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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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Review: Design & Drill Take-Along Toolkit

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 04-07-2013

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You’ll all be aware of the fact that I am a big fan of wooden toys. Once in a while however a quality plastic toy comes along that just bowls me over. Learning Resources sent Little Man the Design & Drill Take Along Toolkit recently to test out, and he is addicted to it. The toolkit consists of 60 plastic coloured bolts, a battery powered screwdriver, three screwdriver bits, and an activity board which is also a very handy carry case. As soon as it arrived he was walking around the house with it, and as we were just about to head off to visit his Nana and Grandad, he decided it better come with us for further inspection.

learning resources design and drill set being carried out the front door As you can see he was rather keen to get going and to take his new toy with him. Already I was loving the set as despite having rather a large number of toys at his Nana and Grandad’s house, its great being able to take others with us easily. The take-along kit also accompanied us on holiday recently, and will no doubt be coming on our camping trip in September. Its so compact and easy to carry, and most importantly Little Man loves carrying it, so I don’t have to!

Before you can start start playing with the set you need to put batteries into the screwdriver. Now whilst I am a big fan of safety when it comes to toys, and whilst I understand that we don’t want our children opening up toys and taking out batteries, the designer of this toy may have been a tad over cautious. It took us about half an hour to locate a screwdriver with a small enough head that was long enough to fit into the tiny yet deep gap to where the screws were located. Once we had it was simple enough to open, pop the batteries in, and fasten up again. You may wish to do this before your child knows about the toy as patience is not a virtue with toddlers.

Once the batteries were in Little Man was off. Now the general point of this toy is to use the coloured bolts to make pictures on the board. For Little Man its all about screwing lots of bolts in, and then taking them all out again, and then repeating this process. Endlessly. For HOURS. The drill isn’t too noisy so I am happy for him to play with it for as long as he likes. Educationally its great for fine motor skills, hand eye co-ordination and colour recognition. For Little Man its all about having a screwdriver like Daddy’s which actually works and makes a bit of noise at the same time.

learning resources design and drill take along set in use

As you can see here he is very efficient at getting the bolts in and filling as many holes as he can. You can also buy additional bolts, screwdrivers and a alternative drill separately from the Learning Resources website. This set Рand there are a couple of other Design & Drill options available Рretails at £27.54 inc VAT.

Play Patrol: Build Up Train

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Bigjigs Play Patrol, Product Reviews | Posted on 18-06-2013

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When your little one learns to walk it is often with the aid of a push along toy. Once they are walking on their own its good to get them a pull along to trundle around after themselves. I know we had a couple for Little Man during his early toddling days. If you are looking for pull along toy inspiration you can’t go far wrong with the Build Up Train from BigJigs. What’s more, is that its actually TWO toys in one.

The Build Up Train is a lovely pull along toy for children aged 1 year plus. There are three “carriages” which can be separated too, and a nice long cord to pull them along. ¬†Each “carriage” holds a selection of wooden blocks and shapes as well as a few friendly looking passengers. The beauty of this toy is that these blocks and passengers can be taken off and rearranged as your child wishes. Each “carriage” has three wooden poles on it for the pieces to slide on to. The combinations and patterns are endless, and its a great toy for honing those all important fine motor skills, as well as imagination play. Once everyone is loaded safely on board the train can be pulled around till it reaches its destination.

I think this a really lovely toy for children aged 1 to 2 years old. Its brightly coloured and has nice solid chunky pieces to play with. Little Man however was a bit underwhelmed. He pulled the string a bit, poked around with a few pieces, and then wandered off and hasn’t really looked at it since. But Little Man is two years and eight months old so I think in all fairness this toy is a bit young for him anyway. I love the multi-use you get from it, as both a pull along and a stacking toy. I can see young train fans being thrilled with it, and I’m certain Little Man would have loved it a year or so ago. Not a complete loss though. We’ve packed it back up and its currently stored in the loft for any future members of the family that may appear in the next few years.

A great first foray in to pull along toys for any new walkers. Thank you BigJigs.