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This is my absolute all time favourite toy EVER. I am not usually quite that full-on enthusiastic, but my children have had so much pleasure out of these ride-ons that I can't help being excited about them! We have the small tiger wheelybug and the large mouse wheelybug. The small is recommended from 1-2.5 years and this is about right for us (we used it before 1, and I found my little girl could ride on this far before she could walk indepenently. It seems to give confidence and allow them to strengthen their leg muscles. The large is recommended form 2.5 years to 5 years, and I would also say this is about right, although my six-year-old still likes it and my just 2-year-old is absolutely fine on this size too. The structure of the wheelybug is very solid - it has a wooden base, and a strong arc-shaped handle. The material that covers the back of the animals is wipe-clean and feels tactile and "upholstered "- a bit leathery / smooth and with a bit of give to it - much more comfortable than the usual plastic ride-ons! The mouse has ears that stick out and look really cute, and they are still in position after years of use, despite the fact that my daughter used them as handles! The tiger has little white fluffy ears - again, really cute! Out of the two I probably prefer the mouse but it is a close contest. I have seen the ladybird at other people's houses and that is really nice too, but I thought the mouse and tiger were a bit different. The best thing about these is the fab castors!!! So much better than wheels, as they allow the child much more control over their movement - my daughter could spin around on it and turn corners from before she was one, whereas on her plastic car she would go in a straight line, reach the wall, and then cry for me to turn her around. Therefore the castors on these wheelybugs are a sanity saver! Yes, these ride-ons are expensive, but I would describe them as heirloom quality and I know that when my children grow out of them I will have had approximately 6-7 years of solid use out of the large one, across my three children, and I will be able to pass them on to another child for years more.
Trying to find something for my little boys first birthday was hard work as with 2 older children in the family we have a lot of the toys aimed at the younger child or a variation of it so when I was browsing Amazon and came across this lovely ride on I decided it would be perfect and used my Amazon vouchers to purchase it. I brought it in the small lady bird although there are variations available and 2 different sizes the smaller one suited Logan's age better. The lady bird is made with wood and this is what attracted me to it in the first place. It is extremely well made as it is solid wood so even with all the bangs and scrapes children put there toys through this one lasts with no bother. The eyes are on springs which seem to fascinate my children they spend a lot of time pushing these backwards and forwards and think it is hilarious. The wheels are what make this toy truly great. They can twist turn and move in any direction so there is none of the frustration of the child wanting the lady bird to go a certain way without it being able to. Whichever way the child wants to play the toy with follow which is a real plus for us. All 3 of my children love to play with this toy and so far they have had hours of fun out of it. My eldest boy is 4 but is tall for his age. When he sits on it you can clearly see it is too small for him but he still gives it a good go pushing himself along the floor and as it is so well made their is no fear of him breaking it. My little girl is 2 and a half and she is just perfect for it. She sits on it comfortably and pushes herself around on the lady bird or uses the handle to pull it along behind her in fact she is the one that gets the most use out of it. My youngest who we actually brought it for now at 16 months has only dared to sit on it. His feet touch the ground but his little legs can't push the lady bird just yet. Instead he just rocks himself as far as he can go or gets his big brother or sister to push him along. Before my youngest actually rode the ride on I found he used it as an aid for walking. He would hold the front handles and push it backwards as it help support him as he walked. He was bent over a lot while doing this as the handle is quite low to the floor but he seem to enjoy it all the same and he used this as a walker more than he did the one I brought him for that purpose. All round I think that it is fantastic it can be used in doors and out it rolls around freely on wooden flooring or carpet and is extremely well made. There bright coloured and fun to look at so attracts children straight away.We paid around £50 for ours which I did initially think was a lot of money but after seeing how well loved it is and the quality compared to other toys we have purchased at a similar price I think it is actually well worth the money. They come in a range of animals so one to appeal to everyone.
The first time I saw one of these wheely bugs was on a photo my husband took of my daughter at playgroup. From the photo I felt these toys were magical looking, and ever so expensive. A few months ago I had the pleasure of seeing one of these delightful creatures in the flesh, at a local playgroup. We go to this playgroup everyweek and so do most of the other children so they are around them often. The children are from new born to 18 months so my review is based on child of this age range. The ladybird herself is aged from 3yrs. There are alot of different specs on the internet saying different age ranges but this one did say 3 years plus on the base. *Looks* I really wanted to see one of these in real life. I was not dissapointed. The ladybird is a fantastic looking wooden sit on toy. I find this refreshing as most toys are made from plastic , so its nice to have a toy made from natural materials. The bug itself is very small. It is the perfect size for your average 18 month old.Their legs can sit comfortably on the floor, for pushing along. To have this as a 3yrs+ seems a bit strange as it would be far too small. The back of the ladybird is made from sturdy wood covered in a padded soft plastic material. Too look at it looks like shiny wood so doesn't look odd against the real wood. The ladybird design is as in the photo red and black. It moves on black castors which I think is an excellent idea, as the child can move it easily any direction.They look great on the ladybird aswell. There is a big arched handle on the front that the child can use to support itself while sitting or walking with. On each side on the front are two long springs with a black ball for the ladybird antennae. For the children these where the most exciting part to ping about. *Function* The wheelybug is designed as a walker to help babies learn to walk. It can also be used as a sit on toy for babies to push around. With most sit on toys the child can put their feet up while their parent pushes them along. This toy only has a handle on the front so the parent would be pushing the child backwards. It seems very sturdy and well made. A child can easily get on and off by themselves. It is great for outside play , as inside there are too many other things to distract children and in my experience this is not a favourite toy. *Availability* The main UK dealers for these toys are on Hippychick.com. They come in two different sizes small and large. Smalls are £59.95 and large are £69.95. They are also available from many online stores ranging from £40 to £65 so I advise to shop around. They are available in different designs ladybird, bee, lion, pig, mouse , cow and tiger. Whatever one you choose they are so stylish and a good toy to play on.
As Elliot's first birthday approached, We had the task of deciding what present to buy to mark his first year in the world. What with Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles, friends and other relatives all asking for ideas on what to get for him, we soon found we were running out of ideas for ourselves! Help luckily came in the shape of my sister-in-law, who one day happened to mention how much my 2.5 year old nephew still loved playing with his bee wheely bug and so we settled on getting one of these. Wheely bugs are extremely cute, lovely looking ride-on/ babywalker toys made by an Australian company. This toy has won a whole host of awards in several countries and claims to help develop your child's gross motor skills and balance in a completely unique way. It's available in two different sizes, the small size being suitable from 12 months+ as a baby walker and the larger size from 3 years+. There are five different designs you can buy- bee, ladybird, cow, mouse or tiger and if you've not seen one of these before, I defy you not to be charmed by how cute they look! After much deliberation, we decided on the tiger model and ordered it from an online retailer at a cost of £49.99. It seems the newer tiger and mouse models are more popular than the bee and ladybird and are therefore harder to find cheaper, however if you are happy with the insect variety, you can find them for around £40 online brand new and second hand ones are also fairly plentiful on ebay. This is rather more expensive than most other baby walkers or ride ons, however as it covers both aspects, is highly rated and claims to be of very high quality, I felt it was worth the price for my son's first birthday. They also hold their value very well so there is always the possibility of selling it on in the future. At last, the eagerly awaited tiger arrived a few days before Elliot's birthday and I was not disappointed by how lovely it looked. The main body of the toy is covered in a soft layer of leather-like material, underneath which it is padded with sponge for a comfy ride. This then sits on top of a curved and well finished wooden base, which in turn sits on four castor type wheels, enabling the toy to move easily and smoothly in all directions. Over the head of tiger is a curved handle made from aluminium and hard wearing plastic. The materials used in the manufacture of this toy look and feel to be of a very high standard and the way it's put together looks absolutely seamless. It also comes completely assembled and ready to use, which makes a nice change to most larger baby toys. The tiger model itself is adorable and is a lovely bright orange colour, with black stripes over the main body and a friendly, smiley little face. Soft white fur covers his ears and the sides of his face and he has a cute little tail with a black fluffy end- very, very sweet! When Elliot's birthday arrived, we couldn't wait to see what he thought of his tiger and after unwrapping it, he seemed quite taken with tiger's face and fluffy ears. However, when we encouraged him to use it as a walker, he couldn't seem to get to grips with it and soon lost interest. The concept of using a baby walker wasn't entirely new to him as he already had a hand-me-down Vtech one, which he'd just started to use, so we reasoned that in a few weeks he would probably get more used to playing with Mr. Tiger. Unfortunately this wasn't the case at all, in the weeks that followed, Elliot would always favour his other walker and I soon realised that he didn't feel as supported or comfortable when using the wheely bug. This I think is partly due to the handle height- As the wheely bug is also a ride on, the handle obviously needs to be low enough for holding on to whilst sitting down on it, however this also means your toddler has to actually bend at the waist to push it whilst using it as a walker. This is something that never bothered my nephew, but of course all children are different and Elliot just seemed to prefer to stand up straight. In addition, the castor wheels which are designed to enable easy negotiation of corners, seemed to be more difficult for Elliot to control whilst walking along and he would often lose his balance and topple over. Whilst I realise this toy is intended to help with balance control, Elliot became quite wary of it after a few tumbles and despite our encouragement, tiger was soon abandoned in the corner of the room. Success eventually came at around the age of 14 months and as Elliot gradually became more stable on his feet, tiger came back into favour as he mastered pushing him around. Typically, this also coincided with Elliot taking his first steps on his own and before long, he had abandoned all walkers in favour of getting around under his own steam! At this point in time, my little boy is approaching 18 months old and Mr. Tiger is still woefully underused as Elliot has not yet figured out how to push himself along in ride-on mode. On the plus side, other slightly older children who visit have great fun scooting around the house on the tiger, so I am hoping that in a few months time Elliot will work this out for himself and tiger will at last get some long overdue play-time. (Toy Story 3 has obviously had quite an effect on me...)