Toy of the month – July 2017

This month we are testing out some seriously awesome handmade colouring in mats from Australian maker Noble Cubs and I have to say my kids are absolutely loving them!

All  designed and handmade in Queensland by mother and creator Martina Noble, these eco-friendly toys are completely machine washable, and brilliant for entertaining kids whilst out and about. I would much prefer my kids play with these  fab washable mats than the dreaded tech ( oh tantrum city when you tell them no more playing!)

Martina kindly gifted us two colouring in and doodling mats to test out and review.  My 5 year old was so excited to see the construction mat when he opened it up and he was super intrigued as to how it was going to work. I have to admit I was too. I wasn’t sure how the washable markers were going to colour onto the fabric and I was equally intrigued as to whether they would wash out in full to enable further uses of the mat.

So how do it all go?

Below are the wonderful colouring mats all folded up. They are super light, they have a special zip up section that holds the markers in it ( 5 washable Micador markers are included) and they great for travelling or for popping in your handbag for those times when you need to entertain the kids ( doctors appointments, restaurants or swim lessons).

These eco friendly toys are especially great if as a parent you are wanting an alternative to technological based play and need something just as handy that fits in your handbag, nappy bag or backpack.

The washable markers that arrive with the mats are great and work perfectly on the fabric mats.  I wasn’t sure that they would colour onto the fabric or be hard to colour onto it but there was no issue at all.

Noble Cubs is a Queensland based brand headed up by Martina who has a background in early childhood education and has been sewing since she was a child. Her inspiration behind Noble Cubs is to create creative play toys that develop the children’s senses as well as learning at the same time. With a background in early childhood learning she believes that “activities for children, including when they’re out and about, shouldn’t be limited to the use of digital devices as they don’t have the ability to develop the whole child.” One of her main hashtags for her business is #digitfreeplay! Her ethos is definitely aligned with ours here at Kids Gifts and Toys.

The yellow is a colouring in mat perfect for preschoolers and I chose the blue doodle mat for Jasper as he is 8 and prefers to draw rather than just colour in.  He did do doodling in his mat (he traced his fidget spinner onto it and wrote how awesome he was but then he scribbled all over that and it was a mess! I washed it out and we will be testing it out again in my Instagram stories over the next week whilst we are away on holidays.)Setting up our colouring mat at Swimming whilst Jasper swims, Hudson colours!  Setting up our colouring in mat at our local cafe, he colours whilst I indulge in a coffee in peace- ahh bliss!!!Our completed colouring in mat for Hudson! So much colour and so much fun.Now to washing our mats! This is where I wasn’t sure it would all the fabulous colours would clean out. I decided to hand wash it to be safe as I wanted to be cautious with the fabric and mats but Martina tells me you can pop it in the washing machine with like coloured clothing, no problems.

The washable markers supplied with the colouring mat were a complete success and it all came out in the wash as they say!
Below are our mats all washed. I did give them a little iron as they were a little wrinkled with the washing and for the photos I thought it better to iron but normally you wouldn’t need to do that. Basically after a quick wash, they are like brand new again!

Oh there is so much to love about these mats. Environmentally they are great as you aren’t using paper or colouring books that you need to recycle. Instead once the child has finished their masterpiece you just take out the markers from the zippered pocket and pop it in the washing machine. Eco friendly toys at their best!

I am also impressed that Martina has designed them with the whole child in mind. She hasn’t created them for immediate gratification aka the iPad but instead has created a toy that develops not only the child’s creativity, but helps to hone their fine motor skills, increases their learning of colours, and promotes interaction with those around them in terms of language and communication skills.

As a mum, I adore that they easily fit in a bag and can be brought out to keep a child entertained in sometimes long and boring situations like doctors appointments, sibling swim lessons, a family get together, road trips, plane flights or dinners out.

I think the Noble Cubs mats are even more brilliant as you can buy additional add-on mats for $10.00 which snap on to the original mats and these allow you to have a few different colouring options on hand.

Toy of the month: Noble Cubs  Colouring In Mats

Helps to teach kids: to exercise their fine motor skills colouring in as well as learning about colours and using their imaginations to create different fun designs on their mats.

Great for: travelling, plane trips, dinners out, as well as quiet time and encouraging their creative side. They are awesome eco-friendly toys as you just wash them out and let them dry and they can then be re-used.

RRP: from $15.00 and each set includes 5 washable markers. Our two sets that we have featured were $20.00. The add-on sets I discussed are $10.00 each.

Ages : 3+years

Noble Cubs is a Queensland based company headed up by mum and head designer and creator Martina.

Please go and follow Martina over on her Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however we did receive 2 colouring mats for testing and review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

I would love to hear your thoughts