Friday, 7 September 2018

BRIO Play & Learn Musical Caterpillar Review

My youngest has always loved music, we started taking her to music based baby groups from just 3 months old and she was entranced. Even now whenever she hears music she starts to dance. Unsurprisingly musical toys are a favourite for her so her attention was caught by the BRIO Play & Learn Musical Caterpillar we were sent to review as soon as I put the blocks in. I think the toy is great too because it doesn’t just play music, but it encourages a toddler's problem solving and memory skills.


The Musical Caterpillar consists of a plastic tray with a caterpillar's head fixed in place in one corner and a "tail" in another and 4 wooden circular blocks. You can put the wooden blocks in any of the 10 holes on the tray which makes a different tone play and the head and tail light up. If you put the 4 wooden blocks in a way that connects the head to tail a short melody plays and the head and tail flash. There are 10 different combinations of positions that will connect the head and tail and each one plays a different tune.


I found it really interesting watching my toddler discovering how to play with the BRIO Play & Learn Musical Caterpillar. I could see her brain thinking: “why isn't a tune playing now?”, “why are there only 4 blocks for all these holes”, “what happens if I put them in this way?”. She has spent some time experimenting and I think it is great for her development.


The basic way the toy works is simple, magnets on the bottom of the wooden blocks tells the circuit where there is a piece. The challenge is for the child to understand they need to make a connected line between head and tail to get a melody, but even when they don’t manage it they are rewarded with a tone and flashing lights every time they put a block in the tray (assuming they put it in the right way up!).

All the pieces are solid and it should be hard to damage any of the toy. The blocks are a good size for toddler hands and as they are circular with a domed top it is easy for them to place in the tray correctly. After some play my daughter tried putting them in upside down, but I’m sure that was curiosity as opposed to confusion. It would be a problem if you lose any of the wooden blocks because it requires all 4 to work, but they are large enough that is low risk. The box is useful for storing the toy when not being played with which should also help prevent loss.


The BRIO Play & Learn Musical Caterpillar requires 2 AAA batteries (not included) to work which go in a compartment underneath secured by a screw. It comes with a leaflet showing you the patterns which play the 10 different melodies, but my toddler has managed to find them all by trial and error I think. There is only one volume and unlike many toys it's not crazy loud so I'm happy for Little to play for long periods of time with this toy. The toy is recommended for children 24 months and up and while they would enjoy playing with it before that age I think it is perfect for toddlers who have a bit more problem solving ability. 


***Disclosure: We were sent the BRIO Play & Learn Musical Caterpillar for the purpose of review, but all thoughts are our own. It is on sale for a RRP of £34.99***

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