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Old Macdonald had a farm.....
This is one of our favourite songs and one that can go on and on with many different variations and to be able to bring this song and story to life with the help of a fun book is great. We have a number of these finger puppet books. I first saw them in use at our local library where the librarian who lead story/singing time used this as a way to get the children's attention and make learning fun and I thought this was great idea and so looked into getting a few for use at home. I think that storytelling is not just about reading the words on the page, its about bringing the story to life, making it entertaining and giving children a love of books that will last a lifetime and this book is a great way of doing that and cute too!
The story of Old Macdonald I think lends itself really well to a finger puppet book as you go through each animal and sing about it and highlight that particular animal by wiggling your finger etc. This book is really easy to use and interact with. This book features a little hand glove on the back and when you put your hand into each each finger is made up of a different animal. THe animals in question are a duck, a cat, a dog, a pig and a cow. I think you do definitely find all these animals on a farm but the dog and the cat tend to be the last animals we sing about and I think I would have preferred if they have of included a sheep and a horse first but oh well, that's just me.
The animals re all really cute and colourful and look just like the real animal which is nice so its easy to spot who is who. The animals, like the rest of the book are made of felt. The glove is quite thin and made of a thin felt and doesn't feel very luxurious on your hand like some finger puppets are but I think these puppets are more about telling the story than being a good quality puppet in my opinion.
The book is a hard cardboard book and has a couple of pages in it which tells the Old MacDOnald song as you go along although we never tend to look at the book now, we just sing the song when I have the glove on my hand. My little boy who is nine months old now really likes to try and grab at my fingers as I am wiggling them so I think he obviously likes this book and loves to see and hear the story.
The book comes in a nice plastic wallet which you can store it in as it has plastic poppers at the top for you to open it with so I think this also makes a nice gift as well and I have given a number of these books to friends with kids too because at just £5 or above each they make a really inexpensive gift.
A cute way of reading this story and bringing the farm to life.
For my daughter's first Christmas she was given this Old MacDonald hand puppet book from her grandparents. At Christmas Time she was around the four month mark and absolutely adored the Old MacDonald song and to sing it would instantly calm her, which was the main reason it was bought to her. I think my daughter;s grandparents bought this book in TK Maxx, but I have seen on the likes of Amazon for around £5.
This hand puppet toy comes with a hard back book attached to the palm of the hand of the puppet, and inside are the words of the song to match up with the puppet fingers along with some colourful pictures. The main hand puppet part of the toy has five different animals that feature in the song, one for each finger. Each animal, a cow, pig, horse, sheep and dog, are all fluffy and cute with a nice face. The hand puppet part fits both my hand and my husband's hand perfectly, and we are both able to move the animals with our fingers in time with the song as it is sung.
When my daughter first saw this toy she just reached for the animals to try and chew on them, however, when my husband and I started using the puppet as we sang her Old MacDonald she started grinning and tried to pull at the animals. For quite a few months after my daughter received this toy it was quite a favourite, however, she never really got into the book itself, and when we opened the book to try and look at it, she would lose interest. Even as she got older, she showed no interest in the book, only the puppets, and I think this may have been due to the fact that firstly she couldn't actually hold the book herself since it was joined to the hand puppet, and secondly it was very small, especially in comparison to her other books.
It has only been in the last couple of months that my daughter has lost interest in this book, and I think its probably because she has lost interest in the Old MacDonald song (we are now favouring The Wheels on the Bus!!) so she isn't as fascinated with the puppets. So recently when I was putting away some of her baby toys I included this toy. Nonetheless, this toy did last her at least five months, with her showing daily interest in the toy, so I think it was definitely worth the money!
All in all, a great toy for a child who loves Old MacDonald, however, it is definitely the puppet part rather than the book part that got my daughter's attention.
My mother-in-law lives a couple of hundred miles away, so when we see her because she hasn't seen the kids in a little while there is usually a little present for them, whether this is a little sticker book, a new T-shirt, a colouring book, or whatever else she has seen and thought that they might like.
One of the earlier purchases was this hand puppet/book combination, which I believe she picked up from the Early learning centre as I know she buys a lot from there and I have seen it in there when shopping myself. I see it is also available at places like amazon, and prices seem to range from £5-8 thesedays.
The idea is quite a novel one, and combines a hand puppet with a book of a familiar nursery rhyme. The idea is a good one, though a little impractical at times. We had a similar puppet for 5 little speckled frogs sitting on a speckled log, and this didn't have the book and was much easier to use as a puppet.
Firstly, the glove is quite a large one. I would say my hands are more towards medium sized, and this was big enough to accomodate male hands as well as female hands. The four fingers and thumbs each have a different farm animal on them, and the book is a cardboard one with a material cover which fastens with velcro. This sits in the palm of your hand, and I found it was quite large and uncomfortable to hold my hand round this book while it is on my hand so that the children could see.
I liked the idea of having a puppet for each verse of the song. My children were familiar with singing it because we used to sing the song at various playgroups we went to when they were small, so they would always be amused and join in at some level from an early age while I sang the song for them. I found by wiggling the puppet for that verse particularly when it was meant to be quacking or mooing or miaowing, even a 6 month old baby couldn't help to be attracted and hold their attention.
The colours on this glove were quite pastel, and I was always reluctant to let the kids play with this alone. Partly because my youngest used to put everything in his mouth - a habit he only grew out of when he was about 3. The cardboard would not have withstood this. I also didn't want it getting really dirty as it would have been impossible to clean it as you could not wet it for the same reason.
I found once my kids hit 3 they were not overly bothered by this any more. Their hands were too small to work it without my help, and they got into more active play with small figures and building bricks, and this no longer got more than a look once in a blue moon. There is not enough there in my opinion to hold an older toddler's imagination.
This was lovely, and fun to use, but it was a bit limited in that my children only wanted to play with it with me and not alone. It only got used a couple of times at most in one play session, and was less popular compared to other toys that they could interact more with themselves.
It's a nice introduction to books, and it was a useful thing for me to have on a wet day to get a sing song session going, but it wasn't the most comfortable thing to wear and use.
I loved this nursery rhyme as a child, so when i saw this book, I didn't hesitate to buy it! The glove and puppets are lovely and bright, well stitched and made of velour, with the puppets having embroidered features. The book, attached to the palm of the glove, has lovely little illustrations and the words to the song. The animals included in this version of the rhyme are: Duck, Cat, Dog, Pig and Cow. The glove is well made, and as it is of a stretchy material, fits not only my (very) petite hands, but also my husbands somewhat larger hands.
The book has kept both of my children enthralled - they love singing along, watching the puppets move, and having a go themselves. It has also grown well with them - my eldest has loved it from being a few months old up until now (almost 5) when he enjoys reading the words and being puppeteer for his little sister.
If i had one complaint, it would be that the book does not detach from the glove, making cleaning of the glove and puppets somewhat difficult.
A 'quacking' version of the cat-chy classic, and is lovely sung to 'moosic'. My kids Piggin love me singing it to them, even if my singing voice is a little 'Woof'..... ;-) This book has lasted my two for the past 5 years and is still a firm favourite - in my book this counts as excellent value for money!!!
From the number of toy and book reviews I have written over the last 22 months, it is probably clear my boys have a large number of toys and books. Mr Lools and I probably have gone crazy with our purchasing however friends and family are the main reason for this huge collection because we are constantly receiving gifts. These gifts are not just for events like Birthdays and Christmas; often they just tell us they "have bought a little something" and we find another toy or book is added to the collection. One of the early gifts we were given by my best friend was the Old MacDonald Hand Puppet Book.
***Old MacDonald Hand Puppet Book***
The Old MacDonald Hand Puppet Book is described as "The endearing sing-along tale that can soon be sung by heart, enhanced by the hand glove puppet which really brings this first young rhyme to life for your child".
The book is basically a multi-coloured velour glove. Each of the fingers on the glove are a different animal as part of the Old Macdonald farm animals listed inside of the book which is attached to the glove at the palm of the hand. The book itself is a square 10cm book which on each page outlines a different animal that can be found on Old MacDonald's farm. The book is covered with velour and attached to the glove so that it can't be removed, however the pages of the book are made from a thick cardboard.
The packaging states that this book is suitable for children aged between 0-2 years old.
The book is published by Little Scholastic. The Old MacDonald Hand Puppet Book is sold by a number of retailers including ELC, Mothercare, Waterstones, WH Smiths and Amazon. The RRP for the book is £8.99 which does seem quite expensive however Amazon sells the book slightly cheaper for around £6. ELC and Mothercare often include this book in their 3 for 2 books offer which makes this an affordable purchase.
My friend gave this book as a gift to my twin boys when they were around 10 weeks old. At this stage, they spent most of their awake time sat in their bouncing chairs or on a knee looking to be entertained by people or toys and would either scream and cry if they didn't like something or smile if they seen or heard something that they liked or were entertained by.
At such a young age the book was "played" with by either me or Mr Lools wearing the glove puppet on our hands and then singing along to Old MacDonald had a farm, and waving our fingers about inside of the glove to move the animals. On the glove the thumb is a cow puppet, the next finger is a pig, the middle finger is a dog, the next finger is a cat and the smallest finger is a duck. Obviously because of your muscles in your hand some fingers are easier to wiggle and hold up than others and make visible that this is the animal you are singing about. This did not really matter to my boys and at such a young age they were both entertained by the singing and the bright colourful puppet figures on the fingers of the glove. I have quite small hands and found the glove fit me fine with plenty room to spare. Mr Lools however has quite large hands and very large fingers and has commented that the glove is pretty small but he is still able to get his hand into the glove and use it as intended.
Until around 8 months old we tended to play with the Old MacDonald Hand Puppet Book with Mr Lools and I having the glove on our hands and leading play. At around 8 months my boys interacted more with the actual toy and would grab our fingers as we sang and opened the book on the palm of the hand and turned the cardboard pages. They took a real interest not only in the actual glove and finger puppets but the book and the animal images on the book.
Development wise I feel the book has the most learning benefits from around 1 year old. By around 14 months old my boys were singing along with the Old MacDonald song in a way Mr Lools and I could recognise as "Old MacDonald's Farm". By around 18 months old they were clearly singing parts of the song such which could be recognised by the staff at nursery. Therefore this was a great way to encourage language development. They also could start recognise animals and from 15 months were able to make the animal noises and by 20 months old they could clearly say all of the animal names and knew what sounds these animals made.
As my boys got older they would get this book out of the toy box and try and place it on their own hand. The glove is far too big for a child's hand to fit properly but my boys took a real pleasure and enjoyment putting their hands inside of the toy and singing with the other child. They also are entertained still by the book attached to the puppet although at 22 months old the book does seem quite basic as there are so few words within the book, they really are only prompts for the Old MacDonald song. This is one of the only "baby" books we have in their collection that they still really play with and all of the other soft books had been discarded by 12 months old as they were so basic and my boys had lost interest in them.
We have owned the Old MacDonald Hand Puppet Book for almost 2 years now and although it is looking slightly used it is still in a good to reasonable condition considering how regularly it has been played with and my boys regularly fight over the book. The actual square book attached to the glove puppet is still in excellent condition. The cover of the book is made from the same velour type material the glove is made from which protects the corners of the book. The small book is made from thick cardboard pages so children are unable to tear the pages. These pages are extremely durable and can be wiped clean. The corners of the pages do not look worn despite my boys sometimes gnawing on the book. If you look very closely at the book you can see some small teeth marks but the cardboard is very thick so these marks are not really too visible.
The main durability "issue" is that the velour glove section does pick up dirt quite easily. Marks can be wiped from the glove but you can't wash the glove by putting it in the washing machine like you can with other soft books because there is a cardboard book attached to the glove. As a result some marks just can't be removed and so the glove section of our Old MacDonald Hand Puppet Book does look slightly dirty.
I would definitely recommend this to other parents or to those buying a gift for a young child. The book is bright, colourful and interactive and the animal shaped fingers make this a brilliant way to engage with a child and get them to engage with the Old MacDonald song as the stimulation is visual in additional to the singing that (usually) goes with it.
The toy states that it is suitable from birth and I feel that initially at £8.99 it may seem an expensive book however my boys are still playing with this book now at 22 months old and I think is still suitable for a two year old, especially if they like singing along to the Old MacDonald song, whereas most of the other soft type books we have owned have been grown out of by 12 months old.
My only criticism of the book is that because the book attached to the hand puppet is cardboard you are unable to pop the hand puppet in the wash like you can do a traditional soft type book. As a result of regular play the puppet glove section does pick up quite a few marks and does look a little dirty but this does not stop my boys enjoying playing with the book!