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Practical Pre-School Awards 2014

Welcome to the Practical Pre-School Awards Guide 2014, in association with Primary Teacher Update, this year's annual guide to all of the award-winning products for those who work with children aged between 0 and 11.

Again this year we have been hugely impressed by the wide range of products which have been entered. All of the products in this guide have been rigorously tested and marked by professionals in settings to attain their final score and their final award. 

The Practical Pre-School Awards Guide 2014 will prove a very valuable tool for you and your teams to refer to, time and time again. 

Category winners

The overall winners in each category are as follows:

Teachers Resources, Equipment and Tools

Sili Shapes™ Soft Bricks

Manufacturer Commotion Distribution
Web www.commotiondistribution.co.uk
Price £24.99
Age range 18+ months
Description 24 soft washable silicon bricks in 4 bright colours, perfectly sized for young children’s hands and ideal for counting, pattern making, sorting and improving motor skills and coordination. The simple design and flexible consistency inspires children to construct and communicate and can be used in sand and in water.
Score 92.7%

Toys and Games 0-3

Jamm Scoot Racing Red

Manufacturer Indigo Jamm
Tel 01483 201075
Web www.indigojamm.com
Price £55
Age range 1 year+
Description A colourful racing red retro scooter. No complicated peddling involved on this stylish ride-on-toy. Multi-directional casters give flowing movement in all directions for great indoor fun.
Score 98.1%


Toys and Games 3-5

GeoSafari Jr. My First Microscope

Manufacturer Learning Resources
Tel 0845 241 0484
Web www.learningresources.co.uk
Price £16.95 (+VAT)
Age range 3+ years
Description A fully functional microscope designed for little hands! Features two eyepieces to eliminate the need to close one eye and simplified focusing, chunky pieces and LED light for enhanced viewing of small details. Truly designed to be a pre-school microscope, unbreakable knob featuring ratchet, 8 x magnifications as 3-4 years cannot figure out any more distortion, non-skid base and incudes light to shine on objects.
Score 98.1%



MBP27T Digital Video Baby Monitor

Manufacturer Motorola
Tel 0208 955 2719
Price £129.99
Sub category Nursery and accessories
Description The MBP27T offers an innovative built-in non-contact infrared digital thermometer, enabling parents to monitor the temperature of your baby’s body, foods and liquids. The MBP27T also comes with a camera unit allowing you to view live video on the 2.4 inch colour screen from another room, 
utilising the digital pan and tilt function to keep a close eye on your baby.
Score 98.4%

Music and Multimedia

The Niki Davies Book of Lovely Literacy Songs

Manufacturer Out of the Ark Music
Tel 0208 481 7200
Web www.outoftheark.com
Price £23.95
Age range 3-7 years
Description: Bringing literacy to life, these 20 exciting catchy songs are fun to sing and learn. 
With a wonderful variety of literacy-themed songs that will have your class rhyming, segmenting, blending and creative writing in no time! Book includes lyrics, music score and teacher’s notes to help draw out the full learning potential within each song. CD includes vocals and backing tracks.
Score 82.5%
ISBN 978-1-906988-57-9

Electronic and New Technology

VTech Kidizoom Twist Plus

Supplier/Manufacturer VTech Electronics
Web www.vtechuk.com
Price £54.99
Age range 3-9 years
Description Get snapping with Kidizoom Twist Plus! This 2 megapixel camera features a twisting lens, 4x digital zoom, flash, movie taking, stop frame animation, photo editing, 5 games and more! Edit and enhance photos with a variety of frames, stamps and effects. Connect to VTech Learning Lodge to download extra content!
Score 95%

Modern Foreign Languages

Module 1 Resource Pack for Teaching Spanish to Early Years Providers

Manufacturer BilinguaSing

Web www.bilinguasing.com/nursery-eyfs-resources/

Price £199.95

Age range 0-5 years

Description A resource pack for early years providers to deliver Spanish through a bilingual musical approach. 

Score 87.5%

Books and Publications

Phonics Touch & Trace

Publisher Letterland International Ltd
Web www.letterland.com
Price £7.99
Age range 3+
Description A multi-sensory alphabet book with textured letters for finger-tracing that contains vibrant illustrations, memorable characters and engaging stories and rhymes.
Score 96.5%
ISBN 9781862099760

Classic Toys and Games

The Classic Cozy Coupe

Manufacturer Little Tikes
Web www.littletikes.co.uk
Price £54.99
Age range 18 months-5 years
Description The original ride-on toy, the Cozy Coupe is always a hit with its bold, iconic design suitable for tots 18 months to 5 years. It’s designed with a removable platform and parent grab handle, and has high back seat storage, an “ignition switch” and an open-and-close petrol cap.
Score 91.9%

Creative Play


Supplier Flair PLC
Web www.flairplc.co.uk
Price £0.99-£9.99
Age range 3+ years
Description Plasticine is the perfect modelling material! It never dries out and it can be mixed to make new colours. Plasticine is great for young hands to make fun shapes with or for expert model makers to create intricate models with fine details. If you make a mistake or change your mind, simply smooth out the area and try again.
Score 91.1%

Outdoor Toys and Equipment

Pickup Sticks 1

Manufacturer Playtime by Fawns
Tel 01252 515199
Web www.fawns.co.uk
Price: £2,496 including installation on grass
Age range 3-5 years
Description Our Pickup Sticks 1 are designed for early years; irregular rainbow logs are linked with tensioned tactile ropes to replicate the excitement of tree climbing. It can be a boat one day, a spaceship the next or a large den.
Score 94.2%

Days Out and Attractions

CBeebies Land

Manufacturer Alton Towers Resort
Web www.altontowers.com/cbeebies
Age range 1-6 years
Description The very first CBeebies Land at the Alton Towers Resort. Home to a range of unique themed rides, attractions and live entertainment, CBeebies Land is a completely immersive experience for children to create new experiences and inspire learning through play.
Score 90.0%

Primary Teacher Update Toys and Games


Manufacturer Bananagrams Inc.
Web www.winningmoves.co.uk
Price £14.99
Age range 7-107 years
Description BANANAGRAMS is a fast and fun anagram game that drives players bananas! Requiring no pencil, pen or board, BANANAGRAMS comes in a small portable banana-shaped pouch and is perfect fun for kids from 7-107(!) years old, at home or on the go. Created by a word game obsessed family of three generations, Bananagrams is a labour of love that has quickly become an international phenomenon.
Score 97.0%

Primary Teacher Update Books and Publications

The Executioner’s Daughter – Jane Hardstaff

Publisher Egmont UK
Tel 0203 220 0400
Web www.egmont.co.uk
Price £6.99
Age range 9+
Description Moss’s father is the executioner in the Tower of London and it is her job to catch the heads in her basket at the end. She longs for escape! When she finds a tunnel that leads out of the tower she learns her life isn’t what she believes and doesn’t know who to trust. A thrilling adventure set in Tudor times – with excellent links to curriculum objectives for KS2.
Score 97.4%
ISBN 978-1-4052-68288

Primary Teacher Update Creative Play

Hue Animation Studio

Manufacturer Ascent It Ltd trading as HUE
Web www.hueanimation.com
Price £79.95
Age range 5+ years
Description Hue Animation Studio – the complete stop motion animation kit for classrooms includes the Hue HD Camera and easy to use software designed specifically for children. Simply download the software, connect the camera and start animating.
Score 83.8%

Primary Teacher Update All Other Resources

That’s What I Call A Class Assembly – The Vikings

Manufacturer Out of the Ark Music
Web www.outoftheark.com
Price £16.95 (book and CD)
Age range 6-11
Description This book and enhanced CD package is designed to support and reinforce learning in this Viking topic. Through performing the catchy fact-based songs and short play. Children will find it easy to retain the information they have been learning. Three fact-based songs available with interactive white board lyrics, scripts, music score and four pages of cross- curricular creative topic ideas and extension work.
Score 94.4%
ISBN 978-1-906988-54-8

Primary Teacher Update Outdoor Toys and Equipment

Drop Spots

Manufacturer Playforce
Tel 01225 792660
Web www.playforceshop.com
Price From £129 + VAT
Age range 5-7 years
Description Colourful, slip resistant spots with resource cards to develop fundamental movement skills, designed alongside PE experts. The sets are adaptable for different ages and abilities as well as class size and environment. Includes a carry case for easy storage.
Score 93.3%

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