The Oompa Minute
Looking for toys that will allow your little one to express their creativity and imagination all while learning important skills like vocabulary building, basic math, and social etiquette? Consider adding a play kitchen and play food to your toy assortment.
Oompa is thrilled to add a new line of beautiful shadow puppets by Moulin Roty. Available in several styles including Castle, Dinosaur, Circus, and Paris themes, our Shadow Puppets make a thoughtful, unique, and simply charming gift — and they are affordable to boot!
The beauty of Bilibo lies in its simplicity. With no directions or batteries, this toy is fueled solely by imagination. Providing inspiration year-round both indoors and outdoors, a Bilibo can serve as a sled, spinning seat, bucket, doll cradle, water toy, and so much more!
One of our most eco-friendly brands at Oompa is Green Toys. Based in California, Green Toys makes their entire line out of recycled milk jugs. We love domestic manufacturing as it reduces energy costs associated with transportation and provides jobs for American workers. Even the packaging is uber eco-frinedly – each toy arrives in recycled corrugated boxes with no plastics, cellophane or twist-ties, and best of all the packaging is 100% recyclable. Each toy is PVC, phthalate, and BPA free and meets or exceeds US safety standards.
Check out this great video from the founders of Green Toys!
- A sixty-foot tree takes 60 YEARS to replace. A sixty-foot bamboo takes 59 DAYS to replace.
- Bamboo is not a wood, it is a GRASS!
- When bamboo is cut, the roots remain intact and new shoots will quickly grow from these roots.
- Pesticides are not required to grow bamboo.
- Bamboo has been shown to have higher tensile strength than man alloys of STEEL.
- Bamboo has been shown to have higher compressive strength than many mixtures of CONCRETE.
- The very dense fibers in each bamboo plant allow for EXTREME FLEXIBILITY and prevent it from snapping when bent.
- Bamboo is a NUTRITIOUS food source for both humans and animals.
- Over one BILLION people in the world live in bamboo houses.
- A grove of bamboo releases 35% more oxygen than an equivalent grove of trees. Because of this, planting bamboo is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and help fight global warming!
Wowza! Not only is bamboo great for the earth, but its uses seem endless! Bamboo toys are a great choice for eco-friendly families. This fast-growing grass is as durable as it is safe for babies and toddlers. If you want to see beautiful bamboo wooden toys, don’t miss our collection by Hape Toys.
Here at Oompa we use the term “play value” quite often and maybe it’s about time we parsed out all the attributes that we are looking for when we determine if a toy has great play value. While this term may have different meanings to different people, at Oompa, toys with high play value are toys that:
|1) Has Multiple Uses
Toys with high play value can typically be used in many different ways. A simple toy allows for imagination to repeatedly create a new purpose for the toy. A great example of a toy with multiple uses is a set of wooden blocks. Simple blocks can be used to create towers, cities, patterns — the possibilities are endless!
|2) Involves Self-Directed Play
Allowing children to explore their own ideas about how to play with a toy can offer much more engaging playtime than having children follow specific instructions. Oompa has tons of toys that offer a lot of self-directed play... dollhouses and play tents are among our favorites.
|3) Can Grow With Your Child
We love toys that your little one can play with for years. A favorite stuffed animal is a perfect example of a toy that can truly grow with your child. Small toddlers will enjoy the comfort of a furry friend at night and as they grow they will incorporate their stuffed animal into everyday play.
|4) Promotes Respectful Interaction
Toys that promote respectful interaction, that is to say toys that do not encourage violence or stereotyping while introducing the concepts of sharing and working together, can be surprisingly difficult to find. A great toy that promotes respectful interaction is a play kitchen. Both little boys and girls can learn a lot about respectful interactions and sharing through role-play with a play kitchen.
|5) Can Be Used In Further Learning
Toys that encourage kids to develop skills used in further learning are sure have high play value. Toys that promote early learning about the alphabet, world geography, multiplication, etc. help children develop skills they will use for the rest of their lives. Oompa offers tons of educational toys and puzzles such as our Mother 5-Layer Body Puzzle that helps children understand what's happening to Mom when she's pregnant.
After visiting the New York Toy Fair in February, we fell in love with a few new lines that we will be rolling out over the next few months. Our first new addition comes from the British company, Win Green. This company makes wonderfully detailed, high-quality play tents made of 100% cotton fabric. Each tent is handmade and therefore totally unique!
We were also excited to hear that Win Green tents are made in facilities in India that empower rural women to gain financial freedom. This initiative, with the help of the state government’s District Rural Development Agency, has provided an incredible opportunity for many rural Indian women to become financially independent.
Great play-value, style, quality, social responsibility… Win Green has it all! Take a look at this new line and let us know what you think!
Helping your child develop dexterity skills early on can help them as they learn to write, dress, play instruments, draw on your walls, etc. Oompa has TONS of great dexterity toys ranging from simple shape sorters and lacing toys to puzzles. We’ve narrowed down our wide selection to our top five picks.
1) Lacing Peacock
New to the Oompa scene is our lovely Lacing Peacock. This adorable pheasant friend was designed by our friends at Hape Toys with the intention of helping little ones to develop dexterity skills as well as hand-eye coordination. Your child will love manipulating the felt feathers and colorful beads on to the peacock’s wooden body with the included threads. When complete, the pieces can be taken off and used again in different patterns or your little one may just want to display this beautifully decorated peacock in their room!
Little ones are naturally curious about the things they see mom and dad doing everyday. If your child (or your walls!) aren’t quite ready to handle markers, we suggest our Magnatab sets designed by the modern folks at Kid O. Four different styles allow a mess-free way for your child to practice letters and numbers. Using a magnetic “pen” to trace the letters and numbers, little ones will know they have done a good job once each hole in the character is filled in with a magnetic ball. The modern simplicity of this toy makes it an attractive addition to any toy box while its portable size makes it a great toy to bring on car-rides, in restaurants, or to a friend’s house!
3) Lacing Sheep
This farm friend combines skills such as dexterity, hand-eye coordination, size recognition, and color recognition all into one great toy. With six pieces total, your little lamb can string the shapes over the beaded strand that ends in the sheep’s tail. The colors on the beaded strand complement the colors of the pieces so your little one works on color matching as they lace. The last piece pops in place to keep the sheep together so it can be used as a figure for imaginative play! Our Lacing Sheep was designed by the innovative people at Plan Toys.
Our colorful Beehives toy is a wonderful way to develop nimble fingers while working on color recognition. The fun starts as your busy bee builds the hive. Stack the six hexagons up high in rainbow-order or nest them in rows to make a cozy place for the bees to rest! Then your little one can start by using his or her fingers to put the bees in their homes and eventually graduate to using the tongs. We love that this toy also inspires imaginative play as your little one may pretend to be a beekeeper or use the bees in combination with other toys! This colorful toy was designed by our friends at Plan Toys.
5) Prism Puzzle
Our Prism Puzzle is particularly great for dexterity as it requires nimble fingers to fit all the wooden diamond and triangle shapes in the hexagonal base. Little ones will explore patterns as they complete this open-ended puzzle. We love that the wooden pieces are a bit chunky allowing them to be used in other little building projects. This great wooden toy was designed by our friends at Hape Toys.