“ Brand: Mothercare / Type: Baby Toy / Type: Books „
As new parents Mr Lools and I were quite clueless as to what toys babies liked. We would walk into toy stores and just find ourselves overwhelmed by all of the bright colourful toys. We had noticed and found soft toys preferable (less chance of injury) and decided to purchase some soft books to provide stimulation and entertainment to my boys, even from a young age. We added a number of soft book toys to our collection; one of these being the Mothercare My Back Garden Soft Book. ***Mothercare- My Back Garden Soft Book*** The Mothercare My Back Garden Soft book is a fabric baby book with a garden theme with lots of different textured pages and pop up sections to entertain a baby. The book is a square fabric book which is around 20cmx20cm. The top corner of the book is attached to a red clip which can be attached to a pushchair or car seat handle. Mothercare state that the My Back Garden Soft Book is suitable from birth. The book is priced at £10.00 and available from Mothercare stores and online from www.mothercare.co.uk. When we were first purchasing books for my boys I was quite surprised at just how expensive this soft book toy was however soft books are a lot more expensive than other children's books and are priced typically in the region of £7-£10 therefore this is a slightly higher average priced soft book. ***Our Experience*** We bought the Mothercare My Back Garden Soft book when my boys were around 3 months old. Mothercare state that the toy is suitable from birth however at this age Mr Lools and I found ourselves reading the book to the boys and moving their hands onto the different sections on the pages so they could experience the feel of different materials. At such a young age I do not think they really understood what was going on but I do feel that they got a lot of entertainment and enjoyment from feeling the different materials on their hands which encouraged lots of smiles. The Mothercare My Back Garden is one of the better soft books in our collection. The book has a very basic short story however is not really a story book. On each page there is a short sentence leading a child to lift flaps or touch the textured section on the page. The pages all have a garden theme so there are lots of characters, bugs and objects that you would expect to find in a garden. There are dangly bugs hanging from some pages, long soft grass for a baby to feel, a leaf to lift up and lots of crinkly material which makes a sound when touched. The different sections really stimulate a baby both visually and by allowing them to use their sense of touch to explore. I like the amount of textured sections in this book and feel it had more than most of the soft books we owned which is why I think my boys particularly liked this book and it occupied them for longer than many of the other soft books that we owned. The toy is definitely suitable from birth as the book is completely soft and the dangly bugs and lift up flaps are very firmly secured onto the pages so these are not a choking hazard to young babies. As already explained a newborn baby has very limited use from the book until they are at an age when they start taking more interest in reaching out for objects and focusing on objects. Never the less we did find ourselves reading and holding these books out to my boys from around 3 months old. I feel by the age of 5 months old my boys got a lot of enjoyment from holding the book themselves and touching the different materials on each of the pages. Up until around 12 months old my boys would regularly "read" this book, touching and exploring the pages as I read to them. There are only very short sentences on each of the five pages therefore the "story" to the book is very short and not really a story. I believe that is why by 12 months old my boys showed a lack of interest in this book and would bring over books for me to read which were more of a "story book" and a traditional hard book as opposed to their collection of soft books. The Mothercare My Back Garden Soft book is made entirely from fabric so it does get dirty quickly and it is very difficult to simply wipe clean if things get spilt on the pages. With small lighter marks you can use a damp cloth but I found it more effective to put the book on a cool wash in our washing machine on at least 3 occasions. I do feel that the added benefit of this soft book over many others is that the book has a clip meaning it can be attached to a handle of a car seat or handle. This minimises the amount of occasions the book is thrown on the floor and therefore does not pick up dirt as quickly as soft books without this clip do. This did not damage the book at all and the fabric was clean again. The book is very well made and all stitching is secure and neat. There are a number of flaps to lift up and dangly items hanging from the book and all of these pieces are still fully attached. These are totally secure and my boys have pulled, yanked and fought over this book many times without ripping or pulling pieces off the book. ***Overall*** This is one of the better soft books we have in our collection and I would definitely recommend it to other parents. The book is colourful, fun and engaging providing visual stimulation with the clear bright pictures, different shapes on the page and there are lots of different sections for a baby to lift up or touch encouraging them to grab and feel the book. The book benefits from a clip to attach the book to a car seat handle or pushchair, which means this is a great toy to take out and about with you and it doesn't get too dirty from being thrown or dropped on the floor because it can be attached to a fixed object. At £10 the book does seem quite expensive when you initially purchase the book but my boys both got a lot of entertainment and enjoyment from this book and it will definitely be kept for baby number 3. The book is very well made and still in excellent condition (as it can be put in the washing machine) and all of the dangly pieces of the book are still intact despite being pulled and yanked regularly. The book is quite basic and by 12 months old my boys both preferred hard books to the softer type books so I would definitely recommend this book for under 1's.