Product Type: Leapfrog baby toys
Newest Review: ... but there are 14 pieces in total. In ours today there is a small red checked tablecloth (more the size of a napkin though), two plates, a ... more
Let's Have A Picnic!
Leap Frog Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket
Member Name: joshuas-mummy
Leap Frog Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket
Advantages: Fun, bright and unisex
Disadvantages: It's colour does put off parents of little boys
Our most recent addition to our playroom was this Leap Frog Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket. My best friend bought it for my sons first birthday after he refused to play with any of her daughters other toys and only this one when we went round there. It often caused disruptin between them as they both wanted to play with it! So when his birthday arrived it was a no-brainer what his gift would be!
The picnic basket itself is purple with a dark purple handle and a pink lid that can open either end. The basket has some very beautiful looking eyes and lips on the front to make a face on the front and also features lots of flowers, details etc. Included with this toy is 14 other pieces to use with the picnic basket itself. You get two plates, two large pronged forks, two stackable cups, and various items of food too which can all be displayed and played with on the accompanying picnic blanket (trademark red and white check).
The idea of this particular toy is multi functional. With the basket itself and the other pieces there is a huge variety of games that can be played. The picnic basket speaks and sings and has over 30 different audio instructions/responses. This is great for me because it's varied enough so that the music and responses don't get so repetative I feel brain dead! It's also nice for my son so he doesn't get bored too quickly hearing the sames things in quick sucession as it does take quite a while to get through all thirty.
The idea is that the talking picnic basket can encourage role playing with the food in the picnic setting. It can also help to build motor skills by encouraging children to match items up and empty and fill the basket with the requested items. It also helps these motor skills develop by encouraging children to stack items and sort them out. Overall it seems like a brilliant way of helping children get used to instructions and another reason I like it is because it encourages manners and I don't think this can be taught too young.
The voice it speaks in british and I know this might sound like a no-brainer comment but you would be suprised how many childrens toys come with American voices which I find very irratating so I am really pleased it's not the case with this one. The voice is clear and precise and easy to recognise so I'm very happy letting my son play with it for long periods as I think it can only aid his verbal development being surrounded by clear voices with good pronunciation.
In order to work the picnic basket does require 3x AA batteries. The first lot are included which is great but as I've realised, all toys require batteries and if you don't have a stash at home your asking for trouble! It's great value for money that the first lot are included though and ours is used a LOT and it's still not fading! The price of this is approximately £20 if bought online. You will usually have to pay a normal postage cost on top of this because in all it's packaging it does weigh over 1kg but you should have your own, at your door for approximately £25 which I think is a great price for something so fun and entertaining and something that has a great potential to educate and aid motor skills.
This toy is designed to be suitable for children from six months up to three years which to me sounds about right. My son first took an interest in it at about ten months old and got his own at 1 year and although he can't understand the audio responses yet he does really enjoy putting things in the basket and getting them out again. He likes to hide things in there and carry them around with him like his own special bag and he's very clever remembering whats in there. Watching him carry his own pink and purple picnic basket around is quite funny and very sweet! In all fairness the only complaint I have about this toy is the colour. I think it's a brilliant toy for both boys and girls and I feel the colour would put a lot of people off purchasing this for a little boy (especially men as my partners reaction was not good when he realised my son had a 'girlie' toy!). I however don't think it matters what type or colour toy they play with at this stage but it would be more usefull as a unisex toy is the colours were say reds and greens etc-something for everyone that way. ALthough I intended to purchase this myself for my son so I know it didn't put me off personally purchasing it for a little boy.
A final great note about this product is something most Leap Frog toys come with-ability to access the online Leap Frog World. This gives you plenty of options to customise the learning insight with this toy and gives great ideas for it's use. This is something Leap Frog provide with all their toys and I really find interesting. Even if you don't use their recommendations it's great for the ideas and well worth a look as access is free when you purchase their toys.
Overall I would fully recommend this toy, especially with Christmas now looming ever closer! It's a good solid toy, and doesn't feel flimsy at all. My son is quite rough with his and it withstands bumps and bashes very well so I don't have any complaints about it's durability either. I'm happy with the price for everything it provides and I also think it's great value for money because as my son grows and he develops his motor skills he will get different uses from this. So it's adaptable for the age range it covers which is great. In fact it gets five stars from me and my son!
Summary: A great unisex toy regardless of the colour!
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