Enabling Environments: Equipment - Multicultural role play; Active World Stand; Story of the Loofah...

A mix of practical new resources for early years settings are reviewed by Ruth Thomson.

Multicultural role play

Mangotree Kids - www.mangotreekids.co.uk

Mangotree Kids, specialist in multicultural resources, has extended its range of role-play resources to include a three-piece African girl outfit, with blouse, wrap skirt and headwrap/baby carrier (£23.99), and a Chinese girl outfit (£23.99). Both these authentic costumes are in vibrant colours and made of machine-washable fabrics. Also new to the range is a Dutch pot, an all-purpose traditional cooking pot made from lightweight aluminium.

Active World Adjustable Stand (£49.95 each; £139.85 for pack of three)

TTS - www.tts-group.co.uk

Designed to hold TTS Active World Trays, this improved stand now has the advantage of being adjustable to three heights (30, 40 and 50cm) to allow even the youngest children to join in the fun. It is manufactured from powder-coated tubular steel and features non-slip plastic feet.

The Active World Trays, in black (£13.95), blue (£14.99) and green (£14.99), measure 94cm in diameter and can be bought as a pack of three (one in each colour) for £35.95.

The Story of the Loofah set (£25, plus £4 P&P)

Play To Z - www.playtoz.co.uk

Actually the dried fruit of a tropical vine, the loofah is guaranteed to fascinate young children, whether dry or wet, when it balloons in size. Measure it, weigh it, print with it ... it's the perfect product for exploration, problem-solving, creativity and experimentation, and links well to science, maths and exploring nature. 'It's a great multi-sensory tool for cross-curricular learning,' says PlayToZ managing director Sue Gascoyne.

The set includes three full-length loofahs (enough for 30+ children to play with), laminated facts and photos sheet about the loofah, and 19 fun activities linked to the EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2.

Jumbo magnifiers (set of six, £18.95)

Learning Resources - www.learningresources.co.uk

Observe on a grand scale with this set of large (20cm) magnifiers that have a magnification of 4.5 and built-in stands so that children can also view objects with hands free.

Hand Hygiene Set (£14.99)

Reflections On Learning - www.reflectionsonlearning.co.uk

The Hand Hygiene Set, featuring Glitterbug potion, UV lamp and UV pen, is ideal for reinforcing in children important messages about thorough handwashing and personal hygiene. Children simply apply the Glitterbug potion, then wash their hands. Under a UV light, any residual potion glows bright white, highlighting in a visual and memorable way how easy it is to not wash hands thoroughly.

Wash and brush timer (£4.99)

Available from www.trendykid.co.uk

The Wash and Brush Timer is an easy way to teach children to brush teeth and wash hands for the amount of time recommended by health professionals. Press one of two buttons - one featuring a hand, the other a tooth - to trigger a green light, which turns to red after 20 seconds for handwashing and two minutes for brushing teeth.

Bakery House (£260)

Galt - www.galt-educational.co.uk

As well as a bakery shop there is a set of accessories (£100), including cutting and mousse cakes, a pie, crates of doughnuts, jam rolls and jam pots. Shop and accessories are on offer for £300.


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

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