PLATINUM AWARD: EARLY SCHOOL

March 30, 2020

(Mindware  $13.95)

Young dino-holics are going to love this big T-Rex floor puzzle with its shiny foil accents. When it's all together, the giant meat eater will be 2 X 3 feet big. The fifty-one thick sturdy puzzle pieces include seven die-cut dinosaurs that fit into the bigger puzzle. KIds will recognize Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and several other familiar dinos.  Comes in a sturdy storage box with cord handle.

Ages:...

November 29, 2019

(Goliath $24.05)

We gave this a test run with our 4 year old Thanksgiving player. We have to say, this was a blast...with requests to play again! It was a late arrival but we're upgrading the award to Platinum. A good way to win over reluctant game players. This one is active enough and the rules are simple enough—with plenty of chances to win as well as lose.  First you load the little bananas in the base of the tree and put t...

We are delighted to announce the Best Toys in the Early School Years Category for 2019. These toys have been awarded our top honor, the  Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award

Early School Years children like more complex building toys, puzzles, and games. They're also ready to use fine motor skills for crafts. they need toys for social and active play as well as quiet solo time. To read our full review of each toy click thro...

October 24, 2019

(Corolle $63.99)

Who wouldn’t love this doll carriage that collapses so it can easily go along on trips out of town or to the park. It has a bag for bottles, change of clothes and all the typical stuff a doll might need. The hood goes up and down, just like any real baby carriage should. It even has a storage compartment under the carriage for all those shopping trips and goodies needed for a day out. A very pink patterned fabr...

October 24, 2019

(Fisher-Price $67.99)

For kids in the transformer zone, this RC Batmobile is going to be THE toy of the season. It's a really big novelty toy with all the bells and whistles that make it a wow-wee kind of holiday gift. Kids can send Batman forward, back, right, left or spinning! If you want a toy that will get them off the screen and the couch, this will do it. Of course, novelty toys often have a short but intense play life. B...

October 17, 2019

(Creativity for Kids $14.99)

No messy glue is needed to make very pretty gem studded stickers and sun catchers. The kit comes with a dozen holographic stickers and two larger sun catchers. A stylus, loaded with a tip full of wax, is used to pick up the little gemstones and place them on the stickers. This calls for fine motor skills and patience with rewarding payoff. Once they get the technique, it's an easy and pleasing proje...

October 17, 2019

(Osmo $19.99)

Fans of Frozen II are going to love this new game for their Osmo platform (not included with the game).  Kids use a sketchpad with wipe-off markers to draw details that are then animated on the screen. Its coloring book, too, with buttons that fill in color to the player’s drawings. Of course, you need your own tablet and the Osmo base to play. We generally prefer art materials that allow children to draw from the...

October 13, 2019

(American Girl $150.00)

This is a working pinball machine, scaled for their American Girl doll, but totally playable by kids (and their parents). The graphics are pure 70's and just what the Julie American Girl would have played while waiting for a pizza order. Julie doll does not come with this pinball machine, she's sold separately. We suspect it will be enjoyed by any of the other dolls and the lucky girl who gets it.The dig...

October 13, 2019

(American Girl $150.00)

The ultimate accessory for their American Girl doll! A bowling alley complete with a working score board, a wooden lane, ten motorized bowling pins, and gutters that balls can roll down with adjustable bumpers for practicing. It comes with glittery bowling shoes, pearly bowling balls that strap onto the dolls hands,  and special glow in the dark bowling shirts for their dolls, a snack bar with menu for s...

October 7, 2019

(Mattel $30.00)

The first major gender neutral doll collection comes from the land of Barbie and Ken. Unlike the iconic (and frankly, unattainable) Barbie we grew up with, this is a collection that are meant to be children. There are six introductory sets that are multicultural - and come with one doll, a wig and a full wardrobe of clothes and accessories. The inclusiveness of this collection is notable. Barbie has also gone th...

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