Living life in the carpool lane..

Archive for the ‘Toy review’ Category

The girls’ latest obsession is sidewalk chalk.

For $1, I purchased a pack of 12 pieces at Target.  I feel like ‘Super Mom’ because this chalk can keep them occupied for at least an hour, and I didn’t pay an excessive amount of money for it!

Yup, Super Mom.

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The girls love it.  The back yard concrete is full of colorful drawings and lines.  It’s really brought our backyard to life!

The Target chalk is great.  It gets the job done.  It’s chalk.

However, I found an old pack of Crayola side walk chalk that we received as a party favor years ago.  I brought that out to them for them to try.

Crayola chalk is vastly different than Target chalk.

Target chalk feels like, well, chalk.  Crayola chalk has a creamer and smoother feel.  It’s not a dry to touch.

Target chalk makes fainter lines on the concrete.  Target chalk makes chalky lines.  Crayola chalk makes darker, more pigmented, lines.  The colors are more vibrant and noticeable.  The chalk glides on the concrete in a creamier way.

But honestly, the kids don’t care.  Chalk is chalk, no matter what the brand.  They are having fun with both sets and can spend a whole afternoon out there playing and drawing.

I love watching them enjoy some time outside!

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The Target $1/$3 rack is amazing.  It’s got some pretty great little toys for a very reasonable price.  I use that rack to buy M some potty rewards (potty training.. a whole other blog post that I’m still trying to figure out how to put together..).

M earned a potty reward recently.  This time it was a Hello Kitty Imagine Ink activity book.

BENDON_26041_1361588351-1The image isn’t the exact book she played with.

She actually enjoyed this book every much.  She loved that she just needed one marker to color everything.  She loved finding all the hidden pictures on each page.  She also enjoyed how colorful everything was.  She enjoyed it so much, she finished the whole book in two days.

I loved that it was mess free.  The marker only worked in the activity book.  If she tried to color on other things, the marker didn’t work and it didn’t leave any unwanted marks on anything.  I loved how engaged she was every time we played with the book.  I loved, that when opened properly, the plastic holder the marker is stored in can be used to store the marker when not in use.  Less clutter for me!

I didn’t like were that the marker did have a little bit of a chemical smell to it.  I just wish it didn’t smell that way.  I also didn’t like that the marker was starting to dry out after the second day of using it.  Luckily, we finished the book in two days, but I’m not sure the marker would have lasted much longer had we decided to stretch out the fun and only do a few sheets a day.

Overall, it was a great $3 purchase.  She liked it so much, she asked for more of these books.  I’m definitely getting her more.

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M loves to sing.

As children, my brother and I had a microphone stand that we loved to use.  We used to get together with our cousins and have little concerts using the microphone.

Naturally, because M loves singing, she had to had one too.  My mother took to Amazon to find the perfect microphone.


Winfun Sing N Jam Platform

This is great. 

This is a stand-alone microphone that can get pretty tall.  It will definitely grow with M for several years.

At the base, there are four buttons that are sounds of applause, cheers, and some percussion.  There is also disco ball lighting that M loves.

The microphone is pretty loud.  The quality of the sound is decent, but it’s a children’s toy, so I didn’t expect super clarity.  There is also a bit of feedback that occurs if the microphone is tilted down or too close to the speakers. 

M LOVES this.. she totally jams out to her My Little Pony songs.  She’ll sing her favorite Strawberry Shortcake songs. 

I’ve been known to belt out a little “Let It Go” from Frozen with this microphone too!

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(Don’t mind the mess.. just focus on the cute kid rocking out on the microphone…)

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M received this trike for her second birthday back in September 2013.  She has loved it from the beginning, however, she’s refused to take it outside.  All that changed last week.  We were finally able to take it out and she absolutely loves it more than ever!

Radio Flyer Radio Flyer Deluxe Steer and Stroll Trike

This trike was pretty easy to assemble.  Of course, Hubby did all the assembling.  The directions were fairly easy to read and he had it put together in less than an hour.

This trike is awesome because M doesn’t necessarily have to pedal in order for it to go forward.  That handle in the back acts as a stroller handle.  You can steer and push the trike around.  You have complete control of the tricycle with that handle. 

If M doesn’t move the pedals, the trike makes a ticking noise that can get a bit annoying.  Hubby seems to think that there is a setting within the front wheel that can remove that ticking noise, but so far, we haven’t figured it out.

The back has a little “trunk space”.  You can lift the little back area and there is a small storage space.  It can’t really hold much.  It can probably hold a little baggie of snacks, but nothing major.  We usually find small random objects in them that M likes to place. 

The wheels are hollow plastic, which makes them fairly easy to clean, but I’m not sure how long they will actually last in the long run. 

M loves this trike.  Ever since we finally used it outside, she has been wanting to go everyday! 

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I highly recommend this since you actually have a lot of control of the tricycle, especially when a two-year old is at the front!

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 I’ve been trying introduce M to activities that keep her busy and entertained.  She enjoys drawing and markers, so I figured she’d enjoy painting. 


Crayola Color Wonder Fingerpaint

This is great.  This paint only works with the Crayola Color Wonder paper.  The color doesn’t get anywhere.  Because it’s a gel, it’s easy to clean up.

At first, M was a little apprehensive about touching it, but it didn’t take her long to get used to it.  She loved making splotches all over the paper.

The colors are a little muted on the Color Wonder paper.  The colors are not bold, but it’s a only a kid’s fingerpaint.  She’s not the next Monet.  We did notice that the longer the paint sits on the paper, the stronger the colors came out. 

The gel dries a little sticky, so if you want to save your child’s artistic creations, I would not stack the pages on top of each other, even if you think that the paints are dry. 

This set seems to be a “one time use” fingerpaint set.  M dug through the gel pots and used up the fingerpaint in one sitting that lasted about an hour.  I did try to save as much as I could by scooping up the globs of gel on the piece of paper and scraping it back into the pots. 

You can find fingerpaint refills here:

 


Crayola Color Wonder Paint Refill – Set of 2 (Tropical and Classic 75-2038)

M enjoyed this very much.  I look foward to getting some refills and letting her paint again.  It’s a great activity that keeps her still and quiet for at least an hour. 

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M has been obsessed with Play Doh for awhile.  Why haven’t I posted a product review yet?  In any case, here we go!


Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Ice Cream Cone Container Craft Kit

I bought M this basic set to get her started.  It came with one can of Play Doh Plus and two cans of regular Play Doh.  The accessories are two small ice cream cones, a spoon and an ice cream scoop, and an extruder that looks like a syringe.  The base of the main container contains a lot of different molds that look like ice cream toppings and candies.

From the start, M loved it.  She loved to put Play Doh through the extruder and make “noodles.”  She loved to fill in the ice cream cones.

From a mommy’s perspective, it’s great.  It’s a great way to keep M busy for an hour, sometimes longer!  It’s much better than having her time occupied with WATCHING Play Doh videos on Youtube.  I’d rather that she actually PLAY with the Play Doh.  

I do have a few issues with Play Doh. 
– It smells.  Play Doh has a distinct smell that isn’t super pleasant.  I did play with Play Doh in the past, so opening a fresh can of it does smell like my childhood, but it still stinks.  The smell doesn’t linger, nor does it fill up the whole room.  It just smells. 
– It sticks.  We have carpet in our apartment.  We have to layout a plastic trash bag underneath her play table.  If the Play Doh gets on the carpet, and someone steps on it, then it’s stuck.  It’s pretty much the same affect when Play Doh gets on clothes and gets pressed into it.  I’m sure there are methods of removing playdoh, I’ll have to do my research.
– It sticks on hands.  I’ve noticed that the Play Doh sticks onto M’s hands.  By the time she’s done playing with it, she’s got a thin layer of stuck Play Doh residue on her fingers.  This isn’t the greatest since M is still a thumb sucker.  I have to make sure that there is no Play Doh residue on her thumb when she’s done.  If I don’t, she’ll be ingesting it due to her thumb sucking.  I know Play Doh is non-toxic, but the idea of her ingesting it is disturbing. 

Overall, I love PlayDoh.  I’ve always loved it as a kid, and I’m so happy that M loves it as much as I did. 

Before I purchased the actual Play Doh, I researched some homemade versions and made them.  I wanted to test out the interest factor without spending the money.  I also wanted to see if she was ready to play with it without putting it in her mouth.  There are tons of homemade play doh recipes on line.  All you have to do is pick one to try it out!

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Because M has had an obsession with Play Doh videos on Youtube, I decided to make my own Play Doh.

I wanted to see if she would eat it.  She still has a habit of putting various toys in her mouth, so I wanted to make sure she wouldn’t eat it.

Making my own Play Doh would be totally cost effective since I had all the ingredients at home already.

Lastly, Play Doh kinda stinks.  I remember the distinct smell of Play Doh and now that I’m a mother, it makes me worried of what actually in it.  I know that it’s non-toxic, but anything that smells that stinky couldn’t be completely safe.. right?

I researched and found this video on Youtube:

I basically made one fourth of the recipe, thanks to Hubby’s awesome math skills.  I didn’t have any food coloring, so the play doh was just white.

I have to say that it was totally a hit.  M LOVED it.  She sat and played for at least an hour, which is a record for my two year old!

I stored it into a ziplock bag and into the refrigerator.  About 4-5 days later, I took it out for her to play again.  It was cold, so I warmed it up a bit by kneading it on the kitchen counter for a while before I let her play with it.

The second time around, the play doh was much more pliable and much stickier.  Our hands had a thin film of the doh on our hands by the time we were done playing.

My cousin recommended using Kool-Aid instead of water to moisten the Play Doh mixture.  She told me that was what she used to color the doh instead of food coloring.  I will definitely have to try that next time.

I highly recommend this recipe.


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