Toy Testers 2011: Preschool toys

PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Five toys for kids under the age of five and right on cue: the brand new Little People set for our own "little people."   IN all, 87 two, three and four-year old children tested toys at Perryville's St. Vincent DePaul School.


Fisher Price's Animal Sounds Zoo does exactly what it says in its name: make animal sounds. It's the kids' top pick, but it wasn't exactly teacher Ann Wengert's top pick.

"The slide falls off easily and the area near the flag also has issues."

You can see some of our little people fixed it, too. Still, it's some overall $35 roaring fun and earns a good grade 'B'.

Next up: Leap Frog's $17 My Discovery House which teaches cause and effect.

"These kids were a little too old for this toy, but they still liked pushing all of the buttons."

After testing, we recommend babies to age 2 and a half for this one. It flips a good grade B.

Now, let's read with the $28 Leap Frog My Story Time Pad. Turns out, these kids lost some interest in that, too.

"That has a very small screen. It really got lost in the dust. The extended play isn't big."

She did like the letter recognition and stories told on this tablet-style toy.

"Maybe a 'C."

Here's a reading toy that's been a hit several years now. This time, it's for the young kids and called Tag Junior along with "Scout the reading pal." Scroll Scout over the pictures and words, after downloading the Tag books and get your child interested in reading at an early age.

"I really thought that was a good one. I want to make sure parents are still reading books to their children and not substituting, but it 's a great way to keep them entertained."

Shop around for the best price. Several stores offer the reading pal and the books in a bundle. it earns a good grade 'B' at this stage.

Now for the cat's meow...VTech's Catch Me Kitty is on the prowl, encouraging the youngest of kids to walk and keeping the older ones active.

You can also switch functions and hear the kitty teach shapes and numbers. Our teacher says this toy would grow with your child or be a great one in homes with babies and older toddler siblings.

"That's an 'A."

We like the price: $20.  It easily catches our top grade on this Does it Work Toy Test.