Web Smarts

www.toytips.com

WHAT: Did you know that a plastic, parrot-colored phone with zoo-animal buttons is really "Social Skills 101" for 6-month- olds? Or that the Koosh ball that keeps making desk rounds at work is the No. 1 office stress reliever? Toys are more than just cures for boredom at Toytips.com. They're tools for learning, growing, and stimulating the imagination.

GO THERE BECAUSE: This site has made a science out of games and gadgets. The items, which are widely available, are divided into a half-dozen categories, including toys for pets, children, and icebreakers for the office. You can also access reviews on toys by age group and safety tips for younger children. Tests by the Toy Research Institute help you determine what you're really getting when you buy a Lego building set, a Fisher Price piano, or even a Gloworm.

WHAT'S MISSING: While the site goes to great lengths to be nonpromotional, with all the different vendors out there, online and offline, it would be nice to have some recommendations for places to shop.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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