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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted: 2012-08-13 07:40:33
By: by Joanne and Stephanie Oppenheim
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.
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...
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