Product Type: Insect Lore Child Development
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Doesn't grab anyone's attention in our house
Inspiration Works Peppa Pig Fun Phonics
Member Name: cha97mw
Inspiration Works Peppa Pig Fun Phonics
Advantages: features Peppa if your child is a fan, 8 different modes, educational and made well
Disadvantages: not well thought out, a bit boring really.
My boys have always liked Peppa Pig on the telly, but not really been grabbed enough for my to buy them any of the toys out of the range. I spotted this one however, and I felt that they would like it as it features all the characters they know and like, but from my point of view it is quite educational and supporting learning phonics, so I thought I would get it my youngest son in May last year for his birthday.
After an initial push of some buttons it got shoved under some other stuff and not played with. I wondered if that was because they didn't like it or they had just forgotten about it, so periodically I have forced the issue and got it out and said, look, let's play with this now. I even took it with us when we went away in the summer, thinking if it were one of the only toys they had, they would then play with it, but even then, it hasn't been a bit hit with either of the kids. I think perhaps it is a bit too prescriptive for them in what you have to do. My young neice was enthralled with it when she saw it with all the flashing lights, but as she was only 11 months when she played with it, she wasn't really getting best use out of it, and just pushing the buttons to see the lights flash.
The toy itself is pretty nice. It is quite lightweight and has a carry handle so it is portable enough. It is also a nice bright yellow with lots of flashing lights to grab the attention. There are buttons representing every letter of the alphabet with an image which is cartoon style and on the whole related to the show, such as P is for Peppa Pig, Z is for Zoe Zebra.
It is easy for a child to switch on with a dial at the top of the console, where you can swap from off to one of 8 modes. This sounds as though it should be really good but in reality, it is not that great, as some of the modes are fairly similar and a bit confusing.
Mode One - here, you are asked to press a key. This confuses my 3 year old, as the letter K is for Key, so he always presses Key, then it prompts you to press a key again, and he keeps pressing Key. I've tried explaining to him that key means button in this case, but he doesn't get it so this mode gets boring after a couple of presses of Key, and being told it is a Key.
Mode Two - Alphabet. This is quite similar to mode one as it tells you what the button is, but this time instead of saying for example, this is a key, it would say K is for Key, or O is for Orange. This is slightly better from my point of view as it is not just stating the obvious. I would argue that mode one is completely unnecessary.
Mode 3 - Find the Item. Here you are prompted to find an item that Peppa asks you to, eg. Find the Jug. It repeats it if you don't press a key, and if you get it wrong it asks you to try it again till you get it right. This mode is ok and can hold the attention a while.
Mode 4 - Find the first letter of the word. Here you are prompted to find the first letter of the word you are given. The words are taken from the console buttons, so really, when asked to find the first letter of the word you are really being asked to find the picture.
Mode 5 - Find the letter. Here you are asked to find a letter, Can you find F for Fish. In my eyes, this again is the same as mode 4. I don't see the point in having it there if it just asking you the same thing again buy in a slightly different way. It is just boring for kids having all the repetition of something that is not that exciting in the first place.
Mode 6 - spell the word. This is one of the better modes but it really is a bit tricky for a 3 year old, asking them to spell words by pressing the keys in the right order. My 5 year old is only just at the stage where he can try this really, and by 5 a lot of kids will not still be interested in Peppa Pig.
Mode 7 - Follow me. The child is encouraged to press the lights as they appear on the console. My kids like this mode, but it is limited to only 4 buttons in a row if they get it right. I think this would grab their attention a lot better if they could complete as many as they could concentrate on with some reward like, well done you got to ten, or perhaps if it counted as they touched a key. My 5 year old is obsessed with counting as far as he can at the moment, and he would carry on till he got to 100 if he could. This is quite limiting in this mode, and not that interesting once done a couple of times.
Mode 8 - A sound mode. Here, you get a sound associated with that letter of the alphabet, so an elephant trumpeting for Emily Elephant, or a jug pouring water for Jug. This has not really been a hit either. Once you have pressed them once or twice, the fun has gone really. I thought at first this would be a music mode, where pressing a key made a note you could then play a little tune with, but no such luck.
There are additional buttons at the bottom that the child can also press. The alphabet buttons take you through what all the buttons say in order of the alphabet. The repeat button makes Peppa repeat what she just asked you, and the music button plays a tune, which thankfully isn't exactly the same each time.
For the parent, it is not as educational as I first thought it would be, as it does not interest them long enough to get anything from it. Thankfully there is an off button, though no volume control so it is all at one level of noise when playing.
If you have any interest in this toy after this review, as I am sure some kids must really like it, you can get it at lots of places, such as amazon, tesco, argos. It is availbale between £15 and £22.50. I bet you could pick up a barely used one second hand for less, and I am sure I saw it for more like £12.50 at Tesco in the summer. It seems a popular toy as it is out of stock in quite a few places at the moment.
Other information that might be useful for you is it requires 3 1.5V AA batteries, which fit in a compartment at the back with a small crosshead screwdriver. The batteries have lasted a long time in our house through lack of use.
Summary: Not the best use of my pennies buying this one. Coming to ebay some point in the near future.
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