Early School Years

New Reviews and Articles

 
Constructive Learning
Posted: 2012-10-11 09:49:11 By: Joanne Oppenheim

Construction toys are more than fun. They are basic tools for many important kinds of learning. Age appropriate building toys change as children grow from toddlers to teens. Click here to continue...

What Makes Goldie Run?
Posted: 2012-10-11 09:43:30 By: Joanne Oppenheim

When you think of a perfect children's story, Goldilocks and the Three Bears is almost always on the list. What makes the Three Bears such an evergreen? What makes Goldie run? As stories go it just works so perfectly. It has repetition, simple counting, size concepts, and a fun story. Click here for new takes on Goldie.

Featured on the Today Show
Tags: Awards, Today Show
Posted: 2012-10-24 13:59:16

As a kick off to the 2012 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Awards, we were featured on the TODAY Show. The focus of the segment -- the best educational toys of the year. There are so many products that make this list in our book, but alas we can't show all of them in four minutes.  Click here to read the complete reviews of the products featured. At the same time we encourage you to look through your child's age range to find so many other outstanding award winners.  To watch Stephanie's segment with Al Roker, click here.

 

Watch our segment from the Today Show October 2nd
Tags: Awards, Today Show
Posted: 2012-09-30 12:32:00

This year's Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2012 Awards cap off another wonderful busy year of testing for the best. As always we looked at hundreds and hundreds of toys.  We're looking for the most engaging, innovative, well-designed toys of the year.  The best of the best go on to our network of toy testers all over the country to give us their feedback. For this season we had testers as far as Alaska, Hawaii and even London in the mix.  In additional you'll find books, audios and DVDs to enjoy together.

We are always grateful to the families that make this process so much fun. This year more of our first group of toy testers headed off to college-- how is that possible!  Our complete Platinum, Gold, Blue Chip and SNAP Award winners for 2012 can be viewed by clicking here. Congrats to all our award winners!

Our mission remains the same: to take the guesswork out of finding wonderful products to share with your kids. We hope you'll find our list useful! Please join us on facebooktwitter, and pinterest as we update our coverage as toy season heats up!

All our best,

Joanne and Stephanie

You can watch Stephanie's segment on the Today Show here.

 

Posted: 2012-10-08 08:25:12 By: Joanne Oppenheim

At dinner in an upscale restaurant the other night, we sat beside a family with two small boys. One was probably about half past two and the other four at most. One sat with Mommy the other sat opposite with Dad. The two boys never looked up nor did the family talk about anything. Mom was eating dessert and dad was drinking his coffee. The boys were completely engrossed with their parents' smart phones. The younger boy seemed to be doing nothing but moving his finger from right to left. After a time he lifted the phone to hand it to mom, who didn't seem to notice until the phone fell on the floor as mother and child gasped. The child put his hands over his face in horror and when he was scolded looked totally mournful. He slowly formed the words, sorry mommy...and looked away.  Click here to find out what happened next....

Bring it On!
Posted: 2012-09-27 14:54:34

We keep hearing how our kids are falling behind children of other countries in Science. Sparking their interest in science needs to begin early and it is best done with hands on exploration. Here are some wonderful new products that will need parental involvement, but are on the mark for the early years. Click here for several of our favorites.

Games that Subtract, Multiply,Divide and Add Up To Fun & Learning!
Tags: Math,
Posted: 2012-08-13 09:29:46

During these almost back-to-school weeks there are many ways to refresh math skills. When you play any game give the kids a turn at score keeping. If you keep a jar for coins, this is a good time to have them count it up and if they are able let them put it in coin wrappers from the bank. This may be the time for running a lemonade stand and learning how to make simple change for all takers. This season we received a number of terrific games that are geared to math and family fun. Click here for reviews of a few of the best.

Traveling Fun
Tags: on the go fun, good travel ideas, travel products
Posted: 2012-10-11 09:25:42


 As holidays and family get togethers approach, finfing ways to make the miles fly--from here to there--calls for special planning with kids. Getting there is rarely half the fun, but it can be a lot easier when you have some treats in your travel bag. Click here to find out what to pack....

Why It Matters
Posted: 2012-04-19 12:27:54

Although small screen games are being played by ever younger kids, the benefits of playing board or card games together are huge. Often the pace is more appropriate for beginners and so are the basic skills built into many of the best games. Simple counting, turn taking, matching, and beginning reading are often part of the games for the early years. But those are only part of the learning. Click here to find out more and reviews of some of the new games.

Important Learning Tools
Tags: puppets, dollhouse, role-play
Posted: 2012-04-19 11:42:36

We are always looking for toys that extend or inspire children's dramatic play. These are props that expand language and communication skills as well as develop imagination. Dramatic play allows children to step outside themselves and try on new roles. Here are a few of the early arrivals that our testers have rated high. Click here for reviews.

Index to Toy Reviews By Category

 

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