Reviewed for Kindergarten, 2008

Easy Bake Oven

Since 1963 this simple little toy has been wowing boys and girls alike with its plastic paddle and mysterious cooking chamber. This year, the E.B.O. celebrates its 45th anniversary. A recall a few years back of a newer model prompted the company to return to their traditional cook-by-lightbulb design. We couldn't be more pleased-- kids get a tremendous kick out of seeing what a standard 100-watt can knock out. While the box says 8+, this is a great gift for the kindergartener in your life, provided you're willing to supervise the fun. And while we can't endorse the sickeningly sweet mixes that come in the box, the Web is chockful of seriously ingenious recipes to put in those tiny metal pans-- from mushroom flan to oatmeal fruit bars, nachos to Southern biscuits. A perfect way to get your kid excited about the prospect of putting on an apron. (Hasbro, $32.99)