About a month ago, I received an e-mail from Whitney at rookiemoms.com. This site offers activities for moms that are “more fun than wiping someone’s tushy.” With a tag line like that, it’s bound to be fun!
Whitney, in conjunction with Learning Curve, asked me to participate in “Project Dollhouse.” She generously offered to send me TWO of these awesome, Caring Corners – Mrs. GoodBee Interactive Dollhouses
How could I refuse an amazing offer like that?
Last Tuesday, I came home from the grocery store to find the dollhouses waiting on my front porch glider:
Learning Curve generously included two sets of accessories,
As soon as we opened the dollhouse, my husband and I were impressed for several reasons. First, we appreciate the ingenious tri-fold design. Two children can play together, because the house unfolds to six rooms on each side, and then folds back for easy storage. This is great for us, because we have a small home with limited storage space. Also, there was very little assembly required – only 3 small pieces, which snapped on easily – and all stickers and decals were already applied. Also, batteries were included!
It became clear as the girls started playing, that Mrs. Goodbee is no ordinary dollhouse. Using over 400 helpful hints, activities, prompts, songs, and sounds, Mrs. Goodbee encourages and inspires positive behavior. Bee was engaged right away, and has already memorized most of the songs. She has also taken some of Mrs. Goodbee’s advice to heart. Last week, when asked to clean up her toys in the living room, she said, “OK. Mrs. Goodbee says I should make it fun and get it done. Now how do I do that?” She also asked for “more milk please,” at the dinner table, then exclaimed, “See Mom! Mrs. Goodbee reminded me to use my manners!”
Mrs. Goodbee gently encourages kids to be polite and considerate, and promotes kindness, caring and generosity. Caring Corners sponsors a “Carton of Caring” Goodwill donation program, and children are encouraged to fill the Mrs. Goodbee box with gently used toys or outgrown clothing. They can even print a special gift tag at caringcorners.com. When they take their filled box to Goodwill, they will receive a Certificate of Appreciation, with a secret code to unlock a special activity on the web site.
In addition, the “Good Deeds Garden” on the back of the dollhouse is a simple and fun way to reinforce caring behavior. Each time your child does something helpful, he/she can choose a sticker from the included booklet, and decorate Mrs. Goodbee’s garden. Under some of the stickers, there are special codes, which unlock educational games and activities at caringcorners.com. Bee was more than a little excited about this, because she loves computer games. Last night, she generously offered to set the table AND replace the empty paper towel roll, just so she could get more good deed stickers. We also found a code on one of the accessory boxes, and just last night, Bee discovered a secret key, tucked behind the front porch railing, which had another code! The codes add an extra “treasure hunt” dimension of fun!
This is the great thing about Mrs. Goodbee! She comes with so many rooms to explore and plenty of interactive surprises, so there are endless opportunities to practice “caring, sharing, and preparing” for important, age-appropriate responsibilities. We are still discovering new things. Yesterday, Bee found that if you push the lamp on the dresser, it lights up. If you push the salt and pepper shakers, they say “please” and “thank-you.” The table place mats flip over to reveal complete place settings. The crib mobile turns, the toilet makes a real flushing sound, the eyes open and close, and the mouth lights up when Mrs. Goodbee talks or sings. There is so much to discover and investigate, that the girls never get bored!
Mrs. Goodbee really seems to capture the girls’ imaginations. We’ve noticed that Bee keeps up a running commentary the entire time she’s playing, including dialogue between the dolls. She also sings along with Mrs. Goodbee, and seems to really enjoy the dollhouse’s interactive features. Cakesie particularly likes to rock the baby in her crib, because this prompts a baby crying sound. She runs into the kitchen to tell me, “Oh no Mommy! Baby crying!” She also likes to put the baby on the toilet, and say, “Here baby. You go potty OK?”
The day we received the Mrs. Goodbee dollhouse, Bee played with it non-stop, from the time she got home from school, until bedtime, breaking only for supper and her bath. One morning, she actually told me that she didn’t want to go to school, because, as she said, “I just really want to play with that dollhouse!” She has played with it every day since it arrived. We’ve never had another toy that held her attention in this way, except for the dress-up clothes, of course
I think that Mrs. Goodbee is more than just a toy – it’s an educational experience that reinforces the Christian values that we, as Christian parents, try so hard to teach our children. I feel extremely fortunate that we were given the opportunity to try this excellent product.