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VTech Toys Blog

Discover, Play, & Explore!

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

My youngest son Rhys has the most passionate car obsession I have ever witnessed. Since he is my third boy, I thought I had seen a love of cars in my older boys, but I've never witnessed the love that my youngest exhibits.

Most car play is based around lots of racing and lining up. He loves lying on the floor to roll them back and forth. With regular cars though, there is a limit on how much imaginative or pretend play can occur.

Go! Go! Cory Carson® is a show on Netflix that follows Cory Carson and his friends through their adventures in Bumperton Hills - they go to school, make friends and explore with their family. Rhys, of course, automatically loved the show and VTech® has a line of toys that allows kids the opportunity to create their own Cory Carson show! I was so impressed with the amount of pretend play he was engaging in with the Go! Go! Cory Carson® collection and the Bumperton Hills playset locations.

Pretend play has proven to be an essential type of play for child development. Kids learn about themselves and the world, including how conversations can play out, or how to set up a scene for typical life occurrences. It also helps with their vocabulary and social development as they make up pretend conversations with their toys.

What has been missing from our typical car play? Pretend play! This became even more evident when I saw all my boys working together to set up their Go! Go! Cory Carson® play area. The fact that these cars have names, faces, and places to live and engage with makes for the perfect way to integrate car play with important pretend and role play.

After they set up their areas, they started to have pretend conversations. Rhys was able to observe his older brothers playing, which reinforced his understanding of role play. It was amazing. Here are some of the specific toys and how we played with them.

VTech Go! Go! Cory Carson DJ Train Trax & the Roll Train

As a family, we all love music and dancing. The DJ Train Trax & the Roll Train was a lot of fun as it is a train that has a DJ set as a train car. As you roll the train around, it plays music, but you can also play mixmaster with mini characters Cory Carson and Chrissy Carson. Help Cory and Chrissy dance on stage or roll DJ Train Trax to light up his rainbow chimney while building motor skills and listening to sounds and phrases from the show.

Press DJ Train Trax’s hat or move him around to trigger phrases, sounds, songs and special lighting effects. As you collect the other characters, you can place them in the DJ booth to hear them talk, play music and to see them light up. Rhys and his brothers loved putting the characters on the train to take them from one location to the next.

VTech Go! Go! Cory Carson Freddie's Firehouse

Go on a rescue mission with Freddie Firetruck and Chrissy Carson at the Go! Go! Cory Carson Freddie’s Firehouse. You can press the button at the bottom of the slide to hear Freddie’s mom, Carolyn Firetruck's songs and phrases. She encourages exploration of all the exciting activities the Firehouse has to offer. Rhys loved the spiral ramp and lining up multiple characters to go down right after each other.

Each playset has a PlayZone location that activates different sounds and phrases depending on which character you place on top of it. For the Firehouse, it's located at the bottom of the spiral ramp. Rhys' face lit up when I showed him that area and he was so impressed that each character said something different!

VTech Go! Go! Cory Carson O'Tool's Construction Site

The Go! Go! Cory Carson O’Tool’s Construction Site includes Cory Carson and his friend Timmy O'Tool. An active construction site where you can smash through a brick wall is EVERYTHING to my boys. From Rhys, who is 2, to my oldest, who is 6, they all enjoyed setting it up and running cars down the slide over and over.

Help Cory and Timmy knock down walls, sound the whistle and slide down the ramp while listening to sounds and phrases from the episodes, and you can place Cory or Timmy on the PlayZone location to hear them each say unique phrases.

VTech Go! Go! Cory Carson Cory's Stay & Play Home

Go! Go! Cory Carson Cory’s Stay & Play Home is the ultimate landscape for pretend play. Explore every room with Cory, Mama and Chrissy Carson mini characters. I noticed as the boys were playing, they set up all the locations together and created a town, but the cars had the most conversations while they were around the house.

This house is built just for cars with a pretend bathtub car wash complete with a scrub brush, ramps and more. Hang out in Cory’s room and place the mini characters on the PlayZone location to hear unique phrases, sing-along songs and sounds.

The house has so many features that change when you press a button, like the fireplace that opens up to expose an art studio. All these areas spark a different type of scenario and pretend play in kids. Slide down the ramp to watch T.V. in the living room or try to get Chrissy to take a bath just like in the show. Press the button near the fireplace to find a hidden door or press the T.V. button to watch DJ Train Trax.

VTech Go! Go! Cory Carson PlayZone Mini Character 6-Pack

A pack of all the friends was a great addition to all the locations! It also helped with multiple kids playing together as they all had different characters and could spread them out amongst the house, Firehouse and Construction Site. The Go! Go! Cory Carson PlayZone Mini Character 6-Pack includes Cory Carson, Freddie Firetruck, Halle Copter, Frannie Fenderson, and Timmy and Kimmy O’Tool. They can also be placed onto any of the playsets’ PlayZone locations so kids can hear their unique sounds and phrases.

All the sets together made for a really fun pretend play area as it really allowed the kids to set up their own version of Bumperton Hills. The boys talked about leaving home to go to work at the Firehouse and they would take the train to get there. It is such a perfect combination of car and pretend play, and we are so impressed. It was exactly the kind of transitionary toy we needed for the car obsessed Rhys. It pushed him beyond just rolling the cars around and instead toward tons of other play possibilities.

About the Author

Shantall Bond is a mother of 3 boys, so she’s always on the move! She blogs at Urban Mom Tales. Her 10-year background in education and counseling started from a genuine passion for people, writing and helping others. After becoming a mom, that passion for creating communities turned into Urban Mom Tales. She lives with her husband and boys in the heart of Chicago.

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Updated: Jun 29, 2021

A dinosaur theme is perfect for your child's next birthday party.

Everyone loves dinosaurs!

Dinosaurs spark curiosity and excitement for kids of all ages, which makes it such an easy theme to pull together. A dino party is just as much fun to plan as it is to attend!

Dinosaur Themed Party Food Ideas

The key to planning food at a child's birthday party is to keep it simple and fun. A dinosaur charcuterie board is a unique way to offer a variety of kid friendly foods. Adding VTech® Switch & Go® dinosaurs to the table makes it even more inviting for young guests.

Dinosaur Charcuterie Tray

  • Chicken nuggets

  • Assorted snacks

  • Grapes

  • Dipping sauces

  • Veggies and fruit

  • Dyed hard boiled eggs

Charcuterie boards aren't just for grown-ups anymore, kids love them too! There are no real rules when making one so feel free to swap out any food that will not work for your party with one that will.

The hard boiled dinosaur eggs are super easy to make and add a special touch to the tray. You can use an Easter egg dying kit to color them or roll hard boiled eggs in shaving cream and food coloring for a speckled effect.

Dinosaur Egg Pudding Cups

  • Chocolate pudding

  • Graham cracker crumbs

  • Egg shaped candies

  • Clear cups

Scientists think dinosaurs laid up to 21 eggs at once so feel free to load up these yummy pudding cups with lots of chocolate candy eggs!

The dinosaur egg pudding cups are so easy to make. Fill a clear cup about 2/3 full of chocolate pudding and top with graham cracker crumbs. Then add as many candy eggs as you want and serve chilled.

Easy Dinosaur Cupcakes

  • Store bought or homemade cupcakes

  • Plastic or candy dinosaurs

Buy or make the birthday kid's favorite cupcakes. Add plastic or candy dinosaurs to the top and set out to serve to guests. Such a cute and easy dessert for a kid’s party.

Dinosaur Themed Party Activities

Setting up dinosaur party games is easier than ever with VTech®’s Switch & Go® collection. These open-ended toys allow kids to transform dinosaurs into tough vehicles and are perfect for groups of kids to play together.

When you change the dinosaur into a vehicle, like the T-Rex Truck or the Velociraptor Helicopter, kids get to stretch their imaginations and engage in pretend play. Each dinosaur has a special skill and unique sound effects that keep kids engaged and having fun. The Switch & Go® collection can be used to make party games more fun!

Encourage pretend play at your party with a dinosaur dig sand pit.

Dinosaur Dig Sand Play

  • Sandbox or large plastic bin

  • VTech® Switch & Go® dinosaurs

  • Sand

  • Rocks and other natural materials

  • Small shovels or scoops

Creating a sensory play area gives kids a low-key activity they can do throughout the birthday party. A dinosaur dig using VTech® Switch & Go® dinosaurs is perfect for a dinosaur theme.

Add sand, rocks and other natural materials to a sandbox or large plastic bin. Set up the VTech® Switch & Go® dinosaurs in the sand area with some shovels for kids to use for pretend play.

Water play is always a hit with kids! Put a dinosaur spin on it by making frozen dinosaur eggs for kids to melt.

Melt the Frozen Dinosaur Eggs

  • Small plastic dinosaurs

  • Balloons

  • Water

  • Tray or dish

  • Water dropper, pipette, or spray bottle

Frozen dinosaur eggs aren’t hard to prep. Blow up a balloon halfway to stretch it out and then release the air. Stick a small plastic dinosaur into the opening of the balloon. Fill the balloon with water by putting the end of the balloon around the faucet and slowly turning on the water. When the balloon has been filled to an egg shape, turn off the water and tie off the end of the balloon. Place in the freezer overnight.

Keep filling and freezing balloons until you have one for each party guest. On the morning of the party, cut the ends of the balloons to remove them and keep the ice eggs frozen until it's time to melt them. Set them on trays or in dishes next to bowls of warm water and water droppers for kids to use to melt the ice.

Classic birthday party games are classics for a reason, kids love them! Use the Switch & Go® dinosaurs as the objects to ring in this dinosaur-inspired twist on ring toss.

Dinosaur Ring Toss Game

  • 3 Switch & Go® dinosaurs (the larger ones are easier to ring)

  • Package of pool rings

Choose 3 of your child's favorite Switch & Go® dinosaurs for the kids to throw pool rings around. The taller, larger dinos are easier to ring than the smaller ones so you can adjust the difficulty of the game to the age of the kids at the party. The kids play by taking turns throwing the rings around the Switch & Go® dinosaurs to see who can get the most.

There are so many easy ways to make a dinosaur themed birthday party special and fun! Using some of your child's favorite Switch & Go® dinosaurs for party inspiration is a great way to personalize the celebration and make the day extra special.

Megan is the creator of Coffee Cups and Crayons, a blog full of simple fun and learning. She believes that kids’ activities don’t have to be complicated to be fun and that learning is better with play.

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Updated: Jun 29, 2021

Fill your child’s Easter basket with toys that are as entertaining as they are educational! These products from VTech® and LeapFrog® offer learning and fun for children from 3 months to 12-years-old!

It’s hard to decide what to put in your child’s Easter basket every year, so this year, why not give them gifts you can appreciate as much as they will? These toys from VTech® and LeapFrog® help children learn colors, numbers, letters, shapes, and more while building social skills and exploring their creative imaginations.

Easter basket gift ideas for babies and toddlers 3 - 48 months:

VTech® Snug-a-Bug Musical CritterTM (ages 3 - 24 months)- This little critter is so soft and cuddly, your baby will give him a big hug right out of the package! The Snug-a-Bug Musical CritterTM features two modes: one for engaging playtime and a second for sleepytime comfort. In Playtime mode, the belly lights up in an array of colors, plays melodies, and sings songs. The eight fabric legs each have a button to teach colors, shapes, and music notes. In Sleepytime mode, the soft bug plays soothing melodies and five minutes of lullabies. The soft corduroy tummy, fabric legs, and embroidered face gives babies a variety of textures to experience as they develop a sense of touch. He is perfect for snuggling to sleep!

VTech® Twist & Spin LionTM (ages 6 - 24 months)- This adorable, musical lion suction cups to your table or highchair for some hands-on fun for your baby! He has a hula hoop full of beads that your baby can spin 360 degrees while building fine motor skills. He also has a soft, colorful mane for touchable texture exploration. Your baby will love to hear him “Roar!” and dance along with his 45+ songs, melodies, and phrases.

VTech® Pull & Sing PuppyTM (ages 6 - 36 months)- Move over Fido! This singing, walking, talking musical puppy will be your little one’s new best friend! His catchy songs and sweet little barks will win your child’s heart. Grab the storable cord and pull the puppy to hear him sing, sniff, and giggle while his little legs move! Answer some learning questions like “can you find my yellow button?” and push the colored buttons to learn numbers and hear melodies. It even shuts off automatically when not in use.

VTech® Drop & Go Dump TruckTM (ages 6 - 36 months)- Honk, honk! Get ready to load and go with this rolling, singing dump truck! It comes with three “rock” balls that your child can drop into the hole in the cab and the truck counts them as they roll into the bucket. By pulling the lever, the rocks tumble out like a real dump truck! Your little construction site or truck fanatic will learn counting and colors while building imagination though fine motor play.

LeapFrog® Level Up & Learn ControllerTM (ages 6 - 36 months)- Now your littlest gamer can join in on the fun! The Level Up & Learn ControllerTM is shaped just like a real video game controller with easy grips for little hands. The buttons make gaming sounds and teach shapes! It also features 13 learning activities, a pop-up tiger “bonus” game, and it even teaches Spanish! The six animal buttons sing the alphabet, count, name rhyming words, play “I Spy”, and make their animal sounds for endless fun and learning!

LeapFrog® Chat & Count Emoji PhoneTM (ages 18 - 48 months) - Come play with Scout! Watch cute little videos with your little one about Scout’s day, play guessing games, and even add some emojis like a real phone! Then you can sing along with Scout’s manners song and learn right/left by following his bouncing ball. Don’t forget to answer the phone when it rings and check for voicemails from Scout!

LeapFrog® 100 Animals BookTM (ages 18 - 48 months)- If your child loves animals, then this is the only animal book you will ever want! This talking, singing book features six double-sided pages of animals and their environments. Learn names, sounds, habitats, and fun facts about 100 different animals in both English and Spanish! Do you know what sound a lemur or a panda bear makes? I learned using this book!

Easter basket gift ideas for children ages 2- 6 years old:

LeapFrog® Blue’s Clues & You!TM Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook (ages 2 - 5 years old) - The Blue’s Clues & You!™ Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook with non-removable crayon looks like Josh’s Handy Dandy Notebook from the show. Learn through pretend play with 14 light-up app icons that introduce toddlers and preschoolers to colors, counting, shapes, weather, health and hygiene. The Really Smart Handy Dandy Notebook features phone, music and mail apps for pretend play with Blue, Josh and Mailbox. Pretend to talk to Josh and Blue on the phone, check your email with Mailbox and use the music app to dance to fun Blue’s Clues & You!™-inspired tunes. Press the button with the picture of Blue to hear a variety of her fun barks.

VTech® Go! Go! Cory Carson® Mini Character 6-Pack (ages 2 - 5 years old)- Zoom along with all your child’s favorite characters from the Netflix original show Go! Go! Cory Carson®! This mini-character pack comes with Cory Carson, Halle Helicopter, Timmy O’Tool, Kimmy O’Tool, Freddie Firetruck, and Frannie Fenderson. Each little car character rolls when pushed for role-play and imaginative play. They unlock phrases and sounds when placed on PlayZoneTM locations on Go! Go! Cory Carson® playsets (sold separately).

VTech® Go! Go! Cory Carson® Two Scoops Eileen Ice Cream Truck (ages 2 - 5 years old)- This little ice cream truck is so adorable that I couldn’t stop playing with it myself! Roll along with Eileen as she lights up and plays 55 fun phrases, songs, and melodies. It also comes with the Cory and Chrissy characters, complete with two scoops of ice cream on each roof! Drive them up to Eileen’s window and press the counter for more interactions. This is the perfect addition to Bumperton Hills and your child’s imagination!

PAW Patrol Marshall Learning WatchTM (ages 3 – 6 years old) - Join the PAW Patrol and protect Adventure Bay with the PAW Patrol Marshall Learning WatchTM. This interactive kids’ watch includes four exciting games you can play to recognize patterns, identify animal tracks, and pick the right tool for the job with the PAW Patrol. Hear Ryder call the pups into action, cool sound effects, and popular phrases from the show. The learning watch includes a clock, timer, stopwatch and alarm.

Easter basket gift ideas for kids ages 4 - 12 years old:

VTech® Myla’s Sparkling FriendsTM Mia the Unicorn (ages 4 - 8 years old)- Mia the Unicorn is a colorful and cheerful new bestie! This unicorn blows kisses and features positive, upbeat phrases. Your favorite unicorn lover can comb Mia’s hair and add cute clips with the included accessories. Change and customize her light up colors by pressing her necklace then touching her eyes, horn or wings, which flap by squeezing her back legs! Mia is endless fun as you tell her your wishes, sing magical songs, and pretend to fly through the air!

VTech® Switch & Go® T-Rex Truck (ages 4 - 8 years old)- “No one can stop a T-Rex!” Transform this prehistoric creature into a tough, off-road truck. It is very easy to transform with just a few clicks and features 30 cool phrases and roaring sounds. Collect other Switch & Go® dinos (sold separately) for a match-up! “Teeth, claws, and jaws? Don’t mess with Rex!”

VTech® KidiZoom® Smartwatch DX2 (ages 4 - 12 years old)- This kid-friendly watch looks just like Mom’s and Dad’s but with way cooler features like Monster Catcher and Silly Me face filters! Help your child learn to tell time with 55 digital and analog customizable watch faces and explore time concepts with the calendar, alarm, and timer. Parental controls allow you to disable games or set a daily limit. You can also download free learning games, easily recharge the battery, and upload photos and videos using the included USB cable and your computer. The watch has a touchscreen, two cameras, and a voice changer. It is even splash-proof for everyday play (but do not submerge or bathe with it of course!). My favorite feature of the watch has to be the motion apps to get kids moving. Motion-controlled games and a pedometer make for entertaining games and active movement. I love to see the kids moving and having fun!

VTech® KidiZoom® Creator Cam (ages 5 - 10 years old)- My kids were so excited to open this camera and get creating! The KidiZoom® Creator Cam is a photo camera and 720p HD video camera in one. It includes a built-in microphone, rechargeable battery, and tabletop tripod/selfie stick. It easily connects to a computer with the included USB cable (which is the only way to upload photos, at a parent’s discretion) and has a slot to add a microSD for even more storage capability. You are going to want that extra storage when the kids find out there is an included green screen with 20+ animated backgrounds for them to use. They can even make themselves “disappear” with special editing effects. This KidiZoom® Creator Cam really lets children express their creative imaginations with photos and videos as well as backgrounds, on-camera editing tools, a time-lapse creator, and awesome trick effects!

Tara is a mom and the author of the blog Living In Happy Place. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science and spent many years in the medical and corporate worlds before deciding to share her love of motherhood with other moms through her blog.

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