Sunday, September 16, 2012

House Party: Fisher Price Joy of Learning Playdate

I am a member on an awesome website called "HouseParty".

I recently got selected to host the Fisher Price Joy of Learning Play-date.  Its not really a contest, but all of the lucky hosts, certainly feel like we won something!!

Fisher Price and House Party team up and send a giant box of toys out to 5,000 lucky families, in exchange for hosting a party with the toys to show them off to your friends.

I was selected for the six to twelve month age group, even though I don't technically have a child in that range.  The toys we were sent were multi-age toys though, so I guess that was their rationale.

The toys that we were sent are the Apptivity Monkey (Luke's holding it in one of the pictures) and then the Ballcano, Ballapalooza, and the Puppy.  The other toys in these pictures are just to show some of Luke & Vinnie's favorite Fisher-Price goodies.  We are DEFINITELY fans of Fisher Price in this house!

The Cruise & Groove Ballapalooza™ retails for $70.00 on the Fisher Price webpage.  It is a LARGE toy rated for ages 6-36 months.  

Here is what Fisher-Price has to say about it.

"Move and groove to the music and 6 dancing lights! Baby can drop colorful balls onto lower ramps or crawl through the gate for a different perspective. When they can pull up and stand, it’s fun to drop balls into the chute for surprise, bounce-back action.Then play all over again.

Develop & Learn

All-around action
• Babies can sit, crawl, pull up & stand, developing gross motor skills

8 colorful balls
• Grasping & dropping balls gives eye-hand coordination a great workout

Making things happen
• Teaches about cause & effect as baby activates lights, music & more

Dancing lights & musical beats
• Stimulate baby’s senses"

We determined that this toy was too large and too babyish for our house.  Luke is going to be three in one month and Vinnie is very happy to play "big boy toys" with his brother.  Although he is technically in the age range, we aren't interested in baby stuff too much, anymore.  

If I knew we were having another or if Luke wasn't so much older than the target audience of this toy (learning to walk babies) we would definitely keep it and they would both enjoy playing with the many different aspects of the toy.

The Stand-Up Ballcano™ retails for $40.00 on  This is a medium sized toy, that interacts with the balls and baby as your child creeps around it.  It is about the same footprint at the Spinning Speedway toy, but taller.  It is rated for ages 6-36 months.

Here is what Fisher-Price has to say about it:

"Watch the fun erupt with lights, music, sounds and motion to keep baby busy and active! The six colorful balls spew out of the Ballcano™ over and over to keep baby’s attention and encourage standing. Baby will enjoy placing them back in and watching them roll down the ramps for fun surprises. Bat the roller for eruption action!

Develop & Learn

Erupting action!
• Encourages baby to pull up, stand, cruise & crawl, helping develop gross motor skills

Making it happen
• Rewarding sounds, lights & action help baby understand cause & effect

Put & take play
• Enhances eye-hand coordination as baby grasps & drops balls on top

Music & movement
• Full of lively music, bright colors & action to stimulate baby’s senses"

The balls for this toy and the ballapalooza do not interchange!  If you decide to get both, do not mix them up! 

This is another toy we decided not to keep after checking it out.  It is a baby toy in that it is meant to teach walking/creeping skills and doesn't do a lot of educational stuff.  If I am going to keep a baby toy in the house, I'd like it to at least be educational!  

For the price, this isn't a toy I'd recommend, unless your child is just starting to sit up, then they would get a good 6-8 months of use out of it before it gets outgrown.  

The Laugh & Learn™ Stride-to-Ride™ Puppy retails for $50.00 on  It is a very large, interactive, learn-to-walk and ride toy.  This toy is rated for ages 9-36 months.

Here is what Fisher Price has to say about it:

"Sitting, walking, riding, playing, learning … this friendly puppy is full of fun ways to encourage and reward baby! Requires 3 AA batteries.

Develop & Learn

Wide wheel base
• Provides sturdy support as baby learns to walk, developing gross motor skills

Easy-grasp handles
• Boost balance & coordination

Feed me!
• Sorting blocks &”feeding” them to puppy encourages eye-hand coordination

Music, sounds & motion
• Help baby understand cause & effect

• Letters, A - Z
• Numbers
• Colors & shapes
• Greetings
• Manners
• Opposites
• Parts of the body and more!"

This toy is very large when assembled and does not interact with the balls from the other two big toys.  It has its own shape sorting pieces and talks.  The mouth can be opened by hand and is large enough for other toys to be shoved inside (like Thomas trains).  
We decided not to keep this toy, either, because we already have several learn-to-walk toys and because Vinnie is very close to walking independently already.  If he were 6 months younger and we didn't already have all the hand-me-down learn to walk toys, then this would have been okay.  

The final toy we received and the only one to pass the test of time in our home, is the  Laugh & Learn™ Apptivity™ Monkey, which retails at $30.00 on Fisher Price's webpage.  This toy is a plush version of their previously released Apptivity iPod, iPhone, and iPad cases.  It is compatible with the iPod Touch, iPhone 4 & 4s.  It doesn't interact with Tim's Touch, but I plan on getting a 4s phone soon and it will interact with that.  This toy is rated for ages 6-36 months, but I'm sure it will continue getting used past 3 years old, since Luke loves it just as much as Vinnie.

Here's what Fisher Price has to say about it:

"It’s the best of both worlds for baby—a soft, cuddly friend to hold and hug, plus fun interactive learning with (or without) your iPhone or iPod Touch! Requires 3 AA batteries.
Develop & Learn

Songs, sounds & fun phrases
• Enhance sensory development

Easy to use
• Encourages eye-hand coordination & fine motor skills

Interactive fun, without a device too!
• Responds to baby’s touch, teaching about cause & effect

Compatible with:
• iPhone 3GS
• iPhone 4 / 4S
• iPod touch® 4th generation
(device not included)

Apple, iPhone and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc."

As soon as I unpacked the House Party box, this toy was the clear favorite.  Both boys were fighting over getting to play with it, still in the packaging!  The push-buttons on each paw are easy enough for Vinnie to operate at 13 months old and keeps our iPod Touch safe for the boys to use in the car!  

As part of the House Party event, we also received a sing-along CD for each of our guests, a coloring book for each guest, a $5 of a $10 purchase coupon for each guest, and a coupon code for $10 off a $50 purchase from  Each guest will also receive an information card with play tips for each of the big toys.  Fisher-Price and House Party even thought to send the gift bags, tissue paper, and batteries for the toys! 

With the toys that we are trading, we are able to get Lucas the entire Eagle Talon castle line and a couple small things for Vinnie!  

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