VertiPlay™ Wall Toys from Oribel {Toy Review}

It’s been over a month since Christmas and I don’t know about you, but I’m still feeling the overwhelming wrath of my kids’ new toys. Each year, I clean out and donate toys that they no longer play with to make room for the new stuff, but it’s still not enough. Their play room in the basement is littered with toys. I’ve stepped on so many little fullsizerendertoys, at times I was positive I broke my foot. So when I was asked to review toy from Oribel, I was obviously hesitant. But but VertiPlay™ is unlike any game or toy children own, and the best part? They don’t add extra clutter on the floor and won’t be stepping on little pieces!

VertiPlay™ Wall Toys from Oribel are fun, whimsical toys that hang on the wall or door, allowing for free space on the floor but offering tons of fun! It’s a win-win for both mom and children! No more asking over and over for your kids to pick up their toys! Another plus? You won’t mind them on your wall! They’re visually appealing and simply add to your child’s bedroom or playroom decor. VertiPlay™ also gets your little ones up and gets their blood flowing as they stand at the wall to play and run around.

The designs are simple, engaging, and fun my little one loves her Busy Woodpecker ($19.90)! It was really easy to attach to the wall, I just wiped the spot clean, removed the back of the sticker, and attached it to the wall. Easy peasy. My little one loves tapping the the woodpecker’s tail (sometimes a little too much) to light up the the little bird’s house in the tree. The wooden windmills help with dexterity through fun play! There are many different designs and styles for a range of ages, from 9+ months to 3+ years, verti1you can see them all here! The quality is superb, I would expect nothing less from Oribel! I adore their products. And while I haven’t removed our wall toy, it leaves no damage to the wall and is easy to peal off.

VertiPlay™ gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me. The price point of each set is just right and my daughter really loves playing with her woodpecker toy. If you’re ready to shop for your own VertiPlay™ Wall Toy, you can head to your local Babies R Us or shop online at Amazon and diapers.com. I will definitely be adding a few more wall toys to our playroom, as my oldest is a little jealous she didn’t get one! If you have an older child, I think the Goofy Moose is perfect for them! Be sure to follow Oribel on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for new products and more, you won’t be disappointed with this fabulous company!

– 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.**

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Li’l Woodzeez {Toy Review}

My four year old is heading into my favorite stage of childhood. When I was her age, I really got into imaginative play. I was obsessed with my Little Tikes dollhouse and would play for hours on end every day. While my daughter has a few dolls and dollhouses, her favorite dolls aren’t dolls at all. They’re actually squirrels, skunks, and owls. They’re one of many animal families from the world of Li’l Woodzeez. I, I mean my daughter, was luckwoodzeez_logoy enough to receive these awesome animal dolls to review and we both could not love them more!

Li’l Woodzeez is designed and manufactured by Battat, a family-owned business that’s been in business for almost 120 years and has been operating in North America for the last 45+ years. Home of so many award-winning toys, all Battat toys have an educational value, whether it’s didactic, nurturing, or collecting and creating worlds for children. This amazing company is also a proud supporter of the WE Villages program, an organization that is admired for its integrity and initiatives to make the world a better place for kids. You can find all of their exceptional and high quality toy brands here! Check out this video to see Li’l Woodzeez animal families and play sets in action:

We received our Li’l Woodzeez package about a week and a half before Christmas and my daughter was positive Santa had sent it for her! When we opened it, her eyes lit up when she saw the utterly adorable animal families that we were sent. They are all so cute! Each family of 4 came with a little book that told a story about each family which my daughter loves, we read them often. She also loved learning each of their first names (each family has an adorable last name as well, like the Whiffpuff Skunk family and the Whooswhoo Owl family). She loves that each family has a little baby that wears a diaper, she loves acting like their mama! The animals have whiskers too, and are really life-like with their velvety little bodies, these are quality critters!

We were also sent the incredible Honeysuckle Sweets & Treats Food Truck. I was blown away by this truck and all of it’s storage, it even has a trap door in the floor! It’s also packed with so many accessories and tiny little foods to play with, 89 pieces in all! From little tacos and slices of pizza, to little bottles of water and fries, to spatulas and plates. But when I say tiny, these things are tiny! You have be careful with little ones. My ten month old can’t be around when my oldest plays with her Li’l Woodzeez, there is just too much of a risk with her putting a piece in her mouth and choking. But that doesn’t prevent her big sister from having fun! 6152d-dp-fWe usually play together in the playroom during nap time. It gives us one on one time, and gives me the opportunity to relive my childhood with my big girl! **Not for children under 3 years.**

If your child has a favorite animal, I can almost guarantee that it has a Li’l Woodzeez family! There are literally so many animal families, it’s hard to decide which to add to our collection! Check them all out here to find your little one’s favorite! Once you decide on a family (or two), head over here to pick out a house for them to call home and here to add some accessories in the mix, like an airplane or one of many themed play sets. The detail that is put into these toys is unbelievable. You and your little one will not be disappointed by the craftsmanship, I can promise you that. My daughter already has a long list of what families, accessories, and houses she wants next! The complete Li’l Woodzeez collection is available at your local Target store or online!

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The Honeysuckle Sweets & Treats Food Truck is a multi-award winner for good reason!

Don’t forget to follow Li’l Woodzeez Instagram for new releases and 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.**

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.**

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.**

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.**

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.**

Save Your Sanity with Color Wonder from Crayola {Review + Contest}

Coloring with my cousins is one of my favorite memories as a kid. Growing up, we would lay down a blanket (as to not color on Grandma’s white carpet) and we’d color for hours at family get togethers. Now that I have kids, I want to foster their love of coloring, too.logo-img My four year old loves to color but doesn’t seem to understand that markers and crayons are to be used only on paper, and not the walls, the floor, her toys, and herself. We can all agree that Crayola makes the best art supplies and there’s a new reason why I adore this company: Crayola Color Wonder Mess Free Coloring. All Magic, No Mess is their slogan and that’s exactly what Color Wonder is.

We received a package from Crayola filled to the brim with different Color Wonder products. I was explaining to my daughter that the markers only color on the magic paper and I told her that she could evdownload-3en color on the couch (meaning that she could take one of the coloring pads and sit on the couch to color), she of course took it as she could literally color on the couch. Thank goodness they’re magic and my couch is still intact with no marks! Each set comes with an 18-page coloring pad and 5 different color broadline markers that can only color on special Color Wonder paper. There are so many different Color Wonder products! They offer a ton of different character coloring book sets so little ones can pick their favorites, Paw Patrol and Frozen were a huge hit with my daughter! There are also finger paint sets, stamper sets, travel sets which are perfect for travelling and long car rides, art mats and totes, and muchfe026fb3-7366-4904-92d5-be181660d5de-jpg-_cb307702319_ more. Check out all of the Color Wonder products here! If you spend over $30 on Color Wonder products, you automatically get 30% off your purchase, no code needed!

I am incredibly thankful for Color Wonder markers! I hardly ever let my daughter color with markers, well, because they’re markers. I have OCD and a baby, so I can’t spend all day scrubbing marker off everything she decides to color on. We stuck with crayons for so long but now I can feel confident about leaving her alone with Color Wonder markers because I know I won’t come back to her with her face colored pink and the table purple and blue polka dots (yes, it’s happened before). It doesn’t color on skin, fabric, or furniture, and sets start at just $7.99. What more could parents ask for?

Be sure to follow Crayola on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for updates, new products, contests, and more!

Speaking of contests, Crayola is having an awesome contest on Instagram! It’s super easy to enter, just post a picture of your child’s messy moment that could have used a Color Wonder intervention on Instagram. Tag the photo #MessyKidsContest and tamessykidscollage2g @crayola in the comments to receive one entry! Winners will be chosen weekly until November 21, 2016 when one grand prize winner will be chosen. Learn more about the #MessyKidsContest here and read contest rules here.

  • (6) Weekly winners will win $250 in Color Wonder product.
  • One Grand Prize winner will win $1,000 in the form of a check.

What are you waiting for?! Head over to Instagram and enter to win now!

– 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.**

Manhattan Toy Storybook Castle {Review + Giveaway}

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BurritoBuzz is gearing up to share some great reviews to help you with your 2016 Christmas shopping. We know, it’s too early for Christmas shopping, it’s not even Halloween! But we want to give you plenty of opportunity to read our reviews and enter our giveaways.

So here’s another really amazing toy: The Manhattan Toy Co. Storybook Castle

This castle is an award-winning toy and after seeing my toddler play with it, I can totally see why. The castle has quickly become one of my son’s favorite toys. We’ve been adding more and more wooden toys to our toy collection for a few reasons: they’re infinitely less obnoxious than the electronic plastic toys that seem to ceaselessly need batteries, they hold up exceptionally well, and they strongly promote fine motor skills.

Four quadrants of castle-themed activities features gliders, gears, bead runs, snapping crocodile and more to support motor development.

  • Ages 12 months+
  • Measures 18L x 20.8H x 18W in
  • Measures 45.3L x 52.7H x 45.3W cm
  • All wood toys have non-toxic water based finishes.
  • Surface wash only
  • This product meets or exceeds EN71 and CPSIA safety regulations
  • The castle runs around $100 and can be purchased here

I remember playing with wooden toys as a child and my dentist’s office had many of them. I actually looked forward to going to the dentist just so I could play with their cool toys. Wimg_2184hen I first started introducing wooden toys to my son, I assumed he would be disinterested because he had so many loud, engaging electronic toys. But I was so wrong. He plays with his wooden toys quite a bit more and they keep him busy. The intricate movements of the various moving parts really make him think.

This castle has four quadrants and each quadrant has moving parts. There are sliders, parts that twist, caricatures that spin or move forward, backward, and side to side. Each piece moves in a different way, meaning that toddlers have to spend some time figuring out the motions. All of my pieces worked quite fluidly, with the exception of the princess and knight that move along the main baseboard. For some reason those pieces were tight and didn’t move well. My son especially loved the sliding door and flag, as well as the crocodile attached to the main board.

Putting the castle together was a little more difficult than most, but it only took me around 30 minutes from start to finish. I struggled with the screws and just gave in to the power drill. The pieces all fit together perfectly, but because of the setup of the quadrants and the top screws, I found it awkward to fully get the top screws in.

Overall, this product is really thought out. My son has been engaged for hours upon hours playing with this castle. It’s the ideal height for him to sit, kneel, or even stand to play. It is sturdy, and is increasingly helping him with his fine motor skills.

Want to win the Storybook Castle?

Here’s your chance! Head over to our Instagram page here and follow these easy steps:

  1. Like both @BurritoBuzz and @ManhattanToy, we will be triple checking!
  2. Like our giveaway photo!
  3. Tag as many friends as you want! But only one tag per comment please.
  4. That’s it!

Giveaway will begin on October 24, 2016 and ends on October 31, 2016 at 8:00 PM EST. A winner will be announced shortly after. **This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram**

Good luck!

– 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.**

Livie & Luca Shoes {Review + Giveaway}

My favorite part about the start of the new school year (other than having our house being tantrum-free for a few hours) is the back to school shopping! I always loved shopping with my mom for school supplies, new fall and winter clothes and of course shoes! Both my daughter and I love shoes. For school this year, I wanted to make sure I got her a pair that would hold up the entire year and that were cute (my daughter says her shoes have to be cute). I have always been a fan of Livie & Luca shoes, so I decided to reach out to see if we could collaborate on a review. I was thrilled when they offered to send not just one pair, but a pair for my daughter and a pair for Megan’s newly walking son, for us to try out! FullSizeRenderMitzi Rivas and Amie Garcia met at a prenatal yoga class in 2003. When Amy saw Mitzi’s first pair shoes, she fell in love and wanted them not only for her own children, but for children everywhere! Their goal was to combine joy, and hand-made shoes, thus Livie & Luca was born! The first collection was released in 2005. The company strives to make a difference and spread joy through their beautiful, whimsical shoes and for their products to positively affect the lives of others. I absolutely love their motto: Spreading joy, growing community, making a difference – this is Livie & Luca. Companies like Livie & Luca are few and far between these days. Their passion and charitable efforts alone will make me a lifetime customer.

I let my daughter pick out the pair she wanted to try from Livie & Luca’s Fall/Winter 2016 catalog. I wasn’t worried because all of the shoes were fabulous, we would have been happy to receive any style! Not surprisingly, she picked the Oak Mary Jane ($62). This shoe is perfect for her and any little one who loves nature! On one toe is a cute little squirrel and on the other is an acorn. They are absolutely gorgeous! I couldn’t believe the quality of materials and how beautiful the brown leather is. The shoe is made from genuine brown leather, nude leather lining, velcro closure (making it super easy to get them on and off), a breathable inner sole, and a padded comfort collar. Although the price for Livie and Luca shoes is quite a bit higher, the quality cannot be beat. These shoes are made to last. The Oak Mary Jane is available in a toddler size 4-13 and the length is true to size and the width is medium. Thes20160903_095409e Mary Janes are perfect for little girls who wear uniforms to school, and they are also available in black!

Megan chose the the adorable Hayes sneaker in Walnut (also available in a Denim, pictured below) for her little guy and they both love them! He just started walking this summer so he’s still learning, but these shoes are helping him get around better and fit his chubby little feet perfectly! This sneaker is a snap to get on thanks to the double velcro straps. Check out all of the cute boy styles here!

I highly recommend Livie & Luca shoes for your little one. There are so many different styles for both girls and boys, you won’t have any trouble finding the perfect pair (or maybe you’ll find two… or three). Sizes are available in baby soft soles (0-6mo to 18-24mo), little kids and big kids (4-13) and youth (1Y-3Y). The prices range from $39 to $70. The price point is a little high (the fabulous quality reflects the price) for me personally and they are out of your budget, they often have awesome sales (like right now) and you can also check out their Buy/Sell/Trade groups on Facebook for great deals on previously owned Livie & Luca shoes. Click here to visit their website to see which styles you fall in love with! 

FullSizeRenderLivie & Luca is such an amazing company, they have offered to give a pair of their shoes away to two lucky BurritoBuzz readers! One winner can pick a girl style of their choice and one winner can chose a boy style of their choice. It’s super easy to enter, just follow the steps below! We will be triple checking to make sure each step is followed!

  1. Follow both BurritoBuzz and Livie & Luca on Instagram.
  2. Like the giveaway post on Burrito Buzz’s Instagram page.
  3. Comment on the giveaway post with what size and gender you’d want if you won.
  4. Tag at least one friend to let them know about this awesome giveaway.

That’s it! The giveaway begins at 12pm on Monday, September 5th and will end at 12pm on Wednesday, September 7th. Two winners (one boy and one girl pair) will be chosen at random and announced shortly after 12pm on the original Instagram post. *This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by LivieAndLuca_Logo_2014_WebInstagram.*

Don’t forget to follow Livie & Luca on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for the latest releases and sales!

– Casey

**BurritoBuzz received these products 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.**

Tri-Side Learn & Play Art Center from Little Partners {Review}

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My oldest daughter, who will turn four later this month, loves anything artsy-fartsy. Whether it’s coloring with crayons, colored pencils, markers or random pens she finds in the junk drawer (my fault), painting (especially on things she’s not supposed to), making things with Play Doh and clay, I really try to foster anything that she can do using her image4 (1)creativity. I also try to mesh learning and creativity together by including letters and numbers when we’re coloring or painting. So, I was thrilled when I got the opportunity to review the Tri-Side Learn & Play Art Center ($179.99) from Little Partners.

Little Partners is a company that makes products that enrich little ones and help nurture the relationship between parents and their children. The Tri-Side Learn & Play Art Center is designed to encourage young artists with special places to paint, color and play. There are three sides: a chalk board, felt board and a magnetic dry erase board. Underneath the dry erase board is a set of four spill-proof paint containers, making cleanup a breeze after a fun paint session. There are ledges under each board to organize image4all of your little one’s art supplies to make it easy for them to find and use. Included: a roll of paper, an eraser (used for both the chalkboard and dry erase board) and four paint containers.

FIrst thing’s first, we adore this easel. It’s super sturdy and I love that it’s made of real wood (layered pine) so it is made to last. My daughter (and my husband and I, too) have been having a blast painting, coloring, and playing on the boards together- we’ve been playing a lot of Hangman which brings back memories of playing in school. I’m trying to find letters, numbers and shapes for the felt board because there is a deep mesh holder under the felt board that can hold a lot and I think they’d be a fantastic learning tool. So if anyone knows where I can find some at a good price, please let me know in the comments! Each board is independently height adjustable, so it’s perfect for little ones to grow with. The paint cups are awesome and truly spill proof making clean up after my daughter paints her Picasso so easy. I love how this easel has really image1 (4)encouraged my daughter to be creative and use her imagination even more, she’s been having so much fun. It will be great to have this winter when we’re cooped up in the playroom.

There is one down fall. If you have ever purchased anything from Ikea, you know how difficult and time consuming it is to put it together. That is the comparison my husband used after putting the art center together. It took him over two hours to finally get it all put together (I offered to do it myself but he insisted and I’m so glad I didn’t have to do it). His biggest complaint was the labeling of the parts. They are labeled by numbers but certain pieces were labeled incorrectly, which took more time to find. Some of the screws didn’t fit the holes in the wood so he had to make the holes bigger by hand, again, taking up more time. He said it was a pain in the butt to get it together but he’s happy with the outcome and loves that our daughter is having so much fun with it. However, he said he will never take it apart.

All in all, I am very impressed with the art center, so I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 stars (only because of the problems my husband ran into while assembling it). The quality is superb and will definitely last, even after being beaten up by children. Check out the Little Partners website to see all of their amazing products like the popular Learning Tower and 3-in-1 Growing Step Stool, along with other great products! And you’re in luck if you’re interested in a Tri-Side Learn & Play Art Center for your little one! It’s on sale now through Labor Day for $149.99 (down from ($179.99). Click here to purchase!

Be sure to follow Little Partners on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to stay updated with sales and new products!

– Casey

**BurritoBuzz received these products 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.**

SmartGames Puzzle Games {Review}

Before Candy Crush and other popular games you can play on cell phones and tablets, kids played regular old board games. When I was little, Monopoly Junior, Shoots and Ladders, and Candyland were some of my favorites (Monopoly is still my favorite as an adult). And now that my daughter is old enough to understand the concept of gameIMG_6538s, I am so excited to show her how fun games can be and introduce her to different games. I love that games can be competitive (a little competition is good) and she can learn so much. Little ones learn hand-eye coordination, dexterity, recognizing letters, numbers and colors, but most of all, they get to spend one-on-one time with you, their favorite person in the world.

Recently, I had the opportunity to review two games from an amazing company called SmartGames, and let me tell you, these games are smart! These aren’t your ordinary board games, they’re puzzles that challenge you mentally but they’re fun. Kids utilize skills from spatial insight to pattern recognition, while they improve their problem solving skills and their memory. IMG_6539SmartGames are made with the best quality of materials and they’re made to last; seriously, they’re fantastically crafted. The fun part is absolutely anyone can play!

The first game is my daughter’s favorite, Smart Car. Smart Car is a wooden puzzle game that challenges little ones to assemble the car with the included wooden pieces. They’ll learn concepts like “top view” and “side view” while also having fun. Included with the 3D puzzle is a booklet containing 48 challenges that range from easy to difficult. Ages 3-8 years old will have a blast, but it’s also fun for mom and dad. We have a lot of fun “playing” with this puzzle and I love that my daughter can look at thgamee challenges and actually put the car together like the picture shown. She loves looking at the solution to compare and she gets excited when she sees she’s done it right.

The second games is my favorite, Little Red Riding Hood Deluxe. The concept of the games is you’re given a “map” of how to set up the board. You put Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf, Grandma’s House and the included trees where the challenge says to put them. Once the board it set up, you have to solve the puzzle by making two paths, one for the Wolf and one for Little Red Riding Hood, to get to Grandma’s house. This puzzle game is a lot of fun, my husband and I have been playing it when the kids go to sleep (don’t judge us). We timed each other to see who can figure out the paths faster. The puzzle includes a booklet with 48 IMG_6541challenges (24 with the Wolf and 24 without) that range from beginner to expert, 2 figurines, 5 path pieces, 3 trees and 1 house. A picture book of Little Red Riding Hood with a modern twist is also included which my daughter loves!

I give SmartGames a 5 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait to order more games for my girls! The quality is amazing and they can be passed down for generations because they’ll last. If you’re looking for fun but different games, not just the normal kid’s games, definitely check out SmartGames! They’re a lot of fun and they have so many different kinds of puzzles for ages 3+. SmartGamesLive is a website where you can play games online and you can also download game apps in the AppStore and GooglePlay! There are several ways to play these awesome games!smartgames_logo

Be sure to follow SmartGames on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for new releases and sales!

– Casey

**BurritoBuzz received these products 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.**

Sophie la girafe: A must for little ones

Teething babies are the worst. Plan and simple, teething sucks. Sometimes you get lucky and have a baby that doesn’t show he or she is in pain, so you’d never even know they’re teething at all. My first daughter was like that; you’d never know she was cutting a tooth because she was still happy-go-lucky like she always was. My second daughter is a whole different story. Of course every baby is different but she is reeeeally unhappy FullSizeRender (95)lately. She’s working on her bottom two teeth and she’s just a fussy, drooling mess. I’ve tried silicone teething necklaces and bracelets that she likes to chew on when I’m holding her. But when I’m not holding, I’m won’t leave her alone (while I do the dishes or laundry) with a necklace.

Ever since my oldest was born almost four years ago, I’ve seen little ones always chewing on a rubber giraffe named Sophie. It seemed to be a big hit with babies and parents alike, but I never took the plunge and spent the $25 to get her one (being a stay at home mom and only having one income, things were and still are financially tight). But with my youngest being a tiny teething terror at a young age, I reached out to Vulli, who makes Sophie la girafe, to collaborate with Burrito Buzz on a review. They were FullSizeRender (97)sweet enough to send us a gift set with a Sophie la girafe for my youngest and flash cards for my oldest

As soon as I opened Sophie and washed her, I handed her to my almost five month old and she immediately snatched her by the leg and starting gnawing on her head. Sophie was so easy for her to handle and actually keep a hold of. The way the giraffe is shaped, with its long neck and legs, it allows for little hands to grab any part of it and bring it to their little mouths.

Sophie also has the cutest little face; I think she’s just adorable! In fact, her face has stayed the same since she was born in France in 1961. She’s made of 100% natural latex rubber, which comes exclusively from Hevea trees growing in Malaysia. Sophie is an award-winning toy not only with little ones and their parents, but among the toy industry as well. My one and FullSizeRender (96)only gripe with Sophie is that she squeaks like a dog toy which drives my dog, Mesa, insane. My oldest runs around squeaking as much as she can to taunt him. I know that one day he’s going to snatch her and it’ll be game over for our beloved Sophie. But we’re going to enjoy the relief it brings my baby until then.

Sophie came in a gift set ($31.28) that included flash cards for my almost four year old. She’s starting her second year of preschool and we’ve been working on letters and numbers all summer and these flashcards are perfect to continue practicing! They’re quality made with bright and colorful pictures. The 26 cards each have a unique picture on them so she can familiarize with the alphabet (A is for Apple with a picture of an apple, for example). They’ll be perfect for when she starts spelling words, too! I love that I can use these cards with the baby when she gets a little older to learn objects, letters, etc. Sophie la girafe’s picture is on the left hand corner of each card, which little ones will love as they can learn with their Sophie!

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Sophie is definitely be a permanent fixture (until Mesa gets her) in our house. I just love how easy it is for the baby to chew on her and our baby actually gets relief. I give Sophie la girafe and the gift set a 5 out of 5 stars. It’s the perfect gift for both toddlers and babies and a great gift  for baby showers. I totally get the hype of Sophie la girafe now, our family just adores her! I really wish I would have spent the $25 a few years ago; I know my oldest would have loved her just as much!

Be sure to chIMG_4191eck out Sophie la girafe website, as there are many more amazing products; gift sets, teethers and rattles, early learning toys, and bath, mealtime and travel products to name a few! We also have a discount code exclusively for Burrito Buzz readers, use code BURRITOBUZZ10 at checkout for 10% off your purchase! {Code valid until 9.17.16}

Don’t forget to follow Sophie on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to stay updated on products and sales!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of product review. 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.**

PlaSmart Wonky Wheels {Review}

More than a toy car!

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We try to focus on non-electronic play frequently because C will literally sit and do the shape sorter game on his iPad all day if I let him. So anything that moves, makes noise, helps his motor skills, hand eye coordination or just stimulates his little toddler brain, is okay by me!

I received the Wonky Wheels from PlaSmart and it took C less than 30 seconds to figure it out! I told him to put his finger in the indention on top and then drive it around! He laughed and giggled the entire time while the car twisted and turned all over the kitchen floor. He was thrilled that it drove in circles and whichever way he pushed, it did something completely different. He got quite upset when it wouldn’t follow the roads on his car mat, but we quickly explained to him that it’s not supposed to!

The construction is very solid and well put together. He carries it with him almost everywhere and we have had no issues with it being dropped and breaking or paint chipping or peeling off.wonky wheels.png

It runs about $9.99, which seems like an ideal price point. Overall, Wonky Wheels are fabulous little toys. They would make a good addition to any little boy or girl’s birthday or holiday wish list!

Buy yours here: Finger Car Wonky Wheels, Red with White Stripe

– Kirstyn

 **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.**

PlaSmart Smart Mat {Review}

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My 16 month old son loves his cars. Maybe almost as much as I loved playing cars with my younger brother when I was little. My brother and I had a cool car mat with streets and shops that we would play on for hours at a time. Though, it was located in his room instead of mine, which I still call bullshit on. As an adult, I hate real cars and how much they take from my bank account, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still love a good few hours of playing Hot Wheels with my son. I was thrilled that PlaSmart was sending BurritoBuzz some products, because I was really anxious to get one of their Smart Mats!

We set the Happyville Smart Mat up in our playroom and while my son doesn’t quite get the idea of the roads yet, he truly loves driving his cars on it. The mat is pretty large at 80 x 57 x 0.2 inches, which is way larger than the carpet one that I had when I was young.

It is lightweight, at only 2lbs and the base is made from EVA foam. IMG_2888

The graphics are phenomenal, and the ease of cleaning this mat makes it a great purchase (which I found out after my asshole cat decided to barf on it). The pattern does repeat three times, but most children won’t care or even notice.

This does take a few days to flatten out fully and it also needs to air out. The smell of paint/ink/chemicals when first opening this was extreme and made me a little wary but did go away within a day or two.

While I love the material and texture of the mat, it does damage very easily. My son has put several gouges into the mat already and if you have any pets with claws, you’re doomed and a carpet mat would probably be better for you. Still, toys endure wear and most things look like they’ve been abused after a toddler has played with them.

Traintown.pngThere is also another variation, the Traintown Smart Mat, that BurritoBuzz mom, Casey, received. She also agreed that it needed to air out for a day or two and the graphics are pretty awesome. Her little one likes to play with trains, so her little collection of trains were perfect to play with on her new mat. The graphics are printed three times on the train mat as well, but little Stella doesn’t mind. In fact she liked that mommy and daddy could both have the same “pink house” as she did.

Even with those few cons, I still think this mat is a great addition to our playroom. My son plays on this daily. The Happyville mat will run you around $25 and the Traintown mat is about $30, a pretty modest price for a car and train mat like this!

You can buy yours here:
Plasmart Happyville Smart Mat

Plasmart Traintown Smart Mat

JollyB Tree Building Blocks {Review}

I love finding new and unique educational toys for my three year old preschooler. Toys that keep her engaged and that gets her excited are winners in my book. Anything to keep her away from the TV and iPad, am I right? So when we connected with JollyB Toys on IMG_0573Instagram, I fell in love with their beautiful wooden educational toys. JollyB was kind enough to send one of their toys, Tree Building Blocks, for us to try. When it came, my daughter could not wait to get it open and start building.

It’s a really neat concept that helps with hand-eye coordination and fine motor skill development geared towards toddlers two years old and up. I just love wooden toys. They have an heirloom factor to me (so I can save them and pass it down to my children’s children). The set comes with a brown wooden base and a trunk, which is what you build from. It comes with 18 wooden branches, 40 beautifully colored leaves and 10 red grains that kids can build their tree with. Kids can play around with the branches and leaves to build various tree pattern and learn their colors when sorting the leaves. They also learn IMG_0572how about balance; if you put too many leaves and branches on one side, the tree can tip over. Their imagination can really run wild as there is no right or wrong way to build their trees. The possibilities are endless!

Pros:

  • Engaging and educational
  • Endless play, as there are unlimited ways to build
  • Multiple children can play at one time
  • Learn balance and grows interest of how to build things
  • Leaves can be sorted by color, another learning aspect
  • Fun for parents and children alike
  • Doubles as a cute decoration when not being played with

Cons:

  • Some holes in the branches don’t fit the leaves and grains
  • Leaves are heavy compared to the lightweight branches
  • Several leaves were stuck together (I was able to them pull apart but the paint is now messed up)

I give this toy a 4 out of 5 stars, only because some of the holes don’t fit the leaves and grains. But overall, it’s super cute and fun. My toddler really enjoys it and has been asking to play with it multiple times a day. If you’re looking for a unique, educational and engaging toy for your toddler, consider the Tree Building blocks toy for JollyB. It was also make a great birthday or Christmas present (it’s coming fast!) for the little builder in your jollb.pnglife! J0llyB makes so many fantastic wooden educational toys, be sure to check them all out on their website here!

Follow JollyB on Instagram, too, @JollyBforKids and on Facebook at Jolly B Toddler.

– Casey