User Rating: Excellent
Pros:Reviews the alphabet, encourages singing and dancing.
Cons:I think some wires are crossed, but my son doesn't notice the difference.
The Bottom Line: I think it is a great age-appropriate baby toy. I would suggest it as a baby's first gift. It teaches the alphabet, encourages movement and singing.
In January 2007 my husband bought my son a Leap Frog Learn and Groove Alphabet Drum. He just wanted him to have an age-appropriate musical instrument around the house. Already, my son had a piano meant for babies, but that stayed at grandma's house. When I got my first look at the drum, I was impressed with the toy my husband chose. It looked safe, sturdy, bright and was educational.
Recommend this product?
It has an hourglass-like shape, being thinner in the middle and wider on the outside. The colors that make up the drum are red, blue, orange, green and aqua. The very top of the drum, where the child beats a rhythm, has a screen that lights up with pictures and letters made up of red lights. The bottom of the drum is where 3AA batteries are inserted. They are safe from nosey children, since the battery compartment is sealed by two screws. There is a design made up of raised plastic on the sides, which adds some texture. The design is swirls, stars, alphabet letters and musical notes. The Leap Frog Baby logo is small and on the side. The toy has an opening on the orange side to act as a speaker, letting the sound and music out. There is a volume control on the side, with two options. Soft or loud. Soft is really too soft in my opinion, so I keep it on the louder setting. There is also an English and Spanish setting. So anything it does in English, it also does in Spanish. Great for Spanish speaking, English speaking and bilingual households. Finally, there are the "play" options: Off, ABC, Drum, Music. Off speaks for itself. Now lets discuss the other options.
ABC: When your child bangs the drum, it says the first letter of the alphabet and puts the letter on the screen. They bang it again, it goes to the next letter all the way to Z. When your child doesn't bang on the toy for a while on this setting it has a couple of things it says to motivate your child to keep playing. This includes, "Let's Play - oh yah" and "Let's make some music".
Drum Picture: This is the one that plays a song. We dance and we sing when we play the drum. We sing and we dance, let's have some fun. We clap our hands. CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP. We play the drums. BEAT BEAT BEAT BEAT BEAT BEAT BEAT BEAT BEAT. We sings out loud - Lalala. We dance and we sing when we play the drum. We sing and we dance, let's have some fun. We play the drums. We stomp our feet. We dance and move - to the beat. All right - hit the drums to play again." This one says, "Let's Play - oh yah" if your child doesn't immediately bop the drum to play again. Throughout the song it has all sorts of pictures to lead your child through dancing, clapping and singing.
Music Note: Play the drum and make your own music. It has a background beat with flashing pictures, but your child can just beat the drum to his own delight.
I think my toy has it backwards, or maybe they all do. I think the drum picture option should be the one that let's the kids just bang and play drum beats. And I think the music notes should be the one that plays the song.
This toy is suggested for 6 months to 3 years. I have owned it since my oldest was seven months and it was a success from the get go.
My toddler still pulls this from his shelf to play with daily. And my seven month old already knows to bang the top to interact with the toy. I love the singing/dancing option and my toddler and I act out the song. The alphabet option is nice too, since my toddler loves anything that says the ABCs. So its a great toy whose novelty has not worn off and it has lasted over a year of hard play. Plus, I still haven't changed the batteries. The batteries last somehow!
I think it is a great age-appropriate baby toy. I would suggest it as a baby's first gift, best given before they are one so they get the most use out of it. It teaches the alphabet, encourages movement and singing - what's not to love?
Amount Paid (US$): 20
Type of Toy: Baby Toy
Age Range of Child: 0 to 12 Months