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ELC My First Work Bench

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5 Reviews

brand: ELC / Age: 12 months

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    5 Reviews
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    • More +
      08.02.2011 07:40
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      A great quality fun, durable first tool bench

      I have mentioned in my other reviews that Mr Lools is very keen and excitable when buying toys for our little boys, especially if they have quite a masculine touch to them. Therefore purchasing the ELC My First Workbench was one of his favourite purchases.


      ***What is it***
      The ELC My First Workbench is a compact workbench style toy which perfect for babies and young toddlers to sit on the floor and play with. The workbench is made from multi-coloured hard plastic and has a variety of different features. A detachable screwdriver and hammer come with the tool bench. On the tool bench itself, there is a vice on the side which when turned makes a clicking noise. There is a drill which when you pull the lever lights up and flashes red and makes a drilling noise in addition to the drill piece moving. There is also a bench top saw which when you pull the lever it makes a noise and the saw pieces moves around. There are also nuts to tighten using the detachable screwdriver and nails to push down using the detachable hammer. The nuts and nails are fixed to the work bench and do not detach.

      This is quite a compact toy, around 30cm high by 30cm wide and 20cm deep, so great if you are lacking space for toy storage. The workbench uses 3 x Size AA batteries which are supplied with the toy.


      ***Suitability***
      ELC state the My First Workbench is suitable from 12 months. My boys were playing with this toy at 11 months with no problems. Personally I feel it is suitable for children from about 9 months once they are able to sit up steadily and have developed some motor skills press the different parts of the workbench. The hammer and screwdriver that come with the workbench are very light and rounded therefore do not present any danger to children providing they are supervised. Adults would probably need to supervise children less than 12 months with this toy so they can show the child the various functions.

      I would say this is an interesting toy but for children over 2 years I would probably suggest buying a more complex larger workbench with more functions and that they can stand at. The My First Workbench is great but is basic in its functions and made to be sat down and played with.


      ***Availability***
      The ELC My First Work Bench is available in ELC and Mothercare stores and also online at www.elc.co.uk . I have found this is a very popular ELC toy and as a result all five outlets that I have ever visited stock this toy.

      The RRP of the My First Workbench is £20. However in the run up to Christmas (and in the January sales) ELC were selling this for £16 both in store and online. I think that this is excellent value for money especially if you consider this alongside other more basic toys which are on the market and in this price bracket.


      ***Using It***
      As soon as my boys opened this on Christmas morning, they were very keen to play with it. Upon opening it from the box it was very simple to turn to the on position. Like with many ELC toys the "My First Workbench" has a switch which can be set to on half volume, on full volume or off. Once switched on my boys immediately were very excited when they could push levers and the workbench started to light up and make sounds. The lights and sounds encouraged them to explore more of the features and press various parts of the bench. Since opening this has been one of my boys' favourite toys. On a daily basis they both can spend at least 10 minutes sitting playing with the workbench which for active boys of 13 months is very impressive that a toy can entertain them for so long.

      The workbench definitely benefits from having two volume settings. The full volume is quite loud and as a parent is quite annoying if you have another child playing with another toy and/ or are trying to have a conversation. The half volume setting is much more preferable for parents as the volume is loud enough for your child who is playing with the toy to hear it but not too loud that it causes any annoyance or the need for raised voices.

      The workbench comes with a detachable hammer and screwdriver which screw onto a grey back panel behind the drill and saw. My boys had no problem removing the tools but as the holders where the tools sit are quite firm you need to press hard to ensure that the tools are put back in their holders. For children this is quite difficult and I think even for children nearer 2 years old this would be difficult and would require and adult to do so. The issue I have about this grey back panel is that it just clips inside a section on the workbench so can be removed very easily. On a number of occasions my boys have removed this section and have been wielding it around. This does not damage or spoil to function ability of the toy it is just very annoying as a parent as you have to clip it back in constantly.

      The My First Workbench has lots of learning benefits. For younger toddlers it helps to improve hand eye coordination and motor skills, in order to pull the levers of the drill and saw and also to hold the hammer and screw driver. This is further encouraged by children using the toy screwdriver and hammer to hit the screws and tighten the bolts. My boys initially were not able to do this but after two months of play they can now both recognise that they can use the hammer to hit the nails and attempt to use the screwdriver to screw the nuts although at 13months both still require some help to do this.

      The toy also has educational benefits as it is multi-coloured, so can help with teaching children colours. For example as the nuts and nails are different colours you can ask your child for example to hit the red nail. The workbench also makes different noises to correspond with different tools so for older toddlers you can ask them to repeat the different sounds made by the various tools.

      The workbench like many other ELC toys is great for encouraging your child's imagination and they can pretend they are building something. Although I do think because this is quite a basic workbench aimed at younger toddlers, children over 2 may find some of the features very basic and be more interested in a larger more advanced tool bench in order to encourage more imaginative play.

      I am very impressed like with many ELC toys of the durability of the My First Workbench. It has no scruffs or marks on the plastic despite both my boys being very rough with it, knocking it over and throwing other toys off it. The plastic and design makes it very easy to wipe over with a cloth to clean. The detachable hammer and screwdriver are chewed almost constantly by my boys and although there are some very small slight teeth marks starting to appear in the plastic this is hardly noticeable and has not damaged these in anyway.

      This is a very "safe" workbench suitable for young children. ELC has thoroughly thought out that no parts of the toy can injure children. For example when the drill lever is pulled the drill bit moves towards the workbench. But it is not possible for a child to put their fingers under this and hurt their fingers the space is too small. Similarly the vice moves but not enough to trap a child's fingers or hands in this. The saw spins around but is underneath a clear plastic guard. The detachable hammer and screwdriver are very light and rounded in shape, however it may be worth supervising children playing together to ensure they do not hit each other with these parts however presents the same danger as two children playing with any toy, there is always the risk they will hit each other with them!


      ***Overall***
      This is a brilliant toy from ELC, both my little boys' love their workbench and we do have lots of fights over who is playing with it. The downside for me is that although they do try and play together with it, the toy is a little small and definitely more suited for use by one child. A downside if you are trying to teach your child to share!

      The toy is engaging with all of the different functions, buttons to press, lights and sounds which are great to help with hand eye coordination and motor skills. Because of the multi-coloured design there are also some learning benefits as you can refer to the different colours during play. As your child grows this is a toy which allows them to use their imagination although I would say because it is quite a basic workbench this is definitely more suited to younger toddlers.

      It is a very durable toy and although my boys love to take the workbench apart it is very sturdy and made for rough play. A great priced toy and quite compact as far as workbenches go.

      A great buy for us. Let's hope it encourages the boys to have better DIY skills than their Daddy!

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      • More +
        25.10.2010 09:16
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        Says from 12 months but is better suited from about 8 months

        This is a nice bright colourful looking toolbench but I found my son gets bored of it very quickly.

        It costs £20 which doesn't seem too bad but is not exactly cheap and the amount it gets played with makes it not worth the £20. It is from 12 months but I think it would be good for a younger baby from about 8 months as it is basic and easy to play with.

        It comes with a little hammer and screwdriver and there are pegs to hammer that make noise and bolts to screw. Everything that you do on it makes the appropriate noise including the vice on the side and it does sound nice and realistic. I really like the fact that it is lovely and bright and is a good quality sturdy toy and can withstand the rough treatment my son gives it.

        One of the things I dislike about it though is that it stands on a gray tray at the bottom which comes off and I have no idea why and also the back part where the screwdriver and hammer are stored also comes off which is very annoying as my son is always taking it off and throwing it about which he enjoys but I don't see the reason they needed to make it so it came apart.

        This is a nice toy but doesn't hold my son's attention for very long and doesn't get played with very often.

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        17.01.2010 01:17
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        wouldn't recommend.

        I almost decided not to review the My First Workbench as I couldn't think of much to say about it. My son was given this as a gift when he was a year old.

        When he opened the gift I thought that it would be great as we have the My first kitchen, which is fantastic. However it has been a disappointment. Both the one year old and two year old quickly tired of this toy.

        The main part of the work bench is made up of three parts, which slot together. The base and is made of grey plastic, and the main part of the workbench sits on top of it. There is a back piece, which slots onto the main piece. The hammer and screwdriver can be clipped onto the back piece when not in use.

        There is little to do, and for some reason it doesn't get them involved in imaginative role play or hold their interest. There are a few noises and the circular saw can be worked by pulling the lever. The screwdriver and hammer can be used on the nails and screws, though neither of the children found this very enjoyable.

        After having it in the toy cupboard for six months we finally gave it away to my nephew, but he also tired of it quickly.

        It looks good and is strong, but there is not much to play with. Even though it is bright and eye catching, I would not recommend this toy, as there is not much play value.

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          26.01.2009 21:19
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          Needs a little work perhaps but still a much loved toy

          My little boy was inundated with presents at Christmas and one of them was the Early Learning Centre's My First Work Bench, which was a gift from his aunt and uncle.

          The My First Work bench is currently available from the Early Learning Centre at £20. The recommended age range is 1 - 3 years.

          This toy consists of a colourful work bench with a tray situated underneath and on top a variety of tools. Moving from left to right there is a circular saw encased in clear plastic. To the side of this saw is a lever which causes the saw to spin and emit a sawing noise when pulled down.

          Next to this are two nuts which click and emit a sound when twisted round. Behind these are a pair of round headed screws. When one screw is depressed, the other pops up and each makes a different spring type sound.

          We then come to a drill which has three LED lights situated at the front in a clear plastic casing. The drill again has a handle to be pulled down. When doing so the LED lights intermittently light up and a drilling sound is emitted.

          At the side of the work bench is a clamp with a turning handle which clicks and again emits a sound when turned. The clamp also tightens and loosens when the handle is turned around.

          Finally at the back is a piece of plastic which holds a screwdriver and a hammer in two plastic grips. These tools are held perhaps a little too tightly for small hands to displace them. The screwdriver also seems to be positioned far too closely to the circular saw when it quite easily could have been centred where it would not interfere with any of the tools on the bench.

          The screwdriver fits into the two nuts on the bench and is supposedly used to turn these round, however this is rather tricky to do as the plastic is a little too rounded and the indent is a little too shallow.

          Another drawback is that the piece of plastic at the back which holds the screwdriver and hammer is not fixed in any way to the bench. Instead it is slotted in rather loosely. I have found that whenever my little boy plays with this toy, the plastic is removed and ends up ignored, somewhere a distance away from the toy. This happens to such an extent that I have considered maybe gluing it into place, something the ELC toy designers should have done maybe?

          Overall, I am generally a big fan of the Early Learning Centre's toys and despite its drawbacks this product has many positive aspects. It is imaginative and colourful, although not garish as some children's toys tend to be. It is highly durable and has withstood being flung around the house by my one year old son. Its smooth surface makes it very easy to wipe clean. Most importantly, this toy is highly favoured by my little boy and since Christmas it has got plenty of use.

          This may not be one of the Early Learning Centre's best creations, however it is a much loved one which I'm sure will be played with in years to come.

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            05.11.2008 09:13
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            Another Fab toy from ELC

            My son got this as a gift for his first birthday and even though he is about to turn 2 in a few days he still absolutely loves it....

            The work bench is from Early learning centre and retails for £20 normally but at the moment its one of the stores star buys so you can get it for £16 !!! A real bargain

            The measurements of the toy are as follows

            Height 24cm
            Width 29cm
            Depth 18cm

            Quite compact in my opinion and as most of the parts are attached to the workbench you shouldnt have issues with pieces going missing.

            The work bench is nice and brightly coloured and made of a hard plastic.The work bench has lots of features which are as follows

            A detatchable Hammer for use with the work bench, when bashing in the nuts they make a boinging type noise

            A detatchable screwdriver for use with the screws on the bench.When the screws are pushed in & out they make a noise

            Vice which when turns makes a clicking noise

            Nails to screw in & out (they dont come away from the actual bench so no worries of losing them or your little one hurting them selves.

            Nuts to tighten (these dont come away from the actual bench either)

            A Drill which when the leaver is pulled down makes a whirring noise and lights flash on it.

            Also a saw which when you pull on the leaver again it makes a noise.

            The back panel of the work bench is where the hammer & screwdriver can be attached to to ensure they do not get lost.The work bench makes lots of noise and as with many toys if your little one enjoys these noise as my son does you will hear them over and over....which can get a little irritating but he does seem to be having fun...lol

            As i said we have had this toy for almost a year and its in excellent condition,no marks or scratches and considering it spends alot of time being hit with a plastic hammer i expected a few marks here and there.My son loves playing with this and when on the rare occasion that my other half does diy there is his assistant ready and willing to help with his own set of tools.

            Long play time with this toy and also something that gets them learning at the same time.I will be keeping this one for my 2nd little boy too.

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          • Product Details

            Your little one will stay amused with all the fun features including nuts that click when you use the screwdriver and a saw handle to turn.