Alex Jr. Bop and Roll [VIDEO]

We received the Alex Jr. Bop and Roll as a gift, and I will admit, as a new mom wanting all the newest and greatest things for my kid, I wasn’t impressed. But, it was for ten months and up, and he got it around 6 months of age so I wasn’t able to see its full entertaining potential.

My son is now 22 months old and it’s still one of his go to toys. We put it back on the shelf all the time and the next day it’s been pulled down again. Wooden toys win the day with this one! And believe me, now that I’ve been going through the first phase of toddlerhood, the less noise these damn toys make the better!! I will take a ball slowly circling around a hole for 30 seconds over a singing VTech toy any day!

In any case, this toy has turned out to be a favorite. It’s so simple, but my son loves it. It came with a hammer and three balls, which we still have, somewhere. One is usually always around at least, and that’s really all he needs.

My only complaint is that when one of the balls got wet the paint peeled. He isn’t using that one at the moment, so we are down to two, somewhere.

I give this toy 4 out of 5 stars for peeling paint. But it’s still a great toy!

This toy has a pull string. It does so much more! [Update!]

The VTech Chomp and Count Dino asks the user to feed it certain foods, which are provided on little pucks with an image of the food. The child is supposed to put the pucks into the dinosaur’s mouth and they then fall into its stomach where the kid can retrieve them. He also loves watching us tow the dinosaur by the attached pull string. …more on that later!

Our son loves taking the little “food” pucks out of the compartment and he tries to feed the dinosaur.  At 13 months he doesn’t know the difference between the pucks, and therefore doesn’t follow its instructions, but he is starting to become successful at getting the pucks into the dinosaur’s mouth.  It took him a few weeks to understand that he really needs to push the puck through, as it doesn’t just easily slide through the hole (the puck needs to trigger a small switch inside the mouth so that the toy responds). My son really enjoys this toy and he has spent a good amount of time sitting and playing with the pucks, putting them in and taking them out of the Dino’s belly.

VTech Chomp and Count Dino Toy

He grew so attached to this toy, that when he would play with it he would hold the pull string in one hand while feeding the dino with the other. He was so insistent on not letting go of the string that he took his first 10 steps while pulling the dino across the room! We were thrilled to say the least. Bonus points for that! Up until that moment he had really only been walking while holding onto our hands, even if it wasn’t needed. I think it was a security thing. The string apparently fulfilled that role and now he walks on his own. If only we could keep up!

Being a VTech toy, the music is lacking any sort of… musicality. I have decided that VTech puts no effort into creating decent songs and tunes for their toys. They are often out of tune and each song just ends, strangely. This is a bummer since the VTech Chomp and Count Dino seems to sing incessantly. I swear, these are undiscovered songs written by the Shaggs.


Our son is now almost two and half and this toy has come back into our lives with a whole new level of excitement.  He loves feeding it, dragging it around, pretending that he’s a dinosaur and tons of creative play.  I’m really glad we held onto this because it’s had a whole new second life…and I’ve gotten a bit more used to the music.  🙂

I give the VTech Chomp and Count Dino 4 out of 5 stars because my son really enjoys playing with it, but I just can’t stand the music!

Fond Memories Were Created With This.

The “Playskool Poppin Park Elefun Busy Ball Popper” was a gift to my son when he was 5 months old and he has enjoyed this toy from the beginning.  First, this was a great developmental toy that really encouraged him to develop his hand and arm coordination, something he needed to work on due to a birth injury.  His excitement for this toy made movements like grasping and wrist supination something he would do due because of his own motivation.

At six months, when he was standing supported, he loved feeling the air gently blow in his face as he would watch the balls pop out of the trunk.  As he matured he began figuring out how to push the button, cause and effect, and began playing with the toy independently of us.  I think that is when it became the most exciting for him.  He would screech in excitement every time he would start the elephant up again, this was probably around 7 or 8 months, and a huge highlight for us. We have lots of fond memories of those days.

At one point, around 10 or 11 months he became frustrated with the toy, and would get angry when the balls ran out and stopped coming out of the trunk, but this phase was very short.  I have since brought it out again now that he is 13 months old and he is loving it like a new toy.

Playskool Poppin Park Elefun Busy Ball Popper

My only complaint of this toy, is that it is rather noisy, but I suppose that is to be expected as it has a little motor to blow the air and plastic balls out of the trunk. That fan sound combined with the music can be a little intense at 6am. But, if that is my only complaint then I’d say it is still a great toy!  My son loves it, and that’s really all that matters.

We read on forums that other users were unhappy with this toy because the balls don’t always shoot out of the nose and instead tend to hover at the tip. I would actually say that this is a positive. When the balls would pop out consistently (fresh batteries) many times they would overshoot the ears designed to catch them and then they would roll away on the floor. When the balls hover it gives our son more enjoyment. It startles him less and it actually gives him a chance to grab the ball and put it back into the ear. (About 30 percent of the time the ball will eject fully.) He loves to place the ball back into the trunk and feel the wind blow it into his hand again. Overall the battery life is great. We have had this over 6 months and have not needed to replace them.

My husband adds that this toy can also be great when you are feeling exhausted. It always gets our son laughing, bouncing and keeps him fully entertained – and it does this all in one place! So after an especially hard day at at work you can sit with your kid, play along and catch your breath for a moment. Seeing the HUGE smile this toy put on our son’s face made it a great experience for us and it always energized us to keep playing once he moved on to the next thing.

I give this toy 5 out of 5 stars because our Little Prince really liked it from the beginning.  I also know that a cousin of mine enjoyed this toy well beyond 2 years old, so I know it’s a keeper.


Leap Frog: My Discovery House [Video Review]

My son received the My Discovery House for his first birthday.  It is a very simple toy, with moving doors and windows, a light switch, a couple of birds. etc.  For a child who is obsessed with doors and light switches this toy entertains him really well.

He played with this in the beginning for a long time.  It was a lifesaver during a recent long car ride, where he played with it for over an hour!   But, I have stopped giving it to him as it doesn’t keep his attention like it used to. I expect that I can bring it out every so often and he will love it again [see the update to this review below].

The birds on the roof “talk.” [See video]  The little bird has a cute high pitched voice, but the bigger bird has a low adult voice.  It’s rather amusing, but I feel like it could have been a little less of a man voice even though it is the bigger bird. My husband loves when the man’s voice belts out, “TWEEEET.” It’s become an inside joke in our house now and he walks around and will randomly go, “TWEET.”

All in all, we like this toy.  My son loved it at first and he really was entertained.  He did get bored with it after a few days, but as I said, I think it will come back in rotation soon enough.


We recently took this toy on a family vacation. Because it had worked so well in the car before we decided to try it again. It held our 1-year-old son’s attention for multiple hours during the long car ride to our destination. Once again, multiple hours.

This kept him happy and us sane!  And, it was a hit with his 3 and 8 year old cousins for the week we stayed with them. We were really surprised by how popular this was.

UPDATED RATING: 5 out of 5 stars. We strongly recommend.


Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym

The Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym was a big hit for our son.  He spent a lot of time laying under this as an infant swatting and kicking at the toys and staring at the lights.  For us this toy was especially important for development due to an injury my son ended up with at birth, leaving his left arm weak at the earliest stages of life.  (Thankfully he has recovered completely and is an extremely strong little man!) Seeing him lift his arm to reach for the toys as he regained his strength day by day was wonderful.

I also liked this toy because it entertained him for long periods of time (in baby minutes.)  The lights and music, along with the moving butterflies kept his attention well, and the spinning and rattling toys were particularly attractive to his developing mind.

I would recommend this activity gym for any newborn.  It is currently being used by a cousin’s newborn son, who also gives it a high rating!

5 out of 5 stars

You can purchase the Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym on