Wooden toys have a timeless appeal that remains as strong today as ever. So it is pleasing to see that the winners of the Best Toy Design for both the 0-2 years and 3-5 years sections of Junior magazine’s Design Awards are traditional wooden toys that have the capacity to become heirlooms of the future.
Winner of the 0-2 year section is Baby Curve, a beautifully designed chunky wooden toy made in the UK.
Designed by sensory play specialist Sue Gascoyne, Baby Curve is based on the findings of her research into the development of children’s fingers and hands as they grow. The toy offers open-ended challenges to interest and excite very young children without the distraction of unnecessary words or numbers which are irrelevant at this stage of children’s development.
Describing it as “a must-have toy” the judges describe its play potential …
“ A clever and fun way to help babies and young children explore shapes, sorting and building, Baby Curve develops hand-eye coordination, motor skills and problem-solving. The lovingly-shaped pieces will fascinate, challenge and delight. An exceptional toy offering endless early sensory stimulation and learning opportunities.”
Adults will love the natural look of the wood, and the toy’s ethical and environmental credentials are worthy of note. Made in the UK by adults with learning difficulties or disabilities, the toys are beautifully crafted from sustainably sourced wood and will provide hours of quality play.
The judges’ final comments sum up Baby Curve’s appeal:
“This is exactly the kind of toy we would like to have in our house. Simple, stylish, classic and educational. Babies will have endless hours of fun playing with it and parents will be proud to have it in their home. A fantastic toy and brand.”
Baby Curve is available to buy at www.playtoz.co.uk
Winner of the older age category of 3-5 years is Early Learning Centre’s Big City Wooden Train Table.
Trainsets are a timeless classic for both boys and girls, where the only limits are the children’s imaginations. This set provides everything you need in one complete set comprising track,trains and accessories as well as the table itself.
The opportunities to develop children’s communication skills in collaborative play should not be underestimated – not only in play alongside siblings or peers, but also with adults who simply will not be able to pass by without joining in! The playbase can also be reversed to reveal a road layout providing the option of play with cars as well as trains.
Pleasing to look at, few parents would object to having this table on display, and the fact that drawer in the table has the space to store the track and accessories when not in use is an added bonus.
The potential for high quality play is noted by the judges who comment:
“Playing with friends is great for building social and communication skills as you learn about the world, and arranging all of the accessories is perfect for strengthening little fingers and boosting hand-to-eye coordination as well as building confidence through pretend play.”
“A classic toy which, if room allows, every home should have. Doesn’t everyone have a memory of playing with a wooden train set? The design of this one is classic and chunky enough for little hands to hold. The table also has round edges – perfect for avoiding bumps.”
The Big City Wooden Train Table is available from www.elc.co.uk
The Design Awards aim to showcase “the very best in beautifully designed, exquisitely crafted products and lifestyle brands for the discerning and style conscious parent.”
A full list of categories, winners and entrants can be explored on Junior Magazine’s website.