Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fisher-Price Introduces Toys that Grow with Your Child #fpsmartstages {Review & Giveaway}

I think we all have fond memories of the Fisher-Price toys we knew and loved when we were kids. My favourite may have been the record player. Or maybe the doggie pull toy. Then again there was the Chatter Telephone. It's hard to choose. I made sure Boo had a Rock-a-Stack and a large collection of Little People playsets when he was wee. It was like I was re-living my own childhood!

Over the years, the Fisher-Price toys may have changed and evolved, but the quality and entertainment value remains something parents have grown to trust.

This fall, Fisher-Price are launching their latest development - Smart Stages™. This line of toys in the Laugh & Learn family is designed to grow with your child from baby to toddler to preschooler, adding new challenges and updated content as your wee one develops new skills and understanding. This keeps them interested as well as keeping them challenged and learning.

I attended a launch event earlier this month and had the chance to play with many of the toys and observe kids interacting with them. These toys were a hit with everyone, including the adults and big kids in attendance! I even got to sit in a big person version of the Smart Stages Chair.

The Laugh & Learn Puppy's Smart Stages™ Train came home with me to try out. Boo is a bit old for these toys, but we checked out what it has to offer. The bright colours and different textures are engaging for babies, and the three characters you see in the image are actually rattles that baby can take out and play with separately. I see these becoming part of imaginative play as you get into preschooler age. I love that this train moves on its own when you press on the light-up smokestack, encouraging baby to crawl along to catch it. 

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn® Puppy's Smart Stages Train
Laugh & Learn® Puppy's Smart Stages Train
As with all Smart Stages toys, this one has three levels of play, and as baby grows you can move a switch to advance to the next stage. There are over 50 songs, phrases and sounds, providing opportunities to learn shapes, colours, numbers, opposites, and more. Fisher-Price explains the stages as follows:

Level 1 – Explore – 6M+ First words and sounds spark baby’s curiosity 
Level 2 - Encourage –12M+ Prompt baby though questions and simple directions 
Level 3 – Pretend – 18M+ Imaginative fun and early role play

So, say your 10 month old presses the green triangle with the number 3 on it. He may hear "green," or "triangle," or "three." A single word or tune is what he gets at Level 1. At Level 2, your toddler may hear "green triangle," or a song about the triangle having three sides. Things are getting a little more complex. Then at Level 3 connections are made. The froggie is green, so pressing the green triangle may result in a ribbit sound, or a song about the green frog who hops. Can't you just see your preschooler hopping along?

I feel this Smart Stages technology has brought even greater value to the Fisher-Price brand. Since these toys grow and change with your child they have a longer "play life" than your average baby toy. And each time you switch to a new learning level, the toy becomes new to your child all over again. "It never did that before!" Suddenly the novelty returns and your child is playing with the train again, in a new way. In this way you are getting more value and longevity for your money.

Laugh & Learn Puppy's Smart Stages™ Train is one of 6 toys in this line, and is recommended for ages 6-36 months and retails for a suggested $44.99.

A Giveaway

Would you like one of these Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy's Smart Stages Trains for a wee one in your life? One lucky Raising My Boys readers will be bringing one home! Entries are via the Rafflecopter widget below and will be accepted until 12:00 midnight ET, November 5, 2014. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I have received compensation and complimentary product to facilitate this review and giveaway. However, all opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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