Product Type: ELC Fancy Dress
Newest Review: ... was after. The crate sells for £12 I decided to buy the Early Learning Centre Crate of Vegetables. What do you get A very strong green ... more
Fun with Vegetables
ELC Crate of Vegetables
Member Name: historywitch
ELC Crate of Vegetables
Advantages: Strong, interactive, realistic, reasonably well priced
Early Learning Centre
The ELC are one of my most trusted retailers of children’s toys. Most of their toys have identified educational value and they keep the noises and flashing lights down to the bare minimum. A trip back to the UK is never complete without a trip to an ELC store (as they don’t deliver abroad-aaaarrghhh) and our car or suitcases are usually brimming by the time we get back. Their prices are very reasonable and the quality of the toys is usually superior to other brands - bits are less likely to come off after ten minutes or so!
They say that this toy helps your child enjoy their imagination, helps them learn how to make friends and develops their social skills. Quite a task for a plastic carrot!
The vegetables come very well packaged (a scissors job) in the green plastic crate you can see on the picture. This crate is a nice strong replica of a vegetable display crate and could be used in a play shop or supermarket as well as in the ‘kitchen’. We are not quite at that level of imaginative play so we use the crate to store magnetic letters and it works well as a shallow storage box too.
You get 12 plastic vegetables with this set, made of good quality thick plastic. Other sets of plastic fruit and vegetables are made of cheaper plastic with airholes and they bend and break under pressure. I have been responsible for the squashing of more than one plastic banana, but have bruises on my feet from accidentally standing on the potato from this set last night! The vegetables are: a floret of broccoli, a potato, a corn cob, a cauliflower, tomato, pepper, aubergine, avocado, onion, a cabbage, a cucumber and a carrot. Some of these are instantly identifiable as the intended vegetable but I have to admit to being stumped momentarily by the potato and the cabbage. They all have a lovely tactile quality to them, the outer textures have been well replicated and they have a definite ‘pick-me-up-and-use-me’ quality.
Also included in the set is a chunky grey plastic kitchen knife, just the right size for little hands. As each vegetable is cut in at least two pieces (in the case of the cucumber three pieces), and joined together with strong Velcro circles, the knife is used to sever these bonds and create the impression of chopping and cutting. This has to be my favourite feature of these vegetables and my daughter loves standing at her kitchen chopping her vegetables while I chop mine in my kitchen. Some of these are difficult for little hands to do, I have to help with the broccoli and the cauliflower occasionally, but overall they are a challenge that provides a nice sense of achievement on completion for children of about 2 years old. Older children (the recommended age is 3-8 years) will find more use for these as a part of more advanced imaginative play.
I really like this crate of vegetables, as it is strong and sturdy and likely to last until Olivia has grown out of this stage. It teaches her about the different types of vegetables and has lead on to discussions about healthy eating and living. As she became more comfortable and familiar with these vegetables in her kitchen, she became more likely to eat their edible versions that came out of my kitchen, expanding her palate and her vocabulary at the same time. She also likes the fact that she can create meals for us, albeit inedible plastic, which I feel is setting her up for a longterm healthy relationship with food.
Its interactive quality sets it above similar plastic vegetable sets and whilst they are not quite in proportion to each other and the real article, they are close enough to make it a more realistic experience.
I would definitely recommend these to anyone with a child between the ages of 2 and 8 (although the upper age range is dependent on the interests and character of the child) as these have been one of our best buys for Olivia.
***Price and Stockists***
The ELC are the main stockists of this product. You can buy instore or online (www.elc.co.uk) for £4.95 delivery.
This crate retails at £10.
Summary: Vegetables can be fun!