The Fisher-Price Smart Cycle Learning Game System is a multi-colored plastic stationary bike that hooks up to a television and allows children (3-6 years old, 200lb max) to steer through vitural worlds learning their numbers, letters and shapes and playing games. The edutainment exergaming toy operates on 4 "D" batteries (not included), has changeable software modules ($20/each) and is available at Wal-Mart, Toys 'R Us, Target, KB Toys and Costco for between $84-$99.99. Today, Winter ToyLand is selling the Smart Cycle for $197.88 through Amazon.com!
"The Smart Cycle is an intriguing example of combining movement with learning " states Melinda Pongray, Educational Therapist with Sisiutl Center for Learning in Port Townsend, "Movement is integral to developing cognition. I've used movement activities with children to address a variety of learning difficulties. Products that incorporate learning with movement are a step in the right direction."
Terri Gruca, an award-winning anchor/reporter for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, MN, produced a video report that shows bike assembly and a 3-year old testing it out for the first time. Watch Video
- the pedals fall off. the treads get stipped from the base of the bike and the pedals can not be replaced. (hint: use a metal bonding glue when screwing in the pedals to weld them in forever.)
- most of the games do not use the pedals. tots just sit and play games.
- the batteries run out to fast (hint: invest in a set of rechargeable batteries....like Sanyo eneloop's - they are giving away "D" converters that allow AA batteries to be used.)
- two bikes can not be hooked up together so that two can play side-by-side
- the software modules do not have a "save mode", so kids have to start at the beginning of every session
- the handle bars are not adjustable
Typical Consumers Feedback:
This was a gift for my 5 year old son and he absolutely loves it. In the short time we have had it we have seen a real improvement in his ability to count and also with letter identification. It also allows him to learn with out having to sit still (which has been a real struggle for him) since he gets to pedal the bike. I would recommend this product to every parent of a preschool aged child. Its easy to use easy to assemble and hours of educational fun. - SkinzyB, Gillette Wyoming (Walmart Online)
We thought for many months about buying this toy/ game/ activity. We came to the decision to purchase it after seeing it in action in stores and various online videos.
Our son took the Smart Cycle very quickly. He had never pedaled anything well and within twenty four hours his coordination had excelled to master level. His hand eye coordination adjusted quickly as well. He has been moving a computer mouse for many months already, but his use of the handlebars and joystick was impressive.
When I read the review that mentioned the machine crashing I was a bit worried. And then it happened. Or we thought. It isn't that the machine crashed but the cartridge slot is in a poor location. If our son is cycling and his foot slips, it can and has knocked the cartridge loose enough so the game stops. If the machine were redesigned to have the cartridge slot placed elsewhere where a foot can't kick it, then I think it would be a better overall.
We are extremely pleased about our son's enjoyment of the game, making it an excellent learning exercise and gateway to even more physical activity. - AliciaC., Chattanooga, TN (Amazon.com)
Hopefully, the success of the Smart Cycle this holiday season will incourage big business to step up their investment in creating compelling exercise/learning/play products for all age groups.
Let me know what your toddler's experience is with The Smart Cycle Learning Game System.
Toy Wishes magazine selected the Smart Cycle as their "Favorite Preschool Toy" for 2007.