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December 20, 2017

Toys that Make Our Kids Smarter

If you're out-and-about today, shopping for last-minute kid gifts -- let me tell you about a couple that are pretty fantastic. I firmly believe these toys are making our kids smarter, without them even knowing. Coding toys. 

Honestly, I didn't even KNOW what coding was last year. I never learned coding as an adult, let alone as a child. And yet, these new toys are teaching kids how to code, create sequences, how to innovate programming and computer science and engineering. And it's mind blowing.

Let me start with an obvious hit in our home: Dance Code Belle.

When you take Belle out of the box, she looks like an ordinary doll figure. But bring her to life and create some more magic. When kids touch Belle's necklace, she performs up to 10 pre-choreographed short dance routines all to the famous Beauty & the Beast soundtrack. Isabelle and Madeline spent hours mimicking Belle's ballet motions. Super cute. 

And take it a step further, and sync Belle with the Dance Code app (available for most smartphones) to create her own personal dance. Mark her steps and spins one at a time, hit play, and Belle will perform the dance you've just created. 

Dance Code Belle is designed for kids 5+, but what I love is the fact that the toy will grow with the child's development. If it's used simply as a dance doll to start, that's great, and then begin basic coding and get more complicated from there. Dance Code Belle retails for $99.99 at Toys R Us. 

Another Hasbro toy I just have to pinpoint is Proto Max, from FurReal Makers. Proto Max is the ultimate, interactive pet that kids can customize. He (or she) responds with more than 400 sounds, 100 eye animations and changes his body colours. Proto Max is a bit more complicated than Belle, but just wow.

When you open up the box, you'll need basic assembly and batteries to bring your pup to life. Then you sync up the app (again, on most smartphones) and start to have fun. Customize your pup's name (ours is Loveable Lola), her body colour and the expression in her eyes. 

Basic play on the app includes a fetch game, that we really loved playing. Throw your pup a treat and watch and listen to their response. And then the coding part. Have your pup go on a walk that you create. Tap the direction you want your pup to go, press play and let him do his thing. You can also live control (think a remote-control car) and take your pup for a walk while you tell him where to go. 

Truth: I hit quite a few walls and chairs on our live walk. Just shows you I could benefit from a bit more coding practice. Just like Belle, you can play with Proto Max all different ways and challenge kids as they grasp the coding. Isabelle put her Lola to bed with her and she still follows her around, weeks later. Kind of like a real dog they can care for, but with an off button. Proto Max retails for $139.99.

I was seriously impressed by these toys, and if I'm being honest, a bit threatened. These toys are providing such a great opportunity for kids to develop these technological and spacial skills and setting them up for a future of understanding this world. And it's just another way to spruce and encourage creativity, innovation and experimentation. I think I need to play with them a bit more so I can improve!

My friends at Hasbro has amazing offered a PROTO MAX pup to one Simply Suppa reader. To win, fill out the Rafflecopter below. And let me just take a moment to thank Hasbro for all the toys they sent me this year to test out and play. Thank you, thank you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Disclaimer: I received toys to review in order to write this blog post. As always, the opinions expressed on my blog are my own.


  1. I would totally gift the coding pup to my son. He would love it!

  2. Gabriel would love this dog. We have been using the sphero for months. Both kids are very electronic savvy! Great post will look into purchasing if we do not win :)

  3. Gabriel and Ella Marie would love the dog. We have been using the sphero for a couple of months now and they love it. They are very tech savvy! Will definitely look into purchasing if we do not win! Thanks for the reviews

  4. I would love to win this codding puppy for my older son. He would absolutely love it and a great way to introducing code at a young age.

  5. I would give it to my niece.

  6. I would love to gift that coding pup to my son! He is so good with his sisters and such a good boy!

  7. My boys would love the coding pup!!!

  8. I would give this dog to my niece. she would have such fun

  9. I would gift Belle to my daughter because she loves Disney princesses and is learning patterns at school. My nephews would love the pup and it would be a change from the usual console games they get from me. Good luck to everyone!

  10. I'd give to my boyfriend's daughters! (Suzi)

  11. I love when my children learn through play! My children would love these toys!

  12. I love when my children learn through play! My children would love these toys!

  13. I love coding toys! I’m sure the nephews would love this guy!

  14. My children. It would give them the opportunity to recognize that learning is fun.

  15. to my daughter, she's obsessed with dogs


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