This is a Snap Circuits SC-300 review. The toy, manufactured by Elenco Electronics is the ideal toy for any parents wishing to introduce science and electronics to their child. While I do think that this toy is probably better suited for boys, my two daughters have really enjoyed the whole experience, and are clearly much better at understanding how electricity works. I found out about this toy when I was looking around on amazon for educational toys for my daughter’s birthday. This toy was ranked very highly and had a position inside the top 20 best selling toys last time I looked, but seeing as the list changes every day this ranking is very fluid.
This toy has won quite a few awards including the National Parenting Center – Seal of Approval, The Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s products and the Dr. Toy Best Educational products award. Whether you think that this toy is really worth buying just on the fact that it comes with these awards is up to you, I personally made sure to check the customer reviews, both good and bad before I actually bought it.
The recommended age for this toy is 8 years and above, although I definitely think that there is room for this toy to be played with by children under that age. My younger daughter was turning 7 years old when we got this, and she was already at the stage where she was able to put together some of the basic circuits. One great thing about this toy is the fact that it allows kids to build on the things they have learned in previous projects. The ordering of the projects is in difficulty order, they will begin by putting together simple things like an electric light and switch project which allows shows them how electricity is turned on and off with a switch. Then later they can build things like a fire fan symphony and a water detection alarm.
The box comes with the following parts. It of course has the plastic “snap-grid”, 32 electric components and 2 project manuals. The number of projects listed with the product is 305, but you will find that there are actually only somewhere in the vicinity of 130 – 140 “base” projects, and the rest of the projects that you can do are “extensions” of the base projects.
Overall, I would have to say that this buying this toy has been an excellent experience and the amount of time that my kids have spent experimenting and playing with this toy, more than justifies the price. Thanks very much for reading this review of the Snap Circuits SC300 set.
I bought this LeapFrog Learn & Groove Table for my younger daughter last year, it is for sale at a number of online stores. I have to say, that apart from a few small niggles, this toy is really very impressive. There is an impressive amount of features and functions attached to it. There are 15 activities with over 40 different songs, melodies and in a variety of different music styles. I actually already owned the Fisher Price equivalent of this toy, but had found that while my daughter played with it a little, it wasn’t all I had expected.
This toy on the other hand gets quite a lot of attention and she plays with it almost every day. I originally found this toy on the Amazon.com website because it had such a good ranking in the bestsellers list, and it also came with a huge number of positive reviews. I would like however to talk about one thing that I found at least to be not quite so positive.
When you put the legs on this thing it is almost impossible to take them off. This might not seem like a big deal, perhaps it is supposed to be used with the legs attached only, but in my child’s case there was the issue of the child not being able to use it properly on its legs straightaway, but when she started trying to walk we thought it might be a good idea to attach the legs to it, it was great until she almost pulled the thing on top of herself trying to stand.
I contacted customer services about this issue, and their best solution was to return this particular version of the toy and look for one which has “tabs” on the legs. Obviously with the tabs the legs come off, but seeing as the tabbed version is difficult to get hold of this didn’t really help me out. I think that as long as you are aware of this issue and only put the legs on the toy when you child is “really” ready for them, there shouldn’t be a problem.
That said however all the little gizmos that baby can play with here are really worth it in the end. They can slide, flip, spin, push , pull, open and close. The toy helps them with problem solving skills and with memory as well. The toy also introduces counting from 1 – 10 and can be turned to Spanish as well with the flip of a switch.
I would thoroughly recommend this LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Table to all parents who have children aged 6 months to 36 months. Although please be wary of attaching the legs. Thanks very much for reading.
The Blokus Classics Game is a brilliant game for all the family, and because the rules are so simple, you really can get the whole family into this game and entertained for hours at a time. Blokus has won many rewards and is apparently the most awarded game of the 21st century, it won the 2003 game of the year and it has also won an award from Mensa for promoting healthy brain activity. If all of these awards are not enough to convince you of the quality of this game, please continue reading the rest of this review.
This game very quickly became one of our family favorites and because of the simple nature of the game it is very easy for my younger daughter, who is still only 6 years old to join in the fun. This is actually the first game that we have had that she has been able to join properly. Learning the rules takes just a few minutes, but it takes a good long time to master the placing of the tiles, and because there are so many different possibilities every single game that you play is different even if you are playing against the same players time and time again.
The objective of each game is to get rid of all your tiles as best you can. When you place a piece on the board, it must not be adjacent (or “next to”) any of your previously placed tiles, but it must be touching the corner of a previously placed tile. If you look at the picture you can see what I mean.
The only negative that I would mention for this game is the fact that the board is ideally suited for 4 players, and when you play with just 2 or 3 players it pretty much always just ends up as “whoever plays first wins”, which does ruin the game. One way that someone online has found to solve this, and I can attest to the effectiveness, is to take a black marker and draw a line 1 square in from the outer edge of the board, effectively making the 20 x 20 board an 18 x 18 board. The 18 x 18 is the best size for a 3 player game, and if you want to play with just 2 players you can draw another line one more square in, and this will give you the ideal board for 2 players at 16 x 16 squares.
There are also a few other game types that you can play including “Draft Blokus” where you can play 2 different colors. There is also then “Reverse Blokus” where the objective is reversed and you must place as few blocks on the board as you can. Then there is “Solitaire Blokus” where you play on your own with the objective of placing all of your pieces in one sitting.
Thanks for looking over this cheap Blokus Classics Game review.
Educational toys seem to be on the rise in recent years. Cheap Magnatiles Translucent Colors 100 pieces is just one more. Now that most parents are in agreement that play-time is something that can be both fun and educational, the demand for bigger and better educational toys has gone up dramatically. While you might think that playtime should just be about play, there is always room for them to learn something at the same time. This is a review of a toy that I think contrasts play and learning in brilliant fashion. Magna-tiles Translucent Colors (100 pieces) is a set of see-through magnetic tiles in different colors that can be put together to form all sorts of different shapes and patterns.
The set includes:-
- 50 – 3” x 3” squares
- 20 – Equilateral triangles
- 15 – Isosceles triangles
- 4 – 6” x 6” squares
- 11 – Right triangles
100 pieces in total. I would recommend this set over the 32 piece starter set, in the 32 piece set there is just not enough pieces for your kids to really get into it. Of course if you are not 100% that they will get into the set then the 32 pc. Starter set might be the way to go. But I can pretty much assure you that they will love this set anyway. The magna tiles are not just about geometry, these tiles can be put together in all sorts of different ways. My daughters for example build houses, police stations, fire houses, and sky scrapers (no schools though…).
The educational factor comes in when they automatically learn things like “2 right triangles makes a square” or “3 isosceles and you have a trapezoid”. This will almost definitely help them out when they get to school and begin math lessons. That leads me to the appropriate age for this toy. While the manufacturer recommends that this toy is best used by children aged 3 and up, it can definitely still be played with by children of a younger age than this. My younger daughter has been playing with it since she was just 18 months. I would recommend that you wait until they get past the “chewing everything stage” before you let them play with them, but after that they should be good to go.
The price of this toy is probably what puts most parents off making the purchase, but they are well worth it. Although at first even I wasn’t sure whether they would really get into these tiles or not, they have literally spent days on end playing with these tiles building castles, towers and almost anything you could imagine.
I hope that you are now a little more familiar with this toy and are like me, very interested in letting your kids learn while they play.
Thanks for reading this magna-tiles translucent colors 100 pieces review.
The LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 is a robot building set from LEGO. It is a decent improvement on the original Mindstorms NXT building set. In this review I would like to go over the features of this new NXT set, and also talk about my personal feelings and experiences with this LEGO robotics set.
The NXT 2.0 retails for somewhere around 270 dollars, but the price can vary quite a bit from retailer to retailer. I would suggest that looking online is the best way to keep the price low. The set comes with 619 pieces including motors and sensors, or 613 pieces without them. There is now a sensor for detecting colors, this sensor can detect six different colors; red, green, blue, white, black and yellow. There are now 2 touch sensors which allow for the robot to react to touch, the older NXT only had the 1 touch sensor and 1 sound sensor.
The addition of an ultrasonic sensor is super exciting as well, because the robot can now detect objects at a distance of up to 8 feet. There are 3 servo motors which let the robot interact with environment. There is the same NXT “brick”, which is the programmable computer core responds to information from the sensors and also sends commands to control the motors. The NXT brick is capable of Bluetooth connection with a computer or with up to 3 different NXT bricks.
Then there is the programming. The programming can get really quite deep when you do it using computer software. There is a small amount of programming that you can do just on the brick itself, but it’s quite limited.
There are a few set programs that you can use, these include:-
- Robogator; an alligator that snaps its jaws at objects that get in its way.
- Shooter Bot; a robot that launches balls when it detects movement.
- Color Sorter; this robot separates colors of balls into different trays.
- Alpha Rex; this is a humanoid robot that walks forward, backward, it can turn, talk, grab things and it can also see.
All of these different robots are lots of fun to play with, but I would recommend that the Shooter Bot might be the easiest to assemble and the one to go with first if you are a beginner.
I bought this toy for my 10 year old son, and while he does get a lot of enjoyment out of it, some of the programming can get a little bit too complicated for him. It is a lot of fun me though, and over time I think he will pick it up.
In conclusion, I would like to recommend this as a great toy for introducing your child to robotics and to one of the most entertaining parts of science. For information on where to get a discount Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 check out your favorite online retailer.
If you have been looking for a present for your children that will get them a little more in touch with nature then this is possibly one of the best toys that you can get for your child. The Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden is actually a “kit” or “set” if you like where you can actually grow your own butterflies. Your children can watch these little caterpillar larvae go through the caterpillar, then the chrysalis and finally the butterfly stage of its life.
I have to be honest here and even though I was hoping that this toy would be as interesting to my children as it would be to me, and really get them interested in science and nature, I did initially have rather low expectations. I am very happy to let you all know however that this toy lived up to my expectations and more. My kids nagged me almost every day before wanting to me come look at the caterpillar to see how it had changed.
The process gets even more interesting when the caterpillar begins transforming into the chrysalis. Once it has begun transforming you can then safely transfer the chrysalis into the cylindrical mesh chamber where it will eventually transform into a “painted lady butterfly”. The process takes anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks from the larvae arriving to it becoming a butterfly. It takes about 7-10 days in the caterpillar form and then a further 7-10 days in the chrysalis form.
Once the butterflies hatch from their chrysalis (apparently the manufacturer “guarantees” that at least 3 of the 5 larvae that you receive will successfully hatch into a butterfly. There is one thing that irks me a little about this Butterfly Garden and that is the fact that you don’t actually get any larvae with the initial set that you buy. When you buy the set, you receive a coupon to send off for your caterpillar larvae. While it does annoy me that the set is seemingly not complete, I have to remember that out local store themselves cannot stock the caterpillars and so this is the only way to know when a customer is ready for their caterpillar. The eggs that the caterpillar larvae hatch from are kept in a butterfly nursery. The larvae come in a special container and with enough caterpillar food for the journey.
Thanks very much for taking the time to read my review of this Insect Lore Live Butterly Garden. I hope that you can see what a present idea this toy is now.
This is a toy that will have all Harry Potter fans busy for hours building it, and then busy playing with for months on end after they have finished construction of the castle. The LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle took me and my kids about 3 or 4 hours to complete. But once it was done my kids were jumping about with excitement wanting to play with it. I think that the castle is definitely a little bit too difficult for children under the age of 8 to build, and even some children of age 8 will probably have difficulty with it, unless they have been playing with LEGO for a long time.
The castle includes a whole host of different things from the harry potter books and movies. The rooms include the Great Hall (which is something that has been missing from previous sets), Library, Dumbledore’s office, the room of requirement, common rooms, astronomy tower, owlery and quite a few more. With 1200+ LEGO pieces, there is quite a bit to castle. I’m pretty sure it is the biggest LEGO Harry P. Castle that has been released to date, although there has been a slightly larger castle scheduled for this year so I hear.
Most of the characters from the books are included as well. Harry, Hermione, Voldemort, Dumbledore, Snape, McGonagall, Flitwick, Filch, Mrs. Norris and two dementors. The exclusion of Ron is probably my biggest complaint with the whole set. I think that the only reason to exclude probably the second biggest character in the whole series is to attempt to force parents into buying yet another of these toys in an attempt to complete the set. The fact that this is being done with kids toys and if the parents do not get the extra toy it will leave the kids put out is not too nice at all.
The price of the castle has now come down in price and you should be able to pick it up for less than 120 dollars. Taking the size of this castle into account this really is value for money. While I put this castle together with my daughters and it took us just one afternoon, if your child was about 10 years old and building it on his own, it could take him a little longer to put together. Also once the castle has been completed the complexity of the thing should ensure that they get months if not years of play time out of it. If you were worried about the durability of the castle once complete you can rest at ease, because my daughters have given it quite a thorough testing over the last few weeks and it is still in one piece.
Thanks for reading this LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle review.
If your child has ever watched “Yo Gabba Gabba”, or even if they haven’t, then this set of foam bath toys is a great way to keep them entertained while in the tub. I originally bought this set of foam “stickers” about a year ago now, and they are still going strong. I have two small children the older is now 2 1/2 and the younger has just turned 1 year old. The product description has this toy as only suitable for children of ages 3 and up.
My comment on this has to be that while I agree that it could be dangerous if a small child swallowed the toy, with children that small you have to be in the bath with them anyway, so the danger is greatly reduced. I was letting my younger daughter play with this toy and others like from 6 months old, sure she chewed it a little, but no harm done.
The “Yo Gabba Gabba” TV show has gained some serious popularity over the last few years and the characters have become big household names. My older daughter just loves to watch the show, and having all of her favorite characters with her during bath time actually makes her want to stay in the bath longer.
There has been plenty of screaming and shouting when I try to take her away from the place where she gets to play with these toys. I don’t let her play with the toys outside of the bath, because I just know they would get lost in the jungle that is her room. I thought it better to keep them for bath time only.
The stickers are made of foam, on one side there is a picture of the Gabba characters and on the back there is a 1/4 inch layer of foam. When you wet these pieces of foam they stick to the wall and to the bath. One thing that did irritate me was the fact that when they get bent they do not stick to the bathroom wall anymore and they are very difficult to bend back into shape. This toy has the #16 rank for “Toys & Games” on the Amazon.com best sellers list.
I would like to thoroughly recommend this toy to anyone who has kids that love the show Yo Gabba Gabba, but also for children who are not yet familiar with the show, the bright colorful characters will keep them entertained for hours.
Thanks for reading this review.
The Melissa and Doug Deluxe Magnetic Responsibility Chart is the latest addition to our household, and I must say that referring to this as a “toy” is a little misleading. This is a fantastic tool for motivating your kids. I recently bought a couple of these for my daughters, who are 4 and 2 respectively. I was thinking that it would be more of a “use at some point in the future” gift for both of them to be honest, but the 4 year old is already very much into getting rewards for completing the tasks. It’s not just getting the reward that she likes, but it’s also placing the magnets on the board and filling up her column for the day.
The chart comes with magnets with all sorts of different responsibility titles. Here is a list of the titles; get dressed, make bed, clear table, take bath, put toys away, keep hands to self (“don’t touch Daddy’s things” might have been better here…), brush teeth, stop whining (I haven’t awarded this one too often), apologize, say please/thank you, help with indoor/outdoor chores, no teasing, show respect, load/empty dishwasher, put clothes in wash, don’t use bad language, set table, take care of pet, do homework, make bed, clean room, take out trash and there are also 2 blank that you can write for yourself.
Of course not all of the tasks are appropriate for my daughters, I won’t for example as them to take out the trash, but I will reward “making an effort” in pretty much all of the other tasks. I think that a reasonable amount of responsibilities for one day is 10. You can also assign an allowance system for each task completed. For example if you gave 10 cents for every 2 tasks completed then that means they can earn a $3.50 allowance with 10 tasks a day 7 days a week. Quite a good system that seems to get my older motivated, but she has yet to earn the full amount.
I went for this product for a few reasons, firstly because I just wanted a way to get my kids doing positive things during the day, but also because this particular product is reviewed and ranked so well on Amazon.com. It has the No.7 rank just in the “Toys and Games” section, but it has the No.1 rank for Toys & Games > Learning and Education. I was finally convinced after looking over some of the reviews.
Thanks very much for reading this Melissa and Doug Deluxe Magnetic Responsibility Chart review. I recommend this as one of the best “toys” that you can buy for children aged 3/4 to 13 years old.
Beyblade Metal Fusion Super Vortex Battle Set is a toy that is a replica of the old game battle tops. It involves players spinning tops into a concave plastic “battle arena” in an attempt to topple each other tops. The player whose top is the last one spinning is the winner. This installment of the game is based on the animated series of the same name. The premise of the game is the same however.
The different tops are customizable in this game, so you have five different pieces that you can put together in different orders to make a different top each time you play. The different tops that you ake can have different weights and be adjusted to have different shapes also. There is a lot of variability with this game, you might think it would be the same thing time and again, but each top has different strength and weaknesses, some of the tops are heavy, while some are fast spinning. Some tops have more endurance and some tops have more power. You will also see different results with different arenas, some tops will be better suited to different arenas.
It does seem to be the case that the creators of this toy had the intention of enticing people into buying all the different tops and arenas that are available as well. This set comes with two different tops and with just the one arena. If you do want to get the most out of this game, it does seem like a great idea to get all the other tops that are available and to buy an extra arena or two. That is of course up to you.
You launch the tops into the arena using a “rip-cord”, if you miss the arena when launching the top, you lose the round, so technique when launching is very important. If two players had all of the available tops there could be a enough variety and strategy to give this game some real longevity, but as it stands with this set, the “Pegasus Storm” top does seem to win more rounds than the “Drago” spinning top. This again could be part of the plot to get users to buy some more tops, but there you go.
My children did seem to enjoy playing with this set, but I think they would have enjoyed it even more if they had been fans of the animated series. I would like to thoroughly recommend this toy as a great gift for children in the 2nd or 3rd grade. Obivously more geared towards boys, but girls can get some play time out of it too.
Thanks for reading this Beyblade Metal Fusion Super Vortex Battle Set review.