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Tag USA and World Maps, a 2011 Golden Apple Award winner

A glimpse at our toy testing process – and our toy testers.

Recon 6.0 Programmable Rover, a 2011 Golden Apple Award winner

A glimpse at our toy testing process – and our toy testers.

LeapFrog LeapPad, the 2011 Golden Apple Wild Card winner

A glimpse at our toy testing process – and our toy testers.

How to pick the perfect learning toy

Here’s our insider’s guide to the tricks of the learning toy trade. Hint: Electronic and trendy doesn't necessarily mean "educational."

Wild Card winner: LeapPad Explorer

Not ready to hand over your iPad - or yikes, buy one? Our 2011 Golden Apple Wild Card winner - nominated by our staff - may be the next best thing for your early reader.

Learning toys that fail

Not all teaching toys pan out: Some are boring; others fail to make a point. But these dangerously failing toys cross the line from "educational" to "injurious."

Best learning toys ages 3 to 5

Designed especially for the youngest set, these 2011 Golden Apple Award winners excel in teaching early reading, writing, and drawing.

Best learning toys ages 6 to 8

From winding marble runs to interactive talking maps, these Golden Apple Awards 2011 put the fun back in school smart.

Best learning toys ages 9+

History buffs, eco-farmers, and mad scientists will love these 2011 Golden Apple Award winners created for older kids.

Best STEM toys ages 6 to 8

From treasure hunts to microscopic views, these 2011 Golden Apple Award winners will educate as much as they entertain.

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