Later School Years

New Reviews and Articles

 
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Learning Takes Root
Posted: 2013-11-18 08:40:15 By: by Joanne Oppenheim

Worried about the reports that our kids are falling behind in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics? Recent studies by Georgetown University Center on Education indicate we need to be concerned and doing something to get our kids ready to compete in a technology-driven world marketplace. Want to know how the toys you choose can spark your sons' and daughters' interests and skills that lead to life-long STEM skills they need?  Read more.

Look at the Toy...not just the license
Tags: licensed items, familiar characters.
Posted: 2013-10-11 16:50:06 By: by Joanne Oppenheim

Licensed toys are often short lived. Many are more like souvenirs of a movie or TV series. Since the toymaker has to pay extra for the license, they are often a bit pricier and as the movie fades, like most toys de jour, they tend to lose their appeal. The truth is, a Mickey Mouse puppet is no more educational than any other puppet. It may be easier for a child to play scenes with characters they know, but a puppet made from a paper bag may invite more original story-telling, language, and imagination than premade characters. As with most things, we are not absolutists. We prefer to look at the toy itself rather than the license.

This season we found quite a few well-known licensed toys that have play value. Click here to see some worth considering.

Featured on NBC's TODAY Show
Posted: 2013-10-17 18:40:35

Many of the top toys of the year are not just fun, but they provide your kids with valuable play experiences that can help build their language skills,  confidence, ability to weave stories, follow instructions, and stay with a challenging task. The good news is that many of these toys will not break the bank.  Click here to take a look at just a few of our favorites for the year

A Few Choice Ways to Play the Numbers Game
Posted: 2013-10-04 08:36:51

Meaningless counting skills are often offered on crib toys that look more educational than they turn out to be. We're always on the look out for games and toys that build children's true understanding of number concepts with concrete experiences. Click here for a few new products that do just that for preschoolers, early school grades and beyond.

Featured on NBC's TODAY Show
Posted: 2013-11-18 08:39:53 By: by Stephanie and Joanne Oppenheim

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

  Ever wonder how to encourage your kids to explore concepts that may lead to fulfilling career opportunities? We realized that many of the most interesting toys we've reviewed this year may spark some ideas for that age-old question of what to do when you're all grown up. Click here to check out our suggestions.  Stephanie stopped in at the Today Show to discuss these top-rated toys.

These products are also a sneak peek of our Platinum Awards for 2013 - the entire list will be announced next month!

How to help your kids develop it
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!

As Seen on NBC's TODAY Show
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.

Watch our fun segment from TODAY!

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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.

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.

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
Twitter   Facebook     YouTube 

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio - All Rights Reserved. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Award are Registered Trademarks of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio.


Instructions for submitting product to the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio for review.

 

 

Contact the Toyportfolio by phone at (212) 598-0502 or by email at Webmaster@Toyportfolio.com.

Copyright 1995-2014

 

Products reviewed by the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio are provided by the manufacturer at their cost. The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio does not require or accept fees for reviewing products.