Product Type: Leapfrog baby toys
Newest Review: ... rhymes when they were played which encouraged them to clap their hands. The daytime mode was used most because my boys did not really ... more
A singing frog that avoids water!!
LeapFrog Hug & Learn Baby Tad
Member Name: Lools_24
LeapFrog Hug & Learn Baby Tad
Advantages: Bright, colourful, learning features, entertaining for younger babies and toddlers
Disadvantages: Loud, annoying, no volume switch, can't be put in the washing machine
***LeapFrog Hug and Learn Baby Tad***
The LeapFrog Hug and Learn Baby Tad is basically a soft plush frog teddy type toy with learning features. The toy is quite large at around 40cm tall and 25cm wide. The frog is bright green and dressed in an orange pair of dungarees with a bright yellow t-shirt underneath. The frog has a big smiley friendly face.
On the front of the frog there is a white panel with 6 different shapes all a different colour. These shapes are buttons which can be pressed and when pressed play a nursery rhyme.
On the left hand there is daytime mode which activates the learning games and nursery rhymes. On the right hand there is a night time mode button which when pressed plays up to 6 minutes of classical music which acts as a "soothing night time" comforter.
There is an on/off button on the foot of Baby Tad. There is a button in the shape of a pair of lips on Baby Tad's cheek which when pressed makes a kissing noise and says "I love you".
The toy requires 3x AA size batteries which are not supplied with the toy.
The Hug and Learn Baby Tad is available from various toy retailers including Toys R Us, Smyths, Boots, House of Fraser, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Amazon. The toy is typically priced at £24.99; my parents paid this amount in May 2010 from Toys R Us however some retailers offer a discount on the Baby Tad toy and you can pick it up for £19.99. For a singing soft toy £25 does seem quite expensive however my boys have got a lot of use from this toy over the last 18 months so it has been quite an economical purchase as the toy has appeal for younger babies and toddlers.
My parents bought the LeapFrog Hug and Learn Baby Tad for my boys when they were only 12 weeks old. Obviously the toy states that it is suitable from 9 months however the toy has no choking hazards or small parts that could be dangerous for a young baby. My boys at 12 weeks old could not use the toy fully and the learning features were a long way off but they really enjoyed looking at the brightly coloured soft toy and grabbing at the toy. I would press the buttons and set off the flashing lights and nursery rhymes which would stimulate my boys to smile and respond to the noise and lights. At this age the toy is interesting for a young baby however it is really large and young baby would struggle to hold and pick up a toy of this size. In fact the toy was almost the same size as my boys.
The size of the Baby Tad toy is great for older toddlers who can carry this toy around however for babies of 9 months who are just able to sit the toy is a little awkward. Because it is so large and not rigid enough to sit on its own the soft toy flops over when pressed by a child. I found myself wedging the toy between cushion and other toys so it did not fall over or having to hold the toy myself in front of my boys so they could get full benefit from the toy.
Over the next few months my boys would start to laugh and giggle at the nursery rhymes when they were played which encouraged them to clap their hands. The daytime mode was used most because my boys did not really like the night time mode. Leapfrog state the classical music played was to "soothe" babies however my boys did not really respond to this music and would either cry or just push Baby Tad away when in this mode. The night time mode was easy to set by simply pressing the frog's hand. Every time you press the night time button this adds another minute of continuous classical music up to 6 minutes.
As my boys got to 9 -10 months they were starting to make more use out of the features of the toy for themselves. When in daytime mode the boys were able to attempt to press the shape buttons on the front of Baby Tad. The buttons are a soft button however does take a little bit of effort to press and for my boys it was a little too difficult at this age. By around 14 months they were both able to press the buttons and by the buttons flashing it encouraged them to press the correct buttons when they were flashing. At 14 months they really enjoyed the six nursery rhymes that were played by pressing the various shapes or by pressing the daytime button on the hand and when the nursery rhymes were played would dance along with the upbeat songs. The nursery rhymes include "Hickory Dickory dock", "twinkle twinkle little star", "If you are happy and you know it", "insy winsy spider", "Baa Baa black sheep" and "where has my little dog gone".
From 18 months old I feel my boys got most benefit from the Baby Tad toy as a learning aid. When a child presses the shapes the toy states "that is the blue square" when a certain coloured shape is pressed. The shapes flash and if the child presses the flashing shape they are "rewarded" with a nursery rhyme being played. My boys now at 21 months can name all of the different shapes on front of Baby Tad and can point at the correct shape or colour when asked. Although soft toys traditionally do not have a lot of development benefits the LeapFrog Hug and Learn Baby Tad has a lot of features to help both babies and children develop. Firstly the toy develops motor skills by encouraging a baby to press the various buttons on the toy. There are also learning skills associated with the games teaching colours, shapes and learning the various nursery rhymes. This is also quite an imaginative toy; my boys both carry around Baby Tad are can often be seen pretending to read to the toy or pretending to feed it items of play food.
The toy "speaks" with an English accent but although legible because the toy is so loud, I also feel the toy speaks quite fast so you have to listen a few times before you realise what is being said. We also found it quite difficult to understand that the toy was called Baby Tad and it actually sounds like it says "Chad" not Tad because this sounds quite muffled. Children and babies may love this toy but as a parent it is a very loud and annoying toy as it is so repetitive.
Battery wise although the toy takes 3 size AA batteries we have only had to change the batteries twice in the last 18 months. I think this is quite reasonably by toy standards by only having to change batteries every 9 months.
Although this is a durable toy which hasn't suffered any damage when it is thrown, dropped and even fought over and pulled in two different directions it is not a very practical toy in my opinion My issue with the toy is because of all of the battery powered functions the soft toy cannot be put in the washing machine. Parents of young children will know how easily soft toys get dirty when in the hands of dribbly teething babies in particular. The toy can be sponged down and wiped which is how I have managed to keep the toy clean. Our Baby Tad looks in very good condition considering it has been played with regularly over the last 18 months but it does concern me that my boys might accidentally spill something near Baby Tad which could stain it.
The LeapFrog Hug and Learn Baby Tad has been an extremely worthwhile purchase and although at £24.99 for what appeared to be "a singing weird looking frog" it has proved to be an excellent toy that my boys got a lot of pleasure from as babies and continue to enjoy and learn from as toddlers. The Hug and Learn Baby tad is bright colourful and is packed with learning features, teaching colours, shapes, and entertains with common nursery rhymes.
Although LeapFrog states the toy is suitable from 9 months in our experience we gave this toy to my boys at 12 weeks old as the toy is a soft toy which has no choking hazard or sharp parts. At this age my boys could not really use the learning features or press buttons but took real pleasure from the bright colours, flashing lights and listening to the nursery rhymes and music. As my boys have got older they have started to benefit from and use the learning features and also enjoy simply carrying this toy round with them like they do with other soft toys.
For parents Baby Tad is very annoying, the voice, the singing and the fact the volume can't be turned down causes much irritation because the phrases and songs are so repetitive especially when your toddler gets so much enjoyment from pressing the buttons on the toy over and over. Aside from this personal gripe with Baby Tad my main criticism of this toy is that it can't be washed properly. It can be wiped and sponged down and luckily my boys have somehow managed to keep this toy clean over the last 18 months however I do feel spillages could potentially stain Baby Tad forever making this toy look quite dirty and tatty.
A toy that children and babies love and parents will hate!
Summary: A bright colourful frog from Leapfrog, that sings (loudly) to your child
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