Product Type: VTech baby products
Newest Review: ... with it just now, posting them through the holes and is learning how to climb on it, and so far it has held his interest well and encourage... more
Lets ride the alphabet train!
VTech Ride-On Alphabet Train
Member Name: taramorg23
VTech Ride-On Alphabet Train
Advantages: Fun, educational and entertaining
Disadvantages: Nothing major
Even though this toy is recommended for 12 months and over I bought it for my 8 month old daughter after she had been playing with her older cousins for the past two months. It was on offer in Smyths for £29.99 instead of a R.R.P of £39.99.
The train requires 3 x AA batteries.
The train consists of two parts the engine part which is yellow with bright green wheels. On the one side of the engine is a 14 page alphabet book, four slots for the alphablocks, 4 flashing LED lights in different colours, 5 coloured buttons with numbers printed on, an elephant train driver which can be spun around and pressed, a slot for pushing through the alphablocks and a handle for when the train is in walking mode. The second part of the train is the carriage which is red and blue with green wheels. Inside the carriage is where the alphablocks are stored.
The train can be used in three ways as a sit down toy, a walker and a ride on.
The train needs to be switched on using the on/off switch on the engine. It has two modes the ride on or walker mode and the sit down mode. There is also a volume switch at the back of the train which has two levels. We always have ours on loud as on the quieter mode the music isn't loud enough in my opinion. The sit down mode is mainly what my daughter uses at the moment. When the train is in this mode it plays a little jingle when turned on and sings the alphabet. In this mode the book which is waterproof and rip proof can be turned by your baby. When the pages are turned you will see that there are 4 letters of the alphabet on each page and a picture of an item starting with that letter. The train will sing about each item on the page saying 'a is for apple a, a, a, b is for ball b, b, b' and so on. This mode encourages your baby to try to place the corresponding alphablock in each slot. The alphablocks are small coloured rectangles which have a letter of the alphabet printed on the one side and a picture of the item starting with that letter on the other side. The blocks have a different pattern on the bottom of each one so when they are placed in one of the four slots the train recognises the block and will state the letter and then ask your child to turn the block over to see the picture that corresponds with that letter. The train also encourages your child to look for the blocks and place them in the slots, it will ask them for example to 'find the octopus' or 'find the block with the letter 'O'. When a block is place in the slot the coloured light next to the block witll flash. The lights are bright and there is a red, blue, orange and green light. The train will also link the words on the page together so for example it states 'the monkey likes to eat the nut' as both of those letters are on the same page. At the top of the engine is a slot through which you can push the alphablocks and they go down a chute into the carriage. It doesn't matter if the blocks are placed in at an angle as the hole is big enough for them to pass through. The train also makes a pinging noise as they pass through the chute. The enigne also has 5 coloured buttons which when pressed either say 1,2,3 etc, the colour of the button or sometimes they play Do-Re-Mi. The elephant driver can be twisted and pressed he responds by making an elephant noise and asking your child to 'ride the alphabet train'
As my daughter is only 8 months she doesn't understand the concept of finding the blocks and placing them in the slot, come to think of it my nephew who is 18 months can't do this either he simply places them in randomly. My daughter can however with a little help place the blocks in the slot. She can turn the pages of the book herself, pull out the blocks and press the elephant and the coloured buttons. For some reason she is really taken by this toy and everytime I have sat her in front of it she will happily play for a long time longer than with any other toys I have bought for her. The blocks are lightweight for her to hold and the buttons are easy to press. We also sit and play with it together she loves to pull the blocks out once I have placed them in and generally I think she likes the voice. It is a female english voice which is cheerful and makes her smile!
In other modes the train can be used as a ride on. In the picture above you can see that there is a handle on the engine. Your baby can sit on the carriage which and hold the handle while you either push them around on the train or if they are older they can use their feet to push themselves. In this mode you can switch the button so that the train will play through a series of 10 songs as your child rides. The train also makes a 'choo choo' sound. You can still place blocks in the slots and press the buttons and the train will still recognise the block in the slot. The songs are recognisable they have 'I've been working on the railroad' and other classics which make you hum madly all day or sing along to as it's playing. My daughter has been able to sit confidently for a few months now and she will sit on the train and allow us to push her along. Comparing her to my older nephew he can only now push himself along even though he has been walking confidently for a few months.
Finally the train can be used as a walker. You can detach the carriage using a sliding button on the back of the train. Your child can then use the handle on the train engine to push the train around. It has a motion sensor so will continue to play as your child moves it around the room. We haven't got this far yet but i'm sure it won't be long.
The only bad points if I can call them that are some of the words on the blocks, they have Q for quilt rather that the usual queen, P for pail which looks like a bucket and is not really a word even as an adult I use. Also it can be difficult at times to separate the carriage from the engine and it does at times need a firm yank to part them!
On the plus side this is a really entertaining toy that would suit young children up to about 3 years of age. It teaches alphabet, colours, numbers and songs as well as encouraging walking in older babies. The batteries also last for ages, we have been using this daily for about 8 weeks and the batteries are still going strong.
I really like this toy it feels robust and is well made. Even with the minor niggles I would still give it 5 out of 5. We really love it!
Summary: A fun toy for your little one
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