: 2012.
Awards: 2012 Dr. Toy Best Green Toys, 2012 Dr.Toy Best 20 for $20 5/18/2012 (MSRP: $13.95; Age: 6 to 9)
Salt Water Fuel Cell Monster Truck Kit by OWI INC.
The Salt Water Fuel Cell Monster Truck Kit is equipped with four-wheel drive mechanical construction. It easily handles different types of terrain by its twisted car body design. It has two transformable engine blocks: V engine or flat engine. The transparent case design allows children to see the rhythm of the piston in vertical or horizontal position. Each monster wheel can change its angle individually and the truck can change its height and shape. Forward and reverse...no problem; simply switch the "positive and negative" connectors. The Salt Water Fuel Cell Monster Truck gives children a chance to learn about new forms of clean energy, while building and powering their very own kit: Just add saltwater. After activating the fuel cell module with a saltwater mixture, the magnesium metal sheet (3 sheets included) can operate the car for about 5-7 hours continuously. To park the vehicle, simply take out the fuel cell module and rinse with tap water and dry. 4/13/2012 (MSRP: $25.95)
Green Start Chunky Wooden Puzzles: Silly Squares by INNOVATIVEKIDS
Brand new Earth-friendly green start chunky wooden puzzles are made with wood from sustainable forests and packaged in a reusable carry-along storage case. Created with the help of child-development experts, these puzzles have chunky, raised pieces to support basic grasping skills, combined with slight gradations of cognitive challenge. A fun double-decker bus contains six square windows of the same size and shape that can fit into any of the spots but need to be rotated so the animals face right side up. Border of each piece matches color inside well. Launch date: April 2012.
Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
— In a February 2013 survey, two out of 11 retailers told TDmonthly that puzzles were their best selling wooden toy. ( Watch Video) 3/14/2012 (MSRP: $12.99; Age: 1 and Up)
1-2-3 Shape Sorter by HAPE
Drop the shapes into the holes then roll it on its way. 1-2-3 Shape Sorter is from the Early Explorers range of the Hape Collection. Measuring 5.51”L x 5.51“W x 4.45”H, 1-2-3 Shape Sorter is age graded for children 12 Months +. The toy is beautifully crafted of FSC certified wood from sustainable forests and colored with safe water based paint. Launch date: July 2012. 6/18/2012 (Age: 1 and Up)