“ Brand: Bright Starts / Type: „
My daughter received this activity station as a Christmas gift when she was 3 months old and began using it regularly at 5 months old, albeit standing on a telephone directory, as her feet did not touch the ground!
The table contains an array of different toys to keep her amused, she has never got bored with it. Probably her favourite part is the keyboard with five light up keys with picture of jungle animals on, which has a little plastic book above it. When the pages of the book are turned, the keyboard switches to different functions - for example talking animals matching the picture on that key, a basic musical scale and a different lively tune when each key is pressed.
Right next to the keyboard is another firm favourite, a large fish with a small pull-out and retracting fish in it's mouth. My daughter loves this feature and it was the first activity that she properly got to grips with.
Then there is a water filled pat table with a chunky button on either side that when pressed makes the fishes in the water "swim".
Another firm favourite comes next - a purple spinning dolphin. Then the snack tray with a cup holder above it. My daughter loves this and will happily stand next to the snack tray until everything in it has been eaten. The cup holder is quite narrow and only one cup that we have actually fits into it.
A squeaky toucan on a perch is next, followed by another great favourite - a whale which when pulled makes the three fish on a wheel behind it spin around. Next to this on the same panel are two bobbing dolphins and a small arch goes over the whole panel with three small spinning toys on it.
For those early days, there is a detachable seat unit that glides around the whole table on two chunky legs with large plastic wheels. The seat also swivels from side to side within the seat unit itself, so when the child starts to move around the table, they are not side stepping, but can walk properly. The seat itself is a removable fabric panel that can be machine washed. It is attached by hooking fabric loops on the fabric over plastic notches on the plastic seat unit. I found attaching the fabric to the seat unit quite tricky the first time as it gets difficult because the fabric is pulled so tight by the time you come to the last loop or two.
Once my daughter started to pull herself up to stand and became grumpy when placed in the seat, we decided it was time to remove the seat unit altogether. She still loves to cruise around the table using the toys and I think she will continue to do so for a long time yet.
This is a large table when the seat is attached, and yes it is expensive at full price (my parents bought it with £30 off on Amazon), but if you have room this activity table is great value for money when you consider that most sit in only tables are pretty much rendered redundant once the child outgrows the seat.
The Tropical Fun Around We Go from Bright Starts is an innovative alternative to the basic activity station. At the centre is a mushroom shaped activity table and connected to the base is a seat which enables your baby to turn 360 degrees as well as the circumference of the table. The seat has two settings to adjust as your baby grows.
The activity table consists of a water-filled, starfish shaped pad with small shell, fish and starfish shapes floating within the liquid. Either side of this pad are two shell shaped buttons, which not only squeak when pressed, but also cause the fluid within the pad and subsequently the little shapes contained in it, to move.
Moving anticlockwise around the table we then come to a translucent purple dolphin, elevated on a seaweed-shaped stand. The dolphin is filled with small, colourful beads and spins around on its stand, with the beads causing it to rattle as it moves.
Next is a bright yellow snack tray with space for food and a cup holder. This tray can easily be removed for cleaning via two clips situated just above it. It is ideal for small snacks when playing and the seat can be locked into position to keep your baby at the tray.
Again moving anti-clockwise we then have a rather colourful toucan elevated by a perch. The toucan is soft and rubbery and squeaks when pressed.
The following feature is quite intricate. We have what resembles a pool of water and on the left there are two dolphins peeking just above the pool. When one is pressed down the other springs up and vice versa, making a loud clacking sound. Sitting to the right hand side of the dolphins are a trio of spinning fish and below is a whale on a runway. When the whale is moved along the runway the fish trio spin around. Finally, straddling this particular feature is an arch, which has a crocodile at the centre, an octopus to its left and a flower to its right. The crocodile will spin but will not move along the arch whereas the octopus and flower can be slid along.
Next we have a fish elevated on a seaweed-shaped stand. Attached to the fish's mouth is a smaller fish in a rubber ring. The smaller fish in the rubber ring can be pulled out on its string and the larger fish will then reel it in slowly, making a mechanical noise and flapping its tail as it does so.
The following feature is by far my son's favourite, and indeed mine too. It is a keyboard with five keys, each depicting an animal and the name of the animal beneath. The keys are all translucent colours and light up when pressed. Above the keyboard is a plastic book with two moveable pages creating three settings when turned. When flipped to the first page the keyboard will play basic keyboard sounds. When on the second page, the keys will state what colour they are when initially pressed, when pressed again they will say a short statement (i.e. the monkey states "I love to dance the Salsa") and when pressed a third time they will state which animal they depict. Finally on the third page each key will play a short piece of music.
The final feature on the activity table is a palm tree shaped figure. The outer leaves are a teething aid and filled with water. Just as with all of the elevated features this can be clipped off and so the water filled teether can be cooled in the fridge. Attached to the leaves is a purple monkey which swings from its tail. The centre piece of this palm tree has a picture of a bumble bee on one side and a mirror on the other.
The Bright starts Tropical Fun Around We Go is suitable for use from 4 months of age. Once your baby is more independently mobile, the outer seat can then be removed and the table used on its own. I purchased this product for my son when he was six months old. I acquired it from Amazon at £79.99 however it is also available from Mothercare and Babies R Us. It required some assembly and does contain screws at the base. The base itself was rather difficult to assemble as the moulding of each piece meant it did not sit together properly. I also found that when attaching the chair it was set to locking position and it took me a while to realise this. The rest was however assembled with relative ease.
My little boy has been in love with this from the very start. He very quickly learned to move himself around the table and was able to operate each feature, even rather surprisingly the whale on the runway from that age. The keyboard is as aforementioned his favourite feature and the very first time he danced, again at 6 months, was while he was playing the music on it!
The Around We Go has been invaluable for those short periods of time when I needed to catch up on a little housework or answer the door. Just as with any product like this it is advised to only use it in short bursts of say 10-20 minutes and should always be supervised.
At around 8, maybe 9 months old I had a rather nasty surprise when I turned away from my son for a brief second only to find he had pulled himself out of the seat, hitting his head on the floor. At that point I then knew that he had outgrown the seat and it would need to be removed. Admittedly I should have kept him within eyesight to prevent this from happening. From then on he continued to use the table and still is today. The table however is not entirely sturdy and my little boy finds it rather amusing to rock it until it tips over. Again very close supervision is needed!
It is relatively easy to clean as most parts will detach for washing and the base can be wiped clean. However I have found that a little debris has made its way beneath the keys on the keyboard.
Overall, when compared to similar products available, the Bright Starts Tropical Fun Around We Go is head and shoulders above the rest. It is priced the same as the average activity station and yet has so many features, an innovative seat and can be used right up to toddler age once the seat is clipped off. It offers a shelf life and value for money that others simply do not. I would whole heartedly recommend this product, however I would advise that it is always used under very close supervision.
Electronic piano plays 5 melodies and fun sounds in 3 modes. Interactive mirror, rattle and teether toys to entertain baby.