Pretend play or role play is such a key stage in young children’s development. Now that N is 18 months, she is starting to enjoy a lot more of this type of play and we’ve been trying out a range of Casdon products that mimic everyday activities like shopping, cooking and cleaning. All of this is great to help little ones understand the world around them, and help language development giving plenty of opportunities to chat as they play.

Casdon have a wide range of role play toys like these, but the ones N has been trying are..

  • Casdon Shopping Trolley
  • Casdon Little Henry Mop and Bucket
  • Casdon 44 Piece Play Food Set

The first thing we set up was the Shopping Trolley, which was a little fiddly to put together but didn’t take too long. It looks pretty realistic, although of course in miniature and even has a deposit key to push in, like when you put your coin into the trolley at the supermarket, which is a fun touch.

Once constructed, you have stickers to add more detail, and we found it’s sturdy and steady for a toddler to push without it falling over or tipping.

The trolley is lightweight and very easy for her to push along. Although this range is marked as 3+ on the packaging, I found it an ideal size for N at 18 months and there are no small parts that would be a choking hazard as far as I could see. Starting at this age, N will definitely get lots of use from these toys, with the imaginary play becoming more detailed as the years go on.

The trolley comes with pretend play food that is mostly tins and boxes, which make a change from other pretend play food we already had, and is very recognisable on the supermarket shelves. You need to fold up the boxes yourself, but it is very quick and easy. We’ve found them surprisingly durable so far considering they are just made from cardboard.

The trolley is also really handy for storing other play food when not in use. We actually don’t have a play kitchen, so this has been really useful for us! The 44 piece play food set includes primary fruit and vegetables, although with other items like burgers also included. Along with the packet food from the trolley, this gives a fairly rounded selection and is great for pretending to buy, cook and eat all of the food.

The pretend play food is plastic, pretty light weight and pretty realistic in that most of the food was recognisable to N, and it’s all in true to life colours so works well for learning and talking about the foods. The plastic food is also easily wiped or cleaned if needed.

We found that these toys all work well outdoors as well as indoors. With the lovely weather we’ve been having, all of these Casdon role play toys have made their way out to the garden where there is plenty of room to roam around with a shopping trolley, and plenty of floor to be mopped. It’s also a great place for a picnic! 

The Little Henry Mop Bucket set is one that really came into it’s own outdoors. The set comes with a little mop and bucket, which are quite small and cute. The three pieces of the mop need to be assembled but it takes maybe 10 seconds and then it’s ready to go straight out of the box.

You can use the mop as it is for simple pretend play indoors but adding water makes it a lot more realistic and this made it a lot more engaging for N. So we filled it with water, and she has been very happy mopping our paving outside. This is such a fun water play activity for toddlers, combining the role play with keeping cool on a hot day so this will definitely get lots of use outside over the summer.

Casdon role play toys are great value and a brilliant addition to a toddler’s toy collection, to get them busy playing, chatting and acting out real life.