None of my children are fans of the Night Garden but I work as a childminder and several of the children I look after are. I found this Wooden Xylophone Bridge in Debenhams for £5.25 and picked it up.
The bridge has a blue base with a colourful gate on one side. It has 6 brightly colored xylophone blocks on the top of the bridge and they are held in place with a wooden pin and blue string across the length of the bridge.
The bridge also comes with the wooden beater to make the music.
It works the same way as a typical xylophone, hit the bars and hear different sounds.
It is for 18 months and over but I found that children who were younger than this enjoyed using it as they liked to hear the sounds they had made. The children who were 2 and older really didn't bother playing with it as I think they found it boring.
The sound that each bar made was far too quiet. You really had to give it a good whack to make a sound. There wasn't much difference in the notes that each bar gave, not enough for a young child to notice anyway.
The bridge itself was very small and the music bars were quite narrow. We often found that 2 bars would be hit at the same time because the childs aim wasn't good enough to aim for such a small space. The child really had to lean over the bridge because of the height although it would probably would be ok if it was on a table.
The children aged 2 and older didn't bother much with this toy as they have toys which are noisier and more exciting. The bridge was quickly discarded in favour of these toys.
The bridge can also be used as part of games using other toys, crossing over it etc.
For the price I paid for this toy I can't complain but I would have been very disappointed if I had paid any more for it. This toy is quite boring and the novelty factor soon wore off.
In The Night Garden is very popular in my house at the moment, so unsurprisingly my son got lots of toys and cards featuring Iggle Piggle and friends for his first birthday. This was one of them.
** The packaging and price.
It comes in a cardboard box, the toy fits snugly inside so no need for any other packaging. Unfussy and enviro-friendly.
I have found it on play.com for £14.99, which I think is a bit pricey for what it is.
** The Toy
It is a wooden xylophone in the shape of the bridge from In the Night Garden. The main structure is blue wood (lightweight, probably plywood.) and there 6 wooden "planks" laid across secured with a rope and ball edging. The planks are multi coloured.
On one end of the bridge is a wooden plaque with a picture of all the main characters. There is also a wooden mallet included which you use to strike the keys.
The dimensions are 10" long x 7" wide x 5" high.
It is suitable from 18 months although my son uses now (one year).
**What I like about this toy.
It's brightly coloured and quite lightweight. It develops hand-eye co-ordination and my son enjoys hitting it to hear the noise.
It is quite well made and sturdy.
** What I don't like about this toy.
It is marketed as a musical instrument and whilst baby can hit it and make sounds, the planks give a very dull thudding sound. You certainly couldn't play proper tunes on it.
In summary, it's an ok toy. It will amuse a child, particularly if they like In the Night Garden, but it is not a "quality musical instrument" by any means. I think it is a bit expensive for what it is, that's probably because of the brand.
This super little wooden xylophone works brilliantly as a musical instrument, or as a bridge for your kids' toy-playing sessions.