Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Toy Review - 1

This is one post that I have been wanting to do for a while.. when I look at any sites for toy reviews, I get the review as a product but not a mother's review on it.. as to how useful it would be and stuff like that.y

When I knew I was pregnant, I must confess that one of the primary reasons to be happy other than the emotional part of it was that I could now buy and play with all the toys without getting those looks ;).. but only when it came to reality did I know choosing toys is the toughest job I had to date.. utilities are something which are a must and even when there is choice you know it fully well as to what suits the needs, but what suits the baby needs.. no idea!!

The first toy I got to her was a mobile for her cradle/swing, the traditional model with just toys, something like this, they say the first few months or at least a month the kid cannot focus on anything but still for my satisfaction... and with a month or so when the kid would play with her hands and feet they would touch the mobile toys and that would be a game for her.. later on as months passed by 3rd month beginning she was holding the toy and pulling it and trying to hold another one, so it was a good time-pass item is what I feel..  Along with these, we get those good old jhoomars plastic ones which make sounds with manual key, they like the sound and bright colors of them too... Alternatively, I tied a small brass temple bell to the swing which would make that sweet jingle noise when we swing the cradle and was pleasant to my ears, so you can try it as well.

Rattles:
Then came rattles, the typical hello baby plastic ones we get in Indian Market along with Etikoppaka wooden rattles that I got from Kalanjali and a few craft melas.. basically reading a lot about lead poisoning and effects of bad plastic usage I was kind of scared to use any toy as the kid tended to put everything in her mouth.  So, my obvious choice was washable ones with good plastic.

Sounds and Sights:
When the kid could recognize sounds and lights my hunt was for toys that would give out sound and also bright and safe for her and since I stayed in a remote area, the choice was less but the key with colors and sounds was something that I liked and the mobile phone which would recite ABCs and 123s with music and lights was the second one.

The cloth book which worked as a teether as well as a book and for sounds is a good pick too as the kid liked the bright colors, the plastic figurines worked as teethers and it was washable.

Then came the board books which had bright colors and pictures and more than as educational medium I used them for sights and even if she licked them or put them in water, I could just wipe them clean.. as for the books I prefer anything other than Vicky Series as the other models have bright photos closer to real ones rather than the painted ones in Vicky Series.. check out the pictures before you get them, they should appeal to the eyes.

When the kid could sit and play, I went to the stacking toys, both traditional Indian doll in doll ones and the FunSkool ones, the kid could not actually understand the doll-in-doll set but liked to play with bright rings and gradually learnt to stack them and now over time identifies colors as we talk casually, so it was a good investment too..

Finally, when she could sit and scribble on the floor and tear paper into pieces I went for this magic slate on which she could scribble and pass her time, however, this should be under strict supervision as the pen has a pointed edge and she can put it in eyes or hurt herself. and this is a toy only after a year or so..



One more toy set that caught my attention and was really helpful in keeping her occupied was the vegetable and fruit set, plastic ones which were available in the market.. the colors were bright, they looked good and the kid had a nice time playing with them... we should, however, be there all the time to see that the kid does not put them in mouth and check the set and see if there are any toys with sharp edges.  I must say these are the ones which provided her a lot of playtime when she was just about rolling over and sitting up with support, the bright colors caught her fancy and she used to play with them happily... As a toddler, she happily carries them around in a basket and gives them one by one when we ask their names, so it is fun and educative at the same time.

Puppets:


These hand puppets and finger puppets are good interactive toys as we can make sounds and play act a lot of things and the kid loves it when we speak in funny tones... since I was a non TV person, she had to make do with these active play sessions.. Thanks Caps for the idea, your rabbit gift gave me ideas to get more..

Swing:

The swing which kind of looks like this is a good source on enjoyment and once the kid was sitting upright on her own, I got her this one.. in fact a few of them and set up at various locations so that she can swing and watch out things on road, she loves it and so do I as it keeps her busy.. but the down side is she is so used to it that she wont sleep without a swing ;).


Bath Toys:

The plastic ducks, kitty toys, Mickey set and the other toys which would make that squeaky noise are good for bath time when the kid starts throwing tantrums to lie down still or sit up still.. these are of good use to me now after one year.

When she came to the age where she could sit with confidence and needed no support then I went for a baby pool as it was summer.. this was an inflatable pool and provided ample of cushoning for the kid to sit it, splash in some water and have fun.. I used to throw the plastic veggies, bath toys and a ball and the kid would just squeal and play with delight, so according to me a good buy... the balls that you get in the market, those very soft exercise balls would be a good idea rather than the plastic ones.. remember the smiley ones, yellow ones... also, the ball in the picture is an inflatable one with colorful designs, light weight and a good source of entertainment.
Since I was a strict no-walker until she stands on her own parent, I had gotten her a sit to stand walker, which had some play stuff in front and 4 wheels to walk which we made her do under supervision.  The kid initially was scared to walk on it alone but now when she loves walking all over she likes using it like a stroller and have loads and loads of fun pushing it around.. I have the traditional wooden 3-wheel walker which was of great help too as it was heavy, it provided her the much needed balance.  This plastic one however, is very light weight and when the kid is learning to walk, it is not a good idea as the grip to stand is not provided.  So, for starters go for the sturdy old wooden one and go for this later on if you have space to put it at home :).  There are ones in the market with more toys and frills in the front but the kid's focus would be more on front than on walking, so went for a simple one, this one cost me 450/-



Pillow Toys:
One gift that my mom got and I and the kid love to bits are these convertible pillow toys.. which she can play with during the day and sleep on them at nights, so they are her full-day companions and the bright colors make them appealing to the eye.  They are easy to wash and light weight.  The velcro underneath it makes them toys and undo the velcro and it is a pillow, priced at 100/- each, they are a good buy.

The latest to the collection is her tricycle.. she is mostly an outdoor person and I cannot carry her around, so I find it really useful... it is different than the conventional ones in that it has a handle which can be used to push along without bending, has a sun guard, foot rest and a whole lot of attachments which can later on be taken out as the kid's requirements keep changing..  This particular one has a supporting rod and hand rest like a stroller which would keep the kid inside without falling forward, the tyres are strong and I feel that 1900/- bucks that I spent for is worth it as I can use it for the next couple of years conveniently.

More later... waiting for a lot more reviews from this site users... moms, please help!!!

6 comments:

  1. good one sree...hmm..got to take mines out, but there are near to zero toys that are in good shape...

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  2. wow very useful post sree and very nicely composed,

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  3. Anulekha VankayalaMarch 5, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    Very nice article sree..Apart from the musical table, I would also like to add playskool busy gear and v-tech baby laptop...I got both when my son was 6 months old and at 23 months, he still plays with them every single day..Highly recommend them..

    busy gear - http://www.amazon.com/Hasbro-8479-Playskool-Busy-Gears/dp/B000BCEJ86

    v-tech laptop - http://www.amazon.com/VTech-80-073800-Vtech-Learning-Laptop/dp/B000M3QJPU

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  4. inko question, where did you get sreya's bike from?i mean the store..

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  5. Got it from a cycle store in Gudiwada.. but you can get it in any kid's toy store, specifically in BSA showrooms, etc. Doubles kooda untay, it cost me around 1900/- in BSA showroom it is around 1700/-.

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