Product Type: ELC Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... side and blue bubble wands so isn't too girlie. Unfortunately it doesn't come with batteries supplied although it does have the bubble s... more
'Pretty Bubbles In The Air...'
ELC Bubble Machine
Member Name: bush1
ELC Bubble Machine
Advantages: Good flow of bubbles, easy to use
Disadvantages: Wastes a lot of bubble mixture, easy to spill for small people
My daughter started to enjoy bubbles when she was about 10 months old. Every time she saw the bubble pots in the kitchen, she would reach out for them saying 'that, that' until I started blowing them for her. At her friends' first birthday party they used a bubble machine and I thought it was a great idea to keep her occupied. We saw one in the sale after the summer so got it to put away for her Christmas present. She was given this when she was 17 months old.
Early Learning Centre are a leading company in baby and children's toys. I have found most of their toys to be of a good quality although often a little pricey and expected this one to be the same. The ELC Bubble machine comes in two colours: blue with red and green or pink with blue. The features appear to be the same on both but we bought the blue version.
---Features of the toy:
The ELC Bubble Machine is a blue box with a red handle and a hole in the front where the red wands turn round and round to create the bubbles. There is a green panel on the top of the unit which covers the batteries where 4 C batteries are needed to make the machine work. There is also a button on the top of the unit which allows the machine to be switched on or off. You can also buy bubble liquid from the ELC which we bought at the same time to ensure we had some when my daughter opened her present.
When we got the bubble machine out at Christmas it was very easy to set up. It came in a cardboard box and just needed taking out of the box and the bubble liquid adding to it before it was ready to go. The bubble liquid is added by pouring it through the hole in the front, then you pres the start button and hopefully lots of lovely bubbles come out.
My daughter loved this as soon as she realised what it was. We put the bubble mixture in and her face lit up when it was switched on and she started dancing in all the bubbles. We put it on the floor for her and the bubbles do still go up quite high as they come out. By the end of the day she had learned how to switch it on and off and also where the bubble mixture went so she kept picking up the bottle of mixture or pointing at it and saying 'more' whenever the bubbles didn't come out as fast. You get a good amount of bubbles coming out with the machine and she definitely enjoyed it. Whenever we turned it off, she wanted it back on again.
Two months on and she still wants to play with it whenever she sees it. Sometimes she just watches the bubbles and other times she plays in them or takes her cuddly toys in there as well. She is also starting to learn how to try and hit them to make them burst which is good for her co-ordination. She loves to turn it on and is now trying to pour more liquid in herself when the bubbles slow down.
After having this on for a couple of minutes at the in-law at Christmas, we noticed that the carpet was getting very wet. It's probably a better idea to use this outside but the middle of Winter is not a good time to test this and our carpets probably need a wash anyway. One of the things I wasn't sure about is having the bubble wands open as my daughter kept trying to put her fingers in to see what was happening. Obviously this can be prevented by moving the machine out of reach but this isn't always practical. My daughter also tried to carry the machine a couple of times and as the front is open, she spilled a lot of mixture which also wasn't good.
My only other issue is the amount of bubble mixture needed for it to work properly. The wands don't reach right to the bottom of the machine so there is a lot of wasted mixture when we have finished playing with it. It is not supposed to be stored with the mixture in and is hard to tip out with any precision so we find we are wasting a lot of mixture at the end of each use.
As I haven't tried any other brands of bubble machine, I can't comment on its comparison to other makes. Despite the flaws I have highlighted, I would still recommend buying the ELC bubble machine as an easy way of making bubbles for little ones to enjoy. This machine does use a lot of mixture and I will definitely be trying to find a cheaper version as the bottle we bought cost £5 from ELC. The Bubble machine costs £12 which I think is reasonable for this machine. We will still enjoy using it and as long as it is used under supervision it is easily suitable for younger than the 3-8 year old age range suggested by ELC. I would definitely buy this again and feel it will have lots of use for the next few years.
Summary: Good toy if you keep it out of the way of little people and have a good supply of bubble mixture...