Product Type: ELC Child Development
Newest Review: ... handle and opens up to reveal a tray at the bottom and a work board at the top - it opens at an angle of 90 degrees as shown in the pic... more
Portable desk for learning on the go!
ELC Magnetic Playcentre
Member Name: mumto3
ELC Magnetic Playcentre
Advantages: bright colours, lots of letters and numbers for making lots of words
Disadvantages: lots of letters and numbers for Mum to pick up off the floor!
My daughter was bought the ELC Magnetic Playcentre for her fourth birthday. The playcentre was bought by my Mother but as I was also ordering things from ELC and had a Birthday Club Voucher for 20% off we clubbed together to ensure we got free postage!
I think when it was bought this playcentre was £15 but we obviously got a 20% discount on that. I have checked the price today and it is now £17 (Dec 2008).
The desk comes in a big sealed box without any bits of bendy wire or screws holding it in place. When closed the playcentre looks like a briefcase and has a retractable handle to make it easily portable. There is a long blue tube inside the hinge part of the playcentre and this opens so you can store paper, pens or your pictures inside. The playcentre is quite tricky to open as the top has to be pulled up but there isn't anywhere that is easy to get a grip on and the closure is quite secure. On the underside of the lid there is a section that is your blackboard for using chalks and this part is also the magnetic part. On the base there is a tray that you can use to store all your letters and numbers and this tray can be lifted out for more storage for paper underneath. With the Magnetic Playcentre you receive some chalk and a blackboard rubber, some magnetic numbers and letters and some magnetic symbols such as + - and =. Everything can be stored away inside the case when it's time to tidy up and the whole clicks shut. When the lid is shut the centre blackboard section of the lid can be lifted out by releasing two clips.
My Daughter has never been very excited by the board and apart from some initial interest this playcentre has slowly made it's sorry way to the bottom of the toy box.
I had a playcentre like this when I was a child and I really loved mine. I had hoped that my daughter would like hers but she is just not interested. She has recently started school and is now learning to read so maybe now is a good time to dig the playcentre back out and re-introduce it.
The playcentre is made of hard plastic and although we haven't had any breakage's so far I think it is a bit flimsy. The lid is quite thin and as the centre piece comes out it isn't very robust. The hinge is big and sturdy and the inner tray is very solid but the rest is a bit disappointing quality wise. The letters and numbers are very hard plastic and have a small magnet on the back. The letters could also be used on any metal surface like the fridge or freezer for leaving messages or notes. The handle isn't very sturdy and I think it could easily be pulled out. The thing I dislike most about the playcentre is picking all the bits up at the end of the day. The letters get everywhere and as I have a one year old he does like to scatter them around!
I would recommend the desk to any child who is learning to read and write as I remember having a great time spelling out words on mine and I only hope I can generate some enthusiasm from my daughter. Also it would be a good thing to take away if you are travelling or visiting as it can all be packed away.
Summary: Great fun toy and teaching aid
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