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VTech Toys Blog

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Have you heard the expression, “Another year older, another year wiser”? I never realized just how true it was until I became a mom! It is incredible to watch my children grow from year to year, always accumulating new skills and knowledge. Their birthdays are the perfect time to highlight and celebrate their growth while looking forward to an upcoming year of even more learning and fun!

I absolutely love gift-giving and always put a lot of thought into birthday presents. There are a few things I take into consideration when choosing kids’ birthday gifts. First, I value toys that will help to teach important skills throughout the upcoming year and beyond. Another consideration is how a gift fits into my budget. Whether it is being purchased for a friend, relative, or my own kids, affordability is always high on my list. Longevity is also important to me and I want to be sure that the gift can be used for a long time. This means that toys offer multiple, engaging ways to play and that these items can also be played with in new ways as kids grow older.

Inexpensive and engaging while teaching kids important skills? Does this unicorn gift actually exist? YES! I can always count on VTech® and LeapFrog® to meet and exceed my expectations with exciting gift choices that also won’t break the bank!

This birthday gift guide features my favorite budget-friendly birthday gifts that provide endless hours of learning and play! Keep reading for some must-haves that I have incorporated into budget-friendly birthday gift guides for first birthdays, toddler years, and preschool years (& beyond!). I’ve got you covered!

First Birthday Gift Guide

First birthdays are cause for a major celebration! Babies are becoming more mobile, vocal, and adorable little people by the day! These gifts can help encourage all these emerging skills.

Little ones will be thrilled to be greeted by name after unwrapping the LeapFrog® My Pal Violet Smarty Paws™. Along with their name, she can be personalized to know their favorite food, color, and animal (tip: use your computer, tablet, or smartphone to easily personalize Violet while she is still in the box prior to wrapping!). They will love singing and babbling with their cuddly new interactive friend who has 325+ songs, phrases, and sounds to encourage early language development. (Ages 6+ months)

Another great gift choice for a new one-year-old is the VTech® Pop-a-Balls™ Push & Pop Bulldozer™. On average, babies typically take their first steps around this age, so a toy that encourages mobility is sure to provide endless hours of fun! They will be excited to discover that pushing the bulldozer forward causes the balls to pop up from the smokestack, into the scoop bucket, and back again. (Ages 12-36 months)

The VTech® I See Me Lion Mirror™ is a thoughtful gift that will make sure the birthday babe knows just how special they are! As they explore their own reflection, they will hear positive and loving phrases along with uplifting songs. Plus, is there anything better than baby giggles? I can already imagine it as the birthday babe plays peek-a-boo with the surprise lion in the mirror! (Ages 12-36 months)

Gift Tip: Add a small toy like this one to a wrapped present as an extra-special gift-topper.

Lastly, the LeapFrog® Dino’s Delightful Day Book™ is another adorable and affordable gift for a little one’s first birthday that can be enjoyed for years to come. This toy promotes early literacy with a read-aloud story that introduces word and letter sounds in alphabetical order. Along with learning their ABCs, children can count to 10 using the number buttons or switch to musical mode to play along with various melodies. (Ages 12+ months)

Toddler Birthday Gift Guide

Toddlers are eager to mimic the world around them. From caring for their own puppy to acting as a doctor, or chatting on the phone, these gifts are perfect for your toddler’s bursting imagination.

If you know a toddler who has to stop and talk to every dog they see, I guarantee they will love the VTech® Let’s Go Rescue Pup™. Interactive phrases and sensors that react to petting, feeding, and walking are sure to make a child feel like they have their very own new pet! They can learn puppy care tips and play fun games while also exploring colors and numbers. My daughter loves to attach her doggy to its leash. She also pretends to play fetch with its toy bone or simply walks around the house enjoying the pup’s melodies. (Ages 1.5-4 years old)

Another favorite is the VTech® Smart Chart Medical Kit™, which includes everything needed for engaging pretend play! Using the healthcare tablet, your future doctor can learn about the human body, explore health tips, and even take part in interactive check-ups where they can help different patients feel better by choosing the right tools for their symptoms. The kit also includes pretend doctor instruments and a doctor dress-up smock to extend play to family members or stuffed animals! (Ages 2-5 years old)

The VTech® Touch & Chat Light-Up Phone™ is another must-have for toddlers who love to pretend! Whether they are making pretend phone calls or tapping through the apps to create on-screen light patterns, your toddler will enjoy playing and learning with the phone’s 70+ songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases. My toddler loves to pack this phone in her little purse, just like mommy, and take it along on our day! (Ages 6+ months)

One last gift I have to add to this age grouping is the VTech® Sing It Out Karaoke Microphone™ because if your toddlers are anything like mine, they’re always ready to put on a show! The mic includes 15 sing-along songs (familiar childhood favorites like “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, and “Old MacDonald”) as well as 5 silly voice effects that will help to build language skills and confidence as little ones find their own voices! They can even put on their own performance with color-changing lights that flash to the music and an applause button to cheer themselves on. (Ages 2-5 years old)

Preschooler (& Beyond!) Birthday Gift Guide

As kids approach this stage of early childhood, they begin to develop their own interests, are ready for more challenges, and their cognitive development is at an all-time high! For this stage, I like to choose gifts that highlight these new skills and encourage hands-on learning through play.

The VTech® Marble Rush® Launchpad Set™ is a recipient of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Accreditation Stamp of Approval by the Toy Association™ and it also got my 6-year-old’s stamp of approval, who is an engineering fanatic. Thecolor-coded building set and easy-to-follow illustrated instructions make building even the coolest and most extreme marble runs frustration-free. Kids can follow one of the leveled guides or build their own designs for endless play! (Ages 4+)

Gift Tip: I like to pre-assemble “big” gifts like this one so that the birthday kiddo can jump right into the fun!

Kids this age are eager to learn, so another great gift is one that will introduce and encourage independent reading and writing skills! The LeapFrog® Spinning Lights Letter Ring is a fun learning game that focuses on early reading skills. Sparky the phonics firefly leads kiddos in engaging games of hide and seek as they search for the cute, little light-up bug while listening to letter sounds and building words. (Ages 3+ years old)

The LeapFrog® Mr. Pencil’s Scribble & Write® is another choice that features six activities and introduces writing, drawing, and spelling. Build fine motor skills by tracing and writing letters, shapes, and numbers on the touch screen using the stylus. My son loves to make the shapes and letters “come alive” by tapping the screen once he’s finished drawing! (Ages 3+ years old)

Finally, the VTech® Switch & Go® Gorilla Muscle Car is a toy that will ignite your child’s imagination! Its LCD animations and cool sound effects take action-figure play to the next level as it is transformed from a ferocious gorilla to a fast muscle car in a few simple steps. (Ages 4+)

I hope this gift guide helps you find the perfect gift to celebrate the little ones in your life as they grow! Each of these VTech® and LeapFrog® gifts will provide endless fun while encouraging the development of important skills, all without breaking the bank! The perfect combination for a birthday gift that kids (and adults!) will love!

Jessica Grant highlights a joyful and creative childhood, motherhood, and home through her social media and blog, With a background in preschool education and now a mom to 3 young children, Jessica enjoys sharing all kinds of fun including crafts, DIY, and learning through play with the goal of creating a magical and memorable childhood!

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As a mom of 4 (12, 6, and 3-year-old twin boys), I know just how much little ones love to mimic their parents and older siblings. That's why I was thrilled to discover the VTech® Level Up Gaming Chair™, perfect for those who are 18-48 months old. This “super cool” (as my kids call it) gaming chair provides the perfect way for little gamers to have their very own preschool gaming station with no Wi-Fi and no worries for us parents!

One of the great things about the VTech® Level Up Gaming Chair™ is that it comes with an interactive gaming tablet that teaches letters, numbers, animals, and music with gaming sound effects. Not only is this a fun way for kids to learn, but it also helps them develop important skills like hand-eye coordination and problem-solving. It is a total win-win for all of us!

The gaming tablet is easy to use and comes with a variety of games that are designed specifically for preschoolers. These games are age-appropriate and provide a safe and educational gaming experience for young children.

Another great feature of the VTech® Level Up Gaming Chair™ is that it allows little ones to be just like the big-kid gamers, or even dad in our case, with a swivel chair, joystick, and pretend headphones. This makes role-play even more fun and allows kids to feel like they're part of the action.

Now, if you’ve read my thoughts on VTech® before, you know that my favorite feature of all their products is their versatility and multi-use options. The Level Up Gaming Chair™ has a portable tablet that easily detaches from the tray, which allows my kids to use the tray for snacks, drawing, or even story time. This means that the Level Up Gaming Chair™ is not only a fun toy but also a practical piece of furniture that can be used in a variety of ways.

As a mom, I also think it's important to teach little ones about video game safety. The VTech® Level Up Gaming Chair™ is a great way to start these conversations and get some real-life practice. By playing games on the gaming tablet, kids can learn about the importance of taking breaks, and not sharing personal information online or spending too much time in front of screens. I think it’s never too early to start having these conversations.

The Level Up Gaming Chair™ provides a safe and educational gaming experience, promotes role-play, and can help teach important lessons about video game safety. Plus, it's just plain fun! So, if you're looking for a way to keep your little ones entertained and engaged, be sure to check out the VTech® Level Up Gaming Chair™.

Karen is the mom behind Mamma Bear Says, a family and creative brand empowering parents to live their most authentic and creative lives. She is a mom of 4, including twin toddlers, and loves to share her tips, tricks, and stories of all the good, the messy, and the chaos.

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Yay! Spring is right around the corner and Easter is quickly approaching. It brings me so much joy to create magic around the holidays for my kiddos. Surprising them with little goodies from the Easter Bunny is one of my favorite holiday traditions. I created a gift guide filled with really cool VTech® and LeapFrog® toys to get you started on ideas for Easter basket goodies that everybunny in your crew will love!

For our Easter baskets, I like to fill them with a few items they NEED for the new season like rain boots, swimsuits, and sunglasses. Kids grow just like the spring flowers do – FAST! Next, I fill them with things they WANT, like fun new toys to provide them with endless hours of entertainment. And, BONUS, parents can get excited too, just by knowing that their child is developing important skills when they’re given VTech® and LeapFrog® products. Let’s check out these Easter basket gift ideas.


These VTech® and LeapFrog® gift ideas will make your little one smile on Easter morning. Does your Easter Bunny hide the baskets or put them out in plain sight? Ours hides the baskets in not-so-hard-to-find hiding spots. The kids wake up and hunt for their baskets on Easter morning. (The rule is, if you find someone else’s basket, you can’t tell them. You have to keep it a secret unless they ask for help. Shhhh!)

1. VTech® Switch & Go® Gorilla Muscle Car (ages 4+ years old) – A perfect-sized toy to add to my son, Levi’s, basket. He’s five years old and action cars are at the top of his list. This ferocious, transforming ape beats its chest with two strong fists when you press the action button. A few simple moves turn the gorilla into a mighty muscle car. The LCD screen brings the toy to life for endless back-and-forth fun.

2. VTech® Switch & Go® Hatch-a-Dino Velociraptor Racer (ages 4+ years old) – Get ready for an egg-shaped building toy! For my son who loves to build things, this is the ultimate Easter basket find. Open the egg and find all the pieces you’ll need to build your 2-in-1 dinosaur racer. You’ll build a speedy racer with roaring engine sounds that easily transforms into a screeching velociraptor! There’s even the option to race or challenge the entire ferocious crew by purchasing other Hatch & Roaaar Egg creatures.

3. VTech® Take Me with You Zebra™ and VTech® Squishy Lights Learning Tablet™ (ages 3+ months) – Great on-the-go options for the littlest ones on your list. This bold black and white Zebra invites little ones to explore their senses including touch, sound, and sight. I’ll be hanging it on Olivia’s car seat to keep her entertained during all the school drop-offs and pickups she has to endure. Same goes for the VTech® Squishy Lights Learning Tablet™, which teaches words for animals, colors, and shapes along with music and songs. She’ll love the colorful squishy buttons too!

4. LeapFrog® Spin 'n Learn Fruity Smoothie™ (ages 6+ months) – We enjoy smoothies several times a week in this family! Now, Olivia can join us by exploring the LeapFrog® Spin 'n Learn Fruity Smoothie. Meet Crystal the Cup plus five funny fruits, like Sherry Strawberry and Oliver Orange, who introduce themselves and their colors. How cute is that?! I love that the straw is also a teething toy! She figured that out immediately!

5. VTech® Kiddie Cat Cassette Player™ (ages 9-36 months), VTech® Pull Back Skater Cat™, and VTech® Toddler Tech Laptop™ (ages 12-36 months) – More basket-sized toys packed with tons of learning fun! With the VTech®Pull Back Skater Cat™ all it takes is a gentle push or pull, and this pull-back skater kitty is ready to roll, skating back and forth all by itself. You can also press the light-up shoes to make the cat twist on its board.

The cute VTech® Kiddie Cat Cassette Player™ may remind you of a small, portable tape deck, but this fun toy doesn't need cassettes to play music. You’ll be bopping along to jazz, country, and rock-n-roll style melodies and the Alphabet Song. (We love music in this household!)

Olivia loves to grab anything that looks like mom’s things – remote controls, keys, and even laptops! The VTech® Toddler Tech Laptop™ will let her be just like her mama. Her little fingers can get moving with its spinning disc, slider, arrow, and five colorful app buttons.

Tip! Take toys out of their packaging prior to placing them into your Easter baskets. You’ll have more room in the basket and the toys will be ready for playtime! Don’t forget to tuck any instructions you want to keep into the bottom of the baskets.

6. LeapFrog® My Pal Violet Smarty Paws™ and LeapFrog® My Pal Scout Smarty Paws™ (ages 6+ months) – Paaaaw-dorable! I love including a cuddly friend in my kids’ Easter baskets. There are too many cool features to list when it comes to these items, so you’ll have to check these adorable puppies out for yourself! You can press Scout or Violet’s ears to play 40+ songs, lullabies, and melodies, or to explore games and activities. But I think my favorite feature is that they can teach my kiddo how to spell their own name. Plus, they’re customizable! A plush friend and a learning tool in one. So cool!

7. VTech® Turn & Learn Driver™ (ages 6-36 months) and LeapFrog® 100 Things That Go™ (ages 18+ months) – Now for the final two products in this Easter basket gift guide. (I know, it’s a lot! But, who doesn’t like options?!) The LeapFrog® 100 Things That Go™ book has six double-sided, interactive pages that feature different modes of transportation as kids learn age-appropriate words chosen by learning experts. My five-year-old loves that he can hear the words in both English and Spanish! He has fun touching each picture and switching back and forth between the two languages.

Vroom, vroom! The VTech® Turn & Learn Driver™ has three play modes so your little driver can learn in either animal, driving, or music mode. The cute dog even moves back and forth while your little one drives.

Easter will be hoppin’ by before you know it! There’s just nothing like watching little ones experience a holiday. I know I won’t forget searching for Easter baskets and hidden eggs on Easter morning and I love creating those same fond memories for my kids! I hope you were inspired by this VTech® and LeapFrog® Easter basket gift guide for kids. For other motherhood ideas, follow along at SUGAR MAPLE notes or on Instagram @SUGARMAPLEnotes. Let’s be friends! - xoxo Sarah

Sarah is the creator behind SUGAR MAPLE notes – a lifestyle blog about home, family and motherhood. She’s a mom of two imaginative kiddos, Levi and Evelyn, and one baby girl, Olivia Jay. Grab a cup of coffee because Sarah is sure to have one in her hand. Come feel at home with her and her family as they make everyday moments into something special!

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