Product Type: LeapFrog Child Development
Newest Review: ... 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 swi... more
Shake, rattle and music!
LeapFrog Learn & Groove Maracas
Member Name: Chippytarka
LeapFrog Learn & Groove Maracas
Advantages: Easy to hold and use, lights up and plays music, bilingual
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.
Summary: Great introduction to music for young children
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