Reviews - Hape Toys

Hape Logo

Hape Toys is one of the world’s largest producers of toys made from sustainable materials. Hape toys are both creatively designed and eco-friendly. Neither culture, nor language, nor gender inhibits the intuitive process of play. All of the products meet and, more often, exceed the strictest international standards for quality and safety. Hape toys are designed first and foremost for children. Each product is developed to enhance a child’s developmental skills. Neither language, nor culture, nor gender impedes the intuitive play patterns. What children see as fun, parents and educators recognise as age-appropriate learning basics; social, sensory, physical, and emotional skills. Using natural materials, water-based paints, and strict quality and safety standards make every Hape toy an investment kids will love and parents can trust.

Hide-and-Seek Periscope (Nature Fun)

Great fun for children, this will encourage their observational skills and encourage them to take an interest in the world around them. The child can stand unnoticed behind a wall or other object and by holding the periscope to their eye, and putting the end into the open, they will be able to see what's going on without being detected. It's a good way to observe nature without disturbance too. It's a well made toy, as we've come to expect from Hape and their commitment to sustainability is shown by the fact it is made of plant plastic and bamboo; the bamboo gives the periscope a nice feel and lightness. Compliant with international safety and quality standards, the periscope comes with a sturdy wrist strap. Not suitable for children under 5 years. It's great for imaginative play too - they can imagine they are on a submarine, for example. A lovely traditional toy, well made and with plenty of play value.


Chunky Alphabet Puzzle

This is a lovely tactile toy with chunky pieces to help children learn their uppercase letters. The sturdy letters are in a wide range of colours, including pink, orange, red, turquoise and green, and they fit snugly and securely into the shaped board so children can start to familiarise themselves with the letters of the alphabet. The letters are a good size and deep enough to stand well proud of the board, so children can lift them out easily. Each piece is free standing so they can be used for a range of early literacy skills. As with all Hape toys, this attractive puzzle is made with a commitment to sustainability, compliant with international safety and quality standards. Wooden toys have a lasting appeal and the excellent paint finish on this toy means it is durable and can be handed on from one sibling to another - or even kept to pass through generations. There's also a lower case version of the puzzle available, offering even more learning opportunities.


Battery Powered Rolling Stock Set

Battery powered trains are always much in demand in our railway set. It seems children can never have too many and having plenty of different styles really adds to the play value of the whole set. They really make children think and anticipate as they set the trains off, making sure there won't be a collision! This set is extra-special due to the clever actions of the cargo being carried - our young ones loved this. The cargo in one truck bounces up and down, and the barrels in the other spin round and round - and they keep going all the while the train is in motion. A brilliant idea. The engine is bright blue and magnetically couples to the trucks which are green and red - it's a lovely colourful set. Added to existing rail tracks, the set helps to develop hand-eye coordination, creativity and imagination; train sets are great for collaborative play, encouraging children to work together to find solutions and build the best possible track. A super set and with such great added fun value.



Tea Set for Two

Tea sets and make-believe meals are enduringly popular and this traditionally styled set from Hape will almost guarantee parents an invitation to tea! The set comes complete with teapot plus lid, cups and saucers with pretty scalloped edges, spoon, coaster, tea bag, milk and sugar pot with lid... and a tray to put it all on. The tray is very practical for carrying it all, as it has a good deep lip. It's great for teddy and doll tea parties too and the unfussy design makes it suitable for boys and girls. The pieces are satisfyingly chunky, excellently made with no sharp corners or rough edges, and attractively decorated. It's a toy that sparks the imagination, helps develop hand-eye coordination and enhances social skills. Perhaps you would like to do some baking with your child to serve with tea? Suitable for children from three years, this will be a popular toy with families and goes well with other similar Hape toys for increased play value.



My Coffee Machine

Cappuchino? Latte? Flat white? Now children can offer you your favourite drink from their very own coffee machine, which comes complete with cup, spoon, coffee pod, milk and sugar bowl. Wooden toys are always a joy to use and they are often more durable than plastic, as well as reflecting the current emplasis on sustainability and reducing the use of plastics. Flip up the lid, insert the coffee pod then turn the dial to ensure perfect strength - soon the coffee's ready to serve! It's perfect to go with Hape's other kitchen sets and they all work well together to offer increased play value every time a new piece of equipment is added. The toy is suitable for 24 months plus; it's good to see toys for this age as so much is marketed as suitable for 3 upwards. At 24 months, little ones are really beginning to show an interest in role play, so this is perfect to encourage that. It's a well made toy, sturdy and durable with no rough edges or harsh corners, so perfectly safe for young ones. Creative development is such an important part of learning, and this offers plenty of scope for that, as well as improving social skills and manual dexterity. 'Preparing' and sharing food with adults is one of children's favourite games and this lovely coffee machine is refreshingly different and very on trend, so will be a popular addition to many play kitchens.



Record/Listen and Light Railway Station Playset

"The next train to arrive at Platform 1 is the ...". Now children can really personalise their train set by adding their very own announcement for when the train arrives at the station. This is such fun and a brilliant way to extend the imaginative and role play value of any wooden train set. Recording your message is simple - just hold down the record button and record a message of up to 15 seconds, then press the play button to play it back; messages can be re-recorded but only the last message will be played back. This play piece includes a clock with movable hands - and it actually lights up with two lights too (and, very practically, these turn off after 3 minutes to save wasting batteries). The set includes a plastic/wooden station mounted on a wooden track which is compatible with major wooden train set brands. The box also contains two reversible wooden timetable/ticket machine play pieces as well as a traditional wooden clock, so there's plenty of play value, helping to develop creativity and sparking imagination; so much to enjoy and to integrate with other parts of a child's train collection. It's a super learning tool too, as children can set the clock to display the correct time and then draw up their own timetables to attach to the timetable boards included. The toy is well made, satisfying to play with and with a commitment to sustainability; compliant with international safety and quality standards.A good belnd of a traditional toy with modern technology and one that will delight children as they enjoy the extended play opportunities offered.




Hide and Seek Periscope

Be careful... are you being spied on? Give your child this attractive periscope and you'll never know if they are watching you! Children can conceal themselves behind a wall, piece of furniture or other objects and then hold the periscope to their eye. As they push the end out into the open, they can see what's going on around them without being detected. With care, and under adult supervision, the periscope can also be used for nature spotting, helping children develop an interest in nature. The periscope is sustainably made from bamboo (the fastest growing plant in the world), which gives it a really nice look and feel - and you know you are doing your bit to help the environment; small steps all add up. The lenses are well made and offer a clear image. The periscope comes with a handy bright orange wrist strap which also makes it easy to spot if dropped. Of course, as with all Hape toys, it complies with international safety and quality standards; this is especially important with a periscope used close to the eyes, so make sure your child knows how to use it safely (recommended age is 5+). It's great to develop imaginative play, especially for budding detectives.


Hape Mini Band Set

This 5 piece set consists of: a rainmaker, ukulele, tambourine, clapper and a rattle. Each item in the set is of the excellent quality that we have learned to associate Hape toys with and each item is decorated with white musical notes and bold colours. This set can be played with alone or your child can play the instruments with siblings and friends to create their own mini band which will expand on socialisation and sharing skills. The Ukulele is a great size for toddlers and has real tuning pegs so the sound can be adjusted; the instruments all make a relatively low noise which every parent will be glad to read! Toddlers and young children are more likely to be heavy handed with their toys, but this set of instruments all feel very robust and I don't think that they would get damaged easily, they are also lightweight which makes them easy for children to play and hold. Hape toys are made with sustainable materials and any plastic parts are made to be durable so that the toys are passed down through families, rather than being thrown out. The Hape Mini Band Set is suitable for ages 3 and over, my mini reviewers are 7 and 5 and they have both been playing with it together as well as by themselves, so it is a toy that will give years of enjoyment.

Hape Pound and Tap Bench

This lovely wooden toy from Hape has 3 coloured wooden balls on the top which cleverly hover over 3 holes which have a rubber ring around the inside that stops them from falling through. Each hole has a coloured ring around it which corresponds to one of the balls so children will learn to match the coloured ring to the balls. Use the included wooden hammer to tap them through the holes where they will fall down on to the xylophone that sits below. The xylophone has a chunky wooden handle which your child can easily pull out to play with and the hammer has two different sides; one side is flat for hitting the wooden balls with, and the other side is rounded which is used for playing the xylophone. The bench is decorated with child safe paint, the bright colours make it really appealing for young children and it is made to Hape's exceptional high standard of quality. The Pound & Tap bench encourages fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as well as teaching children about cause and effect. The Pound & Tap bench is great value for money as it contains two toys in one and it all sits neatly in the sturdy bench. It is aimed at 12 months and over, it would make a great addition to any child's toy collection or would make the perfect gift.



6 in 1 Music Maker

Children love to make music and it's a great way to develop coordination skills. This is a super toy which cleverly incorporates six of toddlers' favourite instruments - drum, tambourine, bell, scratchboard, rattleball and xylophone, plus a beater. It's all cleverly arranged in one piece in the shape of a guitar and it's really easy for a child to carry around. The toy is suitable for 18 months upwards - I am always pleased to find toys for this age group, as at this age children often fall between baby toys and those for 3+. Your little one will love exploring sounds and rhythms as he or she experiments with making their own music. Bright colours will appeal to children, and these are used both in paint and for the plastic elements. The toy is sturdily made and toddler-proof, with no sharp edges. Hape is the world’s largest producer of wooden toys, and use of natural materials wherever possible. Plastic parts are ensured durable enough to last for generations in order to encourage toys to be passed down rather than thrown away; the classic and timeless design of the toys makes them perfect to hand down to a future generation. An ideal toy to introduce your young one to the concept of music making; all the different elements mean it will offer many hours of satisfying play. Buy from Smyths Toys.  Price September 2018 - £24.99.



Monkey Pop-Up Track Toy

Children love the unexpected and they will be giggling away every time the little yellow vehicle passes along the track and the three cheeky monkeys pop up and out. This is an accessory to liven up your railway track and is fully compatible with Hape rail tracks, so makes a great extension. The banana car is magnetic so easily attaches to other vehicles. As the banana car passes, the monkeys pop up and try to catch it, adding a fresh dimension of fun. It will spark the imagination.

Of course, like all Hape toys, this is made with a commitment to sustainability; compliant with international safety and quality standards. The quality is excellent and the toy will prove very durable. The majority of the banana car is wood, with some plastic, and the monkeys (who have lovely cheeky friendly faces) and the track are wooden. The toy is suitable for 18 months plus, and it's good to see children of this young age engage with the fun - it's great to share with older siblings and their tracks too. It's a toy that will help develop fine motor skills as little ones re-insert the monkeys. They will soon be counting to three too! A super toy, whether used as a stand-alone or as part of a set, it will provide hours of fun.


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Anywhere Art Studio

This is a really lovely set for any budding young artist and the easel includes a magnetic whiteboard side, a blackboard side, 2 pieces of chalk, an eraser and 1 magnetic wood piece. The tabletop design means it can be used anywhere and it has a very spacious area to create works of art on yet it is compact to store and measures 48cm wide, 54 cm high and 9cm deep. The knobs on the side of the easel allow you to change the position so it is the correct angle for your child.

 The magnetic wood piece holds paper or card in place so your child has another different surface to draw or paint on. The Hape Anywhere Art Studio helps to develop your child's creativity, lets them explore different media as well as encouraging them to learn the name of different colours, learning to write their own name and holding a pencil correctly. The Hape Anywhere Art Studio is suitable for ages 3 and above and just like all Hape products it is of extremely high quality. You can find out more about the Anywhere Art Studio here, it currently retails for £29.15 (price correct as of June 3rd 2018).

Checkout Register


This wooden cash register is a lovely traditional-looking toy, complete with abacus. Cash or credit? No problem - this till accepts either, giving children the opportunity to learn about different types of payment; you can scan a card or accept cash. There is so much in the box -  a cash register with bar code scanner, card reader, 16 pieces of paper money (just take care with this when inserting into the drawer), coins, credit card and membership card. There are 12 bright red buttons, numbered 1 to 10, and plus and minus; these are easy to use for the recommended age of 3+. Rather than being an electronic adding machine, children need to do the adding up themselves, thus developing their number skills and particularly mental arithmetic - a really valuable skill. This is coupled with learning about money, and adding coins and notes to give the correct change. The till neatly includes a clip to attach a notepad to help working out; it's the little touches like this that make all the difference between an average and a good quality toy. Of course, the till enhances imaginative and cooperative play as it is perfect as part of a shop corner. Develop early counting and arithmetic Encourages creativity and role play Like all Hape toys, the till is made with a commitment to sustainability, and it is compliant with international safety and quality standards. The quality is immediately apparent as you unpack the box - there are no rough edges, corners are gently rounded and the paint is vivid and high quality, with lots of different colours to give an attractive appearance. This is a well designed toy that offers a multitude of learning opportunities - numeracy, imagination, cooperative play, role play, fine motor skills are all enhanced in one attractive toy that will get plenty of use; it has all you'd expect from a till and more. Buy from Poppets, price £24.95 (April 2018).

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Hape 101 Wooden Beech Blocks

This big box of bright tactile blocks gives plenty of scope for creativity and imagination with the range of shapes and sheer number. Children from 12 months plus can explore shape, balance and design as they create their own imaginary worlds. As children explore and build. they will gradually learn how to create a stromg structure, and problem solving skills will come into play as they work out how the shapes can be fitted together; as they play fine motor skills will be developed. The clever thing is that the blocks come in a box which doubles as a shape sorter - such a good idea. THis will help develop hand-eye coordination and dexterity. It also has a carry handlle which neatly slots down to allow easy access to the box; the box is perfect for long-term storage as it is sturdy and durable. There are six different shapes in the shape sorter - arch, semicircle, square, rectangle, triangle and cylinder; there are even more shapes to be discovered in the box. The bright colours are very attractive; unusually, pink is included and also natural wood which adds to the appeal; the blocks are painted with water-based paint. Use the blocks to encourage your children to recognise and name colours. The blocks can also be used as a sorting toy - sort by shape or colour and start to teach your little one about grouping and counting. There are so many opportunities for learning while your child is having fun and the generous number of blocks mean that more than one child can play, thereby developing social skills and encouraging sharing, especially as children get older, because this set will have years of use. A lovely selection of bricks and the inclusion of a shape sorter is just brilliant; the attractive packaging meabs this would make a lovely gift. Hape 101 Wooden Beech Blocks are available from Poppets for £14.95 (April 2018).

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Hape Shape Sorter Xylophone

This is a lovely bright toy that will have instant appeal for its target age range of 12+ months, with a clever combination of xylophone, piano and shape sorter. There's plenty to keep toddlers happily occupied as they try out the five note xylophone and learn about colours and shapes. The set includes a beater which neatly and safely attaches to the xylophone with an easy to use strap to save it getting lost. Use the beater to play the metal notes, or press down on the various shapes to make the sounds. The xylophone helps to develop colour, shape and sound recognition, encouraging the beginnings of making music.Just like all Hape Toys, it is made with a commitment to sustainability, compliant with international safety and quality standards. The edges are gently rounded for complete safety and the whole toy is really well made and sturdy. I like the fact that all Hape toys are securely packed, always arrive in perfect condition, but have none of these fiddly ties and other fastenings which can make children really impatient while they wait for Mum or Dad to disentangle them. This lovely colourful and well-made toy really does encourage the natural love for learning and discovering that children have at this age. It's bound to be a big hit!


Hape Sushi Selection

There's a really contemporary feel to this unusual addition to children's collection of foods - and a lovely change from the norm. Introduce the delights of sushi plus the skills of manipulating the two pairs of chopsticks included for your little one to enjoy with a friend. Served on a wooden stand with wasabi and soy sauce, this is a playful introduction to new types of food - playing with new foods encourages children to try them, so once your child has had fun with this, do encourage them to try sushi next time you go shopping. The set contains a soy sauce bottle, 2 pairs of chop sticks, 2 dipping bowls, a wooden serving board and 11 wooden and fabric sushi pieces. It's all packed into a take-away style paper bag, which looks great. The set ncourages creativity and fine motor skills, develops the imagination, encouraging children to play alongside friends. Each piece is well made and apart from two felt itmes, from FSC-certified wood. The pieces are attractively painted and the whole set is really effective. Great to use alongside other food sets, this is a lovely and unusual set and will provide plenty of talking points.

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HAPE Train Track Puzzle

There are two elements to this train track puzzle, suitable for children of 18 Months plus. First, connect the train and drive it around the circular track. Then take the train apart and place the engine and two carriages on the right spots in the central puzzle<, thereby encouraging the development of fine motor skills and problem solving. The pretty track is park-themed and helps learning about shapes along with offering fun playtime. This is a well made toy; the pieces slot together easily and stay in place during play. The track is made of plastic with a wooden insert in the centre and a raised section; there are two end pieces to keep the trains on the track. There is a wooden engine with two carriages. This compact set makes a lovely first rail track for young ones and the carriages slot into the centre for neat storage.


HAPE Friendship Puzzle Blocks

This beautifully made and decorated wooden block puzzle has the option of creating six separate puzzles, giving children of 24 months upwards plenty of puzzle solving fun. Each puzzle creates Pepe or one of his friends, made up of nine sapeare blocks. Each has a distinctive coloured background to help young ones find the pieces. As with all HAPE products, this is made with a commitment to sustainability and is compliant with international safety and quality standards. The animal pictures are gorgeous, really appealing and the blocks are weighty and satisfying to play with. A lovely first jigsaw puzzle.


Hape Teddy and Duck Bath Mitt Play Set

Help to make bathtime enjoyable for everyone with this fun mitt pair. Children will find it fun to wash themselves by popping soap into the mitt - either use a bar of soap inside it (but remember to take it out!) or pour in a little liquid wash. It helps to make bath time fun and engaging for children from 12 months. There are two parts - the large one is a lovely teddy bear mitt with various textures in the soft cloth; he is big enough for adult hands to use to wash little ones. The second is a cute little duck mitt, just right for small hands. A lovely way to make bathtime even more fun.


Hape Little Plane

This is a lovely tactile toy, suitable for children of 10+ months. It's just the right size for small hands to hold and it moves smoothly across the floor on its three wheels. The wings move up and down on gentle elasticised hinges for added play and discovery value. This is a really attractive and well manufactured toy which Helps develop hand-eye coordination and stimulates the imagination. Made of wood, it has softly rounded edges for safety. Hape Toys are all safety tested; tests include Sharp Point Test; Bite Force Test; Tensile Test; Small Parts Test; Colour Test and Drop Test, so parents can be assured of complete product safety.


Hape Mini Van - Red

This bright red simply designed vehicle is perfect for young ones who are beginning to play with push along toys and develop their imaginations and interest in the world around them. The three holes in the toy encourage further tactile exploration in complete safety as they are well sized. The good size wooden wheels spin around and glide easily over floors; the toy is made from birch, maple and rubberwood. As children play, they will develop hand-eye coordination. This is a really attrc-active toy that will look great displayed on a child's shelf. Made with a commitment to sustainability, compliant with international safety and quality standards.


Hape Wooden Beetle Walker

We were really looking forward to receiving this walker for review as one of my mini testers is very close to walking. The walker needs minimal assembly and just requires 2 nuts and bolts (included) to fix the handlebar in place. There are 2 different angles at which this can be placed and the instructions advise that for babies who are just learning to walk that it is fixed in to the more vertical position.

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The wheels have a very clever speed reducer which can be adjusted to slower speeds for babies learning to walk, a quick tweak allows them to spin faster for toddlers who are confident pushing the walker around. I think this aspect is great and I have not come across it from a baby walker before, sometimes the speed at which they move can take your child by surprise so you can see that this is a well thought out feature. Your child can use the walker to push their favourite toys around in, but however your child uses it, it just looks great!

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As with all Hape wooden products, this walker is excellent quality and the design of the Volkswagen Beetle is just gorgeous. There is so much detail, the headlights look very realistic and it even shows all the chrome detailing on the bodywork. The wheels have the 'VW' logo moulded in to them and the handlebar is metal so you can be sure that the walker is strong and sturdy.


The Hape Beetle Walker is also available in red and you can read all about it on the Hape website.

Figure Eight Railway Set from Hape

This is a lovely wooden railway set. The figure of eight layout is ideal as a first railway set, as it is easy for even young children to set up the track - it's recommended for age 3+. The Hape Figure Eight Railway Set includes three brightly coloured wooden train carriages which really capture children's attention; they couple together magnetically. There are 12 pieces of curved track, plus ramped pieces to take the train up and over the bright red bridge - this feature really adds a good dimension to the set. There are also two trees to decorate the track; there are 27 pieces in all. The pieces are all really well made with no rough edges, with a commitment to sustainability; compliant with international safety and quality standards. Railways are a constant favourite with children and while they are playing, they will be developing hand-eye coordination, creativity and imaginative play. The possibilities are endless, with the many expansion packs available, just a few of which are reviewed below. See the Hape website for the whole fantastic range. This makes an excellent starter railway set, and there are lots more sets on the Hape website, so your child can gradually build up their collection - you need never be stuck for present ideas again! See the whole HAPE railway range on their website.

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Hape Extended Double Suspension Bridge Set

Perfect for giving a train set a city feel, and of really impressive proportions, this is the perfect add on for any railway - children can take their trains right into the heart of the city. The extended double railway bridge has 17 pieces in all, including track. Many railway sets seem to have a country feel, so this is great to bring a more urban feel to children's play, giving yet more scope for imaginative play - how about drawing a road or river to go underneath, then bringing in vehicles and boats from other play sets? This is a really stylish addition to a model rail set and will immediately transform any set. It's well made, with wooden tracks and plastic parts for the bridge. A great addition to any rail set.

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HAPE Triple Tunnel

Now you see it, now you don't! Children will love to see their train and carriages appear and disappear through the three separate tunnel parts; one is a double size and two are single. The tunnels come without track, so they can be p;aced anywhere children want on their rail layout, thus extending play value. They fit neatly over the track and there's plenty of room for the carriages to pass underneath - but there is just a little extra dexterity needed which is great to develop those all-important manipulative skills. The tunnels are wooden, attractively decorated. A super addition to any wooden train set.

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Hape Automatic Train Bell Signal

Ding! Ding! The train is coming! Hurry up and cross the track safely, heeding the warning from this automatic signal. It can be connected to the tracks so that the bell rings as the train approaches the bend, or it can be rung loud and proud as a separate piece. This gives children plenty of scope for imaginative scenarios - and it's also a good excuse for adults to bring in some discussion about road and rail safety. The signal comes ready mounted on its own piece of track and it's a really good size, giving off a very satisfactory ring. We really enjoyed reviewing these train sets and accessories from Hape. They are excellent quality, and they can be combined with all manner of other toys for even greater play value, ensuring that children will get many years of happy play. And, thanks to the high quality, they can be passed down the generations too - good quality wooden toys never date.

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Hape Wooden Crane Lift

Hape are the world's largest producer of wooden toys, they depend on the use of natural materials and any plastic parts they make are designed to be durable enough for generations of use to encourage toys to be passed down, rather than thrown away.

Inside the box you will find the crane mechanism and cab which comes pre-assembled. Along with this is a box which contains 5 accessories (a men at work sign, 2 barriers and 2 cones), a platform and blocks for hooking to the crane and the base of the crane, which needs to be assembled. The base of the crane consists of 2 wooden parts which slot together to form an 'x', on top of this a round plate is placed to keep them in the right place and the long tower section is then placed on top of the plate. 2 screws (supplied) are then used to hold it all in place, an allen key is also supplied for tightening them up. The platform with blocks on can then be hooked on to the crane ready for play. The whole process only took a few minutes and once together it feels very solid and sturdy.

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The crane can be moved using 2 dials, the dial at the back of the crane moves the hook backwards and forwards and the dial at the front lowers and raises the hook. It is also a great size, standing at 53cm tall. The crane encourages problem solving and discovery along with improving fine motor skills as children have to put the pieces in the correct place. It also inspires imagination and creativity through play.


The Hape Crane Lift is aimed at children of ages 3 and over, and is one of those toys that even much older children will enjoy playing with. The set can be added to by purchasing Hape trucks and diggers to create your own construction site. Hape products go through strict quality control so you can be sure that there will be no sharp points, they do a drop test, bite force test and use water based paints on their products. The Crane Lift retails at £37.99, for more information take a look at the Hape website.

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