Why we bought the VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube
The words “activity” and “learning” adorn most baby products, and this one is no exception. But despite the lofty promise of the product label, the name was not the deciding factor. Instead, the purchase was driven by an emerged feeling of anxiety that our daughter needed more engaging toys to develop her skill-set (it’s anyone’s guess what skills future job markets will require).
The activity cubes often came up in lists of top-ten-baby-toys-lists that Google found for us. The VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube consistently made it to the top lists, and 29,000+ Amazon reviewers have awarded it with an impressive average of 5 stars.
What is the VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube?
It’s a cubic toy with buttons and features on five sides (which, according to the opening song, are all “fun for everyone”). Not sure that’s true, but for babies, at least the two sides with buttons are pretty entertaining, and one of them is also fun for would-be music producers who never quite made it (or had the talent). The other sides have flippable pictograms and other features that do not make as great a job at attracting user attention.
Pushing the buttons on the top of the cubic plays various songs and sounds. Some of them are educational (teaching about shapes and animals), and there is even quizzes built-in (what animal makes this sound “woof woof”?)
This feature extends the usability and development stages it’s relevant for – a nice addition to the otherwise mostly musical toy.
VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube Price & quality
For the number of hours, it has kept our daughter entertained, the sub-$20 price seems reasonable (it works out at a few cents an hour). It continues to amuse her and keep her busy “learning through activity.”
A medium level of brutality has not stopped the little cube from ticking along. It’s fairly plasticky, but very sturdy too, and we expect it to last at least through one active user cycle, and perhaps it can even be handed down. Other reviewers have come to the same conclusion, and the low price, level of entertainment, and built quality are the most cited reasons.
Parent annoyance level
The Busy Learners Activity Cube is pretty high up on the scale of parent annoyance. While the repertoire of song and sounds are decent, the time spent pushing the cubes’ buttons (and ours) results in parents being exposed to the same short tunes upwards hundreds of times a day. However, if the alternative is your little one emptying cupboards, screaming to get your attention, or climbing something tall, then the repetitiveness of the cubic sounds is likely still very much worth it.
VTech Busy Learners Activity CubeReview Verdict
In our review of the VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube, we find that the price, the durability, and the features that keep babies coming back for months (of their development stages) make VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube a clear winner and gets our strong buy recommendation. 29,000 Amazonians – and we – probably can’t be wrong.
Alternatives to the VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube
A few similar activity cubes are available, but none that we like as much as the VTech. For a real alternative to the VTech, you need to go old school and forget about blinking buttons and (parent-maddening) sounds and songs. If you want to go wooden, we highly recommend the following activity cubes:
Play 22 Wooden Activity Cube
This is probably more like you remember an activity cube. Wooden and without any circuit boards. It’s a great alternative and almost guaranteed to last generations.
Battat Large Wooden Animal Activity Cube
The Battat Activity Cube is a step up in both size, features – and price. If you can afford it, this is our pick. It’ll last as long as the Play 22 but offers more entertainment and playtime longevity.