Advantages sturdy, well made, colourful, things to do
Disadvantages annoying phrases, no off switch
|Value for Money|
We bought the ELC Light & Sound Farm Tractor for my son for his first birthday. The toy is for children from 12 months of age and makes sounds as well as lights up. The tractor retails at £16.99.
The tractor is quite chunky and fairly large in size - dimensions from ELC website are: weight: 0.34 kg, height: 21 cm, width: 30 cm & depth: 13 cm. The toy is made of a sturdy plastic and ours is predominantly purple in colour with a yellow underside (ELC frequently update the colour schemes of their toys and the one on the website currently is red in colour). The trailer is attached to the back of the tractor and this is blue in colour with a bright green fencing around it.
With the tractor, you also get a lightweight plastic cow and farmer. These can be placed in the trailer and tractor’s driving seat respectively. When the farmer is placed in the seat, one of two phrases are emitted from the tractor - 'its tractor time' and 'we're off to the fields'. The chimney at the front of the tractor can also be pushed down to make engine noises, hoot the horn and light the headlights up. The back of the trailer can be lowered to allow the cow to be walked in and the wheels on the tractor and trailer spin round so that it can be pushed along the floor. The toy requires 2 AA batteries, and comes with these too.
The tractor allows my son to explore different functions and learn about cause and consequence. He loves to push the tractor around the room (it moves equally well on hard flooring and carpet which is a neat feature as often toys like this become stuck on carpets and require more force to move them). This encourages him to crawl and move around the room. He particularly likes pushing buttons on the toy and is pleased with himself when this leads to the noises and lights going off.
My son loves the little characters contained in the toy – especially the cow. They are suitable chunky for him to hold in his hand but small enough for him to move them around. He also explores these with his mouth, biting on them. This has led to no damage to the colours etc and they wipe clean really easily as they are very smooth to the touch. He also loves to pull the flap down on the trailer and repeat the action of opening and closing this.
I love this toy and the enjoyment that it gives my son. It is well made and has a suitable amount of things for him to explore and do to keep him occupied. I find the phrases that the tractor makes when the farmer is placed in rather annoying. They are said in a very stereotypically broad country accent and get very repetitive – it could do with a few more noises or phrases to reduce the annoyance factor for parents!
I think that they toy will last us well as, not only is it well made, there are features that will appeal to different ages. At the moment, my son loves the characters and pushing this along – this is helping him to develop manipulative skills and his co-ordination. It is also allowing him to strengthen his hand and fingers and learn more what he can do with them. He also loves pushing the chimney down – again strengthening his fingers and aiding his co-ordination. As he gets older, I envisage that he will still enjoy pushing this around as a lot of children enjoy playing with vehicle toys like this for many years. I also hope that he will be able to use this to develop him imagination and use for imaginative play. It will also be helpful for him to learn about animals (well, cows!) and the noise they make – although we can also load the trailer with other small animal toys as there is room for more than just the cow in there.
The toy is brightly coloured and attractive to look at and will always be one of the first toys that catches my son’s attention when removed from the toybox.
For me, the most annoying thing with the toy is that there is no off switch. Sometimes, it would be nice to play without the sounds (or even switch off to put away as the noises frequently go off in the toy box!). However, that aside, I am really pleased with the toy and the use that my son has already had from it. I think £16.99 seems a little steep for such a basic toy but I can’t really argue with the price too much because of the use that we have had out of it. However, ELC frequently have discounts on their stock so it is well worth purchasing when such events are on. I would definitely recommend – for boys and girls alike.
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