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My daughter has tons and tons of toys, to the point where she actually has repetition of toys now! She has this similar keyboard from the Early Learning Centre Range and my friend bought her this pretty much identical toy from Chad Valley! We didn't want to be rude so it stays at my mums house so when we visit (which is pretty often!) she has something to keep her entertained.
The keyboard is pink and girly and is a lot smaller than the ELC keyboard but still a nice size that at the age of 3 she can sit at it and play without her looking oversized in front of it. Putting it together was relatively straightforward and once together it is extremely sturdy and stays upright. The stool is also perfectly easy to put together and sturdy for her to sit on.
It has numerous instrument sounds like organ, violin, flute, guitar, saxophone and genre sounds like rock, dance, disco and jazz. This allows my daughter to choose different musical beats and sounds to offer some variety so the toy is not too repetitive.
It comes with a microphone, but the cord isn't extremely long so she can't really move about with it but the sound quality is good and although it sounds a bit crackled nowadays it has lasted quite long and she still has fun singing twinkle twinkle star into it! It requires 4 x C batteries which were included which was good and has not needed replacing since purchase which is good!
Overall, my 3 year old still loves playing on this and so it is one of the few appreciated toys still standing. It can be bought from Argos from argos for £29.99 (which I do think is a bit overprice) and I can only see it is now available in red and black but for a girly girl pink is really nice and they will enjoy playing on it.
I bought this mini keyboard for my nephew for his birthday. We have had hours of fun making music and sounds and although he is only just over one he is really loving it and it has helped him learn to concentrate!
The keyboard comes in blue or pink and we bought it for £23.99 on sale. I thought this was a fantastic deal as it also comes with a plug in microphone, stool and stand. Also inside the keyboard are drum sounds and on the top some bright big buttons that you can hit and they make the sounds of a drumkit.
The keyboard keys are very small and seem sturdy for a child to just mess around with. There are a variety of sounds which you can press a button and the sound on the keyboard changes.
It looks very child friendly and there are not really any small parts once you have plugged in the microphone cable. My nephew loves singing into the microphone and hearing his voice come out of the speakers.
The stool is easy to sit on and is just the right height. I think my nephew will be able to grow with this keyboard and learn a lot from it.
With Christmas coming and everyone looking for gifts for kids I thought I would review the excellent kids keyboard that I purchased last year for the daughter of my very best friend. The Chad Valley sing along keyboard with stool was something I was sure her daughter would love and I was correct all the way.
I purchased this online at the very reasonable cost of £24.99, I am fairly sure it came from Amazon but I honestly cannot remember now as I do so much online shopping at Christmas, I believe it is available again this year and varies in price between £28.99 and about £35 so look around before purchasing.
The first thing you have to do when you get this is put it together and this always worries me but there is little to do to erect this and my friend and I managed between us in just ten minutes or so, once put together the keyboard is very sturdy and secure but sadly the stool is a bit weak and let the toy down slightly.
The keyboard has a very big and prominent on/off switch to begin use of it simply slide this to on obviously and then the functions are all available. There is a demo mode which will play the child a selection of songs and often my friends little one just puts this on and dances around her room.
There is also the option of a selection of back beats when you are playing the keyboard and again the little one will often just put a back beat on and dance away but she does get great enjoyment also from banging away on the keys and singing along, making as much noise as she possible can.
The keyboard takes four x C batteries but these have not needed to be changed in the year she has now been using it and she uses it a lot. The keyboard has a great battery saving device in that if it is not actually touched in a few minutes it will switch itself off even if it has been left playing in demo mode so when kids wander off to something else this will turn itself off to save power.
The microphone on this is of course not of very high standard but then most kids will fill it with saliva and bite on it and that anyway so even the best microphones would struggle to survive long, that said the one on my friends daughters is still going strong and although not crystal clear we can still make out her little voice as she belts out her favourite songs which right now is Firework by Katy Perry (so cute)!
All in all I find this to be a very good toy and certainly well worth its £30 or so price tag and I would recommend this highly as a great Christmas gift for kids aged about 3 or over.
My son was given the Chad Valley Keyboard and stool for his birthday in April. He was very excited to receive it and once he opened it he wanted it immediately building however as we were going on a Day trip to celebrate his birthday I decided it was best to leave it till later that evening once he was in bed.
One my son was settled I unpacked the box and found the instructions and set to work. The keyboard and stool are bright blue which is ideal for a little boy. I decided to start building the stool first. The stool comes in three sections these are all blue and made of plastic.Two pieces that cross over and slot together which was incredible difficult to get together and I did spent considerable time rechecking the instructions as it seemed like I was doing something wrong it was so difficult. Eventually once these were in place you have four raised rectangles which the seat slots into. This is very easy to do even my son does it on many occasions but strangely the seat does not attach on each occasion the stool is picked up by the seat the seat comes away from the base.
My next part was to assemble the keyboard. The stand is in four sections: two sides and two vertical poles which slot into holders. While not terribly secure on their own once clipped onto the keyboard they do seem stable. On top of the keyboard there are three parts to attach a star lights arch a microphone stand and a microphone which is simply attached in a jack socket. The keyboard takes four C cell batteries are secured by a small screw.
To operate the key board there is a large on/off switch. When the keyboard is switched on the stars light up and a familiar sound is activated. The keyboard is a basic keyboard with the music notes written along the top in case you want to follow a song .It then has a selection of buttons. It has a demo mode which plays a selection of songs which my son's favourite is jingle bells and has been no matter what month of the year it is. There is a record button in which you are able to record your own music and then play it back. It does have a volume control which I haven't actually explained the purpose of the volume control and simply use it to reduce the volume without him noticing. Although a keyboard like is familiar with many keyboards you are able to change the sound to a trumpet, violin or one of the other 6 instruments listed. You also have an option for background to your tune with eight options of dance styles such as Waltz and Disco. All these actions can be stopped simply by a yellow cloud shaped button which enables it to stop. One feature that is unusual is four silver cloud buttons which make animal noises: a dog, bird, frog and a duck. The microphone doesn't have an on and off switch and is activated as soon as the keyboard is turned on and the microphone is attached. The stars arch is sound activated from the keyboard which means that any key pressed lights up the arch but it will light up while playing Demos along with background music.
I have been very disappointed in the stool as it was the most difficult element to build and then simply falls apart and I do consider it to be completely useless as a stool which obviously for a child is often moved. One actually seated though it is pretty sturdy. I have thought of trying to attach it with glue as it isn't the kind of item I have any need to dismantle.
The keyboard is a complete hit with my son. He will frequently write his own songs which tend to combine his current favourite TV shows and I doubt if any will be a hit. He has no idea which key he is pressing he simply uses it to make noise. The additional buttons are very well used. He will play a Rhythm and then add his additional banging of the keyboard. I did pretty much leave my son to his own devises with it and after a couple of months I realised he was turning it on and off to stop any background music or simply change the demo tune and once I pointed out the stop button he was very impressed and seems to have continued to use the stop button since.
As I did pretty much leave my son to explore I have found that over the months he has discovered a new function to the keyboard and so has kept him stimulated. While his firm favourite does appear to remain playing jingle bells although the frog noises are a big hit too.
I do find the Microphone is not crystal clear but is adequate for a Childs toy. My son has wondered off round the lounge signing and forgotten it is attached to the keyboard and the keyboard has simply been dragged along and it seems to have suffered no damage although I do remind my son it isn't to be used this way. The microphone clip is pretty simple to use it simply slots in with a small push however my son rarely bothers to put it back.
Another feature I do like is it will play a few notes after a few minutes of not been played to remind you to turn it off which is great for saving batteries.
I have looked up the keyboard on the current Argos book and it seems to be only available in Pink at a price of £29.99. The book recommends this keyboard to be for Children three years and over I do agree with this especially in order to gain maximum benefit. It is a Chad Valley toy which is now exclusively to Argos so while you may be able to pick them up on Amazon market place or EBay. It also states on the listing that these prices are valid until 28/9/2010 so the process may change soon.
Overall I do find the keyboard to be sturdy although quite light and easy for little ones to carry around. This is a great tool which will help my son's hand and eye co ordination, hopefully his singing and musical skills as well as shape and colour recognition. I do recognise the longer I have owned the keyboard the more input he needs to use it as a keyboard rather than a baby toy that you simply bang at. Despite my reservations about the stool this has been one well used and valued toy by my son