Product Type: Little Tikes Outdoor Toy
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Whale of a time!
Little Tikes Whale Teeter Totter
Member Name: Lools_24
Little Tikes Whale Teeter Totter
Date: 08/08/11, updated on 15/11/11 (66 review reads)
Advantages: Fun and durable
Disadvantages: Takes up a lot of storage space, younger toddlers can fall backwards off it
Because my home is regularly used as a meeting point for play dates I was keen to purchase some outdoor toys for when my home is taken over by my friends children (who range from 9 months to 4 years) and also for my 18 month old twin boys to use. At the playgroup we go to my boys are fascinated by the seesaws as are most of the children so I thought the Little Tikes Whale Teeter Totter would be a great choice.
***Little Tikes Teeter Totter***
The Little Tikes Teeter Totter is blue plastic whale shaped see-saw that is suitable for 1-3 children. The see saw has 3 "seats" with two handles. There is a seat on either end of the moulded plastic whale shape which as a rocking base for the see saw to be used in the traditional way with two children on it. There is also a "seat" in the centre of the see saw which would allow a child to play on the see saw on their own or for a third child to play on the see saw as it rocks.
Size wise the Little Tikes Teeter Totter is 105cm long and 46 cm wide. It is 36cm high. The see saw has easy grip handles and wide foot rests in order to children to hold onto the seesaw easily.
Little Tikes state the seesaw is suitable for children over 18months.
The Whale Teeter Totter is available from Toys R Us, Tesco and Amazon. The RRP for the toy is £29.99 which is considerably cheaper than traditional larger "seesaws".
***Playing with it***
The Teeter Totter requires no assembly it was a simple case of just bringing the toy home and letting my boys play with it. I say simple, however this is quite a bulky item as you purchase it as it is therefore make sure you have someone to carry it and space in the boot of your car or are able to transport it home easily. The toy is not heavy but is awkward to carry and hold onto for long periods because of its size.
Little Tikes states that the Whale Teeter Totter is suitable from aged 18 months and over. I must admit because my boys had been playing with one of these at the toddler group we go to I purchased this at 14 months once they had started walking and allowed them to play on it with VERY close supervision. We had been given an individual outdoor Little Tikes see saw rocker so my boys understood the concept of the rocker, but part of the reason I purchased the Teeter Totter was so they could play together and share rather than try and drag each other of the rocker only designed for one child.
I did however find that when playing on the Teeter Totter the boys required a lot more supervision that on the individual rockers because of the design of the larger rocker. Firstly the Teeter Totter is higher than a typical individual rocker. When rocking with one child on and sitting in the middle seat (in between the handles ) a younger toddler under 2 years old may need some help getting on and off the toy initially until they gain confidence to do this on their own. My boys at almost 19 months can get on and off themselves but as the toy is around 46cm high they often get their leg stuck as they climb off, to which they usually shriek "mum mum mum". I also have noticed that when only one child is rocking in the middle seat, the see saw does not rock as much (or as high) as an individual rocker, which I feel is part of the reason that when we have the individual Little Tikes rocker and the Little Tikes Teeter Totter in the garden all of the children seem to be drawn to the individual rocker rather than this Teeter Totter.
When two children are playing on the toy (one on each end) it seems to be a very enjoyable toy especially as they can look each other as they rock but for parents of younger toddlers (under 2's) I do feel you need to closely supervise. The seats on the end of the Teeter Totter are completely flat with no backrest therefore your child can slip off. There is no harness to hold your child onto the seesaw therefore your child staying on the see saw is completely dependent on them holding on to the handles in front of them. For over 2's they seem to understand this concept but as my 19 month olds and my friends 22 month old have shown, lapses in concentration can result in them slipping off backwards (luckily with mummy at arm's reach away!). You also need to take care with under 2's that if one child attempts to suddenly get off the older child isn't catapulted. On a few occasions I have had to practice my catching skills because my friend's daughter has jumped off or one of my boys have.
For older children they really seem to enjoy using as a see saw and can build up a lot more speed rocking back and forwards than if they are using individually. My friends three year old and neighbours three year old playing on this together is quite scary to watch as they rock back and forwards but because the toy is so sturdy and does not tip is actually quite safe. Like most see saws it is probably better to have children of a similar size and age playing together to get the most enjoyment out of the toy. My friends three year old gets quite frustrated when playing on this with an under 2 because the toy does not rock as much and also younger children can't push off their legs to create the same rocking movement.
When using with three children together this is a great way to encourage children to play together but space on the toy is limited. For younger toddlers it is very easy for three to play together but as they rock they do lose eye contact and you find one child has to look at the back of the head of the child in the middle. This frustrates one of my twins in particular and he will usually try and push the child in the middle out of the way, whether that be his brother or another child. The Teeter Totter does not rock as high or fast with three children playing on it which for younger toddlers is desirable (for parents) but for children over 3 years old seems to cause some frustration. Getting 3 children over 3 years old onto the Teeter Totter is also quite difficult because space is limited and you do find that there is a tangle of arms and legs and usually a child complaining that they have been kicked by one of the others as they rock.
Durability wise this toy appears to be very durable. The hard moulded plastic that the see saw is made from is easily wiped over with a cloth and ours has spent most of the summer outdoors. The colour of the see saw has not got lighter either from being out in the sun or faded. Obviously after only 4 months of play I would not expect this toy to be damaged or showing signs of wear and tear but I have friends who have owned this toy for over 5 years and describe it to be in as good as new condition. I did notice in Toys R Us when purchasing this toy there were cheaper versions of this toy available. I did consider these but firstly they were larger and more bulky (at the base) and I also felt the plastic they were made from was more flimsy and the handles also felt quite flimsy.
This a great outdoor toy and both my children and my friends children love to play on the see saw. I have however found that the individual see saws are more attractive and if it is a choice between the Teeter Totter or the smaller individual Little Tikes rocker my children and other children who visit our house always seem to prefer that one.
This is a great toy for those with more than one child and to encourage children to play together but also versatile that one child can play with it on their own. Although suitable for 18 months and over I do feel this is a toy which is better for children over 2 years up to aged 5. Although for children over 3 years old I feel that the see saw is a little too small for three older children to play on. For children under two you need to take care and supervise children to ensure that they do not fall backwards as they are rocking because there is no restraint to hold them on the seat it is basically dependent on them holding on.
For £29.99 a reasonable purchase that is durable and fun!
Summary: Another great outdoor toy from Little Tikes