Reviewed for Preschool, 2008

The Big Dig

Got a kid who's crazy for construction? Bring the worksite to your own backyard! This sturdy metal excavator is the perfect size for preschoolers. The digger pivots full-circle for a true on-the-job feel and it can be used in sand or snow with equally good excavating. We've seen similar models in upscale parks, but with this baby in your garden, there's no need for your child to wait in line. So let her delight in dirt, and know that in addition to mud-happy fun, she'll be working on manual dexterity and eye-hand coordination, two key preschool skills that get kids writing-ready. (Leaps and Bounds, $59.95)