Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... chunky parts and the stickers were easy to attach, the whole process didn't take very long at all and the diagram instructions were ea... more
Izzy Whizzy Lets Get Busy
ELC Whizz Around Garage
Member Name: kat1234
ELC Whizz Around Garage
Advantages: lots to do, good for babies and toddlers, good for discovery and role play
I purchased the garage online and it arrived promptly in it's box. The box features a picture of children playing with the garage. Within the box, the garage is contained in pieces. There is also an instruction sheet detailing how to piece the toy together and a sheet of stickers for attaching to the garage in various places to decorate it once pieced together. As well as the garage, a car and a helicopter are contained for baby to play with with the garage.
The garage is made of plastic and comes in fairly large pieces that are very easy to fit together. The instructions are by way of simple diagrams and are very easy to follow. The pieces slot nicely together and feel like they are very stable and hold well. It took me a matter of minutes to build the garage up - and I am by no means an expert in building things!
Once built, there are a sheet of yellow sticky arrows that need to be stuck to the garage in various places to show the direction of the traffic. The arrows are marked on the plastic in the required places, so it is simply a task of sticking the stickers over these. The helipad on top needs to unscrewed to insert 3 AA batteries.
The garage consists of a tall red lift shaft, with a yellow helipad on top - with a white 'H' marked on. On the front of this are three lights in a vertical line - blue, green then yellow. At the bottom there is a hole where a car can be driven into the lift. There is a sliding handle on the right hand side that can be pulled up to move the lift up. As the lift is moved up and down, the lights flash and a 'whizzing' noise is made. The bulbs in the lights are red, so although the plastic outer is coloured, the three lights all flash red. In front of the lift is a small barrier that can be pulled up and down to raise and lower to let cars into the lift.
There is also a drive through car wash, which is a blue plastic arch with green felt hanging down to form the 'flaps' through which the car can be driven. There are also air and petrol pumps which have push buttons on the front. When pushed, the noises of a petrol pump or air noises are made and the lights flash. There is also an orange inspection ramp which raises slightly.
The garage feature a blue and green spiral ramp that cars can be pushed down. As the cars reach a certain point on the ramp, the lights begin flashing and a 'neow' sound is made. There is also an orange slide from the top deck that the cars can be pushed down. There is an on/off switch on the side of the lift with two volume settings that can be selected.
With the garage, you also receive two of the Early Learning Centre's magnetic vehicles - a yellow car and a helicopter. These have a magnet on their front and back so that they can connect together and be pulled along in a chain. The garage is compatible with all of the Early Learning Centre's magnetic vehicle sets and these can be purchased as additions to your garage. They come in packs of three and cost £10.
The garage is a nice height for my son to sit at and play. At 10 months, most parts are within his reach easily. The only section he has to make a little effort with is the helipad, which is still within reach. He loves to watch the cars zoom down the ramp, with the flashing lights and noises adding to his enjoyment. He doesn't yet possess the co-ordination skills to manage this by himself just yet but it's fun to play together with and provides an opportunity to talk about what we are doing - hopefully helping him to gain an understanding of basic words such as 'car' and 'fast'.
The cars are a lovely size and weight for young toddlers to play with. They are a nice chunky handful and the plastic is smooth to the touch. The wheels can be spun easily but they are safe and there is no room for little fingers to get trapped. The helicopter rotary blades can also be spun easily.
My son loves to push the buttons on the air and petrol pumps and giggles happily as the lights flash and the noises are made. The sliding handle that operates the lift is a little stiff for him to get the hang of yet and the noise that this makes as the lift moves seems a little loud for him too as he is quite unsure of this.
Obviously, at 10 months, my son is not old enough yet to fully appreciate or get full value from the toy. He does not yet understand cars and movement and lacks the co-ordination to use many of the features. I am sure that, as he grows and develops, he will get even more use from the garage and learn to drive the cars around. I think that this means that we will get great value from the toy as the benefits that he is getting now - sound and light stimulation and learning to push and pull buttons and levers - differ from the imaginative play he will use it for as he ages.
Watching my son moving around the garage to touch different features, it is obvious that this is aiding his mobility and helping to increase his body strength. The attempts that he is making to copy my example and drive the cars around the garage also show to me that he is showing good understanding and his motor skills are being practised and developed. He is also learning about actions and consequences by realising that if he presses a button, there will be lights and sounds.
I would consider £30 (and even more so, the £40 RRP) quite expensive for a baby toy and, as such, I would expect a lot from it. This garage certainly lives up to the price tag and I really don't mind paying it. This is for several reasons - the garage is well made and durable. It is also incredibly stimulating for my son - the plastics are bright colours, there are lights and sounds, the movement of the cars down the ramps and the various buttons and levers he can experiment with and learn from. There is also the fact that this toy will develop with him - it will be a great platform for imaginative play as he gets older and learns about cars. He will be able to drive the cars around and make 'vroom vroom' noises as well as use the car wash and service ramp as he gains the manipulative skills to do so. It is also a lovely sized toy to have two toddlers sitting around so he can learn to play with others - to share and interact - with this toy too.
The garage is well made, as I said, but there is one part that my son is consistently pulling off (and so I can see us losing it eventually...). That is the gate that lifts to let cars into the lift. This is attached at the hinged part onto the plastic by simply pushing on, so can be removed if he gets a little vigorous with his lifting actions. This part aside, the garage holds together well. The stickers have also , so far, resisted any peeling and stayed in place well. Whether they will last as he gets older remains to be seen, but, even if they are removed I don't think this will impact the look or use of the toy too much.
A well made toy that can be enjoyed by both boys and girls alike (it is also available in pink but this is, in my opinion, unnecessary as I'm sure girls would love this version anyway). It is a great learning and developing aid that is fun to play with and will last from older baby to toddler. The cars to go on the garage are also fantastic - with a novel magnetic attachment to boot. Very baby friendly but yet not too 'babyish' for a toddler to enjoy. A worthwhile purchase and definitely recommended.
Summary: great garage toy
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