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The Casdon Sat Nav Steering wheel was one of the presents I bought my granddaughter for Xmas. I had noticed that she liked to pretend she was driving when sat in the back of the car and loved to use an umbrella as a gear stick. Also, my son had a driving wheel when he was a child and had many years of enjoyment. I remember one time his Dad's horn wouldn't work when he was driving in the Yorkshire Dales so my son used his toy one every time we went around a corner to bib the sheep.
The price was only £10 so I thought even if my granddaughter didn't care for the toy I hadn't wasted too much cash.
When the present was opened on Xmas Day my son seemed more excited than my granddaughter at first. He exclaimed, 'Sat Nav! Even we don't have Sat Nav. This is cool!' Obviously he remembered his own driving wheel. As there were lots of other toys to open on this day I think the driving wheel wasn't actually played with much.
Now, the wheel goes on every journey with my granddaughter and she loves the toy so I am pleased about this.
So let's have a look what you get for £10 although the price has altered now and is on Amazon at £11.24.
Casdon claim that this is the world's first toy Sat Nav Steering Wheel and it is certainly colourful to look at and looks like an imitation GPS system. The wheel is a hundred per cent plastic with the main colours, grey and red dominating. The Sat Nav is situated on the inner red wheel at the top and centrally placed.
The steering wheel can easily be placed on a child's knee when sat in a car child seat. It isn't very heavy at 703 gm and the dimensions are 11.4 x 21.6 x 43.2 cms. My granddaughter uses the wheel upright but you can adjust it so it leans backwards and at different angles. She had no difficulties in working it out - when the yellow start button is pressed the wheel makes a realistic revving sound and then as the child goes on his/her journey certain demands like turn left, speed up interact with the wheel.
The sounds of the Sat Nav (horn, engine sound, gear change and braking) are very realistic although I do think the horn could be a bit louder. Lights flash when the child presses the demand button to indicate and underneath the Sat Nav are three silver buttons which when pressed say; 'Going to the Supermarket, Going to the Garage to get Petrol and finally, Going to the Doctor's Surgery. Wherever your child decides to go as soon as the button is pressed the Sat Nav system lights up and shows directions on the map with a picture of each destination. (petrol pump for garage, shop for supermarket and a sign saying Doctor for doctor's surgery). The demands are in English which in theory is excellent as my granddaughter is being brought up bilingually (Polish and English). I will mention more about this later.
My granddaughter has had the steering wheel a month now and she really enjoys using it - her steering is very enthusiastic and rather manic but at all times there is a high degree of concentration on her face. The demands are loud and clear and she knows all of them off by heart if she can't yet pronounce them correctly. Her favourite is 'Going to the supermarket' but then she loves shopping for food with her Mum and likes to go through the whole shopping list while she is driving. I think it is rather cute how she always takes the wheel out of the car when she goes into the house or when she visits me. She is already tuned in to security and how not to leave things in the car. I hope she remembers this when she is older and goes travelling.
For £10 I think this steering wheel is good value and educational in the way it gives the child opportunities to become spatially aware and helps with literacy. I had read other reviews on Amazon which is where I purchased the wheel from, indicating that the grey plastic wheel and stem weren't strong enough and would either snap or not be very durable. I disagree here as I think it is very strong and unless it is thrown around I see no reason why this wheel won't last. I think the horn sound could be louder and there should be an indicator stalk so the child can move it into action and the appropriate clicking sounds be heard. The wheel itself moves easily and freely and like I have already mentioned the engine sounds are loud, clear and realistic.
If I have one grumble it is regarding the 3 destination choices on the Sat Nav - Supermarket, Garage and Doctor's Surgery. The replicated voice lacks clarity. As my granddaughter is learning to speak English it would be better if the words were pronounced clearly without a slurred sound.
The toy is aimed at children over the age of 3 years. My granddaughter is 2 years/ 9 months so I would say the recommendation is correct. Her responses to the demands are very quick which gives a positive comeback. Obviously, if a child responds slowly then the comeback will be negative and means the toy is too advanced for that child.
Overall, I think this is good value and my granddaughter gets a lot of pleasure from the toy. It will be interesting to see if Casdon develop a more advanced wheel for older children with more demands. If so, I hope the clarity will improve. Because of this clarity issue I am knocking off one star and awarding the steering wheel 4****
The steering wheel does need 3 x AA batteries although there were demo batteries in place on purchase.
There is an instruction leaflet explaining how the wheel can be adjusted different ways. This is easy to follow as there are diagrams showing in black and white.
Model Number 634
Purchased from Amazon.co.uk