Me and Clayton especially were delighted to have recently been sent a Russell the Dream Sheepdog to enjoy and review. For those of you that don't already know; Russell is a cuddly sheepdog that is likely to become your toddlers new best friend at bedtime. They say dog's a mans best friend, don't they? He's an adorable looking dog with lots of cool features! A little squeeze and his belly glows an array of colours, putting on a gentle and soothing but spectacular light show that will mesmerise your little one and help them feel safe in a darkened room.
Not only does he perform magic tricks with lights, but this dog talks. Russell comes with a built in recorder that allows you to record yourself or someone/something else talking, singing, reading, playing music... anything you want. This is a big step up from the white noise of Russells younger friend Ewan the Sheep. Clayton being a toddler now pays no mind to white noise, but needs stimulation; he needs to be entertained or soothed in a different way and Russell certainly provides that. I used the recorder in our cuddly friend to record myself pretending to be a dog. I barked, howled and spoke to Clayton by name using my best doggy voice and he loved it.
What's impressive about Russell for me is the length of his features. He doesn't require continuous pressing of buttons, which makes it great for bedtime and prolonged, repetitive play. The light show lasts 30 minutes with just one push of the button (though it can be stopped short if need be). The voice recorder allows you to record up to 4 minutes of footage, but repeats it a whopping 8 times and therefore totalling 32 minutes of continuous sound without need for interjecting. This is what makes him a great bedtime toy... most toddlers would be asleep after a 32 minute bedtime story or 30 minute hypnotising light display.
Although Russell the Dream Sheepdog has all the bedtime features you would need, I have to say that we didn't necessarily make the most of his abilities. But that's not to say that you won't reap the rewards of a dog that sings your child to sleep. That also doesn't mean that we didn't completely fall in love with Russell, because we most definitely did! We're just lucky in the way that Clayton is already a great sleeper and has a concrete bedtime routine that works great for all of us. Because of that, we chose not to even introduce Russell at bedtime. So, why get a toy that's specifically designed to help a toddler fall asleep if he has no trouble doing so? Well why not? Russell is a cuddly, cute and loveable dog! His light show needn't only be for nightime, as it captured the attention of my child in the middle of the day just fine. His voice recorder doesn't have to be used to read a story in a monotone voice or sing a lullaby. The barking and silly dog voice we used our Russell to record prompted fun, games and sparked Claytons imagination into life. Sure Russell the Dream Sheepdog can help your child fall asleep, but our Russell did an even better job at being a new best friend - just like dogs are supposed to be.
Disclosure - We were sent our Russell the Dream Sheepdog in return for this review. All words are my own and honest.