For Christmas I always like to refresh the children’s bath toys and these are usually part of their stockings. This year after lots of searching and thinking what I could purchase that the boys haven’t had before, I turned to one of my trusted eco-friendly instagram mummas (check out Hayley’s instagram handle @little_wild_wonders) who pointed me at the Plan Toys brand.
Plan Toys (started in 1981) create the most adorable toys around, i love that they are chemical-free and sustainable. The products are made from natural rubber wood (that can’t make latex anymore), using certified E-Zero formaldehyde free glue and organic water based dyes.
Also whilst researching the company I found out that any surplus wood from their production line is used in their Biomass generator to produce electricity for the whole factory. All Plan Toys exceed international safety standards including both ASTM and EN71. Plan Toys arrange an annual “PlanLoves the Forest Program”. In the past 8 years, they have planted over 40,000 plants, which covers 2,000 acres.
We chose a set of four bath toys; a dolphin, a turtle, a shell and a star. They float on the water or you can let them fill with water and watch them sink to the bottom of the bath, then when you lift them out the water pours out of a little hole. For Seth (1 year old) they are perfect for play whilst being safe to chew on. I love watching my older two children use their imaginations when playing with them, all whilst developing their fine motor skills too. Just remember that you should always dry them after every use.
Now, I must stress, bath toys are not a necessity, a couple of plastic cups, a colander or a whisk to whizz up the bubbles is great for helping young children strengthen their wrists in preparation for mark-making and early writing. But some colourful bath toys can make a real difference, especially in distracting your child while the dreaded hair washing happens. Newborns don’t need much – the experience of being in the water is enough to start with and can sometimes over stimulate if in the bath for too long (always make it a calm and relaxing experience). But by the time they reach 12 weeks, they might start to like some basic floating toys that they baby can watch bobbing in the water. By the time your baby can sit up, fill-and-pour toys or watering cans are good for interaction. Your child will enjoy having water poured on their tummy and seeing a cup go from full to empty. Wind up boats will encourage them to reach out and grab. I must confess I’m not a lover of bath crayons as I don’t want to promote drawing on any surface, instead I use glow sticks in the bottom of the bath or bath bombs to make bath time exciting now I have preschoolers. Foam jigsaw puzzles or letters can be stuck to the bath walls and will keep little ones busy. All whilst providing a great platform for learning during playtime. Finally small world toys, like the Plan Toys come in lots of different characters to help with imaginative play and can be enjoyed for many years as long as they are looked after, dried after each use and cleaned on a regular basis.
I’ve already got in mind what I’m going to buy next from the Plan Toys range!