Friday, 4 November 2011

Melissa & Doug's High Sea Symphony Review

This week, I’ve been testing out a new Melissa and Doug toy and here’s what I thought by way of a review.
I love music. I am a pretty talented musician in my opinion, as I think I’ve mentioned before, and I can thrash out a beat on virtually anything.  Now, some might say it’s a sound only a mother could love, but I figure if I continue to practice every day, I can only improve.  And practice I do.
Imagine my delight then when Mummy said there was a parcel for me at home, and inside were some musical instruments!  For me! That’s my kind of delivery.
The lovely people at The Wooden Toy Shop ( had sent me the High Sea Symphony by Melissa & Doug.  Melissa & Doug toys always go down well in our house.  You should see Mummy’s ears prick up at the mere mention of their names!

These instruments are aimed at little people from about 18 months, although in my opinion, babies a lot younger could handle them under supervision.   They’re pretty chunky so easy for small hands to grab hold of, and they’re nice and light.  They’re brightly coloured and each one has a face on it, which my friends and I quite like.  Beware though - we like to throw things at the moment and I think they'd properly hurt if they got you in the face!
I liked that they look a bit different from other musical sets around.  Each instrument is in the shape of an ocean creature, so they stand out from ‘regular’ rattles and tambourines. 
If I had to pick a favourite, it would be tricky but I’d go with the octopus tambourine.  The head of the octopus is just so lovely to hold and shake for my little hands, and it makes the loudest, most satisfying noise.
Mummy loves the oyster castanets because of their cheery faces, the different sounds the two sizes make, and quite frankly, because I’m not very good with them yet.  I haven’t really mastered the co-ordination for those yet, (perhaps that’s another reason the box says “from 18 months”) so they’re also the only instrument I really let Mummy touch.  I gave it a go though!

The crab bell would be second choice for both of us. It’s beautifully painted again, and the bell has a satisfying ring.

The final instrument is a seahorse rattle.  I like this one because it’s one solid, smooth shape, but for me, the sound of the beads inside is just too quiet.  The noise is far too easily over-powered by the octopus and the crab and it does take a lot of effort for me to get a noise I can really hear.  It is a bit frustrating so I thought I'd see how it tasted instead. (Not that good, actually.) Each instrument is built to last though, so I’m sure there will come a time when I want a rhythm that isn’t quite so dominant.  Perhaps an accompaniment to my beautiful singing. 

The bright colours are great for stimulating other senses though, and that adds to my overall enjoyment of the toy. All in all, I’d give them an 8 out of 10. It's on sale at The Wooden Toy Shop for £19.29 but if you'd like to win one, the lovely people at The Wooden Toy Shop have agreed to give a set away to one of my readers.

All you need to do is leave me a comment below with who you'd like to win one for, and follow Wooden Toy Shop on Facebook - you'll know them by the little train picture. Mummy will pick a winner at random when the competition closes at noon next Sunday, 13 November. Good luck!

Leaving the toys aside for a minute, Mummy says that in these days of strong competition in the toy market, and the supermarkets trying to undercut everyone, little guys and big guys alike, customer service must play a big part. We cannot praise The Wooden Toy Shop enough on that score. Every dealing we’ve had with them since the very first contact has been prompt, polite and helpful. Their stock is beautiful and my parcel came very quickly and well-packaged. With Christmas just around the corner, I recommend a look at their website.

Neither Mummy nor I have received payment for this review, although we did get to keep the toys. The views expressed are entirely our own.


  1. I would have to say the Octopus - so cute!!! @chelseamamma

  2. I would love to win one for Nicholas aged 17 months, the crab bell looks right up his street


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