Reviewed by David Savage
I love the idea of the LeapFrog Musical Rainbow Tea Party as it is more than just a toy, it also encourages social play, counting, colour recognition and matching and my favourite part which I think is very important for toddlers to learn is encouraging good manners by learning to use polite words such as please and thank you (sadly I think too many children these days are not taught good manners so anything to encourage it is a winner in my book).
The Musical Rainbow Tea Party set comes with 10 brightly coloured pieces; a pink musical tea pot with a colour changing display panel, 2 cups, a plate and 6 slices of cake.
When switched on the tea pot lights up (changing through 6 colours), boiling water sounds can be heard and it says “Let’s have a tea party. Press my heart button to make a fresh pot of tea”.
Let’s have a tea party. Press my heart button to make a fresh pot of tea
The tea pot allows has 7 songs about tea and cake, tells you when “empty” and to brew more tea, encourages counting by telling you how many times to tip the tea pot to pour tea and about colour matching and recognition by matching the colour of the cake to the “flavour” of tea. The changing colours on the tea pot also move slightly to give the appearance of sloshing water.
When lifting the hinged lid (cannot be removed) on the tea pot there is a mirror and has a variety of words and sounds; open, close, cold tea, hello and goodbye etc…
Pressing the heart button on the tea pot while cycle through the phrases, sounds and songs.
The 6 cake slices fit into slots on the plate and is great for little hands and manual dexterity skills.
The children have enjoyed having imaginary tea parties and I love the fact that it is educational, for example the tea pot tells them to have yellow lemon tea and they have to find the yellow cake which has a picture of a lemon on top and when pouring tea it tells them to pour four times and counts along with them.
It also encourages the use of good manners with the children saying please and thank you when receiving a cup of tea and slice of cake, it is also great for playing together and sharing, turn taking etc…
So while it is a very simple, straightforward toy it has lots of educational qualities that not only provide fun at playtime but helps with counting, colours, hand-eye co-ordination, imaginative play, encouraging speech and manners. So in my book that makes an excellent, quality learning toy and best of all the kids love it (I don’t think I have ever drank so many cups of imaginary tea).
Just in case you think the constant noise from the tea pot would be annoying, it’s not as there are quite a few songs (7), sounds and phrases (50+) to vary the sound and the tea pot also has 2 volume settings (and on full it isn’t excessively loud). I usually find that a lot of these talking toys have an American accent but this has a British English accent.
Obviously this tea pot requires batteries (4x AAA, come already fitted). These are in the base of the tea pot and the battery cover is screwed into place so no little fingers can remove them making it safe to use.
Now for the only very small negative that only bothers me and not the children, the 2 cups each have 2 holes on the side of them so you can’t actually put any liquid in them for them to actually have a drink from them. I think it would have been better if they could actually use the cups as drinking cups, but that’s just me being extremely picky as that’s not what the toys use is for.
So despite my tiny negative I would still have to give top marks as it is a great quality, educational and fun toy and I think boys and girls would find it equally enjoyable.
Suitable for ages 1-3 years.
Available to buy from LeapFrog here.