Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What Will We Find with Austin Lloyd {Review}

 
I love toys that are educational, fun, and especially safe for C, while still be developmentally appropriate. In a house with a 7 year old brother and 5 year old sister, there are plenty of toys, trust me, but most of them are not appropriate for her. Luckily, thanks to monthly subscription boxes, we have been on a roll with new toys at our house, and I love watching C get in and explore them.
Austin Lloyd, founded in 2013, based in Atlanta, is a monthly subscription service that offers hand-selected, premium, educational products for infants and toddlers. With an idea that all parents want to educate their children with toys, but don't know which direction is best, Austin Lloyd takes out the guess work and delivers a box full of surprises.
 
Austin Lloyd not only cares about your child, but also those who are less fortunate. With every box, customers have the option and opportunity to send back their gently used toys, that Austin Lloyd will then donate to charities. They know that a lot of parents, us included have more toys than we can use, so they take the opportunity to help us de-clutter our lives and helping someone else's.
 
How Does Austin Lloyd Work?
Austin Lloyd is a really fun and easy way to get new surprises for your children. You first must choose a subscription plan that works best for you (1 month/$49.99 a month, 3 month/$46.99 a month, and 6 month/$44.99 a month options). You can also purchase Austin Lloyd as a gift, by clicking here. You then will be able to select the gender and age of your child, followed by the play level you would like to receive (they have many options 0-5 months, 6-12 months, 13-18 months, 19-24 months, 2 years, or 3 years). I really suggest reading through the play levels to see what will suit your child best, because not every child develops on the same level. By subscribing by the last day of each month, you will be signed up to receive the next month's box, which is delivered during the 3rd week of the month.
 
What Will You Find In An Austin Lloyd Box?
 When your box arrives, you will be surprised with 4-5 engaging products that are perfect for your child. These products can be toys or books, customized to the play level you have chosen, so that they are developmentally appropriate and engage your child in both fine motor and cognitive skills. They will be unique, high end items that you will not normally be able to find in chain retail stores. There will be no battery operated toys, they will also be BPA and Phthalate free. The items will have an overall value greater than your subscription cost. To see previous boxes, click here.
 
We were offered the chance to receive and review an Austin Lloyd box, personalized for C. I was thrilled to partner with them and worked with Lindsay. Lindsay requested the play level we would need and sent out the Austin Lloyd August play box. Austin Lloyd ships USPS and I soon received a shipping/tracking email that let me know my package was on its way.
 
Our Austin Lloyd package is here!
The box is huge, I couldn't wait to see what all filled the inside. The outside of the box is clearly labeled with the company name and logo of the cute stork delivering a package, love it! What a nice surprise to find, the quality of the company clearly shows from step one, I was already impressed.
 
 
C was excited to check it all out and see what was in store for her.
What a beautifully decorated surprise we found inside.
 
A personalized name sticker, just for C, these extra touches are really amazing. This box arrived in such condition that if you were giving it as a gift, it would require nothing else, it is ready to hand right over to the receiver.
 There was also an envelope with the play level clearly labeled and filled with information cards. I love knowing exactly what I am getting, so these cards are very important to me.
There was also the donation card information. I think this a great gesture on Austin Lloyd's part and they will even send a prepaid shipping label to you to send back your gently used items.
Can I just say I haven't opened the actual box and already I know this is something great!
 
Now let's move on to the actual surprises for C. The color of the paper matches the ribbon and writing on the outer packaging. Again, those extra touches.
I first came across the Play Level:13-18 month card, which included a fun fact, and our monthly theme.
The August 2014 theme is Forest Friends, how cute for the approaching Fall season. It included 5 items: a rabbit puzzle, a backyard buddy block puzzle, a bear stacker, a pullback racer, and a book. Read on to find out more about each item, they are all really great!
Let's explore all that we found in our Austin Lloyd box:
Item #1: Janod Rabbit Puzzle
Retail Value $7.99
"This delightful wooden peg puzzle is part of the happy animals set. Your little one will love to pull this cute bunny apart to put him back again. With only four pieces, your little one can start trying out their early problem solving skills"
This puzzle is bright, colorful, and really caught C's interest. The pegs are the perfect size for her to grasp and pull out. The bunny is cute and we loved the background carrots too. Made in France, I had not heard of this brand, Janod, but after seeing this puzzle and browsing their other items, I was blown away with the quality and styles they offer.
 
 
C has gotten lots of help on this puzzle from her big brother and sister, they enjoy sitting with her and helping her manipulate the pieces to the right spot. I love that she is working on her problem solving skills but more so that they are all cooperating together.
 
Item #2: Manhattan Toy Brilliant Bear Magnetic Stack-Up
Retail Value: $20
"Stacking play is here to stay with the Brilliant Bear Magnetic Stacker. This colorful wooden stacker comes with magnetic connecting discs to facilitate early stacking fun and simple problem solving play. The toy features a natural colored, rounded wobble base and five brightly colored stacking discs (red, orange, green, yellow, and blue) and a cute teddy bear face topper. Suitable for infants 9m+ to help develop fine motor skills, learn cause and effect, and early problem solving."
This is probably my favorite item from our box. I love the colors, we have been working on our colors with C when we hand her each disc. She is also loving stacking all the pieces and announcing "ta-da" in her tiny baby voice with her hands raised. It is very nicely made, wooden toys always are.
 
 
Big sister and big brother like stacking it so that C can knock it down too. The magnets make it more of a challenge for her, which she loves. They all also enjoy trying to get the pieces to stack against the magnets, which doesn't work so well, but they find it hilarious.
 
Item #3: Wooden Racing Snail
Retail Value: $8
 "This is the Racing Snail! A funny wooden animal that will dart all around your home. Just pull it backwards and watch it speed away! This friendly animal contains a pullback mechanism to amuse children with amazing speed races. Are you ready for the challenge?"
This little guy is by far C's favorite item from her whole box. The cute little yellow body and wobbly eyes make it an immediate eye catcher. The fact that he zooms all over is pretty fun too.
 
 
We started off in a small area to drive him, but now he runs all over the house, especially down our long hallway.  He seems quite durable, since he is wooden, which is a good thing since he has had some accidents with the wall.
 
Item #4: Backyard Buddy Blocks
Retail Value: $12.99
 "Block set-color matching-puzzle- all in one. Each 4 piece block forms one of six different puzzles featuring colorful animals and made of natural wood. A perfect transition to puzzles sized for little hands, the blocks are a delight to hold and great for stacking."
 
We love this interchanging puzzle. It is durable and full of fun animals. It has given us a great opportunity to practice new and different animals that C wouldn't see everyday, a skunk, fox, bunny, frog, raccoon, and squirrel.
 
 
 
It is also fun to mix the shapes up and create silly animals too. C also takes to stacking them tower style to knock over and crash. She is really enjoying her wooden block puzzle.
 
Item #5: Peek A Who Book
Retail Value: $6.95
"With peek a boo windows, bright colors, and simple guessing rhymes, this playful board book is perfect for curious toddlers. The anticipation of what's hiding on the next page and the bright, engaging illustrations will keep youngsters guessing and giggling all the way to the surprise endings."
This book has been on our wish list for awhile, and I am so happy it now is a part of our collection. It is completely adorable and its bright, colorful pages just draw you in. C loves the peek a book part and repeats it over and over and then on the last page, kisses herself again and again.
It has just the right amount of pages to keep a 15 month old entertained and is full of fun.
 
Remember at the beginning, I mentioned that each Austin Lloyd box would be valued over what the subscription would cost. If I had paid for one month of Austin Lloyd, it would run me $49.99. Here is the breakdown of what was inside our box:
Rabbit Puzzle-$12.99
Bear Stacker- $20
Snail Racer- $8
Block Puzzle-$12.99
Peek a Who Book-$6.95
Total=$60.93
This is a great deal, and even better if you are on the 3 or 6 month plans.
 
Our Austin Lloyd box was full of high quality, educational, surprises and I am very pleased with our experience. I have seen other Austin Lloyd month boxes and have felt they definitely lived up to the reputation and quality they promote and what I have received. They make a great gift for the baby who has everything and if it happens to be a repeat item, can be donated back to a great cause.
 
 
Want It? Buy It!
There is still time to order for your October subscription, or start planning ahead for the holiday gifts you will be giving. Austin Lloyd offers a great subscription service for developmentally appropriate and fun toys and books. You can follow Austin Lloyd on all of their social media outlets-Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
 
Huge thanks to Lindsay and Austin Lloyd!

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