“ Brand: Early Learning Centre / Type: Doll Playset „
When Hope turned 2 I wanted to buy her a dolly and a pram so that she could use her imagination and enjoy looking after her dolly. I thought it would be a good way to teach her about babies especially with us expecting baby number 2. I was actually very shocked when I saw the price of the dollies and their prams in many of the shops. I couldn't believe that you could pay £60 for a dolly's pram when some pushchairs for real life babies are that price! When I saw this cupcake complete collection at the Early Learning Centre I couldn't resist it and even though it is extremely cheap in comparison to other dolly sets on the market you definitely do not compromise on quality or degree of fun and entertainment that you can get out of this.
What do you get?
The question really should be what don't you get! You certainly get a lot for your money. You don't get a doll but you can buy the Cup Cake dolly from Early Learning Centre for just £8 which is a bargain compared to the likes of Baby Annabelle! In this set you get:
A very fashionable 3 wheeler pushchair.
A rocker chair
A changing bag
A feeding set
A bib for dolly
All of this for just £50 although for the last 6 months it has been on sale for £25. I think even at it's full price it is worth every penny! It all comes in one box which wasn't all that huge actually and it was very easy to assmeble; I managed to put all of the pieces together within 5 minutes without needing to look at the instructions so it is extremely straight forward to do which is great for young children's toys as there is nothing worse than trying to put together toys which an over excited child is waiting impatiently for and finding that you actually need a degree in construction to get them set up!
This is Hope's favourite item in the set and it is played with every single day without fail.
The pushchair is a three wheeler so very modern as pushchairs today seem to be beginning to follow the three wheel route! It has a little hood that can be pulled over the top of the pushchair to protect dolly from the rain or to stop the sun from going into dolly's eyes. This is really very easy to pull over as it's not stiff at all, Hope can manage to move this easily by herself and adjust it according to how much protection dolly is needing!
It has a little shopping basket underneath which Hope finds very useful for putting her change bag or her sunglasses in whilst she is pushing dolly down the road. It does actually hold quite a lot this basket and sometimes I use it to put our door keys and my purse in too whilst we are on a walk!
The pushchair isn't like a real one as it doesn't fold down like a real one would so if you put this in your car it has to stay upright as it is so it does take up a bit of room but it is by no means a large pram, believe me, some dolly's prams are huge and almost life-like but this one isn't.
It has a strap in the seat so that dolly can be strapped in securely and these straps can be adjusted although Hope hasn't learnt how to do this herself yet it is a good idea as dolly's come in different sizes and it makes it more realistic. Having this strap helps Hope to understand the importance of safety, when I strap her in to her own pram now she doesn't put up a fight and actually tries to help me as she has strapped dolly in she understands that it's important to do this.
The pushchair is lovely looking. It's got pink fabric with white, pale pink and blue circles on the seat and the hood. The metal work is pale pink and the handle, wheels and strap are blue.
It isn't very high up so I imagine that by the age of about 4 your child will be finding this a bit small for them. It is a great size for Hope now, she can hold the handle bar very easily without having to reach up or bend down it's a great height for her age now- she is 2 and a half.
It pushes very easily as it's only light. From day one Hope was able to move this without getting it stuck against things, she was able to negotiate corners and navigate it well, it doesn't get stuck or is clumsy, instead it's very easy to steer this pram which is great for toddlers as they can often become frustrated if they can't achieve what they want to.
This pushchair is great, it can be used both inside and outside. Hope likes to take dolly out in this to have a look at the flowers in the garden or to wander around the roads with me but she also likes to play with it inside. Because the wheels are plastic they can easily be cleaned so I don't have to worry about mud ending up on our carpets if it has previously been outside. I would quite happily have paid the £25 that this whole set cost us just for the pram alone. It's fantastic and has provided a lot of entertainment, fun and stimulation already in the short time we have had it.
This highchair is the same design fabric-wise as the pushchair so it's very lovely to look at as it's bright and cheerful with it's pink fabric of the chair, pink metal work and little blue plastic tray and blue strap.
Unlike the pushchair this highchair can fold up, it folds just like a real high chair does so it can be quite flat making it easy to store and transport although since we have had this we have never collapsed it down as Hope plays with it almost every day and it doesn't take up much room anyway when it is set up.
It is a great height, the tray is just level with Hope's elbows when she is standing next to it so when dolly is sitting in this chair she can feed her dolly easily without having to strain herself to reach.
The high chair has legs which stretch out beneath it but they don't stick out very much at all so it isn't a hazard, Hope hasn't fallen over the legs once as they are quite upright. The weight of it is quite light, Hope is able to move this around the house without struggling at all so she quite likes this! I think she gets a good sense of achievement when she moves this from the lounge into the kitchen!
Dolly sits in this highchair and can be strapped in using an adjustable blue strap like the one on the push chair. Again Hope has learnt that it's important to be safe when you are sitting in a chair and it has helped her to be grown up about when she herself gets strapped in.
The tray is only small and has a ridge around the outside of it so that the items that are put on the tray don't just slip off or fall off if they fall over. The tray can lift up over the top of the chair like many real high chairs do. When the tray is put back down it clips onto the legs of the chair and snaps into place. This is quite stiff to do and Hope can't manage this on her own so does need a bit of help with it.
Having a highchair like this is great as it is helping Hope to use her imagination and to do role play with her dollies. It's really very important that at this age children are engaging in imaginative play and it's a welcome change to have a high chair to do this with instead of just the usual dolly's pram.
The bouncer chair
This bouncer chair is a great accompaniment to dolly's little set of furniture. It is a fabric chair just like you would expect to see on a real bouncer attached to a metal frame. The fabric chair can be adjusted to be upright or lying flat as well as anything in between. This is easy to do, Hope can do this by herself and didn't even need me to show her how to do it she just seemed to know how right away!
The chair's frame is at an angle so that it will rock when you push it. I have found this a very good way to teach Hope about the importance of being gentle when rocking a baby so that when our new baby comes along hopefully she will remember this and not bounce our baby like crazy in it's chair!
Like the other items in this set it is only light so easy for toddlers to move around carry to places. The fabric is different to the high chair and pushchair. It is pale pink and has lots of little cupcakes on it in pink, yellow and blue. The metal work is pale pink and the strap is the same as with the others- blue and adjustable.
Hope likes to put dolly in this at night time and put a blanket over her before rocking and 'shh-ing' her to sleep. It's lovely to watch her interact with this toy like this.
Out of the 3 main items in this set this is probably used the least by Hope but it is still played with a lot and it's nice to see her play in a different way when she uses this as she's always very gentle and caring when dolly is 'sleepy'.
You get a change bag with this set which is the same material as the fabric of the bouncer chair. It is lovely. It comes on a long strap so you can put it over the handle of the pushchair or so your toddler can have it over their shoulder and use it as a shoulder bag. It fastens with velcro which is very toddler friendly as they are able to open it and close it themselves without struggling with zips or buttons.
It holds quite a lot too, Hope is always putting various toys and books in this bag and carrying them around! It's a great idea to have a change bag with this set as it's really reflecting real life- if i go out I take a bag with me and Hope sees me do this so now she likes to imitate me and do it too.
The feeding set you get with this includes a bottle, a plastic bowl with a spoon and fork and a bib. It's all made from plastic so can easily be cleaned which is really important as often Hope will put these items in her mouth and pretend to feed herself. This little set is great, it can be used whilst the dolly is sitting in the highchair so you have a complete set.
This set is a fantastic set for your toddler to play with along with their dolly. It is a fantastic chance for your toddler to use their imaginations which is very important at this age as it helps to broaden their minds and teach them about the world around them. Having a set like this that comes altogether is great as it means you have everything you need all in one without having to buy various items.
All of the pieces in this set are lovely looking. It's nice to have children's dolly's items that actually look made for children, now so many of the prams and things on the market are trying to look just like real ones and it's nice that this set is very obviously a child's play thing.
Hope gets a lot of fun out of this and has also learnt a lot. It's been a great way to explain to her about safety things such as always ensuring dolly is strapped in and not letting dolly get wet in the pram is it's raining or not leaving her bag behind when we go out places with it! She has also learnt a lot about caring for a baby through role play. She is now very gentle when friends come round with babies and her gentleness and tenderness with her dollies has definitely improved.
The set retails at £50 but it is actually £25 at the moment and has been for 6 months so I assume this will stay the same for a while longer still. I think at full price it is still extremely good value for money as you get so much and it's fantastic quality. I was unsure at first and thought maybe it's going to be flimsy and not able to withstand tough toddler play but actually it is fantastic quality and I cannot find a single fault in it at all which is saying something coming from me!
It sounds like you get a lot- which you do- but it isn't bulky so it doesn't take up too much room. The largest item is the pushchair but this is still half the size of many of the big prams out there that you can buy for dolly's.
In my opinion this is an absolutely fantastic set and I recommend it to everyone who has a little girl approaching 2 years old as I think it is ideal from this age onwards. I can imagine that Hope will be playing with this for a good while yet so it's well worth every single penny.
We bought this cupcake complete collection when Little B was about 2. Mrs B chose it saying that it was not only good value but that the collection was fun so Little B would enjoy playing with it. Me, being me, just handed over my credit card and let her order it. Now Little B is nearly 4 and this is still played with today so I have to hand it to her and say it was a good purchase.
When we bought this the retail price was £50 and we managed to get it on offer for £25 which is a brilliant price to pay, I think it is well worth the £50. Now, 20 months later, it is retailing at £60 so I think that confirms what a big success this set still is.
But what do you get? What is it?
The Early Learning Centre have a very girlie doll range called Cup Cake. This is a set which will keep your cupcake doll very happy and cared for. In the set you get a highchair, a pushchair, a little rocker chair, a change bag and even a feeding set. It all has the same pattern on it so that it's easily recognisable as this collection and it's very appealing to little girls because it's so pink and has little cupcakes all over it!
The pushchair isn't a tacky one at all. You can buy a cupcake collection stroller which is quite tacky and looks like it won't last a long time with a rough toddler but the one that comes in this set is very good quality. It has a basket underneath which is useful to carry 'shopping' although Little B tends to use it to collect stones or leaves when we go on walks which is quite cute! The seat itself has a strap so Little B can be taught the importance of safety and always ensure that her dolly is carefully strapped in so that she doesn't fall. It is a very modern pushchair as it's a three-wheeler! It's very light so it's easy for Little B to push around and steer well. She has been playing with this since she was 2 and now nearly 2 years later she still plays with it fine so it is a good height, it will last a good while, she isn't leaning over to try and push it. It has a little hood that pulls over to protect dolly from the sun or rain. It is very good quality, trust me! This pushchair has been played with so regularly and comes on walks with us all the time, it has big wheels and it has really withstood all the hundreds of walks it's been on. It does look played with and loved but it doesn't look battered at all and still works just as it did on day one. The basket underneath is a little grubby from all the stones and leaves and as far as I can see this can't be cleaned. It isn't a large pushchair, unlike this huge pram we bought for her which she barely plays with, so it's easy to store.
This is a seat which is a bit like a baby's rocker. It has the cupcake material which is the seat and is on a metal frame just like a rocker would be. Again this teaches children about safety as it has straps on it too to make sure that baby is safe whilst in here. The seat does rock, not a lot, but nice and gently when you move it. Little B likes to put her teddies in here at night time and read them a bed time story. I would say out of all the elements of this set this is probably played with the least but it is still a good toy.
The highchair is pink with the cupcake material on the seat. It has a blue tray which can be lifted up so that dolly can easily be placed in it and again it has a strap to keep dolly safe. The feeding set that comes with this sits on the tray nicely; a bowl, spoon, fork and bottle. Little B loves playing with this, she sits her dolly in it and spends hours feeding her and then telling her off if she plays with her food instead of eating it properly. I think it's great to see her using her imagination and acting out a role like this!
What it teaches
This set teaches children an awful lot about the world as well as helps them to develop various skills. Children can learn through role-play about various events. We have sometimes used this set to explain to Little B why it's important not to take your seat belt off- we have shown how if dolly isn't strapped in she can fall out of the pushchair. She has also taken various elements of our days and acted them out but taking on our roles such as telling dolly off for not eating her dinner nicely and I think this helps her to have empathy and understanding. Little B has learnt how to fasten dolly in so it's improved her fine motor skills and she has also learnt to navigate with the pushchair and steer it well. I think it's also taught her to be gentle and kind to her little baby brother as she has been so used to tucking her little teddies up at night in the rocker and reading them a bed time story, she now loves doing this with her baby brother too!
This is definitely high on the entertainment factor! Little B has played endlessly with this, especially the pushchair. When her friends come to play they enjoy playing with it too, even slightly older children who are 6 and 7. I think it can last us another few years yet so definitey think it is aimed at children from 2 to about 6 or 7, maybe even a bit older depending. It is good because there are several elements to it which can be played with right away. There was no fiddling around setting this up, it only took a matter of minutes to lift it out of the box it came in, take off the wrapping and snap on a wheel on the pushchair and hey-presto it was ready to be played with! We have never had any problems with it, nothing has ever broken or become a bit dodgy. Little B will play with this in various ways whether it's tucking a teddy up in the rocker, taking dolly for a walk, using the pushchair shopping basket to collect items, feeding a dolly in the highchair or using the changing bag to go 'shopping' with.
Yes I recommend this. I think it is worth the retail price but if you can find it on offer then definitely go for it! It is geared towards girls as it is very pink, I don't think a little boy would really appreciate it. It is very durable, it can be played with for hours, it can teach children skills and understanding as well as providing them with lots of fun.
It's available from The Early Learning Centre both in store and on-line.
My daughter hadn't had a highchair for her dolls before and when she received this Cupcake complete collection set for her third birthday she loved it as it included a high chair!
----- Information -----
The Cupcake complete collection is made by Early Learning Centre and can be purchased in store or online and from Mothercare and Amazon also. The full price for this is £65 but as with most ELC items, can be found on sale quite often for half price or there are often money off codes floating around.
The recommended age for the complete collection is 3 years, I think this is a little high, the main items of the set couldn't pose any dangers and I would have given this to my daughter at a younger age.
----- Packaging and assembly -----
The Cupcake complete collection came inside a huge cardboard box, when I say huge, it wasn't as big as I expected considering three decent sized items were inside. I could carry it myself so it wasn't too big and bulky. The design of the packaging matched the rest of the Cupcake range being mainly pink with a girly design and a picture of the contents on the front.
Inside the packaging was three, sort of half made, items and a changing bag with a few accessories inside. The main items are a stroller, highchair and bouncer chair. The bouncer chair came already made, just clicked back so it was laid flat to fit in the packaging, to get it into position you simply click the back into place. The highchair was also already assembled and was just folded flat for transport, to get this into position you just pulled apart the bottom legs and voila! The only thing that needed any type of assembly was the stroller that just involved putting the wheels on, but these were easy, the back ones were simply put over the pole and a pink wheel cover was clicked on top. The front wheel was slightly trickier (but still easy), it had to be put onto a separate pole and then squeezed into place. I think the whole assembly process took less than five minutes, so there wasn't any time for my daughter to pester me to hurry up.
--- Bouncy chair ---
The bouncy chair is the smallest of the three items but is still plenty big enough to fit the majority of different dolls in it. It is made to a high quality with the main shape of it being made from pink metal poles and the seat made with a strong fabric. The bouncer can see tilted as far back or forward as you want as if you pull it, it will simply click into place wherever you want it. The seat has a lovely cupcake design to it with pink polka dot sides. The overall look is girly and cute. There are two carry handles so that it can be carried around with a doll in it without any problems, the handles prove easier to carry it rather than picking up the whole chair.
--- Highchair ---
The highchair is of the same colour scheme as the bouncer of pink and blue. It has pink poles that travel up to the main seat which is made from pink fabric covered in polka dots then the tray is made from a pale blue plastic. The highchair is foldable so it doesn't take up much space when it isn't in use, to do this you simply pull up the tray and the poles will fold inwards so it is pretty much flat. The highchair also has a blue fabric tie to keep dolls in place when they are sitting in it. The seat is of a nice size and the majority of my daughters dolls can fit in without any problems.
--- Stroller ---
The stroller is my favourite item from the Cupcake collection. It fits in with the other two main items with the pink and blue colour scheme. The stroller has three wheels, a foot rest, shopping basket and a hood that pulls over the top; it's almost identical to 'proper' three wheeler pushchairs. It's a nice size, my daughter received a Silver Cross pram and that is huge in comparison to this one. The stroller doesn't fold flat but as it isn't that big, it doesn't take up that much room anywhere and if we go out for the day, this is the pushchair that normally goes with us as it can fit in the car without taking up too much room. Another good thing about the design of the stroller is the weight of it, as it is quite small it is very lightweight and when my three year old takes it out for a walk she can get up and down curbs without any problems.
--- Accessories ---
I didn't realise that this set come with some accessories, from the picture on the box you couldn't tell that anything came with it. The accessories include a feeding set and changing bag. The changing bag is a little bit of a disappointment as its very flimsy, it's made from the same fabric as the bouncy chair with the cupcakes on it, it isn't very thick material so unless it is full of bits and bobs it tends to just fold in and then doesn't resemble much of a bag. That being said, my daughter does use it and always has various bits and pieces in there. The feeding set compromises of a feeding bowl, spoon, fork and a bottle, these pieces are all made from the high quality plastic you would expect from an Early Learning Centre product.
----- Overall ------
This set has been a hit ever since my daughter got it for her third birthday. She loves the whole role play thing with dolls and this set really helps her play. She has already had a pushchair and pram but they were more suited for younger toddlers being quite chunky so now she has her older pushchair more suited to her age. My daughter also received a Cupcake doll for her birthday and this doll fits perfectly inside the set. The set isn't just suitable for the dolls from the range; most can fit inside without any problems. My daughter only has one doll that doesn't fit in anything but that's only because she is toddler sized.
The stroller often comes out if we go to town or just for a walk and every time the stroller is out, so is the changing bag. My daughter puts all the toys she might need into her changing bag and then drapes it over the handle of the stroller, just like I used to do with the 'proper' stroller. If we do take it to town the shopping basket underneath always gets used and if my daughter gets a new book or sweetie it stays in the shopping basket without falling out. The handle is of a nice height and seems to be perfect for my three year old, I think it should last her a good couple of years before being too small (if she doesn't grow out of it herself!).
At home, the highchair is the item that gets used the most, my daughter loves kitchen role play and is often cooking food for her dolls, she never used to have anywhere to feed them but now she can place them in the highchair one by one so they get their meals in comfort! The straps on all of the items are easy for my daughter to do herself so I don't have to intervene to do them for her. The bouncer seems to be the less favoured item out of the three, some dolls do get put inside and when my daughter is watching the television she seems to rock the bouncer at the same time almost therapeutically.
With the full price of £65, I do think this is quite expensive for what it is. Flicking through the Argos book I can see similar sets for half the price but, of course, being an Early Learning Centre collection, the quality is of the highest standard. I don't think I would have personally paid this for the set but as it is often on sale for half price, I'd definitely snap it up for around £30 as it would be a bargain. Each piece is realistic and my daughter loves playing with the set, she prefers some items over others but they all get played with.