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Last year in November, I decided to purchase this particular toy for my daughter to put away as a Christmas stocking filler. It cost around the £7.00 mark from my local Home Bargains store. I had seen it stocked there for afew months and thought it may be something quite nice for her to open on Christmas Day.
Why did I buy it?
For afew reasons really. One being its made by the company Leapfrog, who make some very qood, fun and educational toys for children. Taking this on board I thought it would be good value for money. My son had some very basic maracas which were non branded, and I thought having something similar but with more features, it could entertain both of them. Thirdly, I thought the price was great--not costing the earth and I love the idea of introducing music to children at a young age.
How does it look?
This toy is basically a set of maracas. They are made of some form of plastic , not too heavy and both very brightly coloured ( blue, green, red, yellow, orange and white ). Completely unisex.
Even though there are two, they are not completely the same. One makes a sound when shaken like a traditional maraca. It sounds like it contains some form of small beads. The other is battery operated and requires 3 AAA's. On the front it has a simple on/off button ( you can also adjust volume here ), and a button to switch the language from English to French. Just above that is section where you can chose to put it into the number mode, colours or music. All of these buttons you need to slide across to change function rather than to press.
What age is this toy aimed at?
Children from 6 months old to 3 years.
What does it do?
The ' ordinary ' maraca you simply shake. The other one does slightly different things depending on what mode you put it on:
Numbers-the maraca will actually count out numbers in either English or French ( again depending on what setting you have put it on ).
Colours-it will say colours such as blue, red, green-either in English or French, and the top of the maraca will light up in the relevant colour.
Music-it plays some very catchy but basic music.
Whatever mode you have put it on, the top of the maraca ( only this one ) will light up.
What do I think?
Firstly, when I first gave this to my daughter she thought it was ok and had fun with it, but like most children of her age ( less than 18 months ), she enjoyed it the fact it lit up and made a noise but it didn't keep her entertained for along period of time. Roll forward afew more months, and she seemed to be alittle more intrigued and interested in it, but on many occasions mistook it for a microphone when she heard it play the music! Regardless, the fact it doesn't do just one thing it kept her on her toes and gave her more to do. On a slight negative slant, she assumed if she grabbed either of these that they both would have the electronic element to it. So when she picked up the normal one, she wasnt very impressed and wasn't too keen on playing with it.
I think it's a good toy which stimulates so many senses-sight, hearing, touch etc.
Its brightly coloured so eye catching.
When the maraca lights up that's a good fun element to it but also helps them learn about the different colours visually.
Combining the different coloured lighting and the actually name of the colour is connecting them together and giving them an early start identifying colours.
The music is a great sense of fun which allows them to be expressive and active ( if they dance to it ).
The fact you can have the language in either English or French is a bonus, great introduction to a second language.
Its durable and light weight, so easy for little hands to hold.
The buttons are quite easy to slide, but the ones for the on/off/volume and the language one are very small so take abit of getting used to for little fingers. Can be awkward.
Easy to clean.
Would I buy this again? Yes I would. Its quite a simple and basic toy when you think about it but its fun and educational and can easily last ( in regards to children being interested in it ) for at least a year or two.
What I have found when buying some toys for my children is to start off with, they may find them ok but not completely in love with them, especially when they are very young ( like 6 months ), but sometimes it might be the fact they are not ready for it. So if it appears to you to be a good product and your child doesn't agree, put it away and bring it out in afew weeks or so and see how they go with it. If they still don't like it then they probably think its abit rubbish and not for them!
Check around in regards to price. They are readily available but price varies. Home Bargains still sell these for roughly the same price I bought them for last year, but Amazon sell it for £16.00.
I am a childminder and I look after a family who speak french, so I started looking for toys that has both english and french word, I saw these maracas in a toy shop and I had to have them. They are really good thay teach your child numbers, words and also colours. You have to shake the maracas for them to say something and they light up when you have it on the colour setting, Even the children I look after that dont speak french like to play with them on the french setting and thay copy what it says.
Fun flashing lights, songs and sound effects get children in the learning groove as they count and dance along. Three learning modes and two language modes introduce counting and colours in English and French.
# Counting in English and French
# First words in English and French
# Fine motor skills
I love leapfrog toys as alot of them have the french setting, I like that leapfrog teaches children colours, sounds, counting and words as well as being a fun toy at the same time. I would recommend this toy to anyone that wants to get their child a toy that can teach them as well as being something fun to play with
I have a year old beautiful grandson, he was born on Christmas eve 2008, and so last year he celebrated his 1st birthday and the next day was Christmas day, and he could understand a little and so I wanted to buy him things that make sounds and loud noises for him to find interesting as all babies love noisy things to play with.
I saw these maracas for £11.99 from Amazon and I thought he would like them, which he does but they tend to be a little bit heavy for him at the moment when he dances with them and tries to shake them at the same time, he still likes them, they are designed from 6 months to 3 years old, but for the younger years they are meant for an adult to show or shake them to entertain them, but as far as the lifting part, he struggles with them.
They are very colourful and they make sounds, music, and light up and they have French and English counting, colours and music, as a lot of toys these days they are bilingual so that the child can learn different languages. The counting goes from 1 to 10 and a child can sing, dance and shake them to entertain themselves or do a little dance to an audience.
Children love to show a dance to the family and with these they are ideal but my grandson is just beginning to learn to wiggle a little and when I act silly with him and play games he loves it and the sounds.
French speaking toys seem to be popular as he has a few that are French as he has a baby laptop that does the same.
For a tiny baby they love the lights and sounds and they learn to interact.
They are battery operated and have an on and off switch.
A child can learn words also with this toy.
It is entertaining for both the child and the adult to have fun and my grandson plays with it all the time at home and I am sure when he is a little older he will be a little show off and be very groovy.
I give it a 5 star.
Thank you for reading my review.