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My Grandma never has any idea what to buy the children so she always gives me a budget to work to and I sort out all their presents, the year before last I was looking for a Christmas present from her for my youngest who was only going to be 3 months old that Christmas and ended up finding this being sold at Tesco for £15, even though the toy is for 9 months and up we decided it could be put away until she was ready and bought her it. Availability As this toy was bought a while ago now it is limited on availability due to the fact that companies are always bringing out new toys and the others are then taken from sale however you can still get this toy from Amazon and it costs £42.99 which just shows how good a deal we got when we bought it. The Chair The chair comes packaged in a bright blue box the way the majority of Vtech toys do, there was an open part to the box so you could have a little play of one side of it before you bought it. Inside the box there was a set of instructions which you don't really need and then 4 pieces to the rocker, you have the bright yellow back piece and 2 bright green rockers all 3 of which fit to the seat base to make the rocker. The pieces all simply push together so the rocker is very easy to assemble and ready for play within a minute which I feel is always great with kids toys as you them don't have your child dancing around you dying to get to the toy whilst you try and work out a complicated build. The back piece of the rocker is shaped like a bears head and has a big smiley face on it which I thinks makes the seat friendly to a young child and it also has little letters and music signs embossed onto it. I think the chair is well thought out and looks very inviting for a child. The Base As I say my daughter was only 3 months old when she got this rocker so there was no way that she was able to use it as it was intended however we got the base out of the box to begin with and we sat and encouraged her to hit the toy to see what would happen, even though she didn't know what she was doing she seemed to like it when she was rewarded with little tunes. The base of the rocker is orange in colour with a pressure point on the seat and then two arms which are white in colour and have different activities on them. The base looks very inviting and my daughter used to enjoy playing with it and when she learnt to sit up she would then sit next to it playing with it too, her older sister also sat with her setting things off for her that she couldn't manage herself which I though was nice and it was lovely to start to see an interaction between my two girls. Setting of Play On the left hand side of the chair there is a red slider button to turn the toy on, this slider can be turned to the left or the right and gives 2 modes of play one of which is a picture of a book and one of which is a picture of a musical note. On the opposite side of the chair you have a second slider which is green in colour and this can be moved to give 2 different volume levels which as a parent I always think is a great idea and helps not to drive you mad quite as much. The chair takes 2 x AA batteries and they are hidden in a battery compartment underneath the base which is secured but can be opened with a coin or a blunt knife rather than needing a screwdriver which is another thing I like about the chair, I think Vtech are a company that try to make childrens toy easier to use and parent friendly too. if the toy hasn't been touched within a few minutes the toy will announce bye bye and shut itself off to preserve the battery life which of course is great as my eldest is forever turning toys on for her sister only for them both to walk away from them within minutes. The Music Setting On moving the slider to this setting you get a trumpet sound as if sounding to announce the arrival of a queen or something and then the rocker says lets make some music and plays a song about clapping your hands, if you don't touch the toy within about 30 seconds the toy will sing the song again for you. On the Right hand side of the seat there are 5 different things for your child to do, you have a red button with a flute on it, a yellow button with a guitar on it and a blue button with a trumpet on it, these buttons are all varying sizes getting bigger with each one and they are a great size for your child to press easily which was how my daughter managed to play with the toy from a young age. On pressing these buttons they will either say the name of the instrument and play the sound of it or they will make a musical note sound and there three different buttons are three different notes, I like these buttons they introduce instruments and even though your child won't understand it they start to introduce the musical scale. Also on this side there is a ball which can be rolled one way or the other kind of like a rollerball on the underneath of a mouse, the ball is textured and coloured blue one side and red the other, the toy makes a funny whirling noise when the ball is moved and my daughter finds this amusing. The final activity on this side of the seat is a little book which has one plastic page to be turned, turned one way the seat will play Jack be nimble and turned the other way it will play Humpty Dumpty, the book shows little pictures to go with the nursery rhymes too. This book can get quite annoying when your child sits and turns it from one side to the other quickly so that the rocker only gets one line of each rhyme out before moving to the next one. On the left hand side of the seat there are a further 5 activities, there is a spinning wheel with numbers and letters pictured on it, when you move the wheel it sings the clapping song that you hear when the toy is first turned on. There is a bright yellow star button on the front and when this is pressed it plays you the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star which we sing along with for our daughter and she enjoys dancing to, the further three buttons are a red button with a picture of a cat on it, a blue button with a picture of a bird on it and a green button with a picture of a dog on it. When pressing the animal buttons they either make the sound of the animal that is on the button or play a tune, there is Old Macdonald, NiK Nak Paddywack and Row Row Row your Boat, my daughter loves all the songs and loves to dance and when they are playing the red and green buttons light up too, I think the toy could have done with a few more flashing lights. My daughter really enjoys this mode she used to bounce around on our knees to the music and now since she is old enough to sit on the seat she will set a button off and then jump up and dance to the music before sitting back down and starting again, the only problem with this is when your child sits on the seat the pressure point under there bum plays a tune whilst it is pressed so when she jumps off to dance the tunes stop and she looks very confused. The Book Setting When turning to this setting you get the sound of a train chugging along and then you get the same song as with the other setting about clapping your hands and then the chair announces lets rock. The three buttons on the right hand side of the chair (blue, red and yellow) from above still say the name of the instrument and make the sound of the instrument but when pressed again they will announce the colour of the button too so it begins to introduce colours to your child. The book on the right hand side does exactly the same of it did in the music setting and plays nursery rhymes and the ball says roll me. I don't think there was any need for a second setting on the chair for the right hand side as the only extra you get with this setting is the colour names which seems poor from a totally different setting. The left hand side of the chair does a little bit more in this setting, the spinning wheel announces 1,2,3 and a,b,c to your child although when spinning the wheel it doesn't have anyway to let them know which saying goes with which pictures. The animal buttons have different sayings in this setting and they also announce the names of the actual animals which is nice as with this setting your child gets the name of the animal followed by the sound the animal makes. Emilys Opinions Emily loves this toy, she enjoys pressing all the buttons and she loves dancing to all the tunes the toy plays, she used to bring the rocker to the TV and sit on it to watch however now she has worked out she doesn't need to push the rocker she can sit on it and shuffle it across the floor to get to the TV instead which I find funny as she has such determination in her face and she always gets there in the end. The toy gets played with everyday so I know she must love the toy although I can't say how much she is learning from it as she barely speak normal day to day words yet never mind colours, numbers and letters. My Opinions I don't think there was any need for a second setting and the chair could have just simply been to play with as a whole, my daughter is 20 months old now and she cannot manage to turn the chair from one setting to another so it tends to stay on the music setting as this is the one she seems to prefer. I like that the toy can be turned down and we haven't had to change the batteries in the toy in over a year so the battery life is great. I like that the toy starts to introduce music as there is quite a musical talent in my family of hearing music and just playing it although I have not inherited the talent I am hoping my girls might have and already think my eldest has a good musical ear. The chair is very strong and durable it is made of hard plastic and it has been banged into walls, fought over and dragged across the room with no damage I would recommend this toy, my daughter has had a lot of play with the toy and it is supposed to be for up to 3 years old which I don't know if she will still play with it at that age but she is 20 months old now and it is a toy she still plays with everyday.