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Lean on me.

2010 July 21
by distracted daddy

Laugh and Learn Learning Table

For every stage of my daughter’s development there is a formed piece of brightly colored plastic. At around 9 months our daughter could stand, provided she had support. Standing or leaning was a big step. It required a piece of plastic. The piece for this stage was the Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Learning Table. The redundancy of the name is a nice touch.

The Laugh and Learn Learning Table or LLLT or Table is quite simply a table designed for very small people. It’s the perfect height for someone who is three apples tall. That’s Smurf-size, if you missed the reference. Upon closer examination the table is a dinner table or a restaurant table. It’s covered in various foodstuffs.

Saltine crackers. Cookies. A slice of pizza. Alphabet Soup. Some fruit. Salt and pepper. All the food is anthropomorphized with smiley faces and beady little eyes. It’s a carb-heavy meal, nutritionally devoid of… nutrition. Jamie Oliver wouldn’t approve. The people who made Lunchables would.

There’s not a green vegetable in sight. Sorry. There are peas –hidden under a napkin. That’s an old trick kids should learn early. The peas even exclaim “Surprise!” when they’re discovered.

“Surprise, you have scurvy.”

This table isn’t designed to teach healthy eating. It’s designed to drain three AA batteries as it lights up and sings songs in two modes; Learning Time and Music Time. They are differentiated by very little. In Learning Mode when you press the cookies it sings and counts to 10. However when you press the cookies in Music Mode it sings the exact same song without the lyrics. No learning. Just acoustic.

Pressing various buttons produces different songs or audio clips. The related button sounds are quickly cut off if you press another button immediately. This teaches cause and effect. However, due to fast button mashing I’ve heard the table say things like “blue… apple” or finish the ABCs like this “…L M N O… That’s a spicy pizza.”

The main feature of the table is the bowl of Alphabet Soup. Various letters float within the soap. Not all of the letters, just C, Z, X, Y, B, and A. That’s 20 shy of the full alphabet and a terrible Scrabble hand. A detachable soup spoon accompanies the soup. If you were to look at it independent of the table you might assume it’s a bright red woman’s pump. The pump/spoon rattles.

Baby at Fisher Price Table

Where are the peas?

For the few weeks when our daughter was content to simply stand this table was her anchor. She loved spinning the wheel, grooving to the various songs, and reaching for the spoon. Then she discovered she could walk, provided she had help.

The table then became her launch pad for walks. It was where she would stand arm outreached begging to be walked by mommy or daddy or anyone within grasp. Begging to neither laugh nor learn. But to walk.

13 Responses leave one →
  1. July 21, 2010

    Nice review and terribly cute pics of the little one. We’ve gone through our fair share of plastic tables that double as a workstation/music center. I think these things are a staple for any little one learning to stand/walk. Aren’t we lucky we get to even review these things? Think of all the fun stuff we’d never even know about if it weren’t for these little one’s in our lives. Cheers!

  2. July 23, 2010

    Thanks for the comment. I imagine the plastic tables only get bigger. We’re definitely lucky to be reviewing these things and luckier for these little ones.

  3. July 29, 2010

    Great blog! Just subscribed to your blog. Would love if you would follow mine and “like” my fb page. Thanks so much!
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  4. Blogueuse permalink
    August 8, 2010

    You have a wonderful waywith words and I enjoy your blog very much…Although I have a 3 1/2 year old son, I just gave birth to my daughter 3 days ago and I will enjoy reliving these moments thorugh a daughter’s steps! We had the Leap Frog table with my son which he loved…i gottta tell you though, most people put the toy away early, mine seemed to rediscover it later at 20-24 months shen the alphabet was really big with him and he was learning his colors and shapes. The Leap Frog one was pretty good with that…no food relation, jst music letters, shapes, colors numbers…

  5. August 11, 2010

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. Thanks for all the comments.

    And more importantly, congrats on the arrival of your little girl! Girls are special and lots of fun. I’m sure boys are too, but wouldn’t know.

    The Leap Frog stuff seems good. We just got a couple of those toys. Reviews to come…

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