This was bought for my daughter as a birthday present and although it is supposed to be for children over the age of 12 months you need to be aware that they will need help with this toy as the winder is quite stiff and beyond her ability to operate. It was purchased from ELC however I have no idea what it cost, I cannot imagine it was more than £8 given that it is plastic. It is a bath time play toy which has limited appeal, at least it did for my daughter, she liked to watch in swim or flail about for a bit but it did not hold her interest for very long. She is much more attracted to those toys which firstly she can operate and especially ones where she can pour and move water about. It is about the length of a small ruler I reckon and about two thirds the length across, it is easy to grip with little hands because of the legs and it is nicely designed with some bright colours, no sharp edges and a smiling face, the frog swims on its back with the legs kicking, there is a yellow knob on the back to wind it up. You have to maintain the tension in the winding mechanism as you turn it otherwise the legs start to move, it swims for a decent enough time however it is not so easy to wind with wet hands and my daughter has no luck at all which is one of the reasons why I think that this toy will have limited appeal for most children. I see little benefit from this toy in terms of it being able to develop a childs learning, possibly motor skills to a certain degree but there are better toys that will do that. It is nice enough to look at but nothing special. It is not an expensive toy, at least I assume not, and therefore it does make a nice enough novelty toy but nothing special.
After my daughter received the Early Learning Centre doggy paddler last Christmas, she has had loads of fun with it in the bath and it has since become one of her favourite bath toys. When I spotted this Froggy paddler in my local Mothercare at half price, I snapped it up hoping it would prove as popular as the doggy paddler. The froggy paddler does look super cute with the frog looking like he's lying on his back with his head on his arms just relaxing. He is green in colour and has a cute set of red and yellow striped trunks. The facial features are all apparent and have a cute look to them. The length of the frog is approximately 12cm, just like the doggy paddler. The quality of the toy is fantastic, being a Mothercare product you wouldn't expect any less. The plastic it is made out of is strong and robust and there is no worry of a leg falling off. The paddler works by twisting a yellow circular wind up mechanism on the underside of the frog, there is a sticky out bit of plastic on the winder so you can grip it quite well to turn it, however it is still quite difficult to turn with wet hands. The winder can be turned as much or as little as you like, the most turns you can get out of it is around eight before it wont wind up anymore. After the winder has been released the frog will kick its legs up and down. This froggy paddler is quite disappointing as it doesn't matter how much you wind it up, it simply doesn't go anywhere once the winder has been released. I'm not sure why as the doggy paddler we have moves in the water fantastically, maybe it's because the legs only go up and down on the frog whereas the arms go round in a circular motion on the doggy one. My daughter gets frustrated when her doggy is going full pelt along the bath water and this frog simply does nothing. Another difference is the sound each paddler makes, the doggy paddler we have is quiet but this froggy paddler makes a loud clicking noise as it is wound up, then again once it has been released it just sounds like the legs are about to snap off. I paid £2 for this in the half price Mothercare sale so with a full price of £4, I definitely wouldn't recommend it. I wouldn't even pay half price for this froggy paddler as it's just useless. Although it looks cute and is made from a strong plastic it doesn't do what it is supposed to and paddle through the water and it sounds like it is about the break, avoid.
From around October time I had put a ban on buying new toys for my twin boys in the lead up to Christmas. After speaking to friends and family about gift ideas I knew there was going to be a large influx of new toys therefore I took quite a strict approach on toy purchasing. However after a run of illnesses, trip to the dentist and some steps forward with potty training I decided to buy my boys a little treat. Bath times had started to become more of a chore for my boys and I noticed they were becoming bored with bath time so I decided to look for something little for the bath and decided to purchase the Froggy Paddler. ***Froggy Paddler*** The Froggy Paddler is basically a frog shaped wind up bath toy that has moveable legs that swim. The description of the toy is "wind the froggy up and watch him swim". The toy is a bright green plastic frog which is about 15cm long and 8cm at the widest point and has a smiley friendly frog face. The frog is mainly bright green however is wearing red and yellow swimming trunks. The frog has two bowed legs which move. The legs on the frog move by twisting a yellow wind up button on the underside of the toy. The more you wind the toy up the further it swims. It is outlined the toy is suitable for children over 12 months old. The Froggy Paddler is available from ELC and Mothercare stores and also available from www.elc.com and www.mothercare.com . The toy costs £4 which is pretty average for bath toys from ELC. ***Our Experience*** I purchased the Froggy Paddler when my boys were around 19 months old so were definitely within the age range this toy is aimed at. Although the toy states it is suitable from 12 months old I feel you could put it in a bath with a younger child as there are no small parts and the toy is quite light and made from rounded plastic. For a child under 12 months an adult would be required to wind the frog up to make it swim. I am very sceptical of the from 12 months age bracket because although I feel the toy is "safe" for a child of this age I do not feel most children of 12 months would actually be able to play and use the toy. From 19 months although my boys attempted to set the Froggy Paddler off themselves by using the wind up button they were unable to do so, and still now after 3 months of play and being shown regularly how to do so they still can't really play with the toy independently. Obviously children would never be unsupervised in the bath so there would always be an adult to hand but for one of my sons who is extremely independent and likes to do everything for himself (at almost 2 years old) this is incredibly frustrating. Even as an adult I find it quite difficult to set the frog off so it swims for a decent period of time and maximise the enjoyment factor of the toy. The yellow wind up button that sets the frog off swimming is on the underside of the toy and is about the size of a 1p piece. This has a ridge running through the centre to grip so you can turn. In order for the frog to swim in the water for around 10 seconds you need to turn this button around 3 full turns. With wet hands this is firstly quite difficult and as you turn you really need to ensure the tension stays in the toy so you can't really let go of the button. The description of the Froggy Paddler on the ELC website outlines the toy "helps to develop coordination" however I feel that my boys have very good coordination and developed motor skills but the button and the need to turn keep hold of the button once you have created tension is hard for adults never mind a young child. If my boys attempt and manage to turn the yellow wind up button which they have on a number of occasions it is probably less than half a turn which then leads to the plastic frog swimming in the bath for less than 3 seconds once it is placed in the water. As you can imagine this is quite disappointing and doesn't stimulate the same giggles and excitement as when the frog is swimming for longer. The Froggy Paddler is quite a fun addition to bath time providing you can ensure it swims for longer periods by winding the button up a number of times. My boys really enjoy watching it swim in the bath and will shout "more more" and ask for me to set the frog off swimming again. I was a little concerned that because the legs move fast and would hurt if they hit into my boys' bare legs as they are moving in the bath but this is not the case. The toy is made from hard durable plastic. My boys have a tendency to play a game of throwing their bath toys over the edge of the bath onto our tiled floor (usually when I am mid hair wash for one child). Although this creates a lot of water over my floor I am pleased to say the Froggy Paddler has survived the many falls onto the tiled floor without any damage. I dry off all of our bath toys after each use to ensure that they do not go mouldy. After over 3 months' worth of almost daily play, our Froggy Paddler is still fully functional, in good condition and mould free. ***Overall*** This is quite a fun bath toy and I think at £4 it is reasonable value for money. The frog looks good and like most ELC and Mothercare toys it is very well made from hard durable plastic. However I feel the design of the toy is a little difficult for a young child to wind up themselves so is more a toy for children to watch than play with themselves. The toy is aimed at children aged 12 months and over and at almost 2 years old my boys are unable to turn the wind up button up and place it in the water for the frog to swim. Obviously my boys are never unsupervised in the bath and I am always there to turn the wind up button so the frog can swim in the bath but I feel the design of the button makes it difficult even for an adult to use, especially with wet hands. In order to set the frog off you need to flip the toy over, turn the button in a full circle 2 or 3 times and then place in the water, not really letting go of the button as it has created a lot of tension in the toy which then makes the swimming movement. My children can turn the button but the frog doesn't swim as by the time they have placed the toy back in the water to swim they have let go of the button. This is quite frustrating especially if you have a child like one of my sons that insists on being independent and doing everything himself! Entertaining and creates lots of bath times giggles but may frustrate more independent toddlers hence so few stars!