Handy Manny's Learning Phone

When Boots sent us Handy Manny’s Learning Phone to review I have to admit I was a quite dubious. It seemed quite similar to some that we already have that are aimed at children around 12 months old, yet this one is for ages 3-6 years and I was wondering what it could offer that would hold the attention of my four year old. But it did seem to interest her. She has just started to take an interest in different languages and this phone offers a Spanish learning option. It just so happens that her school offers Spanish as their language so although she is not yet in the year group to start learning the language at school there is no reason why she shouldn’t do some on her own while the interest is there.

I have to admit that it is the dual language feature of this phone that made me rethink my initial view because the other features are somewhat standard for this type of toy. Children are asked to press the key of the appropriate shape or colour, choose the correct number sequence or the correct first letter of a word. Garden Boy at age two can easily do the colours and shapes activity and is challenged by the numbers activity, but at an appropriate level, so I do think the age range for this toy should perhaps start younger and I think age 6 would probably be pushing it, mainly because it looks like a younger child’s toy. The style of the phone is designed very much for the younger end of the category. And yet the key pad is laid out in the manner of a traditional mobile phone with three letters and one number on each key. This means they are all very small which makes it a little more difficult for the younger children. Consequently I am left a little bit unsure which age this toy is most suitable for.

The size of the toy is perfect however for using in the car and I imagine this is where it will end up being most used and Garden Girl does really like the idea of learning some Spanish words so she is motivated to use it despite its very boyish theme. Garden Boy likes the look of it and enjoys the activities he can do, so it is something they can both use. I remain a bit on the fence with this but our Little Garden Helpers are much more positive and they after all, are the ones playing with it and at £15 it is a good price. So all in all, its worth a look, especially if your little one is interested in learning a second language.

Handy Manny’s Learning Phone is available at Boots for £15 but is included in their current 3 for 2 offer, so if you are interested in buying it, its worth looking at some of the other great products they have this Christmas.