How to help your kids develop it
Posted: 2013-06-13 17:13:32 By: by Joanne Oppenheim


Kids need repeated experiences with small do-able tasks that build their abilities to cope with the fact that many things do not happen instantly. Bring home a parquetry set with patterns or puzzles with not too many pieces. Gradually build from simple puzzles to more complex ones. Select a small LEGO model that your child can realistically do alone or with a minimum of help. Introduce them to knitting, weaving, sewing; these are crafts that generally require more than one session to complete.

Here are a few toys that can really stretch their patience in positive ways...



2008 Awards
Parquetry Blocks and Cards
(Learning Resources $28.95 Score: )

Thirty-two geometric-shaped tiles are arranged on top of 20 colorful patterns. Advanced players can use tiles without the patterns. Develops skills in matching and sequencing patterns - skills that are also needed in putting letters together to make words. 5-8.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on




2012 Award
Bill & Betty Bricks
(Smart Games $24.99 Score: )

Using the wooden blocks shown on each puzzle, players progress from sort-of-easy to really challenging tasks of building the image shown with just the blocks shown. There are 9 blocks all together of varying fixed shapes. But fitting them together to replicate the image takes logic and spatial/visual perception...not to mention patience and stick-ability. This is a game that can be played solo or take turns if you like. There are 60 challenges at 5 different levels. They say 5-99. We think 5 year olds are going to need help.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on




2013 Award
Creativity for Kids The Complete Paper Jewelry Set
(Creativity for Kids $22.95 Score: )

Enough supplies for making over 200 paper beads! A splendid kit for learning the technique for making big and little paper beads with colorful patterned, solid colored papers. The kit includes two tools for making the beads, gel cord, paper flowers, seed beads, sequins, varnish, paint brush and stencils for making more bead papers. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on




2013 Award
Lego 3-in-1 Super Racer
(Lego Systems, Inc.  $16.99 Score: )

New to the clever Creator line of builds, this 121-piece set can be put together in three different versions: a quad bike, go-kart or racing car. These make terrific birthday gifts for all the parties your child attends. 6-12.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on




2013 Award
Janod Underwater World 100 Piece Puzzle
(Janod $19.99 Score: )

Handsomely packaged in a sturdy cardboard carrying case, this big 100-piece puzzle is challenging. The pieces are not overly large and there are lots of creatures in the sea. The horizon will offer good starting point clues, as will the bigger fish in the sea. They say 5-8. We think 5-6 will need a lot of help and the upper range will enjoy this more.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on




2013 Award
Creativity for Kids Paracord Wristbands
(Creativity for Kids $15.99 Score: )

Designed to appeal to boys, Paracord Wristbands involve macrame-type weaving with thick parachute cord. It comes with eight colors, buckles, stickers, scissors, glue, and clear instructions. There are enough supplies to make eight wristbands. Marked for 7 & up, but we think most boys of seven will not have the dexterity to do this. We'd say it's a better choice for 8-9's.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013.




2013 Award
Clifford the Big Red Dog Kitchen Science
(Scholastic $19.99 Score: )

One of a series of science kits for preschoolers. This one uses things found in the kitchen to make a volcano explosion, slime, crystals, fungus and more. The items in the kit include plastic test tubes, mini-volcano form, a small tank for making slime and other props. Best of all there is a wonderful step-by-step experiment book that will walk you through all these together activities. In the past, most of these experiments were more typically done with kindegarten, 1st and 2nd graders. That said, there is nothing in this kit that preschoolers will not enjoy trying. Clearly, this is not a solo toy, but rather a chance to explore together. They have also done a Bubble Science Kit and Rainbow Science. These are available at PBS Kids site and the Scholastic site. As of this writing they were not elsewhere. Marked for 3+, we think they make more sense with 5+.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013.




2013 Award
eeBoo 3 Juggling Balls
(eeBoo $18.95 Score: )

Three fabric covered balls to learn to juggle with. It comes with a poster that starts you out with juggling one ball, then two and finally, lot of luck--three! A fun choice for active play that challenges dexterity and eye hand in a BIG-G-G way!
8 & up

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2013.




2012 Award
Origami Studio Book & DVD
(Michael G. LaFosse, Tuttle Publishing $16.99 Score: )

Tuttle has been the publisher of the best Origami books for years. Now they have taken it to the next level by packaging it along with a DVD that can be stopped and started as you work step by step to follow and learn all the folds. In no time you and your child will be able to make fish, flapping birds, butterflies,  boxes--among so many other shapes. Use these to decorate the house for the holidays. Use them for a fun way to refine visual and fine motor skills along with patience all with fun payoffs. The kit comes with 70 sheets of colorful origami paper. This is so much better than a book and paper alone.  It's a book, a DVD, and a craft kit all in one. The DVD holds your hand and makes this ancient art form easier than ever!

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on


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

Copyright 1995-2015


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.