What happens when a company that makes musicical instruments translates their expertise into a toy line for young children? Beautiful harmony - literally.
As a member of Mommies Clique, I was recently given the opportunity to review a new line of toys from Little First Act Discovery, a division of First Act, a brand previously unknown to me, and a brand that I now love. Actually, it was HD (14 months old) and his friends that were responsible for the product testing; I just get to write up what they wanted you to know: The Drop N' Play Piano rocks!
Here are just some of the reasons that HD, his friends, MY mom friends, and I love this toy:
The music is soft and melodic and prompted many of my mom friends, unprompted, to say how great it sounds and how much different and better the sounds are than a typical music toy. In addition to four single notes, the Piano plays four different refrains (I can't really do them justice in writing, but to give you an idea):
- "Me, me, me, me." Picture a chorus of really happy ladies warming up for a concert
- "Mmm, ba, ba. Pass the bananas and the grapes and you and me good friends we'll make. Let's have an apple or a pear and you and me good things we'll share." Included with the Piano are three clear balls that have bananas, grapes, and pears in them, respectively.
- "Row, row your boat...."
- "We like to sing, we like to eat, let's clap our hands and stomp our feet."
Unlike HD's other musical toys, we've never turned this one off, but if you wanted to for any reason, the toy can still be played with by putting the balls in the hippos' mouths, and/or taking them in and out of the drawer, both of which amuse HD to no end. When the toy is on, in addition to the music, the hippos actually make munching noises when you put a ball in any one of their mouths (my husband's favorite feature). How cute is that? The balls can obviously be used with the toy, but for a boy who loves balls, he can carry them all over and use them everywhere he goes, with or without the hippos.
Look and Feel
It's sturdy, compact, easily portable from room to room, and has a drawer for those balls to be put away in the right place at the end of the day for all of my fellow OCD moms out there. The colors are bright without being TOO bright and the hippos are as cute as plastic hippos with their mouths wide open could ever be.
The Piano is labeled for six months and up. There are a variety of toys in the line that are appropriate from six months through the preschool years. Each instrument/toy comes with a tip card to give you ideas to extend your child's learning with the toy.
Little First Act Discovery was awarded two Greatest Products of 2008 by the iParenting Media Awards group for their Crawl N' Go Drum and Shake N' Stack Instruments, two items that are part of the line.
In case you need another reason to buy a musical toy for your child, there is a continuously growing body of evidence that supports music's positive benefits in other areas of learning, including math, reasoning, language, and stress reduction. If only playing with these toys could help eliminate MY monotone-ism.