Contest is now closed - congrats to Ali!
Cordy's new favorite plush toy is her smart-e-dog. I received this toy for review after she looked over my shoulder while reading an e-mail about it and shouted, "Mommy, look at the doggy! Can I have it?" At that point I was committed to reviewing this toy.
Smart-e-dog, along with its friends smart-e-bear and smart-e-cat, is an interactive plush toy that can entertain your child through songs, stories and games. I think this gives the best description of what it does:
Designed primarily for non-reading 2 to 6 year olds, smart-e-dog encourages children to discover and explore through a library of literally thousands of award-winning songs, interactive stories, educational games and other content that parents can selectively purchase through the Internet and download to the toy with a super-easy USB connection. Measuring 13” tall, this plush pal utilizes electronics about the size of a deck of cards. The squeezable, adorable animals will enchant little ones with their “smarts” from hearing a song to reading a story to playing a game. There’s always something for kids to discover as the software changes and grows with the child’s interests from the nursery to kindergarten.Basically, what arrives is a plush animal, instructions on how to connect to the online site, and a USB cable. It wasn't hard at all to connect, and I was amazed at how many songs and stories this dog can perform. To change what the toy can do, simply select the songs/games/stories you want it to have, then download the preferences into the toy using the USB cable. Most additional songs and stories are $.99 each, although there are some freebies available, too.
The smart-e-dog also has two settings, depending on how old your child is. It can either ask your child before playing any song or story, to give your child the chance to choose something different, or you can set it to automatically play without asking. The second choice is great for younger kids who may not understand how to choose between songs and games.
The software interface is a little confusing at first, but it doesn't take long to figure out how to create new playlists, download new songs and stories, etc. You can have the toy call your child by name, as long as your child is named something more common than Cordelia. (Cordy's name is never available for anything, and I'm used to that. Miranda was in the list of names, for the record.)
Cordy loves her smart-e-dog. She was confused by the interactive mode, so I switched it to shuffle instead, and now she loves letting the dog choose what to do next. When she gets the hang of it I'll probably switch it back. She takes her smart-e-dog to bed with her, brings him downstairs with her in the morning, and he has claimed top dog status among her other canine stuffed animals.
I like him too because he sings songs that aren't the usual boring "Twinkle, Twinkle" and - a feature all parents will appreciate - he has volume control and an off button.
To see all of the features, visit the smart-e-bear website and click on Learn More for the full tour.
Win one for Christmas!
I'm giving away one smart-e-plush, in your choice of dog, cat, or bear! Hopefully it will arrive just before Christmas to add one more present for your child.
How do I enter?
To enter, leave a comment by Friday, December 12 at 11:59pm EST, and make sure I have a way to contact you if your e-mail isn't in your Blogger profile. (Seriously everyone - I can't count the number of people who leave no contact info and I have to choose a different winner.)
Want a second entry?
Blog about this contest or link to this contest via Twitter and you'll have a second entry. Please leave a separate comment with the link to your blog entry or specific tweet.
One winner will be chosen after 12/12 by random drawing (Random.org). Winner must respond within 48 hours of being e-mailed to claim prize or another winner will be chosen. I want you to have the best chance of getting this by Christmas, although due to the congestion of the USPS at this time of year, I can't guarantee delivery by then.