“ Brand: Little Tikes / Type: Kids play BBQ set „
Last summer my youngest son who was only two became obsessed with the BBQ. I think it was perhaps because we had purchased a new gas BBQ and determined to get some use out of it we did BBQ quite a lot during the warm weather.
My son turned three in November 2010 and in a bid to get him something that wasn't a tractor or the usual cars and trucks that boys seem to get I thought a kitchen would be ideal. We have a little Tikes sink unit with an oven underneath but it is well past its best and could do with updating after receiving much love and attention from my older children. Unfortunately my husband felt that you couldn't buy a little boy a kitchen so whilst browsing on www.amazon.co.uk for other ideas I came across the Little Tikes Get out and grill BBQ, now what could be manlier than a BBQ!
At that time the BBQ was around £39.99 on Amazon but after a quick search online I found it for £19.99 at T J Hughes. I paid some postage on this but it was still cheaper than www.amazon.co.uk but I have since seen the toy priced at around £20 to £25 with free postage.
The first thing that appealed to me was that it was a BBQ which I felt my son would love and he also likes to play in our little toy kitchen so I knew he already enjoyed this type of imaginative play. The other thing that appealed to me was that it could be used inside or outside and with four children anything that can go outside is always a bonus!
As you would expect from Little Tikes the whole thing is made of plastic but is shaped to look like a brick built BBQ. There is a lid on the top that comes over the cooking area a selection of utensils food and a bottle of red sauce. There is a large storage area under the BBQ where you can keep all your utensils but it is a bit of wasted space really. I think maybe a shelf or something in here could have added more to the space. There are a couple of hooks on the front to hang your utensils on and the knobs turn to adjust the heat as you would expect from a normal gas BBQ. On one side of the BBQ is a little sink but you cannot turn the tap and I'm not sure what use it is supposed to have as you wouldn't have a sink on a normal BBQ. On the other side you have two burners for your pans which is just like ours so my son likes to use this to cook extras.
The BBQ comes in a large box and you have to assemble it yourself. My husband did this and even using the instructions managed to do things in the wrong order. It took about 30 minutes to build the BBQ even allowing for the times we had to take it apart and put it back together! There are a few stickers that you have to put on yourself once you have constructed the BBQ and these are a bit fiddly but look great once in place.
My son absolutely loves this toy and took to it immediately. On his birthday it was about the only toy that he played with. Thankfully the fascination with this toy hasn't worn off and it is still one of his favourites. During the winter we had the toy inside but once we saw some sunshine it was put out in the garden next to Daddy's BBQ. Obviously now that it is outside this toy doesn't get as much use as it did but it is usually played with when we are out in the garden especially on BBQ days. Unfortunately now that winter is drawing in again I don't think the BBQ will be coming back in but we will store it away now in the shed until next summer when hopefully my youngest daughter will discover the joys of barbequing!
On the whole I think this is a great toy. The whole thing is quite sturdy and has taken a fair amount of bashing about. We did have to repair the hinge on the door with a cocktail stick but now it is as good as new.
If anything I only have two complaints with the toy and the first is that it isn't quite as chunky and solid as other Little Tikes toys that we have and the hinges on the doors and the hooks for hanging your utensils are easily damaged. The only other complaint is that it doesn't light up or have any sound effects which I think would greatly improve the role playing aspect of the toy. Having said that I think this is a great toy and it is definitely a favourite for my children.
I would recommend this barbeque.
This "Get out and grill set" was a birthday gift for my son in January. His grandmother had bought him a playhouse from Adventure toys in Northallerton and when I went to collect the playhouse they had this on display to take home, so I measured it up and decided it was a good size to place in the playhouse for my son to play with. I think it must have been the display model as it was half price at £20 and fully made up. Normally this retails around £40-45 depending on the retailer you can get it from adventure toys http://www.adventuretoys.co.uk/prodpage.asp?ProdID=1668 for £42.50 at present and this will be boxed for you to assemble at home.
What is it?
This set is all made from plastic to resemble an outdoor brick and gas barbecue. There is a large cupboard section to the bottom with grey doors. The outer part of the grill is a red plastic designed to look like brick work. At the top section there is a two level grill with stickers resembling a grill with warm coals. There silver cover that lifts up and down. As with most regular gas barbecue's there are several buttons to turn and press so your little one can pretend to turn the grill on. These all make a small clicking noise. To one side there is a pretend sink and to the other a pretend two small gas ring hobs for cooking. Included with the set are a plastic hamburger and bun, hotdog and bun, tongs, spatula and a sauce bottle.
This was an immediate hit with my son and he was soon exploring what it did turning the various buttons and placing food on to the grill to cook. As there is only a small amount of food provided with the toy and no pots and pans we were soon adding to the selection with some of our other play food and pans. As he cooked each item he would serve it up to myself and my husband. It was wonderful to watch all his imaginative play at work here as he cooked things up a storm. This kept him amused for a good 45 minutes before he wanted to move on to something else which I personally was pleased about as he seemed to hold his attention very well.
As it is a bit on the large size for our small house it went to live in the garage in between plays. The cupboard in the base is very good for storing the various bits in but I can't help but wonder if they could have been more creative with this space even if it was just a pretend grill shelf so they could pretend it was an outside pizza oven as well. As it is it is a bit of dead space. My son uses it when he is playing to put the pretend food in once we have eaten it so it is out of sight.
We have brought this out on to the patio as well as the lounge for him to grill away so he can pretend it is a warm hot summer day and be barbecuing away like mummy and daddy do. Whether it is inside or outside he loves the pretend cooking and still enjoys it each time. Though the buttons do make pretend ignition noises and clicks I think it would have been nice for it also to have some cooking and sizzling noises on too like a real barbecue. The beauty I suppose of its current design is that it doesn't need any batteries.
The side sink probably gets the least amount of play for my son as he doesn't often pretend to wash his hands under it; this is despite always washing his hands prior to doing real cooking and baking with myself. What he does use it for though is to store his food prior to cooking it though. I think with the tap it would have been nice for it too either have a pump so you can squirt really water or for you to be able to turn the tap as it is fixed in one position which does rather reduce its pretend play potential in my opinion.
The two side hobs are fabulous and he loves putting his pots and pans on here to stir up goodies for everyone he knows how to click these controls on and off and is often heard to warn people that they are hot and not to touch.
The grill with its two levels is great fun for him to play with and he lines up all sort of food on there from the hamburgers and hot dogs included in the set to chickens and vegetables from other play sets. Even with my son and his little friends flipping the burgers and other foods on the grill the stickers have remained in place with no sliding on coming of at the corners which I think shows that it is well made. Equally the silver lid hasn't ever fallen off and it still turns as well today as when we first bought it.
As with all the Little Tikes toys we have experience of it is very robust and copes well with many knocks and bumps in the garage when it is stored and if it gets knocked over whilst playing. It is still however light enough to move around to where you want it. The height of the grill is perfect for my 3 year old he is able to stand in front and flip the burgers on the grill easily, the upper part of the grill is slightly to high for him currently but I am not worried about that as it means it will have plenty of growing room for him over the forthcoming years.
Though this is designed as an outdoor toy I would suggest storing it inside or inside a play house as we will when ours is built the reason for this is I would be concerned that some of the stickers would wash off and be damaged on the front of the grill despite them having a robust plastic look to them.
This is a great toy for imaginative play as being a barbecue outside it offers something slightly different to play kitchens as it allows children to practice sending their food up in flames as barbecue's are wont to do in our household at least. It also seems to appeal a lot to the various boys who have come to play on ours as they love copying their dads barbecue antics and who knows maybe there is a barbecue gene in the male of the species that is evident even at 3 years old!
There are few things I think could do with improving with this set a more barbecue noise being the first and better use of the cupboard under the grill would be a good improvement and would give more opportunities for imaginative play. As the set doesn't come with much by way of food and accessorise you do need to supplement it with pans, food and oven gloves all of which come at extra costs. However despite the draw backs it is a great set and one I certainly don't regret buying. I would suggest though you shop around for one as I think at £40 it is a bit on the expensive side and I think our bargain price of £20 is more on the mark price wise. I am giving it 4 dooyoo stars as my son loves it so much even with these faults.