I noticed that whenever we visited the grandparents, my 16 month old daughter was obsessed with opening and shutting their glasses cases. Open shut open shut open shut. It seemed so fascinating that I told my mom that I wanted to get her some kind of open and shut toy. On a trip to Toys R Us, we came across the Playskool Sesame Street Hide ‘n Seek Pals playset. You know you’ve found a good toy when your child sits in the shopping cart and plays with it while you continue to browse the aisles and speak to the sales assistants. Not a peep from her. Already, there was love brewing on my part.
It has three windows that when you push or slide a button, pop open and you hear “Hello! I’m Big Bird” or “You found Ernie!” or Cookie Monster or Abby Caddaby. Elmo asks if you can find one of the characters, or who is behind the red/yellow/blue door and once you do, Elmo congratulates you, and if you don’t, he says “Oops! You found (whoever it was).” The best part? The purple lever on the side, which is also easy to pull down, changes the characters! So you can do it with the windows closed and be surprised, or you can do it while they’re open and see them all spin around. My daughter loves this part, and quite frankly, so do I!
One bad point? There is no off button. Why are people still creating toys without an off button?! It has “Try Me” and “On.” It does say “See you later!” and stop talking after you leave it for a minute or two, but I still worry that I’ll trip over it and wake up my sleeping toddler (how hard is it to get a toddler to sleep? Yes, so there should always be an off button Playskool!) There is also no volume control. It’s not quiet, it’s not loud, it’s right there in the middle. It requires two AA batteries which it comes with and is recommended for ages 18 months and up, but as there are no small pieces, I think children 12 months and up will enjoy it. It currently retails for $19.99.
Despite the lack of an off switch, I think this is a great toy, that will keep your little one entertained. I think this one will last a while, as she learns how to find the actual characters. For now, it keeps her busy at home for more than five minutes- what more could I ask for?