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February 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 2
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Baby Roundtable: Get the Baby on the Phone

New Toys Teach Colors, Words and Concepts


“Lucy was still talking about ‘Goodnight, Baby’ as I put her to bed — hours after we read it.” Penelope Pauley, mother of Lucy
Moms and babes agreed that the Tag-It! Cell Phone by ABC Development Inc. was a winner because of its soft texture and pleasing sounds. The Meet the Colors DVD by Preschool Prep Company was a hit as a learning tool for the toddlers and older infants. Unique interactive books by iBaby from innovativeKids kept the parents reading.

Participating in this month’s Infant/Toddler Roundtable were Penelope Pauley, mother of Lucy (2); Christy Chambers, mother of Nigel (2); Maggie Rochin, mother of Orlando (3); Diana del Pozo, mother of JoJo (1 year) and Sharri Hefner, mother of Sydney (5 months).

Tag-It! Cell Phone by ABC Development Inc. (ToyShow)
Category: Infant/Toddler
Gender: Boys and Girls
Age: 0 and Up

What It Is: A plush cell phone with numbered tags that make noises when pressed.

What the Moms Thought
The moms loved the Tag-It! Cell Phone’s soft construction and colorful tags. It comes with a ring to attach it to play gyms, mobiles and car seats — a nice tool for younger children who cannot hold it for extended periods.

What the Kids Said
Five-month-old Sydney smiled whenever the phone made a noise. Nigel (2) liked the reflective mirror. JoJo (1) imitated her mom’s telephone conversations, and Orlando (3) pretended to call his father at work.

How to Improve It
The moms had no suggestions.

Would You Want Another Toy Like This?
Finding a noise-making toy that does not annoy adults is nearly impossible. Because the noises amuse my child and aren’t too caustic for me, I’ll recommend the Tag It! Cell Phone to friends and buy it as a gift.

Meet the Colors DVD by PRESCHOOL PREP COMPANY (ToyShow)
Category: DVDs
Gender: Boys and Girls
Age: 1 and Up
Price: $14.99

What It Is: A DVD that introduces color recognition through simple, colorful illustrations and varied oral repetition.

What the Moms Thought
This video takes a simplistic, repetitive approach to color recognition. Many moms were surprised to see how thoroughly the kids were engaged by the fuzzy characters. Christy, mother of Nigel (2), said, "I liked the easy pace and that the color integration became progressively more difficult." Penelope said the DVD relaxed and calmed Lucy (2) after a stressful day.

What the Kids Said
Orlando (3) immediately joined in and repeated the color names. Nigel (2) was entranced by the images. Lucy (2) fell in love with the "white" story line. Even though the suggested age range is 9 months to 4 years, the DVD held 5-month-old Sydney’s attention.

How to Improve It
Although a couple of moms were concerned about showing any TV product to children under 1, they were extremely happy with this toy.

Would You Want Another Toy Like This?

Absolutely! I plan to buy the numbers and letters series for Sydney for her first birthday. I believe she will learn from these videos.

Goodnight, Baby by iBaby from innovativeKids
Category: Books
Gender: Boys and Girls
Age: 0 and Up
Price: $8.99

What It Is: A book in which babies fit animal play pieces into bed-shaped pockets.

What the Moms Thought
Penelope thought the strings tangled too easily, but appreciated the concept because Lucy (2) is learning to identify when she’s tired.

What the Kids Said
Five-month-old Sydney, who has just learned to grab, was enthralled by the animals on strings. Lucy (2) loved caring for the animals and putting them with their mamas, and Orlando (3) used the book to imitate animal sounds.

How to Improve It
One mom wanted a few more animals. Another wondered if there was a way to keep the strings from tangling.

Would You Want Another Toy Like This?
Definitely. This is an excellent interactive tool for teaching kids about bedtime.

Farm Faces: A Book of Masks by iBaby from innovativeKids
Category: Books
Gender: Boys and Girls
Age: 0 and Up
Price: $5.99


What It Is: A story accompanied by illustrated animal masks.

What the Moms Thought
Is it a story to read or masks for play, Penelope wondered? The design makes it difficult to do both simultaneously.

What the Kids Said

Five-month-old Sydney liked flipping the pages, but was not interested in seeing her mom in the masks. Lucy (2) lost interest quickly. Nigel (2) and Orlando (3) loved pretending to be the animals. JoJo (1) laughed as her mom read it to her.

How to Improve It
Some moms thought the story line should be printed on the book’s back, so the adult could read while looking through the eye holes.

Would You Want Another Toy Like This?
The concept is fantastic, but most moms thought the execution fell flat. With improved design, they would love to have another similar book.

Peek-a-Boo! by iBaby from innovativeKids
Category: Books
Gender: Boys and Girls
Age: 0 and Up
Price: $10.99

What It Is: A book that uses illustrations and inserts for family photos in a peek-a-boo game.

What the Moms Thought
The book is of excellent quality, with solid binding that can withstand a toddler’s bites and tugs. The simple design held the kids’ interest. The photo inserts guarantee the book’s longevity. It’s a winner all around.

What the Kids Said
Lucy (2), loves playing peek-a-boo, so this book was an instant hit, and because it referred to her family members, she was even more excited. She asked her mom to read it many times.

How to Improve It
The parents wished the book was longer.

Would You Want Another Toy Like This?
Definitely. It’s a fantastic interactive game for child and parent.

Wild, Wild Adventures by innovativeKids
Category: Books
Gender: Boys and Girls
Age: 3 to 6
Price: $9.99

What It Is: A book that sends the reader on scavenger hunts.

What the Moms Thought
Maggie loved the size and colorful illustrations. She and Orlando (3) enjoyed searching for treasures together. Diana thought the book was not age-appropriate for JoJo (1).

What the Kids Said
Nigel (2) loved "hunting" and peeking under the flaps. Orlando (3) appreciated the goofy, colorful illustrations. Lucy (2) found the book to be "scary." The infants did not respond.

How to Improve It
Christy said, "No improvements… We love this book!" Maggie wanted sturdier flaps, as they started to tear shortly after Orlando (3) started playing with them.

Would You Want Another Toy Like This?

The toddlers’ moms gave a resounding "yes." Moms of the younger kids plan to see if their kids appreciate this book when they’re older.



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Sharri HefnerWriter's Bio: Sharri is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Most recently, Sharri wrote a one act titled "Spice" for Gene Rhee’s "The Trouble With Romance," which stars David Eigenberg ("Sex and the City"). "Georgia Heat," a script Sharri wrote with fellow NYU alum Mora Stephens, is slated for production Summer 2007 (Janet Yang, Executive Producer). Sharri received her MFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Before NYU, Sharri was graduated summa cum laude from California State, Long Beach. While Sharri was completing her thesis, USAToday selected her as one of the top college students in the country. Sharri is the proud mom of Sydney, who was born in June 2006. Read more articles by this author

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