Reviewed by Kelly Dewey
I’m a childminder and mum of 3 so am always looks for good quality and fun toys. I received a parcel for ALDI and I opened the large box of goodies in front of various ages of children ranging from 18 months to 4 years. When I got the Little Town Wooden Activity Cube (RRP: £24.99) out they all gasped and said “wow!”. I think the soft ‘candy’ colours appealed to them at first glance. It even gave me (aged 39!) warm fuzzy feelings from my childhood, there is just something about this cube that makes you smile. I guess most toys are strong block bold colours so to view something multi coloured that resembled a pick ‘n’ mix got them excited and keen to investigate further. Each child (aged 18 months, 2, 3 and 4) gathered round, each found something to turn, move, post or play with. They loved the fact you could take the top off and peer deep inside.
The wood is soft with curved edges so really smooth and child friendly. It’s something that looks nice enough to leave out when toys get packed away, its very pleasing to the eye and I don’t mind it being out in the living room when I try and turn it back into adult space again for the evening. This activity cube teaches children the beginnings of maths with the shape sorter sides, helps strengthen their pincher grip when they play with the beads at the top, winding them along the wire intrigued as to where they will end up. On the top of the cube there is added play opportunities with the animals following along the maze created by gaps in the wood. This will help children to problem solve and think ahead about where problems may arise and finding ways for the animals to pass by reversing them back and taking a different route. With the cogs on the side with spiral designs on make it mesmerising for little eyes to watch and to see what patterns happen when they turn the cog.
The xylophone is quite unusual to see on an activity cube like this and a refreshing change as we all know children like to make noise (but it’s actually a pleasant noise for parent’s ears!).
I really like this activity cube and would highly recommend to both boys and girls of all ages from 6 months to 3 years.
The Little Town Wooden Dominoes set (RRP: £8.99) is great for times when children want to sit quietly, this kind of toy really grips their concentration. It allows them to practise their patience and determination when pieces fall down or are tricky to fit into spaces during the construction process. It teaches them to try again if things don’t succeed the first time round, it may mean going a few steps back but with a little bit of hard work the effort will be worth it. I think a lot of teenagers and young as well as old adults these days would benefit from these life lessons actually! All from a game of dominoes! I have built this several times with both my 4-year-old and 9-year-old both getting really excited seeing the visual display at the end. We used team work to make it happen and all enjoyed the outcome. I loved the extra bits that this set has, the bell, the cog and the steps, these all make it a unique set to what I have seen before and present so many different ways to set up a course of destruction.
Also in the box of goodies was a Deer Hand Puppet (RRP: £2.99). This is super soft with loads of padding, a really nice toy that is believable when it comes to life on your hand. The arm holes are in a really good position so your hand slips in easily and comfortably. Even the ears move when the head nods up and down. It’s got a very loveable face with kind eyes and the children love him to bits already!
ALDI have some great toys to stimulate young minds that would make excellent Christmas presents this year. They three we tried were all of excellent quality and held the attention of the children very well and at prices that won’t leave a massive hold in your bank account. So if you are looking for Christmas gift inspiration for children this year, pop down to your nearest ALDI or visit their website.
For more information or to find your nearest ALDI store visit www.aldi.co.uk.