Which One Would You Choose?

Updated on December 02, 2013
K.H. asks from Tempe, AZ
13 answers

My little guy is going to be about 6 months old at Christmas and I want to get him one big thing from Santa. So far, I like the Little Tikes Activity Center and the Laugh and Learn Playhouse. Does anyone have experience with either or both of these? Which would you recommend? The Little Tikes one is about $20 less than the playhouse so the cost difference is nothing too major.

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answers from Washington DC on

He's six months old. He won't remember any of it.

I would probably NOT do it. I would find a consignment shop, save some money and buy a used one...sorry. I know that sounds cheesy - but he won't remember it. Yes, he will get use out of it...

Oh well, we had the center. I got them used. cleaned them and my kids enjoyed it.

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answers from Chicago on

We had the Laugh and Learn home and both of my daughters loved it =)

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answers from Phoenix on

We have the Laugh and Learn Farm ans my 2.5 year old still plays with it occasionally.
Hope that helps!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My boys love the Laugh and Learn Farm and still play with it at 22 months. The Activity Center looks cool, I'd probably go with that one if I were you. I got the farm for my daughter at 9 months and she played with it then, but didn't really start enjoying it until she was mobile and able to crawl around it and through it at 10 months. (she was a late crawler). The Activity Center looks like something he will be able to use once he can sit up on his own and get a long time out of it.

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answers from New York on

My suggestions - until they are older they don't really play with toys. When they are little like this they don't have preferences, they don't know about gifts and so you have a few years to get save some money. When my now 17 yr old was 5 months at Christmas I got a few small toys. My husband walked in the door with a giant white stuffed bear. (He didn'dt get the memo.) Soon enough your child will have very clear ideas about desired Christmas presents and I can assure you they won't be cheap! enjoy this time while you can and instead buy an extra case of diapers.

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answers from Seattle on

I don't know anything about either except to say I've heard of them both. I do have a few thoughts though.

1. Which one will he get the most use out of now and in the next several months/

2. Will one give him good use both now and as he grows into toddlerhood?

3. Is there one he will be interested for only a few months and then be bored?

4. Which one is most durable and will last longer? Which is the better quality item?

The point I am trying to make is that when I buy toys for infants/toddlers I try to evaluate toys based on how long they will last, if they will span more than one developmental age/stage and will the toy actively keep my child's interest for a long time. I don't like toys that last only a month or two, or are cheap plastic and will break easily. I'd also love to throw in some educational value as well.

I don't know if this really helps or not, but it's just my 2 cents worth as former preschool teacher.

Good luck whatever you choose!

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answers from Portland on

I'm not a big fan of plastic toys, so I'd have to say, I'm not sure I would choose either one as a first choice.

That said, if I were given one or the other, I would choose the Little Tikes Activity Garden only because it offers more gross motor options. Kids at this age need more practice with managing their bodies, so the doorways, etc offer more. And like WildWoman suggested, I'd try to find a used one.

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answers from Santa Barbara on

I got the Laugh and Learn used for $30 and then when I was done (2 kids and a missing flower later), I sold it for $18. That's a lot better than close to $100 after tax.

If either is available used, consider it. Play with the item to make sure the sounds work. The shapes are easy to replace, since I happen to have other toys with compatible shapes.

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answers from Wausau on

Little Tikes stuff lasts for-ev-er. We bought an outdoor climber/slide structure at a yard sale for $40 (retailed around $120) then sold it six years later for $40! It was still in perfect condition after all that time.

The Activity Center is just right for your baby's age, but has a very limited lifespan. If you can find it second hand, then I'd go that route. Your baby doesn't care if it comes in a box or not.


answers from Hartford on

We just did a few small reasonable things that our babies could actually enjoy at that age. Don't buy into the hype that you HAVE TO get the activity centers that they can really only play with for a few months. Don't buy into the hype that you HAVE TO buy huge and expensive gifts when the baby will be perfectly happy with being clothed, fed, snuggled, and with some soft books that include soft photo albums, plus a few soft hand-held toys that have a chance at becoming loveys. Use this as a chance to buy needed clothing, blankets, bedding, or a hand held stick blender so that you can puree homemade food for him.

In other words... NEEDS over extravagant deeds.



answers from Jackson on

get the laugh and learn playhouse or if you can find it get the laugh and learn barn. they will last for future kids and this baby will actually like it until nearly 3 yrs old! they are worth every penny!



answers from Washington DC on

Honestly, when my dd was that age, I just bought a few inexpensive cloth books. Kids have no idea what is going on at that age! They won't remember it either!


answers from Houston on

Nothing big just a large cheap plastic car that he pushes on the floor while crawling. The years to come will be time to spend.

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