A couple of years ago, my house resembled the baby aisle of a toy shop, with three children under aged four, there were toys everywhere. I was quite the expert on toddler toys but time moved on, lego moved in and baby and toddler toys have changed in the few years since I have had a baby.
I research toys before I buy, I am that person. I try to work out a usage per cost basis and always look for recommendations and reviews before big purchases. I still feel bitter over the year Santa brought two tablets, that were played with twice. TWICE. That’s a €50 per usage cost by the way.
We were recently offered the Fisher Price Smart Stages Car for review and straight away the fact that toy grows with the child appealed to me , top potential marks on the usage per cost basis!
The Smart Stages range are a brand new and innovative way for toddlers to discover the world, with the toy adjusting its content to the baby’s level of development. Parents can input their child’s age for content updates, just like an app. The toys evolve with age appropriate content, as the baby grows at their own natural pace. This keeps the toy fresh, and encouraging exploration – for both babies and parents.
The discovering content of Smart Stages is categorized into three stages, ranging from 6 to 36 months. The exploring level starts at six months. That’s about the time when the baby experiences feedback and learns its first words.
In the second stage at about 12 months the baby gets more encouraged with building on learning. In the last level at an age of 18 months baby´s play is already gearing up for an early role-play. To perfectly match their baby’s needs, parents can also change the development stage manually through a switch.
My first thoughts were that the car was a lot bigger than I imagined. Assembly was relatively easy, it only took a couple of minutes and thirdly, the box it comes in is very big so if worth bearing in mind if you buy this as a Christmas present. My elder daughters commandeered the box to make their own car ( because they are deprived and don’t have any of their own toys) while the youngest got to enjoy her new shiny car. Its red and bright and very appealing to the eye.
The new one is still a couple of days off six months, the recommended age for the first stage of the smart stages car. She has not quite mastered sitting up unaided so I did need to prop her up with a cushion inside the car. Straightaway she grabbed onto to the steering wheel and the dials and keys. The car is very sturdy too and it doesn’t move, this is a big plus for me as I could safely put her in, shut the door and leave her too it. The car plays a variety of songs at a tolerable level and the new one seems to really like it.
I can see the car coming into its own in another couple of months when she is crawling and pulling herself up. The door to it opens and closes and it is sturdy enough to support a toddler leaning on it. There are shape sorters and balls too that come with the car but she is too young to play with these yet, although they are a hit with the four-year old who also fits comfortably in the car. I really liked that my older children knew the songs and rhymes the car plays as it encouraged them to get down on the floor and play with her too.
As mentioned the toy, evolves with the baby ;
“The discovering content of Smart Stages is categorized into three stages, ranging from 6 to 36 months. The exploring level starts at six months. That´s about the time when the baby experiences feedback and learns its first words, in the second stage at about 12 months the baby gets more encouraged with building on learning. In the last level at an age of 18 months baby´s play is already gearing up for an early role-play. To perfectly match their baby’s needs, parents can also change the development stage manually through a switch.Thanks to the stages of development up to 36 months, Fisher-Price Smart Stages toys become long-term companions in baby´s play-life.”
The Fisher Price Smart Stages Car retails between €80 to €89.99 , I have seen it in a few places at different prices so do shop around and is available from all major toy stores and Amazon. I would absolutely recommend for baby’s first Christmas or birthday due to the different stages of the car plus its a well designed, sturdy toy that will last. Despite its size, it’s easily stored and it’s been a big hit here and I imagine it will continue to be as the new one grows.
I was sent a SmartStages Car for the purposes of completing this review. I received no other compensation for the review and as always, all opinions are my own.