When my daughter was born six years ago, I vowed that my child would not be one of those children sitting like a zombie, chin to chest, eyes on an electronic gaming system. I never had a Gameboy and survived. In fact, I believe I turned out quite nicely, thank you. As a result, we stayed away from electronic toys completely for the first year or so of her life. Then my mother bought her the Vtech Discovery Nursery Farm. After many loud sighs and evil glares, we placed this plastic beast in front of our baby…and then stood in awe as she squealed with glee, clapped, turn the page back and forth, and really played with her new toy. We were converts immediately. It turns out that the right electronic toys can complement wooden puzzles and board books very nicely.
Then Emma’s thumb began getting stuck under the swinging pig on the Discovery Nursery Farm. After multiple times of Emma screaming in frustration as her little thumb became stuck after pushing the pig backwards, I called Vtech in what would be my first “angry mom” call. What happened next made me a lifetime fan of Vtech, putting them in the same trusted category in my mind as LeapFrog, Hasbro, and Fisher-Price. The woman – that’s right, an actual person – on the other end of the phone took me seriously. She apologized for what seemed to be a design flaw in a fairly new product and she took down the details of my complaint as well as my name and address. A couple weeks later a box appeared unexpectedly at my door step. Inside was a copy of the report that was filed so that changes could be made in future versions of the Discovery Nursery Farm as well as a fabulous toy phone, which I sadly do not think they make any longer. Both the Discovery Nursery Farm during supervised play until my children’s hands were a bit larger and the toy phone became favorites first of my daughter and then of my son. In fact, my four year old still plays with the toy phone during pretend play.
What does this have to do with the MobiGo Touch Learning System? Well, when I heard that this product was made by Vtech, I remembered the positive experience I had years earlier and decided to take the representative up on the opportunity to review the product. Have my children turned into those heads down, gaming toy in hands children?
We treat time with the MobiGo Touch Learning System as screen time and therefore any time spent “gaming” is subtracted from total time allowed each day for computer play or television viewing. What we have found is that this product is perfect for travelling in the car to visit family out of state (our car is DVD free, so this is our first screen time in the car experience), for hot afternoons when the kids want to relax their bodies but not their minds, and for sitting at the airport, waiting for a delayed flight.
What I Love About the MobiGo:
- The touch screen is appropriately sensitive to the touch of little hands and is therefore easy for my four and six year olds to enjoy.
- The games provide a nice balance of silly fun and learning.
- The system comes equipped with a QWERTY keyboard. The fact that this toy is familiarizing my children with QWERTY is my absolute favorite feature.
“But Resourceful Mommy, didn’t you just review and love the LeapFrog Leapster Explorer?”
Yes! As you can see from our time stuck at the airport, my children enjoy and learn from both products. In fact, we often set the screen timer for twenty minutes shouting “switch!” at the ten minute mark because the kids have not chosen a favorite between the two. So far I prefer the graphics on the Leapster, but prefer the presence of a QWERTY keyboard on the MobiGo. Based on our limited gaming cartridges, we currently prefer the math applications on MobiGo, but the reading readiness games on the Leapster Explorer. Both learning systems have games featuring kids’ favorites including Toy Story 3. We will absolutely purchase games for both systems and continue to allow our children to learn from both while also enjoying themselves. The MobiGo is a bit less expensive than the Leapster Explorer (ARV: $59 vs. ARV: $69), but there are more accessories soon to be released for the Explorer giving it multiple uses. The bottom line? I would confidently recommend both products to friends and family.
“So Resourceful Mommy, is there a giveaway?”
Sadly, in the chaos of preparing for and heading to Walt Disney World, I did not post this review in time to also be able to offer a giveaway. That said, from now until July 25th Toys R’ Us is offering $5 off of the MobiGo Touch Learning System and $2 off all cartridges! You can also still enter the LeapFrog Leapster Explorer giveaway until July 21st and there are many more giveaways planned for my upcoming two year bloggiversary!
The MobiGo Touch Learning System was provided for review with no additional compensation. All opinions in this post are my own, except for those of my children and my husband’s agreement that teaching kids QWERTY as early as possible rocks our socks.