Enabling Environments: Equipment - Retro Ride-Ons; Vet's Surgery...

Ruth Thomson
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Children are bound to actively engage with these new products previewed by Ruth Thomson.

- Kidz Zone. www.ziggiziggi.com

Online retailer Ziggiziggi.com has launched a 'ziggikidz' section on its website, featuring a range of traditional wooden toys for babies and pre-school children.

Included in the range, from Orange Trees Toys, are a contemporary Noah's ark (£39.95), a bear see-saw music box (£15.95) - wind it up and watch the see-saw move up and down - and a fire engine (£9.95). Pictured above are a toolbox (£19.95), a soft dog pull-along (£14.95) and animal skittles (£14.95).

Also available are mobiles, height charts, bookends and six-piece melamine tableware sets and matching tablemats.

- Garden products. www.gyofood.com

New company GYOfood.com is aiming to put fun and colour into the grow-your-own food market, with a range of products designed with schools and nurseries in mind.

Products include raised beds (from £19.99), an innovative Growing Bag Frame/Holder (£29.99), with in-built watering system, and cold frames for protecting delicate seedlings and plants (from £89.99).

The company's smallest Schools Starter Pack (£187.00) has four raised beds, one cold frame with lid in timber finish, one growing bag frame in timber finish and a free pallet base with water permeable liner.

The company trialled its products with a number of schools across the UK, and its timber raised beds featured in the allotment garden awarded a silver medal for Ranelagh School, Bracknell, and designer Mary Payne at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Christine Gardner, GYOfood.com's business development manager, says, 'All the timber is smooth to the touch, with chamfered edges, and the cold frames are designed to minimise the chance of trapped fingers - making them suitable for all ages.'

The products are hand-crafted on a farm in Wales using treated timber from sustainable sources.

Playscope sensory collection (small, £115; large, £225)

- Play to Z. www.playtoz.co.uk

The Playscope sensory collections come in two sizes and comprise a playmat (1m or 1.2m), treasure basket (with 30 or 50 items) and activity cards (one set or two).

Many of the treasure basket items are handmade in the UK by adults who have learning difficulties. The Playmat, which comes with an activity sheet, can be used for target games or as a parachute or listening resource, and the handy drawstring neatly converts the mat into a feelie bag or an attractive storage bag for the treasure basket.

- Retro Ride-ons. Morley's; www.morleysearlyyears.co.uk

Children will love these classic pedal-powered vehicles. Turn back time with the bright red retro fire engine (£259), with two removable wooden ladders, turning steering wheel and cord bell alarm. Also available are the Hot Rod and SuperSport cars (£239 each), Speedster (£59.75) and Metal Trike (£169).

- Anicubes (from £13.95). Edventure; www.edventure.co.uk

Anicubes are innovative sets of wooden construction blocks with flexible foam inner layers that make them easy to fit together and create lots of interesting animal shapes.

The sets are available in three sizes: large (16 pieces, £24.95), medium (12 pieces, £18.95) and small (ten pieces, £13.95).

- Vet's Surgery (£95). Galt; www.galt-educational.co.uk

Galt's colourful animal clinic, manufactured in durable rubber wood, is large enough for small groups of children to engage in role play. The small-world surgery comes with people and animals, an animal ambulance with driver and a bandaged dog.


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

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