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This is a garden toy that we have had some time now in some ways I think this is one of the most classic garden toys that you can buy as I see it in so many gardens around where we will live. I think the reason that the Little Tikes whale toy is so popular is that it is a simple but fun toy for children from toddlers upwards.
What is it? ********* For those of you unfamiliar with this blue whale they let me describe it. The whale is made out of robust blue plastic. The whale is made on a rocking base so that if you have two children they can sit at either side and use it like a traditional see saw. Little Tikes also claim that a third child can sit in the middle as it rocks too. If you have only one child they can sit in the middle and hold on and use it in a similar way to a rocking horse. The whale as part of its moulded plastic design has some waves that it sits on to give the illusion of riding and swimming amongst the waves and the children can rest their feet on these curves. There are bright yellow handles for your little ones to hold on to as they ride the whale and the whale itself has a very cute looking face.
In use ******* We bought ours at a car boot sale and I have to say we have had a bargain buy as my son loves playing on this in the garden. The plastic even though ours was second hand is still a bright blue and hasn't shown any signs of fading in the two years we have had it. There are no cracks in the plastic despite it being rocked on grass and concrete patios. The only time that it can show signs of wear and tear is if it is left out in the winter the water curves of the waves can take on a green mouldy quality but after about half an our of cleaning with Dettol spray and hot water this soon comes off.
We find that he enjoys playing on it on his own in the garden when he is sat in the centre and he often pretends to be a pirate riding the whale. He has also used the whale as part of imaginative play when being a pirate with his daddy as they trying to run/swim away from the whale and pretending it is a shark trying to get them
On the times we have had his friends round they have all enjoyed taking it in turns to ride the whale in a see saw fashion. However I have found that they don't really like three children being on it together. I think for the boys playing it is because they then can't make it go as fast and high and equally they can't all see one another. Where as if there is just two on it they can laugh and smile at one another.
Though this can be used inside as well as out with have always kept it outside as at 3 and half foot long it is just too big for our small lounge.
Though this toy can be used from 18 months up when my son first started playing with it around this age he would prefer to be on it just by himself and in the centre with my holding his back to give him a sense of security. This is my only real criticism of the toy is that for children at the younger age range of the toy they can feel a little vulnerable on it and if it had a detachable harness for the smaller age group that could be fed through some holes or just clipped in place it would be perfect. As it is now that he is a dare devil of a 3 year old he doesn't mind there being no straps in fact I think he wouldn't let me put them on if it did have!
They call this toy a teeter totter whale but in my opinion this name suggests something that is not substantial which is not the case as the whale in our garden rides majestically up and down on the waves to many shrieks and giggles without teetering or tottering over.
Overall ******** This is a classic garden toy and is a worthwhile buy for any family in my opinion. The price tends to be around £30 from new from retailers such as Tesco and www.adventuretoys.co.uk I think this is a toy that lasts well. It is often found cheaper at car boot sale and my advice is if you see one get one as it provides hours of amusement for the 2-5 year old age group. The toy itself is well made and ours even though second hand shows no sign of damage despite the whale riding roughly on the waves.