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I wrote a review a few months ago about the 'Fisher Price Sparkling Symphony Gym' which we were very happy with and although we had seen and liked the 'Baby Grand Piano' had no intention to buy it. About a month ago my wife found the baby grand at a car boot sale for only a fiver (a real bargain.) and couldn't pass it up. The symphony gym has gone to Granny's house as he still enjoys playing with it and he absolutely loves playing with the baby grand.
The baby grand is very sturdy and is very bold and colourful, as with most Fisher Price toys it is built very well. As we bought this at a car boot we didn't have to put it together but I have spoken to friends who have had to assemble it and they told me it was very easy and the instructions are straightforward.
There are three settings on the baby grand; learning time, music time and play time. The main part of the baby grand is the keyboard, above the keyboard there is a plastic songbook with three pages and a fun character that dances when music plays. In learning and music time having the songbook on different pages activates different activities so there really is a huge variety of playtime available just on the keyboard. Playing with the keyboard teaches not only the obvious music skills but also solfege and numbers (solfege is do, re, mi, fa...etc, I had to look up the proper name for it on wiki as putting in "That singing thing from the sound of music" didn't sound right).
On the back of the baby grand there are four other activities; a metronome in the shape of a musical note that teaches rhythm, a slider that teaches tone, a switch that teaches tempo and a dial with fun music and sounds. Again all of these work slightly differently depending on what setting the baby grand is on.
Lewis loves this toy but that can be said of all of the toys that he has, the recommended age for this is 9 months+ and I think that is correct, I think Lewis will enjoy playing with this at least until he is 2. Online this costs between thirty and fifty pounds, I think it is worth thirty but as always would recommend keeping an eye out at charity shops and car boot sales.
This piano is a lovely toy for a baby that is learning to pull themselves up because it is smaller enough for then to sit on the floor and play with and also play with standing up.It has a plastic song book that is easy for the toddler to turn the thick plastic pages to see more pictures.The piano stays in one place and dosn't move easily even if the baby leans on it so will not colapse.The toy has simple nursery rhymes such as "twinkle twinkle little star" when we bought it as a present it was £50 you probally can get it cheaper in other places but its just not worth it in my opinion if you follow the song book you can play a recognisable song but for a baby I feel there is alot more toys out there that are cheaper that they can get just as much enjoyment from. The piano does have other buttons that they can turn and press and the sun moves when the baby presses the keys but just to expensive.Also watch out for the baby getting there fingers caught in between the plastic pages when they turn them I give it 3 stars just for how complex the piano is but to pricey for us!
We bought the Laugh and Learn piano when our oldest was about 6 months old and it's been the BEST investment we've ever made in a toy! Our oldest is now 3.5 and has a 2 year old little brother and they both still play with the piano on a regular basis. The piano has about 8 brightly coloured keys which light up, either as you're pressing them or in time to the music that's playing. There is also a book which you can change the pages of and a different tune plays depending on which page is open. There are different modes, from "free play" to songs to counting, so it's good for a variety of ages where different stimulation is required. Our kids both particularly loved flicking through the pages in the book to get the different tunes to play and dancing along with them! There are also a few musical gadgets at the back, including a tempo control and a few other buttons which each play different musical pieces or sound effects. These are great for teaching children about concepts such as fast and slow. Absolutely great fun and the music still doesn't irritate us, unlike some other toys I could mention!
I bought the 'laugh and learn' piano for my son when he was 6 months old (as you can use it without the 'legs'.) I would say this was definatley a firm favourite as he played with it every day until he was about 15 months old. He still plays with it now but not as often. It has 8 colorful keys which light up and it has several different modes - general keyboard, colors, counting, and songs. The book has flip pages so your child can choose his favourite song. The keys light up as it plays the tune so that your child can also learn to play the tune correctly. (even i had fun learning how to play 'row the boat')
There are 4 other activities on the rest of the piano which make noises or play songs depending on the mode you have chosen. It also has a moving face. I would highly recommend this product. I think it is a fair price. It takes 3 x 'c' batteries which are not included in the box.
The fisher price laugh and learn grand piano is a firm favorite in our house, we bought it for our sons first Christmas and from the word go he absolutely loved it. With 3 settings and many features this will help your child learn from a young age as well as been great fun. There is a normal piano setting so you can play any tune, theres a song setting so you can play songs using the book thats attached, and theres the learning setting that sings either the numbers on the keys, the colors of the keys or singing scales in correspondence to which key you press. The book that is attached has 3 songs, "row your boat" "incy wincy spider" and "twinkle twinkle little star" Also on the back of the piano theres a slider that shows opposites like fast and slow and high and low that plays music one way and then when slided plays it the opposite way. This is the only toy that has kept my son occupied for hours without him getting bored and it seems to be the first toy other children play with when they come to my house and seems to keep them interested too. Also it has 2 volume levels so you can have it quieter than a lot of toys. The only bad point is it only works with certain batteries, we took it back to the shop because we thought it was broken after we had changed the batteries and it still didn't work but turned out our batteries were the wrong type and only certain types worked. But all in all the best toy we ever bought.
The Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Baby Grand Piano is excellent!
What does it do? Well, the piano is a very basic keyboard with eight numbered keys. Each key is a different colour and also lights up as it is played. There are different modes which are chosen by a small switch and allow the piano to be played in different ways including free playing, numbers, colours and the piano playing inbuilt songs. There is also a 'book' on the music stand which contains the music to three songs - Incy Wincy Spider, Row Row Row Your Boat and Twinkle Twinkle and at the back of the piano there is a metronome, and other buttons/switches which all alter the tone, etc of the piano. Our eldest daughter was given this for her second christmas when she was 15 months and she has continued to play with it as she has grown (now 3) and now her little sister (14 months) loves it just as much...if not even more! Babies have great fun playing with all the various parts of this toy, listening to the music and exploring the pages of the music book and metronome. It is also a perfect height for babies to lean against as they learn to stand and walk. Older children can enjoy trying to play the music by following the numbers in the music book and even experiment with some of their own compositions!
Disadvantages? Purely from a mum's point of view my problem with the piano is that it can be difficult to clean! It seems to have a lot of nooks and crannies that any bits of dust get stuck in (not to mention between the keys!). But as a toy I really can't fault it! Very well made and very entertaining.
Price? When we bought this it was around £30 but Fisher Price items seem to be on offer quite a lot from places like Amazon and Toys R Us so you may be able to find a bargain. I would also advise ebay for a second hand one - they're extremely well made and durable so no doubt second hand would still be good.
I first came across this amazing little piano last year. I was on the hunt for something special for my nephew's birthday and with his Mum being a performing arts teacher, I knew this would be perfect as a tiny introduction into the world of the arts and playing music. In my opinion, the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Piano is perfect for the budding little musician.
The piano is so easy to use, with prerecorded sections (as with most regular keyboards) that a child can hear music from it, without having to understand that he or she would need to press different keys in order to get a desired note. This is a piano in its most basic, infant friendly version, with 8 keys (C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C). Some of the songs that are programmed into the piano are 'Twinkle twinkle little star' and 'Row row row your boat', so they obviously very infant friendly and recognizable.
As well as musical benefits, the piano also helps to teach numbers and counting, as well as opposites and colours. Each key has a different colour and a number. Which aids in 'reading' the basic music when playing the piano. Through other activites that are jam packed into this little toy piano, a child can also be introduced to features that allow experimentation with the dynamics of music such as a volume control, so that children can begin to understand loud and quiet. There is also a duration button which enables the child to hear the music fast and slow, introducing the idea of tempo.
The piano has 3 main modes of play. The first is named 'Learning Time' and allows the child to count from 1 to 8. A lovely thing about this piano, is that the keys light up too, in different colours. So, not only are the colours and lights there to help follow the song, but even if your child doesn't grasp music, the piano is very visually stimulating. 'Learning time' also teaches musical notes, tempo and pitch (high and low). It also claims to teach first words, but I'm not entirely sure about that, surely family should get the credit on that one!
The second mode of play is 'Musical fun'. Above the keyboard, is the music stand that holds a little songbook, which flips automatically. It's made out of very thick plastic, so it's designed to be durable. Musically, they are 5 songs, that are designed to be sung along to. It's set up to allow a child to discover different musical genres and also to create and 'build-a-song' (you may want to get some ear plugs for yourselves, for that bit haha)
The third and final mode of play is 'Imagination'. This is my favourite bit. Surrounding the little music stand is a little character, who I suppose could be described as a sun, who 'dances' by swaying over the stand, too and fro in a rather sweet way. Here a child can play notes on the keyboard, as well as simple chords. The songbook lets a child play along as it has an interactive function by having the keys light up for the child to follow. This was very fast though and my nephew found this difficult...I had a go and found it rather hard too, something to practice (I kept hitting the wrong bumming keys!) The children can also set up a 'mode' (with adult help obviously) where they can read the music by the colours on the keys OR by the numbers on them. The box also says that it has 'fun sounds that rewards baby's exploration', which is a rather strange way of saying, you can make lots of different sounds using the keyboard. There's a dial which can be turned to create different musical styles. Which whilst a child wouldn't be able to name the styles or tell you what they are used for, they would be able to hear a difference and tell which ones are similar - where the adult can step in and chat about it, furthering a child's exploration and developing communication skills.
There are lots of different cute components that make this such a great little toy for children. There's a little metronome character that sits on the piano, in the shape of a musical note, a cute touch. It's also important to note that the piano DOES come with a volume control, so music doesn't have to be played at full blast interrupting your episode of Eastenders...but as it's for small children, you can't plug in ear phones to it, like most junior or adult keyboards.
What I love about this 'toy' though, and all instruments in general, is that a child can create mini concerts, introducing them to performance. I remember making concerts all the time when I was little and this piano would have been ideal. As I'm sure anyone will tell you, the adults can also get huge pleasure from this, as more often than not, shows from little ones are generally, incredibly sweet to watch.
The piano is for children aged 9 to 36 months, and is the perfect introduction to musical instruments as 'my first piano'. Whilst adult assembly is required, you don't need any tools to put it together. Sections of the piano just clip into each other and it's very straightforward to build and put together.
My nephew has had this 'toy' for a while now and is constantly playing on it, and would probably say it is one of his favourite toys. He can select whether to simply use the piano to make up a song, or choose a song from the electronic song book. The funniest part of it, is to have him sit him down at the piano, put a pair of big sunglasses on him, and it's like having our very own little Elton John!
The piano can be brought from most toystores or online (amazon sell it) and retails on average for 50GBP.
Thanks for reading :)
© MarcoG 2008
(also on ciao)
What a grand way to explore music, learning and imaginative fun. Your budding musician will not only enjoy creating concerts, but will learn about numbers, counting, opposites, colours, tempo, pitch, music styles and more. A friendly dancing character comes to life as baby plays. There's an interactive songbook with pages to flip, colourful light-up keys, charming sing-along songs, and lots of busy activities all around. Keep time and replay songs with a metronome pal. Move the slider to learn high and low pitch. Turn the dial for fun music and sounds. And make new discoveries every day.