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The $40 gift that's genius for the toddler who's obsessed with transport and languages.

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Thanks to our brand partner, Fisher-Price™

Toddlers are notoriously fussy creatures.

I should know – I have one called Leo who is 21 months old, and big brother Toby, now eight years old, also used to be one.

I have nine nieces and nephews of varying ages and plenty of friends with kids. That’s a whole lot of Christmas and birthday presents I’ve had to find over the years, and it can be hard work sourcing an original gift for an under-three… especially when I’ve seen how my own boys treat their toys first hand. So many lovingly chosen gifts tossed aside in preference of the cardboard box it came in, or a biscuit. Ouch!

This problem is compounded if you are buying for a tot with siblings – they literally have EVERYTHING. Leo has plenty of Toby’s old toys, yet this Christmas we still want to give him one special gift that’s educational and fun and NOT a hand-me-down.

Lucky for us, our problem was solved when we were asked to road test the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Greetings Globe.

OK, so it is not quite Christmas yet but Leo’s has officially come early. Leo knew something good was about to happen when he saw the globe’s brightly coloured box and began yelling at me to ‘open!’, ‘open!’ HOLD UP, LEO!

Once we got it out the pack, there was lots of frantic globe-spinning before he even noticed the switch to get the full party started. That’s when Leo’s little wanderlust kicked in…

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Let's give this globe a spin. Image: Supplied

Hello, cute animals!

Leo loves pandas and penguins, so we got off to a great start when he recognised both little critters smiling back at him from Asia and Antarctica.

At only 21 months, Leo might yet be some time away from understanding world geography, but a global mix of animals is always popular. He had a lot of fun pressing the raised animal buttons to make them say ‘hello’ with their native animal sounds. From the roaring lion and squeaky fox to the quacky penguin and growling bear – all have been regularly played and sweetly imitated.

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Panda-monium at our place! Image: Supplied

Transport obsessed.

As many parents of toddlers will appreciate – Leo is transport obsessed right now. He loves anything with wheels and shrieks with excitement when a bus goes past our front yard – one of the unusual benefits of living on a busy road with kids.

This combined with all the songs he loves about transport ('The Wheels on the Bus', 'Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga Big Red Car') means that anything including transportation themes is a winner. He is fascinated by flipping the pages of the globe's little book to hear the noises of trains, buses, cars and ships as the adventurous puppy and his sister enjoy their travels around the globe!

All singing, all dancing.

I loved watching the joy on Leo’s little face as he began to master dancing. First came the seated arm and body wiggle, then once he started walking it was all about the crazy-funny full body shake, which as a parent is an absolute highlight. With the variety of music programmed into the globe, Leo has been breaking out his sweet moves to 'Waltzing Matilda' before singing along to 'Frère Jacques' (thanks France) and toddler-twerking to the rhythmic drums of Africa.

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A little traveller in the making. Image: Supplied
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Future language mastery.

Learning 'hello' in other languages when Leo has not quite mastered our own is something we can look forward to as he grows and develops his skills. Eight-year-old Toby was very impressed with hearing the other languages in 'Listen and Learn' mode however, and excited that his little brother might soon be able to speak Mandarin, Spanish and French. Well, just a li'l bit...

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Bonjour, Ola, Ni Hao, Hello! Get practising, Leo. Image: Supplied

Now, I know what you're thinking. Am I expecting my little guy to be a little multilingual global citizen under two? Well, no, because this globe lets you switch between three stages (Fisher Price call it their Smart Stages technology) based on the way your toddler is learning and playing at that time. See, no pressure, kid.

With family living overseas, we have planned a family holiday in August 2019 to Europe. I love that by June and July next year, the Greetings Globe will be the perfect means to help us explain to Leo where granny and granddad live and where we are going on the big aeroplane. He might even be able to shock the rellies with a cheeky 'bonjour'. I can only hope!

It is hard to get it right when it comes to buying a present that won’t get usurped by the box it came in, but if your toddler loves transport, animals, singing and dancing, then the Laugh & Learn Greetings Globe is quite possibly the most perfect gift to add to Santa’s list for your little one or a little one you love.

The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Greetings Globe is available online at Amazon.com.au.

This content is brought to you with thanks by our brand partner, Fisher Price.

Fisher-Price™

Your baby's first year and beyond is full of memorable moments and milestones and probably just as many memorable times when you need a helping hand too.
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