Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First Toddle 5-in-1 Infant/Toddler Play, Entertainment, and Developmental System

Contest now closed! Thank you to all who entered!

~*~*~ GIVEAWAY! ~*~*~

My kids are high maintenance. But not in a “bad, oh my gosh, this is so much work” way. But in the “I need to run around and be super active and make my mother pray we take a nap but little does she know that a nap does not fit in to the daily plans of the rambunctious 1 year old and 3 year old” way. Yeah, I know you other parents of little youngin’ toddlers know EXACTLY what I mean.
Luckily, there are companies and sweet, amazing people like those at First Toddle who managed to come up with one of the coolest contraptions for youngin’s just like mine.

The First Toddle 5-in-1 Infant/Toddler Play, Entertainment, and Developmental System [$149.95] has been a HUGE hit at our house since it arrived thanks to the nice people from their family-friendly company in Phoenix sent it our way. The kids actually loved it before we even opened the box!

Once we got the box opened I was pleasantly surprised with the colors and variety of pieces. For a split second I was a bit overwhelmed by the assortment of bars, mats, and nets, but it was a breeze to assemble and once it was together, we have had no reason to take it apart. It has honestly become a piece of furniture in our living room, the only difference is, the First Toddle is a safe system that the kids can play on and around; very different from one of my son’s favorite activities - jumping from the coffee table to the couch!

Like I said, assembly was a cinch, the tough part was figuring out which feature to try out first.
First Toddle is considered a 5-in-1; meaning it has (at least!) 5 fully functioning activities available to enjoy (taken directly from the First Toddle’s Frequently Asked Questions page):
1. Infant Play Area – A comfortable and safe play are for a baby to crawl, explore, discover, and continue to develop hand-eye coordination and other sensory skills.
2. Baby’s First Steps – A safer environment for a baby to stand and take their first steps.
3. Toddler Cruise and Walk – A comfortable and fun area for a new toddler to play and safely practice new skills.
4. Sports Center – A great way to safely introduce children to the sports that we’ve all enjoyed for years – football, basketball, soccer, hockey, gymnastics, and more. We even have other accessories coming out later this year for other sports, including golf, lacrosse, field hockey and cricket (the last two inspired by a retailer in India).
5. Special Needs – A safe and stable structure for children who need a bit more support.
With 2 young kids 3 and under, I find the First Toddle to be excellent when it comes to entertaining them simultaneously. Lily has fun throwing the ball through the hoop and playing with and chewing on the toys hanging from the parallel bars. Jonah on the other hand, loves to climb all over the First Toddle. He hangs from or sits on the parallel bars, plays soccer, hockey, or basketball as well. They both really enjoy the tent option. They will crawl inside and I will give them some snacks and juice boxes and they sit and giggle and play. It creates one of those “Awwwww” moments. As many mom’s know, finding a product that gives your young children a chance to bond together in new way is absolutely priceless.

One of my favorite things to do it change up the First Toddle system after they go to bed (for example; from the tent to the stand-up basketball hoop). We store it in a corner in our living room, so it’s right there when they wake up in the morning and come downstairs. If I change up the system, it immediately attracts them, believing they have a whole new toy to play with, in a whole new way.
Aside from the total fun-ness of the First Toddle, we must talk specifics.
The original First Toddle prototype was once made out of PVC, which many mom’s can agree is not something we are comfortable our kiddo’s being around for extended periods of time (if at all!). They have since altered the system to now be completely free of leads, paints, and BPA’s! Along the lines of safety, another really cool fact is that all of the netting included in the system is unbleached. And with me being an overly paranoid mama, I can appreciate the extra time and energy involved in making sure the safest products are used around my kids (and your’s, too!).
Assembly is a breeze. Detailed instructions are included, but I will tell you, it is so simple to set up that I didn’t need to look too much at them at all. The netting can be a slight challenge, but once you get the hang of it, it too, is simple.
The fabric straps provided are great, and are beneficial in helping a child be familiarized with the system at first, particularly babies. The straps come in two different lengths, making playtime for the littlest First Toddle users enjoyable and functional. Since pre-rolling over infants can’t do much except lay and observe, being able to see familiar toys and even start to reach and grab toys, these straps are helpful to get them engaged and curious. As the kids get older, the straps are fun to bop around the hanging toys and as my kids do, grab and yank off of the system (don't worry, the velcro is a perfect strength. Strong enough to stay put, but gives enough to allow the child to take off without any damage). This may seem brutal and primal, but giving a child the opportunity to strengthen arm and core muscles by pulling on the sturdy straps allows there to be one more feature to this already versatile toy.

Being able to play basketball, soccer, do tumbling, gymnastics, acrobatics and imagining are all favorites of my kiddos and I am sure they will be favorites of yours as well.
click on the speaker icon below and listen to the fun Barenaked Ladies song while viewing the slideshow!

First Toddle is constantly altering and improving the system on a regular basis, making sure they are providing you and your children with the very best in developmental and imaginative entertainment and play.

If you make the excellent decision of purchasing a First Toddle 5-in-1 Infant/Toddler Play, Entertainment, and Developmental System, the company would also LOVE your feedback! Send and email (or better yet, photos and or a video) to info@firsttoddle.com and you just might see your kiddos on their site (with proper recognition given to you and your children as well)!

First Toddle is offering a 20% discount to all Mommy Instincts readers! Just enter “FT20M” in the promo code box on the Order Products page!
First Toddle wants to put a 5-in-1 Infant/Toddler Play, Entertainment, and Developmental System into the home of 1 lucky Mommy Instincts reader! How cool is that?! All you have to do is hop on over to First Toddle and email me (mommyinstincts AT comcast DOT net) with FIRST TODDLE in the subject line with the answer to the following:
"Name one award First Toddle won in 2009 and/or 2010."
*Tweet about this contest (you can do this once daily, but please email me with the original twitter link each day), I'll make it easy, i'll even provide you the text:
"@MommyInstincts is giving away a @FirstToddle play center (valued @ $149.95). Check out her review & giveaway today! http://bit.ly/cSnCUi"
*Blog about this giveaway (this will get you 5 entries!) Be sure to email me the link to your post as well as 4 add'l email to enter you the total of 5 times (this may only be done once!)
*Follow @firsttoddle on twitter (send me an email telling me you have done so)
The fine print:
*Contest will end Friday April 2, 2010 at 11:59pm CST
*Contest open to bloggers and non-bloggers alike
*Winner will be chosen at random by a random number generator from all correct entries and will have 48 hours from initial congratulatory email to respond. If original winner does not respond, and alternate winner will be chosen.
*Don't worry, by entering my giveaway I won't keep your info for any future use!

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was sent a complimentary First Toddle Play Center to test out and review with my kids. Even though I was compensated, all thoughts and opinions expressed here and in any other social media venue regarding the First Toddle are solely my own. You will only find products on Mommy Instincts that I feel passionate about and am fully comfortable putting my full 100% support behind. If you have any other questions regarding my review or First Toddle, please feel free to email me directly.