Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Early Elementary School Years

 


2014 Award
Vtech Lil' Speller Phonics Station
(Vtech $25 Score:)

Learning letter names and the sounds they say is an interactive game with the letters in the carry case that fit into the board and speak. That is just one level of play. Kids can spell hundreds of three letter words and hear them said or they can hear a word and find the letters to spell that word. This is a game for the beginning reader. We like that they have used lower case letters since that is what beginning readers need to learn to recognize and read. Often kids only know upper case letters and have to relearn the names of letters in the lower case form. The toy is marked for 3-6 and we would say that most 3s are not ready for most of the skills on this toy. That said, it can be a fun toy for preschoolers who are getting interested in letters and words—not being pushed into reading. This is very much like the first Leap Frog toy introduced several decades ago. It was a good idea then and still a good idea for a new crop of pre-literate children who are ready and eager to become literate.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 

 
2014 Awards
Hasbro Lite Brite LED Flat Screen
(Hasbro $20 Score:)

This is not your old Lite Brite, it really is improved in multiple ways, with the play value still totally there. First improvement: the templates are no longer easy-to-rip but are sturdy and reusable--a real plus. The flat screen box is sleek and the storage box for the pegs can be attached or not. There are so many pegs kids may have trouble closing the storage box. Take the new big shapes out and the case will close. There are now more shapes than ever, adding new visual interest, as well. This is one of those toys that may seem mindless, but it does give fine motor muscles a tuning up—the same finger muscles they need to use for writing and such, only this is more fun. They also have to follow the pattern, calling for visual discrimination and sequencing, more reading and writing skills. Does this translate into school skills? No guarantees, but it might indeed help. The new board has 4 different modes to light up the creations and a 5th one to turn off the lights. 3 AA batteries required and not included. Keep this toy out of the reach of younger sibs who still mouth their toys. Marked for 4 and up, but school aged kids 5-8 will have more success, less frustration, and greater benefit. Available in blue or hot pink. 4 & up.

SNAP: A good choice for building fine motor skills without drillling with pencil and paper tasks. Also useful for developing visual discrimination and sequencing.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 

 
2014 Awards
Hape All-In-1 Easel
(Hape $ Score:)

 
A versatile adjustable wooden easel with chalkboard on one side, a white magnetic board on the other side, a roller that holds paper for painting on top. There is a flat tray that will hold eraser and chalk as well as three paint pots. If you have room for it, this is an art center that will be used all through the early years from 3-7

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2014 Award
Geo Safari My First Microscope
(Educational Insights $21.99 Score:)

Designed for preschoolers, this allows young children to use both eyes instead of having to close one eye, as with a real microscope. The eye-piece can be raised and lowered for better views and it allows children to view coins and leaves and other familiar items under the lenses. Oddly, this is more like a magnifying glass than a microscope and the further up the lenses the more detail you see. It works with 8X magnification. 3 & up

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2014 Award
Carry Case Finger Puppet Theater
(Babalu $42.99 Score:)

Cleverly designed, this wooden puppet theater fits into a small wooden case that becomes the base and proscenium arch that spans the top of the stage. It has a working curtain. Set it up for table top performances and after the show it all goes back in the base box. Puppets are extra. They make charming choice of wooden headed finger puppets:queen, prince,princess, fairy...no King in the samples we tested. ($5.50 each)

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 

 
2014 Awards
Hape Anywhere Art Studio
(HaPe $40 Score:)

Designed to sit on a tabletop or floor, this versatile art studio is reversible; a chalkboard on one side, and a white dry erase on the reverse. It is magnetized, so the eraser and paper holder that come with the set, will stick to the board and even hold art paper on if your artist wants to paint or draw on something more permanent like paper. Beautifully finished with a wooden frame, this is a handsome piece of equipment that will invite hours of creative play.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 

 
2014 Awards
Lincoln Log Collector's Edition Homestead
(KNEX $99 Score:)

305 wooden logs, a covered wagon, plenty of roof slats and eaves, a chimney, a frontiersman and plenty of instructions all in a large barrel for storage. This classic building toy is marked for 3 & up but we suggest that Lincoln Logs are a more appropriate choice and challenge for 6 & up

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 

 
2014 Awards
Tinkertoy 30 Model Super Set
(KNEX $49.99 Score:)

With 200 colorful pieces, this classic building toy is packaged this season with bendable pieces as well as some that snap and stay together. Tinkertoys constructions tend to be more abstract and bare boned. Yet they are also more mechanical challenging kids to build their own moving parts to make a windmill that turns, a truck that rolls and other imaginative devices. Though it is marked for 3 & up and preschoolers will poke the rods and wheels together, to use the real possibilities of this construction toy, we think it’s a better choice for early school years builders.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2014 Award
Barbie Iron On Fashion Doll
(Mattel $19.99 Score:)

Does anyone iron any more? Yes, Barbie gets all her clothes styles with iron on decals. Talk about pretend, no fear of scorching anything with Barbie's special iron that needs no heat. This Barbie comes with wardrobe of clothes and 30 decals that get put on by rubbing the mini iron over them. There is a special dress form that is used to transfer and decorate the rather plain looking tops, skirts, and denim vest that come in the package. We did a test run with the little iron and decals, and our tester said to be forewarned—you really need to rub the decals all over and for a long time to get them to adhere to the clothing. Younger girls may need adult help to learn how to get all the decal off. That said, it is a neat play set with a fashion Barbie doll and a lotsof knit clothes to design and dress her in. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2014 Award
Marco's Polos
(Educational Insights $9 Score:)

A fun color matching card game in the shape of polo shirts with stripes. There are three base cards on the table and players vie to get rid of the divided stack of cards by putting down shirt cards with at least one matching color to the previous card on the stack. Instead of wild cards, there are "lock" cards that a player can put on any of the three stacks to limit their opponents play. These locks can be reversed if you have an unlock card. Since there are six base card colors and you only use three at a time, it is best to use three that are distinctively different, not the purple and blue or red and orange; these pairs are somewhat close in hue and may be confusing for young players.  The winner is the one who puts down all their cards first. 2-4 players. 5 & up

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

Products for Infants
Products for Toddlers
Products for Preschoolers
Products for Early School Years
Products for Later School Years
Twitter   Facebook     YouTube 

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio - All Rights Reserved. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Award are Registered Trademarks of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio.


Instructions for submitting product to the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio for review.

 

 

Contact the Toyportfolio by phone at (212) 598-0502 or by email at Webmaster@Toyportfolio.com.

Copyright 1995-2014

 

Products reviewed by the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio are provided by the manufacturer at their cost. The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio does not require or accept fees for reviewing products.