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We have the slightly older version of this toy as pictured above, but there is absolutely no difference except a slight differentiation on the design.
We bought 'Mr Sun' (as we named him) back in 2006 for our now five year old daughter. We love the make VTech, so settled on this pretty quickly to be her main play gym. We paid about £25.99 from Gamleys- which of course has since gone into administration.
Mr Sun is a very friendly moving toy sun, accompanied by bees and birds either side of him. The bees have a rolling barrel under them and the birds have three rattly rings. All are fully 'whackable,' but even though the sun moves, it is harder to reach.
Mr Sun plays music such as 'You Are My Sunshine' and so on a few times over before finishing. If your baby whacks the birds or bees, a friendly voice sings and new lullabies begin. If the sun is pushed, a magical sound emits from him as well as the lullaby he is playing. His face goes from side to side too, which I have found 50% of babies are scared of! Luckily neither of my kids have been frightened.
Mr Sun is very sturdy and sits of wide legs so is very difficult to knock over. He isn't huge so fits snugly into the car boot. He is also very easy to assemble, but not so easy to disassemble. However, I haven't ever had the need to take him apart.
He is very colourful and has a volume button, as well as an on/off button which can be a Godsend for parents! he also has two settings; one is the music in which I have described above, and one if a chatting setting which plays a little music but mainly talks about the birds and bees; no not that sort!
I still have Mr Sun. he is the grand old age of five years old now and still going strong. he has never broken, rusted, chipped or split.
A highly recommended toy that lasts forever!
This light up baby arch is designed for babys age 0 to 12 months, it cost me £19.99 which i think was very good value for money concidering the hours of entertainment it brings.
As you can see from the picture above the majority of this toy is made from plastic which is hard wearing and easy to wipe clean, the blue feet on either side are very sturdy and help to stop your baby from pulling the gym over when they first learn to sit up and the toys in the middle are lots of fun,
There is a blue triangle with bees on it and a roller toy on the bottom of it, a circular sun and a square with birds on it and three movable rings attached to the bottom of it.
It is easy to assemble and small enough to be stored away when you are not using it without it taking up half of your house like some toys can.
The height on the toys can be adjusted to higer them as baby begins to develop more to encourage baby to lift them selves up to reach the toys to help with strengthening there muscles, each toy can be pulled or kicked to play a different song or say a different phrase so is lots of fun for a young child and keeps there attention well.
There is a red, blue and yellow light on the arch that light up and so does the sun which also moves from side to side with the music, this is the first thing that will attract your babys attention at a very young age before they are capable of taking much notice of anything else.
This gym is not just a good way of keeping your baby entertained for a while wholst you get 5 mins to your self but it also teached your child motor skills at the same time as strengthening there muscles so is educational and fun.
There is a volume control button for parents on this so it isnt an irritating toy like some can be, it comes with 3xaa batteries included but they didnt last very long in ours but the replacements we used were a lot better so it isnt too hard on batteries, i would recomend this gym to anyone with a very young baby as it is so much fun for them to play with.
Baby gyms and play arches seem to be the must have toys of new parents. In our quest to stimulate our newborns we must spend a small fortune between us on all manner of educational toys. Are they worth it? Are we actually encouraging our children to be lazy and entertained rather than amusing themselves?
My husband and I made a decision before our son was born that any toys had to enable the child to interact, encouraging creative play, rather than the kind of toys that play with themselves when switched on. I had assumed, therefore, that if we were to invest in such a product it would not have flashing lights, would not play annoying music and would not have self-moving parts. So, how did I come to buy the V-tech arch and do I regret it?
In short it was recommended by my sister and no I dont regret it.
The arch is very simple. Two hanging targets, one with pictures of birds, the other bees (what is it with birds and bees on kids toys?) and a central sun with a huge smiley face on it. The sun rotates from side to side and lights up. Three additional light panels are located on the top of the arch and these flash on and off in a seemingly random fashion. The music that accompanies all of this is best described as popular tunes such as You are my sunshine, Yankee Doodle and Can-Can all played, sans words, in a tinny fashion.
For all of its simplicity this is a rather clever purchase. I have been surprised at how the arch has grown with my son, or should that be, how my son has grown with the arch? For the younger child the lights and movement of the sun provides visual stimulation. As the child grows the hanging targets start to feel the full force of the childs swipe as the child learns to reach out. The targets make a satisfying rattling sound as they are hit, and, if hit hard enough, the sound of birds or bees can be heard! The height of the targets can be adjusted to suit the size of the child. At about 3 months my son then found out that he could catch hold of the targets and subject them to closer scrutiny. This does mean that he now rarely gets to hear the added sound effects of the birds or bees but you can really see him taking the detail of the pictures in.
All of the above interaction has been whilst using the continuous play mode. There is also a child-led mode where the sounds are only activated upon the child hitting the targets such that they are triggered. In the child-led mode not only do you get the songs that appear in the continuous-play mode, but also some rather cute ditties which help teach the child colours and numbers. Despite my son now being more manually adept we have not found the child-led mode to be as successful. The targets need to be hit in such a way that they make a plastic tab move. As the targets are suspended with webbing strips this is not actually as easy for the child as it could be as they can be hit sideways and not trigger the sounds. I suspect that as my son grows he will outgrow the arch before he is able to hit the targets straight! However, as the continuous play mode is so successful, this alone would not put me off recommending the arch.
My sons eyes genuinely light up when he sees the arch and he can often be seen looking for it in the room. If he wants to play it does mean that I can have 15 or so minutes where he will be sufficiently occupied to do some of those must do jobs: a god-send for any parent.
Batteries are the bane of every parents life. The arch takes 3 AA batteries and we have found that rechargeables will give around 10 hours use. Thats really not that bad. The batteries are housed in a sealed compartment that can be undone with a 2p piece quite useful that a screwdriver is not required. A warning that the batteries are running low is the arch repeating itself in an unusual manner and, finally, it will just give up the ghost.
The arch is easy to construct, the plastic pieces just slotting easily together (with a couple of screws to tighten). Unfortunately, once together it doesn't all come completely apart (least we couldn't do it) and so it can be a bit bulky to store.
This arch is everything I said I didnt want for my child yet, in conjunction with more personally interactive play it has certainly won me over. It is genuinely enjoyed by my son and allows me a loo break without the house being screamed down. Yes, the music is annoying but there is a sufficient repertoire for me not to worry that much!
Available from Argos at around £20 this comes recommended.
Strengthen babys muscles and mind with this fun packed activity gym. Kick and pull the adjustable characters for fun phrases and to hear classic melodies. See the lights flash and the light-up friendly sun move from side to side along with the sounds. Di