Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Little Tikes Slide

I have the world's best mommy and daddy!  Do you want to see what they put in my second play room the family room?

A SLIDE!!!  It is so much fun!  Mommy got it at a yard sale a couple of years ago and was storing it in the attic until almost two months ago.  Then, one day I went down for a nap and woke up to see that Mommy and Daddy put a giant slide together IN THE HOUSE!  Yes, they will both deserve "World's Best __" coffee mugs for Christmas.

Mommy helped me look on the Little Tikes website today, and we don't think they sell this model anymore.  I think lots of toy companies sell similar models, though, so I'm not necessarily reviewing this specific slide as much as I'm just reviewing the concept of having an indoor slide built for young tots.

Let me tell you about this slide!  It has three steps on the side that you climb to get to the top.  Then, you sit on your bottom and slide down.  You can also crawl underneath the slide, and it's like a little fort.  I've only done that once, though, because I'd rather just slide!

You have to be careful, though, because you will get into trouble and your grownups will threaten to remove it if you stand at the top of the slide.  You must sit on your bottom immediately.  They will also get mad if you stand at the top and try to walk down the slide.  I think I tried that once.  I kinda tumbled forward and would have done an unexpected somersault if Mommy wasn't there to catch me.  I must admit that it was fun, but Mommy did not have a happy look on her face.  I've learned and do it the right way now.

Mommy and Daddy pulled out this slide at the perfect time: I was 16 months old.  I was already getting good with climbing and enjoying going down slides at the park.  It took me a couple of days to learn how to go down the slide without my feet slowing me down.  Daddy put socks on my feet, and that helped.  Then I just learned to pick up my feet, and I went really fast down the slide!  So, tots, please tell your grownups to get you a slide and set it up inside so you can play on it anytime, day or night, rain or shine.  I guarantee it will be the biggest hit in your house!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sesame Street Playville Play Tent

Let me just say that this toy is the best!  It's the first thing that my friends go to when they come over for playdates. 
My play tent has three parts:
1) A ball pit, as you can see in the picture.  I got this from my aunt, uncle, and cousin when I turned one.  They saw that it didn't come with enough balls, so they bought me a pack of 100 more.  I have so many balls now!  They are so much fun to sit on!  And throw...
2) A hut.  This part is completely closed in.  It has a material 'door' that closes with Velcro.  Once you climb in nobody can see you!  This is where I come to hide sometimes when I just need a little Kayla time.  Mommy and Daddy always find me, though.
3) A tunnel.  The tunnel connects the ball pit and the hut.  I'm sort of particular about things and only go from the hut, through the tunnel, to the ball pit.  Never the other direction.  Weird?  Anyway, the tunnel is definitely fun to crawl through.  I really like it when somebody is waiting for me in the ball pit so I can crawl through and giggle and think, "Peekaboo!" when I get there.

The material that the ball pit and hut are made out of is really thin, but it's held up well.  It also folds flat so you can move it out of the way when you want to play with other toys.  I think those are things that our grownups like to know.

This toy is so much fun for tots who have started crawling.  You know I'm a walker now, and I still love it!  My big cousin likes it too, and she's already three years old!  I think I'm going to like it for a very long time.  So go get this toy for your favorite tot because it's so much fun, and they'll use it forever!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fisher-Price Little Superstar Sing-Along Stage

They did it again!  Fisher Price came up with a long name for a really cool toy.  I call it my "singing mirror."  I got this as a Christmas present from my aunt, uncle, and cousin.  The moment that Daddy set it up for me at home I knew I was going to like it so much.

I don't think there's anything I would do to make this toy any more fun.  When I was nine months old, I was a sitter, and the stage and mirror were the perfect height for me.  There's a microphone you can shake, guitar to strum, xylophone keys to hit, drum to bang, and saxophone to slide.  Doing any of these things causes the music to start up and lights to flash.  What tot wouldn't like that?

The music is great because it actually sings songs the entire way through.  My Mommy gets frustrated with other toys and some books because they only play a tiny little bit of a song or two.  Not this toy!  My favorite songs on here are "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" and "If You're Happy and You Know It."

Now that I'm a stander (and walker and runner and jumper), I grab the microphone and stand a few feet in front of the stage.  When the music comes on, I like to shake the microphone and dance.  I like pretending I'm a superstar!

I really don't have anything bad to say about this toy; it's a winner!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Home Playset

Sometimes I wonder how Fisher Price comes up with their toy names.  How do they expect tots like us to be able to say Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Home Playset?  What about Fisher Price House?  I think that'd be a little easier, but what do I know?

Despite it's long and confusing name, this toy ranks up there with the best ones in my play room.  I don't know how the Fisher Price people do it, but they have come up with some winners!  Are you ready to find out why this toy is so amazing?

First off, this house makes lots of noise!  For some reason, I keep finding the switch on "off," so I've learned that I have to slide it to "Learning Time" or "Music Time" whenever I play.  I'm not sure why that's happening.  Once you slide the switch, though, you'll have lots of fun with it.  Here are some of the fun things to do that involve sounds:
1) Ring the doorbell (and the light even lights up inside and outside of the house!).
2) Open/close the mailbox (and put mail in).
3) Change the address.
4) Rotate the dial on top to morning or night.
5) Open/close the door.
6) Drop balls in the ball droppy area.
7) Buttons on the radio.
Mommy and Daddy say that the sounds are there to help me learn cause and effect.  I don't really know what that is, but if that's why they put sounds on toys like this, then I think it's a great thing for me to learn.

What are the best things about this toy?
*I got this toy for Christmas, when I was about nine months old.  I was army crawling back then, and I loved opening the door and crawling through.  I did that over and over.  I really liked closing the door behind me because it sounded like it was slamming!  Nowadays, I still like opening the door, crawling through, and slamming the door behind me.  I guess that's something that even big tots like me still like!
*The ball droppy thing on the side.  I never paid any attention to it until recently.  Maybe it's because I'm taller now and can stand and do this.  I don't know, but I have so much fun putting the ball in the top and watching it drop down to the bottom while making funny noises.  Mommy and Daddy say that it is helping me with eye-hand coordination.  Whatever.
*Mailbox.  I think the mailbox is something I've liked since the beginning too.  It's so much fun to open and close the mailbox!  I really like opening it from inside the house, sticking my arm through, and handing the mail to whoever is on the other side.
*Pressing the buttons on the radio.  It's just fun to press buttons.
*Opening and closing the window.  I like playing 'Peekaboo' with it.  It makes me giggle every time!

This toy has so much to it that I think I'll be playing with it for a long time.  There are a few things that I don't really play with now, but I might someday:
*Shape sorter on the door
*Address above the door
*Day/night dial

I love my house!  My friends always like to play with it too when they come over for playdates.  It's big enough that I can have lots of friends play with it at the same time.  I really think you should get this house too because it's got something fun on it for everyone!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Swimming Pool

It's been a few weeks, so where have I been?  No, Mommy and Daddy haven't bought me anything new.  No, Mimi hasn't made me another repurposed gift (although I'm having even more fun with that wipes container lately).  It's been really hot here, so Mommy has set up lots of playdates with my friends at the neighborhood swimming pool!  Yep, that's where I've been.


A swimming pool is like one gigantic toy.  It's sort of like a big bathtub, but it's even more fun because there are always other tots there.  I especially like splashing on the steps and jumping off of the edge into Mommy and Daddy's arms.  If I really want added fun, I can even bring little toys into the big swimming pool.  I have a special bag that I bring every time I go to the pool.  It has squirt toys, toy boats, diving rings, measuring cups, a watering can, and a baby doll in it.  I really like pretending that I'm pouring my friends tea with the watering can.  So there you have it: the best toy in the whole wide world is a swimming pool.  It's huge, though, so you won't be able to bring it back home to put in the play room.  That's a little bit of a bummer, but at least I have my Step2 water table to play with when I'm at home!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Playskool Busy Poppin' Pals



I've had this toy since I was a mere six months old.  It was a great yard sale find, and I loved pushing the animals back down after a grownup popped them up for me.  That's how I played with this for months and months.  It was sort of like peekaboo, and I loved seeing the animals pop up!  Mommy and Daddy always then talked to me about the animals, where they live, and sounds they make.

Fast-forward several months to my first birthday...  Now that I'm a big one year old, I can make the animals pop up on their own!  This toy had been put away for awhile, and then my mommy decided to bring it back out to see what I could do with it.  You should have seen her surprised expression when I went down the line opening every single animal's secret compartment! 

Mommy and Daddy love this toy because it is great for developing my fine motor skills.  All five functions require me to do something different, from sliding a switch to pushing a button and even turning a crank!  I love it because I'm able to sit and play with this toy all by myself now!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mickey Ride-On Plane


Hi!  My name is Will.  I am an 18 month old boy who loves toys just like Kayla!  One of my favorite toys right now is my Mickey Ride-On Airplane.  I got this toy for Christmas back when I was 13 months old, and it has been one of my favorites ever since.  When I first got it I was just learning how to walk so I liked to push the toy around the house as I worked on making my legs stronger.  Now I love to sit on the toy and ride around.  I also like how the propeller lights up and rotates when I push buttons on the control panel.  The plane even plays music, and I love toys that make lots of noise!  Under the seat of the plane there are four shape sorting blocks so I can work on matching up my shapes.  As a bonus, this toy is also very popular with some of my friends who are already three and four.  When we host playgroup this toy is everyone’s favorite.  I think all kids need one!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Calling All Tots!

In the past several weeks you have gotten a glimpse of some of my favorite toys.  Most of them were made in a factory somewhere (a couple even at Santa's Workshop!), but one was made by my very own Mimi.  What has been your all-time favorite toy?

If you're between the ages of 0 and 4, I'd love to hear from you!  Tell your grownup to leave the name of your favorite toy, your name, and an email address in the "comments" section below.  My mommy will contact your grownup about you becoming a guest writer.  It's really easy - all they will have to do is log in with a Google account and write what you tell them about your toy.

I can't wait to discover some fantastic new toys that you have at your homes!

Repurposed Wipes Container

Like any tot, I love to make diaper changing a fun experience for my parents.  Once I hit about eight months old I figured out that I didn't really need to stay on my back for Mommy or Daddy to change my diaper; I could roll over onto my belly and pull diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointment, etc. out of the adjacent basket and either chew on them or throw them to the floor.  My parents never seemed to really appreciate this new-found skill, and I soon started witnessing them having to wipe the sweat from their brows after changing me since they insisted that I lay on my back.  They started giving me stuffed animals and diapers and books and basically anything imaginable just so I would stay on my back.  BORING!

Wanna know the funnest thing to do while someone is changing your diaper?  Pull the wipes out of the container one by one!  It really drives your parents crazy!

Well, my Mimi had heard about this new hobby of mine and decided to search the Internet one day for a solution.  She saw that some mommies put colorful pieces of fabric inside of old wipes containers so that tots can pull them out without getting into trouble!  Mimi headed to a fabric store in search of bright fabrics in a variety of textures (satin, fleece, velvet, cotton, tulle, etc.) and stuffed a wipes container full of them.  During diaper changes these days, Mommy places my special wipes container on my chest so that I can pull out these awesome fabric swatches while she cleans me up.  It's so much fun, and I can never get all of the swatches out before she's done!
According to Mommy, the best part is that she can just open the top of the container and stuff the swatches back in so that it's ready for next time.  Easy clean-up and no wasted wipes!  If I'm really good, I can even take this "toy" to the floor to play with while Mommy does things in my room.  It's very portable, which makes it great when she wants me to stay in one place and be entertained for awhile.  I really think you should ask your Mommy or Daddy to make one of these containers for you!

Do you have any toys made of recycled materials or that have been repurposed for you to play with them?  Tell me about them in the 'comments' section below!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dolls

Right now I have two dolls.

I've had these two babies for several months now, but I must say that I am liking them more and more.  Give me a stuffed animal or doll and I'll cuddle with it for a few moments, but up until recently you couldn't actually expect me to carry it around everywhere; I'm not one of those toddlers who you see sleeping with five favorite stuffed animals or dolls or even insisting on taking a favorite one in the car or to the store.

Now that I'm fourteen months old, though, times have changed.  No, you still won't see me dragging around a favorite baby or animals everywhere you go.  You will, however, see me playing with them often.  Especially my two dolls.

Here's a description of each:
1) Madame Alexander "My First Baby": She is very soft and pretty.  I love how her hat comes to a point. This helps me pick her up more easily, especially when she's sitting in her stroller.  I know that good mommies shouldn't pick up their babies by their hats, but I'm only 14 months old - what do you expect?  Her body is soft and cuddly.  Since she has a plastic head and hands, she's great for playing but not for sleeping.

2) Fisher Price Baby's First Doll: Like my Madame Alexander doll, Tricia (my doll's name) is very soft.  In fact, she is soft all over, so she's the special doll that I get to hold in the car or sleep with when I'm away from home.  She's even got rattles in her head, so if I shake her (again, I'm 14 months old, so don't judge me as a bad mommy for shaking my babies) she rattles!  She's also got a couple of pieces of curly blond hair (ribbon) sticking out from under her hat.  When I was a few months younger I loved chewing on these hairs.  They aren't so curly anymore, but that's okay.

There you have it - everything you wanted to know about my two dolls!  Like I said, I love them both but for different purposes.  Will my insight help you purchase the perfect doll for the little one in your life?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Stroller Styled Walker

The name of this toy is a mouthful, but we just call it my "baby stroller."  Right now, this toy ranks up there with the best!  Why?  It not only lets me practice being a mommy, but it also helps me practice walking.  I received this toy as a Christmas present when I was around nine months old.  At the time I was still rolling to get from one place to another; I hadn't begun crawling.  That was okay because I still had fun sitting in front of the stroller and spinning the toy that is on the front or hitting the button to play the music.

About a month later I was crawling and began pushing my stroller around by walking on my knees!
video
After I started "pulling up," this was the perfect toy!  It was a great height and super stable.  I never had to worry about it falling over like some other toys that I tried to stand with.  It wasn't long before I began pushing the stroller by walking on my FEET!  This stroller is one of the first toys that I crawl to in the mornings and last ones I play with at night before bedtime.  In the past few weeks I've even figured out how to take my baby doll out of the stroller seat and put her back in!

I think this toy is great for pre-walkers, as you can have fun just sitting and playing with its features, and walkers, as it makes a great 'first doll stroller.'

Sunday, May 6, 2012

DK Peekaboo Books

For Halloween my grandparents got me a peekaboo book with babies dressed up in Halloween costumes.  It's called Dress Up Peekaboo.  It is the best book ever!  Instead of having peekaboo flaps on pages that are easy to tear, the flaps are made of the same material as the rest of the board book!  I love tearing paper, so Mommy and Daddy liked that they could trust me to "read" this book independently without damaging it.  What else makes this book great?  It's also a 'touch and feel' book, so there's something for me to feel on every page!  Those two things make a book fabulous, but there's one more thing that sets it over the top: it has cute babies in it!  When playing peekaboo with this book, I'm actually playing with other babies!  Mommy and Daddy say that this is a good skill for me, but I just think it is fun opening the flaps and seeing babies there looking right back at me!

Well, I loved this book so much that my relatives found that there was an entire series of Peekaboo books by Dorling Kindersley, which you can find here.  I've got quite a collection of them now, which is great!  There are lots of holiday-oriented books, which have made great gifts for me, and also everyday books.  Several have babies in them (yay!), but other ones have toys or animals to play peekaboo with.  They all have the cardboard flaps and things to touch and feel.  The pages are not very busy - one main graphic and a little rhyming text on each page - which makes them great for babies and toddlers like me!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Step2 Water Wheel Play Table

I first learned about water tables when I went to my friend Olivia's house.  She had a fun one with little balls and a spiral ball drop in the middle.  It was great, except that I was too short to reach the spiral.  Then, I went to my friend Mccoy's house, and he had the Water Wheel table.  I stood for two hours playing at it!  So, Mommy and Daddy did some research and decided this one was the best option.  Imagine my delight when I saw it sitting in the foyer one evening!

 It was even fun crawling on the box!  You know it's a winning toy when you have fun before even opening it!
I had a blast this past weekend when Daddy finally took it out of the box so I could play with it!
 
So, what's so great about this water table?  It's the perfect height for me!  It has two fun sailboats; I like pulling the sails off of the boats and then splashing them in the water.  The shark cup is easy to hold.  The water wheel is fun to watch, but I also like taking it apart and dropping it on the floor.  All in all, it's a lot of fun on warm days!

Do you have experience with a water table?  What do you think about yours?  Leave me a comment and tell me all about it!