Early School Years

New Reviews and Articles

 
Posted: 2011-03-30 12:08:19 By: by Stephanie Oppenheim

Radio Flyer has become an iconic American brand since it was officially launched at the 1933 Chicago World Fair.  While we've talked to lots of people who are new to the toy industry, it was interesting to speak with Robert Pasin, a grandson of the founder and the current Chief "Wagon" Officer of Radio Flyer.  Unlike many of the start-up companies we've focused on as part of the Meet the Toymakers Series, I was curious to know what pressures exist when you are responsible for such a long-standing and beloved brand. Read our interview.

a game plan
Tags: math games, math books,
Posted: 2014-02-25 07:54:41 By: Joanne Oppenheim

Math and Science skills--or the lack of them--continue to make the news. While educators debate what to do about it, what can parents do? First things first, avoid turning your child into a math phobic worrier with dreaded flash card sessions and extra workbooks. Forget about pre-teaching kids in hopes of giving them a leg up. Your way of doing math may involve techniques that are very different from current classroom methods. Click here for positive ways to help your child become a math whiz: 

Tags: Star Wars, Joanne Oppenheim
Posted: 2011-03-30 12:06:53

The force is clearly with Joanne as she demonstrates the new General Greivous Spinning Electronic Lightsaber. For a complete review, click here.

When Less is More
Tags: under $10, play power, stocking stuffers,
Posted: 2010-12-14 20:23:49 By: by Joanne Oppenheim

Are you are shopping for Merry Christmas stocking stuffers, multiple gifts for the many nights of Hanukah or Kwanza? Aside from the novelty fads of the moment there are some good choices that will be enjoyed for more than a moment. We've found some with real play value. Click here to find out more.

Keeping Curiosity Alive and Well
Tags: science toys, science books, science videos
Posted: 2012-01-10 11:45:22 By: Joanne Oppenheim

Thanks to their curiosity, children are often captivated with toys that involve science and discovery. Very young kids start out doing a lot of experimenting, mixing water and sand to make mud, making shadows on walls with their hands, blowing bubbles with a straw in their milk to make bubbles, putting toys in a tub and seeing some float while others sink. At the easel they mix blue and yellow and discover they can make green. All of these very ordinary moments are little science experiments. Their favorite approach is trial and error and learning by doing. Click here to find toys that encourage kids and their natural interest in science.

Good News for Consumers
Tags: multiracial dolls, history, consumers, price war, charity, pretend play
Posted: 2010-11-16 13:49:59 By: Joanne Oppenheim

For the past decade, American Girl Dolls dominated the market for high end multi-cultural dolls that reflected our diversity. Not any more.

2010 is the year of the doll wars and there are many amazing dolls out there giving the American Girl a run for her money--and yours. Click here to see our reviews of doll collections worth considering.

For Girls and Boys
Tags: gender free toys
Posted: 2010-10-20 13:44:54 By: Joanne Oppenheim

Finding toys that do not play on gender stereotypes is a lot easier these days than it used to be. Although there is still plenty of pink and lavender out there that screams--Girls Only and plenty of black with skulls and eyeballs shouting--Boys Only, there are less gender specific choices that will be enjoyed by children of either sex. Click here to read more.

Tags: Modern Family, Kmart, Rico Rodriguez,Ambassador of Fun
Posted: 2010-11-02 10:48:03

You may know Rico Rodriguez from ABC's Modern Family - he plays the wonderfully introspective Manny. (He's the boy in the pink shirt all the way to the left).   In an admittedly celebrity spokesperson situation, Rico has been named Kmart's Ambassador of Fun. So we decided to ask Rico how it feels to be such an Ambassador and what he likes to play with now that he's 12. Read our interview.

Really?
Posted: 2011-03-30 12:07:44 By: by Joanne Oppenheim

A front page article in the New York Times recently led with the headline, Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children. How unfortunate. According to the article, parents have decided that picture books are too easy for anyone past the age of four. Click here to read more.

Good Choices
Tags: books for beginners,
Posted: 2010-11-02 10:48:44 By: Joanne Oppenheim

Shopping in the beginning reader section of the bookstore or library can be confusing. There are so many choices but many that are labeled easy-to-read are anything but that. For your new reader less is more. Click here to read more

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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