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Number Lovin Oven Review

Leap Frog Number Lovin’ Oven Review by Aimee Wevers-Borland & Ayla (nearly 3 years old at time of review)
How Much? $54.00 as advertised at The Warehouse.

NumberLovinOven1What’s in the Box?

  • An interactive oven
  • A pizza made up of four slices, numbered 1-4
  • A loaf of bread that splits into three pieces
  • Two cupcakes
  • One fried egg
  • One frying pan
  • One serving spatula
  • One baking tray
  • Two plates
  • Batteries! Nothing worse than buying a toy for the fun to stop abruptly when you realise you need batteries you don’t have.

NumberLovinOven2This little interactive oven is marketed as suitable for children aged 2 and above however with supervision, I think it would be a great toy for younger children. We had a newly-turned 1 year old come visit us and even she enjoyed putting food in and out of the little oven.
The loose components of this oven, even when broken down, are a decent handful-size for little hands. There are no tiny, fiddly bits that could go missing or pose a choking hazard however there should always be parental supervision – toddlers are capable of the impossible!

 
Our Review:
This little oven came in vibrant green packaging which lets you know it is associated with products of the Leap Frog brand. The packaging allows you to see the variety of items you receive and has a great photo on the rear of the box detailing what is included and some of the phrases/ songs said by the oven.

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As noticed on the box, the oven has over 30 songs and phrases about counting, cooking, and sharing. The songs are enjoyable and my daughter particular loves pushing the little green button to get to the “eggy songs” where each song talks about putting ‘an egg on’ a variety of the foods included with the oven. So far I still find the songs catchy to listen to and the oven has doubled up as a little jukebox for her that she loves dancing to. My daughter also takes great delight in saying “no way” when the song suggests putting an egg on the cupcakes so the song lyrics are very clear, there is no chance of mishearing a word here. Needless to say, operation is very straightforward and my daughter worked it out within 15 minutes of getting it out of the box.

 

My daughter knows how to count out loud but what surprised me was that she was able to understand the cooking instructions given by the oven. When food is placed inside the oven and the door is shut, the oven will tell you a number to set itself to for cooking the food. Whether or not my daughter can read numbers, she was able to apply the instructions and set the right temperature every time. Once the right temperature is selected, a trill of acknowledgement goes off by the oven to let the child know they are correct.

The oven then counts down from the temperature it required and a little ‘ding’ goes off to let the chef know their “culinary creations” are ready. It took a few attempts for her to wait for the countdown but soon enough she was happily counting down and waiting for the ‘ding’. She also thinks she is pretty fancy throwing around the term “culinary creations.”

My daughter did not always have the patience or interest to hear what the oven wanted the temperature set to. When she manually chose a different temperature herself the oven would say “Number. Almost, that’s a bit high/ little low.” The oven then allowed an opportunity for the child to try get the right temperature again and in the event my daughter still insisted on using another temperature it would tell her “Alright, you’re the chef but it might be a bit runny” etc. and then continue with a cooking countdown. I like that it offers the child a chance to try again but it also doesn’t force them to get the right answer in order to enjoy cooking with the oven. Alternatively, the child can set the temperature themselves prior to the oven’s voice prompts starting.

What I also really like about this oven is the hygiene prompts it gives children. It reminds them to always wash their hand before handling food so my daughter set-up a sink area where she could pretend to do this or she pretended the back of the oven was where she washed and dried her hands. This isn’t something I have come across in interactive cooking toys so I thought it was a great feature and something she can now put into practice when we cook together at home.

 
NumberLovinOven4Another aspect of this toy I really like is that when play has finished, all the components neatly fit back into the oven. As a parent of a child who accumulates toys faster than I create space for them, storage is quite important for me. I really liked that I don’t need to worry about loose parts going missing and my daughter happily packs it all away herself to put back into her room. It also makes this toy portable and it is easy to grab on an outing without leaving half of the fun stuff at home. While this toy mostly functions as an oven, it does have a hot plate that you can fry an egg on so makes for a great mini-kitchen.
Perfect for parents who don’t have the space for an actual miniature kitchen.

 
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My daughter initially experienced some frustration with the little serving spatula. She really wanted to use this to slice up her loaf of bread and pizza but it is neither thin nor strong enough to do so. She soon worked out the pieces can easily be broken up and put back together with her hands however this doesn’t let her mimic how she would actually handle food.
It would be great to see Leap Frog include tools that would allow for this however I don’t think they would work well looking at the fittings that keep the pieces together. Despite this, my daughter enjoys the challenge of piecing everything back together and the fittings themselves are strong and robust. I don’t see them breaking or becoming loose anytime soon.

 

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Another area of frustration she has come across is the size of the serving plates. She likes to serve a piece of each food item on the plates but they don’t all fit nicely. The plates are sized to be able to fit back into the oven so I understand the reason for their size and design. On a positive note my daughter enjoys balancing everything on the plate to serve them up or we sit together and pretend to have our entrée, main, and of course cupcakes for dessert.

 

 

 

Comparability to Similar Products:
I haven’t seen a similar product in the Fisher Price range to compare this toy with however my daughter was gifted the Leap Frog Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket ($39.99 at The Warehouse) at her first birthday.
Both the oven and picnic set are similar in terms of interactive functionality. The Picnic Set focuses on shape sorting versus numbers but also offers over 30 phrases and songs. Both sets have the same number of items included (16 pieces) but the main difference appears to be in price (oven is $15 more) and colouring.

You could argue that the picnic set is targeted more for girls being brightly coloured in pink and purple whereas the oven uses a range of colours and is more gender neutral with its white and blue colouring. The food included with the oven is also more evenly coloured i.e. one cupcake has a pink wrapper and sprinkles, the other has a yellow wrapper with blue sprinkles – guess which one my daughter insists on serving me!

 
Final Thoughts:
We really enjoyed the opportunity to review this new toy and since receiving it, my daughter has brought it out to play with daily. I think it is competitively priced for the features and items you receive however the Leap Frog picnic set is $15 cheaper and is very similar in terms of features and items provided. Without being on sale, this price difference would naturally prompt me to opt for the picnic set over the oven.

I do however like this toy’s ability to offer instructions and reward the child when they select the right number, helping them learn to associate numbers by their written form. I also think the hygiene prompts are fantastic and now receive little reminders from my mini-chef about whether I have washed my hands.

The songs are enjoyable (so far!) and it is great to see her use this toy for its song’s as well as its cooking functionality. She just loves to dance to the music.

I think this would make a great toy for any child’s toy collection and the fact it tidily stores its objects within itself makes for easy storing.

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