All aboard the Playtime Bus

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


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

LeapFrog – My Own Story Time Pad

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on LeapFrog – My Own Story Time Pad
Apr 122012

Although we still call our youngest daughter a baby she is rapidly turning into a curious and very cheeky little toddler. She loves copying her brother and sister so at night time she watches their bedtime ritual closely and demands the same for her. She lets us brush her teeth and spits like a pro, then she gets comfy in her bed holding our My Own Story Time Pad in her chubby little hands.

She is officially too young for this new LeapFrog toy but after watching her siblings read stories on it she quickly understood that it must be good fun, something she can’t miss out on. The My Own Story Time Pad is designed for children aged 2+ with big and simple buttons that are easy to use for little ones. The chunky handheld pad features LeapFrog characters Scout and Violet who will take your child on a fun and educational journey.

The My Own Story Time Pad introduces little ones to the art of story telling, sparking an early interest in language, reading, the alphabet and more. Kids can listen to several short stories while ‘reading’ the text on the screen and watching pictures that accompany the story. The twins really enjoy being able to pick from the different stories and flicking the virtual pages, they already know some of the stories by heart.

But there is more to the My Own Story Time Pad than the name suggests. The alphabet mode is fantastic and a great way for kids to practise their letters and phonics skills and learn new words. I especially love how the letter buttons show both the uppercase and lowercase letter, this can be a confusing concept for children so to see the two together on one button is very helpful.

Kids can also use this cute tech pad to listen to songs, make their own music, listen to pretends emails and make notes. Parents can personalise the My Own Story Time Pad online by adding your child’s name and favourite things, customising emails, making a playlist and adding more stories. As the pad can hold up to five stories, ten songs and three emails at a time it is sure to keep little ones busy on a car ride or holiday and when you come home you can just swap them for a new dose of fun activities.

LeapFrog toys are available at leading retailers all over Australia, click here to find out where to buy your favourite LeapFrog products.

To find out more about the LeapFrog My Own Story Time Pad ($54.99, available in green and purple) visit