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The sparkle gym first came out when I was pregnant with my third child and I oh so wanted to get it for her but after my house was crammed with lots of various gyms, playmats etc I decided not to bother so when I found out I was expecting my fourth child I immediately sent dear hubby out to get it.
It was very simple to assemble, took around five minutes and only a couple of screws were used. It is very appealing in its looksas it has bright blue chunky legs( a bonus when you also have a toddler on the loose!!), the main keypad is white but the star shapes above the musical keys are pink, blue, yellow, green and purple. All the big coloured stars have happy smiley faces on them.
It can be used in three different modes, one as a playgym where you lay your 0-6mth old underneath to kick the three rattles which hang underneath the keyboard, these are a star, a moon and a sun. My baby never really grabbed that concept with must zest .
The middle stage I would say is for 6-9mths, you know the just sitting on their own phase. You have to take off the legs and turn them around, you also have to reposition the lower back supports of the legs( very easy to do took hubby about five seconds just now!!!). Very safe in this mode, she likes it like this but not her favourite position as she is very busy and she is past that age now.
Now she is in the next stage the 9-12mth age group where she whizzes by in her walker she'll stop to play the piano with great gusto, luckily this great toy has a high and low switch situated discreetly at the back which helps the noise level in our house!!
Only now has she discovered that the orange top plate which is all nice and sparkly (holographic paper) comes off quite easily with one hard tug!! Needless to say there have been a few tears when she has clobbered one of her siblings and despite endless NOS the temptation of that sparkly piece is too much.
Finally the boring important bits, it does need batteries, 3 C batteries which can be quite expensive but our batteries have lasted well over five months and still going with a reasonable amount of use. We bought it from Argos for £34.99 just before christmas 04.
I would reccommend this toy as it is good for every age between 0- 24mths as even my 2 year old enjoys a regular play on the piano( a budding composer/singer I'm sure), it's safe which is most important and it's appealing to children. It also helps babies improve their hand eye co-ordination, gives them stimulation and introduces them to music.
if this toy is flexible enough for all those ages, then it sounds really good value for money, cos a toy with lasting power is unusual especially at this young age! Made me want to play with it anyway! good review, well done.