When I was asked if I'd like to try out some of the new range of Play & Learn toys from ASDA, I said yes but I was expecting something cheap and cheerful to arrive through the post. Well, they are certainly cheap and they're also cheerful with lovely bright colours and cute pictures, but that's the only way they could be described as cheap and cheerful !
The first product to be put through its paces was the box of A to Z Wooden Blocks, which retails at an amazingly low £3. At that price, I cynically thought that they'd have cut corners but I was impressed on a number of levels.
Firstly, the quality. As they're made out of wood, I tried as hard as I could to find a splinter but to no avail. Most (but strangely not all, which is a shame!) of the corners have been rounded too, to avoid injury.
The 26 blocks represent the 26 letters of the alphabet but each brick carries two letters, which makes it easier for older children to try to spell out words. The other four sides have pictures etched into the wood representing things that start with the letters on the block - don't forget there are two letters on each block or you'll be scratching your head trying to work out how dog can start with the letter Q !
It's a surprisingly versatile toy : 2-year-old Pierre was happy building towers and knocking them over. 6-year-old Juliette tried spelling out words and working out which pictures went with which letters. And 10-year-old Sophie pointed out that as the letters are embossed and the pictures are carved, they'd be great for using as stampers with ink or paint or for pressing into modelling clay.
If all that's not enough, they're made from 100% ethically sourced wood with FSC approval and the sale of all toys from the range helps to raise £100,000 for the charity Tommy's. When you take all of that into account, I find the price quite incredible !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £3
for more information : http://direct.asda.com/Asda-Play-and-Learn-26-Piece-Wooden-Blocks/000736374,default,pd.html
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