* Prices may differ from that shown
For Christmas 2010 my daughter received a huge amount of toys, one of which was this Little People Petting Zoo from Fisher Price. With already having a collection of a similar sort of toy from Early Learning Centre (Happyland collection), this petting zoo hasn't had much use.
~* What is it? *~
This petting zoo contains the following various pieces.
* A grass island
* Tractor and trailer
* Red gate
* Farmer and his wife
* Farm animals - Goat, sheep, rabbit
* Zoo animals - Giraffe, zebra, reindeer
Each of the figures are made from a chunky plastic, this plastic isn't hard and has a sort of soft feeling to it. They various in size, with the smallest being the rabbit at a couple of cm tall, the rest are between 4-6cm tall. These figures are all very detailed with the corresponding markings on each animal, and the farmer and his wife are easy to make out with facial features, and appropriate clothing.
The buildings to this set are made from a strong durable plastic, each one resembles what it is supposed to be. The barn for example, has opening doors and a water pump that can be pushed down. The tractor has a round hole with a little peg in the middle meaning the figures can be put on and there is no need to worry about them falling off when it is in motion.
~* Our thoughts *~
This Little People Petting Zoo is a good quality set but unfortunately as we had already started a collection of this type of toy from Early Learning Centre (Happyland), and the figures didn't fit in each others vehicles and such, it hasn't been used all that much. This is a shame as the petting zoo is a great set.
The figures contained in this set are a nice size and my daughter has had no problems grasping them and putting them in and around the petting zoo from when she first started playing with these when she was 1 year old. They have been put in her mouth and chewed quite a lot, despite this there are no visible teeth marks.
The different pieces of the buildings for this click together very easily, with a knobbly bit on one side and a hole on the other side, it makes it easy to piece each part together, and there is no set order in which the buildings should be. The buildings are made from a nice strong plastic so they wouldn't be easy to snap or break.
This petting zoo doesn't need any batteries as it doesn't light up, or make any sound (heaven!). It is easy to clean, I simply just wipe it down with a wet wipe or damp cloth. It is recommended for children above the age of 1 year old, but I believe as there isn't any small pieces that younger children could play with this too.
As I said, we have a collection of Happyland toys and as Little People toys aren't compatible with Happyland it isn't played with much. It's upstairs in my daughters bedroom and it only gets played with when we are upstairs for some time. I think if we had a Little People collection it would get played with more, but sadly this isn't the case, and with the price of the Little People range we simply can't afford both Happyland and Little People collections.
When my daughter does play with this she does play for some time, usually using the animals in the tractor and transporting them from her toy box to the barn setup at the other end of her bedroom. She can't quite grasp the idea of snapping the different pieces of buildings together yet at 25 months old, she does try so I don't think it will be long until she figures out how to actually do it.
~* Overall *~
My mum said she purchased this half price from Tesco, it was originally £40 knocked down to £20. Comparing this price to the price of Happyland sets it is about the same for the same sort of size set. I personally think it is a little on the expensive side at full price.
Fisher-Price are well known for their great quality toys, and this Little People set proves that once again. The figures and buildings are made from a nice quality plastic that are toddler friendly. Our only problem is that we started a different collection first, so the Little People set has been a little neglected.
We bought this for our 2 year old for her recent birthday because she has no toys such as this to call her own (they all belong to her older, unsharing, 3 year old sister). So we thought in buying her a lovely playset like this we would unleash her imagination, and also make her feel like she has some of her own special toys.
Priced at £20 in Tesco (half price apparently) you get quite a lot for your money, and the toys are of the usual high standard that you expect from Fisher Price. In the set you have a tractor and trailer with the zoo keeper and his wife (I presume), you also get many animals including a zebra, horse, reindeer, giraffe, sheep, chicken and a rabbit. The actual 'zoo' consists of a little plastic hut with opening doors (on both sides which makes play so much easier) and various zoo like attachments such as a mound of grass and some fence like structures. These all clip together to form the complete 'zoo'.
All items are lovely quality and the animals are great, they have a cartoon look to them but it isn't hard to tell what each individual animal is, and my children have come to recognise each animal (even if they have never seen a reindeer before). Now at first my 2 year old daughter was not really interested in the set (much to my disappointment!), but my older daughter was and she immediately began playing with it, ferrying the animals backwards and forwards and feeding them etc. My 3 year old has such a good imagination that it doesn't take a playset like this to get her going, she would play with two hankerchiefs if that's all she had.
So I now get this out regularly for my 2 year old when my 3 year old is at preschool and I encourage her to play with the animals and move them around in the back of the tractor, put them to bed in the little hut, feed them at the various feeding locations on the fences, and she is starting to get into it, and wil play unaided for a short length of time. I have actually witnessed her playing with the animals on their own, just dancing them about and making them 'talk'. I think this is a great little set for growing imaginations in young children. It's quite unobstructive and can be packed away into a basket quite easily so it won't take up permanent residence in your lounge obstructing the view of the television while you are trying to watch Vampire Diaries.
I have recently bought the Fisher Price farm (second hand I might add which has no irritating sounds) which links nicely with this toy, and provides more homes for the animals. Both my daughters love playing with it now and will actually play together happily for certain lengths of time.
The zoo just a nice sized toy that any child will enjoy playing with, and I know that it has definately encouraged my 2 year old to start playing independently (and away from the TV!)
Still available for £20 from Tesco (DEC 2010)