Play, Learn and Draw with Vtech’s 2-in-1 Discovery Table

Vtech, maker of fun and educational toys, now brings us the 2-in-1 Discovery Table. Designed to be both a learning table and a drawing table, this toy works hard to entertain kids 12-36 months.

Side 1 offers a host of buttons to entertain and teach numbers, letters, colors and shapes.  The blinking-light narrator asks children to locate the various items, sings rhyming songs and reads a flip-the-page story.  Unscrew the teddy bear legs  to flip over, where a flat drawing surface is ready to be scribbled upon.

While my 12 and 14-month old testers were not big fans of this table, it does have it’s strengths.  The buttons are big and easy to push for little fingers, and some thoughtful details, like a crayon cup, make it kid-friendly (though I am not sure why the pencil cup moves to the opposite side).  There is a variety of music and sounds so kids can get more bang for their button-pushing buck.

However, I would love to see Vtech make a few simple improvements that would transform this one into a winner.  First, the large plastic screws that hold the legs to the table are difficult to turn and negate most all of the benefits of this multi-tasking table; the legs are more likely to fall off than support the table as it flips.  I loved that the surface of the table could be positioned at a slant for my supported sitter to push buttons; however, there is no way to use the art side in this position, as  paper just falls off.  A simple clipboard clip would make it much more useful to us.  I’d prefer the clock to say the numbers rather than “play time” and “drawing time”, too.

Vtech knows how to make great high-tech toys for little kids, evidenced by their recent success with the InnoTab Tablet and an aisle’s-worth of educational toys.  Unfortunately, the 2-in-1 Discovery Table isn’t one of their greatest hits in our house, but I’ll be looking out for modifications and improvements in the future.

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Brandi Wecks, Editor Brandi is a teacher and writer in the SF Bay Area, where she lives with her husband, daughter and houseful of pets. She has been learning the ropes as a full-time mom to a fantastic kid with special needs. When she isn't chauffeuring to therapy or clinic appointments and tears herself away from the computer, she can be found trolling the baby aisles to test out the newest gadgets. You can read more about her adventures in mothering at www.starringscarlett.com.

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