VTech Toys Expert Milestones Resource + Toy Gift Pack Giveaway {$60 ARV}

Vtech provided us with the products mentioned below to facilitate this review and giveaway.

I was so excited to have the opportunity to try out three engaging and educational toys from VTech.  We received the Lil’ Critters Play & Dream Musical Piano™, Roll & Surprise Animal Train™, and the Chomp & Count Dino™. My children are 7 years, 4 years, and 8 months in age, and I would have to say the toys were a huge hit with all three.  I love how interactive the toys are, and they are all well designed to cater to a wide age range.

VTech has an Expert Panel composed of specialists in early childhood development.  These experts are all trained to the doctorate level and have significant education and training in child development and psychology.  The Expert Panel is compiled of six experts including Dr. Lise Eliot, Early Childhood Mental Development Expert.  Dr. Lise Eliot is Associate Professor of Neuroscience at The Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science.  In addition to more than 50 published peer-reviewed journal articles and magazine pieces on children’s brain and mental development, Dr. Eliot has authored two books.  Dr. Eliot collaborated with VTech to develop the Milestones resource.  A video of Dr. Eliot describing this resource can be found here, and a brief overview is below:

• The milestones are broken down by ages that range from newborn to nine years old.

• Each age range is broken down by three categories of learning:

o Language and Cognitive
o Social and Emotional Development
o Physical and Motor

• The categories explain different characteristics and developments that your child is faced with at a specified age and is then followed by recommended products that best cater to your child.

My youngest is 8 months old.  He is very mobile, babbles constantly, and is extremely curious and interactive with his environment.  And he’s teething.  My older children are technically past the target age ranges for these toys, but they did not let that fact stop them from sharing in the fun with their brother (or, occasionally, without him!).  My son has met the milestones for 6-9 month olds listed on the VTech Milestones page.  I’ll copy them from the website here for easy reference.  (My son has met all of these, to some degree, at this point.)

Language & Cognitive 
  • Understands family member’s names and familiar words such as “blankie” and “bottle”
  • Responds appropriately to own name
  • Babbling becomes more complex and may contain a recognizable “mama” or “dada”
  • Explores their environment using all senses
  • Holds a book and vocalizes or pats pictures while being read to

Physical & Motor 
  • Sits independently and may begin to crawl
  • Stands while holding onto a low table or sturdy toy
  • Begins holding objects between thumb and forefinger (pincer grasp)

Social & Emotional 
  • Follows your attention when you are looking at something 
  • Enjoys “peek-a-boo” and other surprise games
  • Fusses when Mom or Dad leaves the room

Several interested parents were given the opportunity to submit questions to VTech Expert, Dr. Lise Eliot.  Two questions that were relevant to my family and their answers are posted below here along with Dr. Eliot’s responses.

I have taught all three of my children signs for basic needs starting at an early age.  In my experience, it has reduced frustration for my children, my husband and me, and their caregivers at their daycare.  My son has recently picked up the sign for “milk.”

Q. What are some of the benefits of teaching children sign language at a young age to help improved their cognitive, motor and social skills? How can teaching sign language to my child help promote more than language development? How can sign language help stimulate a child’s brain in other ways?

A. The research on sign language is not terribly strong, but enough has been done to indicate that sign language may benefit your child's overall language development. The more words addressed to babies, whether spoken or gestured, the faster their own vocabulary growth. Sign language also has the advantage that it is easier for babies to communicate using simple gestures, compared to oral articulation. So especially in the first year of life, some babies find it easier to communicate their needs when taught simple signs, and may express less frustration than infants who were not exposed to baby signing.

As I mentioned, I have two older children, as well as my infant son.  While I do not think of the older two’s accomplishments in terms of milestones anymore, it makes perfect sense that they are still reaching milestones at their ages (7 and 4).

Q. How do doctors come up with specific milestones for each age group? What are some milestones for older age groups (up to age 9)?

A. Infant developmental milestones have been cataloged by studying thousands of babies from all walks of life. In healthy children, the various milestones emerge in a predictable sequence and time, give or take a few weeks or months. This predictable pattern is due to the maturation sequence of the developing brain, along with the typical sequence of practice most babies engage in, given their gradually growing strength and coordination. Some milestones you can look for as your child gets older include: able to draw a circle at age 3, asking lots of "Why" questions at age 4, knowing his or her letters at age 5, tying shoes at age 6, reading aloud fluently at age 7, and a big spurt of social independence beginning at 8-9.

Lil’ Critters Play & Dream Musical Piano™
(Ages 0-12 months; MSRP $24.99)
• Learn and play music with animal friends! The Lil’ Critters Play & Dream Musical Piano by VTech has a variety of fun musical activities that engage your child on the floor or attached to the crib.
• This soft piano features five animal piano keys that introduce music, instruments and animals.
• The piano also includes a light-up sun that shines and flashes to the music to attract your baby’s attention.
• Choose from two modes of play for fun learning and music activities.
He loves to watch the sun and music notes light up while music was playing.  He crawls over the "keys" to play the piano, and he pats the critters to make music.
This is his favorite toy configuration: something to hold himself up with while he "walks" all over the Lil’ Critters Play & Dream Musical Piano making his own music! 
Roll & Surprise Animal Train™
(Ages 6-36 months; MSRP: $15.99)
• Your little one will enjoy peek-a-boo fun and develop fine motor skills through turn, slide and press activities with the Roll & Surprise Animal Train.
• Animal friends introduce animal names, animal sounds and colors.
• This educational toy also rewards curiosity and teaches cause and effect with pop-up surprises and 55 songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases.

He can't quite figure out how to push the button, move the lever, and turn the knob yet, but he is very excited when he accidentally gets one of the critters to pop up!  I can see him working to figure out how to make the animals pop up.  As his fine motor skills improve, I imagine he will reward himself for his efforts again and again.
The train sings songs and lights up, and each animal describes itself when it pops up.  My little guy likes to explore the pull-string  with his mouth while listening to the music.

Chomp & Count Dino™
(Ages 12-36 months; MSRP: $19.99)
• Simply place one of the eight brightly-colored play pieces in Chomp & Count Dino’s mouth and watch as he eats and recognizes each piece.
• Play in either food or counting mode and the dino responds with rewarding sounds and phrases all while introducing colors, numbers, shapes and more.
• Press the question button and kids can answer the dino’s questions to show what they’ve learned.
• Five shape buttons help kids learn shapes and numbers, while spinning the disc on the dino’s back will play sing-along songs.
• The dino can also be pushed or pulled by a string for even more fun melodies.
He loves the light on top of Chomp & Count Dino's head.  He "talks" back to Dino while patting him.
He is either kissing Dino or trying to eat him.  Could really go either way.
Dino asks for specific "food" disks by color and food name.  "Can you feed me the white mushroom?"  Big sis (7)  loves teaching her brother and showing him how to put the food in the Dino's mouth and get it out of his belly.
(Incidentally, the disks are just the right size and shape for my son to hold and chew on.  He also likes to play a game with them where he slides them across the floor, then quickly crawls to retrieve them.  I wouldn't have guessed that little colored circles with pictures of food on them could be so much fun, but he sure enjoys them!)
Notice, no baby in sight...
The pull strings on the train and dinosaur make for a lot of fun for the bigger kids.  I could not get a picture that was in focus!

On the go!!
The VTech toys we tried out are tailored to give children opportunities to develop skills that could help them meet their developmental milestones.  The resources available to parents on the VTech website give parents access to important information to help them understand infants' and children's development.  We found all of the toys to be very engaging and entertaining, and I enjoy watching my children play and learn at their developmentally appropriate level while interacting with the toys.

Win It
One of my readers will receive all three of the Vtech toys mentioned in this post!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on December 10th when I will draw a winner at random. Please leave your email address if it is not visible on your profile. I will notify the winner and they will have 24 hours to respond!

Open to US Only.

Thank you to the company and/or PR who provided the products for review and giveaway. The opinions are solely my own and may vary from others.

 
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91 comments:

Shannon R said...

This would be for my baby boy

Cassandra Eastman said...

This would be for my 3 year old right now, and our baby once he arrives!

Kris said...

This would be perfect for my nephew!

Marilyn said...

If I were to win this would be a gift for my grandson

Jackie said...

This would be for my nephew.
Thank you!

Jen F said...

If I won, this would be for my nephew!

Tonya D said...

a gift for my kiddo

Patricia Wojnar Crowley said...

This would be for my niece!

Darlene said...

This would be for my grandson

Wendy Jabkowski said...

I want to win for my daughter.

Deb Jackson said...

I want to win for Mayleigh.

Linda Madden said...

If I won this it would be for my grandson

Heather Hayes Panjon said...

This Would Be For My Nephew.

Shirley said...

I would love to win for our newest Granddaughter Iris who is 6 months old. And so ready for this stage of toys to play with.

mahnrafjtb said...

I would love to win this for our grand daughter. she would love it.

Anonymous said...

I want to win for a friends child.
heather hgtempaddy@hotmail.com

618mom said...

My nephew would love these!

jmajor4870 said...

Would love these for my grandchildren

Julie said...

this would be perfect for my friend she is having her first baby..yeah:)

camp3369 said...

It would be for Reba, my coworkers daughter

momo said...

These wonderful toys would be for our second born grandson who was born on September 11th of this year-

Jet'set said...

My baby girl is 8 months old- these would be great for her.

Jennifer T. said...

I have two pregnant friends. I'd give the toys to their kiddos.

Stephanie Phelps said...

I would love to have this for my cute little nephew he would love it!

melissaandkeith miller said...

This would be for my niece

D Schmidt mummytotwoboys said...

This would be for my new baby nephew.

Kayla Sutton said...

this would be for my son=)

kellyr78 said...

This would be for my nephews.

Angela Hendricks said...

If I won this prize toy pack I would give it to my daughter for Christmas. She is five months old so this would be the perfect gift for her!

Mippy Foofalina said...

If I win this prize pack it will go as a present for the 'Angel Tree'

Wanda Patterson said...

This would be for part of my extended family her name is Jakala and she could give it to her little girl Annabella. Annabella is 9mos. old.

Brittany Steuart said...

This would be for my nephew.

Carol Trautwein said...

This is for my newborn grandson who is a month old. He will be enjoying his toys as he grows up. I can see him playing with the Dino already!

Katherine said...

This would be for my son

Kerry said...

For my 8 month old

Maria Gagliano said...

My towns mayor just had a new baby and so did the owner of my gym. I would love to gift them.

Lloyd Family said...

this would be for my granddaughter and a friend's baby who will both be celebrating their 1st christmas
jenny lloyd

Betsy Smith said...

this would be fore my daugther

ufg8trj said...

this would be for my nephew

Janice said...

This would be for my 16 month old. He's the only one I don't know what to buy for ;)

Anonymous said...

My friend who is expecting her first!
sarahbuki at gmail dot com

Klydra Pugh said...

This would be a gift for a friend's child
Thanks for the chance

freebiequeen15 said...

These would be for my twin nephews

Rochel S said...

It would be for my baby boy!

Dianne Hall said...

My nephew

Haydensmommy05 said...

This would be for my 8 month old son!!

Terra Heck said...

I'd love this for my 1 yoa niece. Thanks.
partymix25(at)Hotmail(dot)com

Martina - GetReal Momma said...

this would be for my 16 month old daughter!

Donna Hufman Warrington said...

I would actually give these to three different toddlers...since everyone decided to have a baby at the same time...lol. The three of them are the right age as well.....

Melissa Stone said...

My daughter Akira she's my youngest at 6 months :D

Dawn Monroe said...

I have three grandkids that are the perfect age for them.

Amanda said...

This would be split up between my 3 nieces!

AngelWinner said...

This would be for a baby girl that I babysit for.

Shelly Peterson said...

This would be for my grandson

Fawn said...

This would be for my 6 month old niece

missreneer said...

This would be for my daughter. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway and Happy Holidays :)

Renee
fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

CindyWindy2003 said...

If I won this, it would be for my nephew who will be born in April

Nicki Cartin said...

This would be for my almost 2 yo little boy. He'd love it!

Anonymous said...

Kristin Goodson
lilgoodson21@yahoo.com

I would love to give this to my son!

Beth R said...

This would be for my nephew

Sara Giresi said...

this would be for my little guy!

Courtney B said...

this would be for my son!!!

Thanks!

Em Mahr said...

I'd love to get this for my niece for Christmas

shelly said...

I'd like this for my baby girl

tracey said...

I would give this to my son. thanks

Giuliana Marcialis said...

I am collecting gifts for families need at my school and this would be a great gift for some of the younger siblings of my students. :)

icefairy said...

This would be for my niece.

Stephanie Larison said...

For my littlest baby girl, Maddie! :)

jakiesmom said...

It would be for my girls

Angela Marion said...

this would be for my new grandson!

♡♥♬ Carolsue ♡♥♬ said...

This would be for my little niece. She'd love this!
Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

Linda Bradshaw said...

I would give this to my granddaughter. I know she would love them.

Kaitlin Boles-VanFleet said...

This would be for my little one!

Ryan said...

My son & daughter would share these!

Rachel C said...

This would be for my new little daughter as she grows.

Linda S said...

Granddaughter

Tara L said...

This would be for my niece, she would have so much fun playing with these VTech toys.

June Lisle said...

If I win, I will give the toys to my little boy.

jill190 said...

It would be for our first grand daughter will be the lucky one to receive these toys.

Paula said...

My 15 month old granddaughter

Paula said...

my email is sweetthing_1962@yahoo.com

Terri said...

This would be for the twins (beautiful boy and girl) that my nephew and his wife had recently.

Lisa said...

for my kids. thanks.

abedabun dawn said...

If I were to win, I would give it to my grand daughter.

Heather said...

These would be for my cousin's daughter who I babysit 4 days a week

Rebecca Orr said...

If I won, these would be for my baby boy and my cousins daughter.

Ken Ohl said...

love to win this for my niece who is expecting her first child. thankyou, ken pohl19@comcast.net

Anne said...

This would make a fabulous Christmas and birthday gift for a sweet little girl who is turning one shortly before Christmas.

Ellen C. said...

If I won this would be for my daughter. Thanks for the chance.

sweetascandy579 at yahoo dot com

Tylerpants said...

I would love this for my son! Lisa L tylerpants(at)gmail.com

trixx said...

I'd love this for my daughter.

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