A special thanks to Creative Baby USA for providing the Miss Frugal Mommy blog with a product for free in exchange for an honest review!
About Creative Baby USA
“At Creative Baby we truly believe that a creative baby is a happy baby. We invite you to explore our line and find the right products for your Creative Baby. “
About the I-MAT My Animal World
“Featuring a full color illustration of animals from around the world. i-Mat: My Animal World serves as a visual fun playland with dozens of cute animals that babies will enjoy looking at and exploring.”
- 3 Languages in English, Spanish, and Chinese
- Basic and Advanced Games
- Real Animal Sounds and Music
- Teaches Vocabulary and Comprehension
About the Voice Pen
“Creative Baby’s unique Voice Pen™ brings your i-Mat™ to life. By touching the pen to the i-Mat™, the objects on the i-Mat™ “talk” and play songs. As new i-Mat™ themes are introduced, you will be able to connect the Voice Pen™ to any computer with internet access (with the USB cable provided in the package), download the new sound file from our website to the i-Mat™ Voice Pen™ and you and your child will be ready to explore new i-Mat™ adventures.”
- 2 GB built-in memory
- Voice Recorder to Capture the Special Moments
- USB port with future expansion capability
The Creative Baby I-MAT My Animal World & Voice Pen is currently one of the most played with toys we have in the playroom, which is saying a lot because there is quite the collection of toys in this room. My three year old son was so excited to see a giant playmat full of animals if probably would have been content with just that. When I explained to him that this wasn’t just any ordinary playmat, but a game that would talk to him when he used the pen, his face lit up immediately! Prior to reviwinng this item and reading about it on their website, I was just as amazed as my son at how much fun this mat was going to be. My oldest is eight years old and we have purchased a handful of products over the years that have a similar concept. We learned through trial and error that there was always a negative feature about the product, which made it difficult to get the pen to read when you used it. I was really hoping that when reviewing the new iMat, it could prove me wrong that such a product could exist and work effectively. Well my wonderful fans, I am here to tell you today that this product does indeed work exactly as it should and has exceeded my expectations!
Using the image above as a visual reference, you can see that there is an on/off button, three different languages and two types of games. Something that impressed me right away with this product was how lightly you have to press the pen against the mat in order for it to work. I was honestly very worried and concerned at first that my son would have to apply a lot of pressure on the mat in order for it to work (in return envisioned the mat covered in a bunch of indented circles.) However it only took a few minutes of using it to realize that this was not going to happen and very little pressure applied to the mat was all that was needed in order for the pen to work! The mat alone is very durable and firm, very great quality and not cheaply made.
My son’s favorite activity with the mat is game #1, which consists of the pen asking you to locate the animals. There are a lot of animals on the mat and it is really quite challenging for a child his age. I must confess that I found myself stumped when the pen asked where the spider was and for the life of me… I just couldn’t find it. My three year old son eventually found it all on his own and was so unbelievably proud of himself… he will never let me live that one down, hehe. The point being that there is a lot to conquer with this mat and it’s not something a preschooler is going to become bored with after a week. They are really going to have a lot of fun with this for a long time before graduating to a new mat. There is also game #2 which asks you to find the animals based on their animal sound, which was quite challenging for my son and something that he is slowly getting comfortable with. My eight year old daughter loves to use her big sister mentoring with this one and enjoys teaching her little brother the new animal sounds. Plus… the pen can play these games in three different languages so really… the fun could go on forever with this mat and provide a fun learning experience.
As you can tell from the photos of my son playing with the Creative Baby I-MAT My Animal World & Voice Pen, he really gets fully engaged. He puts total focus and attention into this game and is so proud of himself when he is able to find the animals on his own. This is more than just a game, it’s a way to help build your young child’s confidence. This has been a wonderful resource to have at home and I am very happy with how much my son has gained from using it. The quality of the mat and pen are superb and have survived a very rugged three year old (no visible damage has been noted.) I am also pleased to have found a product that brings my two children together, as it can be difficult with their four year age gap. Overall I am 100% satisfied and highly recommend this product.