I’m a bit obsessed with toys. With play environments and spaces for children. Setting up Bee’s shelves, and changing them around as her interests grow and her skills develop is one of my favourite things to do. I’m a firm believer in less is more. A few well pitched, open-ended, quality toys are all that’s needed to extend and encourage Bee’s learning. Too many and it’s overwhelming, there’s too much distraction and no empty space for working. It’s just about finding the right toys. I’m always on the look-out, so when Alexis from One Hundred Toys asked me to review a toy from their carefully curated selection, I jumped at the chance. We chose the Grapat Spring Nins, and I think we chose wisely.
The first thing we noticed about the Grapat Spring Nins, is their beautiful texture. They feel so soft and smooth, and they’re just the right size. Perfect for little hands to explore. The colours are light enough to show the wood grain which gives a wonderful uniqueness and quirky individuality to each handmade piece. Three seasonal colours feature in the Grapat Spring Nins set; green, yellow, and pink, and for each colour there are; three coins, three rings, a cup and two Nins (one with a hat). They really are lovely to look at, and satisfyingly tactile.
The coins and rings caught Bee’s attention first. Tower-building was on the agenda. She found ways to stack all of the pieces, balancing coins, rings, cups and even the nins themselves. Bee walked the Nins along paths of discs, threaded them through the rings, rolled them, nursed them, kissed them and lined them up. She found so many ways to play with them in just the first ten minutes.
It’s why I love open-ended toys. Bee can choose exactly how she wants to use them, and think of things that my adult brain just wouldn’t have suggested. They open so many possibilities – not restricted to one type of play or story. This means they’re universal – they can meet many developmental needs. And they have longevity; they’ll grow with Bee as she chooses different ways to play with them.
I’ve fallen in love with them so much I already have my eye on the Summer, Autumn and Winter sets. I like the more muted, subtle colours, they feel more natural to me compared to similar wooden toys. And I like how they reflect nature and it’s changing colours. They will certainly find their way onto our seasonal table throughout the year, alongside Bee’s collection of treasures. The Grapat Spring Nins have been a huge hit with Bee, and I can’t wait to discover more of the range with her.
One Hundred Toys is an expertly-curated selection of toys, designed to nurture and stimulate children’s minds in line with their developmental needs. It speaks to the Early Years teacher in me. From their blog and the toys they feature, to their brilliant list of 100 toys, games and things to do, it’s my go-to place for inspiration.
One Hundred Toys have kindly offered all Mama Cat + Baby Bee readers a 10% discount off their first order.
Just use the code BABYBEE100 at the checkout.
*One Hundred Toys sent us the Grapat Spring Nins to review, all words and opinions are my own.