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For Jayden's first Christmas he received so many toys, our lounge looked like a toy shop for a few days, one of the presents he received from his Godfather was the Early Learning Centre Push and Go Car. Me and my Husband were extremely pleased with the car as it was unlike any of his other presents and was also something that he would be able to play with for several years as he grows.
The ELC Push and Go Car didn't come in any fancy packaging, it came in a dark green box which had the majority of the front missing so that you could see and touch the entire car whilst it was in the box. The box had the ELC logo on it along with the name of the product and a small amount of product information. The car was held inside the box with small wires around its wheels and around the box, these could simply be removed by cutting them with scissors, however you do need to check that parts of the wires do not get stuck around the wheels before giving it to you child to play with.
I particularly liked the style of this car, the ELC Push and Go Car is made entirely from a thick and sturdy plastic, the style of the car is like a "Big Foot" style car giving it the appearance of be strong and resilient.
The main body of the car is bright red it has large wheel arches which are raised up slightly from the wheels, the car has a chunky blue plastic grid style bumper on the front with a matching blue spoiler on top of the car, it also has a spare wheel on the back of it and the engine which is on the outside of the car can be seen on the bonnet, both of these features are green in colour.
I thought there was quite a bit of detail on the car, the windows can be clearly seen and are a yellow colour along with the front and rear lights, you can also see the doors, wing mirrors and door handles all moulded within the plastic adding to the appearance of the car.
The ELC Push and Go Car has large black chunky plastic wheels which have white rims and the back wheels have a rubber tread around them, I am assuming for extra grip so it can be used on all types of surfaces. The underside of the car is made from plain white plastic and again is made to look a little bit like the underside of the car, although this is not as detailed as the main body of the car.
The ELC Push and Go Car is as the name suggests designed to move along on its own, the back of the car is slightly higher than the front and to get the car to move you simply push the back end down and let go, the car will wizz off across the floor.
When I first had a go with the car I was actually quite surprised at how fast it moved, I thought it would have moved much slower, I was also surprised at the distance it travelled, again I thought it would only travel a short way but it easily went across the entire room.
One thing that was handy about this particular toy was that it needed no batteries at all, all you had to do to make it go was press the car down so you didn't have to worry about the batteries running out in the middle of a game.
The car is ideal to help with your baby's development, as the car travels across the room it encourages your baby to crawl after it and catch it, then as your baby grows they will learn how to press the car down to make it go themselves, this helps to develop their motor skills giving them a sense of achievement as they see their actions making the car move.
The ELC Push and Go Car can even be used when you child is older as they can make up stories with it helping to develop their imagination. This is described by ELC as a classic toy that can be played with for years to come as your baby grows and develops and I have to agree with this.
As the car is supposed to be suitable for you child for several years it needs to be strong and sturdy, personally I think this is the case, the plastic that the car is made from is reasonably thick and very strong, whilst it does have detail on it there are no really small parts that could easily be broken off from a bit of rough play, the grill style bumpers on the front of the car also help to protect it, these are made from a rigid plastic which will withstand a bit of force should the car accidentally be driven into a wall or item of furniture, our car has frequently ended up hitting the wall and it doesn't have a mark on it (neither does the wall) the smooth plastic will protect you furniture from being marked and the strength will prevent the car from being broken.
This toy is designed for babies from 9 months onwards and the information states that children under this age should not be given the toy, Jayden was actually 8 months old when he received the car, but it has only be recently that he has really played with it properly. It is advised that children are not left unattended, however this is pretty standard for any types of toys, there are no small parts which could come off of the car and cause a hazard, there are a couple of screws on the underside of the car, these are visible but are set well within the plastic so are not something that your baby could get hold of.
The ELC Push and Go Car was a present so I'm not sure where it was purchased from as there are a variety of shops that sell ELC products, however for the purpose of this review I did look the item up on the Early Learning Centre website and this car is being sold for £10.00. Personally I think this is an excellent price for this toy, the item is of an excellent quality and made to a high standard, it is also not something your baby will grow out of too quickly so you will certainly get a lot of use out of it.
Since we have had the ELC Push and Go Car it has had a lot of use, when Jayden first received it we did let him have it even though he was slightly under the 9 months it was recommended for, he was never left on his own with it so we didn't see that it would hurt. He would push it about a bit but didn't really do much with it, he couldn't crawl at the time so could chase it if you made it go across the floor.
Jayden has since learnt to crawl and now he gets so much more use out of the car, if you push it down he will chase after it and catch it, and he even sits and pushes it about the carpet himself, he cant press the back of the car down on his own and needs someone to do this for him but he does enjoy someone playing with him with the car and making it move so he can go after it.
If I had to mention one disadvantage I would say that you do have to press the back of the car down quite hard to get it to move and I think a young child/ baby would struggle with this, however this hasn't taken away from Jayden's enjoyment and would stop me from recommending this product.
The toy is very reasonably priced, it is strong and durable and can also be used as your baby grows. Overall I would definitely recommend this product to anyone, but I would say wait until your baby can crawl as otherwise it isn't as much fun for them.