Eddie the elephant packed his truck and came into our home as a new friend!! The Lamaze range of toys is one of my favourite as they are always very well made, are bright and colourful, educational and lots of fun.
According to an article I read, "Lamaze delivers ages and stages approach to development. Strong developmental logic with unique patterns and fabrics that stimulate baby's senses. Packaging focuses on ages and stages and developmental milestones with a fresh new look. Uses animal icons to reinforce the ages and stages product segments. Lamaze stimulates baby's vision and auditory skills. Lamaze strikes a balance between bright, high contrast patterns that help stimulate baby's vision, and bold solid colours that give baby's eyes a place to rest. Sounds like crinkle, squeakers and jingles also help stimulate and develop baby's auditory skills. Whether they're playing or preparing for a nap, your little one will enjoy hours of delight with the Lamaze range of toys. Safe and easy for little hands to manipulate, Lamaze products feature soft velour material that invites snuggling and playing, different textures and interactive components like the mirrors, teethers, clinky rings and textured links which keep baby engaged as he/she grows."
Eddie is a cute purple elephant with lots of different colours on him too. Eddie comes with a little hook/chain link on the top of his head which I think is a really nice idea as you can then attach him to a playmat or the bar on your pushchair or car seat so he's in easy reach of the baby but will not get lost or moved out of reach.
Eddie has multi coloured ears as well as multicoloured hands and feet so there are lots of bright colours to attract a baby's attention. On his arms, Eddie has some plastic rings. These are great if you have a teething baby and my little boy always seems to have these in his mouth chewing away on them. The nice thing is as well they work as a rattle too so when you play and shake Eddie these rattle together to make a noise.
Eddie also makes a squeaking noise when you press his tummy so there's lots of fun things to explore on Eddie. A nice toy from the Lamaze collection and one for our collection.
Before having my daughter I had previously heard of the Lamaze range of baby toys and in fact had bought several as gifts for friends babies, so I was very pleased when my own little girl got given this Lamaze Play and Grow Eddie the Elephant, which currently retails at just under £7 on amazon.
So far my newborn has shown no interest in any of her new toys with the exception of her black and white baby face book, so I was rather surprised that she took a real interest in this Eddie the Elephant when I got it out of her toy box for her. As she is starting to stay more alert for short periods of time I obviously want her not to be bored and ensure she is stimulated, making the most of those awake times.
Eddie the Elephant is predominantly purple in colour and comes with a plastic hook so you can easily take it with you and hook it on to a pram or other item, although it will not stay on my carrycot and just rolls down the side of the handle. As she eventually moves to a bigger buggy, I hope that this will hook on, so she can play with it herself.
Each part of the elephants body is brightly patterned to attract the baby's attention. Eddie's tummy comes with a squeaker when you press it in, which my baby seems to like. Attached to its hands on one side are two rings that jingle together, and on the other hand there is a little teether toy which she can make use of when she is older. At the back of the elephant is a little knotted tail which can be pulled at. Other parts of the body ar made of crinkly material.
I was very surprised that my baby took such an interest in this toy given that she doesn't look much at her other toys at the moment, but I certainly think the colour of the toy, plus the patterns and squeaky tummy really grab her attention during those short periods of time when she is more awake. Lamaze promote this toy that it will suit all stages of a baby's development and I can see why because as she gets older there will be more for her to explore on her own with this toy. It certainly does stimulate her which is what she needs right now, thus making this a toy suitable even for a newborn!
This was a present for my daughter from one of her aunties so I'm not exactly sure of the price but I would not expect it to cost much as it is only small at about 20cm in height. It is easy for a baby to grip and it is also brightly coloured as well so it will certainly draw their attention.
Eddie the Elephant has a very soft material body and head and is a mass of different colours as you can see from the picture at the top of this review. There are lots of stimulants packed into this small little elephant, the trunk has a crinkle texture to it as do both of his ears and these have a different texture as well. His legs also have this crinkle material and smooth material on the base of the feet, attached to one is a teether which is green in colour and on another leg there are two plastic rings that are easy to grip. The other stimulant on this toy is the fact that when squeezed his tummy squeaks. This is one of the things my daughter took a while to discover but now she loves it.
This is a well made product and certainly my little girl has given him a pretty thorough workout with him being thrown around and pulled about a bit, she certainly enjoys the different features that he offers and is attracted by the different colours and textures on offer. It is certainly a robust toy and is suitable for newborns which is what it claims on the product info. There is also a clip on the top of his head so that he can be attached to a cot of pram.
This toy would make a lovely stocking filler in my opinion and one that is a nice addition to the range of stimulating toys that my daughter has. It is well made and seems quite robust with lots of different things for your baby to explore.
~~L'amazing crinkly fun~~
Eddie the Elephant is the latest Lamaze goody to enter my granddaughtere's menagerie. I have previously written about Sir Prancelot. Eddie is from the same range of toys and when I saw him on sale at our local car boot sale for 50p I swooped on him as all doting Nanas would! Even though the sellers assured me that the toy had been well played with he still looked spotless and as good as new. A quick spin through the washing machine when I got home (just to be sure) and Eddie the Elephant was ready for his new owner.
Olivia, Eddie's new owner is very vocal in her appreciation of Eddie. She smiles and giggles when she is reaching out for him and takes particular delight in fingering his ears which make a crinkly sound when touched. She keeps returing to the ears and is delighted by the feel and the noise they make.
Recently she has learned the co-ordination neccessary to pinch the elephant's tummy to make him squeak. Fortunately it's not a particularly loud squeak because she does this a lot, smiling every time she manages to do it! In the last two days she has started to make a squeaking noise for herself as she copies the elephant. It made all of us laugh out loud the first time she did it which really amused her in turn.
~~What's this on Eddie's legs?~~
On Eddie's left leg a bright green plastic leaf is attached. This has quite pronounced ridges making the veins of the leaf and Olivia likes to chew this and sometimes makes a sound as she draws it over her front teeth. The other leg has two little plastic textured rings attached. These are used for chewing on, picking the Elephant up with, or just for the nice clanking noise they make when rattled together. The elephant's legs are made of differently patterned plush material which is ideal for stroking and squeezing. The bright colours make pleasing and eye catching contrasts. Unlike some of the other Lamaze toys this elephant doesn't make a different sound in each limb, just a slight rustling effect.
All the seperate pieces are firmly attached with attractively striped little tags. All the pulling, shaking and chewing has not evinced any sign of wear or pulling away from the main body of the toy. In fact the whole toy is stitched together very firmly and none of the stitches or seams show any signs of weakening. This is important of course because any wear in a baby's soft toy could cause a potential choking hazard if pieces become detached.
~~How do you pack an elephant's trunk?~~
All of the toy is packed with a hypo-allergenic stuffing which is washable and non toxic. Eddie's trunk and head are firmly stuffed and keep their shape well. This particular part of the toy seems to be made of slobber resistant grey plush. His eyes are slightly suprised looking and accentuated cleverly by little 'wrinkles'. Olivia will now poke the eyes and say 'Eye'. I hope she doesn't start poking my eyes and saying 'Eye!' but Eddie the Elephant seems unworried by her poking as yet!
There's an elephant hanging around the pram!
On the top of Eddie's head a generously sized rounded clip is attached. This is made of a resilient plastic which enables the toy to be easily clipped onto the pushchair, cot or even the baby's dungaree straps. It is an easy clip to use but firm enough not to be tugged off by the baby. The size means it is not fiddly for larger hands. Olivia quite likes to chew on this too!
Lamaze bases it's designs on the concept of "Learning through play." These are a few things I have observed as I have watched Olivia play and interact with the toy. Olivia is a year old now and it has been possible to see newer and more subtle developments as her play becomes more interactive.
1. Fine pincer movements between fingers and thumbs are developed by reaching out and manipulating the toy.
2. The child is stimulated visually by the bright colours.
3. Sensual and Aural stimulation is encouraged by the various textures and sounds that the toy possesses.
4. The idea of 'cause and effect' are reinforced by Olivia being rewarded by learning to do a repetetive task. ie. squeeze the right part of the toy and it will squeak.
5. Interaction with the adults is reinforced as Olivia notices us smiling at her and talking to her about the toy. ie, different colours are pointed out and features are learned, eyes, ears etc.
6. Olivia will sometimes stop playing with the toy and simply hug it to herself whilst crooning. She is learning to take comfort and pleasure from hugging and learning to do it for herself to objects and people.
7. Although not yet able to ask for the toy she recognises it's name and will search for it in the playbox if asked. She is learning discernment and co-operation.
I am sure I have missed some aspects out of this list but it is clear to me that the design and structure of the toy does stimulate some areas of learning.
~~Other points in favour of adopting this elephant~~
It is extremely hard wearing and cleans up very well. I think it is well put together and the seams are holding up to a lot of fairly rough pulling about and chewing. (as a good elephant should!) I like the simplicity and effective design of the clip, it makes the toy portable and makes the environment a bit more fun for a child in a buggy or cot. It is a fair size for little hands (22cm x 10cm x 20cm) and it is not too heavy for a child to handle easily. His cute little knotted tail also makes it easy for a child to pick up.
I got it for the bargain price of 50p but even at full price new, (around £4.99 on Amazon) it is a very reasonably priced toy.
It is aimed at children aged 0-24 months but even after this age I think Olivia will still want to play with it.
There are sixteen 'Play and Grow' characters in the Lamaze range all of which bear similar developmental attributes. I like them all and they make good little stocking fillers!
***More information on Lamaze products and exercise regimes can be found at .......***
There's no doubting eight month old Freddy has lots of toys, in fact he has so many that we tend to rotate them and one of the toys he's got out today is Eddie The Elephant, a soft activity toy from Lamaze's Play & Grow range. Freddy and I equally love the toys from this range, they are reasonably priced, well made and packed full of textures and activities for baby to explore.
==Eddie, A Mother's View==
Although Eddie has fewer activities than some, he is definitely one of the more cuddly toys in the Play & Grow range. His has a huggably soft plush body and head, both of which are stuffed to just the right level for cuddling. Rather than having buttons or studs for his facial features, the details are stitched on, with him having wide open eyes, rosy (well purple really) cheeks and even a pair of tusks. Eddie's trunk is made of the same plush material as his face, but filled with crinkle material. Each of Eddie's ears are a good size, (I think Eddie must be an African elephant as they're the ones with large ears), feature two different patterns and textures and are again filled with crinkle material. Turning Eddie over and his back is a little plain, but he does have a little pink knotted tail.
While all four of Eddie's legs feature different colours and patterns, with the actual pads (bottom of the feet) being made of silky material filled with yet more crinkles, only two of these legs have extra activities. One of the front legs has a green teether attached, this teether is made of a fairly hard, rubber-like material, is green and looks remarkably like a leaf. The other front leg features a pair of solid, textured plastic rings, that are not only the perfect size for baby to hold on to, but also clank together in the most satisfying way. As well as proudly displaying the Lamaze label, Eddie's silky tummy holds another surprise. Press on his tummy and he squeaks, it's not exactly an elephant's 'harrumph', but with a little imagination, you can pretend that Eddie's talking to your child.
At 22cm high, 20 cm from ear tip to ear tip and 141g in weight, Eddie is a perfect size for a six month old baby to hold, but perhaps a little too heavy for the youngest of babies. That's not too say that younger babies can't still enjoy Eddie, he's advertised as suitable from newborn and I can't see anything about him that would be dangerous for them, he's very well made and I've pulled at all the seams without them showing any signs of splitting. He's, perhaps, not as colourful as some of the Lamaze range and doesn't feature the striking black and white patterns that very young babies love, but there's still plenty of textures and sounds that you can help them explore. There's also a handy clip that's attached to Eddie's head that can be used to hang Eddie just within reach from cots, prams, buggies and even baby gyms. This clip is also attached via a stretchy strip of ribbon so when baby grabs at Eddie he bounces ever so slightly.
All in all, I think Eddie is a lovely looking soft toy, that actually looks like what he is supposed to be, an elephant (unlike the Lamaze Peacock that looks more like a pigeon). He's also well made, cuddly and has activities to keep baby amused. But it's not really my opinion that counts....
==Eddie, A Baby's View==
Freddy received Eddie when he was about five months old, so considerably older than the minimum age of newborn, so I can't tell you how he reacted to it as a newborn. But I can tell you how he reacted to Eddie at five months, and how he's played with him over the last three months (and how that's changed). When Freddy first received Eddie, he got quite excited and with a big smile on his face he took hold of the rings. At this point Freddy was teething quite badly and must have found the textures on the rings quite soothing because he would regularly chew on them. He also enjoyed chewing on the pram clip but for some reason didn't really chew on the actual teether. At this age, he also spent a good deal of time exploring all the different textures with his mouth and making the different parts crinkle. He found the rings the perfect size to hold, allowing him to swing Eddie around and bash him against different surfaces. Although Freddy thought it was really funny when we squeaked Eddie's tummy, it wasn't something he could do himself, but luckily that wasn't something that frustrated him at that age. There have been times where Freddy has been a little too enthusiastic in bashing Eddie against different surfaces and hit both himself and others, but Eddie is so soft that it hasn't hurt.
While Freddy has grown in the last three months and changed the way he plays with all toys, Eddie obviously hasn't changed, but the way Freddy plays with him has. He still loves to bite on the rings and clip, especially when his teeth are playing him up, but he'll also bite on the actual teether now. He'll also put Eddie's trunk in his mouth, meaning it gets very wet at times. Freddy still loves to crinkle Eddie's ears, clank the rings together and explore all the different textures. But he know also gives Eddie lots of cuddles while saying "Ahhhhh". He still can't manage to get Eddie to squeak though, his little hand just isn't big enough to press from both sides of Eddie's body and all the other methods he's tried don't work either (bashing him against surfaces and even rolling onto him). I must say that in the last couple of weeks, Freddy has found this quite frustrating and is starting to show his frustration in typical eight month old fashion (shouting and screaming).
Although Eddie isn't Freddy's favourite, it's still a toy that Freddy will play with for a good ten minutes at a time and one that he'll make the effort of rolling around the room for, so he must like it. It's also one of the toys that I use to encourage Freddy to crawl during tummy time and Freddy will try to get to it and pull himself forwards (albeit very slowly). Freddy also enjoys taking Eddie out on trips in the buggy with him, but because the clip doesn't actually close, it didn't take him long to work out how to free Eddie from the buggy strap.
==Learning Through Play==
All babies will learn through play, no matter what toys they are provided with, but I like to buy Freddy toys that will aid his development. As with all Lamaze toys, Eddie the Elephant fits this bill perfectly. This is a toy that gives instant rewards to baby's improving skills, through sound, colours and textures. Although he's not as brightly coloured as other toys in the range, he does feature a large number of different patterns to catch the attention of even newborn babies. As Eddie has so many different areas that crinkle, it's easy to help younger babies to access these and so make a noise, and as their hand-eye coordination improves, they'll find it easy to make this noise themselves. As well as fine motor skills, Eddie can be used to encourage gross motor (big movements) development, from baby swinging him around, to him being placed just out of reach to encourage baby to move,
The squeaker is great for getting babies attention and making them smile, but too difficult for Freddy to work even at eight months, but he is trying, so Eddie his helping him start to develop his problem solving skills. The different textures of the rings and teether means that there's something for baby to chew on while teething, whether they prefer harder materials (like Freddy) or softer rubber. Eddie's wide open eyes and friendly face encourage social skills, as baby talks to him and Eddie is just perfect for cuddling giving baby comfort.
Eddie can also be used in make-believe and role play, we use him while singing "Eddie the elephant packed his trunk...", which is just like the original except we've replaced the name Nellie with Eddie. So, in living up to Lamaze's claim that Eddie will grow with your child, the same toy that is helping your tiny baby improve their visual skills, will also help your toddler develop new skills.
==Price, Range, and Availability==
Obviously Eddie is just one of the Lamaze Play & Grow toys, but he's also one of a number of Eddie toys that Lamaze sells. There is also a mini Eddie and an Eddie Eletunes, both of which feature the same loveable character. Eddie, himself is quite hard to find offline, I've yet to find a shop that sells Lamaze toys, but he can be found online, both from Lamaze direct and Amazon. I only paid £6.06 including delivery, but he does seem to have gone up in price since then, with Amazon selling him for £10.99. Personally, I wouldn't pay this higher price, but only because I paid considerably less.
==Eddie's Off To The Circus==
Personally, I think all the Lamaze Play & Grow range are excellent and hope that Freddy will eventually own the complete set. Eddie is no exception, he is a well-made, safe soft toy, with plenty of activities to keep babies occupied whether they are very young or approaching toddler hood. My only gripe is that he is not machine washable and being a soft toy this means he will eventually get grubby, especially as Freddy does love using his mouth to explore. But even with the cleaning gripe, I'm still recommending Eddie to anyone who is looking to buy a present for a baby of about a year or younger, whether boy or girl. And so Eddie gets a healthy four stars out of five from both Freddy and me.