The 2-in-1 Cart and Garden Wheelbarrow set proved very easy to assemble (about 15 minutes), just following the straight forward instructions, only requiring a hammer and a Philips screwdriver. The idea of hitting the wheel with a hammer did concern me. However everything slotted into place easily whilst still feeling robust enough for outside play with three, very active, children under five.
For young children the bright colours and chunkiness are ideal. There was obvious excitement from all three children (aged four, three and 18 months) on first sight and they soon learned that taking turns was the order of the day. An additional bonus is the versatile nature of its use as both a gardening tool (wheelbarrow with accessories) and a "shop" cart (adding to the children’s imaginative play opportunities). The wheelbarrow quickly transforms into a cart (and vice versa) with layers for different activities and a beautiful canopy. Sensibly the canopy can be simply removed, with no fuss, for washing.
The gardening tools are a good size for small hands and the water sprinkler is a lovely idea. I always have to share my hosepipe for watering so was looking forward to this being a welcome distraction for the children. However this is the weakest part of an otherwise excellent production. The sprinkler has to be "pumped" vigorously to produce a usable spray and I found for young children this is a tall order. Our children being ever enterprising soon learnt there was just as much fun to be had from filling up the sprinkler bottle from the water butt at the end of the greenhouse and pouring it onto the plants or, as often as not, over each other!
The two assembled flowers with pots, provide added interest. The older children discussed enthusiastically the colour of the flowers, developing language and speaking skills through play. Out of the blue (excuse the pun) the three-year-old described one as purple and, without prompting, the other as indigo. Yet another "wow" moment with this delightful toy.
The 2-in-1 Cart and Garden Wheelbarrow set is made to a very high standard, not unusual I have found for Little Tikes. It has no sharp edges or hidden traps for small fingers. It is easy to push yet robust enough for the hardest of terrain – it easily tackled the ruts and long grass in the wildlife "forest", as the children call it, at the bottom of our garden.
In only a short while this has become a firm favourite with both the children and adults in our family, as it allows for independent and adult-supported play. It currently takes pride of place in the garden. As you can tell I am an avid fan and cannot recommend highly enough the Little Tikes 2-in-1 Cart and Garden Wheelbarrow set to entertain and also educate.
PWT rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
RRP £39.99 with free delivery from Little Tikes.