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The pop up caterpillar is a surprisingly good buy. This is the sort of toy I would never pick off the shelf as it doesn't appear to have much to interest a baby. However, after having been given one of these, I can see that I was wrong.
The caterpillar is made of bright colourful plastic, is around 30 cm long and has three pop up flaps. Each flap is activated using one of the different coloured buttons which need to be pushed, turned or slid. When the correct action is chosen, the flap pops up to reveal a character. It can then easily be pushed back down to click it back into the closed position. It also has a squeaker sound when the nose is pressed.
My son became interested in this at around nine months of age but played with it up until around two years old. At first, the attraction was to push the flaps so that they spring back up again. Then he graduated to closing the flaps and bashing at all the buttons which would eventually make one of the flaps open. It took quite a while to master how to open each flap correctly (great for developing his fine motor skills) but once he had, he found it highly amusing to sit other small toys on the top of each flap and watch them fly off when the flap was activated. All in all, this simple toy has provided many hours of entertainment and has exceeded my expectations. The only downside to this toy is that it collects a bit of dust in the holes under the flaps but being all plastic, it is easily wiped clean.
The cheapest price I have seen for the caterpillar is around nine pounds (Asda) but it can be bought from most of the supermarkets, toy shops or online retailers. It does not need batteries so once bought there are no further costs. There are also various similar toys on the market. We also have a dinosaur egg version which is just as fun but slightly harder to operate.
When my son was first born, I found myself regularly buying toys for him, to keep him amused at about 4 months he got to the stage where he was interested in more than a rattle or teething ring to amuse himself.
I have to admit that there were times when I spent quite a while trawling the internet, reading toy reviews and trying to find the ultimate toy that would entertain my son, I soon realised that there is no ultimate toy it's all trial and error with toys, and every child is different. On one of my toy section visits I found the Fisher Prices Caterpillar pop up, I bought this in the toy section of Sainsbury's supermarket.
The caterpillar was packaged in the really hard clear packaging that is even hard to get into using a pair of scissors; however I eventually managed to open the packaging using a pair of scissors and without injuring myself. Due to the packaging of the product I wasn't able to completely try out the toy in the store (as I usually do) only the head of the toy was exposed. I was a little apprehensive about whether or not my son would be interested in the caterpillar, as It didn't seem to do much, but I got my toy fix and bought it anyway.
What it consists of
It's a large (for a baby) chunky yellow caterpillar shaped toy made of hard durable plastic, with three pop up sections, each pop up has a different character under the pop up, they look like some sort of insects one is definitely a ladybird, but I'm not sure what the others are supposed to be. A different action is required for each pop up character to appear, there is a push button, a slide button and a twist button. The caterpillar also has a dinky pink nose that when pressed makes a squeaky sound.
My initial reacton
I was expecting more from this toy, I thought it would make lots more noise and actions but its quite a simple toy.
My son's initial reaction
When I first gave him the toy (at about 4 months) he was able to sit up and touch the toy and look at the different colours and shapes but not much else, he didn't seem that interested in it even with its squeaky nose and pop up animals.
I paid about £8 or £9 for this toy definitely less than £10.
As my son has grown older, played more with this toy and now actually able to use all the functions for push, slide and twist I realise that when I initially bought this toy for him he was much too young to be able to appreciate it he does play with it now and he can work out how to pop up each character and push them back down again. The recommended age for this toy is 9 months plus which I believe is correct. This is a nice sturdy toy which still looks as good as new it was bought approximately 12 months ago.