|LeapFrog Learn - Around Playground|
|Reviewed by: Baby Gizmo Senior Editors||Mom Rating:|
|Title: A Fun Multilevel Activity Center |
Best: Combines learning, music, and movement. It has lots of interesting activities to keep little ones busy.
Worst: It can tip over on younger children, and without the 'tube topper' babies can get their arm caught in the ball shoot.
Full Review: see below
|Full Review: The Leap Frog Learn Around Playground is the only activity center that combines learning, music, and movement to develop cognitive and motor skills at the same time. With two activity modes, learning and musical, there are nearly 45 different activities for little ones to discover. The two levels of play encourage babies to go from sitting to standing, and provides fun for babies ages six months to three years. |
Infants will enjoy pushing and pulling the colorful levers underneath the table. In the learning mode these teach colors and shapes. There are also three fabric tubes that teach the difference between smooth, fuzzy, and bumpy textures. In the musical mode, the levers add harmonica sounds and the tubes add musical scales. This teaches babies cause and effect as even the slightest touch elicits a response. Infants will also learn fine motor skills by picking up and dropping one of three balls in the lowest ball drop near the base of the ball shoot.
Once babies can stand they will have endless fun playing with the Learn Around Playground's top level. The ball shoot has two different places to drop the balls. The highest one magically identifies the color of the ball that is dropped. The middle one says 'down', claps, or makes silly noises. The ball shoot helps babies practice bending down, grabbing an object, and standing up again without falling. A set of alphabet buttons lets little ones begin to identify letters. When these buttons are pushed in the right order it makes up the alphabet song. Babies will also hear the Leap character sing the alphabet song when they slide her bicycle back and forth. The numbers piano teaches counting 1 to 5, and other buttons teach opposites and rhymes.
With a quick turn of the 'smart' book page babies and toddlers can easily switch to the musical mode. In this mode there is a constant beat that can get on parents nerves but children seem to love it. Thankfully there is a switch that can lower the volume or turn the toy off completely. There are three basic melodies, London Bridge, Wheels On The Bus, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star that can be switched by pushing the little green opposites frog down. Musical instruments and melodies can be added or taken away by using the numbers piano. Even the tempo can be changed to make the music faster or slower. This coupled with the harmonicas and scales on the lower level turns any baby into a miniature symphonic conductor.
Unfortunately, with all this fun comes two safety issues. First, the table is top heavy, and will fall on a baby just learning to pull up. It will also slide out from under a cruising baby if it is not pushed against a couch or wall. Second, this product has been recalled due to reports of babies reaching in the middle ball shoot, and getting their arm stuck on an inside hook. To fix this issue Leap Frog provides a 'tube topper' that permanently covers that middle ball drop. This makes it a little more difficult to unclog the ball shoot when your baby inevitably stuffs it with things other than balls, but his arm will remain scratch free.
At around $40-$50 the Learn Around Playground is a little more expensive than other activity tables. However, given the variety and number of activities, your child will probably learn more and play with it longer. This could make it a great addition to any baby's playtime routine.