Later School Years

New Reviews and Articles

 
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.

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.

Posted: 2012-10-24 14:08:00 By: by Joanne Oppenheim

Dolls are classic gifts that fill a special place in the imaginary life of children. To toddlers and preschoolers, a doll or stuffed animal can be a comfort to hold onto in tight situations, or an imaginary playmate that will listen and take orders. For older children, a doll or action figure can be a far more elaborate character in their pretend play. Dolls from history, fashion figures or action heroes can be used for trying on grown up roles or making up imaginary adventures.  Dolls are not one-size-fits all

2012 SNAP AWARDS
Tags: special needs,
Posted: 2012-10-25 17:04:36 By: Joanne Oppenheim


Shopping for kids with special needs can be challenging but not daunting. To simplify we look for ordinary toys that you can adapt to build skills while they are having fun. Keep in mind that kids want toys that are like their siblings and you want to bring home toys that play to their strengths. Check all of our lists. Go to Search at the top of the home page and check the SNAP box and enter the year. We have dozens of SNAP items for 2012, but check out 2011 as well. Many of our SNAP reviews have games and adaptation suggestions. Here are a handful of our favorites.

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.

Index to Toy Reviews By Category

 

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