Nov 152020
 

VTech

While having sisters is lots of fun, every now and then a girl needs a bit of quiet time away from her nosy siblings. Secret notes, locked diaries, little treasures… our four girls are generally great at sharing but some things are simply private property. So where do you tuck away your special belongings so your curious sisters can’t find them? VTech has your back:

From secret storage to special songs, from games to glowing lights, from tiny treasures to telling the time and more, the Secret Safe Treasure Chest (RRP $49.95, ages 6-11) is the ultimate all-in-one girls gift this Christmas.

Shaped like a sweet purple and pink jewellery box, this interactive Secret Safe is way too pretty to hide away in your wardrobe and deserves to take top spot on your bedside table. It even doubles as a talking alarm clock and you can change the clock front to suit your style, what a cool way to learn to read the time! When the alarm goes off you’ll hear your choice of sound or tune and the top of the chest lights up in beautiful rainbow colours.

On the inside the Treasure Chest offers a heart shaped mirror, a removable top tray to fit your smallest jewellery and a generous main compartment for more storage. Don’t worry, your valuables are well protected by your own unique password. Only the person who enters all four numbers or symbols correctly will be able to open this chest and unveil its bounty! Once the chest has been unlocked the light-up ring will show a colour display chosen by the owner. (Parents can rest assured: The secret code can be reset in case of emergency)

Aside from keeping your precious belongings safe from nosy sisters, there are plenty of other awesome features hidden in this treasure chest. The saying ‘It’s not all fun and games’ definitely doesn’t apply here but because this pink box is loads of fun AND it comes with 9 great games that teach important skills like spelling, logic and maths. Because the games use only the four gem buttons to control they are easy to learn even for young players yet they still get their brains working and different levels keeps things exciting.

Miss 7 especially loves testing and expanding her word knowledge by making as many four letter words as possible in Speedy Speller, and solving the mystery of the hidden butterfly in Hide and Seek. Miss 5 may not have excess to her sister’s precious goodies, but she is pretty chuffed that she can still play games without knowing the password. She enjoys practising her numbers in Order Challenge and she is a big fan of Magically Disappearing Cat.

Last but not least, the Secret Safe Treasure Chest comes preloaded with 20 different tunes in the Music Box and the ability to compose your own simple tracks in Music Creation with the use of the gem buttons. Stop, play, repeat and shuffle to enjoy a personalised musical experience. You can even use the Treasure Chest as a speaker by connecting an external music player like a phone or MP3 player, time to put all your favourite Christmas carols on repeat!

You can find the Secret Safe Treasure Chest right now at your local Big W store and 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.

All aboard the Playtime Bus

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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.

Do the Dino Dance

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Nov 242019
 

VTech

After five girls it seems I had totally forgotten how loud, cheeky and active little boys can be. Ted has turned into a big, boisterous two year old who never sits still. He loves noise (he has the deepest, booming boy voice already!) and is always stamping, dancing and singing which is why this colourful VTech character made a perfect gift for him:

When you first spot the triangle, round and square pegs you might briefly think this is just another ordinary shape sorting toy, but you could not be more wrong… This cool walking, talking and dancing Learn & Dance Dino (RRP $49.95, ages 2-5) offers epic entertainment in more ways than you would think!

Measuring an impressive 30cm tall and 35cm long this large green dinosaur has a ‘shape sorter’ back with three coloured spots where his spikes should be. Each spot sports a different colour, is a different shape and has a different effect, time to add the magic spikes! Once you successfully match the correct spike with the right ‘hole’ your dinosaur will suddenly come alive…

The yellow triangle pegs represent three emotions (happy, sleepy and angry), the red circle pegs trigger three personalities (Dino, Robot and Monster) and the blue square pegs activate three different music styles (marching, hiphop and ballet). In a perfect example of the cause and effect principle your child can handpick each peg and watch dino reward their choices with a fun display of song, dance and sentences.

Dance alongside a sleepy ballet monster, stomp after an angry marching robot or bust some moves with a happy hiphop dinosaur, it’s all possible! Between the nine different pegs kids are able to create 27 unique combinations, what a fantastic sneaky introduction to coding! The dance moves train gross motor skills, the music pegs introduce children to catchy music styles and the three emotions teach children about different feelings eg. ‘Let’s practise calming down, take a deep, deep breath’ ‘When you smile it makes me happy’.

Even young children can press the chunky light-up buttons to hear colours, shapes and phrases or turn the switch to swap between singing or talking, giving them a feeling of independence and control over their new dino friend. Handy accessory: When not in use the coloured pegs can be neatly stored in the big orange dinosaur egg.

You can find VTech’s Learn & Dance Dino at your local Target, Kmart, 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.

Bop to the Beat with Mixmaster Scout

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Aug 312019
 

As you can probably imagine a busy home like ours is never quiet. As if six children don’t make enough sound, chatter and noise just yet we also have a piano (the four older kids get lessons at home) and three of them are learning the violin too! He may be the smallest of the family but Ted sure enjoys adding his fair share of volume so this musical LeapFrog toy comes in real handy:

The Learn & Groove Mixmaster Scout (RRP $34.95, ages 12-36 months) is the cutest toddler turntable you have ever seen. Future DJs can bop to the beat as they join puppy pal Scout to create their own unique tunes using a range of instruments, rhythms, sounds and background tracks. With colourful buttons to press, switches to flick, wheels to spin and lights to flash the Mixmaster instantly takes your little musician from cot to club.

I’ll admit, at this stage it looks like Ted is mainly out to make as much noise as possible but there is more to Mixmaster Scout than meets the eye. Not only is mixing your own music secretly a fabulous fine-motor skills exercise for chubby toddler hands, kids are also getting a fun and funky introduction to numbers, colours and instruments and learn to sing along to the catchy ABC song and other melodies.

As kids get older they come to understand the cause and effect principle and learn what the different buttons, switches and play modes (alphabet, numbers and colours) do and the sounds they make, giving them more control over their personal toddler tracks. You’re never too young to become a musician, so get those hands clapping and toes tapping with Mixmaster Scout.

The LeapFrog Learn & Groove Mixmaster Scout is now available from Big W, good toy stores across Australia and online.

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

VTech Secret Safe

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Jun 302019
 

VTech

It has taken her almost two whole terms but miss Sybbie is finally managing a tear-free and no-panic school drop off most days! We’ve worked very hard to get to this point and I am so proud of her (but also of myself) for persevering, there were so many tears and we even considered taking her out of school all together. I have to admit we pulled out all the bribes to win her over and Sybil has been rather spoilt but it was for a good cause. Who wouldn’t try their best when this gorgeous VTech gift is up for grabs?

With its pretty pink colour, swirly design and heart shaped window this VTech Secret Safe (RRP $69.95, ages 6-11) instantly brought a sparkle to Sybil’s eye. She’s been having loads of fun discovering this girly gadget and with 7 different activities and games there is still plenty more to learn. (In fact Sybil loves it so much that she’s been trying to sneak it to school several times, but of course this mama is not that easily fooled!

As the name suggests the ‘Secret Safe’ Diary Selfie Music is brilliant at keeping your secrets safe and secure. Protected with super smart facial technology and/or a number password only the true owner is able to unlock the magic, now that’s clever! Behind the sweet pink cover hides a full colour screen where you can write diary entries, record voice messages and (using the front/back cameras) take selfies, photos and videos so you can put together your very own special journal. You can even decorate your snaps with cool effects and cute add-ons.

Typing/spelling is not Sybil’s strongest point but her visual diary is coming along beautifully and I just love seeing our days from her perspective and sharing in her highlights and favourite moments. With the help of the clock and alarm she knows exactly what time to get up for school or when to get ready for an outing. Add to that a real ‘address book’ and she’s becoming quite the secretary, I guess you’re never too young to be organised.

But there is way more to discover and do than just keep a diary. The Secret Safe is fitted with a music player with 4 built-in songs (you can add your own too), you can raise three virtual pets, play one of eight different learning games and other fun activities. By playing the games kids can practice typing, solve a sudoku puzzle , do maths exercises, work on spelling and train other handy skills.

Sybil’s top three of things to do on her ‘Secret Safe’ Diary Selfie Music are playing fashion designer in the My Stylist app (it’s like stepping into a virtual dressing room and trying on all kinds of fancy clothes and accessories), caring for her pet puppy and singing along to all her High School Musical tunes. By adding in a microSD card we’ve given her even more storage for more secrets and more smiles.

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.

Taking Off with VTech

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Jun 132019
 

At almost two our boy Ted is quite the busy bee, he never sits still (day or night!) and is always exploring and getting up to mischief. He may not be a keen talker but he loves copying sounds and songs so I am not surprised this awesome new VTech Baby toy was an instant hit:

This colourful VTech Push & Spin Helicopter (RRP $19.95, ages 9-36 months) instantly caught Ted’s eye and it’s been a great entertainer for the last few weeks. The big round buttons and chunky shapes are ideal for his chubby little hands and he is forever driving it across the hallway or flying it through the air. It can even roll all by itself if you successfully press the rotor blade on top of the helicopter, a skill Ted is proud to have mastered.

With 3 catchy songs, 10 melodies and a range of sounds and sentences the Push & Spin Helicopter is definitely encouraging Ted to find his voice and chat along. Good to know: Because VTech knows even the most patient mums are sometimes desperate for some peace and quiet there are two different volume levels or you can turn the sound of completely.

By pushing the buttons on the side little explorers can trigger the light-up window and enjoy a first introduction to colours (green and blue), animals (dog and bear), letters (ABC) and numbers (123) so there is both laughing and learning going on at the same time; double win!

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.

Get into gear with GearZooz

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Mar 172019
 

After several holidays to the Netherlands with our large family a long plane trip does not worry us anymore. By now I know exactly what to pack and what to do to make the journey as pleasant as possible for young travellers…

For our last European adventure in August we bought Ted the cutest GearZooz Lion & Mouse toy and it was a real hit. It’s colourful and fun, it makes music and moves and stimulates little brains, plus it is compact enough for a holiday backpack or nappy bag. After seeing how much he enjoyed playing with it I was determined to find some more GearZooz styles so I was super chuffed to stumble upon this awesome activity centre recently:

The GearZooz Gear Up & Go Activity Table (RRP $69.95, ages 18-36 months) by VTech is a great 2-in-1 toy designed with curious kids in mind. The chunky shapes are a great size for chubby toddler hands and the 30cm height is a great play height for our big boy Ted. This week Ted will be 18 months old, so he is at the perfect age and there is lots left to learn as he gets bigger. At the same time Hattie (3 years old) really enjoys it too, proving this toy is suitable for different ages and developmental stages.

On side one the Gear Up & Go Activity Table offers busy little bees loads to do and discover across five play modes. Kids can practise colours, learn to count, discover instruments and their sounds, sing songs and more, so they are not just playing but learning too! Switch between Learning Fun, Animal Jam Time, Instrument Fun, Concert Time or even play a Guessing Game: Can you find the green piano key? Can you find the number 3? Can you find the violin?

The 16 coloured mix and match gears can be placed in many different spots and, if you do it right, as you turn one the other gears will start spinning too. Picking up the gears, clicking them place and twisting and turning is a great fine motor skills exercise for small toddler hands.

Keep an eye out for the clever Smart Gear spot, if you place one of the interactive Smart Gear Animals on top it will tell the name of the animal and teach you some interesting animal facts eg. Aligators swim by sweeping their tail back and forth, Baby bears are called cubs, Elephants use their trunk to get food and water.

In a few simple steps the table can be transformed for a whole new way of creative play: turn up side two and test out the gear board. The gear board it a fantastic way to practise the cause and effect principle, develop prediction skills and work on strategic thinking: How does turning one gear affect the other gears? Can you place the gears in a way that you can make the whole series move? Maybe you can even make a specific shape?

To make sure you don’t lose any of the gears you can fix them safely on the activity table, click them on the gear board or secure them to the table legs. I just love that you can use the gears on all other GearZooz too for extended play and that all GearZooz toys are able to recognise the cute interactive Smart Gear Animals. So the bigger your GearZooz collection gets, the more different combinations and set-ups you can create.

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

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