Having made the decision to review some of the toys/games that Monkey received for his birthday and Christmas last December, review number two is for the Early Learning Centre – Big City Wooden Airport which we bought for his third birthday in December.
I love wooden toys. They feel so much nicer to handle than plastic ones in my opinion, and with ‘super destruction’ Monkey, they last longer without breakages. The only problem being that they tend to be more expensive, and in a one income family, that can be a real issue; especially when Monkey’s birthday is only two weeks before Christmas. However, I learnt in 2011 that ELC tend to have a 50% sale in October so had my eyes open for an early bargain.
I’d seen the Early Learning Centre – Big City Wooden Airport on their website earlier in the year, but retailing at £50.00 it was a bit over our budget with other items we also wanted to buy him. So I kept waiting and hoping that it would be part of the October ELC sales. I was lucky! and in October I bought it for £25.00 and hid it for Monkey’s birthday. A bargain.
My parents live in Spain and we were flying over to see them in November to celebrate my Dad’s 70th birthday. Monkey had been on a plane before, but was only a year old then, so unlikely to remember the experience. He loved everything about the trip and the airport and planes were a major hit, as I knew they would be. I just knew that I’d bought him the right birthday present at that point.
The airport building was very easy to assemble and came with a three-piece jigsaw style runway, a couple of aeroplanes, a helicopter, car, fire engine, stair ramp and some barriers. It has 360 degree play value which I also liked.
We assembled it the night before Monkey’s birthday and left it for him to find when he came downstairs the next morning. He loved it immediately, it brought back all the memories from his trip to Spain and for him, it has been a way to include his grandparents in his play (even if they can’t be there physically). He has played with it every day since his birthday, so has definitely been money well spent. My job is to make him plane tickets and boarding cards – all flights are from Birmingham to the village where my parents live! It’s been a hit with his buddies too; they are honoured to be able to join the flights.
Three months down the line, it looks as good as they day we gave it to him, and has been used in so much imaginative play. He uses it with his railway and garage and even his wooden castle to extend his imaginary world.
My only slight niggle would be with the runway – the ‘jigsaw’ construction is quite loose, so it comes apart easily in play time which my son finds frustrating.
The Big City Wooden Airport is currently retailing at £40.00 (2012), which considering the amount of play time my son has had with it, is very good value for money. I would definitely recommend it.
Disclaimer: The toy mentioned was bought by myself and the opinions expressed are my own, honest thoughts.