4-star way to soak and get soaked!
As I’m sure you’ve already noticed… the weather has been absolutely glorious recently, and seems determined to continue in the same fashion over the next few days (at least as far as my weather app will tell me).
So, what better time for a good old-fashioned water-fight?
I’d been eyeing this particular toy since last February when I first spied it at Debenhams. I loved it because I wasn’t keen on having my 2 boys play with guns just yet, water or not. This dispensed with the need for weaponry per se, but still provided ample opportunity for the boisterous, interactive water play that they loved.
For awhile, it seemed as if summer would never grace us with her presence… but the weekend I gave 2 of these to a friend’s set of twins for their birthday, the weather turned. Some days after their party, I received an email from my friend saying, and I quote, “I believe this was the best birthday gift of all”. Score.
£12 (free delivery) from http://www.amazon.co.uk/Theo-Klein-Firemans-Water-Sprayer/dp/B0014QOMRQ
After ordering 2 more on Amazon, we were all set for the next scorcher. My sons danced about excitedly when I unpacked the items during a BBQ and then proceeded to spend the whole day tearing around the garden devising games where the objective was to get wet and get other people even wetter. Even our friend’s teenage son seemed impressed with it. A seasoned water-pistol consumer, he commented that the tank capacity was much better than usual water guns (roughly 3L), allowing longer periods of play between refills, and that the spray ‘range’ was excellent.
The Water Sprayer is made of plastic and comes packed in 2 parts, namely a red tank with straps that allows it to be worn like a backpack, as well as, a nozzle (with 2 hand holds and a piston) and hose that was to be screwed on to the bottom of the tank. The tank and nozzle both look and feel pretty sturdy and so far, have survived almost constant use every day by various (very) energetic little children. The spray action is activated by a pushing and pulling of the piston into the nozzle. The end of the nozzle can be turned left or right to determine the spray setting, be it a single high-pressured jet stream that travels further, or a multiple stream setting that maximises soaking potential.
Drawbacks? Well firstly, whilst the size of the tank means it’s great for long bouts of water/fire-fighting, it does also mean that when full, it is a rather heavy burden for the children to literally, shoulder. It also doesn’t help that the fabric straps of the tank, whilst quite sturdy, are not made for comfort. Some sliding foam pads would have been very useful here, Theo Klein! Nonetheless, my children have dodged the issue by (as you can see in the picture above) hanging the tank on the garden fence. This does indeed reduce the mobility of the ‘shooter’, but the minute size of our garden coupled with the long range of the spray meant that no fun was lost. And since the children should only be getting bigger, the problem should sort itself out over time. Another small flaw is that the pushing action required to work the spray requires some amount of physical strength. My 2 and a half year-old is not quite able to work the spray by himself just yet and requires some adult assistance. This is however, not surprising as the manufacturer recommends this toy for children older than 3 years. Finally, some reviews on Amazon.co.uk have mentioned that the hose detaches from the tank too easily. I must say that I have not noticed this on ours for the moment.
Conclusion: I would give this toy 4 stars out of 5. It’s a lot of fun for the children and can be used in multiple games and settings. Yes, there are some minor drawbacks, and I wouldn’t recommend it for children under-3 as per the official manufacturer’s recommendation, as it seems that they don’t have the necessary strength to operate it. However, the Theo Klein Toy Fireman’s Water Sprayer has provided much entertainment and distraction in our household and I speak here from personal experience. 😉