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I bought my son this activity table when he was 8 months old, I had seen it selling in Asda for £35 before Christmas last year, and then in the sales for £25. I then found it a couple of weeks after Christmas in my local ASDA reduced even further to £16!
My son loved this toy as soon as I got it out of the box. He was just starting to sit up at the time, and I sat him in front of this table and he was so happy playing with it! This was really easy to put up, even I could do it and I usually leave things like that to my other half! All you do is put the legs onto the table, which just click in.
The table is sturdy, but still very lightweight to pick up and take to other rooms. This really helped my little boy go from sitting to standing as he would always try and pull himself up to standing my using this table, and would lean on it once stood up and play.
There are lots of different activities on this little table, but they are only really for very young children to play with. My son is now 20 months old, and this table went up into the loft about 3 months ago as he didn't bother with it anymore. Nothing interested him anymore, as he has already worked out how to do everything, and there wasn't much to keep him entertained anymore.
This table has a hippo head which talks when you open and shut it, but my son quickly worked out he could pull this off the table, and as soon as you put it back on again, he would pull it straight back off!
There is a little piano which says colours or plays a piano tune, a roller to spin, a tiger which you can pull the tail on to make different sounds, which was one of my sons favourite parts when he was younger. It makes animals sounds and he loved pulling the tail and listening to the different sounds.
It also has a monkey and some rings to play with, and in the middle is a small book, and when you turn the page it sets everything on the activity table to a different setting where it will play different tunes and sounds.
My son loved playing with this table regularly when he was younger, and then he just loved to climb on top of it and climb over it once he reached about 12 months, and then never actually took any interest in the activities, so it is now in the loft in case I have another baby! I would recommend this table, it is easy to clean, but not easy to store as the legs don't come off once you have put them on, so it's not ideal for traveling, but it's great for young children, and if you can get it for a decent price, it's definitely worth having!
Now that my young son has taken to pulling himself up on anything he can reach it's opened up a world of new sights and sounds for him to explore. He's not quite at the stage of walking yet but has good arm and length strength and can quite happily stand with a little support from me holding his hands. The Bright Starts Activity table was something I bought for him quite a while ago, the idea behind it being that it would catch his attention sooner or later and be something for him to explore once he got used to kneeling up on his own.
This particular Activity Table is jungle-themed, made from durable plastic and is bright and eye catching in his bedroom. I paid a little under £20 when it was on sale instore at Asda but prices do seem to vary with some stores charging £35.00 so is definitely worth shopping around as savings can be made if it's bought from the right place. The table is packaged in a large, colourful cardboard box and simply comprises the table itself and its 3 legs which slot in place on the underside of the table itself. Once batteries are installed (it needs 3 AA batteries to activate the lights and sounds) and switched on the various rattles and things of interest on the table itself react to being moved and touched and produce phrases and songs along with lots of visually stimulating light effects. There is a volume control located on the top of the table which is a handy function, at it's loudest setting the table can be rather annoying as it does repeat itself if a child plays with one particular part over and over again so I tend to have my son's on the lowest setting (mean dad that I am) The voice used is American in accent which is a usual bugbear of mine but tolerable all the same even if she can get a bit annoying when she starts repeating herself endlessly.
My son doesn't care about the accent though, the only thing he's interested in is how much fun the table is and how much havoc he can create when he plays with it. From my point of view as an adult looking at the table I think it's rather basic really, there are 4 keys of a keyboard which, as you'd expect, produce musical notes when they are pressed but I don't think they're very clear and not all that tuneful. They're fine for a baby or toddler to bash about a bit but I don't think they are particularly responsive and there is sometimes a delay from pressing them to the note playing. Similarly the clear plastic 'rattle' that contains tiny beads is rather hit and miss at producing any music when it is played with and I find that my son soon loses interest with this part and moves on to the hippo who's mouth open and closes to the sound of a swannee whistle. The Hippo head is probably my son's favourite part of the table as he likes the sound it makes when the head is lifted and dropped, however it's not very sturdy and if my son is being particularly boisterous he can easily snap the head off - this isn't too much of a problem as it slots back into place easily enough but I do think it could have been made a little better and be a little more robust.
The monkey rattle is rather pointless, the plastic pieces do move but they don't do a lot so my son barely gives them a second look, the same can be said for the cat who's tail can be moved - again it's rather limited in providing much in the way of interest and is generally overlooked by my son. The page-turning 'book' in the middle of the table is quite good though and along with the Hippo's head are the things my son seems to concentrate on most of all and are the things he plays with on the table. Given that the book is in the centre of the table it means my son has to stand and lean to be able to reach, I like this as it gives him a 'goal' and he knows now that if he stands up he can reach it - good in the respect that it encourages him to pull up and stand but very bad for me as it means I have to watch him like a hawk as he has the tendency to topple over if he gets too distracted.
Sturdiness wise I think the table is OK, it could have been better I think as it does have quite a lot of movement and given that it only has 3 legs it makes it rather too easy to topple over. Some rubber or 'grippy' feet might have been a good idea especially if the child you are buying the table for doesn't have much co-ordination (like my son) but I know it's something that he will grow into a little more once he's mastered the art of walking. My only concern then will be how interesting he will find the table as at the moment there are a couple of bits on it that he likes but I do think they have quite limited long -lasting appeal and other than being something to pull up upon I don't think it's going to be something he's going to want to play with for months or years to come.
The age guidelines for the table state that it's suitable for ages 6-36 months. I can't see how much appeal a 3 year old would have for it as I do think it's rather 'basic' and could have been made a lot more interesting and involving for a child. For the very young though I don't think it's too bad though it's not something I'd rate particularly highly and can't say that I would give it a glowing recommendation here.
All in all for the price I paid for my son's I think it's OK, it's well made, bright and colourful and does play tunes and makes a variety of noises. The volume is adjustable and the table is light enough to move around quite easily, whether it will have much in terms of long-lasting appeal I doubt but for now it's providing my son some interest and encourages him to stand and lean. For £20 I don't think it's a bad price, £35 is too expensive for it in my opinion but if it can be found at the cheaper price then I'd say it's worth taking a chance on. It looks good, is very easy to put together and not a battery-eater so from me it gets a middle of the road 3 stars as a rating; not great, not terrible, simply average.
Thanks for reading my review.