Product Type: Mattel toys
Newest Review: ... still plays with it now at 4. She absolutely loves it and loves role playing with it. Complete with a soap dispenser drawer, hinged see t... more
Get your children into training for doing the housework!!!
ELC Washing Machine
Member Name: kama0529
ELC Washing Machine
Advantages: Inexpensive. Makes noises. Buttons to press. Moving drum. Good for role play.
Disadvantages: Sometimes drum gets stuck. Door hard to open.
My son is at the age where he's all about make-believe and in particular loves role play when he gets to play "house". He has an oven he cooks on, a shopping trolley that he shops with....and yes, a washing machine where he likes to pile dirty laundry into. If only little boys stayed this helpful and domesticated when they grew up!!
I bought this product from the Early Learning Centre in Cheltenham. I'm a big fan of the ELC for finding suitable toys and equipment for young children as all of their products appear to be well designed, well thought out - and reliable. If possible, I tend to buy all of my sons toys and games from the ELC because it is simply somewhere I trust. The washing machine cost me £15 in store.
The ELC shop had a pink and a blue version of the washing machine which are identical except for the colour. I assume it's meant to be blue for a boy and pink for a girl, and so predictably I opted for the blue version for my son.
The dimensions of the washing machine are 27 cm x 25 cm x 17 cm and so its fairly small and will sit happily in a play area without taking up too much room. My son has like a little home area where he likes to place house, and this is where his washing machine is kept.
The washing machine is constructed from sturdy plastic and has no small loose bits that a child can easily loose. There is a door in the centre of the object which reveals a life-like drum where children can put clothes in in order to wash them. We tend to used the clothes from soft toys - like his Winnie the Pooh toy where he strips off the red t-shirt and sticks it in the washer. You can get a couple of items in at the same time. When the door is closed, there is water visible on the front of the drum so it looks like the clothes are really being washed.......much to my sons delight!
On the front panel of the washing machine is a series of five buttons which can be pressed. When pressed, the buttons make various noises, such as spin cycle and water swooshing. The drum can also be rotated when pressing the buttons. Like all children, my sons loves anything that makes a noise and this is no exception. There is also a soap dispenser drawer which he can pull out and push in at will.
The washing machine isn't perfect however and there are a couple of frustrations associated with this toy. One of the things is that sometimes the drum doesn't turn - and this seems to happen for no reason whatsoever. With a bit of patience the drum does start working again, but I don't know many toddlers who excel at being patient!
The other thing was that the door could be a little stiff to open and so several times a day I'm summoned by my son to open the door. This doesn't seem to bother him, but it does seem strange that a toy designed for children seems so hard for them to open!
The washing machine does take batteries, but these last well and I've only had to replace them once in six months.....and like I said, he does play with this every day.
I think this product is a good addition to any toddlers home corner. It has kept my sons attention and it is helping him develop through role-playing, which is something I want to encourage. There are some frustrations with this product, as discussed, but I don't think my son seems too bothered by these design faults - and he's the most important critic. S
Summary: Recommended, but there are some frustrations with toy.