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October 29, 2008


Team Mom regularly sends out products to reviewers and this month it seems we were inundated. Do I detect a bit of the holiday's coming up? Let's get started.

Bella Sara Baby Bella Trading Cards- For kids ages 5-12 comes the new horse-themed trading card game. Through the use of the cards (they come in baseball card-like packets) and the website kids can feed, train and care for their horses as well as play games and other assorted activities. It's a safe environment for kids online that parents will be happy to know about because no interaction with others online is possible. It's just your child and their computer. The website also has pages to color and wallpaper for your computer in the Baby Bella theme.

This is definitely something girls could easily get into. My child, being a toddler, is a bit too young. She liked looking at the horse pictures on the cards for a few minutes but that was all. Each blister pack comes with seven random cards and there are 22 families, 10 teachers and 13 magical toys to collect in all. I am sure more will be created soon. Each card can be logged into your child's personal account online and used to collect horseshoes (can also be purchased online-$5.00 for 1,200). Horseshoes expand the online world of Baby Bella.

There are a lot of Bella Sera online games and products one can purchase so it is worth checking out. How many of us know a young kid who is really into horses at one time or another? Almost everyone. You can find Baby Bella cards to purchase here but Wal-mart, Toys R Us and more sell them as well. (MPR gives it -Four Stars)

Kid Kleen Bath Blizzard ($19.99)- From Spinmaster comes the newest bubble machine for your bathtub. Hypo-allergenic, tears and wheat-free this bubble maker rocks! Or so I thought. It is super easy to assemble and get going and really lives up to its name of Bath Blizzard. It created such a large amount of bubbles in the tub at an even, regular pace and for about 20 minutes at least with only one capful of bubbles. My husband and I were very impressed. Our daughter was ecstatic! This was the best bathtub toy we had seen in a long time and we weren't worried about the bubble formula for once either. I also liked how the machine could be hung from the faucet of the tub and the bubbles just poured out from there. There was no mess on the side of the tub and it was not in the way when it came down to actually cleaning my kid.

I was all set to give this product a five star review until the third use when the machine just simply stopped producing bubbles. It whirred away like normal but no bubbles came out. I had cleaned it out on the last use so I knew it wasn't that. I did all the steps correctly- twice. Still no bubbles. I consulted the trouble-shooting section of the manual and nothing worked. No bubbles. My child was heartbroken and asked about the machine for days. We had to hide it. I let my husband take a crack at it and he did all the same steps at least three more times. Then we began to run low on bubble solution. That's another thing- the container for that should come in a bigger size. I then emailed the companies help line and so far have heard nothing back. I'm very disappointed with Spinmaster and Kid Kleens Bath Blizzard. This would have made an excellent holiday gift for kids of all ages. (MPR gives it - Three Stars due to being great at first but not lasting.)

Aquadoodle Mat ($25.99)- Also from Spinmaster this large mat (32" x 32") is a good toy to take with you when you are visiting someone. It will not only occupy your child's time (ages 36 months to 7 years) but folds up into a flat, compact shape. The pen only needs to be filled with water and you are ready to go and create water drawn masterpieces. Even at the age of two my child loved this toy. She puts it on tables or the floor and just draws to her hearts content. The images stay up for about 60 seconds and then disappear to make room for others. The sides of the mat have games and illustrations on how to draw shapes and simple objects like a house or cat. She loved this aspect of the mat as well. I love that there is no mess involved at all. When she is finished we simply empty out the pen and fold up the mat. That is all.

I think this a great buy because it spans many ages, is creative and has the no mess factor. (MPR gives it- Four Stars.)