Product Type: Fisher Price baby toys
Newest Review: ... (it sounds like they are for me rather than my baby!). Also I have bought many Fisher Price toys and know them to be a reliable br... more
Fisher Price Peek-a-Blocks
Member Name: historywitch
Fisher Price Peek-a-Blocks
Advantages: Relatively inexpensive in the world of children's toys.
Disadvantages: Uninspiring, limited
Firstly though, a little bit about the product. Peekablocks are made by Fisher Price, a famous retailer of plastic play products for children. Peekablocks are usually sold in sets of six and there are a wide variety of sets choose from, the ones above are called Sight Sensations-you can also get Sound Sensations, Learning Fun, Touch Sensations, Animals, Vehicles. You can also buy larger add-on playsets, such as the Tumblin' Sounds Giraffe or the Rollin' Rumblin' Dumptruck.
In design they are cubes, about 5cms long, wide and deep. They have perspex sides, coloured and textured plastic tops and bottoms and contain objects to look at and interact with. Fisher Price claim that they are ideal for:
-developing motor skills
-enhancing hand-eye co-ordination
-enhancing fine motor skills through exploring textures
-stimulating the senses by providing a range of materials to touch
-visually stimulating through small objects and movement
-fostering thinking skills as baby learns to discriminate
-encourages thinking skills as baby learns to stack them.
They are marketed as being suitable from 6 months.
The objects inside are designed to move, jingle, shine, wobble etc.
I got them when my daughter was about 3 months and put them aside to introduce them to her at 5 months when she was able to sit up. When offered them she would take it, gum it, have a quick glance and put it down again, the objects inside were not sufficient to hold her attention long enough for her to see anything. Unsurprising as the objects inside the 'Sight Sensations' Peekablocks are particularly uninspiring. Two of them have shaped mirrors and small red balls, which roll around inside. As she couldn't see herself in the mirror and the effect was particularly limited these got short shrift. The next two had shapes that spin on their axis, or flip backwards and forwards as you rattle them. One was a pale pink colour and hard to see; the other one a particularly uninteresting check pattern. The range of movement was poor and in the case of the pale pink one, blink and you miss it. The final two have wheels to push around to spin the patterns inside. One of the patterns was very pale and uneyecatching, the other was a particularly strong black and white pattern but I found the wheel impossible to turn in an easy circle, due to the top mounted design, so I cant see how an infant could be expected to work it.
They are all very limited in function, once they have been picked up, examined and shaken, thats really it, there is nothing else to do with them. Oh, apart from stacking...but you see that beautifully textured plastic at the top and the bottom that comes in a range of bright colours? Not only does it completely limit the view of the block i.e you have to pick it up and hold it just right to be able to see the full object inside, but it also stops the blocks from being easily stacked. The texture makes a clean join impossible and the tower wobbles and collapses easily.
At six months my daughter wanted to explore and investigate, she wasn't happy to just sit there and shake blocks, she wanted something more interesting (usually something she shouldnt have) and the Peekablocks got less and less use until when she was twelve months I passed them on (to another equally unimpressed mother).
I ended up following my instincts and gave my daughter toys that I knew she would be interested in. I bought a cheap plastic mirror, made a tube out of card and bought a simple plastic ball to slide down it and made a simple treasure basket of natural or interesting objects. All of which got more use than these.
Peekablocks recommended retail price are £7 (from the Fisher Price website), I have seen them for sale at most big toystores and Woolworths.
Summary: more plastic for landfill