Recently we were very lucky to be invited to meet the lovely people of Little Tikes, and get to know their brand new range a little better.
It was G’s first time in London, and my first time taking on a solo trip so big! Despite the very shaky start (cancelled train and a big panic!) it went pretty well, and G was so good considering the incredibly active 16 month old was forced to keep pretty still for several hours over the course of the day. I think a couple of hours making new friends and playing with some seriously cute toys helped make up for it. I think he’d agree anyway!
And it certainly was lots of fun! Both of us got to meet “new friends”, although it’s proving to be very strange meeting fellow blogger that you’ve been talking to and reading about for a long time! You’re meeting for the first time but already know so much about their lives. It’s very strange, but nice at the same time.
G’s friend making was a lot less strange for him. Steal a doll, try and swap your beloved penguin for said doll, have to give doll back. I don’t think there were any long term grudges. At least I hope not!
After the initial scoping out of the poor doll, he soon got stuck into the toys (the ones we were there to actually try!) and really enjoyed them.
The Lil’ Ocean Explorers range consists of eight new little sea creature friends which have been designed to engage our littles whilst helping them develop their motor skills and co ordination. And they don’t even know it!
We got to chat to Dr. Amanda Gummer, an independent child development and play expert, who believes that children learn best through play. And I happen to strongly believe this! Children are the little sponges who are constantly soaking up new information and learning new things (even the stuff you wish they didn’t!) and they’ll learn best by doing rather than being shown. These colourful characters can help them reach important milestones whilst having so much fun they hardly know it.
Side note – we’re supposed to be encouraging these milestones, not crying over them and repeating “where has my baby gone!?” over and over…so I’m told.
All the characters are exceptionally cute, with they’re bright colours and big cartoon eyes, it’s hard not to love all of them! I was particularly taken by ‘Catch Me Crabbie’ who has a motion sensor that will detect baby approaching, and scuttles side to side, clapping it’s claws and playing music (the music I can’t comment on. A room full of toddling, crawling children and chatting parents…yeah I couldn’t hear it!) It’s great for encouraging crawling and hand eye co ordination to catch him. What I particularly loved was that he doesn’t scuttle off too far. G had some great toys when he was younger, that would roll off in order to be chased. They would inevitably roll too far and mean that I was chasing it more than G! Crabbie goes far enough away to encourage movement, but not too far that I’d have to join in too much. Win win.
G’s loved the Stand ‘N’ Dance Starfish. It has everything that he loves (and I’m sure he’s not alone) lights, music, and a ‘slide’ that he can spend hours chucking the balls (and cars, trains, upsy daisy and bits of sandwich) down the ball drop and watch them spiral down and across the room.
To be honest, he really enjoyed playing with all of the toys, but his favourite by a mile was the 3 in 1 Adventure Course. It’s a fab all round toy, suitable from 6months, all stages can find something to enjoy with this. There are loads to look at and reach for if they’re just sitting. The octopus is sturdy enough to help them pull themselves to standing, where they can load balls onto his arms and catapult them across the room.
Not sure if the kids or grownups were enjoying this feature the most. Even when they’re crawling or full on sprinting, there is hours of fun to be had crawling under the tunnel sections or zig sagging in and out of the course. And although it’s a fairly sizeable toy when it’s all set up, it does come apart for storage. I believe (although I didn’t test it out) that the sections can be used individually too.
The adventure course will definitely be going on G’s letter to Santa this year! I can see it having a lot of use, burning off some energy on the rainy days indoors, and taken into the garden for an obstacle course during the summer months (we are getting one next year…right?)
Little Tikes is such a well known and trusted brand, we knew that we were going to have fun, but were really impressed with the new range, the bright colours, variety and sturdiness. They were all put under some serious and rigorous stress testing that afternoon and I didn’t see a seal or lobster falter.
Have you seen the new Lil’ Ocean Explorers range? Who’s your favourite character?
Mrs H xxx