Motherhood, Parenting, Toddler life

Blaze and The Monster Machines: how simple toys and TV shows can spark creativity and imagination

We all know we should be limiting screen time for our kids…. right?

Well I will be the FIRST to admit there are certain times in the day where TV is my LIFESAVER, and I am not afraid to say it. Yes I try to “limit” their screen time, but I also need my sanity. First thing in the morning, when I am too tired to think and need them to just sit in one place long enough to eat a decent bowl of oats, Saturday afternoons when I just want to try to catch a 15 minute nap and of course sometimes at those unravelling dinner times, when the only way to get them to eat is to watch something on the I-pad (we have all been there right?).

YES, my kids watch TV ! In fact it’s often on in “the background” in my house, BUT, I do monitor what they are allowed to watch VERY carefully.

We are pretty spoilt for choice in today’s world with educational shows for our children, but one of our favourites by far, has to be Blaze and the Monster Machines. As a mum, it ticks all of my STEM obsessed check lists, teaching children about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (click here to see some of my STEM experiments). As a child it ticks off speed, cars, and crazy imaginative talking animals/vehicles.

Each of the show’s presents some sort of problem that is addressed and fixed by getting kids involved, asking the viewer’s questions directly, inviting responses. My 3-year-old has learnt about concepts such as force, acceleration and friction. He can tell you all about combustion and how an engine works. He knows about angles and trajectory. In fact, by allowing him to watch Blaze I feel like I am encouraging a future scientist in him, I certainly DO NOT worry about him watching TV.

Playing with toy trucks in a sense promotes STEM concepts as well. Toy cars roll, they crash, they race. They learn that “wheels turn” and that cars move faster when pushed downhill. It teaches them pressure, and strength, learning how hard to push a car to make it go further. By playing with the toys alongside the show, they aren’t just “learning”, they are “experiencing it”. The best way to learn is through doing.

Mattel South Africa has a great range of toys out from Blaze and the Monster Machines™. We have had great fun playing with our trucks, re-enacting scenes from Blaze with our Talking “Zeg”. Zeg “loves to race” and is a mighty dinosaur truck who loves to smash and bash. The “Talking Zeg Truck” brings to life for kids the STEM concept of sound waves. Get involved with the kids and create your own adventures.

There is a full range of Blaze Talking Vehicles available to help you and your littlies recreate Blaze’s high octane adventures at home. These monster-sized truck tires, authentic styling and lots of phrases make these talking Monster Machines a must for every Blaze fan! Perfect for recreating the amazing adventures of Blaze and the Monster Machines™, each of these freewheeling vehicles comes to life with phrases and awesome action sounds! Suitable for ages 3 plus.

Technology is here to stay, that’s a given, I won’t feel guilty about letting my children watch TV, but I can also actively get involved in their play time and be selective in the programs they watch. If I had shows that encouraged critical thinking like Blaze does when I was growing up, maybe I would have had a chance to pass physics 🙂

** We received a talking Zeg Truck to review**

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