“ Brand: ELC / Type: Outdoor Play Equipment „
Browsing the shelves of the Early Learning Centre last summer, I was looking for outdoor toys for the odd occasions that we have our nephews and nieces out for the day. Being that we live near to the beach, we do spend a great deal of time down there and will often take our family there when they come to visit. We were looking for a toy that would be a little different to the classic bucket and spade and this was where the inflatable skittles caught my eye. Not only I thought could the kids play them but the adults could get involved too.
This product contains a set of six lime green skittles and a large inflatable red ball. Everything in the set is rather large in size when blown up, with the skittles measuring 68cm in height and the ball having a diameter of 35cm. The ball, although inflatable does have a touch of detail in its plastic shell which consists of 3 holes punched in the top to give the appearance of a normal bowling ball and also gives you something to hold onto when throwing. The quality of the skittles set is good in my opinion, each item having a durable plastic seal for inflating the object and each having a tough plastic exterior which is unlikely to tear.
**Price and Availability**
This skittles set can be bought from the Early Learning Centre and we paid the standard £15 for ours. It can also be bought online from retailer Amazon for around the same price. In my opinion it is worth looking for this game in the sales as I think that the £15 is a little steep for the usability of this toy, the details of which I will come on to.
*Using the Skittles**
These skittles are intended for outdoor use and this means ours have been used down the park or beach. The skittles need to be blown up before play and this is easily done by simply blowing air into the valve of each item in the set. Once inflated the skittles can be positioned in any position that you fancy, although we prefer to do the classic triangle shape with ours, you then take it in turns to roll or throw the ball at the skittles to see how many you can knock over. In my experience, the skittles being filled with air are incredibly light and therefore get knocked down easily with the ball making this game ideal for young children.
This game is intended for children over three and I must admit that all the children in our family aged between 3 and 6 love playing with them.
We have used our skittles on a handful of occasions now and they always go down well with both the children and adults that we spend the day with. The children enjoy the concept of hurling the ball around and having knocked down the skittles will often resort to grabbing a skittle each and using it as a sword. Although it is often left to the adults to blow the skittles up, they too enjoy playing the game with the children and I guess this game could also be played at the odd barbeque etc. should you have a big enough garden.
I do however have a few criticisms of this game. Firstly the skittles come flat packed and need to be blown up each time you play. This often resorts to a good amount of puffing which can take a little while to do the whole set. In addition, unless you have room in the car for six skittles and a ball the whole lot needs to be deflated at the end of the day so this can often be quite time consuming. The second criticism I have of this game is the fact that the skittles and ball are not weighted in any way, meaning that when a gust of wind comes it knocks the skittles dead and often blows the ball well out of aim. This can be a particular pain on the beach where the sand is often quite windswept on the best of a summery day, and therefore I often try to dig out shallow holes in the sand to position the skittles in with little effect. As a result these skittles are best used on a still day or in a sheltered park. Given thought, I believe that these skittles would be best used in a large sports hall or room which rather detracts from them being an outdoor toy.
**Would I recommend?**
All in all this is a game which is novel in theory but in reality does not work best as an outdoor toy. The skittles are well built but could do with some form of light weight in the bottom. This being said however, I have had a great deal of fun with these skittles if not always in the most traditional of games and my nieces and nephews love playing with them. As a result of the above I am hesitant to recommend these skittles, unless used as part of an indoor game. They therefore score an average three stars from me.
Thanks for reading! x
This review is also posted on Ciao under the same user name.
Last year, ELC were running the 3 for 2 promotion and I decided to buy an inflatable skittles set.
It is reasonably priced at £15 and available from ELC, Mothercare and also now available from Amazon. I tend to buy ELC products from Amazon if I am spending less than the free delivery threshold as all their products on Amazon come with free delivery.
There are 6 bright green inflatable skittles which measure around 68cm each, to inflate you need to squeeze the valve slightly as you blow and then pop the stopper into the valve. The valve is then pushed back into the skittle to stop them from being caught and deflating.
The bowling ball:
The ball is bright red and measures around 35cm in diameter. You inflate the product the same way as the skittles.
The bowling ball has three holes in making it more realistic, having said that, Lauren does struggle to manipulate her fingers into the holes and I find they are too close together to fit mine into so we either throws or kicks the ball.
As well as using this as a skittles set, we have also used it as an obstacle course, Lauren and her dad like to dribble the ball around them, she also likes to set them in a pattern and ride her bike around them.
The only downside for me is the skittles aren't weighted in any way which means that the slightest but of wind, and they blow over, we used ours mainly on the beach and as you can imagine, most of the time was spent picking the skittles up rather than trying to knock them down.
We have used the skittles set inside though which combats the problem, whilst I normally wouldn't allow ball games inside, because these are inflatable and very light weight, I am not concerned about the bowling ball doing any damage.
The product is advertised as suitable for over three years old and I think this is about right.
Overall, I like the product and as I brought it as part of a promotion, I would recommend and give 4 out of 5 stars.
Thanks for reading.
Review may be on other sites under the same user name.
Enjoy huge amounts of fun with these six giant inflatable skittles and a giant inflatable bowling ballAge Range: From 3 years Age range: From 3 years.