Product Type: LeapFrog Child Development
Newest Review: ... letters and animals pictured on the revolving wheel and the outer housing which almost resembles a snail. It teaches animals or the alpha... more
Spin your way through the A B C
Leapfrog Toys Abc Spinamals
Member Name: carlz2001uk
Leapfrog Toys Abc Spinamals
Advantages: Fun, great price, durable, stimulating, can be personalised slightly, batteries included
Disadvantages: Annoying voice, recommended age dubious, volume adjuster laughable!
Over the last few months I have been looking after my niece (18 months old) regularly each week, but as my girls are nearly 5 and 7, I didn't have any age appropriate toys for her to play with and on one occasion when I found her trying to eat a Barbie (!) I decided to invest in a few toys that were hers and hers alone at my house! I didn't want to spend a fortune but I wanted a few different toys that she could play with on her regular visits to my house. When my girls were younger I was always happy with the Leapfrog range so when I saw the Spinimals toy at the really great price of £12 on Amazon I bought it for her. I specifically looked for toys that my girls hadn't had when they were little as I hate repeat buying something that I know we have already bought once! I hadn't even seen this before so I didn't know what to expect.
The Leapfrog Spinimals is a round plastic devise which allows the child to press the central button and spin to a letter. Wherever the blue pointer lands will cause a recorded message to play. There are two modes of play, letter mode and animal mode. Letter mode will play the letter and the appropriate word, and animal mode will play the animals name and the sound they make. I would imagine that most children will be the same but my niece loves animal mode and it always makes her giggle as the animal noises are played. The wheel can be rotated manually without pressing the button, so they can listen to a certain sound or letter that is a particular favourite. For some reason my nice loves h and w?! I've no idea why!
A game that can be played is when the machine asks the child to find a specific letter, but this needs to be played with an adult or older child present as it doesn't let the child know whether or not the answer was correct which I find a little silly, especially if they are playing with it unsupervised and they are at the older end of the recommended age group. The guidance on the box stated something along the lines of 'spin their way to early reading skills', which to be honest I find a little ambitious. Educational play with young children is really important for me, and I often spent a fortune on educational toys when my own girls were young. Of course this is stimulating for younger children, but I wouldn't say it helped their reading skills in any shape or form. It may loosely allow them to associate sounds with certain words but I wouldn't say they take any notice of the letter on the machine, especially not when it's next to a picture of something far more interesting! I would say that by the time they are able to start recognising letters to be able to read, they will probably want some far more 'grown up toy' that are readily available.
We have had no problems with the toy itself and it seems to be well made and definitely 'toddler proof'! There has been at least two incidents I can think of when it's fallen from tables, etc and it hasn't resulted in it breaking in any way.
A major gripe for me, as with most educational toys that make any kind of sound, is they do it in the most annoying way possible and this certainly isn't an exception. The voice used is extremely annoying and literally goes right through me as soon as my niece begins to play with it! I have learnt to block this out now however! There is a volume adjuster but with only two options (one is loud, the other is slightly louder!) it may as well not have even be added to the toy.
It can be personalised to each child (somewhat) too where you select the initial of your child's name by being in 'parent mode' (instructions are provided), and then each time the child switches the machine on it would say 'C (or whichever letter you have chosen), that's the first letter of your name'!
Batteries are included with this toy which is a rarity nowadays so definitely gains a star for this!
Appropriate from ages 12 to 36 months. I think this age group is perhaps too broad and I personally would recommend it for 12 to 24 months maximum.
Summary: 4 stars
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