Early School Years

New Reviews and Articles

 
Fun for Spring Break Time
Posted: 2013-03-06 09:01:31

The first new kits have begun to arrive with fresh and inviting crafts. Many have enough art supplies to share for a play date. We look for kits with clear directions, ample supplies, and materials that introduce kids to skills they can carry forward when the kit is done. While kits are often prescriptive and less than open-ended; they do introduce children to materials and techniques that can be applied in more creative ways. Crafts are more than just entertaining, they develop children's dexterity, patience, decision making and problem solving abilities. Here are a few of the new ones that are noteworthy.

Tags: Meet the Toymaker, Debra Sterling, Construction Sets, Building Toys
Posted: 2013-08-20 11:01:29 By: by Stephanie Oppenheim

I'm often asked how I made the transition from practicing law to playing with toys.  So I decided to start asking other people how they found their way to toyland. I was particularly interested in Debra Sterling, the founder of the new construction toy company GoldieBlox. Debra,  already distinguished as a recent engineering graduate from Stanford, decided to focus on empowering and enticing girls to play at problem solving and building. Drawing on her own experiences, she hopes that such early play will lead more young women to careers in engineering. With her idea formulated, Debra then raised more than $250,000 on Kickstarter - indicating that other people shared her vision. While overseas supervising the production of her first line, we interviewed Debra about her journey.  Her line will be available later this year - we look forward to trying it with our testers! Click here to read our interview.

More than just Scrabble & Upwords
Tags: word play
Posted: 2012-12-18 15:53:16

Word games have always been a passion in our family. Spirited quick rounds of Boggle, a long slow game of Scrabble, and the stack and rack up points of Upwords. We still love these classics, but we are always on the lookout for new ways of playing around with words. These are family games that you can play one on one or as teams, so younger players are not at a disadvantage. Click here to discover some of the new choices.

For Toddlers to School Age Kids
Posted: 2012-12-26 12:00:38 By: by Joanne Oppenheim

Craft kits and art supplies are perfect gifts that keep on giving. Unlike some toys that come out of the box ready made, these are gifts that involve kids in creative fun. They develop dexterity, patience, problem solving, creative choices and the pleasure of using one's imagination. These are just a handful of some of our favorite crafty choices. Check for other art materials and craft kits on our age appropriate lists to the left and for a short but nice list, Click here to see some winners.

Posted: 2012-12-26 11:58:57

If you feel like you need a few more small gifts, consider some of these less pricey, but entertaining choices. Check this and scroll down to look at other lists on our front page for small but winning gifts from $10-$20. Click here

Another Five Good Choices
Tags: under $10
Posted: 2012-12-05 09:16:59

Here are another five fun toys that will be perfect for Christmas stocking stuffers, grab bag classroom gifts or the many nights of the Festival of Lights. Be sure to check our other great buy gift lists. Also, check our book lists for titles that will will be new favorites. Click here.

Wrap 'em Up!
Posted: 2012-11-27 14:20:19

Fifteen dollars worth of fun and even learning are in these great picks for your gift list. We'll have more in the coming days, so keep watching. Right now, click here to see five entertaining ideas for school aged kids.

Small But Nice
Posted: 2012-11-27 11:25:11

We will keep adding good choices for the multiple gift nights of Hanukkah or for Stocking Stuffers. Click here for today's picks.

Playful Card Games
Tags: under $15, games
Posted: 2012-11-20 15:56:20

A few new games are fun for the family to enjoy during the holiday season when school is closed and the "What can we do now?" time rolls around. Here is a mixed bag of games for various ages...from preschool to middle school.

Top picks of the Season
Posted: 2012-11-12 14:13:36

Among the best gifts of the season are art materials that can be used for getting into the spirit of the holidays and those that will be used after the festivities are over. Among the craft kits we found this year are those for making gifts for others. We also found many outstanding open-ended art supplies for school projects or quiet afternoons--glitter glue, double sided colored pencils, fat crayons and more. Arts and crafts are not just fun. They invite kids to use their creativity while developing their fine motor skills and the important ability to follow step-by-step directions. You will find many more art materials in our age appropriate lists. Here are some of the top choices we found this season.

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Products for Infants
Products for Toddlers
Products for Preschoolers
Products for Early School Years
Products for Later School Years
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