“ Brand: Tomy / Age: 12 months „
If you are stuck for a present for any child aged from about 1 year to about 3 i would go for this toy. It costs from around £17 (the cheapest place i found was Mothercare) and has a long 'play life'. It has been very popular both with my son and any visiting children some reasons for my recommendation are: It is educational, helping to develop hand eye coordination and understanding of consequence of actions. You can use the different coloured balls as a fun way to learn colours and they are good to play with just on their own, as they are all different and some have rattles. Each of the levels has a different kind of texture and there are clear tubes as well as the brightly coloured levels. It is a visually interesting and appealing toy. The bridge parts can be assembled at different heights, so if your baby is just sitting they can play with a lower version of the ball run. I found that the ball tower actually encouraged my son to sit up and gave him support (obviously supervised) when he was starting to kneel and stand. The desire to reach up and put the balls in to the top really motivated him. It is a really good toy for two to play, putting balls in different sides and trying to put loads in at once always gets the children excited. The bridge tower can be joined to the Ball Spiral, another similar product, to make an even more complex ball run and keep interest in the toy. The toy is really sturdy and well made - it is a well thought out, quality product. It fits together easily and comes apart into storable pieces - the only drawback i would say is that if you want to keep it assembled it does take up a bit of space. An excellent christmas buy!
Does anyone remember the old marble runs? you know the one where the marbles zig zag down the tracks? Well now there is a baby version, by Tomy. My partner came home with this toy today, as another late birthday pressie for out Daughter! He had seen it in ELC, and not had a chance to go back and get it until now! It has 3 'bridges' (strait), 2 of them have like a step effect, and 1 of them has little bobbles dotted either side to give the effect of zig zagging. It comes with 10 balls, they are a good size, wont fit in the mouth, but easy to hold by babies. 5 of the balls are 2 tone coloured with a face on, they also make sounds(rattle), and are hard balls, the other 5 are softer, but not squishy, and are a complete colour. Also it comes with a wide funnle to put the balls into, which makes it easier for younger childre and babies. All of the set is brightly coloured, and my 1 year old loves it! she got the hang of putting the balls in strait away and does it easily now on her own. It helps develope hand and eye co-ordinatiion as well as stimulation by the different sound the ball makes when it runs down the track. This toy is recommended for age 9 months+, and there is also another set that is a spiral version, rather than strait tracks. The 2 sets can be put together to make 1 big run, and you can do different things with the 2 sets, rather than just a tower. The spiral one is around £15.oo and the one I have was £17-£18.00. You can see what it looks like by going to their web site at www.tomy.co.uk .