My daughter is 25 months old now and I have to say the VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Park and Learn Deluxe Garage is her favourite toy.
It’s the only toy I leave out for her to play with all the time (I’m a big fan of toy rotation otherwise) and she plays with it every day.
She received the VTech Garage as a gift from her grandparents for her 1st birthday, and it’s been such a joy to watch her learn and develop new ways to play with it. From when she first received the gift, and simply used it as a jukebox by pressing the large coloured button and dancing to the jingles, to more recently as she has started to move the vehicles around the track, navigating the obstacles and chatting to herself about the cars.
VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Park and Learn Deluxe Garage
(also known as VTech Baby Toot-Toot Drivers Garage)
The Vtech Deluxe Drivers Garage is an electronic interactive parking garage that features three floors served by a hand operated elevator, parking ramps and slides. There is also a toll booth, weigh station, barriers and road track components. The garage features multiple interactive sounds and has three LED push buttons which play songs from a selection of cheerful nursery rhymes.
If you are technology obsessed and have to have the latest gadget, the VTech garage features smart point technology which links up the garage to the tow truck vehicle, or
any other vehicle from the Vtech Smart range. Placing the vehicle on a Smart Point triggers it to play a little ditty or say a short sentence which is specific to the vehicle and the smart point.
The Smart Point technology seems cool, but I don’t think my daughter really gets it so it’s just a random surprise to her when a vehicle bursts into life! Hopefully, as she gets a little more advanced she will start to link together the cause and effect.
Vtech toys have a good reputation and this one seems to be well made. The box advertises that it can withstand rough play (it shows an elephant symbol on the box!) and ours has been climbed all over and hasn’t sustained any damage.
It comes with a 1-year warranty. We’ve had ours just over that now, it’s been subjected to heavy use, and is still going strong after a set of fresh batteries.
First off, the garage does require some pre-assembly but the instructions are clear and easy to follow. It comes with a set of stickers to add on the road markings and display boards. These are a bit fiddly to line up (a few spares are included) and it’s a little tedious adding each lane marking dash individually. I would definitely recommend setting up the garage before revealing it to your toddler as they are going to want to ‘help’ with the stickers and you may not quite end up with the intended result!
The main place this toy loses points is the amount of noise it makes! In its favour, the garage does have two volume settings, but the vehicles do not, and if they are all playing tunes simultaneously it could start to grate. As well as the vehicles and the push buttons the noises come from operating the lift and weigh station and passing the cars over the smart points.
Having said all that, I don’t find the noise it makes all that annoying. I think each car has a number of different phrases they could say, and the garage itself even has 12
different sing along nursery rhymes as well as multiple other different sounds it isn’t too repetitive like some of this type of toy can be.
Vtech advertises that the Deluxe Drivers Garage has developmental benefits in the categories of Imaginative Play, Language Development, Motor Skills and Sensory Development and I can see how it fulfils all these roles.
Based on my criteria for learning toys, it hits all 5 areas of Toddler Development. Crawling around and pushing the cars along with manipulating the exit barrier, lift, weigh station and push buttons develop both types of Motor Skills. There is plenty to figure out such as lift operation and building the track to aid with cognitive development. Language Development is encouraged by both the vehicles saying their names and different parts of the garage and even the lift chimes out what floor it is on. Social and Emotional Development follows naturally with any kind of imaginative play, so it’s easy to see how the Vtech garage aids with this.
If you are an eco-mum this toy isn’t for you. It’s made of gaudy plastic and lot’s of it! It takes multiple batteries, and it came packaged in plastic bags, with cardboard spacers and and finally a cardboard box. It is long lasting and both in terms of the durability and growing with the child (it’s aimed at children from 1-5 years old but even older kids still enjoy playing with it). I can see this toy could be passed onto another family when we have outgrown.
It is long lasting though, both in terms of the durability and growing with the child (it’s aimed at children from 1-5 years old but even older kids still enjoy playing with it). I can see this toy could be passed onto another family when we have outgrown it extending it’s life further.
As I mentioned at the beginning, this is my daughter’s favourite toy. She has played with it every single day since she received it and quite often will engage in longer periods of independent play so it certainly holds her attention. When she first received it at age 1 it was her favourite thing to just press the light up buttons and clap or dance to the sing-song nursery rhyme tunes over and over. I still find it a great tool for when she needs cheering up or distracting. I have also observed it is one of the first toys that visiting toddler friends make a bee-line for.
Value for Money
Whilst this isn’t the cheapest toy, I do think that the garage represents good value for money if you consider how many days my daughter has played with it and how many more years she should continue to enjoy it. Another thing to consider is that the resell values hold up very well.
The garage only comes with one vehicle, the tow truck, so I’d recommend buying a couple more, especially if you have more than one toddler! You don’t have to buy the VTech vehicles, a toddler will make do with any kind, but it is fun to hear new voice and song clips when the Smart Points interact with a new Vtech Go! vehicle. I’d recommend the emergency vehicles pack as a good buy.
If you are feeling especially generous, additional road track can also be bought to build out your garage or even join it up to any other structures you have in the Vtech Go! Family.
Another idea would be to pair up the garage with a children’s playroom rug that features a road network so the fun can extend across the floor.
If you are looking for a quieter and more environmentally friendly option, wooden parking garages are available, many have the same features such as elevators and spiral ramps but without all the chirps and cheeps. Just be aware the quality can vary and some more flimsy constructions may not withstand the more enthusiastic toddler! I have found ‘le toy vans’ and ‘melissa and doug’ to be quality brands for other wooden toys we own.
Do you own the Vtech Driver Garage?
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