Review: Caillou Learning Train and Plush Toy
Caillou is a character on the television show which airs on PBS Kids and Sprout and is brought to you by Cookie Jar Entertainment. Caillou loves to play "make believe" with his friends. Preschoolers can watch Caillou as he deals with everyday situations and goes through many of the emotions that young children often go through. Each episode is about a simple everyday situation that feels so big to a child. Watching Caillou helps children feel empowered and inspired.---The Cookie Jar
My 4 year old loves Caillou so much he sings the song, watches the show on TV, and always gets Caillou books when we go to the library. So imagine his delight when what should arrive via that nice man in the brown truck a few days ago but Caillou toys!
We were very lucky to be asked to review the Caillou Learning Train and the 14.5" Classic Caillou plush toy. The first toy out and in his arms was the plush toy. My little guy just had to give Caillou a hug before he moved on to checking out the train! The plush toy is soft, cuddly, and looks just like Caillou, of course. He comes with a removeable cap and clothing, and has proven to be a fun carry around pal that my son takes with him when we go out. (On a side note--I elected to keep the elastic ties on the cap to keep it attached to Caillou--otherwise I know it would be disappearing constantly and I would be searching for it constantly!)
The Learning Train is very cool, and I think is perfect for little ones from 2-4 years of age. This play set comes with a Caillou figure and his little sister, Rosie, figure. Both figures move up and down when the train moves. My son does have fun with the train and playing with Caillou and Rosie, but there are a couple of very nice features on the train set he does not actually play with that I think younger children would. There are fun beads on the bar that littler ones would surely love twirling about and get some shapes exposure and tactile fun with. There is also a bell that rings and if they squeeze the steam, it will squeak. These are things my 4 year old has the least interest in on the play-set. What he really likes doing is creating his own imaginary scene with Caillou and Rosie in their train. He also seems to prefer pushing the train around as opposed to using the wind up key and letting it roll on it's own.
I am all for imaginary play, and enjoy watching my little guy as he comes up with ideas for Caillou and Rosie as they travel about in their train. And one other interesting feature of this play-set--the Caillou and Rosie figures are made of large plastic interchangeable pieces. So of course my son has found many creative ways to change the two characters around!
All in all, this is a very fun toy that has educational benefits. It definitely sparks imagination, and reinforces shapes and colors, and provides opportunity for using those little hands to pull apart shapes and rearrange them in different sequences (wonderful for fine motor skills!). Another wonderful feature is that it does not require batteries. I love toys that encourage my children to use their imagination and can always be used over and over again--and both of these Caillou toys do just that!
The Caillou Learning Train Set is recommended for ages12 months and up and retails for $24.99. The Classic 14.5" Caillou Plush Toy is recommended for ages 3-5 years, and retails for $29.99. You can find both toys at Toys R Us stores.
Disclosure: I received the Caillou Plush Toy and Learning Train Set as part of a review for Team Mom. No monetary compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed here are my own, and based on our experience playing with these toys and watching my son interact and play with the toys sent to review.