“ Brand: ELC / Type: Baby Toy „
I'm currently feeling very organised and motivated in the lead up to Christmas. Mindful at how many toys my twin boys are likely to get for Christmas and for their birthday at the end of January I'm having a pre-Christmas clear out and tidy up, with old toys being number one on my hit list. This would be an easy task however baby number 3 is due to arrive by early April so many of the "good" toys I can't get rid of entirely and am finding myself categorising into various piles. The number of "baby toys" i.e. rattles, teethers and soft toys is much larger than I thought but one that fell into the "good" category was the ELC My First Rainmaker.
***ELC My First Rainmaker***
The ELC My First Rainmaker is basically a plastic baby rattle which makes "rain" type sounds. ELC outline "Your baby will love discovering the soft cascading sounds as they watch the beads. ". The My First Rainmaker is basically an oval shaped rattle around 6cm long and 4cm wide (at the widest point). This rattle has a cut out handle in the centre of the hourglass oval shaped rattle which because it is clear plastic you can see the rainmaker coloured beads inside. The beads inside make rattling and rain type sounds. (Please note the picture Dooyoo is displaying for this product is not of the ELC My First Rainmaker toy suggested).
The ELC My First Rainmaker toy is mainly clear with light green plastic at the end of the rattle however recently ELC have changed the colours slightly on this toy and the plastic at the ends of the rattle is now red as opposed to green
ELC state the My First Rainmaker toy is suitable from birth.
The My First Rainmaker is available from ELC and Mothercare stores and is also available from both these stores online. It is priced at £3.00 which is an average price for a rattle toy like this. The toy is probably slightly cheaper than many other rattle type baby toys but the price is reflective of that it is very basic in the fact that it simply makes rain sounds and rattles.
We purchased this toy when my boys were around 6 weeks old. At this age they were still pretty much doing what most newborn babies do which is feed, sleep and need nappies changing. However Mr Lools and I were noticing they both were awake for longer periods and were responding to sounds and noises and were beginning to smile. We were introducing toys to provide entertainment and to encourage them to smile and look and focus on objects. The ELC My First Rainmaker does state from birth however obviously from birth the definition of "playing" with this toy is an adult shaking the toy and the baby looking at it. At 6 weeks old my boys were responding to the My First Rainmaker toy and would turn to look at the toy if it was shaken but personally I feel they did not really look at the toy and focus on it as much as they did with other toys. I think this was due to the toy being quite small and secondly the clear plastic and light green plastic ends of the toy do not make this toy as bright or noticeable as the other multi-coloured large rattles that we owned.
By around 12 weeks old my boys were awake for longer periods and were starting to attempt to hold and reach out for toys. The success of holding toys was limited at 12 weeks old but they could hold some toys and by 15 weeks old they were both able to hold the My First Rainmaker. I think because the toy is so light it makes it easy for a baby to hold and secondly the design of the toy is perfect for little hands to hold. The cut out section in the middle means little hands can easily wrap their hands around the toy so it is secure in their hand.
Because of the beads inside of the toy when tipped upside down the My First Rainmaker makes a cascading rain type noise. When shaken more vigorously the toy makes quite a rattle type noise. My boys really enjoyed the noise of the beads from around 15 weeks and when they heard the beads cascading it encouraged them to shake the rattle more and move it. By around 5 months old these movements were quite fast and they became quite excited as they manically shook the rattle around. This did make quite a loud sound and compared to some other rattles the toy is quite loud and does get annoying as a parent especially when this is tied in with a child hitting the rattle on a table or highchair tray. Safety wise the toy is quite light so if your baby drops the rattle on themselves it can't cause much damage. However if the child holds the toy length ways with the ends pointing upwards because the toy is quite long in a little arm if they move their arm upwards in the common jerky baby type way it can result in them hitting themselves in the face with the toy. Again because the toy is light this is not going to really hurt a baby but can cause quite a shock the first few times they do this.
By around 9 months old my boys had pretty much outgrown this toy. Although it is a very convenient toy to carry around in a changing bag when out and about because it is so small and compact my boys by 9 months only really used it as a teether and to gnaw on and entertainment wise after a few shakes of the toy they would literally throw it aside for something else. However for £3.00 at this price you would not expect this toy to be a favourite toy for long.
The My First Rainmaker toy is very basic and does have limited appeal as it is really just a rattle toy. However for young babies it does have developmental value. The easy to hold shape of the toy makes this very easy for little hands to hold and encourages motor skill development as a child attempts to hold and pick up the toy and moves the toy from one hand to the other. The toy also encourages a child's imagination by stimulating the senses. The beads make a cascading sound like rain and then a rattling sound when the toy is shaken hard. Not only can a child hear these beads they can see the beads through the clear plastic centre section.
The My First Rainmaker toy like most ELC toys is made from durable plastic and has survived being dropped by my boys on numerous occasions from height. Both my boys have thrown this toy from their pushchair and from a highchair onto hard tiled floors and no parts of the plastic toy have cracked or suffered any damage. The rattle is also very easy to keep clean and because it has no real nooks and crannies it is easy to wipe over fully with a cloth. I have also put this toy into our steriliser on many occasions and it has suffered no damage.
The ELC My First Rainmaker at £3.00 is a great rattle toy for young babies. Although very basic and only entertaining for a limited period in a baby's life, does keep a child entertained and is compact enough to pop in a changing bag and can be played with on the move. The toy is very easy for little hands to hold and shake and the beads when shaken and moved make stimulating "rain" type sounds. Both my boys when they were young got a lot of pleasure out of this toy and because the toy is made from durable plastic, survived being constantly dropped and chewed meaning it looks as good as new for baby number 3 to use.
My main criticism as a parent is that once your baby gets a grasp of shaking and rattling the toy it can be very annoying hearing the beads being shaken around frantically as they do make quite a lot of noise. My boys seemed to love this but hearing the rattling tied in with the rattle being bashed off hard surfaces was very tiresome. However I can look back and realise as far as toys go the My First Rainmaker toy is pretty tame and within our vast collection of toys they are A LOT more annoying noisy toys compared with this one!
An easy to hold rattle which is made to the usual durable high quality ELC standard!