* Prices may differ from that shown
According to the ELC website, this toy is no longer available, but you can still pick it up on Ebay. ELC are still producing 'click-clack tracks', but the designs have altered somewhat. I expect they are all pleasing. But this particular one has just experienced a new lease of life in the CrazyEgg household and if your child is keen on trains I would say, buy this particular 'click-clack track' if you can! If you are keen to develop fine motor skills in your baby or toddler, again, this is a good option, and if you are keen on physics there is some mileage here in explaining the laws of gravity and motion.
The ELC Click Clack Track is a simple wooden toy: four slightly curved tracks bolted together as shown in the above picture. It is sturdy and well made, the wood being smooth and splinter-free, and the designs painted on are simple rings of red, yellow, green and blue, with the sides of the runners having single stripes in the same colours. Three of these colours match the cars- you only get three of these and ours are red, green and blue. Again, these are extremely simple being a small block of wood with four wheels attached. So, there is little to distract from the main purpose in this toy which is to set the cars on the top, watch them roll to the end of the first track, fall off the end, flip over and continue down the second track and then the third and fourth, before rolling triumphantly out onto the floor.
We were given this track for Baby CrazyEgg's first Christmas when she was well below the recommended age of 12 months, and now she is 29 months. During the time we have had it the Click Clack track has never been the most favoured toy, but it has been one that provides interest and stimulation for a short time every so often. At first, Baby CrazyEgg just watched the cars clicking away. It was a useful toy for encouraging reaching and stretching, but success with placing the cars on the track was generally chance rather than skill: you have to put them the right way round ie so the wheels can run down the track; there are grooves on the tracks so placement has to be very precise; and the cars themselves are small and somewhat fiddly. If you take hold of the whhels for instance, the car flips forward so it hard to get a secure placement. Very easy for an adult, very difficult for a baby, which is of course the point. It is this precision of movement, and the reaching and stretching that makes this toy so good for development, and explains why it is regularly to be seen at the group occupational therapy sessions we attend.
Since those early days, Baby CrazyEgg has become adept at using the track as intended. However, it has also allowed her to experiment: what else will go down the track? There are some balls we have that start well, but then get stuck between the upright parts of the track, and others that make it through but are too big to descend onto the second track. Happyland people have used the track as a slide, though they have to be pushed along manually. Applause when they get to the bottom. Most fantastically of all the tracks bear a striking resemblance to the Brio/Tidlo/Ikea wooden railway tracks that rather wonderfully are all compatible with one another. In fact they are the same dimensions, and whilst there is no way of attaching the click clack track to a railway piece, if you line them up well, and your car gains enough velocity it will run from click clack track to railway track no problemo. Hence the new lease of life for the track in our household. It is true also that some of our railway vehicles fit the click clack track, but they don't 'click clack' as readily as the supplied cars.
I note that other Click Clack tracks don't necessarily have grooves for the car wheels to go in, and their varying track widths mean that this particular Click Clack track is probably the most compatible with railway tracks.
The Click Clack track is sturdy and stays upright fairly well, though of course it can be pushed over. It is not advisable to store it on a shelf where it can be pulled off since it is quite heavy. I speak from experience as a shelf-lover.
All in all this has been a great long-lasting toy for us and its therapeutic and mesmerising qualities have lured many an adult into a good few minutes of play. Fab.
The Early Learning Centre Click Clack Track is a brilliant toy for young children.
Unlike most toys these days it is wooden which I think looks attractive with the simple design. The toy has four sloped tracks which all have grooves on where the car wheels fit. On the edge of each track is a colour that matches the cars.
The four cars included are red, green, blue and orange. Although they are cars they just look like a piece of wood with four wheels. They barely resemble a car.
The idea of the toy is to place one car on the top track and it will race down, drop onto the track below and repeat until it reaches the bottom. On the way it makes a click clack sound, as the name suggests.
This toy is really strong and I think it would be very difficult to break. The cars are very small and could get lost so we keep them away from the children unless they ask to play with it. I believe this is the best thing to do as the toy will only work with those specific cars.
This can be bought for £15 from Boots which is quite expensive for what it does but it's worth it.
It is for children over one but most of our children of preschool age have loved it. They sit and play with it for hours and it attracts a crowd with the children. We have to encourage sharing and taking turns as they usually all want the toy to themselves.
I think this is a great toy and I quite like playing with it myself. Surprisingly, it never gets boring watching a piece of wood click clacking to the ground.
A lover of traditional toys, when my daughters were very young I went through a stage of only buying wooden or traditional toys and avoided all things plastic. The Click Clack track from the Early Learning Centre is one of my favourites and we still have this toy. At the time this was £15, although I have seen it since on places like Ebay for much cheaper, however £15 is still a very reasonable price for something well made that will last, and give endless amounts of fun.
The click clack track gets its name from the sound it makes. The four wooden tracks see the four coloured cars race down, changing tracks when it reaches the end of the of the previous one. As it reaches the end of each track it makes a noise, hence the name. An easy toy for young children to grasp what they need to do, it also brings great fun for much older children. My eldest daughter likes to see if she can get all 4 cars on the track quickly enough that each car is somewhere on the track whizzing along. It did take her quite a while to do but brought lots of laughter and determination in the process.
My children seemed to be mesmerised by the toy and it literally gave endless amounts of fun. I'm not ashamed to say that I've put this in a box in the attic for when my children (yes they are only 4 and 6!) have children of their own! It will bring back fond memories for me, stand the test of time, and bring timeless fun for other children.
Young children will also get the enjoyment of catching the toy once it comes off the bottom track. When we first used it, it was on a carpet so didn't really roll, but when it got moved to the dining room which has a wooden floor, my youngest when she was much younger would giggle with delight as it whizzed off along the floor, and she quickly raced after it to catch it.
Older children will enjoy building towers for the cars to either knock down or drive through as they leave the track, making the toy quite versatile once you start breaking down the different ways children can make use out of it. Interestingly when we have had boys play with the track, they seem to want to build a wall at the end of the track so the cars can try and knock it down, but the girls all seem to want to build a nice little bridge!
An easy toy to play with, it is uncomplicated and hassle free, requiring no batteries or setting up. Unwrap it and go! A perfect present for Christmas, which my children often find frustrating when they open up a toy, want to play with it immediately, but it requires mum or dad to spend ten minutes removing silly packaging, and then a further ten minutes trying to install batteries and remove screws!
Since we have owned the track, one car has done a disappearing act, but unfortunately there aren't any packs of cars that you can buy as replacements.
Definitely money well spent and 100% recommended. Perfect for the development of hand eye coordination for little ones, and problem solving for slightly older children as they work out what (and why) is happening after they have released the car on the top track.
Since my son was diagnosed with Autism earlier this year, we have seen many different specialists to help with his development. One of the most used toys that the different specialists carry is a click clack Track, and this is a firm favourite with many of them, especially with the speech therapist. With it being highly recommended, I duly decided to lookout for one in the shops to use at home.
I searched high and low to find a Click clack track, and nowhere seemed to have any. I knew the Early Learning Centre would most likely have this particular toy in their stores, so I headed there last. In all honesty, I was hoping to find one at a more reasonable price. However, since this was a toy that came recommended, I didn't mind paying out for it. The Early Learning Centre's Click Clack Track retails at £15.00, which isn't a bad price for a wooden toy.
I expected the toy to be of a good quality and thought it would be put to good use. Inside the box is the Click Clack track and three small wooden cars. It is all ready to go and all that is required is a flat surface. I thought I would have the first go to show my son how it worked. I was a little dismayed at how slow the car ran down the track and suddenly come to a halt as it toppled off the track. This was most disappointing. However, I continued to play and hoped it was just bad luck.
Unfortunately, I found that the cars would slip off the tracks more times than not which made it rather frustrating, and this didn't help with the way it was intended to be used. The reason why the specialists recommend this toy is to get joint attention with a child and to teach turn taking. The other reason, is because it is supposed to be a short time in between each go, so the child doesn't become bored waiting for their turn, which is important with an autistic child.
Sadly I spent more time sighing and finding it frustrating that the cars wouldn't freely run down the track. As the toy didn't perform as expected, it didn't gain my son's interest, because it was rare that the car would make it to the bottom of the track. With little enthusiasm from myself, due to the toy not giving any fun, I found it hard to get my son interested. Plus the fact that we rarely got to see the car stay on the track and run down at a reasonable speed.
The toy looks to be well made, and is constructed from a good quality wood. The cars that are provided are the right size and are well made, too. With it all looking good and being of a high quality, I was expecting it to preform better. The Click clack track that has been used in my son's nursery setting has always been fun and worked perfectly, with the cars running down the track at high speed, which catches my son's attention. The particular track was purchased from a discount store that doesn't carry the same stock for long, so sadly there was little chance of me picking up the same set.
With the Early Learning centre having a good reputation for the quality of their toys I was expecting better. I am disappointed in this toy, and even more so, as this is a toy that would be highly beneficial to use with my son. I am doubtful to find a different model from elsewhere, and I lack the patience to continue trying with this set, as I know I won't get the desired results and my son isn't likely to show interest.
Sadly, this toy didn't meet my expectations, and it has had limited use, as I find it frustrating and it hasn't gained my son's interest. Such a shame that this toy hasn't been put to good use.
I purchased the Early Learning Centre Click Clack Track for my son a couple of months ago for £15. The toy is suitable from 12 months of age and my son was 14 months and taking a real interest in putting things on or down things and watching the movement. Therefore, this toy seemed perfect for him.
The toy is essentially a large wooden 'ladder' type track with two solid feet that it stands on. Above this there is four coloured, sloping rungs that the cars roll down. These have grooves engraved in that the cars wheels slot into to keep them on track. With the track comes three cars - in orange, red and blue. These are essentially small rectangular blocks with four metal wheels on the sides. These can be placed at the top of the ramp and then, as they drop to the next level, they flip over and continue down until they reach the bottom.
At 14 months, my son had good co-ordination skill and was able to place the cars successfully at the top of the ramp quite a bit. However, they are quite small cars and can be fiddly to get in the right place every time. This can lead to him becoming quite frustrated with the toy. My son is also still putting things in his mouth quite a lot and I am quite wary that the cars and, in particularly the wheels, are very small so I am concerned that these may be a choking hazard. Therefore, even now at 17 months, I only let him play with these fully supervised.
My son loves watching the cars as they slide down the ramp and flip over, giggling as they race down. He also loves to chase after them as they whizz off the last ramp and along our wooden floor. As the cars are different colours this is also good for teaching him these, for example, 'go get the orange car'.
Overall, this is a nice toy and I don't begrudge paying £15 for it. It helps with hand-eye co-ordination and to learn about movement. The toy does get a bit repetitive and won't hold my son's attention for too long but he will keep returning to it throughout the day. The cars are easily lost though because of their size, they easily shoot under the sofas etc. This can be frustrating, especially at the end of the day when packing away - the toy would also be ruined without these & I don't think they can be easily replaced. I would recommend the toy but would also say that it is perhaps more suitable for children nearer 18 months than 12.
The ELC Wooden Click Clack Track was a toy I bought for my best friend's 19 month old son for Christmas. Imagine my surprise then, when three weeks later on my son's first birthday we opened the exact same gift from her. As she noticed the confusion on my face she explained that it wasn't that she was giving the same gift back to us (and for those cynics among you their family do still have their own version!), it was just that they had so much fun with it they thought it was a good present for any baby. She went on to say that not only did their toddler like the toy, so did his older brothers aged five and six.
What I most like about the toy is that it's made of wood and needs no batteries, unlike the whole host of flashing, beeping, talking plastic toys we seem to have. It's quite simple in design with four slopes zig-zagging down to the floor. The four cars that come with it are about an inch long, just the right size for little hands. They have little metal wheels and come in four different colours.
**Playing with the toy**
The toy is very simple and it might be thought that children would easily get bored but there seems to be something addictive about putting the cars on the track and hearing the click, click, click as it passes down to the bottom. It is one of the toys that seems to come out of the toy box each day and the one my husband always gravitates to when he sits down on the floor to play with our baby.
Though he enjoys watching the cars going down the track and loves scooting after the cars to retrieve them when they reach the bottom, it has taken a few days for our baby to be able to place the cars on the track himself instead of just randomly throwing them in the direction of the track. Over the last couple of days however, he has started to have the ability to put the cars on the track, albeit sometimes upside down, showing that the toy is improving his fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination. As baby's language skills develop you could use the set to develop awareness of colours, counting to four, ordinal numbers ("Which car came first, second etc?") and concepts like fast, slow, nearest and furthest. You could also use it for positional language, putting different colour cars behind, in front of, above and below the other cars.
Equally, it is just as much fun without adult supervision. A game my older child enjoys is putting the cars on the track all in a row and seeing which one goes the furthest. The go quite fast on laminate flooring, so watch out for your skirting boards!
**Cost and Where to Buy**
The toy is from the Early Learning Centre and costs £17.50. However, Boots also sell ELC toys and I bought it there before Christmas when it was included in their 3 for 2 deal, effectively reducing the price by a third. I also noticed that it was one of the items included in the Boots half price sale after Christmas bringing the price down to a very reasonable level so it would be worth watching for future offers. The age on the box says from 18 months but we haven't had any problems with our one year old. The cars are on the small side but not small enough to choke on (though they are small enough to drop into a cup of coffee which my husband will testify to!)
**Would I recommend it?**
Absolutely! It's a lovely little toy, easy on the eye and the ear, doesn't need batteries and doesn't take up a lot of room. One tiny problem I have with it is losing the cars. There is no storage for them in the actual track, we haven't kept the box and they would get lost at the bottom of the toy box but our baby quite likes putting them in the lift up storage on his Thomas the Tank Engine ride-on, so if they're lost that's usually where they are.
My son was given this as a christmas present last year - aged just 4 months old! Obviously we put it away for a few months but when he got to around 9 mths of age I dug it out for him to play with.
It's a wooden toy with an age recommendation of 18mths to 4 years of age. I played with the click clack track alongside my son at 9 mths of age and he was fine with it.
Ok, a description of what it is. It's a wooden toy with four ramps that sit underneath each other at angles so when one of the little cars are placed on the ramp when it reaches the end of that ramp it automatically falls to the ramp underneath and so the cycle continues all the way to the bottom. There are four different coloured cars (when I say cars, they are little pieces of coloured wood with wheels attached). The cars are easily lost though, I've lost count of the times that some have gone missing and then turned up again!
My son still finds this toy entertaining and he is now 17 mths old. He's been playing with it off and on for the whole 8 mths that it has been in our lounge. We try and cycle the toys about a bit with relatives so he doesn't get bored of all the same toys but the Click Clack Track is one of a few toys that I haven't been able to seperate him from.
A friend and her two year old came to visit and he went to the track pretty much instantly and wouldn't let go of it. He was walking round with fist fulls of the cars and the track tucked under his arm in fear of my son wanting to play with it. I ended up buying my friends little boy the same track for his birthday and my friend reports that he still loves it!
It is priced at £17.50 at the minute which I think is very overpriced! However, It is a very sturdy and strong toy that I think will last an eternity. I have visions of this track being put into a box in the attic and when my son has children it being got out again to be played with.
This is an expensive toy at £17.50. My husband made me go and play golfwith him and in return bought this for our daughter. Its one of those classic toys thats long lasting and hard wearing and my daughter still likes playing with it even though shes now 2. I do think its very overpriced however and have seen cheaper versions in Asda for half the price.
The age range for this toy is 18months - 4years. You place the cars at the top of the track then watch them wizz and flip down to the bottom and across the floor.
It comes with 4 cars and is quite sturdy and heavy. I would recommend getting this one second hand off ebay or from nct or car boot sales as im always seeing them about and its far cheaper and always still in good condition as its a sturdy toy.
The ELC produce some very good toys and this is one of them, I decided to eventually buy this for my little boy as he constantly played with it whilst at a friend's house and would cry when we had to leave it behind. It is basically four ramps which go down in a zig zag pattern, you get four cars and you put them at the top of the ramp and they roll down the ramps each ramp ending and the car falling onto the next one, eventually the car reaches the bottom that is if your child doesn't stop it half way down as mine sometimes does and it slides along the floor.
My little boy has great fun playing with this toy and will spend ages just putting the cars on and watching them slide down. It is made of wood and seems very robust as it has been dropped, stood on and kicked across our living room so it will last a long time. You can buy this for £17.50 from the ELC store or online. This toy helps your child's hand and eye co-ordination as they have to watch the cars and make sure they put the car on the ramp properly otherwise it won't go down. The cars are really good as they a designed to work both ways so your child doesn't need to figure out which way the wheels are on.
I would definitely recommend this toy to my friends although you can buy others which do exactly the same for as low as £8. A fantastic invention which provides lots of amusement even for the adults too. This toy is has an age range of 18 months to 4 years but I think children under 18 months can play with this as it is safe as the only small parts are the cars and they aint that small.
A friend recently visited and bought this item for my son as a mi-year, I haven't seen you for ages pressie. he was 18 months at the time and was delighted with his new toy.
The idea is simple, there are four ramps, one leading to the next in a zig zag pattern. They all slope down and create a track for a car to travel down. You are provided with cars too, four of tehm I recall, each a different colour. You place the cars at the top of the track and watch them roll downwards, flipping onto the next section of track, the idea is simple, the hours of fun for the little ones is long! As the car gets to teh ottom it appears to fly off the end of teh track at speed which my son loves to watch. he then repeatedly takes the cars and puts them one by one at the top, watching for them to travel down so he can start all over again.
This toy is made of wood and is well made. It is strong and looks like it wil stand the test of time. The cars are also made of wood, and a simple design, nothing there to break off and teh best bit - no batteries!
This toy is suitable for children between the ages of 18 months and four years. I do think that this toy is more suited to the younger to middle age range suggested, I wouldn't buy this toy for a 3 yr old as I don't think they would get much use out of it, but it would still be suitable for a 3yr old to play with (in fact my 29yr old husband plays with our sons so that says it all)!
This particualr one can be bought from ELC for about £17. There are similar clcik clack tracks that you can get for cheaper if you shop around. This toy is a classic, it will still be played with in 20 plus years time and therfore is worth the money.
Well Christmas day has come and gone and my two girls have a host of new toys to play with! One of the presents my twenty one month old daughter received was the ELC click clack track. This is a very simple toy, but in the last twenty four hours had caused a lot of enjoyment for both my girls.
The click clack track is basically a wooden frame with four bits of track, one above the other, all sloping downwards. (I think the picture shows this much more clearly than I can describe it!) There are small spaces between the four bits of track which allow the little cars (that come with the track) to drop down.
There are four different coloured cars, which will help little ones with their colours. The aim is to place the cars on the track and watch them as they make their journey down the tracks until they shoot out at the bottom! It's interesting to watch the cars as they drop from one track to the next as they each seem to do a little back flip.
The tracks have grooves on them so that the cars don't fall off on their way down. My elder daughter, at age three and a half, can place the cars in the grooves quite easily, but the younger one seems to find this quite difficult and needs some help to place the cars correctly.
At the moment, just sending the cars down one by one seems to keep my daughters entertained, but if they bore of this there are other ways of playing with it. You can try sending two, three or even four cars down at the same time. We have tried this and the girls like to see them all come at once. You could also try and have competitions between the different coloured cars, seeing how far each of them shoots out at the end having gone down the track. You could try starting the cars at different positions on the track to see what happens. You can also leave cars in different paces on the track, and then setting one at the top to see if it will push the other one off!
I like this toy because it seems to be very sturdy and well made. I like the fact that it is wood rather than the usual plastic that we get these days. The cars are also very simple but do the job they are meant too very well. Thankfully there are no batteries or loud electronic noises, both a bonus in my opinion. In fact, although it looks like it is going to be a noisy toy, it is really quite quiet!
The age range for this toy is for between 18 months and four years. I would suggest that probably somewhere in the middle is the optimum age for really enjoying it! At present you can buy it from ELC for £17.50, although I believe you can get it at Boots as well. In my opinion, this is a classic, timeless toy and well worth the money!
This toy will keep them amused for hours.
This is going to be a fairly short review, toys aren't my thing really, but I thought I would spread the word about this toy we bought from the Early Learning Centre four weeks before Christmas 2004
Why did we buy this?
My daughter was down with her little 20 month old daughter, all the toys we had at our house were getting too young for the grand littles, so I wanted to buy something to keep them amused until Christmas arrived with a whole new lot of things to play with.
Where did we shop to get it?
My daughter said it wasn't long to wait, but when we went to the Early Learning Centre, we saw this toy and my daughter got all excited! She said it was one toy at the Toy Library where she took her little one that was always booked out to borrow and the one toy that always had a queue of little ones waiting their turn. So we duly bought it and brought it home. My daughter couldn't wait to open the box and set it up. This took a matter of seconds because this toy has no batteries and no complicated parts to it.
What is it?
If you look at the picture you can see it consists of two wooden uprights with four wooden slanted tracks joined between them. There are four little cars that go with this track, each a different colour, red, blue, yellow and green. The idea is you set the car off at the top and it runs down the track, changing direction as it reaches the end of each piece of track. As it changes direction it makes a click clack sound, hence the name.
So, what happened next?
My daughter played with this, she is 30 years old, but sat on the floor sending the cars down the track, watched avidly by my grand daughter, who soon got the hang of it, and played with it until bed time, then on and off all the next day before they went home. I had a go, if you load the cars very fast and re load them as soon as they hit the ground you can get perpetual motion and it is rather fun to see if you can get them all moving along the track at the same time but in different places. My husband came home from work, had a look at it and sat on the floor sending the little wooden cars whizzing down the track. My son in law even had a few goes. So I was feeling really pleased with myself because it was money well spent and a success.
But what about the boys?
A week later, after my daughters family had gone home I had my sons family to visit. They consist of, my son and his partner, my grandson 22 months and the youngest grandson 7 months. The older one made a bee line for this toy when they first got here and played nicely for ages, he took a while to get the hang of it and kept putting the cars upsidedown so they got stuck, but he really did play well and quietly for ages. The little one sat and watched the cars, reaching out for them as they got to the bottom and rolled across the carpet a little way.
My sons partner has an older son who is 12 years, he came round early in the morning one day and also seemed to enjoy sending the cars down the track. Being a typical lad he blocked the turns up and generally made things come to a halt, then I noticed he was sending the cars down, one at a time and measuring how far they rolled along the carpet, chatting to the little one all the time and explaining to him that the red car must have been the fastest because it travelled the furthest, and so on. An early science lesson about speed and travel and stuff. It kept him amused for about an hour which also kept the two little ones amused. My son has been known to come round with the little boys and sit on the floor for ages playing with our click clack track. I can't believe something so simple keeps so many people of different ages amused for so long. I am really glad I bought this.
So, how much was it?
£12.50 from the Early Learning Centre. I have included the link to their site below because it is such a good site with so many great ideas for keeping little ones amused while they learn through play.
There is a click clack catapillar for £20 which is more brightly coloured, but I like wooden toys and the one we have has been real value for money.
And that is the end of my review, this toy is simple, brightly coloured, wooden and mesmerising for little ones, boys or girls, and older ones, boys or girls alike. I am really glad I bought it.
I am already adding an update. No not something I forgot, but something I have learned from the people who have read this already. So, thanks to sandemp, I will add this interesting fact.
Occupational Therapists will recommend this for children with delayed learning to help them to track. This is a fascinating fact for me because of working with people who have learning difficulties and ones sandemp had mentioned this I realised how helpful it could be. So, I want to say a big thank you for telling me that.
Thanks for reading this review
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love buying my children toys, especially if I think they're going to learn something while they play with them. It was therefore no surprise that when my son's occupational therapist (OT) recommended the Click Clack Track, I immediately added it to his birthday list.
~~~So what's a Click Clack Track then?~~~
A Click Clack Track is a wooden toy from the Early Learning Centre, consisting of a frame with four sloping ramps and four brightly coloured cars. As the cars go down the ramps they hit little plastic pegs with a metal ball on their bumper and make a wonderful clacking noise.
The cars are about an inch long, and come in four bright colours, red, blue, yellow and green. They actually travel quite fast on smooth surfaces and also make a nice clicking noise as they crash.
~~~Why was it recommended?~~~
The OT recommended this for two main reasons :
Firstly it would encourage Michael to use his hands and help improve his hand-eye co-ordination as he was placing the cars on the track and getting the immediate reward of the cars going down the track and making a noise.
But secondly, Michael has poor eye-sight and has problems with tracking (this is where the eyes follow an object as it moves), and the idea was that he would watch the cars as they moved down the track in the different directions.
~~~So did it work?~~~
That's hard to say really, Michael certainly enjoyed playing with it, but he still has problems with tracking and I'd say he listened for the noise rather than watching the actual cars. But his hand-eye co-ordination has definitely improved, it's just I can't say it's just down to this particular toy as we have lots of other toys bought for exactly the same purpose.
~~~What else did he learn?~~~
Now this was the great thing about the toy, we could adapt the games we played to help encourage other skills. Sometimes we would make it a game about taking turns, and others it would be about counting to three before letting go of the car. This meant that he was starting to learn to wait either for his turn or three before letting go, something which to tell the truth he's still not very good at.
Another game we would play was for him to put a particular colour car on the track, to start with I would just say which colour car it was that he was using, but eventually it progressed to him being able to use the colour of my choice.
One thing I will say though is that we (I) would talk constantly about what we were doing, which of course helps any child to develop their communication.
~~~What age is it suitable for?~~~
The ELC website tells me that this toy is suitable from 12 months, but I would say that they will need a lot of help to play with it at that age. Michael got his when he was three, and at about 12-18 months developmentally and needed a LOT of support. His sister, (who's a year younger), was however able to play with this pretty independently, and get something out of it.
Now, I'm going to embarrass my older children here, but they would sneak a go whenever they got the chance, at the ages of 6 and 10, and I must admit I even found it quite fun to play with.
~~~I notice you keep talking about it in the past tense, why?~~~
Well unfortunately, this track wasn't nearly as durable as it could have been, and is no longer with us. Michael fell on it one day, and it literally fell apart, but even before that it was getting a bit shaky. All in all the track lasted about a year. The cars though, well that's another matter, they're still around four years later and played with on a regular basis.
~~~Where can I get one?~~~
The Click Clack Track can only be bought from the ELC, either on-line or in their shops, and costs £15, they also sell a plastic caterpillar version with lights and sounds for £20.
~~~What did Michael think of his track?~~~
While it's impossible for him to tell me what he thought about his track, I do remember that he loved it and it became one of his obsessions. He would sit for a good few hours releasing the cars constantly. Now that the track's in the great playground in the sky, he still loves to make the cars crash and will sometimes just sit a car in each hand banging them together.
~~~And what did Mummy think?~~~
Well Mummy was very disappointed, it was a brilliantly fun toy, but just not very durable. It would have been better if the base had been in one piece, rather than two feet, as I'm sure it would have lasted longer then. Saying that, I'm still recommending it, for it's pure fun and educational value, after all £15 isn't a huge sum of money to spend, even if it does only last a year.
* The ELC seem to have taken customer's feedback into account and have very recently changed the design of the frame. It now appears to be much sturdier, and therefore even better value for money.