How is your holiday shopping coming along? Have you finished? Are you almost done? Have you not started yet?
I’m really far behind. Normally I am done with my holiday shopping around Halloween (no kidding). This year I got really far behind because work has been so hectic this year. I am scrambling to get things done. I don’t have much time left!
Do you have to shop for a toddler this year, perhaps your own child or grandchild?
Toys have come a long way since my kids were toddlers Many of today’s toddler toys are so “high tech” with a lot of “bells and whistles.” The crazy thing is that growing up, my kids didn’t have toys like that, nor did I. I think we all turned out OK, and we certainly had a lot of fun.
When I was a young girl, a container of colorful blocks would give me hours of creative fun. I would use my cars and trucks to “drive” around the “town” that I built with them (I was a bit of a Tom Boy when I was little). When I got older, I used my blocks to make furniture for my Barbie dolls, and enclosures and “jumps” for my Beyer Horses.
This holiday season, help your toddler build their dreams with new products from the brand Hape. Hape is the world’s largest producer of wooden toys. The brand also uses a lot of natural materials, such as bamboo. Bamboo is a highly renewable material. When they do use plastic parts, the brand ensures that they are durable enough to last for generations in order to encourage toys to be passed down rather than tossed out.
As a mom, and someone who cares about our environment, I appreciate the brand’s commitment to not only creating fun and educational toys, but also for making toys that are “earth friendly” and can be passed down from generation to generation, or from sibling to sibling.
I was sent to review a couple of toys from the brand.
The Shape Sorter Xylophone and Piano encourages children to sort colors and shapes, and experience music by making wonderful Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So melodies! Each kit comes with five different brightly colored puzzle pieces that fit together to form a musical instrument. Match the puzzle pieces with their corresponding holes, and then press down or tap them with the included red baton to create sound.
This toy is made for children ages 12 months and older. It’s available at Target and other retail locations and it retails for $17.99.
Shape sorters are always a great toy choice for toddlers. It’s a fun way to teach them about colors and shapes. It also helps them to explore the world around them, and learn things like “cause” and “effect” (for example, dropping the block into the hole – “cause” – makes it fall into the toy – “effect”). This isn’t your typical shape sorter. The blocks down drop in, but rather fit in the “holes” nicely.
I like that this toy is very colorful, which appeals to children. I also like that children can match the blocks by shape or by color.
The xylophone is not that loud (thankfully!). A child can bang on it and it won’t give you a headache after a few minutes (ha ha).
There is a strap on the side to hold the mallet that your child uses to bang on the xylophone portion of the toys.
I like that this toy also introduces children to music, as well as another “cause and effect” opportunity (bang on the metal parts – “cause” – and it makes a sound – “effect”).
As you can see, my friend’s child (above) had a blast helping me to review this toy. He played with it for quite a while too.
I love that this toy doesn’t require batteries, apps, lights, or anything “high tech.” It’s a simply toy… just the way they used to be.
Another toy I was sent to review is a colorful wooden block set.
My First Block Set comes with 80 block pieces in a variety of shapes and colors! These blocks will inspire hours of play and will encourage children to recognize colors and shapes as they build on their imaginations
This set is appropriate for ages 12 months and up. It’s available at Target and other retail locations and retails for $16.99.
These are the types of blocks I remember having as a child. They came in different shapes and sizes, and a lot of fun colors.
The block fit nicely inside the container when not in use. The box also has a handle on it for easy carrying.
I currently have these blocks at work. My work kids are in Kindergarten through grade five. Even my fifth graders enjoy playing with the blocks. They love to build things (especially towers that come crashing down).
Blocks are the type of toy that a child can play with an enjoy for many years.
These blocks are very well made. I have yet to notice any rough edges or missing paint. The blocks have seen a lot of use at work too.
I think both of these toy options would made for great gifts for the young child in your life. These toys are fun, made to last, and inexpensive. Best of all, these toys use a child’s imagination. There are no apps or technology needed.
I think children these days are TOO into apps and technology. I don’t think it’s healthy for them. No toddler needs to be on an iPad or their parent’s phone to play an app. I think those things are best suited for older children. Young children should have toys that promote imagination and creativity.
If you are interested in learning more about these, or other Hape toys, visit Hape.com. The brand can also be found on Facebook and Instagram. Those links are found on the top right of the brand’s website.
Check out their doll house sets. I LOVE their Pony Club Ranch! I wish I had that set as a child.
Hape toys are available at retail locations across the globe. You can also purchase their toys on their website.
*I received free products to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.