“ Brand: Early Learning Centre / Type: Kids gardening kit „
Last year I had a go at growing my own vegetables and it went pretty well, my daughter took an interest and when we started planting this year she asked if she could do some too. We bought her a pink watering can from Tesco but wanted some little garden tools for her too and found these on the Early Learning Centres website, we went to Mothercare and picked her up a set costing £5 which I thought was a reasonable price. The set comes in pink, green and blue although there was no question what colour to buy our daughter as she is daft on pink and also the watering can we had already bought was in pink. The tools have a wooden handle with the tool at the bottom being made of pink metal, the tools are a trowel and a like fork and even though they are made of metal the edges are not sharp. I like that the tools are actually able to be used to do the gardening rather than some of the other kids tools which actually are not much use at all. My daughter loved the tools when I gave her them and I set her off on a patch of soil which had weeds and she did really well and did manage to get some of the weeds out obviously she did need some help with it but I was impressed at how well she did do. The tools are really strong and she was able to dig down really well with them and they haven't bent at all which I had expected they might have done. The tools are obviously for use in the garden and therefore they are going to get mucky but they wash really easily with a damp cloth and they still look good as new, my daughter can't wait for our cucumber and tomato plants to be planted outside so that she can help me with the gardening again and I think she likes the fact it is just the two of us doing the garden together. These tools are brilliant and both myself and my daughter are impressed with them, they are safe to use, look good and are actually good enough to do some real gardening. I would recommend these to all budding gardeners.
I hate gardening and everything to do with it. My back garden is a nightmare as the boundary for the property is made from a Cornish stone wall, the weeds that grow drive me crazy! My mum however, loves gardening and planting flowers and making sure her garden always looks nice. My daughter loves helping her nan in the garden and has her own spade and fork set. The spade and fork set my daughter has is from the Early Learning Centre, it cost £5 last summer. We have the pink version, but there were also green and blue sets available to buy. The spade and fork are scale versions of the adult sized garden tools, even the material is pretty much the same. These are made from metal with wooden handles, totally different to the plastic garden tools you would expect for young children. The handle is made from varnished light wood and a perfect size for younger children to grip hold of with ease. The fork is where ELC really shine, the ends of the prongs have all been rounded off so that they can't cause any injuries, unlike adult forks that would really hurt if caught somewhere they shouldn't be. This is especially important since my daughter uses these at my mums and she likes to tease the dogs! The spade is made well also, with the spade looking like a mini adult version. My daughter loves helping her nan plant her flowers, she has her own garden pot for her to take care of, the flowers are looking a little sorry for themselves as my daughter loves digging around in there! They are quite lightweight considering they are made from wood and metal so it's easy for her to hold them. Since we've had the set since last summer, you would normally expect some kind of wear and tear but the set is still as good as new as they are washed off with water every time they have been used. At only a fiver, I'd definitely recommend this metal spade and fork set for any budding young gardener. The quality is amazing, and being made from wood and metal is definitely a good thing. This set is excellent value for money.
When we moved into our new house last year we were very excited by the size of the garden and as Hope has seen the different flowers appearing throughout the year she has become more and more interested in getting involved with the garden. She began to start copying us doing the gardening but by getting her hands involved so she would dig with her hands and scrabble about for 'weeds'. I decided that the time had come to get her own little gardening set so she could get involved properly as there was no way I wanted her to start trying to use ours as they are heavy and quite sharp, definitely not something for a two year old to play with. ++++++++++++Basic info++++++++++++++ I bought these from the Early Learning Centre for £5. There were several different colour combinations possible but I bought Hope a pink set seeing as her favourite colour -surprise surprise- is pink! As well as a fork and spade set you can also get several other items too for the garden including a watering can and a windmill too so you can buy several items should you want. ++++++++++++++++++The fork and spade++++++++++++++ They are very similar to our adult fork and spade just in smaller, less sharp versions. This is very good as it means that they can be used just like 'real' ones could and they aren't pathetic and flimsy like some plastic toys can be. They have round, chunky wooden handles which are perfect for little hands to hold and grip. If they were any thinner I think that Hope would struggle to hold them comfortably and feel confident with wielding them. The spade and fork itself are metal which i was a bit concerned about at first, I thought perhaps plastic would be better, but actually them being metal is fine. They are not sharp so you don't have to worry about them hurting themselves and they aren't heavy so it's easy for toddlers to carry around. Because they are made from metal it means that they are very good at digging and scraping, I do recall from my past having a plastic spade and it snapping when I tried digging with it so at least Hope won't have this problem with her little metal set! ++++++++++Getting dirty+++++++++++ When Hope plays with these she does get very grubby which is fine, I think toddlers need to experience messy play! Both the fork and the spade are very entertaining and do work well so it is satisfying for children to play with. Hope doesn't get frustrated or fed up with these because they do work very well and so she enjoys it. I like to watch how she copies what I do in the garden and how she likes to 'help'. Sometimes her hands will get involved too where she cannot help herself and she has to start picking up soil with her hands. These two items can get very grubby as you will probably expect considering they are garden toys. They are easy to clean though just washing them with water is enough to remove the first and a quick dry on a towel to ensure that the handles don't rot is usually enough. +++++++++++Education+++++++++++++ These toys are actually very educational. Hope has learnt how to make the most of them so has learnt how to hold them to get them to work well and how exactly they are meant to be used. At first she would just carry soil around on the spade but now she uses it for digging and helps me to make little holes in the flower beds for flowers. I think it is a fantastic way to introduce children to gardening and flowers. Children often learn through copying so it's fantastic that these toys are so very realistic and do work very well like the real ones. They are a great way to get children to learn about gardening as well as hand-eye co-ordination as they learn how to work them. +++++++++Conclusion+++++++++ These are very good value for money as the quality is great. When using these there is no way that I cringe thinking that they're going to snap if Hope applies too much pressure as the quality of them is just great. For £5 I think Hope has already had her fair share of entertainment from them so I simply cannot complain about the price whatsoever. I like how they come in a variety of colours so that they can appeal to whatever your child likes and make gardening look more fun instead of the boring tools that us adults have. I would quite like some fancy bright pink gardening tools myself! These garden toys are a great way to educate children about gardening and plants, it is certainly a skill which not all children learn and so I like that Hope is beginning to get interested in how to plant flowers and things, I certainly didn't have a clue about even basic gardening until I bought my own house. They are easy to clean and only small so easy to store too. They are a fantastic buy, I am pleased i bought them. My only concern would be because they are used for digging and things you do need to ensure that you supervise your children whilst using these so that they do not do any harm to themselves or your plants!
For Christmas I had decided to buy my mum a greenhouse as she had been having a bit of a go at growing a few veggies in her back yard which were being eaten by slugs! I realised that this would mean that most days she would have to spend some time in the greenhouse and when I am working my mum has my daughter for me so I decided to pick up some little bits for her to have her own little area in the greenhouse too. In the Early Learning Centre one afternoon in the run up to Christmas I spotted a little fork and spade set and thought that would be an ideal start for my daughters soon to be little green fingers! The fork and spade have thick wooden handles and the fork and spade itself are metal. I chose the pink set as I thought it looked more fun and girly than the blue and green also available. Looking at the tools they are simply a mini version of the normal garden tools. The handles are just the right size for little hands and as they are chunky and smooth wood they are really easy for the child to get a good grip on the tool. Both tools are quite lightweight so it is easy for them to use without any real effort which is great as other tools like this I have seen have been a little on the heavy side. When the greenhouse was built and it was time to start planting the seeds, my mum gave my daughter her own little section with various sized tubs. One of the tubs was quite large and we gave my daughter a bag of soil for her to fill in her tub so this was her first use with the spade tool and she found it extremely easy to use and transfer the soil to the tub. With the soil in the tub and ready for the bulbs my daughter used the fork to just scrape through the soil and also a little dig - the more messy the more fun I think! The tools have been used quite regularly (you can imagine the poor plants aren't growing too well as she likes to dig around with the spade!) and so far are showing no sign of wear at all which is really good and shows the quality of them. My daughter has also been using the fork and spade in her sand pit when the weather has been nice, and they are also just perfect for that too! The ELC Metal Fork and Spade can be purchased for just £5.00 and at the present time all outdoor toys are on a 3 for 2 offer! I would highly recommend these garden tools as I think they are just great! They are a great introduction into gardening and nature for young ones and my daughter really feels like a budding little gardener with them. Thank you for reading my review.
I bought Hollie this fork and spade set from ELC last summer, Mark runs his own business and during the summer months this can involve garden work. As soon as Hollie was old enough to explore the garden herself she was obsessed with her dad's gardening tools, resulting in most items needing to be stored in a lockable shed as I was terrified she was going to get hold of something sharp and do herself an injury. It hadn't occurred to me to look at childrens gardening equipment, but walking into ELC one day this set was the first thing I saw so I decided to treat her. Hollie has the pink set as shown above but there were other colours available including blue, green and (if I remember rightly) a cream set. My reason for choosing the pink is not that she's a girl but because she already owned a pink bucket and paddling pool so (to my mind) it made sense to keep the theme going. I've been more than impressed by the tools, despite being used on numerous occasions throughout last summer (and even in the winter) they are still in fantastic condition and Hollie loves them as much as she did when I first gave them to her. Unlike a lot of gardening equipment for very small children these are made of a mixture of metal and wood, not plastic. This means Hollie really can help out in the garden rather than just pretend to. The metal is coated with a tough enamel which has lasted extremely well, despite the fact that we don't particularly store them well or take any precautions against weathering. It helps that Hollie is a water-obsessive as she makes a point of washing her tools after use, I suspect the fact that they are kept clean and free of mud/dirt when not being used has helped them retain their colour and good looks. The handle is made of a subtly varnished wood, this too has lasted well although I've noticed recently that part of the varnish has begun to flake off in the area where the wood meets the metal and this has led to the handles starting to look a bit grubby. Now we have reached this stage it's impossible to get the handle looking spotlessly clean again as the grime has gotten into the wood itself, but Mark is planning to remedy this by giving it another coat of varnish. The shaping of the tools is spot on for younger gardeners. The fork in particular has been tweaked to make it child-friendly, with ELC rounding off the prongs to avoid your little one stabbing themselves while digging (forking?). This also prevents injury to older siblings when the Young Gardener of the Year 2010 decides to sling the fork at them in temper. And yes, Hollie had a bum as red as a baboon after treating us to that particular temper tantrum. Since owning these gardening tools Hollie has very much got into growing her own flowers and plants. She found the spade a little tricky to get the hang of in the beginning, but eventually got so good at it that she ruined our lawn during an unsupervised half hour of digging. Imagine inverted mole hills all over the garden and you'll get my drift. The fork is used more for play than actually aiding her planting, simply because there isn't much in the garden she can do with this tool. She uses it for scooping up earth and leaves, this time of year however she has used it a few times for creating small holes in the garden ready for sunflower seeds to go in. £5 from ELC.
One of the things that my son seems to enjoy doing is helping in the garden. His grandparents decided too help with this interest they would buy him a small spade and fork set. They choose this set from the Early Learning Centre. What is it? ************ This set consist of a small spade and fork the handles of both items are wooden and the prongs on the fork and the main section of the spade are metal that have an enamel finish to them. The set we have has a green fork and a blue spade. The set can also be bought in a girly pink as shown on the dooyoo picture. These are smaller and lighter than adult versions of the same garden tools. In use ********** These items have been used periodically by my son over the past few months. In the late autumn and winter he used these to help in the garden with lifting weeds and planting some winter pansies and bulbs for the spring. The weight on these garden tools meant it was easy for him to co ordinate doing this small task. That said when he was getting a little bored of the job they also were just the right size for him to flick and spray soil all over myself and the garden. Stupidly we left these outside for a long period of several weeks in all the winter elements, despite this rough treatment however the enamel actually stayed on the tools and hasn't shown any signs of flaking off at all which I have to admit both surprised and astonished me as cheaper versions of the same tools had suffered this way. We have clay soil in our garden and this is very heavy and hard to work with even for adult tools, the fork and spade both showed signs of getting small bends in them when we have used them when the soil has been damp and my son has applied pressure to the tools to lift the soil or a weed from the garden. However in the planting out of seeds into pots with compost in there has been none of this problem at all. My husband was easily able to straighten the bend in them out and this didn't cause the metal to snap which I was pleased about. If you have a normal chalky and light soil I don't think you would encounter this problem however and it is only with heavy soil you may need to be careful with the pressure placed on them. As far as education and fun goes these tools these tools I think fit both categories well. Gardening is I think is a fun activity for children to do the mud and mess it seems to make it immediately appealing to my son at least. He loves especially planting and growing vegetables as he can see his hard work rewarded. These tools are a great addition to any children's toy selection as they can learn about nature and growing things in a fun way. My son has enjoyed using the spade to lift out worms and other bugs and grubs to look at and then talk about them with myself in a fun and educational way. Overall ********** I would definitely recommend these tools they are well made and my son loves using these alongside myself and my husband when gardening. They are small and light enough to be easily to use and for small hands to co-ordinate at £5 for the set from the ELC I think they are a bargain.