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A Musical Tea Time
With all the necessary tasks about the home completed, it is time to sit back and enjoy the traditional English tea party. And what better way to indulge this important act with younger family members than with the Musical Rainbow Tea Party product. As part of the Leapfrog “learn as you play” range of products, the Musical Rainbow Tae Party is targeted at the 1 – 3 years age group but I am sure they will not mind older members of the family taking part.
This plastic tea party set, as you might suppose from the musical rainbow reference, is both brightly coloured and has a strong musical element as part of its make up. The kit consists of ten items that are made up of two small cups, six triangular slabs of cake, a segmented cake plate and a tea pot which is central to the activities provided by this toy.
Remember this product is purely a playtime offering and so not too much should be made of the disparity between the number of cups and that of the cake slices. Fortunately the cake slices, perhaps wedges would be a better description, are large enough not to be placed in the mouth and swallowed. Hopefully the child will not attempt to fill the cups with liquid as both receptacles have two holes in the back and are not meant to hold any actual liquid.
Featuring a face decoration, the tea pot reminds me of a Disney cartoon style character. The tea pot’s visual and audio capabilities are battery powered. You do need to be aware than the installed set of batteries included in the package are meant for in-store demonstration use. They need to be replaced with a new set of four AAA batteries at the earliest convenience to ensure the child’s enjoyment is not interrupted by a lack of battery power. The battery compartment is located on the base of the tea port with the protective cover held in place by a single screw. A Philips style screwdriver will be required to remove the cover when replacing the batteries.
A slider switch, near the tea pot handle, is used to turn on power and switch between the tea pot’s audio levels. A heart shape button, positioned beneath the tea pot face’s mouth, can be used to instigate the various bouts of singing, counting games, greetings and sound effects that emanate from this musical tea set. There are seven tea-time songs delivered in a child appealing voice and six flavours of tea with each one represented by a fruit and colour that is matched by the individual wedges of cake. By raising the tea pot lid, you reveal a shinny mirror which can be used for a game of peek-a-boo complete with sound effects. I am a little worried by this feature as it might encourage an inquisitive young child to investigate the insides of a real tea pot holding hot tea.
A regular occurrence with this tea party set involves the making of a fresh brew of tea with a light show effect that finishes up producing different flavours of tea. Moving the tea pot in various ways will activate appropriate sound effect such as the pouring of tea. One nice feature was that the tea pouring sound only occurs when the tea pot was tilted in the correct way towards the spout rather than the incorrect way. You get comments such as how much tea was left in the pot.
With its sing-along music, matching tasks of tea and cake colour, counting skills and social interaction aspect, the Musical Rainbow Tea Party can provide an environment to help develop the child’s imagination skills. Currently Amazon.co.uk has this product listed at £13.33.
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