Friday, July 18, 2014

eBeanstalk Toy Review

            Hey folks! I recently had the opportunity to work with again, so in case you missed my first review of their site and one of their toys last year, stick around! eBeanstalk is an awesome website if you're looking for developmental toys for a child. They offer toys for children ages birth through 12 years. I love the way their site is designed because you can shop by age, gender (if you want), top sellers, type of toy (animal, musical, etc.), and more. They even have a section for special needs toys and a Gift Finder feature!
            eBeanstalk was generous enough to let me pick out which toy we would like to review. Since Myka is a lot closer to being 2 years old than 1 year old, I decided to skip the toys for 1 year olds. She seems to like a good challenge, anyways. ;) She was pretty into the haphazard tp roll lacing toy I made (aka a tp tube with holes punched in it of varying sizes and a blunt plastic needle with a piece of yarn) so I decided to go with the Smart Snacks ABC Lacing Sweets from Learning Resources.

            Let's start off with what we did like about this toy. First of all, I thought it was pretty spiffy that there are two sets of holes on each letter. Even if the hole at the top becomes too easy for a child, the one through the center will be more challenging because it's longer!
            I also liked that there are a lot more things a child can learn from these than one might think upon first glance. Not only will kids learn their alphabet, but they will learn both upper AND lower case letters! Even cooler? All of the vowel pieces are red, so you can help teach kids those as well! Then, of course, for younger kids, you can also work on colors as well. I just love learning toys!

            Much to my surprise, Myka wasn't really into actually lacing the pieces together. But, I will get to my theories on why in a minute. She did enjoy "sorting" them...And by sorting I mean making me dump all of them out and putting them back in the container herself. And don't forget the strings. She had to make sure the strings got back in there too, even if I had to help her some. lol
            Since she is young still for learning letters (although I do tell her what they are, I don't expect her to remember or recite them back to me or anything, of course), we did work on colors while we played with these as well. I would tell her what color each piece was as she put them back in the jar. She seems to be picking up on colors somewhat. She can say "purple," if that counts. ;)

            There were a few things about the ABC Lacing Sweets that I think could be improved upon. First, I wish the container was larger. It was hard enough for me to try and squeeze all of the pieces and lacing strings back in. Myka was getting downright frustrated. (And by "frustrated" I mean throwing a "toddler hissy", of course. :) )
            I also wish that the lacing strings were longer, like shoe string length, perhaps. I think Myka would have had an easier time, but it doesn't help that the pieces weigh the short string down, which makes it even harder to keep the pieces on that have already been laced.
            I think she also had trouble since she has only laced tp rolls before and wasn't used to the thickness of these pieces. But, that's not really a problem with the toy. ;) Most younger kids find chunkier objects easier to hold on to. Myka did get it through the top hole a few times.
            I also have to admit that I completely forgot about the scoop that comes with this as well. Honestly, I don't think it would have been much fun anyways (at least for kids closer to 2) because it would probably be darn near impossible to scoop any of the pieces out of the container because they're so heavy and crammed in the little jar. I do think the scoop might be fun for older kids with better fine motor skills and patience.
            Overall, I did like the ABC Lacing Sweets since you can help your children learn several different things with them and I feel like it's something your child will be interested in playing with for a few years as opposed to a few months. Be sure to check out all of the other great educational toys eBeanstalk offers and stay up to date with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

P.s. We picked out a little doctor kit for our review last time (which was in late summer/early fall of last year) and Myka STILL plays with that thing ALL.THE.TIME.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. I did receive a product in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and may differ from your own. 

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