Choose your own adventure
Eliza’s at that age where she’s really into imaginative play. Her toys go on trips around the world in her room, launching off slides on the side of her bed and into the universe, and they spend ages hatching plots and schemes together. A duster can be a magical blanket, a set of drawers is a shop.
So it was fitting timing when a picnic hamper arrived from Mothercare and Early Learning Centre, which was a Pandora’s box of children’s adventure toys and fun things for toddlers from the Adventure range, designed to capture the spirit of summer fun and create mini adventures.
We were sent the ELC Explorer kit (£15) a rucksack with a compass watch, magnifying glass, torch, binoculars and bug collecting kit, along with the ELC walkie talkies (£16) and some Discovery Channel binoculars (£6.99).
Eliza’s absolute favourite thing out of everything is the Explorer kit binoculars, which have been with us on many trips to the park, out in the pram, and on the train.
She calls them her ‘uff uff’ (ten points if you get the children’s TV reference). We’re still working on getting her to use them properly; but isn’t that all part of the fun? She also really liked the watch and the blue binoculars, aka ‘my telescope’.
I think me and Alex’s favourite thing was the walkie talkies; talk – literally – about re-enacting a childhood memory. Kids, this is how people communicated before the mobile phone. And I’m imagining the future sibling fun potential for E and the new baby. It’s testament to how great everything is that when I tried to round it up to photograph it, I couldn’t find most of it as it was squirrelled away around the house.
We were also sent the red gingham dress from the Adventure range (in the middle photo). It’s cute and retro without being too frilly or girly, and robust enough that I don’t mind if it gets covered in mud or ice lolly. I love that is has pockets, which surely every great adventurer needs for storing biscuits, robots, Kate and William Happyland toys and so on. And it’s a very practical £10. Actually, all the clothes in the Adventure range are really reasonable. We’re already big fans of the Little Bird range, but these are well worth a look too.
A note on the Mothercare Explorer kit. It comes in two colours, green and orange (ours) and red and yellow. Both are decidedly non-gendered. It makes a refreshing change, as clearly you don’t need pink or blue things to have fun, do you retailers? So hats off to Mothercare for this.
I think the whole basket was a fabulous idea full of so much joyfulness that we’re still enjoying using. And the toys? The rucksack would be a great present for a summer holiday or just the summer holiday. And more importantly it gives children the tools to spark their imagination and chose their own adventures – and you can’t ask for much more than that.
We were sent a picnic hamper from the guys at Mothercare and Early Learning Centre, with all of the above to review, as well as some brilliant children’s adventure and wildlife books.