Chat and Count Phone
Reviewed by Shelley Owens
My 22 month old daughter Imogen was super excited when I told her that a parcel had come for her and squealed "Violet!" as I opened up the package! In their trademark bright green packaging, displaying the familiar figure of her puppy My Pal Violet, it was instantly recognisable even to such a little one. We are definitely fans in our household of this particular range of educational toys and were very pleased to be asked to review their latest addition!
Leapfrogs new Chat and Count Smart Phone is a toddlers dream, a chunky handset with a light-up animated screen that their parents won't tell them off for having! If like me, you are constantly retrieving your mobile from a wilful youngster then this is a must have toy! The phone comes in two options, a blue "Scout" one or the pink "Violet" version that we have been trying out. The handset is robust and buttons are bright, colourful and display numbers and pictures, each one activating a different sound and picture activity.
It is not strictly speaking an interactive toy however the simple conversations and "voicemail messages" have clearly captured my little ones imagination as we are now being told "Shhhush, I on a phone, I talkin' a Violet!" It has certainly kept her entertained with counting games and dancing along to the songs although the nursery rhymes are just short bursts of music without lyrics – perhaps more counting rhymes would be better? She has been enjoying counting along with the numbers but rarely waits for the animation to finish before pressing the next button which is currently random!
One of the reasons we like Leapfrog products is because they use a British voice – although electronic the phone has the familiar soft tones of My Pal Violets voice and for my little one it has been a winner. The handset has a volume control which will appeal to parents but although we replaced the batteries for brand new heavy duty ones before use, we found that the volume level is quite low. It is perfectly adequate if held to your ear but then you can't see the animations obviously.
This a good quality product from a popular range and is more expensive than the many simple count to 5 push button phones we have all seen but this one is well made, built to last and has genuine learning in mind. The recommended age for this product is 18 months to 3 years and whilst I can see that my daughter has a way to go following the activities, I doubt very much that it would hold the attention of a techno-savvy 3 year old because let's face it, they are way ahead of us these days!!
Make it louder please Leapfrog!
Available to buy from Amazon here.