“ Manufacturer: Tesco / Type: Kids Gardening „
My son had spotted this grabber toy when we were shopping in Tesco. At the time, he had money to spend, but he didn't have enough left to get this as well, so he asked me to get him it for his birthday instead. I thought to myself it was an odd choice of a toy, but something about this appealed to my son, and at a cost of just £2 then (and only £1.23 now in the sale) I was happy enough to pick it up for him. I expected it to break within minutes, but it is sturdier than the price indicates.
I think the reason that he liked the toy was because my dad is in a wheelchair, and he has one of these extendable grabbers for when he drops an item on the floor and can't reach it.
The toy is roughly as long as my shin so for an adult to use this, you have to bend your back pretty far to get close to the item you want to pick up. For a child, they don't really need to bend - it is just a miniature version of the one that an adult would use.
At first he was using this indoors, but I quickly decided that it was a bad idea as he was using it to pinch his brother, or waving it around, and something was going to get broken. Its come into its own more outside. He is fond of picking up smaller items he finds in the garden. Because I am a slovenly gardener, there are still some pine cones under our fir trees. He can operate the toy to pick this up, and if I give him a bucket to put stuff like that in, he thinks he is being really helpful. Similarly when we are pulling up weeds or pruning in the garden, he will again pick up the waste for me.
The grabber is quite simple for my son to operate. There is a squeeze action at the handle which causes the pincers to nip together to pick up the item that you want. The mechanism is a lot stronger than I thought, so it hasn't struggled to cope with larger items.
Tesco say that this toy is best suited to 5-8 year olds. I think it is one of them things that depends on the temperament and size of the child. A younger child might have fun using this similarly to my son to help in the garden and might be big enough to use it. I'd have trusted my sons from about three for this. By eight, they may be rather bored with it. It certainly seems to appeal to my 5 year old more than my nearly 7 year old son.
It's one of those toys that I feel is better suited when the play is a bit more guided and outside. Inside, you are limited to using it as a way to pick up toys, and while that is fun for a short while, it is never going to be long lasting. Outside, it is treated as a mini version of an adult tool.
As for the pinching each other, I blame grandad for teaching them that one, but it doesn't actually hurt when they do it. There is nothing sharp that can stick in or really do any physical damage as I don't feel it closes firmly enough.
A fun toy for the garden for occasional use, at a great price.