Enabling Environments: Equipment - Giant Triptych Mirror; Gourmet Kitchen Range; BE-Books...

New products for practical or fun use in the early years are rounded up by Ruth Thomson.

Giant Triptych Mirror (£205)

Reflections on Learning, www.reflectionsonlearning.co.uk

With its three large hinged panels, the Giant Triptych Mirror provides an environment where the reflective angles are infinitely adjustable. Children can sit within its walls to explore reflection, shapes, light and sym- metry or use it as a prop for role play.

Gourmet Kitchen Range (from £42.95 per unit)

Morley's, www.morleysearlyyears.co.uk

Morley's is now offering a Gourmet Kitchen Range of five units, each 60cm high and made from beech MFC panels with MDF doors. Corner units start at £42.95, or take advantage of Morley's special offer of five units (washing machine, corner cupboard, oven, drawer cupboard and kitchen sink) for £499, saving £49.90 on individual list prices.

BE-Books (from 38p each)

The Consortium, www.theconsortium.co.uk

Eco-friendly exercise books are now available from The Consortium, the first supplier to offer paper made from the sugarcane waste product, bagasse. Chief executive Melanie Teal says, 'It's a really sustainable solution.'

Sugarcane typically takes just 12 months to reach maturity, while bagasse requires less bleaching to achieve bright white paper. Currently, 786 million trees are cut down annually to keep the world in paper, and a tonne of paper requires the same amount of energy to produce as a tonne of steel.

These 'green' alternatives cost the same as The Consortium's general paper books.

Back to Nature Range

Galt, www.galt-educational.co.uk

In Galt's new nature range of early years room furnishings, take your pick from a corner carpet (£175), bee, ladybird or butterfly cushions (£90 each), play panels (£159) and an interactive room divider (£199) with a large plastic safety mirror on one side and a magnetic whiteboard on the other.

Totseat (£21.50)


Totseat, the washable, squashable highchair, has won the prestigious Gift of the Year Award.

Versatile, functional and safe, the Totseat transforms any adult dining chair into a safe and secure child's highchair (for toddlers aged six to 36 months). Made of robust, machine washable poly-cotton, Totseat comes in its own tiny travel pouch, making it perfect for those times when there simply isn't a highchair available - just wash it, squash it and go.

Play Table & Bumper Storage Carts (£120)

Reflections on Learning, www.reflectionsonlearning.co.uk

This tough solid wooden play table, measuring 81cm x 100cm x 30cm, is large enough for groups of children to play together, acting out storylines and creating their own imaginary worlds. Underneath, two bumper wheeled storage carts offer ample space for blocks, toys and play equipment.


Available from various suppliers including www.amazon.co.uk

PlayMais building bricks are a natural modelling system made of corn and natural dyes. Simply add water to make them stick to each other or to surfaces such as paper, glass and plastic. Basic sets are available in medium (£4.99), large (£11.99), extra large (£19.99) and mega sizes (£69.99) but also come in themed packs, including the sea, circus, jungle, castle and pirates (£12.99 to £14.99).

PlayMais is biodegradable, so when it's time to throw away an old creation, it can be placed on the compost heap or left out in the recycling bin.

Link Kits (£220)

Hands On Technology, www.handson.co.uk

Link Kits is a new tubular construction system that offers potential for learning across the early years curriculum. Each Link Kit consists of 336 building pieces including panels, chunky wheels, pipes, half pipes and locking clips, with detailed plans and activity ideas for constructing over 80 different structures and vehicles. Kits can be used indoors and out, and are easy for younger children to assemble thanks to the small diameter of each part and the locking clips securely holding the structures together.


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

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