Find out how Sassy Mama readers can get an exclusive discount off some of the coolest, most creative new toys in town!
Recently Team Sassy Mama had the pleasure of meeting the mamas behind PlayTech, a new business with toys that combine the best of traditional arts and crafts with innovative technology in a truly meaningful (and still screen-free!) way. As a bonus, many of their materials also help to develop motor skills and coordination.
We all oohed and ahhhed as they demonstrated their various toys, from the ever popular Kinetic Sand to a colouring book where the pictures can be brought to life (using the same technology as at the FutureWorld exhibit at ArtScience Museum). Even more excitingly, we got to bring everything home for our kids to play with! Read on for our honest feedback on what the kids loved (and liked)…
All Sassy Mamas can get a special 15% off discount shopping on PlayTech’s site using the promo code SM15!
PlayTech’s Interactive 3D Canvas set is pretty unique in that it brings the picture your child has painted to life. The Canvas has a built-in augmented reality feature and by using an App on your smartphone or tablet device you can actually animate it. It’s a fantastic combination of art and technology. My daughter (7) loves painting but she never gets to paint on canvas so this was already quite special; to see her creation brought to life was a complete winner!
Contains: 2 canvases, water colours, brush
Interactive 3D Canvas set, $18
My 5-year-old had great fun with the sticky felt pictures; she loved the fact that were lots of different options, and it was super easy to pull apart and stick on. This one would be particularly suitable for toddlers, I think.
Perfect birthday gift – or great for a rainy day activity.
Sticky Felt DIY set, $12
Thinking this would be an excellent activity for my 20-month-old daughter, I quickly learned that she prefers throwing the pretty bright coloured kinetic sand around her, instead of playing with it within the confinements of where Mama would like to see it! My 4.5-year-old son, however, had fun with the sand molds, as well as engaging his younger sister. They have lots of fun with this kinetic sand so I should probably get one of those big plastic trays which might help me keep the sand from being spread all over the house!
On the plus side for toddlers: Kinetic Sand is non-toxic and anti-bacterial!
Kinetic Sand Circus Set, $32
This is a really fun toy even for Mama and Papa! My 4.5-year-old son especially loves how the animals come to life from a card and that he can move these animals around on the iphone/ipad. My 4.5 year old loves the different dinosaurs, while my 20-months-old daughter picks up the cards with a cat, dog or mouse as she recognises these. It is also super fun and educational that the names of the animals are called out in different languages such as English and Mandarin Chinese (unfortunately no Dutch yet!).
Fancy Zoo Flashcards AR Animal Game, $36
In tandem with the Augmented Reality Animal Cards above, these 3D glasses add a cool feature of being able to explore the animal of choice from all angles! I have to be honest I have yet to tell the kids that they can make selfies with the animals that come to life on my iPhone, but am sure it will won’t take long to figure out. Definitely a good idea to download the Fancy Zoo app onto an old phone or tablet for all the obvious reasons!
Virtual 3D Reality Glasses Google Cardboard, $8.95
Maggie, who’s now almost 3, LOVES the activity at FutureWorld where you can color in a spaceship or truck and then see it brought to life on the giant screen, so I knew she’d go crazy for these books that follow the same concept. Sure enough she got right to work with the “Transportation” coloring book, but Mommy had a trickier time following the animation instructions.
The book said to download the “Fancy Color” app, which I couldn’t find anywhere in the App store. There was nothing on the website of the URL listed at the back of the book, either; only when I googled “Armiaotu Fancy Colors App” did I finally find the correct one (it’s here, for your reference, mamas!). And thankfully, Maggie was delighted to see her airplane come to life.
Interactive 3D Colouring Books, $18
My daughter found it therapeutic to crush those little bits of tissue, and it made her feel challenged to place them nicely on each drawing to create her masterpiece (a great way to work on fine motor skills). She loved the fact that she could be creative and of course, what kid doesn’t love all those colours?!
Art Tissue Creative Set, $12