“ Brand: Mothercare / Type: Baby Toy / Type: Baby Rattles „
The amount of toys we have found in our pre-Christmas sort out is actually a lot larger than we thought it was even though it should be expected since our friends and family have spoilt our twin boys with toys since birth. As we are expecting an influx of toys with the onset of Christmas (and also 2nd birthday's in January) we are attempting to make more space in the toy boxes and cupboards for the new toys. However with baby number 3 due to make an appearance in April we are trying to save best baby toys (and the ones my boys did not destroy) so it is becoming more a case of organising the toys rather than the intended "sort out and move out" operation I had intended. One of the toys we are keeping is the Mothercare Love Bug Rattle.
***Mothercare Love Bug Rattle***
The bug rattle is shaped very much like a butterfly/ dragon fly. The rattle is about 10cm long. The bug has a friendly smiley face which is attached to a long multi-coloured thin plastic body. At the end of the body is a rounded mirrored rattle with a reflective section inside and multi-coloured beads. Attached to the "body" of the toy are two wings for a baby to hold onto the rattle. One of these wings is a block piece of red plastic which is textured. The other wing is made from red plastic and is in a wing shape but is more like a handle with three coloured rings to shake hanging from this handle.
The entire rattle is made from a hard plastic however there are lots of different textured and different coloured plastic sections for a small baby to feel.
Mothercare state that this rattle is suitable from 3 months old.
The Love Bug Rattle is available from Mothercare stores and online from the Mothercare website. The rattle is priced at £5.00 which is an average price for baby rattles and these types of teether toys if you compare with ELC and other brands such as Lamaze. The Love Bug Rattle is often reduced to £3.00 which is the price we paid in April 2010 and I have seen the product on special offer many times since. This makes the toy a good value purchase.
I only purchased one of the Mothercare Love Bug rattle for my boys to share; my rationale was that with these types of basic toy I would be better buying a varied range of rattles rather than two of everything. Even so both my boys played and enjoyed this toy.
I gave the Love Bug Rattle to my boys when they were around 14 weeks old. At this age they were awake for longer periods and were starting to focus on toys and look for things to entertain them. At 14 weeks old they had started to reach out for objects are were able to make a grabbing motion with their hands and starting to hold certain toys in their hands for short periods.
At 14 weeks both my boys were both able to hold the Love Bug rattle when it was handed to them. The shape of the toy is well designed for small hands to hold despite the toy being slightly heavy because of the hard plastic it is made from. The long body is thin enough for a baby to grab their hands around. A baby can also very easily hold the toy by the wing that looks like a handle. One wing is more difficult to hold as it is a block piece of textured plastic; however the other wing looks like a handle in the shape of the wing outline. Small hands easily can grasp around this section and hold on firmly so a baby can rattle and shake the toy.
The Mothercare Love Bug is more of a teether toy to be gnawed on than a rattle type toy. The tail of the bug has a mirrored ball shaped end which has coloured beads inside. When the toy is shaken these beads give out a rattling sound however this is a very quiet sound. For a parent this means this is not an annoying or noisy rattle but it also means that a child is not stimulated or entertained by this rattling sound as it is so quiet. As a result my boys didn't really shake this toy around like they did with other rattle toys. The plastic textured wings provide quite large areas for a baby to gnaw on. This seems very soothing and reliving for a teething baby and my boys gnawed continuously on these areas of the toy when they were going through bad teething periods.
The toy is quite basic therefore the appeal this toy has to a child is quite limited. At 3 months old the simple, bright coloured toy with its various textures and sections makes it very entertaining and between 3-6 months my boys were really entertained by this toy. By 6 months old they did prefer other toys to the Love Bug Rattle, mainly those that had lights or louder sounds. They did however seem to use the toy as a teether to chew on from around 6 months up until they were 9 months old however it did not seem to provide the same entertainment value and it was more as a relief from teething pains.
Developmentally this toy encourages motor skills and the design of the toy makes it very easy for little hands to pick up the toy. The bright colours provide visual stimulation whilst the rattle on the bug's tail and different textures on the wings stimulate a child's hearing and the sense of touch. I would say that the toy is very basic and this is why the toy is limited in its appeal to younger babies rather than older babies and toddlers as the toy does not really do very much.
The Mothercare Love Bug Rattle is very well made and the hard durable plastic has survived very rough play by my boys. My boys have dropped and thrown the toy from a highchair onto a tiled floor on a number of occasions which has not damaged the toy in anyway. The other advantage of the toy being made completely from plastic is that it is very easily wiped over with a damp cloth and I even put this toy in our steriliser on an occasion. The wings of the toy are made from a slightly more pliable and more flexible plastic than the main body of the toy which is why my boys seemed to enjoying gnawing on the wing section. Considering how ferociously they gnawed on these sections there are just very slight indents and teeth marks. The toy does not look in the same condition as it did when new because of these teeth marks but these are not completely noticeable until you look at the toy very closely.
The Mothercare Love Bug Rattle is not the best or one of the best baby toys that we own or have owned but I do think it is a good basic rattle toy. As a small colourful plastic rattle, it is very limited in its function as it simply makes a rattle sounds, has different textures for a young baby to explore with their hands and provides a good teething toy as my boys spent most of their time simply chewing on the wings of the toy. As a result it does have limited appeal and I feel and from 3 months probably will only last or entertain a baby until they are around 9 months old.
However for £3.00 I think this is an excellent value rattle which is compact so easily fits into a fully packed changing bag and is well made from hard durable plastic therefore has survived being dropped, thrown and chewed on a very regular basis by my two boys.