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When I was a child I always remembered having this large plastic toy that when you pulled the cord a pointer in the middle spun around, when it stopped it would point to a different animal each time and make the animal noise. I decided I wanted to get Jayden something similar to help him learn all the different animals and their sounds. After hunting around for something similar the closest thing I could find was the Leap Frog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo, this is a modern version of they toy I had as a child and as well as the animal sounds it also has other features.
The Leap Frog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo is basically a large plastic ball on the top of a chunky blue and white plastic stand, the main plastic ball is made from white plastic with one side being orange and the other green, when the ball is spun you can see black and white swirly patterns on either side.
Down the centre of the ball are various coloured sections, in each section is a letter (the alphabet goes around the whole ball) next to each letter is a picture of an animal beginning with that letter. There is a large range of animals pictured ranging from everyday animals such as cat, dog, monkey, frog, bee and lion, then there are a few less common animals such as yak, x ray fish and quall.
The are 2 flashing red arrow lights one on either side of the ball, these flash as you spin the ball and change to a static light when the ball stops spinning round and points to an animal/ letter. The sound comes from a speaker on the top of the base, on one side of the base is a small red switch which allows you to alter the sound, you can have it loud or quiet, on the other side of the base is another switch which has 4 positions, there is the off position and then 3 other positions which you can alternate between, these include
* ABC - When the ball is spun a song is sung, when the ball stops and the arrows point to a letter that particular letter is read out, this is then repeated.
* Animals - On this setting when the ball is spun again a different song is sung and the red arrow lights flash, when the ball stops spinning the name of the animal the arrows are pointing to is read out followed by the sound that animal makes, this animal sound is then repeated.
*Sounds - This setting is a combination of the other 2 settings, when the ball is spun an alphabet song is sung, when the ball stops whatever animal the arrows are pointing at that animal sound is played and then repeated.
The Leap Frog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo is ideal at helping your child to learn letters, animals and the sounds that they make. Your child can have fun spinning the ball and watching the swirling patterns and flashing lights, this helps to keep their attention.
Spinning the ball and getting the Alphabet Zoo to make a noise will also help with your child's motor skills, so playing with this particular toy helps to develop a lot of skills as your child plays.
We bought our Leap Frog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo from our local Toys R Us, however it is also available from a range of places such as Mothercare and online at Amazon. This particular toy is sold for around £16.99, this does vary a little depending on where you purchase it from, it requires 3 AA batteries which came with it. Personally I think this is excellent value for money as your child will have fun with it and at the same time learn.
Jayden has had his Leap Frog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo since Christmas and he loved it from the start, the sounds and flashing lights kept his attention and he really enjoyed sitting and spinning the ball, I'm sure he was trying to see how fast he could get it to spin.
Now he is a bit older he seems to sit and enjoy listening to the different animal sounds as well as spinning the ball. Although Jayden is only just over a year old and does not actually know the different animals, sounds and letters the whole while he is playing with this toy he is learning and starting to understand the concept of these different things.
I have noticed that now Jayden is a bit older he shows a lot more interest the animals and their sounds and will laugh if you imitate the noises to him, at the moment he is a bit young to understand the different letters, but this toy is introducing them to him from an early age.
The Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo is made extremely well and is tough and hardwearing, Jayden's has had a lot of use since we bought it for him and it still looks as good as new, because it is made from plastic you can easily wipe it down with a damp cloth to keep it clean and hygienic.
I would definitely recommend the Leap Frog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo to anyone, this will really help your child to learn and develop whilst at the same time learning, the flashing lights, swirling patterns and songs will help to keep your child's attention.
This toy is described as being for children 6 months and onwards, I personally think that 6 months is quite young for this toy, however on the other hand it is never too young for your child to start learning, I think though children a few months older would get more benefit from this.
~*~*~ LeapFrog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo Ball ~*~*~
~ What it is? ~
This is a ball shaped toy on a stand, you can spin the wheel in the middle by simply flicking/pushing it down.
~ Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo Ball ~
The ball is nice and sturdy, it stands on a nice blue base but the main colour is white, the one side is yellow and the other green, these sides have patterns cut away which shows a physcadelic type print on the underneath that spins as you spin the middle wheel part which contains the letters and animals.
As you turn the ball on you will hear a female voice singing -
Spin, spin a letter.
How many do you know.
Spin, spin a letter.
Look all around.
And as the ball spins the same voice sings -
The animals have something to say,
They shriek and holler and sing all day.
And there's also the alphabet song where the female voice goes through the alphabet and stops on what ever letter the arrows point to when the ball stops.
The ball also names the animals and makes animal sounds.
~ My Thoughts ~
The ball is really nice to play with. I bought this when my 5 year old was little and my 15 month old loves it now.
I paid around £16 for this and it was definitely worth this and a bit more! It is very easy for little ones to play with as the wheel/ball spins very easily, there is no need to push against it with any strength as by even flicking it with your little finger it glides away easily.
The little light up arrows really catch my sons attention and he often tries to press them but they are there purely for decoration and don't actually do anything other than light up.
I am impressed by the sturdiness of the ball and also it's durability. It has been dropped a good few times over the years as my little ones try carrying it with them but end up dropping it, and it has also survived being pushed off the coffee table, it has suffered no ill effects due to this so it is certainly a strong toy. Despite it being strong and sturdy it is actually really light and my 15 month old has no problem picking it up to take from one side of the room to the other!
Some of the animals are a little obscure and are not something I would expect to see on a children's toy such as needle fish, a yak! But of course this does mean that some thought has gone into it as they have needed to find animals for every letter.
Overall I do think this is a lovely toy and it is still quite widely available priced at around £15.
It not only teaches letter and animals but helps with co-ordination as baby learns to spin the wheel.
Thanks for reading :o) x
My son was fascinated by things that would spin when he was a baby and my husband saw this toy in the Early Learning Centre and picked it up for him when he was around 7 months old. The toy can currently be purchased from Amazon at £14.99 (July 2012). It is suitable for ages 6 to 24 months and aims to develop understanding of the alphabet, help in the identification of animal sounds and motivate exploration through the use of lights and colours. The toy requires 3 AA batteries which were included. We have not yet had to change the batteries and we have had the toy for around 18 months, it gets played with quite a lot so the battery life has been good in my opinion.
The toy is 20.5 x 49.5 x 31.5 cm and weighs 798 g, it feels quite heavy, but it needs to be to make sure that when you are spinning it, it does not topple over. The toy comes in one piece and consists of a spinning wheel covered with the letters of the alphabet and an animal picture that corresponds to that letter of the alphabet. The pictures are good and not overly cartoony, so they provide a good reference point for young eyes.
On each side of the spinning wheel is a red arrow and when the wheel stops spinning the arrow points to the letter and animal and makes the animal noise, whilst the wheel is spinning it sings 'spin spin a letter' over a over, which is a little bit annoying at times. On the base of the spinning wheel; which is blue, there is a red on and off button and also a green switch that allows you to choose what game sequence you want to play there are three play sequences that include Spin a Letter, Spin an Animal or Spin the Alphabet. On the side of the spinning wheel are black and white swirls covered with plastic with holes in on one side it is yellow and the other side green, when the wheel spins you can see the swirls spinning round. The toy is designed to improve motor skills, by encouraging your child to spin the wheel and also, as they get older to learn the alphabet.
My son at first would just spin the wheel over and over, not paying attention to what the toy was saying and often the wheel would not have the chance to actually stop on an animal/letter before he was spinning it again. It spins pretty fast and always made by son laugh. Now he is older, he will spin the wheel, wait for it to stop and try and copy what ever the wheel is saying.
Overall I think is this a great educational toy, it is made of durable plastic and is very sturdy. I would recommend this toy to others as I think that it can help improve your babies motor skills, teach them animal sounds and the alphabet and has a long life span as it offers more and more as your child gets older.
We brought this toy for my youngest son on his first Christmas he was only 6 months old and we found it difficult to purchase toys his brother or sister did not have for that age range. We brought it from Tesco for £10 and the regular retail is anywhere between £10- £15 so do shop around to try and find a bargain. This toy is great because it is very well made of sturdy plastic although it is a little big for a baby at 6 months the bottom of the toy is flat making it perfect for sitting on the floor in front of little one or on a flat surface for them to play with it.
The idea is to spin the large wheel on this toy and see where it lands there is a strip in the middle which shows pictures of animals and the corresponding letter next to the animal. The wheel is very easy to turn and even young children can just move their hand around in any direction and it will send the wheel spinning. As the wheel spins lights flash and when the wheel comes to a stop the lights in the arrows turn steady red to show little one what the wheel is pointing at.
There are 3 modes and the modes are easy to switch between with a little slider on the bottom of the toy and there is also an on/off button as you would expect it can be annoying if left on as any little knock sends the toy singing again.
1. When you spin the wheel it sings the alphabet and when you land on a letter it tells you how this letter is pronounced. This I very clear and although younger children do not appreciate what is going on they enjoy the spinning of the wheel all the same and this means that the toy can grow with little one and a better mode for older children.
2. When you spin the wheel it stops on an animal and tells you noise that they make for animals that there are no noises like fish or the turtle it plays a musical note. My children all love the sounds and they are very realistic and clear.
3. This mode is as you spin the wheel the alphabet is sang it does not matter on which letter the ball stops when you spin the wheel again it carries on from where it left off meaning the whole alphabet is played in sequence and is very catchy not only does it get stuck in my head but I find my children singing it as they play with other toys.
The age recommendation is from 6 months to 24 months I do agree with the lower end the ease of using this toy is fantastic the slightest touch sends the wheel spinning and after that all little one has to do is listen to the songs and then spin again meaning they are practising fine motor skills watching lights flash and hearing about animals and the alphabet.
I do think the age range should not be limited to 2 years my three year old little girl and four year old little boy both still love playing with this toy. Yes they do not sit for long amount of times playing but they still enjoy to spin the wheel and see where it lands all the same so I do think this can be extended a little. The different modes mean there is something for each of them to do and the toy will grow with your child.
This again is one of them toys that you wish you never purchased until you see you're little ones face while they are playing with this toy. The songs are catchy which is great as it holds the children's attention but they can become ever so annoying and you will find yourself walking around the house singing them over and over again.
What we like is there are a lot of normal farm animals included in the wheel but also a range of different options to what you would find on other toys so it does help increase their vocabulary. The pre recorded voice of the toy is British rather than American which means all the letters are pronounced as they will be learnt later in life unlike a lot of other toys.
As it is made of sturdy plastic it is very durable and it has been knocked over and dropped many times without even a scratch the batteries that were in the toy when we purchased it are still working and there is no sign of them slowing down anytime either even after around 16 months of use.
The combination of the bright colours that make up the toy, the lights that flash and the catchy songs this will draw and hold little ones attention keeping them occupied. It is extremely easy to use and seems to appeal to children from young babies when they can first sit up to older children interested in learning the alphabet.
The toy promotes fine motor skills and helps teach little one about the alphabet and animals the catchy song means the children remember a lot of what they hear very well even if it will drive the parent mad. I would recommend this to anyone looking for something fun and entertaining for younger children it is well made and does not cost the earth.
I am always happy when I see a branded toy and this Leapfrog toy has won awards. My little ones were bought one of these for their 1st birthday and although it says it is suitable from 6 months to 2 years it is a toy that they are getting more from the older they get. I can see them still playing with it beyond their second birthday as they start to learn their alphabet.
The toy is a brightly coloured wheel with the alphabet and a picture of an animal of that letter that baby can spin. It doesn't take much effort to spin and mine have never had any trouble getting it to spin. As the wheel is spun the black and white patterns on either end spin round and the red lights on the wheel flash. There are no gaps on the toy where the wheel goes round so little ones can't get their fingers stuck in it.
It has 3 modes of play:
'Spin a letter' where the toy says the letter that the wheel has landed on at the end of the spin.
'Spin an animal' where it says the name of the animal that it has landed on and also makes the noise of the animal.
'Spin the alphabet' this mode sings part of the alphabet for everytime the wheel is spun. This is the most popular one with my 2 and this is what I normally leave it on.
There are 2 volume levels which can be adjusted by the sliding switch on the side, I normally have it on the lower of the settings as I find that one quite loud enough! It takes 3 x AA batteries which were included and they have lasted well but this would be dependent on level of use.
At about £15 it is quite expensive and although it was nice to receive as a gift I wouldn't have purchased myself.
My son was given the Leap Frog 'Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo Ball' for Christmas when he was six months old. It is a plastic toy which requires three AA batteries. There is a wheel with different letters around it and each letter has a picture of an animal that begins with that letter, eg 'D' for Dog. There is a little arrow that lights up to indicate which letter/animal has been selected. The idea is that the child spins the wheel with their hands and then enjoys the spinning movement and different sounds. There are three settings. When the wheel spins on the first setting it sings the alphabet. A few spins are needed to hear the whole song. When the wheel stops on a letter you hear the noise that the associated animal makes, eg for a horse you hear 'neigh'. The second option sings a catchy song that goes ' the animals have something to say... they hoot and holler and chirp away... the animals have something to say... they swish and sway and sing all day'. When the wheel stops on an animal it says the name of the animal and then makes the sound of that animal, eg for a frog you hear 'ribbet ribbet'. The third option sings another catchy song that goes 'spin, spin a letter, how many do you know'. When the wheel stops it says the name of the letter it has landed on.
A big plus point is that the (female) voice has an English accent - unlike many toys which have American voices. The wheel is very easy to spin, although when my son first played with the toy he insisted on beating it with his fist rather than spinning it, but he soon got the hang of it. As well as being lots of fun the toy is also educational, teaching babies letters and animals. The toy is recommended from six months to two years. My son is now ten months and still loves it but I don't yet know if he will still enjoy it by the age of two. I have found this toy particularly useful to encourage my baby to lie on his front. By placing the toy directly in front of him it was at eye level and he could spin the wheel. It was also useful when he first learnt to sit up and needed something exciting in front of him to keep him occupied. We have used the toy a lot and the batteries kept it working for three months on daily usage so it doesn't get through too many.
The only way this toy could be improved is if there was some way to attach it onto my baby's high chair as this would be a great distraction toy to use while I was preparing his food.
I did not pay for this toy myself but I can see that you can get one for around £15 on Amazon which I think is very reasonable. I would absolutely recommend this toy and it is certainly one of my son's favourites!
Leap Frog Spin and Sing Alphabet Zoo Ball
My little granddaughter received this from one of her little friends. She was given it because every time she went to visit the friend this was the first thing she headed for in her toy box. She has had it now for over a month and because she has had so much fun with it I bought this same toy as a Christmas present for my Homestart family's twin girls who are the same age. Their initial reaction the other day was exactly the same as my granddaughters so obviously it has something that is very appealing to children of around 12 months.
I ordered mine from Amazon and it cost £11.97 reduced from £15. I didn't shop around too much as I had quite a bit of gift credit saved up in Amazon so I bought whatever I could from there even if it was a little more expensive . Possibly if you shop around you may find it cheaper or look out for it second hand.
The item comes in an outer cardboard colourful part box packing with a piece of card slipped in to the on/off switch so that it cannot switch itself on accidently on its journey to you. It comes with a batteries included and we have not inspected the batteries as it is screwed in to the compartment like they are in small children's toys. I do know it takes 3 AA batteries so you could use rechargeable ones should you have some with a charger otherwise whatever AA ones you like.Ours has been used every day since Nov 13th and shows no sign of wearing out as yet.
What does this do that is so appealing I hear you ask? Well it spins a bit like a fat Ferris wheel and need very little effort on the part of a child to get it to spin. There are three options to choose from and each produces a different reaction when the toy spins .the alphabet option sings the abc song in parts and you need to spin it about five times to get to the end of the alphabet. The zoo option sings a little ditty " the animals have something to say .. then names the animal that the wheel stops on eg lion, dog and needle fish!! As it stops it makes the sound of the animal but some like Needle fish appear tomake no sound! The other option sings a little ditty " Spin ,spin the letter" then as the wheel stops it clearly says the name of the letter. Sadly my daughter and I often find ourselves singing these little riffs and then realise what we have sung!
The wheel spins very easily as i have said and while it spins lights flash around it which is also attractive to youngsters of this age. They love it when they can do something to make something else happen and it is even better if you get movement , light and sound which you do in this case. The thing I approve of is that an English rather than American voice sings and you get the letter zed and not zee as you would in America.
The age range suggested is from 6 months which i would agree with because as soon as a child is sitting then he/she can spin the wheel as it spins very easily.
The toy is made from sturdy colourful hard plastic and despite being dropped a few times ours show no sign of any wear and damage. It sits on a good rubbery base so that when it is on a flat surface it doesn't move when the child is spinning the wheel. Although the toy is solid and sturdy it is not so heavy that our little one cannot carry it from one place to another. She does struggle a little but she does mange to move it from place to place within a room if she wants to.
The colours of the toy are all primary bright colours which children find attractive and when the wheel spins the lights flash red. I am not convinced that our little one will learn the alphabet early because she has this toy but I do think that once she starts hearing letter names then in her deep subconscious there will be a familiar memory. The alphabet song repeats soften that once she is talking I am sure she will start singing it. My own children loved repetitious singing of songs and by doing this they learned to speak quite quickly and their vocabulary expanded very speedily. Any catchy tunes and rhyming or repetitious songs helps children remember and develop their vocabulary.
I am very impressed with this relatively simple and not too expensive toy. It is solid and strong, the batteries seem to last a very long time and it provides a lot of entertainment for children from 6 months onwards. By the age of three I would think the interest in this toy would have completely gone but I suspect it will gradually wane until that sort of age.
So in short this is a fun, easy to use strong, brightly coloured and quite noisy toy. Sometimes I have to admit the tunes begin to wear a little thin but as our granddaughter loves it and chuckles when it reacts to her spinning then it is hard to stay too irritated for long. We have this in the kitchen on a shelf that previously held a bowl with matches (now on the top shelf). As we are busy in the kitchen she plays with this and the single malt whiskey boxes which hold Duplo and other small toys so it does get spun several times a day.
If yo are looking for somthing that will please a child from the age of 6 months and that is an ideal first birthday present then this has to be the toy of choice. It has my granddaughter's vote and the vote of my little Homestart family's twins too as well as my granddaughter's friend who gave it to her for her first birthday. So out of four one year olds they all give it the thumbs up.
As the parent you may get tired of the musical ditties but if that is your greatest problem as a parent then I envy you! The tunes are a bit repetitive but that is how children learn so it is just something you have to put up with so your children can develop and progress.
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