Enabling Environments: Equipment - Magnetic dinosaurs...mouse house...puppet theatre

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Latest products for younger children that are made with their needs and abilities in mind are given a preview by Ruth Thomson





DUMP TRUCK (£14.99)


Brand new and available exclusively from Reflections on Learning are sets of wooden construction toys with rotating magnetic connectors.

The rotation means the magnets will always attract and never repel, making construction easier. Once connected, the magnets can be articulated, so dinosaurs can be made to stoop, graze or stand tall.

The dinosaurs have six components. The mini vehicles - helicopter, train, truck and aeroplane - have two. The dump truck, with 12 pieces, is for children with better co-ordination and fine motor skills. Also in this set is a fire engine and train.




Swiss bathroom specialist Laufen has designed FloraKids to be both fun and safe. The basin is a simple flower shape and with four rounded corners, provides ample space for four children to use it at the same time. It can be wall-mounted at a variety of heights to suit all ages, and can be fitted with matching brightly coloured cloud-shaped shelves for beakers and toothbrushes.

The wall-mounted toilets in the range are also easily accessible. They feature a back support and have a small inside diameter to make potty-training easier. 'Ears' on the sides of the seat give children something extra to hold on to, while a raised area on the inside of the seat reduces splashing. The range also features two mirror designs, a large flower and a segmented caterpillar.






This wooden den (140 x 83 x 63cm) provides a safe and cosy place for babies and toddlers to crawl into and explore. It can be fitted out with cushions and other fabrics. It comes with two entrances, two side windows, which can help toddlers to stand, a mirror and drawings of creatures and flowers etched into the smooth sides.


ULTRABIBS (small, £3.49; large, £3.99; with sleeves, £7.49)


Bibbeta's Ultrabib has been updated in design, quality and flexibility. Made from neoprene - the same material used for surfers' wetsuits - the bib is durable, waterproof and stain resistant. It comes with a reversible pocket that's great for catching crumbs or holding raisins or biscuits. Also in the range is the Ultra Stable cup (£3.49) and Roll 'n' Go baby changing mat (£8.99).




Online eco mother-and-baby retailer Naturebotts has a great range of eco-friendly toys available for under £10. The toys are made from wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. They're decorated with water-based paints and come with minimal packaging made of recycled materials. The range includes:

Rocking Pirate Bead Fun (£9.99): The bead frame rocks, has pirate theme beads and a sliding anchor on the side of the ship.

Ever Earth pull-along fish (£9.99): The body wiggles as you pull the fish and the wheels make a clicking noise.

Striped Comforter (£9.50): This is made from organic cotton and filled with pure sheep's wool, which will match the baby's body temperature.


PERSONALISED HOLD-ALL BAGS (£25.15 for set of six)

Wesco (www.wesco-group.com)

These sets of bags make it easier for children to identify the one that belongs to them. On one side is a bright printed image and on the other, a clear pocket for holding the child's photograph. The bags are washable, have a drawstring fastening and come in two themes: fairytale or professions. Call 0115 9899765 or email sales@wesco.co.uk and quote 173 124 543 for the fairy tale set or 173 124 544 for the professions set.




This puppet theatre has a sturdy non-tip base and plenty of room inside for a puppeteer (or two). In addition to its velvety curtains and colourful graphics, it features a clock with movable hands and a blackboard for advertising shows. It comes flat-packed and measures 67 x 49 x 133cm.



If you have a new product that you would like reviewed, e-mail details to: ruth.thomson@haymarket.com

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