Lamaze Chime Garden
Unlike many toys for this age group, the Lamaze Chime Garden makes soothing, pleasant noises, and the lights are really lovely.
Buy online at Jojo Maman Bebe
Initial thoughts: The Lamaze Chime Garden is a really cute toy for older babies. It’s suitable from 6 months, and consists of a series of plastic and fabric flowers, that light up and play music when your baby touches them. I thought it was the sort of thing that looks good in the nursery and it has a very good quality and educational feel about it.
We liked: The flowers lit up when Fifi touched them, not in a flashy disco way but in a really lovely, calming manner. The flowers chime and play a song – crucially the sounds the toy makes are not the usual tortuous noises that you find in many children’s toys. They are actually quite soothing and pleasant. Baby Fifi was really interested in the flowers and spent quite a long time exploring the different textures and trying to poke the lights. It definitely held her attention.
We weren’t so keen: The flowers stick into a plastic base, which contains the batteries and provides the stability for the toy. However, it was just too tempting to pick the toy up and wave it about using the flower stalks as handles. Fifi has hit herself on the head a few times with the base, as she gets a bit excited and can’t help picking the toy up. This isn’t good. I think that to let your baby use the toy without direct supervision it needs to be stuck down to a surface.
Overall: I really liked the idea, and the look of the toy. Baby Fifi, who is 9 months old, really enjoys playing with it and it provides lots of stimulation through touch, sound and sight. The only downside is that I can’t really leave her to play with the Chime Garden without supervision, in case she picks it up and hurts herself with it. It certainly makes a change from the typical baby toys we have, it’s more like a highchair toy. The two and a half year old has also shown a lot of interest, so it seems to have longevity! Nonetheless, at £19 it seems a little bit costly for what it is.