Match Your Little One's Milestones with VTech + Giveaway

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Disclosure:  The VTech product, information, and giveaway have been provided by VTech

Every year the holidays sneak up on me and every year I'm scrambling to find thoughtful and quality gifts for my family.  This year there are five tots under the age of four so I really need to get a solid game plan about what to buy these stinkers.  Maybe it's the teacher in me but especially for kids at this age I like to find appropriate gifts based on their age and milestones. Right now Lola is a moving machine!  She is all about standing and cruising along furniture and has taken few steps.  She also loves to stand and clap for herself since she knows she's big stuff.  Recently Lola has started communicating with me through some baby signing for things like "more" or "all done."  She is also showing a huge interest in everyday tasks like passing me clothes that need folded, holding her shoes when they need to be put on and even drawing on paper with crayons.  Since I'm aware of where Lola is at physically and socially with her milestones, being able to purchase her gifts to foster these developments is a key element with my gift buying.

So where do I start?

I start with the brand that I can trust and that would be VTech of course!

VTech has worked closely with a panel of children's learning experts on the developments of its infant and preschool learning products.  Insight from these experts are featured in an online Milestones resource that offers parents guidelines and recommendations to help them select toys based on the individual needs of children from birth to nine years old.  The categories explain characteristics and occurrences that your child is faced with at each specific age and developmental stage.  Then they are followed by recommended products that are appropriate and most beneficial for each age group.  
 Dr. Lise Eliot, an Early Childhood Mental Development Expert,  is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience at The Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science.  As part of this panel she has great insight and explanation of the Milestones, so be sure to check out her video!

A great question about milestones was recently asked and here is Dr. Eliot's response:

Q. How do doctors come up with specific milestones for each age group? What are some milestones for older age groups (up to age 9)?
A. Infant developmental milestones have been cataloged by studying thousands of babies from all walks of life.  In healthy children, the various milestones emerge in a predictable sequence and time, give or take a few weeks or months.  This predictable pattern is due to the maturation sequence of the developing brain, along with the typical sequence of practice most babies engage in, given their gradually growing strength and coordination.  Some milestones you can look for as your child gets older include: able to draw a circle at age 3, asking lots of "Why" questions at age 4, knowing his or her letters at age 5, tying shoes at age 6, reading aloud fluently at age 7, and a big spurt of social independence beginning at 8-9 

The milestones are broken down by age and three categories:
--Language and Cognitive

--Social and Emotional Development

--Physical and Motor

Based on Lola's most recent milestones, these three VTech toys are perfect for her:

Roll & Surprise Animal Train™
(Ages 6-36 months; MSRP: $15.99)
·         Your little one will enjoy peek-a-boo fun and develop fine motor skills through turn, slide and press activities.
·         Animal friends introduce animal names, animal sounds and colors.
·         This educational toy also rewards curiosity and teaches cause and effect with pop-up surprises and 55 songs, melodies, sounds, and phrases.

We gave this to Lola for her birthday and it quickly became one of her favorites!  She seems to really show interest in the animals and the animal sounds.  I love the fine motor skills practice that she gets by pressing buttons and turning little knobs.  The element of surprise still gets her every time one of the little flaps pops up, which cracks me up of course.

Chomp & Count Dino™
(Ages 12-36 months; MSRP: $19.99)
·         Simply place one of the eight brightly-colored play pieces in the dino’s mouth and watch as he eats and recognizes each piece.
·         Play in either food or counting mode and the dino responds with rewarding sounds and phrases all while introducing colors, numbers, shapes and more.
·         Press the question button and kids can answer the dino’s questions to show what they’ve learned.
·         Five shape buttons help kids learn shapes and numbers, while spinning the disc on the dino’s back will play sing-along songs.
·         The dino can also be pushed or pulled by a string for even more fun melodies.

This is by far one of my favorite VTech toys for Lola!  She loves the music and is intrigued by the play pieces you feed the dino.  Lola will find the pieces and hand one to me to put in the dinosaur's mouth.  Then she pushes the little piece into the mouth and grabs them out of the tummy to start all over again.  Cohen even likes to play with this toy with Lola.  He will pull the dino around on the string as Lola crawls after him to catch up.  The Chomp & Count Dino is a definitely a toy that your kids can grow with throughout the years.

Lil’ Critters Play & Dream Musical Piano™
(Ages 0-12 months; MSRP $24.99)
·         Learn and play music with animal friends! The Lil’ Critters Play & Dream Musical Piano by VTech has a variety of fun musical activities that engage your child on the floor or attached to the crib.
·         This soft piano features five animal piano keys that introduce music, instruments and animals.
·         The piano also includes a light-up sun that shines and flashes to the music to attract your baby’s attention.
·         Choose from two modes of play for fun learning and music activities.

I truly love the variety that this piano has to offer.  This would be a perfect toy to put on the ground to encourage tummy time.  Lola enjoys pressing the buttons and watching them light up and play music.  Currently we have this piano attached to the side of her crib, which has worked out great.  In the morning I can see her playing away and keeping herself busy before it's time to get out of her crib for the day.  This is another toy that I would say can definitely grow with your child through several developmental stages.

I'm really excited to start purchasing gifts for my nieces and nephews using the Milestones resource from VTech.  I know that my gifts will be meaningful but also encouraging their development throughout their different milestones.

What milestones have your little ones reached recently?

Win It!
One lucky winner can win all three of the VTech products I listed above!
Enter the Rafflecoptor below for your chance to win.

Good luck!

<a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I don't have children yet (well- I have 20 kindergarteners!) but I think toys like this are so great for little ones. I would definitely love something like this to keep away for when we do have children!