Five Perfect Toys for Toddlers

Finding toys for toddlers can be super challenging! They’ve outgrown their baby toys–but not quite ready yet for more complex toys geared to preschoolers.  The toys need to match their new found mobility and desire to do things again and again!

Here are just five of my favorites:

Little People Load ‘n Go Wagon (Fisher-Price)

Step 2 Basic Rhythms Piano (Step 2)

Playskool Clipo Creativity Table (Playskool)

Schylling Color Roller (Schylling)

Rollipop Toddler Starter and Advanced Sets (Edushape)

The full reviews are on our site,

Best Toddler Toy: Edushape's Rollipop

babyoliver_2039_55041116If you’ve spent any time with a two year old, you know they love to do the same thing over and over again. It’s through that repeititive play, that they develop their self confidence and sense of their own abilities. The other thing you know about toddlers is that finding toys for them can be really challenging.  They’ve outgrown their baby toys–and they’re  not really ready for most preschool toys with all of those pesky small parts that pose a safety risk.  They’re often more interested in seeing if they can climb on a toy  at this stage rather than play with it.  My son Adam did this with his first garage!

So just in case you’re looking for the perfect birthday present, I periodically like to recommend Edushape’s Rollipop ($24.95). We’re adding it to our list of Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Award winners – indicating that this great toy has been in the market place for more than five years and should not be missed just because it wasn’t invented yesterday!  The balls are big enough to be safe and they move through the toy slowly enough so that they can be tracked.  You can talk about colors as you play, but really just making something happen again and again is the biggest reward. We prefer this one to some of the other ball runs that have lots of noise–you really don’t need it!  Your child will add their own sound effects–promise!

Pick of the Day: Edushape Rollipop Starter Set

41dd7yon5fl_sl500_aa280_I’m often asked about the best toys for each age group. Without question one of our all time favorite toys for two year olds is the Rollipop. If you’ve spent any time with toddlers, you know they love to do the same thing over and over again. This ball drop provides a great opportunity to have that opportunity. You can talk about the colors of the balls as they drop them down–but you can also sit back and enjoy watching them making something happen. It’s very pleasing. There are also bigger sets…but this beginning tower is a good place to start. We prefer the slow pace of this set to competing ball runs that have balls pop up or out. The magic of making something happen is engaging all by itself!

Update: Complying Companies

Good news! The following companies have sent in verification forms for several of their products.

Edushape, Mudpuppy, Lego Systems, Publications International, Little Tikes, Step 2, Kidsgive, Lisa LeLeu

We hope now that the new toy season in underway that more companies will submit forms!  We are not independently verifiying with a lab, but we are encouraged that these companies have listed their lab and signed off on the form that their products are lead and phthalates free.

LEGO joins companies complying with new safety requirements

images1.jpgWe’re delighted to announce that LEGO has sent in safety verification forms for the products that had been awarded Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Awards for 2008. They include:

Hogwarts Castle, Ultimate Lego Duplo Building Set, A World of LEGO Mosaics, Monster Dino, Tiny Turbos, Tiger Shark Attack, Aquabase Invasion, King’s Castle Siege and Fire Station.

The form asks that companies verify that their products are lead free (surface coated and embedded) and phthalates free.

So far the companies complying with our new Safety Requirements are a very exclusive club of three:

Edushape, Publication International and Lego.

For more information about our new protocol please visit our website,

Edushape Verifies Lead Free Status

kiddyconnects.jpgI’m happy to report that we just received verification forms from Edushape certifying that their products are lead free. The products that were submitted have won awards from us in the past: Wood-Like Soft Blocks, Kiddy Connects (last year’s Platinum Award winner), Mini Edublocks, Rollipop Stacker, and Caterpillar Race Game. We’re delighted that Edushape has filled out all the forms–especially since these are many of our favorite products for toddlers and preschoolers. Bravo!

Number of Companies Complying with New Safety Requirements: 2 (Publication International and Edushape)

Our new safety protocol is on our website at