Product Type: ELC Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... 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 li... more
Fun for all
Member Name: i_am_joy
Advantages: A fun game for very young children
Disadvantages: Heavy skittles that hurt when you are hit 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!
Summary: An excellent skittles set, just be aware of the possibility of being hit on the head with one.
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