Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: VTech Toys Helping Children Reach Their Milestones + Giveaway!

Disclosure: The VTech product, information, and giveaway have been provided by VTech. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% my own and honest. 

I'm excited to participating in the Santa’s Little Helper Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network!


We all know that everyone could use a little help with gifts for the Holidays, so for this Event I’ve teamed up with some of your favorite bloggers to be your Santa’s Little Helper… giving away prizes that anyone would want to see under the tree! You might find the perfect gift for a little one on your list – or even for yourself, so hop around to all the blogs on the linky at the bottom of this post and don't miss the Santa's Little Helper Grand Prize from Step2! Grace would absolutely adore this nursery!



This year has been full of milestones in our house. With Grace starting preschool and going to a speech therapy group, she has gone from barely talking at all to talking our ear off in a period of just a few months. Connor has changed from a baby to a toddler. He is talking a lot and started sleeping in his big boy bed a few weeks ago. They are growing up so fast! It's hard not to constantly compare them to each other in regards to their milestones. Each child develops differently but as parents we want to know how they are doing and how to help them progress in their development.

VTech understands our parental curiosity and collaborated with Early Childhood Mental Development Expert, Dr. Lise Eliot, to create a set of Developmental Milestones that you can use as a guideline to help better understand your child’s development.  The Milestones are broken down by ages that range from newborn to nine years old and are broken down into three categories: language and cognitive, social and emotional development, and physical and motor. My kids are always way ahead in the physical and motor skills, but are still working on the other two categories. The site gives suggestions on which toys and games are appropriate for your child at each unique age and developmental stage. For more details about the Milestones, check out this video from Dr. Eliot:




Dr. Lise Eliot responded to Milestones questions from bloggers and here a few that were relevant to our family: 

Q. As a stay-at-home mom, I feel like I'm responsible for most of my toddler's learning the first couple of years. How can I ensure that I'm teaching him all he needs to know? What are the best games or play to help him learn basics things like numbers, colors, words, etc.?
A. Children learn through play, so almost any activity is a learning opportunity for your child.   Show your child how to count banana slices at lunch time, or toothbrush strokes at bedtime.  Read ABC books to him to teach letter sounds and recognition.  But don't worry too much about academic skills in younger children.  Most important at this age is for children to learn the joy of discovery.  Try to avoid drilling exercises (like flashcards) and instead focus on learning about the real world around him--animals, people, vehicles, music, art--whatever you encounter through books or the world outside that excites your child.  When kids find a passion and get absorbed in it, early literacy and number skills follow easily.

Q. My 2 year old (26 months to be exact) barely talks unless she wants to.  She has two older siblings who tend to speak for her.  She can string a few words together like "me up" or "love you."  How can we encourage her to talk more and what VTech products would be most beneficial for her?
A. There's a simple equation to verbal development:  "Language in = Language out"  The more words you and others address to your child, the larger her own vocabulary will eventually be.  You are right that younger children sometimes do have trouble getting a word in edgewise in a big family.  Find opportunities when your daughter can be the only one speaking.  Try to carve out some one-on-one time, when you are just focused on each other, and make sure to listen and respond to every word or babble she makes, acting as if you understand her.  Imitate her words and sounds and offer lots of praise.  Just giving your child the confidence that she is being heard will provide great reinforcement to encourage her to speak more.

Also, VTech's infant toys can promote this language development since most produce simple words or phrases that babies love to control.  Toys such as Cody The Smart Cub™ and Cora The Smart Cub™ introduce children to first words, emotions, stories, sing-alongs, and more.

VTech works closely with an Expert Panel of six experts to create products that will help your child learn and reach their developmental milestones. We received a VTech Milestone Toys package filled with toys perfect for kids between the ages of 0-3. 

(Ages 0-12 months; MSRP $24.99)
· Learn and play music with animal friends! The Lil’ Critters Play & Dream Musical Piano by VTech has a variety of fun musical activities that engage your child on the floor or attached to the crib.
· This soft piano features five animal piano keys that introduce music, instruments and animals.
· The piano also includes a light-up sun that shines and flashes to the music to attract your baby’s attention.
· Choose from two modes of play for fun learning and music activities.

(Ages 6-36 months; MSRP: $15.99)
· Your little one will enjoy peek-a-boo fun and develop fine motor skills through turn, slide and press activities.
· Animal friends introduce animal names, animal sounds and colors.
· This educational toy also rewards curiosity and teaches cause and effect with pop-up surprises and 55 songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases.

This is going to be a Christmas present for Connor and I know he will love it. He adores pressing buttons and we've been working on animal names and sounds.



(Ages 12-36 months; MSRP: $19.99)
· Simply place one of the eight brightly-colored play pieces in the dino’s mouth and watch as he eats and recognizes each piece.
· Play in either food or counting mode and the dino responds with rewarding sounds and phrases all while introducing colors, numbers, shapes and more.
· Press the question button and kids can answer the dino’s questions to show what they’ve learned.
· Five shape buttons help kids learn shapes and numbers, while spinning the disc on the dino’s back will play sing-along songs.
· The dino can also be pushed or pulled by a string for even more fun melodies.

This was also going to be a Christmas gift, but the kids opened the box before I could hide it and they have been playing with it constantly since. They love being able to pull it around and they enjoy feeding the dinosaur. It helps Grace work on her counting and I am using it to work with Connor on his colors. 

To learn more about these toys or the Milestones page, visit VTech's website, Facebook, and Twitter pages. 

Giveaway
VTech is generously giving one of my readers a Milestones Toy package containing the Lil’ Critters Play & Dream Musical PianoRoll & Surprise Animal Train, and Chomp & Count Dino.





How to Enter:
This is a Rafflecopter giveaway.  Follow the instructions on the widget to enter. All current likes/follows count! Please contact me if you run into any technical difficulties with Rafflecopter.  The giveaway runs through Thursday, December 18th at 11:59 PM CST! The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to residents of the US ages 18+.

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to hop around for a chance to win some amazing prizes from all of these wonderful blogs!

So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Santa’s Little Helper participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

78 comments:

  1. If I won I'd give to my cousin for her baby. Thanks for the chance to win

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  2. I would give the Chomp and count dino to my daughter and the rest as gifts for my friends' kids!

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  3. I would love to give the chomp and count dino to my nephew. He loves dinosaurs. The rest would be spread among other children in the family

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  4. I would give them to my niece and nephew for their birthday in January.

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  5. I would love to win this for my nephew, thanks!

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  6. I'd give them to my 8 month old

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  7. I would gift them to my niece and nephew...thanks for the chance!

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  8. I'd give them to my grandchildren

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  9. my son, we managed to find some toys for my daughter, but my son has been hard.

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  10. I would gift this to my grandson if I were to win.

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  11. I would give them to my nieces and nephew

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  12. I'd give them to my good friend's kids.

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  13. I would love to win these for my friend, who is finally pregnant after years of trying!
    onecheaplady@yahoo.com

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  15. This would be perfect for my youngest! He would love it all :)

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  16. I would give them to my daughter!
    mcfallsk8er[at]aim[dot]com

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  17. I would keep them for my daughter and pass them on to my nephew when he's big enough to play with them! :)

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  18. I would give them to my sister's baby.

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  19. I would give them to my grandsons.

    rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

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  20. My best friend is having baby #2, I would give her this prize if I won so both kids get presents.

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  21. I would split this with my own and my niece.

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  22. this would be great for the son of one of my friends!

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  23. I would give them to my niece and nephew
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  24. These toys would be given to baby number 3! He isn't due until the 27th of this month and so he would be too young for them...but babies grow so fast! He would be ready for them in no time.

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  25. If I won, I would split them between my son and niece.

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  26. If I won, these would be for our grandchild.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) co

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  27. I would give it to my nephew! Thanks for the chance!

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  28. I would give them to my grandkids, thanks!

    kimberlybreid at hotmail dot com

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  29. My sister is having a baby. If I win, I want to give these to her.

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  30. This will be for my kids if I win. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  31. Probably to my little nephew.

    -hannahardoinmx@sbcglobal.net

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  33. I would give some to my son and some to foster children.

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  34. I'm due in January so I'd keep them for the new baby. I dont have much for her yet since I thought my 2nd was my lstt lol

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  35. I'd like these for my 15 month old niece. Thanks.
    partymix25(at)Hotmail(dot)com

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  36. I would love to win this for my little granddaughter.

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  37. I would love to win these awesome toys for my son! It would be a huge Christmas gift for him, and I am sure that he will love them!!
    Thank You for the great giveaway

    Fiona N

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  38. These would be for our little one, she would enjoy them.

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  39. The itty bittys® Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer® 50th Anniversary Collector Set sound interesting.

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  40. I would love to give them to my daughter!

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  41. I will give these to my youngest grandson. He would love them!

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  42. if i won, i'd give this to my little nephew raylan :)

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  43. I would give them to my grandson these toys would be great for him.
    mike2stacy1 at gmail dot com

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  44. If I won this, i would give it to my sister who is expecting a boy in April

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  45. I would give my toys to a family in need.

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  46. I would give the toys to my youngest daughter.... being second, I don't know what to give her that is her own. Her birthday is right after Christmas too. Poor child!! lol!

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  47. These would definitely go to my daughter, she would love them! ALONA Y.

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  48. I would give them to my youngest grandson

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  49. I would give these as a gift to my niece, who will be having her 1st child in February

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  50. I'd give them to our little one, he's 14 months. But I'd probably pass the piano onto a friend who has a younger one.

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  51. They would be for my grandsons

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  52. I would love to win and give the toys to my nephew; he would love them!

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  53. I have two grand kids that are at the right age for these toys.

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  54. I'd give these to my co-worker for her baby that is due in April

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  55. I would give them to my nephews.

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  56. If I won I would give these to my grandson.

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  57. I'd love to win them for my baby girl!

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  58. I would give them to my daughter! She is into toys especially if they make noise and have buttons!

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  59. i would give this to my neice she would love this

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  60. I would give this toy to my grandson if I should win.

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  61. I would give it to my youngest son, he doesn't have a lot of toys.

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  62. I would give them to my grandson

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  63. I would love to win these for my daughter!

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  64. I would give the last 2 toys to my daughter because she would just adore them! I would give the Lil’ Critters Play & Dream Musical Piano™ to my neighbors granddaughter because it would be the perfect gift, since she is the perfect age! :)

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  65. I would give them a couple of them to my nephew and maybe the other to my neighbor.

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  66. I would give these to my nephew perfect for his age.

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  67. I would give them to my cousins little children. :)

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  68. They would go to my granddaughter Alivia!
    vikki.billings@yahoo.com

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  69. If I won, I would give these toys to my friend's daughter

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  70. If I won I would give these toys to my son.

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