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This is one of those toys that looks amazing in the box and in the pictures and you think you'll forever be a terrible parent if you don't buy it.
I bought it for my daughter's first birthday - with a price tag of £40 it's not something you can really have as an impulse buy. I set it up the night before, once she'd gone to bed, and it took me almost an hour - complete with cursing, sweating and a large glass of wine at the end of it all.
It's a brightly coloured tent with a lot of plastic tubes so you can drop balls in and they'll drop from one moving cup to another, or go round and around a helter-skelter type thing, or on the third wall there's a series of tubes to store the balls in. Some of the balls make noises, which is also pretty cool, and the front wall has a big door with a bell so the child can sit in and play inside. The storage-type tubes have little locked doors at the bottom with keys made of different shapes, so the child can unlock at will.
The baby likes this toy, which is the main thing I suppose - because I hate it. It took ages to put together because it's flimsy, and it refuses to stay together because it's flimsy. I'm forever reattaching ball chutes. Also, ours was put together a bit weirdly in the pre-connected bits, so the big feet that make the bottom sturdy aren't all flat to the ground.
I can see us getting to the stage where we don't bother replacing the tubes all the time, which will mean this toy doesn't get played with. A shame since it was £40 - but live and learn.
This toy is one i spotted and knew i wanted to buy straight away, but needed to wait till an appropriate occasion as it was about £40 and not one to just rush out and get. We chose to give it to my 2nd child for his 1st birthday.
The idea behind the toy is that it is suitable for a baby who can sit or can stand. It is quite a large tent, and it has a number of activities for toddlers. There are 3 solid sides to it, and a side that opens.
The green side has plastic tracks that run along the inside and outside of the tent that the ballrolls along. The yellow side has 5 holes that you can put a ball through and it collects in a tube on the outside of the tent. You can retrieve it by opening a door with a key. Each key has a different shape. The orange side has what i would describe as cups on the outside. You place the ball on the top cup, and the weight of it makes the cup tip and the ball drops to the bottom. The front door has a bell that jingles as you knock against it.
In principle, this is a great toy for a toddler. It is very entertaining for them to have a place of their own to play. It is lovely looking, and very bright.
In reality for me though, my first issue with it is it is huge. It is supposed to collapse flat, but i found that flat is not that flat, and it was hard to find somewhere to keep it. The plastic bits on the outside for running the balls down on 2 of the sides (green and yellow sides) constantly came off, and i grew very weary of fixing it.
Also, 2 children who are toddlers find it hard to fit in the tent, and this leads to lots of pulling it about, and i don't find it is hard wearing enough for the job quite honestly.
I am about to send this toy to be recycled as i am thoroughly fed up of it. The poles that run around the bottom pull out too easily and my children use them as swords. Lethal if they poke each other in the eye.
I did think about gluing the toy into an assembled position, but this huge toy would then be permanently up somewhere in the house.
I loved it at first, but it isn't going to be great if you have 2 children with a small age gap.
I've probably just painted my kids like monsters, but they are just normal boys who can get a bit boisterous. I would not say they had been overly rough with it when they first got it and it fell apart easily. It is the only toy they have got that has been broken.
I am a bit disappointed to be honest because i think of Tomy as being a really good make, and the price of it is high for it to just end up being binned.
Please note this review is for the Deluxe version.
My daughter received this as a Christmas gift when she was 10 months old. At first I thought it was great, she loved sitting inside of it and putting the balls through the holes (I kept the little doors open for her) as well as reaching to ring the bell. Then she started playing around the outside of it and reaching to put the balls through the ball chutes which kept on coming off. This got very frustrating, so in the end we didn't even bother placing the ball chutes back on. This leaves a tent with holes which doesn't get played much with anymore. The last little trick that my daughter learnt was how to remove the long plastic sticks which keeps the canvas in shape at the bottom; which is really not safe.
Overall this discovery dome is fine for very young children in my opinion; from when they can sit so around 6 months until they start walking. Don't expect to be able to use the ball chutes either as more than likely yours won't stay clipped in either (from reading other reviews on Amazon you can see I'm not the only one with this problem.)
My daughter was bought the Tomy Discovery Dome Playgym for her first birthday and she loved it from the minute it was up.
The dome is essentially a tent with lots of extra fun bits and most importantly the ability to be folded away flat for easy storage.
It was very simple to put together just a few clips here and there. It has four sides each with a different activity on and a plastic roof. It can be a little flimsy if you do not put the roof on but once this is clipped on it is fairly solid and has withheld my daughter and her two nieces all playing in it together at one time.
One side of the tent has a curved doorway above which is a light. Another side has a ball run where your baby pops a bill in at the top and it rolls down coming in and out of the tent. Another side has ball holders, your little one pops the balls in the tubes and then to get them out they need to open the bottom of the holder. These are locked, to unlock them they have a set of plastic keys each with a different shape to them. They have to match the shape to the lock in order to get their balls out. The other side has three different shaped mirrors and a rain window with lots of little beads in to make lots of noise.
The tent comes with its own plastic balls and needed 2 AA batteries for the light to work.
This best thing for a parent is that the whole tent folds down flat. You simply pop the roof and feet off, pop a button and it all folds down. The next time you need it all you need to do is open it up, secure the clip and pop the roof and feet on. The whole things takes no more than a couple of minutes.
My daughter played with this tent for years and it was a hit with all her cousins right up to a 7 year old. We actually only get rid of it because an adult fell on to it and broke one of the main plastic legs otherwise I am sure it will still be here with us.
They retail around £30 so they aren't cheap but we definitely got our moneys worth out of it. The only problem I ever had was trying to wedge mummy in there too!
The name of the toy in the picture is Tommy discovery dome not an aqua draw
This is a great toy my daughter had one brought her for her 1st bday and loves playing with it. There is so much to do on this tent as my older daughter calls it.
It's so easy to put together it took about 5 mins all in all.
The dome combines fun and development at the same time so the child doesn't know they are learning.
Each wall has its own actives
Wall 1 as you enter the ten you have a ring which you can pull that turns a light on that's it on this wall as not much space as this is where you enter
Wall 2 has 5 tubes on the outside which are different colours, are different lengths and numbered, also on the outside is a knob for the keys to hang up on. On the inside you have 5 holes to put the balls in which are the same colours of the tubes and there are doors which have different shapes where you will need the keys to open them these are all the same colour so the child learns which shape and colour goes together.
Wall 3 this side has mirrors and a plastic bit that spins round with loads of little beads in both these are on the front and back.
Wall 4 this has a tube which goes from top to bottom inside and outside you but the ball at the top and watch it go round and collect it at the bottom.
It has big feet so it stays stable on the floor, and has a rack that goes on top to stop the tent falling onto the child. It also has the lion mark which is a symbol to prove it has been approved my safety standards. It is suitable for 1 year olds and over
Will require 2 AA batteries for light to work. The price was about £29.99 but when i looked on sites so i could suggest it i could not find i ended up lookin g on ebay so please do look as it was loads cheaper on there.
I highly recommend this toy to anyone looking at buying this as both my children love playing with it and my older daughter is 6 so it must be good because she will play with her little sister for hours if this toy is out.
This is an amazing, colourful playhouse thats packed with fascinating activities for your little explorer to discover.