Oompa's Top 5 Dexterity Toys

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!

2) Magnatab

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.

 

 

4) Beehives

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.

 

November 04, 2013 by Susan Klieman

Take A Seat

By popular demand we have added seats and cushions to accompany our play tents! These four new seats go great with our Rose Fairy Play Tent, our Marrakesh Play Tent, and our Pirate’s Treasure Play Tent. Two of our new seats offer a little extra storage space as the lids come off to reveal a roomy interior. The other two are purely for getting comfy!

Be sure to check out all of our play tents and accessories!

 

October 14, 2013 by Susan Klieman

How Do I Clean My Haba Clutching Toys?

We recently have received a few questions about how parents should clean their baby’s Haba wooden clutching toys. The first thing to remember is that because these toys are made of wood, you definitely cannot soak them in water. The best way to clean your clutching toy after your baby has had a quality gnawing session is to spot clean with a cloth and mild soap. You can then “rinse” it by using the cloth to dab the toy with fresh water. Make sure to let it dry thoroughly before giving it back to your little one.

If you and your baby have yet to explore Haba’s beautiful line of wooden clutching toys, you can check out a few items below:

July 08, 2013 by Susan Klieman

Get Your Kids Moving With Moover!

New to the Oompa family is Moover! This small line of wheeled wooden toys is designed in Copenhagen, Denmark, although their toys are made in China. Each Moover model comes in a flat box and is assembled without the use of any screws or tools. The well-made wooden pieces are ingeniously designed to snap together (see video below). This also means that all Moover toys can be easily broken down for storage. Little ones will enjoy Moover toys as they begin to walk and scoot around the house. As they grow older, they will enjoy assembling and disassembling the toy. Parents will appreciate the heirloom quality and rubber lined wheels that keep floors scratch free.


July 08, 2013 by Susan Klieman

Kaloo New Arrivals!

Snuggle up with our newest furry friends! The French company, Kaloo, has been designing ultra-soft, ultra-cute towel dolls and stuffed animals for babies since 1998. We recently added this line not only for its looks and quality, but for the simple fact that everything by Kaloo is machine-washable and dryable… très cool! We are also quite fond of the beautiful keepsake boxes that come with all Kaloo products, perfect for gift-giving.

Check out this new line and let us know what you think!

June 17, 2013 by Susan Klieman

Get Crafty On Rainy Spring Days!

Don’t let April showers bring you and your little ones down. Instead, embrace the indoor time with some awesome arts & crafts! Our selection of craft kits has something for everyone, big or small, boy or girl, we’re sure you’ll find the perfect kit for your little Picasso. Here, we’ve chosen two of our favorites for toddlers, one for older girls, and one for older boys. Each set was designed in Paris by our imaginative friends at Djeco. If you and your little ones have completed any of these crafts, let us know how you liked them!

1) Collages For Little Ones

Our Collages For Little Ones Kit comes with all the supplies your toddler needs to create beautiful collages. Four whimsical backgrounds offer the perfect starting point for collage-making. Use the pieces in the kit to decorate a bear, cat, mouse, and rabbit.  In a recent review of this kit, one of our customers commented, “In placing the pieces on the board, he was also recognizing spatial relationships — the cats socks needed to fit over its feet, and the paws couldn’t be halfway up its arms, or he didn’t like the way it looked. Yet the craft still had enough free pieces — stars, polka dots, etc., that he was clearly having the opportunity to place things where he wanted to rather than being entirely restricted to recreating the design in the instruction booklet.”

2) Finger Painting Craft Kit

Introduce your budding artist to one of the great joys in life: finger painting! Our Finger Painting Craft Kit comes with eight beautiful backgrounds for your little one to decorate. The eight 30ml bottles of paint are high quality and come with a pallet. Although this painting style is quite intuitive, the instruction book shows some innovative ways to get crafty with finger painting!

 

3) Blue Princess Sand Kit

A sand kit has never been so beautiful and mess-free as our Blue Princess Sand Kit. Exotic illustrations come to life when your little princess uses the twelve different colors of sand to complete the four princesses. The best part? No glue necessary! Just peel away the area you want to color to expose the sticky surface. Place the image in the box of the kit, pour the sand on, brush off the extra, and repeat! A small hole in the corner at the bottom of the box allows you to pour extra sand back into the bottle. This kit guarantees beautiful, mess-free results every time!

 

4) Dragons Paper Folding Kit

Little boys will delight as they create monstrous dragons with our Dragons Paper Folding Kit.  The simple illustrated instructions are easy to follow and help your little one to learn to follow a set of directions. Pop-out all the pieces and fold the characters into life! Little ones can then engage in imaginative play with their creations or use them as decorations in a room or play room.

April 15, 2013 by Susan Klieman

New From Our Friends At Hape

Oompa has added lots of fun new Hape toys in the past few weeks. There are a few newbies for all ages in all categories including clutching toys, educational toys, games, doll furniture, and kitchen play! In case you aren’t familiar with Hape, check out our blog post, “Hooray For Hape“. This great company has been producing fun toys with exceptional quality since the 80′s and has continued to do so with these new 2013 additions! Let us know what you think! 

March 31, 2013 by Susan Klieman

Do YOU Have A Favorite Charity?

We are teaming up with our lovely Facebook fans to find some deserving, but sometimes forgotten, “darlings” who could benefit from the comfort of a doll friend this holiday season. This year’s donation will feature the adorable Baby Doll Elli, star of the hugely popular Maytag “Tea For Two” commercial.


If you have a charity or organization that is close to your heart, nominate them on the Oompa Toys Facebook page by simply stating the organization’s name, its website, and why you think it deserves Elli Dolls. Please make sure your organization fits the below guidelines before nominating! Be sure to encourage your friends and family to “like” your nomination. At least four organizations that follow the guidelines and receive the most “likes” will receive up to 50 Elli Dolls each! Winners will be announced in the evening on Thanksgiving Day.

Oompa’s co-president Sandra Gunthorpe says, “We will give until we don’t have anymore to give! Thank you Oompa Fans for helping us put some smiles on a few cute little faces — because the toys you give a child matter!”

GUIDELINES:

- Nominate an organization by November 19, 2012

- Nominations must be posted to original Oompa Toy Facebook thread to be considered

- Nominator must write 100 words or less detailing why the organization would benefit from this donation and how many dolls are needed

- Organizations nominated must be located within the continental US

- Organizations must be a “not-for-profit 501(c)”

- Organizations cannot be politically or religiously affiliated

- Must provide the organization name and website

- Only one nomination per person

- Once an organization is nominated, please do not nominate it again. Simply “like” what has been posted!

- All “likes” must be on original thread

- Nomination posts on Oompa’s Facebook page with the most “likes” win!

 

*******************UPDATE! 11/28/2012*******************

 

Thank you so much to everyone who nominated their favorite charities for our Dolls For Darlings Event. We are so excited to spread some love with our Elli Doll this holiday season. We chose our winning charities based on number of likes.

Below is a list of the Top 4 “Liked” Charities:

-Noah’s Never Ending Rainbow nominated by Dana Tehako-Esser

-William Porter Foundation For Children In Need nominated by Christian Robertson

-Down Syndrome Association Of Wisconsin-Fox Cities nominated by Jessica Robinson

-Neighbor To Family nominated by Sharon Lynn

Each of these charities will be receiving 50 Elli Dolls! Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


November 28, 2012 by Susan Klieman

Oompa Donates To Every Mother Counts

A few weeks ago, Oompa’s very own Sandra Gunthorpe attended the launch of Tracy Anderson’s Pregnancy Project at The Standard’s Le Bain in New York City!  The Pregnancy Project empowers women with the tools for a safe, healthy, and fit pregnancy and includes nine workout DVDs packed with relevant nutritional and informational tips  for each month of pregnancy. Tracy also generously donates $5 of every DVD package to Christy Turlington Burn’s, Every Mother Counts — one of Oompa’s favorite advocacy organizations promoting education and support for pregnant girls and women worldwide.

What an exciting luncheon and silent auction! In addition to Tracy Anderson and Christy Turlington Burns, Gweneth Paltrow and Molly Sims made an appearance, expressing their gratitude to both The Pregnancy Project and Every Mother Counts.

It truly is amazing to see women making change in the world. Oompa, a women-owned company, was very honored to be a part of this event and was proud to donate to the goodie bag the attendees took home. After returning from her exciting trip, the Oompa team picked Sandy’s brain for every detail of the event. “Is Gwyneth as tall as she seems?!” “Are you and Molly BFFs now?” (FYI the answers are yes and no respectively). In all seriousness though, Oompa loves being able to give back. As Sandy put it, “It’s one of the most rewarding parts of owning such a well-respected toy website, giving back and bringing awareness to events and causes like this!  I hope all of our customers and fans feel that being a part of the Oompa community really does make a difference!”

 Check out our pictures below. The first is a snapshot of some items we donated and the second is Molly Sims, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Tracy Anderson casually talking about how much they love Oompa Toys. OK, just kidding we have no clue what they are talking about, but we can dream right?

November 01, 2012 by Susan Klieman

Waves Of Fun And Laughter On Stormy Seas

This just in! Our first Toy Tester Winner has sent us some pictures and a wonderfully written review of our Stormy Seas Game. Check out what our toy tester had to say about this game:

“Another great toy from Hape! My boys (age 3 and 5) were very excited to play this game. Luckily, thanks to the simple design and instructions, it was ready to play just seconds out of the box. Made of high-quality bamboo and soy-based inks, this game is as safe and solid as it is cute and fun. It was easy to set-up and stabilize on a table or carpet. In addition to the boat, the game comes with an assortment of five different types of “cargo” for the ship, and a die square to indicate which piece of cargo is to be played. The boys immediately understood that they were to take turns trying to balance the game pieces on the ship and avoid “clearing the decks!” After a initial round or two, I noticed my 5-year-old displaying more care, dexterity, and strategy with his moves, as he was weary of causing a spill. Great game for family night for ages 3 and up, although I caught my husband challenging himself after the kids went to bed! For the added bonus of a personal challenge, just stow the die and start stacking cargo! I can see this game being played for years to come, and eventually handed down to cousins, nieces, nephews, grandkids…”

We’re so excited about our new Toy Tester program and sincerely hope that the reviews that come from it help parents make more informed buying decisions for their children. Watch out for more opportunities to become an Oompa Toy Tester on our Facebook!
August 30, 2012 by Susan Klieman