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Being an only child and grandchild, my daughter Lauren does get a little spoiled, although I have reined it in a little, when she was younger, it seemed like every time we went out, I would come back with something new for her. This puppy was one item I picked up for her when she was around 6months old.
===Price, availability & age range===
We brought ours from Toys R Us, I think at the time it retailed for around £29.99 which I thought was reasonable, especially as this was by Fisher Price. I have just had a quick look online and I can see that this now retails for £19.99 (at Argos, it is also part of the 2 for £30 promotion). It is available from most toy shops, supermarkets and places such as Amazon and EBay.
Fisher price recommend that the puppy is suitable for children aged 6 months plus which was about the age we first introduced it to Lauren. There is no upper age limit given, we had our puppy for about 4 years before we had a clear out, although this is designed as an education toy, Lauren used to still love playing with it when the musical element no longer appealed to her.
The puppy is quite big, measuring approx 34cm high and I must admit that when Lauren reached the toddler stage, she did find it quite hard to carry around with her however as she got older, this didn't seem to cause her so much of a problem. The puppy must be weighted slightly as unlike a lot of teddies we have; this will happily stay in a sitting position and doesn't fall over which I thought was great, especially when she was around six months and just stayed in the sitting position. When it the sitting position, the interactive parts of the puppy are easily accessible which is great and it meant that Lauren didn't have to stretch to operate or get frustrated if she could reach his paws, ears etc.
The main colour of the puppy is beige, which sounds a bit boring but it does have brightly coloured paws, ears and little sewn on t-shirt which has a bright red heart on which lights up when puppy is singing. Puppy has nice big black material eyes, one of which has a white patch around it which I think gives it a cute touch; his grin is nice a wide and he has a big red nose.
One of his blue ears has the word "ear" on, he has one green hand with the word "hand" on, the other is bright red with a black musical note on and he has one bright yellow foot, again with the word on, the other foot acts as the main control panel which allows me to alternate between music or words or turning the puppy off by having three different symbols on.
With the exception of the shirt, the coloured parts of his body all have and interactive function. To activate this, simply press the orange foot, selecting either music or ABC. The main function of the puppy is to help children learn about numbers, colours, and body parts or just to play nursery rhymes which were Laurens favourite part.
The product needs 3 x AA batteries which are included. I found that despite how much use the puppy got, we have never needed to change these which I think it really good. A word of warning, there is a little protector tag covering that batteries which you need to remove before you use, I remember it took me ages to work this out before I decided to read the instructions and find out why puppy wasn't functioning properly.
===How to use===
The puppy is turned on by pressing his left foot which is orange in colour, depending on whether you press the music note or the ABC side of the foot determines which mode of play you are in. ABC teaches the alphabet, body parts, numbers and music mode plays different nursery rhymes like Incy Wincy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle, Pat a Cake and by far my daughters favourite, Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes (although I am convinced she liked this because mummy used to look silly trying to do the actions).
The product is advertised as being suitable from 6months old, Lauren was just under 12months when she first received and to be fair, she wasn't that fussed with it to start with. However once she reached around 18months old, this became one of her favourites (sometimes even more than her Baby Annabel) and it came everywhere with us. I remember her having numerous teddy bear picnics in the garden where puppy was the main character, providing entertainment in the form of nursery rhymes for the rest of his friends.
My daughter loves her Puppy and will happily play with him for ages. There are 10 songs as well as sayings such as "You're my friend" "Hug Me" and "I love you" and other sounds and 6 musical games such as Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and Pat-a Cake. The Puppy has a lovely voice, which even when played with continuously does not become annoying.
Lauren finds it very easy to press the buttons, if anything they can slightly too sensitive and will go off if she falls asleep in her cot and knocks him which is quite annoying, especially considering my daughter used to have a think about not sleeping when she was younger. There have been times also that the puppy has just started playing on its own when it is in the bottom of the toy box which was a bit spooky. The fact that it was so sensitive meant that it was really easy for Lauren to control herself, as she grew a little older though, this did seem to frustrate her a little, especially when the songs would change half way through at the slightest little touch.
Although Lauren loved the nursery rhymes part the most, we used to spend ages learning body parts and colours, I used to get a real sense of satisfaction when I would say to Lauren "touch puppy's ear for me", as she got a little older and we started to introduce colours, "where is blue" Lauren used to look so proud too when she got the question right and clap with glee. I found that it was nice to have a toy which could be played independently but also encouraged parent and child interaction, especially during those early stages where it is so important.
It really helps understand cause and effect which is really important to children. I really like that the puppy is easy to operate, we had a lot of toys when Lauren was younger which offered similar functionality however you had to press the button so hard for anything to happen which she struggled with.
I would also say this helped with Laurens hand and eye co-ordination, with practise she was able to find the body part needed and make things happen. It didn't seem to take her a long time to figure out how to get her favourite song to play or to learn how to make mummy giggle too when she used to try and mimic my doing the Incy Wincy Spider hand movements.
I must admit I was quite impressed with how clear his voice was, he has a typically British accent and it was really easy to understand what he was saying. Even after several years of use, the clarity of what he was saying was perfect.
Like most electronic toys, the puppy cannot be put through the washing machine, I used to give it a wipe down every now and again which a damp cloth which seemed to do the trick. Having said that, despite the fact the puppy was beige, I was pleasantly surprised at how clean he seemed to keep.
I would say that the puppy was definitely worth the money we paid and gets the thumbs up from all of us. Should I have another baby, it would be one of the first items on my list to purchase. Overall, I really would recommend this and give it 5 out of 5 stars.
Thanks for reading.
The Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy is lovely soft teddy type toy who plays games, sings, and educated children. It is suitable from 6 months and can be bought from Argos, Toys'R'Us and many other toy outlets. It is priced at around £20.00 but can be found cheaper as it is often on promotion.
The Laugh and Learn Puppy was given to my son when he was born by his Aunite. It is a lovely toy that sits about 33cm high, and is bright and colourful. It has a sandy coloured body, with coloured paws and ears. On it's chest there is also a little red heart. Each paw has a different function which, when pressed states what it is, i.e foot, hand, and also can state the colour. You can also press the puppy's tummy, ear and heart to get a response.
The puppy has 2 play modes which are learning, which as mentioned states what you are pressing, and the colour to teach children about parts of the body, colours and abc's. And secondly a musical mode that plays musical games such as singing pat-a-cake when you press the hand, and sings This Little piggy when you press the foot. There are a total of 10 songs the puppy will play and sing along too.
The puppy has 2 volume settings meaning you can control how loud the puppy plays with your child, and the quieter setting is quiet, unlike some other children's toys whose volume setting can make little difference! To access this you simply open up the puppy's Velcro at the back. This is also where you change the batteries, of which it takes 3 AAA. On the note of batteries these also last very well. Our son has played with the Laugh and Learn since around 6 months and it shows no sign of wearing down.
The Puppy is lovely to look at, nice and cuddly and very appealing to little kids. It's a good interactive toy that offers plenty to entertain children and keep them laughing. It is also educational whilst still being fun, so they will have no idea they are learning.
The fact that the Laugh and Learn is also from Fisher Price means you know you will get a good well made toy, that is safe for little hands, fun and educational. I wold highly recommend this as it is good value for money and a nice toy!
My parents bought my daughter the laugh and learn puppy as a surprise present for Christmas when she was around 6 months old, I'd seen it in the shops a few times and thought how brilliant he looked. I'm always drawn to toys like this, ones that look as though they can be a sort of 'friend' to my baby, as well as be educational and fun to play with.
The puppy is known as 'doggie' in our house and my daughter's first impression of him was sheer delight and excitement when we took it out of the box. She always wriggles her legs like mad when she's really interested in something and wanted to get to it straight away to investigate so I could tell she was impressed! She still reacts like this now whenever he comes out to play so the novelty hasn't worn off at all.
The puppy has such a cute face, that I was also sold on him as soon as I saw him. He just looks adorable, with a patch around one of his eyes, a bright red nose and big floppy ears. He's soft to touch but not fluffy - I always worry with cuddly toys whether fluff is going to come off as my daughter has a tendency to put everything in her mouth but I feel safe letting her play with this. His ears are regularly sucked on, but their functionaility remains just as good. The recommended age for the toy is 6 months and upwards.
The puppy wears a purple patterned t shirt, with A, B and C printed all over. He takes three AA batteries that are replaced underneath his t shirt via the casing they sit in. There is Velcro to open his t shirt at the back to get to the battery casing but my daughter sees the Velcro as being part of the play toy and is fascinated by the noise and feel that the Velcro gives! The toy is switched on by a little switch near the battery case under his t shirt, but then once this is on, can be switched on/off by his left foot. When he's switched on, he says 'it's learning time' and gives a little woof. His left foot also controls whether he's in ABC mode or a singing mode. We usually use a mixture of the two. We find it fairly easy to catch his foot when not in use and just tidying away, even when my daughter has gone to bed, so sometimes we suddenly hear itsy bitsy spider chirping away while watching Eastenders!
Each part of the puppy has a label, teaching baby parts of the body eg the ear, hand, foot and tummy. Each part of the toy has a different function, so there is a lot of scope with it, lots of different things for baby to explore and learn from. His heart is a big smooth red button for baby to press for more sayings. In addition, he randomly says things and sings along when he's switched on but not being played with - for example, he'll suddenly shout 'peek a boo, I see you!' which is brilliant. Even if my daughter has forgotten about him and is being entertained by something else, she'll then turn around and make her way to him to play. I'll admit to walking around the house saying the peek a boo rhyme not realising sometimes! All of his little sayings are so catchy and stick in your mind and I'm glad because I always think that the words, phrases, letters and songs will be being processed in my daughter's mind to help her learn to say proper words and speak.
On one setting, when parts of his labelled body is pressed, he will say the part of the body out loud and then giggles, eg pressing his tummy makes him say 'tummy' and giggle. This allows baby to associate the word written down with it's spoken form. On the other setting, he bursts into tunes when pressing each part of his labelled body, eg pressing his ear will burst into itsy bitsy spider and pressing his foot will make him say the 'this little piggy' rhyme out loud, but with a twist (it's not a piggy rhyme, it's a puppy rhyme where no roast beef was eaten, it's a bone!). If you press his paw with the music note on, he sings and says a variety of things - on the ABC setting he sings the alphabet song and on the tune setting sings head, shoulders, knees and toes (that sticks in your head all day!) There are so many different sayings and songs that he sings, it's impossible to remember them all. With the amount of sayings and tunes, it keeps her entertained for hours. I find it's got so much to offer in terms of learning, but at the same time can be switched off and treated as a cuddly toy too.
The only one (minor) issue to point out is the packaging, there was tonnes of it and this isn't child friendly with the little ties etc there is, so watch out for that.
My parents bought him in John Lewis for £19.99 before Christmas and he is available on their website for the same price at the moment. He's also available in most other toy stores, like Toys R Us, Mothercare and Smyths Toys although I'm not sure on the price in those. To me, £19.99 is an absolute bargain for this toy. It might seem a lot to spend at first on one toy alone, but my baby has had hours, and I mean loads of hours of entertainment from him. She has so many other toys, but 'doggie' is always the one she comes back to hug, cuddle and play with.
My expectations were very high for this toy, because he just looked so fantastic in the shop. He certainly lived up to it and I'm so glad he's part of our family now.
At a Glance Soft cuddly puppy with 6 musical games to help your baby learn parts of the body, alphabet, colours and more. Features and benefits for Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy Requires 3 x AA Batteries batteries (included) The Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy is a soft, cuddly friend that will help your baby learn parts of the body. It features two interactive play modes that teach the alphabet, colours and more. The Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy has 10 sing-along songs, sounds and fun sayings.It also features 6 musical games including 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' and 'Pat-a-cake'. Requires 3 x AA batteries