Later School Years

New Reviews and Articles

 
Tags: Meet the Toymakers, Sam Ritchey, THINKFUN, Rush Hour, APPS
Posted: 2011-09-06 16:08:17 By: Stephanie Oppenheim

I met with Bill Ritchie and Andrea Barthello, co-founders (and husband and wife) of THINKFUN games to discuss their new line-up of games for 2011.  We've been reviewing their games since we started the Toy Portfolio. We were catching up - discussing our kids.  Bill and I both went to Wesleyan (different years but both with very fond memories).  I was really interested to hear that their son Sam is now developing APPs based on  THINKFUN games.  Try Rush Hour -- it's addictive.  So I asked if I could interview Sam (in photo)  about how it feels to be the second generation in his family's business and working with his folks. His answers would make anyone laugh (and make any parent proud). Read our interview.

Science Books for Young Readers
Tags: bugs, dinosaurs, tadpoles, experiments, aquatic creatures
Posted: 2011-07-07 10:53:32 By: Joanne Oppenheim

For many of us, the thought of science books is a reminder of some old boring textbooks we "had" to read. Forget about that. Click here for some of the new choices books for young scientists in the making.

Creative Learning Time
Tags: crafts, summer fun
Posted: 2011-09-22 12:46:59 By: Joanne Oppenheim

Crafts are a perfect way to keep kids busy and at the same time develop their ability to follow written directions, use their imagination, and stay with a task to completion. This season we've received some new and updated craft kits that are sure to engage your kids creativity. Click here for some of the best crafty choices.

Get Your Kids Moving!
Tags: Active Physical Play, Toddlers, Preschoolers, Early School, NBC's TODAY SHOW
Posted: 2011-09-22 12:36:26 By: by Stephanie

We love this time of year!  Your kids pull on last summer's play clothes--and they soon discover how much they have grown.  During the course of the year, you'll also notice that the "growing up" goes way beyond the notch on the family growth chart.  A year older also means that they'll approach play differently.  Your now sure-footed toddler is ready to just go, go, go. Your four year old can now play a game that would have been frustrating and tear-producing just a year ago.  Your five year old who enjoyed pretend play with his whole body may now have a new found fascination in miniature play figures.   Here are some of our new favorite toys that promote active play.  Click here to read the article. You can also watch Stephanie with MSNBC's Tamron Hall on NBC's TODAY SHOW from June 17th by clicking on the video below... 

 

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

...without being a drill master
Tags: School Skills, Science games, Math Games, Geography, Today Show
Posted: 2011-09-22 12:46:29 By: by Stephanie Oppenheim

Are you finding that your child is having trouble with math? science? geography? reading? sticking with a task? How to help without causing conflict in your house can be tricky. The key is to remind your child that learning can be fun - and give them opportunities to be successful learners in more playful settings.  Stephanie was on NBC's TODAY Show on April 6th to discuss some of the toyportfolio.com's top  solutions with Ann Curry. Click here to read the article. Watch the Segment, by clicking here.  

Watch Stephanie's bird calling (right before the segment).

Posted: 2011-03-30 12:00:19

Floating over head at Toy Fair, flying fish!  From William Mark Co.

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: 

Stephanie's segment on the TODAY SHOW
Tags: Toys at Every Budget, NBC's TODAY Show
Posted: 2011-03-30 12:06:07

The good news is that there are great toys this year for every budget. Our Platinum and Gold Award list is chock full of construction sets, props for pretend, dolls, games, remote control vehicles (and bugs) and craft kits.  If you missed Stephanie's segment on NBC's TODAY Show, you can watch it here.  To read about the products featured in the segment, click here. Of course this is only a small selection of our award winners--please be sure to take a look at all of our winners for 2010!  For a behind the scenes look at the segment, read Stephanie's blog.

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.

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.

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