Today is my first review as part of the new VTech Play Panel – we are going to be receiving some of the newest VTech toys on the market and telling you all about them! Of course, like all my reviews they’ll be honest and will highlight both the pros and cons of each product after a good test run by the girls. Violet and Pearl have grown up with toys from Vtech, we’ve had a selection of their toys since they were very little so we were excited to be new members on the Play Panel and try some new toys too – hopefully if you are looking for birthday or Christmas present ideas for your little ones this might be helpful too!
The first new release this summer is the gorgeous VTech Hop-a-roo Kangaroo, a cute, cuddly interactive toy filled with songs and learning activities which also hops along the floor to encourage little ones to move.
When the product first arrived I was surprised by the size, it’s a really big toy which comes in an even bigger, colourful, jazzy box. Just taking the box out of the packaging had Violet and Pearl jostling with each other for the first look, they were so excited! The Hop-a-roo kangaroo is packaged plastic free, which is a great touch too.
Inside, the main toy is cuddly with super soft plush fabric. She is quite big in size and has lights on her tummy and arms, with a baby joey in her pouch. I always think of VTech toys as brash, loud plastic toys with bright colourful buttons, but this is much more subtle and gentle, still with the interactive qualities.
We finally got her out of the box for a play after tussling with it for a while (why do I always leave getting the toy out of the box until I have two excited children pushing and pulling at it!) The Vtech Hop-A-Roo Kangaroo has the following features:
- Hops across the floor, encouraging little ones to move
- Three activities – kisses, singing and jumping
- Different fabrics for a sensory experience
- 2 buttons which introduce fun facts, numbers, phrases and sounds
- 3 songs with 10 melodies
- Cute Joey in her Mummies pouch
- Encourages nurturing role-play
I think both girls seemed quite surprised by the songs and music, especially when the kangaroo started stamping her feet to bounce along the ground – they were not expecting that for sure so they took a bit of time to examine what she does and realised she isn’t your average cuddly toy. They both pressed the buttons and spent some time taking the joey in and out the pouch, swapping over who got to play with the kangaroo and who got the joey (which was usually Pearl, much to her annoyance!)
Now we have had the toy a while, Pearl has really taken a shine to it. She’s just turned 1 and it seems the perfect age to explore nurturing play, she loves giving it a big cuddle and exploring the textures with her fingers. She is able to press the buttons on her own, meaning it holds her attention for quite a while, playing different music and moving in different ways. It’s been so lovely to see her developing such a soft, caring side at such a young age as she cuddles and kisses it, it’s so sweet to watch.
One of the things I’ve been slightly disappointed with is that it doesn’t really ‘hop’ very far, it certainly bounces up and down to the music but I expected it to hop along the floor to encourage Pearl to crawl or toddle after it, but it stays on the same spot and often if it’s feet are not properly on the ground it’ll just push itself over. But this doesn’t seem to bother Pearl and she’ll just scoop it back up into her arms for another cuddle.
Violet has been playing with it too, although she is more interested in pressing the buttons to hear the numbers, sounds and phrases which she will often repeat back, or she will pretend to bounce like a kangaroo. She loves talking about Mummy and Baby animals, so she likes playing with the joey too and role-playing a family set up.
Overall both girls have really enjoyed playing with the Vtech Hop-a-roo Kangaroo. It’s interesting to see how they play with it and interact with it in different ways, which shows this toy has a good lifespan across the early ages from 1-3 and that children will get different things from it over time. It would make a perfect first birthday present, as it’s a toy that is going to last years. It retails at £39.99 so it’s not the cheapest, but for a toy that will last and keep them entertained for years it’s worth the price tag.
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