Grippies: STEM Toys for Toddlers

g8311_6-1200x1200BurritoBuzz has talked about STEM teaching before, so elaborating on STEM, we’re bringing you a review on Guidecraft Grippies. I had not heard of Grippies prior to being introduced to them, but I was fascinated by the concept.

The toddler STEM building toy, Grippies® Builders, combines tactile exploration, magnetic play and an introduction to the basic principles of engineering and geometry. Grippies® use a unique, magnetic rod and ball configuration to provide a secure, frustration-free set of construction option as children first discover the joy of building. Unique in concept and design, Grippies® provide a fun, safe, and exploratory experience for toddlers. The 30 piece set features 4 soft matte textures in exciting bright colors. Suggested age: 18 months+

  • Open-ended magnetic STEM building toy for toddlers
  • Combines tactile exploration with magnetic play
  • Provides introduction to engineering
  • 30 piece set in exciting bright colors for $59.99 or a 20 piece for $39.99
  • Over-sized ABS Plastic rod encapsulates magnets
  • Accompanying metal balls are overmolded with soft plastic, with seamless texture for secure construction
  • Exterior features 4 soft matte textures
  • Winner of the Tillywig Brain Child Award, the National Parenting Center’s Seal of –Approval, Parents’ Choice Awards Silver Honor, and the Oppenheim Gold and Special Needs Adaptable Product (SNAP) Awards

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My son is 22 months old and really fine-tuning his motor skills at this point. Upon opening up Grippies, not only was my son fully engaged, but my husband and I were enthralled with building all kinds of structures with him. He quickly caught on to the concept of magnetism, so much so that he discovered that he could stick them to theg8311_lifestyle3-1200x1200 fridge, dishwasher, and cold air return grates. And while the structures he’s building now are fairly basic, I have no doubt that he’ll be engaged with Grippies for years to come and build much more advanced structures!

I was concerned about the magnets in these products, because magnets can cause serious damage (and death) if swallowed. I’ve been cautious throughout my son’s infancy and toddler years to ensure that small magnets are always out of his reach. Thankfully, the magnets in the Grippies are firmly stuck on the rods. While I tell my son to not chew on toys, he still does at times. Thankfully, the Grippies’ magnets have not budged. He is still always supervised when playing with them, thanks to my momma paranoia.

Grippies have proven to be a fun, educational activity for my tiny human. They keep him busy for decent lengths of time. My only true complaint is the price; they are overpriced for what you get. I’d love to see them have a lower price-point so all families could affordstem-logo-salsify-1200x1200 them. Check out all of Guidecraft’s awesome and educational toys here and Guidecraft’s STEM toys here! They will make great holiday and birthday gifts for any little one in your life!

Don’t forget to follow Guidecraft on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to stay up to date on all thing Guidecraft!

– Katie

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

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GeoSphere from GeoSmart {Review + Giveaway}

My daughter loves to build (and demolish) things. She loves Legos, blocks, anything that she can stack on top of each other until it’s taller than her, she loves. My brother, cousins, and I would play Legos for hours, so I share her love of building, too. But there are so many new construction toys on the market today that I would have killed to have when I was younger. One of those toys is GeoSmart, a magnetic construction toy, that is out of this world! I recently got the chance to review one of the GeoSmart sets and the whole family is in love with this amazing toy!

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GeoSmart is a magnetic construction toy for children ages 5 and older (my daughter is 4 and she had no problem building with them). Each piece contains magnets that are protected by a double safety system, so the magnets can’t fall off. A stainless steel covers the strong magnets and locked onto an ABS core, which is then covered by durable polycarbonate housing. This new patented system makes GeoSmart a safer and stronger toy that offers a long lifetime and are super easy to clean. GeoSmart offers several different shapes in 9 bright and colorful colors. You can use squares, triangles, diamonds, rectangles, isosceles triangles, and trapezoids to create endless combinations and let yourgeo_geosphere3_construction imagination run wild. Some sets come with unique pieces like wheels, lights, or remote controls so playtime is limitless! Some of the special elements Geosmart offers are:

  • Spinner: add motion to a simple construction. The spinner easily clicks onto every square piece.
  • Wheels: use your imagination and build cars with 4 wheels or 6 wheels
  • Tracks: build trucks with tracks!
  • Train connectors: build trailers you can easily connect to your vehicle and drive it around.
  • LED-Lights: light up your construction with one of the 6 LED colors. The panels easily click onto the squares.
  • Remote Control: drive around with your vehicle or make your construction spin automatically.

We received the GeoSphere set that comes with 31 pieces, including one spinner, 12 triangles, and 18 squares. Each set also comes with a book with structures you can build or you can build something original. They’re incredibly easy to build with and fun for everyone. My husband and I like to help our little one build more complex structures to get her little brain thinking. GeoSmart helps with spatial insight, hand-eye coordination, concentration, logical thinking, and allows kids to be creative. There are a lot of awesome sets to chose from, make sure you check them all out here and  they can be purchased here on Amazon! I give GeoSmart 5 out of 5 stars.10491878_4 The sets are so fun and keeps my little one engaged. I will definitely be buying more sets this coming holiday season. GeoSmart sets make a great gifts for all the kids in your life!

We love GeoSmart so much, we’ve teamed up for a giveaway! One lucky winner will win a Solar Spinner set from GeoSmart! Follow these quick and easy steps to enter:

  1. Follow both @BurritoBuzz and @GeoSmartUSA on Instagram.
  2. Like the Solar Spinner giveaway post.
  3. Tag friends you think would like to win, too!
  4. That’s it!

The giveaway begins Monday, November 21st at 12pm EST and ends Wednesday, November 23rd at 12pm EST. The winner will be announced on the original giveaway post within 24 hours. Goodluck! **This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.**

Don’t forget to follow GeoSmart on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to stay up to date on new products and sales! _ppxu2zz

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Malia’s House from Build & Imagine {Review}

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Being the mom of a 4 year old and a new baby, my oldest spends way too much time on the iPad or in front of the TV. I know, I know. It’s not good and you’re supposed to limit screen time, but when I’m busy with the baby (it was much worse when she was first born), you have to do what you can to survive. I know she’s not the only one that’s constantly staring at a screen (TVs, tablets, smartphones, and computers are everywhere) and I know it’s hard to pull them away. But when you find a toy that does just that, gets them off of the tablet, away from the TV, and actually using their little brains to learn and play, you have to share it. I was recently given the opportunity to review an an absolutely amazing toy from Build & Imagine called Malia’s House and I can’t stress enough how awesome this product is. My daughter is obsessed and has been for about a week and a half now.

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Build & Imagine StoryWalls are like building blocks meets dollhouse meets dress-up meets dolls for kids 4-8 years old. StoryWalls are magnetic playsets that contain colorfully illustrated scenes that can kids can build and decorate with magnetic accessories (like paperdolls) over and over again. They’re called StoryWalls because it’s like building a 3-D storybook setting, then jumping right into play! Each set include dolls to dress up, illustrated building panels that attach magnetically that create endless play! Dozens of magnetic accessories are also included to make your scene uniquely yours. With everything being magnetic, changing things up to create a new story is quick and easy! See Build & Imagine’s products in action below:

When we received Malia’s House, I honestly thought my daughter would play around with it for half an hour tops, as she seems to move on from activity to activity rather quickly (she takes after her father and can’t sit still for too long). So when I tell you she played at the kitchen table from 11AM until bathtime at 7PM (and did not watch the iPad once the entire time), I was completely and happily surprised. She absolutely loves Maila’s House! She loves building Malia  and her friend Skylar a new house and creating different storylines for them based on the magnetic walls and adding decor. They’ll go to the beach together and forget the sunscreen, or they’ll plant fruits and veggies in the garden while drinking lemonade or put out the fire the cat started in the kitchen (these are actual beach_house_2_web_largestorylines she has come up with). Her imagination literally runs wild and I love it! A four year old that wants to sit and play for hours on end and not want to look at a screen is priceless to me.

I give Malia’s House 5 out of 5 stars and I would recommend any one of the engaging playsets from Build & Imagine to anyone looking for a toy that’s different from the norm for their daughter or son. The panels are durable, even for the roughest of child, and easy for little hands to build with. And there are so many sets to choose from, check them all out here! With sets starting at $24.99 and an expansion packs starting at $8.99, there’s something for everyone’s budget!1-2

Be sure to follow Build & Imagine on Facebook and Twitter!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Magnutto Make a Mood {Review}

2016-NAPPA-Seal1.pngKids don’t know how to deal with their emotions. That’s why they throw tantrums when they don’t get what they want or hit when they don’t get their way. Their little brains aren’t capable of knowing how to respond as an adult would and we all know how frustrating it can be for both the parents and child. My four year old can throw a tantrum with the best of them and she’s perfected her on-the-ground-kicking-and-screaming meltdown. We’ve been trying to work on talking through our feelings rather than just crying and screaming, and it’s been helping. So when I got the chance to reva2216xx_mj_makeamood_pkg2_apr-20-16_hires300dpiiew Neat-Oh! International’s Magnutto Make a Mood magnetic toy, I was so excited to see if it helped my little one learn emotions and moods and how to express them.

Magnutto Make a Mood is designed to help identify, express, and respond to feeling and emotions and so far, it’s doing a great job with my daughter. She uses the thick, foam magnets to create facial expressions. The sturdy box opens to a magnetic easel and closes to store all the magnets. Activity cards (in 3 languages – English, Spanish, and French) are included in the box to role play and a list of example facial expressions. I love that I can ask questions about emotions and really engage my daugher in conversation about how she’s feeling.15774830612f9b

Features

  • Includes 100+ magnets, two activity cards, and easel box.
  • Sturdy easel box opens to a magnetic easel and closes to store all the magnets when play is done
  • Educational role play suggested activities included
  • Low strength, safe, thick foam magnets.
  • Fully Printed
  • Tested to the most stringent quality and safety standard
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5″ x 8″ x 1.75″

My daughter and I have been having lots of fun talking about our emotions and making expressions together. I’ll even make a face and ask her to make a face out of the magnets, 1-1it always comes out pretty silly! Make a Mood isn’t just about emotions, I like to think it’s like a “paper doll” but for the face. There are different eyes and eye color, hair colors, earrings, noses, mouths, glasses, and more, so you can make make lots of faces and expressions. Magnutto also offers Make a Pet and Make a Dino sets, so you can  animals and dinosaurs! The quality is outstanding and the foam pieces will hold up even with the roughest of kids. Shop all Magnutto sets here. Your little ones will love these engaging and fun sets!

The Magnutto sets have also been given Oppenheim Toy Portfolio’s Platinum Seal, which is the highest honor given by the independent consumer organization! They were also honored with a SNAP award (Special NeA2216XX Magnutto MakeAMood PROD Dec-11-2015eds Adaptable Product), given to products that can be used by or easily adapted for children with special needs.

Be sure to follow Neat-Oh! on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter for new products and sales!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

MiO from Manhattan Toy Co. {Review + Giveaway}

logo-6When I was a little girl, I was always playing with my dollhouse. If you were a kid in the early 90’s, you probably know which one I’m talking about. It was big and bulky and made of plastic with a blue roof. It came with a mom, dad, brother, sister, and of course a baby. It had a swing for the baby that hung from the “dining room” ceiling and a closet under the stairs for who knows what. I loved playing “house” and my daughter is now at the age where her imagination is booming and she’s giving toys silly voices and acts them out and she loves when mommy or daddy joins in. I’ve been wanting to get her a dollhouse so she could have the sweet memories that I have when I loyjx0pumkx4crmw7zfw_f7893450-d09d-4935-8401-a6ca6e84fa86_grandewas little and I was thrilled when we teamed up with Manhattan Toy Co. to review their amazing MiO dollhouse collection.

Manhattan Toy Co.  is an innovative and award-winning toy company started in 1978 and is now located in Minneapolis, MN. They strive to use wood from sustainable forests for all of their (amazing) wood toys. All of their toys are thoroughly tested to the most exacting international standards for safety so you can feel comfortable with your children playing mio3with Manhattan Toys. These toys are unlike any other toys on the market. They’re unique, fun, engaging, and kid and parent approved!

My daughter received several pieces from the MiO collection to test out; MiO Sleeping + 2 People ($30), MiO Eating + 2 People ($30) and MiO School Bus + 2 People ($24). The very first thing that I noticed when opening the boxes was the smell of the wood. I love the smell and I hope that it brings back happy childhood memories for my daughters. The construction is top of the line and very sturdy. I love the brightly colored interior walls of the houses. Included in the sets are little people (or animals) with bean bag bodies and hand painted wooden heads.They’re perfect for little hands, my daughter handles them with ease and the wide bottom allows for them to stand up on their own without help from mom or dad Sleeping and Eating sets include a square base and a triangle second floor that are detached to allow for open ended play. Each set included colorful cubes that can be used as seats, the hold up the kitchen table, end tables, whatever your little one wants to use mio4them for. These sets are absolutely adorable and range in price from $10 for 2 sets of people or animals to $100 for the MiO Playing Eating Sleeping Working + 2 People with many sets in between so there’s something for everyone’s budget.

My daughter loves her MiO play sets. She loves driving the school bus and parking it in the house (it’s the perfect size to be a garage) and she even stacks the base of the houses on top of each other to make a bigger house. I love that she’s using her imagination and thinking outside the box and that she named her little people after her family and friends! MiO has even been awarded the  Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2016, the Creative Child Magazine Award – Toy of The Year Award in the Open Ended Playmio Category 2016, and is a National Parenting Product Award Winner 2016. MiO more than deserves those awards, as it’s a toy that allows little ones’ minds to run wild with it’s simple, yet eye catching appeal. I know I will be purchasing more MiO sets for my daughter this holiday season and you can do the same and start shopping MiO hereBurritoBuzz gives MiO 5 out of 5 stars! We adore Manhattan Toy Co., you can check out all of their fantastic products here, you’ll find something for every little one on your list!

As if Manhattan Toy Co. isn’t awesome enough, we’ve teamed up to give not one, but TWO winners a MiO set of their choosing (excluding the $100 set)! Head over to Instagram and follow these simple steps for a chance to win:

  1. Follow both @burritobuzz and @manhattantoy on Instagram – we’ll be checking!
  2. Like the original giveaway post.
  3. In separate comments, tag friends who you think would also like to win!
  4. That’s it!

lvjgkptyhv1uxkyxbikw_ecbd8002-35da-4290-a941-f9bfa7b29175_grandeGiveaway begins Tuesday November 8, 2016 at 12pm EST and ends Friday November 11, 2016 at 12 EST. Winners will be announced shortly after on the original giveaway post. Goodluck! **This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Instagram.**

Don’t forget to follow Manhattan Toy Co. on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up to date on the newest products and sales!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Draw Your Own Circuits with Circuit Scribe {Review + Giveaway}

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We can all agree that STEM, the education of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, is super important for our children learn this day and age. Technology is our future and where most of the new jobs are being created. With that being said, I love toys and activities that allow young children to learn how technology works and opens their world to new ideascircuit-scribe_copy-of-i-8njccmm-xl_lr and thought processes. I was recently given the opportunity to review an amazing product called Circuit Scribe from Electroninks, Inc. and was completely blown away by how much I learned (at 28 years old) and I am now hooked!

Created by a company based in Austin, TX and Cambridge, MA, Circuit Scribe is a revolutionary pen that uses non-toxic conductive ink that makes it easy for newbies (like myself) and expert makers to have fun with electronics in a new and easy way. Geared towards children 8 years and older, Circuit Scribe is an easy way to introduce STEM to kids and is also great for those who are already experienced. I have to admit, when I was asked to review this product, I knew nothing about it. But I did know that STEM is huge right now, and being integrated in schools across the country and all over the world. I knew I personally wanted to circuit-scribe_img_0048_lrget my hands on a kit (my electronic-loving husband also wanted to give it a whirl) and I definitely wanted to share it with our readers!

First of all, if you’ve never done anything with circuits (or if you have no idea what a circuit is), the workbook/sketchbook is so easy to read through and understand. I couldn’t wait for my husband to help explain everything to me, so I took it upon myself to learn how it all worked and it was surprisingly easy, even for a newbie like me. Here’s the gist of how it works: simply draw traces with their quick dry conductive ink pen, then snap on their magnetic modules to create fully functional electrical circuits instantly! You place the magnetic steel sheet under a sheet of paper, then use the circuit stencil with the conductive ink pen to draw pathways for the current to allow the modules to interact, creating the circuit. Each module is different and does something different. Here is a list of modules included in the Maker Kit that I received:circuit-scribe_ultimate-kit-contents_lr

  • 9V Power Supply and battery (power)
  • SPST Switch (input)
  • Photo Sensor (input)
  • Potentiometer (input)
  • Blinker (connect)
  • 2-Pin adaptor (connect)
  • NPN Transistor (connect)
  • BI-LED x2 (output)
  • RGB LED (output)
  • Buzzer (output)

The Maker Kit consists of 17 pieces, including 11 modules, 1 conductive ink pen, a circuit stencil, jumper stickers, a magnetic steel sheet (that has an awesome symbol guide for quick reference), and an easy to read step by step workbook. There are several different Circuit Scribe kits available, starting at $9.99 for the Mini Kit (available or pre-order), the Basic Kit for $44.99-$59.99, the Maker Kit for $79.99, the Ultimate Kit for $99.99, and the Developer Kit for $194.99. There are also classroom kits available so entire classes can participate and learn about circuits thanks to Circuit Scribe! You can also circuit-scribe_maker-kit-with-contents_lrorder replacement or extra modules right on their website, too. Check out all of Circuit Scribe’s products here! We also have an exclusive code for 15% off your Circuit Scribe purchase, jut use code BURRITO15 at check out!

This is the coolest, most educational product I have had the privilege of reviewing for BurritoBuzz. I have learned so much from playing around with the different modules already, and my husband is a big fan also. Although we’re still learning, we are having a blast going through the workbook together. If you have children or nieces or nephews that are interested in science and technology, I highly recommend Circuit Scribe! It’s a great way for kids (and adults) to learn and have fun at the same time. It would make a fantastic gift this holiday season, I know I will be gifting a kit or two myself this December! Here’s a video of my handsome husband showing how some of the modules work:

And guess what? We’re giving one lucky winner a Maker Kit of their own! Follow these quick and easy steps for a chance to win!

  1. Follow both @burritobuzz and @circuitscribe on Instagram, we will be checking!
  2. Like our original giveaway post.
  3. Tag a friend who would love the chance to win, too!
  4. That’s it!

The giveaway will start at 12pm EST on Thursday November 3, 2016 and end at 12pm EST on Sunday November 6 ,2016. You can tag as many friends as you’d like to get one entry per tag/comment. Good luck! **This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Instagram.**circuit-scribe_electroninks_wallpaper-logo-3_lr

Don’t forget to following Circuit Scribe on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay updated on sales, new products, and more!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**