The Fisher-Price Little People
Musical Preschool is intended for ages 12 months to five year.l Since I have a 19-month-old daughter
and 5-year-old son, I was able to witness how children on both extremes of the
recommended age range interact with the toy.
Why I Love It
From the moment we took it out of the box, both of my
children were enamored with it. We could
not unwrap the pieces fast enough! The Musical Preschool comes with the Preschool itself (the inside of what
looks like an elementary music room), three Little People, four chairs, and one
table. Because my daughter is so young, the
people and chairs were almost immediately misplaced. My only gripe about this product is that the people,
chairs, and table are not in any way connected to the actual room. So unless
you have a very neat and orderly child, you'll probably lose a piece or two.
But don't sweat it; the little detached
figurines are not the highlight of the Musical Preschool.
I was raised in a musical family, and was a musician myself for many years. More than once in
my time as a parent I have thrown out a toy because musical errors and
inaccuracies drive me up the wall. The Little People Musical Preschool is a
refreshing departure from other "teaching" toys that can be pretty lazy with
their music. Fisher Price went above and beyond with the Musical Preschool to
ensure kids will be learning rhythm, instrumentation, and even how to compose
their own little tunes. Impressive, if
you ask this music snob.
There is a "rug"
in the middle of the classroom consisting of little circles that can be pressed
to start the music. Once you start a
song, you can push one of the other buttons to add various instruments to the
music already playing. Kids choose from one of the five musical buttons to
integrate woodwinds, strings, electric guitar, horns, or keys. And each of
those buttons has a picture of the instrument so that the child can make the
connection between the sound and the instrument. Very cool.
There are other
toys/buttons in the Musical Preschool that also make sounds, but will not
interrupt a song already playing. It's better than that! Along the back wall of
the classroom, children will find a little easel, a hamster wheel, a dinosaur,
and a fish tank. Each of these items make unique sound effects. For example, if
you press the fish tank, you hear "bubble, bubble, pop, pop," in a distinct
rhythm. The hamster wheel, dinosaur, and easel all have their own beat. If there is already a song playing and a child
presses one of these toys, the sound effects adapt to the music that is playing
and fit into the rhythm of the song. That may
not be something everybody would notice, but as a mom who deeply cares about
cultivating an appreciation for music in my children, I was delighted at this
attention to detail.
On the sides of the Preschool are a door that opens
and closes, and a slide. My children haven't shown much interest in either of those since all the noise comes from the middle
of the room. My toddler does, however, fiddle with the clock at the top of the
room quite a bit. It's nothing more than a knob that twists, but sometimes kids
gravitate toward the simple.
Would I Buy This for a Friend's Kid?
Yes! In a nutshell, this picky mom is impressed. The
design of the Little People Musical Preschool is well-thought-out and teaches
kids to understand music with much more accuracy than so many other musical
toys. Plus, it gets my kids dancing in the living room every time. Priceless!