Product Type: VTech baby products
Newest Review: ... wheels, the front of the walker is a detachable panel covered in buttons/a phone/lights etc, this comes off the front of the walker so b... more
Great toy, useless first walker!
VTech First Steps Baby Walker Plus
Member Name: Red51
VTech First Steps Baby Walker Plus
Advantages: Lots of activities to entertain baby of a range of ages
Disadvantages: Walker moves too fast & needs some traction on the wheels
We bought this walker for my daughter for Christmas, as she was 6 months we thought we'd better get prepared for the impending learning to walk. I likes this walker as it had a removable electronic "learning pad" that she can play with until she can pull herself up.
~ Cost and Availability ~
This walker is by Vtech and is available almost anywhere that sells toys. It retails for around £25, however, we purchased this from Amazon in November for just under £20.
~ The Toy ~
The walker comes in two colours, I have the normal yellow walker with red handle & blue legs, however you can get a pink version which is more girly. My friend has the pink one and it is exactly the same, just a different colour.
The walker was relatively easy to set up, just a few clicks and its set up. On the battery door it is designed to use a 2p to unscrew, instead of having to root for a screw driver on Christmas morning, which is very handy.
The walker takes 3 AA batteries, so relatively cheap compared to some of the toys I have that take C or D, which cost a fortune & we never have any handy at home. We are still on our first set of batteries after over 4 months of nearly daily use.
The "learning pad" is easily removed from the walker unit and can be used on the floor or propped up against something so smaller children can play with it. At Christmas my daughter had only be sitting unaided for a few weeks so didn't have the best of balance, so I placed the pad on a cushion on her lap so she could reach and play. Now she is much more mobile and she can easily reach over at the buttons when it is laid flat on the floor.
The pad consists of a number of buttons each providing different sounds. There is a switch where there are two noise levels. I normally have it on low, as it can get a bit grating after a while. Starting at the top:
- There is a button in the shape of a puppy, which when pressed says "puppy says ...". This is more for older children to interact than my daughter, however, it will assist in vocabulary and recognising body parts i.e. clap your hands, stomp your feet etc
- There are 3 brightly coloured cogs, which can be twiddled with and turned. My daughter loves this part and always manoeuvres herself to this part when she is playing with it. When I was with my friend and her daughter they were sitting at either side of the pad and were both flicking the cogs against each other. When they are moved they say "twisting, turning around and around".
- On the right side there is a detachable telephone, which has rattling balls inside it. This never stays on the toy very long as is easily removed, but has nothing to keep it connected to the pad, so often gets put into the toy box with the other rattles. My daughter loves shaking anything that makes a noise, so this is another good separate toy. She is not old enough to understand role play & phones yet, however, does think it's funny when I hold it up to my ear and talk into it, then hold it to hers. It is a good size and shape her for little hands to practice passing from hand to hand. When you put the phone back onto the pad it says "well done", this will probably teach older children to put the toy back once played with, however, at the moment my daughter just likes to flick the button sensor on the pad separately, but it says "well done" anyway.
- on the left side there is a butterfly, which one of its wings flips over, changing the rest of the learning pad between numbers and letters to music. When you flip it over it makes a jingling noise.
- There is a group of 4 buttons numbered, in different colours and shapes. When the butterfly is on the letters/numbers side, when the buttons presses it says either 1-4 or blue square etc. This is also to develop recognition and vocabulary. When the butterfly is on music, it plays different types of music i.e. "jazz it up" or "rock and roll". My daughter loves music so she loves this, and bats away at them.
- along the bottom are 5 keys, like keyboard keys. When the butterfly is on letters/numbers it has a-e in phonetic "ahh" and says "a is for apple" - then the sound of an apple crunching. This is good for vocabulary and letter recognition, however can get a little annoying after a while, so we flick the butterfly over to the music option & it then becomes a 5 note keyboard C to G. My daughter loves to play with the keyboard and make music & I'm sure this will be a popular toy for a while to come. I also have tried to work out different song you can play with the 5 notes, which is surprisingly quite a lot!
The walker is my main concern with this toy, it is quite sturdy and doesn't look like it will topple over sideways, however, the wheels are completely free rolling which means there is no traction against the baby's movement when trying to walk, so I find that the walker just runs away with itself and leaves baby laying face down on the floor. My friend whose daughter is a little older than mine & a bit more steady on her feet & she agreed that the walker wasn't good when her little girl was trying to learn to walk, however, now she can do a few steps on her own and has better balance she is quite happy for her daughter to use it. It is probably good for those baby's who are capable of walking on their own, but are too scared to let go of anything.
~ Conclusion ~
This is one of my daughters favourite toys to play with the "learning pad" however, as she is only just learning to walk it is not the best one available & I would not class it as "first steps". However in a few months when she is more confident in walking I feel that this would be more suitable.
Summary: Great entertaining toy, however, not much use for baby's that are only just learning to walk