My son was lucky enough to receive a lot of toys for Christmas, some of which we had asked for, others that were complete surprises. This Galt Pop Up Toy was one of the latter. It is a toy that I never would have chosen for him but, as always seems to be the case, one that he has taken to very well! Looking around online, the toy is priced at around £7.99.
The toy is made from wood, a fact that I like as my son does not have many wooden toys and this is a different texture for him to feel. The toy is built around a basic idea and is well executed. There is a base block provided which is pretty much solid wood (but not overly heavy). On this unit, there are four holes carved out of the top and underneath each hole there is a strip of colour painted - yellow, blue, green or red. There are four rounded wooden 'pegs' supplied that fit into the holes. Each is predominantly coloured in one of the four colours to match those on the block. They also have a white block around the top with a face drawn on.
The pegs fit neatly into the circular holes and can be pushed down in the holes to make them pop up. There are some kind of metal plates in the bottom of the holes to facilitate this action. The toy description states that they can be pushed to make the characters 'bob up and down'. In order for the characters to 'bob' very little pressure needs to be applied - much less than most babies would be capable of! By applying pressure and letting go the characters fly out of their holes into the air - something that my son finds very amusing indeed and loves to watch.
The toy is aimed at babies from 12 months old, which is probably about right. My son is 9 months old and does gain some pleasure from the toy but lacks the co-ordination skills to fully operate it. At his age, he gains more pleasure in holding the wooden peg pieces - these are rounded nicely and very smooth to the touch. They are also of a size where they fit nicely into the palm of his hand and he can grasp them nicely. He also likes to roll them and watch them move across the floor - annoyingly they are small enough to be easily lost around the room, usually under the sofa. I believe that this toy will help him develop his manipulation skills and hand-eye co-ordination by learning how to place the pegs in the holes and push them down to pop them up. As he gets older, the toy can be used to help him identify colours and learn to play a simple matching game by placing the pegs in the correct holes.
The thing that I love most about this toy is that it is quite old-fashioned and simple in it's construction. So many toys that my son has are noisy or have some sort of gadgetry in them and this is a refreshing alternative to them for him. It is a way of showing him that basic toys can be fun too!! The toy feels really robust and well made and, for £7.99, it is great value for money. A great, simple toy for babies in a day in age when there are so many electronic toys on the market.
We bought this for my daughters first birthday, I am a huge fan of wooden toys and this is definitely one of the best. It is a prime example of how sometimes its the simple things that kids love.....not everything has to have flashing lights and annoying noises to grab a child's attention!
The Galt Pop Up consists of a wooden block with four holes in it and four very basic little people, painted in nice bright primary colours. These colours correspond to the colours painted on the front of the block. There is a sprung platform at the bottom of each hole, you pop a person in a hole, push them down and 'POP', out they jump.
The Galt Pop Up is great for helping babies develop fine motor skills, first they master taking the people out, then as they gain more control of their hands they are able to put them back in. As they get older colour matching and recognition can also be brought in to the game.
It is marketed as suitable from 12 months, but both my children have enjoyed it from around 8 months. Long before they were able to put the people in the holes they would love taking them out and having a good chew on them! And they would love watching us make the people jump out when they hadn't quite mastered the action themselves. It is also a great toy for older siblings to amuse baby with....our daughter is now 3 and our son nearly one and this is one of the toys that really enable them to play together. It is great for popping in a bag when visiting toy-less houses as it keeps them both entertained for ages!
The Galt Pop Up is well made and very durable, you can usually pick one up for around £8 so it is definitely worth the money! I have given it as a gift at several first birthdays/christmas's now and always had extremely positive feedback.
I recall this toy as a child! It's been around for years! I was very, very excited when we unwrapped as a gift for my daughter when she was born.
My daughter is now 2.5 years old and she still plays with it. This toy inspired us to start introducing colours and 'matching skills' to her at a very young age, and it certainly encourages motor skill work placing the 'men' in their holes and it still gets giggle after giggle bouncing the men hard enough so that they jump out completely.
The only disadvantage that I can think of, is that she has now to learnt how to run around with it and use it as a projectile, 'shooting' the men out around the room - like I say still lots of fun!
As it was a present, I don't know how much was spent on this, however I would say that it has certainly earnt it's moneys worth!
We were very keen to buy wooden toys for our daughter, as we don't like too many battery powered, plastic toys. This is a classic toy as it has proved educational and more importantly given lots of fun, across a couple of generations - who could argue with that!