This month, the boys and I have been super excited to review and test out a fab new block on the street, SumBlox! These blocks are seriously clever, beautifully made of heirloom beechwood and are not only fun but they help teach numbers and mathematical concepts too. Winning for the parents!
I wrote a blog feature last month all about Australian Wooden toys and I am very exciting to start looking around the world at what other countries makers and creators are designing and producing for our children in terms of sustainable heirloom wooden toys.
This month, we travel to the grand ol USA! And gosh there is so much going on here, it was really hard to make a decision on the curated goodness coming out of the US. I think I will need to do another one very soon.
I always loved playing with an “Etch a Sketch” as a child, creating drawing after drawing and happily or unhappily erasing them when I was finished. I had been on the lookout for one for the boys after they were playing with one on a ski holiday earlier in the year. However, once I started researching those available they didn’t get great reviews, with many saying they broke within a few months. I thought I would prefer to spend a little more money and find one that was well made, sturdy and not prone to breaking and it would not doubt save me money in the long run!
I then saw an IG post from Abacus Kids regarding a wooden magnetic drawing board and I knew this was what I had been searching for! Plus Faye was having a little sale on at that time, so I couldn’t resist buying this toy for my son’s birthday!
The gg* Oekaki Drawing board house comes in a cute little carry bag for travel on road trips, to the grandparents or even out to restaurants. It also helps for easy storage AND the drawing board is as cute as it looks in the photos!
My son adored playing with this present on his 2nd birthday. The first thing on the toy he was drawn to was the abacus on top of the house. He played with that for a few minutes before he then moved on to playing with the actual drawing board.
When he first started to play with the drawing board, he loved playing with the stamps and stamping them on the board. 6 months down the track he can now use the pen more and make swirls and scribbles which is great for his fine motor skill development. His eldest brother J, loves drawing with it as well and creating little masterpieces. I adore that the drawing board is in colour too! I always remembered mine as a child was black and white.
This toy is not cheap in comparison with the plastic variety, but it is well made, seriously cute and a lot of fun for your kids! This is definitely a case of quality over quantity and I am glad I chose this wooden drawing board over the plastic variety.
One point to note, is that the little running dog that erases each creation was a little stiff to start but it has loosened up with use. The only other thing I would mention is the screen sometimes cuts out with the drawing but if you shake it or pull the dog across, it fixes that problem.
We have other toys from Kukkia like their little wooden car and I have to say they are great quality, gorgeously designed and beautifully presented.
Designed in Japan and made in Vietnam by Kukkia.
Great for: fine motor skills, creative play, hand and eye coordination, shape and colour recognition and learning to draw/write.
If you follow me on Instagram you will know how much I love and adore Rock and Pebble! They are a truly unique, inspiring and wonderfully creative label brought to you by the awesome Mr Printables (check out this site for AMAZING free yep you guessed it, printables).
It was love at first sight when I saw their Apple and Pear houses in February this year via Abacus Kids‘ IG account and I knew that they would make the perfect 2nd Birthday present for my youngest H.
As he loves apples, it was the Apple House for us. I adored playing with my dolls house as a child. It was one that my father had made for me and it had the coolest silver roof!! I felt that just because I had 2 boys and not girls, that didn’t mean I should deprive them of the same joy, imaginative play and fun that a doll’s house provides.
The Apple house is a perfect unisex doll’s house that has been so brilliantly designed that it comes all flat packed in a cute grey bag. It allows you then to pack it up when it is not in use. I have to warn you though, it will be in constant use!
As we bought our Apple House as part of their original launch, we received 4 cute pebbles (wooden peg people) included. You can now buy these separately as Modern, Color and Alphabet and they come with reusable clothing! So adorable and yes we had to buy these too as our Apple House likes having guests come to visit.
Doll’s houses by their nature are generally big and bulky and require a lot of room in a child’s bedroom or playroom. I wanted something we could travel with and easily assemble and dissemble when required.
Rock and Pebble are a US based company that manufactures the houses in the UK using European Birch wood. They felt it was more environmentally sustainable to have the houses made close to where the wood is cut rather than shipping it all the way to the US to manufacture. I love their catchphrase, “Natural, non toxic, sustainable is our goal.”
Their inspirations for both their doll houses and pebbles have come from their parent company, Mr Printables. Both of the designs were amazing printables that were so hugely popular they decided to create something more permanent using sustainably sourced wood.
If you want to inspire your child with wooden toys that are brilliantly designed and manufactured and that provoke your child’s imagination and sense of wonder and help to contribute to a greener world, then look no further than Rock and Pebble. Plus these doll houses look seriously stunning in your children’s room!
Ages: 3+ ( although with parental supervision due to the little pebbles, it is fine from 2+)
Great for: fine motor skills, imaginative/creative play and role play.