I don’t do a lot of toy reviews, with three children I think we have just about every single toy under the sun. However, when this came along I thought it would be very useful for little 4 year old Ned who is desperate to read. Ned is slowly gaining a grasp of phonics (mainly helped by his speech therapy) but to be honest, he is the third child, i’m back at work, time is limited.
Peppa’s Alphaphonics Campervan is aimed at pre-schoolers (3+) but I think could probably be used by slightly younger children as a fun toy to teach sensory reactions. That way, you can extend the life of the toy and get some good value for money. Although at RRP £19.99 it wont break the bank if you opt for it for a Peppa fan who is slightly older.
There are 8 games for children to work on: Whats the Letter? Copy Me? and Find the Letter. Needless to say little Ned has enjoyed Find the Letter most as it seems to challenge him enough to keep him entertained.
The thing which I have found most useful is that it does build upon existing knowledge of phonics and adds to it to extend to those letters which are not taught in phase one of jolly phonics. Another useful skill (dare I say it- especially for my little hyperactive boy) is the ability to concentrate on one thing for a while. Its proved most useful in keeping him focussed beyond the usual screen based equivalents.
There keyboard is really easy and intuitive to use, a sliding bar at the top enables you to choose the game you want to play. As a parent I have two main criticisms, first that it is a little bit loud and secondly there is no on-off switch. The campervan has an automatic shut off, which does mean that it cant be turned off easily if a button gets depressed in the toy box.
I’ve been looking for a non screen based interactive to help Ned with his phonics and this completely fits the bill. Its well made, sturdy and you’re guaranteed to get a lot of use out of it. Clearly it is most appealing to Peppa fans, so if you’re little one is in the right demographic then this is a great choice. It would also make a good gift for a child on the cusp of 3- Christmas is not too far off…
You can get hold of one at Argos
Disclaimer: We were gifted Peppa’s Alphaphonics Campervan for the purposes of review