Preschool

New Reviews and Articles

 
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

Tags: Awards, Today Show
Posted: 2012-08-13 07:40:33 By: by Joanne and Stephanie Oppenheim

Stephanie on Today 2011 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.  

  - All our best, Joanne & Stephanie

Making Playful Connections to School Skills
Posted: 2011-09-23 12:55:59 By: Joanne Oppenheim

The connections between play and school skills are real. This is a short list and doesn't include the important pretend, art, and building toys that develop language, dexterity, creative thinking and so many other skills that have important learning connections. So check those lists out as well. Click here to find some games and toys that build math, pre-reading and memory skills.

Index to Audio Reviews By Category

 

Products for Infants
Products for Toddlers
Products for Preschoolers
Products for Early School Years
Products for Later School Years
Twitter   Facebook     YouTube 

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio - All Rights Reserved. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Award are Registered Trademarks of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio.


Instructions for submitting product to the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio for review.

 

 

Contact the Toyportfolio by phone at (212) 598-0502 or by email at Webmaster@Toyportfolio.com.

Copyright 1995-2014

 

Products reviewed by the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio are provided by the manufacturer at their cost. The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio does not require or accept fees for reviewing products.