Top positive review
28 people found this helpful
on 7 October 2011
The bus is big and chunky, and very robust, having the ability to survive lots of drops and rough treatment!
The point of the bus is to teach children shapes, letters and numbers. There are four large "shape" buttons on the roof of the bus: Star, Triangle, Square and Circle. The side of the bus has all the letters of the alphabet in lower case, as well as the numbers 1-10.
The bus has a large purple slider on the roof, which enables even young children to swich it on and off easily. Next to that is a volume control which allows you to alternate between loud and quiet play.
The bus has four main play modes:
1: Sounds and Letters:
When this mode is activated, all the letter buttons make a phonetic sound when pressed. The numbers are pronounced in a clear Enlish accent. When you press the shapes at the top of the bus, they make various "engine" sounds. This mode enables the young child to learn the sound that each letter makes, as well as the names of the numbers.
2: Shapes, Numbers and Sounds:
In this mode, the bus asks the child to find the relevant character or shape on the bus and press it. It asks "where is...." followed by the letter sound. If the child presses the correct letter, the bus repeats it back. If not, the bus says "oops!" and repeats the question. This is really good at helping children identify letters and pick them out of the alphabet.
3: Sound and Letters:
The bus tells the child the phonetic sound of the letter pressed, as well as the name of the letter (e.g "ah" is the sound, ay is the name"). When you press the numbers, they play different notes in the musical scale, which allows you to play tunes by treating the numbers as piano keys. When you press the shapes, the bus tells you the name of the shape.
4: Music Library:
This is a fun mode, experimenting with different sounds. The letters play different tunes or animal sound when pressed. The numbers play well known nursery rhymes. The shapes go back to making "engine" noises. Some of the noises are really funny, and the child will press them over and over again, giggling.
The bus takes 2 AA batteries, which last for ages. I usually use rechargeable ones. When the batteries start to run out, the nice female voice goes a bit wobbly, and the tunes go a bit strange! This is a really fantastic toy that I cannot recommend highly enough. It has really helped my kids learn their letter sounds, as well as being a fun toy for rolling along the floor. The buttons are colourful and a nice size for little fingers. It is nice to hear a toy that has an English, rather than American accent! The toy is widely available cheaply from Ebay, or you can usually spot these at any car boot or market stall!