“ Brand: ELC / Type: Baby Bath Toys „
Bath time is not always the funnest time in our household. She likes it when she is in the bath and splashing around but she absolutely hates having her hair washed so I wanted to get something for the bath that would attract her attention and imagination and perhaps stop her screaming so much when I wash her hair. We have been through quite a lot of toys in the bath, this water wand included and while it is a well made toy I don't love it that much.
The wand is not very big, probably about the size of one of those nice salt and pepper shakers. The top and bottom of the wand is a bit wider than it is in the middle of the wand so you can grasp it in the middle and hold it quite easily. The wand is made of clear plastic and inside the wand there are two items that move when water is pureed through it. The first item is a plastic blue and green spiral corkscrew. When water is poured through this wand this spiral will move quite quickly around and the blend of the two colours gives a nice look to the spiral.
There is also a ball inside the wand which is actually made up of lots of little plastic blades in a circle shape to create a ball. This is coloured blue as well. The water can go into the top or the bottom of the water wand. We generally sink the wand into the water and pull it out again quickly making sure it was all filled up. At one end of the wand there is a red coloured piece of plastic. There are quite a lot of holes in the top here and so when the water comes out of this end there is quite a heavy trickle of water. At the other end there is a yellow piece of plastic with some holes but not as many as the other end.
I think because this wand is not very big the water does tend to go quickly through the middle of the wand so you only get a couple of seconds to watch the things inside turn around so you do have to get your childs attention quickly otherwise he/she will miss it. Also the water tends to trickle out of each end and doesn't really create much if a fun stream of water which is not that impressive to be honest. I think its fun to fill this wand up and play in the water with it but this is probably not something I would buy given my chance again.
The wand is available from The Early Learning Centre and if I remember correctly costs about £6.
My boys have never been the greatest fans of taking a bath and to discourage the screams and attempts to escape, Mr Lools and I have invested in a number of bath toys to make bath time more fun and distract my soap shy sons from having their hair washed. One of the toys we purchased was the ELC Water Wand.
***ELC Water Wand***
The ELC Water Wand is a 20cm clear plastic tube shaped wand which is a visual toy for children to play with and watch the colourful spinners and propellers move around as water runs through it.
The main body of the toy is made from clear plastic and is narrower in the centre so it is easier for a child to grip and hold, even with wet hands. The ends of the wand consist of wider red and yellow "cups" which catch the bath water to allow it to flow through the wand. Inside of the clear wand there is a green propeller and a blue spinner which twist around as water flows through the wand and then sprinkles out of the bottom of the wand very much like a watering can effect.
ELC states the Water Wand is suitable from aged 18 months and over.
The ELC Water Wand is available from Early learning Centre and Mothercare stores and also available from both of these websites. The toy costs £6.00 which is an average price for a bath time type toy especially from ELC.
Unlike many of the other toys from ELC the Water Wand does not have a vast amount of packaging that you have to battle to remove; in fact it does not come with any packaging so it is ready to use as soon as you get home. We bought two of the Water Wands, one per child to avoid any squabbles.
ELC state that this toy is suitable from 18 months and over however my boys started playing with this toy at 12 months old and I do not feel it was a "danger" for them to do so. The toy has no sharp parts or pieces that could come detached. Secondly this is a bath toy and so my boys when in the bath are constantly supervised anyway.
At 12 months old when they first started playing with the toy I feel they probably did not get full benefit of the toy but still took a lot of pleasure from holding the wand, splashing it in and out of the water. The toy is about 20cm long and at the narrowest point in the centre of the wand about 4cm in diameter. At a young age my boys had no issues holding the toy but because they only hand very little hands they could only grip it using two hands.
As a visual toy they were able to watch the water flow through the wand turning the propellers and splashed and giggled lots when this happened but I do feel that when they were first given this toy they depended on me to hold the toy under the water to collect the water and then to allow to it flow through. Now at 22 months old they are able to do this themselves and have figured out that the propellers won't turn unless there is water inside of the toy and hold the wand under the water for long periods of time to ensure it collects enough water to have full effect and for the water to cascade out of the bottom.
The toy was initially bought as a way to distract them from bath time and make it a more enjoyable experience for them and me as a parent and I would definitely say this has been the case. They can't really look at the toy during hair washing (as they shut their eyes) but just simply holding the toy seems to stop them jumping up, splashing and resisting me pouring water on them and encourages them to stay in the bath longer where as previously they would cry as soon as they were placed in the water.
Not only does the toy encourage my boys to use their senses; they watch the toy as it is visual and laugh as the water splashes and trickles out of the bottom of the wand they also play together very imaginatively. They tend to hold the wand up over the other sibling and let the water pour out of it onto them like a watering can which encourages lots of giggles. The other game which I try to discourage is that they sit giggling and pretend the cupped section of the wand are drinking glasses and on occasion they tell me they are drinking "beer"; therefore a game their Daddy has obviously started!! Although after a few mouthfuls of not so tasty bath water they tend to stop doing this.
When my boys were younger (12 months) they did have to use both hands to hold the wand where now as their motor skills have developed they can hold it with one hand providing it is not full of water as it is too heavy and slips out of their hands.
Like most ELC toys this is a very durable toy and is well made. The wand is made from a thick robust plastic meaning if it is dropped it survives. My more destructive son often throws his Water Wand out of the bath onto our tiled bathroom floor and there has been no damage to the wand; no scuffs or cracks to the plastic. They have both also chewed on the rim of the Water Wand and there are no teeth marks on the plastic. In fact even after 10 months of almost daily use the toys look in the same condition as when they were bought.
My main criticism of the ELC Water Wand is that it is difficult to clean properly. Most bath toys if not kept dry and regularly clean get a build-up of slime/ mould from being in a warm damp environment therefore I try to dry our bath toys after each use and also clean them on a fortnightly basis. The inside of the Water Wand obviously lets water low through it but because this section is sealed you can't get inside to clean it. I had noticed after about 4 weeks of use very slight green looking particles inside of the wand so I would put it in the sink and tip boiling hot water into the wand to clean it. The boiling water seemed to flush out these particles but if you do not keep doing this then the build-up comes back.
Although very simple and basic in its function of being a very visual bath time toy the ELC Water Wand keeps my boys entertained in the bath. They both seem to be distracted from their hair being washed when they are given a Water Wand to hold which as a parent benefits me as it means I hear less screams and my son's splash about and move about a lot less in the bath.
Although for £6.00 the toy is not expensive and an average price for a bath toy I was slightly sceptical that they would get bored of the toy very quickly, but they love to watch the spinners and propellers move around as the water flows through the toy and they get a lot of pleasure from splashing the toy in and out of the bath water and watching the water cascade out of the bottom. The cupped ends of the wand that catch the water do sometimes encourage my boys to use to actually drink their bath water but after a few mouthfuls they realise the water does not taste so good.
My only real criticism on the toy is that it is quite difficult to clean because of the internal parts and you can't open it up to clean. I have managed to keep the toy mould free using boiling water to clean however if it was left mould and slime could very easily appear inside of the wand.
We bought our water wand a few years ago now when a Boots voucher left me with £5.00 to spend, I was looking for bath toys for my son to play with and at £4.99 the ELC Water Wand seemed like a fun choice.
The clear plastic wand is actually less of a wand and more of a tube with wide funnel like ends at the "top" and "bottom" within the body of the wand are 2 sections, 1 with a brightly coloured spiral and one with a 2 tone ball in the style of a water wheel. When water is poured into one of the two large funnel ends it trickles through the holes in the end of the wand and through the body making the spiral turn like a cork screw and the ball spin as the water splashes against them, it then filters out the holes in the other end of the wand and into the bath, sink, paddling pool....wherever you happen to be playing with it, naturally if the toy is turned the other way and water poured in the opposite end the pieces spin in the opposite direction.
It is a good toy for learning early hand eye coordination as your child has to accurately pour water into the ends and the clear plastic body allows your child to watch as the water runs through the toy, helping them have some understanding of the effects water can have and how it is able to make things move. The bright colours on the spinning parts are eye catching and entertaining for younger children and babies will find it fascinating as mummy, or daddy, pour the water for them, however the entertainment value for older ones is quite limited.
Initially the toy provided some excitement as the kids attempted to pour the water trough and watch as the parts span madly, they played using different amounts of water to create different speeds but it was always the fastest they liked best, it's the one that made most mess and splashes after all, soon though the novelty began to wear off and the wand was left sitting on the side of the bath while other toys were chosen first. My little ones were 3 and 1 when we first got the wand and now at 4 and 2 they have all but lost all interest, while it has lasted well and is obviously well made it just doesn't have enough to keep them occupied, they can after all pour water over each others heads and have much more fun then simply watching the wheel and spiral of the water wand turn.
Despite the good quality I cant say I find the toy good value for money, it may entertain very young children but usually they aren't the ones that need entertaining in the bath as mummy is there to play and sing all the silly songs, it's the slightly older ones that are liable to grab the nearest tube of tooth paste and empty the contents into the water or the ones who decide the time is right to attempt an escape and climb out that need the entertainment, and after the first few plays the water wand simply isn't going to provide this.
Being an Early Learning Centre toy means it's only available from their stockists which include Boots, it is not available from the online sites though. At £4.99 I'd say save your money and give your little one some plastic tubs and cups to play with instead.
These water wands are great bath toys for your children. You can buy them in the Early Learning Centre for £5.00 but at the moment they are reduced to £4.00. The age range they are suited for says 1-2 year old. But my daughters are 3 years old and they still play with them. The wand is roughly 19.5 cm in length and is made out of plastic. It doesn't have any small parts that can come off it so is safe.
The colours of the water wands vary, but are always bright and colourful. They are just the right size for your child to grip there hands round, so they can hold and play with them. To make the wand work all you need to do is pour water into the top end of the wand which has a few holes in then the water goes down the tube part of the wand which makes the bright coloured corkscrew spin and paddle wheel go round. Then the water sprinkles out the bottom as there are lots of holes which the water can come out of.
I think this toy is an ok bath toy as it helps with there coordination as they need to concentrate putting the water in the top. They will also enjoy watching and learning about how the water makes the parts go round. It also helps make bath time fun for your child. In away I can see why it says suited for 1-2 years olds as my daughter do still play with there's, but they get bored of it quite easily. I think this is because after a few times of letting the water flow down it there's not much else to see, whereas for a smaller child they will probably enjoy this more as they don't get bored so easily.
Pour water in the top to make the wheel spin, the spiral twist and watch the water sprinkle out of the bottom.