When it comes to babies, I often struggle to find just the right present. I have a one-year-old nephew to shop for this year, and I don’t want to get him a toy he’ll only play with a few times then outgrow, or something that won’t hold his interest. I want to find a toy that he’ll love and play with for a long time (which incidentally gets me huge auntie cred!). So I was really interested when I saw Fisher-Price’s new line of Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Toys. These engaging and colourful toys feature an innovative learning technology that grows with your child for up to three years. Each toy boasts three levels of programmable content that can easily be adjusted to match your child’s development.
We recently had the chance to check out the Puppy’s Smart Stages Train from Fisher-Price, part of that new line. The first thing I noticed was the size of the train. At 18 inches long, it was larger than I had expected and nicely sized for baby and toddlers. Like every other Fisher-Price toy we own, it’s very sturdy and you don’t need to worry about dropping it (which happens a lot in my house!).
The included puppy, monkey, and frog rattles are the perfect size for little hands to hold onto and sit in any of the train cars. The train plays 50+ songs, phrases, and sounds that introduce letters, numbers, colors, shapes, opposites, and more.
Level 1 (6 months+): Explore
“Level one. Let’s have some fun!” At level one, baby can press any of the five shape buttons along the side for simple words and numbers, or press the smokestack for songs, lights, and to get the train moving. Busy activities like a slider ladybug, ABC spinner, number roller, and clacker beads foster coordination and fine motor skills. The motorized train encourages crawling, but for young babies, you can turn off the motorization so the train doesn’t roll away.
Level 2 (12 months+): Encourage
“Level two. Let’s learn something new!” The next level expands on the introduction of letters, colours, and shapes, and encourages baby to respond to questions and simple directions. I love the alphabet teaching song you get when you press the smokestack.
Level 3 (18 months+): Pretend
“Level three. Let’s pretend. Yippee!” The third level encourages older toddlers to engage in imaginative play. The shape buttons now give prompts like, “Orange wheels spin round and round. Can you spin too?”
We all know babies outgrow their toys almost before you can blink, so the Smart Stages feature is a clever idea that really helps you get your money’s worth. I think this would be particularly useful for families with more than one young child as you can easily move between stages with the switch along the side.
Oh, and one last thing. The Puppy’s Smart Stages Train runs on two C batteries, and you’ll be happy to know they come included! (Yay for no Christmas Eve battery runs!)
Win a Fisher-Price Smart Stages Vacuum!
Fisher-Price is generously offering another of their Laugh and Learn Smart Stages toys one lucky This West Coast Mommy reader. The Smart Stages Vacuum (ARV $29.99) encourages your baby to learn through real-world role play and features three light-up shape buttons that help teach baby about colours, shapes, and letters. Parents can manually change the level for content updates.
Enter to win in the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada only, 18+. All entries will be verified. Prize delivery is not guaranteed by Christmas, so please plan accordingly.
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Disclosure: I received a sample item for review. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ. This post contains affiliate links. This West Coast Mommy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.