Dawn Rebel


Buying Toys That Will Last: How to Choose Toys with Mileage

Babies, Big Sisters, and Toys That Will Last Through Multiple Kids

Buying Toys Built To Last: How To Choose Toys With Mileage

We recently welcomed our second precious daughter into our family. It’s a girls’ world here now, and my heart is bursting full.

Welcome to the world, Little Sister.

I come from a family of daughters, and there is no person in the world quite as special to me as my sister. I will do everything in my parental power to nurture a relationship between my daughters like the one I have with my sis. I want them to play — when they’re young, and when they’re old.

Recently, I had reluctantly come to accept that planning to bring home a new baby meant more “stuff.” Presents and parcels are now mixed with the stuffies, puzzles, and games that were already living in our house. I’m learning that when it comes to toys, moms of more than one child need to consider durability and longevity as well as a focus on sibling play.

This week, we were given the chance to play with the Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair, which is part of a new line of learning toys from Fisher-Price. This couldn’t have been better timing: bringing home a new baby can be a tough transition for an older sibling. Having an awesome, colourful, musical, engaging, and special toy for Big Sister to open when we all got home from the hospital was a fantastic diversion.

But even better than the gift for big sister was the finding out that both our little ones will be able to use it for years, even while at wildly different stages of development. The Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair has a switch for three different levels of play, based on progressive learning content. Enter baby’s age for automatic Smart Stages level changes or manually change levels with the switch based on what’s most appropriate for your baby:

Level 1 Explore: First words and sounds sparking curiosity

Level 2 Encourage: Prompts baby through questions and simple direction

Level 3 Pretend: Imaginative fun and early role play - this is where our little Big Sister enjoyed playing.

The neat thing about this toy is that the Smart Stages feature means not only a long life of play for one of our girls, but double the fun once little sister can get in on the action.

So, can these two sisters actually play together?

Yes. Maybe not just yet…..

In just a few months, even if they aren’t playing at the same developmental level they are still having “sister time.” Little Sister might be enjoying the music and lights on the Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair, while Big Sister is pretending she is ‘just like mama” reading in her comfy spot.

I know that as they grow up their play-time will become more in-sync. With durable toys, you are likely to see them play with those items that have lasted through TWO sets of "terrible two" tantrums, over and over again. I'm coming to accept that toy mileage is important when you have, or are considering, a multi-child home. 

Watching my two little girls get to know each other has been heartwarming. It has brought back a flood of memories of playing with my own little sister. I can't wait to see their bond grow. Having a toy in the house that they can both agree on and enjoy together is an excellent start.

From infant to toddler, these toys grow with your little ones. Invest in one toy that will be played with for a long time. 

  Check out this toy car that adjusts to your child's developmental stage.

  Don't buy another toy before you ask yourself these four questions.