“ Brand: Manhattan Toys / Type: Learning Toy / Age: Newborn „
When my daughter was younger, and I could classify her as a baby ( she'll always be MY baby regardless! ), I tried to keep her toys simple and fun. And to be honest, I tried to buy things that I felt were good value and not too expensive because when it was just my son, I only had to financially look after one child. With sister coming along not that far behind him, Ive had to make sure the pennies stretched further, but also wanted to make sure she had some nice toys to play with. I bought this from Amazon well over a year ago, for under £10.00.
Why did I buy it?
At the time, my son had a lot of electrical toys, such as musical trains, cars, robots etc. Some of these my daughter loved playing with, but I wanted something that was eye catching and hopefully interesting for her not only to look at, but play with too. My son didn't really have toys like this, so thought it would be a good addition to our toy family.
What is it?
Its basically a mix between a book ( because of its format and how it looks e.g pages ), and a soft toy. Very much focus's on senses-touch, sound and sight. Made of fabric with pages that baby/child can turn.
How does it look?
Its rectangular in shape. 9.5 inches by 7.5 inches. On the front there is an image that appears to be a caterpillar. A large, green face, which is raised and you can feel and squeeze this area, as its stuffed with some form of filling. The rest of the body is made up of different patterned and coloured circles which flow around the head, and as they go around the face they get smaller. The caterpillar has yellow antennas that are made of ribbon. They partially attached to the book itself, so are free to be touched, played with and moved. Underneath the caterpillar is the word ' unzip ', which is followed by a white line that ends in an arrow that goes right around the edge of the book. This is there to show the direction you need to move the zip ( the edge of the book closes and opens by a red zip ) to open.
At the side of this toy is a small yellow bar which is attached. Made of some form of plastic, and has three different coloured almost flower shaped discs on them, that can be used as a rattle.
The first 2 pages are mainly bright yellow in colour, completely flat, no texture or added materials but has eyes, mouth and nose imprinted on the page, as if forming a face, in the middle of the pages. Just next to it there is a speech bubble that says ' Hello '.
The following page, right in the centre, is a circular mirror, with the word ' me ' written underneath. Around this, there are two further circular shaped areas, which are patterned and coloured differently.
The next page is about texture, patterns and shapes as its made up of 8 rectangular sections, each completely different in colour and pattern ( striped, spotted, checked etc ) and some of these are made from different materials.
Turn to the next page, on the left hand side is a semi circular area that appears to look very shiny and when rubbed or touched makes a crinkling noise. On this is the word ' Open ' with an arrow pointing to the right. When you open it, the two pages are brought together to form a picture of a caterpillar, the same as the one on the front of the book, but this time the concentration is on the shapes and patterns that make up this creature. The body sections are circles, all the same size, different colours and patterns. Some have added texture by having additional fabric on top of the sections themselves, so not completely flat. Antennas are the yellow ribbons again, attached to the page, similarly to how they appear on the front of this toy/book.
The next two pages, when opened fully, is a very long and quite sausage like shaped bee. Mainly yellow and black in colour, with stripes running along its body, black ribbons with white spots for the antennas that are loose so have some movement to them and two light blue circles to symbolise wings. Underneath is the word ' buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz'. Just before you turn over to the next page/s, if you pull out a strip that's tucked into the next pages, theres a triangle shaped piece of material that is the bee's tail. On one side its soft in look and texture like faux fur, and on the other side the material is flat and makes a crinkly noise.
The next two pages, again looks like a caterpillar, but this time the body is almost rainbow coloured, and on the page semi circle in shape, as half of the creature is fitted on the top of the page, and half on the bottom.
The last two pages are different shapes coloured differently e.g rectangles, triangles etc. Right at the bottom of the page are the words ( plus symbol ) ' I Love ( in heart shape ) you!.
Back page is the caterpillar from the front of this toy, but completely flat, and where the head is the smallest part and the rest of the body as it goes around gets bigger.
Suitable from 0 months.
How do we find it?
Its so funny, because when I first bought this for my daughter, she wasn't very interested in it. It just didn't hold her gaze for long but now she really likes it! She loves the different textures and bright colours, especially the face on the front as shes forever giving it a squeeze. She has a lot of fun with this, she can turn the pages with ease because of what they're made from and their size means the grip she holds is comfortable. No sharp corners, no bits that come off means I can leave her to play with this very safely, and no she cant hurt herself.
What do I think of this?
Lovely colours-bright, bold and not easy to miss! Very eye catching and child friendly. The design, the look and generally how its made up, is specifically geared towards young children, such as babies. Its simple, the pictures are very child like, nothing complicated, and has a good mix of textures, sounds and looks that will help any young child to have a few moments of harmless fun.
Acouple of downsides I can see with this-it can easily get dirty. Spit, vomit and goodness knows what, could potential ruin this. Ive checked the label on the toy and I cant see any clear instructions of care. I can only assume this is a wipe with damp cloth job, which never works for me! Ive noticed some areas of this toy picks up tiny fibres very easily, but its hardly a big thing and only seen when staring at it at very very close range. The other thing is the zip, it would have to be opened or closed by an adult or an older child as my daughter cant really move it! She knows what it does, but hasn't been able to use this solely by herself. The zip itself I feel needs to be more chunky and the bit you need to pull should be bigger so little hands can grip it better.
Would I buy this again? Yes I would. Its well made and thought out. Brightly coloured, so would stimulate any child in regards to sight and textures/sounds. Very simple layout but with great basic and child friendly characters. It doesn't take up too much room because of its shape and what its made out of. For me, its nice to get back to basic, simple toys and not relying so much on computers or technologically led items for children. Overall a great toy/book that can be given to any baby, and potentially could be enjoyed for at least a year since original purchase date.