Agents Z, T & R are very happy to be part of this years Bigjigs Play Patrol team, putting fun to the test by trying out lots of cool new toys from Bigjigs! Mr R received a Bigjigs wooden cutting fruit set and he decided to let teddy get involved in the fun by having a teddy bear’s picnic together.
The Bigjigs cutting fruit set includes:
- Wooden cutting knife
- Apron with pocket
Each fruit splits into a different amount of pieces (from 2 for the orange up to 5 for the watermelon) so these can be used for basic counting, as well as understanding very simple addition and subtraction through practical application: “Teddy has 4 pieces of apple, and he eats one – How many are left?”
The fruits are painted with lovely bright colours and are really appealing. It’s easy to bring colour and shape recognition into your child’s play as you naturally talk together about the fruits that they are cutting and serving for their pretend picnic.
Mr R loved the cutting. He had to concentrate a little to do this, but it took him just a couple of tries to get the right technique of holding the fruit in place with one hand and cutting with the other. This is great for working on dexterity in a fun way. He wouldn’t let me cut any fruit at all as he really enjoyed it, so he was adamant that he will cut all the fruit and hand it out to everyone!
The knife is wooden just like the fruit and does not have any sharp edges on it. It’s perfectly safe for little ones. It’s just the pressure of the wooden knife passing over the velcro fastenings that cuts the fruit. It still gives an opportunity to learn about safely handling knives through role play, in a safe environment.
The velcro allows you to mix and match the fruits too if your little one wants to make some crazy fruit concoctions! When Mr T and Mr Z had a turn with this set, that is what they wanted to do whereas Mr R was mostly more keen on keeping each fruit with its correct pieces.
We brought teddy in to the picnic to enhance the opportunity for role play skills. Simple activities like this with a teddy or dolly are a great chance to work on speech and language as it’s very social and language rich play. As Mr R was engaged in the activity for a long time it gave a lot of chance for repetition and to really reinforce the language we were using. Feeding a teddy or any 3rd party pretend play toy is actually the next developmental stage along from simply pretending to eat the food themselves, so it was great to see Mr R making teddy so welcome in his picnic.
We dressed teddy in the apron that came along with the cutting fruit set. He’s a pretty large bear so it fit him perfectly, but it will also fit a small child.
The apron has a large pocket in the front, which led to Mr R’s next game which he really enjoyed – hiding fruit inside teddy’s apron. He thought this was hilarious, and spent a long time cutting fruit, hiding it in teddy’s apron and then asking where it had gone and telling off teddy for sneaking extra fruit!
There are lots and lots of role play opportunities with this set. It’s a great tool for learning through play, and is suitable for 18 months+. Mr R is 2.10 years old and Mr T who is 4.5 was also very interested in playing with the fruits. It’s a great value set and does not take up too much space at all. (You can just store all the fruits and knife inside the apron if you want, they all fit inside!) You can easily take it for a picnic outside, or anywhere you like!
Do your little ones enjoy playing picnics? If you have any fun ideas to add, let me know in the comments!