A wee while ago Jasper and Rhys (Rabbit and Monkey for the purpose of this mission ) applied to become Play Patrol Agents for Bigjigs toys!

Bigjigs is a family business which creates traditional wooden toys that complement childhood through fun, exploration and learning. What I especially love about Bigjigs is that they are very passionate about the environment and use sustainable sources for all of their wooden toys.

With a little help from Muma, they sent off their application (I had to translate a lot of ‘goo’s’ and ‘gaa’s’ but think I got their points across well) In fact I know that I did as the little dudes made it to the final phase – woop woop! – look how excited they are:

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All of the finalists had to complete a top secret mission in order for Bigjigs to be able to scope out their top Play Patrol Agents! We were told nothing more than we would be receiving our mission in the post … all very mysterious and spy-like!

Well it arrived this week courtesy of Postman Pat and as Monkey was out chilling with his baby friends, Rabbit, dressed as Superbaby, took a sneak peak!photo 1-76

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He then remembered he couldn’t quite read yet and decided to fall asleep!

Their mission,  which they chose to accept, was to put fun to the test and review the Wooden Safari Animal Building Blocks

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Rabbit relayed the mission to Monkey, who eagerly got started!

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Now I won’t lie, this did worry me a tad as one of Monkey’s favourite pastimes is to knock down towers that me and Daddy build him! Regardless, these blocks provide so much variety and opportunities for different kinds of activities and learning that I was confident he would get lots out of them!

The box contains 32 blocks of different shapes, sizes, colours and patterns. The animal safari theme makes them both visually exciting and fantastic for role play!

As Monkey has just turned 1 I knew that the blocks wouldn’t be used to their full potential just yet. The fantastic thing though is that because of the  high quality of the blocks, and the handy blue drawstring bag to store them in the boys will be able to keep them for a long time and be able to make use of them throughout their developmental stages!

For now though, I thought I’d follow Monkey’s lead …

He got stuck in, spoon in hand (don’t ask) exploring the colours and shapes of the blocks. He has great pincer grips and always gravitates towards the smaller details whether they be labels on blankets, fluff on the sofa or crumbs on the floor … who needs a hoover ay!?

He loved running his fingers over each block and looking back at me as if to say ‘Have you seen this!?’

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The packaging was minimal, fab for a Muma who hates those twisty wires and for a Monkey who can become easily disinterested.

First he decided to taste them …. tasty but too big to swallow *thumbs up from me*. Also, pretty great for those little toothy pegs he has coming through!
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He then had a go at sitting on them … too small to be a chair *thumbs down from Monkey I’m afraid*IMG_2234

He then attempted an egg and spoon race  – always thinking outside of the box! I think the hippo face block was his favourite as he kept going back to that one to carry around on his spoon!IMG_2228

As shoes perhaps? Monkey enjoyed feeling the smooth textures with his toes and feet and liked pushing them across the floor too!IMG_2233

and finally … smooshing them all over the floor! What’s a toy if it can’t make a mess right!?
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Monkey had lots of fun exploring the blocks. He took his time to pick up different sizes, study the different patterns and have an awkward stare at me when I made the associated animal noises (way to make me feel silly Monkey haha).

He liked to grip them, run his hands over the different surfaces and listen to them as he dropped them on the wooden floor.

Although this didn’t look very productive it was fantastic for developing his senses of touch, sight and sound (as well as taste if you count that?).

It’s safe to say that Rabbit wasn’t impressed with Monkey’s mess making and promptly asked super-muma (me) to have a go!
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On the back of the box there is an example of a safari scene that you can make with the blocks. IMG_2212

I gave it a go … minus a couple of parts that Monkey made off with and sat back to gaze at my hard work … until …IMG_2243

Oh no …. GIANT SAFARI DESTROYING BABY CAME BACK!!!!IMG_2236

Smash crash whack ….. I don’t think so mummy Jess. IMG_2244

Blocks destroyed, it was time to tidy up! If there’s one thing Rhys does better than making a mess, it’s tidying up! The size of the blocks was perfect for him as he could grip them easily without dropping them and becoming frustrated. He really enjoys picking things up and transferring them into containers so keeping the box around was very handy!

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What I really love about these blocks is the attention to detail. Some are plain and some have lovely patterns and images on. As I mentioned earlier, Monkey couldn’t use the blocks to their full potential yet but here are just some of the many ways you could put fun to the test with the Wooden Safari Animal Building Blocks:

*Matching – Help your child to match colours, shapes and sizes. They could also match the heads of the animals to the bodies. How about making a fun game out of mixing and matching the wrong heads and bodies and getting your child to correct them?

*Role play – There’s no end to the different scenarios you could come up with using the animals. Create a farm, a family, a park and jungle … so many ideas!

*Building – Improve your child’s co-ordination and dexterity with all sorts of wonderful stacking and building formations – a tower, a train an obstacle course for the animals perhaps?

*Sounds – Practise the sounds that the animals make, car noises, crashes, bangs and wallops!

* Vocabulary – Teach and test your child on the names of the colours, shapes, animals, sizes and formations that you can make with the blocks.

*Association – Help your child to associate these sounds and words with the right pictures. You could make a noise or say a colour, shape or size and ask your child to pass you the associated block. This could be a fun competition between more than one child?

I really love this set. The only downside for me is that my boys can’t make full use out of it just yet. I’m very excited to see how they develop and learn with it as they grow up. It does say 1+ on the box and you can definitely get a lot of fun out of it from that age, but I’d say if you have an older child, don’t be discouraged and think that it’ll be too young for them – this toy is suitable for a very varied age range. Not to mention, for £11.99 it’s great value for money considering it’s a toy that will grow with your child!

Myself, Monkey and Rabbit loved taking part in this mission from Bigjigs – fingers crossed it’s not our last!

Thanks for reading!

xx

*For the purpose of this review we were sent the Wooden Safari Animal Building Blocks. All opinions are our own 🙂