|Manufacturer: Creative Baby
Recommended Age: 6 months and up
Retail Price: $79.99
On the Web: www.creativebabyinc.com
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The first in a series of themed interactive soft foam mat, the i-Mat will tap into every child’s potential for creative learning as it stimulates, teaches and entertains from the moment parents put their child on it. Featuring a full color illustration of animals from around the world, the i-Mat serves as a visual fun playland with dozens of cute animals that babies will enjoy looking at and exploring. Name bubbles are included to start the visual connection of words and the names with images.
Unique to this play mat is the Voice Pen that brings the i-Mat to life. By touching the pen to the mat, the animals “talk” and songs play. As the child grows, the parents can begin teaching their child up to three languages (English, Spanish, Chinese) simply by touching the pen to the image.
When the child is old enough to hold the pen and activate the mat on their own, he can play learning games on the mat that challenges them to seek things out while they learn about the animals and the world around them.
Well, first things first. The i-Mat is totally easy for little ones to use….maybe not for 6 month olds as the recommended age recommends, but we certainly saw toddlers and smaller take to the pen and the i-Mat from the second they were placed upon it. Little ones happily tap away with the pen listening and learning about animals as they go. There are a few built-in games that the youngest aren’t quite able to handle on their own, but then again, there are too many things children of this age can handle on their own! All in all – the i-Mat is a cool-techy-toy that isn’t hard for kids or Moms and Dads to start playing with immediately!
Other than the need to replace a battery eventually, we found no durability issues with the i-Mat. This playmay was obviously designed to have little ones crawling, pressing and occasionaly drooling on it – no worries here!
Bright colors, fun animals, and entertaining sounds….yes…the i-Mat easily earns all 5 stars in Visual Appeal! It’s adorable – and kids flock to it! Set one out in front of them and see for yourself – this mat is sort of like a kid-magnet!
For a toy in this age range the i-Mat absolutely packs in plenty of functionality. From exploring the animals, to using the pen to hear and learn more – there is plenty to keep little ones occupied. Add in the game-functionality as the kids get a little older and there is more than enough functionality packed into this baby toy.
So…the i-Mat is expensive. We’re not saying it isn’t amazing – we’re just saying it costs a lot. And it does. With a suggested retail price of right around $80, this is one toy many families may feel they can’t afford. We get that. However, if you can afford spending the dollars on a higher-priced toy, you (and more importantly your children) won’t be disappointed. It really is a cool, fun addition, albeit an expensive one.
We’ve seen some smaller style stylus-pointer, interactive type of toys, but we’ve never seen anything that sets up quite like the i-Mat. It’s fun for kids to crawl around on and explore – all original design in our book.
Awesome. Simply awesome. Fine, we’ll get it out of the way quickly…the i-Mat is expensive…but like we mentioned above, if you can handle the cost, it really is a cool toy. Kids can roll on it, learn with it, and laugh along as they do all of the above. It is super easy to use, definitely durable and fantastically functional! An excellent present for friends, or for your own. We love the i-Mat and we’re sure you will too!