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13 Reviews

Brand: Early Learning Centre / Age: 2+

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    13 Reviews
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      13.08.2013 13:55
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      Poor toy overall

      My son was given these Skittles for his 3rd birthday from his Aunt. They are made of quite sturdy plastic and you get 6 skittles; two red; two blue and two green. In addition the set comes with 2 yellow plastic bowling balls, about the size of one of those mini footballs.

      The bowling balls have three finger holes that are a little big for my three year old and just big enough for adults sized fingers, so they can be used my everyone. The bowling balls are fairly light weight, though plenty big enough to knock skittles down.

      They are designed to be used indoors and outdoors and are easy to set up and cost around £6 from the Early Learning Centre. They are a good idea in that they help with hand and eye coordination and are a way of learning through play without it being to boring for children.

      Although they are fun to play with and are made of plastic so they can be easily cleaned if being used outside, they are not very good at standing up unless the surface is very flat outdoors and they will blow over if it gets a bit windy, so as outdoor toys they are not great, and as for using them on grass, I found it practically impossible to get them all to stay up at the same time!. They can be used indoors and the results are much better, though we are lucky enough to have a few large reception rooms to play in so things do not broken in the excitement of bowling.

      Overall I would not recommend these to others as they are not really fit for purpose, although they are inexpensive, my son found them to be very frustrating as they would not stand up and it just ruins the overall experience.

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        31.07.2013 22:02
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        Fun skittles game for toddlers

        Back in the spring I was looking at the ELC sale online and thought I'd see what they had that my 2 year olds might like to play with in the garden. One of the smaller items that caught my eye was this pack of 6 skittles and 2 balls.

        Packaging
        The plastic skittles come stood in a cardboard base with the 2 balls placed between them and sealed with strong plastic. We tried not to rip the plastic too much when opening the set so that we could use it to store the skittles in, this worked for a while but the plastic ended up ripping to much for it to be any use. It's a shame that they don't come in packaging which could be used for storage as we just have them in a box at the moment and I'm sure it won't be long until we are unable to find all the pieces.

        Playing with the skittles
        This game is suitable from age 2 but my girls like to stand really close to them and throw the ball rather than rolling it. I like that it's something that will develop new skills of rolling a ball and aiming it at something. The balls have small dents in them like a real bowling ball has holes, these are to help your child hold the ball but I haven't noticed either of mine using them.
        I spend a lot of time standing the skittles back up, I really should get them to do it themselves! I arrange them in a 3,2,1 formation so that they are learning the basics of the game for when they are old enough to play it properly.
        This is not a game to play outside if there is any wind as the slightest gust blows the skittles over before you've had a chance to stand all 6 up.
        The skittles are red, blue and green with orange balls, this allows you to help your toddler learn their colours in a fun way.

        Price and availability
        This skittle set is available in Early Learning Centre stores, on their website and also on the Amazon website. Full price they are £6 but I paid £4.80 for them in one of the regular Early Learning Centre sales, which I think is good value.

        Would I recommend?
        Yes, these skittles are requested everytime we go out into the garden to play. They can also be used indoors on a hard floor, I don't think they would stand up very well on carpet. The set has been played with a lot due to the nice weather we have had this year and they are still in really good condition with no dents or scratches. They have also kept their colour despite hours in the sun.

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          13.05.2013 11:21
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          ELC skittles

          I love having toys in the garden for the kids to play with, I believe its important to get outside in the fresh air, away from the television and have fun in the sun and one of our favourite sets of toys is this skittles set from The Early Learning Centre.

          We went proper ten pin bowling recently and the kids loved it so we thought that a set for the garden would be good fun as they seemed to enjoy rolling the ball and trying to knock over the pins.

          The Early Learning Centre say that this set is a great way to encourage your toddler to be active and get some exercise. The set cost just £6 from The Early Learning Centre which I think is great value and you don't mind spending that amount on something fun for the kids. Included in the set there are 6 skittles and two balls with which to knock them over. The skittles are fairly sturdy we find them quite tricky to play with on our uneven grass as they don't always stand up and also fall over quite easily in the wind. We find its best to put these on our decking and they usually stand up on there so then we can roll the ball towards them.

          The balls are yellow and have little holes/grooves in so they look like authentic bowling balls. They are small enough for little hands to hold and do a good job of knocking the pins down.

          What I like about this set is that there are various games you can play with it. At the moment my 18 month old boy just likes to grab them and run off with them, much to the annoyance of his big sister but he also likes to use them like a cricket bag and tries to bat at the balls too. There are two red pins, two blue and two green so we often call out the different colours and get the kids to knock down those so it's a great way for kids to become familiar with colours too.

          The Early Learning Centre say, "Your child can use the first ball to try and knock down as many of the foam pins as they can, and use the second to knock down any remaining ones: extra points if they can get a strike!"

          The skittles are recommended from 2 years of ages but I think you can introduce them sooner than this as there are a really fun toy.

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            02.05.2013 11:51
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            Great little set for kids

            We've had these for about 2 years now and although they don't get played with on a regular basis, my kids do enjoy it when we get them out. Priced at £6 these are really great value for something that is long lasting and enjoyed by a good age range of children.

            ***WHAT DO YOU GET?***

            In the set you are provided with 2 plastic bowling bowls (they are like mini replicas of the real thing, they even have little finger holes - not that you can fully insert your finger into these ones, probably a health and safety issue in a child's toy!) And you get 6 brightly coloured plastic skittles, 2 red, 2 blue and 2 green which stand at about 24cm high, so they are a good size. I can't remember how these were packaged, but two years later we have nothing to store them in, apart from a carrier bag, so I'm guessing that they don't come with a storage bag.

            ***HOW IS THE QUALITY?***

            Despite these being made from plastic and very lightweight, they are remarkably robust. Obviously with them being very light, it is best to play with them on a concrete floor outside, or a wooden floor inside; anything else and they will fall over before you've even thrown the ball at them. So when the ball lands or the skittles are knocked over, they are landing on a harsh floor, and sometimes our balls get slammed into the ground, but they have yet to crack under the pressure! Which amazes me every time it happens.

            The skittles are now beginning to get scratches on the sides from rolling around on the floor but apart from that there is no other damage on any of the items, and these toys are 2 years old. However, as I said in my opening paragraph - they do not get played with on a regular basis (we only tend to get them out when the sun is shining which is very rare these days, but back in March, and now this week they have made an appearance!)

            ***TIME TO PLAY***

            When we first bought these my kids were aged 2 & 4 and they required supervision when playing because the 2 year old would bowl herself into them before my 4 year old would get chance to throw the ball - and the inevitable tantrums ensued, so it was more like refereeing than supervision.

            Also with the skittles being so lightweight, the children were quite heavy handed with them and would struggle to get them to stand up without knocking them over immediately afterwards. I know the idea is that skittles are supposed to be knocked over, but it is unbelievably easy to knock these ones down, you only have to breathe near them and they collapse. So playing with them on a windy day is completely out of the question!

            When we got them out for an afternoon back in March, my kids now aged 4 & 6 spent about half an hour playing with these unsupervised and managed to have a good game without any arguments, and I love the fact that they can play with things like this now without me having to intervene.

            This week we have had them out to play again, but it was just me and my 4 year old (the 6 year old was at school) and she got a good full hour of play out of it. What we decided to do was create a little bowling alley with our foam jigsaw square things (I can't remember what they are called and I really should write a review on them because they are awesome!) and stood the skittles at the end, so that my daughter had a line of fire, for want of a better phrase, and she still managed to miss the skittles most of the time, but she had a whale of a time throwing the ball and knocking down the skittles when it was my turn (cheeky moose).

            The great thing about toys like this is that the actual game length is over in a matter of seconds, so kids with a tiny attention span (like my daughter) don't seem to get bored, despite the repetitiveness of having set the skittles up over and over again. The length of play seems to be extended because the child does not have to spend a lot of time concentrating on one thing; the play is broken up by the cycle of the skittles being knocked over and set up again. My daughter seems to enjoy this more than sitting down to play a game that would last perhaps 10 -15 minutes, and gets more enjoyment from it. I think it helps that she's active and running up and down the garden and she gets away with throwing things around!

            Skittles are definitely an outdoor toy, and an amazing way to get kids active.

            ***FINAL THOUGHTS***

            These are a good value little set of skittles, they withstand a lot of battering, look nice with the bright colours, and they get your kids outside and active. I can't compare them to any other sets of skittles because these are the only ones we have ever owned or used, but they have been adequate for our needs and I think they were £6 well spent!

            You can buy these from the Early Learning Centre for £6, and they are also available on their website. If you are lucky you might get them on offer, I'm sure we bought them at a discounted price.

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              05.12.2012 17:40
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              5 stars

              We bought these in the summer from The Early Learning Centre. They were on offer for 3 for 2.

              My grandchildren love them. They can be used indoors and outdoors.

              You get 6 in a pack; 2 red, 2 green, 2 blue and you get 2 bowling balls which are slightly bigger than a tennis ball and have small holes in for fingers.

              They are made from plastic. This means that they are only light so easy to move and set up for little people to do but does also mean that they can be easy to knock over by mistake whilst setting up too! Plastic also means it's easy to clean so when playing outside if they get muddy it doesn't matter.

              My grandchildren love it. They enjoy seeing who can knock over the most and it has taught them a lot about speed and coordination too which is always nice to see. I like to see them progress and learn, this toy has helped this.

              I would say that both my granddaughters and grandsons enjoy t his so it's not just a toy for one sex.

              It cost £8 and I think that that is a fair price to pay as they are well played with and are good quality. They are a little difficult to store as they don't come in a pack but that is the only criticism I have of them really.

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              09.05.2012 20:47
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              Fab game for outdoor or indoor use.

              Who says that kids these days are only interested in computer games or anything involving a screen? For a recent children's party I was tasked with providing some cheap, cheerful and engaging entertainment and this was one of the items purchased which proved to be a great investment.

              For £6 I bought this set of skittles from our local Tesco (which stocks a range of ELC toys, as do a lot of supermarkets these days I notice). Within the kit are 6 multi-coloured plastic skittles and two balls. The bright colours certainly lend themselves to enticing children to play with them and the balls are both yellow, contrasting nicely with the other primary colours but keeping things simple by defining them as different.

              Both the skittles and the balls are made of very strong and durable plastic, this is easy to wipe clean and tough enough to be robust when continually handled by less than gentle tiny hands. It also means that the skittles are lightweight and are knocked over very easily - making the whole game a darn sight easier when the aim may not be great and the force behind each shot rather lacking.

              The base of each skittle is flat and they stand very easily, we have used them on all sorts of surfaces with no issues, carpet, patio and garden in the main. Whilst you might argue that skittles could be created on the cheap using plastic pop bottles and a tennis ball (as we did when I was a child) for the price these are a great game and look and feel the part. I am certain we will get years of repeated use out of this set and actually it is none too dull a game for adults to participate in too! (an added bonus).

              I will certainly be checking out other items from the Early Learning Centre range next time I have birthdays to buy for, these are a great, brightly coloured and enjoyable interactive toy for indoor or outdoor fun.

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              23.04.2012 10:21
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              A nice toy but best used in doors.

              **What do you get in the set? **
              Well the set costs £6 from ELC and in the set you receive 6 skittles and 2 balls all made of durable plastic which is of course essentials when they are designed for younger children. They are very durable and as they have a ball hit at them they are very well made. There are 2 skittles in red 2 in green and 2 in blue. They are a fair size so a good target for little one to chuck the ball at and as they are really light the slightest touch knocks them over.

              Also you receive two balls with the set which I think is great as it means two things if one gets lost you have a spare to play with but also for my younger son he likes to take a shot with both of the balls as one turn that way he has an equal advantage against his brother and sister.

              **In play**
              It is simple concepts set the skittles up and have fun knocking them down again with the ball. In theory this is great but what we have found is although the skittles are a great size the base is actually a little small meaning you have to have a really steady hand to get them to stand up. It is not too bad indoors on the floor but as soon as we tried to take them outside and use them on the grass my children found it really frustrating and mummy had to keep setting them up over and over again which of course is great fun but my children like to be independent so were a little annoyed they could not do this themselves.
              Once they are all set up it is time to throw the balls they are light enough for a young child to use but still have a little weight behind them which does worry me a little as if they decide to start throwing them at each other they could actually hurt so adult supervision is a must.

              The balls carry well in the air and you do not need to knock the skittles hard as they are so difficult to put up they come down just as quick which is great as it means my children can normally catch a few balls at a time creating delight all round. We find the skittles do blow over if we are playing outside and there is a bit of a wind which is a little annoying but they are not too light that they just blow away so I do not need to chase them round the garden just pick them back up replace them and off we go again.

              It is a simple yet fun game that can be played with over and over again and my children never seem to get bored with it they take it in turns to see who can do the best and it gives them some healthy completion.

              **Negatives**
              Well apart from the base of the skittles being a little small and therefore difficult to put up there is nowhere to store these. In the past we had galt skittles and they came with a plastic container bag as a lot of the elc products we own for easy storage so it would have been nice to have somewhere to put these when we are not using them so none of the set gets lost at the bottom of the toy box but I suppose at £6 for the set I should not really complain.

              **Overall**
              These skittles are very durable we use them for indoor and outdoor use and they can be great fun. Although they can be a little frustrating my children love them all the same and now my eldest son can put the skittles up by himself they are becoming even more fun for them. The age recommendation is 2 years plus which I would say is about right however my youngest son has been using them from around 14 months old he can get the idea of throwing the ball at the skittles but obviously is unable to set the game back up again so it means fun with his brother and sister.

              All three of my children love these skittles they help with fine motor skills and they can be played with as a family for some great family fun or individually by each of the children when they feel like it.
              We have had ours from January last year so they have already had 15 months of use and they are still going strong after being hit so many times not just with the ball but my youngest son likes to try and use them for drum sticks and there is not a mark on them. They are very easy to clean you just need to give them a wipe with a cloth and they look brand new again.

              Overall I would definitely recommend this set they cost £6 and can be purchased in store or online at elc they are great fun and very durable perfect for young children and family's alike.

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              22.04.2012 21:34
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              A good family game

              We bought these skittles last year for our eldest daughter as we wanted to encourage her to play outside a little more although it turns out the encouragement wasn't needed as last year she suddenly realised she really loves playing outside and was constantly trying to get us all outside to play easier said than done with a baby who doesn't like the sun.

              We bought these skittles from Early Learning Centre and paid around £5 for them which I think is a good price for a game that can be and will be played over and over again. In the skittle set you get 6 skittles, 2 red, 2 green and 2 blue and then 2 yellow balls to try and knock them down with. The skittles are the usual skittle shapethicker at the bottom curveing up to the thinnest point at the neck and then a sphere shape on the top so no suprises there and the balls have little indentations for your fingers to sit in more like a ten pin bowling ball whereas I expected them just to be smooth balls.

              The set is aimed at children aged 2 and up which I think is probably about the right age guide as I have a 19 month old and she doesn't understand the idea of rolling the ball yet she either throws it or forgets to let go. The idea of the game is very simple you line the 6 skittles up in a triangular shape so you have 1 at the front, 2 behind and then 3 skittles lined up at the back you then move back to a pre marked area to stop any cheating and roll the two balls at the skittles seeing how many you can knock down. Once each person has had their go the person who knocked down the most skittles is the winner.

              The skittles are pretty durable, they are obviously made of two shapes fused together in the middle as you can see the seam where they are fused. My daughter would sometimes play with these on her own last year and they would often get forgotton about and left outside yet the colours haven't faded and the toys are still in great working order.

              We all have good fun with this game and it is a simple game we can all play together but it doesn't take too long to have a game either if we are pushed for time. The only issue we have with this game is the space to play it as the skittles won't stand very well on grass and we only have a small concreted area to be able to play with them. We will be getting this set out again this year when we get some better weather and we will be trying to teach our younger daughter how to play too.

              This is a great value set which encourages your childs physical ability and makes it easy for families to have fun playing together.

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              22.04.2012 13:41
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              Recommended.

              I buy many of my youngest childs' toys from the Early Learning Centre because generally I believe they are really very good value and the benefits of such toys are really well thought out with the development of the child in mind alongside the enjoyment factor of the toy itself. Every now and again I will take my son into the ELC and allow him to pick out a game or a toy as a treat for something and, within reason, I allow him to choose whatever it is that needles his imagination. Last year, on one such trip, he picked out the ELC Skittle Set.

              The set consists of six skittles and two bowling balls which come in a plastic seal. I would have preferred it had they come in a storage case so that it was easier to transport them and to keep them together because it is the kind of game that would be fun to take on holiday or take to the park and so some easy packing system would be really appreciated. Yes, it's possible to bundle them all up in a plastic bag but a specially designed case would be neater and better! The whole set costs £6.00 which is actually a really good price because the skittle kit is well designed and built to last. The skittles are nice bright colours of blue, green and red and the bowling balls are a summery yellow.

              The skittles and the balls are all made out of plastic which is hard wearing and very sturdy and has certainly put up with all the abuse my son has been able to throw at it! They are light-weight and so they are easy enough for even the youngest children to manipulate and use. The skittles do occasionally accidentally fall over if the ground they are being used on is not completely even or if it is particularly windy and maybe if the skittles were a little heavier then this issue could be ironed out. However, this isn't a huge problem but it is just something to be aware of. On the positive side, because they are lightweight, it makes it easy for even the youngest child without much power to knock the skittles over with the bowling balls and so it's not frustrating for them.

              Because the kit is made entirely of plastic it can be used inside and out in all types of weather really (except very windy weather). When it gets grubby all of it can be wiped down with soapy water and it comes up good as new.

              Overall, I think this is a really good quality product and we've all had fun playing it. It's the type of game that the whole family can play together and I would estimate that a child from as young as twelve months could probably benefit from playing with it in terms of hand-eye co-ordination. I recommend it.

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              06.08.2011 19:48
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              An excellent skittles set, just be aware of the possibility of being hit on the head with one.

              My sister has no children and by her own admission is not terribly confident at buying presents for her numerous nieces and nephews - and great   nieces and nephews.  When we went shopping for Christmas presents in 2009 she asked me to visit ELC with her to choose something for my granddaughter, who was then two and a half years old.  I picked up this skittle set as my granddaughter had recently visited a bowling alley for the first time and talked about the fun she'd had, I thought this might be a nice alternative for playing with in the garden.

              In our set there are three green skittles and three red ones; there seems to be some variation in colours supplied as I see in the photograph above that some sets also contain blue skittles, while my niece has an older ELC set with just red ones.  Also supplied are two yellow balls which have been made to look like real bowling balls, complete with child sized finger indentations. I suspect these indentations are for decorative purposes only as I have never seen my granddaughter hold the ball this way, preferring to cup it in her hand and roll it across the floor.

              You can stand the skittles in any formation, my granddaughter prefers the traditional 3-2-1 layout but sometimes she likes to line them up and see how many she can knock down with one ball. The skittles have quite a slim base so they fall easily, this is not to say that children do not have to work to topple the skittles but it does make things a little easier for them. Each skittle stands around 20cm high and has a shape that is easy for small hands to grip and keep hold of, unfortunately the thin base meant it was some time before my granddaughter had the dexterity to stand them up by herself. The suggested age for this skittle set is two years; I agree with this as far as the game goes, but setting up the skittles is a job for an older child.

              When this set was new I was concerned about the weight of the skittles, gripping the slim neck meant my granddaughter was able to wield the skittles almost like a weapon - the loud clunk I heard as a skittle came into contact with her father's head quite literally brought tears to my eyes. Now she is older this is not a problem as she understands not to wave the skittles around (or indeed hit anyone with them), but do be aware of this danger if giving the skittles to a younger child. There is a similar issue with the balls as these too are rather harder than I would have expected from a set designed for such very young children, I would certainly never trust my granddaughter to play with these balls inside the home as I can envisage breakages at the softest throw - let alone the extraordinarily hard manner in which she tosses the ball at the skittles when we're playing in the back garden.

              This skittle set has proved to be a good buy; it's played with very regularly and by all members of the family, not just by my youngest granddaughter. The beauty of the set is that a child can play with it alone or with siblings or friends, this is ideal for younger children who may or may not have someone to play with.  Skittles is a very easy game to learn and the youngest of children will soon that the basic premise is to use the ball to knock down the skittles. Obviously there are rules and scoring procedures that you can introduce later on, but the onus should really be on the fun side of things whilst your children are so very small - and this excellent set provides fun in spades!

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                17.05.2011 14:11
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                The quality shows

                With Summer rapidly approaching we decided to get some outdoor toys for one year old Freddy to play with. As the Early Learning Centre have been running a three for two offer on outdoor toys, we picked up a few from there. One of the toys we picked up was this skittle set containing six skittles and two balls which cost £6 when bought separately.

                ==Set Them Up==

                Billed as being suitable for children over the age of two, these skittles come supplied in a cardboard tray shrink-wrapped in plastic. Unfortunately the tray is not reusable, which means that you will need to find some way of storing them when not in use. This did actually disappoint me a little, it would have been a nice touch if they had been supplied in a plastic crate or even bag.

                The six skittles are all brightly coloured, with there being two each of red, blue and green while the balls are a bright yellow. All of the pieces are made of tough, rigid plastic, meaning that they can withstand being thrown around, banged against hard surfaces, trodden and even chewed on. But the downside to this tough plastic is that if you are hit with one it will hurt. Although the skittles are light enough for a young child to carry, there is still just enough weight behind them to allow them to remain standing in all but the strongest of gusts.

                While the skittles are a reasonable height for young children to hold at about 22cm, the base has a very small circumference. This means that it takes extremely good hand-eye coordination to stand them upright on a level surface (such as concrete or short pile carpet) and it's even harder to get them to stay upright on grass. To be honest I do feel that even a two year would soon become frustrated and the design would be improved by making the bases just a little larger.

                The yellow balls are much better designed and the with a circumference of 27 cm are the perfect size to fit into little hands. What I especially like about these balls is that they are moulded to look just like real bowling balls, with three little indents for the fingers and thumb. What I don't particularly like about them is how hard they are, these are not balls that I would allow any toddler to play with unsupervised as if they hit breakables they will cause damage.

                All in all from a purely aesthetic point of view, as a parent I would probably give this skittle set four out of five. They are undeniably well made and durable, having survived several weeks of play with no sign of damage (including going for a swim in the paddling pool). But they are very hard, meaning that there is the potential for them to cause damage (to both children and property) and the relatively small bases mean they are very hard for a small child to set up on their own.

                ==And Knock Them Down==

                To be honest the main reason I bought this set of skittles is because Freddy has a slight delay in his gross motor skills and I remember a physiotherapist using a similar set to help one of my much older children (who has mild cerebral palsy). When we first bought this set, Freddy had only just starting sitting unaided (albeit very wobbly sitting) and wasn't yet crawling, so I hoped that this would encourage him to spend longer sitting upright while reaching and then hopefully crawl.

                So to begin with we would play with this set indoors, in the hall and would set them up for him and then help him roll the ball towards them. Of course at this point it was more a case of me doing all the rolling, but whenever we knocked any of the skittles over we would let off a big cheer, which Freddy thought was great fun. As time went on Freddy became far more confident at sitting and starting trying to roll the ball himself. At this point the fact that the skittles are so light and their bases small really came into it's own as it meant that even though Freddy didn't roll the ball very hard, if the ball did hit a skittle (no matter how gently) it would fall over. Cue lots more cheering and a real look of accomplishment on Freddy's face. Of course this does mean that every time we play with these I have to spend a lot of time setting the skittles up, but that's part of the fun.

                As well as playing with these as a conventional skittle set, Freddy finds plenty of other uses for the pieces. He loves to bang the skittles against different surfaces, just like drumsticks, and they do make a great noise, I just have to watch that he doesn't try hitting other people or my TV. Being a child who is fascinated by balls he also likes playing for the balls on their own. The balls are a great size and weight for Freddy to hold and they roll along the floor with very little force, meaning they are fantastic for him to practice rolling them and then crawling after them.

                As well as helping Freddy to play with these indoors we regularly take these out into the garden, especially when we have friends round to play. Freddy's little friend is two and she also enjoys playing with this set, although again she finds it difficult to stand the skittles up and sometimes gets frustrated with them. But the squeals of delight as she knocks them down (not always with the ball) is a delight to hear. So from a young child's point of view I would definitely say that these are a success and would say that Freddy and his friend would quite happily give these skittles four stars out of five.

                ==Learning is Fun, fun, fun==

                Now you may not believe it, but for a such a simple toy this skittle set provides an amazing number of opportunities to help your child learn while they are having fun. Firstly (and in our case most importantly) they will help your child develop their all important gross motor skills. For the newly sitting baby they are brilliant for helping them improve their confidence. By simply setting them up in a triangle just within reach and then allowing your baby to knock them down, you'll find that they will help him improve his balance while also learning a little about cause and effect. As baby gets a little older, you can set the skittles up a little further away and then help them roll the ball towards them. Start with the skittles quite close (but out of reach) and set up in a fairly large triangle (to give a larger target) and as they get better move them further away and place them in a steadily smaller triangle. Don't forget to be uber enthusiastic and cheer and clap every time a skittle falls over though. Once your child is crawling, they can also use the balls as balls, rolling them along the floor and chasing them. Although you will spend a lot of time setting the skittles back over, it won't take long for your child to decide they want to help, and doing so will help them improve their hand-eye coordination, although there will be plenty of frustration along the way.

                With older toddlers, as well as simply praising and cheering as they knock the skittles down I would also take the opportunity to talk to them about how many they've knocked down and which colour as well as those that are left standing. This is a great way of introducing simple maths concepts such as counting, adding and even taking away. In fact this is something I do with Freddy now at just thirteen months, because at this age children are like little sponges and they take in far more than they can express.

                As to the age range these are suitable for, well as is often the case, I do feel that The Early Learning Centre is being rather over cautious with their minimum of two years. All of the pieces are large enough not to cause a hazard for young toddlers and babies and they are extremely well made and durable with no jagged seams or sharp edges. Personally, I feel these are safe and suitable for babies from the time that they are sitting (even if they still need pillows behind them). Ok, they will need a lot of help to play with them at this stage, but it's so much fun that I can't see why that would be a problem for most. I love spending time helping Freddy play with these. I would say that I would never allow children to play with these unsupervised no matter what age, they are simply too hard and the chances of someone getting hurt if hit on the head or something damaged are just too high. As for an upper age limit, that would really depend on the child, but as these don't look in the least bit babyish, I can see children up to six or seven being happy to play with them.

                ==Time To Pack Up==

                This is a very well made skittle set, that while more expensive than those available from, say, Argos, are also far better quality. Personally I can't recommend these enough, both as the game of skittles in general and this set to be specific. This set is so well made and look so grown up that I can see them being played with for years to come, and therefore am definitely recommending that if you are thinking about buying a set of skittles, then spend that few pound more and buy these. Of course they aren't quite perfect, I would have liked a crate to have been supplied to store the set in and feel the bases could have been a little bigger. But all in all this is a great set and worthy of four stars out of five.

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                  18.04.2011 13:32
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                  A nice toy for the kids

                  Children got to love them haven't you, well yes but also have to constantly entertain them as well. One bonus from the recent warm spring weather has been a first chance to really play out in our newly paved over garden. So in a moment of weakness I bought a set of bowling pins for my two boys to play with because I've discovered two facts about boys and playing outside one is that they love throwing and kicking balls and the other is that they love aiming at something.

                  So I thought why not encourage them by buying them something to aim at and make it a bit of fun at the same time. You also have to be aware of any toy which you buy can't be used as inadvertent weapons, I have two boys one 2 1/2 and the other 1 1/2 and well things can become weapons at the wrong moment.

                  ELC Skittles

                  These skittles are brightly coloured with the same shape as skittles at a ten pin bowling alley but much lighter and easier to knock over. They have a flat bottom which means they can be stood up right and come in sets of six with two balls which can be used to knock them over. The balls are small enough to be picked up by children of 18 months plus but not too small to constitute a choking problem.

                  The skittles can therefore be placed in a triangle of six pins and the children can take it in turn to either roll the ball or throw the balls at the skittles. The skittles are light but are heavy enough to mean that they can be turned into reasonable games, so if the ball does hit the skittles it doesn't mean all of them will fall down or if too soft any of them. This gives them an added element in terms of play because the kids can take as many goes as they want to knock all the skittles down. I've got to say that the skittles in the hands of my children have been used for games which the inventors probably didn't intend; one was doubling as road cones and my two year steering very intently through a tunnel of skittles. That was fine until my younger one decided to intervene and started throwing the skittles at my older son.

                  These are nice toys; they only cost £5-6 and can be left outside as they are made of durable plastic. They are light, not a real concern in terms of safety and can be played with in so many ways. They have been used to far as skittles, bats, road blocks, swords, and I'm sure a lot more different ways only a pair of toddlers could conceive. So for a fiver they've been a bit of a bargain and have left me to set them up give them a ball each and allowed me to read my book in the garden and watch them cause havoc.

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                  07.04.2011 20:19
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                  great for team playing and parties

                  I've just got in from playing in the garden with my grandchildren and they are now in the bath so it's time for me to sit quietly with my coffee and write a review before story time. We've had a really good afternoon in the sun as it feels like summer time has come early and the grandchildren came round for a barbarque and I took the time to delve into the garden shed to see what games we had put away from last year.

                  I bought this ELC skittles set a couple of years ago and it cost me £4.99 then but you can buy it for £6 now so inflation has bumped up the price, still it's a handy outdoor toy worth lots of potential for fun from the simplest of designs.
                  It comes in a plastic bag which can be kept for storage and is suitable for children over three years old and adults too as the neighbours could tell by hearing us playing and laughing today with the children.

                  The game is simple and you get two yellow balls which have groves in them where the childs fingers can grip and you get six skittles in primary colours of blue, red and yellow all the parts of the game, skittles and balls are made of plastic so you don't have to worry about leaving them out in the garden and them getting wet, but if like us you have a dog then it's best to pack them away after using as our staffie is always keen to get hold of balls and anything the children are playing with and chew as he doesn't like to be missed out of the fun.

                  The aim of the game is to set the skittles up in a triangle shape with one skittle at the front, then two behind that, then three behind them and then you move back just far enough so as your not able to knock them down too easily, then roll the balls at the skittles and try and knock them all over.
                  You get two go's at this with the two balls provided and then it's time to stack them again and the next child or person have a go.
                  The children loved this and kept trying to move one step closer each go which then made the other kids shout "cheat !" It was great fun as some of the adults tried cheating too, but the kids wouldn't let them get away with it.

                  I also do work in a residential home and the residents love this game too and play it on the lawn, it helps them to interact with each other as most of the residents are diagnosed with dementia and this game helps them to focus on something as well as to get along with each other.
                  For a cheap outdoor game it is excellent and you have lots of fun with it, now that the weather seems to be changing for the better it's time for outdoor activities instead of being inside on the computer most of the time.

                  I'd be happy to recommend this game to you if you have a garden to play in, if not you can play this inside as the parts are only plastic and can't do much damage to furniture or household things.

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