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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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#PlayPatrol: Green Toys Tool Set

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Bigjigs Play Patrol | Posted on 07-04-2014

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Well we’ve finally come to our last mission as Play Patrol Agents with Bigjigs after a brilliant year “putting fun to the test” and it seems rather fitting that George sent Little Man one last Green Toy for him to test out. We’ve become huge fans of Green Toys this past year and Little Man loves the fact that he can take them into the bath with him – where you’ll find the majority of them at the moment – or out into the garden without fear of ruining them. Several Green Toys have gone through our dishwasher this last few months and they’ve come out as good as new. Its probably my favourite feature of these eco friendly toys.

This final mission was to review the Green Toys Tool Set.
All the items you’d expect from a toy tool set, but with that little bit extra you’d expect from Green Toys. Six tools are included in the set – which comes in blue or pink – and each is a highly realistic replica of the kind of tools children would find mummy or daddy using around the home. Each tool has the name of the tool on the handle thus helping your child to learn them by name as well as appearance. The toolbox also says “Toolbox” on the side. In addition to the tools you’ll find a small selection of nuts, bolts and nails which can be fastened into the holes on the toolbox using the appropriate tool.

Solid, well built, eco friendly and educational, this toolset is a lot of fun. Its been used in the bath – a plumber in the making apparently – as well as being taken around the garden to do running repairs on the shed and playhouse, used to saw, hammer and screw sand, and it was even left outside in the rain by accident. After weeks of use and a couple of trips through the dishwasher its still looking as good as new. Little Man does have a wooden tool set as well which has similar component parts to this one, but for me its a bit more fragile so tends to stay indoors. This one can be used outside and in, as well as in sand, mud and bath water. I like that Little Man can do his “work” with this set wherever he wants, and I love that the names of the parts are written on them so he can learn the words. Whilst he is already a frequent user of the word “Screwdriver” – due to Doctor Who I’m afraid, not an obsession with DIY – this toy is a good way to widen his vocabulary to other tools. At almost 3 and a half his vocabulary isn’t quite what the experts think it should be so anything that helps improve that is an immediate winner with me.

We have had a wonderful time working with the team at Bigjigs and look forward to seeing what the next group of agents come up with. If you’re interested in becoming a Play Patrol Agent do fill out the application form here and send it to George by 11.59pm on April 14th.

Play Patrol: Ferry Boat with Cars

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Bigjigs Play Patrol, Product Launch, Product Reviews | Posted on 15-11-2013

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You’d think after all the Green Toys that we already own I’d struggle to find anything new and exciting about other items from the range. Well, thankfully, I didn’t. Play Patrol strikes again, and once again Bigjigs has sent me over a Green Toy to review. This time, a Car Ferry.
This Car Ferry is brand new from Green Toys, and Little Man and I were lucky enough to receive it first from Bigjigs, at least once George had finished playing with it!
The Car Ferry comes with two cars – one yellow and one red – and has an extendable ramp which allows the cars access on and off the ferry. Now we all know that the Green Toys are dishwasher proof but it never occurred to me to put them in the bath. Until now. This is the ideal bath toy, and Little Man has really enjoyed testing it out at bath time. It has been sailed up and down the bath with the cars on board, they’ve been driven around the edge of the bath, and the ramp makes a rather fun water slide. The ramp is easy enough to use for Little Man to be able to do it himself, and the bottom of the boat is removable for easy cleaning and to bail out when there’s an inevitable capsizing incident!
Educationally wise this would be a great purchase if you’re about to embark on a journey on a car ferry, or if your child is learning about different modes of transport at school or nursery. I think all it really needs is a few people to stand on the deck or maybe a few faces inside the cars.
I can see more of our Green Toys ending up in the bath, especially the Rocket. Little Man has always been a big fan of bath time and its great to now be able to change around the toys he currently uses, and add some of his favourites from outside the bath.

Play Patrol: Green Toys Rocket

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Bigjigs Play Patrol, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 09-09-2013

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My love of BigJigs toys is pretty clear, so when we became Play Patrol Agents I was really hopeful that we’d get to review products from my favourite brand. I ADORE Green Toys. Not only are they eco-friendly and made from recycled plastic, but they are hard wearing, long lasting and most randomly, dishwasher safe! Luckily for us the lovely George at BigJigs sent us this Rocket from Green Toys to review as our most recent mission.

Brightly coloured toys are what I’ve come to expect from BigJigs and this one is no different. Bright red and bright blue colouring makes this rocket stand out a mile. The rocket itself is made up of four component parts – the main rocket, a detachable top capsule, and two intrepid astronauts. The door on the main rocket and a second door on the top capsule both open allowing access for the astronauts – the capsule doorway is a bit of a tight squeeze! Within the capsule you’ll find extra detailing with buttons and computers on the door, whilst the main rocket has steps on the inside of the door to allow astronaut access.

Little Man is a bit of a typical boy, and loves spaceships and rockets. He adores Buzz Lightyear and Toy Story, so this rocket from Green Toys was the ideal choice for him. He runs around the garden with it making whooshing sounds, and sits getting the astronauts in and out of each section. He takes off the capsule and launches that about and takes his astronauts on missions to all kinds of places. For him, this product is firm favourite.

For me, its another brilliant quality product from Green Toys. Yes, the astronauts are a bit plain and simple in their design and they don’t “do” anything, but with a child’s imagination they are off on their adventures. The method of separating the capsule from the rocket is simple – Little Man can do it more often than not – and the bright colours make it easy to spot. I love that if Little Man gets it messy I can pop it into the dishwasher making it super easy to clean, and I love how toddler friendly it is, both in design and size.

Part of our challenge for this review was to take a video of Little Man using the rocket. Below are FOUR videos of Little Man playing with the rockets under the silent – mostly – instruction of Daddy. That thing he is looking at most of the time behind the camera? Daddy waving his arms around and “directing” him. I love the final video where Daddy is showing another fun use for the rocket. We hope you enjoy them.

A firm two thumbs up from Play Patrol Agent Little Man for this one, and from his Mummy too!

 

Product Review: Green Toys Recycling Truck

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 20-04-2012

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With Earth Day this weekend – April 22nd – now seemed the appropriate time to introduce you all to the Green Toys range, available from BigJigs.

 

Based in California, Green Toys are all made from recycled plastic, and the main source of this is plastic milk bottles. The range aims to provide safe and fun toys for children of all ages, whilst also making products which are good for the planet. On average every pound of recycled plastic which is used saves enough energy to run a laptop for a whole month – which to me is a great reason to buy them! Another thing I love about Green Toys is the packaging. Our truck came in an open fronted cardboard box. That’s all. No metal ties holding it in place, no three hour mission to get the toy out the box whilst your little one complains at volume. I opened the end of the box and the truck rolled out – perfect!

So here is the latest addition to Little Man’s toy collection:

The hugely appropriate Recycling Truck!

This monster of a truck is incredible strong and toddler friendly – impressive when you think its made purely from plastic milk bottles and that there are no metal axis involved. There are three slots down either side to put your recycling in – there are pieces to cut out on the cardboard box – and each is marked as either bottles, cans or paper. There is an opening at the back so you can empty out again, and the recycling holder tips up as well. The wheels are chunky and rolls brilliantly – Little Man can often be heard doing “Brum!” noises, or at least his version of “Brum!” whilst pushing it around – and the whole truck is perfectly sized for little hands to grab hold of.

The Recycling Truck from Green Toys is available now direct from BigJigs new consumer section of their website.