Product Type: VTech toys
Newest Review: ... for children learning their alphabet but certainly threw both my husband and I when at first we were helping our daughter get started! ... more
Learning with Pooh!
VTech Winnie the Pooh Play 'n Learn Laptop
Member Name: mrsbump1
VTech Winnie the Pooh Play 'n Learn Laptop
Advantages: Sturdy, varied range of games
Disadvantages: Might be a bit pricey
I bought this Winnie the Pooh laptop in the sales last year and put it away for my daughter's christmas present last year. She was about to turn 4, loved all things Pooh and had started to express interest in playing on our laptop; so when I saw this I knew she would love it.
The laptop looks attractive with a bright yellow lid and purple base. It also has 4 3d characters (Piglet, Tigger, Roo & Pooh) which stand up as the laptop is opened. The lid houses a smallish monotone screen with a friendly picture of Pooh bear and friends in a school room around the outside and a volume switch (the volume only has two settings but the quiet setting doesn't grate too much, which is a blessing).
The keyboard, in addition to the 3d figures has a sliding curser by which your child can choose which game they wish to play, a bumble bee on/off button and number and letter keys. The keyboard not suprisingly is not qwerty, something that obviously makes sense for children learning their alphabet but certainly threw both my husband and I when at first we were helping our daughter get started! The letter keys bear the letter and a corresponding word and picture beginning with that letter (eg A Ant, T Tigger, P Piglet, L Log etc) which is a good way at first to enable children to locate the relevant letters.
Gameplay varies from simple letter acknowledgement (the child presses a letter and Pooh says what that letter is and what word is associated with it; upon a further press of the button pooh will make the letter sound) to encouraging spelling (a picture will be shown and the word said, all the letters will appear on the screen and the child has to press the letter keys in the right order. Further games help children to learn the position of letters in the alphabet in relation to other letters (two letters are shown onscreen with a space for a third either at the beginning, middle or at the end and the child is required to work out what letter should fill the space). There are also number games starting with simple counting and moving on to addition and subtraction. If you feel your child may be too young to pick up the letter and number games there are a few simpler games requiring the child to match a shadow to the picture, choose the odd one out or even just press a button to play a different piece of music and watch the character on screen dance.
For each game the child is given a time limit and the space to make a few mistakes before Pooh gives the answer. If numerous correct answers are given in a row the child is congratulated by Pooh and rewarded with a short cheery tune and the characters dancing on the screen.
The laptop is sturdily built out of strong plastic and has succumbed to some fairly rough treatment over the last 9 months and yet in all honestly looks as good as new. I have only had to replace the batteries once in all this time and it has seen a fair bit of use so the battery consumption is very good.
So far all of this review has been from a parent's point of view but i think the most telling part of the review is that from my daughter. From the very first this laptop had her attention and over christmas it was by far the most prized present she recieved. What is more is the speed she picked up the games. After a relatively short space of time she was able to play a few of the games without any help and as she grew bored of one game, instead of putting it down would simply go onto a new game or put it into music mode and sit and watch the screen. The different games ensured that as she was constantly stretched so didn't get bored because there was a good range of games aimed at different levels. She is just about to start school and the laptop is still one of her favourite toys. I all honesty I'm not sure I would have paid £45 for this laptop (I managed to find it in a sale for £12.50) but if you shop around you can find it cheaper and for the amount of mileage my daughter has got out of it and the letter and number help she has recieved from it it has definately paid for itself several times over.
Summary: Lovely laptop to encourage laughter and learning
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