When you think of little girls’ play, you may think of tea parties with little tea pots, tiny dishes, and well-dressed dolls and stuffed animals sitting in rapt attendance. Fisher-Price makes a lovely noisy toy that I think would be lovely for both sighted and B/VI children: a Laugh & Learn Say Please Tea Set.
To be perfectly honest, we first discovered the tea pot for this set in a classroom at CCVI. Efrit was working on keeping Sprout entertained last year when she wandered into an empty classroom, found this teapot, and fell in love. It’s pink and purple–two of Sprout’s favorite colors–just the right size for a toddler’s hand, and, best of all, it makes noise. When you tip the teapot as if to pour a cup of tea, it makes a pouring noise. Sprout was hooked.
We found the set for sale at our local Target for around $20–a reasonable price for a birthday gift for our little girl. She started playing with it before it was even fully unwrapped. It’s been almost a year, and Sprout is still a big fan of this toy. It’s been a definite win for us.
Admittedly, Sprout is a sighted child, but I think a B/VI child would enjoy the set as well. The teapot feels like a teapot and has a bit of weight to it. The lid lifts, just like a real pot, and there’s a button “tag” like that on a teabag that you use to change the settings. (There are different song and sound settings, but we’ve always liked the plain old “sounds like it’s pouring” best.) There are two teacups that are designed to look like teacups on saucers; they do have a hole in the back about midway up, but they’ll hold liquid if your child is determined (Sprout is) and make it through the dishwasher in the top rack just fine if your child is messy (yup, we’ve tried it). There are also three little cakes that sit on a cake tray; these are lovely because they’re also a shape sorter. One’s round, one’s a triangle, and one’s square; they’re all very textured and fun to feel.
This play set is reasonably priced and has tactile and auditory elements that correspond to real, grown-up objects. I think it’s a winner.