Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Who Knew That Playing With Wooden Toys Could Be So Much Fun -- Thanks @PlanToys (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone. 

PlanToys, Inc. 

As I look around the living room, where there is an abundance of the girls' toys, I can only find a handful of wooden toys.  How about you?  Do you find yourself buying wooden toys, which are not only fun to play with, but great for the environment?  Why not make a point to pick up a few sustainable play toys for your kids this year.  Who knows?  Maybe this will drum up a conversation about wooden toys, and their positive impact on the environment.
"For over 30 years, PlanToys® has been recycling the wood from expired rubber wood trees to create beautiful wooden toys that inspire children’s imaginations and promote a commitment to sustainable play for generations to come. PlanToys would very much appreciate any coverage you could give to this amazingly resourceful and uniquely "green" company."

I was recently sent two wooden toy set from the folks at PlanToys for the girls to play with and help me review, and have to say that after seeing them up close, I will definitely be making the switch, whenever possible to buying them "green" wooden toys.  I oftentimes wonder what the girls toys are made from, as some carry a funny chemical smell after taking them out of the box.  And, if the smell doesn't go away, then while they girls are sleeping, the toy goes missing (in the trash), as I don't want to expose them to unnecessary chemicals, especially in their toys, which our youngest still puts in her mouth when teething.

The first play set I was sent to review was the Alphabet A-Z set.

Alphabet A-Z Wooden Tile Set

"Develop your FUNdamental skills with this alphabet set. The two-sided wooden tiles feature 26 indented capital letters and pictures of objects that correspond to the letter. Trace the letters with your finger and expand your vocabulary!"

I loved the look and feel of these alphabet tiles.  And, with the ability to trace the letters, my girls not only had fun learning about the letters of the alphabet through letter and picture recognition, but they were also able to practice letter writing skills. What parent wouldn't love that! :-)  

I ended up giving the girls the box to let them open it and see what they would do.  Savannah, being the big sister, took control and started to lay the tiles out.  At first, she was looking for matching pictures and letters. I told her that there were only 26 tiles, enough for each letter of our alphabet.  While Savannah can sing the alphabet song, she is still learning to point out each individual letter.  So, I knew that this wooden toy set would definitely come in handy for 1-on-1 time, when we work on her early-learning skills.  

The girls sat around the table, flipping over the different tiles to reveal either a letter or an object.  If they found themselves struggling with a certain letter, they were able to tell what it was based on the object on the other side.  What a novel idea, and one that really helps when learning letter recognition, as well as new words.  I had a blast watching my daughters work together to put the wooden alphabet tiles in the correct order.  And, along the way, Savannah would help Bella, if she had trouble pronouncing a word or letter.  She would say, "No, sister...it is..."  I love seeing them work together, and not fight, especially during their current terrible 2's and 3's stage, where they rarely like to share, let alone sit down and play together.

The second toy sent from the folks at PlanToys to review was their Frog Life Puzzle, which turned out to be a favorite of Savannah's, who can't get enough of puzzles, especially wooden ones like this.

 Frog Life Puzzle

"Get to know about your amphibian friend, the frog. This puzzle helps children learn about a frog’s life cycle. Place the puzzle together to help develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills."

While this puzzle offers the opportunity to teach children about the life cycle of the frog, my daughter was more interested in putting all the wooden pieces into their correct spots. She did think the frog was cute, and even named him "Sherman."  No idea where she got that name from.  But, whenever we pull out this puzzle to play with, she says, "Hello, Sherman." :-)  While the girls work together on solving this fun and oh so colorful wooden puzzle, I always find Savannah holding out on a piece, just so that she can finish the puzzle. :-)  Thanks, Papa for that one! 

Overall, I have to say that we are loving these two new wooden toys from PlanToys, and that they are getting daily playtime, which I love to see.  I will definitely be checking out the PlanToys website, and picking up a few more of their wooden educational toys to surprise the girls for Christmas.  Not only are these "green" toys from PlanToys made well, paying attention to fine details, but they keep my kids attention, as they are not used to playing with wooden toys.  Hopefully, from now on, they will ask for wooden toys for their birthdays and Christmas, and reap the benefits later of a more sustainable planet.

From categories like Educational Items, Baby Items, Creative and Special Needs Items, you are bound to find gifts to put under the tree this holiday season, which your children will love and play with on a daily basis.  So, what are you waiting for?  Head on over to PlanToys to check out the selection of Eco-friendly wooden toys for children of all ages.  Click here now to begin shopping -- http://usa.plantoys.com/.

Don't forget to follow PlanToys on Facebook and Twitter, for news, special offers and more...

Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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