During the summer, kids need outlets to explore the world around them and engage their curious little minds. It is far too easy for kids to be sucked into the TV or video games, in my opinion. I am the TV and gaming Nazi in my home. Sure, I allow my 11 year old to play games and watch TV, but I also set limits on these activities so that he doesn't turn into a permanently attached lump on our couch. Plus, I do not allow him to play any graphically violent games that seen to be increasingly popular nowadays. The way I see it, there is already enough ugliness in the world, so why glorify it with games like HALO or Call Of Duty? Not to mention, they are not at all age appropriate. My 11 year old doesn't need to be blowing things up or shooting people to death. That just is not an option in my home. Call me strict, but it is what it is. Kids are innocent, and I think that it's the responsibility of parents to preserve this quality. Of course every home is different, and I would never judge another person for their parenting decisions. Each family is different, and each child is different. I know plenty of kids who are allowed to do these things and they are great kids. I just don't allow these activities in my home, as I do not feel these are the best influences for my children.
So I like to find fun, stimulating activities that allow my kids to just BE kids. Things that are creative and enjoyable that give them something to do that doesn't confine them to the sofa. That's why I was so intrigued by the wonderful line of products found at SmartLab Toys. They offer a wide variety of mentally stimulating, educational toys for boys and girls that get them to actively explore the world around them. Whether it be creating trendy jewelry and other art projects or conducting neat science experiments, SmartLab Toys literally has something for everyone!
I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to review the Bug Playground from SmartLab Toys. This is a great activity for my oldest child, since he is very into science and nature related activities. When this awesome toy arrived, he was so excited, and insisted on putting it together all by himself! Well, this proved to be a bit beyond him since he wasn't interested in thoroughly reading the instructions, so my husband ended up assisting him.
The Bug Playground is really a neat product, since not only does it give kids the opportunity to capture and observe some creepy crawly friends, it gives these bugs a virtual amusement park to explore! There is a twirly slide, a bridge, a rock wall to climb and even a pool to take a dip in! Included with the Bug Playground is an informative little book that describes different bug behavior. So while children watch their newly captured bugs "play" they will also be able to decode different behaviors. They will be learning new things without even knowing it! I love educational toys that make learning a fun and effortless endeavor!
My son promptly took his bug catching tool, which is included with the product, outside and began catching some bugs. Of course we told him no wasps, bees, roaches, or venomous spiders. This should be common sense, but with kids, you never really know! In no time at all, he had found not one but TWO large grasshoppers! He placed them in the Bug Playground and had a blast watching them do their buggy thing in this cute little enclosure!
Here are some photos of the Bug Playground!
Overall, we really enjoyed the Bug Playground from SmartLab Toys! This offered my son the opportunity to get off of the couch and get moving as well as learn new things about insects! What a wonderful exploratory and educational toy! Any little boy is sure to love the Bug Playground and have many adventures catching some creepy crawlers to study! Of course, catching and releasing back into nature is highly recommended. If you're anything like me, you won't want bugs on the loose in your home! Disclaimer: No bugs were harmed in the making of this review. :)
Another very cool thing that SmartLab Toys has to offer is their Free Zone. What's this? It's a totally FREE corner of the SmartLab website that offers children fun, educational activities and trivia to keep those little minds working and wondering all summer long! This site has downloadable content that is absolutely free for families and is updated weekly so summer boredom will be a thing of the past. Keep your children engaged with things like Star-Gazing, Weird and Gross Trivia, Gummy Worm Cupcakes and Rotten Plastic Milk! There is always something new to explore at SmartLab Toys!
Interested in seeing what great toys and activities SmartLab Toys has for your kids? Here's how to connect!
You can purchase SmartLab Toys products on their website.
From now until August 31, 2011, you can save a WHOPPING 25% off your SmartLab Toys order by using the following code during checkout:
You can also connect with them on Facebook and on twitter to stay on top of their latest products and promotions!
One VERY lucky winner will receive a Bug Playground of their own from the nice folks at SmartLab Toys!
Please use this handy Rafflecopter form to enter. IMPORTANT: For the mandatory comment entry, please include a valid e-mail address IN THE BODY OF YOUR COMMENT! Feel free to use the following format to combat spam: yourname(at)yourprovider(dot)com. If you do not do this, I may not be able to view your e-mail address to contact you if you win!
This giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents 18+ and will be open until 12:01AM EST on 7/27/2011. Winner will be chosen at random and will be announced here, tweeted, shared on Facebook, and contacted via e-mail. The winner will have 48 hours to reply and claim their prize. If I receive no response, I will be forced to draw a new winner.
***Disclosure: I received a complimentary product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud mama of two munchkins and a teen. You can read more about me HERE. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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