Product Type: ELC baby toys
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He Bangs the Drum!
ELC Light and Sound Drum
Member Name: jo1976
ELC Light and Sound Drum
Date: 12/07/12, updated on 29/07/13 (117 review reads)
Advantages: Robust, catchy tunes, entertaining for little ones
Disadvantages: Expensive at full price, difficult for toddlers to select specific modes
The 'drum' is a particularly chunky and really colourful plastic toy which, as the name suggests, features lights and sounds to capture and maintain a baby's attention. Unlike a traditional child's drum, this toy doesn't need any sticks or beaters to create sound as baby just needs to tap the top of the drum to activate both colourful changing lights on the top as well as fun sound effects. There is a selection of three different modes - music, drum noises and a strange whistling noise- which are chosen by pressing one of three chunky round buttons around the edge of the drum.
The drum is recommended for babies of nine months old and over which I feel this is a fairly accurate recommendation, based on my experiences with my two younger sons. It is certainly best suited to babies who are confident sitters and able to reach over without tumbling over. My middle son acquired this when he was just over six months old. He was, however, a fairly early stable sitter and was a very placid, settled baby, happy to sit and play with toys such as this from a very young age. The drum is very well designed so that even if accidentally (or deliberately) knocked over, it doesn't tend to roll very far, making it ideal for an immobile sitter as they are unlikely to push this out of their own reach. The drum is still light enough to allow it be rolled about by a slightly older baby and it makes a fun selection of noises and sound effects if baby does roll it over, designed to encourage crawling and toddling after it.
My youngest son was much more active and had less interest in sitting and playing with this toy until he was around a year old and started to enjoy standing and dancing to the music. Now as he is approaching his second birthday, this is still one of his favourite toys and is played with on a regular basis. At the upper age range, I'd imagine most youngsters would have outgrown this by the age of three, although my five year old son will still have the odd boogie to this if his little brother is playing with it.
Despite their different personalities and development, both boys loved this simple but entertaining drum. Without any doubt, their favourite aspect has to be the music, which has proven to be more entertaining than the bright colour changing effects on the lid. There is a definite Caribbean feel to the music - it plays some really catchy and upbeat sounding tunes which just make you want to get up and dance! That's certainly the effect that it has on my toddler who loves dancing to his drum and has some great moves perfected. The only issue he has is that he can't quite work out how to operate the different modes, as it involves pressing the correct button and then banging the top of the drum. My two year old often accidentally switches it on to one of the other settings and can't work out how to get the music going again. This can be a little frustrating for him and for me, as I have to keep setting it back on for him.
The toy is fairly 'parent friendly' in other respects with a handy volume switch at the base of the drum although, fortunately, this isn't a toy that particularly grates on me even at its highest volume. I do find the tunes going round and round in my head though! There is also an 'off' switch so this shouldn't be accidentally going off all night in the toy box. Lastly, the battery life is pretty impressive, with the three AAA batteries required lasting for several months between changes. As I'd expect from the Early Learning Centre, the battery compartment is firmly secured with a screwdriver, so inquisitive little fingers can't get up to any mischief here.
The drum is an ELC branded toy, available from ELC stores and online as well as from other stockists including Mothercare, Debenhams and Boots. The full price is currently £14, which does seem a little expensive for what is essentially a relatively basic baby toy. It has proven to be a very popular, entertaining and robust toy, however, with ours looking almost new, despite considerable use and abuse. It is also fairly frequently included in one of the Early Learning Centre's sales where it can be picked up for less than £10. I'd be reluctant to pay the full price for this but, at the £10 mark or less, this is a product that I'd be happy to recommend to other parents.
Summary: A robust and entertaining toy for confident sitters up to dancing toddlers