Every day, I’m amazed at how Pickle’s comprehension is improving. His understanding of the world and his place in it is growing bit by bit with every passing week, and never is that more apparent to me than when he engages in imaginative play. To see him appropriately use toys as he’s seen adults do in real life is a scary reminder of how quickly he’s growing, and I love seeing him explore the world this way.
We’ve been perhaps a little uneven in the toys we’ve previously bought for him. He has a lot of construction blocks, a lot of physical toys that allow him to practice his dexterity and logic (because these used to be the toys he would favour), but not that many that allow him to do role play. After hearing reports from nursery about how much he enjoyed things like playing hairdressers, or using the work bench or feeding the dolls, I knew we needed to redress the balance at home.
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Range
When Fisher-Price got in touch to see if we’d be interested in a couple of items from their Laugh & Learn range, I was thrilled. I really trust the Fisher-Price brand. I loved the baby Fisher-Price toys we had, and although he’s definitely outgrown those now, I can’t bear to part with them. Lovingly holding onto them in case another baby Pickle comes along!
Laugh & Learn® Sweet Manners Tea Set
I’d noticed a few times that when we’d been to play at other children’s houses, Pickle was always drawn to teapots. He’s always found drinking to be a little bit amusing – right from when he would cheers his juice bottle, to getting a reaction when he lets out an ‘ahhh’ after taking a sip. It’s more than just a way to quench thirst for him, drinking is a ritual, a way to be a bit more adult and his favourite way to mimic our behaviour.
The tea set comes with everything you need to make-believe the perfect tea party. An interactive, light up teapot, two cups, a tea tray and differently coloured and shaped treats that slot onto the tea tray, a sugar pot and a teaspoon. The only thing I could perhaps say is missing would be saucers – although, I’m not sure Pickle would know what to do with a saucer! He only ever sees us drinking out of mugs.
The jingles, songs and phrases the teapot says are quite sweet, and depending on the development level you set it to (there are three), it can even help encourage the learning of colours and shapes using the tea tray. For now, Pickle is just quite happy hearing the sound of the cups fill up and the spout lighting up as he tips it, and he loves to hand us our drinks.
Laugh & Learn® Puppy Check Up Kit
Never mind about Pickle, I learned something playing with the Puppy Check Up Kit! Did anyone else not know that the instrument a doctor uses to look in your ear is called an otoscope? This little vet kit allows children to care for the puppy, using an otoscope, thermometer, bandage and syringe. His nose playfully lights up and there are over sixty jingles and phrases to help aid learning and enjoyment, including teaching parts of the body in French!
I wasn’t sure if Pickle would ‘get’ the vet kit. I wasn’t sure if it would capture his attention or if he’d be fussed about it, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The first time he saw it, he giggled with delight and loved seeing the effect using all the different instruments had. He really quickly learned which were used for the different parts of the body, and didn’t like it if I tried to use the wrong one!
Both toys have three stages that can be used to increase the developmental benefits of the toy as your child grows, and you can easily move between them using a switch on the toy. They’ve been created with 18 – 36 month old children in mind, and you can tell Fisher-Price knows their stuff as I think the toys are perfectly pitched to that age. I do sometimes think it’s harder to find engaging toys for toddlers under three years old, so it’s a pleasure to recommend these.
Both toys are part of the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn range, available at retailers like Smyths Toys. If you’re looking to choose between the two, the tea set would be my favourite (and Pickle’s favourite too).
Disclaimer: we were sent these toys from Fisher-Price for the purposes of review. All content, ideas and opinions remain my own.