All aboard the Playtime Bus

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on All aboard the Playtime Bus
Jun 282020
 

VTech

As a mum of 2 boys and 4 girls I love seeing how our two sons are alike in many ways. Our oldest son Tommie (now nearly 12) was extremely interested in learning his letters when he was just a toddler and he still an avid reader now. He loved ABC puzzles, wipe off letter boards and any toy that would sound out the alphabet and the individual letter sounds. Five siblings and ten years later our boy Ted (2) is obsessed with the alphabet too so I had no doubt this cool VTech ride would get his (brain) wheels turning:

If your little learner is crazy about everything that moves the Playtime Bus with Phonics (RRP $34.95, ages 2-5), with its bright colours, realistic traffic sounds and push along handle, is guaranteed to be a huge hit. Initially there may just be lots of laps around the house, but there is plenty more to discover along the way…

Ted’s eyes instantly lit up when he spotted all the buttons on his new Playtime Bus. With more than 40 buttons to press, four different modes of play (Phonics, Numbers, Music Station and Challenge Time) and a door that opens and closes there is certainly no time for sitting still. All together this fabulous vehicle offers more than 100 interactive curriculum questions and 30+ melodies, songs and sounds so it really is jam-packed with learning fun.

On the top of the bus you find 4 chunky buttons to control the engine sound, horn, brakes and the intercom telling you where the bus is heading next (The next stop is the zoo) accompanied by a catchy song. By opening the door you can learn to count by counting the number of children get off the bus. Three happy passengers have a window seat and share easy-to-understand sentences about their trip when you press their picture, eg ‘A green light means go’, ‘Always wear your seatbelt in the car’ and ‘I sit with my best friend on the bus’.

The main reason the Playtime Bus caught our eye was because it teaches children all 26 letters of the alphabet, as well as the number 1-10. Simply press one of the coloured letters to hear the letter, the letter sound and an easy everyday word that starts with that particular letter. It even distinguishes between vowels (blue) and consonants (yellow), which you don’t see that often in pre-schooler toys!

Of course Ted is only just starting to practice his ABCs, but once he’s a bit more confident he can test his knowledge with a fun question and answer game in Challenge Time mode, eg. Which letter sound does elephant start with? Can you find the letter C? Let’s count how many children get on the bus!

As a mother one of the things I love is that VTech understands that praise and encouragement is a great motivator, therefor this clever bus is full of positive affirmations eg. Great job! Terrific! If kids get it wrong there is no harm done either (Nice try, let’s try again) and they’ll be keen to give things another go. Are you ready to hop on the VTech Playtime Bus?

You can find the Playtime Bus with Phonics right now at your local Big W store and soon at select online stores and independent toy retailers across Australia.

To find out more about VTech, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.vtech.com.au.

To the rescue with LeapFrog

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on To the rescue with LeapFrog
Nov 292019
 

Dump trucks, cherry pickers, buses, motorbikes, ambulances, diggers… Ted loves them all! Unlike many other young children Ted thoroughly enjoys car trips and is easily entertained by spotting all kinds of transportation. At home he has his own collection of cool vehicles to play with too, with this funky firetruck being his new favourite:

Emergency, emergency! The bright red Tumbling Blocks Fire Engine (RRP $49.95, ages 1.5-4 years) is always on standby to help a desperate toddler in need of distraction. Siren? Check! Flashing lights? Check! Ladder? Check! Water hose? Check! Get your fire fighting gear on and get ready for a rescue mission that is both exciting and educational at the same time.

Created by the learning experts at LeapFrog this emergency vehicle is packed with educational features, helping playful toddlers develop important skills whilst having fun. Sounds and songs, letters and lights, buttons and blocks, wheels and words, if you’re looking for a quality, versatile Christmas gift that will be enjoyed long after Boxing Day this is it.

There’s a fire at the Bakery, send help! There’s a cat stuck in a tree, to the rescue! Firefighters Scout and Violet are on their way to yet another incident and could do with a helping hand, let’s give the engine a push and get started. Kids can turn on the siren and flashing lights, turn the hose reel and check the water gage to hear the corresponding number.

Knowing your ABCs is a must for any good firefighter. The five coloured blocks represent all 26 letters of the alphabet, 26 different animals as well as 4 types of emergency vehicles. Simply pop the interactive block in the driver’s window to learn more about the letter, the sound and the picture of your choice. Using the music button kids can also hear and sing along to several alphabet themed songs and other catchy tunes.

Ted’s favourite part of the Tumbling Blocks Fire Engine is by far the tumbling ladder mechanism: When you push the ladder down it automatically ‘picks up’ the next animal block and when you lift the ladder up the block tumbles down back into the truck and repeat. It’s like magic! Super easy to do for little hands and virtually fail-proof, this is a brilliant design feature that brings endless joy to curious toddlers.

To find out more about LeapFrog, to browse the range and to locate stockist near you visit www.leapfrog.com.au.

A is for Apple

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on A is for Apple
Nov 162019
 

Time can’t go fast enough for our Hattie who will be having her first taste of kindy next week. She enjoys art and craft, she can’t get enough of outside play and dressing up and she loves music and dancing… sadly learning her letters is a different story. Just like with her older siblings we’ve turned to the magic of fridge magnets to help her on the way.

LeapFrog‘s Fridge Phonics range has been adorning fridges across the globe for many years. Since its first release little learners have been practising their ABCs with a Fridge Phonics bus, a house, a sun, a pond and other fun shapes and the concept is still successful as ever so why change it? Today’s curious toddlers and preschoolers can master the alphabet with the help of friendly frog Tad.

Tad’s Fridge Phonics (RRP $29.95, Ages 2+) consists of a bright magnetic red apple console and 26 letters magnets. The clever apple recognises each individual letter, just pop the magnet in the letter slot to hear which letter it is, which sound it makes and learn interesting words that start with that specific letter eg. super stinky skunk, luscious lemon lollypop or groovy green guitar.

There are lots of different ways to enjoy and learn with this cool magnetic letter set. Explore what each letter sounds and looks like, learn new words with each letter, find the first letter of your name, put all the letters in alphabetical order, try to make simple words, sing along to the alphabet song, sort the letters by colour, separate the vowels from the consonants and of course practise your fine motor skills while you play!

This year’s Fridge Phonics set also includes 3 new large magnets that celebrate three special people (Dad, Mum and Me) with a series of fun sentences eg. ‘Dad’s a rockstar’, ‘I can do anything’ or ‘Mum is funny’. You can even add a unique touch by sliding a nice photo of your child and each parent into the corresponding magnet, how cute is that?

We’ve been using our old Fridge Phonics set for many years and I can definitely vouch for the versatility (suitable for different ages/stages) and durability. After countless drops and throws our previous set is still going strong, however several letters have gone on an extended holiday along the way hence the upgrade to a full new set. Tad’s Fridge Phonics is guaranteed to keep our last two preschoolers entertained while mum does the kitchen chores.

To find out more about LeapFrog, to browse the range and to locate stockist near you visit www.leapfrog.com.au.

On safari with LeapFrog

 Baby, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on On safari with LeapFrog
Oct 102018
 

And then he was one… As much as I wish it wasn’t true our little Ted is no longer a baby. In the blink of an eye he turned into an adventurous boy who walks everyone, climbs on everything and loves exploring the house. He walks so quietly that you don’t even hear him coming (or going) so I could really do with an extra pair of eyes! Thankfully this LeapFrog birthday gift does an excellent job keeping him entertained so I can quickly get some jobs done:

The LeapFrog Learning Safari Playspace (RRP $99.95, ages 6-36 months) is super versatile educational toy that is designed for growing babies, offering a range of ways to play and learn at different ages and stages. This made it a perfect birthday gift for Ted (and great value for money) as I know it will be enjoyed over and over again.

The Learning Safari Playspace features a sweet selection of animal friends who love teaching your baby new things. Simply press the large buttons to learn about numbers and letters (and watch them pop up on the digital light up screen), practise your colours, turn on the chameleon’s magical rainbow light, discover animal facts spin the beads and much more. Each action helps little explorers work on important motor skills whilst having fun (smile and get smarter!).

Babies can (p)lay underneath the large arch and watch the colours, lights and dangling leaves (when you pull each leaf you hear the corresponding number), they can crawl through it or pull up and stand next to it, great practice for those developing leg muscles. You can even lay the arch flat to transform it into a ‘table’ for baby to sit at. Ted loves showing off his talent for the piano (not only do the piano keys play music, they teach shapes too) but he loves it even more to sit ON the piano so we might keep the arch up for a while longer!

From laying down to sitting up, from crawling to standing and beyond, the Learning Safari Playspace will challenge little minds and help young children develop new skills as they get older. From the moment we unpacked and set up this fun new toy Ted has been intrigued by it, he loves the bright colours, enjoys the sounds and songs and his absolute favourite part is the ball slide.

The Learning Safari Playspace comes with three coloured balls that roll through the monkey’s tail down the slide, it even counts the number of balls as you insert them. Seeing the balls disappear down that mysterious hole and finding out where they will reappear next is a perfect cause and effect exercise and Ted can’t get enough of it.

To find out more about LeapFrog, to browse the range and to locate stockist near you visit www.leapfrog.com.au.

Read and Play with Peppa

 Sales & Savings  Comments Off on Read and Play with Peppa
Jul 122018
 

We’ve only been at the new school for two weeks but for miss Sybbie the move has been a real eye-opener. All of a sudden she is super keen to practise her sight words, write her numbers, read her readers and borrow as many books from the library as she can possibly carry. I am so excited to see another little bookworm in the making!

The toy specialists at LeapFrog know all too well that learning new things can be tricky, so instead of it being a challenging chore they make learning entertaining and exciting! Take for example the new Peppa Pig Learning Game:

Designed specifically for the LeapPad learning tablets Read and Play with Peppa (RRP $34.95, ages 3-5) allows young children to enjoy some screen time whilst mastering a heap of new skills at the same time. Usually Sybbie not that excited to tidy up, but it turns out that tidying up with Peppa is actually lots of fun.

Guided by the alphabet little learners need to help Peppa and her brother George to put all their toys back in the toy basket. They will learn to follow simple instructions, recognise different letters and their sounds, discover what their place is in the alphabet, learn about beginning sounds, match pictures with words and more.

In between the chores Daddy Pig lets them play a little game: the more alphabet toys they tidy up, the more games they unlock! In the mini-games kids can try their hand at things like practise balancing the ball (balance the LeapPad to keep the ball steady) before it rolls away, building a train track, playing catch-the-toy with Daddy Pig or spotting the difference.

Once all the tidying up is completed kids can sit down and enjoy story time with Peppa’s Fancy Dress Party. Young readers can listen to the entire story but also touch individual words to hear them or look them up in the ‘dictionary’.

Created and approved by educational specialists LeapFrog learning games and apps expose children to important areas of learning (eg. maths, reading, science, geography and more) that will greatly benefit them on their educational journey. Parents can explore all the different games/apps in the LeapFrog App Centre and use the handy skill selector on the left to find the game(s) that are a perfect match for your child’s interests and developmental needs.

To find out more about LeapFrog, to browse the range and to locate stockist near you visit www.leapfrog.com.au.

DigiArt Creative Easel, a stroke of genius

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on DigiArt Creative Easel, a stroke of genius
Jun 302018
 

VTech

Well, the kids have just finished their first full week at the new school and everyone seems to be settling in just fine. There are still some tears from miss Sybbie in the morning (just like at the old school) but five minutes later she is happy and smiling and she is showing some great improvement in her reading and writing already, she is even keen to try more at home. She’s been having lots of fun testing her new writing skills on Hattie’s new easel from the clever toy makers at VTech:

The 3-in-1 VTech DigiArt Creative Easel (RRP $89.95, whiteboard, blackboard and drawing table) is a fabulous interactive design that comes jam-packed with awesome features. There are many different ways to use and enjoy the DigiArt Easel, keeping it fun and interesting for young children as they grow, learn and develop.

At almost 3 Harriet is only just hitting the right age for the DigiArt Creative Easel (ages 3-6) but that is not stopping her from trying out all there is to do and learn. Using the attached magic pen little learners can follow the lights on the light-up white board to learn how to write letters, numbers and more all by themselves. Hattie is pretty pleased with her efforts and loves showing off her work, maybe she’s a school teacher in the making?… With more than 150 numbers, letters, objects and shapes to write and draw there is no shortage of design ideas!

Using the brightly coloured buttons underneath the board children can swap and change between different modes of play (Eg. learn to draw, a guessing game or free drawing), adjust brightness and sound, play 10 classic songs or listen to each letter of the alphabet. But there is more: when you turn around the white board a cool blackboard is revealed, get ready to put your new writing/drawing skills into action with chalk!

The easel features a handy clip-storage spot for the magic pen (which is attached with string so it won’t get lost) and plenty of storage for a bunch of coloured white board markers or a pack of chalk. Three pieces of chalk are included, white board markers are widely available and can be purchased/replaced as needed. Hip Tip: If you are planning to wrap this one up for Christmas you may want to tuck in some extra markers too.

I especially love that in just a minute or two the DigiArt Creative Easel can be transformed into a fantastic drawing table at perfect kids’ height. It allows your little artist to use the Easel like a proper desk and the drawing surface can also be shared by siblings or friends who can sit around the table together and create to their heart’s content. The only downside is that there is only one magic pen but of course you can always use multiple white board markers or clip on a big sheet of ordinary drawing paper.

The DigiArt Creative Easel is available in green and pink, which colour would your little artist like most?

VTech toys are available at major department stores, select online stores and independent toy retailers across Australia.

To find out more about VTech, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.vtech.com.au.

Dec 162016
 

paw-patrol

Christmas Countdown – Day 16

That’s it, another school year done and dusted! The kids are very excited for the big summer holidays to begin today and personally I can’t wait for a few weeks of family time either. In preparation for kindy next year Sybil has been practising the alphabet through song and play with this awesome toy by VTech, my little girl is definitely growing up!

treat-time-marshall

Young PAW Patrol fans will immediately recognise their hero Marshall, a friendly Dalmatian pup who is always there to help someone in need. All these rescue missions do make a little dog hungry, so what can we feed Treat Time Marshall (RRP $49.95, ages 2-5)?

treat-time-marshall

With 26 tasty treats there is plenty of food to keep Marshall going. Each treat represents a letter of the alphabet and a matching picture, just pop a treat in his mouth and he’ll tell you which letter and sound it is. You can even personalise your experience so that Marshall the first letter of your child’s name, now that’s a clever dog! When not in use all the letter treats can be neatly stored inside his suit.

treat-time-marshallOf course Marshall teaches more than the ABC, with four different ways to play and learn he is sure to keep little minds engaged for hours. He teaches colours, sings songs and recognises the picture on every treat, plus feeding him treats is a great exercise for your child’s fine motor skills. One of our kids’ favourite ways to play with Treat Time Marshall is the Search and Rescue mode, where Marshall asks you to find and feed him a specific letter.

VTech toys are available at major department stores and independent toy retailers across Australia.

To find out more about VTech, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near youvisit www.vtech.com.au.

For your chance to win Treat Time Marshall (RRP $49.95) enter our Christmas Countdown giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway