Product Type: ELC Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... 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 f... more
Rainmaker, in 1000 years they'll dig one up and it'll still work!
Member Name: chrisandmark
Advantages: Soothing sound, toy will suit a variety of ages for various purposes, very durable
Disadvantages: None at all
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.
Summary: An excellent buy for baby.