Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... and still does now which is why we bought her The Early Learning Centre trio of first gadgets. The gadgets included in this set are a sma... more
My baby has a Smartphone
ELC My First Gadget Set
Member Name: kat1234
ELC My First Gadget Set
Advantages: lots to do, good for role-play, educational benefits
Like most babies I know, my son has a little obsession with out tv remote. In an effort to reduce this, we opted for the Early Learning Centre My First Gadget Set. We knew full well it probably wouldn't fool him, but it looked like a pretty nice set to have anyway. It is suitable from 12 months of age.
The set retails at £20, although we bought this in a sale so got it for £16. Within the set you get three plastic gadgets - a bunch of keys with fob, a smartphone and a remote control.
The key set has three plastic keys. Each key has a different colour top - red, blue and yellow. They keys are also different shapes and made from grey plastic. The edges are smooth to ensure safety. These are connected via an orange ring to the green plastic fob. On this there are four push buttons, each to 'control' a different thing. The buttons are different colours and have a black picture of what they control on them. Next to the button is a light of the same colour as the button which lights when the button is pressed. The red button has a motorbike on it and, when pressed, makes the noise of a motorbikes engine revving. The orange button controls the horn and beeps when pressed. The green button is for the car and makes the noise of a car's door locking/unlocking. Finally, the yellow button is for the house and plays a doorbell.
The keys require 2 AAA batteries to function and these are included when purchased. The fob is pretty lightweight and my son can grip this easily in one hand. He loves the buttons and these help him to develop his manipulation skills as he learns to press them. He is also learning that his actions can have a consequence by enjoying the noises made when he presses the buttons. He also loves to hold the fob and shake it so that the keys rattle, aiding his co-ordination skills.
The remote control is made of red plastic and a little smaller than an actual TV remote. The buttons on the remote are very similar to an actual remote too - there is an orange round button at the top left of the remote to turn the appliance on and off. There are then a series of blue push buttons - circle ones for the numbers 0-9 with the numbers written above, shaped buttons to control a dvd player (play being a triangle etc) and a large circle broken into sections to control volume and flick the channels up and down.
At the bottom of the remote there is a row of four coloured buttons which control the mode of the remote. Green is for the music mode, orange for English, Purple for French and Yellow for Spanish. When the buttons are pressed, different sounds are played. Some buttons play the same sound whichever mode the remote is in, for example the volume up plays a noise that increases in volume. The number buttons, when pressed, play the number in the selected language for example 1 -'one', 'un' and 'uno'. In music mode, they play different noises.
The remote also requires two AAA batteries to operate. The remote is pretty large but still easily gripped by my son. He loves to press the buttons and smiles with glee as the noises sound. This helps his manipulation skill and will help him with his number recognition. It will also help him to learn things like 'louder' and 'quieter' by virtue of the volume control buttons.
The phone is made of blue plastic and the front is covered in a large sticker. This covers up the buttons underneath so that the phone appears to be a touch screen, just like a real smartphone would be. There are 16 app buttons as well as a call and end call button. These are green and red receivers as they would be on a real phone. When pressed the green button rings and then says 'hello, how are you?' and the red button says 'bub-bye'. There is a white light between the two buttons that lights when any button is pressed.
There are 16 different apps and when each is pressed, a different noise is made. Each has a different icon too. For example there is a picture of a calendar and, when pressed it says 'today is going to be a great day'. Other apps include clock, travel, shopping and camera.
Again, this needs two AAA batteries to function. This is a little harder for my son to grip in one hand as it is quite wide. He loves to press the buttons though and, again, loves it when the noises play. As he gets older, I think this will be a great prop for role play but, at the moment, it has little other function than to make the noises. As he gets older, he will also hopefully learn to associate the picture with the noises made and this will help him to learn words and aid his language skills.
MY OVERALL OPINION
This is a lovely and very realistic gadget set for baby to own. The gadgets are really imaginative and well made. They are also very stimulating for baby - with the bright colours, lights and lots of different noises. The key fob in particular was a revelation to me - so well made and thought out and very different to the other 'learning keys' I have seen on the market for babies.
As suspected, the remote doesn't fool my son and he still makes the occasional lunge for our remote. When he does so, I hand him his and we press the buttons together and he seems happy with this (for now at least!). The level of noise on all three toys is bearable - they are not so loud that they are overbearing and my son is happy with the volume. This is just as well as there is no switch on them to adjust the volume. They is also, rather annoyingly, no on-off switch. This is irritating to us as we keep my son's toys in a toy box and that means that these inevitably go off randomly as other toys touch them. Not only annoying but also likely to somewhat shorten the battery life.
All the gadgets offer learn through play opportunities to my son and pushing the buttons is also fun to him. The gadgets are lovely handheld toys to him at the moment that he can explore with his fingers and mouth. Eventually, as he gets older, I believe they will be lovely toys for role-play - starting the car up, phoning people etc and will help him develop his imagination as well as his language skills. I am not sure about how I feel about the remote teaching french and spanish - on one hand it is good as he canm learn a bit of these languages but on the other I worry it will confuse him and would rather he learnt english first!
These are lovely toys and appeal to my son who is showing an early interest in boys toys! I am really pleased with them and would highly recommend them to others.
Summary: go gadgets go
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