Reviewed by Sally Ellis
I was thrilled to receive this toy as my son is just turning 6 months old and sitting up on his own, so it is perfect timing to begin teaching him about shapes and honing his fine motor skills, not to mention hopefully giving him the impetus to start moving around.
The packaging is designed to display the toy and shapes in the packaging and apart from some tape and a few slightly fiddly strings holding it down, is quite easy to remove from the box. It does not come with batteries, but only takes 3 x AAs, which most people have to hand. We certainly have a supply in the drawer for exactly this purpose as I’m sure most parents do.
The Lil’ Ocean Explorers is a new range from Little Tikes and the Crawl ‘n Pop! Turtle is designed for ages 6 months – 3 years and helps babies to progress to crawling by trundling along before stopping and popping the shapes out. It also plays three tunes as it moves. There are four plastic shapes – circle, square, triangle and star, each one a different colour, great as a learning tool in themselves, although currently my son mainly likes to hold them and put them in his mouth! Nonetheless, they are the perfect size for little hands and I can already see him quietly studying them, so in time, I know he will start to understand each one and be able to place them in the matching holes. When you press the button on the turtle’s back (a pentagon, so in fact another shape to learn!), he rolls along, playing a song and then pops them out all over again.
I was also lucky enough to have some friends over with a 10 month year old and a 20 month year old and the Crawl ‘n Pop! Turtle was a big hit with them! They both scrambled around getting the shapes and pushing them in before pressing the button and then stumbling after him. At one point, they were accidentally pressing the button before all the shapes had been put back, but this is just something they would have worked out given more time. It is clear that this toy does indeed appeal to various ages and can be a great learning tool encompassing shapes, colours and fine motor skills.
This is a very reasonably priced item, considering all that it teaches and something that will last for quite some time as the child grows and gains more understanding and abilities. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to others!
Suitable age: 6 months to 3 years.
Available to buy from Little Tikes here.