- Skip Hop
- The Skip Hop Explore & More Follow Bee Crawl ($24.99) is a colorful, innovative product that encourages babies to crawl and even walk.
- This three-stage developmental toy also reinforces concepts like cause and effect.
- I thought that once my son started walking, we wouldn’t need the bee anymore, but he still expresses interest in playing with it.
When I started researching the best toys for beginning crawlers, I was wary of options with flashing lights and repetitive music. They all just seemed over-stimulating for my baby, and honestly, the rest of the family (husband and two dogs included). Then I received the Skip Hop Explore & More Follow Bee Crawl Toy as a gift. I was pleasantly surprised by the product, and more importantly, my baby loved it.
The Skip Hop Explore & More Follow Bee Crawl Toy is colorful, innovative, and engaging. Intended to help get babies crawling, the Bee can be used for so much more. My son Damien played with the Bee as a 6-month old, used it to learn to crawl as a 9-month-old, and he still has fun chasing and playing with it as a 17-month-old.
This Skip Hop Bee Crawl Toy engages children through 3 stages of exploration and play
The concept behind the Bee is simple: Get your child more comfortable with crawling by providing a stimulating object for them to chase after. There are three stages of play. Stage one encourages babies to explore the bee. Stage two encourages babies to crawl after the bee. And stage three encourages babies to more actively chase after the bee. The bee uses buzzing sounds, flashing lights, and lively music to engage your child’s senses.
The toy is comprised of two parts: the removable bee and the cloud base it sits on. The entire toy is 5.5 inches deep, 5.5 inches wide, and 4 inches high, weighs 1.16 pounds, and requires 3 AA batteries. The bee rattles and has two handles with beads on them for the baby to grasp and chew on. The cloud base has no sharp edges and includes three colorful ribbons that trail behind it, which Damien loved to reach for.
My son used it as a rattle and teether, chased it around our apartment, and still loves it as a toddler
Pre-crawling babies can play with the bee rattle (it’s safe to chew on as well). Before Damien began crawling, he enjoyed playing with the bee rattle by picking it up and shaking it and then putting it back in the base. He also liked moving the beads around, gnawing on the handles, and touching the ribbons.
Beginning crawlers can use the first setting, which makes the cloud base move in a circular motion and stay close by. The bee motivated Damien to stretch and kind of throw himself, which eventually led to crawling.
- Skip Hop
More advanced crawlers (and as a beginning walker, Damien loved this too) can use the second setting, which makes the cloud base move in a random, twisty and turvy pattern and encourages your baby to chase it. Damien spent a lot of time crawling after the bee, picking it up, putting it back in the base, and then resuming his crawling. He giggled a lot while doing this because the buzzing sound of the bee was very amusing to him. I would sometimes put the bee on a higher surface, like a coffee table, so he could stand up to watch it.
Aside from encouraging mobility, the Bee teaches cause and effect. While the bee is stationed in the cloud base, it moves around and plays a cute little tune reminiscent of buzzing. When you take the bee out of the cloud base, the base stops moving, spins in a tight circle, and plays chimes, which alerts your child to put the bee back in if they want to continue chasing it.
The Bee also promotes both gross and fine motor development, and you can use it to encourage your child to identify animals and animal sounds. Damien learned that the bee says “buzz buzz” from playing with this toy. Plus, it’s adorable.
This toy works best on a hard surface, as it tends to get stuck on a carpet or rug. You will probably also want a larger space (our small apartment was not the best place for stage-three play, but Grandma and Grandpa’s house and the library were).
The bottom line
Skip Hop makes attractive and quality products, and the Explore & More Follow Bee Crawl Toy fits in with their simple, whimsical aesthetic. There aren’t obnoxious flashing lights like some other toys – the lights are not overwhelming at all and provide just enough visual stimulation to attract Damien’s interest. The bee itself has a kind face, is a nice weight, and has little handles so your child can pick it up and play with it independently of the cloud base.
I thought that once Damien started walking, we wouldn’t need the bee anymore, but he still expresses interest in playing with it and following it around. Now, when I hold up the bee and ask him what the bee says, he responds, “Buzz buzz.”
The Skip Hop Explore & More Follow Bee Crawl Toy is an innovative learning tool for your little one. It won’t annoy you like some other toys that use bright lights and music, and it will provide your child with a variety of activities that promote sensory development, motor development, and mobility.
Pros: Engages babies from 6 months and into toddlerhood, promotes mobility and learning, not obnoxiously loud
Cons: Not ideal for small spaces or carpeting