Reviews - toys page 3

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 Pintabian Mare

I am a big fan of Scheich products - their attention to detail is remarkable and the accurate representations of animals make them an excellent way for children to learn exactly what animals look like; once children have played with these high quality animals, nothing else will match up. These elegant and graceful Pintabian horses are new to the Scheiich range, and they are a lovely addition. Pictured alongside is the Pintabian mare, and there are other horses and accessories in the range - a Pintabian Foal, Pintabian Stallion and Foal Care Accessories which includes a horse brush, curry comb and bottle (reviews of these will follow shortly). Just like the real horses, these figures have unique, beautiful coat patterns which make them unmistakable. As with all Schleich figures, these are carefully hand-painted hand-painted with detailed modelling; I love the silver of the horseshoes and the colour even extends to underneath the horse's hoof. As your child's collection of Scheiich animals grows, so too will their imaginative play, inspired by the high quality which makes play a joy; the animals can also be combined with other toys for even greater play value; they look great displayed on a shelf or windowsill too. You can see the full collection on the Schleich website. For even more enjoyment, sign up for the Horse Club for exclusive monthly competitions and content - perfect for young horse lovers.

horse 1horse 2horse 3horse 4




Casdon Self Service Supermarket

Casdon have been in the toy market for over 65 years and produce some excellent role play toys, we have been reviewing the new Self-Service Supermarket. It was relatively easy to put together and it is a very good size for little ones as it stands at 75cm tall. It comes with an incredible 75 pieces and the food items included are branded, this can help younger ones as they may be able to recognise the products from the packaging before they are able to read. Included is a chip and pin machine, bank notes, coins, receipt paper and a basket for all of your shopping!

Casdon 1

The goods can all be neatly displayed on the shelves around the stand and there is a hook for the basket. On top of the stand is an electronic till which has realistic scanning sounds, lights, spoken instructions and a touch-screen display. You can pay for your shopping with notes or coins and these can be placed in the till, change will also drop out which is a great feature. The till also produces receipts and the product comes with one blank roll of paper for this. The food boxes are well designed and printed, there are also price labels for the shelves that make it look like a real shop.

  Casdon 2   Casdon 3

The Self-Service Supermarket is a fun way for children to learn basic maths skills such as number recognition and counting, for older children they can start to recognise coin values. Play encourages the development of hand-eye coordination, expands the imagination and increases social skills through role play. It retails at £45.00 and requires 3 x AA batteries (not included) and it is aimed at ages 3-8 years. My 4 and 6 year old testers have played with this endlessly, they have each enjoyed being both the shop-keeper and the customer. That is a bonus of this toy; children can play by themselves, or with siblings and friends and it is still just as much fun. Overall it is a really engaging and educational toy as children love being able to do what they see grown ups doing.

For more information and to see a range of the other toys Casdon offer click here.


Brio - Ant with Rolling Egg

This is another lovely wooden toy from Brio. Brio have been making toys for children for over 130 years and they say they base their products on four key rules:

  • The toy must be safe to play with
  • The toy must comply with Brio's high quality standards
  • The toy must be intuitively easy for the child to understand
  • The toy must help the child grow though play

Brio 1

The Ant with Rolling Egg is pulled along by its brightly coloured cord and as the ant rolls along, the big yellow egg on its back completely rotates. The Ant has a springy tail, antennae and neck which all bob up and down as it rolls along. It will catch your toddlers attention with its gorgeous bold, block colours and big white eyes. As you would expect of a Brio toy, it is very well made and very durable, it is definitely the kind of toy that is kept and passed on to younger siblings when it has been grown out of.

Brio 2

The Ant with Rolling Egg is aimed at ages 12 months+, it encourages early walking and coordination skills. This toy makes a perfect gift, the RRP is £17.99 and can be purchased directly from Brio.

Brio 3


Little Tikes






Little Tikes Fountain Factory Water Table

The Fountain Factory water table is so much more than it looks at first glance. It was very quick to put together by following the included instructions, it all slotted together easily and there was just one screw! There is a central water tower which has a network of 3 fountains with interchangable tubes and taps so you can choose how and when the water flows. Different nozzles give different water patterns and a clever hidden tube fills a funnel at the top to keep the water level high enough to allow the water to flow to the various water outlets. The hidden tube pumps the water in to the funnel via a manual pump attached to the side of the table, you press the plunger button down whenever you need to top the water tower up. My testers loved this part of the play as it makes them work to get the water level they need.

There are water spinners at the top of the central tower and around the edge of the table there is a dump bucket (which fills up and then empties itself back in to the pool of water), the pump which fills the tower and a peek-a-boo character that rises with the water level. The Fountain Factory allows you to connect the different pipes and faucets in countless different ways, it is educational by bringing together science and engineering as you work out how to re-arrange them so that they work correctly.

The Fountain Factory is aimed at ages 24 months to 5+ years. My 2 testers are 4 and 6 years old and have both played with this endlessly in both rain and shine! They have had a water table before but there was little to do aside from pushing boats around and splashing each other but the Fountain Factory has kept their interest for hours. It isn't all for the children though, the easy-drain plug makes cleaning it out a doddle! It comes with 3 play accessories: a funnel, a scoop and of course, a boat! As with all Little Tikes products it is extremely good quality with lots of bright colours which promote sensory play. The table is a great size and can comfortably fit 3 or more children around it for group play.

The Little Tikes Fountain Factory retails at £59.99 and can be purchased directly from Little Tikes online.

 Fountain Factory Water Table   

Fountain Factory

Casdon mixer 4

Casdon Kenwood Mixer

This is another in Casdon's exceptional range of role play toys. They are so well designed, and look just like the real thing, so are brilliant for extending children's role play. Little ones always love to copy Mum and Dad and copy the jobs around the house that they do. Role play offers parents plenty of opportunities for discussion and explanations of what is happening, helping children to develop skills for later life. Casdon's Kenwood Mixer has specially been designed to be true to life, so your little cook will feel like the real deal as they whip up pancakes, cakes and omelettes! This working mixer with its two speed motor with the Kenwood planetary action, is ideal for lightweight mixing tasks such as whisking up omelettes and pancakes helps develop real life skills, including, hand eye coordination, social skills, problem solving and even cause and effect. It also offers the chance to explain about healthy eating and where our food comes from. This replica toy includes a whisk beater and the iconic K beater, spatula, a recipe book and a manual handle as well as the working mixer. Usefully, it can be either hand or battery operated.  The recipe book includes a wide range of recipes, including flapjacks, pizza and cakes. I really like the silver (titanium) of this mixer, which is so realistic - and all the features on it are true to life, so when children move on to using the real thing, they will be familiar with the features. Like all Cason toys, this is sturdily and will withstand plenty of enthusiastic play; the recommended age is 3 - 8 year olds. It is so good for children and parents to work and enjoy toys like this side by side - and then to have something to show and enjoy for the effort! An impressive role play toy that is more than just a toy - it's a proper functioning mixer that children are going to love. You can see all Casdon's role play toys on their website.
Casdon Mixer 1  Casdon Mixer 3  Casdon Mixer


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