Later School Years

New Reviews and Articles

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.

Watch our segment from the TODAY SHOW
Tags: Today Show, Olympics, London Olympics 2012, toys, geography, APPS, Games
Posted: 2012-08-13 14:31:13 By: by Stephanie and Joanne Oppenheim

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The Olympics are the perfect opportunity to make a connection for your kids that they are part of a global community.  Watch Stephanie from the TODAY SHOW on how to make the most of the Olympics with your kids.

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....

Our segment from the TODAY SHOW
Tags: Today Show, Spring Toys, Active Play, Construction Toys, Science, Games
Posted: 2012-08-13 14:32:48

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Our testers have been busy at work since the new toys started arriving for 2012. Wondering how the new LEGO FRIENDS did with our testers?  Or what kind of games you can bring home to build your child's ability to problem solve?  What kind of toys match your toddler's new mobility?  Which science toys are worth your child's time?  We have it covered.

Click here to see our ratings/reviews.  Stephanie shared the top toys for spring with the TODAY Show's Savannah Guthrie on April 24th.

Click here to read Stephanie's Behind the Scenes blog.

Science Learning Begins Early
Posted: 2012-08-13 09:30:57

When you think of science toys if the first thing that comes to mind is a chemistry set - think again! If your eyes glaze over at the thought of science kits as boring old learning toys, blame that on the past and take a fresh look! Children have a natural curiosity for toys, books, and films that involve science and discovery. Wake up your wonder and theirs with these science activities. This is the time of year to
1- Bring in some branches of forsythia and watch it bloom.
2- Plant some seeds or bulbs and watch them take off on the windowsill.
3- Do some cooking and talk about how substances change and what causes them to do so.
4- Inspect snowflakes with a magnifying glass.
5- Add some white paint to the easel and have kids mix up some pastels paints.
6- Click Here for some great new and classic choices to keep that enthusiasm alive and well.

Watch our segment on the TODAY SHOW
Posted: 2012-08-13 07:35:48

We believe there are basic gear toys for each age group. These toys are developmentally appropriate for each stage and  are the type of toys that your children will come back to time and again. Given that we spend so much money in the toy stores this time of year, it's important to bring home a wide-variety of playthings that will keep them engaged long after the holidays are over. We took the added challenge of preparing a list of toys all under $100, most under $40.  You can watch Stephanie on Today Show from December 13th by clicking the link below.  And for all the complete reviews and shopping information, click here.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tags: Toys Under $20
Posted: 2011-11-02 12:51:25

Our list is full of fun games, activities, dolls, and other fun props for play. Here are 20 of our favorites for this year. Click here to read the reviews

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Products for Toddlers
Products for Preschoolers
Products for Early School Years
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