This isn’t a brand new toy. We know it has been out for a few years! But our children adore it! We have gotten years of play out of this toy! A great holiday gift for 9 months-18 months!
Fisher Price Learning Home
Fisher Price pulled out all the stops with this two-sided activity toy. The outside of the house has all the bells and whistles of a real home. Little ones can enjoy playing with a doorbell, porch light, ball drop drain spout, mailbox, shape sorter, front door, house numbers, and even a little spinning garden. The inside of the house has a phone book, clock, radio, light switch, window, and another shape sorter. The roof even has a wheel that changes from a picture of a sun to a picture of a moon.
With two learning modes the fun never stops. Move the switch on the radio and it announces ‘Its learning time.’ In this mode children learn about opposites from activities like turning the light switch ‘on’ and ‘off’. The radio has four buttons that sing songs about the alphabet, counting, opposites, and colors. These songs are cute, but very catchy. Don’t be surprised if you catch yourself humming them while cooking dinner. Fortunately, there is also a volume control switch on the radio. The most educational part of the learning mode is it teaches counting (ball drop) and number recognition (house numbers). Many toys for toddlers teach ABCs, but not many focus on numbers the way the Learning Home does.
Move the mode switch the other way and you will hear ‘Its music time.’ In this mode every time your child touches a button or drops a ball down the shoot they are rewarded with one of more than 25 songs or musical sounds. You will hear new songs like the ‘Welcome Home Song’ as well as old favorites like ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’. Fisher Price recommends this toy for ages 6 months to 3 years. The music mode is particularly useful at the 6-12 month range, although preschoolers will still enjoy it from time to time.
As if musical sounds, and learning is not enough this toy is excellent for motor development. The activities at the top practically beg for crawlers to move to a standing position. The Activity Home is big enough that once standing babies will want to begin cruising between activities. The shape sorter on the ‘inside’ also helps children practice bending down to pick something up off the floor and returning to a standing position. The base is wide enough that in most cases the Learning Home will not flip over with a child trying to pull up or cruise. My daughter flipped many an activity table during this stage, but never this one.
Above all this, the absolute best part about this toy is it gives parents a great opportunity to spend quality playtime with their child. Put the Learning Home in a doorway, and let the roll play unfold. After all, it comes with three plastic pieces of mail, and some one has to ‘deliver’ them. (Be careful that you don’t find the mail in your VCR later). Older preschoolers and parents enjoy this toy as much as babies and toddlers.
You may be tempted to think this toy is too large and expensive. However, the price is comparable to other activity play centers. Given the amount and variety of activities, coupled with the fact that it will bring hours and hours of entertainment to your family, it is well worth the $60 or so dollars. Plus, it is one of the few modern toys that accept rechargeable batteries, and they will last approximately 4-6 months. Also, the thin design helps cut down on the space it takes up. It is a larger toy, but putting it along the wall when not in use seems to keep it out of the way. The only minor drawback is parents do have to assemble it. The instructions are fairly straight forward, and it should only take around 20-30 minutes even for those of us who didn’t get a day on toy assembly in our birthing class.
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