I was recently invited to review this exclusive new line of PLAYSKOOL Baby Care items, which will only be available at your local CVS Pharmacies. As you know, we only review what we personally have tried, so I put the sample items I received through their paces, and here's what I found:
First, I thought about the product placement. Placing these products in local CVS stores--How will this work out for Moms?
Now, I don't know about you, but I remember many trips to the pharmacy for my children (who always seemed to get sick late on a Friday night, at the beginning of a long weekend). And I have noticed that lately, there seems to be a pharmacy at every corner. Now, I'm all for the convenience of the huge mega-store when I have a really varied list of products to get---say, windshield wiper blades, toilet paper and grapefruit---but for getting in and out in a hurry, I far prefer my local little pharmacies. Even now, with my kids getting older, I frequently have to pick-up Rx's, and I am not going to navigate my way through the mega-parking lot and push my way through the mega-crowds and wait in the mega-lines if I can avoid it. So, in reviewing the placement, I think that CVS Pharmacies, which are all around my neighborhood, seem perfectly convenient.
Now, to the products themselves:
The first item I looked over was the PLAYSKOOL Insulated Flip Top Cup, which I took one look at and loved! I realize that isn't an in-depth review for you, so I'll explain why I had such a positive initial response. What I immediately loved about this cup was the flip-top. The unique flip-top allows Moms to close the cup tightly by sliding the flip-top over to one side, or, by slipping it to the other side, allows a soft, flexible straw to pop right up for your child to sip from. First of all, I just love the aesthetics of the soft straw popping out of the cup--it's really inviting, even to me. And it is better for smaller children to drink from the soft straw, which is gentler on soft gums and new teeth, then those hard sippy cups. Also, I can just picture how much easier this cup is going to be to clean, just by running a little soapy water through it, as opposed to those hard plastic sippers that end up with bite marks distorting the shape of them from your little one holding the cup between his/her brand new baby teeth. And when the flip-top is closed, the cup doesn't spill, unlike most sippy cups I have run into. As an added bonus, I discovered with a little more inspection that the cup is also insulated to keep cool drinks cool, which is a good thing in sunny Florida where I live, and the cute GLOWORM holding the balloons on the sides of the cup will be familiar to little ones who own the soft cuddly light-up toy.
RATING for the INSULATED FLIP-TOP CUP (9 oz, 4.99)---A+ love the soft straw and locking flip-top cap.
Next up is the PLAYSKOOL Easy Grip Bowl and Serving Spoon. Now, I had high hopes for this duo, because the spoon's tip is supposed to change color if the food is too hot for your baby to eat. Well, I ran the spoon under the hottest water I could find, submerged it in hot water, turned it upside down and let the hot water simply pour down on the little sensor in the spoon's tip, and I have to admit that I couldn't get that thing to change color! So that was a bit disappointing for me. Maybe the color change was so slight I couldn't detect it, but I can't help but think that if your spoon has this feature, Moms want to be able to see the color change with no if, ands or buts, so they know for sure. I did like the grips on the spoon, which fit perfectly for me and for my husband--significant because I am left-handed and he is right-handed, and our hands are different sizes. The same was true of the gripper pad on the Easy Grip Bowl, which is designed for left- and right-handers. You just slip your thumb through the hole and hold on with the soft gripper pad. I really liked the way this set worked for the most part. The bowl is sectioned, with an automatic steam vent, and can go from refrigerator to microwave to baby. The bowl's a good size, generous for baby feeding so I think it can make that transition into toddler easily, and the spoon has soft edges for baby's mouth.
RATING for the EASY GRIP SERVING BOWL---A+. RATING for the EASY GRIP SPOON---C, because the sensor didn't change color with heat (the set, 4.99).
COTTONY CLOTHS---Just buy them! Really, they are that good! These baby wipes can be used for a multiple of house-keeping tasks, cleaning up after spills, wiping hands on trips where the bathrooms are iffy on cleanliness--the list goes on and on. My boys are 12 and almost 14, and I still keep travel packs of baby wipes around the house. And these cottony cloths, which are actually enhanced with real cotton, really are durable. I wiped off all my kitchen counters with just one, and this is AFTER the Rhino's birthday ice-cream cake started (oh no!) melting through the box. They come in soft packs rather than big, bulky plastic boxes, go with you anywhere, and are hypoallergenic and alcohol free. RATING for the (16 cloths, 1.99; 80 cloths, 3.29, all the way up to 240 cloths in 3 80-cloth packs for 7.49) COTTONY CLOTHS--A+ If the alphabet went higher, so would the rating! Love them!
The last item I am reviewing will certainly be familiar to most Moms already, as it is a teething toy, the PLAYSKOOL Teething Keys. This teething key ring is specially designed to go in the freezer, as it is filled with gel which, when cooled, should remain soft to "safely soothe sore gums." Also the top and bottom of each key in the ring are offset with texture to assist in the "eruption of teeth." What I understand from this is that, basically, baby has something to run his/her gums along that will help to, basically, push the gums out of the way of the teeth coming in. Now, I have always been a big fan of cool, soothing substances for babies that are teething. And we all know that giving a baby some kind of popsicle is just, well, messier than we want to deal with (although we could wipe up the mess with cottony wipes! yay!). So this seems like a great idea on the surface. I do have a problem though, in that the gel, which is supposed to remain soft---well, I guess it does. If you really work the keys, they are pliable. The thing is, the plastic of the keys holding the gel inside them is pretty hard. Even when the keys weren't cold, they weren't all that soft. So, yes, the gel doesn't freeze, but I think that "soft" is a bit of an over-statement. That being said, these are an inexpensive teething toy, nice and bright, that will certainly appeal to your baby and, I believe, soothe little gums, as the keys do stay cool for a nice long time once they are out of the freezer.
RATING for the THE PLAYSKOOL TEETHING KEYS (3.99)---B Not all that soft, but cool, bright and fun.
Overall, I would give the PLAYSKOOL BABY CARE products a B+ rating, for really making an effort to provide attractive, sensible, and very useful baby care items at convenient locations and reasonable prices (and go out and get those cottony cloths, Moms!).
I also want to take a moment to thank Child's Play Communications, who provided the samples for Cool Moms Rule! to test in this review, with no strings attached.