Our little one has had a good chance to try out a wide range of toys now that she’s 18 months old, so it’s fair to say we have a pretty good idea of ones which are a win and ones which have been a waste of money. One toy that has most certainly been a win in our household is the Early Learning Centre’s light and sounds activity table.
Our little girl was first able to use this when she was just starting to stand up and support herself against objects, meaning that she was able to access this toy from before the one year plus age recommendation. However, as a toy, it has come into its own the older she has got; it has developed from being something interesting to lean on to something that has helped improve her motor skills.
Comprising of eight balls (with four different designs), a hammer and a couple of funnels, this is an easy toy for adults to assemble and has the great option of three different levels of sound, from sound off (parent win!) to very loud or the most useful middle volume for when you are happy for the sound element to be on but want to avoid having your eardrums burst by the constant noise!
The sound element takes place every time your little one successfully puts a ball through one of the holes, or spins the middle area, or twists the two knobs, so this can be a loud toy if you leave the sound on high once your toddler gets more adept at using it.
As mentioned earlier, our little girl used this table from before the age of one and is now still very much enjoying using it despite almost being closer to two as the table presents different challenges and puzzles. This isn’t a toy that gets boring quickly for little ones.
Overall, the only downside to this toy is that it does take up quite a lot of room and isn’t the cheapest (at £50 new) but there are some to be found online second hand. As well as this, you will no doubt spend hours looking for the balls which will be scattered around your house (they are every day by our little one!). That said, this is an excellent toy for motor skills development and the fact that the balls work with other ELC toys means that if you do lose some you might be able to top it up with other ELC toys you already own.
Rating (out of 5):
Ease of assembly – 5
Toddler-proof – 4
Toddler interest – 4
Price (new) – 3
You can buy the ELC light and sounds table new here.