Thursday, February 3, 2011

Alphie the Robot

Little Man turned 5 on Monday.  I can't believe it.  I love looking back at old pictures and videos of him.  He's changed and grown so much!  So of course I had to get him a birthday present.  He has more toys than any child could ever possibly play with.  I knew I did not want to get him any more Star Wars toys.  I also knew that he would be getting a ton of dinosuar things since it's his new kick.  I can't really not get him a toy.  First of all, he has tons of clothes too.  Second, what else would I get a five year old?  So I always resort to getting something that is educational.  Let's be honest--I pretty much do that with all kids gifts, whether they have "everything" or not.  It's the teacher in me.  Plus, everyone else likes to buy all the fun/cutesy/popular toys.  So while wandering the aisles of Target, I stumbled upon this.......

It's Alphie!!
Do you remember Alphie?  He was around when I was little!
He looked more like this
I can't remember if I had one, or if I just played with ones my cousins had (Sonja? Melissa? remember?), but I definitely remember playing with him.  I also remember thinking it was super cool.  (Of course, a talking light up robot was a little more unique 25 years ago, but still.)

Michael was shopping with me and he thought it was pretty cool too.  So that's what we got.... along with a book about dinosaurs.  Michael said something about hoping LM likes it or hoping he plays with it.  I said, "I'm the nanny.  I will make him play with it!"  I thought that the fact it was a robot was on our side, but it's's no star wars toy or dinosaur.

We went bowling on Saturday night and had a little mini party for LM, so he opened it then.  He was way more into his dinosaur toy from the TV show Dinosaur Train.  However, I came into work on Monday morning and saw Alphie was out of the box and on the table.  I told Little Man he'd have to show me how it worked.  G said he played with it all day Sunday.  Yay!  Educational toys can still win! :)

I highly recommend you getting this for a little one--either your own, or as a gift.  I paid $40 at Target.  I'm not sure if you can get it cheaper online or not.  Also, they have card booster packs for $10 each.  It comes with the robot, cards that are easily stored in the back, and batteries.  It says ages 3 and up.  Some of the stuff is a little easy for Little Man, but others aren't.  I also like that some of the things that he already knows are asked in a different way than he is use to (hello standardized testing!?!).  It makes him think about it!  I would say this is ideal for children ages 3 to 5--before Kindergarten.  It depends on the kid though.  A smart 2 year old could catch on to some of things, where as a slower learning 5 or 6 year old could still benefit from it.  The booster packs may be harder too.  I'm not sure.  One is specifically about letters and one is specifically about numbers.

Things the box says the cards can teach:

letter-sound recognition
phonemic awareness
print awareness
letter shapes
helping with numeral and shape recognition
working with patterns
matching and sorting
spacial reasoning
introducing multiple-step thinking patterns
cause and effect
compare and contrast
introduction to music
vocabulary development
color recognition

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