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15 Reviews

Brand: ELC / Type: Water Toys

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    15 Reviews
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      19.03.2013 11:46
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      A great toy for young children

      While looking through the ELC shop I came across this rain maker and thought it would be perfect for my little girl. I knew she would maybe be a little young for it but as I could shake it for her I knew she would love it. Of course a rain maker is basically a plastic tube with bright coloured caps on either end. The small colourful beads inside the tube can be shaken around to make a lovely noisy rattle. The bright colours around the transparent casing are very bold and attractive to young eyes. They pull the child in and then they begin to discover it does more than just look pretty. The rain maker is made up of all the bright prime colours to grab little ones attention. The main body is transparent so you can see the mazes the colourful balls inside pass through to make the different sounds.

      The size of the toy is rather large compared to what I was expecting. This makes it really difficult for tiny hands to hold so I can see why there is a six month age recommendation. It was not until recently that my little girl could actually pick this up independently as it is very chunky. There are rubber grips in the middle of the rain maker and it is also slightly curve for little one to get a good hold. The rubber grips also provide a different texture to the main body of the toy which my daughter enjoys. Also it has flat bases on each end of the cylinder which are large enough for even the smallest baby to balance on a flat surface.

      What I love about this toy is it grows with little one as they do. My daughter received this when she was around six months old and she was too young to hold it. This do not make her love it any less it just meant that it got played with while she was sitting with me but now she can use it independently. While she was younger if I tipped the rain maker up so the beads began falling she would just stop and stare. Even if she was half way through airing her lungs she would stop crying and just stare at the rain maker. This still happens now. She still does not understand why it makes two different noises depending on how you hold it. She would stare at the balls inside the container and wonder why there was no way for her to get to them.

      Now she is nine months and sitting up she can play with this herself. She has worked out it needs to be tipped and turn to create the rain noise rather than just shook like her other rattles. She is still amazed by it and the fascination on her face as she plays is clear. She will sit tipping the rain maker over and over again watching the colourful beads fall through the maze. Now that she is rolling around on the floor she loves playing with this independently. She finds the shape perfect to hold but it also means she can roll it across the floor with her. When the rain maker moves out of reach she tries her hardest to crawl forwards to get it. It is something she becomes bored with fairly quickly but to be honest at the age she is at anything that holds her attention for more than five minutes is a winner.

      It is great that this is so well made but I find it is just a little too big. It can make it more challenging for little one to hold, but also means it is too small for younger children to hold. As my little girl is still exploring using her hands she can bring it to her face too quickly and it scares me she could hurt herself. She has dropped it on her leg a number of times and although it did not hurt her you could see her annoyance. Of course it has education benefits as it encourages eye hand co-ordination, problem solving and fine motor skills. It introduces colours and helps little one realise they can create different sounds by tilting it in different ways. It is simple fun for your child but unknowingly they are learning while they are playing. It is not just the sound of the rattle that keeps her happy but she also loves watching the different coloured balls fall down the maze so it stimulates the senses too.

      Summary

      At £8 this has been one of the most love toys by my little girl. It is very simple but often this is best for young children, and it really holds her attention. As it is made from thick plastic it is very durable but this can also mean it is a little heavy for smaller hands. It can be wiped clean easily which is a must for younger children and really is just a lovely toy. It is available from ELC, Mothercare and boots and I would highly recommend it for any young child.

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        23.04.2012 21:20
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        A good simple toy

        I went to have some photos took at Pixi foto situated in Mothercare a month or so back and also situated in Mothercare is Early Learning Centre, I had to wait 20 minutes to view the photos and so was having a look around the store and came across this. I had picked it up to see what it actually was and my daughter decided she really liked it and there was no way I was getting away with putting it back on the shelf.

        The rainmaker cost me £8 which I don't think was too bad for a pretty durable toy that my daughter does enjoy playing with, the toy is recommended for ages 6 months and up but my daughter is 18 months old and she loves it.

        The rainmaker is a see through plastic cylindrical tube of about 12 inches long and has a red end and a green end both of which have the logo for ELC imprinted on them. In the tube there are 3 sections and each has little shelves and loads of little colourful beads, there are little holes on each of the shelves and therefore when you turn up upside down the beads flow through the holes making a noise which is supposed to sound like rain, I think it sounds like rain hitting a flat roof like a portacabin.

        The rainmaker is easy to use and my daughter worked our very quickly how to get it to make a noise which she thinks is hilarious especially when I shout at her that she is noisy and she runs away with it making a racket! My elder daughter thinks it's good fun aswell and she likes to name all the colours inside the tube even though she has known her colour for about 2 years now.

        Early learning centre claim that this toy will help with your childs hand eye coordination and stimulates senses which I would say is correct. This is a very simple toy which provides hours of fun and my children both love playing with, I would recommend this toy for anyone with young children.

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        17.08.2011 11:26
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        colourful, stimulating and fun

        My 12 month old son was given a gift voucher for the Early Learning Centre for his birthday from a relative, we went shopping to spend the voucher but had difficulty spending it as their was far to much choice in the elc but my son was took interest in the rain maker toy so thats what we bought.

        The early learning centre has shops throughout the country and have a fantastic website, I paid around £5 for the rain maker and was also at the time available online. I prefer going into the shop as its a Aladdin cave of goodies and you can see what you are getting before buying.

        The rain maker toy is basicly a long clear plastic tube, its roughly 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. It has 6 plastic shelfs which has groves and holes cut out on them to allow the small colourful beads to pass through and this makes the sound of rain. At each end of the rain maker has thick plastic bases one red and one yellow, It also has the elc logo printed on it. It has far to many bead in the tube for me to attempt to count but they are different coloured and very eye catching. The rain maker toy has been recommended for 8 months plus.

        The toy is very well made from strong durable plastic, it has to be because my son has dropped it and banged it on furniture and its still in one piece and in excellent condition. My son finds it absolutely fascinating he has learned if he tips the toy vertically the beads drop to the bottom and makes the rain noise. He plays with it for hours without getting bored, its really good fun and I also enjoy watching my son, the amazement in his little face as he plays with it is priceless. Its a stimulating toy and encourages eye to hand co-ordination.

        I highly recommend this toy as its so colourful and alot of fun, it was cheap to buy but mostly very well made and will last years i have now donated it to my sons playgroup. I also recommend the elc as it has toys for every budget.

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          16.03.2011 22:34
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          My review

          I am a big fan of the early learning centre and love to just browse the shelf's of toys until i see something interesting for my children, my daughter loved the rainmaker toy at nursery so when i seen them in the early learning centre i had to buy one.

          As this was early last year i cant quiet remember the exact price but think it was around £4.99. Rainmaker toys are for older babies / toddlers and are widely available online and in most good toy shops.

          Our rainmaker is a clear long plastic tube, the tube size is 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. Each end of the plastic tube has colourful plastic ends one in yellow and the other end is red both have the elc logo on them.
          Inside the tube are six colourful plastic shelves with slots and round holes in them, these are for the tiny little beads to fall through when the rainmaker is held vertical, and when this happens the beads falling sounds like rain. It really does sound like the pouring rain heavy and fast, if you tilt it certain ways and slighlty on its side it sounds like a light rain shower.
          There are loads of coloured beads in the tube making it fun to watch too.
          This is a basic baby toy but can be used as a musical instrument.

          My daughter was fascinated by the rain maker when she was little and even now at the age of three she still plays with it on and off.
          The rainmaker is lightweight so the babies can turn it over and shake it by themselves, however it is made of plastic and really hurt when i got hit with it.
          My daughter has thrown the rainmaker outside on the slabs and its still in one peace so definitely a hard wearing toy og how were glad the terrible twos are a thing of the past.
          Just recently the rainmaker was found in the bath under the bubbles and it was full off water , after a few days sitting out to dry it was fine.
          I am not sure when my daughter will give the rainmaker up but it definitely was a good buy and given hours of entertainment.
          This is a nice stimulating toy and i would highly recommend this for toddlers around the age of 8 months and up.

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          05.10.2010 23:00
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          see review

          I have taken both my children to music classes and one of the instruments is a rainmaker both of my children loved this and so we decided to have on at home.

          What is it?
          Well a rain maker is a clear plastic tube with various coloured beads in it which when the tube is turned these move around and not only look lovely they make a sound which is like rain hence the name.

          Cost and stockists
          The best rainmakers are from the Early Learning Centre and cost £8 these are available from store or from mother care, boots and of course Early learning centres website www.elc.co.uk .
          Age range
          The rain maker is suitable from 6 months however I used mine way before this but my daughter was not able to hold it herself until about 7 months. I used to hold it and she would follow the sound or she would watch as I rolled it along the floor.

          Recommendation
          I really like these toys from a very early age my two girls loved these weather as tiny babies watching me hold them and following the sound or as older children to make music indeed at nearly 5 my daughter still uses her "rain dancer" I really like them as these are a great tool for stimulating your baby as they have both a visual and a sound impact. My biggest cristism of these was that for small hands they were difficult to hold however I see that this has been addressed with my babies' first one which is more like a rattle in design.

          I really rate this toy and I know this s also one of the most popular toy for my friends children as well a real design classic if you have not got one already a toy I highly recommend and indeed one I will be getting my new niece for Christmas a must in every child's toy box

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          24.10.2008 14:59
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          Someone will probably buy you one ...

          The current version of this costs £6 and comes in mostly blue and green.

          It is a long tube filled with little plastic beads. The inside is divided into sections; each section-divider has holes in to let the beads through.

          As the child tilts the rainmaker, the beads fall, quite slowly through the dividers, making a nice gentle sound that is supposed to sound like rain.

          When my babies were small they loved to watch as I tilted the rainmaker.

          When they got a bit bigger they wanted to do it for themselves but the ELC one is a bit big - they tended to bash their heads on it. I have a shorter one from somewhere else which worked better.

          When they got a bit bigger still, they got bored with it. They do play with it occasionally but only for about a minute.

          Still, it has amused three babies, so that is probably worth 6 pounds.

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            19.10.2008 11:43
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            Hours of raining colourful fun for baby..

            When my son received this for Christmas last year he was only 4 weeks old and I thought to myself what does this Rainmaker do?
            Well it obviously went in his toy box till he was a little older.

            The age the early learning state for this is 3 months plus, so I got it out when he was around 3 months old and to my amazement he loved it. He would sit a watch me turning it upside down over and over again.

            It is basically a plastic tube with 3 sections and lots of tiny colourful beads inside, when you turn it upside down you watch and listen to all of the beads falling through each level.

            In fact one day when he was very unsettled he was around 4 months old his big brother laid on the floor with him turning the rainmaker upside down and after a few minutes my baby was fast asleep, so although its quite a fun toy I think its also quite mesmorising and relaxing for a baby.

            Since he was sitting up he has been shaking it himself, rolling it, bashing other toys with it, this has given him hours of fun. It also a toy that I put in my bag when we go out.

            I have also found it very popular so many of my friends also have this for their baby to.

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            16.10.2008 10:21
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            Its not a bad toy but not one i would recommend its very plain and basic for what you pay

            I wouldnt review this as a bad toy but it is definately one of the more traditional ones. My girls have had this a long while and was bought from ELC for around £10 it could have been a little less. The tag states the age reange is from 3 months plus but theres no risk of choking etc as long as you keep a close eye on baby although it is quite a heavy toy.

            This rainmaker has different sections seperated by coloured disks and is then filled with lots of coloured balls. Whne you tip it one way the balls all fall down to the bottom making what is supposed to be the soothing effect of rain however i dont think it sounds like this and is much louder.

            My babies do play with it but among a lot of the other toys this one is by far the least entertaining of them all. I think the design is supposed to be that of what we used to make in school where you would get a tube and fill it with peas to shake and make a noise, which would probably be far cheaper anyway.

            I would have a try of one and see what they think of it before you buy it. For what it is i dont think its very reasonably priced.

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            23.07.2005 22:33
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            An excellent buy for baby.

            So, what's a Rainmaker I hear you ask. Remember at infant school you'd make your own instruments now and again, one instrument always being a kitchen roll tube filled with lentils and blocked at both ends? An ELC Rainmaker is a posher, prettier version.

            You've basically got a longish transparent plastic tube filled with multi-coloured plastic beads which, when shaken or rolled around, will make a 'whoooshing' noise similar to the sound of rainfall. The beads are actually much brighter than in the photograph above, almost florescent, and the colour hasn't faded at all in the years we've had this toy - and believe me this has been dumped in the bath, left out in the rain and everything.

            I originally bought the Rainmaker for my eldest daughters first Christmas, she was 3 months old at the time and it became a firm favourite as she developed her hand to eye co-ordination. I remember she loved the sound of it when she was tired and I'd literally watch her eyes close as I sat next to the cot shaking it. As she got older she'd experiment with shaking the Rainmaker, making different sounds when she held the tube at a certain angle.

            The other side of the coin is my youngest daughter, when she was a baby she showed absolutely no interest in the Rainmaker. I think she probably played with it three times in her first year, although now she's six she's just found it lying at the bottom of her sisters toybox and I've now re-discovered the joys of the Rainmaker at 6am...

            My friends son has severe learning difficulties and he'll play with the Rainmaker for hours, not concentrating on the sound so much as watching the coloured beads tumbling around inside the tube. He gets frustrated at times that the toy doesn't actually *do* anything but this quickly passes and the alure of the colours will bring him back to shaking the Rainmaker.

            This has got to be the most durable toy in our house. It's survived eight years of play and is still very much intact, if you ignore the teeth marks in the ends. Actually it made a great toy for teething time as the toughened plastic is ideal for sore gums to bite on, the whole thing is soundly sealed so there's no danger of choking on any bits.

            The recommended age for the Rainmaker is 3 months and above, although I've found younger babies will find the sound soothing - obviously they'll need you around to shake the thing for them so try not to become reliant on the Rainmaker getting them to sleep too much unless you want to end up with forearms like Fatima Whitbread!

            When I bought this it cost around the £3 mark from Early Learning Centre, the price has since rocketed to £5 for the standard size Rainmaker and varying prices for each of the different sizes. Also available is a Baby Rainmaker which is shaped like two cones making it easier to hold for pudgy baby hands. A word of advice though, if you're only intending to buy a Rainmaker from ELC then pop into a store because the disgusting £3.95 delivery charge from the website really hikes up the price.

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              05.03.2005 11:59
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              My son Michael has various special needs and I'm always on the look-out for toys that will not only be fun for him to play with, but will also help him develop new skills. One of the toys that seemed to really interest him at the Child Development Centre was a rainmaker, so we had a look around the shops and found a rainmaker in the ELC.

              ~~~So what's a rainmaker?~~~

              A rainmaker is basically a clear perspex tube topped and tailed with colourful end caps,with ledges on the inside and then filled with tiny beads. When held or rolled the beads move in the tube and produce a delightful noise that sounds a little like rain. All the beads are very colourful, and the ledges have little holes that the balls can drop through.

              ~~~How do you use it?~~~

              There are so many ways to use a rainmaker, you can use it as a musical instrument by either shaking it or allowing the beads to fall gently from one end to the other, it makes a great accompaniment to “It's raining, It's pouring”. Or you could roll it along the floor to encourage movement, it's a great motivator for the reluctant crawler.

              ~~~Who is it suitable for?~~~

              Basically, this is suitable from birth upwards. Younger babies will be soothed by the sound of the beads gently falling, and you may find them trying to find out where the noise is coming from. Children with visual impairment will also be stimulated by the sound. As the child gets older they will be able to start using it themselves. Michael will hold his and sit for hours just turning it over and over, watching and listening to the beads. Even older children and adults find it fascinating, and will have a play.

              ~~~How does it help development?~~~

              The rainmaker is an excellent aide to development, although you will need to help your child to access it (at least at first). It can help in developing tracking skills, as the sound encourages the child to watch it roll along the floor. It can be used as a prop in story telling, as an instrument during song time or simply as a calming measure.

              ~~~Is it durable?~~~

              It's extremely durable, the perspex is very tough and it's endured being thrown across the room on many occasions. I will say here though that if you see any cracks in it or if the end caps start to become loose, then throw it away and get a new one as all those little beads can be a bit dangerous if they escape.

              ~~~Where can I get one?~~~

              Obviously being an ELC rainmaker, you will only be able to buy this in the ELC. There were two versions available, when we bought this a large one and a smaller baby version. Michael has the smaller version (about 6 inches long), that cost £6, the bigger one was twice the size and cost about £10 (I'm not completely sure how much it cost). However a look on their website says that only a baby version is available on line, but it might be different in the shops.

              ~~~Michael's Opinion?~~~

              “S'Mine”

              Michael has limited speech, but it's easy to work out what he thinks about it, by how often it does or doesn't get thrown at you. This is a toy that he doesn't get frustrated with, it's so simple for him to make it work, and it's also a toy that can sometimes calm him down when he's frustrated.

              ~~~Michael's Mum's Opinion?~~~

              I love this toy, it's so simple and yet there are so many ways of using it. It's robust and fascinating watching the beads fall through the tube (yes I know I'm sad, but try it some time). It also keeps Michael amused, and that can only be a good thing.

              I am therefore recommending this to the parents of any baby, young or developmentally delayed child, as it really is excellent value for money, and far more versatile than some vastly expensive toys you can buy.



              ~~~A couple of songs to use with your rainmaker~~~

              I thought I'd just add a couple of Michael's favourite songs that we make rain with.

              ~It's raining, It's pouring~

              It's raining, It's pouring,
              The old man is snoring,
              He went to bed,
              And bumped his head,
              And couldn't get up in the morning.

              ~I hear thunder (to the tune of Frere Jaques)~

              I hear thunder, I hear thunder,
              Hark Don't you, Hark Don't you,
              Pitter patter raindrops,
              Pitter patter raindrops,
              I'm wet through,
              So are you.

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                23.12.2000 02:26
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                As a childminder and a mother of 4, I feel that I have tried and tested this item to the maximum. We received it as a gift and after unwrapping it we were initially stumped. What does it do we thought? The answer came from the giver, or her daughter, to be precise. You can hold it up, tip it up and then tip it upside down. The beads cascade down either quickly or slowly depending on the angle you hold the tube. The noises it makes depends on the angle held too. The colour effect is pretty and you can use this to discuss the names of the colours, use language such as fast and slow, up and down, shake etc. You can talk about closing your eyes, imagine you are out in the rain, what can you hear? It is interactive if you do the interacting. Don't expect it to talk to you or suggest activities just enjoy it and experiment, watch the children play with it and take a mental note of their comments for next time. It is actually available in at least 2 sizes, so that is probably why it is recommended for many age groups. I have witnessed adults play with it for 20 minutes or more before they look up and ask "what's this then?" for a baby or a young toddler you can roll it along the floor gently and it will stimulate the child to look and listen. I once had a child with special needs who didn't seem to react to hardly any toy. He was mesmerised and played with it for over half an hour. Like most things, it is only as good as the person who is using it. If you have a lot of imagination you can use it to its best potential. Best advice is PLAY AND LEARN.

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                  14.12.2000 03:07
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                  This is one of the classic baby toys that seems to be everywhere at the moment. All the toddler groups I have ever visited have one, as do my church crèche and doctors surgery. It is a long thin tube full of beads which run through the segments making a soft dropping noise, not very like rain, but not as noisy as many toys with beads. The tube is see-through and babies can therefore watch the beads moving. It is labelled as age three months and up, but I don't see how a supervised younger baby couldn't use it. However, although I see this toy everywhere I go, I have yet to see a baby play with it for more than a few seconds. It' always the toy at the bottom of the box, or which a parent is playing with. Although its a nice peaceful toy and well designed it doesn't seem to appeal to a lot of babies. There must be some babies somewhere that like it, as some people have written opinions on here whose babies like it. I would therefore let your baby play with it during one of ELC play mornings (usually Tuesday, 9.30-11.00), before you spend any money on it.

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                    02.10.2000 04:43
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                    Well, we went into the toy section of Debenhams looking for nothing in particular when I spotted this Baby Rainmaker by ELC. It's a clear plastic toy that holds lots of colorful little beads. You keep turning it over and it makes a wonderful sound... like rain! Well, it may not seem like the most exciting toy, but when my daughter (3 months) is having a crying fit, this toy really calms her down... she loves the noise it makes! Don't really know what else to say about this except maybe to try it in the store before you bye it. I think your baby will either love or hate the sound of it!

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                      09.09.2000 04:30
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                      This toy is suitable from 3 months. It is a long clear tube filled with coloured beads and a series of coloured plastic discs with holes in them. As you tip it up, the beads fall from one end to the other, through the holes in the discs, which results in a lovely sound reminiscent of the pitter patter of raindrops (hence the name rainmaker). I got this recently for my 11 month old as a reward for being so good while I spent far too long browsing for birthday and Christmas ideas in ELC. She loves it, and so does her big sister (age 2.5 years). This is a super toy which fascinates young children from baby to toddler age. It would probably also prove very interesting to children who have special needs, as it is very easy to get it to make the noise, and the children love watching the beads move. For parents, the noise is not unpleasant and also not too loud!

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                        16.08.2000 00:18

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                        This is brilliant value for money and my baby loves it. According to the manufacturer it is from 3 months but my 10 week old loves it and I'm sure she would have a couple weeks ago too. It makes her smile almost every time. It is very bright and cheerful and the noise is pleasant for adults too. It is easy to wipe clean and tough. The only drawback might come when she is old enough to hold as it would be quite hard to be hit over the head with.

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                    • Product Details

                      Creates sounds as the beads cascade through the rainmaker