Product Type: Little Scholastic baby toys
Newest Review: ... 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 d... more
Have fun on the farm!
Old Macdonald Hand Puppet Book
Member Name: Lools_24
Old Macdonald Hand Puppet Book
Advantages: Colourful, encourages learning, interactive, suitable for younger babies and toddlers
Disadvantages: Can't put in the wash
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!
Summary: A fun interactive hand puppet book
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