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.**

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Take it Easel!

81j5anyp4ll-_sl1500_It’s no secret that the BurritoBuzz moms love B. toys. We’ve talked about a few of their awesome toys in the past, and we think so highly of them because of their incredible durability, uniqueness, and quality. Not only that, the toys are also educational and many help with fine-tuning motor skills.

I recently had the opportunity to review B. Toys “Take it Easel” – a portable drawing station for toddlers and young children. The easel folds into a carrying box, so you can store your child’s markers, chalk, and other coloring tools. The board has a chalk side, dry erase side, and a clip to hold paper. It also comes with a set of vibrant dry erase markers and an eraser, as well as a set of chalk. The case is colorful and easy to use, and my 20 month old son has had a blast fine-tuning his new drawing skills.

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It runs between $30-$40, depending on where you buy it. Available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and some Target stores also carry them.

The quality of the easel is good. I did, however, have some issues getting the stand to easily clip and unclip. While not terribly difficult, it did take some force.

The carrying handle makes it simple to tote around and by leaving the case folded up, you can actually give your toddler something to do in the car since the top piece is a drawing board. There is ample storage in the compartment, we have yet to fully fill it up, even with all of the markers, paper, and chalk we’ve stashed. B. toys designs are always fun and vibrant, and this case is no exception. It makes for a great addition to any playroom and has certainly aided my son in working on his drawing skills (though, he hasn’t quite decided which is his dominant hand yet).

Here are some of my son’s fantastic artwork that he created using the Take it Easel and some Color Wonder paper and Color Wonder markers!

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Want to win a Take It Easel of your own? Here’s your chance! With the holidays approaching quickly, this would make a fantastic gift for that special little one in your life. Here’s how to enter:

  1. Head over to our Instagram page here.
  2. Like our original “Take it Easel” giveaway photo.
  3. Follow both @burritobuzz and @mybtoys – we will be triple checking!
  4. Comment on our photo by tagging a friend! One tag per comment please, with no limitation on the number of tags!

One winner will be chosen to win a Take It Easel! Giveaway begins on Tuesday November 1, 2016 at 8AM and ends Monday November 7, 2016 at 8:00PM EST. Good luck! **Instagram has in no way sponsored or endorsed this giveaway.**

– 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.**

 

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.**

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