Our lovely friends over at Fisher-Price® recently invited us to laugh and learn and lunch with them at The Baby Show and very kindly sent us off home with two fab toys from their Laugh & Learn™ collection: products designed with fun and learning in mind, because babies and toddlers learn best when they are having fun! We were given the Love to Play Sis and the Learning Piggy Bank, which are both suitable for children aged from 6 months onwards.
After Allegra had got her head around the idea that the toys were for BOTH of them to share and have fun with, Claudia was able to have a bit more of a look-in and explore and play with them, so we have all been putting them through their paces these last few weeks and enjoying them in our at home play.
The Love to Play Sis is a cuddly, soft plush puppy/teddy with two modes of play – learning and musical games. She has five “hot spots” that can be pressed to teach little ones about ABCs, body parts, and colours through fun phrases. When in the musical games mode, Sis sings familiar classic songs like ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’, and ‘Ears Hang Low’. There’s also a rather sweet song called ‘Please and Thank-You’, which reminds you how you should ‘say them twice, that’s so nice!’ – not sure that’s entirely sunk in with Allegra, but we persevere…!
Love to Play Sis has been a hit in the Richmond House. For the first week we had her, she accompanied Allegra to bed every night, thankfully she has an on/off switch on the back so there were no middle of the night renditions of ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes’ to wake the household up with! And because she’s lovely and soft and cuddly, she made for a good bedtime companion.
Allegra has enjoyed the musical games mode the best and likes listening to the songs, singing along with them, and holding Love to Play Sis’ paws and dancing around the living room with her, the cuddly puppy dog has also been popular amongst Allegra’s play-date visiting toddler friends. Baby Claudia has shown some interest in her too, but hasn’t yet fully had a chance to explore her by herself (largely due to the fact that every time she pays Sis some attention, the puppy is whipped away from under her nose but a certain Big Sis of hers…!). But I think she will enjoy her as she gets a little older.
In the meantime, Claudia has been having lots of fun with the Laugh & Learn™ Piggy Bank, a cute pink piggy that comes with 10 colourful coins that can be dropped into the slot to activate a range of responses from counting to musical sounds and songs. Again, as with Little Sis, there are two modes – learning and music – each with different elements to them, which mean baby gets a variety of responses to enjoy every time.
Over the last four weeks or so that we’ve had the Piggy Bank, I’ve been trying to show Claudia how to play with it and how to drop the coins into the slot. She’s really starting to get the hang of it now and enjoys picking up the coins, having a good chew on them, and then works hard to get them into the slot and push them in, where she is then rewarded with a song or sound or counting!
This toy is fantastic for helping baby develop her fine motor skills and it’s been really interesting to see how over the course of the last few weeks Claudia has gone from just picking up and chewing the coins, to actually moving them to the slot and trying really hard – sometimes even succeeding! – to putting them in and pushing them down.
We will also be able to have lots of learning fun counting the coins, sorting them by colour, comparing big and small (as there are mummy and baby animal designs on each coin) as well as discovering different animals and talking about the sounds they make. There are so many ways to play with this little piggy!
I think I could do more to help Allegra explore and play with the Piggy Bank too – although she has enjoyed showing/teaching Claudia how to play with it! So far, Allegra has mostly focused on posting the coins in the slot, opening the door of the piggy bank, and doing it all over again, but I want to spend some more time on bringing her attention to some of the details like the animals and we can chat about those a bit, practice sorting and counting, and find other ways to learn and play with this new addition to our ever growing toy collection!
The Laugh & Learn™ Love to Play Sis retails at around £20 and the Learning Piggy Bank™ at around £15 – we were given both of them free for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are honest and our own.