Category: A Good Look at Our Products

Fair Trade Toys from Lanka Kade available now!

We have really fallen in love with Lanka Kade wooden toys here at Wood and Wonder. They represent everything we strive to be in our little family-run company and although were haven’t posted on our blog for a while, we’d like to take this opportunity to do so.

We discovered Lanka Kade when visiting a Toy Fair in Birmingham, having a look for exciting new products for our website. They are a company based in Market Harborough, not far from us really. The really beautiful thing about them is all of their toys we supply are Fair Trade and come with an attached story about the Artisan who crafted them.

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“Lanka Kade” actually translates as “the Sri Lankan Shop” and although the toys are designed in the UK, they are carefully manufactured by Artisans in Sri Lanka. Lanka Kade actually offers their producers interest-free long-term business loans, training in health and safety and on-going support to comply with their Fair Trade principals.

Another important factor for us is Lanka Kade’s eco credentials. Most of their toys are manufactured from sustainable rubber wood. I can remember Sri Lanka as being a big producer of rubber when I visited a few years ago. Once the tree has produced all the rubber it can (after around 10 years of rubber production I believe), Lanka Kade uses the tree to manufacture their wooden toys.

We also love the simplicity and robust nature of their toys. We’ve chosen to supply a mixture of both classic and innovative designs from them – ranging from their beautiful solid wooden Noah’s Arks, to Castle-themed building blocks, to classic colourful children’s jigsaws. All colourful, engaging and a few being the original design for these types of toys.

We hope you will love Lanka Kade as much as we do. Click here to have a look at our section of our website dedicated to Lanka Kade.

The Hape Rainbow Railway for Toddlers

I am very excited to show you one of our new products which solves a problem.

I remember as a child loving my wooden train set. I used to play with it for hours and hours, rejigging the track, moving my train from A to B, playing with friends in our different pretend roles – it was a huge part of my childhood.

The problem is, most train sets on the market are designed for older children maybe 3+ as they probably contain small parts. This is where our new range from Hape comes in. Please take a look at our video…

The Rainbow Railway has been designed to be a toddler friendly train set suitable for children from age 18 months and above.

It is designed to be engaging and exciting at every level. All the pieces contain vibrant colours and they all are incredibly interactive. They are designed to move with certain actions triggering maybe a pop-up piece or a sound or music. This is a train track which will surely engage and entertain your little one for hours as they learn through experimenting with the different pieces.

The designers have developed and enhanced more traditional toddlers toys into track pieces. A good example of this is the shape sorter track piece, where your toddler can sort the complete the shape puzzle with the triangular, rectangular and semi-circular pieces to complete the track and prevent the little train from derailing! Maybe it is sounds your little one is interested in. The train can trundle over the xylophone track piece or make its way through the cymbals, triggering each one automatically as it passes. When the train reaches the bead maze, your child can stop and play with the beads as they whirl them around the loops.

A truly fantastic product which makes us very excited indeed! Best of all it is compatible with other wooden railway brands (e.g. Brio) so it can expand as they get older and collect more pieces, to create a truly unique railway set.

This set could really go a long way in improving fine-motor skills and could also encourage creativity, communication and teamwork.

We aim to expand the range in the future so keep checking our space.

If you would like to take a look at the product on our website please click here.

Push & Pull Toys – How do they benefit my growing toddler?

Wooden push and pull toys are an excellent way to help your little one take their first steps and continue with them as they begin to walk around. But why are they beneficial? We hope to answer that.

Start with Push Toys

Push toys are designed for infants who are just about to find their feet. Our wooden toys have rigid poles which will help them firstly get to their feet and provide the stability they need at this very early stage of walking. I suppose it would act in a similar way to a walking stick.

Then as they begin those first steps, the push toy will help act as a buffer for obstacles up ahead – a sort of look ahead tool. The skill of avoiding obstacles is something we all learnt at some point and this kind of toy will certainly aid this.

As with all children’s toys, the design should actively encourage your children to want to play more. This is achieved in our wooden push toys by the ‘clacking’ sound generated as the toy rolls along the floor and the bright hand painted colours, safe by European standards of course. Having a character they love always helps too.

Help your little one along by showing them how to do it – push the toy along the floor. They will want to imitate you and this will encourage them to really develop their new skill.push-toys-small

Then move onto Pull Toys

Once they’ve mastered the basics and have started toddling along with their new push toy, introduce a new friend in a pull toy. Again help them in knowing what to do by pulling the toy along to help them imitate you. But why now a pull toy?

A wooden pull toy will aid the development onto more advanced stages of their new skill. So far the push toy has helped identify obstacles by alerting of those ahead, now the pull toy gives a new friend to concentrate on behind them as they walk. A friend in the character of the toy along side them will give them the confidence to explore that big wide open space ahead. Now as those coordination skills develop. your toddler will have to avoid obstacles themselves. Be on standby for the odd bumped head!

Of course these are all essential coordination skills we take for granted as an adult, but we all learnt them at some point!

See our range of Push or Pull toys in our My First Toys section.

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Learning about time

In our first article on our new WordPress blog, we’d like to take a closer look at one of our products.

This week we will focus on the Goki Colour and Shape clock. It is recommended for ages 4+ and is built from a robust sustainable solid wood. Like any clock it has an hour and a minute hand which can be moved freely. The numbered 1-12 markings come apart from the clock body as a jigsaw puzzle.

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The learning begins with the assembly of the face. Reenforcing the numbers 1-12 connects the lessons they may have already learnt about numbers with the different application of time. The puzzle also develops hand-eye coordination and reasoning.

We at Wood and Wonder would like to share a valuable asset to you in our blog. A current primary school teacher called Miss Cook is always willing to offer her advice to us on the educational value of our products. This week she offers us some advice on how to teach time.

Miss Cook says:

“I’d recommend using this clock from the age of 4, firstly as a jigsaw puzzle to help apply the numbers 1 to 12. They could even be used as separate pieces to help make a start counting in twos. Slowly piece the clock face together and work on the meaning of the big and small hand.”

“At this age it’s best to focus on the o’clocks. Once they have grasped this securely you can move onto half pasts followed by quarter pasts. Use a circular piece of paper, fold it in half and colour each half into a different colour to demonstrate half past and into quarters to show quarter pasts and quarter to.”

“This is an excellent tool that can begin with your child at an early age when they are just grasping numbers. As they progress to year 2 (ages 6 and 7) they start at school with half pasts and quarter pasts, right through to year 4 (ages 8 and 9) where 5 minute increments come in. This clock can be with them all the way.”

The clock is priced at just £15.00. Please click here to see more on the Goki Colour & Shape Clock.