If you are a parent to one or more toddlers, or if you just happen to know one, you'll be more than aware of how full-on they are. We mean, come on kids; chill out and relax for a bit, won't ya? In hopes of keeping those never-still hands occupied for a bit, we took a look at a few interactive toys from Leap Frog, designed specifically for one to three year olds.
Count & Crawl Number Kitty
This roll-along cat features twenty keys running along his back, labelled with numbers from 1 to 20. You can pop it on and let your wee sprog bash the keys to make the cat say the number, or, in musical mode, play a different note. There are a few number and counting games for older toddlers to play along with, but the younger kids will enjoy pushing kitty along on his ball of wool (and making a tune play at the same time), or standing him up to bat the ball.
When presented to our young reviewer, the musical mode was of far more interest than the numbers. Because of the layout of the keys it was almost like playing a weird modern musical instrument, and quite a few decent little tunes were created. Still, the purely physical elements, combined with the number games, make this a great toy for kids to grew into.
Scout's Goodnight Light
This is a hand-held torch that also doubles as a projector and night light. Styled like a cute little rocket ship, it features a handle to be carried about and wielded to project images of planets and moons. Games include questions from the onboard pups, Scout and Violet, about what images are cast onto the wall. Then, when it's time for bed, you can set a timer for ten or 20 minutes as a lullaby plays and a shifting LED projection of starts and numbers hits the walls and ceiling.
By far the most enjoyed of all the products Leap Frog sent, Scout's Goodnight Light is a great bedtime toy, especially as the nights draw in and bedrooms are darker. The lullabies are soothing enough to actually help get a wee darling off to sleep, while the gentle projections are bright enough to show up even from a decent distance.
Melody the Musical Turtle
A musical game, this rugged turtle toy has the kids repeating a sequence of lights and sounds to play a short tune such as Twinkle twinkle. There are quite a few games, with varying levels of difficulty, and also an option for a two player mode. And, once the game is over, kids can just go wild bashing the buttons to make their own songs.
This felt more like a musical instrument in it's own right, as we found our tester soon grew a bit tired of the repeating game and just wanted to whack out a few original compositions. Actually the adults in the group found the game to be pretty good fun, but then we are all a little childish.
To find out more about these toys, and others from the Leap Frog range, visit www.leapfrog.com