Tag Archives: Wooden toys

Fun in the Sandpit – A Review

11 Jun

When asked to review a beautiful wooden sandpit from Climbing Frames UK, I knew the children would be overcome with joy especially that of the youngest member of the family.

If anything I was hoping it would stop the little guy trying to sit and play in the cat litter… I know, not nice!

The sandpit we were sent is of the wooden type and Is from the
Fabulous Selwood range. It comes flat packed all within the one box and included with the sandpit is a waterproof cover and a canvas groundsheet to stop weeds and grass growing trough.

20120611-153222.jpg

I found the sandpit quite easy to put together, my 9 year old daughter even gave a helping hand.

What I found really great is that there is no maintenance required with this sandpit. It’s constructed from treated wood and there is no need for vanishing or painting.

The sandpit is designed as a standalone model, however our garden is so uneven that we inserted it into a small prepared dip which actually worked really well.

20120611-152521.jpg

All three children loved it and my niece Amy who is 2, the same age as the toddler couldn’t wait to come round with her bucket and spade and play with her cousin in the sunshine.

20120611-152631.jpg

It’s made a lovely addition to the garden and is a real sensory haven for Little man who is 11 and has a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome. Little man is very tactile defensive and I’ve been using the sandpit to hide different objects then giving him the opportunity to dig around and find them. This really helps him to get used to varying textures and is a great idea as part of a sensory integration plan.

Sadly when the sandpit was delivered the best of the british sunshine had been replaced with grey skies and lashings of rain. Thankfully the sun did return and the children have therefore been making the most of it!

20120611-152716.jpg

For me the included cover is a godsend. We have cats from all over visiting the garden on a daily basis. The sandpit looks most inviting and my own Tom was very tempted to use it as a Giant litter box (till I ran out like a mad woman yelling him out). For this reason I’d recommend that anyone thinking of getting a sandpit ensures it comes with a protective cover or orders one at the time of purchase. This is not only for weather proofing but avoiding the odd fluffy visitor trying to bury his toilet!

Climbing frames UK stock a huge range of good quality garden products from climbing frames, playhouses, trampolines, sandpits and more. The range is really extensive and reasonably priced. What’s more Climbing Frames UK offer a price match guarantee service, insuring you get the best price available.

20120606-200943.jpg

I do love watching the children having fun in the sun, the sandpit will do well to keep my children fully entertained. This is perfect for those summer months when relaxing in the garden or maybe having friends and their children over for a barbecue.

The Selwood Sandpit measures 1 square meter and is currently on special offer for £29 instead of £50 which makes it amazing value money.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I was not paid to write this review. However I did receive a sample of the product in-order to share my honest opinion with my readers

Advertisements

#Win A Beautiful Wooden Miracle Pounding Toy From Toys Naturally

12 Mar

I’m always happy to run the odd competition, god knows I enter enough everywhere else on the web. Given the fact I’ve won a few great prizes, some sensational ones this year, I know how nice it is to win a little something, whether for yourself, children, friend or family member.

So when a newly launched independent online retailer asked if I minded running a competition, I headed over to check the site out.

Yes, I was quite honestly in wooden toy heaven! Anyone who reads this blog, knows I’m a sucker for a wooden toy, I just love how they last the distance and are of a much higher quality than most other toys on the market! My youngest has lots of wooden toys, some we have even featured on youtube. Harley has everything from wooden arks to wooden people, while my daughter has the most stunning three-story wooden dolls house.

Little man (aka a boy with aspergers) isn’t a stranger to the wooden toy neither, he host a rather impressive collection of wooden games, as-well as a great collection of transport models all craved out of wood.

Toys Naturally prides itself on stocking a range of ethically minded, beautifully crafted open-ended wooden toys. The aim is to be sensitive to children, to nurture and develop their growing minds to their fullest potential, to be intelligent, creative, robust and happy. Above all Toys Naturally goodies aim to be enjoyable, FUN and appealing to both child and parent/guardian.

This truly is a site hosting a fine selection of impressive wooden creations, whether your after something for baby, toddler or young child, my guess is you’ll find it here.

With this in mind, I agreed to run a competition for the readers of “A Boy with Asperger’s”

The prize on offer, is this fantastic

Miracle Pounding Toy

Product description

Gross motor skills and hand eye coordination develop exponentially when children reach toddler hood. Miracle pounding encourages toddlers to explore cause and effect and exercise their control over the world. we love this toy!

age guide 2yrs+

size 23cmx8.5cmx17cm.

Plan toys use untreated recycled rubber wood. Green toys from a green company.

The prize is worth £15.50

I really don’t know any little toddler who wouldn’t enjoy pounding some balls with a hammer, I know Harley would be delighted to receive a Miracle Pounding toy to inflicted some good bashing upon.

Please bear in mind that this is a pretty short competition, you therefore will have till midnight on the 27th March to enter, and here’s how…

Complete the compulsory actions, those that don’t will not be entered into the final draw.

Compulsory Action

Follow @toysnaturally on twitter

Comment here on the blog letting me know you have done the compulsory action by leaving your twitter handle, and you’ll be entered into the draw

Additional Entries

Remember, the compulsory action above must be completed in-order to take part in additional entries!

You can complete how many additional entries you desire, however you MUST leave an additional comment for each action taken.

1x Extra Entries: Visit the Toys Naturally site and subscribe to their newsletter (located at the bottom of the page of the toys naturally website, click HERE) Remember to comment informing me of the name you have subscribed under, so we can validate your extra entry adding it to the draw

1x Extra Entry: Tweet the following: “I want to win a miracle pounding wooden toys with @clairelouise82 and @toysnaturally” ensuring you attach the URL to this post and then return to comment to alert me that you have done it, providing a way I can find it (link or twitter handle).

1 Extra Entry: Subscribe to this blog via feedburner, (located, very top right of the sidebar) comment telling me the name you subscribed as.

1 Extra entry Pop over to the Toys Naturally Facebook page letting them know I sent you.

So… What are you guys waiting for? You have just 15 days (27th March 2012) to get yourselves entered and possible bag yourself an awesome prize.

T&C

Competition is for UK residents only, all participants must be aged 18 years or over to enter. Winner will be randomly drawn soon after the closing date and time of the 27th March 2012 at midnight. Remember to leave a valid twitter handle for the compulsory action and a valid contact with all additional entries, this could be twitter or email address. Those who do not complete the compulsory action will not be entered for any of the additional extra entries. Winner has a maximum of 72 hours to reply to the winning notification given by either email or twitter. Winners name and details will be handed over to the brand offering the prize in order to get your miracle pounding toy delivered (note details will not be passed to any 3rd parties)!

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions

Win A Janod Confetti Piano In Our Big Christmas Countdown

2 Dec

23

DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS 

As we continue to countdown the days  till Christmas here on the blog, we are delighted to be able to offer you lovely lot yet enough fantastic prize.

This is an absolutely beautiful prize that I know I would love to win.

The beautiful wooden Janod Confetti Piano worth £54.95 has been donated as today’s prize by VUPbaby a wonderful online store stocking everything for your babies and toddlers needs including a large selection of toys and a stunning selection of wooden delights.

I think it’s quite rare to find such a beautifully crafted toy as pretty as this one.

The lucky winner would receive this beautiful Janod Confetti Piano in time for Christmas, making some little persons Christmas morning a magical one.

Your child will be able to make sweet music in style on this beautiful little piano. The attractive colour scheme and design makes this the perfect gift for a child aged 18ms and above.

Now this has to be one of the easiest competitions I’ve had the pleasure to run

So… I suggest you enter for your chance to give the perfect gift this Christmas

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS…

Email press@vupbaby.co.uk  (with the subject line, ‘A boy with Aspergers competition’)

no later than the 15th December

Then please come back and comment to let me know you have entered to validate your entry!

AND THAT’S IT, JOB DONE!

GOOD LUCK!

Remember the closing date of this competition is the 15th December, this will ensure that there is time to deliver your prize in time for Christmas.

T&C

Competition is open to those in the UK only. You must email with the subject line given above and then comment here to let me know that you’ve entered. VUPbaby will then draw a winner at random and notify the lucky so & so by email. Competition closes on the 15th December 2011

The John Crane Memory Game, So Much More Than Just A Toy

3 Nov

If you read yesterdays post you will know that Paul, daddy of two girls and owner of “When I was a kid”  & ‘John Crane ltd’ are on a mission to uncover which of their toys are the most beneficial to a child, especially those on the autism spectrum or those with special needs. 

The idea is to make sure the toys are the best they can be and in a way that’s beneficial to all children, not just your “typical child” but also those who have developmental delays within a spectrum of areas, difficulties with sensory processing, occupational health, communication, etc.

I also wrote how I was sent a large catalogue displaying the current John Crane ltd toy range, which was just huge, yet extremely pleasurable to look through. There were some great toys, making it quite difficult to select just six off the them to which I would provide some feed back on. Well, as you may have guessed already, they liked what I had to say and that’s why today I’m going to share some of that feed back I gave on one of their products with you guys. 

  My first selection was ‘Memory’ part of the John Crane ltd GoGo range

 Below is the product description from the online toy shop ‘When I was a kid’

 Who didn’t love “Picking Pairs” as a child? I know I did, my dad and I would play for hours with a pack of cards – all 52 of them laid out on the floor. Heaven knows how we memorised them and picked the pairs!


One of our suppliers, John Crane toys has seen the fun of this traditional game and also the educational benefits too and come up with an up to date and colourful wooden version – called The Memory Game!

Little green and orange ‘mushroom’ shaped pieces fit into the tray and are easily lifted by little fingers whilst a number of cards fit below – offering loads of memory challenges on differing themes – such as insects, transport, food etc…

Memory games help with all sorts of skills in younger children, even early reading skills are enhanced!

 First Impressions 

I was instantly drawn to this impressive well made wooden game as soon as I saw it in the catalogue. I love educational toys especially those that benefit all children, while providing them with a fun activity in the process. 

As mentioned above, Memory is a game that has been played for many years and is normally done so with a few decks of playing cards. 

Well, this has the exact same concept as a game of pairs but instead its been transformed into a beautiful wooden game with insert-able brightly coloured cards that have images on either side providing lots of visual stimulation. Each card has a theme there’s animals, fruits, clothing, transport and more. 

The wooden board has two slots, one where cards are stored and the other for when in playing mode (where you slot your desired card) The pictures are then hidden with the help of the wooden lids.

 Playing time per game

Playing time per game, depends on your child and the amount of players (I would recommend no more than two or your game may be over to quickly). 

If your used to the rule, “For every pair you find, you get another turn” I would recommend you don’t use this mode of play! Remember, playing with a deck of cards results in a larger number of pairs needing to be found, which is why “When I was a kid” have introduced the toy in its toddler section. 

 Why I chose this game as one of my autism friendly six! 

 Many Children with autism or aspergers syndrome have exceptional long-term memory, especially when it comes to the child’s particular “Special interest” which is often true for the child with Aspergers. This could be anything from names, dates, specific periods of time, facts about space, or like little man, “Bus numbers and destinations”  However working memory (which is more commonly known as our short-term memory) can often be a weakness, which is why many children on the autism spectrum struggle to follow simple sets of instructions, especially if it involves doing things in sequence. Yes, its easy to become annoyed with a child when they seem to lack the basic skills required to follow basic sets of instructions, more so if the child is yet to gain a diagnosis. For me, it was the difficulty I had when trying to understand why my child was able to remember vast amounts of information that related to, “Buses” but couldn’t carry out the smallest of tasks, like sending him to brush his teeth or put on his shoes, having only just reached the top of the stairs he would have forgotten what it was he was meant to be doing?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What is Working memory?

Working memory is a process that most of us engage in without even releasing it. An example would be your boss giving you a set of instructions on a project that needed completing. We listen, process and store the information we’ve been given! We may jot down notes later but still need to recall the information in our heads and do so in the appropriate order.

If you’re a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, there is a pretty good chance that your child’s teacher has reported that your child has poor attention or refuses to listen to any instructions being given. This is an all too common assumption, when in actually fact the child is listening extremely hard but the amount of information being given in such a short time frame leads to the child’s confusion, they become muddled within their own heads simply because they didn’t have time to process the information. 

The above can then lead to a host of other difficulties for the child, like challenging behaviour and low self-esteem. The child could even be branded as naughty, another all to common scenario. 

It’s for reasons like those above, that children with autism work well with visuals. Its well documented how children on the autism spectrum are better at carrying out day-to-day task with the help of visual prompts. Maybe… think about it as a set of instructions you follow when putting  together a flat pack! This is how the child uses visuals. 

The John Crane ‘Memory’ game is the perfect tool to aid this area of weakness. Children with autism will have great fun memorising where each picture is on the board, they will learn the skills of patience and turn taking as well as the concept of competition, all while improving they’re working memory. 

Little man loves this game, but has now studied all the cards over a few weeks and now beats me far to easy (see this is where his talents come into play as once he wants to store information over a longer period of time he will set about doing it and does so very well) what’s great though, he still wants to play everyday. At 11 years old his working memory is still poor but improving all the time. Speech and language therapy as well as certain games we play and task I engage him in, such as asking him to remember things on a shopping list, are just a number of things I believe has brought about these improvements.

As much as Little loves this game, I would recommend to the younger child with and without autism, maybe a larger board with more pairs to match would be better suited to the older child.

  Recommendations

Personally I’d recommend  Memory for children between the ages of 2-7 (note the recommend age is 36 months) However I would also recommend this to a child that bit older, who is seen to have greater developmental delays whether this is a child with autism or another form of disability

 Parental perspective, given by a mother of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome 

 This is both a toy and a great resource for a child with special needs. It would be a great if ‘John Crane’ were to bring out additional packs of cards. These could then be sold in addition to the game, meaning parents could buy additional packs of cards as and when they like. This would therefore provide the child with more off a challenge, and they would never become bored, while also giving them that aspect of forming a collection (which they love to do). 

I consider ‘Memory’ to be a valuable resource & toy that could be used in the home, at school or nursery, even during a speech and language session! 

 Overall Quality  

 As always, ‘John Crane ltd’ have brought us a beautifully crafted wooden toy that is hand finished to perfection. This is a toy that I’m sure Paul is pleased to have featured on his site. 

Memory is likely to withstand the test of time and could be passed down generations with a little love and care. 

 Where to buy

 So, there you have it! A perfect toy for a child with or without autism, that displays a friendly price tag of a reasonable £32.99

 Whether it’s your child’s working memory you seek to improve, or just the chance to have fun playing with a fun but educational toy, then I can’t see where you could go wrong when buying Memory!  

 Visit, ‘When I was a kid’ the online friendly independent toy shop, who provide its customers with fantastic customer service and an excellent delivery service (get it the next working day or within 2 working days via the fast track service) 

Just click HERE to get yours

Why not like ‘When I was a kid’ on facebook or check out the ‘John Crane’ blog    

 

My first toy giveaway

17 Jul

I’m so excited to be able to bring you all my very first blog giveaway thanks to the lovely Jon over at the fabulous WoodenToyShop, as part of the new blog feature ‘Santa’s Little helpers’

This exciting feature, will see my three little monsters converted into elf’s from now all the way up till December. We plan to build a fantastic Christmas list that showcases some of the hottest toys on the market this coming Christmas as well as those that are great for children on the autism spectrum or those with special educational needs.

With competitions, guest post, money saving offers and tips, plus recommendations on Christmas events. The Santa’s little helpers feature is hopefully destining for success.

As some may already know the little Elf’s Aka my children have already put on there uniforms (Yes, Elf’s don’t only work at christmas) and have started to tell us what they think. This is all thanks to the WoodenToyShop who sent us some toys to review (free of charge) If this wasn’t nice enough they also let us pick something special for the readers. This wasn’t easy! I wanted to choose something that was unisex and appealing to all children especially those like my son on the autism spectrum. Though everyone is different I still struggled so appointed my chief Elf with the responsibility. Little man didn’t disappoint and I hope you all agree!

Win a John Crane Children’s wooden guitar in one of two beautiful designs.

Choose from pink flowers or blue stars.

The guitar is being sold over at the woodenToyShop for a very respectable £21.99 It’s a small but perfectly formed instrument that can be tune easily by little fingers as to allow maximum creativity. It would make a beautiful gift for any budding musician with its pretty pink flower design or its magical blue companion that is decorated with little stars. From age 3 years plus, this guitar is perfect for little hands and fingers and would easily convert your little one into an awesome little rock star.

How to enter this exciting giveaway

  • Follow me (@clairelouise82) & the @WoodenToyShop on twitter (compulsory)
  • Visit and like the WoodenToyShop facebook page and tell them I sent you, “A boy with Aspergers” (compulsory)
  • Leave a comment here telling me you have done all the above and the words PINK or BLUE as to indicate what guitar you prefer if you win. Be sure to leave me an email address or twitter id so I am able to contact you if you are lucky enough to win this fantastic prize (compulsory)

Optional extra entries

Please come back and comment for each action taken, be sure to comment separately as each comment will count as one entry. Maximum entries allowed three

  • Comment on another of my post, return to tell me which one
  • Tweet ( Great toy giveaway via @clairelouise82 http://tinyurl.com/3yjcukj ) comment to let me know you’ve done it.
For the full range of musical toys sold at the WoodenToyShop click here

Competition Is for UK residents only, closes at midnight on the 31st July and will be drawn on the 1st August 2011. The winner will be drawn at random and notified via email or twitter. The competition prize is curtesy of the WoodenToyShop and sent direct. This prize cannot be exchanged for any other product and there is no cash alternative. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE COMPETITION CLOSING DATE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO 1ST AUGUST MIDNIGHT DUE TO THE SERVICE I USE TO RANDOMLY SELECT A AWINNER IS DOWN. COMPETITION WILL NOW BE DRAWN 2ND AUGUST
Thank You for understanding

Thank you WoodenToyShop Love Little Man

16 Jul

  It’s been a great first month, which is all down to the WoodenToyShop!

 For those who read the blog on a regular basis, will know that my daughter was featured as our first little helper in the blogs new feature, ‘ Santa’s Little Helpers’ that showcases some of the best and hottest toys form July to December! These little elf’s otherwise known as my three children will fully put all toys and gadgets to the test then give you their honest opinion and overall rating in-order to create the best Christmas wish list to be found online! Giving us her thoughts & inspirational craft ideas when reviewing the Melissa and Doug friendship stamp set from the WoodenToyShop, I found myself very proud of her professional approach when it came to being a toy reviewer (given that she’s only eight, over-excitement was kept to a minimum)

This week our Little helper is the one and only Little Man himself, sharing his thoughts on the… WAIT FOR IT…. DRUM ROLL PLEASE… “Children’s Large Wooden Cricket Set” from the fabulous online toy retailer, ‘WoodenToyShop’ I must state that  I did find this an odd choice what with the  fact he would have done almost anything to avoid a game of Cricket in the past! 

When the WoodenToyShop kindly invited us to pick something from the online catalogue I didn’t dream Little man would request they send him out a cricket set! It took him just seconds to score the content on the site before finally shouting, “Yes, this one please mum” I remember thinking, “What on earth…”For one I was stunned that he had spent so little time choosing! This is normally something that takes him some hours… admittedly he does get this from his mother, which only highlights my confusion that little bit more! The choice of a cricket set baffled me and for this reason I admit I didn’t email my choices right away giving it a few extra days convinced he would change his mind… If anything I would have bet money on it that this was going to happen sometime in the next few hours! However… realising that in-fact my son who has Aspergers syndrome, was in fact looking forward to the arrival of his new “Cricket Set” I got ordering, FAST… while secretly praying for a fast delivery given my delay he was already getting impatient. 

As his mother I then made the decision to embrace my sons optimistic attitude and over all willingness to try his hand at something new!

You may now ask yourselves, “What the hell has this got to do with the review of a cricket set?” when you go on to read the next part of this post, I promise, Its relevant, so stick with it! 

Some few months back I took the Little Man for an Occupational therapy assessment in London’s Harley street, where he was asked to perform a number of task requiring a demonstration of his ball skills. This would show the assessor how good he was at using his upper body “upper co-ordination” The Assessor would set a number of challenges to establish what difficulties if any, he has with both fine and gross motor skills and that of his sensory processing! Little man went ballistic, “I’m not doing this, its stupid!” he unpleasantly stated. I sat patiently as the assessor gave it her all trying to convince him to participate in the activities asked. I made a suggestion to which I so rudely received a one finger gesture before he slang me out the door. My son hated to be asked to do something if he knew it was something he struggled with. He would fall to pieces and panic. I could hear him so stubbornly  refusing, shouting, “You think because I have Aspergers I can’t do it! I hate all off you” Two hours passed before we finally left Harley street and headed home.

 All three toys arrived together I watched my daughter grab hers and disappear while I opened baby Harley’s (coming soon) However, Little man continued to watch the TV, he seemed to have lost interest… I feared this would happen! Two days later I came down and there it was hanging out it’s box, just as it was the day it arrived! Yes, I understood better then anyone that Little man could be an impulsive buyer, but he had continued to remain positive up in till the day the toys arrived.

Day 4… and the cricket set is still sat lonely and untouched in its box! Day 5 and movement was looking slim as I discovered it still sat there in its box getting dusty. With this I decided to leave it be for one more day, at a push two, then I would return the product, that or ask a family member or child’s friend to do the review, either way it seemed that little man wasn’t even going to look at the thing let alone review it. 

Day 6… I went into the hall to package up the cricket set and drop it at the post office before early closing in-order to send it back to it’s rightful owner but….

 “It was gone!”

 Following the faint sound of thumping I ended up in the garden where I stood, jaw on the floor and feet rooted to the ground… I saw my Little man stood there in his pyjamas swinging his bat back and forth, forcefully hitting the little red ball against the brick wall that was just about holding up this old house. He occasionally ran side to side as not to allow the ball out of his sight, trying hard not to miss. My little man couldn’t see me stood there tears in my eyes. The cricket set from the WoodenToyShop turned out to be so much more then a review of a toy, but it provided me with an insight and valuable lesson, “Have more faith in what your child can do!” I’ve always believed in him but from what I saw at the OT assessment and throughout the past I stupidly drew to the conclusion that he wouldn’t be that good a cricketer just as his mother isn’t! Shame on me!!

He was out there some hours, spending time on both his transport fascination and practising his ball skills. I kept going to the kitchen window to grab a peek and felt my heart leap with pride with every single trump of the ball against the rattling wall. He had a smile so huge, I melted… Deciding not to trigger any challenges I decided not to snap a picture in fear of being caught and didn’t even ask him to give any feed back on his new toy in fear of being told to sod off so I waited patiently just as I did at that OT assessment at Harley street. 

Day 8, I found this next to my bed…

“Dear Mangers of the woodentoyshop, thank you for sending me your cricket set. I really like it, its solid which is a good thing as I loath toys made of plastic, maybe that’s why mum thinks your a great toy shop. I didn’t like the colour of the ball and think you should make black ones. but that’s just an opinion rather than criticism. The ball did bounce off the way displaying amazing speed, I’m quite good and only missed a few times! My mum thinks I can’t do it because she has never seen me do it, she tells me I can do a lot of things and is always proud of me and my sister and brother but I’ve been practising for a long time with my school tutor who I miss because I now go to school, “The best school” The lady in London who mum took me to see, asked me to do this almost ruining my mum’s surprise! I even kicked her out the room, it was crazy! 

My score 1 Only joking 3… Joking again! 10 is my final answer, thank you WoodenToyShop Love XXXXXX XXXXX aka Little man.”

Shocked I grabbed my phone to call the OT but remembered it was the weekend which meant it wouldn’t be open! I checked my emails for her report  but was quite sure it wouldn’t be there as yet, it was to soon maybe! How could I possibly wait till Monday to make contact? Then right at the bottom of my inbox  I discovered an unopened email with an attachment, realising it was sat there unopened in my inbox… just like the cricket set and for almost the same length of time. 

I downloaded and opened it, It was the longest report I had ever read. My son had areas of difficulty in all seven of his senses, bilateral co-ordination, running speed and agility, fine motor precision, fine motor integration amongst others… I read that he had very low muscle tone, and was struggling to cope with his sensory processing mainly due to his extremely sensitive senses. This was of course a lot to take in as his mother I knew that this report was going to shock me and upset me a little… But then I noticed what I had first come looking for..

 “UPPER-LIMB CO-ORDINATION… This test comprised of eye-hand Co-ordination activities such as throwing and catching a tossed ball, dribbling a ball and throwing a ball at a target. XXXXXX displayed excellent ball skills and managed appropriately with throwing and catching a small ball using two hands and with one hand, and also managed well with dribbling a ball while alternating hands.”

This was said to be his strength, I was blown away! Yes, he will need a programme that is devised by his OT and implemented throughout his school day by teaching staff as well as six individual OT sessions a term from a professional OT each lasting 45 minutes each, Yet just this one thing above was all it took to prove that my little man had the ability to make me eat my own hat. 

For me it was fate, God delivered us this cricket set for my Little guy to display his skill while delivering my surprise (No, I’m not a big god person, but you have to admit this was as if he was being rewarded for all his hard work) If I could give this product a rating of 100 I would… The maximum ten is what it will have to be then. Perfect for any child who loves ball games, or just wants to improve and practice in the back garden. It’s simple design with just a small logo/image, but mostly plain… that for us was perfect, extreme colours or patterns would have sent Little man into a sensory overload. For all those artist, paint it, go crazy with a spray can, my daughter would! Of course the set allows you to Play alone or with others, it has four stumps allowing some good old-fashioned rounders. Little Man can build up his confidence and hopefully as his social skills improve he will start to challenge others. With the ability to build social skills, improve eye-hand co-ordination and healthy exercise… For under a tenner its got to be a winner.   The large wooden cricket set has an astonishing price tag of just £6.95 10/10

The woodentoyshop.co.uk is still right up there in my opinion and remains a 10/10 top marks for a site that is fairly priced, offers a discount day via a code from facebook page or twitter (Fridays) Best of all… A discount for nurseries and schools accompanied with the chance of winning all the returned but undamaged stock that can no longer be sold due to the fact its been opened (completely safe and usable condition, draw is done on a monthly basis)

 Be sure to return for the Competition to bag your child an awesome gift from the WoodenToyShop, while supporting my first ever give away!

Visit the WoodenToyShop blog for product reviews, new lines, guest post and more.

This week we’re loving the WoodenToyShop

2 Jul

As some may know already, I’ve decided to give my children a fun and exciting job! 

To review toys!

Aww, the life of a kid ah! 

Little Man, his sister, ‘Alice Sara’ and little brother Harley (Or should I say monster) have been very busy this week! The children have been working with an awesome collection of toys supplied by WoodenToyShop.co.uk

We love wooden toys in this house so this fantastic online retailer was the perfect match for the children. This is a company that I will certainly be using this christmas! Yes, yes… I understand its only July but before you know it Christmas will be upon us and if your anything like me your be buzzing around on Christmas week like a ‘Bee’ taking pro-plus! However that’s in the past, I’m a reformed woman now (come back and ask me nearer the time and your see)! 

Today it’s the turn of Alice-Sara, my beautiful, creative, art loving daughter who is eight and already a bit of a diva! Alice is putting the Melissa and Doug friendship stamp set to the test. It couldn’t be more fitting, a true match made in heaven.

Alice set up the table, keeping all bits out of little brothers reach (wise girl, I don’t want my furniture decorated with stamps thank you) 

So at £9.45p what do you get for your money…

  • 9 Funky reasonable sized wooden/rubber stamps
  •  5 Coloured pencils
  • Double Ink pad (we got pink and blue)
  • All presented together in a sturdy wooden box that can be used time and time again. 

The only downside here was no pad of paper was provided with this set (well, for the price, lets not get greedy)!

The set has a recommended age of 4+ This made me question whether Alice was actually a bit to old for the set. Well, I needn’t of feared she really enjoyed using the stamps and used them for a number of projects.

here’s 10 great ideas on how to get the best out of your stamp kit. As recommended by Alice herself

  1. Your stamps can be used to decorate cards.
  2. Customise your own pictures,drawings or paintings.
  3. Create funky boarders for all your art work.
  4. Stamp, colour, cut then stick them around your room to decorate and brighten things up.
  5. Do the above to decorate school books (Teachers permission required)
  6. Use in scrapbooks to add cool, girlie additions 
  7. Why not decorate the plain wooden box it came in. 
  8. Use stick down gems and plenty of glitter (not supplied) Alice-Sara states that by adding the glitter to the rainbow design will really make it stand out and sparkle, giving it a beautiful finish (her very next project I believe)!
  9. Stamp on to some durable card (not included). Colour the design and decorate with gems and sparkles (not included). If using glitter leave to dry, then laminate the card and cut your designs out. Lastly add small magnets or safety pins at parents permission, (available cheaply from many craft shops) to create fridge magnets and badges.
  10. Make mum a beautiful stamped card.

The possibilities are endless, making this stamp set a whole box of  girlie fun.

 ALICE RATES IT: 9/10

 Mums thoughts

 Its wooden, stores away neatly (no horrid cardboard boxes taking up needed space). It isn’t even super messy which is always a bonus in our house! The ink is washable so can be easily cleaned from skin and clothing (as I later discovered when Harley stamped himself from head to toe). The product was delivered in a matter of days, its fun, very girlie and kept my little lady happy for hours giving mummy some me time which she spent swimming in the tub till she became a wrinkled old prune. 

 Oh, a fantastic price too!

 MUM RATES IT 9/10

(I even gave it a go myself but… Sssh don’t tell the kids!)

 My thoughts so far on the online retailer WoodenToyShop.co.uk

 10/10 

An awesome site that I spent hours trailing through. There are all the classic wooden toys taking me back to my childhood, plus some new and exciting fresh ideas. Just check out the play food, the wooden cup cakes on their own tiered stand just look absolutely brilliant. If the cakes don’t do it for you then I bet either the outdoor play, train-sets or dolls house’s will. 

WoodenToyShop.co.uk has something for everyone big & small.

Brio Blocks Magnetic Train proves a hit with Harley

20 Jun

Being a blog writer I’ve been offered my fair share of reviews. Unfortunately hover bags and tea bags haven’t really excited me! So when Hello Baby asked if one off my little ones would be interested in reviewing the Brio magnetic train, we were happy to say yes.

Delivery was super speedy and we had our product in a few short days. Sadly my youngest was a little under the weather when it came, so it was decided to wait a few days till he was feeling a bit better before getting it unpacked. Well, it was worth the wait… Harley went crazy for the little wooden train. Now, I know that most 18m old little boys love building blocks, but its fair to say that Harley is mad over them.

The train came with ten brightly coloured blocks, that were the perfect size for little fingers. Harley’s motor skills are still rapidly developing, the magnetic blocks meant that Harley was able to build without accidentally knocking them all over, avoiding frustration and tantrums.

There is no right way to build your train! Your child is able to design it as they wish.  Harley did however take the free-styling rule a little too far with his upside down design.

Harley seemed to have a lot of fun with his train. The fact the blocks are magnetic means Harley was able to push his finished masterpiece around the living room without the blocks constantly falling off.

Harley a “typical” toddler in the fact he likes to make a lot of noise. Yes, he thought it would be a great idea to loudly bang the blocks together in an attempt to make sweet music. I don’t know if those lovely people at Brio had us mum’s in mind, but the magnetic force made this a much harder task, saving mummy from a massive headache.

From a mothers point of view, the ‘Brio Magnetic Train‘ is a great little toy that for my child provided hours of fun. It’s a wooden toy which means it will last and last. It’s very visual with it’s colourful blocks, that are the perfect size for little ones. It’s a great way to improve a child’s fine motor skills and makes absolutely no noise whatsoever, which is always a bonus in my book. This little wooden train complete with magnetic blocks is a fabulous price at just £12.49. I highly recommend it’s added to your little one Christmas list.

Harley is 18-ms and judging from the size of his smile and the length of time he was engaged in play, would indicate that the Brio Magnetic train was something of a hit (Even big brother had a go, what with his transport obsession it was half expected)

Brio Blocks Magnetic Train is available from Brio directly or from the online nursery shop Hello Baby. Hello baby also sell a wide range of other baby and nursery products including baby & toddler toys, nursery furniture & travel and safety items.

%d bloggers like this: