The first time we used this car toy was on a nightmare nine-hour journey between Brighton and Cumbria. Ollie was only three months old at the time, so his legs weren’t long enough to kick the penguins nose (to set off the tune), and we forgot the remote control to set it off remotely from the front seat and so I don’t think it would have been a fair assessment to write a review based on that trip.
Since then we’ve used the toy on a few smaller car journeys and have recently made the same trip up to Cumbria for Christmas. Ollie is a little older (almost 5 months), we remembered the remote control and the whole experience was a whole lot different so please check out my full review of the Taf Toys Penguin Play and Kick Car Toy below:
The Taf Toys Play and Kick Car Toy
The Taf Toys Play and Kick All in 1 Car Toy is a play-center for rear facing babies. It’s colourful, attractive and has two musical settings to help sooth baby or keep him or her entertained throughout your car journey. It’s designed as a cute black and white penguin with snowflakes and a lovely pale blue hat that lights up when the melodies play. I made the same comment about the Newborn Cosy Gym but I will reiterate it here as it is one of my favourite things about the brand. Taf Toys use a lovely pastel colour palette of yellow, turquoise and grey which is not only unisex (great for handing down between siblings), but also really tasteful. The colours are bright and playful, without being too garish and in your face – the last thing you need when driving down a motorway is to be dazzled by a clash of primary colours.
The Taf Toys Penguin Play and Kick car toy has been designed to attached to adjustable headrests that can be raised via two metal poles. It has two hooks that clip around the poles and the toy rests securely against the back seat. There is also an additional strap which can be used to tilt the angle of the toy so its easy for your baby to see and kick. I found attaching the toy to the rear seats of our car really easy and it was very simple to remove it and transfer it over to Stu’s van when we needed to.
The Kick and Play car toy also comes with a handy remote control to activate the songs from the front seat of the car which is extremely useful when stuck in traffic if your baby begins to get restless.
The Penguin Play and Kick Car toy comes with two settings activated via a sliding button on the back of the toy or via the accompanying remote control. The moon setting (night-time) plays a soothing melody similar to a heartbeat. It’s very low in its tone and the blue light on the penguins hat lights up in time to the music. We used this setting a lot on the way up to Cumbria as we drove through the night and found that it relaxed Ollie enough to get a few extra miles out of him if we were a little far from a service station when he woke up for a feed. It didn’t distract him enough to send him back off to sleep, but I don’t think there is a toy in the land which could distract Ollie from his food!
The second setting, the day time setting plays a lovely chirpy tune which is quite uplifting when you’re driving along a nice sunny open road. We found this setting really distracted him if he was getting a little restless as I think he likes the song – but it was quite stressful having it playing if he’d progressed onto a full-blown cry (we learned that lesson the hard way on our first trip to Cumbria when we forgot the remote control!). I’d say of the two settings the day time setting is probably Ollie’s favourite but they both serve a purpose and have been cleverly thought out.
Play and Kick
The penguin comes with two dangly toys that hang down either side of its face. The first is a crinkly fish toy that has a chime sound inside and the second is a baby safe mirror with a stripe pattern on the reverse. Both are made from high quality, wipeable material are in lovely bright colours, without being too garish.
At just under 5 months old Ollie’s legs were a little short to kick the beak of the penguin to activate the sounds, but that’s where the remote control came in handy in the front seat. He really loved trying to grab at the fish and had his arms been a little longer I’m sure he wouldn’t have let go the whole journey! The mirror is also quite useful as I could use it to see his little face from the front seat if it was positioned correctly (we have a rear mirror in front of Ollie’s baby-sat but it faces the driver, so I can see in it in Stu’s van).
I’ve never used a car toy like this before so can’t compare it to others, but all in all the Taf Toys Penguin Car Toy did keep Ollie entertained on our journey and did buy us extra time on the motorway when he needed a feed so for that reason alone I think it would be a good investment (there is nothing more stressful than a baby screaming and being stuck in traffic!). Ollie is still very young so there isn’t much reasoning with him when he wakes up hungry, but I’m sure the penguin is going to come into its own when he gets a little older and isn’t quite as distraught when his little tummy rumbles!!
The Penguin Play and Kick Car Toy is good quality, well designed and added a little bit of calmness to our crazy journey up north so yes I would recommend it for a journey – but perhaps don’t forget the remote control! If you’d like to buy one of the Penguins they are available from Amazon here.
I’ve been working with Taf Toys for a few months now reviewing their products and am really impressed with their range. You can read more about the Newborn Cosy Gym here: Taf Toys Musical Newborn Cosy Gym Review
If you’d like to know more about Taf Toys and any of their other products, please leave me a message or comment in the box below.
We were kindly gifted the Play and Kick car toy in exchange for an honest review. As always all views, opinions, words and photographs are my own.