As you know I’ve been a Toy Toad Tester this year – reviewing toys and games for The Toadstool. The blogging community has been set a challenge – The Big Christmas Wishlist, so I’m Wishing on The Toadstool rather than a star this Christmas!
I was a customer of The Toadstool, before I became a Toy Toad Tester, as I love the ranges that are stocked on their on-line shelves. I have a passion for wooden toys, they last longer and are so tactile. The Toadstool also look for eco-friendly items to promote which is something I’m really keen on too.
December is a busy month for me – not only is it Christmas but I also have to think about Monkey’s birthday too – double the pressure!
So I’m wishing on The Toadstool rather than a star this year, to ease the stress and help give me inspiration for my little Monkey who will be 4 just before Christmas. What would I go for, what do I think Monkey would like? You can see my list on Pinterest, and here I’ll explain my choices:
- My first pick would be the Wonderworld Trix Track Spin & Swirl. As I’ve already mentioned, Monkey has the 2 Way Flipper, and I happen to know that he’ll have another addition for his birthday (whispers quietly – Hammer Slammer), so it would be great to further increase his build possibilities. Perfect for my budding engineer as he learns more about cause and effect, gravity and so on.
- Next up would be this rather lovely Pirate Marionette. Monkey loves his pirate ship and we have a number of pirate themed books. He doesn’t have anything like this Marionette, I love the imaginary play possibilities that this type of puppet would give him. Maybe I’d have to help him to work it to start with (I quite fancy that idea – so, I’m 45 going on 5, I don’t care!). It would be a very different present, and I’m sure Monkey would love it.
- Now we are also big jigsaw fans here, as any regular reader of the blog will know. Add in our love of trains (you can see my recent guest post over at The Toadstool here) and bingo, or should I say choo! choo! One Crocodile Creek Trains Jigsaw Puzzle. This lovely puzzle is aimed at children over 4 years of age – so perfect for Monkey at Christmas time. It has 36 pieces so will give Monkey a bit of a challenge and help with his manual dexterity and increase his problem solving skills. Again, I can see lots of imaginary play potential and story telling time.
- Talking of story telling …. What better than Rory’s Story Cubes. I first spotted Rory’s Story Cubes about a year ago, at the time Monkey was still struggling with his speech and was too young for these cubes. As you know I have a passion for reading and books and we spend a lot of time reading. These Story Cubes are great for imaginative story telling. I often tell Monkey ‘Monkey stories‘ and over the last week, Monkey has actually started to take over or tales of that days adventures. So I think we are now ready for imaginative story telling times.
- You can’t have Christmas in this house without a board game! I always like to find something a bit different and this Haba Game Knuckling Knights caught my eye. It’s aimed at children aged 4 and over, so will be a game Monkey can grow into. It’s a board game for up to 4 players so we can all play together while we let our Christmas Dinner go down! Monkey will love constructing the Castle Play board, the game will also help with his counting skills and looks like lots of fun!
- Have you heard of Worry Eaters? I hadn’t either until the end of last year. The Sorgenfresser Enno Worry Eater is specifically designed so children can write their worries down on a piece of paper and place inside the Worry Eater’s mouth, zip it up and the worries disappear. I really love this idea, especially for an only child like Monkey. He’s not writing yet, but we could draw pictures of anything upsetting him and Enno could eat his worries away. There are a number of Worry Eaters and I love them all, but Enno has cat-like ears, so he’d fit in well in our feline friendly house.
- Plan Toys make wonderful wooden toys and when I saw their Balancing Cactus Game I knew that this would be one for Monkey. Monkey is a budding engineer, so he’d love to work out how to balance the various cactus stems. I can see this being another fun game for Christmas Day. I also love the look of this game, it could sit on Monkey’s bedroom window sill, a cactus plant that really doesn’t need watering.
- What 3-4 year old boy doesn’t like hammering? Monkey regularly gets his tool kit out to ‘mend’ things around the house. So when I saw the Haba Tack Zap on Duty, I thought it would let Monkey hammer away, whilst making various objects. He’d love it, great for improving his fine motor skills whilst having fun. Lots of room for creativity too.
- We love dominoes here – a classic game from my childhood. I can also remember stacking them on their ends and creating domino cascades. The Haba Domino Building Blocks takes this idea into the 21st Century. I can see Monkey and Daddy P having hours of fun with this, probably while I’m slaving away in the kitchen preparing our Christmas Dinner!
- Finally, no Christmas Wishlist could be complete without a mention of a train set (well, not in this house anyway!) The Brio Cargo Railway Delux Set would be a welcome extension for Monkey’s wooden railway. He is fascinated with cranes and this set offers a really different theme for him. He has nothing like it and I can see so many imaginary play themes coming out of this set. Plus it gives Daddy P and I are really good excuse to play trains all Christmas!
So what do you think about my chances of wishing on The Toadstool rather than a star? Could it be fate that the competition closes on Monkey’s birthday? Wouldn’t it be a fantastic birthday present for him to find out he gets to Toad Test toys for another year! Let’s face it – he does the testing, I just do the writing.
So to summarise ….
What do you think to my selection? Do you think I’ve picked a varied selection for a 4 year old boy?