Gro-clock first look review December 2010
Gro-clock first look review
The Gro-clock is designed to help you keep your children in bed until it's time to get up, using sun and moon images to show them whether it is day or night (before they can tell the time). It comes with a bedtime story book.
The Gro Company claims 'it's the combination of the simple glowing images and the bedtime story book that has already made the Gro-Clock a phenomenal success'.
We gave the Gro-clock to a parent to see how it works in a real-life family situation.
Our parent testers liked the Gro-clock and found it did help them keep their children (aged six and four) in bed in the morning, though as the dad pointed out: 'It costs a lot of money, especially if you're not sure whether it'll work for your kids. The clock is the predictable part, the children are the wildcards.'
The Gro-clock features a blue moon face when it's time to sleep and a sunshine face when it's time to get up - the idea seems simple but our testers found it was effective at showing their children when it was time to get up.
Our mum tester reported: 'It's very useful when you have a child who can't tell the time - my son frequently wakes me to ask me if it's time to get up.'
However, it didn't completely prevent early morning awakenings. She added: 'The kids like it and it mostly does stop them bothering us in the morning, though my son still likes to sing at the top of his voice even though it's not time to get up. He just doesn't come up and see me to do it now.'
Setting up the Gro-clock
Setting up the Gro-clock was slightly confusing, according to our parent testers, as it wasn't very intuitive. However, it wasn't too bad once they got to grips with the the instructions. They noted that the settings are a bit fiddly and also that the light is rather bright and permanently on. Our mum tester said: 'We haven't yet tried to adjust it, but it's clearly on the highest setting at the start.'
Our dad tester noted that the product felt very well made and presented. He said: 'The Gro-clock has clearly been thought through by parents who have had to deal with early-rising children. The homespun feel of the instructions and wording on the packaging is quite endearing. It looks good, too.'
The Gro-clock comes with a book called Sleepy's Farm, which the Gro Company says is designed to encourage children to stay in bed for longer.
Our dad tester found this 'surprisingly good'. He said: 'I read it to my two children once and they quite liked it. The idea of a farm animal using a Gro-clock felt propagandistic, though it also came across as slightly tongue in cheek.'
There is a key-lock option, which our testers found easy to use and useful, and you can set it to display a digital clock to help older children learn to tell digital time.
The Gro-clock costs around £30 and is available from Amazon.co.uk and Mothercare.com
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