Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Active Summer Giveaway Part 1: $400 value; Limitless Summer Fun for the Five and Under Set

 A follow up to my post at Forbes

This one is all about ACTIVE FUN!
Express Yourself, Think Like a Scientist Engineer, My Body Needs to Move
This giveaway is brought to you by Toys Are Tools, nay

We are dividing this feature into two parts because this post and giveaway will focus on active toys for kids under 5 years of age.  The next post with its very own giveaway will focus on active fun for kids over 5.  DON'T MISS!

Y Velo Loopa ($79.99)
Let me tell you first that all of previous three Y Volution products from last year that we've tried have been terrific. We still use all of them. None of the kids are letting go. My favorite is the Y Fliker Carver C3 because I can ride it without killing my knees or breaking it with my extra pounds.

But I digress.... The LOOPA is SOOPA!  Check out these photos that I snapped from their Youtube video!

And yes, this is in the giveaway!!!!!   You only need to bring the seat with you or take the seat off so that it can become a scooter! My tester is having a blast with this.  

The V-Tech Kidizoom Action Cam ($59.99) is also part of this very lovely basket.  It comes with a bicycle mount and a camera mount and a flat mount AND a waterproof case...  It's very cute. You can give it to a kid and not have to worry that he will break your phone. 

Just remember this.
  • It's quite kid-proof
  • Put it in the waterproof case and it really is waterproof. 
  • It has two different mounts (bike and flat but really that means anywhere- there is always tape and rope, right?).
  • It's rechargeable.
  • It's not a Go Pro so don't expect crisp high def photos. But make sure you get a 32 GB SD card to get better quality and longer videos.
  • It's not yours, it's theirs so they can have something to take of that is not impossible to take care of.

Here are some photos:

Photo of the Action Cam photographing my hand.... taken with my smartphone camera.

This was also taken with my smartphone camera which I should say has a very good camera.

Clearly it's not as clear but you can see how being underwater has a clear difference. Also note that children really need to learn how to use both hands and be steady to take a photo. It's not so natural to take photos underwater and we are now used to touch screens and this is button controlled. The photos will be less blurry once they get the hang of it. 

But why did this catch my eye? You've probably never seen a V Tech product featured here. But this product is all about seeing. Our eyes don't see everything. Sometimes we are just not programmed to see things in our periphery or we do not read facial expressions well.  Sometimes we need to playback our events not just in our heads but with video support. The fact that this can be worn on a helmet means that we can try to view the world from the child's perspective and the child can re-view his social interactions from his own perspective but with the extra time needed to assess the situation better. 

My son calls this a spy-cam and I think he's right in a way because it's a toy. It's so informal, it will relax the people being filmed and so your child's video and photos will be more authentic. Some of us have budding directors and documentarians living with us. ALSO!!!!  If you are a therapist, this camera could be so incredibly beneficial to you. Speech, Psychology, OT, Physical...  this camera can be your little helper. Just get consent forms signed in advance.

Also in the giveaway is Faber-Castell's Do Outdoor Chalk Art ($14.99).....

All kids love chalk art (sensory-sensitive kids can use the foam grips).  Why do they love it so? Well, maybe they are tired and so are you. It's hot, you found a nice shady spot and so you get down on the ground and start to draw. And then your kid joins you. Sound familiar?  But after a while... you want to go beyond the doodle, right?

Street artist Centre Pompidou.jpg
"Street artist Centre Pompidou" by I, K.C. Tang. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

If you feel this way, get yourself a kit from Faber-Castell. They will teach you a bit about the techniques for putting the "art" in chalk art.  Do not think you are paying $14.99 for a box of chalk. It's very good chalk by the way but the instructional, sturdy, color pamphlet is the golden nugget that I have never found in any box of chalk. 

These are beautiful colors

Before using brushing and rubbing technique...

After using these techniques...  kids can do this!  (although I drew these flowers)

-----we now interrupt this blog post to remind you that the original post is at Forbes! These are just the extra pics!------

Have you met my new best friend Green Toys? Giveaway items are: Green Toys Sand Play Set ($21.99) and Indoor Gardening Kit ($22.99)

This is adorable. I love it. The pots are a good size. Not tiny. 

I have to be truthful. While I believe in recycling and overall being kind to the earth, sometimes I find that this lifestyle is rather expensive and perhaps even exclusionary- like you have to money to do your part. When the cheaper stuff is available, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. 

But you know what? Green Toys are a better buy beyond the green reason. Yes, you have those muted earth colors and yes they're made of milk jugs but you know what is best about them? You are going to keep them and use them next year and the year after and if you don't lose them, you will hand them down or sell them. They are that good. If you don't believe me, check out a letter that my son wrote to them who was fired up after having two cheap shovels bust on him at the beach.

Hello I'm test number one and 
I love how strong your buckets
 shovels and rakes are. Its smooth 
and also made out of milk jugs 
that's just mind blowing! I think 
your company should make sleds
 and bigger shovels and rakes! 
My past experience with buckets
 and shovels they keep on breaking 
because they're poorly made
 and if you keep on buying new 
ones it just adds up just  ridiculous  !

I wonder what is the deal with all those exclamation points. Anyway, they are great.  This klinky-clanky video will give you an idea of the thickness of each piece.

This one totally broke on us on Memorial Day at the beach. I know, what did I expect? But you see... that's what I mean, Cheap shovels are a guaranteed failure so it's up to us to buy better and not lose them.  Green Toys, please make us some big shovels so big kids can continue to play! And the hill for sledding in front of my house looks like a broken sled graveyard by winter's end. It's rather dangerous really. We need green sleds!

Question: Do you Mobo? Bike riding is fun but Mobos can't be ignored.What a great icebreaker at the park!

Giveaway item: The Mobo Tot ($199.99)

This girl's smile makes me wish I had a daughter. It's.just.not.fair.

We tested and wrote about the Mobo Triton and wasn't expecting them to contribute to a giveaway but just for y'all, Mobo Cruiser was kind enough to pitch in a very super cool Mobo Tot geared for ages 2-5! I do not have this one but will tell you now that I am already jealous. You just must watch this video. 

This is what my kids look like on their Triton ($399.99) which is for ages 6 and up.

Do not fear.... if he can put it together so can you.

Should I go down this hill or not?   I think he crashed after this one but that's okay. He was fine.

By the way, I think he broke a pedal and so I contacted the company using my husband's email (to be The Undercover Toy Tester that I am) and asked about how to get a new one. They were super responsive. It's a small company and so I didn't have to turn anything over to find a serial number. I just told them the name of my trike and that was it. They were super nice. A replacement pedal cost very little and they helped me fix an Amazon order gone wrong (I bought sassy pedals with straps to reduce slipping- but had only gotten one- make sure you get both!). They were so nice to me and made my tall order feel effortless. By the way, all of this (my email and phone call) was handled by one person, Mr. Herman Mendoza who made sure I didn't order the wrong pedal. The world is good again.

Thanks to Mobo Cruiser, Green Toys, Faber-Castell, V-Tech, and Yvolution for this unbelievably generous gift to ONE LUCKY READER!

Will it be you? We have one week to find out! 

Let Lady Luck go out for a run. She deserves to see the summer sun too!

Again, the basket of goods are:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember.... always always wear your helmet says reader Andy. I remembered this time Andy!  Stay tuned for part 2 of the Active Summer Giveaway!

Disclosure:  Toys are Tools was not compensated by the manufacturers of anything mentioned here for the publication of this review.  The reviewed items were provided to Toys are Tools to facilitate a review.  Reviews are never promised and I feel really badly that I can't write about all of them. I wish I was smarter and worked faster.There are so many great things out there. Just because something isn't reviewed by me or anyone else, don't be afraid. Risky behavior is different from a calculated risk. 


  1. the action cam is my fave, i want to see things from her perspective it would be fun

  2. i have never seen the Mobo tot, that looks like so much fun

  3. if you win and you want it in pink, remind me to request it. you never know. I love what you said.

  4. The Mobo Tot looks awesome. Makes me wish I was small again. My daughter would LOVE it!

  5. This was new: The Mobo Tot, never heard of it, wallet is sorry I've heard of it now! Unless we win it, that would just be amazing!

  6. I want you to review something that younger tots could build (2-3 year olds)

  7. This was new: All of it. Holy cow. I am way behind the times.

  8. This was new: Mobo Tot (and Triton) and Y Velo Loopa

  9. My favorite is the V-Tech Kidizoom Action Cam because my grandson loves to take pictures with my iPhone and he is always on the go! This would save wear & tear on my phone and I like that it is kid-proof. He is a very rough & tumble boy!

  10. I had never heard of the V-Tech Kidizoom Action Cam.

  11. I would love to see you review "kid" tablets (or adult ones that are best for kids). I almost got kindle fire for kids, but the reviews started to pour in against it; iPads are pretty expensive, but are they worth the extra $? What has decent memory, is kid-friendly, sturdy, and has safety features that really work?

  12. I had never heard of the MOBO Triton. They look amazingly fun! do they make adult sizes?

  13. the Triton intrigues me; kids need to move, and alternating body sides is best. I love that you show a child putting it together! Of course, we all know your boys are a bit gifted in that area, but still!

  14. The Loopa looks so sturdy and fun, too. Can I have two favorites? I wish we could have toys like these on our school playgrounds. I have students who struggle with reading, so we use gonoodle activities before working to learn, but some specific toys that worked children's bodies properly for development would be fantastic on school grounds. and fitness classes daily, instead of twice a wk! I see the difference daily when kids move before learning.

  15. I'd like you to review something for cooking while camping, maybe a campfire popcorn popper. I'd also like to see a women's tools review.

  16. The Mono Titan is new to me. It looks fun and sturdy.

  17. My favorite is the VTech Kiddi Zoom action camera. I think my grand kids would have hours of fun with it. I think it should come with a headband.

  18. My kids would love the Mobo Triton and the camera.

  19. I've never heard of the Y Velo Loopa but it looks amazing!

  20. How about reviewing robotic toys for kids? Or toys/tools that teach programming/coding?

  21. My favorite is the action cam. I'm sure my kids would love documenting their adventures with it!

  22. I had not heard of any of these before, besides Green Toys!

  23. I would love to see reviews of toys like marble runs, electronic/science kits, craft ideas like beading, weaving, books for science / chemistry experiments, programming games or apps. I also love your ideas for lego storage!

  24. This was new: theY Velo Loopa.

  25. The Mobo Cruiser looks awesome!

  26. I've only heard of the gardening kit before.

  27. I would like you to review the Step 2 Extreme Coaster.

  28. I agree with you that the Mobo Tot looks pretty amazing. I think my kid would enjoy assembling it as much as riding it.

    I hadn't heard of any of these toys until your post. Clearly I need a blog like this to put me in the loop.

    I would love if you could review a set of products that help kids who don't like coloring get interested in art and creativity.

  29. The camera :) My son was just telling me he wanted to take pictures under the water in the pool. He would be so excited!

  30. Ive never heard of the y velo looper until today :) very cool though!

  31. The Mobo Tot is my favorite! Love the design:) Looks so much better than similar all-plastic versions.

  32. This was new- the VTech Kidizoom Camera. Great idea!

  33. I want you to review some traditional kids' science equipment, like a microscope/telescope/chemistry set.