Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Educational Play | Posted on 13-09-2016
When your child reaches two, there is a basic inevitability that Peppa Pig and her friends are going to take over your lives. There is clearly some magical hypnosis coming from the TV whenever it is on that just draws children in, and from then on anything Peppa Pig themed – and to be fair there’s a lot out there – becomes fascinating to them.
We watch Peppa Pig, obviously. Little Dude is 2 and a definite fan. He took his first trip to Peppa Pig World recently and loved it. We already have a few themed toys in the house, but when I was asked if I wanted to review the brand new Alphaphonics Campervan I was very interested.
Styled to look like the campervan used in their holiday episodes, this electronic toy features the letters of the alphabet next to a recognisable image. There are eight games to play which can be selected using a sliding button at the top. You can learn about the phonic sounds, spelling, matching and the alphabet. It comes with volume control – YAY! – but I’m afraid it has NO OFF SWITCH. Aimed at the over 3’s I could see this appealing to both my children. Little Dude loves the show, recognises the characters, and loves pressing buttons. Little Man, at almost 6, doesn’t really watch it anymore but loves learning and practising his phonics.
Little Dude has obviously played with it most. He likes going through the letters one at a time, pressing the buttons and either saying the word or mimicking the item in the image. His favourite is invariably the ‘D’ key and there is usually a lot of dinosaur roars to be heard. With Little Man its more about copying the phonics sounds and practising spelling some of the words. He’s like a sponge at the moment with information and learning, so I’m very pleased to let him “play” with this as he is good at listening to the instructions.
It’s a great educational fun toy. Lots of potential for learning for both Little Dude and Little Man, who both think they’re just having fun which is ideal. The sliding button at the top feels a little cheap to me and I do wonder how long it will survive with my boisterous boys. Apart from that I love it, though I do wonder who thought no off switch was a good idea. It automatically shuts off after two minutes of none usage, but surely a simple off switch would be easier? Thankfully there is volume control so you don’t have to endure the pig too loud. It is a great toy for young fans of the show, and a good starter for the phonics learning. Oink oink!
Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Educational Play | Posted on 22-06-2016
I’m a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I’m not a teacher and I don’t want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently by Schleich about receiving their new “Educational Play The Schleich Way” guide – which you can download yourself via the handy button to the right – and a selection of their animal figures to play with, I jumped at the chance.
I was a big fan of the guide, which is full of practical information and ideas for playing with your children. It was created with the help of Amanda Gummer who I’ve featured on here before, and she is wonderful at coming up with different ways of playing. We tailored some of the suggested games to make them more appropriate for Little Dude who is just 2 years old, for example asking him to bring us a certain animal and teaching him the noises that they make. We also used them with existing toys we have, for example an animal jigsaw that features an elephant, and a farm yard set had a new cow and horse to visit. As the guide suggested there is lots of potential for speech development with these toys, and as a 2 year old who is very much in the midst of finding his voice they are a tremendous addition to our existing toys. I can also see there getting dragged out into the garden if the weather ever sorts itself out and becomes consistently sunny. I can already imagine a strange zoo farm emerging on my grass!
The Schleich figures themselves are fabulous. The quality is outstanding, and the detailing on them is incredible. From the wrinkles on the elephants skin, to the marks on the horses hooves, and the prominent ribs on the cow, they are phenomenally lifelike. I can see more of these figures making their way into our playroom soon, especially now I’ve spied the impressive range of dinosaurs they do!
Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 28-02-2014
With pancake day just around the corner – next Tuesday in case you weren’t aware – Daddy and I are looking forward to tucking in to some pancakes. Little Man is less of a pancake fan. There’s always a degree of vague indifference to them, and rarely eats one let alone a stack. We’re obviously going to try them out with him again this year, probably with some chocolate involved which is bound to get him eating them. However I have another plan to help him mark Shrove Tuesday in the form of a brand new game from the ever popular Learning Resources.
Pancake Pile Up is a great little relay based game aimed at children from aged 4 upwards. You choose a card which has a stack of pancakes on it, and you then have to recreate that picture using the plates, pancakes and spatulas provided. Now you can do this in teams in a relay fashion, or for younger ones you can have them building the stacks by themselves.The pancakes come in a range of obvious flavours – plain, blueberry, strawberry, chocolate chip and banana – and you even get little pats of butter to place on the top of your finished stack. The plates are fairly simple cardboard discs but the spatulas are really cute. I thought we’d get Little Man doing some solo building for starters and then incorporate teams and relays once he’s used to the game.
This is a great fun game for building recognition as well as being a great way to get children running about. I can see this being played lots in the garden this summer, both independently and in little teams. For now Little Man happily sits on the floor and builds piles of pancakes, sometimes following the cards and sometimes just seeing how many he can stack in one go! And of course he occasionally pretends to eat them as well. Maybe this is a good sign for next week and eating some really pancakes!!