Toot toot! Twins Ezra and Alba, 2 ½, and their little sister Cara, 1 ½, have been cooped up inside all day while it pours with rain outside – driving mum around the bend! But then, wait, is that a honk? A screech? A burnout? A siren? A special delivery… just in time for peak-hour tantrum-throwing time? Yes it is! It’s a Toot-Toot Drivers Garage set for the wee-ones to roadtest, and roadtest it they do.
So what did they think? Well, you know kids … they tell it like it is, and they play hard or they go home. Here’s their expert review…
The product: The VTech Toot-Toot Drivers Garage, $69.95
Start your engines, because this is one of the star players from the uber popular Toot-Toot Drivers range which includes a whole lotta gear (sold seperatley) including planes, trains, trucks, automobiles, railway sets – the whole shebang which interconnects providing hours of fun, entertaining and developmental educational and creative play. That’s a win-win for parents and wee-tots. Let the games begin!
Super twins Ezra and his daredevil sister, Alba, both 2 ½, are the official roadtesters. But little sister Cara, 1 ½, photobombed their play scene multiple times and ran off with the odd railway track and vehicle. “She couldn’t resist the flashing lights on the Toot-Toot Drivers Racer,” says mum, Evelyn.
1 to 5 Years.
VTech are known on the playground circuit as the world leaders when it comes to age-appropriate and developmental-stage based learning toys for children. Which is great for parents – we can just check the ‘age suitable’ listing on the box and know it’s good!
The Toot-Toot Drivers Garage is recommended from age 1 and certainly little Cara had great fun playing with the Toot-Toot Drivers Dumper Truck (sold separately), says mum, but the twins, at age 2 ½, reaped the most benefits. “The twins absoultey love it! With three children under three and a nine year old big brother, the little ones have mainly had hand-me-down toys,” Evelyn explains. “They just play with whatever is out, but I know we should really ensure the toys are age-appropriate for their developmental stage. Opening and setting up the garage was so exciting for the twins. They helped connect the ramps and assemble (and dissemble) the pieces. They loved role playing with the police car and racer (sold seperately). They could play with it all day long! Cara observed how they played and I can see her growing into it, and benefiting from the educational and developmental benefits, for many years to come.”
Toot Toot! Blowing the horn on the Big Benefits
For mum, Evelyn, it was watching the twins immerse themselves enthusiastically into an imaginary play world. “Ezra immediately chose his vehicles, the police car and racer, and started role playing. He drove his vehicles along the garage tracks, making engine sounds. The Garage tracks have triggers (SmartPoints) which, when the vehicles ride over them, trigger sounds - songs, phrases and fun sound effects. He was totally focused on his imaginary world, having fun and deep in thought while developing his own storyline!
“We also have the Toot-Toot Drivers Racing Rampway (all the pieces are compatible). This was a hit with all the kids and especially Alba, who is known as the little daredevil in the family. She loved launching the Toot-Toot Drivers vehicles and plane off the ramp and racing them around the living room, extending their flight!
“We had a few great examples of ‘cause and effect’ learning too. Apart from Alba taking off with Ezra’s aeroplane - and the effect being a screaming brother! - the twins were fascinated by how the vehicles travelled down the ramps, the boom gate’s ‘up and down’ motion lever let the vehicles past, the sound trigger points and even how disconnecting the rail tracks prevented the cars from moving around the garage and railway.”
The three children say:
Ezra says he loved the lift the best, which ‘goes up and down’ transporting vehicles between the garage levels. All the children loved the Toot-Toot Drivers vehicles, with their singing, flashing lights and beaming faces and smiles! I’m glad as a parent they come with two sound levels! Alba loved the whole set. Because we also had the Toot-Toot Drivers Deluxe Track Set, we could create this incredible environment that saw the kids getting up on their feet and moving around the different stations and ‘stops’ we created. But they also sat down and focused on one area at a time, exploring the moveable lift, the parking bays and their sounds, and using the tracks – on all fours, to push the vehicles around.
“We love the Toot-Toot Drivers Garage and the other products in the range. The kids will get years of play out of it. And while it does so much – allowing construction of the tracks, fine motor skill development and use gross motor skills - it is still a relatively simple toy and concept for them to grasp, explore and have fun with. They love the sounds, songs and phrases – it’s like a toy talking back, responding and teaching them! And it’s beautiful watching them as they immerse themselves in imaginative solo play, then interacting with their siblings, playing together and developing their social skills.”
Want more information?
Of course you do! Check out the entire Toot-Toot Drivers range including the Toot-Toot Drivers Garage, $69.95, Toot-Toot Drivers vehicle selection, $11.95, Toot-Toot Drivers Deluxe Track Set, $19.95, Toot-Toot Drivers Racing Rampway, $24.95.
Visit VTech for the full range of educational and learning toys for babies, toddlers and children.
This article originally appeared on Practical Parenting