If you follow me on Snapchat, you’ve probably noticed Harlow playing with a new toy. Actually, I know for a fact that a lot of you have noticed because I got like 100 messages from people saying, “Hey, what’s that toy Harlow is playing with?”
The toy is the Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe from VTech and since they sent it to us, it has become quite the hit in our house.
As you all know, my kids are huge fans of their iPads and when they are not playing with those (which we try to limit to the mornings), they tend to play with dolls and dress-up stuff. There’s a lot of role playing and pretend play in our house. We have puzzles and number and letter themed toys but they tend to get overlooked. I think that’s one of the big dangers of letting your kid play on a smart device— other toys can start to seem boring.
The Activity Desk Deluxe excited me because it is interactive, with buttons and audio which takes you through the discovery tools and an LED display which teaches letter and number strokes and how to draw basic shapes. It comes with five double-sided interactive pages so your kid can switch up and vary the lessons. VTech sells expansion packs with different cartridges and curriculums so that you can have more advanced lessons like reading skills, math and occupations. The desk also transforms into a chalkboard and art station with ample space for supply storage, and it has a music player and a pretend phone to play with as well.
It seemed like just the kind of thing that could draw Harlow away from the lure of a smart device while still being able to teach her valuable new skills.
I can tell you that as soon as Harlow saw it, she got excited. My only issue is that Mazzy got excited as well so I had to mediate to figure out who would play with it first. The desk is made for kids 2-5 years-old, so after a few days of trying out the different expansion packs, Mazzy realized she was a little old for the desk and let Harlow have full reign. Harlow has found countless different things to do with it— from listening to letter sounds to pretending she’s the teacher with the chalkboard. She also really likes taking pretend calls on the phone.
Since Harlow is on the younger end of the age the desk was meant for, she is definitely more comfortable playing with the activity sheets that came with the desk than the expansion packs which are meant for older kids. She is also so intrigued by all the buttons and options that sometimes it’s hard for her to stick to the activity sheet at hand without getting distracted, which throws off the audio prompts. But I feel that will come in time.
Obviously, the desk didn’t stop Harlow from asking from her iPad (she still uses it in the mornings as always) but it definitely made her ask for it less often at other parts of the day, since the iPad is usually requested when she can’t find something else to do. She played with the desk for a good amount of time every day, from the day it arrived until we left it at the house when we moved back to the city last week. We didn’t bring it back to our apartment because we don’t have a lot of space for a big toy but I already wish we could find some room.
When Harlow is playing at the desk, I feel like she is discovering new skills and entertained and working on her fine motor skills, without the option of exiting a game to watch a YouTube video. And oddly enough, even though the desk is a larger sized toy that you can’t put away, it makes way less mess than pulling all the clothes out of the dress-up bin and scattering her Barbies and their various accessories around our living room.
Today, I am giving away one Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe to one lucky reader!
You must be a Mommy Shorts subscriber to enter and then leave a comment below. I’ll pick one winner at random on September 29th!
Congrats to Rebecca Hall! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize!
This post was sponsored by VTech, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I know my 4 yr old would love that!!
This would be perfect for my 3 year old who is always playing catch up with his older brother
My 3 year old twins would LOVE this desk and it’s great that it comes with expansion packs for when they get older!
My 3 year old obsesses over my tablet even though I rarely yet her use it. This would be ideal!
Pick me, pick me!
You mean you don’t like listening to ” baby shark do do do do do” …I’d love this!
This is so great.
This would be an awesome addition to my house. I think my boys would get a kick out of it!
I feel you on the ‘big toy’ thing — but this looks really fun!!
My kids would love this.
I love this!!! I am a subscriber and I follow you on everything else too! This looks so fun!
Seriously! I was planning to get one of these for my 2 year old for Christmas. I so hope I win!! That would help immensely.
My little letter and number obsessed guy would love this!
Anything that will take my daughter’s (oftentimes grubby) fingers off of my iPad sounds amazing to me!
My 3.5 year old would love this! She is an iPad addict as well!
Fingers crossed – love the iPad alternative, especially when educational!
My 2.5yr old would love his own iPad/ “puter”!! And I love that he’d be learning 🙂
I love V Tech toys and regularly choose them for our 5 younger grand children as gifts. We have 3 grand daughters in the 2-5 age range as I type this and another that will be in range come April. They would love playing school.
I have two kiddos that would have a blast with this desk. I would be super happy too since it would be less screen time!
Oh my goodness, yes! Pick Me, pick me!!
This looks amazing! This would be great for my kids 3 and 1.5 yrs old. I hope I win!
Your blog and family keeps me laughing and inspired on the regular. Here’s to any toy (especially a learning one!) that can giving Mommy and Daddy a well-deserved breather.
All 3 of my kids would love this so it would be played with often ☺
How cool is that?! My 2.5 year old needs to stop watching daddy finger videos ASAP. HELP.
Ugh, the youtube videos! My little guy would live this!
We don’t own a tablet so this will be great to get my 3y/o some electronic learning time.
My almost threenager would love this!
My 2.5 year old would love this!
This looks like such a fun and engaging toy! Thanks for sharing it with us.
This would be amazing for my 2.5 year old. She is obsessed with anything Vtech– pretty much anything that makes noise and lets her push buttons! And it would be incredible to give the IPAD/Kindle a break once in a while!
I saw this on your SnapChat and thought it was a great idea. Right now I’m thankful that the YouTube Kids is not working on the iPad since one can only listen to so many toy reviews or Surprise Egg videos before starting to go nuts!! Why did my husbsnd download that app?? For now, PBS apps are ruling the iPad during lunch…slight relief!! ??
My guy is such an addict for his kids Kindle. This would be a great stop gap for when I have to pry it from his hands.
This would be a great learning you for my 2 year old. He is really limited on his time to play with his tablet but something like this is similar to the games he enjoys: letters, colors and shapes.
My 2yo would love this and it looks like a great toy to keep her busy after her baby sister is born in a few weeks!
This seems awesome for my son! He just started pre-k and wants to be like his big sis who is in 3rd grade.
My son will be two next month and I like the idea that it is also a chalkboard and art station. I like toys that have multiple uses.
I mean 2 next week, not next month lol!
My daughter would live this!
My daughter would love that, plus I have a one year one so it would get many years of use.
Year old….I’ll learn to type someday.
My 2 year old would love this since I don’t always let him play on my iPad and he throws a fit when I don’t. This would be perfect for him to come and go from as he pleases without me feeling terrible about it.
This looks like such a fun toy and I love the fact that it grows with the child! Love reading your blog!
My 3 year old would love this! My husband and I would love to have our phones and tablets back! Lol!
This would be so awesome!
Omg this is a cool toy! My daughter would love this and I wont have to deal with her putting all her toys out of the BINS. See what I did there? BINS, with an s. Im tired of cleaning it everyday haha!
I haven’t seen this and my girls would love it!!
My boys would love this! I could even see us buying a 2nd so they won’t fight LOL
My son just turned 3 last week, and he would absolutely love this toy! He’s been getting bored with his trucks, and since he doesn’t have a sibling, this would definitely keep him busy (and away from the tablet!).
Looks awesome! ??
This toy looks like so much fun! My 3 year old son and 5 year old daughter would LOVE this!!!
I have two girls who would love this!
My three year old would love this! We love vtech toys here and she will still play with her old vtech tablet vs. her iPad most days.
It’s awesome my toddler would be fascinated with that desk!!!
That’s so awesome! My 5-year-old & 2-year-old would definitely love this. I’m sure my 9-year-old would try to “help” them. 🙂
This would be awesome for my son! If I don’t win, I’m probably going to add it to his Christmas list!
my girls would love love love this!
This looks great! My toddler is computer/tablet obsessed so it has to say hidden 90% of the time.
This would be great for a my two year old to break away from the TV screen (instead of an iPad in Harlow’s case)!
We’d love this at our house!
Oh! I would love one for my baby girl!
My daughter would love this! Pick me!
I love this for my youngest, and it will let her mimic her older sister’s work at a desk. Vtech is a big favorite in our home!
Perfect for my 2.5yr old!
Very cool! And anything to get my 2 year old away from the Ipad is a good thing in by book!
My 3 year old daughter would benefit greatly from this! She has Williams Syndrome so has delayed learning in many areas.
My 4 year old and 2 year old would love this!
Would love to win!
What a cool toy!
My 3 year old daughter would really enjoy one.
This would be awesome for my two girls! They are 3 1/2 and 1! I’m always looking for something new for them. They learn so fast! Thanks!
I would love an alternative to the youtube kids videos that would actually help my son learn!
Love it! My 4year old would benefit from some features while, 15month little brother, would have lots of time to use it all!
I may not live in the US (but I am your neighbor from above Canada) who has followed you since day 1, my 3yr old would absolutely love this and will definitely help us learn ABCs in a rather fun way rather than boring flash cards
This looks amazing!
Well I’m adding this to my daughters wishlist! She’s turning 2 in November and we have so many hand-me-down toys that it’s hard to find good presents for her (first world problems, right? )
I’ve been following your blog from 2yrs and I love reading the articles from your daily routine to parenting techniques to the holiday trips and the family fun it’s a feel good blog. This is my first post so here is my toddler who is so addicted to his iPad while eating and I also look for alternative to stop watching screen for long hours I think my toddler will love this toy and get him into some activity I didn’t find any link at leave a reply to post the picture
My almost 3-year old would love this! Anything with lights and buttons he loves, and he’s just starting to work on letters and such, so ti’s perfect timing!
My son would love this!
Looks awesome! I think my 3yr old would love this!
This looks like so much fun for my little girl! I would love to let her take this for a spin! 🙂
Pick me! My 2 and a half year old daughter would love this!! Thank you for the chance!
My almost 4 year old would love this. She struggles with her letters so it would be a great tool for her!
What a great toy! Would love a something just for my son, he gets all of his sisters hand me downs.
My 3 year old would love this!
This looks like so much fun! my 3 yo will love it!
This looks like such a great learning toy! My 3 year old would love this … As well as my 5 year old 😉 and I’m sure my newborn would be using it before I know it!
My daughter would absolutely love this toy! It would make a great addition to our kitchen area as she always wants to be near me when I make dinner, but gets bored super fast…this would definitely meet that need well.
Dude this is awesome. I think I’ll get it regardless. We adopted my two-year-old son from Taiwan last year, and he’s already taught himself to recognize all of the letters in the alphabet. He would flip out over this!!
My girl just atarted v.p.k i think this would help her a lot with wanting to do school work! Hope you pick me, but if not thanks for the good idea!
My 3.5 year old son would love this! And I’d rather him use this than screen time for sure! Thanks!
These seems like a great toy for my 3 year old. He likes the ipad but I limit his time to when I’m sitting right next to him because I’m nervous he’ll happen upon something he shouldn’t. This would give me peace of mind but allow him to feel like a big kid.
I love this! Crossing my fingers!
I could really use this to keep my 3 year old entertained when his baby brother arrives in December 🙂
My 2 and 5 year olds would definitely fight over it, but I know they’d love it!
Please pick me!!! We live in Louisiana and flooded last month! The kids would APPRICIATE this so much and I know they would love it! Fingers crossed!!!!
My two year old would love this! He loves playing on my phone or kindle or big brothers tablet. But the same issue as you, he clicks out and doesn’t know how to get back.
My daughter would love this!
Looks like the perfect activity for my three year old who was recently promoted to a big sister!
My 2 year old son would love this!!
My 4 year old would have lots of fun with this!
my 2 kids would love love love this table! They fight over the leap pad and iPhones all day long, this would be so good for them!
My one year old and almost 4 year old would love this! How great!!
My daughter would love this she will be 2 soon and could use it for a few years growing into it!