GOLD SEAL AWARD: TODDLERS

June 26, 2020

(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...

June 26, 2020

(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...

May 26, 2020

(Corolle $29.94)

A first doll, 12 “ Swan Royale, comes dressed in a pink romper that cannot be removed, except for her headband which is removable but firmly attached at the back of her neck so it won’t go missing. The headband has a bow, that matches her shoes and ruffled collar. She has vinyl hands and head with eyes that do not open and shut ( for safety). With her soft huggable body and vanilla scent she is just right for o...

April 7, 2020

(Mindware $17.99)

Designed for toddlers, Duck, Duck, Dance is an active cooperative game for parents and child. There are no winners or losers, only lots of shared giggles, wiggles, and turn taking. There are several ways to play the game, all involving gross motor activities—and each slightly more complex than the last. In the simplest game, player have a turn to roll the pictorial dice and then do the dance move shown by the...

April 3, 2020

(Fat Brain $19.99)

We’ve written about other Fat Brain dimpl toys. This newest variation has smaller dimples and no doubt require little fingers, rather than the whole hand to push and press the silicone bubbles to move. So this calls for finer motor skills. It also has some academic add-ons. On one side the bubbles are embossed with the numerals form 1-10 plus the word for the matching numeral. Flip it and the words are writte...

April 2, 2020

(Fat Brain  $19.98)

Fit the three textured tracks onto the wobbly tower...put them in any order. Put one ball on top and zip-zap, wiggle-wobble it runs down the track! Not only does the tower wobble, the sound of the balls on the textured track also add to the fun. Toddlers use fine motor skills and little lessons in cause and effect as they drop the balls onto the track. When the fun is done, the balls are stored inside t...

April 2, 2020

(Mindware $17.95)

Crafted of solid hardwood and painted with water-based finish that is non-toxic and BPA-Free, Babu’s new Tilt and Spin is designed for two-handed play. Toddlers grasp the handles and as they tilt the toy the beads slide and the spinner in the middle twirls along its track. Tilt and Spin is fun way for toddlers to learn about cause and effect as they develop their fine motor skills. A good toy for sensory learn...

April 1, 2020

(Fat Brain $29.95)

Our tester family loved the sound of the jingly chime bells built into the round bottom bowl that rocks as toddlers experiment with this clever toy. Take a pin out—put a pin in and the sweet sounding bells tinkle. Put them in to stand tall or turn them over and the tall pins sink into the bowl, becoming ball-like bumps. Play a matching game—put the color pins into the matching holes in the bowl. Toddlers will...

March 30, 2020

(Peaceable Kingdom $17.95)

Who doesn't love a picnic? Here's a perfect picnic basket loaded with plates, a cloth to spread on the ground, and an assortment of foods in three different shapes and colors. Each player gets a plate and takes turns digging into the basket to find one of the three shapes to fill his dish. OR turn the plates over and players take turns pulling out a food of three different colors. There's no race to b...

March 24, 2020

(Mudpuppy $14.99)

You’ll find six thick and sturdy puzzle boards with one shaped puzzle piece—the baby animal—that must be fitted into the big scene. Kids match the babies to the parent on each board. Introduce one board at a time and talk about the scene. A good chance to introduce the names of baby animals and their parents. Add some sounds and maybe a story. These are marked 1-3 although we think discovering how to turn the...

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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.