Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... she had kind of got the hang of it. What did baby think? My girl liked playing with this for short spells but it didn't really grab her ... more
Unleash your child's inner rock star.....
ELC My First Guitar
Member Name: Lools_24
ELC My First Guitar
Date: 07/02/11, updated on 15/11/11 (104 review reads)
Advantages: Durable, looks great,
Disadvantages: Quite basic, noisy , only one volume setting
For our boys first Christmas, Mr Lools and I got quite excited about musical toys. I'm not sure what provoked this but maybe we were secretly hoping it would encourage our little cherubs to consider a lucrative career in music from an early age. Therefore to subtly push the idea of a "band" to our 11 month old boys we bought the ELC My First Guitar alongside some other musical type instrument toys.
***What Is It***
As you would expect from the name of the toy this is guitar shaped toy with musical functions. The guitar is made from brightly coloured hard durable plastic, the same type of material most ELC toys are made from. The guitar is about 30cm long from guitar body to the end of the neck. The neck of the guitar is bright blue and the body of the guitar a bright red colour.
Rather than having strings the My First Guitar has four long buttons to mimic strings positioned centrally on the guitar which are very sensitive and make different noises when pressed to emulate notes. There is also a "demo" button which when pressed, a variety of tunes are played. There is also a white "swing" bar which when pushed, more demo tunes are played. As the toy plays sounds there are light panels which light up and are attractive especially for younger children.
The guitar is operated by a button on the neck which rotates to the on or off position, which is very easy to operate. My boys who are 13 months can do so.
The toy is operated by 3 size AA batteries which are supplied with the toy.
ELC state that this toy is suitable for children 9 months + . My boys were 11 months old when. I would say that because this is a durable toy and made from quite hard plastic I would ensure children between 9-14 months are supervised (especially if other children are around). The long guitar neck means that if children hold the toy this way around it is very easy to wield around and cause damage. This issue aside, ELC My First Guitar is a very well made safe looking toy with no parts that could be detached or any sharp edges which is great for younger children.
The sounds made are quite basic therefore I feel for older toddlers over 2 years old, the toy is slightly limited in its appeal. My friends children who are around this age do not really seem interested in playing with this toy when they come to visit us.
My First Guitar is available from ELC both online at ( www.elc.co.uk ) and in store. Mothercare and Boots also stock ELC toys and you can purchase this toy both online and in selected stores.
ELC state the RRP is £15.00 for the My First Guitar however there are often special offers on this toy. I purchased this toy for £7.50 in November 2010 from ELC online. The toy was also included in the Christmas 3 for 2 offer at Boots.
The ELC My First Guitar is very simple to use. After battling with the packaging and removing the plastic tab in the battery section the toy is simply turned on using the on off button. I turned the toy on for my boys for the first few uses but they soon figured out how to rotate the switch to the on position.
Playing with the toy is very simple. To make different sounds you simply hold the guitar as you would a normal guitar and slide your hands over the string type buttons. Even for tiny hands this is very easy as the buttons are very sensitive and even a gentle touch triggers sounds to play and which in turn sets off the flashing lights.
Size wise it does appear quite large for younger children but my boys are a lot smaller than the average child their age so most things look large when they are holding them! However they had no problems holding the guitar and making sounds.
The boys enjoy pressing the buttons and get quite excited by the lights flashing and sounds played. But this is short lived, after about 30 seconds they crawl off and play with something else that holds their interest and engages them for longer. Even the demo tunes which are quite fast paced do not really interest my boys. They usually will press the demo button or flick the swing bar once which triggers the demo tunes to be played, and then play with another toy rather than repeating to listen to more tunes.
I found this was the case for older children too. When my friends brought their children to play, the ELC My First Guitar is not a popular child. My friends three year old picked it up, played with it for 30 seconds then threw it down with quite a disappointed look on her face.
Learning wise the guitar does have some educational and developmental benefits. Simply holding the guitar and pressing the various buttons allows a baby to develop their hand eye coordination and are rewarded by different sounds being played and the lights flashing.
As your children get older this is a great toy to encourage their creativity and imagination as they can pretend they are a rockstar or more relevant to a child like the Zingzillas band (check out the Cbeebies channel for all you non parents out there!). However this is a very basic "guitar" and it is quite difficult for children to make sounds on the guitar as the notes and chords played are very limited which for more creative children will want them leaving more. A more traditional first guitar is probably more desirable once children want to try and make tunes.
The ELC My First Guitar does not have a volume switch. Once the toy is turned on the volume is quite loud and this is a noisy toy, especially if you have another child playing in the room and my children like to drop the guitar so in addition to the guitar tunes you get to hear the guitar banging off the floor. The guitar plays five different demo tunes which I think is enough as the tunes are not over repetitive but repetitive enough for children to recognise. I think the guitar would benefit from having a volume switch like other ELC toys have.
Initially I was a little apprehensive, because although the toy is made from quite durable plastic. I did think the body of the guitar felt quite light and flimsy. I now think this is a very well made toy. My boys are extremely rough when they play and the guitar has escaped in full working order and with no scruffs or marks on the plastic. This also includes being dropped from a highchair onto the tiled kitchen floor. Even being chewed on by two teething toddlers has not marked the toy.
I would potentially say for younger toddlers and babies it is definitely worth supervising at all times when they play with this toy. I do not feel that this is a toy you could leave a child (or children) alone with as it is quite heavy and makes a great "weapon". If your child turns the guitar around in their hands when they are lying on their back and holds by the neck of the guitar it is very easy to drop onto themselves . By holding in this way it is also possible to hit another child with too. Mr Lools had the misfortune to be looking after the boys one afternoon when they discovered this, cue wanabee rockstar wielding toy guitar at his twin brother. As you can imagine it ended in tears!
The batteries have not yet been replaced in the toy which we have had for two months now, although it is not a toy that is played with regularly by my boys.
As you would expect from ELC, the My First Guitar is a good quality, well-made durable toy which encourages learning and creativity. Personally however I do not feel it is one of the better ELC toys we have in our vast collection. My boys seem to lose interest in it very quickly due to the limited sounds it makes and their older friends do not seem too keen on it when they come to visit. After a quick survey it is usually cast aside in favour for another toy.
It is a toy which for younger children needs constant supervision. One of my twins really seems to get into the spirit of being a rock star and wields the guitar round often injuring himself and/ or his brother in these excitable moments.
A great looking toy just sadly not the most engaging of toys for my boys and their groupies.
Summary: A well designed guitar to encourage creativity and imagination, just not engaging enough for my boys
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