Smarty Pad is an LED tablet developed for young kids ages 3-5. The tablet includes 12 games and helps educate kids by performing activities including colors, coding, ABCs, and numbers up to 25. The Smarty Pad is also bi-lingual, helping to teach 2 languages, English and Spanish. This isn’t the first “smart” toy from Flycatcher either, they have been making “smart” toys for a while including the smART sketcher, smART Pixelator, Smarty JOJO, and Smarty FLUTTER.
1x Smarty Pad device
1x User Manual
Requires 4 AA batteries
How Does It work?
So to start things off, you will be able to control the on/off and the English/Spanish with switches on the back side of the pad. On the front there are 2 switches and a button that are used to change activities or games. After the game is selected, you will no longer need to use the switches and button on the bottom of the pad, instead the game will create buttons using colored lights to perform the different games.
The switch on the left is used to pick the category the game will focus on. This would be the alphabet, colors, numbers, or beginning coding. Each of these categories has 3 different games within that category.
What Games are included?
- Find the letter – the game shows 3 letters. It then will say “find the letter that says _____” You need to press on one of the buttons that light up that makes that letter. When getting it wrong it will honk, when getting it right it will give an example of a word for that letter to further the learning. Good for the older group of kids 4-5 years old.
- Catch a letter – 2 letters fall down, and it will say “catch the letter _____” and you need to tilt the tablet so that the white line is under that letter. It will celebrate when getting it right, and when getting it wrong it will make a sound. This game helps kids identify letters. Good for younger kids 3-4 years old.
- Match the letter to the picture – It shows a picture with all the lights and then changes screen too show 3 letters and says, “I see a ______, what letter sounds like _______?” It then lists 3 letters and kids need to press a button that lights up on the correct letter. This is good for the older kids 4-5, but helps with those that like pictures or can learn with phonetics and pictures.
- Find the Number – The game lists 3 numbers and says, “Find the number _______” Players need to press on the buttons that light up that form the correct number they ask for. This is good for 3-4 year olds.
- Catch a Number – Similar to catch the letter, this game requires kids to tilt the tablet to one side to cause the white line to move to catch the number that ask about. This game is good for 4-year-olds as it includes numbers up to 25 and helps kids identify numbers outside of counting.
- What comes next – The game says, “what comes next” and then says 2 numbers either counting up or counting backwards. Kids need to press on the number that comes next in the sequence that they mention. This is good for 4-5 year olds because it counts up to 25 and kids need to count forward and backwards.
- Memory – Kids need to remember where the colors are after pressing on blocks lit up on the tablet. After pressing 2 blocks and they aren’t a match, they turn back to white, and the players need to try again trying to find 2 of the same colors. This game is great for 3, 4, and 5 year olds.
- Barnyard sing along – The game splits the buttons into 4 quadrants, each with a different color. Just like the electronic game Simon, it will trigger one color and then you press the same color, then it adds an additional color, and you will mimic the pattern. Each time they add a new color. It’s called barnyard sing along because when a color is triggered it makes a barnyard sound, so each color has a barnyard sound assigned to it. This would be for the 5-6 year olds.
- Color Mix – The player will press 2 colored buttons which add them together to make another color. They start with red, yellow, and blue which can make orange, purple, and green. This is great to teach how colors are blended together to make other colors. Great for 3-5 year olds.
Beginning Coding –
- Color Tag – The player will need to guide a green square by using a controller to tag all squares of a specific color. When the player presses the direction for the green square, it will store that information as you continue making a path, when you are ready you can hit the green go button in the middle of the controller to then execute your directions. This game is great for 5-6 year olds.
- Escape Room – There is a ball that bounces around the buttons and the player needs to tilt the white line around the pad so the ball doesn’t escape. This is best for the 5-6 year olds.
- A-MAZE-ING – The player tilts the screen to guide the green square through the maze. When you hit the side of the maze it will trigger a sound and you can keep on playing. Once you guide the green square by tilting the pad to the red square you win with a celebration.
In addition to the games, there is a learn mode using the second switch which will go through the alphabet, or numbers 1-25, or teach colors, or cover how to code directions to lead through a maze. These are best used before playing the games.
Smarty Pad was a hit for both my 3-year-old and surprisingly also my 5-year-old who is now 6. Both kids focused on different games that they liked, so it was great to have a toy that could be enjoyed by different education levels. My 3-year-old really liked playing the matching color game where it requires some memory, but he would get very excited when he got a match. My now 6-year-old liked doing the coding game where you tell the green dot where to go, collecting a certain color, and after pressing all the directions, you press a key to execute the buttons she already pressed and see if she actually captured all the colors in one try.
The game is electronic, but it’s different type of electronic game compared to a kid sitting down with an ipad or tv. Screen time is a huge deal in our family and it’s nice to have a toy that teaches these things without having a screen like most apps do these days.
The colors used on the pad are bright and there are a variety of colors included. Each square on the pad can be used as a button depending on the game, which makes it very interactive as the kids aren’t just hitting the same 2 buttons the entire time. The 12 games give a nice variety to change things up still using the pad without getting bored of the same game repeatedly. The pad is sturdy, hard to break, and can withstand lots of abuse from kids so that it will last for a long time.
After a while some games become less exciting to the kids, and they tend to come to the same ones that they like after discovering everything that is included in the pad. Some of the games use motion sensors. These games are very finicky because when you are trying to turn the pad to perform an action in the game, it sometimes doesn’t do what you want, which in turn causes you to lose the game. This can be frustrating for some kids. It seems cool to have these motion sensors, but they just don’t work well enough for this toy to do what they want to do.
The last thing I want to mention is that we love educational toys at our house, and that is why we were very much interested in checking out the Smarty Pad. This game includes a lot of stuff and it’s all educational. The Smarty Pad almost introduces things where the kids don’t even know they are learning, they are just playing a game and enjoying it. With that said we have very much enjoyed this toy at my house and although my 6-year-old is less interested in it now she is getting older, my 3 year old still uses it and is also learning from it. For the price and what it does, I would recommend this toy to those who might have multiple kids in the same age, or maybe will have another kid in the same age later on, as the Smarty Pad is made to last, and it brings a interactive learning experience to the kids without using a screen to do so.
Check it out in action on Instagram!
Images Courtesy of Flycatcher
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