New Reviews and Articles

Without Getting Pushy!
Tags: Preschoolers, Preschool Games, Pretend Play, Building Sets, Construction Toys
Posted: 2012-09-28 18:38:50 By: Joanne Oppenheim

School skills in preschool? Sounds ridiculous. In fact for most of us, preschool was not about academic skills.  We were introduced to some concepts, but it was really more about learning how to be part of a group.  Today's preschoolers have a heavier diet of academic skills...colors, numbers, letters, etc. Here are some ways of helping that are age appropriate.

Developing Important Skills for School Through Play
Tags: Building Patience, Frustration, Building Sets, Puzzles, Lego, K'nex
Posted: 2010-01-10 19:45:21 By: Joanne Oppenheim

For kids it often comes as a shock that learning to read does not come instantly; neither does writing or remembering your multiplication tables. It still takes a full year for your birthday to roll around, you can't make Christmas come until December 25th, and a new tooth doesn't come in until it's ready. Helping kids deal with delays and frustration are major life lessons that they will need in school, work and as members of a family.

So how can we give this powerful virtue to our kids?

Toy and Play Ideas
Tags: Snow Day, Rainy Day, Crafts, Games, Puppets, Garage
Posted: 2009-09-13 18:07:33 By: Stephanie Oppenheim

Faced with a rainy day or a day off from school...and you start hearing the refrain..."We're bored!!"  No worries--we have some great ideas for entertaining the troops. Here are some of our favorites.

As Featured on the TODAY Show
Tags: Today Show, Playing, Games, Ann Curry
Posted: 2010-01-10 19:42:07 By: Stephanie Oppenheim

Whether you have a crawling baby or a video game addicted tween, it's important to carve out space where you get to play together!  As silly as it sounds, with everyone's busy schedules play time often gets taken off the "to do" list.   While we spend so much time making sure that everyone is doing all their "work"...the time we spend laughing with our kids  is just as important.

As Featured on the TODAY Show
Tags: Today Show, Active Play, Outdoor Games
Posted: 2009-09-11 20:13:58 By: Stephanie Oppenheim

Looking for ideas for outdoor fun? Whether you are the "it" house in your neighborhood or if you're planning a family get together, we have some great games and equipment that can bring everyone together.

...sort of
Tags: ABCs, Educational Games, ABC Books, Alphabet
Posted: 2009-09-14 08:01:10 By: Joanne Oppenheim
Comments: Post the first

Learning the alphabet is one of those basic skills that children often learn by rote as they sing the classic Alphabet Song that ends with "Now I know my ABC's."  But knowing how to sing the letters does not mean they really do know their ABC's.

As Featured on the TODAY Show
Tags: Today Show, Recession Proof Toys, Games, Arts and Crafts, Balls
Posted: 2010-01-10 19:45:59
Comments: Post the first

To watch the segment, click here.

You can also read her daily blog about the good, bad and ugly in toyland.

Have a question about what's age appropriate? Join the discussion! Click here to view her blog.

As Featured on the TODAY Show
Tags: Educational Toys, Education Games, Science Kits, Building Sets, Egypt, Math Games, Today Show
Posted: 2010-01-10 19:43:01 By: Stephanie Oppenheim
Comments: Post the first

The beginning of the school year can be exciting for kids - new school supplies, seeing their friends..but it's also about the work.  Research shows that kids often slide backwards during the summer months.  The good news is that during the first few weeks of school, you're kids are also reviewing.  Since most of us are not trained educators, it's hard to know how to help without trying to step into that teacher role - that inevitably ends in tears. Here are some suggested games and activities that are fun to play - and at the same time reinforce academic skills. Read more.

Beyond The Three Pigs
Tags: humorous books, read aloud fun
Posted: 2009-10-19 16:28:38 By: Joanne Oppenheim
Comments: Post the first

It's hard to say just why pigs are such favorites in children's books. Who can forget The Three Little Pigs or Wilbur, the 'terrific' pig of Charlotte's Web or the very feisty Olivia? Here's a look at some of the new piggy tales for this season.

Tags: Making Dough, Preschool Activity, Arts and Crafts
Posted: 2009-09-17 19:22:03 By: Joanne and Stephanie Oppenheim

Of course you can buy ready made dough for your kids, but here's a recipe that makes it really easy to do at home.  Think of this activity as Science 101: kids will love getting their hands in the mix and making something they can then enjoy playing with once the mixture is complete! Talk about how the dry flour and salt change as you add water and oil. Store the dough in plastic wrap to keep it pliable when not in use.

It's easy to make: mix together 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of salt, a few drops of vegetable oil and enough water to form a ball. Food coloring or a splash of bright tempera paint can be added.


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