Reviews - toys page 2

We have reviewed a selection of toys which have been sent to us, as well as recommending some that have been a particular success at home. These will help you and your children to have fun together while they are learning.

schleich forest

Schleich Forest Animal Babies Figures

Children will love these cute and very realistic baby forest animals who are just a few weeks old. They love to spend all day playing, and children's imaginations will be stimulated as they act out various scenarios using these lovely little animals. The set includes a black bear cub, an elk calf and a wild boar piglet. I love the wild boar piglet - he is really sweet! All Schleich figures are lovingly hand-painted - you can really see the care that has gone into the painting when you examine the animals closely. The detailed modelling and attention to detail encourage children to learn as they play, as well as developing imagination, as they are seeing animals which are accurate representations of the real thing. Like all Schleich products, high quality is evident throughout  -you can see the attention to detail in the pictures, with the depth of embossing on each of the animals and realistic looking eyes and other features. A nice extra touch, which encourages imagination right from the start, is the fact the box opens up to give a forest scene. Whether children have a whole range of Schleich animals and they are brilliant to collect and make perfect small gifts, or just this set, there are plenty of opportunities for imaginative play. They also combine well with children's other toys, such as railway or roadway sets. See the whole Schleich range here.

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YGlider green

yGlider pink 

The Yvolution Y Glider Deluxe scooter

Perfect as a first scooter, this Y Glider has all the quality features you look for in a scooter. The biggest challenge young children face when they start their scooting journey is learning to steer, and this is where the YVolution scooter scores highly with its unique “lean-to-steer” steering mechanism which helps the user to learn how to steer correctly; we found our young tester used this intuitively as it just comes naturally. Perfect for first time riders, this self-propelling mini scooter allows younger children to comfortably enjoy scooting at their developmental stage. Using the unique method that is more natural and developmentally in line with the motor skills of young children. Is your child frustrated by not being able to get outside playing on their scooter? Well, Yvolution have the answer for that too - The Y Glider Deluxe kick scooter can be used indoors as well as outdoors. With our British weather, it can often be weeks without warm and dry weather for outdoor play, especially for younger children, so you can allow your little one to develop  their balance, co-ordination and motor skills indoors as well. You may want to impose a few ground rules regarding speed and closeness to furniture though!  The Y Glider Deluxe also helps children develop those essential balance and coordination skills, and once they have gained confidence and competence, they can join their older siblings out and about. The manufacturing quality is excellent, with attention to all the important details. It has PU cast wheels for durability, and the wide deck provides plenty of room to ensure a really firm footing; suspension allows for a safe and stable ride. The soft rubber hand grips are ideal for little hands and the easy touch rear safety brake facilitates quick and easy stopping  Summer is  the perfect time to get that first scooter - and if you have other children, the Glider Deluxe is part of a wider range of Scooters and Balance bikes from Yvolution. Remember - for safe scooting- children should always wear a helmet and closed toe shoes; see below for some very useful tips from Yvolution for summer safety. Yvolution in a trust worthy brand. Find out more at where you can purchase your YGlider Deluxe in green, blue or pink.

Yvolution Glider

Summer Safety Synopsis: how to keep the kids safe outdoors this summer

Playing outdoors is an essential childhood pastime: rolling around on the grass, climbing trees, playing hopscotch, cycling to the top of hills and building sandcastles are all fond memories which we make as kids. Whilst a bruised knee or scraped ankles are part and parcel of playing outdoors, there are a number of more serious accidents which can be avoided. Read our safety tips to make sure your kids’ summer is free from harm.

  1. Check the area: Before the little ones venture outside, make sure the play area is carefully checked. Gardens for example may have dangerous tools lying around or pebbles which pose a choking hazard for toddlers. If you’re away from home or in a public place, always check the ground for broken glass or sharp objects, and keep the play area well away from the road.
  2. Always supervise: Although you’ve checked the area, an incident can still happen in the blink of an eye. Children can hurt themselves in paddling pools, on playground swings or even from tripping over so they must never be left unattended.
  3. Get protected: If the kids are playing on scooters and bikes, it’s important they’re suited up with kneepads and a correctly-fastened helmet.
  4. Double check: Before the kids mount their bikes, double check that all the parts are in safe working order. Also be sure that loose pieces of clothing or laces are tucked away from the bike chain.
  5. Be safe, be seen: Bright clothes and reflectors on bikes are essential for riding at night and they also go a long way for safety during the day.
  6. What to avoid: Splashing through puddles is really fun for kids but it can cause a fall while they’re riding bikes or scooters. Watch out for these along with wet leaves, curbs, potholes and people!
  7. The rules of the road: It’s always important for children to be taught road safety and even more so if they’re on bikes and scooters. Simple rules such as obeying traffic signals and using designated cycle paths are crucial.
  8. Protect against the weather: While we’re busy enjoying the sunshine, we can often forget that high temperatures can be dangerous. Apply sun cream to your kids every couple of hours, keep them in the shade and make sure they drink enough fluids. Your kids will have a summer to remember if you stick to these simple tips!

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Hape Jungle Train Journey Set

I love wooden toys - their appeal is so much longer-lasting than plastic toys; they never seem to date and the warm tactile feel of wood is great for young ones. Children can go on an exciting train journey through the jungle with this vibrantly painted train along with animal friends to catch your little ones eye and keep them engaged. Playing with train sets helps to develop hand-eye coordination, creativity and sparks the imagination - that's eespecially true with this jungle set as it gives adults a great opportunity to talk about the jungle environment, and to introduce some of the other creatures who live there; many families will have other toys that can be used to extend the jungle theme and thereby the play value of this set. There are eight pieces of curved track (compatible with other wooden tracks) plus a jungle tunnel and some 'greenery' to rustle through. The wooden engine is accompanied by a lion and an elephant on wheels which couple together magnetically. Like all Hape toys, the set is made with a commitment to sustainability; compliant with international safety and quality standards; this is recommended for 18 months plus. A great way to encourage imaginative play and to extend knowledge of the world by discovering more about jungles.

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Hape Monkey Pop-Up Track

Double the play value of the Jungle Train Journey Set with this colourful and fun Monkey Pop Up Track. Young ones will love the element of surprise as the monkeys pop up to catch the banana car, adding a new element of fun to part of the railway journey and a bit of suspense as children anticipate the three monkeys popping up to try and grab the bananas. Wooden toys are always worth keeping and passing through families, and even though these have elements of plastic, there's still plenty of wood in the construction, including the monkeys themselves, the banana train and the track. Please be aware that this set really does need to go with another set such as the Jungle Train Journey or additional track to get really good play value from it. It's great fun, as the banana train moves along the track and triggers the monkeys so they jump into the air.

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CASDON Little Driver Hetty Sit and Ride Toy

Casdon is much loved company well known for its meticulously accurate role play toys that encourage children to enjoy realistic play just like Mum and Dad. Their range has been increasing over the years, but the attention to detail has never wavered, making their products instantly recognisable. With over 70 years on the market, Casdon take every day play patterns and produce toys that capture children's interest and encourage their imaginative play. The Casdon collections are split into different ranges and including Little Artists, Little Drivers and Little Ones - the Ride-On Hetty is from the Little Drivers range. This toy is designed to be a walker for the younger ones and for toddlers it becomes a Sit n Ride toy, meaning it's a good value toy that will see plenty of use. Hetty is instantly recognisable - and very friendly to look at - and children will quickly learn to use the toy as appropriate to their age - walker or ride-on - they will immediately put it to good use as it is very obvious how it should be used. Hetty steers with the handle and the steering column can be locked to use as a walker. Little ones adore role play and pretending that they are doing important and realistic activities just like the grown-ups - and this is perfect for following Mum or Dad around as they do the hoovering! They could even pick up small toys that have been left around and put them in the handy storage compartment, revealed by lifting the lid of the seat. The Little Drivers range, like all Casdon toys, has been specially designed to be true to life, right down to the last detail so your little driver will really feel part of your world while developing essential life skills.  A versatile toy from 12 - 36 months that will get plenty of use, indoors and outdoors, encouraging imagination, dexterity, coordination and role play.  See the whole range of toys on the Casdon site  and the Little Driver range here.  Find out more about Casdon on Facebook and Twitter.

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SCHLEICH Recreational Rider with Horse

This is an impressive pack comprising a detailed hand-painted horse plus a whole host of carefully detailed accessories - young horse fans will be over the moon with this one. It is the attention to detail and high quality manufacture that makes Schleich models really stand out from others Of course, it is a great addition to any child's Schleich collection. The pack includes a Tennessee Walker gelding plus rider,saddle, reins and bridle, as well as a medal, rosettes and a cup for this prize-winning horse; there is even a bunch of carrots and a blanket for after the show! The Tennessee Walker mare is a very special horse, with unique gaits - many horses from this breed are born with the ability to perform the walk, the running walk and the canter. With the right training, they look even more impressive. Encourage children to learn more about this to extend the opportunity for imaginative play. Schleich products are always beautifully detailed and accurate down to the last detail, ensuring children learn to recognise animals; the high quality shines through, right down to the detail on the underside of the hooves. It is the realism of the Schleich figures that really stimulates children's imaginations and extends their play value; each time a new animal or other model is added, all sorts of new scenarios can be played out and this means collections are continually refreshed; there are so many to choose from. Of course, the animals can be used with other playsets, such as model farms, which really extends the imaginative and play value. You can see the whole Schleich range on the Schleich website.

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Grow your Half Shell Heroes collection with the all new Mutant Loader Vehicle, which includes a Mikey figure. The Mutant Loader has a forklift so you can lift baddies, then flip them in to the capture cage. The Mutant Loader Vehicle is brightly coloured and perfect for small hands.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been around for children to play with since the 1980s after starting off as comic book characters. They are still as popular as ever with children today enjoying the adventures of these crime fighting turtles. The Mutant Loader Vehicle is from the Half Shell Heroes collection, which is aimed at the younger generation of TMNT fans. The Mutant Loader comes complete with a Mikey figure which can sit in the vehicle on the look out for the bad guys. If you see one you can turn the wheel on the side of the vehicle and scoop them up and flip them in to the cage on the back. The vehicle is sturdy and well made, it is great fun to scoot along the floor finding baddies and simple enough for younger ones to use.

The Mutant Loader Vehicle is aimed at 3-4 year olds and currently (April 2017) retails at £19.95. Take a look at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Collectors Club over at There are other Half Shell Heroes vehicles with figures to collect, for more details look at

   HSH Mutant Loader 2         HSH Mutant Loader 1

 Peppa 3

Peppa Pig mpu

 Peppa Pig Playground Slide Construction Set

Instantly recognisable from the hit TV show, Peppa Pig has a whole host of fans and this construction set is a good addition to the range. It's great to see a construction set that is perfect for younger children; they will have hours of fun building and rebuilding this large brick playground slide set which is perfectly sized for little fingers. It includes detailed articulated figures that clip on to the set (George Pig and Rebecca Rabbit), so children are encouraged to use their imaginations and play out make-believe scenarios. As they play, they will be developing fine motor and and coordination skills. The play value is much greater than for a pre-built set, and there's the added benefit that there are other sets to extend the scope and play value - the full range can be seen at Character Online. Great as a gift or a little treat, the Peppa Pig fan in your life is sure to be thrilled!The set is well made, from brightly coloured plastic with no sharp edges, and the pieces fit together well to make a satisfying build.

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Tonka 59004 Tinys Vehicle Model (Pack of 3) and Blind Garages

Tonka Toys have been delighting children with their realistic vehicles since 1947, and now Tonka tough kids can collect their favourite Tonka vehicles in miniature. Small vehicles always have a rather special appeal - I think it's all that perfection on a miniature scale that makes them so attractive. The Tonka Tinys range is a collection of palm sized vehicles that are perfect for small scale adventures; ideal for taking out and about for play on the go. Perfect for small space play too, as children will have scope to make imaginary adventures with lots of vehicles on a table or tray. These well-priced collectables can be collected one by one with the surprise blind box garages (priced at £2.49) or in trios with the brand new Tonka Tinys Three Pack (priced at £5.99). The fun thing about the Tonka Tinys Three Pack is that it comes with two on display vehicles so children can seek out the ones they want, plus there is a third which is a surprise. The range is wide, with over 20 Tonka Tiny Vehicles to collect including police pickups, Quarry Dump Trucks and even helicopters; playsets and new waves of vehicles are promised for Autumn 2017 to extend the fun and give children new toys to look forward to. These little vehicles are really well made, like all Tonka Toys, and are very realistic.  They have moving wheels and other moving parts eg the helicopter rotor.  The garages slot together, which is a nice extra feature. It's great fun for children to collect the blind box garages and see what they get. Children always enjoy swapping collectable toys, so lots of opportunity for that. I love these, they are really appealing and it's great to know more are in the pipeline. You can see the whole range at Funrise. 

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Gazillion Bubbles



Gazillion Giant Bubble Mill

Gazillion Bubbles gives kids the ultimate bubble experience! The special formula used to create Gazillion Bubbles solution has been shown to create bigger, more plentiful bubbles. For 2017 the experience gets even bigger, taking its superior bubble solution to another level as well as new gadgets and gizmos that will create larger bubbles than ever before.

Making the most of one of the first warm and sunny days of the year, my helpers (and a very enthusiastic dog) put it to the test. We had great fun chasing the bubbles around in the breeze and there were lots of excited squeals when especially large ones floated across the garden! The Gazillion Giant Bubble Mill is a machine with a rotating wheel in the middle which has holes in for the bubbles to come from. Within this is a small fan which blows the solution through the holes, creating amazing bubbles. The Giant Bubble Mill comes with an 8oz bottle of bubble solution, this is poured in to the reservoir at the bottom of the machine, and it is then simply switched on (and off) with a small button on the side. The wheel continuously rotates while it is switched on, blowing an endless amount of huge bubbles in to the air. Gazillion Bubbles are a premium bubble solution and this really shows, the bubbles it produces are not only big, but they stay around for a long time too. The solution is available in both Original and Big Bubble and comes in sizes 8oz, 2L and 4L.

Along with the Giant Bubble Mill, you can find a wide range of other Gazillion Bubbles products, take a look at the Gazillion Bubble Wand at Argos. The Gazillion Giant Bubble Mill is aimed at children aged 3-7 and currently retails for £19.99. It can be purchased through Asda Online.

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Hetty Mop and Bucket from Casdon

Little ones adore role play and nobody does it better than Casdon with their child-sized versions of real toys. Their cleaning range is superb and we were delighted to be asked to try out the Hetty mop and bucket - ideal for a 4 year old girl who loves to help Mummy doing jobs around the house – just like the grown-ups! There are two versions - Henry and Hetty -and the sets have been specially designed to be true to life, right down to the last detail so your little helper will really feel part of your world while developing essential life skills. • Children love to join in but sadly, parents have to get on with the housework too, so this is a great way to combine the two. The realistic role play encourages exploring imagination and developing social skills and interaction between parent and child.  The friendly character and bright colours are visually stimulating, and Henry and Hetty are such friendly-looking beings. As children play, they develop of hand-to-eye co-ordination, exploration and discovery; the realistic nature of the toy really does encourage the imagination, as the accurate attention to detail gives children a real-life experience.  Neat and compact, the toy is easy to carry around the house to help clear up everywhere. A perfect way to stimulate role play and imagination. See the whole range on the Casdon site.  Find out more about Casdon on Facebook and Twitter. 

Henry and Hetty

Stickle Bricks Big Red Bucket

The Stickle Bricks Big Red Bucket is the perfect first construction toy for babies and toddlers. The Big Red Bucket is full of Stickle Bricks in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. The pieces are easy for even very young children to join together and take apart. I remember playing with Stickle Bricks when I was a child and they were a toy that was out and played with for years as they capture the imagination so well. Children can make endless creations by sticking, stacking and constructing the bricks, perfect for the development of dexterity and fine motor skills. They are tactile and little hands will love the way they feel. They are quite addictive, I found myself spending far longer playing with them than I needed to and my 4 and 5 year old toy testers have been having great fun building things!

The Big Red Bucket comes with an incredible 85 pieces, including wheels and 2 heads. The bucket itself is a handy way to keep them stored away neatly and has a lid and carry handle. They are recommended for the age of 18 months and above and retails at £19.99. Take a look at

Evolution PR are also organizing a Stickle Bricks Nursery campaign – if you would like to nominate your nursery to receive a special educational Stickle Bricks kit, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Teletubbies Clip-ons

These clip and carry Teletubbies were an instant hit with my four month old tester. I do appreciate that the recommended age is 18 months, but this is really for safety reasons - if you are with your little one whenever she is playing with these bright and soft Teletubbies, then they are great for younger children, especially as they are designed for clipping onto prams, car seats and bags, for keeping your little one entertained whether you are out and about (they are easy to slip in a bag) or at home (perfect on a bouncy chair).  We were sent Lala (the yellow Teletubby) and Po (the bright red Teletubby; also available are Tinky Winky and Dipsy. The toys are made from super-soft plush which makes them lovely and tactile for little ones, and the bright colour makes them instantly appealing; they really are very cute. Of course, they feature authentic Teletubbies styling.  2017 is the 20th anniversary of the Teletubbies brand, so the TV show is bound to be high profile - as your little one watches, they will love to spot their "own" characters. A lovely gift for a young baby - collect them all! Available from Character Options, they retail at £5.99 (March 17).

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Puppy Surprise

Surprise, Surprise! Puppy Surprise features a soft and huggable mummy dog with a surprise number of puppies in her litter. Will there be three, four, or even five? One puppy in each litter will have surprise sounds just like real puppies too! I reviewed Luna, a pink mummy dog with fluffy pink and white hair and tail. I found that Luna had 3 loveable puppies! What stood out is that all the puppies were different in more ways than one, variations include the size of the puppies, length of ears, colour of ears and the colour of their faces.

Each pet comes with a sparkly dog collar and the puppies can be stored safely away inside the mummy dog's pouch when not being played with. Mummy dog is soft to cuddle, her bright colours and her fancy brushable hair make her very attractive to young children. Puppy Surprise is aimed at children of 3-6 years old and is available in a range of colours, the number of puppies that each dog has is a complete surprise! Other variations in this range are Kitty Surprise and and Jungle Surprise which is being launched later on in the year. You can take a look at

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Zomlings Series 5

Zomlings Town has grown into a big city, so now's the time for all collectors to get collecting and swapping to see if they can find them all. With more than 100 new Zomlings to be found in the streets and amongst the brand new Towers, the race is on to get collecting. Series 5 isn't just limited to new Zomlings, though - there are new neighbourhoods to explore in this city, and maybe you can take a tour in one of the big Zom-mobiles.The towers come with billboard posters so collectors can add new buildings to their town. Be careful if you are asked to stop by at the police station, be ready to get out of the way if the crew are called out from the fire station or if you have a sweet tooth, you might want to call in at the ice cream shop or candy shop - mind you don't have to take a trip to the dentist, though! Make sure you get your guide map so you can find your way around the city. One side folds out to a big map that is perfect to encourage imaginative play, as children fill it with Zomlings and buildings. The reverse shows all the Zomlings that can be collected, and children can add Zomlings from previous series. It shows the towers too, and these can be built as high as possible; it's all designed to encourage a real enthusiasm for collecting and at the low pocket money prices, children can collect (and swap) to their heart's content! There are many ways Zomlings can be enjoyed and playing with them is a great way to encourage imaginative play - especially if a group of children play together. We avoided any arguments by putting a tiny dot of various coloured nail varnishes on the children's own Zomlings! Start your collection with the pack which includes a guide map, tower with billboard, Zom-mobile and 3 Zomlings, all for £4 - great value!

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Wild Life Starter Set from Schleich

The name of Schleich is synonymous with exceptional quality animal models, and I am always delighted to be asked to review products in the range. This set was especially popular with my young testers, as they already have the wonderful Big Adventure at the Watering Hole and this is ideal to extend the play value. This new starter set, which includes a zebra, elephant, monkey and lion, is perfect either to start a collection, or to add to exisiing sets; it's good value compared with buying the models separately. The high quality of the products means they will stay in perfect condition, no matter how much use they get. The models are a good weight, stand up securely, and are well painted. The models are accurately detailed and will help children to learn to identify the various animals; they are certainly easy to recognise for the target age of 3+ and the accuracy means children will know exactly how the creatures look. Schleich figures and playsets really encourage imaginative play and children’s imaginations are instantly inspired by these animals. which are so realistic. A single set gives scope for imaginative play, and adding new figures, even one or two at a time, really increases the play value and encourages children to keep getting the animals out - they look great displayed too! Why not encourage your child to draw their own backgrounds, perhaps using books for reference? The animals also offer an excellent opportunity to encourage children to learn more about each creature and, especially with endangered species, to find out what can be done to help save them. See the full collection at The set retails at £14.99 (February 2017) and you can purchase yours from Smyths Toys.

  wildlife starter set

Little Live Chick


 Little Live Pets Hatching Chick

Little Live Pets look, act and sound so real that children can't help but fall in love with them! New to the Little Live Pets range and just in time for Easter are the Little Live Pets Hatching Chicks!

I had a very excited toy tester helping me out with the review of the Little Live Hatching Chick, we placed the egg on a flat surface as instructed and waited...for a couple of minutes we heard gentle tapping noises and quiet chirping. The egg then suddenly popped open and out hatched our chick who started hopping across the floor! My toy tester was very surprised and thought the chick was very sweet. The interactive chick will tweet to you if you stroke its head and if you have more than one they will talk to each other. Once you have played with your chick you can pop it back in its egg and it will start to hatch all over again.

You can currently collect 4 different chicks, there is also a Limited Edition Golden Chick to find, this is great fun for children as they have no idea which chick they will get until it hatches! Also available are Little Live Pets Hedgehogs and there will be new pets to collect in the spring.

Take a look at

Cracking Egg     Hatching Egg     Sophie Chick

Farmyard Playset from Orange Tree Toys

I love wooden toys; they have a tactile appeal that can never be matched by plastic toys. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review a few of the lovely wooden toys available from Orange Tree Toys.  First up is this fabulous Farmyard Playset which is from the Farm Yard range. There is plenty here to stimulate imaginative play, with Mr and Mrs Farmer and an array of their animals. The animals are a dog, a horse, two sheep, two pigs, two chickens, two ducks and 2 cows. And they all come with a super barn, open on three sides to allow the opportunity for plenty of play. Handcrafted and hand-painted with non-toxic paints, these are really high quality products. There’s plenty of detail in the shapes and the paint colours are really bright. Suitable for children from 12 months, this is a beautiful set that will give children hours of happy play; it will encourage imagination and promote conversation as children act out scenarios. This super set would also look brilliant displayed in a child’s bedroom. Buy from Orange Tree Toys.

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First Farm Vehicles from Orange Tree Toys

Increase the play value of the Farmyard Playset with these First Farm Vehicles. This beautiful set of wooden toy vehicles is a great first wooden toy for little ones. There’s a wooden farm tractor with its own trailer and horse box. They all link together and the wheels are large enough to run smoothly on carpet, as well as on hard floors. Again, the manufacture is the highest quality – no sharp edges to be found with Orange Tree Toys. This set is also suitable from 12 months. The packaging is well designed too. Colourful boxes with big transparent panels so you can see exactly what you are getting before you buy; the packaging really showcases the excellent quality of these products. It makes them great for gifts too. Children will have plenty of fun with this set, whether on its own, with other toys from the Farmyard range, or with roadway play mats. Wooden toys are very durable, and these are timeless too, so will be perfect to pass from one generation to another. Buy from Orange Tree Toys.

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Cow Pull Along from Orange Tree Toys

This lovely first pull-along toy could well become a young child’s constant companion as they take their first steps. This wonderful wooden pull along cow is handcrafted and the quality is obvious as soon as you get the toy out of the box; sturdy and well made, she will happily follow along in your toddler’s footsteps, helping them as they start this important stage in their young life. Painted in white and black with vibrant green wheels, this cow is really cute and appealing. The toy is stable too – it pulls along easily on hard floors and carpets, staying upright with no problem. Another lovely toy – buy from Orange Tree Toys (and don’t forget to check out the whole fabulous range).

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Cat Mini Machines 5 Toy Vehicle Playset from Toy State

This attractive set includes a digger, a dump truck, a bulldozer, a backhoe and an excavator. It's spot-on for any child who loves construction toys and it's a great way to encourage imaginative play. With all these vehicles to choose from, children are going to have a great time. They are all freewheeling (apart from the bulldozer, which has tracks) and have moving parts - lifting and swivelling. And the parts stay put once moved, unlike some cheaper vehicles where you can lift a part and it promptly drops again! These are well made, in sturdy, bright yellow plastic with black wheels and other parts. There is plenty of detailing too, including the CAT logo They are super for sand play - try filling a tray with sand and seeing how much fun your child has, lifting the sand, moving it around and building it up. Suitable for ages 3 years and over - for safety reasons, these are not recommended for younger children, but they will be fine with supervision. The small size is perfect for young children. I love these - they are really cute and the set of 5 is perfect to keep children happily occupied; the size means they are easy to pack into a bag when out and about. Excellent value for money, too.

CAT Construction Crew Dump Truck Vehicle from Toy State

This super-sized Caterpillar licensed dump truck has a free wheeling action and a lifting tipper. It's ideal for sandpit play, as children can fill the well-sized tipper with sand, wheel it across the sandpit, and start building. The dump truck is made from bright yellow tactile plastic, and there's easy grip handle to help with tipping. Ideal for for indoor or outdoor play, the dump truck runs well on carpet or hard floors. The wheels are nicely detailed too. It is suitable from age 2+. For even more play value, add the wheel loader, bulldozer and excavator from the same range. A really sturdy toy that will give children hours of imaginative fun, as they develop all manner of scenarios using the vehicle(s).
Adventure Course
Adventure Course
Adventure Course

 Little Tikes Lil' Ocean Explorers 3 In 1 Adventure Course

Just imagine yourself as a baby and you will see how impressive this Adventure Course is for a little one - it really is a big adventure. It will guide and help your baby through three key developmental milestones: sitting, crawling and standing. It helps develop gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and sensory development. Once your baby can sit, they can explore tactile features which include the submarine peek-a-boo door, the marine wall, ball drop periscope and multiple clicker knobs. Moving on (literally!), crawling babies can move around the Adventure Course and discover new ways to play with the different features of the adventure course. When standing, your baby will hear sounds and phrases from their new octopus friend (in all, there are 20+ sounds to stimulate listening skills - these are not too loud, and are very clear). They will be encouraged to play and run when the octopus throws balls - this is a really good feature. Each play station on the Lil' Ocean Explorers Adventure Course is interchangeable and removable - the adventures are endless! There are 15 different ways to play (at least - inventive babies may well find more!); here are a few - put n' take ball play (one of my favourite features as it will keep young ones amused for ages); a stretchy spandex wall which gives a fascinating sensory feel; a peek-a-boo mirror; clackers and knobs to pull and push plus a crawl-through tunnel. With so much to entice little ones, they will be keen to sit, crawl and stand so that they can explore everything so this toy really does help with physical development, in a safe and controlled way. It's easy to put it all together, as the pieces go into place well; it's also easy to remove individual components. It's visually attractive for little ones too, with its bright colours and variety of textures for both visual and tactile stimulation. Don't be put off by the price - this offers a huge amount of play value, with plenty of removable parts for when a smaller toy is required (it does take up quite a bit of room). It will last your little one for a good while - the recommended age range is 6 to 36 months.  As toddlers outgrow one stage, there's plenty more to move on to - the tunnel will probably be the first part to be outgrown. To get best use, do buy this toy as soon as your baby will be able to use it. The robust construction means it will be perfect to hand on to younger members of the family - it would also be an excellent toy for a nursery as more than one child can play at a time; that makes it a good way to encourage siblings to play together too, as the older can encourage the younger. A superb interactive toy that will really encourage development. Buy direct from Little Tikes.
Adventure CourseAdventure Course  Adventure Course

 Development Tennis Racket Little Sport Star from Kids Preferred

This soft multi-textured tennis racket and ball features a happy smiling face on the racket. Attached to it by means of a stretchy ribbon is a soft-textured plush tennis ball. Both are fun and soft to explore to encourage babies to hold and cuddle them. The racket features a crinkly sound to develop listening skills, and the little coloured ribbons also encourage tactile discovery. Another stretchy band attaches the racket to an opening ring to attach to a pushchair for play on-the-go. Suitable from birth, it's good news that the toy is machine washable. An unusual baby toy that is appealingly bright, with lots of textures to discover, and as skills develop they little ones can try to bat the ball.

Dyson Ball Upright Vacuum Cleaner from Casdon

My young testers got a surprise early present when this gift-wrapped surprise from CasdonCasdon arrived. We have had other Casdon toys in the past and love the way they encourage role play, so they were thrilled with this great addition to their collection. Role play is such fun for children and as they have fun, they are also learning important skills, so it's win-win. Like all Casdon's role play range, the Dyson Ball Upright has been carefully designed to be true to life, right down to the last detail. Perfect for your little helper to assist you with those household chores, s/he will really feel part of your world; yes, it really does work!. It picks up from the front and there's a removable debris holder at the back. Boys and girls love to help around the house, and it's a good way to teach them to take care of their own little world. As they help you, they will be acquiring social skills and you can talk about what you are doing, encouraging communication. The bright colours are visually appealing, and the high quality of the toy makes it a delight to use. As children play, their hand-to-eye co-ordination will be enhanced, and manoeuvering the cleaner will encourage dexterity and problem solving; spatial skills come into play too - will it fit through this gap? The working suction and cyclone action are good for explaining cause and effect. The cleaner features true to life sounds (these are not annoying loud, though) for added realism and aural stimulation; the spinning beads are visually stimulating. It's a toy which has great learning and play value; it will keep children happily engaged while you get on with your own work. It will be used for many years, as children incorporate it into all manner of games; excellent value for money as it's durable and sturdy; it's great for children from around 2 and big enough for 6 year olds too. A perfect example of a good role play toy, with exceptional attention to detail; perfect to encourage children away from screens; rather than staring at a screen, children will be interacting with each other when using this toy, especially if you have others in the range Do look at the Casdon website to see this and their whole fabulous range. or from Amazon at Casdon 610 Toy Dyson DC14
Baby Annabell

Zapf Creation Baby Annabell Doll

I wouldn't normally be one to go into raptures over a doll, but baby Annabell has changed my mind! I am really impressed with her and no wonder she is such a popular toy. She comes complete with bottle, dummy, bib, nappy and cute pendant.The first thing I noticed was that the realistic feel as she is relatively heavy for a doll, making Baby Annabell very life-like and lovely to cuddle. I am impressed by the realistic sounds and movements - she blinks at appropriate moments, and closes her eyes when she sleeps. Rock her on your arm, and she will drop off to sleep. This is a new version of the doll and children will be delighted with the fact that she now drinks and wets her nappy, or can use her potty when she grows older. Just press the button on her tummy. When she drinks or sucks her dummy, her mouth makes realistic movements and sounds; she has a cute face too. She also cries real tears (there is a water tank inside her which fills up when Baby Annabell is fed), burps, yawns and falls asleep - and once she is lying down asleep, she stays asleep, so there are no unexpected cries! She makes a range of different sounds and once again, these are surprisingly realistic. love the fact that, when she is crying, you pat her on the back and she stops - very clever and very rewarding for children. Baby Annabell is dressed in a cute pink romper suit and a soft hat; the clothes are easy for young ones to take on and off. She is the perfect gift for any little girl who has a new baby sibling, and a super way to develop nurturing skills in young ones. There's even Baby Annabell Brother Doll to keep her company... and there's no reason at all why boys should not have their own. Baby Annabell comes with a fabulous range of accessories, including some almost irresistible outfits, which really make owning her an immersive experience. I like the way these accessories can be added over time - maybe mirroring a real baby's growth - and allowing Baby Annabell to grow with your child. Certainly the best doll I have ever seen - very highly recommended; a rewarding toy with the way she responds to love and care.
Baby Annabell   Baby Annabell

Hape Barn Play

This superb wooden farm set is perfect to encourage children to extend their imaginations as they set up all sorts of scenes using the pieces in this set. The set comes with a barn with flap-open doors and an upper floor and to go alongside it or to act as free-standing buildings are two sloping roof buildings. There are five animals (cow, pig, sheep, horse and chicken) together with four fences to keep them in place. There's also a tractor and trailer so the animals (and the two bales of hay) can be transported around the farm. The two vehicle parts attach together with a neat piece of bendy plastic and both parts have rubber wheels that run excellently, even on carpet. Finally, there's a poseable farmer to look after it all. Beautifully made with a commitment to sustainability, the pieces are a joy to handle; rounded edges make all the pieces safe for young children, encouraging creativity and imagination. The paint colours are bright and cheerful, and the quality is good. Recommended for children 3 years plus, the toy will also develop motor skills and by encouraging your child to talk about what is happening on their farm, you can help them develop conversation skills. A farm is one of those quintessential childhood toys that every child should have, and this superbly made set is highly recommended. Wooden toys make great family keepsakes - they never date and they are far more durable than plastic.
Hape Hape

Hape UFO

This colourful wooden UFO comes complete with alien pilot and control pad. It's a perfect way to encourage imagination as, after all, UFOs are the very stuff of imagination, so your child can really let his imagination flow. The set comes with its own friendly green alien who is very cleverly poseable - I love the way his arms and legs can be moved and then stay in position; he stands up well too. His hands can hold on to the console which forms part of the set. The really clever bit comes with the wall which magically transforms into a staircase; this works really well and is a neat and satisfying bit of design. There's lots of detail in the painting on the toy, and children can be encouraged to decide for themselves and talk about what the various things are for. Playing with this toy will help develop hand-eye coordination; it's suitable for age 3+. This is superbly manufactured; a pleasure to play with and a durable toy that will last for many years of happy play. Like all Hape toys, this is made with a commitment to sustainability, compliant with international safety and quality standards. Looking at the Hape website, it's good to see that safety tests include Sharp Point Test; Bite Force Test; Tensile Test; Small Parts Test; Colour Test and Drop Test, so parents can have full confidence that the toys are as safe as can be. Put this together with the fabulous Hape HAP-E3003 Discovery Spaceship and Lift Off Rocket for even more scope for imaginative play - I reviewed this here. I much prefer a toy like this to character toys, as there is so much more scope for children to use their imaginations, and the toys have a far more lasting interest. This also offers excellent opportunities to encourage your child to take an interest in space. This is a lovely looking toy that will look great displayed in a child's bedroom - it's too good to hide away!
Shimmer and Shine
 Shimmer and Shine

 Shimmer and Shine Wish Come True Shine Purse Set

Little girls are going to love this sparkly set which includes all they need to create real genie magic and to dress up as the popular characters. Perfect for girls of 4+, this magical set really focuses on little girls' desire to dress up and become fairytale characters. This, and the Pony Tail below, are just two sets in the brand new product range from Just Play; I am sure.these new products will be high on wish lists  There are lots of different play features to enjoy.  Girls can wear the necklace (which has a safety fastening) and turn the gem to reveal three different magical wishes. The sparkly purse, which flaps open to store those special bits and pieces, is in the shape of a cat's face and is pretty in pink and purple. It has a 'pearl' handle. There is also a hairbrush and two bejewelled bangles for even more role play fun, and some stickers. Buy this super set from Toys R Us (£14.99 November 2016) and encourage your little girl's imagination and role play skills. Also available is the Shimmer Purse Set.
Twins Shimmer and Shine are genies-in-training who grant wishes for their best friend, Leah. The trio are stars of a popular TV series on Nick JR.  The wishes don't always go as smoothly as they plan, though -- after all, they're still in training -- and the girls must clean up the magical mess that results from the issues. When Shimmer, Shine and Leah work together they are able to solve the problems that arise and make things right. Trying to correct their mistakes helps to teach young viewers about learning from mistakes and doing better next time.
Shimmer and ShineShimmer and Shine 
 Shimmer and Shine
Shimmer and Shine

Shimmer and Shine Shimmer Ponytail

There's even more dressing up and role play fun to be had with another brand new item -  this sparkly ponytail. Girls (suitable from 4+) can choose from Shimmer's pink ponytail or Shine's blue ponytail. These sparkly pony tails come with hidden combs that help attach the wig your hair in just a few easy steps - there are very clear instructions on the back of the pack to help achieve the perfect effect. Simply wrap your hair in a bun, wrap the hair tie that is connected to the ponytail around the bun, insert combs through hair to fasten then flip the ponytail over your head so it sits high on top of your bun. I think that little girls will also enjoy styling the wig so they can get different effects. Once girls are dressed up in these gorgeously sparkly wigs - and it's more fun if there are two friends, one with each colour - they can act out all sorts of scenes, enhancing role play, imaginative and conversation skills.Perfect to dress up and then enjoy the show - and then play out the stories after. Buy from Toys R Us Shimmer (pink) and Shine (blue) - retails at £9.99 (November 2016).
Shimmer and Shine 

Big Wonder from Wondercube

Wondercube was inspired by watching children pull wipes out of a packet - such a simple idea but one that has been carried out to great effect in the development of the Wondercube range. This wooden Wondercube is solidly made with gently curved edges for safety. Just like a cube-shape tissue box, there's a hole in the top. Children will be excited to pull out the beautiful six piece appliquéd shape set of fillings made from organic cotton jersey, each depicting a different shape (circle, square, triangle, diamond, star and pentagon). They are attached together with velcro, and also attach to the bottom of the box. The outside of the box is pale blue with the four Wonders painted on in non-toxic paint which makes the toy safe for all ages. I was also sent the Goldilocks filling set, which I was thrilled with. The story is told through 12 pictures which can be pulled out one at a time,which each depict one element of the story; the accompanying booklet retells the story, linked to the pictures and comes with questions to discuss. It's a brilliant way to encourage children to tell the story for themselves, using the pictures as prompts. Other fillings are available, including letters, dinosaurs and numbers. You can even choose the letters of your child's name and have them put into the cube in the right order - what a fabulous idea for a gift. I loved the cloth Wondercube (see my review here) and this continues the concept on to be suitable for older children; the fillings are, of course, interchangeable, making this a toy that will be enjoyed for many years.Older children might be inspired to make their own fillings too. It's great fun, unusual and innovative, and also very educational, as the fillings can be used as a basis for discussion and learning. Buy from Wondercube, and see the whole range.

Little Tikes Tummy Tunes Giraffe Toy

I suspect that most of us know Little Tikes best for their exceptional range of outdoor toys, and especially the iconic Little Tikes car - but did you know they do a whole range of other toys, including Little Tikes Baby? This Baby Tummy Tunes Giraffe™ is perfect for the very youngest babies, and is suitable right from birth. This all-in-one tummy time toy encourages reaching and stretching while engaging baby's core as they play the piano keys and enjoy the music. The keys have two modes - three nursery rhymes, or piano (three notes); the battery is safely enclosed in a plastic cover which is covered with fabric fastened with velcro. There are two sound levels too, which is a good feature. The Giraffe also features a plastic mirror, two textured rings which I think will also be put to good use as teethers, little coloured ribbons and ladybug with two crinkly sounds. The giraffe's body is soft plush fabric, and his feet feature a variety of colours and textures. For even more textures to explore, he has little horns and textured ears and eyes. With various colours, textures and sound to explores, baby will really enjoy tummy time which, as we know, is a very important developmental stage; this colourful and enticing toy is perfect to encourage baby to stretch out to reach and play; its compact size is great for tummy time on-the-go. too. Visual, tactile and auditory skills are all encouraged by this clever toy. I am really impressed with the variety of textures and sounds this offers - it's an excellent first toy.

giggle blocks

Little Tikes Giggle Surprise Blocks

Another toy which is suitable from birth - this and the Giraffe will make perfect presents for new babies. This consists of four soft, stackable animal-themed blocks packed with fun sup rises for baby's sensory exploration. All the animals are really cute and appealing The crinkly elephant's ear pulls back for a game of peek-a-boo with the concealed safety mirror. The giraffe has textured ears, horns and tail, and a silky feel appliqued; cleverly, his legs form a surprise finger puppet  - and he rattles too! The monkey rattles and features spring-back tail. The peacock has brightly coloured 'feathers', each one differently textured and each one makes a crinkly sound.  All the blocks feature a range of colours and patterns for visual stimulation, and a variety of textures on every one for sensory stimulation; auditory stimulation is taken care of too, with the various sounds. They are really well made, with great attention to detail. There are so many ways to play with this brilliant toy which is perfect for encouraging babies to explore and have fun. 
giggle blocksgiggle blocks

 The Lion Guard Defend the Pride Lands Playset

The Lion Guard is a fantastic TV series for young children based on the classic Lion King movies. The series follows Kion, the youngest child of Simba, as he follows in his dad’s footsteps and protects the beautiful Pride Lands. Now young fans can have their own adventures with this playset which has eight different features to enjoy. Your child is guaranteed hours of imaginative play fun - let them make the discoveries for themselves, as that's even more fun. The poseable Kion action figure (his head, legs and tail move) can capture the baddies on the collapsing rock ledge which propels them into the fearsome bone trap; or catch them with the trap leaf floor. If those fail to outwit the enemy, there's Pride Rock with the boulder launcher at the top of the waterfall. Kion loves to ride in the motorised vine lift to keep an eye on the Pride Lands.  There's a whooshing waterfall and a hidden passage too. It's well-made in strong, brightly coloured plastic and all the various features work well, and are easy to operate for little fingers. Children can act out all sorts of scenarios, using their imaginations, or basing them on scenes from The Lionguard  - even better if you add some of the other Lionguard figures. Two children playing together will have even more fun. Find stockists on the Flair website (£34.99 on 23/10/16)  and you can see the full Lion Guard range there too, with figures to complement this playset, and lots of plush and other toys too - a great range. Buy from Amazon - JP Lion Guard Defend The Pride Lands Playset.
Lionguard   Lionguard lionguard

Dinosaurs Giant Volcano with T-Rex Figure from Schleich

This is such an exciting box for children to open and explore - there is just so much here! You will need a bit of time to set it all up, but the end result is well worth it - and you will be well guided by the clear visual instructions. Children who already have a collection of Schleich's very realistic dinosaurs will be thrilled with this new playset which adds so much play and learning value. Look out! The giant volcano is erupting and a channel of hot lava is flowing into the valley, threatening to submerge the plants and animals. Run, everyone! The huge volcano (26cm) has a range of functions, and is really exciting for children as well as opening up the opportunity for parents to explain more about how volcanoes work. the set contains a T-Rex, a Stegosaurus and lots of accessories, including a dinosaur skeleton which is excellent to show children the structure of these creatures. The set comes with an excellent range of features which will keep children very happily engaged - pressing the skull releases the stalactites and seals off the entrance to the dinosaur prison; just the place to keep the dangerous T Rex. There's a removable water surface which conceals a secret hiding place for small water animals; and pressing the big stone triggers a volcanic eruption. Children will discover five boulders that piece together to make up a fossil - another excellent learning opportunity. The playset is very generously sized and there's plenty of room for lots more dinosaurs in addition to the T Rex and Stegosaurus included in this set. Like all Schleich products, the set is superbly made, with heavy-duty plastic that will withstand any amount of enthusiastic play. The painting is excellently done too, again with phenomenal attention to detail that makes the set really satisfying to adults as well as children; the quality is evident throughout. The dinosaurs are true to life and throughout, the attention to detail is highly impressive. There are plenty of plants for children to insert to bring the landscape to life, and reptiles and amphibians to populate the landscape. The set really stimulates children's curiosity about dinosaurs and the landscapes in which they lived - make the most of this by encouraging discussion. The set adds so much play value to dinosaurs in the Schleich range - and you can see that range here; you'll never be short of an idea for a little gift. Do look at the Schleich site for everything they offer. This is a superb toy that offers fantastic play value, and it will appear on many a child's wish list.
volcano  volcanovolcano
Schleich booklet

 Educational Play the Schleich Way

As part of their ‘Educational Play the Schleich Way’ campaign, Schleich has created a 16-page brochure that is designed to be a guide to the best in imaginative play and development. As parents, we always want to do our best for our children, but don't always know how to use toys to their full play value; this excellent guide will overcome that issue and help you and your child get the best out of your Schleich collection, as well as other toys. Covering topics such as a balanced play diet, encouraging imagination and early language skills, the guide also comes with helpful hints and tips on how to get the best from your child’s playtime and how you can incorporate Schleich products. A 'balanced play diet', as the booklet explains, includes social, active, creative and free play which are all essential elements for children's play.  I found the emphasis on creative play an especially significant point; it can take more effort to encourage creative play but it is a vital part of learning. The booklet gives many suggestions and focuses on some specific Schleich products such as the farm and wildlife collections. It also gives advice on encouraging cooperative play , building language skills and play outside the home. A practical booklet, packed with ideas which are succinctly presented for busy parents. Get yourself a copy  - it's free.
 Casdon PO
Casdon PO
Casdon PO

Casdon Post Office

The Casdon Post Office is the perfect role play toy for children -  most children will be familiar with visiting a post office, and they will all have seen the postman delivering. This means the set has a very real learning value, as adults and children discuss what happens in the post office, and how letters and parcels reach the child's home. All the while, children will be learning about the world around them, and about people who help us (a common focus for Early Years and KS1 learning). Children will learn to play happily alongside others as they weigh the post on the scales, buy stamps with the coins included (which store in the cash drawer) and then post the letters in the (opening) post box. The set is packed with accessories to run a post office - stamper, coins and notes, magazines and newspapers, self-adhesive stamps, envelopes and postcards, and forms to complete. Using the Casdon Post Office will help children learn about the postage system and the art of letter writing; to really make this have an impact, why not encourage your child to write a letter to a relative or friend - an important skill to promote in our electronic society. Then take it along to the post office to see what happens; this makes learning a part of everyday life, which is key to early learning.  For added play value, look at the other role play products Casdon produce - setting up a shop is always a popular game with children - and after all, many of our post offices today are part of a larger shop, so this is an excellent way to increase play value. As children run their post office, they will learn about money, about interacting with other children, communication skills and about how post is sent; they are also using their imaginations to play out imaginary scenarios.As children play, they will be developing their vocabulary and learning to use correct terminology, for example when weighing, using money and measuring.It's a good toy for children of different ages to enjoy together too. There is so much to be learning to be gained from a seemingly simple toy -  this is very well thought out, with lots of accessories to keep children occupied for hours.  Follow Casdon on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest news and new products. Buy from Amazon - Casdon 532 Toy Post Office.

Picnmix Smart Watch Learn to Count Clock

It's always good to have a variety of ways to help children to learn the time. This set includes pieces to form a clock face; removable pieces attach with velcro. A really good aspect of the game is that it can be used in different ways as children's understanding develops. First, children learn about different parts of the day, through the activities they do. Then they move on to matching numbers. The third stage is constructing the clock and moving the hands to tell the time. It all comes packed into a neat plastic carrying case which makes it easy to keep tidy, and to carry around. As well as teaching the time, the game helps to develop visual perception, motor and memory skills, as well as turn-taking and enhancing discussion. A well-made game with colourful pieces and lots of learning value.
Doc McStuffin
Doc McStuffin

Doc McStuffins Toy Hospital Doctor's Dress Up Set

Role play is always popular with children, and dressing up as a doctor, complete with a stethoscope, has always been a winner. Dottie 'Doc' McStuffins is a six year old girl, who 'fixes' toys with a little help from her stuffed animal friends, Stuffy, Hallie, Lambie and Chilly. This set is right up-to-date, because in 2016, Doc was transported to McStuffinsville to become the Chief Resident of the Toy Hospital. Now she and her toy friends can help toys from all over the world. And, of course, she will need to dress for the part in this Doc McStuffins Toy Hospital Roleplay Set. Included are a Doc's Toy Hospital coat which buttons up, with a srtiped shirt for underneath a doctor's name badge which comes complete with interchangeable inserts (and children could easily create their own as well, to make it more personal), a special hairband and, of course, her stethoscope. The set is suitable for children of 3+, and retails at £24.99 (September 2016). If you are stuck for fancy dress or one of those dreaded school dress-up days, this could be just the answer! Buy from Smyths, who also have lots more in the same range. Role play is such an important part of growing up, that it's great to encourage it; this set is perfect, and it will also encourage co-operative play and give children encouragement to discuss doctors and how they help us. Excellent for any child who may be facing a stay in, or visit to, a hospital as well. Children will also enjoy dressing up to watch the TV show.
Doc McStuffin

BRIO Rescue Emergency Set

Wow! Any child that is given this fabulous set is going to be over the moon! It is absolutely fantastic, with so many play opportunities for children to enjoy. Come to the rescue in BRIO World - disaster has struck! The train has got stuck crossing the bridge - and that's just one possible scenario. Children's imaginations will be stimulated by all the pieces in this set and they will soon be making up their own stories, and acting them out, perhaps with some of their other BRIO toys as well, because the whole range is compatible. The set includes 30 pieces - the fire station with fold-up door, well equipped with a fire engine and wagon and two firefighters; the fire engine even has a siren for more realistic and exciting play and the fire tender has a swivelling ladder. There's a fire to put out, of course. Then the scene can be set with the 12 pieces of track, level crossing, bridge (plus rock supports) and ramp; the lumber truck and accessories, plus two trees. The set is manufactured to BRIO's high standards; the wood is FSC Certified wood and the plastic is of high quality. The attention to detail is excellent, especially on the vehicles and chracters. A set like this gives children so much scope to use their imagination, and the theme of rescue is a great prompt to act out all sorts of situations - and maybe to introduce some discussion about safety too! The vehicles all feature the classic BRIO magnetic couplings allowing for easy connection to each other - and to all the other BRIO vehicles. Buy the set direct from BRIO - and make sure you browse around the site at the same time - there are other rescue sets. My favourite thing about BRIO is the fact that every time you add a new set, it refreshes the whole BRIO collection and as children's collections grow, the play value just increases. Railways are time less toys - they offer so much play value, encouraging imagination, role play, co-operation, stimulating conversation and developing motor skills.

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