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For Christmas Jayden's Auntie bought him the Mamas & Papas Charlie Caterpillar Rocking Animal, we knew she was getting this and although at the time he was a little young for this product he would quickly grow into it and get a lot of use out of it.
The Mamas & Papas Charlie Caterpillar Rocking Animal came in a large rectangle box, it had the name of the product written on both sides with a large picture of Charlie Caterpillar and a child sitting on it.
There were also other facts about the product written in several places on the sides of the box giving your the benefits of this product and what can be expected of it. There wasn't a huge amount of information on the packaging, it was mainly taken up with pictures, however it did tell you what you needed to know and gave you a really good idea of what the product looks like once assembled.
The Mamas & Papas Charlie Caterpillar Rocking Animal is basically a large brightly coloured rocking caterpillar. The actual caterpillar is made up of bright multi coloured sections including orange, red blue, green and yellow, Charlie has a smiling face stitched on in blue with a star stitched on each cheek, he then has a star and a sun stitched on a couple of the different coloured sections.
Charlie has two feet per coloured section, these are different colours and patterns and contrast the colour of the section they are stitched to. The caterpillar also has a green pointed tail and two antenna which are in the shape of flowers.
Charlie Caterpillar is sat on light wooden rockers with matching foot rests and also small handles on each side of his head allowing your child to sit comfortably and hold on as they rock. Other features of Charlie Caterpillar include the feet which are scrunchy and rustle and one of the antenna squeaks as you squeeze it, the name Charlie is also stitched on one foot. The whole thing is covered with extremely soft fabric and is well padded making it comfortable to sit on.
I did wonder how big this product would be, I was planning on keeping it in Jayden's room when it wasn't being used so I didn't want it to be too large, however this was not the case the size was ideal, it measures 51cm(W) x 34cm(D) x 66cm(H) it weighs 4.6kg so it is easy to carry and move around as and when needed making it simple to move it from one room to another. The fact that it is light and compact is ideal for us as it means I can keep it in Jayden's room when he's not playing with it and move it downstairs when he wants to use it.
Charlie Caterpillar is designed for children 12 months plus with a maximum weight of 25kg. This toy is designed to encourage stimulation and interaction, playing with Charlie Caterpillar helps your child with the development of sight, touch, sound, fine motor skills, imagination and exercise.
The different bright colours will help with your child's sight as well as learning and recognising different colours, the different textures on Charlie caterpillar will help with touch and the recognition of different textures, the scrunchy feet and squeaker in the antenna is designed to help with hearing and just the task of rocking the caterpillar whilst sitting on it will develop your child's motor skills and help them to get a bit of exercise.
One simple toy really can help with your child's development in many ways, it is not just an alternative to a rocking horse, it really can help with a lot of aspects of development.
When it comes to assembling Charlie Caterpillar there is a small instruction leaflet inside the box and it comes complete with all the fixings needed. It is only the rocking base that needs assembling and this is not too complicated to do, it can be a bit fiddly but nothing overly technical.
When it comes to the care instructions there is not really a lot to say, you cannot put any part of Charlie in the Washing machine but should you need to clean any part of this item a wipe over with a damp cloth to remove any dirty marks, this is the case with the fabric parts as well as the wooden base. Should you wipe over the fabric parts with a damp cloth it is advisable to leave it to dry thoroughly and air.
As I have mentioned this was purchased as a present for Jayden, however I have done a bit of research and found this product available in variety of places including supermarkets, Amazon and various other websites. The prices varies quite a lot depending on where it is purchased from, I have seen it sold for £45.00 at Asda online and anything up to just over £80.00 from other websites. I think £45.00 is a reasonable price, however I think some places do have this item over priced.
Jayden started using his Charlie Caterpillar a couple of months after he received it, he was under a year, however he was able to sit up well on his own and had good control, also he was never left alone on the caterpillar someone was with him at all times.
He fitted the toy well and his feet rest comfortably on the foot rests and he held onto the handles nicely. He does still find it a bit hard to rock the caterpillar, he will move backwards and forwards to try rock but he hasn't quite got the movement but he will sit happily if you gently rock the caterpillar for him, but he does enjoy trying to do it himself, especially if you put him in front of the mirror whilst he's doing it.
The toy is of an excellent quality, it is strong, sturdy and well made, this is the sort of toy that will be long lasting and that hopefully he will get a lot of use out of as he grows. The product was reasonably priced and worth the money depending on where it is bought from, however it is worth shopping around as the price varies a lot depending on where you buy it from.
Jayden loves his Charlie Caterpillar and will even sit and just play with the scrunchy feet and the caterpillar itself without sitting on it, it also makes a lovely item to have out on display in your child's bedroom. All in all we have been extremely pleased with this item and would highly recommend it to anyone, it is an excellent toy for both boys and girls and should last them for several years.