Friday, February 22, 2019

Franny Mommy Favorites : Fisher Price Smart Stages Toys and Shoes

I have to say that I'm a pretty detail-oriented Mom. I guess it comes with my natural OC (obsessive-compulsive) personality. When it comes to my twins, I really do not settle for second best. Personally, I don't mind paying a bit more on certain items that my twins will use for as long as I get the peace of mind and security knowing that it won't harm or pose any risks to their health and safety.

Education and early childhood learning is also something I value a lot. Growing up, my parents would encourage my sister and I to read and read and read. We would even have assigned classical books every summer break and Mommy would make sure that we get to finish the book/s before our vacation is over. Looking back, I was so thankful that they did this as it has fostered my love for reading and I somehow have learned to speed read because of this. Furthermore, my love for reading has also led to my passion for writing. 

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You know how there's this age old marketing strategy that targets primarily moms and this is simply because in most households, it is really the moms making the decision. Looking back, most of the brands that I grew up being familiar with is because of my Mom. From her Monterey fresh meats to her Del Monte Tomato Catsup, I remember instinctively going for all these same brands from the moment that I began to do my own grocery. Likewise, whenever I'm out shopping for my twins most especially when I was really a new mom and I have no idea which one is the best out there, I would go for the ones that my mom and dad would buy for us when Pan and I were much younger. One of those brands is -- Fisher Price. I'd say this is definitely one of the most reliable, household brands for children's toys as they've been in the market for decades. One thing that I do remember about Fisher Price toys is its durability. Had we not shifted houses, perhaps we would still have some of our old toys that may still be good enough to be handed down to our own kids. 


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So, imagine my happiness when my twins received their very own Fisher Price toys (to add to their growing collection of toys majority are, in fact, Fisher Price as well) and new pairs of shoes each! L, in particular, got so excited when I showed up one day with the boxes of toys that she refused to take another bite of her dinner until we finally allowed her to touch the boxes. *sigh* This girl and her headstrong personality. 

We got the Fisher Price Smart Stages Puppy Walker, Fisher Price Smart Stages Tablet and new comfy walking shoes! 

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Let me start with the shoes. At this stage, my twins have started walking on their own. It can  really be exhausting at times as we literally have to always keep our eyes on them in case they might run towards the wall, climb up the recliner/bed/stairs/wall/mattresses or hide off somewhere. They are starting to discover new areas in the house and one thing that I take more notice of is their choice of footwear. For one thing, their bones are still very soft and fragile so Paul and I make sure that we only would make them wear shoes that's the perfect size of them and one that won't make it feel too tight or loose which might cause bone damages later on. 

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I also always look at the base. You see, with great speed comes the possibility of bigger accidents too. In the room, we would go barefoot and they would still slip and fall from time to time. I took away all of their crib shoes as this does not provide any cushion or support when they walk. Shoes with good support grips at the base are the best for toddlers their age. So far, they've been wearing their Fisher Price sandals and they love it! 

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My twins love their new pairs of sandals as I could see them happily walking around with it. It must be very comfortable to move around in thus we haven't received any complaints from them since then. These Fisher Price shoes are made with flexible heel support so you're baby's feet are safe from unwanted injuries. It's lightweight too. Watch out for shoes that's super heavy as it won't help your baby have a good standing posture. This is one lesson that my Dad has taught me when I was younger. That is to choose good quality pair of shoes as not doing so can lead to injuries and life long problems with your posture and bones.

Moving on to their toys, oh my goodness! I think my twins are starting to have this notion that everyday is Christmas Day. They love opening boxes and would really get so excited whenever we bring home a new toy for them to play with.

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We have try to limit one toy per day or at least leave a few days gap before opening a new toy as you know, kids can get tired of their toys really fast. We first open the Fisher Price Smart Stages Tablet and I think it's just perfect for my twins as they're currently so attentive to anything that we teach them. It's perfect timing as we're focusing on teaching them their ABCs and numbers and this one at least covers the ABC part. I also love associating various easy words per letter for example: A is for Apple that way when they see an apple in our fruit basket or when we're out in the supermarket, they can easily identify it.

My kids also love music and L most especially, loves to to dance. There's a button at the lower right of the tablet that plays their favorite 2nd favorite song -- Happy Birthday. In case you're wondering, their numero uno favorite song is... *drumroll pleaseee* Baby Shark..

I also love that we have the option to adjust the volume as we've had experience with toys with super loud volumes that Paul and I would even have to resort to taping up the speaker to lessen the volume so as not to damage the eardrums of our kids in case they decide to put it up to their ears which they love to do as they try to mimic us being on the phone.

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Now, here's one thing that I love about the Fisher Price Smart Stages line. It grows with your child in every step of their learning stage. There are 3 stages in this product:
1) Stage 1 is Explore: for 12 month old babies
This is where my twins are in now. Being very curious tiny beings, pressing each letter button gives them the sound of the photo associated to the letter. So for example, pressing the letter C says "cookie", another press, you'd hear the sound of a "crunch".

2) Stage 2 is Encourage : for 18 month old babies
Later on, we will transition to the next stage where babies are asked to do certain tasks example "find monkey" encouraging them to look for the photo of Monkey on the tablet.

3) Stage 3 is Pretend : for 24 month old babies
At this stage, they can identify what a monkey is, what a horse may sound like and so it's time to do some role playing! Questions would be like "Can you bark like a puppy?" to get the babies to interact closely with the tablet.

I just love this and more so my twins! They would even fight over it until we just have to hand something else to distract the other. Wish there's a button that will tell them to share!

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After a few days, we finally gave in and opened the Fisher Price Smart Stage Puppy Walker for them to play with. Oh wow, J was the happiest kid with this new toy. He's very advance motor-wise as he would stably stride across the room in a faster speed as compared to his sister who's more cautious with her actions. I love watching them patiently waiting for Paul to put their new walker together and as soon as the batteries have been inserted, off J went with his new talking walker.

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I love how cute the Fisher Price Puppy looks. It never gets old! Similar to the tablet, the walker comes in 3 different stages with a switch for us to determine at which stage our kids are in. It is also motion sensitive so with just a slight touch, the walker will start talking. Just remember to turn it off at night or you'd have the biggest shock of your life if somebody will start to say "can you press on my nose" at the middle of the night haha!

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Finally, the toy is big enough that my twins agreed to share. You guys have no idea how happy I was as I was snapping this photo as more often than not, they refuse to share with one another and it just breaks my heart to see them screaming and fighting. Huhu.. they're not even two and we're dealing with stubborn personalities already. Oh dear!

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Apart from the buttons which lights up and makes sounds, there are also rollers, spinners, a page that flips and teaches you ABC and 123. I love it! I know that I can't be home with my kids 24/7 and with toys like these, I am assured that they're learning the right things. This is also my answer to lessening their screen time... by keeping them busy with the best toys.

Another thing that I noticed is how the Puppy would also speak in two languages. One in English and another in Spanish. While I wish that the Puppy would speak in Chinese as well, I am still happy to expose my kids to as many languages that they can learn. After all, a baby's brain is like a sponge and this is the perfect time to teach them as much as we can as they learn things so easily.

I'll talk more about these toys next week as I am preparing a special toy review video for all of you to better appreciate these cool toys where my twins and I can demo the different features as well. Please watch out for it and do let me know in the comment box below if there's anything about these toys you'd like me to focus on. 

Till then, muchas gracias Fisher Price!

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