Saturday, 11 August 2012

Ways to spend a rainy day...

I was recently asked by Galt Toys if I'd like to try out some of their products with my children. Given the awful weather we had been experiencing and the need to entertain my children indoors as much as possible - I snapped their hands off!

Galt Toys make education toys and creative activities for children.   I was most aware of Galt Toys because of their fabulous playnest for babies. When I was pregnant I ummed and aahed over buying a playnest and in the end talked myself out of it, bought a cheaper version and regretted it forever! I still wish I'd bought one. Maybe next time. (Sorry if I've just given you heart failure Mr M).

Seeing as my children are at school now, a playnest was never going to be much use so instead I thought about what they'd really like and what would captivate them. My little lady is very creative so it was definitely going to be something craft-orientated for her whilst the boy likes building stuff and things that move.

For the little lady I chose two craft sets - Fairy Sparkle Mosaics and a Paint a Garden Set.

First, we had a go at the Paint a Garden Set.  The set was white ceramic and comprised of 3 plant pots, a watering can, a tray and some mini gardening tools. All included were a set of 12 ceramic paints and a paintbrush along with a guide.

My daughter was very excited by this set and couldn't wait to get started. She loves painting so it was right up her street. I was keen to see what the paint was like as we've had a few sets like this in the past and the paints have always dried up but I'm pleased to report they were fine. 

She thoroughly enjoyed the painting process even if I did keep interfering! I admit to being a bit of a perfectionist and her coverage just wasn't enough for me - I then had to take a reality check and remember a) this was for her and b) she's only 6...

I think that this is a really good value product. The quality is great and it's actually two activities in one as once you've painted it, you get to do some planting! There aren't actually any seeds included but being an avid grower, that's not an issue for me - there's always a packet of cress lying around at the very least.  I like that she's made something she can keep, put on her bedroom window cill and be proud of her handiwork!

The next thing we tried was the Fairy Sparkle Mosaic. Now I knew she'd love this. I'd actually nearly bought some of these for Christmas last year but realised I'd bought too much already! This is everything she loves - crafty, sparkly, girly, pink... It couldn't be more perfect.

The idea is you have pictures which have little numbered squares on. You then find the corresponding colour and stick the mosaics on. It's a bit like paint-by-numbers but with stickers.  All very straightforward really, however if I was going to have one gripe, it would be nice if the sticker sheets had been numbered as well as some colours were quite similar and it was hard to tell which was the right one. It's just a small thing but would have made it a bit more straightforward for my 6 year old to follow.

Whilst this product was obviously clearly marketed at girls I have to say my little boy also enjoyed doing it! He wasn't put off by the pink and sparkliness of it and enjoyed sticking the stickers on his little toadstool house. It made me wonder if there were any of these mosaic kits aimed at boys and I'm pleased to report whilst there are no boy-specific mosaic kits, there are more generic ones that little boys might prefer!

This was a great little activity which kept them quite for ages! I'll definitely be buying a couple of sets for Christmas this year. 

When it came to the little man, I knew I had to pick something more hands on and something he could fiddle with. He loves collecting marbles so what better than Super Marble Run.
This caused A LOT of excitement in our house and Mr M was insistent that the boy had to wait until he was around to, to get it out of the box. Super Marble Run consists is a construction set that comprises of 9 chutes, 9 curves, 24 tubes, 6 bases, snake pass, rotary drop, paddle wheel, roundabout and 8 marbles.

Now in typical interfering parent style, Mr M insisted on building as per the picture on the box however you can build structures as simple or as complex as you like and I have to say that my little boy gets the most fun out of it when he freestyles it.

If it doesn't work out for him first time it means he has to fiddle with the structure to get it right. It's challenging for him and for someone with such a short attention span normally, I like that it's a good tool to get him doing some problem-solving. 

The quality of Super Marble Run is excellent and I can already tell that it's a toy that will get a lot of use and abuse over the next few years!

Thanks to Galt Toys for supplying these products for review. Do check out their website which is full of fun and educational toys and crafts. I've already earmarked some things for our niece's first Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. I used to love that marble run when I was a kid. One for the Christmas list I think.


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