Monday, September 30, 2013

Creative Baby i-Mat: My Animal World {Review & Giveaway}

Creative Baby logo
Say what you will about children and technology, but there is no way to deny the benefits that have come from the large surge in kid-friendly devices, gadgets and apps over the last five years.

The abundance of ways for children to learn colors, practice writing, excel at counting, learn to read, etc, etc, has allowed the next generation to pick up skills even younger than before... often without even realizing that they are learning due to the fun of the game, the colorful graphics or the familiar characters.

With that said, however, we all know that the internet is a dangerous place for kids and that there are plenty of apps available that, to put it nicely, shouldn't have been created in the first place.

So what's a parent to do? Is there a way to combine entertainment, education, safety and complete child-appropriateness into one product that can be used and loved by all ages?

There is, and it's available now from Creative Baby Inc. in the form of the soft, colorful, delightful i-Mat: My Animal World.

Creative Baby iMat

Developed for babies as young as 18 months old, Creative Baby's i-Mat is made of four interlocking soft sections that are activated when used with its Voice Pen. A simple point to an animal with the pen results in an animal sound, word, music or a foreign language translation for the younger crowd and a search-and-find game for slightly older children.

On top of that, the i-Mat itself is phthalate-, lead- and heavy metal-free, and no electronics mean no worries for wiping the mat clean. So if you're looking for a way to protect your child from bumps and bruises on your hardwood floor, you can rest assured that they can hang out on this colorful, interactive mat with sounds and games at the same time!

Could this get any more unique and creative? I was eager to find out!

Creative Baby i-Mat

Although the actual assembly for the i-Mat took around 30 seconds (simply attach the four puzzle pieces together), I found that it took me much longer due to how much fun I had looking at all of the adorable animals!

Creative Baby i-Mat Animal World

I love that Creative Baby used illustrations that are cute but that aren't overly cutesy, making them look like cartoons. Instead, each one looks clearly as the animal and is found in a habitat that resembles where it actually lives.

Creative Baby i-Mat Review

After installing two batteries in the Voice Pen (not included), putting the set to use was a snap!

In the upper right corner of the i-Mat itself, simply touch the pen to the On/Off image and then choose the language that you would like to use — English, Spanish or Chinese.

i-Mat controls

Then it's ready to go!

Although Big Sister E and Little Sister B are a bit too old for just touching the animals to hear their names and sounds, they both still enjoyed moving around the i-Mat to try each one out... and got a big kick out of the jazzy music that plays for the animals that don't typically make a recognized sound (e.g. butterfly, camel, penguin).

As a bonus, however, they have had no problem switching the i-Mat to Spanish or Chinese to start learning the animal names in other languages — which is something that I definitely wouldn't be able to teach them on my own!

Creative Baby i-Mat interactive

For slightly more of a challenge, however, the i-Mat: My Animal World includes two interactive games.
  • Game 1: Where is the {animal}?

  • Game 2: What animal makes {sound}? or What animal is {color}? or What animal {movement, such as flies}?
Although a few of the options in Game 2 made Big Sister E stop and think, she still found that overall the i-Mat was slightly too young for her. Little Sister B, on the other hand, was also able to answer most all of the questions in both games (if the child answers incorrectly three times, it moves on to the next question) and has loved seeing what it will ask her next!

Creative Baby i-Mat kids

Along with my big kids, we have also tried out the Creative Baby i-Mat: My Animal World with a few younger children as well and have found that they have enjoyed it just as much.

Creative Baby i-Mat toddlers

Ranging in age from 18 months to 2½, our younger testers' eyes lit up when they saw the colorful animals and realized just how soft and fun it was to move around on the i-Mat. Plus, as they used the Voice Pen more and more, it was easy to see them learning the names and sounds of the animals, particularly those that are more unique and they might not have previously known (e.g. seal, dragonfly).

I loved seeing them get delighted when they found the animal that they were looking for, giggle and laugh as they made the sounds along with the i-Mat (the gorilla was a big hit!), dance around when the music played, and even hear themselves speak by using the sound recorder on the Voice Pen. It was definitely a hit!

The main issue that we encountered was discovering that the location of the power button and the record button on the Voice Pen are in the same location where a child holds the pen while using it. Therefore, each one of the toddlers who tried this out proceeded to press the buttons multiple times (accidentally as well as on purpose), causing the pen to turn off or the recording beeps to occur over and over.

Creative Baby i-Mat Voice Pen
I would love to see these buttons moved to a less-used location or else the option of "locking" them to avoid being continually pressed!

All in all, we found that the i-Mat: My Animal World has proven to be extremely innovative, educational and entertaining and that children of all ages give it two thumbs up — I can't recall seeing a product at all similar to this that can provide such a multitude of possibilities for learning and fun!

Sold as a set, the thick and durable i-Mat and Voice Pen retail for $79.99. The Voice Pen can also be purchased separately (which would allow several children to play on the i-Mat at the same time) for $59.99 and more themed adventures (i-Mat Under The Sea and, coming soon, i-Mat My Alphabet) can be purchased from $24.99 to $29.99.

i-Mat Under The SeaAs new pads are introduced, parents can connect the Voice Pen to any computer with internet access (with the included USB cable), and download the new sound file from Creative Baby's website to the i-Mat Voice Pen, which has a 2 GB memory. Who doesn't love a product that can continue to grow and expand with their child?

To find out much more about Creative Baby and their ingenious products (there is a great video on their homepage that really shows off the i-Mat, check it out!!), visit their website at CreativeBabyInc.com and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter. Plus, for a limited time, Creative Baby is offering free shipping for all preorders on their website so now is a great time to get started on holiday shopping!

And, thanks to their generosity, one person will soon be able to provide a world of animal fun and learning to a child in their life as well, because...

One lucky person will win an i-Mat: My Animal World and Voice Pen from Creative Baby!

Creative Baby mat


A big thank you to Creative Baby for providing an i-Mat and Voice Pen for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

163 comments:

Kristan Price said...

I love how educational this iMat is! My kids would especially like it because it features so many different animals. It's also pretty awesome that it comes in different languages.

FeelingFroggy said...

I love all the different animals and it is fun while educational. It's a great item.

FeelingFroggy said...

I love all the different animals and it is fun while educational. It's a great item.

wigget said...

the voice pen is pretty cool

Julie Lynn Bickham said...

I like that more then one child can sit on the mat, its that durable!

Yona Williams said...

i love that it has something to do with animals and that it is interactive.

D Schmidt mummytotwoboys said...

I like that it speaks English, Spanish and Chinese.

john said...

I think the interactive pen will keep kids interested.

Faride H said...

I like that it offers 3 languages

aperry said...

I like that it has language options.

SueZH said...

This sounds like something my granddaughter would love. I like that it grows along with her. I think she would like the pen.

Colleen Maurina said...

I really like the fact that this teaches children in three languages.

Julia Cosgrove said...

i love that the mat does not need batteries or electric and that the pen is upgrade-able with new mats. i really hope to win this.

SexyBabyPhatGirl said...

i like that u can use differnt languages

Cserafini said...

I love that it is educational.

bxcrochet said...

I love that you can change the language.

knickgirl_3 at yahoo dot com

Diane Cooper said...

The things that impress me the most are that it has three languages and is is big enough for more than one child.

Carrie Phelps said...

I love that it both identifies the animal as well as the sounds they make.

Renee Walters said...

I like that it speaks English, Spanish and Chinese. Thanks so much for the fantastic giveaway!
Reneewalters3 at yahoo dot com

Deb said...

I like that they COULD learn 3 languages! And you know that they DO learn things this way- sight/sound!

Connie said...

The multi language feature is nice.

Courtney B said...

i like the musical pen- very cool!

bison61 said...

I like the different languages and that the Voice Pen can be used with any i-mat

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Rebecca Parsons said...

The fact you can have your baby learn an animal in three different languages is really neat.

carol said...

I like that it teaches all the animals and sounds. you could also learn it in another language

Sharon Kaminski said...

I like the Under The Sea I-MAT.

david heath said...

all the animals!!!!

Michelle Walker said...

I love that is can do different languages

mkjmc said...

I love it so much fun and you can get two more mats and use the same pen

Stephen Alexander said...

I like that it's large

BrunoDogg2 said...

I like the animal sounds plus the pen is upgradable!

squiresj said...

It would entertain my granddaughter
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

Laurie J. said...

I like all the different language options!

Sandra Davis said...

i love all the different animal sounds

Rebecca Graham said...

I like that it speaks different languages.

rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

Tamar said...

I like the size and that it's an award winner.

LesleyfromWI said...

I like that you can use indoors or outdoors

Allie G said...

I like that it is educational

kylerbug said...

This is so awesome! I am expecting in early Spring and love seeing all the different baby items :)

Colleen "Momma" Moore said...

What an amazing product!! So educational and so fun!! Kids will learning great motor skills while using their mind to explore!!

Jeremy said...

Love the voice pen.

hhkaufman78 said...

I like how educational it is, it will be great for my kids.

mogrill said...

I like the under the sea mat.
Thanks for the chance.
mogrill12@gmail.com

abedabun dawn said...

I love educational toys! And this one looks great! I love that the child can choose any thing they want and the little pen will tell them what that is.

craftvee said...

It is in different languages and has games!

Ashley P said...

I love that is teaches 3 languages!

Jillian said...

I like that there are three different languages.

Xty C said...

I really love that it teaches in different languages - it would be very helpful for kids to have fun learning new things

Barker's Momma said...

I like that the My Animal World includes two interactive games.

Robert said...

I love that you can update information through the computer.

mecarolks said...

I like that it speaks English, Spanish and Chinese.

Rodney Jackson said...

I like you have a choice of 3 languages

Darby Elizabeth said...

I love how interactive it is!

Kelly Urban said...

I like the different language options.

Nikki Strong said...

I like that babies as young as 18 months can use it.

Megan Parsons said...

I love that it's educational!!!

Cassandra Eastman said...

I like that it teaches in different languages as well!

traci jarrett said...

i love that my 4 and almost 2 year old can enjoy at the same time

Robyn said...

I like that there are different levels of play for different age groups, so it grows with the child and all of my children can play with this!

Laurie Nykaza said...

It offers 3 languages which is great for learning

Jessica said...

I love that you can continue to expand it as they continue to release new designs. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!

girlygirlugh at gmail dot com

Natalie U. said...

The 2gig me,Roy on the voice pen

Bobbi Mcmurry said...

I love the fact that the kids will learn while playing

Julia said...

I like that it has more then one language.

Chris said...

This is a great educational way to learn about animals.

Francine said...

The different languages

Ken Ohl said...

love the voice pen. thankyou, ken pohl19@comcast.net

Blimpy said...

I like the voice recorder.

Victoria Nyquist said...

I love that it was created by doing research of children's abilities and habits! This makes it such a high quality item for kids!

tina reynolds said...

I love it teaches in different languages

golden storm said...

I like the voice pen and that it also records

Kellie Conklin said...

My favorite feature is that it teaches Spanish as well and that it includes different levels of gameplay!

Tracy Jones said...

I like the interactive games it has.

Sara said...

I love that it's trilingual

SJ16 said...

This mat is a great idea to teach and keep the children occupied. It's very eye catching and colorful! I'd like to use it myself!

Di said...

I love that it is based on animals and is so brightly colored

latanya t said...

It talks to your child

Jess said...

I love the interactive pen and that it has 2 languages.

Jess said...

I love the interactive pen and that it has 3 languages.

Karen F said...

I like the interactive pen and that it talks.

Salleefur/Jesselyn/Jesster said...

Now I'm kind of torn: this is such a great concept and I know exactly who we would give it to (our new friends/neighbors, who are from Vietnam - they've only lived in the States for four years and just moved here from Nashville with their 8 month old baby...

All three of them are geniuses - really - he is a cancer researcher working on both cures and non-invasive early detection procudure and she is a nurse with a PhD in both nuitrition and the environment.

They are VERY loving and devoted parents and they have actually turned their whole living room/dining room into one giant entirely safe/childproof PLAY PEN! (And their back sunporch into a year round GREENHOUSE!)

They are both computer whizes and they don't read to their daughter - they read WITH her on their laps - following the words and pictures...

My concern is the one you detailed - which to my mind could be a "deal-breaker" - I wonder how you would advise me on whether this "flaw" affects the overall quality and enjoyment of use of this product...

Jesselyn A/Jesstinger
jessterlyn(at)aol(dot)com

M Jacobs said...

Love the 2 games

Natalie Yeoman said...

I like the voice pen

Ronni said...

I like how this teaches several languages.

Candace Calkins said...

I love the pen itself-- perfect for little hands! I also really like that it teaches in 3 languages.

618mom said...

I like the under the sea mat. I also like that it comes in different languages.

Linda R. said...

I like that it teaches it in different languages, that's always a plus for me.

karenb834 said...

I love the voice activation and the beautiful colors

My Wild Crazy Life said...

I like that you can connect it to the computer and download other sounds and stuff
masugr at yahoo dot com

Caitlin McClure said...

I love the games!

Ann (wisper) said...

I love that they have a wide variety of animals and sound including seals and drangonflys. The size is also very good for more than one child. The multiple languages are also great.

Rebecca009 said...

I love that its interactive and that I can too play with my daughter while she plays with this!

Misty Battle said...

That you can choose between 3 different languages!

Stephanie Larison said...

I love that you can select different languages.

Tara Carlson said...

I like that it's interactive and encourages parents and children to play together; I also like that you can order a replacement pen for it!

Trisha B said...

One of my favorite features is that you can download the new sound file from Creative Baby's website to the i-Mat Voice Pen.

caseyle2010 said...

i love the variety of the animals!
caseyeve_003 at yahoo dot com

Kimberly said...

I like the language options

Anastasia Fall said...

I LOVE that it has multiple languages! What a great way to get the kids started on learning more languages while having fun! :)

Amo said...

I love that it has different languages! I would love for my boys to learn other languages.

Unknown said...

I love these! The different languages and the 1st game are my favorite!

Sue Hull said...

The feature I like the best is when the child puts the pen on the animal it makes that animal sound.I really like how there's so many animals.This is a great teaching tool.Thank you :)

Couponing with Christy said...

I like the interactive pen.

Mudpiesandtiaras said...

I like that you can choose different languages

Candace Barrow said...

I love that you can learn different languages.

Darlene said...

I love that this is a learning game, that it also has the spelling for learning.

Kelly Amos said...

I love that it entertains all ages.

Holly S. said...

I like the size; It's HUGE!

Brittany said...

I like that it is an educational toy that is colorful and fun. It also has the ability to be wiped clean unlike cloth toys that need to be washed.

Debra Holloway said...

I love that it is an educational too. I also love that it is so easy to put together. It can teach the child so much while he or she is having fun exploring and playing.

Jill Myrick (jsc123) said...

I love that when the child touches the animal with the pen that it makes the animal noise.

jweezie43[at]gmail[dot]com

Amanda G said...

I like that it's a mat and not a book. They can get right up on it like a toy and I think that will make them more interested in it

Manda Marie

one frugal lady said...

it's machine washable! genius!
onecheaplady@Yahoo.com

Christina said...

I love that it is waterproof and washable! This sounds fabulous!

Gianna said...

It's interactive.

Jean Ardiente said...

I like that it's put together like a puzzle. Both my children love puzzles.

Lessons, Etc. said...

My boy would love this!

amanda hoffman said...

i like the different language part

Lessons, Etc. said...

I like that it will make the floor softer since we have wood floors so this will be a nice play area for him to play on!

jessica holybee said...

the voice pen is cool !

Kris said...

I love that it is educational and interactive

Bo said...

I like that there are 3 languages!

PaulineMilner said...

I like all of the features, but especially that there is a voice recorder on the pen. Thanks for the great giveaway opportunity. Keep up the terrific blogging.

krissinic said...

I like the ability to switch to a different language. It gives you the ability to teach your child basic words in another language.

Jodi Holmes said...

My daughter would love the animal sounds

Teresa Thompson said...

Voice Recorder to Capture the Special Moments

MARY DIEHL said...

I love that it's fun but also educational. I like that kids can learn so much while playing

dawnmonroe83 said...

I like the three different languages and that its washable.

Janice Crespo said...

I love that Carter as a toddler can enjoy this, it's washable (good thing with all the drool right now) and that it will grow with him - love toys that last more than a few months

Laura Miller said...

I love that its big enough for more than one child.

Heather said...

There is so much to like! All the languages, the size of the mat

Emerson Lane Originals said...

LOVE the interactive games on this - and love even more that their games to be played individually - great for a day even if no friends or siblings are there! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

jamieandandre at charter dot net

Elizabeth Parker said...

I love that you can play with different languages, though I wish that you could chose different languages besides Spanish and Chinese.
I also love that it is large enough and durable enough for both of my girls to use.

brendaelsner said...

I like that it grows with your child!

Sarah Marshall said...

I love that it can teach three languages!

Linda said...

I like how educational it is, makes learning so much fun.
mintstatesportswear(AT)JUNO(DOT)COM

Elvira Prunn said...

I like the games, searching for the animals and that it teaches 3 different languages.

-Vera

Karen Drake said...

I like the voice pen that has 3 different languages.

Wendy R said...

I like that you can connect the voice pen to a computer

Beth Klocinski said...

I like that it speaks English, Spanish and Chinese.

*Mirage* said...

I was just thinking I need something with animal sounds for my 22 month old! I need double the gift ideas for her for December since her birthday is the 27th!
-Jessica

SHANNA ELIZABETH said...

Love it can be used indoors and outdoors and that it Teaches Vocabulary and Comprehension
=)

Tiffany Schmidt said...

I love that kids can be interactive without a tv!

irishcahbomb said...

I like that it's multi-lingual

Holly Kennedy said...

So many things to love, but I like the size best.

Hotsnotty2 said...

I like that it speaks English, Spanish and Chinese.

AWinesburg@hotmail.com

michedt said...

I like that it has 3 languages. I think it's important now to learn at least some of these languages, and the earlier the better.
Michelle Tucker

amy16323 said...

I love the interactive pen
amy16323(at)gmail(dot)com

Andrina Goetz said...

I love that it is thick and durable.

blew415 said...

Its in spanish too!

Susan Smoaks said...

i love that the mat includes three different languages!

susansmoaks at gmail dot com

sparklejewelsp59@yahoo.com said...

I like interactive pen and my granddaughter would just love this

Cassandra Davis said...

I love the interactive educational aspect!

laurasloves said...

I love that it comes in 3 different languages!
Laurie Emerson
lauraemerson17 at yahoo dot com

Rose Paden said...

I love the interactive pen! would love to win for family's in need of christmas presents this year!

Tylerpants said...

I love that it's soft and easy to clean! tylerpants(at)gmail.com

Donna Kellogg said...

I like that you can change the language

Vikki Billings said...

I like that there is so much to learn, I also love that it is easy to clean.
vikki.billings@yahoo.com

Melinda said...

I love that it is washable and resistant to spills.

trixx said...

I like that it teaches in 3 languages

Christian Alejandro said...

I love the multiple language feature. lexbaylor27 at gmail dot com

Mihaela Day said...

I like that it teaches kids 3 languages

lilyk said...

The feature that I like the most is the sound recorder.