Toy of the month – Beach Stamps

This month’s “Toy of the month” are a fantastic set of sand toys called “Beach Stamps” which the boys and I have been super excited to try out. The fantastic Australian based online store Finlee and Me are the exclusive Australian supplier and they kindly sent them to us to review.

We have spent a few beach days testing them out over the last few weeks and I have to say they are an easy, fun and great alternative to your everyday sand toys of buckets, spades, diggers and balls.

Beach Stamps are designed and made in the USA by the Red Rooster Toy Company and they come in all different types and various variety packs, we tested out the “15 Variety Shapes” pack.

They are super easy to use and come supplied with rubber bands which you attach to the plastic stamp moulds with their easy to follow instructions. There are even spare rubber bands in case of  breakage, although the rubber bands seemed very robust to me and not very easily broken.

At the beach: 

 Beach Stamps variety pack

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As you can see from the photos we loved testing these beach toys out and what I liked most as a mother at least, is they are a great size for small hands. Also if you want an easy beach toy to pack for your beach adventures and let’s face it as a mum, you generally have about 3-4 bags filled with towels, lunch, umbrella etc; then these are a perfect solution as they don’t take up much room, but they provide hours of creative play!

H did try and put them on his feet as suggested on the back of the packaging but it wasn’t so successful, however, I think my eldest who is nearly 6 would have found it easy to do and a lot of fun!

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Beach Stamps are aimed at 4+ according to it’s packaging but my nearly 3 year old loved them and had no trouble playing with them. As a 4 year old + you could go further with the type of play to be enjoyed, such as making up stories with the stamps or asking them to pick a certain colour to help with learning colours. But ultimately they are just a lot of fun and it is great to watch your children enjoy some creative play with them.

They are not too messy either for the child nor when cleaning up and there is not a huge amount of sand left in them which you cannot get out. They were nearly 100% clean after playing with them and popping them back in a ziplock bag. 10/10 on the mama radar!

We also had a play with them in our sandpit and I think they would work great with kinetic sand too which my eldest is dying to get for his 6th Birthday next month.

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The shapes in our 15 variety pack where varied, ranging from a love heart, to a girl, a dinosaur, a smiley face, to a sailing boat, a penguin,a boy, a sun, a sheriff’s star as well as skull, cross and circle. For older children, I thought you could have fun playing games of naughts and crosses on the beach with the circle and cross stamps.

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Using them in our sandpit: 

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Mostly what I loved about these set of sand toys, are the open ended play and the endless possibilities that can be enjoyed with these beach stamps. They would make a fab gift for a birthday and with the reasonable price, they could work quite well for a school birthday party gift as they hover around the $20.00 mark. They are perfect also for Easter or in the kids stocking at Christmas time. Or add them to a box of kinetic sand for the perfect gift for any boy or girl!

Ages: 4+ .

NB:- The packaging says 4+  but after testing them out, I think they are perfect for 3+. 

RRP: AUSD$21.95 exclusive in Australia to Finlee and Me.

Great for: creative play, sensory fun, educational learning in recognising shapes, colours, everyday objects and storytelling.

Product details: designed and made in the USA from durable, non toxic, pthalate free plastic. Click here for more information.

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Disclosure: we were given a set of Beach Stamps by Finlee and Me to review for March’s “Toy of the month”.

Toy of the month – August 2014

Quut toys – Alto and Cuppi

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! 

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