Product Type: ELC Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... would be great for in the garden and also she can copy Daddy with his lawn mower too which is also one of her favourite things to do at th... more
Mummy can I help cut the grass
Member Name: jillycat
Advantages: great for imaginative play simple to use takes no batteries
Disadvantages: colour on the plastic fades box can take on water making grass stick if left out
This was a toy we bought our son last year I had taken him into our local Mothercare that has an Early Learning Centre section to buy a present for my niece's birthday and he had so loved pushing this around in store that I gave in and bought him it in a moment of mummy weakness. He was 2 and a half at the time and this product is for children over 3 years but I personally couldn't see a problem with it being used if it was supervised.
What is it?
This is a plastic lawnmower toy ours is the blue version but it is also available in pink. The toy we have has a dark blue plastic main body with a lighter blue plastic bit that is moulded to look like an engine. The wheels are in black plastic and the handle to push this is in green. On the handle section there is a black lever that goes up and down for the child to press to pretend to turn the lawn mower on and off. To the rear of the lawn mower there is a clear plastic and black box that fits into the rear of the lawn mower to be a grass clippings box. Contained in the box are a lot of green bits of plastic designed to look like grass clippings there is a small wheel mechanism that means these are tumbled in the sir in the box as the lawn mower is pushed to show the green plastic bits in the air as if they are bits of grass.
My son loved this in store and seemed to really enjoy pushing it around and watching the play grass float around in the box so I was hopeful we would be onto a winner and I have to say overall we have. The lawn mower has been used by my son both indoors to mow the carpet and outside on the grass in the garden and he seems to have had as much pleasure from both. The box with the play grass is easy to take out and he has been able to pretend to empty the box since he was 2 and a half but he still struggles at times to get the box into the rear of the lawn mower correctly and though it sits in place it often needs a small tweak from myself to get the cog wheels lined up correctly for the grass to spin around. The other small criticism I have of the box is that it isn't a tightly sealed box and whilst we haven't had any grass escape, the times this has been left out over night condensation and water on occasions has often built up inside. This does dry out easily but until it does the plastic bits of grass just stick together rather than going around.
The pretend on off button though being pressed and moved is still not really used as a correct on and off switch in his imaginative play as yet despite him being over 3 years old now. That said he loves switching it up and down.
The handle for pushing the lawn mower locks easily into place and stays there for all the time he pushes it around the garden it can be unlocked by pushing it in the opposite direction and then it does fold easily down on top of the body of the lawn mower making it easier to store.
There are two bits of stickers on this toy and even when they have been subject to the elements of rain they have remained in place without coming off or curling at the edges. The sun however has faded the plastic of the lawn mower in the summer and this year it doesn't look as bright and cheerful as it did last year.
This toy is great for imaginative play and my son thinks it is a great toy he was often playing with it last summer and autumn and he has restarted playing with it again this spring now we are out in the garden. He uses when my husband or I are cutting the lawn to mow alongside us or if we are doing other jobs in the garden and he gets bored with helping he will often go and cut the grass with this toy for us. He has used it occasionally in the house last year and he would pretend it was a vacuum cleaner then and change the noises he would make to a more vacuuming noise rather than a low brum noise for the lawn mower.
This toy has no bright lights or noises at all and the whole of the action of these toy movements of the grass are done by push power and wheels. This means there is no fiddly changing of batteries or replacement cost either. The lack of noises or lights on this toy has not dimmed his enthusiasm for the toy and I think it actually is better with out them as this leaves him the opportunity to be creative with his voice if he wants it to make some noise like our lawn mower.
Overall and recommendation
This is a great toy for the garden and for imaginative play and it has certainly caught my son's imagination. Though designed for children over 3, younger children will still get some enjoyment from it. The grass box is a bit tricky to line up for the under 3's and the over threes however and often needs an adult to line the cogs to make the grass turn. The plastic does fade in the sun and the box does taken on water if left out overnight or in the rain. However despite these faults I am still going to give it 4 stars as my son just enjoys cutting our lawn with it and it has provided hours of amusement for its price. It costs £14 from the ELC website or store but can often be bought for less with discounts as we did.
Summary: A great garden toy for imaginative play that needs no batteries and still provides hours of fun
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