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(Pocket-lint) - Keeping your little one entertained no matter what age they are is a tough job, so any toy that promises to do it for you and is educational at the same time has got to be a bonus.

In steps the Bilingual Learning Drum from edutainment company LeapFrog. The size of a bongo rather than a full sized drum kit that you would expect to see at a Metallica concert, the brightly coloured drum is the perfect size to sit snugly between the legs of any kid from the age of around 6 months if they are sitting unsupported.

Turn it on and you've got three modes to choose from; alphabet, drumming and free play, in addition to the option of the French and English modes (hence the bilingual in the title). There is even a basic volume setting between loud and louder.

The tunes are as bright and colourful as the colours used to decorate the toy and choosing the alphabet mode, as you might of guessed, allows your kid to learn the alphabet in French and English by tapping on the drum. Every tap gets a new letter sounded out as well as appearing in red dots on the drum's surface.

Choose the drum mode and you get a tune, which is bound to stick in your head for the rest of the week and you know from the offset you'll be singing it mid-boardroom meeting. Of course you can turn on the French mode, which means it's unlikely to stick as quickly, but its already starting to rub off on Mrs Pocket-lint.


The most important test we put this stuff through is whether or not it wins the appeal of our Chief Tester 7-month old Emily.

So far she loves it. Although just over the starting age, has already started drumming the drum to get the noise out of the machine.

Highly recommended.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 11 December 2006.