Mellow Mummy: Leapfrog Number Loving Oven Review : Taking life as it comes...

Monday, 3 August 2015

Leapfrog Number Loving Oven Review

It is quite hard to believe that Holly still has another 13 months until she will start school... in fact, I'm not really sure how she is going to cope between now and then as she asks, every morning, whether she can go to school instead of nursery.  Holly can write her name, she is eager to learn to read and can identify and write all of the letters of the alphabet.  Holly is already performing simple arithmetic with her fingers and can count beautifully.  I'm trying to find as many ways as I can to feed her thirst for learning and try to keep things exciting for her until she starts school - I think I'm going to need as many ideas as I can get!

The Number Loving Oven from Leapfrog is one of my ideas for helping Holly to practice her basic school readiness maths skills such as counting, sharing and simple fraction sills.  Leapfrog's Number Loving Oven is one of a few new preschool learning toys launched this summer to help your under 5's practice the skills they'll need once they get to school.

The Number Loving Oven is a compact toy oven and hob which allows your child to role play while practicing their numbers.  The Oven sings about the ingredients and encourages you to select the correct oven timings and temperature, she also encourages sharing.  The Oven comes with plastic cupcakes, bread, pizza, baking tray, service slice, frying pan and oven tray.  One of the challenges that the oven will set is to cut the bread or the pizza into the correct number of pieces using the serving slice, this helps to practice sharing a whole and breaking it into simple fractions.

Holly very much enjoys the oven and finds the singing very cheerful.  In our house, as big Leapfrog fans, we can all often be heard singing our favourite Leapfrog songs but the Number Loving Oven has a few ditties that I think will be memorable for the rest of our lives - we particularly like "put an egg on it" which brings a smile to all of our faces.

I think that the Leapfrog Number Loving Oven ticks an awful lot of boxes for us - counting, maths AND cookery.  Simply cutting the bread into pieces and then sticking them back together again can keep my two occupied for quite some time!  That said, I think that Holly could have done with this toy about a year ago - indeed, it is recommended for children from age 2 upwards and I think it could really boost learning for a child who is just starting to learn and read numbers.

Although I love the role-play element, I don't think I'd recommend this oven as your sole role-play kitchen product as it is quite small.  The knobs on the cooker turn and the hob makes a crackling sound when you place the frying pan on it but it is just a bit cramped to really get the creative role-play juices going.  Holly prefers to play with it as an interactive toy where she listens to the instructions, places the correct items in the oven and then sings along to the songs.

Now, I wouldn't be Mellow Mummy if I didn't also mention that REAL cookery with pre-schoolers is also an incredible way of teaching preschool skills.  Cookery with kids can be wonderful fun and is always packed full of educational opportunities that you probably never notice (weighing, measuring, finding ingredients, counting cupcake cases, splitting eggs...).  If the Number Loving Oven is the catalyst that can get you and your preschoolers cooking together in the kitchen then I'll be happy!!!

You can find out more about Leapfrog products on their Facebook page which is packed full of ideas and competitions.

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