Since he loves music, I thought my son may like this toy and would color longer. And it works! He likes all the different settings so he can focus on the sections that interest him, and he loves to "color" on the page, while listening to the music and information about the pictures. I showed his at-home therapist all the neat functions of this game (we also buy all the coloring booklets as they become available)and she was impressed with its ability to keep our son's attention, too. I also feel it's a great toy to reinforce social skills and kindergarten readiness.
If your child already loves to color and learns easily, I don't think you need to spend this kind of money on a toy--just buy regular coloring books and educational materials. But, if you are looking for a way to get your child interested and practicing his/her coloring skills, I strongly recommend this toy!
(I am only speaking from personal experience with this toy and my child. It may not be right for all children with autism/special needs.)
"One of our favorites!"
We bought this last year for our almost-three year old. It's a year later and she still loves it. Early on it took her a few tries to get the paper in just right, but it has been a favorite for whole year (coming from a child who changes favorites daily!)
It is easily portable, durable and has grown with her. Now that she has her letters and numbers down, we are working on telling time. She has even started spelling words from what she has learned about the sounds that letters make from the repetitive but effective letter song. You also can use blank paper and the music-only setting for free-form coloring and writing practice.
I do wish it held a few more crayons, but we just throw an extra pack in the bag. Another bonus: I haven't even had to replace the batteries yet!
"great way to encourage writing/coloring for young toddler"
I use this with my 2 year old(27 mo), and the level is about right, I think a child who knows their ABCs etc would not appreciate it, but my son who was reluctant to use crayons loves to hear pooh bear or tigger talk to him. So he spends 30-40 min at a time coloring which he would not do previously. The basic ABC sheets are not very interesting, but we color a few of those and then move on to Pooh bear each day and I guess some of the information sticks.
For his age group, I have to play with him, but he is catching on to the go circle, and I am thrilled when he attempts to color within the lines, and matches specific colors with specific objects like yellow bananas... This is also a redesign. It does not have snap on templates with numbers, or the coloring template like the previous design. The blue lid which holds the coloring page in place does come off occasionally, but only if he tries to open and pry it off, not while coloring. I don't notice any problems with sensitivity so far, but if you are not right in the middle of an object, it won't identify it for you. Not a problem so far since he seems just too young for the game mode where this might lead to frustration.
For the future, I'm not sure if this toy will lead to independent play since you have to keep changing coloring sheets etc. All of which can lead to numerous toddler decisions and frustrations. Despite the high price, this is a great great way to encourage coloring / writing skills though for your boy who would much rather be playing with trains or cars.
"Great for the aritst in the family"
I bought this toy for my 2 year old son that loves to color, although with this imagination Desk he is learning at the same time. He picked up on how to insert the paper immediatly and just keeps on drawing. I've had to print out more sheets from the website, so that he can continue to have fun with this toy. He is so proud of his work, he hangs it on the fridge as soon as he is done, I need more magnets!!! Great toy for the artist in the family.