When looking for toys for Miss Marnie I want them to be classic, creative and to fuel her imagination. I want her to want to play with them rather than open them and discard them quicker than we can get them out of the box. When the team at Chad Valley asked us to be part of their Play Panel I knew this could be a great way of introducing Miss M to some different toys – ones that we may have overlooked in the past.
Can you believe Chad Valley has been around since the early 19th century? And, even received a royal warrant in the 1930’s. Today, it’s sold exclusively at Argos making it accessible to all – and I think it’s still one of those toy brands most trusted by mums. I mean it seems to be a range I always fall back on for last-minute gifts for babies and toddlers for birthdays and Christmas.
Ok, so back to the Play Panel. Over the next few months, we’re going to be trying out some classic Chad Valley toys, games and dolls and giving you our honest opinion. I mean if a five-year old isn’t honest then I don’t know who is! But, on top of that Argos have given us vouchers to give away here – so you can experience the Chad Valley brand too. How brilliant is that? (All info on giveaway below)
Chad Valley Play Panel: Our first experience
From the moment our first parcel arrived Miss M has been playing with nothing else. Heres the pieces that really captured her:
The one that provides plenty of laughs…Chad Valley Wobbly Worms Game
The Wobbly Worms game is a colourful update to that classic tower game – Jenga. The game says 3+ years so at first I thought it may be too young for Miss M but to be honest the beauty of games is they really are ageless.
The usual wooden style blocks are replaced with plastic blocks with silly worm faces – that Miss M seemed to love that they looked like they were screaming. The colour dice indicates which block needs to be carefully removed and sacked at the top before the tower tumbles. The dice makes it easier for younger kids who may find the wooden version tricky and means they have some colour recognition going on too.
The tower doesn’t really stand for long – due to the chunky blocks but to be honest it gave her so many laughs it was an all-round, fun family game.
The one that kept her entertained for hours…Chad Valley Be U 1000 Piece Sparkle Box
What’s not to love about a box full of sequins, stickers, glitter, gems, paper, pipe cleaners, pom noms and more. This decorate your own craft box contains so many craft pieces (1000 to be exact – although I didn’t check!) as well as child safe scissors, glue and pencils that Miss M really didn’t know what to do first.
It features a study cardboard treasure box to decorate that is perfect to use on a rainy afternoon – as we did – and then come back to it as and when. It provided hours of quiet, somewhat messy craft time that is then easily all packed away in the drawer and lidded area ready for another day of decorating. Miss M loved this and I think many of her friends would do. So, this is now high on my birthday gifts list. Its says its for 7+ but I would say at 5 this was ideal for Miss M – with a little adult help and supervision.
The one that we’re saving for a sunny day…Chad Valley Jumbo Bowling
Miss M has played with these jumbo inflatable skittles as one of her cousins has them – so I already know they are a hit with her. Great fun in the garden for all the family young and old – and easy to pack away or even to pack and take on holiday
We’ve got these ready for a sunny day in the garden or even at the beach next year.
The one that almost got away…Chad Valley Designafriend Doll and Accessories
I say ‘almost got away’ because to be perfectly honest I’m not a fan of this style of doll. This is the sort of doll I will walk straight past in a toy shop and when it arrived in my Play Panel package I did wonder what to do. I actually did call the PR for Chad Valley and explain my reservations – as I feel my blog is my space and I only want to share things I truly love. And, I didn’t want to be dishonest and review a toy if my heart wasn’t in it
But, it also taught me something. Being part of this play panel is – ultimately about what Miss M wants to play with. So, even though initially I wasn’t going to give – or even show – this Design a Friend doll to her she caught sight of it and it was love at first sight! What could I do?
I understand Design a Friend is a collection of dolls, that each come dressed up in a lovely box with a charm friendship bracelet for the child to wear. The range of extras is vast – furniture, accessories and clothing sets (that each come with a charm to add to the friendship bracelet).
She has been playing with this doll and the accessories non-stop and I have to stop myself from commenting – as at the end of the day she loves playing with it and it makes her happy – and isn’t that what toys for children should do?
** GIVEAWAY ** Win £75 in Argos vouchers to spend on Chad Valley toys
Fancy trying out some Chad Valley toys for yourself? Treat the kids to a selection of games, outdoor play and craft sets to keep them entertained this Winter. I have teamed up with Argos – the exclusive Chad Valley stockists – to offer one reader a £75 gift card to spend in stores nationwide.
Just fill in this rafflecopter form below and GOOD LUCK!