Product Type: ELC Novelty Toy
Newest Review: ... she seemed to really like it and so we took it home to see how well it would do at helping her relax in the bath. It worked! It is a litt... more
A dog in the bath!
ELC Doggy Paddler
Member Name: Lools_24
ELC Doggy Paddler
Advantages: Swims quite far, colourful, durable, fun
Disadvantages: Requires adult help, may frustrate more independent toddlers
From around October time I had put a ban on buying new toys for my twin boys in the lead up to Christmas. After speaking to friends and family about gift ideas I knew there was going to be a large influx of new toys therefore I took quite a strict approach on toy purchasing. However after a run of illnesses, trip to the dentist and some steps forward with potty training I decided to buy my boys a little treat. Bath times had started to become more of a chore for my boys and I noticed they were becoming bored with bath time so I decided to look for something little for the bath and decided to purchase the Doggy Paddler.
The Doggy Paddler is basically a dog shaped wind up bath toy that has moveable arms that swim. The description of the toy is "wind the doggy up and watch him swim".
The toy is a bright yellow plastic dog which is about 15cm long and 8cm at the widest point and has a smiley friendly face. The dog is mainly bright yellow however is wearing green and blue swimming trunks. The dog has two legs which do not move however his two arms at the side of him move around in a circular motion. The arms on the dog move by twisting a blue wind up button on the underside of the toy. The more you wind the toy up the further it swims.
It is outlined the toy is suitable for children over 12 months old.
The Doggy Paddler is available from ELC and Mothercare stores and also available from www.elc.com and www.mothercare.com . The toy costs £4 which is pretty average for bath toys from ELC. You can also purchase a similar frog shaped toy named the Froggy Paddler.
I purchased the Doggy Paddler when my boys were around 19 months old so were definitely within the age range this toy is aimed at. Although the toy states it is suitable from 12 months old I feel you could put it in a bath with a younger child as there are no small parts and the toy is quite light and made from rounded plastic.
For a child under 12 months an adult would be required to wind the dog up to make it swim. I am very sceptical of the from 12 months age bracket because although I feel the toy is "safe" for a child of this age I do not feel most children of 12 months would actually be able to play and use the toy. From 19 months although my boys attempted to set the Doggy Paddler off themselves by using the wind up button they were unable to do so, and still now after 3 months of play and being shown regularly how to do so they still can't really play with the toy independently. Obviously children would never be unsupervised in the bath so there would always be an adult to hand but for one of my sons who is extremely independent and likes to do everything for himself (at almost 2 years old) this is incredibly frustrating. Even as an adult I find it quite difficult to set the dog off so it swims for a decent period of time and maximise the enjoyment factor of the toy.
The blue wind up button that sets the dog off swimming is on the underside of the toy and is about the size of a 1p piece. This has a ridge running through the centre to grip so you can turn. We also have the ELC Froggy Paddler which has the same concept but is a frog shaped toy. I must admit out of the two I prefer the Doggy Paddler and feel not only is it easier for a child to play with it is more enjoyable as it swims around in the bath for longer, in fact probably 3 times as long as the Froggy Paddler does with the same amount of winding up.
I feel the Doggy Paddler is easier for a child to wind up firstly as the wind up button does not hold so much tension therefore it is easier for a child to rotate. Secondly the design of the toy means if you hold the arms of the dog shaped toy before you set off you do not lose the tension you have created in the wind up button. For a toddler this concept is far too complicated to understand but it means as a parent you can hold the arms of the toy and then your child simply rotates the wind up button around thus thinking they are winding the toy up on their own. If you have an independent toddler (like one of my sons is) this makes life a lot easier and you do not get bath time tantrums because they want to wind the toy up themselves but can't which happens with the Froggy Paddler.
Secondly when you wind the Doggy Paddler up it swims for quite a reasonable amount of times and the arms continue to rotate around and it floats around the bath providing entertainment. With the Froggy Paddler, rotating the wind up button 3 full times gives only around 10 seconds worth of play, whereas the Doggy Paddler with 3 rotations will swim in the bath for around 30 seconds. The movement is no as frantic and quick as the frog but there is definite movement as the dog shaped toy moves around the bath.
The description of the Doggy Paddler on the ELC website outlines the toy "helps to develop coordination" however I feel that the overall concept of the toy is very difficult for a young toddler but does help them understand that by turning the wind up button it makes the dog move in the bath. It is just a shame a child of almost two years old is unable to wind the toy up completely on their own which I feel would add to the enjoyment of the toy.
The Doggy Paddler is quite a fun addition to bath time providing you can ensure it swims for longer periods by winding the button up a number of times. My boys really enjoy watching it swim in the bath and will shout "more ,more" and ask for me to set the dog off swimming again. Out of the two toys the Doggy and the Froggy Paddler my boys both prefer the Doggy Paddler toy.
The toy is made from hard durable plastic. My boys have a tendency to play a game of throwing their bath toys over the edge of the bath onto our tiled floor (usually when I am mid hair wash for one child). Although this creates a lot of water over my floor I am pleased to say the Doggy Paddler has survived the many falls onto the tiled floor without any damage. I dry off all of our bath toys after each use to ensure that they do not go mouldy. After over 3 months' worth of almost daily play, our Doggy Paddler is still fully functional, in good condition and mould free.
The Doggy Paddler for £4 is reasonable value for money and is quite a fun bath time toy. The dog looks good and fun to play with and like most ELC and Mothercare toys it is made from hard durable plastic. I do feel slightly disappointed by the Doggy Paddler however because of the overall design of the toy as it is so difficult for a young child to play with themselves so it is more of a toy for a child to "watch" than play independently with.
The toy is aimed at children aged 12 months and for a child of 12 months I do not feel they would even be able to wind the button up to set this toy off. At 2 years old my boys are able to wind the button up and turn it to set the dog off to move around the bath but they need me to hold onto the toy and hold the dogs rotating arms to ensure they do not set the toy off before they are ready, which is frustrating for a developing independent toddler.
We do also have the Froggy Paddler from the wind up bath toy range and out of the two I do feel that the Doggy Paddler is the better toy and would recommend it out of the two. Firstly as it is slightly easier for a child (and adult) to wind up and secondly the Doggy Paddler once wound up will swim for a lot longer than the frog toy does. This creates more giggles and entertainment for a child which is why I feel my two boys prefer it out of the two toys.
Entertaining and creates lots of bath times giggles but a doggy that is still slightly dodgy!
Summary: A durable dog shaped wind up bath time toy that is entertaining but can be frustrating for toddlers!