This is a great playset, suitable for age 12 months upwards. It’s quite large and contains 2 firefighters, 1 fire engine, 1 cord as a water hose, 1 cat, 1 ladder, 1 fire hydrant, and 6 more game counters – including fire pieces which show the fire on one side, and the ash on the other side for when the fire has been extinguished!
All the pieces are packed inside the box which opens out to show the fire station, with its door and the inside decor shown with loads of detail. The play pieces are all made of solid wood. The box/fire station is made of thick cardboard, which is still pretty strong and makes it lighter for the child to carry around. My younger boys enjoyed carrying it around by the carry handle!
I love the way that the set packs up into a self contained box, so it could be taken out if you are visiting friends or relatives who don’t have children so you need something to keep the kids occupied and entertained while you are visiting. You only have to grab the box and it’s all in there, which is so handy.
I found all 3 of my boys (aged 1, 3 and 4) enjoyed this play set and were able to play with it together, although there was some inevitable bickering about who gets to have a turn with the fire engine, as that is everyone’s favourite piece!
For one child playing alone, I think this is a really good quiet time activity, as its something calm that they can sit at a table and play, and really get engrossed in their own stories. I like to see my children doing this, to build up their concentration and to make a change from running round and making a lot of noise!
Another feature I really liked was that Haba have included a little booklet giving ideas of games which can be played using the set. This all encourage listening and concentration, to help build language development. There are some stories which you can read out and encourage your child to act along to it by moving the play pieces around as the story unfolds. There are also questions to ask to your child about details on the fire station, to practise their observation and conversation skills. All this expands the set further from just the obvious play ideas, and helps to give more educational value so it’s great that all these ideas are included.
If you want to see the set in action, have a look at the video below. My 3 boys all taking their turn at enjoying the “Fire” play set in the garden.
There is also a Farm themed play set in this format by Haba. I hope they bring more on all different themes, as it is a great product.
We will be getting together and taking about the new range of Haba toys (including fire set) in Playfest at 8.30pm on Tues 21st (twitter) and Thurs 23rd May (facebook) – Why not join us!