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.
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.
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.
Watch our segment on the TODAY SHOW November 10th!
Tags: Hot toys, NBC's Today Show
Posted: 2012-01-03 09:48:34
By: by Joanne and Stephanie Oppenheim
Hot toys are a big part of the news cycle this time of year. They tend to be toys that have been heavily promoted. The hype often leads to shortages and then more news stories! So if you find yourself with one of these toys on your child's holiday wish list, you may want to buy yours earlier rather than later. You'll see that Elmo is back and Star Wars LEGO holds the top spot in construction toys--they are joined by a flying shark, monsters, and interactive dancing toys.
Every year we see a lot of toys that are "refreshed" with just enough tweeking to make them feel almost new. We sometimes forget that to kids most things are new. It would be a shame if kids missed out on building blocks or crayons or trucks, just because they weren't invented yesterday. Don't be afraid to bring home some of the favorites you played with not so-o-o-o long ago. Here is a short list of some of this year's Blue Chip list.
There are lots of obvious choices for beginning readers. There are letter games, puzzles with the Alphabet, phonics games that help make connections between letter names and sounds. You can find many of the best on our lists. All of these reading game toys have their uses, but it's easy to overlook some of the most basic and fun activities that foster important language skills. These are the true underpinnings for launching a child on the road to reading. Read more
Posted: 2012-08-13 07:40:33
By: by Joanne and Stephanie Oppenheim
The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2011 Platinum Award winners were announced on the Today Show on September 27th. Watch Stephanie here.
We're delighted to announce the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Awards for 2011. (Click here to see complete list of award winners.) We congratulate the toy companies and their designers for producing award-winning products that engaged and entertained our toy testers. As always, we thank our dedicated family testers (all over the country) who take our process to heart. Once we have looked at toys in terms of whether they work, are fun, and are developmentally appropriate - the toys are then sent out to families for their feedback. These families join us in our mission: to take the guesswork out of finding quality playthings that will entertain your kids. With budgets tighter than ever, we know that no one wants to bring home a toy that is a waste of time or money. For those of you just discovering us, you should know that we do not take fees from toy companies. This has allowed us to be able to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly in toyland. You can click on the 2011 Award Page to view all of our winners including Platinum, Gold, Blue Chip and SNAP (Special Needs Adaptable Product) Awards.
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