Posted in parenting

Jaques of London Wooden Toy – Review

Post contains PR Product.

With Ellie’s birthday coming up I was finding it difficult knowing what to buy for a 5 year old – mainly because I’m not ready to admit my baby is almost 5 but also because children seem to grow up so quick that it’s hard knowing what toys are actually suitable. Then I heard from Jaques of London about a collaboration and as we already own a few of their wooden games I knew they were top-quality toys and found the website so easy to navigate thanks to their categories I could simply find Toys for 5 year olds really easily!

The Packaging

For me, Jaques of London is a first choice for gifts, the toys arrive beautifully packaged in brown boxes sealed with a black ribbon. Inside the toy/game is wrapped in old fashioned newspaper style paper and includes a card with the name of the person who had personally packed it.

This packaging comes as standard with all their products – this for me shows just how much thought and emphasis on detail goes in to their company and how much the customer is thought of too!


Four in a Row Game – Wooden Connect Four

As Ellie is getting older she is starting to enjoy games that have “rules” so I knew she would love the wooden Four in a Row Game to add to our collection of classic games. Score 4 is made of solid FSC Approved Wood and comes with 36 black and red wooden discs.

After a few games it is clear that Ellie has quite a competitive streak and that Mummy doesn’t let her win enough ha! Score 4 is a great game if you want something quick and easy to set up (even better for those with short attention spans). It’s also great as it’s quick to tidy up once you’re finished playing! Score 4 is portable and a perfect size for travelling. All the pieces fit inside the base and the board slides over stopping them from getting lost – everything is contained!

The game is designed to encourage children to develop their problem solving skills, it develops fine motor skills (due to the small counters) and helps with their social skills (winning/losing, taking turns) everything that a child needs to help them in life.

Jaques of London was established in 1795 and it is clear that with over 225 years of experience in making memories and bringing happiness to children they have perfected how to design toys and games that have children’s best interests at heart.

We’ve also been very kindly sent a link for 15% off for all our followers and subscribers too – click on the link to get the discount added to basket! https://jaques.games/15off
They also offer FREE DELIVERY on orders over £40!

Disclosure – We were gifted the Score 4 – Wooden Four in a Row game to review by Jaques of London however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Posted in Gifted, parenting, product review, toys

Petite Amelie Wooden Dolls House – review

Post contains PR Product.

Ellie has such a kind and caring nature and she absolutely loves looking after her toys – she feeds them in her play kitchen, she puts them down for naps and she plays with such a vivid imagination. I love nothing more than sitting down with a cuppa and listening to the storylines she comes up with – although worryingly it usually starts with the Mum dying!!

I knew she would be over the moon with the wooden dolls house we received from Petite Amélie and she has played with it non-stop since she first saw it.

So here’s our review of our new dolls house. It’s possibly one of the few times Ellie has willingly let me bother her for photos!

In 2010 when a mum-to-be wasn’t able to find the cot of her dreams for her daughter – she took matters into her own hands and designed one herself and had it made – it was at that moment that Petite Amélie was born. They have since expanded their range of products to include complete baby and children’s bedrooms, transitional beds, infants chests of drawers and wardrobes, children’s bed linen and wooden toys – furniture perfect for Nurseries or Toddler Rooms..

Their main goal – to inspire parents to create a beautiful nursery that has unique furniture and accessories suitable for babies and children alike.

With so many beautifully designed, timeless products to choose from I found it difficult knowing what to pick when we were offered to choose something from the site – however since we already have all the furniture we need we decided to look at the wooden toys and decided on the La maison d’Amélie wooden dolls house.

Traditional Toys with a Modern Touch

The La maison d’Amélie wooden dolls house is a house of dreams! It’s stylish open fronted design is a great way to encourage children to play – the neutral tones of white, grey and black match with the natural wood perfectly too allowing it to be appealing to all children.

The wooden dolls house does come flat packed and was relatively easy to assemble when little hands arent trying to “help”. Initially I had decided to build the dolls house but found getting the balcony to fit a tad bit tricky so set Luke off on the task and of course, being the Master Builder he is, he did it in no time at all! The house also comes with a 19 piece furniture set too which is already assembled and matches the main house with its neutral colours and wood. It would be easy to add some colour and a bit of the childs personality to the house by painting the furniture but honestly I really love the natural look and love how it all looks inside when we’ve set it up.

The dolls house has rooms on 4 floors and just like a real home it has a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room and office space as well as a balcony on the top floor too! The possibilities for play are endless – every time Ellie plays with it her role play is different to the last. We’ve had role play linked to every day life – bath time, breakfast and Ellie loves tucking her little family in to bed at night – and we’ve had rescue missions, flooding and evil pirates but Ellie’s favourite is to pretend she’s a giant reaching in through the window and scaring the children!

Our Overall Verdict

I particularly love the fact that the wooden toys from Petite Amélie are made from high quality materials (SFC wood and organic cotton where possible) and the house is EN71 safety tested and the paint used is safe for children too, I also like the additional thought on safety with the rounded edges.

We’ve had such many nights after school playing with our new dolls house, it’s been a fantastic way to watch Ellie’s imagination grow and we’ve used it to talk about our days when she hasn’t been so keen to share! It’s been a wonderful addition to Ellie’s playroom and I can’t wait to watch her grow and maybe one day pass on to her children too!

Have you had any toys or furniture from Petite Amélie?
Will you be buying wooden toys this year?
Christmas is only 92 days away after all!
Let us know in the comments below!

Disclosure – We were gifted the La maison D’Amelie wooden dolls house to review however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Posted in parenting, product review

Review – Casdon Self -Service Supermarket Till

Ellie loves to role-play shopping and has really enjoyed testing out the Casdon Self-Service Supermarket Till. She’d had a really busy first week at nursery and she loved being able to play at home with her new toy.

Upon opening the box Ellie was slightly disappointed the till wasn’t already made (toddler problems right there!) and waited patiently for me to put it all together. The main base is made of three plastic parts that clip together easily then the counter attaches to the top. Thankfully the scanner comes ready made and slots into the counter. Its not difficult to set up at all however it did take me slightly longer to put all the stickers in place. I hate stickers on toys! The pressure to get them perfectly lined up is just too much with an over-excited toddler so I bribed her with snacks while I put them all on and made up the little food boxes.

However the time it takes to build and make up the boxes is definitely worth it once you’ve stocked the shelves full of branded goodies they know and love ready for play such as Hovis, Mr Kipling, Andrex and Birds Eye!

Once everything is assembled you are almost ready to play. The scanner itself needs 3 AAA batteries and works just like a scanner they’ve seen in the shops. It works on a light sensor so when items are passed through it it beeps like a real scanner. The buttons on the scanner also make a beep noise, there are two different noise levels so it doesn’t have to be too loud. The card machine on the side of the scanner also beeps when the numbers are pushed and coins put in can be given back as change when the button is pressed too.

The Self-Service till comes with a credit card, some notes and plastic coins that are great for teaching the basic skills of shopping and money. It also comes with a handy shopping basket to further develop imaginative play.

What We Think…

We love the bright colours, the bold red, blue and white are great primary colours and make it appealing for little children.

Ellie has really enjoyed acting out and pretending to be the shop-keeper scanning our shopping. She loves scanning different items and putting them in the basket, her imagination has developed lots since starting nursery so her play has developed too. It’s lovely to watch her play so happily. I love that she can use her own experiences of shopping in her play…although i’m not quite as keen on my milk costing me £20!!

The Casdon Self-Service Supermarket Till is perfect for pretend play; toddlers and pre-schoolers will love using their imagination and experiences to buy their own shopping and scan it themselves! For me, the realistic noises really add to the whole experience. Ellie can’t wait to have her friends round to play!

My only grumble would be the stickers…did I mention I really dislike stickers?

The Casdon Self-Service Supermarket Till is available from Hello Baby and at the time of posting is on offer at £49.09 with FREE UK DELIVERY.