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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Tray Haven {Review}


trayhavenNow that my youngest is almost 9 months old, she’s hell bent on feeding herself. If a spoon or fork goes anywhere near her face, she swipes at whatever’s on it so she can shovel it in her mouth with her own two hands. Because of her new found independence, we just cut food into small bits and put it on her high chair tray so she can go to town on her own. Most of the food ends up on the floor rather than in her mouth though. She thinks it’s funny to throw it all on the floor (I think she wants to give our dog a snack) along with her sippy cup of water. After going through this with my oldest, I pink5-500x500decided to find something so don’t have to keep picking her cup and pieces of food up and constantly cleaning the floor. I stumbled upon Tray Haven and I’m so glad I did! I reached out and the company was kind enough to send me one to try out.

I received our Tray Haven just in time for Thanksgiving and it was a life saver! It’s made to work with most high chairs, booster seats, and wheelchairs with removable trays and seat backs. It’s designed to keep food and objects on the tray, and not on the floor. It’s made from durable mesh and strong straps so it can withstand a lot. It also collapses really easy and can be taken anywhere. We’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and I am so happy with how well it keeps everything where it should be! It’s super simple to attach it to a high chair (or even a stroller). Here’s a video that perfectly shows and explains how to use the Tray Haven:

Tray Haven has made mealtime with my baby so much easier, not to mention there is less to clean up! No more bending over to pick things up over and over and over (because it always turns into a game) and no more constant cleaning of the floor. I wish I would have had one when my oldest was a baby, she was always throwing her food and cups! I give Tray Haven a 5 out of 5 stars. It’s made of quality materials, it’s easy to use, and it works! At $34.99 and available in pink and blue, they make great gifts for birthdays, holidays, and baby showers. Parents and caregivers will be so grateful! Purchase yours here!

If you want to win Tray Haven of your own, you’re in luck! We’re giving away a blue Tray Haven to one lucky winner! All you have to do is follow these easy steps to enter:

  1. Like both @burritobuzz and @trayhaven on Instagram.
  2. Like the original giveaway post.tray2
  3. Tag friends you think are in need of a Tray Haven, too!
  4. That’s it!

The giveaway will begin Friday December, 9th at 12pm and will end Monday December, 12th at 12pm. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on the original giveaway post within 24 hours of the giveaway ending. Goodluck! **This giveaway is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.**

Don’t forget to like Tray Haven on Facebook and Twitter, too, for product updates!

– 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 with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

A Grinch Toy to Join your Collection!

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December 1st kicked of 25 days of Grinch-mas. What is Grinch-mas? “Grinch-mas is an annual holiday tradition inspired by Dr. Seuss’s classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! that encourages readers to “grow your heart three sizes” through the celebration of family reading, giving from the heart and community spirit. National Grinch Day, December 1, kick starts the 25 Days of Grinch-mas. During this time, bookstores and local retailers all over the country will be hosting Grinch-mas events that will incorporate holiday story times for families and opportunities for kids to win special prizes for doing good deeds throughout the month of December.”

Manhattan Toy offers a great lineup of Dr. Seuss plush animals, and today we’re reviewing their Light Up Grinch. The Grinch is a super soft, interactive plush for your little ones. By pressing the Grinch’s hand, the plastic read heart on his chest lights up (following the Grinch story line where the Grinch grows a heart, of course!)

My son loved playing with his Grinch. Because he’s not yet two, he’s enthralled with the small things in life still, and he was fascinated by the Grinch’s stringy hair because it was unlike any other stuffed animal he’s ever owned. He quickly figured out how to press the Grinch’s hand to make the heart light up, though I’ll admit that the button within the hand could be larger to help smaller children find/press it more easily. The button is tiny and I even struggled to find it inside of the Grinch’s hand.

This is a great Christmas toy to have on hand as you read through the story of the Grinch. The price point is a little high, sitting at $30. That being said, Manhattan Toy only produces the best quality items, and the Grinch is no exception.

Want to win your own Grinch? We’re giving one away on our Instagram page starting TODAY! Our giveaway will end December 6th at 8:00PM EST and ONE winner will be announced shortly after.

How to enter:

  1. Head to our Instagram page: http://www.instagram.com/burritobuzz
  2. Follow BOTH @burritobuzz and @manhattantoy
  3. Like the Grinch giveaway photo.
  4. Tag your friends! One friend per tag please, with no limitation on the number of friends you can tag.

This contest is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.

Manhattan ToyNeed another contest to enter? Manhattan Toy has a contest going through December 7th to win $50 to use on their website. You can enter into that by heading to their Facebook page and finding the Grinch post pinned to the top.

-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.**

 

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.**

Playful Dino from Manhattan Toy Co. {Review + Giveaway}

I’m going to be honest. I loathe baby toys. They’re way too loud for my liking and the songs are enough to make any parent go mad. Toys that require a million batteries over their lifetime or they need to be plugged in are the worst. Of course my youngest has a ton of these annoying toys, but I’ve been trying to build her “makes mommy happy” toy collection. So when I got the opportunity to review Manhattan Toy Co.’s Playful Dino, I couldn’t have been happier to add this awesome activity toy to our never-ending stash.

As you can probably tell, we love Manhattan Toy Co. We’ve reviewed a few of their products recently and we’ve been impressed by each and every one of them. You can check those reviews out here and here. The company itself is awesome, they strive to use wood from sustainable forests for all of their wooden toys. The design and quality of their toys are top notch and unlike anything I’ve eg1kw5btruarbdm6k3zs_grandeseen on the market for children. Manhattan Toy Co.’s toys are all so fun, colorful, and engaging. The Playful Dino did not disappoint!

Both my 8 month old and 4 year old love their dino! The suggested age for the dino is 12+ months but my littlest one’s motor skills are advanced so she’s really loving all the activities it has to offer. Her eye-hand coordination is impressive as well, and this toy really helps foster that. There so many eye catching aspects to the dino; there are bead runs, peg mazes, gears, multiple play surfaces, and it’s beautifully painted. It’s sturdy enough to hold my 40 pounder who I caught standing on it, so it can withstand a great deal! It’s been great for both my busy bodies and I love watching my oldest show her little sister how it all works. It was super easy to assemble, too, just attach the tail and let your little ones go to town! See the Playful Dino in action below:

Manhattan Toy Co’s toys will definitely be on my shopping list this holiday season, not just for my girls, but the little ones in my family as well. There are so many awesome toys to choose from, you can check them out here and add them to your shopping list, too! The Playful Dino is a multiple award-winning toy, awards include an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award, Today’s Parent Top Toy Winner, Creative Child Preferred Choice Award – Motor Skills Development category, Parents’ Choice Award Recommended and recognized as San Diego Family Magazine’s Hottest 50 toys! I have to agree, Playful Dino gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me. At $68, it’s money well spent knowing this is a toy that is going to last (and not drive you insane). Purchase your own here!ipbzftl66ouy7xja7k8z_grande

We’ve teamed up with Manhattan Toy Co. again for a giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a $25 e-gift card, good toward anything (even a Playful Dino!) at ManhattanToy.com! Shipping is free, so you don’t have to worry about it coming out of the gift card! It’s easy to enter, just follow these steps:

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

This giveaway ends Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 12pm EST. The winner will be chosen randomly and will be announced on the original giveaway post within 24 hours. Winner will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Goodluck! **This giveaway is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.**

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

– 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.**

MiracleWare {Review}

If you haven’t figured it out by now, the BurritoBuzz moms are in love with muslin. Muslin is a soft, breathable, non-shrinking fabric that our littles love to snuggle in. From wraps, to sheets, to towels and blankets, muslin is the way to go. Recently,we were introduced to MiracleWare, a muslin line of top-quality products in a variety of patterns and colors.

I decided to try out a handful of products: the crib sheet, hooded towels, and the security blankets.

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cribsheet-08_300dpiMiracleWare Crib Sheet: Two layered, 100% cotton muslin, stretch, breathable sheet. The sheet comes in a variety of colors and patterns. We opted for the elephant pattern. I was surprised with the quality of the sheet for one major reason: most crib sheets you struggle to get onto the mattress. There is nothing worse than struggling in the middle of the night after your little one has leaked through their diaper to quickly remove and put on a new sheet. This sheet, while fitted, stretches easily and stays put. The elastic band around the edge is thicker than most, keeping the sheet in place. Price: $29.95. It’s a little steep for what I’d typically spend on a sheet, but with muslin, you’re generally going to pay double, if not more. And truly, muslin gets softer with each wash.

748252313249-pic2MiracleWare Hooded Towels: I assumed these would be like most other hooded towels that I’ve used, but I was so wrong. The towels come in various quantities, colors, and patterns, but a two pack runs $33.95. The towels are slightly larger than most, which is great for my off-the-charts tall toddler. But the best aspect? The towels get softer and fluffier with each wash, which is not typical of a towel. They are the softest baby towels I’ve used thus far and they seem sturdy enough to last a good length of time. So, in my opinion? Get a two pack of these and avoid the other towels.

748252305541-pic4MiracleWare Security Blankets: A thin muslin square with a silk edge. Little ones love the silk blankets, but this one is idea because the breathable muslin makes it a safer option for babies. These blankets are just big enough to be a good security blanket. Price: $12.95 for a two pack.

Overall I’m very impressed with the MiracleWare product line. They have all kinds of great items, which you can check out here. These would make great baby shower and holiday gifts for the little ones in your life!

You can also find Miracleware products at Babies R Us!

– 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 and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Bluebee Pals {Review + Giveaway}

Technology is everywhere and sadly unavoidable for the most part. With cell phones, tablets, computers, TV, and game systems at easily available at home and tablets andgroupshot computers now apart of the curriculum at most schools, screens seem to always be in children’s’ faces. But what if a product that can be used with said technology can help help educate  our little ones? I was recently given the opportunity to review an amazing product called Bluebee Pals from Kayle Concepts that combines state of the art technology and traditional plush toys.

Bluebee Pals come in 6 animal styles; Riley the Zebra, Leo the Lion, Hudson the Puppy, Lily the Lamb, Sammy the Bear, and Parker the Monkey so kids can pick their favorite animal to adopt. They are geared for children 3-8 years old but can of course be a lifetime pal to your child! Bluebee Pals use Bluetooth Technology to sync to any iOS and Android device. They can even be used a a hands-free phone with a built in microphone and speaker! riley-the-zebra-pro-510x510Each of the plush stuffed animals has a mesmerizing feature – lip synchronization – that allows the pal’s lips to move as it sings or reads from various apps.

My daughter chose Riley the Zebra and she loves her! She’s incredibly soft, even though she has a rechargeable battery stuffed inside. Hooking Riley up to our iPad was quick and easy. I downloaded several learning and singing apps, but the ones that read stories are my daughter’s favorite. Riley’s mouth moves and “reads” to her, she thinks it’s so cool! Simply prop a phone, laptop, or tablet on the pal’s lap and tuck it into their plush arms. Pal’s work with any app that has sound, including foreign language apps! Check out this video to see one in action!

Bluebee Pals are so fun and innovative, that’s why thousands have been adopted into households, schools, and therapy sessions. Pals  offer so many benefits, including auditory attention and processing, cause and effect, pre-literacy skills, and more. To date, the toy industry has given Bluebee Pals 6 awards, including Mom’s Choice, National Parentingspecial-needs Publications, Parent’s Choice, Creative Child Award, Academic Choice, and Tillywig, they were just listed as #1 on the list of products that impressed STEM Education at International Society for Technology in Education Conference 2016. I also think Bluebee Pals would be beneficial for children on the Autism spectrum, to help with language and communication. Get your little one his or her own award-winning Bluebee Pal here, at Target, or on Amazon for $64.99!

Here are a few links to recommended educational apps from the Bluebee Pals website, but be sure to visit their site to see all of the recommended apps:

Would you like to win a Bluebee pal of your own? You’re in luck! One winner will get to adopt a Bluebee Pal of his or her choice! Just follow these easy steps to enter:

  1. Like @burritobuzz and @bluebeepals on Instagram
  2. Like the giveaway post.
  3. Tag friends (one per comment) that you think would like to win, too!
  4. That’s it!

bluebee_palsThe giveaway will start Saturday, November 12th at 12pm and end Monday, November 14th at 12pm. The winner will be randomly chosen and announced within 24 hours. Goodluck! **This giveaway is no way sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.**

Don’t forget to follow Bluebee Pals on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for updates, 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.**

 

Yookidoo Flow ‘N’ Fill Spout {Review}

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My nearly two year old son loves bath time! He usually has a few toys in the tub, and he splashes around for a good 30 minutes while we listen to Disney music. I had a few very basic bath toys and I noticed that he had lost interest in them. They were geared towards very little babies and with his new motor skills and interest in the world, I really wanted to find something that held his interest and made him think. After img_5248digging around the internet for a toy that was both intriguing and priced in my frugal price range, I elected to buy the Yookidoo Flow ‘N’ Fill Spout.

The spout is around $25 and can be purchased here on Amazon. I had actually looked in several stores for bath toys but didn’t have much luck. I’m a huge fan of Amazon Prime, and it was easy to order and read through a few reviews before purchasing.

The Flow ‘N’ Fill Spout is so unique. The spout actually pulls up bath water and creates a fountain. The fountain can be pulled from side-to-side and there are three different cups that the water can flow into. Each cup has a different effect: one has a turning wheel, one has holes in the bottom to create a kind of sprinkler, and the other has an interior cup that pops up when it’s filled with water. The cups are easily interchangeable and surprisingly sturdy.Yookidoo-Flow-n-Fill-Spout-3.jpgThe fountain is battery operated. The button in the center turns it on and off, and is large enough that toddlers can turn it on and off all on their own.

This has been a great investment and my only regret is not buying it sooner. My son’s mind has been totally engaged by this toy and bath time has turned into a great activity img_5200for fine-tuning my son’s motor skills. He is obsessed with the endless fountain of water and all of the things he can do to interact with this toy.

I hope to work with Yookidoo more in the future and bring our readers additional reviews! With our holiday wish list rapidly growing, we’d love to review a few more of their toys before all of your holiday shopping is done!

– Katie

 

Gift Idea for the Parents!

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We write a lot about products for babies and children on this page, but sometimes us parents need cool things in our lives, too! Since college, I’ve gone through MANY travel coffee mugs, mostly unimpressed with each purchase. They don’t keep my coffee hot, spill, break, don’t hold up in the dishwasher… the list is endless.

Finally. I’ve finally found the holy grail of coffee cups.

I recently purchased a two-pack of Contingo travel mugs. (Two will run you right around $30.00.) They come in all sorts of colors and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: great user ratings. People are serious about their coffee, so you’d better believe they’re serious about how they store their coffee when on the go.

I work 25 hours at my job per week, run a small wedding photography business, and write and work for BurritoBuzz. I’m on the move, always. And while I’m trying to wean myself from drinking so much caffeine, I still need my morning cup of java. Most mornings are so chaotic that I’m lucky if I dried my hair fully, so I definitely need to be able to grab my coffee and go… and I need it to be a secure cup, because I’m often carrying my purse, a diaper bag, and a 10 month old. I don’t want coffee spilling all over my leased car (that’s the stuff nightmares are made of.)

This cup is great: It’s slim enough to fit anywhere, and still holds a decent amount of coffee. It stays warm. The lid screws on, and to drink you just push in on a button to open the spout (and you do this WITH your drinking hand, so it’s not a difficult design that you need two hands to utilize.)

Dishwasher safe. BPA free. Double-wall construction to reduce condensation. Love it, and I definitely recommend it to anyone, especially parents, that need their coffee to function.

-Katie