If you would like a change of pace from your tried and true (and still great) Monopoly, Candyland, and Scrabble, have we got good news for you! This was the year of innovative games. Try these for now and stay tuned, more games to come. Click here to find some of the top picks of the season.
Tags: building toys build skills, dexterity, math concepts, eye hand coordination, creativity, imagination, language
Posted: 2011-09-22 12:34:16
By: Joanne Oppenheim
Construction toys are more than fun. They are basic gear for many important kinds of learning. Age appropriate building toys change as children grow from toddlers to teens. Click here to see the review.
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.
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.
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...
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).
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:
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.
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