Preschool

New Reviews and Articles

 
Important Learning Tools
Tags: puppets, dollhouse, role-play
Posted: 2012-04-19 11:42:36

We are always looking for toys that extend or inspire children's dramatic play. These are props that expand language and communication skills as well as develop imagination. Dramatic play allows children to step outside themselves and try on new roles. Here are a few of the early arrivals that our testers have rated high. Click here for reviews.

Books With Playful Connections
Tags: award winners
Posted: 2012-02-04 13:03:19 By: Joanne Oppenheim

We're delighted to announce the Read It! Play It! Award Winners for 2012. Books are a perfect springboard for inspiring creative games and craft activities. These titles best lend themselves to word games, dramatic play, story telling and art. Congratulations to the award winners!  Click here to see the books and games to play with the first of our Read It! Play It! Winners for 2012.

For your very own prince (or princess) that has trouble going to sleep!
Posted: 2013-07-29 11:24:20

We couldn't let this week go by without reminding you of Joanne's  The Prince's Bedtime  (which is appropriately being sold at the Buckingham Palace Gift Store!)  If you have or know a little one that has trouble getting to sleep, this is a must read! Even better, you can order your paperback copy now (it also comes with a audio CD narrated by Jim Boadbent) for only $9.99 by clicking here

Non Fiction for Beginners
Posted: 2012-01-10 13:20:48

Some children enjoy non-fiction more than the once-upon a time kinds of storybooks. They are hungry for information about the real world.  Here are a few good choices to buy or bring home from the library.

Science Learning Begins Early
Posted: 2012-08-13 09:30:57

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.

A Dozen Open-ended Toys
Tags: open-ended toys, construction, art materials, pretend play
Posted: 2011-11-12 14:42:14 By: Joanne Oppenheim

In a year when budgets are tight, choosing toys with long term play value is more important than ever. Almost all new toys are exciting when they come out of the box. The true test comes weeks later. We ask our testers to write to us two or more weeks after they arrive. We want to know if the toy they are testing is still being used and enjoyed. Most of the playthings that measure up in this test are open-ended toys. The best of these are not toys for watching, but rather those that involve active doing. Construction toys, art supplies, puppets, dolls, housekeeping props, miniature settings, and athletic equipment are among the classics that allow kids to shape their own games. Click here for 12 good open-ended choices.

Tags: Toys Under $20
Posted: 2011-11-02 12:51:25

Our list is full of fun games, activities, dolls, and other fun props for play. Here are 20 of our favorites for this year. Click here to read the reviews

For Every Age
Tags: classics, blue chip
Posted: 2011-11-03 09:55:55 By: Joanne Oppenheim

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.

New Classics in the Making
Tags: wooden toys, classics
Posted: 2011-10-26 10:06:09 By: Joanne Oppenheim

If you prefer the classic look and feel of wooden toys, you are not alone. Most have a longer play life since they avoid the toy dejour stamp of licensed characters; they are not tied into the latest movie or TV hit. Classic toys can be passed from one child to another, even one generation to the next. Click here for some of the best wooden toys on this year's list.

Toys That build Reading Skills
Tags: reading toys
Posted: 2011-10-03 13:34:04 By: Joanne Oppenheim


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

 

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