One of my goals as a parent is to let Leia enjoy playing with toys while learning with it along. Play is always a nice way to bond with your kids, and as for me, I Love it more when i get the chance to teach Leia while we play. When buying toys, aside from letting her choose - I always look for and buy only the educational ones. Specially now that she's over 14months old, its very important that she develops her fine motor skills. At this point, she's always very curious and ready to explore, so i always let her visit the toy store and let myself see what kind of stuff interests her. One time when in Rustan's, there's a big activity toy model from Hape which i saw her became so interested to play with. There i saw how happy she is and likes to play with it a lot. It's nice thate there's model units available so we can try it out before purchasing. Right then, I decided to buy an activity cube for her. This then started our love for wooden toys - Hape brand in particular.
The Country Critters Play Cube by Hape is such a hit to Leia (and myself as well). I suddenly became a fan of wooden toys seeing how wonderfully-made Hape is. Though i guess it pays the price, but i must say, it's really worth it! Back then, I have wanted to teach Leia to play the Montessori way, but due to space constraints and resources, i have come to let her enjoy play the way she wanted it. And seeing the Play Cube we bought - now we have a 5-activity toy rolled into one. It's big and heavy though but it doesn't matter as long as it's sturdy and well-made. There are various mazes and levers, all very colorful and eye-candy. Toys like this will surely make your little ones busy for some time.
I let Leia play with the cube with my supervision. Even though i know that she can mange playing with it alone, it's still a must for me not only to guide her but to also take a careful watch as she might trip-off or hurt herself with the pounder. She always enjoys playing with all the activities but she enjoys using the pounder and the balls the most. Eventually after it, she will play with the rest of the activities and our favorite one together is the shape sorter. I love how well-made this wooden toy is. No matter how complex it looks, i cannot see any flaw on how it was made and assembled. I'm happy to say that as a parent, I'm assured that my little girl is playing with one very safe toy for her age.
This Hape toy is made of very strong wood and colored with water-based paint. It's very sturdy so i'm sure it's safe for Leia to play and it will last really long. The cute animal designs and colorful designs makes it even more fun to play with. Leia can very well relate to the fish, cow and dog designs plus her love for balls. She's also starting to learn colors and shapes and this is a good guide for her too. The actvities here aslo helps in logic development, and with proper guidance, it also encourages the kids to persevere and finish the challenges.
In choosing the right toy, it's important to buy what is appropriate for your kid's age.
Along with it is to select brands that are well-made, and have passed safety measures because no matter how strict we are during play, accidents might always occur unexpectedly. Like Leia for example, she likes biting her toys, in which at one point, she was able to bite into very small plastic pieces! Thus, never leave your kids unattended. Plus make sure also to inspect the labels of the toys you buy and avoid those with toxic chemicals used. Lastly, choose toys that are fun to play with but can be a learning tool too.
There's a wide selection of Hape toys available here in the Philippines for every child's stage. The kinda sad thing though, they are a bit expensive and does not go with discounted during Sale. But rest assured that Hape toys have passed a series of tests for safety and quality control. They are also made-environment-friendly and they help promote responsible forest-management. And the Best thing is that their toys including this Play Cube have been awarded in different countries already with its high-quality and innovative design. Know also that they are more than 30 years in the market...Truly this toy is an Amazing Find!
My other personal picks are their Fantasia Block Train and The Pyramid of Play. Please subscribe to my blog to keep posted on my next review of other Hape Toys. For more info on their products, check out Toys R Us or Rustan's or the Hape website for complete details.
It's a rainy-kind of day, so stay safe Mommies and happy playing with your kids!!
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