Pros: fun toy, good music, keeps my son's attention!
Cons: button batteries are sometimes hard to find to replace
Last summer when I was shopping for my son around his second birthday I went back and forth whether or not I should get any toys for him from Disney Little Einstein's series. He had gotten all four of the figurines for Easter and I thought about getting him one of the playsets. For one reason or another I didn't end up getting him anything from that series for his birthday. Six months later around Christmastime I was doing some shopping and found a great deal in the store I was in on the Little Einstein stuff. The deal was "Buy 1 get second one of equal or lesser value Free!". I was actually looking for this Leo's Baton because my son started conducting to music around Thanksgiving. (Yes, you read that right. His mommy was a music major in college and sometimes conducts for fun. So, I was showing him some conducting skills and he must of really liked it because he started conducting all the time to the Christmas music we were playing.) So, I wanted to get him this Baton for a Christmas present. I ended up getting the Dragon Kite Playset for him with Leo's Baton being the free toy in the deal.
Leo is one of the four main characters in the series Little Einstein's. Each of the four characters have a gift that can be used in their musical adventures. Leo's main gift is the skill of conducting. Leo loves to conduct!
This toy is a conducting baton just like Leo has. The baton is 8.5" long. The baton has a red base, blue middle part, and a white rocket at the end. The baton has an on and off switch and a button with Leo's picture on it to turn on the music. The base also has a holder for a crayon so that you can hold it and draw with it.
The music that is played is one of three classical pieces. Each piece plays for about 30 seconds if you conduct the whole time. Each piece has a different tempo so you can practice conducting at different tempos.
But, how does this work?
When you push the button with Leo's face on it you will hear a voice that says "Conduct with me! Music by ____________" Then the music starts. As long as you are moving your baton back and forth the music will continue, but if you stop so will the music. When you move the baton again the music will start where you left off. If there is no music for 15 seconds or so then it will stay quiet until you move the baton again. Then it will make a ringing sound and say "Conduct with me! Music by ______________" again.
If you make it throught the entire piece conducting the entire time you will hear Leo's voice say "Take a Bow". Also if you continue to push the button that starts the music while the music is playing you will drums and other percussion sounds.
This toy takes 3 "AG13" button cell batteries. Fortunately, this toy did come with batteries.
This toy is recommended for children ages 3 and older.
This toy also comes with a DVD sampler of some of the episodes from Little Einsteins. The DVD is only 13 minutes long and is in color.
My 2.5 year old son enjoys this toy even though he is not in the recommended age range yet. I think that many children of his age don't have the love of music or the reactions to music that my son has either. I think that is why that my son does very well with this toy and has taken to it so well.
Whenever my husband or I turn on this toy, my son hears the ring of it and stops whatever he is doing to run over to it. He immediately takes the baton wants to conduct. He will put the baton in either hand (he doesn't prefer one over another) and conduct to the music. Sometimes he waves the hand (without the baton) and not the hand with the baton and the music will stop. My hubby or I will encourage him to keep going and like any typical 2 year old- sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't.
When my son does make it to the end of a piece he likes to bow as well. My husband taught him that when they were playing one day and it is really cute to watch him bow at the end. My little guy is a true conductor!
This toy keeps his attention and he appears to really enjoy playing with it. He also likes saying "Leo!" and will say Leo a lot within his play with this toy. We forsee him playing with this toy for awhile.
We haven't had him draw with the baton too much yet but he also likes that mode as well. Music while you draw... great concept!
As far as the DVD sampler goes... we have never watched it because we own several Little Einstein's DVDs and can get episodes from ON Demand so we would rather watch a full episode than a 13 minute sampler.
This toy is a great one and my son likes it a lot. We think this one was not only a great deal (since it was free) but a toy that was made well with several great ideas incorporated in it.