eeBoo Dogs at Play 100-Piece Puzzle

(eeBoo $16.99) Young dog-lovers are going to love this 100-piece puzzle. They can hunt and count how many dogs romping in the park...but first they will need to use their problem problem skills to put the puzzle together. Sticking to a project , dealing with minor frustration and problem solving are important school skills that puzzles can help build. Ages: Early School Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

Mindware Academy Squishy Ball Lab

(Mindware $25.95) We don't often do slime toys, but this is no ordinary silly slime mess. Yes, the pre-measured packets spill into a container and produce slime. But the fun and learning just begin here. There are clear instructions for ten different experiments that lead to creating ballon filled squishy balls that introduce kids to some basic concepts that stretch the imagination and curiosity. It gives them concrete ( if slippery hands-on) chemistry experience with how material can change from liquid to semi-solid. It's an introduction to the science density and mass. The end products are not intended for tossing around or active play. Squeeze them, yes, but gently does it. They are jus

Brio Builder Record and Play Set

(Brio $39.99) Our five-year old tester did a lot of FaceTime calls to show off the talking Robot he and his dad built. This wasn't his first Brio Builder kit—but it is his favorite. He already knew how to use the tools to assemble this classic wooden building set, but this one has added dimension—sound! A battery operated record and play feature allowed him to add his own special voice effects to the robot he built and motor sounds of his own making to his. airplane. The set comes with 68 pieces: play components, the recorder, tools and ideas for aspiring engineers. Once mastered, these are likely to be used for new and original structures. It's a real hands-on STEM toy and one with potentia

Mindware Q-BA Maze 2.0 Mega Lights Set

(Mindware $104.95) Art meets science and construction play! Combining the cubes, light-up cubes, rails and marble catchers in unlimited configurations. An open-ended kit for discovering ways to set the motion-activated lights to flash as marbles pass through the multiple mazes kids can design. Kids will need to use their critical thinking skills, as well as trial and error to create new structures. It’s hands on physics, engineering, and problem solving. A fun way to refine fine motor skills as well as stick-ability. Marked 6 and up...that will work with a parent assistant. Otherwise this is a better bet for older early school years and tweens. Ages: Early School Years, Tweens Oppenheim Toy

Mindware Babu Rollers

(Mindware $25.95) Three chunky little cars with interchangeable blocks that transform them into a camper, tow truck, or pickup—with a lot of imagination. Designed for small hands, these three wooden bases come with six changeable tops. Colorful first wheeled toys for early dramatic play. The blocks take some dexterity to place on the rolling bases, so this is more appropriate for toddlers. Like other toys in this line, the wood is smooth, the colors are water-based and not going to chip off. If you don’t want plastic or metal, these are for you. 18 months and up. Ages: Toddlers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

MindWare Babu Wooden Baby Collection: Stacker Tower Toy

(Mindware $25.95) Cleverly designed, this looks like a stacking toy on a rod, but it’s much more open-ended than the traditional size order stacker. Individual pieces do fit on each other, but size order is not required. It can be stacked in a multitude of zany crocked towers. All the while babies and toddlers will make discoveries about balancing the slanted pieces. There’s no right or wrong way. Yes, it can be put together in a straight stack, but kids will like making more playful looking combinations. The solid hardwood is smooth and the water-based colors are not going to chip off. Marked for 6 months and up. We think older infants and toddlers will enjoy this more. A good 1st birthday

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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.