* Prices may differ from that shown
This toy instantly stood out to me on the rows upon rows of toys on the shelves. It's brightly coloured, with lots of buttons to press, the colours which are mainly green and yellow, are neutral, do great for a boy or a girl.
The main enjoyment my child got from this toy was with the different coloured balls. There are 5 in total, which you pop into the top of the tree and watch them slide down the curly helter skelter (watch out for the squirrel!!) and onto the yellow paddle, where you can then "pop" up the ball.
There are 5 numbered buttons on the top of the treehouse aswell as 3 a,b,c buttons on the smaller parts. There is also a small music keyboard, again with 5 keys a,b,c,d and e which make music when pressed. To be honest I could never figure out the different modes of play and my child just enjoyed pressing all the different buttons to make as much noise as possible.
The tree and the balls are both very sturdy with no flimsy or small parts. I would say this is an ideal toy from 6 months plus due to all the flashing lights and music that babies seem to enjoy.
There is a two part volume control switch and the battery compartment is located on the base of the toy. The tree requires 3 AA batteries.
My child has had a lot of enjoyment from this Discovery Tree, well worth the £20 or so I paid for it as it's still going strong 3 years later for my 2nd Son.
Now that I was in control of a lively 10 month old baby two days a week, I thought I should start to build a small collection of toys that I could keep in a basket in a corner of the room, for when he came over. Although his mum brought some bits from home it was clear that he was getting bored with these.
In the village where I live we have a lovely charity shop that sells books and toys, so one day as I was strolling past I noticed on the table this very bright colourful treehouse. It had all the balls in tact ( five in different colours red, blue, green,orange and yellow) all with little faces on them. The next test was to see if it actually worked, although I probably would have still bought it as it could still be played with, without switching it on ( which sometimes is a blessing!!).
I pushed the switch in one direction and wow it came alive with a knocking noise and a voice saying "Nice to meet you". It then stopped I picked up a red ball and pushed it through the top of the treehouse, this takes a bit more pressure to push it down, then hey it is away saying "I'm a ladybird, green leaves" the next time I pushed it , it said "We have wings". So knowing that this toy worked I grabbed it and took it into the shop to pay. I will tell you what I paid at the end of this review (so if you are interested you will have to read all of this review!!).
The treehouse is very sturdy and made from a strong plastic (which was good as when I took it home I could use an antibacteral wipe all over it). The tree top has 5 buttons on the larger treetop which are numbered 1-5 each a different colour with a different animal on each button. When pushed by hand each button will say which animal they are " I'm a Ladybird, I'm a Catterpillar, I'm a Bee, I'm a frog and I'm a Bird. The ladybird and catterpillar noises consist of a child giggling and a hollow wooden sound ( I suppose these creatures don't make sounds that we are aware of!) the bee, frog and bird make their own individual sounds.
The smaller treetop has 3 buttons which again have characters and noises, below this part is a swing made from a red tyre, which a ball can perch on and when you push this is will make an assortment of different noises. The swing if pushed forward on it's own will repeat the alphabet ( actually when I say the alphabet it really just goes from A-E the same as the buttons, at least it's a start!) then go on the play "Twinkle twinkle little star".
There is large hole in the top of the larger treehouse part where the balls are pushed down, as previously explained this creates a mixture of different sounds and words depending on which ball you push through. As it swirls down the curved runway, halfway down it passes a little bear that can pop out of the tree and says"Peek a Boo". Once down to the bottom there is a large hole where the ball could drop down, but it seems to always miss this and then continue to go down five different coloured and numbered keys, each with a music note on it. If you press these individually they will say the alphabet and light up.
Once past these, there is a big yellow peddle that presses down and say's "Here I Come" (which my grandson in the past just kept pushing over and over again AHH!) once the ball has passed this, it will then roll round to the back of the tree where it will stop with the other balls.
This toy has an on/off button (which is great!!) and also two levels of sound, so mine is usually on the lower setting. There is a tree door in the back and you can store the balls in there so they don't get lost.
This toy is again recommended for 3 years and up, which really surprises me as the batteries are screwed into the toy and could not possibly come out and I really cannot see any dangers in this toy being given to a much younger child, my grandson was 10 months old when he first started playing with this and would play for ages pushing the different buttons and keys. As he got older he used to place the ball on the top, but just couldn't manage to push it in, but now he is over a year he can now manage it and is still playing with it to this very day. My other grandson who is 2yr 4mth loves playing with this as well when he visits.
The current price for this toy is £39.99 GET READY I PAID £1.49 including batteries!!!!
Would recommend this toy as it has great play value!!
The Vtech Discovery Tree is one of the brightest coloured toys I've seen. It instantly stood out to me in the toy shop.
This toy is the perfect toy for any little child- it's totally neutral, so is suitable for boys or girls. It has a colour scheme of mainly green and orange, but has blue, red and yellow on it too. It looks like a giant tree (albeit with the wrong coloured bark).
What does this toy actually do?
-Unlike most trees, this tree has a pop-up character in the shape of a little yellow squirrel with its nut. The box said it came with pop-up 'characters'- but it definately only comes with one! The squirrel can be pushed in and pulled back out- and it makes a chuckling noise as you do so.
-There are five different coloured balls (red, orange, yellow, green and blue) with eyes printed on them, which you can push through the top of the three. These balls then go down the slide and come out of different holes. There is also a ramp which you can press, to make the balls jump through onto a swing. When you press the yellow ramp it makes the sound of someone getting excited, saying "wwwweeeee". I've noticed that the different balls take different routes down the slide. Some of them go through holes, and others jump down the piano keys.
-There are five buttons on the top of the tree, in the shape of leaves, which have different animals and numbers on. The red button has a number one written on it, and when pressed it says "I'm a ladybird". If the button is pressed again it makes a laughing sound. The orange button has a number two written on it, and when pressed says "I'm a caterpillar". If this button is pressed again it makes the sound of a caterpilla flying down a leaf/branch. The yellow button has a number three written on it and says "I'm a bee". It also makes a buzzing sound. The green button has a number four on it and says "I'm a frog" or makes the sound of a frog. Finally, the blue button says number five on it and says "I'm a bird" or makes the noise of a bird tweeting. The discovery tree also detects which coloured ball you have pushed down the hole and makes noises relevant to that ball.
-On another secting of the tree, there are three more buttons which are also in the shape of leaves. These buttons say A,B and C on them. A is red and has an apple on it. When pressed there is the sound of an apple being bitten. B is yellow and has a bird on it (accompanied by the sound of a bird) and C is green with the picture of a caterpillar on it-yet again with the sound of a caterpilla flying down a leaf/branch.
-The magic piano has letters 'A, B, C, D, E' written across the keys. When pressed they light up and play slightly different tones.
-There are three different leaves attached to one of the branches, when pressed, these make the sound similar to Tigger bouncing off Winnie the Pooh. This has my daughter in stitches!
This toy takes 3 x AA batteries, although the one we purchased from Toys r us came with demo batteries included. These don't last very long though.
The dimensions of this toy are: H 38cm, W 37cm and D 23cm
The discovery tree is recommended for 12 months and upwards-I think this is about right as the balls are that little bit heavy for children younger than that.
The discovery tree retails in Toys r us for £49.99- but I have seen this toy for a lot cheaper. We picked it up in the half price sale, and I wouldn't really have wanted to pay much more for it.
My personal opinion:
As much as I love this toy, there are a few things which irritate me about it to say the least.
-It's really loud (there are two different volume levels, but this is still pretty loud even on the quiter setting)
-It absolutely eats batteries. After literally a couple of days this toy sounds 'dead as a dodo'
-I thought they could have been a little bit more imaginative when it came to the second lot of buttons. We already had a caterpilla and a bird, so something different would have been better.
Would i Recommend this toy:
I would purchase this toy again as it has kept my daughter entertained for hours. She loves this toys and it makes her interact and experiment, as she is intruiged as to how the sounds and noises change when she hasn't done anything different. Her development skills have improved a lot since we bought this toy-and she never gets bored of it. I like the fact that it doesn't just teach children one thing-it teaches them different colours, animals, letters and numbers- and even mummy and daddy get fun out of playing with it!
I like the fact that it has a little hatch at the back of the tree where you can keep all the balls-unfortunately my daughter has got wise to this and still leaves the balls all over my house!
It was a car boot Sunday and I walked between stalls, with the grass tickling through my flip flops. M&M was in the sling on my front playing with my jewellery and approximately six pounds in change was burning a hole in my pocket. Antique coins? A collection of postcards? Second hand underwear? No. Amongst all the tat, a large and colourful toy caught my eye.
It was a tree, with dense plastic foliage and a sturdy plastic trunk, and a yellow and blue helter skelter swirling around the outside. A squirrel nestled in the trunk and chunky piano keys ran along the bottom, next to a yellow flipper designed to catapult balls. This was something a bit special and I negotiated a price of £3. Higher than my usual 50p limit, but it was made by Vtech and the deceitful old cow on the stall swore blind that it would take standard balls from any other toy of this make.
Getting home, I cleaned the tree up and switched it on. There are three volume settings; off, low (Mummy is watching Corrie) and loud (Daddy is watching cricket). All of these were redundant until I found the two AA batteries required. To begin with, we put in a ball from the Vtech Pop & Play Elephant into the top of the tree with disappointing results. The tree simply shouted 'I'm a frog!' and the ball failed to make it past the first set of swinging foliage at the top of the slide. It just wasn't heavy enough.
Looking online I discovered that a special set of balls was needed. They were a set of five, different colours, with the plastic indented into animal faces and cute little black and white eyes painted onto them. The green one was a frog, the blue one a bird and so on. These were weighted in order to shoot down the slide and each one caused the tree to do something different. Priced at £5.99, they were more than a pound a ball, but I wanted my purchase to reach its full potential, so I huffily phoned Vtech and ordered them.
With the balls, the tree is just amazing. They really rocket down the chute, round the tree and out through a door shaped like a leaf. They then tumble over the keyboard at the bottom. At this point the ball can clonk satisfyingly into place on the flipper, ready to be flipped back up to the slide. Or if there's already another ball on the flipper, it carries on round the tree, coming to a stop on some plastic grass at the back. The weight of the balls and the strength of the flipper result in the ball nearly always landing correctly on the slide; even M&M at 11 months could do it in a couple of goes, which is so satisfying to watch,
Now that she's standing, the tree is stable enough that she can pull herself up on it and put the balls in the hole at the top. She initially found it a little stiff to push them in and start the process, but now has no trouble doing this. Generally she ended up using one ball to push another in, so we got there in the end. She's fascinated by being able to stop the balls in their track, both with her hand and the squirrel, which can be pulled out to block the slide, making a cute noise as it does so.
After almost six months, she is still not bored of playing with the tree and it's nearly always the first gem out of our toy box when curious visitors arrive. My (adult) friends have practically fought over whose turn it is to play with this. It retails at over £40 new, but I can honestly say it's worth the money; even if I personally can't afford to spend that on it.
For my daughters first birthday I was struggling to think of a gift when my niece told me she was having a sort out of a few toys and had some things that had been popular with her children at that age. I had a sort through the things that she was selling and chose the Vtech Discovery Tree.
The Discovery tree is made of bright colourful plastic and is obviously shaped and coloured to resemble a tree. There are some colourful piano style keys on the base and buttoins to oress on the top of the tree. Running through the tree is a helter skelter type slide and the Discovery Tree comes with six balls. The balls are made of hard plastic in different colours and they have been moulded to look like bees, birds and other small animals but are spherical.
The balls can be pushed into a hole in the top of the tree and they then run the length of the slide and the tree sings songs and plays tunes. Each ball is a slightly different size but you can hardly tell that there is a difference. The difference in size activates a different song and each song is relevant the creature depicted on the ball.
The Discovery tree is powered by four AA batteries that fit into the base of the tree and a screwdriver is needed to change these. The six balls also fit into a neat little compartment in the base which makes this toy quite easy to tidy away and means that the balls are less likely to be lost.
The Vtech Discovery tree is currently (Oct 11) available online for between £23.99 and £45.99. Mothercare have this item in the sale at £23.99 but usually it would retail at £29.99. I bought our second hand and paid £6. I would say that if you pay around £20 for this toy then you are getting good value for your money. I wouldn't pay £40 or more for this toy as I feel that is far too much to pay.
As soon as my daughter opened the discovery tree on her birthday it became an instant hit. My youngest son who is three also enjoyed playing with this toy. My daughter was really excited to push the balls into the top of the tree and this became her favourite game. She didn't really bother pressing any of the buttons but did like dancing to the music. My daughter is now 18 months old and she likes to press the buttons and make the little tree sing its songs. Thankfully there is an on off switch!
As far as the age range is concerned I would say that this toy would be suitable for a child as soon as they can sit up as they would enjoy the colours and sounds but would need help putting the balls into the top. I don't really think you can limit the age range as this toy could appeal to children as old as five or maybe older.
Vtech is definitely a name you can trust and this toy is well made interesting and inviting.
I would recommend this toy.
As usual when it comes to my childrens birthdays numerous members of the family have no ideas and give me the money to find some presents, I found this discovery tree for my eldest first birthday 3 years ago and at the time it cost £25 and seems to be available for the same price now which did surprise me.
The tree is made by Vtech which I personally feel is a very good make and very educational so that gave me confidence immediately, the tree is aimed at children from 3 years and up but my eldest had no problems playing with this and neither does my youngest who is 11 months.
The tree is made of hard plastic and is very sturdy and not a surprise at all I'm sure it is shaped like a tree! The tree has a branch to one side with a swing hanging from it and the balls are popped into a hole at the top of the tree and then they slide all the way to the bottom and along a keyboard. There are five balls with the tree yellow, red, green, blue and orange and each one has grooves on it to make it represent an insect ie the yellow is a bumble bee and the red is a ladybird. The balls have little eyes drawn on them and are made of hard plastic, youngest enjoys sitting and banging two balls together which is great as I believe doing this has helped develop her hand eye coordination.
There are 5 coloured buttons on the main top of the tree and each one is a different colour which is the same colours as the balls and also pictures the insect on the coloured button that is represented by the ball along with the numbers one to five. When pressed each button makes the sound of the insect drawn on it although I am not actually sure a caterpillar makes a noise but according to the tree it does. My girls play with this tree together and my eldest will imitate the animal sounds which my youngest finds really funny.
On the branch of the tree there are a further three coloured buttons each with A, B and C on them and a picture which starts with the letter and above these I the speaker where the sound comes from. The aim of the toy is place a ball in the hole at the top and it will slide top the bottom, half way down the slide there is a squirrel which can be pulled out to stop the balls. Depending on which ball is placed in the top depends on what the tree says, when the ball fierst goes in the tree recognises which one it is and announces which animal is on the ball and then when it hits the keyboard at the bottom it announces things such as A to E and 1 to 5 depending on which ball it is.
The keyboard at the bottom has 5 different notes in five different colours with a different number of notes drawn on each key. Each of the keys lights up and can be played on their own aswell as with the balls, after the keyboard the balls fall round to be used again but one of them lands on a seesaw style lever which your child can press to send the ball flying back up.
The tree takes 3 x AA which were included with the toy and after three years are still going strong which is great as I find some childrens toys seem to eat batteries. There is a little compartment in the base to hold the balls when not in play which a flip door and this is the only part of our tree that is showing wear and tear as the door keeps coming off as it has loosened over the years. The toy can be used to teach many things such as numbers, colours and letters and it has many different phrases and bits of music which keeps children entertained for hours.
Both my daughters love this toy and it a great toy for them to play with together and at their different ages they both get different things from the toy. The tree is very brightly coloured and very attractive to childrens eyes and has a lot of detailing such as little animals engraved within the leaves of the tree which I thought was a nice touch and we have spent time seeing what we are able to find. The toy isn't too annoying either as it has that many phrases and sounds it is not too repetitive and there are two volumes options for when you are fed up of hearing it. This toy is fantastic value and is not something that will be discarded after a month or so like many toys, a fantastic buy and well recommended.
For my twin boys' 1st Birthday I was struggling with ideas for what toys to buy. Having January birthdays meant that we still had a lot of toys that had not been played with from Christmas but I did want to get some toys. So I decided to speak to my friends with children and ask what toys they recommended. One of these toys was the VTech Discovery Tree.
***What is it***
The VTech Discovery Tree is a brightly coloured plastic tree with a slide that runs through it which comes with 5 plastic balls. The tree is about 60cm high and 70cm wide and made from sturdy plastic. The tree is brightly coloured and has a yellow and blue plastic slide which runs around the tree for the 5 plastic balls to run through with a hole at the top of the tree to put the balls into. At the bottom of the tree is a piano with five plastic keys all different colours and labelled ABCDE. There is also a swing which a ball can be placed in on the side of the swing. There are six different areas on the slide which when the balls run through, say different phrases or play melodies. On the top of the tree there are 10 different coloured buttons which when pressed say a different phrase.
The tree at the base has a compartment to keep the five plastic balls in so they do not get lost.
The tree requires 3 size AA batteries. These did not come with the toy. The battery compartment is accessed by a screwdriver on the base of the toy therefore requires an adult to do this.
The VTech Discovery Tree is claimed to be suitable for children aged 12 months and over. I purchased this for my children for their 1st birthday and I found that they really enjoyed playing with the colourful balls and watching them roll through the tree house, although the learning features were a little too advanced at this age. Younger children from about 9 months old would be fine to play with this toy and I feel would enjoy playing with the balls and pressing the colourful buttons but they would need to be supervised because the tree is heavy and it would be possible for a small child to accidently pull the toy on top of them. At 14 months old my boys are able to now push the balls into the slide on their own and enjoy pressing the buttons and are beginning to use some of the learning features although I feel once they get a bit older they will get full use of these.
My friends little girl is almost 5 years old and when she comes to visit she will still play with the Discovery Tree and likes to watch the balls roll through the different sections of the tree. As much as I would not recommend purchasing this toy for children of this age I do think it is still interesting for older children.
The VTech Discovery Tree is available from a number of retailers including Toys R Us, Smyths, ELC, Mothercare and Tesco. The price of the toy varies quite greatly. At the time of writing Toys R Us are selling this for £49.99 however Smyths are selling this for £29.99 which is a massive saving. The price of this toy on average is around £39.99. I purchased this in January 2011 for £26.99 from play.com .
This is a more expensive toy however it is a large toy which I feel children will get a lot of use from because it is suitable for a wide range of ages.
Unfortunately like most toys the VTech Discovery Tree is not a simple case of opening the box and giving it to your child to play with. For parents you will have a 10 minute task of removing all of the ties holding the toy in the box and putting batteries in the base of the toy in the battery compartment (which you need a screwdriver to access). I luckily was warned by my friend about this therefore I set the toy up before giving it to my boys on their birthday.
As soon as my boys seen the Discovery Tree they were both drawn to it. The toy is a large toy which does take up storage space as it cannot be folded or dissembled but is a large enough toy with enough features for two children to play with it together. This is great if you want to encourage your children to play together or encourage them to share their toys.
The toy has a number of learning benefits. On quite a basic level it develops a child's fine motor skills. The toy has a number of buttons and piano keys which can be pressed. Children can also develop these skills as they hold and play with the balls that come with the tree and can push these into the slot so they move down the slide or put the ball in the swing that is attached to the tree.
From a year old both my children recognised that every time you pressed one of the buttons or the piano keys a sound or piece of music is played. This encourages children to explore the toy with their hands and press buttons.
For older toddlers there are learning features. The tree teaches colours as each of the five balls are a different colour (green, orange, blue, red and yellow) and the piano keys are also the same five different colours. Of the 10 buttons on the top of the tree there are also 2 buttons in the same five colours. The tree also teaches counting, with the buttons on the top of the tree each a different number and when pressed each of the piano keys counts up to five.
On a more advanced level the five different balls when placed into the slot and onto the slide trigger off a different sequence of events and musical tunes to be played. Older children will be able to recognise this and choose which ball they want to put in the slot in order to hear the different phrases and pieces of music.
Not only are there learning benefits associated with the toy it also is a very imaginative toy. Children (and adults) will enjoy watching the balls run down the slide and be encouraged to play with the toy. The piano keys each make a different sound and will encourage children to be creative and play different tunes on this.
The toy is extremely durable. The toy is made from a very strong plastic which my boys have bashed toys off and pushed the Discovery Tree over without any damage. Although the toy is sturdy you do need to take care that with small children who can't walk if they use the toy to pull themselves up using the tree. My boys can stand against the toy and it does not fall over but if they do try and pull themselves up to standing the toy will fall over. On a number of occasions now I have had a child fall over with the toy when doing so although luckily they have not had any injuries.
Keeping the Discovery Tree clean is also very easy; it can be washed over with a damp cloth. It does have quite a lot of grooves in therefore if you have children like mine who drop food onto toys you will find you need to clean in the grooves quite carefully.
I think this is an excellent toy and would definitely recommend it to other parents for children aged between 1 - 3 years old. The toy is a fun toy which keeps young children entertained but also benefits from being packed with learning features teaching older toddlers colours, counting and the alphabet. The Discovery Tree is also quite a large toy and is suitable for more than one child to play with so a great toy if you are encouraging your child to share.
At £29.99 it is a more expensive toy than others on the market however I feel it is a toy which will get a lot of use because it has so many features and my boys play with it every day. The toy is very well made and durable and withholds rough play from my two boys.
An excellent toy from V Tech.
I purchased this 'Tree' as a present for my daughter on her first birthday. I paid £10 second hand on Ebay which was an absolute bargain. As my daughter is the second child she obviously has a lot of my son's handed down toys so I wanted to get her something that was different and just for her.
This toy was an immediate hit from the point of opening the box, my son spent a lot of time 'showing' Rose (my daughter) how to put the balls into the top of the tree and then watching them come down the slide. Eventually my son allowed Rose to have a go and she was very quick to pick it up.
So what do you get for your money?
The main toy is a sturdy plastic tree with a slide curling around the outside. With the tree you get 5 balls of different colours and sizes all with friendly smiley faces on them. The fact that the balls are different sizes means that the smaller ones are easier to push into the top hole than the bigger ones.
As the balls come down the slide they activate noises and lights around the tree and then land at the bottom on the musical notes, they bump down the notes in turn and end up either on the 'see saw' or on a holder which wraps around the back of the tree base. The see saw allows you to flick a ball back up onto the slide so that it comes round to the piano keys again.
Each of the five balls activates a different sound and learning activity. The five note keys on the base are brightly coloured and light up. They also play music, make noises or say 'ABCDE'. There are Three coloured buttons (red, yellow and green) on the right hand part of the tree which have A and a picture of an apple, B and a picture of a Bird and C and a picture of a caterpillar. On the top of the other tree there are five coloured buttons (Red, orange yellow, green and blue). These buttons have the numbers one to five on them and each button has a picture of a different animal.
This toy is pretty compact and there is a storage compartment at the back of the tree for the five balls so that you won't lose any of them.
This is another great toy from Vtech. It is well built and has a lot of different entertaining aspects. It will teach letters, numbers and colours as well as holding your child's interest with lights and bright colours.
I recieved this product from a friend who unfortunately had lost the balls for it. Luckily Vtech offer a replacement set of balls for this product for only £6 which is great. Once we'd got the balls my daughter was away! She was about 8 months when we got the tree and to start with she just liked pressing all the buttons, but as she got older she learnt how to push the balls into the top. She's now 13 months old and will sit for ages just picking up one ball after the other and puching them in the top.
The Learning tree has other great features as each ball is a different size and activates different functions of the tree. One ball allows for words, one for colours, another music, another numbers and the last does animal sounds. My daughter's favourite mode is the music mode as she bounces tro the different tunes that are preset. They are mostly recognisable songs as well so you can sing along with them.
I think this toy will keep on entretaining my daughter for ages as it is supposed to be for over 3 years old. She can use it to learn about numbers, words and colours and I know she'll have fun whilst doing it.
I would say that the price is quite steep though. I am not keen on spending a lot of money on toys and would probably not have bought this toy if I'd had to pay full price but it is probably worth it if you use it for a long time.
I was quite surprised to see the reccomended age for this toy is 3 years +. I can see nothing in it that might pose a hazard to younger children and I have always considered this more of a baby toy. Itw as bought for my oldest before his first birthday and both of my sons would sit and play happily on the floor with this well before their first birthday.
The toy is meant to be educational, teaching things like colours, numbers and music. I personally think the educational aspects are a tad over rated, but then I've never been much for electronic gadgets to teach babies the basics anyway, and by the manufacturers reccomended age, children would know most of this anyway. I do think the keyboard at the bottom is a nice feature and might be educational as far as learning different notes.
But all educational considerations aside, my sons loved this toy, the older one was still using it frequently at age 3-4, now at age 5 he only uses it for Hotwheels. Everything gets used for Hotwheels in this house.
My 22 month old is playing with it now. This toy, is built to last and give hours and hours of fun. It does obviously require batteries (3 AA), but I have found even with several hours use per week these still last for over a year.
The toy itself is rather simple, there are five different coloured balls, each a slightly different size so the tree can recognise them and respond appropiately, like naming the colour. The balls just roll down the ramps and over the keyboard to a small lever which will launch them back up to the second story if pushed. It has various buttons to push and a wee swing for balls ( or hotwheels) as well. The balls can all be stored inside the storage compartment under the tree.
The only disadvantages are if you should ever need to replace a ball, you must buy a whole set. I believe the price quoted was £8.99 which I found quite dear. I found the one ball we were missing in yet another boot sale for 25 p though and they are widely available secondhand.
For some reason ours used to go off occasionally on its own night, and we never did find out why, but it would startle me when sleeping. I am thinking it must have been faulty batteries as this happened with a few other electronic toys often all at once and always in the middle of the night! I've had no problem with it in some time though, and I would definatley buy this toy again, even at full price should it need replacing.
The VTech Discovery Tree is another great toy for your child to play with. There are so many toys that it's hard to know which ones to choose. Well in this case we were given this one. My son is 2 years old so slightly too young according to what it says on the box. It says 3+ years but he still has fun with it and I reckon 3 years is a bit old and kids will enjoy this earlier than that. Hopefully he will still love it for a few years yet. The only reservation I would have with this one is that it's nearly £50 to buy so quite expensive.
The tree itself is brightly coloured which always helps to keep interest and has bright slide coming down from the top to the bottom of the tree in yellow and purple. Towards the base of the tree there are 5 buttons which each have a number and a picture of an animal on them. They are all different and on the other side of the tree are three more buttons with letters on them.
This toy is a bit more original than most and takes some thinking for your child as it's not just a case of a switch for different modes or pressing a button. In fact the various modes on the tree are triggered by five coloured balls which are red, orange, green, yellow and blue. So for example if you put a particular ball in the hole at the top of the tree and send it down the slide it will set the numbers mode for example, which means that while in that mode if you press the buttons they repeat numbers to your child.
It's not just a case of throwing balls down the tree slide either. There is an added extra in the form of a squirrel to spice things up. The squirrel will pop out from time to time stopping the balls halfway down. There is also a swing in which you can place a ball and rock it while it sings or talks.
One of my favourite things about this toy is not just how robust it is, but more that you store the balls away in the back of the tree when your child is not using this any more.
This is a very interactive entertaining toy that will aid learning the alphabet and numbers with interesting activities on the tree and with playful happy songs. Might be worth trying to pick up a bit cheaper somewhere if you can though rather than buy it new.
Okay the discovery tree - i'm not going to tell you what colour balls it comes with and what tunes it plays as you can get that from previous reviews.
What I will say is that this toy has entertained all my 3 children and every child that has come to visit our house.
It was brought by my parent's for my first borns 1st birthday (way back in 2003!). He loved it. It helped him to stand as it was sturdy enough for him to lean on to push the balls through the top of the tree. On days when he was too lazy for this activity he would just sit and press the buttons on the front and be treated to an array of songs.
Each coloured ball will activate different activities - blue has always been my favourite as it plays nursery rhymes!
It also has a handy storage area at the back where you can store the balls - a godsend compared to other toys where I am still finding balls that have flown off under my settee!
I would reccommend giving it to a child from about 9 months - not for educational reasons - at the end of the day who really expects their 9month old to take on maths, english etc but at least it will be a change from teethers and they will get quick results e.g. sounds from pressing the buttons which are easily operatable. I've just looked at the top where it states suitable from 3 years - when we were given this it was from 12 months-36months - to be quite truthful my 4 and 7 year old have played with it since we got it down for my newest arrival but i wouldn't have brought it for them at 3 years of age if that makes any sense!
All in all it is a lovely sturdy toy that will last for years and the noise isn't as annoying as other toys can be! It also talks in English and not American!
I would also shop around as i'm positive my parents did not pay £49 for it as item above states
Firstly to start this review I must appologise for the review tittle.....bad I know lol. After reading lots of good reviews and also this tree-mendous tree was recommended by a friend I decided to buy the VTech Discovery Tree (for rest of review referred to as tree) for my setting about six months ago.
~What Is It ?~
A very brightly coloured tree which is green, red, yellow, blue and orange.The tree comes with five friendly ball characters. It is made by VTech and is made of tough plastic and is fairly sturdy. At the bottom of the tree are piano keys labelled ABCDE and a flip board also an on/off/volume switch. At the top of the tree on the left side is a hole to put the balls down, the balls go down a helter skelter slide and roll over the piano keys to the flipboard at the bottom making various sounds and saying phrases as they slide down. Their are six hotspots which say different phrases, sing nursery rhymes or make various sound effects for each ball. The tree is very clever and recognises which ball character has been placed in the tree and Automatically (don't ask me how?) changes modes. There are also five buttons to the left at the top of the tree numbered 1-5 and three buttons to the right A-C. Hlafway down the tree is a really cute little squirrel holding a nut, the squirrel pushes in and out.
At the back of the tree there is a compartment that the balls fit in so they are stored away inside the base of the toy , this is really good as we are always losing bits like this off other toys.
~Characters of the balls and what they say~
~The red ladybird ball~
It says a random phrase and lights flash on and off on the keyboard. Pulling the squirrel out stops the ball and the squirel says "going down!". This ball activates the number mode - so when you press the apple buttons on the tree the number your child pressed will be heard ( 1, 2, 3 with the apple buttons) If you press each keyboard key, it will count to five then play a short tune. Pushing the tyre swing makes it say "a one, a two, a one two three four" followed by a musical sound. When the ball rolls through the leaf door it says "123 Here I come!". Pressing the paddle makes the toy say "Going up!"
~The orange caterpillar ball~
It says "I'm a caterpillar!" as it goes through the top and activates colour mode so by pressing the buttons you will hear the corresponding colour. The squirrel says "nice to meet you!" in this mode and the swing says "I'm crazy about colours!". When the ball rolls through the leaf door it says names of colours. The paddle giggles in this mode.
~The yellow bee ball~
It says "I'm a bee buzz buzz!" and activates letter mode. When pressing either the keypad or the apples on the branches they will repeat the corresponding letter - capital letter names only. Pressing the apple buttons on the tree will identify the creature pictured on the button - "I'm a caterpillar" for example. The squirrel says "peekaboo and sometimes giggles" if activated in this mode. The swing says "ABCDE!" and so does the leaf door if the ball goes through it. The paddle says "Here I come!"
~The green frog ball~
It says "I'm a frog!" and activates the sound mode. When the apple buttons are pressed in sound mode a sound effect can be heard and the lights flash on and off , pressing the apple button makes an apple crunching sound for instance. As the ball goes through the leaf door it plays a tune. The light up keys play a single note. The paddle issues a "Whee Whee" sound when pressed.
~The blue bird ball~
It says "I'm a bird!" and activates music mode. When buttons are pressed in this mode, one of the programmed tunes will play. The tunes are nursery rhymes... there are lots of different nursery rhymes including Jack and Jill, Pop Goes the Weasel and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. When the balls rolls through the leaf door a bird sound effect is heard, which plays over the melody if there is a tune playing. The cute squirrel will similarly giggle if activated. The swing plays a random tune.
Teaches children colours. The tree is green, orange, blue, red and yellow. The piano keys are also green, orange, blue, red and yellow and yes you have guessed it the balls are the same five colours. As well as talking about the different colours with your child you can listen to the tree telling you the colours.
~Fine Motor Skills~
1. Little fingers love to Press the various buttons/piano keys and get rewarded with various sounds and nursery rhymes.
2. Little hands love to push the character balls into the tree and collect them at the bottom or flip them back using the flip board.
3. Place the balls (only fits one at a time) on the swing.
4. Squirrel can be pulled out and pushed in. The squirrel laughs when you pull/push him.
Children soon learn that when they press different buttons they are rewarded with various sounds or nursery rhymes or if they push a ball down the slide it makes different sounds. Older children realise different coloured balls set off different noise sequences.
Adults, Children and babies enjoy watching the ball go down the slide and making different noises. I find it theraputic (like watching a model train go round and round) its relaxing somehow and babies really seem to enjoy it.
Older children enjoy playing tunes on the keys.
~Price And Age recommendation~
I paid £29.99 for this from Amazon and it is recommended for ages 12 months and above. I have let younger babies 7 months onwards play with this but always supervise them.
~My Opinion Overall~
This is an absolutely fantastic toy with loads of play value and I am giving it 5 stars. If you work in early years this toy is well worth investing in as it covers most of the Early Years Foundation Skills requirements. Babies and older children can't resist playing with this and babies especially like to post the balls and watch them helter skelter down the slide and then repeat the action over and over. Older children like to post one ball after another so you have two or three going down the slide at the same time. Older children like to play tunes on the keys and also flip the ball back up which is actually quite hard to do, I would say usually only children three and above can do this.
~Care and Maintenace~
Can be cleaned with a damp cloth. The tree takes 3AA batteries which seem to last a long time considering it is played with lots (batteries last about 6 months if you use Duracell)
Vtech Discovery Tree is a great fun and educational toy .
I notice in the description it says 3 years plus , this in inaccurate it is actually suitable from 12 months plus.
On the left of the tree are 5 coloured buttons , each with a number and an animal on , and on the right of the tree there are 3 different coloured buttons each with a letter (a , b , c ) and a picture on.
There are also 5 coloured balls ( red , blue , orange , green and yellow). Each ball triggers a different mode for the tree , for example : if you put the red ball in the hole and send it down the tree it sets the toy into numbers mode so pressing the buttons makes it say 1 ,2 ,3 ,4 , 5 and the large buttons at the bottom of the tree also become numbers . The orange ball makes all the buttons say colours and the other balls do letters , animal names , musical notes and sounds.
Half way down the ramp of the tree is a squirrel which can pop out , stopping the balls , and also there is a tree swing which you can put a ball on so that when you rock it talks/sings depending on which mode you are in.
At the bottom of the ramp is a flipper allowing you to flip the balls back up to do another lap round the ramp .
One of my favourite things about this toy is that at the back there is a compartment that the balls fit in so they are stored away inside the base of the toy , I found this brilliant as we are always losing bits like this for other toys.
The toy has just one switch which is off , quiet and loud , though the quiet function is plenty loud enough.
The colours of this toy are very appealing to children and it is a popular toy in our house , Priced £30 - £40 doesnt make it cheap but it is worth it and will give your child a few years use mine is used by a one year old and a 3 year old and has been played with daily since purchasing 3 months ago.
There are plenty of ways to play with this toy , whether it be just sending the balls down the ramp over and over again which helps develop hand eye co- ordination , or playing with the keys at the bottom making tunes , or learning first numbers or abc you will get a lot of use and your money's worth and it is definitley worth purchasing.
Wheee! Down go the character balls as the tree recognises them and changes the curriculum accordingly. Teaches numbers, colours, letters, animal names, sizes, sounds and music. Apple buttons on the tree provide additional themed fun and learning