“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Musical Toy / Age: 12 months „
My daughter often gets bored in Tesco while we're doing our weekly shop, so we always pop into the toy aisle to buy her one of the cheaper toys that they do, so that she has something to occupy her while we're walking round. One of her more recent toys were some castanets (shown in the centre of the picture) that are part of the Tesco musical instrument range costing only £1. They come with a recommended age of 18 months plus. Although they are described by Tesco as castanets, they aren't the usual type that are held in the palms of your hand and instead come with a handle.
The castanets are a simple toy as expected for that price. They are made of plastic and are very plain. They have a small red handle which has it's own paddle at the top. Attached to this paddle on either side is a yellow piece of plastic and a blue piece of plastic, all connected via a small hinge at the bottom. These pieces of plastic move back and forth on the hinge to create the effect of a castanet and making a noise when they bash against the main paddle in the centre. As part of the design, the paddles are shaped a bit like hands. The overall instrument is small - I'd say it's around 17cm long at most.
Although it doesn't take up much room, it more than makes up for it regarding the noise levels! The noise these make can get a little annoying after a while - after my daughter has walked around making this noise for a few minutes, I have to try and get her interested in another toy because the noise is quite intense and starts to ring in my ears. This perhaps wasn't the greatest toy to buy in terms of keeping her occupied because although she loves them, it's not something I can let her play with for a long time because of the noise and obviously unlike most of her other toys, it does not have an on/off switch I can use. I think for holding my daughter's interest though it gets top marks. She really enjoys walking around and moving it back and forth to make the noise, I think she loves that she's in control of the noise being made. When she sees it in the toy box it's one she makes a beeline for to play with.
For £1 we have certainly had more than our money's worth from it and it is excellent value. Although on first glance it does look a little flimsy, it has been dropped on the floor countless times but looks as good as new. All of the musical instruments in this range are the same price - maracas and a tambourine are also available and although they are basic looking, they are excellent value in terms of keeping children entertained provided you don't mind the living room becoming part of a percussion section!
I've rated them 5 stars overall. I don't think it's fair to knock a star off for the very reason it has been created - the noise levels. If you don't fancy hearing the constant loud noise very much, then this is definitely not the toy to be purchasing, but otherwise these are a great value toy.
Thanks for reading :o)