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The ELC Cut and Play Fruit Crate is part of our collection of toy food for our role play shop and kitchen.
The set includes 12 different fruits made of strong plastic and is priced at £12. I think this is expensive for the amount included but find it is acceptable for the high quality product.
The fruits come in a green crate which is plastic but has the look of a wood effect. It is a useful crate which we use to store other toys in as the fruit is stored in a bigger box with the rest of the food. I think the crate gives it the look of a market stall which is really nice as it could be part of a new role play market. Maybe I will try this in the future.
The fruits included are a:
Strawberry: This is a bright red strawberry with a dark green leaf. The seeds are around the strawberry which gives it nice detail. The strawberry looks fresh and good enough to eat. The children like the strawberry best as it seems to be everyones favorite fruit.
Grapes: These are in a bright purple bunch. I dont think I've ever seen them this bright but the children like the colour. The stem is a dark green colour and quite thin. Fortunately it hasn't snapped of though.
Banana: The banana is a bright yellow colour. It is not as detailed as other fruits and can be cut down the center. I never cut bananas there, I don't cut them at all. This is another popular fruit with the children.
Orange: This orange is also not as detailed as some. It is orange and has a green leaf at the top. It's not really leaf shape though. There are small dots to make it look more like an orange.
Pineapple: I think this is the nicest fruit in the set. It is a golden yellow colour with a large detailed green leaf. Not exactly like a pineapple, but if it was the same the leaves would probably snap. The pineapple has diamond shapes on the fruit like a real one would. It is also cut the same way I would cut a pineapple. Unfortunately the children usually choose other fruits in the set to play with.
Pear: The pear is a green pear. The stem is very small and dark green whilst the fruit is a lighter dark green. It is a great pear shape.
Plum: This is also a good shape which definitely resembles a plum. The colour is a very dark purple like a real plum would be. Not all of the children recognise this fruit so we do have to tell them occasionaly.
Apple: This is a light green apple which has minimal detail. It is rather small for an apple, smaller than the grapes.
Kiwi: Another fruit children don't recognise. It is brown and oval shaped as a kiwi would be and cut down the center where most people cut. It is a nice addition to the set as most sets don't have kiwis or other more uncommon fruit to children.
Lemon: This is a bright yellow and has small dots as a lemon would. It is a very good lemon shape.
Watermelon: The watermelon has a dark green skin, bright pink centre and black seeds. This is beautifully detailed but I thought watermelons had red centers!
The last fruit: to be honest, I am not entirely sure what it is. This is a problem when the children expect me to tell them what it is. It is a very light brown and kind of an oval shape.
The set also comes with a knife. It is plastic and all silver. It looks very much like a real chopping knife. Children always use this knife when cutting the fruit which adds excitement to there play.
They really enjoy the novelty of actually being able to cut food and then sticking it back together. It allows them to gain matching skills.
The velcro is strong and hasn't come off of the fruit. If it did though, I'm sure we could stick it back.
All of the fruits cut into either two or three pieces. Some of them are ways I wouldn't cut fruit but most are in the same place you would cut a fruit. Hopefully, when they are old enough to cut real fruit they will remember which is the best way by these toys.
The only problem I have with this set is that if one half of fruit is missing, you are left with half a fruit. This has happened as we don't always put the fruit back together after use, we just don't have the time to search the box of food.
The fruit crate is for children over the age of three. This is probably because of the small parts. We have used them with two year olds without a problem.
The children are always using these fruits as part of there shop and cooking. They like to make plates of food and share them with their friends. Sometimes they will have a picnic. I am glad we have this item despite the price.
A few years ago for Christmas I bought my sons a toy kitchen as their main Christmas present. This was nearly 3 years ago now. To accesorise the kitchen I bought some bits from various places, including this fruit set from the early learning centre. More recently I have just bought this set again for my niece for her second birthday. At a cost of around £12.50, it is not a cheap toy, but I feel it is good value as ours is still going strong after 3 years of play from my own children plus other children who have visited our house.
This set is always popular as the fruit pieces are designed to be chopped up with the toy knife that comes with this set. Each piece of fruit can be cut into two, apart from the pineapple which is in 3 sections. The sections are each held together by strong velcro. The knife is basically a thick piece of plastic which seperates the velcro as you push down through the fruit.
What I really like in this set is there is a good variety of fruit that my children eat as well as some we have less frequently, so from a young age they learnt the names of fruit like mangoes, water melon and pineapple as well as more every day items like grapes, pears, apples, oranges and strawberries. The fruit is all made from a really thick plastic. My youngest son was only 18 months old when we first got this kitchen stuff, so you can guess some of it ended in his mouth occasionally, but none of it got teeth damaged or squashed unlike cheaper food sets my sister bought for my sons from Toys r us. I am also impressed that the velcro has never shown any signs of coming off the pieces or not sticking together.
Another feature I really like is that when you buy the set, there is not a lot of packaging. What you see above in the picture is wrapped in cellophane and has a bit of cardboard round it. The plastic tray the fruit comes in sits nicely inside our toy kitchen with the fruit inside it. It is approximately 9 inches by 10 inches. The corners of this really strong tray are slightly raised so that if you buy more than one crate of the ELC toy food, they are designed to be stacked on top of each other for easier storage, and it is little features like this that really do appeal to me. It is well thought out.
The only negative I can think of with this set is that you get bits of fluff attached to the velcro if the kids play with it on carpetted floors. This can be picked off though so it hardly spoils play, just looks a bit messy.
I can't really fault this toy at all. It is well made and has been helpful to us in our kitchen role play games, and my kids have had a lot of fun playing with this over the years, as my niece is now finding with her set. Children will always enjoy playing with toy food as it is something they see every day in real life. Not all play sets are good quality as they are cheaply made, but this one will not hinder play at all.
Twelve cut-and-play fruits in a crate with knife. Each fruit splits into pieces and reattaches with velcro. A great toy for teaching your child about different types of fruit.Not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts Age range: From 3 years.