“ Manufacturer: Early Learning Centre / Type: Baby Bath Toy „
My eldest son was given an ELC Shape Sorting Whale for his first birthday, he is now seven years old and the whale has been plucked from the back of the 'car boot cupboard' due to the birth of his brother nine months ago. The fact that it has stood the test of one child and is now going strong on it's second outing is a testament to the quality of ELC products.
The two piece bright blue coloured whale is made from strong, durable plastic. The upper part being blue and the lower part green. There are four different shaped holes in the main body of the whale - each hole has a corresponding plastic shape, large enough for little fingers to grasp. The idea is that the child then attempts to fit each shape into the body of the whale. At a young age this is obviously carried out via trial and error.
Once all of the pieces have been inserted, the body of the whale can easily be separated to remove them. It then clicks back together so that the game can resume once more.
The whale is first and foremost a bath toy, although we have used it both in and out of the bath. When in the water, I have found that help from mum or dad is a must when my son is attempting to insert the shapes - if I am completely honest, he is more interested in splashing about and doesn't really have the concentration when surrounded by bubbles!
He does however like to push the whale into the water and sink it!
The whale has a squirting mechanism on its tail, at nine months my son can't work this, From memory, I don't think my eldest son ever could as it requires holding the whale underneath the water and simultaneously pushing the green button. By the time he reached the age of capability, he had completely lost interest in the toy!
I also wouldn't get over excited by the squirt, it is nothing much, barely noticeable!
At the moment the whale is much easier for my 9 month old to use on the floor, he is less distracted by the water and does show some interest although banging the pieces on top of the whale tends to be his preference!
The toy is aimed at children aged 6 months to 2 years. The whale is designed to encourage your child to work things out for themselves, a very early attempt at problem solving. ELC also state that the toy stimulates the imagination whilst at the same time developing senses. So it's all good!
So how much does it cost? Currently, the whale is on sale on the ELC website for £8. However there are loads for sale on Ebay and similar sites.
I think this is a lovely bath time toy, children learn more if they are happy and having fun - and also when they don't realise they are learning. This is a fun toy with added educational benefits.
My daughter was given this shape sorter for Christmas when she was 12 months old. I understand that it is an ELC product that is available for about £8.
The whale is designed to squirt water through pressing a button located on the tail of the upper part of the toy. Neither me or my husband have managed to work this- so our daughter, who is now nearly 2, has no chance! For this reason I was disappointed in the toy, however, my daughter does not agree. This has been her favourite bath toy for several months now. She finds it hilarious that the whale lets water in through the holes on it's back that are designed for the shapes, and then sinks. This is also the first shape sorter that she was able to complete and loves sitting in the bath doing it over and over again.
There are four shapes that come with the whale, all in different colours, with corresponding colours on the whale's back. I don't know if this is what helped my daughter figure it out so quickly, but I do know that the shapes can be easily manipulated into the holes by even chubby uncoordinated toddler fingers.
The two parts of the whale clip together easily and stay together. When taken apart the bottom half is useful as a container for washing their hair (possibly not what ELC intended)
The Early Learning Centre is one of Britain's most trusted brands. Thier toys are usually designed to be educational as well as fun. At first glance, the Shape Sorting Whale appeared to follow this successful route. With this toy, the ELC aim to 'stimulate the senses' as well as encourage 'problem solving'. Unfortunately, neither have been achieved in our house!
The Shape Sorting Whale is a bath toy with the purpose being to insert four shapes into slots positioned over the whale's body. There is also a button on the tail to squirt water. Sounded like a fun toy for my daughter and at £8.00 rrp, I thought I'd found a bargain.....
...our survey says....uh-urrrrr!
The whole design of the toy is flawed. The top and bottom half of the whale are supposed to be separated to retrieve the shapes after they've been slotted into the holes, but they actually come apart far too easily. Once even a single shape has been inserted, the whale starts to sink and the bottom half comes away from the top. I have to hold the whale together while my daughter attempts to put in the shapes. This becomes really frustrating for us both, especially if she needs help with the shapes.
This toy is aimed at babies between 6 months old and two years. My daughter is nearly two and, even now, struggles to get the whale to 'squirt' (or in this case trickle!) So my son, who is 8 months old, has no chance! The button is awkward to push and there's a knack to getting the whale correctly positioned in the water. Way too complex for a little one!
The idea of this product is great but it completely fails to deliver. The only way I can ever see my kids getting real enjoyment out of the toy is if I encourage them to use it out of the water, but this seems silly as they already have similar toys that were designed for this purpose!
All in all, I am very disappointed. I give it one star for the idea, but the end product is an absolute no-go from me!