Attention Science Teachers: Physics and Art!

October 5, 2010

Hasbro's Play-Doh 3-D Flash Art

We were really blown away by the Hasbro Play-Doh 3-D Flash Art.  It wasn’t until I tested it with two high school students (both having just finished AP Physics) that I fully appreciated how cool this toy is and how useful it would be in any science class. Watch the video and you’ll see how art is a beautiful display of science! Read our complete review.

Watch the video.


Toy Fair 2010: LEGO DUPLO

February 16, 2010

We started the day at LEGO – always fun.  LEGO Duplo is the line designed as an entry point for older toddlers and preschoolers.  New for 2010:  a bigger  bucket–we consider this basic gear for preschoolers.

DUPLO BUCKET

The big new theme is a farm…

LEGO DUPLO FARM

There’s also a new set that includes numbers as an added feature.

LEGO’s  Julie Stern, always a pleasure to work with– took us through the showroom. Watch the video.


My favorite toy…so far/ sing-a-majigs

February 14, 2010

Fisher-Price's Sing-a-majigs!

We saw the Sing-a-majigs at toy fair preview last month and we weren’t allowed to talk about them. It’s like being told what your best friend is getting for their birthday — and not being able to tell for weeks.  So we were really excited today to see them again.

I thought maybe we had romanticized them…yes, at this point you can say–it’s a toy, get over it. But hey, this is what we do for a living. So when a really fun and innovative toy comes along–we get excited.

I’m happy to report that these cute little dolls (that will retail for a reasonable $12.99 each) are just about the best thing going. They babble to each other, they sing together and perhaps most remarkably they harmonize!  AND they’re easy to make work.

Watch the video.


Pick of the Day: Leapfrog’s TAG and TAG Junior

December 11, 2009

If you’re looking for a high tech learning toy this season, we high recommend Leapfrog’s TAG and TAG Junior reading systems.  Both marry technology with collections of award winning books. Do they replace reading a book with your child? Of course not–but they will encourage your kids to explore and “read” books on their own.

Full review and shopping info for both

TAG Reading System

TAG Junior Reading System

We’d skip their My Pal Scout–this is designed to be an interactive pet for toddlers.  We found him to be less than huggable and the skills he’s meant to teach are better taught with real life experiences.  All of the current interactive, downloadable dolls on the market pale in comparison to the old Actimates from Microsoft.  Their original Barney really became Barney for little children. It was truly magical to watch kids interact with this doll.  This doll doesn’t  compare.


Adapting Toys for Kids with Special Needs

December 10, 2009

Interesting video about the work they’re doing at Ohio State University Medical Center for children with special needs.  They have a toy library where toys have been adapted to better suit the needs of kids that come to their center.  Watch the video

To find out if there is a toy library in your area, visit the USA Toy Library Association website.

For a list of toys that need little or no adapting, see our list of SNAP (Special Needs Adaptable Product) Award winners on our site at www.toyportfolio.com.

For a list of toys for kids with ADHD, read our article. To watch a video discussing the topic, click here.


Pick of the Day: Corolle’s Rag Doll

December 10, 2009

Corolle's Large Rag Doll

If you’re looking for a first doll for a baby or toddler, take a look at Corolle’s Rag Dolls–they are extremely huggable, sweet and soft.

Read our review.


Top high tech toys 2009

December 9, 2009

V Tech's Kidizoom Digital Camera Plus

Here are our some of favorites of the season– click on the name of the product to read our complete review at www.toyportfolio.com

For younger children:

LeapFrog Counting Candles (LeapFrog)

Two great cameras for 3s and up to enjoy:

Kidizoom Digital Camera Plus (V-Tech)

Disney Pix Jr Digital Camera (Disney)

If you have a child totally into cars, you need to look at:

Doodle-Track Cars (Day Dream Toys)

For kids  8 & up:

MindFlex Game (Mattel)

Nanos (Hexbug)

Eye Clops Night Vision Binoculars (Jakks Pacific)

For really advanced builders:

Mindstorm (Lego)