£7.99Aged 6+ years
Grab a Pig is a card game aimed at children aged from 6 years to adult. The aim is to get a set of cards then grab a pig. When the dealer says ‘oink’ everyone passes a card along to their left until someone has a set then they make a grab for the pig in the middle!
It takes a couple of minutes to get ready to play the game and most of the testers found the instructions easy to follow. Players need to be 6 years plus or it would be too difficult for them. The box was reasonably strong, fine for storage. The game was tested by children aged from 8 years to adult in three different homes, one of which included large numbers of visiting relatives.
Most of the children played the game straight away and went back to it for more, finding it enjoyable.
It was easy for children to understand and the farm animals theme was liked. It was seen as better for children than normal cards and the score cards were good.
“I liked the pigs and saying ‘oink’” Kaitlyn aged 8.
It promoted speaking, listening, hand-eye co-ordination, observation, concentration and speeded up reactions.
£19.99Aged 8+ Years
Childrens World Map is a 180 piece jigsaw puzzle of the world in a globe shape which when completed can then be displayed as a globe if desired.
There are two plastic stands provided for use if you wish to keep the puzzle as a world globe after putting it together. One of these is a base with a curved top on which the globe can rest. On this stand the globe is easy to pick up and look at. The other stand is one which attaches to the globe, once attached the globe can be spun around for viewing. It was a nice touch that two choices of base were included for the buyer to choose between.
The instructions were clear and gave a few tips intended to help with tricky parts of the puzzle. The World Map is put together in the conventional way of matching the puzzle pieces using the pictures on the front of them. Each jigsaw piece is numbered on the back and the puzzle can be completed by building up the numbers.
All of our testers agreed that ten yrs. would perhaps be a better starting age. Everyone agreed this toy would appeal to both boys and girls. At £20 this toy was considered to be quite expensive and more than they would be prepared to pay. Maybe £15 would be a better price.
Every tester was keen to start this puzzle straight away and most enjoyed it using it as a typical globe after they had made it. With the stands provided you could put this on display indefinitely and still take it apart in order to remake it at a later date.
Skills developed included hand/eye coordination, fine motor skills, concentration, observation, imagination and planning skills and a knowledge of geography.
£9.95Aged 3+ Years
A well packaged fun game, take your princess carriage around the board and collect everything for the princess to be the first to go to the ball. Beware of the wicked Queen!
An easy fun game to play. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. Instantly appealing to girls and this appeal is sustained.
As well as playing the game the girls liked to push the princesses around the board in their carriages. This game is felt to be good value for money withstanding reasonable wear and tear.
The children can play this unsupervised.
The toy encouraged the following skills
Creative, Imaginative, Fine Motor skills, speaking, listening, hand – eye co-ordination, problem solving, observation, concentration, Playing games give opportunities for turn taking.
This toy could be used by children with additional needs. The game would support speech and language development and would help to develop co-ordination “I am a princess like in the game.” Mollie Clifford 3yrs
£9.95Aged 3+ Years
Collect dinosaur eggs in this great game whilst learning about colours, shapes and matching...but watch out for that spinning dinosaur tail.
A bright and fun game, in a strong and attractive box- which is ideal for easy storage. Children liked collecting the dinosaur eggs, whilst avoiding the rotating dino tail, and were engaged to the end of the game.
Great idea for a birthday gift.
Promotes imagination, concentration, hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills.
Good for girls and boys.
£9.95Aged 3+ Years
Two Chimp N Zee Activity sets with lots of things to keep young fingers busy in a creative and rewarding way. These sets are packed in a strong attractive box complete with a handle, making them easy to store and great to take on a trip. Something for everyone Pretty Ponies and Makeover Friends.
These craft sets which comes with 3 card ponies to make and play with in a strong attractive box which can be used for storage. The packaging was thought to be really good:
“I liked the fact that the box is the toy, so there is no wastage in the packaging. It was a lovely shape, bright and colourful”. The Pretty Ponies set was played with by both boys and girls. It could be played with after just a few minutes and could be used by children aged 3 with adult help, but some of the skills needed were too hard for them to do alone:
“Not many 3, 4 and 5 year olds can tie bows, knots and thread, not many can plait either.” So would probably be better older children:
“I would not buy this toy because my children are age 2 and 5. If they were over 7 then I might consider it, too hard for the age group recommended”.
It was played with it straight away, as it was attractive and the ponies were used for imaginative play afterwards:
“My daughter (5) used the horses on her farm and she moved them around the house”.
It was given a score of 7 by the 5 year old, but would probably be higher if it had been easier to do. “She (my daughter) really loved it, but was frustrated with it as she couldn’t tie knots and plait and most of the horses wouldn’t fit in the stable, so I had to do most of it”
On a positive note, it was seen as a nice toy, the horses were great, they stand up well, sturdy, big holes to put the wool through, but they should be a little smaller so they all fit into the stable and the age group should be changed to 6+.
It promoted creativity and imagination, fine motor skills, hand-eye co-ordination, concentration and life skills.
The kit includes 3 attractive dolls to make and play with, with lots of accessories to decorate them. The packaging is attractive and very targeted towards girls, who tend to get into dolls and decorations more than boys. It is quick to start using with simple instructions. It was played with by Alice aged 6.
£19.99Aged 2+ Years
A fun hand held scanner that comes with a shopping list, nine items to scan and a sturdy green shopping bag. Created hours of fun when played with individually, or in a group of keen shoppers.
The toy comprises a scanner, nine food items, a shopping list and a canvas bag. There are various functions to the scanner. It has three main modes which are counting, colours and music. All of these can be used on the other items in order to help children learn (numbers and colours) and for fun (music). Each item has a different number from one to ten and a different colour. In addition the scanner can be pressed up against any other item and it will say a shopping related phrase. This last feature is a nice touch as other food items that you might own could be added to this toy but beware some of the children testing the Scanner were disappointed that the counting and colours functions wouldn’t work on other items.
This toy appealed to boys and girls equally. It had immediate appeal and continued to be popular. The number and colour functions are the nicest and most educational.
The canvas bag supplied is very good quality and will easily hold all of the other items but it would have been nice to also have a basket to do pretend shopping with. The other pieces are nice and chunky and will last well. Their plastic nature would make them easy to keep clean. This toy is very safe as there are no tiny pieces and the batteries are screwed away in their compartment.
The Count & Scan Shopper is great for use in a home or group situation. It would also be an excellent resource for toy library use. Skills developed include listening, fine motor skills, hand/eye coordination, concentration, observation, speaking and life skills.
£59.994 to 9 years
This is a handheld console that brings mobile learning and educational gaming to children. The action packed games that offer a learning experience include some of the children’s favourite characters, these include Dora the Explorer, Toy Story 3 and Cars.
All of the young testers enjoyed playing with this console and the games that came with it. It was popular with both boys and girls and they continued to play with it for the whole of the testing time (a minimum of 3 months). The games proved to be popular with our testers.
This handheld console can be connected to a computer in order to extend its value by, for example, downloading apps and e-Books.
The Leapster Explorer would suit a younger child so we would change the age range to 3yrs. and the older children of 8 or 9 yrs could possibly find it too young for them, depending on their ability.
The console itself was well made and withstood being tested very well. It was felt to be safe for the age group that it is aimed at with the batteries being screwed inside their compartment.
We felt that this console encouraged the development of fine motor skills, hand/eye co-ordination, observation, problem solving, concentration, reading, writing and observation but should still be put down sometimes in favour of a run round the garden!
£19.996 to 36 months
A bright cuddly teddy bear who interacts with your child, once programs have been downloaded from the internet Scout will call your child by name.
My Pal Scout becomes a friend to children, talking to them directly, using their name. Scout is able to hold a lot of information about his new friend, which is very popular with the parents and the children.
Scout was played with immediately and this appeal was sustained. He is particularly popular with children who speech is just developing. The children loved hearing Scout call them by name and Sophie 16 weeks really seemed to enjoy the lullaby function.
Scout encouraged the following skills; Creative, Fine Motor skills, Speaking, Listening, Hand – eye co-ordination and concentration. Testers made the following comments; “My child loved hearing his name.”
My Pal Scout is cuddly and interactive and is felt to be a good resource for Toy Library
My Own Leaptop, a first step for children into the world of technology. A laptop for young children, complete with QWERTY keyboard.
A light weight laptop, great to take on trips, use in the car or on a train. Plenty to keep a child occupied. Very safe for a child to play with unsupervised, but adult interaction can help the child get more from the laptop activities. The testers were divided as to the accuracy of the recommendation Leo (nearly 3) used the leap top without any problem however Lily (2yrs) was not interested in listening to what was being said.
Violet age 2 yrs. loved it and it is on her Santa list for Christmas.
3 & 4 year olds really enjoyed the activities and played with it for longer periods of time.
The toy encouraged the following skills; Creative, Imaginative, Fine Motor skills, Speaking, Listening, Hand – eye co-ordination, problem solving, observation, concentration, life skills.
Testers made the following comments;
“Daniel 8yrs enjoyed playing with this toy he said it was fun and he could be creative with it”
“This toy was played with as soon as it was opened very good value for money didn’t have time to try all the email and blogs.” Leo (nearly 3yrs)
£19.99Aged 2+ Years
Fab Effex Variety Pack is a kit full of a craft material in different colours and textures that can be bent, shaped and twisted then used to decorate things and make models.
Fab Effex Variety Pack comes lots of patterns, textures and shapes that can bend, twist, stick and hold its shape, Fab Effex was instantly appealing and the appeal was sustained.
This product was packaged in an attractive strong cardboard box.
It comes with everything needed to make the things in the instruction booklet. The younger children found the instructions good and liked the fact they were easy to follow. Safety scissors are supplied and they cut well. There are designs that can be used to personalise belongings and tools to enhance and beautify all your creations.
It helps develop fine motor skills, hand-eye co-ordination, problem solving, concentration and is very creative.
The product was tested by girls and they felt that the packaging and theme of the product was aimed at girls. Fab Effex is value for money. It interested the children and they enjoyed designing new creations. “Provided creative enjoyment for a 7 year old and friend” .
£14.99 to £22.99Aged 3+ Years
Moon Sand is moist sand that can be moulded into different shapes, it stays in the shape until it is knocked down and can be rebuilt or remoulded many times.
Moon Dough also stays moist and can be remoulded again and again. This set has 2 winder walkers fences to ensure cages are made to keep the animals safe.
Construction – Destruction
The set comes with different accessories to make buildings using bricks moulded from Moon Sand which can then be ‘exploded’ ready to be rebuilt again. The packaging is strong and attractive to both boys and girls. The set didn’t take long to prepare and was quickly enjoyed by a couple of would be builders.
Moon Sand promoted creativity, imagination and fine motor skills. It could be played with unsupervised as long as you don’t mind about the mess but it was too difficult for the children to build the house even with adult help:
Sweet Delights – Candy Factory
This set provides accessories to make and store Moon Sand ‘sweets’ and the packaging was immediately attractive to children. It was tested in two home environments by 5 children (boys and girls) aged 3, 4, 7 and 10.
It took 5 minutes to prepare and was easy to assemble and use, although one family found the wheel difficult to turn and a bit flimsy.
Although children were immediately attracted to the set, only the 3 year old continued to play with it.
The recommended age was right (3 years plus) and it was a safe toy but considered too messy to have children play unsupervised.
It promoted fine motor skills, hand-eye co-ordination, concentration and creativity. A good buy for a 3 year old, who spent a lot of time playing with it and found it easy to assemble and use.
Moon Dough – Magic Zoo
Moon Dough Magic Zoo is a set which enables you to make various animals using dough which can then be used over and over again to make other animals. It is promised that the dough will not ever dry out.
There are plastic components to this set which are intended to resemble parts of a zoo.
Within this is a plastic ‘cage’ into which you put the mould of your choice. Having put some dough into this mould you place a pair of plastic wind-up feet below the mould and then turn the handle above it.
When the animal is ready the cage will open and the animal will walk out. This set comes with three different animal moulds: penguin, gorilla and bear. It also comes with a fence mould so that you can create enclosures for your animals. Three different bags of dough are included: purple, orange and white.
It is felt that 4 or 5 yrs. would be a better starting age.
The children all enjoyed this toy a great deal. The younger ones seemed to just enjoy manipulating the dough whilst the older ones enjoyed making the animals (especially the part where they walk out of the cage) and making their own creations manually. Both boys and girls enjoyed the Moon Dough equally.
This product definitely encouraged play with adults as help was very much needed by the younger children but older children could play with this either on their own or with others.
We felt that this toy encouraged the use of fine motor, hand/eye coordination, concentration, planning, imaginative, creative and problem solving skills.
£9.99Aged 3+ Years
Fuzzoodles are fluffy sticks ( a super sized pipecleaner!) that can be bent into all sorts of shapes. Each of the sets have different sized fluffy rods in a selection of colours and a range of accessories.
There are a range of different kits to collect from Glamour Girls to Crazy Critters. These Fuzzoodles were very attractive and played with immediately. The appeal was sustained. Girls and boys enjoyed playing with this product.
Our testers felt that children of 5 yrs + will enjoy playing with these Fuzzoodles as they will manage them with greater ease. Some of the children wanted more accessories, so extra sets could be bought.
Creative, Imaginative, fine motor skills, speaking, hand – eye co-ordination, concentration were amongst skills developed.
Sam 9 yrs “It’s a funny toy to play with.”
£59.99Aged 3+ Years
Toffee the Pony is almost a ‘real’ pony! He opens his eyes when he wakes up. He sways his head, neighs and wants to play. He needs lots of love and care.
Toffee is a large plush pony who performs several electronic functions.
When turned on Toffee blinks his eyes, sways his head and makes a ‘calling’ sound which means that it is ready to play. Toffee comes with a plastic carrot and grooming brush which can be used to make him perform more actions.
Touch the carrot to his muzzle and his muzzle moves and Toffee makes an “eating” noise. When he has had enough he will swing his head and neigh. The brush can be used on the Toffee’s back to make him move his head, eyes and ears.
If Toffee hears a loud sound he gets scared, his ears tremble and he closes his eyes.
When Toffee is left alone for a while he will close his eyes and start to breathe softly.
Toffee can and will be loved by girls and boys.
£14.99 (37 piece) £24.99 (76 piece)Aged 6+ Years
Geomag is an amazing construction set, made up of magnetic rods and chrome spheres. Add panels and build rigid and colourful structures. Glow in the dark rods and tiles, adds light and dark.
This construction set was well packaged in a cardboard box which featured pictures of the models that could be built. The box could be used to store the product between uses.
The instructions are clear and easy to follow.
The toy/product was played with immediately. This appeal was sustained and children are keen to make all of the different models and create their own designs.
The game was tested by boys, girls didn’t seem to be interested.
Geomag is excellent quality.
The product did not break and withstood reasonable wear & tear.
Construction toys encouraged the following skills; Creative, Imaginative, Fine Motor skills, Hand – eye co-ordination, problem solving and concentration.
“Daniel 8yrs enjoyed playing with this toy he said it was fun and he could be creative with it” “William 5yrs liked this toy but needed adult help to put it together.”
www.interplayuk.com01628 488 525
Jewellery Kits £12.99Aged 8+ Years
Cards & Dolls £9.99Aged 8+ Years
A great range of kits designed for girls to make attractive jewellery out of paper, clay or plastic. Or they can choose to make Japanese friendship dolls or ‘girly’ fun greeting cards.
A set of good fun creative kits, they are very well packaged. The packaging is aimed at girls who are more likely to want to make jewellery, when the kits were opened boys were given the opportunity to join in with the activities, but they refused!
Paper Bead Jewellery
Make attractive jewellery with strips of paper. Paper strips are included in the pack, but more can be added, a good way to recycle paper. Using your own paper gives you a wider choice of colours. Andrea (11) “Creative and enjoyable”.
Clay Bead Jewellery
An attractive range of beads can be made out of polymer clay, baked in the oven to make the beads long lasting. The set includes a 24 – page colour illustrated instruction manual full of good ideas.
Susie (11yrs) liked being able to make her own jewellery with the clay bead kit, but did find putting on the fittings a bit fiddly. She liked the colours of the clay provided and the beads. The kit really inspired some of the children to make more jewellery, they could buy extra clay or beads.
Shrink Craft Jewellery
Another kit filled with goodies to make great, funky jewellery. Simply cut out the shape required and put it in the oven and watch it shrink, it’s fascinating!
Each of these kits come complete with everything needed to make several pieces of jewellery – necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
The jewellery made is very attractive and can be given as gifts or worn by the creator. Emily (8) “It’s fun, interesting, you need to take your time”; Lauren (10) “It’s fun and creative, I would do it again”; Amy (9yrs) “It was really fun to watch in the oven. It was amazing to see how it shrinks”
myStyle Japanese Friendship Dolls
These lovely little wooden figures are given as an ancient Japanese custom and make a perfect collectible gift. The set comes with wooden doll blanks and an assortment of interesting bits to decorate them with. They are lovely and fun to collect. Their Japanese name is ‘Kokeshi’.
Susie 11yrs loved these dolls she felt they are “Quite a cool idea. Quite easy, but not so easy, it was boring”. She liked having stickers instead of having to paint the eyes and the results looked good. Nicky (mum) liked the extra info about the Kokeshi dolls’ history and meanings of names.
myStyle Gorgeous Girly Card Set
The children were interested from the moment they saw the box and stayed interested. Our testers loved making the cards in this set.
The kit is aimed at girls aged from 8 years upwards, younger children could also play with this kit. The set comes with a wide range of accessories to make 12 different 3D greetings cards which can be decorated with feathers, glitter, ribbons and sequins. It comes in an attractive card box which is useful for storage and has a detailed instruction manual showing how to make different 3D designs.
It could be played with unsupervised as it is completely safe.
It is very popular with girls who like art and crafts and making things. There are lots of fun ideas to make different cards and loads of sparkly attractive bits and pieces to decorate them with. It really adds some fun with creativity and fine motor skills.
The tester believed the product is value for money.
“Hope (8yrs) said I like creative stuff”
£14.99 - £24.99Aged 8+ Years
Enjoy science as you make your own moisturising cream. Try these four exciting experiments for hours of fun.
Well packaged product, suitable for storing the contents for these experiments in between sessions.
Very clear instructions easy to read and very safety conscious, making it clear that adult supervision is necessary. There are also warnings about possible allergic reactions, so it is essential the instructions are carefully read and adhered too.
It takes about 20 minutes to read the instructions and prepare this kit for use.
The emphasis on these creams being a way of improving the condition and feel of your skin rather than a mere ‘beauty product’ appealed to our testers.
This is a combination of a science kit and a cosmetic item. There are a lot of interesting scientific facts in the instruction book encouraging the users to go beyond the basic making of a moisturising cream and experiment with ways of altering the cream that you have made to suit different skin types.
It’s a real bonus that the ingredients weren’t derived from nor tested on animals and that they were suitable for vegetarians to use.
Adult help is definitely needed with this for the younger testers although the older ones were very capable of doing this on their own.
All of the children who used the kit enjoyed doing so. Although it is obviously aimed at girls one of our testers was a boy who enjoyed it just as much as the girls did. They were successful in following the instructions and the creams came out as hoped for.
This kit helps to improve reading and observational skills as well as scientific understanding. It also helps with hand/eye coordination, fine motor skills, concentration and scientific understand.
Wild Science Pampering Boutique
Learn the secrets of cosmetic science and get super smooth, moisturised skin in the process.
As with the other science sets, this comes with a very good instruction booklet, explaining the five exciting experiments. Put them all together with a group of friends and have a luxury spa day.
Learn how to diagnose your skin type and create soothing creams and a cool nourishing mist spray, in the same way as a professional beauty salon.
Lots of skills were developed;- creative, fine motor skills, listening, hand – eye co-ordination, reading, concentration and scientific understanding, with some adult help.
Comments from our testers; Jade aged 9 yrs. said “I would buy this toy, because it is fun and creative. Also you make things to show”, Gemma aged 9 yrs said “super”, Livvy aged 12 yrs said “excellent”, “Kept Anna busy for quite a while, lots of chances to chat about what we were doing”
£7.99Aged 7+ Years
Ruckus is a fun family game. It is a game that takes and double takes. Creates lots of fun and laughter!
Ruckus is a family game for 2-4 players with children aged 7+.
It is a card swapping game which gets quite frantic as everyone tries to be the first to get rid of their cards and shout ‘ruckus’!
There are sets of cards with pictures and a short funny description. They come in a small card box which is ideal for storage.
Ruckus can be played almost instantly as the instructions are very easy to follow.
It was really popular with both children and adults. Everyone who played Ruckus seemed to get quite addicted to it!
It was played with by lots of children aged from 7 right up to 40ish. Boys and girls enjoyed playing Ruckus.
It was mostly played according to the rules, but the rules can be adapted to suit different abilities.
Everyone who tested this game would buy it as the children loved it, they could all play, have fun and laugh together. It is a quick game so can be played lots of times and no-one gets fed up.
Ceri (8) would like different pictures, but her dad thought the pictures were funky and imaginative.
It was a really good game for the whole family and promoted lots of different skills including hand-eye co-ordination, concentration, observation, speaking and reading, planning and strategy, problem solving.
The main comment given was “I want to buy this game!” and it was hard to get the testers to give it back!
£19.99Aged 12+ Years
A good ‘Who Am I’? game, with an electronic headband flashing up a name and the person wearing the headband is given clues by the other players and has to guess who they are.
An ‘Electronic Headband’ Board Game that lights up a name and the person wearing the headband is given clues by the other players and must guess ‘who they are’? Can the correct name be guessed in 90 seconds?
This game was thoroughly enjoyed by boys and girls who are aged between 12 & 15 years. This is also a great game for families to play and it’s a fun team game.
Some of the younger players may not know all the characters but a little help from willing ‘oldies’ makes the game fun.
Many skills are developed playing this game – social skills, speaking and listening, problem solving and concentration.
All in all this is a really good group game, would be a fun party game.
£19.99Aged 8+ Years
Tantrix Match is a good addictive brain game. Using the clues provided on puzzle card complete a variety of different challenges.
Tantrix Match was instantly appealing and this appeal was long lasting.
Our testers found the instructions clear and easy to follow. These would need to be kept with the product if not played on a regular basis as a reminder to what the symbols of the cards mean.
Using the puzzle cards different challenges can be carried out and hopefully achieved.
Once all the challenges have been completed you can create your own. The puzzle cards increase in difficulty and add-on packs are available.
This puzzle can be played by one person, but is also enjoyed by a small group of people playing together. Tantrix Match offers good play value and it would be a great resource in a Toy Library.
The toy encouraged the following skills; Imaginative, Fine motor skills, speaking, listening, hand – eye co-ordination, problem solving, planning/strategy, reading/writing, concentration, life skills.
The game gave opportunities for turn taking when played with in groups. It also required observation skills. Safe to be played with unsupervised, hard wearing and easy to clean.
The child testers made the following comments; “Got my brain working”, “Liked it because it was challenging”, “It was a really good game that anyone can play. It really gets your brain working but it can get boring after a while” (Josh aged 9yrs)
An ideal puzzle for young people who like a challenge.
£29.99Aged 3+ Years
A Black and Decker Workbench just like the real thing. It comes with a good range of tools that fit onto the workbench. There is a birdhouse to build, a great first project.
The Work Bench comes flat packed and takes about 20 – 30 minutes to set it up and includes different tools which hook on to the front with a variety of electronic lights and sound effects eg. an electric saw and drill which were very popular.
There are detailed instructions to put it together which are fairly easy to follow. Children enjoyed helping to construct it! James 3 yrs thoroughly enjoyed helping to build it.
It has a variety of electronic lights and sound effects e.g. an electric saw and a drill, which proved very popular.
It was played with by boys and girls initially, but the boys continued to play with it for longer.
It was tested in both home and childminding settings and was played with immediately by both boys and girls, but the boys continued to play with it. Boys really identified with it being a ‘boys’ toy, designed to look like daddy’s work bench and tools.
Building the bird box is a nice extra touch giving a purpose to the tools and a project to be done together (adult and child).
Louis (3 1/2) did role play and enjoyed pretending to be a builder and ‘helping’ his daddy.
All the children loved it (9 children aged from rising 3 to 6 years) but it was definitely better for the younger ones.
It had a definite ‘wow’ factor although the novelty did wear off for some children once everything had been tried. It was also used as an accessories holder/dressing table and as a teddy train.
The Work Bench helped promote life skills, imagination, problem solving plus lots of other skills.
This game can be played very quickly. The children move up the hill on the roll of a colour spot dice. They can slip back down the hill when they spin the wheel. Aids colour and number recognition.
There are two games within the box. One teaches colour recognition and the other basic number skills. When playing either game each player has their own playing piece and two piece playing board. Each playing board is double sided with a design on both sides of a hill with a well at the top.
There is a ten step path leading ‘up’ the hill which has a coloured spot on each step on one side of the board but not on the other. For the colours game a dice with a coloured spot on each side is used.
The colours that are used are red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. On a player’s turn they throw the dice and then move their playing piece to the first step that has the same coloured spot on it.
They then spin a spinner which has six sections, alternating between 80° sections with a picture of a well, and 40° sections with a picture of a spilt pail. If the spinner stops at a picture of a well the player stays where they are. If, however, the spinner stops at a picture of a bucket the player has to return to the start.
Play continues until a player reaches the well at the top of their hill and wins the game. As each path has only ten steps a player could win in only two moves. A nice, quick game to play.
This is a good game that is fun and will help children learn the different parts of the body. Great value for money.
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, a great game for children aged between 3 to 6 years. The game can be played by 2 to 4 players and comes with a spinner and robust coloured card pieces which help to children and learn about the different parts of the body.
The children enjoyed playing this game and many of them sang the song that fits well with the game.
The packaging is particularly attractive showing children of different genders and ethnicities.
The game was immediately attractive to children and provided good play value as it is fun to play and could be played in different ways.
A fun board game, players have to help the ‘Old Lady’ to swallow the animals in the correct sequence according to size.
This game was played again and again. The children enjoyed collecting the discs in the correct order, they also enjoyed naming the animals and making the sounds the animals make!
Some of the children also had the opportunity to talk about ‘old ladies’ – interesting!
Clear and easy instructions to follow and lots of fun was had by all.
A good game to play with children with additional needs because it is easy to follow, the pieces are easy to handle and the images are easily recognised.
This is felt to be fun, durable and good value for money.
£9.25Aged 2-6 years
A lovely game for very young children, the pictures are bright and colourful, very easy for the children to match.
The children enjoyed playing this game and making animal noises as they played.
The game encouraged speaking and listening, turn taking, observation and concentration. It can also used as a matching game with one child, so they can play with it when they are on their own.
It’s very safe for the children to play with unsupervised. This game is suitable and attractive for boys and girls.
All the adults playing with the children agreed they would buy it because it offers excellent play value for a very reasonable price.
£21.9918 months - 5 years
Holiday time is here, pack up your Camper and have a good trip. Everything you need to take a trip is here. Don’t forget to take the dog! Hours of play for any child, boys and girls loved it. Isabel aged 2yrs was engrossed with it and played with it constantly.
Casey Camper van is friction powered with a realistic engine sound. The children loved the opening roof that revealed everything you need in a holiday home. When the roof flips open there is a garden with a game of hopscotch printed on it and flower boxes making it very pretty.
The Camper Van made many exciting journeys as well as a holiday trip. It took the children to and from school, to the zoo and on many picnics, so the table was very handy.
Wilber – 2yrs 7mths always remembered to put petrol in before going on a long journey.
Anna loved playing with it ‘there is so much to do’
This toy was an instant hit with boys and girls and they continued to play with it for hours, going back to play with it every day.
This toy captured the children’s imagination and helped to create many hours of play.
Amelia – 6yrs 11mths ‘I like that you can open it up and go inside’.
Casey Camper encourages many skills including language development, fine motor skills and it really extended imaginative play.
Some of the children testing this toy have hearing impairments but many enjoyed the engine sound and the fact that the toy is a friction powered. It is lots of fun to push around. It is felt to be a great toy for a toy library, a play group, nursery or home. It seems to be indestructible. An excellent toy for extending children’s language, so many adventures to go on.
£16.9918 months - 5 years
A friction powered Fire Engine that makes an engine noise when it zooms along to put the fire out.
Ernie Fire Engine has a great ladder that moves up and down and rotates The fire fighter can open the back door to reveal an emergency barrier to keep the passersby away from the fire! This engine appealed instantly to girls and boys. It was played with constantly by our young testers.
The windscreen lifts up manually allowing a figure to stand inside to drive the engine.
Friction powered means batteries are not needed always a bonus. Very easy to use, but very young children may need to have some of the extras pointed out to them. You may have to show a little one how the fire fighter uses his hand to open the back door or how the same fire fighter can be used as a key to rotate the ladder.
The plastic nature of this toy makes it easy to keep clean. We like the fact that it is friction powered as this means no expensive batteries and no hunting for fresh ones when the old ones run out.
We feel that this toy encourages imaginative, fine motor, hand/eye coordination and sharing skills.
£16.9918 months - 5 years
A well made fun pizzeria. Make pizzas with exciting toppings, helped by Mario and ask Marco to deliver them on his push along trike. Thoroughly enjoyed by all of our testers and played with again and again!
A lovely toy for children to play with giving them the chance to make pizzas of their choice, make the pizza, bake the pizza in a wood fired oven and then Marco will deliver them on his push along trike. The children will have the help of Mario the Chef, who when put onto the chimney spins it around to help them choose their favourite toppings.
Mario’s pizzeria was instantly attractive to our tiny testers and the appeal was sustained offering great play value The skills children developed while playing with this toy included imaginative, fine motor skills, speaking, listening, hand –eye co-ordination, planning/strategy, observation, concentration and life skills.
So much happens in Mario’s pizzeria without the use of batteries.
This toy was tested by children aged 2 – 4 years and boys and girls equally enjoyed making pizzas! Lily aged 2 years enjoyed making the pizzas and delivering them to all the family.
Easy to keep clean, easy to follow instructions and the toys can be stored in the box when not in use.
£11.9918 months - 5 years
A friction powered steam roller, it makes a satisfying noise as it chugs along. He comes with a ‘men at work sign’.
Roll it Riley is a brightly coloured chunky plastic steam roller which comes with a driver and a road sign. It goes along on its own powered by friction and makes a noise.
Roll it Riley needed no preparation and was played with straight away. All the boys continued to play with it throughout the week they had it for testing. It was also used for imaginary play and became a fire engine at one point!
Brynn 2 ½ really liked the noise of the back wheels and the fact that it went along on its own.
The toy was fairly indestructible and they liked the man. It would be bought as a present as “it does what it says on the pack!”
It is liked for its bright colours, sturdy construction and because no batteries were required. It has great play value.
£18.95Aged 5+ Years
3DX word game is an excellent game to play without using a board. Extra letters are included for younger children and all of the letters counts as one point making it a good game for the whole family.
This game just takes a few minutes to prepare for play, at the time is spent separating the tiles.
As agreed by the game players need to be of a similar ability. Some of the younger children may not be at the stage of building words.
A cub group are testing this game enjoyed being able to build on words already played. They also liked not being confined to a board.
3DX is felt to be very good value, educational and adults felt the game would last forever.
Although the game was well packaged in a cardboard box it was felt that the box wasn’t very sturdy and a good addition to this game would be a plastic bag to store the tiles in.
The recommended age range of 5 years + is felt to be accurate as the game can be adapted to suit the needs of different aged children.
This product was played with immediately. The appeal was sustained, with some of the testers making their own versions of crosswords and word searches.
Gemma -9 –“excellent”
Josh – 10 – “brilliant”
Oliver – 12 – Grrrreat”
£18.95Aged 5+ Years
3Braillephun lower case letters sets have been designed to offer an ‘inclusive’ game encouraging family and friends to play together with children and young people with a visual impairment.
This game was played with immediately and the appeal was sustained. The game can be adapted to suit a wide age range offering a fun way to learn and improve spelling.
Following a discussion with the Henshaws Society for the Blind the testers found that Braille is not currently taught to very young children, so initially the testers ensured the game was used by young adults with sight impairment. However the game is also enjoyed by children from 5 yrs +, so the recommended age range is accurate.
The game is made for all to enjoy, the large tiles have printed letters with clear bralle stickers in the ‘Marburg Standard font’ on the top, allowing everyone to read them.
Clear and easy to follow instructions for some simple letter games, are provided with each set.
Braillephun also comes in a Maths set.
The toy encouraged the following skills; Creative, imaginative, fine motor skills, speaking, listening, hand – eye co-ordination, problem solving, planning/strategy, reading/writing, observation, concentration.
The game would give opportunities for turn taking and developing spelling for younger children.
Testers made the following comments; “It can be played with by children and adults with different sight levels, so all can join in.”.
This game is good value for home use, group use and would provide a long lasting resource in a toy library
£59.95Aged 1-5 Years
A slot together mountain range, complete with a tunnel, a slide and two caves. Home for a cave boy and two very colourful dinosaurs. It is great fun and a lovely introduction to play with dinosaurs.
This is a nice solid toy that appeals to boys and girls. Children added other dinosaurs and people to increase the play value. Isobel aged 2yrs liked watching the dinosaurs slide down the slide. She added teddies and dolls to extend the play.
All the children testing this toy added other dinosaurs from their toy box to increase the play value. There are other dinosaurs and cave people and an explorer in a 4 wheel drive vehicle available for this set. These dinosaurs are very attractive and the whole set is very safe for under 3’s to play with.
Although not specifically designed for children with additional needs, it was tested by children with hearing and visual difficulties, who loved playing with it. New vocabulary was introduced and a lot of fun was had by all of the children playing with this toy.
£49.00Aged 2+ Years
A really well made construction set comprising of a Tower Crane, A Mini Loader and A Mini Crane. An excellent set for would be builders.
All of the children wanted to play with these toys immediately and continued to play with them. The play value of the large crane was enhanced by the addition of the children’s own toys to the palette which could be raised and lowered. Sadly the drivers are fixed in place which will prevent them from getting lost, but the children playing with these toys are going to want to use their imagination whilst playing and these will obviously involve wanting to move the figures around. To combat this some of the children added their own action figures to the set in order to enhance its play value.
No instructions were necessary for these toys however the large crane did require adult assembly which only took about five minutes. The age guide given to us of two years plus was felt to be accurate.
The adults involved with the testing liked the solid wooden construction and the fact that the edges were all smooth.
£5.99 Double PackAged 7+ Years
£3.99 Single PackAged 7+ Years
Wildcat and Dinohistoria combine two entertaining card games in one box. With beautiful photographs/illustrations respectively and exciting facts you can learn whilst you play.
Wildcat and Dinohistoria are two different and enjoyable card games. Wildcat enables several tiers of play, enabling children of 5+ to play snap and pairs, whilst older children can play various difficulty levels of the card game with family and friends. Other card games played with these cards are as shown on the company's website. On top of this, striking photographs and illustrations accompany interesting facts about wildcats and dinosaurs, enabling learning throughout game play.
Both girls and boys liked these games, especially comparing facts of the cards they held.
£14.00Aged 5+ Years
Bananagrams for Kids is a junior version of the Bananagrams puzzle books, aimed at children from 5/6years plus. It starts off with basic puzzles which then get harder so it is good for younger and older children.
It was tested by two brothers, Sam aged 10 and Conner aged 13, who were totally addicted; once they started they couldn’t put it down and they worked together on the puzzles as they got harder.
It helped develop a wide range of skills, including speaking, listening, problem solving, strategy, reading and writing, observation, concentration etc.
It was a really good book that the children loved and was enjoyed by grown ups too and our testers would definitely buy it.
Good to take on a long journey and on holiday.
£16.99Aged 6+ Years
One hundred and ten letter tiles come inside an apple shaped cloth bag which opens via a zip. Games to play involve making words from the tiles and linking them with other words that have been made.
Gives the opportunity to play a range of different games. The object of the game is to build words as long as possible.
“It looks perfect” Anissa 8 years “I like everything”
£14.00Aged 5+ Years
A word game for 2 to 8 players aimed at children aged from 5 years up.
Letter tiles come in a zipped yellow fabric banana shaped storage bag.
There is no need for a board, and players don’t have to wait their turn as they each make their own crossword which can be changed as new tiles are picked up.
It helps develop a wide range of skills including problem solving, reading/writing and concentration.
£29.99Aged 5+ Years
An extension of the original bananagrams designed to be played with up to 16 people.
A good resource for group play.
Comprises of 288 letter tiles
Comments from children; “I liked this toy I think it is very fun and edjucated”, “This game was fantastic it is very educated for children to lear they spelling”, “It is amazing good learning”
£14.00Aged 5+ Years
Play dominoes connecting fruit instead of dots.
Fruitominoes is a well made set of domino tiles which are very tactile and nice to use, being the right size for little hands and complete with a zipped fabric storage bag. You match pictures of fruit not numbers.
The recommended age is 5 years, but some of our testers were 3 year olds and they really got on well with the game and enjoyed it.
Emily found it easy to understand and play and she liked matching pictures not numbers. Emily liked the game and continued to play with it as did Louis.
It was played with in other ways using imagination and was totally safe with sturdy indestructible pieces, promoting lots of skills including concentration, planning/strategy, problem solving and hand-eye co-ordination.
£14.00Aged 5+ Years
A word game where the player must make pairs of words that have one letter in common where the words connect. The 104 tiles fit into a pear shaped bag.
A good game to help develop memory and cognitive skills, language and spelling for children and young people. It can be played as a game, a race to make connecting words in matching patterns or just play it alone either way your mind will get a good workout.
Kaitlyn (8) found it hard sometimes, it could be adapted for younger children. They also used the tiles to make up all their names.
“I liked that! But sometimes it was quite hard” Kaitlyn (8)
It helped children learn a wide range of language skills and was good for social interaction.
Muhammed “I like the way you have to be fast and think”
Adam “I liked it because it helped my mind. I like the game”.
www.ascoeducational.co.uk0113 270 7070
£29.50Aged 1+ Years
A beautifully made wooden stacking game, for the very young. Colour co-ordinated cactus buds are built by putting together a stem, a disk and a ball and pushed into the green base. There are games to play with the roll of a dice. Most of the younger children will need a lot of support to play the game, but by 2years old they are more able to play a game and enjoy it.
Enjoyed by boys and girls. The younger children liked putting the pieces together, they don’t need to play a game!
£26.96Aged 12-36 Months
Six lovely balls filled with water and a fun figure floating in it. Each ball holds a different figure – a duck – a teddy bear and all sorts of fun things.
Great hit with hearing impaired children and children with developmental delay. They are bright, attractive toy with ‘repeat’ play value.
These balls are a lovely first bath toy. They can also be used to encourage babies to follow a moving object. Excellent for babies starting to move around on the floor.
Lots of fun to chase around the floor or to play with in the bath!
£7.99Aged 6+ years
Hoo Ha is a visual memory game that helps children learn their times tables. It’s a game that can be played as a group or a class activity. A fun way to learn the times tables.
The game is loosely based on ‘happy families’. All the cards are laid flat until the card is matched, the player then keeps the cards and has another turn, if no match the it moves onto the next player.
A good game to be used with a teaching assistant in the classroom, also good for a specific group who may have some difficulties with some tables.
A fun way for teaching and learning times tables, at the same time improving concentration and memory skills. Although the children found the instructions ‘a bit complicated’ but they enjoyed playing – Shaheena 9 yrs. liked it ‘because it was good and teaches you better maths’.
Amna 9 yrs. ‘would buy this toy because it would learn me my timestables’.
£9.99Aged 4-9 years
My World My Lotto is a game designed for 2 – 6 players. The game encourages learning about different countries and cultures, across different continents.
Each player of this game has a base card with one of the Continent’s. Each card has six pictures depicting a country by the flag, the name and a distinctive feature of the country. The cards are placed face down and players take turns to pick a card and hopefully match them to a picture on their board otherwise the card goes back down on the table.
A simple game, easy to use and enjoyed by those who played it. At the same time players are able to learn about the different countries, enhancing geographical skills.
£10.99Aged 18+ Months
These Push Along toys are a well made brightly painted wooden toys. Push the animal along on his wheels and enjoy the clacking sound they make. Choose from an interesting range of animals – Penguin, Pink Mouse, Hedgehog or a Monkey. Perfect to encourage a new walker to keep going.
One was tested by Lily-Diana (18months) tested the penguin. When the penguin wasn’t being pushed around, he was used imaginatively as ‘Pingu’. Paige 2yrs loved the hedgehog and pushed him all the way home. Gemma 15mths. Played with the mouse a lot, walking up and down, she liked the noise it makes.
All the children who just started walking enjoyed playing with these ‘push along’s’ immediately and kept going back to walk with them again and again.
It helped develop gross motor skills and could be played with unsupervised unless there are older children around as some of them swung it round quite vigorously!
Push Along’s “are lovely toys to run about with. The colourful designs are very attractive and the beads which clatter around are fun”.
Doorway Theatre - £28.99 and Tellatale Hand Puppets - £16.99
A fun doorway theatre, hang in the doorway for a puppet show and roll it up to put it away after the show.
This show featured Jack and the Beanstalk and Alice in Wonderland, lovely hand puppets each with a pocket full of friends to help tell the story.
The Doorway Theatre is an ideal accompaniment to the puppet sets and can be fitted in doorways of different widths in minutes then put away or rolled up after the show. It is also made of brightly coloured fabric and has easily opening curtains. Two wooden rods are inserted to help it hang correctly.
Jack and the Beanstalk and Alice in Wonderland hand puppets from Tell Tale Hand Puppets and are well made from bright, colourful fabric.
The Giant has Jack, his mother and a cow, finger puppets. There are also props such as a beanstalk for Jack to climb and a harp and golden goose.
Alice in Wonderland has a ‘small’ Alice, mad hatter, white rabbit and the Queen of Hearts to help tell her story. The theatre was very quick to put up and children played with it and the puppets immediately after an adult modelled what to do – “as it looked inviting all were keen to have a go”. The theatre did exactly what it was supposed to do; it “served the purpose beautifully!” It is bright and stimulating, making everyone feel as if they were in a performance.
Both boys and girls liked the puppets because they were based on familiar stories and were recognisable characters. Emily 3 yrs, loved retelling the story of Jack and the Beanstalk which she played with more because she was more familiar with this story, finding the Alice story a little complicated to retell.
The puppets were a good size for small hands and fingers and are so well made they will withstand regular use. They were bright, recognisable and are particularly good for use in a group, as well as individually.
They are great for creative play and developing confidence in speaking/story telling in front of others as well as developing imagination, listening, concentration and fine motor skills.
£59.95Aged 9 - 36 Months
Wheelybugs are delightful animal or bugs to sit on and ride or push along. They are great for new walkers, helping them to find their feet. The new member of the Wheelybug tribe is an adorable pink pig with floppy ears and a curly tail.
Wheelybugs are solid well made sit on and ride toy. They have a wooden base with four multi-directional wheels. The base is topped with a strong polyurethane animal or bug. There is a ladybird, a bee, a cow, a mouse, a tiger and now the pig with the cutest curly tail and big floppy ears, to hold onto and chew!
The handle offers support to the baby just turning into a toddler and pulling themselves up and starting to walk. They are fun to sit on and ride along or spin round and round. Wheelybugs really do go in any direction.
Appealing to boys and girls Wheelybugs are great ‘hand me down’ toys. They can be ridden, pushed, chewed, hugged by any number of children and they still look like new.
£59.95Aged 0-12 Months
Spook Little Pockets Classic Bear is lovingly designed and crafted to have a beautiful simplicity and timeless appeal. So easy to carry around, she will be taken everywhere by her happy owner.
This “classic” bear is admired because she is cut and crafted from the finest wool and tweed fabrics.
“Anna 4 yrs. loved this bear and took her everywhere, on her bike, on the slide, everywhere”! Anna also loved the 2 pink buttons.
This bear is easy to carry around so she went on lots of imaginative adventures, to the zoo, on holiday, to the farm.
She is a safe ‘classic’ toy, loved because she has garish colours or frills.
£39.99Aged 18 months – 3 years
Take your child on a journey of learning. Start with a walker to support and encourage walking. Change it into a sit on and ride to alter the mode of zooming around. This is closely followed by a scooter when the little one is more confident and is ready to learn the skill of scooting!
The Zebra offers so much more than just riding around, push a button and hear different animals, with a background sound of the animals environment. Push a button to hear atune or beep a horn.
There is so much for the children to enjoy with this Zebra and they will soon learn the faster they go the faster the music plays.
Paige 2yrs fell in love with this zebra, the moment she saw him and found it hard to wait the 20 minutes it took her mum to put it together, then she zoomed off around the flat at top speed!
£59.99Aged 3-7 Years
An electronic story reader, listen to the story or read along with it. There is a dictionary to explain the meaning of the hard words.
Storio supports reading skills – comprehension, phonics, vocabulary and word building. There is a lot to download to keep it interesting and extend its use, you can also track your child’s reading by connecting Storio to your computer.
Another bonus is Storio has a qwerty keyboard an ideal start to young fingers using a keyboard. Samea 6 yrs loved it because it‘s just like Mum’s reading machine.
£16.99Aged 3-8 Years
A hand held game that has some amazing games to play, we had Shrek, there are lots of good titles – Toy Story, Dora the Explorer and Mr Men and Little Miss to mention a few.
But Mobigo is more than games it supports maths, with great number games. Language skills are also supported. The activities allow you to choose between easy or difficult, so practice easy and then play difficult.