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Well Christmas is over :( and ours was the best ever. Our little son's first Christmas was a success. He had that many presents we were still opening on Boxing day ha ha.
One of his favourites so far is the Playskool Poppin Elefun brought to him off his Grandad. The Poppin Elefun is a bright and colourful toy that basically fires various coloured plastic balls up into the air. It is priced at around £30 from Argos and Smyths. It is designed for children 9 months and over and promotes skills such as developing a child's hand eye coordination, and helps them understand cause and effect.
The Elefun stands at 38 cm tall, and is a solid strong plastic material in a deep sky blue colour. It has a yellow hole in the tummy where the balls drop into and a green and orange paw each side. The Green paw catches the falling balls and sends them into the tummy, and the orange paw has a red button which activates the elephant. On the head is two purple ears and a blue trunk. The Blue trunk fires the plastic balls up using air once activated. The balls then fire up and fall into the ears depending on where you position the trunk. The trunk does pivot all the way round and will fire the balls in any direction.
The Elefun takes 4 D Batteries so takes abit of power, but these are powering the air to fire the balls up, and plays 10 different songs when started. With the Elefun you get 5 plastic balls in various colours.
The Elefun is a great toy, it is bright and colourful and attractive to young children with its playful design and appearance. The design makes it easy for children to use on their own and they can easily press the start button to set the elephant off. The plastic balls are light but strong, and not to small for little mouths. As children develop they can learnt to pop the balls back in the top to send them flying back out the trunk. Our 10 month old has already learned how to start the toy and where the balls go at the top so is learning already.
The music the toy plays is not too irritating and not too loud. The air that comes out to fire the balls also doesnt make too much of a noise but can sometimes be a little to weak and some balls hover in the trunk. To be fair though this is only on the odd occasion and isn't really a fault. Our son loves this toy and it is a clear favourite this Christmas
My daughter received this as a gift from her nan last Christmas, they at the time and still do retail just short of the £30Mark which I think is an ok price for this toy.
In the box you get a quite large elephant which is made of a good quality sturdy plastic which has allowed my little one to pull her self up from a sitting position without the fear of toppling over which is always a good thing in a toy designed for babies in my opinion.
There are five balls included in the box which I have to say are also made of tough stuff, my toddler has tried biting these on many occasion and unlike balls that came with other toys these are still perfect and are of a good size so not to fit in the mouth so there is no choking risk untill they are old enough to know better than to be putting them in there mouths in the first place.
The elephant requires 4 x d type batteries, the really big fat ones you never seem to have as most things take smaller batteries and I would recommend getting decent ones too as the cheap ones don't last very long as they need to be quite powerful to make the elephant work.
The elephant works by blowing air through his trunk to push the balls up into the air, I expected it to be noisy as most air powered things are but was pleasantly surprised that it is very quiet.
Once the balls pop out of the elephants trunk you never know where they are going to go so this adds to the excitement for your baby as some times they get recaught by the elephant and pop out of other places on him to my daughter's amazement every time and other times they land on the floor for baby to pick up and put back in.
Whilst all this is going on the elephant also sings songs to you, ten different ones in fact which all add to the fun of playing with him.
This was brought for Casey and is suitable from 9 months upwards, whilst Casey loves it and has had lots of fun with it so have my other three children so it is a toy that they will still enjoy long after the baby and toddler stage and I would recommend to all parents of a young child.
Having received the Playskool Poppin Park Elefun Busy Ball Popper as a gift for my son at Christmas my first impression was that it should be quite fun to play with. Not for me to play with obviously, not all the time anyway.
The packaging was colourful and the box was open at the front so you can see the toy without having to open the box.
Aimed at children that are nine months plus the packaging claims to teach hand eye co-ordination, cause and effect and object permanence.
I was keen to remove the toy from the packaging and let my son use it. The toy itself is pleasing enough. A big blue Elephant with his trunk pointing up in the air and a big cheeky smile with his tongue sticking out. It has two purple ears, one green leg and one yellow leg that both point out from the side of the body just underneath the ears. It also has a hollow belly where the balls drop into.
There are also five coloured balls. As you may have already guessed the object of the toy is to drop the balls into the elephant and it shoots the balls out. These balls have no weight to them. They are the kind of balls you would find in a ball pool. Cheap hollow plastic. No danger to your child if one hit them.
I'd like to point out that this toy is no shrinking violet, it stands out from the crowd. In fact it is probably the biggest toy we received at Christmas. If your house is already full of toys avoid this toy. The weight of the toy is 1.7kg and the dimensions are 38cm tall, 35cm wide and 19cm deep. It does seem to take up quite a bit of room when you have it out in the middle of the floor.
It doesn't come supplied with batteries either and requires four D batteries. The big batteries that you probably don't keep at home. I was surprised it required four and expected that once I had put the batteries in and set it running the air blowing from the trunk would be quite powerful. In fact I thought that four D batteries would create enough wind I could double the toy up as a leaf blower. Not the case at all.
The elephant operates by pressing a big red button on the yellow arm of the elephant. Pressing it sets off the air blower and plays a tune. It apparently plays ten different tunes but I'm not convinced it does. Maybe some just sound the same as the others. The music it plays is the kind of music you would expect at a circus. Imagine a clown juggling whilst a small bear drives around in a car and I'm sure you can come up with a tune similar to what the elephant plays.
You can drop the ball through a hole on the side of the elephants head. As the air blows it carries the ball up through the trunk and fires it into the air. This is basically all it does over and over again. Sometimes the ball will land back onto the ears roll around and go back up through the trunk or they drop down onto the green arm and roll down into the belly but more often than not, it fires up into the air bounces of the edge of the ears and goes rolling under the television stand.
At first my son did like the toy but it was only a matter of time before watching it fire balls into the air got boring. In fact it doesn't even fire them into the air anymore. They come up to the top of the trunk and just hover there in suspended animation because it seems after just a few times of using the air blower it loses even enough power to lift the balls up and out. Got to be honest, there was no way I was shelling out more money on batteries for another ten minutes of the same thing. The elephants poppin days are over and have been since the turn of the new year where he has found his rightful place down the side of the settee.
Before I finish I would like to talk about what the makers of this toy profess it teaches. Firstly cause and effect. To describe this I have quoted Wikipedia but maybe somebody could explain this to me a little better.
Cause and effect (also written as cause-effect or cause/effect or cause and consequence) refers to the philosophical concept of causality, in which an action or event will produce a certain response to the action in the form of another event.
Cause and effect is a central concept of Buddhism;
I'm guessing the action is the pressing of the button and the response is the air throwing the ball up in the air but it doesn't even do that properly so I have to disagree that it teaches cause and effect. Cause and very little effect maybe.
Secondly object permanence. Again I quote Wikipedia.
Object permanence is the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be observed (seen, heard, touched, smelled or sensed in any way). This is a fundamental concept studied in the field of developmental psychology, the subfield of psychology that addresses the development of infants' and children's social and mental capacities. There is not yet scientific consensus on when the understanding of object permanence emerges in human development. Some researchers contend that it is acquired within the first two years of life, while others believe that it is an innate or built-in understanding present at birth.
Again I'm a bit baffled. Is this another way of saying "now you see it, now you donÂ't". Either way cause and effect and object permanence are not exactly descriptions I would look for when seeking an educational toy for my child. Both terms just seem quite complicated and I doubt many parents would understand the meaning, or maybe it's just me.
On various online stores this toy seems to be priced on average at around £26. An expensive price for a toy that although catches the eye and looks like it could be fun, is ultimately disappointing. Maybe in a few months time my son will pull from beside the settee and play with it but until then it will still prove a massive waste of money.
Somebody that already owns this toy may disagree with this review and maybe as an adult I am being hyper-critical but my honest advice to anybody is avoid this toy unless you can get it at a really cheap price. There are far more toys out there that provide value for money and have more educational benefits for your child.
Why I bought it
I bought this when my son was about 9 months old, I was looking for a larger interactive toy for him to play with, I had read reviews prior to buying this toy which were of a mixed reviews and decided that I would give it a go.
What do you get?
The toy came ready to use all we had to do was insert the batteries. It also comes with 4 different coloured light weight plastic balls.
What it does
The toy is blue and sits upright and has an elephant's trunk that acts as a funnel when you press a red button on one of the elephant's feet, the coloured balls shoot up and hover over the trunk and the balls also pop out of the elephants trunk.
The balls can be placed in the elephants ears and they then roll down the body of the elephant and pop up out of its trunk, when the red button is pressed it plays a variety of different tunes and also makes a noise like a vacuum cleaner so it's a rather noisy toy. The trunk where the balls appear can be twisted so that you can have the balls shoot out at different angles.
The red button on the toy is large enough for my son to easily push it also has an on off switch which it useful to stop accidentally turning the toy on if you rest on the red button.
The only issue I have had with this toy is the vacuum cleaner type noise it makes, this is the motor used to blow the balls up into the air but my son was scared of this noise when we first turned it on he had a look of horror on his face and would back away from it. I attempted to get him to play with it a few times without turning it on, obviously you don't get the whole ball popping experience unless its turned on, and he did play with it a bit.
8 months on
My son is now 17 months old and though still a little bit wary of this toy he will now play with it with other people, generally not on his own, he's happy to put the balls into the elephants ears and watch them pop out and he laughs at this. I think the age range for this toy of 9mths plus is a bit young as in my experience my son found the noise a bit scarey.
I think I paid about £30 for this toy in Toys R Us, I wouldn't usually pay this much for a toy but my son had received some cash as a gift and I thought I'd spend it on his first biggish toy. I subsequently saw it for £15 in a supermarket.
A bit noisy, vacuum cleaner noise might scare your baby a bit but they can get used to it. A bit pricey wait for it to be on offer if you would like to buy it.
Sturdy and colourful toy, entertaining for an older toddlers.
Includes easy press activation button 10 songs and 5 balls. Made from plastic. Develops their motor skills. Helps with their social and emotional development. Helps with their speech and language development. Helps with their physical development. Improves their hand-eye coordination. Improves their visual development. Improves their sound awareness. Encourages creativity. To be used under the direct supervision of an adult. General information: Size H38.4, W35.9, D20.6cm. Weight 1670g. Batteries required: 4 x D (not included). For ages 9 months and over.