When we arrived back home from Pittsburgh, we were delighted to find a package waiting for us. I love presents, even when they're not exactly for me. I tore open the box to find that our School Zone Discovery Cards had arrived. Since this was going to be my first review for the Parent Bloggers Network, I was very careful to give everything a good once over before giving up the goods to my evil overlord. We received the Peak-a-Boo Bunny Guess Who set and the Fuzzy Animal Friends Discovery Cards. My initial reaction was that these cards seemed like something I would probably buy if I saw them at Target or Babies R Us. The packaging was colorful and engaging enough that Sam probably would have been happy with that alone! I do have one small complaint in the packaging department. The Peak-a-Boo Bunny Guess Who box had little tabs that held the cards in place, which were secured with several small pieces of Velcro. The glue holding the Velcro in place wasn't the greatest and two pieces came off. I found one stuck to my rug and another stuck to the back of Sam's jammies. It wasn't a huge deal, but worth mentioning in my opinion.
We started out with the Fuzzy Animal Friends Discovery Cards. These cards are suggested for babies six months and up and retail for $15.99. Each card has an animal on it with different 'sensory rich' parts, such as the bird's feathery tummy or the alligator's shiny teeth. Each card also has fabric tags that stick out from the edges. Each card has two sides, so when Sam flipped them over there was a whole new animal to play with. On one side you get a frog with crinkly eyes, and on the other you get a mouse with crinkly ears! A short phrase accompanies each animal for the grown-ups to read aloud. The big hit in our house was the card with the googly eyes. He would shake the card wildly as I would read 'Slither and Shake Purple Snake!' While Sam appeared to enjoy these cards, they didn't hold his attention very long. I do think, however, that these would be ideal for a baby who is closer to six months, and maybe slightly less independently mobile. I can imagine he would have spent more time figuring them out when he was a wee bit younger.
Next we moved on to the Peak-a-Boo Bunny Guess Who cards. What I liked initially about these cards was that they seemed slightly more complicated, and hopefully that would translate into more interest from Sam. These cards are recommended for babies nine months and up and retail for $11.99. The was they work is kind of hard to explain. Basically, there is a magnetic card with a plush bunny head on top, and six other cards that you stick to the bunny card. Each card has a picture with two animals, say a cat and a spider, on one side with a question such as 'Peak-a-Boo! Who lives in the web?' When you flip the card over, there is a flap that you pull down that reveals the answer. 'Spider lives in the web!' Additionally, the plush bunny head has magnets in the hands and eyes, so you can cover and uncover the eyes as you flip the card. There is also a squeaky toy in the bunny head! Do you see what I said about it being more complicated?
Initially, Sam only wanted to play with the bunny head card. He had a good time exploring the magnetic peek-a-boo hands. He then tried to get the bunny's ears to play the peek-a-boo game, too, and he got a little frustrated when that didn't work. Once he mastered the bunny, we moved on to the cards. One problem I encountered with this product was that the magnets in the cards weren't very powerful, and frequently the cards would not stick together. Several times we ended up playing with the question cards without the bunny card. Sam really enjoyed pulling the flaps down on the answer side of the cards. I am quite pleased to report that after almost two weeks of playing, none of the flaps show even the slightest signs of distress. Since he loves to grab the cards by the flaps and swing them around, to me this is a true mark of durability!
Overall, I was pleased with both sets of cards. The Peak-a-Boo Bunny Guess Who cards could use a little work in the magnet and Velcro departments, but the concept is what matters most. Both sets of cards are very educational, but they come across as just plain fun to babes. I plan on tucking away the Fuzzy Animal Friends Discovery Cards until early next year when I will whip them out for Numero Dos.
Want more? Click on over to the Parent Bloggers Network to see what other folks are saying about the School Zone Discovery Cards!