Toddle About Blog

Review: Hape Street Surfer, worth £69.99

Hape Street SurferReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Lauren Cowley.

We received the Hape Street Surfer to review recently and my son was extremely excited when he saw the box in which the scooter was well packaged. He was eager to open it and asked whether it was a present for him. He wanted it set up straight away and immediately started zooming up and down the hallway.

Upon first look, the Hape Street Surfer is a traditional scooter with a wooden base and gender neutral colours. It has many fantastic qualities including being easy to put together making it a quick process, ready to go in minutes for a very excited child.

The handle bars are easily adjustable allowing it to grow with the child meaning it will last longer than your average scooter. The sturdy wide wooden base makes it so easy for my little boy to ride with enough space to safely keep one foot on in the middle of the board while scooting along and is perfect for his balance. Continue reading

Nature and Nurture: Why Kids Need to Play Outside

kids-playing-outside-2Playing outside isn’t just about getting fresh air and benefiting from physical activity. When kids play outside, they improve the growth and development of the brain, body and intellect. Importantly, playing outdoors has a positive impact on a child’s mental well-being, learning and development.

Playing outside is fun, exciting and important to children in lots of ways. Here’s why kids should be encouraged to play outdoors.

Learning to assess and take risks

Kids who have access to nature are better learners and more in-tune with growth mindset. An increasing number of schools across the UK are embracing the work of Carol Dweck to develop thinking skills and self-awareness. Growth mindset is based on the belief that intelligence can be learned.

The outdoors encourages growth mindset and offers children an opportunity to try something that is just out of reach. Climbing that tree, reaching the next stepping stone to cross a stream, going higher on the swing and so on, can all help children to engage with and assess risks. Continue reading

Review: Mini Tractor Ted Wooden Toy, worth £4.99

Mini Tractor Ted Wooden ToyReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Sarah Whitby.

We were very happy to hear that we had been chosen to do a review on the Mini Tractor Ted Wooden Toy and my little girl Chloe loves her new toy, as soon as we received the package and opened it she knew what it was.

The colour of the tractor is lovely and bright and it is very well made. Even though it is a small item she found it easy to handle. It has already had a lot of use in the short time that we have had it and it has taken a few knocks along the way but it is still in very good condition.

She has loved incorporating it in with her other toys and making games up with it and she loves to put her small paw patrol figures in it and they all get to have a ride in the tractor. One of the things that I like about it is the fact that it is a solid wooden toy, it doesn’t feel as cheap like some of the plastic versions do.  Continue reading

Review: Tractor Ted Wooden Farm Toys in a Bag, worth £12.99

Tractor Ted Wooden Farm Toys in BagReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Christine and Thomas Justice (aged 3 years and 6 months) .

Who doesn’t love a beautiful wooden toy! When Toddle About gave us the opportunity to review the Tractor Ted Wooden Farm Toys I knew my son would give me his honest opinion.


In this set there are 8 wooden figures contained in a sturdy clear carry bag with a zip, 2 Tractors, 1 Digger, a Pig, a Sheep, a Duck, a Cow and a Horse.


The figures are a good size and smooth shape for smaller hands. No sharp edges or catchy bits, which is something I always look out for when I know that the tiny toddlers could easily get hold of them. Continue reading

Review: playHOORAY Mini Pack playPROMPTS, worth £17.25

playHOORAY Mini Pack playPROMPTSReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Kimberley Bick.

My little boy (just turned 2) have had great fun using the card prompts.  We’ve turned the music up and drawn to the music which was very funny as he kept having to stop to show me his dancing and then carry on but it’s amazing to see how much rhythm he has!

We’ve had a music day and filled empty bottles up with rice, sugar, pasta and water and added some elastic bands to a container and created a musical band for Mummy, Daddy, Seb and his big sister! We swapped them around and had a competition of who could be the loudest! Continue reading

Review: VW Beetle Walker from Hape, £48.53

Hape VW Beetle Walker

Review written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Rebecca Champion.

The walker arrived in a very eye catching box which did get my 21 month old, Jessica excited to open the package and see what was inside. My husband unpacked and commented on the careful packaging and very simple and easy to follow assembly instructions. He also liked the fact it had only 2 pieces so was built in minutes. Continue reading

Hide and Seek as Therapy

Hiding BoyBy Jeff Thomas – Registrar, Play Therapy UK

Children of all ages love to play hide-and-seek and it can play a very powerful role in their emotional development.

When parents play Peekaboo, this facilitates attunement and attachment – showing her baby, with a loving gaze, that she understands and meets their needs. When the mother disappears in the game, the infant may experience both anxiety and the pleasurable anticipation of reunion with her. This, in turn, increases the infant’s capacity to tolerate separation.

Interestingly, when children are referred for therapy, they often initiate hide-and-seek games over and over again.

As Hide-and-seek games consist of separating and reuniting, it is likely that the child’s attachment schema is triggered. The repetition of this game allows the opportunity for the connection and comfort of face-to-face relationships that they may have missed out on. For children who have experienced attachment difficulties, trauma, anxiety and loss, hide-and-seek games are extremely important. The children initiate this game so they will be found and thereby begin to heal wounds of feeling ‘left’, ‘abandoned’, ‘bad’ or ‘unimportant’. Continue reading

More Than Just A Mess

During messy play, babies and pre-schoolers are given creative freedom.

During messy play, babies and pre-schoolers are given creative freedom.

By Jo Powell, (BA Hons, PGCE), founder of Arty Splats

Messy Play might look like just a chance to play and get mucky, but it is actually a huge educational opportunity.

Messy play can often conjure up negative images and can be seen as stressful and hard work for adults, both at home and in childcare settings. Looking beyond the mess, it is well documented by education experts, such as Bernadette Duffy, that messy play makes a huge contribution to babies’ and pre-schoolers cognitive and creative development.  Engaging in high quality messy play experiences also helps children’s development towards their Early Learning Goals as set out by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Messy play involves children using all of their senses in the process of exploration in which they use materials to manipulate and mould.  Messy play is unique as it offers all children a chance to explore rich textural experiences regardless of language, age or ability.  There is no right way to engage with the materials on offer so all children can feel part of a group. This type of play benefits all babies and pre-schoolers but is also recommended by professionals such as dieticians to address ‘fussy eating’ and sensory processing issues.   Continue reading

Unique and Fun Products for Little Ones: Shop About Autumn 2017

There are amazing products coming out all the time for bumps, babies and toddlers. Here’s our run down of some of the best things available on the market today:

Christmas Eve Box from Ellie Mai Toy BoxesChristmas Eve Box – From £30

Add to your little one’s excitement on Christmas Eve with one of these gorgeous personalised Christmas Eve Boxes from Ellie Mai Toy Boxes. Each wooden box in handmade to order and personalised with the name or names of your choice. Simply fill with treats and activities such as PJs, reindeer food, a family game and a Christmas DVD for your little one to enjoy.  Internal Dimensions: 30 x 22 x 13cm.  Last Orders: 1st December 2017.

Order at




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REVIEW: Lift-the-Flap and Colour Books: Forest & African Animals, £5.99 each

Lift-the-Flap Colouring BooksReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Caroline Temple.

We were excited to get two lift the flap and colour books, as it’s a concept I’ve not come across before. I’ve got an 18 month old (Jacob) and a 4 year old (Ben), these books are aimed at 2 years plus, so it was a challenge to keep Jacob away from them as we were colouring, as he loves lift the flap books!

As these books are story books that we were potentially going to be reading in the future, I wanted to make sure that they looked half decent, so I helped Ben more than I usually would! The upside of this was that I enjoyed the colouring too. We are big natural history fans in this house, so I had high hopes as these books are published in association with the Natural History Museum. Continue reading