Product Type: Lamaze baby toys
Newest Review: ... I bought mine when they had it on offer at Tesco's in a special where they had 1/3 off all Lamaze toys, so it was just over £6. But then i... more
Is it dinner time yet?
Lamaze Bendy Bug Highchair Toy
Member Name: sandemp
Lamaze Bendy Bug Highchair Toy
Advantages: Simple, helps keep baby entertained, no batteries, aids development
Disadvantages: Doesn't stick to some surfaces as well as it could
==The bit about the looks==
The bendy bug is a fairly large highchair toy, standing at about 24 cm from his base to the tips of his antennae. This means he's just tall enough to for his friendly smiling face to be at baby's eye-level when he's on a highchair tray. His body is made up of four segments, each of which has different colours, textures or activities. The bottom two segments are rather plain, with the very bottom being orange with blue spots and the next being purple. The third segment is perhaps the most interesting, as this features two half rings, one of which has some smaller rings on it, while the other has some transparent shapes, all of which move freely. The final body segment is transparent and filled with tiny beads that rattle at even the slightest movement. As I've already said the head features a lovely smiley face with wide open eyes and is topped with a pair of rubbery antennae that are perfect for chewing on.
The head and all the body segments are connected to the bright yellow base, via a bendy rod that allows all the various segments to turn independently and the base itself features a sucker cup which, in theory, allows the complete toy to be attached to any smooth surface. The majority of the bug is made of a solid plastic, which is easy to wipe clean, but will hurt if it's thrown at you. From what I can see the bug is extremely well made, with plenty to keep baby entertained whilst sitting in his highchair.
==The Bit About Playing==
Freddy is seven months old and really doesn't like sitting in his highchair, so this was bought to try and persuade him to sit still for a few minutes while Mummy and Daddy are getting his dinner ready. As with all his other Lamaze toys, the bugs bright colours and friendly face immediately captured Freddy's attention and he couldn't wait to start exploring the activities. And so I came to the first and only problem, while the bug will quite happily stick to a wooden dining table, it doesn't stick quite as well to the highchair tray. Although I pushed it on with some force, as soon as Freddy (rather enthusiastically) grabbed at it, it came away in his hand. Not that Freddy was complaining, because he immediately started exploring the bug with his mouth and found the antennae are just the right size and texture for him to chew on.
After giving the bug a good slobber, Freddy discovered that it made a great rattle and even now likes to spend time shaking it and banging it against any hard surface he can find. The next surface I tried to attach the bug to was Freddy's Bumbo tray and the really strange thing is that this was much more successful. Once the bug is firmly attached Freddy has a great time exploring all the different segments. He loves to grab the head and then let it go so that it 'boings' away from him. It's really lovely to see the look of concentration on his face as he plays with rings and shapes, and the look of triumph when he manages to turn one of the segments is just wonderful.
As I've already said the surfaces the bug will firmly attach to can be a bit hit and miss and due to this it has been thrown on the floor a fair few times. I was a little worried that it would shatter, but so far it has escaped without a scratch. I am also a little concerned at just how hard the transparent shapes are, Freddy tends to try and eat everything and I do worry that he'll try and bite on these and they'll hurt him. But, I must say that so far Freddy has only really chewed on the rubbery antennae.
==The Bit About Learning==
Although a baby will learn new skills no matter what toys they play with, I do like to buy Freddy toys that I think go that little bit further to helping him develop. I must say that Lamaze toys appear to fulfil these expectations and the bendy bug is no exception. Lamaze themselves state that 'the Bendy Bug teaches cause and effect as the bug bends and rattles when batted by baby'. Now I would say they are selling themselves short here, even at Freddy's age this does far more. It helps baby develop their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills as they play with the shapes and rings as well as rewarding the less refined 'batting' movement. Although he doesn't seem to take much notice, I also use this to introduce colours, shapes and even counting.
I do, however agree with Lamaze's suggested age range of six months and up. Freddy loves this toy and is able to play with it, but I don't think it a baby below 6 months would be able to use half of it's features. If no other reason than that to get the best from the toy it needs to be attached to a highchair tray and so the baby needs to be able sit confidently with minimal support.
==The Bit About Recommendation==
In a world full of high tech, flashing, musical baby toys, it's refreshing to find such a delightfully simple highchair toy that keeps Freddy entertained while helping him develop new skills. As with all Lamaze toys, bendy bug is extremely well made with no sharp edges and as a bonus this is easy to wipe clean. I love the bright colours, simple design and lack of batteries. But the person whose opinion really matters is Freddy himself. And although he can't tell me what he thinks in words, he is quite capable of showing how much he likes (or dislikes a toy). As soon as he sees the bug, his eyes light up and he tries to grab it before I've had chance to attach it to the tray or table and once it is attached he'll spend a good ten minutes playing with it before demanding to be fed or taken out of the highchair. (Which is a vast improvement on the 30 seconds he used to last. Therefore I can't help but recommend this toy and give it a very healthy four stars out of five. Losing a star simply because it is so temperamental as to which surfaces it will securely stick to.
Summary: Lovely highchair toy.
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