Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Fisher-Price Play Party - October 2011

On October 28th I took a trip to the big smoke accompanied by LittleT, we were going to The Baby Show at Earls Court (you can read about it here), what I was saving for a very special post is that while we were at Earls Court we took a little trip in the elevator to what felt like the VIP area, we were in fact treated like royalty by Fisher-Price at their Play Party and, as the badge above says, we had fun (otherwise I wouldn't have included the badge in the post, the clue is in the feisty name!).

I have always been a big Fisher-Price fan, I grew up with many of their toys and my parents still keep a few of them in their house (bearing in mind that I am now in my late thirties, this is quite an achievement!).
Chatting with the lovely Mari from Mari's World
As we walked in at 13.30 there was much-needed food lovingly laid out buffet style, with options both for the adults and the children who had been invited, the children were indeed well catered for at the Fisher-Price party: once we walked into the main room where the event was taking place we were greeted by the biggest amount of toys I have ever seen in use in one place. As you can imagine, LittleT couldn't wait to run to play and she was allowed straight away as, what Fisher-Price got very right was the entertainment, there was a high ratio of lovely adults to look after the little guests so the parent bloggers had a chance to relax, chat (gossip) and listen to a short presentation while the kids were entertained and played with toys of all sizes and shapes.

During the presentation
During the presentation we were told about Fisher-Price's Play Lab (every child's dream job!) and how children's play is helping them develop new products. I was reminded of our first months of parenthood as the Ocean Wonders Aquarium Bath Centre popped up on the screen as that's where we bathed LittleT during her first few months. As a rookie first-time mother it gave me the reassurance that my tiny little slippery baby was being safely held while she enjoyed kicking the water and I was nervously trying to remember what to do next or how to get her out.

The Apptivity Case with my iPhone 3G inside
During the presentation, one of the new toys that caught my eye was one that in fact was on the table in front of me so I picked it up and was rather impressed. I immediately made a mental note to add it to the Christmas list. The product in question was the shock and dribble-proof Laugh &Learn Apptivity Case for iPhones and iPods and it caught my eye for two reasons: a) I had just collected my new iPhone 4S and LittleT was showing too much of an interest in it and b) my knackered old 3G would be perfect to insert in the case permanently. As blogging luck would have it, I had the Apptivity Case in my power by the end of the event as the kind people at Fisher-Price gave us a goody bag to take home, the bag included the Apptivity Case, the Roll 'n Racers Spinnin' Sounds Speedway and a Christmas CD.

The Apptivity Case now houses my old iPhone 3G and has become LittleT's most treasured toy right after her cuddly toys. The iPhone seems to be well protected in it, so far it has been dropped a few times and it's still working. It is designed so that little fingers can't press the home button but, if your kid already knows not to do that, you can just turn the phone round so that the home button is on the other end, where it can be pressed (especially useful if the iPhone is an old one that is going to stay permanently in the case). I think the key for us is that we don't let her use it all the time, this way the use of the iPhone keeps being "special"; if we made it too easy she would probably lose interest and/or ask for our phones all the time. Fisher-Price has 3 free apps to download from the app store and I am now searching for good Spanish apps too as I think it could become a good learning tool for her when used intelligently and in moderation.
It's worth holding on to the cutout iPhone

At £12.99, I think the Apptivity Case is a rather good investment.

A feisty tip: the case includes a cardboard cutout of an iPhone, make sure you keep it, it looks real enough to keep a kid happy for a while!

The Roll 'n Racers Spinnin' Sounds Speedway hasn't received a huge reaction from LittleT yet, she will go to it and put the cars in the middle, instead of at the top of the ramp but she will only play with it for a couple of minutes at a time. 
With Sabina (Mummy Matters) and Amanda (Mummy Manda)
The highlight of the event for me was watching my little girl approaching a set of toys and figuring out all on her own at 16 months that they were a cup and a teapot as she started to pour herself imaginary tea!

Fisher-Price random trivia: did you know that it is now part of the Mattel group?
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