Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... started and show them what to do. Despite having a recommended age range of 2 - 6 years, the ELC website states "Not suitable for chi... more
Sew, sew, quick, quick, sew!
ELC Sew & Lace Card
Member Name: CheshireJ
ELC Sew & Lace Card
Advantages: Bright and colourful, help develop children's motor skills
Disadvantages: Age range not right
My eldest daughter received these cards for her second Christmas when she was only 17 months old. The age recommendation on the box was 2-6 years, and after taking a look inside the box at the product I decided to put them away until she was older. The reasons being that apart from it looking too complicated and tricky for a 17 month old to do, I wasn't happy for her to have the laces, which in my opinion are a strangulation hazard for such a young child.
It was only in the last few months that I discovered the unused sew and lace cards hidden away in a cupboard. My daughter, now aged 4, and her 2 ½ year old sister loved getting a new toy and have spent a good amount of time since then playing with them.
There are 8 cards provided, plus 8 laces. Each card is made from thick, sturdy cardboard, and has a brightly coloured picture printed on. There's a police car, rabbit, train, snail, crab, lion, teddy and ball. Around the outline of each picture are punched holes. The idea is to thread the laces through the holes, from front to back, back to front, weaving in and out. The laces are rainbow dyed, and have a sealed end to make it easier for them to be pushed through the holes.
Some of the pictures are easier to do than the others, and I'd recommend starting your child off on one of the easier ones such as the ball, which is simply a round shape, or the crab which is an oval shape. The trickiest is probably the lion, which has zig-zags around his mane, and my daughter sometimes threads the lace through the wrong hole on this part. It took her a few gos to master how to thread the lace through, and she would often thread it from front to back, then front to back again, getting it in a tangle. My two year old still does this, and it also takes her a while to get the thread through the hole in the first place, but she has improved since first getting them.
The threads are more than long enough to go through all of the holes and still have enough left at each end, so if you leave quite a bit trailing when you start, you'll have a good chance of having enough lace to complete the shape. As the laces are rainbow dyed, it creates a nice colourful effect once the picture is completed.
Sadly, the ends of the laces have become frayed and I'm going to have to use some PVA glue to seal them again, as they will no longer go through the holes.
The cards came in a smallish box which we have always used to store them in. The box is now falling apart after just a few months, and it's also a squeeze trying to fit the cards and laces back in the box. They won't fit back in if any of the cards are laced up, so you need to take the laces out of each card before putting them back inside the box, which can be a pain if you're trying to tidy in a hurry. The cards themselves have lasted well and haven't bent or got creased at all.
The sew and lace cards are really good for encouraging hand to eye coordination, and developing fine motor skills in your child. Teaching them to put the lace through one hole, then turn it over to put through the other hole, and so on, and to follow the holes in order. It's a good introduction to sewing in a way which they'll enjoy. I'd recommend parental supervision, especially for younger children, not only because of the laces, but young ones will need help and guidance to get started and show them what to do.
Despite having a recommended age range of 2 - 6 years, the ELC website states "Not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts," which is a complete contradiction!
At £5 they're a good buy and my girls have certainly enjoyed playing with them and I'm sure will continue to do so - so long as Mummy glues the ends of the laces!
Summary: A good little buy for children aged 3-4 +
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