Monday, April 1, 2013

Pound and Tap Bench by Hape

This charming musical bench is a fun toy for young children at many different developmental levels because it has two separate pieces that can be used independently of one another or combined for a great sensory experience. The toy is both a pounding bench where a child can use the hammer to knock balls through holes on the top of the bench and xylophone that produce a lovely tinkling sound as the balls roll over each individual steel bar. What’s neat about the toy is that the xylophone can actually slide out of the bench and be used independently. This wooden and metal toy is well constructed and is very child friendly (no nasty sharp edges or places to get little fingers pinched). The finishes on the toy are non-toxic so if something winds up in the child’s mouth there is no need for concern. Strengths: This is a truly fun toy that the children I work with enjoy playing with. The balls, which can be played with independently, are easy to pound through the little holes in the top of the bench and the fact that the xylophone can be removed from the bench opens up other options for play. Weaknesses: The toy is described as one that can play a musical tune when the keys of the xylophone are struck. I think this is an overestimation of what it can actually do. You can make sounds on the key board, but it’s not a toy that will actually teach your child how to create music. As a fun thing to bang on with the hammer the toy is great. If you’re expecting music to actually be produced you might want to look a bit further. Overall it is a really fun toy that children have lots of fun exploring.

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