VTech Activity Cube Busy Learners

Featured image of VTech Activity Cube Busy Learners review

We love reviewing toys designed for kids in the early stages of development because this age range is so important. It is a crucial part of the process of learning all kinds of fundamentals like colors, language, motor skills, and much more.

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6 to 36 months

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Entertainment; development of cognitive skills, language, social skills, motor skills

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14 + 25 songs and melodies

The Busy Learners Activity Cube seems to tick all the right boxes, so we’re excited to take a closer look!

Busy Learners Activity Cube: The basics

This is the perfect toy for 1-year-old boys and girls. It is really easy to use, and it features five interactive sides to encourage exploration and imaginative play using music, colors, spinners, light-up buttons, and so much more. Animal sounds and over 25 different songs and melodies are activated when you press the bright buttons which light up, and sliding, spinning blocks help build fine motor skills. Play some music with the musical instruments, watch the ladybug spin around and twirl the shapes for endless fun.  

Also, if you’re worried about all those sounds and melodies getting old after a while, and becoming a bit too much for you, you’ll be happy to see that there’s a volume-control knob, offering 2 levels of loudness, as well as the option to turn the sounds off completely, which most parents greatly appreciate.

This cute cube will certainly keep your child entertained while also adding to some learning fun. Babies hear animal sounds and are asked to find instruments, shapes, colors, and so much more. The Busy Learners Activity Cube requires two AAA batteries, which are included but are for demo purposes only, so we recommend you replace them for best results. The toy is meant for children 6 – 36 months old.

What You See and What You Get

As with any toy, the first thing that you’ll go through upon getting your hands on the Busy Learners Activity Cube is the unboxing experience. Thankfully, the smart people at VTech know what they are doing, so they made this part of the process as simple as possible. 

All you need is a pair of scissors to cut the zip-ties holding the box secured to the Cube at the base. There are a couple of these zip-ties, and as soon as you cut them, the Cube comes right out ready to go, with the demo batteries installed.

Once you get the Cube out of the box, you’ll probably be able to get a good idea about what it can do; there are a lot of knobs, buttons and bright colors which are usually great for the age group this toy is marketed at, because that’s the kind of thing that keeps them engaged and excited. 

There are spinners with letters on one side and accompanying pictures on the other, as well as a couple with a bit of texture, like bumps and swirls. One of the sides has a ladybug which rolls up and down, requiring a bit more dexterity, and there are also instrument-shaped buttons – cymbals, maracas and drums, which all make noise once the Cube is turned on.

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How to Use

The first thing you’ll see upon looking at the Busy Learners Activity Cube from VTech is probably the top side, containing the power button, which serves as a volume control knob, as well as four differently shaped and differently colored buttons, each sporting a picture of a different animal. There are interactive buttons, spinners, and sliders on the other four sides of the Cube, while the base is reserved for the batteries.

Every time a button is pressed, the Cube provides different teaching points, such as the color or shape of the button, the name of the animal portrayed on it, or the sound that animal makes. If you don’t press any buttons for some time, the Cube triggers a ‘search and find’ mode, where it will play noise or say a phrase describing a button that should be pressed, which has a lot of learning potential as pressing the right button is rewarded with happy lights and noises. This is where most of the electronic magic happens, while the other sides are mostly tactile and mechanical, except for the instrument-shaped buttons, which make noise accordingly.

The sounds and music coming from the toy are not too loud even on the highest setting, but if you still find them a bit annoying, and there’s a good chance that you will after repeated use, just use the power knob to lower the volume to about 50% or turn the sounds off completely when they become overwhelming. The Cube has a lot to offer even when it is turned off, and your baby will still love playing with it since it is very interactive and there are lots of things to slam around and spin.

And… that’s it. You are officially equipped to use this toy. You can hand it over to your baby, and anything he/she does with it is going to be part of the learning process.

Buyer's Guide

Product image of VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube

PROS

  • Entertainment value
  • Variety
  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Lots of learning potential

CONS

  • Doesn’t have much for the older part of the marketed age range
  • The light and sound functionalities cannot be separated

Advantages

One of the best things about this toy is just how colorful and pretty it looks. And from the moment you set eyes on it, you know it’s going to be a fun experience for your child, with five sides of activities encouraging your kid to explore and figure out the many aspects the toy has to offer. 

On top of being a great visual experience, it offers plenty of fun for the ears as well with a variety of songs, melodies, and games which are activated by moving and touching the different knobs and buttons. These are guaranteed to hold your little one’s attention for extended periods, while at the same time developing their fine motor skills and introducing the world of sounds and lights to them. The shape and size of this toy will also require your baby to sit up to use it properly, which is great for the development of their core muscles. 

This is perfect for those times when you have had a rough day, and giving your baby your absolute attention is just too exhausting. In those times when you need a few minutes to yourself, put your kid in a play-pen with the Busy Learner’s Activity Cube and watch their face light up as they discover new things to do, and new changes to happen on the toy. If you’re looking for a bit of a pick-me-up after a long day, there’s nothing better than your child’s laughter to get you in a good mood.

Disadvantages

There aren’t a lot of things to complain about when it comes to the Busy Learners Cube. If we were trying to nitpick, we could find a few minor flaws, so that’s exactly what we’re going to do, starting with the biggest minor flaw of all, which is that this toy doesn’t seem to cover the entire age range it is marketed to. 

It does seem like a child might get everything they want out of the Cube by the age of 18 months or so, especially if they’ve had it since they were six months old. Of course, not every child is the same, and this doesn’t mean you should be worried if your boy or girl still enjoys the toy at the age of 2 or 3 years, we all have different interests. 

This brings us to the second flaw, which is the growth potential of the toy. We think it would have been better suited for the toy to have some different stages or levels of development based on your child’s age, extending the usability of the toy and therefore its value even further. 

Finally, it would be nice if the toy had the option of turning off the sounds only while keeping the lights working since as things stand, you can only turn the volume down to about half, or turn the Cube off completely, lights included. That being said, most of the functionality of the toy relies on the sounds, so it’s unclear how much of a point an option like this would have.

To Conclude

In summary, this is an excellent toy. Your baby will surely enjoy their playtime with it for a long, long time. It is compact, educational, and entertaining, as much as it is brightly colored and adorable. It also fits most budgets and most suitcases, so you can carry it around wherever you need to go.

Author: Jonathan M. Ward
Author: Jonathan M. Ward

Himself a father of two, John is obsessed with getting the most out of every children’s product on the market, finding value wherever it can be found. His years of study in developmental psychology coupled with his passion for parenting make him an invaluable asset to our team.

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