Early School Years

New Reviews and Articles

International Playthings' new Ecotronic Mr. Robot Head
Tags: International Playthings, Ecotronic Robot
Posted: 2009-10-26 14:31:29

Read our Review of this new novelty toy!

Tags: Jean Marzollo, Susan Jeffers
Posted: 2009-10-19 16:27:53 By: by Stephanie Oppenheim

Two of our favorite authors/artists, Jean Marzollo and Susan Jeffers, are really good friends. 


So when I discovered through an email that they were painting together on vacation, I suggested that they interview each other for our new feature.  There was a lot of back and forth on how to proceed (after all these are two incredibly talented artists!)...and so it was eventually determined that I would interview them both.  They shared their answers. 

Read the interview

When trucks don't hit it off
Tags: Matchbox, Tonka, Mattel, Hasbro
Posted: 2010-01-10 19:41:55 By: by Stephanie Oppenheim

Matchbox Monty a bit bored by Tonka Chuck...

What to look for and our top picks
Tags: Toys for Kids with ADHD, Tips for Shopping for Kids with ADHD
Posted: 2012-12-11 15:27:41 By: by Stephanie Oppenheim and Joanne Oppenheim
Comments: Post the first

If you have a child with ADHD on your gift list, finding the right toy can feel more challenging. Here are our basic guidelines to keep in mind when you're shopping.  Our recommendation is to share these tips with family members!  We also have listed some of our favorites. Click here to read more.

Tags: eeBoo, Games and Puzzles, Mia Galison
Posted: 2009-10-06 18:39:15 By: Stephanie Oppenheim
Comments: Post the first

eeBoo is one of our favorite game and puzzle companies. Founder Mia Galison has brought some of today's top illustrators to the world of boardgames and puzzles. As a result the products have a lovely retro feel to them. While so many games have cartoonish looks--these are happily and decidedly artistic. The art is married with games that are age appropriate for preschoolers and early school age kids. Read the interview.

Stephanie's segment on the TODAY SHOW
Tags: Today Show, Best Educational Toys
Posted: 2011-04-02 15:04:10
Comments: Post the first

Stephanie appeared this morning on the Today Show with Natalie Morales and shared some of the year's best educational toys that help build important skills - featuring products from Lego, Blue Orange Games, Playmobil, Leapfrog, Silver Dolphin, Eeboo, I Can Do That Games, Briarpatch, Gamewright and Citiblocks. 


You can watch her here! The full article with details on all the products she demonstrated can be found at our site.

Helping Your Child with Handwriting
Tags: Handwriting skills, Fine Motor skills, Penmanship
Posted: 2010-01-10 19:41:45 By: by Joanne Oppenheim

Now that school is in full swing, many parents grow increasingly concerned about their child's handwriting. For some kids, they have the fine motor skills early on---for others it seems as if they are practicing to be a doctor!  Here are some tips for helping your child develop better handwriting skills. You may be surprised by what's on our list.

Make it Hands On
Tags: Science toys
Posted: 2010-01-10 19:42:29
Comments: Post the first

One of the best ways to excite kids about science is to make it a hands-on experience. Here are some of  our favorite picks. Many require some adult involvement - providing a chance to make discoveries together.  Others give you an opportunity to talk about the wonders of nature. Read more here.

A conversation with Jodi Norgaard, Founder of Dream Big Toy Company
Tags: Go! Go! Sports Girls, Dream Big Toy Company, Jodi Norgaard, Pretend Play, Dolls
Posted: 2010-01-10 19:43:59 By: by Stephanie Oppenheim
Comments: Post the first

As part of our new Meet the Toy Makers series, we turned our attention to the land of dolls...

Jodi Norgaard recently launched  Dream Big Toy Company (a great name!)...so we asked her about her journey... and how she came to create a fun line of dolls called Go! Go! Sports Dolls. Read the interview.


An interview with Jacobe Chrisman of I Can Do That Games!
Tags: Jacobe Chrisman, I Can Do That Games!, Dr. Seuss
Posted: 2010-10-14 17:20:16 By: by Stephanie Oppenheim
Comments: Post the first

Ever dream of being a toy maker? Quit your day job and come up with concepts that delight and entertain children?  I'm often asked how to get into the toy business. Since my own route was so unplanned and unexpected...I thought it would be interesting to ask leading entrepreneurs and designers how they got where they are today.  Today's feature is on Jacobe Chrisman, the CEO of I Can Do That Games! 

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