Product Type: Leapfrog baby toys
Newest Review: ... about cooking and the other is counting and colours. You can set it at two different volumes too although level one is loud enough for my ... more
LeapFrog Cook & Play Potsy
Member Name: kat1234
LeapFrog Cook & Play Potsy
Advantages: fun, lots to do
We purchased the LeapFrog Cook and Play Potsy a few weeks ago for my son, who was growing bored of the collection of toys he had. We decided to buy this as, not only was it different to anything he already owned, it was quite an interactive toy - something that he enjoys greatly and gets a lot of pleasure from. It cost £14 from Tesco Direct and is also available at various online stores for around this price (from £14 - £20). It is for children from 12 months to 3 years.
The toy is essentially a plastic toy cooking pot, complete with spoon and plastic playfoods - corn on the cob, peas, tomato, broccoli and cheese. The spoon is a silver-grey plastic and had a pair of eyes and smile on the handle. The pot itself is a transparent blue colour - so you can see the food within it. It too has a smiley face on the side. It also has a solid orange plastic lid that twists in place on top of the pot. The plastic food bits are brightly coloured, chunky and hollow - so very lightweight. They are also slightly textured so feel interesting to little hands.
On the front of the pot there is a flick switch and a dial. These are used to switch the toy on and select the volume level and also select the play mode - songs or counting. The pot plays various songs and responds to actions like stirring and placing the lid on and off.
My son is 14 months old so at the lower end of the suggested age range for this toy. He loves the fact that he can pull the lid off and place it back on again. He is also particularly impressed that the pot responds to him doing this with the words 'on' and 'off' or 'open' and 'closed', giggling as the pot says this in various silly voices. He also enjoys playing with the plastic food items - placing them in the pot and removing them as well as holding them in his hands - they are a good size for him to fit them in his palm and grip them. He loves to explore the textures of these with his fingers too - particularly the corn on the cob which has a very grooved appearance. These also fit neatly in his mouth although do not appear to provide him with the teething aid he is looking for - too chunky and smooth to get to those hard to reach back teeth.
At 14 months, he has little interest yet in using this toy for 'cooking' although he does like to use the spoon to 'stir' various things in the pot (this is not confined to the accompanying food items - he likes to add shapes from shape sorters, blocks, little people...). He seems to enjoy that his actions cause a noisy reaction from the pot and will often dance to the songs as they play. As he gets older, I hope that this will be a great toy for imaginative play and he can cook along with mummy.
I really like this toy and it seems to offer the perfect balance of fun and educational benefit for me. I like the fact that the pot talks clearly (it also has a British voice) and enthusiastically as it really engages the child. The pot counts the pieces that you put in them - so teaches counting from 1 to 5. It also talks about the colours of the foods too so helps children to learn these.
For older children it also encourages them to use the pot for imaginative play - suggesting 'lets make a stew' and also talking about the food so they can learn what these are called too. Some things that it talks about, for example 'vitamins' and 'nutrients' are a little advanced for the age range that this is aimed at but I can appreciate that this is trying to encourage healthy eating in children.
This toy has also helped my son develop physically - with plenty of things to practice his grip on. He holds the food items in his palm and grips the spoon and lid between his thumb and fingers so is practicing different grips too. The songs are stimulating to him and encourage him to enjoy, and move to, music.
The pot also teaches children basic opposites such as on and off & open and closed. I think this will help my son to develop his speech and understanding of words as they are said following his actions.
For all the development and learning benefits, this is also fun too and can be played with together - encouraging discussion for older children about what they are cooking. Younger children can place things in the pot and take them out again (my son loves to put things in and take things out of containers at the moment) and open and shut the lid. The friendly, smiling faces on the pot and spoon appeal to children too.
Overall, I think this is a wonderful toy which is well thought out and engages the child in many ways. For all the learning benefits, I am very pleased with our purchase. I do think that the price of this is a little expensive on the face of it as it seems so basic with just a few pieces but with all the things it teaches my son, I would say that it will be worth it. I also think that it has quite good longevity and my son will play with this for at least one, possibly two, years as he will get different things from it as he grows and develops. I would definitely recommend it.
Summary: great learning aid