Category: Toys

ToyTainer

As usual, the kids got way too many presents from everyone, which means we had to cull lots of their old toys to make room.  And luckily for me, ToyTainer sent me a bunch of their products just before Christmas, which means extra storage places for all those Christmas toys.

For every day use, this is our favourite ToyTainer

For every day use, this hang on a door ToyTainer is our favourite.  As you can see, there is no room IN the closet for toys….

The princess castle (picture above) is a great space saver since it goes over the door.  It also has adjustable height straps, which is super awesome.  I put it on it’s very lowest setting so that Hannah can see in the mirror from the ground (which she loves), and reach even the highest toys with her stool.  Most importantly, Rosie (our new puppy) can’t get any of the toys in it, which makes it a great place to store all of Hannah’s enticing, chewable, puppies-like-to-rip-the-hair-off dolls.  When we travel somewhere that doesn’t have any toys, we can fold up the princess castle, with all the dolls and things in it, and take it with us.  Easy, and perfect for holidays/vacations.  Daniel got the boys version, called games centre, which has a basketball hoop at the top.  Hannah likes using the hoop, but Daniel is a bit too small for it.  He will appreciate his games centre when he is a little older.  And taller. For now though, it’s great for extra toy storage.

The hoop makes cleaning up super fun.

The hoop makes cleaning up super fun.

We also got a shoe box for each kid.  Hannah decided immediately upon opening hers that it is called a “Caravan Bag” and likes to take it in the car filled with my little ponies and other girly things.  Daniel likes to drive his cars and trains around on his and then put them away through the little opening at the bottom.  I like how they are portable storage, but also a toy in themselves.  We had to go on an unscheduled trip over 4 hours away to attend Aaron’s Nanna’s funeral and the kids piled their caravan bags with chosen toys.  Daniel’s fit heaps of Thomas engines, train tracks, cars, dinosaurs, and the mat I talk about below.  Hannah’s fit ponies, books, play jewellery, and her play mat.  I was surprised at how much stuff can actually fit in them, and they were perfect for taking away with us.

aka "Caravan Bags"

aka “Caravan Bags”

Another easy clean up and travel item is the EZ-mat.  There is a pink one with dirt roads/trails, and a blue one with roads.  The kids can play on them and then use the cord to turn them into a bag with all the toys and cars inside.  Brilliant for travel.

playmat

The blue version

The blue version

There is also the pink ice cream truck which Hannah absolutely loves because it’s fun to push around and unlike most cars and trucks that size, is not made with boys in mind. She loves that it’s pink.  Open the top of the truck and it’s completely hollow, designed for storage. Hannah stores all of her little toys that Daniel is not allowed to play with due to their choking hazard.  They are now all in the one place, and easy to store away from Daniel’s prying hands when Hannah isn’t playing with them.

 

PROS:

-Durable
-Fun to play with
-Functional as storage
-Easy to fold and take on holidays
-Storage solution at home
-Makes toy clean up easy and fun
-Fold and Go has adjustable straps, great for different child heights

CONS:

-I couldn’t find how much they cost online (they are exclusively available at Target)

Finally, a pink truck for girly girls

Finally, a pink truck for girly girls

Abigail the story buddy

Hannah (3) wasn’t feeling very well. She was lying (laying?) around on the lounge looking miserable.

Knock knock.

“Mommy, there’s someone at the door.” She told me excitedly as she perked up for a little bit.

“Hannah, there’s a package for YOU!!!”

I helped her open it and watched her little face light up despite feeling horrible when she saw the soft furry bunny inside.

“Is this for me Mommy?” She asked.

“Yes sweetie, she’s for you! The box said her name was Abigail.

 

“Look, she has a book too.” I told Hannah.

“Can you read it to me Mommy? Pllleeeeeeeeaaaaaasssssseeeeeee?”

Hannah sat on my lap with Abigail next to her as I read Abigail’s story.

At the end of the page, Abigail spoke.

“She TALKS mommy!” Hannah was so excited. “She’s listening to the story too!”

Abigail would say something relevant to the story on nearly every page.  Each time Hannah got excited.

When we were done with the story, Hannah got up, with a sudden burst of energy and pulled Abigail in all directions, tossing her in the air, helping her “do gymnastics” just like in Abigail’s book.

We read Abigail’s book, The Balance Beam, many times that day. And many times since. Hannah can’t get enough. She sits for the entire reading without getting bored, and sometimes for 2 or 3 readings back to back, each time as excited when Abigail talks as the last.

PROS:

-Abigail doesn’t say random things, she actually responds to phrases from the book
-Kids LOVE that Abigail interacts with the story
-Soft
-Cute
-Durable (Hannah was throwing her up in the air, and she can’t catch very well…)
-Comes with a book
-Reasonably priced
-Makes kids want to read
-Can purchase more books that Abigail will respond to

CONS:

-Subsequent books are a little pricey at $9.99AU each

To buy Abigail (or other interactive story buddies, such as Cooper the Bear) in Australia, click here

To buy Abigail in the US/Canada, click here

*I received Abigail for free for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.