Tag Archives: WoodenToyShop.co.uk

Harley and the giraffe

26 Jul

Our fantastic feature, ‘Santa’s Little helpers is going awesomely well! We have some great reviews lined up from some brilliant brands. This evening I write the last of my three reviews for the Wooden Toy Shop who me and the children have loved working with this past month! So, far my daughter has reviewed the lovely Melissa and Doug Stamp set and Little Man has proved that Cricket can be a great game for Children on the autism spectrum, even when played alone ūüôā¬†

¬†So, now it’s the turn of the littlest Elf, “20m old little bro” his had great fun reviewing one of, ‘John Cranes Tidlo Chunky puzzles’¬†

 Description 

¬†This Chunky wooden puzzle has seven pieces, Its brightly coloured safari theme was a hit with our little monster! One of the reasons we chose this puzzle was because of it’s funky theme. Harley, aka Little Bro loves Giraffes right now, he loves the CBeebies programme, ’64 Zoo Lane’ with Georgina the Giraffe. The Giraffe along with six other animals, a Hippopotamus, Lion, Zebra, Camel, Elephant and a Crocodile make up all the pieces of this fun puzzle.¬†

 The John Crane Tidlo chunky safari puzzle is designed for children aged 12 months plus and can be purchased from the Wooden toy shop for a very respectable £10.79

 Playtime

¬†Little Bros face lit up when we got the puzzle out of its box ready to play. “Look, Giraffe” was something he continually said for the first five minutes before finally turning his attention to some of the other animal pieces. We had fun together naming each animal piece and it really encourages social interaction and gets your toddler attempting words such as Hippopotamus,”Which proved quite a mouth full” Hippo was the better alternative for this little monster.¬†

 The puzzle pieces are really chunky making it look almost 3D. This also makes it easier for the child to pick the pieces up so great for little fingers like Little Bros.

Every now and then I lost the little guys attention and he would climb down from his chair and dart around the room shouting, “Giraffe” waving it in the air like he was flying the thing like a plane. Eventually he would come back and after a while he seemed to be getting to grips with what he was doing. Sat at the table I removed all the pieces, Little Bro Lined them up and I then placed them all back in place. He looked at what I was doing seemingly taking it all in before trying it for himself. The puzzle has the picture of each of the animals where each piece is designed to fit, ¬†making it easier for the child, as they can identify where each piece should fit by looking at the pictures. Little Bro did this bit with ease, however he did have some trouble getting the pieces to fit and become frustrated as he tried to place the giraffe in upside down. When Mummy attempted to show him, ‘Little Mr Independent’ almost throw a fit.¬†

 Once Little Bro had finally placed an animal correctly in its position, I clapped offering lots of prise. He happily gave himself a clap too and felt encouraged to try another. After one or two more I noticed that he was finding the task much easier. 

 Conclusions 

 This is a lovely toy, the wooden puzzle is very well made and is beautifully designed. It can be a fun educational toy for a toddler helping them to develop good hand eye co-ordination, fine motor skills  and imagination (as Little Bro demonstrated during the review, when he used the pieces as toy like figures). I found it hard to give this toy a rating on my toddlers behalf! Though he clearly liked the puzzle he did have a tendency to lose his attention quicker then some of the toys his played with. Saying this, it should be mentioned that whenever Little Bro ran off the giraffe went too. He really likes the giraffe piece and since the review he has taken the giraffe from the box and took it for a ride in his wooden trailer. 

Its a hard one but I give Harley’s rating as an 8/10

 Parental approval 

¬†I think the toy is great Value for money and plan to purchase the John Crane Tidlo Animal farm for his birthday. It comes in a sturdy thick cardboard box which is a must when storing puzzles, due to us having to take them in and out over the course of the early years. The puzzles brightly coloured design is great visual stimulation, the overall design is very inviting. The pieces are really nice and chunky and the picture matching along with shape shorting makes this lots of ¬†fun while helping improve and develop a child’s hand, eye co-ordination.

The John Crane Tidlo gets a fat 9/10 from me

 The Retailer

¬†Over the past month I loved watching the children review just a small handful of the beautifully designed toys the Wooden toy shop has to offer. This is an online family run business that offers its customers a friendly service, speedy delivery and importantly, “Good value for money.” All three products have proven a success with all three¬† Little helpers. This with the fact they have offered our readers the chance to bag themselves a, ‘John Crane children’s wooden Guitar’ in our blog giveaway (which can be found here) makes them a firm favourite of mine.¬†

This is a retailer who offer support to schools and nurseries not only by offering them 10% off the advertised price but also entering them into a draw to win unwanted products that have been returned and cannot be resold due to the removal of packaging. Schools are automatically entered into the monthly draw every time they make a purchase. 

 10/10  for the Wooden Toy Shop a  fantastic online retailer! 

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.

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