Rainy days are really hard with a toddler and newborn at home. Parker desperately wants to go outside and play so I have to get as creative as possible. It’s always a nice treat when I have a prodcut to review on those exceptionally rainy days when there is no chance of getting outside. Last week was one of those days and I was so grateful to have a fun and awesome product for Parker to play with.
Special thanks to Wubble for providing a Wubble bubble ball for review in addition to financial compensation. As always all opinions are 100% my own and never recommend a product I wouldn’t use myself or with my family.
The Wubble™ Bubble Ball was designed by NSI President and father of four Frank Landi whose children loved playing with bubbles but wished they could play with them without popping so easily. After three years and thousands of hours researching, brainstorming, and designing the Wubble™ Bubble Ball was created. Made from “top-secret super-thermo-stretch-tacular stuff” the Wubble™ Bubble Ball is a “squishy, squashy, super soft and lightweight” bubble that is sure to provide hours of entertainment of any child.
The Wubble™ Bubble Ball was selected as a 2014 Top Toy for the Holiday Season, a Family Fun Toy Of The Year Award Winner where it was featured in the November 2014 issue of Family Fun Magazine and has also won numerous toy awards including an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Toy Award, a National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, a Mr. Dad Approved Award, a Parent’s Choice Award and the Dr. Toy Best 100 Picks Award.
What’s great about the Wubble™ Bubble Ball is that it doesn’t require any batteries, comes with it’s own battery operated pump, can be deflated and cleaned for easy storage. Rob has an easy time inflating the Wubble Ball and was done rather quickly. The pump is also fairly quiet, as far as pumps go, which I appreciate. He ended up using a little bit of olive oil, recommended, to insert to the pump. If you have trouble inflating your Wubble Ball take a look at this helpful video.
I have to admit I felt like a kid again as Parker and I played with the Wubble Ball in his playroom. It’s huge but very light and delicate barely moving anything it bumped into. The material is strong but squishy so we can grab and hold it with one hand. Even Parker was able to grab it and swing it around. I noticed that even right out of the box there wasn’t an overpowering plastic smell that I was fearing.
I didn’t realize it at the time but Rob took a video of Parker and I playing with it that I just had to share!
We are still loving many of the basic features of the VaryLight regardless of it’s 13 possible configurations.
The extra large canopy really blocks out the sun and gives Parker a chance to take a break and if we are lucky nap for a bit while we are out.
Parker is now in the “I do it” stage so I love having a tray table that can be removed quickly so it’s easy for him to get out of the stroller when it’s time to go on a ride or he wants to walk for a bit.
The expandable frame makes it easy to fit in the car and spacious enough when it’s in use to keep both kiddos comfortable.
The front wheel suspension and wheel lock gives the stroller a smoother ride and makes it easy to push 50+ pounds of kids up hills. Luckily the stroller is only 33 pounds despite it’s solid structure.
Most importantly, the undercarriage storage is large enough to fit the needs of both my kiddos. On longer trips we can store all the snacks and drinks along with a blanket and then secure the diaper bag to the side using hooks.
This stroller is great for long day trips or quick trips to the mall. It’s one-hand fold and ability to stand upright makes it easy and quick to get in and out of the car.
Let’s talk a little more about the use of the VaryLight with a car seat. It’s a great option for the infant and toddler pair while the infant is in a bucket car seat. Joovy has 9 adapters available to fit the following car seats:
Each adapter is available for purchase on the Joovy website for $49.99.
To install all you have to do it open the stroller, make sure it is either locked on the short or long frame option (not in between), and click the adapter onto the frame. Once in place you can click your car seat right into the adapter. The adapter can be removed easily and stored away when not in use.
There are 7 different configurations you can use with the car seat adapter depending on your needs. We use configuration #1 the most as it gives Parker room to lay back if he wants. Configurations with the short frame are ideal when shopping in smaller stores, walking around the city, or frequently using the elevator.
We recently had the opportunity to review the Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset which has been a huge hit in our house, especially when Parker’s friends come over to play. I was thrilled when VTech reached out to work on four additional product reviews and a special giveaway for all of my Cherry Blossom Love readers.
Before I jump right into the individual reviews I wanted to touch on some features in all of the VTech toys that we love and have come to appreciate.
It’s easy to pick out a VTech toy in any aisle with their colorful design and informative packaging. We love that their products are great quality at an affordable price with a broad age range perfect for multiple children. As Parker grows out of some of these toys we can simply store them away or use the different functions for Caity. I love having a variety of toys for the kids but appreciate when a single toy can have multiple purposes.
Gaining knowledge from an Advisory Council made of up doctors in childhood development, math, science, platform, and early childhood learning each VTech toy provides a variety of developmental benefits. Each function or activity is helping your child develop in some way. VTech proudly displays their developmental benefits on each box to help you decided which toy is appropriate for your needs.
User’s Manual I love when a company provides all the information I need to assemble and use a product. I don’t have time to play guessing games and not understanding how a product works correctly can be dangerous. Each of the VTech toys comes with a user manual that outlines everything you could need or want to know about the product. Some of the areas each manual touches on include battery installation, assembly, product features, and what each toy does. In addition, they also provide a melody list and sung song lyrics so parents can sing along! And for those late night Christmas Eve builders, they include a troubleshooting section. Not a fan of clutter? No worries, VTech provides all of their user manuals online to view at anytime. I made a folder on my browser to bookmark the user manual for all of our VTech toys.
Dino recognizes the eight brightly colored food pieces as you feed him and provides fun responses
Dino introduces colors, foods, shapes and counting
130+ songs, melodies, sounds and phrases
Play in counting or meal mode
Rotate the spinning disc to play sing-along songs
Answer the dino’s questions using the correct food piece
Press the five shape buttons to learn shapes and numbers
The VTech® Chomp & Count Dino™ is a great toy that can grow with your child. While the recommended age is 12-36 months, I think that it would be entertaining for an infant once they have learned to sit alone with direct parent supervision. The disks are large which makes them easy to hold by little hands and impossible to swallow. Parker had a lot of fun feeding the Dino and then pulling the disks from his belly. The dino has an optional pull string that secures to the bottom when you don’t want to have it laying around.
Assembly Time: About 5 minutes to assemble 5 pieces which requires a few screws Batteries: Requires 3AA batteries Recommended Age: 12-36 Months Purchase Information: Available at vtechkids.com and Amazon Prime for about $30 Online User Manual
Voice-changing microphone with 4 fun effects
75+ songs, melodies, sounds and phrases
5 light-up keys flash along with your child’s voice
Adjustable height stand for sitting and standing play
Learning and music modes provide two ways to play
Play guitar, drum and saxophone sounds
Teaches imitative play, instruments, animals and colors
Parker has really gotten into music the last few months. He starts moving his hips when he hears a tune and can even repeat some of the words from his favorite songs/movies. He really enjoyed playing the piano and watching the lights as he hit the keys. This is also a great product to grow with your child because the piano detaches from the stand for those earlier months when your little one is just learning to sit. I enjoy the variety of melodies including Pat-a-Cake and Three Blind Mice.
Assembly Time: About 8-10 minutes to assemble 6 pieces and a few screws Batteries: Requires 3AA batteries Recommended Age: 12-36 Months Purchase Information: Available for purchase at vtechkids.com and Amazon Prime for about $40 Online User Manual
2 ways to play—shoot a basket or score a goal
Animated LED scoreboard encourages play with fun animations
Scoreboard counts baskets and plays encouraging sounds and phrases
50+ songs, melodies, sounds and phrases
Basketball and soccer ball are included
Turning gears play encouraging sounds
Shape buttons introduce shapes, numbers and fun sounds
Parker has certainly inherited his father’s athletic abilities so it’s never to early to start practicing. He loves playing with balls and is just now learning the difference between each one and what to do with it. Parker really did love playing with the Smart Shots Sports Center™as it channels his urge to throw and kick balls which has helped as we are teaching him the appropriate places and times to do so. I love how encouraging this toy is when a ball goes through the hoop or in the net.
Assembly Time: About 10 minutes to assemble 6 pieces and several screws Batteries: Requires 2AA batteries Recommended Age: 6-36 Months Purchase Information: Available at vtechkids.com and Amazon Prime for $40 Online User Manual
2-in-1 toy transforms from floor play to a ride-on toy
Realistic, interactive steering wheel with lots of fun responses
80+ songs, melodies, sounds and phrases
Teaches animals, first words, sounds and daily life
Under seat storage holds small toys for fun on the go
Front activity panel with manipulative features
6 pretend places let your child pretend to drive to different destinations
Parker loves ride-on toys and especially enjoyed the Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser™. When I finished putting it together he grabbed his keys and phone, dropped them into the seat compartment and shouted, “bye Mommy, see ya later!” as he started driving away. Guess he has been watching Rob and I closely! The interactive board on the steering wheel can easily be removed for play on the floor with a little one who is just learning to sit up.
Buy Them You can purchase all of the VTech products mentioned above at vtechkids.com, Amazon Prime, and many local retailers.
Win Them Thanks to VTech, one (1) Cherry Blossom Love reader is going to receive the VTech® Chomp & Count Dino™, Grow-Along Music Center™, Smart Shots Sports Center™, Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser™! Giveaway ends at midnight EST on November 7, 2014. The winner will be announced on November 8, 2014 via Twitter and on the Cherry Blossom Love Facebook page. Winner will have 24 to respond via email with their mailing address. Open to US residents only.
** Special thanks to VTech for providing the Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset for free in exchange for my honest review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own and I do not recommend products I wouldn’t use myself or with my family. **
Rob and I are always on the hunt for small toys to keep Parker occupied in the car and when we go out to eat. A few months ago we came across the Go! Go! Smart Wheels series by VTech. We both loved how you could buy the individual vehicles or the playsets for more interactive play at home. We started out with the VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Helicopter and the VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Fire Truck. Both worked out great and we eventually purchased the VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels – Airport Playset. The Go! Go! series is great because the vehicles are small and can be used with or without the playsets. At the same time, the pieces of the playsets are large enough we won’t have to worry about them laying around when Caity starts crawling (which is still a LONG way off).
I was thrilled when we were given the chance to review the Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset, a brand extension of the award-winning Go! Go! Smart Wheels series. The Go! Go! Smart Animals line provides traditional role-play with modern technology for an engaging, multi-sensory learning experience.
Since we have been laying low readjusting to our new family of four and it’s a dreary day, I decided it was a perfect opportunity to set up the Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset to try out. It took a good 30 minutes to put together following the directions and using the box as reference, both of which are extremely helpful.
Go! Go! Smart Animals™ Zoo Explorers Playset™:
Includes a Rhino who teaches kids the animal name, color gray, and fun facts in addition to 3 sing-along songs.
Features 7 SmartPoint locations where animals respond with different phrases, music or fun sound effects.
Children can strengthen their motor skills with eight manipulative features including a turning gate, spinning water tank and sliding elevator.
The colorful tracks can be reconfigured or connected to other Go! Go! Smart Animals or Go! Go! Smart Wheels playsets (each sold separately) to encourage children’s creativity.
The zoo also features an electronic entrance that teaches animal names, animal traits, letters, colors and plays music.
Recommended for ages 1-5 years
Requires 2 AAA batteries (not included) for the Zoo entrance and 2 AAA (included for demo purposes) for the Rhino.
The Go! Go! Smart Animals Zoo Explorers Playset is perfect for a rainy day and kept Parker entertained for hours. He really enjoyed listening to all of the music/sounds and playing with the dials, Smart Point locations, and elevator. The tunes are catchy and really added to the imaginative and interactive play. Chief (aka Parker’s Grandfather) and I had fun using different track pieces to create different configurations of the playset.
I absolutely love morning time around our house. We all pretty much get up around the same time and Parker likes to watch a little TV while Rob and I get ready. The funny part is, he isn’t paying all that much attention to the TV. We quickly realized this when we noticed Parker walking around and mimicking a lot of our morning routine. On any given day Rob and I will witness Parker pulling out the scale and step on, grab our deodorant and lift up his arms to apply, or trying to put Rob’s wallet and phone into his own pockets. It really is adorable and helps remind us that he is always watching us and remembering what we do and say.
One of the habits he seems to have picked up that I am extremely proud of is brushing his teeth which we started making part of his evening routine around 9 months. Oral hygiene is very important to me and I can only hope that Parker has the same luck I have so far with no braces, pulled teeth or cavities at age 31. It’s not all luck though, a lot has to do with a good routine and reliable products.
** I am a Nuby Parent Blogger and recieved this item for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own and I do not recommend a product I would not use with myself or my family.**
Nuby understands the importance of oral hygiene and the functions that a child’s first set of teeth play in helping to maintain good nutrition and assist with guiding the proper eruption of permanent teeth. They kept this in mind when designing the Nuby Toddler Training Toothpaste and Toothbrush set.
Made in the USA and endorsed by Pediatric Dentist Dr. Grace Yum the Toddler Training Toothpaste is All Natural, Fluoride Free, and Non Toxic. The easy to open flip cover allows Parker to apply the Tutti Frutti flavored gel himself although we sometimes have to apply a second squirt because he enjoys eating it.
The Toddler Toothbrush has a easy grip handle that is perfect for little hands. The soft bristles are gentle on their teeth and gums allowing for a more pleasing experience.