We like a laugh, the girls and me. Allegra will usually giggle uncontrollably when tickled, Claudia is guaranteed to chuckle when you blow raspberries on her tummy, and I… well I can usually get my belly-laughing kicks watching Modern Family with a glass of wine in hand (don’t you just love Cam and Mitch?! oh and Mani too! LOVE!).
So when Fisher-Price® invited us to The Baby Show last month as guests for a Laugh & Learn lunch, we thought it sounded right up our street and along we went.
Fisher-Price sure do know what they’re talking about when it comes to toys and nursery equipment and their trophy cabinet is bulging with awards – voted for by parents and experts – for a huge number of their products. We’ve been lucky enough to put a few to the test from bouncers to jumperoos, cot mobiles to Minnie Mouse toys (more on the latter to come in a review soon!). So we were interested to check out a range of products from the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn range and there were lots for the girls to have a go with at the event, so they got stuck in!
New research conducted by Childwise on behalf of Fisher-Price found that 94% of mums believe that babies and toddlers learn best when they are having fun, which is no great surprise but it’s worth reminding ourselves of this I think. I know myself that Allegra learns things so much faster when we make it into a game or song, she recently learnt how to count to 5 in Italian because I just made up a silly tune to sing the words along to and in 24 hours or so she had it off by heart.
The research also showed that over three quarters of mums said that their baby is more engaged and plays with a toy for longer if it makes them laugh, with an equal number revealing that their child smiles and laughs more when playing with toys compared to smart devices. Again, I agree with this one. When Allegra gets her hands on the iPad or watches the TV, she seems to go into a bit of a zombified trance, whereas when she’s playing with her toys she’s super engaged and interactive. Again, it might sound obvious, and I’m not against her using technology or watching the telly, but it is interesting just how differently she reacts with the two.
Apparently silly sounds in toys make babies and toddlers laugh the most, so says the research, with movement and music coming in a close second and third. Both my girls are big music fans, as soon as we put some music on they bop away and shake maracas and Claudia bounces up and down on her bottom, smiling from ear to ear, and Allegra spins around the floor (you should see her when Strictly’s on, she’s unstoppable!!).
James Davies, MD of Childwise, make a point that really resonated with me, he said: “There is a lot of pressure nowadays on parents to ensure their baby is at the ‘right’ stage of development, but as long as there is enough time in your baby’s day for play, then you will be giving them the opportunity to develop who they are and learn about the world around them at their own natural pace.” I think that’s a really good guiding thought: making time for play isn’t just a bit of fun for little ones, it’s how they learn. Smart.
Fisher-Price very kindly sent us home with two products from their Laugh & Learn range to put through their paces: the Learning Piggy Bank and Love to Play Sis – so we’ll be reviewing those here on the blog soon and look forward to telling you all about both in the run up to Christmas shopping season!
Many thanks to Fisher-Price for inviting us to the Laugh & Learn lunch at The Baby Show and thanks for our lovely goodies too, we’ve been enjoying playing and laughing and learning with them and will share our experiences soon!