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My garden has a small wooded area at the far end, which is beautifully green in the summer and very dramatic in the winter once all the leaves have fallen from the trees. Autumn is the bind; my trees seem to confer amongst themselves to create as much work for me as possible, going through phases of losing their leaves in dribs and drabs and then dumping a huge amount all in one go. My gardener comes in fortnightly, which is perfect for keeping my garden in good condition but I simply cannot abide leaving piles of semi-rotting leaves blowing around for this length of time. I have a very good leaf rake but as the years have passed my mobility, or lack of, has caused many problems, not least when it comes to getting underneath the smaller trees to rake up the leaves. I bought the Yeomini Leaf Rake to aid me in this, although my four year old granddaughter soon realised the fun that was to be had helping Nanny in the garden. This is, as you would probably guess, a leaf rake which has been shrunk down to be suitable for children. I cannot find any mention of a recommended minimum age, but the smallest length is roughly 69cm so I would suggest that as soon as a child is old enough to be able to handle a rake of this length they would be fine to use it. It will extend to 85cm so is suitable for a fairly wide variety of ages; my older granddaughter (who is eleven) will sometimes use it although she does appear a little stooped at times so I would think the cut off point for a child to comfortably use this rake would be nine or ten years but obviously this will depend on the height of the child. Incidentally, to lengthen or shorten the handle you simply need to twist it to loosen the grip then tighten it back up once the required length has been reached. The prongs on the leaf rake are a coated metal, they are fairly blunt but you still need to supervise your children while using it as damage could definitely be caused if they were careless. It's a robust and effective leaf rake, but you have to remember that for this to be the case the prongs need to be strong and unweildy - which isn't necessarily what you would want from what is effectively a child's toy. There is a slight element of bend in the prongs but a young child could easily hurt themselves if an adult was not watching what they were doing. It is mainly my youngest granddaughter who uses this leaf rake and she absolutely loves the moment when I say it's gardening time. She particularly enjoys using it to rake up the grass after I have had my lawn cut, although in all honesty more grass ends up in her hair and shoes than actually joins the grass cuttings pile! She is of a much more suitable build to get beneath the small trees in order to gather up the fallen leaves, just this morning in fact she took a wander between the trees with her rake and made a small pile of early fallen leaves for me and she had great fun doing it. When her Yeomini Rake is not in use it can be hung up by way of a hook at the top of the handle, just like a standard size tool of the same nature. It has been left exposed to the elements several times but is showing no signs of ill treatment, I had expected the soft grip handle to lose its colour somewhat but this hasn't happened and after cleaning the leaf rake looks as good as new. I don't remember how much I paid for the Yeomini Leaf Rake but a brief look on Amazon has revealed that they are selling it for just £5.25, which I find absolutely staggering considering the high quality and functionality of the product.
When spending free time at home we love nothing more than pottering about outside, playing with toys and "gardening". One of the jobs the adults have to do the most is raking leaves, and it wasn't long after realising how time consuming this is that we acquired this Yeominis Rake which is a child sized toy that lets the kids join in. The rake itself, given that it cost under £7, is pretty well made. It has a strong plastic handle with a hook on the top for easy storage in the shed, and a grippy handle. The prongs of the rake are made of sturdy painted metal - I quite like the fact that this rake, like others in the range is not too dissimilar to look at than grown up tools, no neon pink here. What's really clever though about this tool though is that the handle is telescopic, it can be quickly and easily lengthened (a simple twist and pull operation) from around 70cm to 85cm and its longest length. This makes it idea for the very smallest gardener up to age 8 or so. You might think that it would be pretty dangerous for a child to use, having metal prongs, and I do tend to encourage use of this with supervision (generally my kids use it whilst I am busy raking with a somewhat larger implement). The prongs are quite bendy though and it would be fairly hard for a child to do too much harm with it, it's no more dangerous than, say, a play sword or light phaser. The rake is good enough though to actually rake up leaves properly from the grass, it won't work quite as well as a full sized rake - the width of it is in scale to the mini handle and there are only 11 flat prongs of 50mm each, but it will rake up leaves or grass clippings really well. I can't say my children beg to use this, but they do seem to enjoy pitching in when it's leaf falling time and it has had a fair bit of use. As it is so well made it's stood up well to its intended purpose and bar a little bit of rusting where the paint has chipped on the prongs it is as good as new. I really recommend this leaf rake and the rest of the Yeomini range if you have a garden and children who like to lend a hand, it's a well designed, sturdy and useful tool for the garden.