“ Manufacturer: Early Learning Centre / Type: Trolley „
This trolley was bought by us from a friend who's son had outgrown it. We bought it from them along with the Early Learning Centre Sizzlin' Kitchen which has the same bright blue and red colours of this trolley so they both matched.
It is a lovely sturdy trolley, it is very good quality and well made, the wheels are thick and tough and the whole structure feels very robust. It has a red frame with 4 blue wheels and the blue shopping trolley basket is separate and simply attaches (hangs) from a bar just below the handle. Having the basket detach so easily from the trolley is good for storage if you are limited on space as it is easier to fit in to somewhere for example if you want to store it upside down etc. But on the other hand I have found the ease of taking the basket off just means that my son seems to enjoy pushing the trolley round with no basket attached. Ideally I would like the basket to detach as it does but to maybe have some sort of a clip/clasp in place so you can do this but your toddler can't!
The basket is very handy for storage. I'm sure any of you who have had play food or a play kitchen will know that you end up with endless bits of fruit/veg/tins/cans/cups etc everywhere and being able to just scoop them all up and put them in the trolley is great and our play kitchen doesn't have enough room to store all these little bits and pieces.
My son plays with this trolley alot and I am very glad we got it with the kitchen as I am not sure I would have thought about getting a trolley separately. As we bought them together I don't know how much they are new, I had a quick look on their website and I would say they are between £12-£15 new on their own. Based on this I think this is quit alot for just a trolley. It doesn't do anything and does not come with any food. If I had wanted to buy a trolley I probably would have sought out a cheaper one somewhere. However, now I have it I know that this Early Learning Centre one is very good quality so you do get what you pay for.
Overall great fun if you have either a kitchen/supermarket type of toy you can use with it.
I usually love The Early Learning Centre and it's toys. We have a whole house full from baby toys, learning toys and slightly older children toys. They are always very good quality and my children love them. For Christmas this year we were bought this shopping trolley, it looks a bit different to that in the picture and unfortunately it isn't as good as we had anticipated.
What is it?
It is a plastic shopping trolley for your little children to use during imaginative play to go shopping with!
What it looks like
The shopping trolley we have is blue and red. It sits upon a red frame which has the wheels beneath it. The handle of the trolley is higher up than on the picture here. It is very obviously a shopping trolley and the wheels are quite big which makes it easy to push although it's not all that easy to steer!
Playing with it
My children love playing with it and when their friends come round it proves popular. Hope likes to collect random items in it and pretend she is shopping. She runs along with it collecting things as she goes and loves using her imagination to pretend she is shopping like a big girl. However, the actual height of the trolley is low. Hope has just turned 4 but she is already too tall to be able to push the trolley in the most comfortable of ways. My baby is 15 months and it's an ideal height for him! He loves to push it along and practice his walking. So I've found that Hope won't play with it for as long as she normally would with other things and I wonder if that is because it is a little bit too small for her.
Sadly the quality of this product isn't as good as I would expect from this shop. The plastic isn't as robust as normal, making it a little bit flimsy. It still withstands toddlers playing with it but to me it seems a lot cheaper in quality than normal. It is very light so the slightest touch from our baby and it will topple over. The basket itself slots onto the frame and this has come off several times whilst they have been playing. I'm not sure how they have pulled it off but they can never put it back on themselves and it takes a few minutes for me to be able to snap it back into place. This is a bit frustrating for both them and me as it gets in the way of independent play. I think it would be nice to have them able to play without the actual toy snapping and me having to fix it. I'm sure that the Early Learning Centre could have found a better design than this. It is easy to push which is good and the lightness of it is good I guess too as it means that once there are various items inside it it's still easy for a child to push around. Turning corners isn't very smooth though but a basic forward and backwards motion is fine.
What I think
I am disappointed really. It looks like a lovely little trolley but it's really disappointing that it's height is really poor. Hope isn't a tall 4 year old yet she has outgrown this and has to bend a bit when pushing it so that is a flaw that this product has as is the fact that the basket comes away from the frame too. Hope will play with it and her friends enjoy playing with it too as they like to imagine being adults and going shopping so that's nice, I love them using their imaginations I think it's really important for their development, it is just a shame it is interrupted when the shopping trolley breaks! I think the idea is good but a little work on the design could make this a much more practical toy for young children.
When people were asking what to buy twenty month old Freddy for Christmas one of the items on our list was a shopping trolley, after all what young child doesn't like to play shops? The particular trolley that was bought for him is the Early Learning Centre Shopping Trolley, a sturdy, plastic version billed as being suitable for children over the age of two. When this trolley was purchased there were two versions available, one pink the other blue and it was on offer at £8 reduced from £16. As Freddy is a boy he was bought the blue version, which is the version I will be reviewing.
==Let's Go Shopping - A Parent's View==
The ELC shopping trolley is supplied unassembled in a fairly compact cardboard box. Assembly is fairly simple and only takes a few minutes, it really is little more than following the easy to read instructions and clicking the pieces together. This means that it isn't particularly a toy that needs to be assembled the night before a special day, as long as the child can be kept occupied for a couple of minutes.
Once assembled the trolley looks fairly realistic and stands approximately 50cm high. The whole of the trolley is formed from durable moulded plastic, with the main frame being a pale green, the handle yellow, wheels red, axels white and basket light blue. I really wouldn't say that the trolley could be considered anything other than unisex. The basket section is removable and can be used as a shopping basket, but rather than having a handle it only has two holes to use for carrying. The basket is easy to remove from the frame and indeed replace as it simply hooks over a bar. The basket section is also pretty deep, it's near enough the size of a regular supermarket basket, it's certainly deep enough for all of Freddy's play food, with room to spare. (M&S play cans, Tesco play food and Wilko play food), although it does NOT come supplied with any play food.
I particularly like the fact that the trolley has a wide wheel base, which makes it a little more stable than some other trolleys on the market. The wheels are free-wheeling, just, they are a little stiff, which means that the trolley is less likely to run away on the child. Unlike real trolleys this trolley has fixed wheels, which removes the risk of wonky trolley syndrome, but does make it a little harder for learner trolley drivers to accurately steer.
The trolley certainly feels durable and being made of plastic (rather than metal) it is unlikely to come to any harm if left outside overnight. Being made of plastic also means that it's easy to wipe clean. The wheels look sturdy enough to survive trips to the real supermarket, but to be honest we only play with this indoors. From an adult's view point, the trolley looks well-made, more than worth the £8 paid and an essential add-on to playing shops. But it's not just my opinion that counts...
==Shop Till You Drop - A Child's View==
Freddy was twenty months old at Christmas, when he received this trolley, which is a little under the recommended age, but he is tall for his age and a reasonably confident walker. I won't say he was overly impressed with the box the trolley came in and so he gave us plenty of time to put the trolley together (there were just so many exciting new toys to play with). Once the trolley was put together, Freddy did show a lot more interest, especially when I filled it with his play food.
When pushing the trolley the handle is perhaps a touch too high for Freddy, but this means that it will last him for a while yet before becoming too small. Freddy is easily able to push the trolley in a straight line, but does struggle with steering it, which means there has been more than one occasion that my feet have been run over or the wall bashed into. I will say that the trolley is quite light, which means that it tips quite easily so it is really only suitable for children who are able to walk independently and not as a walker.
The basket is just the right depth for Freddy to reach to the bottom, but it does hook over the bar in quite a precarious manner, which means that it is prone to falling off if the front is leant on. As well as pushing the trolley along, Freddy does also attempt to carry the basket section, which is something he finds quite difficult as it doesn't have an actual handle. We've also found that the basket is easily knocked loose once it is loaded with any degree of weight, meaning that it is probably not really suitable for loading with real tins in the supermarket.
Although this trolley is in no way his favourite toy it is one that Freddy will play with daily. We use the trolley when we play shops together, and Freddy loves to load it up with play food and then remove it all again. As well as using the trolley to go pretend shopping, Freddy has already put it to some slightly less conventional uses. He's found it makes a great buggy for his baby doll, who he then takes for walks around the house. He also uses it as a convenient way to transfer his toys between rooms, loading it up with toys in his bedroom to play with in the hall. So I would say that all things considered, Freddy quite likes his shopping trolley.
==At The Checkout - Suitability And Developmental Benefits==
Although the recommended minimum age for this trolley is two years, I would say that this is being a little on the over-cautious side. There are no small parts or sharp edges that would cause a hazard to a younger child. But what age this is suitable for depends completely on the child, their height and developmental stage. This certainly isn't suitable for a child who is unable to walk unaided as it tips too easily. I would say that the child needs to be a fairly confident walker and height wise the average eighteen month will probably find the handle a little too high. But the trolley would probably be suitable sometime between eighteen months and two years of age. As to the upper age limit, again it depends on the child, I certainly wouldn't be surprised if Freddy found the trolley a little too small by the time he is four or five.
As with any toy they manufacture, the Early Learning Centre claim that this trolley will help your child develop essential skills. In my own opinion the main skills this will help your child develop are role play, imagination and understanding the world around them as they play shops. When combined with other toys such as a till, play food and play money the trolley becomes an important prop as your child learns about shopping and money. (Especially when you join in). Even if your child is too young to have developed an independent imagination, they will still enjoy putting tins in and out of the trolley as you talk about shops. As their imagination develops you'll probably find (as we have) that the trolley becomes something completely different, it could suddenly become a pram, a bus or a space ship for their toys.
Freddy and I are rather pleased with this trolley and it the price paid (£8) it was an absolute bargain. It is far studier than other brands and the fact it's made of plastic rather than metal means that it's far safer (no sharp points) and more weatherproof. We also like that this is also suitable for younger children than most other toy trolleys on the market, which means I am happy to allow Freddy to play with it unsupervised. That's not to say it's perfect though, the issues with the basket coming unhooked so easily (especially when filled with heavier items) and lack of steerable wheels means that there is no way I would recommend taking this out to the supermarket with you. I also feel that as the basket is removable it should have had an easy carry handle attached.
As to stars out of five, Freddy and I are agreed that the Early Learning Centre Shopping Trolley deserves a hearty, but not perfect four stars out of five. And we are recommending it as an addition to any toddler's play shop as it really does add a new dimension to play.
Shopping is fun with this little shopping trolley from The early Learning Centre.
My daughter is really quite helpful when it comes to shopping in Sainsburys. She likes to throw, yes literally throw, the shopping into the trolley for me and we always end up with broken biscuits but hey never mind. She also likes to try and push the trolley but it is way too tall and big for her so I thought she would like a little trolley of her own.
This one from The Early Learning Centre is perfect, it's not too expensive, I think I paid £14.99 for it which I think is quite reasonable.
The trolley is plastic and looks just like a proper supermarket shopping trolley. It has quite big wheels so it is easy to push around. The wheels are ok to take outside as well as they will push on quite hard surfaces and even grass so it can be played with in the garden.
At the front of it or back I guess depending on which way you are standing and looking at it is a long handle just like the supermarket ones that you can grab and push the trolley. The thing I really like about this trolley is that it is the perfect height for a little child to push around although I would only recommend it for children who can walk already. I think it is a bit unsteady to be used as a walking aid for children who cannot walk yet.
Of course the shopping trolley does not come with any play food, that you have to purchase separately but we have so much plastic fruit, vegetables and other items etc that we are ok when it comes to toys like this. The trolley holds quite a bit of shopping so my little girl and I have a ball going around the house pretending to buy all the items we need for a weekly shop.
This is a great fun little toy and one I really recommend.
I bought this for my 18 month old son, as he loves helping with the shopping, carrying the odd banana and apple around - but finds supermarket baskets too bulky to carry. It looked sturdy and bright, was a reasonable price and toys from the Early Learning Centre are usually very good quality. Sadly, I was very disappointed. My son loved it on the two occassions we took it to the shop - however there are two design flaws that make it very frustrating. The handle didn't fit securely and kept coming off when he pulled on the trolley to change direction. Secondly, the basket is removable - but it doesn't have a handle or a flat bottom so there is very little you can do with it. It doesn't click into place, so very easy to accidently knock off and spill the contents. After playing with it twice, I returned it to ELC for a (no-quibble) refund. I'm now looking at a metal all in one trolley, more expensive, but hopefully won't keep coming apart.
*** Playing shop ***
Most children love playing shop - I remember being young and having fun being the shopkeeper! So if you want to open a little 'shop' for your child, a shopping trolley is a great place to start. I decided to set up a little indoor shop for my daughter and am slowly stocking up on a few essentials.
*** Wheely colourful ***
Retailing at £16, this shopping trolley from Early Learning Centre is a good buy. The colours are light blue and red, making it suitable for boys and girls. The colours are bright and fun looking, and it's an eye-catching trolley. The trolley is very easy to wheel around, and you never have any problems with pesky wheels with minds of their own like in real supermarkets.
*** Empty trolley ***
The basket on the trolley is detachable, and there is plenty of space inside for groceries. Unfortunately the trolley itself comes with nothing - a shame at this price, and you are forced to spend more money on bits and bobs to put inside. The trolley is very light, which does make it quite easy to tip over if your little shopper gets a bit overexcited. It is also worth mentioning that the trolley doesn't fold away so make sure you have space for storage.
*** Summary ***
Overall this is a fun and lovely looking trolley for a budding little shopkeeper, but I do feel that, for £16, you could at least expect a few groceries to come with it! The trolley is suitable from two to eight years - although I think it's okay from about 18 months (and I think eight may be a little old for this toy).
If you want to expand your shop, there is a matching cash register and shopping basket in the same blue and red colour scheme from Early Learning Centre.