Running my Etsy shop I sew a lot. My little nieces see me sew all the time and in fact the littlest one would sit in a sling and later on my lap for hours while I sewed. That being said I knew that some day I wanted to get them a sewing machine. When I saw this ZizZag Chainstitch Sewing Machine by Singer at Joann Fabric I knew I wanted to try it (with a 40% off coupon of course). I ended up paying around $13 for it.
What I Liked
The short of it is, as a TOY (not as a machine to really sew and create things) this is fantastic. We mostly use the chain stitch which comes unraveled if you pull on it. But since it's just a toy in my house for the girls to be like Aunty this is perfect. It has a plastic guard that goes all the way around the needle so they can't hurt themselves. There is no bobbin so you don't have any thread jamming problems.
Things To Keep In Mind
That being said, my nieces are 2 and 3 (the box says it's for ages 6+) on it. They do need help but I was able to teach even the little one to guide the fabric lift the presser foot and push on the pedal. This is a toy that at least for the little ones you'll have to be around to help them start and switch fabric or positions.
I absolutely DO NOT recommend this as a 'first sewing machine'. This is a toy. It would not be good for older kids who actually want to construct anything. It should be thought of as similar to a toy iron. It looks like the real thing, the kiddos can go through the motions and pretend to sew, but it is just a toy. They say you can tie off the stitch and it will hold but I don't believe it and the reviews on Amazon make that sounds highly unlikely. It is a plastic toy so I'm not sure how long it will last but I would think a knock off the table may end it, another reason it's more of a supervised activity kinda of toy.
I'm really happy with it for our purposes. I hope I've helped those of you who have wondered about this machine when you've passed it in the store or have been considering getting your kiddos a sewing machine or toy sewing machine.