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.


Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?

Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too”, by Eric Carle, is unpopular in our house. I purchased this book because Eric Carle is such a beloved author and illustrator, but I definitely felt that this was a thrown together, throw away “story.”

It has the typical Eric Carle illustrations, but the “story” is very repetitive and uninteresting. In short, it’s just a series of animals and each time the author asks, “Does [insert animal] have a mother, too?”

Guess what, they all do.


This makes the book into a long and tedious read and not one that I enjoy sharing with my child; and, isn’t that an important part of reading to our kids? We should all like the books!! My husband HATES this one.

I give this story 2 out of 5 stars for its tedious and repetitive nature. We give it the one star for the illustrations. Although my husband wants to take away that star, too.

A Good Naptime Book

I thought I would write a short review of this book because it is one that I can recite at a moments notice if needed.

We received this book from a family member and found that it was a duplicate in our library.  I chose to make this book part of our nap time routine when I began crib training at nap time (admittedly WAY too late in my child’s life: 7 months of sleeping with a baby on top of me at every nap became quite tiresome!!!)

I like this book.  It is simple, it was easy to memorize, and now that I have read it a minimum of twice per day for the past 5 months, my son is beginning to interact with it as well.  There is a section of the book where all of the characters are exercising and I always take the time to point out each animal and what they are doing (based on my own interpretation of course.) At this stage, my son actively points to each animal with me, which I find very charming.  Soon enough he will be telling me what each animal is and what they are doing! Kids grow up too fast!

What I like most is that as soon as I pick up the book my son settles in, starts rubbing his eyes, and acts sleepy.  This could have happened with any book I selected, of course, but I thought this was appropriate since its title happens to be “The Going To Bed Book.”

4 out of 5 stars 

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


Best Book So Far!

Munch, by Matthew Van Fleet, has proven to be one of the most exciting items my son could have received.  As with most children, I am sure, he loves books, especially interactive, pop-up, and lift-the-flap books.  This book gets my son to screech with excitement at the site of the cover.  We can’t even read the book anymore because he is so excited to get to the moving pages he begins turning them himself. And, as soon as the page is opened to the first munching alligator he shrieks with excitement.

If this book is within site of my son all other toys are dropped.  I even tried showing him a new pop-up book, which I thought would be more visually exciting, and he pushed it out of the way to find Munch.

It is a simple, rhyming, delightful little book.  Unfortunately, and I knew the day would come, one of the moving parts has been damaged, but I will not hesitate to replace it!

If I had to choose one book to add to any child’s library, it would be Munch, by Matthew Van Fleet.

5 out of 5 stars