Educator, parent & kid testing goes into each product considered for an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award. We don't accept ads or charge "review fees" from manufacturers or publishers, so you know you're always getting independent opinions. We have awards for the best toys, books, videos, and audio for kids.
Posted: 2013-06-13 17:13:32
By: by Joanne Oppenheim
Stick-ability is a skill that does not come naturally or easily. Yet, developing the ability to wait for an event or to deal with the frustration of working at a difficult task and bring it to completion- these are important life and learning skills that children need. Whether they are learning to read, writing a term paper, or baking cookies, patience is often the key to success. Unfortunately you can't teach patience by talking about it. Lectures don't help. Click here for ideas that do help!
Posted: 2013-06-13 17:12:32
By: by Stephanie and Joanne Oppenheim
Planning a family reunion can be daunting. It sounds fun in theory - but making sure the day is a success requires some advanced planning. Knowing how your family plays well together is also key. Are you like the Kennedy family that enjoys a competitive game of football on the lawn or is a calmer game of bocce more your speed? Here are some suggestions that will engage a multi-generational crowd with something for everyone. You can watch Stephanie's segment from NBC's TODAY SHOW below and Click here to read the complete article.
Tags: crawling, making things happen, teething, cause and effect
Posted: 2013-04-23 10:09:42
By: Joanne Oppenheim
In a matter of months they learn to turn over, sit up, and before long work at crawling and pulling themselves upright. Now, instead of just watching and listening, the sitting up infant is ready to take hold of things and pass them from hand to hand. Toys are not just for gazing at any longer. They need to be tasted, tossed, banged, and examined from every angle. Babies continue to learn through all their senses. For your baby there is real excitement and a new-found sense of power in being able to make things happen. They are beginning to get a sense of cause and effect and thier own active part in that equation. Do they need all of these? No, but here are some good choices. Click here for several basic learning tools your vertical baby needs:
People often ask us just what kinds of toys new babies need. With so many choices it's hard for new parents and grandparents to know the basic gear from the glut of merchandise that only adds to the clutter in the nursery. To choose toys that really make a difference you need to think of a baby's developmental style of learning. It's through their eyes, ears, nose, mouths, fingers and toes that infants begin to explore and interact with people and things. For the early months, bring home a variety of playthings that stimulate their senses. Some of these are tried and true classics while others are new or updates of classics. Click here for basic gear your horizontal baby needs:
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.
Stephanie shared some of the hot new trends from the International Toy Fair with NBC's Willie Geist and guest host Steve Harvey on the TODAY Show. Check out what got their attention! For more details on the products discussed visit Stephanie's blog.
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.
We hope everyone had a happy holiday! Our award winners cover all age groups and every budget - and are good all year round! To see our complete list of award winners, click here. Stephanie shared some of the toyportfolio.com's Platinum Award winners with TODAY Show's Willie Geist.
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
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.
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