Friday, 3 June 2011

HABA Toys Review

Squeaky & I were recently chosen to be members of the HABA Mums Club.  The Club members have been chosen to be ambassadors for the brand, and get the chance to review a selection of HABA toys.  The Mums Club is here, and you can read reviews from my fellow ambassadors, as well as sneak a peak at some of the toys.  There's a competition there too at the moment to win a Charlotte doll, so pop on over and give it a try.

We were really excited to be chosen.  As you'll have seen from this week's Magpie Monday post, I found a HABA game earlier in the year, and I was struck by the quality and design. The company are environmentally and socially responsible, ensuring they generate employment & income in the town in Germany where they started out.

Our first collection of toys as HABA ambassadors arrived just in time before we jetted off on holidays, but it did mean that we couldn’t really play until we got home.  We received Pure Nature Bea, Diego Dragon and a set of Zoolino blocks.

We took Bea on holiday with us, as I wanted to take new, light, toys to ensure there would be enough novelty to keep 16 month old Squeaky entertained both in transit and when we arrived, but I also wanted to have at least one comforter toy with us.  Bea met both those needs beautifully.  Suitable from 6 months, Bea is an organic cotton doll with no worrying buttons, and perfect for both cuddling and squashing into Mummy’s handbag.  The stitching is strong throughout, even on the hair (which is also cotton, no wool to fray), and very importantly, she’s machine washable.  I’ve yet to try this, but as she met with a chocolate biscuit earlier today, I think she’s going to be in the next load! Squeaky took to her straight away, giving her lots of daytime cuddles, and she made a welcome night-time companion, just look at the picture!

Diego is a fierce dragon.  It took moments for Squeaky to discover the noises he makes as he rattles along the floor behind her, and making a noise is her very favourite thing!  The colours are really bright and eye catching, and the pull-cord is firmly anchored and finished with a ferrule (or a flugelbinder, if you’re old like me & still remember that bit from Cocktails) to avoid fraying.  I was really impressed by the sturdiness of the construction, I’m confident Diego will take all the pulling, swinging & dropping that Squeaky can put him through, though I’m keeping his cord away from the vacuum cleaner (we’ve made that mistake before in our house).  Diego is great for encouraging her to explore, and become more stable on her feet, as she wants to pull him along and make as much noise as she can.  Me?  Well, he’s also great for encouraging her to come to me when it’s time for a nappy change, because she loves to chase him almost as much as she loves to pull him along.

The Zoolino blocks offer endless combination of animal shapes, some familiar, and some less so.  The mix of colours, both bright and neutral is pleasing on the eye, and the patterns provide lots of interest for little hands.  Squeaky’s favourite games with the blocks so far are “Bashing them together” and “Knocking down anything Mummy builds”.  She’s a destructive little mite.  Really, she’s only just starting to grasp the building side of playing with blocks, but she loves knocking them down, and passing them around. She’s mastered stacking a couple now, so it won’t be long before she’s building her own long-necked, three legged bunny-bear! The mix of shapes encourages learning about balance and hand-eye co-ordination, as well as colour & shape recognition.  The blocks are a wonderful way to play as a family, because we can all get involved in building, finding, and knocking down our creations.  Squeaky will get more & more out of the Zoolino blocks as she gets older, I’m sure.

 Diego likes to investigate the blocks too.  He's an inquisitive dragon.

Disclosure: I was provided with 3 HABA toys free of charge for the purpose of this review.  I was not told what to write, and all opinions are my own.  Links are provided for your convenience only, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme & will not receive reward for their use.

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