Reviewed by Christine Widdows
As everybody knows, children need a lot of stimulation, especially in their early formative years, and for babies and toddlers that involves play. In a world of plastic toys, and electronic devices everywhere, it’s great to still see classic wooden toys available. Not only do they look much better, I feel the quality is far superior and they are definitely much sturdier and will stand up to the rigours of children playing.
We are trying out the High Seas Rocker from Hape, the world’s largest provider of wooden toys made from sustainable materials.
Rockers are great for young children as they not only offer a soothing and calming experience, they are great for encouraging movement, balance, exercise and independence, especially when they are able to rock by themselves. They also help to develop a child’s motor skills and dexterity while bringing them some fun and happiness. And as they get that little bit older, helps to develop their imagination and storytelling skills.
The High Seas Rocker is a wooden rocking toy suitable for children over 12 months old, with a maximum weight of 50kg. This particular rocker has a fabulous nautical design and looks like a tugboat. Painted blue and white, it has minimalist look which is fresh and clean.
It is not useable straight out of the box, it does need some assembly, but this only takes about 30 minutes and all you need is a Philips screwdriver. It comes with 11 pieces and screws. The instructions are very easy to follow and building the rocker is very straightforward.
Once built, it looks fabulous with its little cabin and anchor, and the blue paint making it look like it is in the sea. It has a seat (for one) in the centre and a very sturdy central handle that can be held onto with both hands. It measures approximately 81cm (Length) x 30cm (Width) x 36cm (Height).
My granddaughter loves to take her doll on with her. The rocker has some great backwards and forwards movement and moves with ease, while being really stable. She loves being gently rocked and is now learning that by holding the handles and moving her body she can rock it herself, it’s great to see the big beaming smile when she does it. She needs help getting in and out, especially when it moves when trying to step out, but then at this age it is not a toy that a child should be left alone to use anyway.
It was now time for my granddaughter to get in and play. When she gets in, she can sit on the boat deck, take hold of the boat handles and rock her way around the high seas (or at least the living room, after all she’s not 2 yet and I don’t want to lose her!).
We really do love this rocker. The quality of the rocker is excellent, and it is made from wood (with a commitment to sustainability) and painted with water-based paints. It really is very sturdy and it feels and looks better than our previous plastic one (which has now been relegated to the garden).
The Hape High Seas Rocker is suitable for children from 12 months to 5 or 6 years old (weighing no more than 50kg), young children will need supervision when using it and there is no safety strap on the seat (so if your child needs to be strapped in, they probably aren’t old enough to use it yet).
With the Hape High Seas Rocker, my granddaughter is excitedly riding the oceans to happiness. She loves it and is constantly wanting to get in and play. A toy that brings that much happiness to a child is a must have. And I love seeing the smile and hearing the laughter it brings, as well as knowing that it is of excellent build quality and that in an understated way is helping with her development.
While expensive at £84.99, and definitely more than I would usually spend on a rocker, the quality shines through making it really worth it. It is sturdier and will last long beyond her use of it. After all, what price can you put on quality and safety. As it is painted mostly white, it would look great in any child’s playroom.
Coming up to Christmas I will looking at more toys from Hape and in the future, they are a winner for me.
Ahoy there sailor, the Hape High Seas Rocker is an excellent quality, sturdy rocking toy that will bring hours and hours of fun while assisting with your child’s development.