Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly...TOYS

Ok so I am tired of buying my kiddos toys and before they are out of the box they are broke...ok maybe that's a little exaggerated but I'm seriously over it.

Case in point- at my daughters first birthday party she received a cool bath toy...that was August September 2nd its broke.


 Ok so here's how this will go. I'm going to rate toys and give you my opinions. Remember this is just my opinion and am in no way paid for these reviews...however if someone wants to give me a toy to rate and review...please feel free. Key word being GIVE.

Now the task at hand...

Here we go!!

I'll start with two bad reviews. Both of these toys broke within a month of having them. They weren't "expensive" toys so we tossed the packaging. Let's face it though now a days toys are so dang hard to get out of the package that by the time you rip it out there is very little package left together.

1.The first one was the V-Tech Octopus bathtub musical bubble maker

Now my kiddos were super excited over this one and I kinda was too! It looked pretty neat and being that it was almost $30 I figured it would be a good one.  On the back is two big suction cups, now we all know that we aren't going to put a toy up and take it down everyday and if you do then by all means this post prob won't pertain to you. I did not therefore it would end up falling and we all know what happens it's gonna break. It actually fell a couple times while the kids were in the tub...that coulda been a lawsuit if I was one of "them" people...but I'm not.

So my rating is a big fat THUMBS DOWN!!

2. Fisher Price Water Whale that L-Bug got for her birthday. This whale swims around the tub and squirts water like a fountain out of the top of it. She loved it! Never did it fall or anything then tonight all of a sudden is just stopped squirting water. Batteries are still good, light still comes on, still makes a noises but no water fountain...and that was her favorite part! Mine too, I loved watching her put her face in the water and then laugh as it squirted her in the face.


3. V-Tech Alphabet Train
 This toys has been through 3 kids..K-Man, L-bug and one of my other children "O-Man". O-Man is a destroyer and he rode around this house on that thing like he was riding a wild bull and to this day, 3yrs later that train is still chugging along.

Rating Big Thumbs UP!!

4. V-Tech 3-in-1 Wheels is another product I would highly recommend, three kids, three sets of batteries and still going strong!

Big Thumbs UP!

5. Sit-To-Stand Learning Walker   I didn't have this with Kinley but did with L-bug. She rally liked it however she mainly just wanted to sit in the floor and play with the front of it. When she would try to stand to push the buttons it wold roll back. She did walk with it some but only when we actually stood her behind it, she would take a few steps then fall to her but and crawl around to play with the front!

Didn't break and all things seem to be working good but I wouldn't say it's a have to have.

6. L-Bug just got her My Pal Violet but she LOVES her and she is very interactive! I like her much better than the puppy K-Man had.

7. Fisher Price Little Super Star Stacker is still going strong with baby #2!!

Thumbs UP!

8. The Rainforest Waterfall Soother made it through one baby but not the second. K-Man had been out of the crib for about 6 months before L-bug arrived so it sat unused for a little while but not really sure what happened to make it quit but it does not work now. Bummer cause K-Man LOVED IT.

9. Trains Sets...I could talk all day about trains sets. When looking for a train set for K-Man we looked at all kinds. Thomas, Imaginarium, making our own, etc. We finally decided on the Imaginarium trainset from TRU. If you wait until BLACK FRIDAY (umm yes I LOVE black friday and am out there with the best of em' every year) they normally have a sale where you buy the train table for around $80 and you get the tracks set free(another $80value). We did this and then just purchased a few Thomas the Train trains and other pieces. He has so many now they won't all fit on the table at once. the Imagination table has held up really well, took a few kids standing on it(not for long before they were caught) and had drinks spilled on it but it still looks great! I also recommend if this is a Christmas gift wait til black Friday (they have online shopping now so no excuses) and see if it is on sale again.

10. Kid Chairs  These chairs are awesome. They are lightweight enough that the kids can move them to wherever they want them, the covers come of for washing because we all know a 2yr old will only spill every juice they have on the chair. They are comfy, soft, cute and fantastic. LOVE THEM...MUST HAVE!!

11. Toy Table We are using this table for #2 and so far everything has worked out perfectly. After K-Man got too big for it the legs come off for easy storage. Note to self...REMOVE BATTERIES BEFORE STORAGE. I did not do this and of course the batteries were corroded. (spelling?)  Luckily the handy dandy hubs was able to rig the batteries in there and it works just as good!!

12. Little Tikes Bounce House  This was a birthday present. We were leery of spending this much money on a toy but decided that if it did last then it would be money well spent. Well I am happy to say this thing has lasted over a year and is still going strong! Perfect for my playdates and a great way to wear the kiddos out right before bed time. I HIGHLY recommend this toy!!

13. So after purchasing and loving the bounce house. This year for the kiddos birthday's we decided to do a joint present with the grandparents and splurge on a HUGE gift. The Rocky Mountain River Race. It was a HIT!! We went with Little Tikes again even though it was about $100 more because we were so pleased with the quality of material and the way it has withstood all the hard play. We have not been disappointed yet and yes I myself have went down the slide!!
14. Laughing Cow  This little thing has been going since K-Man was a baby and I swear both of my kiddos LOVED it. Must Have!

15. Table/Easel  Now this was a gift so we opened it up and used it for a bit but not one I would have bought myself and actually I am selling it. The "storage" area under the top is only big enough for 1 coloring books and not really a good place to keep all the crayons. Every time my 3yr old would open up the top to get something out the top would fall completely off the base. If you are wanting to purchase a desk like this I would recommend spending alittle extra money and getting a nicer more sturdy one.

16. I don't know what the official name of this toy is but my son LOVES it (wow it's seeming like my kids LOVE alot of their toys). He got this for Christmas and I was kinda skeptical but it has proven to be one of his favorite toys to play with. The links for the tracks easily fit together so he can build it himself, he can make mountains and twists and make it as big or small as he wants. It also all comes apart to be easily stored in a plastic container. YAY for easy storage. If you see these out add it to your christmas won't be disappointed. (not to mention some of the cars light up and some of the tracks glow in the dark so it's super cool to play with this in the dark). Cars are battery powered.

And this comes with a ton more track I just didn't put it all together

17. Lincoln Logs- Yes every little boy needs a set of Lincoln Logs...No not every set you buy has to be name brand

18. Leapfrog Leapster- Yes this can be a good educational toy however for the price of games if I had it to do all over I would have loaded up my IPod with educational games and gave him that. We bought the extra camera to go with it...hardly used. It was cool for the first day and now I don't even think he realizes there is a camera on there. He has that and he has my old IPod and most of the time it's the IPod he asks for. If you are looking at buying the LeapPad I would highly suggest looking into buying just a tablet because the Apps are so much cheaper than the game for the LeapPad. Oh and the Apps for the Leapfrog Leapster are just as expensive as the games...$20+each

19. Step 2 Rollercoaster Another outside toy that has been a hit with the kids and at playdates. L-Bug isn't quite big enough for it yet but she likes to get on the last hump and use it as a's like a mini slide. Perfect!

20.  Step 2 Water Table K-man got this for his first birthday...actually he got two but one went back. The first year when he was just learning to stand it was an ok toy. The problems I ran into was a) I would forget to empty the water and it would be nasty with bugs within a day, b) if I did remember to empty the water it would rain and fill back up and be nasty with bugs, c) I hate having to remember to empty the water, d) it takes up space on my deck. So not a fan of this toy. Not a bad toy just not for me.

21. Tonka Remote control car This little car is still working great however after playing with it for just a little while it hasn't been played with much more. We got this for K-Man when he was 2 but he still didn't quite understand how to get to to do anything beside go into the wall so he lost interest pretty quick. It does work great though!  I would recommend going with another toy at the age of 2 and waiting til they are alittle older for the remote control cars.

22. Nerf Guns  Must Have!! Love watching the hubs and K-Man roll around on the floor and behind the couch playing with these guns and shooting their target. So fun!!

These are the easiest kind for a 3yr old. He couldn't pull the others ones back

23. Fisher Price Better Batter Baseball  We did not personally have one of these but my neighbor did so K-Man did plenty of playing with it. It was good but no 3 yr old have perfect aim so after a few hits to the post that the ball hangs from it would get out of line and wouldn't attach to the balls properly. I say if you are going to do the whole t-ball thing go with a basic set. Kids need the exercise of going and chasing after the ball to bring it back anyways.

24. V-Tech Baby Computer I bought this used and it has been dropped, stepped on, banged on and it still going strong. L-Bug loves it and is easily portable!

25. V-Tech Tote & Go Laptop Plus  I also bought this used. My son was about 3 1/2 when he got this (it was a potty training gift and yes he was 3 1/2 before he would poop in the potty) so this has been taken alittle better care of but it still works great and we have not put batteries in it either. Easily portable and great for trips to WV. It helps that they both have their "own" computer so they are not screaming for each others in the vehicle!

26. Fisher Price Learning Piano  What a fun toy for L-Bug. She loves to dance so it helps that every button you hit a song plays. It is just tall enough that she could easily reach it once she started pulling up and she loves how the buttons light up. It's also on three legs and very sturdy which is very important since this was a toy we used to help encourage her standing on her own.

27. Fisher Price Kitchen If you are buying it because it has the different shaped foods that are used with the shape matching its useless. Our food items are already scattered all over the house. I say buy a basic block with the shapes for that. I wanted this for her because her brother got a big kitchen from "Santa" last year and I wanted her to have her own little kitchen. Well she hardly plays with this and has much more fun pulling out all the baskets of food from his kitchen. I so "Go Big or Go Home" with this one.

28. Kitchen  Well last year Santa had to get really creative when K-Man decided that Santa was bringing him a "CARS" kitchen for Christmas. They don't even make CARS kitchens...Holy Cow what were we going to do. The first Christmas that K-Man would remember and Santa was going to fail miserably!! Oh Jeez. Well the hubs gets the parent of the year award for working with Santa to bring my son this...

He Loved it and the best part total project was under $50. We had alot of fun working on this project together and to see his eyes light up on Christmas morning for something that we, eh-hum', Santa made personally was just heart warming. Who knew how inspiring Pinterest could be? Well I did which is how I justify the hours I spend on there. If you are going to buy a Kitchen really look into making your own, it's SO FUN!!

29. Black & Decker Tool Workshop  Yes this will all come a part and fit into this little carrying case, but who the heck wants to take it apart after you spend an hour putting the dang thing together?! Not I. As you can see there are no tools on it. It is a waste of space. The tools stay in their specific plastic container and when he wants to play with them it is usually working on the high chair or something else in the house that needs fixed. I don't think he has ever once stood at this thing and played using it. The tools are a YES the bench is a NO for me.

30. BOOM BOOM R/C  I wasn't so sure about this gift but he got two of them for him and his friend to race with. It is a blow up card that has a remote control thing on the bottom. Plus is you can deflate it and it stores easily. It is easy to maneuver and K-Man really enjoys playing with this. It will go anywhere!! Negative prepared with batteries...lots of extra batteries. He really liked this gift though so I'd give it a thumbs up!

31. V-Tech Play and Learn Globe  Be also bought this second hand (we don't buy many toys new unless its birthday or Christmas). Considering we only paid like $3 at a yard sale for this it is AWESOME!! I am horrible at geography...I mean HORRIBLE...ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you how bad I am. This toys has actually taught me some stuff and I think its pretty neat. A great toy and I believe I will keep this for when K-Man starts school and really learning his geography. This could be very handy to have!!

32. Punching bag  This is our second one. The first was one of those blow up ones from TRU that is only like $10. Well after about half a dozen tackles from my 20lb 3yr old it busted...a couple times. He got this one last year from his memaw and it has withstood many tackles, punches, hits and keeps on coming back. If you are going to purchase one of these I recommend looking into buy a more durable one. Not sure how much this was but it was definitely worth alittle extra money.

33. Marshmallow Shooter  I don't even have a picture of this because it lasted didn't even last it just didn't work. The marshmallows would get stuck which would end in a very unhappy 3yrld. We let them set out and get hard and stale but they still wouldn't go through rt and we just ended up having K-Man eating stale old marshmallows. This was a gift and was given with so much love but completely bombed. (they didn't know it wouldn't work and they will be reading this probably screaming at the computer DON'T BUY THIS)

34. SPRINKLE WATER BALL I know that's not the technical name of it but I can't remember and since summer is over I can't find a pic of it. We had two of these over the past 2 yrs. They both lasted 1 time each being hooked up to the water hose. This is the giant inflatable beach ball that shoots water out of it from different sides. Well the problem is as soon as you turn it on the water pressure rips the internal piping from the holes therefore filling the inflated ball with water. Trust me there is no fixings it after this happens, we tried...TWICE!

35. V.SMILE BABY Don't Do It! Waste of money, babies showed no interest.

36. HOT WHEELS TRACKS  K-Man Loves his hot wheels. He will play for hours putting together tracks and taking them apart. Make note that TRU has their own brand that is cheaper, works just as good and will connect with the hot wheels brand tracks as well.

37. Fisher Price Farm Sounds Little People  I LOVE LITTLE PEOPLE! Kinley Loved that this made different farm noises when he played with it but it wasn't an overwhelming amount of singing, bantering, and mooing like some toys are. What is it with toys now they think the more annoying sounds it makes the better...Really?? What happened to the doll who closed her eyes?? Now they have the pooping, screaming, dancing, singing babies. Ugghhh  Anyways yes Little People is alittle pricey but I do love them!!

38. Tonka Chuck & Friends Rumblin' Chuck Interactive Truck  K-Man like this toy because he could yell at it and it would come to him or run into the wall depending on where it was. Warning though, very LOUD and very annoying and will wake up a sleeping child if he decides to start talking because of some loud noise outside! lol 
39. Fisher Price Geo-Trax Transportation System Remote Control Timbertown Railway  Wow that's a mouthfull. K-Man got for Christmas, LOVED it, still plays with it. He can put it together himself and take it apart and it stores easily in a plastic tupperware container! Big Hit with this momma!!

40. Leap Frog Tag Jr. This was a pretty neat idea but K-Man never would stay on one page long enough for it to "read" to him. He just wanted to touch random parts of the page with the Tag Jr then go on. If you have a child who will set down and actually look through a book and take their time this would be a great gift. If your child is like mine and plays with every toy while running around in circles screaming about his booty then this prob isn't the toy for them.

41. Cookie Shape Surprise  This is a wonderful toy that does a great job at teaching the kids their shapes. The top is big enough for them to reach in and get the blocks out and it works on basic shapes. K-Man learned his shapes with this toy and L-Bug does best with this toy as well.  Great toy!

42. Crawl Along Drum  I really liked that this was a drum but atleast had a tune to it. The tops light up when you hit them so the baby gets more than just the reaction of music. Plus if they are crawling it will fold down to roll around. Super Cute!
43. Go Baby Go Crawl and Cruise Musical Jungle  L-Bug got this for Christmas last year. She didn't really play with it alot while she was crawling. Now that she is walking she will go over to it and hit it every once in a while. The balls of course got lost somewhere in the house and this take up a good amount of floor space. If I had of realized the little this would be played with I wouldn't have let Santa bring it! Just not very interesting.
44. Garanimal Wooden Blocks  You can buy these relatively cheap at Wal-Mart. These wooden blocks are the best way to go. They are perfect for stacking and knocking over, learning letters and pictures. Plus they will can't go wrong with wooden blocks!!

45. If you have wood floors, this Alphabet Mat is the way to go when you have babies who are learning to crawl and walk. We do not have carpet upstairs and we found out really quick that we needed a cushion. I'm not one of these people who's home looks like kids have never been in it. My home is very kid friendly with toys scattered everywhere, sometimes I'll even find a toy in the fridge. And its because I put it there...don't act like you ain't ever done that before?! This mat has lasted through both kids, no tears, wipes clean easy and is there to cushion those falls. If you watch closely it will go on sale at TRU right about Christmas as well! ;)

You don't have to use it all, you can make it as little or big as you would like!

46.  Bubble Mower  This is a must have for every little boy because nothing puts a smile om my face more than seeing my little man out there copying his daddy's every move! ADORABLE!

47. 48. & 49. These are just a few staple toys that I think should belong in every house. Board Books, especially a night time book that you and your child will memorize together because you read it every night. Wooden Puzzles are a self teaching toys, Music Music Music! I love watching my babies dance, sing and just be silly while listening to music that is good for their little ears. Face it people we are shaping them and molding them to run the world in a few years do you really want their first recollection of music be "Shake that A$$, Watch ya self' "  Choose wisely please!

Lastly is probably one of my fave gifts and honestly it is all because of the picture that follows it!

50. Kids Couch I touched on the must have chairs now here is a must have couch, especially if you travel. This thing folds out to a bed and it great when we are going somewhere that there will not be a bed for K-Man. He does not sleep with us because he is like Karate Kid in the bed and I refuse to be beat by my child. It is easy to pack up and gives him something soft to sleep on. He also likes taking his "own" bed when we go somewhere. Makes him feel alittle more at home. Plus it is so cute to see both my babies cuddle up on the couch and snuggle with each other...I think I might make them do this every year, on this same couch, for forever. That would be cute an amusing pictures all at the same time!

I hope this list will somehow help you in deciding on toys for your little boogers. I know I always question the ratings online. I swear companies will pay people to go on there and say how awesome their stuff is when it really is junk. These are just one moms thoughts on the toys in her home!
Happy Shopping and remember there are only 88 Shopping Days Til Christmas!!!