In and out of our house there are balls everywhere, rubber balls and foam balls, footballs and tennis balls. Sam is a keen footballer and is never far from a ball whether it's playing in the park with his mates and a leather football or practising his shooting skills on the trampoline with Jack's Peppa Pig ball.
From very early on Jack has loved balls too, crawling around after them, throwing them and more recently kicking them (with his left foot just like Big Brother and Daddy). The boys were thrilled when Little Tikes sent us the Talk to Me Basketball Set to try out and couldn't wait to get it out of the box. Thankfully there were batteries already installed and we just needed to flick the switch from 'try out' mode to 'Learning' or 'Freestyle' mode. There was a soft plastic basketball included in the set which was the perfect size for small hands.
The Freestyle mode encourages children to throw the ball at the hoop with funny phrases like 'I'm over here'. If the hoop is hit the child is encouraged to have another try with phrases like 'you can do it' and 'good try' and when the ball passes through the hoop (there is a sensor that detects the ball) phrases such as 'Slam Dunk' and 'nothing but nets' followed by cheers, are heard.
In Counting mode each time the ball passes through the hoop it counts from 1 up to 10 with loud cheers and drum rolls after each.
Ever time the phrases are heard the mouth on the backboard moves and the eyes spin around which is great fun for the little ones to watch. Hanna particularly likes the fact that there was another switch on the back enabling the voice to be heard in either Spanish or French as well as English!
As you can see the Talk To Me Basketball Set was a great hit in our house, and I'm not sure who enjoyed it most. Jack was scoring most of his hoops from close range but Sam was taking pot shots from across the other side of the room, taking advantage of the fact that I was behind the camera, knowing that I wasn't going to give him the usual 'stop throwing that ball around before you break something'.
One thing I will say though is that I found pictures of the toy to be a little misleading with regards to the height of it. It stands at 88cm high which is a few cm shorter than Jack yet the children in the picture appear to be much smaller that the stand, making it appear taller than it is (or maybe they are shorter than they look?).
The basketball set retails at around £39.99 and I found it available at Argos ,Toys R Us and Homebase, and takes 3 x AA batteries.
We were sent the Little Tikes Talk to Me Basketball Set for the purpose of this review, all opinions are my own.