* Prices may differ from that shown
My son received an ELC Baby scribbler (Mini Artist My First Scribbler) for his first birthday. It was for use from 18 months so we put it away for a few months until we thought that he was ready for it, which we decided he was at around 17 months of age. This toy is basically an early years version of the classic etch-a-sketch toy. It contains a screen for drawing on, encased in a plastic background (my son's version is blue but there is also a pink version for girls). At the side of the screen there are three plastic 'tools' that your child can draw with. As with a lot of their toys, ELC update them from time to time and, looking at the website, my son's version appears to have been updated. His was a medieval type theme, with the tools being a knight, horse and dragon. The new version (which I actually think he would have preferred) features a zebra, monkey and elephant. The tools do different things, one draws like a pen, one creates zig-zag lines and the other acts as a stamp to create a footprint. At the bottom of the screen there is a plastic slider that can be moved across and as it positions itself back again it clears the screen for reuse. As with the etch-a-sketch this works using magnets and no batteries are required. It features a carry handle at the top so your toddler can transport this easily. The tools themselves are chunky and easy to grip, fitting neatly in my son's hand. He does have difficulty removing them from their holes in the plastic when he first gets this out (they do sit in there quite tightly - a necessity for the carry handle feature to work!), but is happy to have them removed and placed on the floor for him to select from. He particular likes the stamp as this squeaks as he stamps it and it also has the most obviously visible effect when he uses it. He also likes to pull the sliding switch across and watch it move back in to play - a feature that he sees as part of the toy itself rather than a functional aspect. I worried initially how this would stand up to his constant pulling, but it has (so far) withstood this well and is still very much functioning after months of use. As a parent, I like this toy as it is so engaging and invites my son to think creatively and encourages him to develop fine motor skills. It requires the use of his hand and fingers in different ways and helps him to learn how to use a pen to draw. I also like the fact that it is a creative toy without being messy - I can take this anywhere and not worry about my son creating a mess. In that way, it is also great for taking to restaurants or places where my son needs to sit still for a while and be occupied. This toy prices at £15 in Early Learning Centre, although it is well worth looking out for their sales and promotions when you can pick it up at a cheaper price. I would definitely recommend this toy as my son loves to sit and doodle on this and it does keep him occupied for quite a good length of time too. It is also well made and thought out - with attractive bright colours on the casing and no loose or fragile parts.
I put this on my daughters birthday wishlist for her first birthday and someone was kind enough to get it for her. I was initially impressed, it is made of a decent sturdy plastic and has a nice kings and queen theme so a bit different to anything else i has seen and it was reasonably priced. It has 3 chunky drawing pens ideal for little hands that each make a different mark, a straight line a heart and a sqwiggly line. However the sqwiggly line one doesn't work so well i think this is because the drawing space you have is quite small. I was expecting the whole thing to be bigger most i have seen are about a3 size this is more a4 so the actual drawing space is quite small and the chunkyness of the pens means its even smaller. Also the bar you move along to clean it is very stiff my daughter cant do it herself and is almost 2 now. This leads to some quite impatient outbursts from her and i get quite annoyed at being winged at every 5 mins to do it for her. But she does seem to really like it and thats the most important thing, just think there might be something else out there a bit more user friendly.
This was an over priced disappointment. Priced at 15 pound from ELC available in pink and blue it is simply an overpriced sketcher. It is smaller than other sketchers and the board it self is deeper. The 3 crayons are chunky ones for little hands which themselves are quite good. We bought the blue one and it had one simple pen which is just a simple metal nip very blunt so no accidents possible then one which can wiggle side to side within the pen case to make wiggly lines. The third being a dinosaur foot print stamper pen. I can remember taking it from the box and feeling cheated as it seemed small compared to the box. And even then the writing area is considerably smaller than the plastic edging. The writing area got badly marked very quickly and was not as durable as you would expect given it is from 18m. The pull along wipe clean gadget is timely for a child you pull it left to right and then let go and it automatically goes back to the other side. It was binned long ago and i bought a cheaper one for about £4 which the kids have preferred!
My daughter loves etch-a-sketch type doodlers, but we have always noticed with other peoples, that the little stampers and pens tend to end up lost fairly quickly. We decided to get this one for her first birthday but in the end she had plenty of presents, so we put it away and gave it to her for her second birthday instead. The Baby Scribbler is smaller than some other models on the market and is made of tough, durable plastic,unlike many others I have seen which are quite flimsy. The girly version I am reviewing is as pictured, designed to look like a fairy castle with pretty pink and blue colouring on the plastic. There are three stampers and these are in the shape of characters to compliment the castle theme. One of the stampers punches hearts onto the screen, one draws a wiggly line and the other draws straight lines, and replaces the attached pen these sort of doodler often come with. At the bottom is a heart shaped button and this is pulled to clear the screen, leading to hours of fun! When the heart button is pulled, you can let it go and it goes back automatically, clearing the screen at the same time. My daughter finds this feature fascinating and prefers to pull the button rather than draw al lot of the time. The stampers are chunky and have been cleverly designed for little hands to hold. I think they are effective but they are pretty tricky to get in and out of their slots, and this frustrates my toddler who likes to at least try to do everything herself. Instead of asking for help, or persevering, she loses interest. So I really need to be involved when she ses this toy to help her get the stampers out. On the plus side, we have not yet lost a stamper, and because they are large, they would be easy to spot if we did misplace one, and they are difficult to be sucked up the hoover! All in all this is a good toy, perhaps slightly expensive at £15, but I imagine it is long-lasting. My daughter is a bit of a tomboy so I reckon the girlie design is wasted on her, but it would make a great gift for little girls who are into princesses and fairytales.
I wanted to get my daughter a 'magnadoodle' for Christmas and as she is only 17 months old, I looked at this one and the Early Learning Centre Super Scribbler for ages 3 years and over. My husband and I finally decided to get the Super Scribbler for her as it offered more for the price and it didn't seem to be too old for her. However, someone else bought her this one so I had a good opportunity to compare them. ---The range: Early Learning Centre is a brand that I would generally trust to produce good quality products. The Early Learning Centre My First Scribbler comes in blue and pink. I will be reviewing the pink one. ---The features of the toy: The My First Scribbler comes with an area for drawings to be done on. At the bottom of the 'screen' is a heart shaped slider for deleting everything. Once pushed along it has an automatic retraction so will return on its own. The plasctic moulding around the drawing area is quite large and forms into a handle at the top. On the left of the drawing area are 3 circular holes which contain the pens and stampers. The first is a pen to allow drawing; the second is a pen that moves from side to side as it draws creating wavey lines; the third is a heart shaped stamper. The whole toy is designed to look like a castle with a prince, princess and horse as the drawing tools. The tools are designed to be large enough to fit easily into a child's hand which is why it is aimed at a lower age than the Super Scribbler. ---Our experiences: We were given this for our daughter when she was 17 months old. My daughter was a bit unsure about what this was when we first presented it to her but soon tried to get the drawing tools out of the plastic. This proved quite difficult for her. When they are clicked into place, they require quite a lot of force to then remove them again and my daughter was not able to get them out on her own. Once I'd got them out for her, we showed her how to use them and she started to have a go. Unfortunately she couldn't tell the difference between the stampers and the drawing tools so kept hitting the pens on the board as well as the stamper. This doesn't seem to have been very good for the drawing area and I think it may have damaged it slightly. She also can't put the drawing tools back in their places fully as they need pushing in quite hard so I had to make sure I put them back for her when she had finished playing with them. ---My findings: My daughter hasn't really gotten the hang of this sketcher and much prefers the older aged Super Scribbler we got her instead. I think she understands that one much more as everything looks different so she can work out that they all do different things. I was quite disappointed with the quality of the drawing area as my daughter managed to damage it easily and I don't think she did anything a normal 18 month old wouldn't do. It now has 'stains' on it which won't erase. I was also disappointed with the size of the drawing area as it is a lot smaller than the size of the actual unit. Aside from that, I have been quite impressed with the sturdiness of this as my daughter has climbed all over it and dropped it on the floor and it is still in one piece. The drawing tools all worked fine when I used them and the screen erased fine until my daughter attacked it. ---And finally: I would not recommend buying this product. I think at £15 it is a bit expensive and I would recommend instead buying the ELC Super Scribbler even for younger children. It does allow younger children to draw on something other than furniture, but the drawing area is smaller and only contains 3 drawing tools and I think your money would be better spelt elsewhere.