Congratulations are in order for our 8 whopping winners from the Bazaar Junior Toy Awards 3-6 Year Old category!
Selected for its age-appropriateness, play value, and specific developmental benefits, Bazaar Junior’s panel of mummy & child judges got together once again as they put an extensive range of toys to the test and picked out the top performers for 2016.
Stay tuned next week as we continue to dish out more winners from the other age categories – but for now, let’s launch right into our full string of toddler toy champions!
2016 BAZAAR JUNIOR Toy Awards Wins: 3-6 YEARS OLD
Manufactured to the highest precision in Germany using high-quality, phthalate-free, non-toxic ABS-plastic, Hubelino is a marble run system that is 100% compatible with Duplo interlocking blocks by Lego. It offers endless design possibilities and limitless imaginative play, and was developed in collaboration with educationalists to extend both content and fun learning in traditional building-block play.
Recommended for little builders as young as 3 years old and extensible to be challenging even for tweens, building with Hubelino encourages spatial thinking, mathematical planning, creativity and the understanding of the principles of physics in the most fun-filled way possible.
Hubelino’s 106-piece Basic Building Kit is particularly ideal for beginner builders, as it has everything you need to design the most spectacular marble runs. While building these marble runs, kids are able to work on their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, develop engineering skills; as well as make quality observations about speed, time, distance, and direction.
The seemingly endless multitude of design possibilities remains its main unique selling point, not to mention that it is also compatible with additional expansion packs to create bigger and more impressive systems. A remarkably fun and satisfying activity that can be constructed independently, or undertaken together as a group to foster the sense of collaborative play from an early age, teaching invaluable skills for social integration, communication, patience, and cohesiveness between team members.
‘Cuddly Adventures’ Sponge Painting Workshop is one of the latest additions to Djeco’s ‘Design By’ Workshops. These Craft Workshops are a collaborative effort between Djeco and various established artists to introduce children to specific tips and techniques unique to a certain medium, leaving them equipped with the right skills to explore further in an unstructured environment after.
And what could be better than a craft that is easy to learn, requires no painting skills, and gives great results? This particular Djeco workshop provides everything young artists need to gain confidence when expressing their creativity, as well as a better understanding of how to create great art pieces with every day materials like sponges. It will prove to be an instant hit with your little ones, introducing them to whole new innovative art technique that teaches subtle effects through rolling and printing.
This workshop guarantees well-finished art pieces that can then be used as decoration or a postcard. A fantastic creative activity that gives full play to the imagination, allowing little ones to develop their hands and minds to create art more independently.
Here’s a memory game for young blossoming minds: this beautifully illustrated memory game starts with all the fish tiles laid face down, after which players take turns trying to uncover identical pairs from the sea. The idea is to win as many pairs as possible, but the trick is to remember where the right fish are!
This fun and boisterous game can be made easier by starting out with lesser pairs; but if you want a real challenge, mess them up in a disorganized fashion and rearrange them every time you reach 10 rounds! This not only further strengthens the memory as it now has to wipe out everything it has remembered and start over, but it also keeps the mind agile and flexible to changes.
A game that is both entertaining and educational in essence, Djeco succeeds once again in awakening early curiosity and enriching the imagination of young minds. Memo Fish is highly engaging both as a toy and as a learning aid, with eye-catching illustrative details that will make your little ones want to keep playing again and again.
Tangrams are a fun and interactive way to introduce young children to shapes and illustrate how they can be grouped together to create a specific object. Kids learn experientially about angles, symmetry, rotation, as well as how various shapes can be combined to form entirely new ones (e.g. 2 triangles = 1 square; 2 semicircles = 1 circle).
Tangrams are extremely ideal not only in developing geometric thinking, but also in introducing fractions to kids. Kids who are more visually oriented find themselves picking up various mathematical concepts much quicker than if they had been introduced to them in a more 1-dimensional, classroom setting.
This Tangram Set from Djeco comes with colourful magnetic pieces and picture cards that encourage children to replicate various diagrams using the tan pieces. Beginners will appreciate following the outlined diagrams to the tee, while expert thinkers will love problem solving and applying strategic thinking as they seek to work out the formation on their own. Through the process of solving the puzzle, children work on their logical and lateral thinking skills, and grow to be more intuitive in determining spatial relationships between the different tan pieces and how they can come together to fit perfectly in the diagram.
This quality tangram set was chosen by The Creativity Institute in the U.S.A. for its ability to nurture creative development in children. Not only does it allow a more hands-on and tactile approach to learning, it is also highly effective in enabling perceptual reasoning. Because tangrams involve practically no instructions (except to solve a puzzle shape), it develops the mind’s visual memory and processing speed, allowing them to ‘reason’ through the various diagrams given based on their non-verbal thinking skills. While it is great to encourage kids to make structured hexagons and parallelograms, there is also fun and added learning comes when kids let their imagination go wild and create creatures or abstract patterns of their own. This greatly extends the play value of this set, and makes it an age-appropriate toy that will last across a few stages in a child’s developing years.
Djeco’s Pakbo is a fun, simpler version of the classic game Battleships – but instead of sinking vessels, players interrogate each other with pointed questions to figure out the correct seating positions of all the animals on the opponent’s ship!
Answers can only be given in 3 specific sentence structures: by using the prepositions ‘in front of’, ‘behind’, or simply stating the seat number. (For instance, when a player asks the question, “Where is the cat?” – he can choose to have his answer in only one of the following three sentence structures: 1) ‘The cat is in front of the mouse’; 2)‘The cat is behind the mouse’; or 3) ‘The cat is in Seat Number 2’.
However, there is a limited number of uses allowed for each sentence structure; and as the game moves on, you just might run out of a certain sentence type to derive information from.
An excellent game of perceptual reasoning with deduction set as its central element, Pakbo is excellent in pushing active minds to think carefully and precisely about the exact information needed to make good inferences. Quick thinkers will catch on soon enough and realize that often times, it is about knowing the right questions to ask, and not just simply having an answer, that will prove most beneficial in making a well-calculated guess. Case in point: you will find that impulsive characters will most likely zone in straight for answers that reveal the seat number– but what happens when you run out of allowed tries for that sentence structure? This is where prudent and more careful planners will fare better, as they would have better mapped out their opportunities in a more effective manner from the get-go.
The best thing about a tactical deduction game like Pakbo is, there is absolutely no luck involved. Instead, the factors that make a good player depend largely on their strategic and logical thinking skills, decision making abilities, and the way that they go about problem solving. It is a dynamic process of elimination that will never be the same twice; and inquisitive young minds are sure to benefit most from its innate qualities.
With Djeco’s Eduludo series, kids can now learn basic concepts and skills through sessions of fun and play. Designed for toddlers and ranging from basic concepts such as colours, numbers, alphabets, and shapes, to more advanced skill sets involving memory, observation, association, and even logical thinking; this wonderful collection of games livens up traditional routes of learning, and transform your child’s first steps of education into a more delightful and interactive activity.
Our pick from Djeco’s Eduludo series this year goes to the highly engaging Topologix. This nifty learning set is specially designed to introduce little ones to the world of cross-referencing, which is a critical skill that helps develop higher-level thinking and inquiring in later academic stages. Using spatial relationships as a context, Topologix requires players to figure out various elements in the scene, and then correctly place their location using the grid board and tokens provided. Where is the bear? It is in front of the tree. How about the mouse? It is on top of the mushroom.
At its most basic level, Topologix is great for observation and early vocabulary building; but its play value can stretch to cover more advanced early learning concepts like tricky prepositions, spatial relationships, and of course, the abstract art of cross-referencing; making it the perfect aid to start your early learner on the right path of lateral thinking.
The Balancing Cactus is an original balancing play theme that has been successfully explored by multi-award winning toy company Plan Toys.
It functions fundamentally as a balancing toy, requiring players to take turns adding stems to the cactus base until it becomes a fully grown tree. These stems come in varying sizes (and hence, weights) and can be added on to any holes, but doing so in the wrong spot may result in the entire plant toppling over. How will we know which are the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ holes? Well, there is no telling – all of it depends on structure of the tree at that point of time – which means no one will be able to get out of this by ‘cheating’ with memory!
An excellent toy for a whole series of early cognitive development benefits such as problem solving, logical and strategic thinking, spatial awareness, and creativity, this Balancing Cactus tackles abstract mathematical and physics concepts that would prove challenging for kids to wrap their heads around, had it been presented to them theoretically. Weight Distribution and Centre of Gravity is one prime example; and over time, players develop a knack for being able to tell easily which pieces should be used and where exactly to put them, so as not to topple the tree. And in doing so, they would have displayed a profound understanding of the concept behind spatial distribution of mass.
The Balancing Cactus acutely explores all four disciplines of the STEM method, which seeks to take on science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an inter-disciplinary and applied approach. It plants the seed for learning through inquiry and exploration; pushing our little ones to develop a natural love and enthusiasm for hands-on, minds-on activities.
‘Young grill masters can now sear up their very own cookout storm with this BBQ Set from Djeco!
Packed with a flavourful backyard punch, Djeco’s delightful BBQ set doubles up as a tabletop grill booth, and comes with a wide assortment of skewered goodies that is guaranteed to catapult your little ones into the world of pretend play. Budding chefs can choose to come up with their own creations in unstructured play sessions, or utilize the menu cards for a cognitive boost– these aids encourage receptive skills related to patterning and sequencing, which later translates to critical skills in foundational mathematics.
What’s more, with ingredients spanning across all three groups of the food pyramid, this set presents a perfect opportunity to introduce your little ones to the world of healthy eating and portion management!
INVEST IN THE BEST !
Don’t just play smart – play Better.
We’re rewarding Better decisions all this month. Simply grab a winner from the list below and enjoy 17% off any second item* in the store!
*Second item refers to that of equal or lower value.