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Cuckoo Alex Tub Tunes Symphony Bath Toy Set
This rather expensive set was an Easter present for my ( step) granddaughter from her other grandmother who is also a teacher. Poor child is surrounded by teachers on all sides of her family so she gets a lot of educational presents to play with.
You can buy many of the instruments in this set separately, I have certainly seen the flutes and the xylophone sold separately. The idea of the set is that it is a bath or water toy that is also a set of musical instruments.
The drum is about six inches across and pretty solid plastic but hollow underneath. The skin is see through and you get at least one stick. I have to admit that I was there at the opening and have played with it when g'daughter is in the bath or paddling pool but all the bits are not always around. The drum is stable and doesn't tip while it floats in the water, when it is hit. It does of course tip when pushed under or tipped deliberately. The tone of the note varies and changes and is dependent on the level it is floating at one the water. In other words the tone varies depending on how much water is trapped underneath it and inside.
The drum is sturdy and pretty solid and can cope with being thrown out of the paddling pool. It is also a cup shape so can be used as a pouring toy too and there is nothing young children enjoy more than filling and pouring things in the bath or in any water of course. I have also seen my step daughter grab it and use it as a utensil to rinse out my granddaughter's hair when washing it!
The xylophone is more complicated in that it is spongy on the top and the whole thing will float and can be played as any xylophone with the two hitters supplied. These hitters are a different shape to the drum stick which does look like a drum stick where these are typical xylophone sticks with a sort of ball shape at the hitting end. They are all yellow so, in theory not so easy to lose.
Not only will the entire xylophone float but the individual notes also each float. The top spongy part also comes off which in my view isn't so great as you end up with lots of bits which are rather to easy to mislay. I seem to spend my time putting this back together while g'daughter takes it apart with great glee.
If she was a little older I think she would get more from the fact that you can actually play a tune using the coloured note guide that comes with the kit. The taking it apart is even more exciting that watching me trying to play a tune as she is taking it apart.
The bits of the xylophone do stick by suction to the side of the bath so they can be played on the bath side if they stay there long enough.
Finally we have the flutes and in my humble opinion these are the best part of the set. If I was going to but something for an older child I would just get the flutes. These work by filling them with water to a marked level and each level shows what note will be played should you fill the flute to that level. It works using the same scientific principle as when you fill a row of milk bottles and get a different note from each one that has a different level of water in it. The higher or more water you have in the flute the higher the note. These would be great in a Primary school to teach this aspect of sound.
These are really fun and even our two and a half year old granddaughter enjoys filling them very carefully up to the line and then making the different sounds. The science behind it is of course lost on her but it is all a learning experience.
You get six different coloured flutes and a spongy thing to hold them together although ours has never managed to be held together for longer than a couple of minutes. The idea is you could line them up and then play them a bit like a mouth organ when they are in a row.
The set costs a whopping £35 but on Amazon it is reduced to £29.99 at the present time. Personally my advice is forget this set, nice though it is I feel it is very expensive for what you get. I would buy the flutes alone at the far more reasonable price of £6.99. The flutes are great and well worth that money. They are not only fun to play with but are educational as well.
They can teach about music and sound and also help to create an interest in science and discovery. I think the whole set is nice but far too expensive for what you get in my view. The best part of the set are the flutes and these are only worth £7 separately so £23 for a xylophone that spends most of its time in bits and a drum that really could be supplemented with a margarine tub in my view.
As with all water toys children should never be left unattended.
This set is NOT suitable for children under 36 months. Well that is covering themselves as my granddaughter had this from aged two. Admittedly she probably didn't get the full learning experience from this but there really isn't anything breakable nor are there any very small parts so not sure what that is all about.
There are lots of bits with this set and like a lot of water toys you really could do with a mesh bag to store the bits in. For the price they charge for the set it would have been nice to have some kind of bag to store it all in.
It came in a huge box with plastic top and held on with plastic ties. It took three of us with granddaughter's help to get it all out of its packaging which was far more that the set actually required I think.
WOULD I RECCOMMEND?
This is a nice set but grossly overpriced and I would suggest that you forget the set and just buy the flutes as they are really goo and a decent price.
Struggling between three and four stars - the flutes are worth four or even five stars where as the rest combined with the price are worth about two and a half so i will go for three stars.
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