Last week we got the Amazing Mushroom activity center toy for my 10-month old daughter and she immediately loved playing with it. The lights, the music, the variety of ways to engage with the toy all work together to make this a very exciting toy for her. She literally giggles and laughs to herself as she pushes the music making insects and watches the colorful light show. I can almost see the gears turning in her mind as she learns that her actions of pushing certain buttons causes music and lights to amuse her. My daughter is just at the age where she loves to pull up on things and stand independently, so it’s the perfect height for her to practice that new skill.One thing to note for parents of children just starting to pull up to standing, is that The Amazing Mushroom isn’t heavily weighted at the bottom, so it’s not particularly stable. Therefore, I do have to hold it by the handle on the opposite side to provide enough weight to counterbalance her as she pulls up (otherwise she just pulls it down on top of herself.) This isn’t a safety hazard since the toy itself is very light, but there is a risk that a child could fall backward if she thinks she can use the Mushroom to pull herself up.
The Mushroom itself is brightly colored and fun to look at. On the mushroom top is a white screen that flashes red, green and blue while playing associated tones. It comes with three colored balls that you can drop in the hole in the top of the mushroom, and then watch as the balls roll out a hole in the side of the mushroom stalk, slide down a chute and drop to the bottom while the mushroom plays an engaging sound to match the movement. My daughter very quickly learned what to do with the balls and loves putting them in and listening to the tones and watching them drop out the other side (cause and effect!) She’s pretty easily amused and at this point also likes to just sit next to the mushroom while holding the colorful balls and smashing them into each other, old school style. There are a few additional attachments on the mushroom stalk that aren’t connected to the lights and music, so she can play with the gears and other attachments from a seated position when she gets tired of standing and hearing the music. It’s a real plus that the music is quite cheery and playful, and I find myself humming it all day once we’ve played with the toy.
The only downside of this Amazing Mushroom toy (like many others in this category,) is that while the lights and sounds are fun for a short amount of time, some of the additional beeping sounds (besides the music) sound a little bit like slot machines and can get slightly annoying after a while. But overall this Amazing Mushroom toy is a big hit in our household and is getting a lot of attention in the weeks since we introduced it. It was easy to put together and would make a great gift.