In this day and age we are all looking for new ways to teach our children the basics. This can be from ABCs and 123s to how to write and to use judgment. One of the things that I’ve thought to be lacking has been fun ways to teach toddlers some of the simple things like pointing out a specific animal or teaching them the sounds they make. They have all kinds of devices for the older kids, Pre-K age, for writing and doing math with different kinds of hand-held games.
That was then, I was recently introduced to a brand that has created a colorful foam mat and voice pen system that is made for 18 Month and older kids. I was even given the opportunity to receive a complementary product for review just before it came out to the public. Thanks to Creative Baby, Xavier is able to sit with his own i-Mat and Voice Pen and learn all kinds of animals, along with the sounds most of them make. It’ll even teach him some additional words and items such as trees, clouds, and more.
Xavier has played with his i-Mat for a couple of weeks now and he really loves it. In fact, it’s 99% of the time the very first toy he drags out of his room to play with every day!
There are several features that I really like about the i-Mat and Pen set.
- I love that there are all kinds of animals on the mat, not just farm animals or wild animals. This way the children can learn all kinds of different animals all at once. I can’t wait for the new mats to come out!
- I love that they have an adult animal and the baby animal and that there is an adult saying the name of the adult animal and a child saying the name of the baby animal. This teaches the difference.
- I love that it also includes items like trees, clouds, mountains, and rocks. Teaches basic things that the kids see every day.
- The mat is a nice and thick and interlocking. It makes it a nice place for the children to play.
- There are multiple levels for the i-Mat; the mat grows with the children as they learn. Once they learn to say the names of the animals you can change the game so that they can play a form of hide-n-seek and find specific animals that are called out through the pen.
- The pen can be updated based on the mat you purchase; which will come in handy once additional mats are released.
There are also a few features that I really don’t like about the i-Mat. It’s not that they aren’t good features; it’s just that they can cause problems with some children.
- The first problem that I have is that I don’t like that you can change the language that is spoken with the pen by tapping on a spot on the mat. There has been many times that Xavier has changed the language and it’s just not something we want to teach at this point. He’s behind in his talking, as it is, we would prefer him learning the animal names in English before learning them in Spanish or Chinese.
- The On/Off button being on the mat and on the pen. Pick one place for it, on the pen. Make it a switch instead of a button. I don’t know how many times Xavier has turned the pen off while playing because he put his hand on the button. Take it off the mat. Because it is on the mat the toddlers are going to think it is part of the game and put the pen onto it to see what it does.
- Don’t make it so when you turn on the pen that you have to select the language, 18+ month old children do not understand that they have to turn something on and then select something before they can “play”. Have this as an option for the pen when you connect it to a computer. This will allow the adult to change the language when they feel the child is ready.
You can purchase the i-Mat set (mat and pen), just the voice pen, and soon the additional mats. You can purchase the Creative Baby products directly from the Creative Baby site and from Amazon. The i-Mat set runs $79.99, Pen only runs $59.99 and the additional mats will run between $24.99 and $29.99. Creative Baby currently has free shipping, but it is only for a limited time!
Creative Baby has offered one of Shawn Ann’s World readers their very own i-Mat set!
Valid for Residents of the United States and that are age 18 or older. Please no PO Boxes. This giveaway ends on 10/02/2013 at 11:59PM EST.
The Winner will be chosen by Giveaway Tools. The winner will be notified via email. The winner will then have 48 hours to claim their prize.