In today’s techy world where all kids want to do is watch TV, the iPad, play Minecraft ( on said iPad) or play on their parent’s phone, it can be hard to get kids out of the house and back in nature. As a child I remember climbing trees, making tea for my dolls in our tree house, riding bikes with our local neighbourhood gang and exploring the local streams, mangroves, beaches and parks. We were constantly outdoors; back in the day, as they say!
But times have changed and on top of that parents are too scared to let their kids run and play outside like we used to do. I remember I would go off for hours, bike riding and exploring and these were the days of no mobile phones, so my mum couldn’t call me. If she was worried, she would get in the car and drive the streets to find me but I think that only happened once. I don’t know why we have lost that carefree attitude to life but it has meant that parents feel safer having their kids indoors than outdoors.
This little gift guide “My Little Rider” is inspired by those kids that always have a car, truck, fire engine, motorbike, or digger in their hand whether at kindy, at home, at preschool or out and about. They would never leave home without one!
1. To get your little rider cruising early, try this balance bike from Cambridge made Early Rider Lite Balance bike. Ages 18 months +
2. We adore our Baghera in our household and these new ride ons look a joy to ride, Baghera Ride on Riders Black. Ages
3. A puzzle and car in one, Automoblox C9 Sports car. Ages 3 +
4. Orchard Toys Giant Road Jigsaw for hours of puzzle fun that you can then use to race your cars around town. Ages 3+
5. For all “little riders”, the perfect tee from Pop Kids “Road Rebel” tee. Ages 3 months – 8 years.
6. Mon Petit Art “Vehicles” colouring and sticker book to entertain your vehicle lover on rainy days. Ages 3+
7. Green Toys Fire Engine, made from recycled milk containers, with over 24, 482, 366 recycled so far and counting. A true “green” toy and so much fun for your fire engine loving child. Ages 12 months +
8. Alain Gree ” Transport” book to teach them all about the different types of transport. Ages 2+
9. For a play tent for any vehicle lover, check out The Monster Factory VW Campervan play tent. Ages 2+
10. Hop and Peck British Tractor toy makes the perfect introduction to gorgeously designed . Ages 12 months +
NB:- I have chosen not to provide pricing details as these products have been sourced globally and thus are subject to change.
One of the toys that I was excited to discover at this year’s Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg was by young Belgian design company Quut. These young designers and parents had re-designed the way that sand toys should look and work -finally!
My kids absolutely adore playing in the sand, both at playgrounds and at the beach. They can be there for hours on end, which is an impressive feat given children’s short attention spans.
However, all the sand toys that I have bought so far to make sand castles has usually resulted in a sandy mess! What impressed me most about the Quut Beach toys were the ingenious designs that they had come up with which were relatively compact in size, brightly coloured and made of durable hard plastic which meant they were not just another throw away sand toy designated for the rubbish bin after a summer holiday.
As we were living in Nuremberg at the time I originally wrote this review, there were no beaches close by, however, we had a summer holiday planned to Turkey in late May and I wanted to buy some of these toys to test out on our trip. I chose the Alto and Cuppi as I thought they were best suited to our needs of wanting to build sand castles and my kids love a good marble run which you can create with the Cuppi. They also both fit in our suitcases!
We had a lot of fun playing around with these toys to make the perfect sand castles on our trip away. I have to admit though my husband was a much better sand castle builder than me, but shhh don’t tell him!
In playing and creating sand castles with both the Alto and the Cuppi ( it is good to use as a scoop if you don’t have a shovel), I would say a few things… you need good clean sand, it can’t have pebbles in it as they can create air bubbles which don’t allow the sand castle to stand up. Also it can’t be too wet as then the castle just collapses. I think these toys would be perfect in sand pits as well as at the beach. There is definitely some trial and error in building a castle with these toys but you have a lot of fun in the process!
We have even used the Cuppi in the bath which the boys loved as they could tip and pour water to their hearts content. Not as much fun for Mama who had to clean up the floor afterwards.
We have also used the Quut beach toys a fair few times at our local playground. I have to say all the kids in the playground where quickly attracted to the brightly coloured designs and they wanted to have a go at building a sand castle straight away. We have had crowds of kids each time we have brought the Quut toys with us and they have all had an absolute ball with them!
I am looking forward the fun we can have with our Quut over the Summer now we are living back in Australia!
Designed in Belgium and made in China
Ages: 12 months
RRP: Alto £14.99 and Cuppi £7.99.
Great for: construction, fine motor skills and fun in the sun!