Mindware Q-BA Maze 2.0 Rocket Set

(Mindware $259.99) A big birthday coming up ? Looking for a gift for the family to work on and play with later? Here you go! Like Rome, this probably won't be built in a day... with 330 a-MAZE-ing pieces, it comes with 4 light-up cubes, 4 speed sprockets, 4 coaster tubes, 4 cascade stilts, 1 roto catcher, 1 marble vortex, 1 spiral sphere, 16 marble catchers, 262 colorful cubes and 40 steel marbles with a storage bag! Our testers built this in parts and then assembled the final rocket ship. You probably need a dedicated playroom for this to stand tall for any length of time...and after you build it you won't want to take it down soon. SO be forewarned; this is huge and totally amazing! You do

eeBoo Koala Bounce Game

(eeBoo $21.99) Players move their koala playing pieces from branch to branch after they draw a card that tell them what color, number, or shape they should land on. But watch out! If a koala lands where your koala is resting, you’re going to have to bounce off and give that player any one of the cards you have collected. AND you don’t want to draw an OOPS card or you bounce down to the ground and have to give the player to your right can take any one of your cards! (Our tester family left this card out, feeling that taking cards away from other players could make for some bad feelings. The game works perfectly well without that distraction. ) Players get to keep the cards they draw and win

eeBoo Climate March Puzzles

(eeBoo) If you’re eager to build climate awareness early on —you’ll like the handsome 500-piece round puzzle, Climate March ($21.99) or 100-piece puzzle($16.99), Climate Action, illustrated with multicultural men, women, and children holding up signs reminding us to change our ways! We know mottos are only words and most important lessons are taught by example. That said, this puzzle designed by illustrator Petra Braun, brings the message home. Choose the challenging 500-piece round version or an easier 100 piece rectangle with larger pieces for younger hands. Either way, you have a springboard to talk about the things we can all do to care for Mother Earth—our home. As one of the signs says

Word Witt Game

(Word Witt $26.95) We really enjoyed this innovative word play game with or without the timer. It’s not Boggle and it’s not Scrabble...it is its own fresh new format. Word WItt is easy to learn and challenging good fun. One player tosses the three vowel cubes and then turns up the consonant card, flip the timer and everyone starts writing! The object is to find as many words as you can using the vowels and consonants on the card before time is up. With simple scoring, players get one point for every word of four letters or less and two points for words five letters or more. (There is a more complex scoring possibility for more advanced players.) Since our players were older we added a rule b

Creativity for Kids Hide and Seek Paint, Pour Rocks

(Creativity for Kids $13.99) Do this fun craft kit outside, while the weather is good. Pouring paint is a novel way to decorate the 10 natural river rocks that come clean and ready. Use a little of two or more of the 4 bottles of paint to create a marble like finish. Once they dry add on of the metallic galaxy transfers for a starry finishing touch. Our tester was thrilled with the final look. Use them for a scavenger hunt or as small paper weight gifts. A good kit for sleep over party, with enough supplies for a small group and an overnight for the paint to dry. The kit includes a good supply along with the rocks, paint, they'll find silver metallic transfers, a sticker sheet, paper cups,

Mindware PYO Dinosaur Garden

(Mindware $25.95) A fun activity that two budding paleontologists can do together. They can paint the four stone figurines: a dinosaur, volcano, mountainside cave, and a rutted pathway. Next, they’ll need you to bake their creations to make them weather-proof. Then they can create a small forest in a corner of your garden or inside if you have no garden. The kit comes with 12 pots of paint and one paintbrush. These are purely decorative pieces, not designed for rough active play, since the stone may break. 8 & up Ages:Older Early School. Tweens Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

Dig It Up! Giant Gem Discovery Kit

(Mindware $29.95) Dig in to uncover a dozen different and genuine gemstones in this giant piece of geode. Kids will find gems such as jasper, amethyst, and tiger's eye. They can learn to identify their gems using the gem identification poster that includes scientific, historical and mythological facts. The image here shows a child with glasses...there are no safety glasses in this kit. Mindware's Digs are not like most dusty digs. Instructions say to soak the big gem in a bowl or sink and then chip away with the chisel. In fact, this kit comes with two chisels so it can be a cooperative project. For beginning rock-hounds, this is a great way to jumpstart their collector’s bug and an interest

Math Games for Beginners

Preschoolers begin by counting by rote, usually without any real understanding of the meaning of the words they chant. Putting out napkins on the table for each person, counting how many cookies are needed for each teddy bear at the tea party, counting the steps as you climb the stairs...all give meaning to what we mean by two, three, four, and more. Games also bring understanding, as they spin a number or roll a die and make the matching number of moves. We’ve selected some fun games for reinforcing counting...through play and repetition. Click the name of the games to see our full reviews. eeBoo's Puppy Fuffle Game Goliath Banana Blast eeBoo's Giant Shiny Dominoes Home Learning Big Top Gam

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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.