Reviewed by Emma Bradley
I reviewed this LeapFrog Learning Friends Adventure Bus with the help of my 2½ year old and his friends. The adventure bus is a large size plastic bus with doors that open and spaces for 5 learning friends figures, there is a flip down picnic table, and sign that opens and a rotating destination sign. The bus comes with 3 learning friends figures that are bright and colourful and include the popular animals of a Koala, Fox and Penguin – other characters are available to buy separately. The bus plays a number of songs and phases designed around 3 different destinations Library, Picnic and Beach which can be activated by turning the destination song. Once on a destination the songs and phrases are tailored to that particular destination which is nice touch, the adventures are activated by placing a character in the driver’s seat which triggers off the songs.
I have to admit that on first look as an adult I wasn’t overly impressed by the bus as there didn’t seem to be much to it – however I am clearly not the intended market as my son absolutely adored it from the word go. He loved the characters straightaway especially the koala which seemed to be his favourite (I can already see me purchasing more!) and due to the open roof of the bus was able to easily access the inside which seems to be the flaw in most other busses I have seen. He took great delight in open and shutting the doors and taking the figures in and out which is great for encouraging those motor skills.
The bus is advertised as fuelling imagination and I can certainly vouch for this it really encouraged independent play and kept him occupied for long periods of time and he still hasn’t got bored of it. Many of his other play figures have also had a ride around in the bus! The best testament to this toy is that we had a party for toddlers and this bus was one of the toys we had out – it was hands down the most played with and the one that most disputes were over.
I think the range of songs and phrases for the bus are quite limited and can get very repetitive so I found myself sneaking the off button every time I got the chance which was its only downside, but we have had hours and hours of fun from this bus and it certainly has stimulated my little boy’s imagination.
As an parent I would give the bus a 3 out of 5 as I feel it could be a little bit more interactive when compared with other toys, however I don’t have any doubt whatsoever my son would give it 5 out of 5 every time.
The LeapFrog Learning Adventure Bus encourages vocabulary, fine motor skills and pretend play.
Suitable age: 2-5 years
Available to buy from Amazon here.