Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Toy Review Tuesday: LeapFrog Fridge DJ Magnetic Learning Radio

LeapFrog Fridge DJ Magnetic Learning Radio
We bought the LeapFrog Fridge DJ Magnetic Learning Radio for Matthew when he was not able to pull himself up on the fridge yet. At the time, the Radio was better suited for Matthew compared to the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set and LeapFrog Fridge Farm Magnetic Animal Set, which look like good toys but seemed to be beyond his developmental level. He wasn't ready for matching farm animals and the music button on the Fridge Phonics required him to isolate his index finger, which he wasn't doing yet (still isn't), in order to press the tiny music button. Plus, he loved to toss everything so the letters and farm animals would have ended up all over the kitchen floor. (Maybe when he's a few months older?)

The Learning Radio has three 'stations' and at least 3 or 4 songs per station. While the graphics aren't fancy, they still capture Matthew's interest. The button is easy to press, even with just the palm of his hand.

Our goal: to build leg strength, coordination and balance for getting to a standing position using the fridge door. Learning to pull up on a surface perpendicular to the floor is different than pulling up on the coffee table since there is less support for his arms and he has to rely more on his legs and balance to get up. supported standing against the fridgeWe started with it positioned close to the bottom of the fridge door so he could learn to press the button and warm up to the toy. He was crawling and could easily use his palm to press the button to turn it on. As soon as we saw he couldn't get enough of it, we moved it up higher just beyond his reach. This encouraged him to pull himself up on the fridge door, motivated by the music and dancing scoreboard-type graphics. First, he'd get into a kneeling position and press the button. Once he was comfortable doing this, we moved it higher again, challenging him to reach for that button to turn it on. He eventually gained the ability and confidence to stand. These days, he'll even use one hand instead of two to lean on the fridge door.

The Verdict
For $21.99 at amazon.com, this is a good buy for us. It motivated Matthew to learn to move to a standing position against a flat surface perpendicular to the floor, ie fridge door. As an added bonus, Matthew learned to press the button with just his fingers instead of using his palm. He has also learned to take it off the fridge and put it back on. We haven't worked on turning the dial yet to change the station. We will when he's a little older.

About 'Toy Review Tuesday': Every Tuesday, I write about our experience with a toy, while trying to incorporate thoughts on how it may help a child with Down syndrome. This review is not to be construed as an endorsement of the product nor do I intend to put pressure on parents to purchase the toys reviewed. Questions, sharing your own experience, or any other helpful insights are welcome in the comment section.


McTriplet Mommy said...

Oh my goodness - that picture of Matthew is adorable!! :)

Looks like you had a great time with your friends this weekend! We had a great time in Columbia Monday with ours, too. Isn't it great? :)

Take care,

Unknown said...

Clever idea! Just look at him standing at the fridge. Carly has the other two Leap Frog items that you mentioned. She has always loved both of them.

Beverly said...

leap frog products are great! Yes, Matthew is so cute!

Monica Crumley said...

What a cute photo! He's making John Michael's squishy face. That would be funny to see them together ;-0 Yes, we love Leap Frog. Nice toys.

Hua said...

Hi Ria,

Thanks for the Leap Frog product review. I've always wondered what other parents thought about their learning toys. And I agree with the other posts- the picture of Matthew making the squishy face is very cute!

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Monica said...

What an adorable picture!! Adam would have so loved that toy when he was younger!! We love leap frog too!

Jill said...

Look how cute he is standing there like a big boy!! Love your very interesting thought processes here, and I think I'll start putting Nate's Leapfrog letter-thingy-B-say-"buh" toy on the fridge starting tomorrow. He's been playing with it a lot, but we haven't stuck in on the fridge yet. He's been too busy trying to fit the letter in the socket so it plays the song :)
Love your pics!!

To Love Endlessly said...

that sounds like a great toy. Good information about the Leapfrog phonics too. We were looking at those, but maybe we will wait.

Monica Crumley said...

You have a blog award on my blog :-)