It’s my 1 year blogoversary today! So it’s perfect timing that I am bringing you the first of a few worldwide giveaways. Today the prize is from Klik Klak Blocks. Klik Klak Blocks are a Latvian company making beautiful natural wooden blocks which are perfect for little ones to play with.
There is a great selection of natural wood blocks and wood craft supplies over at their Etsy Shop. All the products look gorgeous so do have a look!
Bee Smart have a new range of wooden toys and Mr R was really happy to have the chance to test out this Wooden Aeroplane shape sorter and xylophone activity toy. It’s such a beautiful toy – very well made and well thought out, with lots of different bits to keep little ones entertained so it keeps their attention well.
The toy includes:
Shape sorter with 6 coloured blocks
Xylophone with 2 beaters
Pull along feature
All in an aeroplane design
Mr R (2) was drawn to the toy straight away and it kept his interest for a pretty long time. He really concentrated on the shape sorting and the pieces are nice and chunky so they are perfect for his little hands. His favourite was the red circle as it’s the easiest one to put inside! With some of the other shapes I had to guide him a little to turn them the right way and fit them through the spaces. The spaces on the aeroplane are all colour coded with the shapes to give a little hint if the children need it.
He is also really enjoying the xylophone, as is Mr T (3). The Xylophone comes with 2 beaters and is a beautiful rainbow design, really bright and appealing. It can be quite loud but it seems to be able to withstand some very enthusiastic bashing from the little ones! We have had some quite flimsy Xylophones in the past and I can tell a real difference with this one. It does look as though it will last much longer.
The boys have also enjoyed running along pulling the little plane behind them! As they are all keen on vehicles, the aeroplane design really appeals to them a lot.
It is a very clever design as all the shape and the xylophone beater can fit inside so it is all easily stored away. The toy manages to incorporate several activities and look great – so what’s not to love!
This toy is £24.99 from BeeSmart and would make a lovely gift for any toddler from around 1-3 years.
If you like this you might also like some of the other toys in their range:
What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments!
The Toadstool is an independent toy shop selling a variety of beautiful and educational toys. The Toadstool specialises mainly in Wooden toys and ethical toys, and has some really lovely things which you won’t find on the high street.
Over the past year, The Toadstool has been working with several ToadTester bloggers to try out and showcase some of their range of toys. I’ve enjoyed reading these reviews, and it hasn’t been easy to choose the final toys for my Toadstool wishlist as there are so many I love the look of! But here are some I think my boys would enjoy:
Janod – DIY My Workbench – I chose this as it looks such a cut above from any of the basic plastic tool sets the boys have had in the past. I think this is something that would span all of their age ranges well (from 2-5 years) and be suitable for playing together. All the extra details like the clock, the chalkboard, and the magnetism would give them more to explore. As well as fuelling their curiosity about making and building things, it would also help with their fine motor skills as they work with the tools.
Hape Bamboo Geomix Puzzle – This is such a beautiful toy. I love the colours of the wood and I can see this being quite relaxing to play with. Again, it’s something which could be used by all of the children in different ways depending on their stage. Mr Z (5) loves maths, he loves making patterns and he could use this to experiment with patterns and shapes. Mr T and Mr R (3 and 2) would be able to use it for colour matching and making basic shapes and pictures.
Wonderworld Trix Tracks – This is something I had noticed a while ago after seeing the reviews and always loved the look of. My boys love any kind of marble runs or ball tracks, something about it just seems to have them captivated! We do have marble runs already but this seems quite different. I think they would love the cool features like the stairs for the marble to travel down.
Plan Toys Chalet Dolls House – I chose this as a dolls house is something the boys have never had, but I think it would provide a lot of play value and really doesn’t have to be a girl’s only toy! I love that the dolls houses on The Toadstool website are all very gender neutral which offers a much better solution to me than the totally pink versions you see in many stores. What I particularly like about the Plan Toys Chalet house is that it looks very open and it seems like there would be space for two children to play there together. I can picture Mr R (2) and Mr T (3) playing and it would be good to help develop their role playing skills.
Hape Bamboo Pallina Game – This is something that would be great for Mr Z (5) and Mr T (3) to play. I used to love playing Kerplunk when I was little so I was really interested when I saw this as it seems like a similar but much more beautifully made and eco friendly version. We already have some Hape toys at home and it’s a brand that I would trust. This game would be great for concentration, fine motor skills and concentration – as well as being fun of course!
Brio Metro Set – This is something I know that all the boys would love. We have a lot of Brio already and our wooden railway is without a doubt the most used toy in our house (see here for some of our past Brio reviews) I love that Brio sets tend to be more innovative and different from all the others. I’m actually still torn between this one and the Monorail which is equally as cool – I’m thinking of buying one of these for Mr T’s birthday which is coming up in December.
What do you think of my selection? Is there anything that stands out to your the most, or what would your child like from The Toadstool? Have a look on the website and let me know your ideas in the comments!
Also check out my Pinterest board, if you want to pin any of my suggested toys (I may have got a little carried away and added a few more!)
This is my entry for the Toadstool Christmas Wishlist. To find out more about the competition have a look here.
Wilko have some great value wooden toys for little ones. We were sent over this wooden ark to review (I will be giving one away in the Advent Competitions too, so don’t forget to come and enter!)
The ark has a few different aspects to it which gives plenty of play value and has been keeping Mr T (3) and Mr R (2) entertained. It comes with 10 animal play pieces (2x monkeys, 2x lions, 2x zebras, 2x giraffes, 2x elephants) and two people. It also has a set of stairs which you can make the animals walk up.
The side of the ark is a shape sorter so you can put the animals into the ark by matching them up with the correct space, or if you are in a hurry when tidying up you can just remove the roof and place all of the pieces inside.
All of the pieces are good quality chunky wood with brightly coloured paint. They are very cute and are the perfect size for Mr T and Mr R. As the pieces are thick they don’t fall over when you stand them up which avoids the children getting frustrated when playing.
Both the boys love boats, so as soon as they saw the Ark they were very interested! It has been quite a while now since we received this toy and they are still getting it out to play with most days which is great!
I love the look of the ark as it is so nice and bright, and wooden toys always look really appealing so it looks good on their playroom shelves too. I also like the little wooden woman character as it looks like me in hijab!
This ark is only £10 in Wilko which is a great price really as wooden toys can be quite expensive! It is a really nice toy, and as I mentioned, if you fancy this toy for your own child then do keep an eye out for the competition coming up soon!
Quite a while back, well over a year ago, we had some of the Brio Farm Railway products to review through Izziwizzi Kids. As I wasn’t even blogging back in those days, I never posted it but now as The Toadstool is doing some #Toadtest Brio parties I thought I would share these reviews with you all.
Please forgive me for the poor quality and small size videos, as I mentioned I wasn’t blogging then – I have learned how to do it properly now! But you can still see the toys and see the boys’ enthusiasm:
It was July 2012 that we got these toys, and they have been played with pretty much every single day ever since! The boys normally like to make a track up each morning and play with their trains, even before school as they get up quite early. The boy you can see in the video is Mr Z who was 3 at the time and is now 5 (can’t believe how little he looks there – aww!) He has only recently started to move away from the trains a little bit. He does still play with them, but not quite as much as before. But as Mr R has turned 2, he has taken his place as the #1 train fan in the house, along with Mr T! It’s great that these toys really last well so that they can be really well used by one child and as they grow out of it, they last well enough to be used by the next child and then the next child! With 3 boys aged 5 and under the tracks have been bashed around a fair bit but they are pretty indestructible and still going strong.
Wooden trains and tracks are probably the most used and most loved toy in our house. I find Brio great as a brand due to their very good quality and the more exciting items they have in their range, as there is quite a good variety with the track add-ons and sets that you can get.
I would definitely recommend these sets (or any of the Brio wooden railway products!). I will be quite sad when the boys do eventually grow out of their wooden railways as its been such a well used toy and featured so heavily in their play, so I might even have to keep it for the future grandkids!!!
This is a wooden Fair Trade product made from sustainable rubberwood and painted with safe non toxic paint. You can definitely tell that it is a good quality product and very well made. Each piece is thick and chunky and there are no rough edges, chips or imperfections anywhere on the puzzle.
We do have a couple of Lanka Kade products already and it’s a company I really like, as our family is half Sri Lankan its nice to support great ethical Sri Lankan companies like this so I was pleased to see Junior Scholars stocking a wide range of the Lanka Kade puzzles. (See the full range here)
Mr T chose the puzzle due to the dinosaur design as he is keen on dinosaurs and he seemed to like the large size of the puzzle. Once we got it home, all 3 of the boys have enjoyed playing with it (age 2, 3 and 5)
Mr T and Mr R don’t yet know their alphabet but by working out where the pieces fitted together they were able to complete the puzzle, and Mr Z (5) was able to complete it very quickly as he does know his alphabet. He enjoyed using the puzzle to teach some of the letters to the younger ones. I can see the younger two (age 3 and 2) getting more play from the puzzle over time as it challenged them more.
It’s a lovely puzzle to help familiarise them with their letters in a fun way.
The only improvement I would say with Lanka Kade puzzles is that it would be good to have a storage tray or box to come with them. We do have a turtle one, which we got from a relative who bought it in Sri Lanka, which comes in a tray so its easier to keep all the pieces together but with the ones you find in the UK you do need to find your own way of storing them. We keep ours in a basket, but any storage boxes or even zip lock bags could work.
The large dinosaur puzzle is £14.99 from Junior Scholars which I would say is good value, and you can get the same puzzle in the number version if you prefer. Junior Scholars also have some really cute small Lanka Kade puzzles which would be great for stocking fillers at Christmas:
Crawling can be so tiring. And it’s not my fault if my knees are filthy – Daddy calls me his mucky pup – after a long day’s crawling around the house, in the garden, at play group and at grandma’s house. I’ve got to get around somehow. There is just so much to see and do, so many things to discover and so many new things to try out. I can’t help it if my hands get dirty and how else am I supposed to get down the stairs if I don’t shuffle down on my bottom? The grownups keep crouching near me and asking me to come towards them. They think I can get up on my legs just like that, but I don’t think I’m strong enough yet. What I need is a fab new wooden baby walker from WoodenToyShop.co.uk to help me strengthen my little legs and start walking on my own.
My older sister Emily had one of those walkers that looked like the pram that Mummy and Daddy used to push me around in, except that the one she had was for dollies and was pink.
I’ve heard Mummy talking about a walker that has lots of different colours and wheels that make patterns when they roll along. I like the sound of that! She said it also has these brilliant wooden blocks that are painted with something called letters which will help me learn something else called reading, but I think I would use them to build towers and then knock them down. There are some wooden beads at the front that you can move from side to side. They will help me learn numbers, whatever they are. Daddy said he would rather buy me something called a dumper truck. I saw a picture of it and I must admit I like the way it looks like some of my toy cars and lorries. I could put all my favourite toys in it and carry them around with me while I learn to walk. Then whenever I get tired, I can tip them out and play wherever I am. I’m sure no one will mind.
If I was allowed to make my own choice for once, I think I’d like to learn to walk with something that had lots of different things to do so that whenever I decided to sit down I would have a new game to play. My friend Ethan at playgroup has something called an Activity Walker. I don’t know what an ‘activity’ is, but I think it has something to do with playing games because there are so many different ones to play with Ethan’s walker. You can turn some coloured wheels, move some buttons up and down a bendy track, make some noise with a rattle (I like making noise) and play some other games that I haven’t quite worked out yet.
I remember Mummy saying at playgroup that these kinds of activities (there’s that word again) help with hand/eye coordination and fine motor skills, whatever they are. Ethan’s mummy also said that walkers are very good for developing gross motor skills. What are they talking about? These grown-ups really do talk funny sometimes. I just want to learn to walk and have some fun at the same time.
We recently had the chance to review some Djeco Toys from Crafts4Kids. It was not easy to decide what to try as they have so many great looking products but I chose the Djeco Enchanted Fishing for my younger two boys (aged 22 months, and 3 years)
It is a very simple activity, which can be done by one child on their own or as a turn taking activity. The box contains two fishing rods with magnetic hooks, and 12 beautiful wooden fish all with different designs and patterns on them. The box itself doubles up as the fishing pond, and is illustrated on the inside. I love the style of the illustrations!
The activity kept both the boys attention for quite some time. They were better playing separately, although there are 2 fishing rods, because these two do squabble! It worked really well as a one to one activity for me to do with each of the boys.
I love that this is simple enough for my youngest to do and that it is developing his hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. The activity can be adapted to focus on whatever you prefer, so if you want to support your child’s numeracy skills then you can focus on counting the fish as you catch them. If you want to focus on colour or patterns, you could sort the fish by asking the child to pick only the spotty ones, then only the flowery ones and so on.
The designs on the fish are really attractive and appealing. All 12 are different so there are plenty of patterns for the child to explore. The fish are all a good size, so no choking hazard as they would be too big for any baby or toddler to swallow. The magnetic piece is well attached and not at risk of coming loose at all. The magnet being right in the middle of the fish and fairly large makes it easier for those at the younger end of the age range to manage. After only a little practise, my youngest boy easily got the hang of it as you will see in our video. He then had to practise taking them back off the fishing rod again. This can be done by shaking the rod but with the younger ones it may be simpler for them to just pull it off with their hands.
The boys really enjoyed this activity and I can definitely see the early learning benefits in it for them, so that is a definite positive for me. It’s a brilliant activity to have for young children, and with it being so beautifully made this would make a lovely gift too.
Have a look at the short video below to see Mr R in action catching his fish and enjoying himself 😀
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