For a little boy who LOVES, I repeat LOVES, imaginative play, this wooden toy was a gift sent from heaven. Well actually, from the Great Little Trading HQ. Despite all the other gifts covered in beautiful wrapping paper waiting to be ripped open, this was THE gift which caught his eye.
We have been buying products from GLTC since Lil G was 6 months old (which coincided rather nicely with his 1st Christmas might I add!). His first kitchen, his first balance bike, his first big boy duvet set. So many items, which I won’t list (I really want to).
We were thrilled to be asked to review this product. My husbands exact words were ‘we’ve made it kid!’. It is in fact the first children’s item that we have reviewed which we know will have a significant impact on Lil G’s play. What a fabulous product. I say we because it was in fact Mr H who built it on Lil G’s birthday eve.
What is not to love about traditional, wooden toys. GLTC really do have it right in their designs. All are bright and vibrant and very pleasing on the eye. In this case, the Play Shop was no different. Eye catching, engaging and sturdy. A note from Mr H – easy to build too! As the instruction detail states we didn’t need electronic tools, just a screwdriver and a hammer. Perfect. We are the least DIY friendly family there is. Isn’t that what Granddad’s are for?
Even I managed to have a little fun during the build stage, drawing pictures of fruit and vegetables and writing ‘George’s Shop’ on the banner all ready for the big unveiling. There are a number of items which go with the Play Shop which we have been collecting over the last 12-months. Up until now he has been using all the food crates, cash register and pretend money to play with his kitchen however all of these items came together nicely. They made the Play Shop a complete gift. In order for your little one to play with it immediately I would definitely recommend a cash register, some pretend coins and some food. All of which can be found on the GLTC website.
Ever since we purchased the Carnaby kitchen from GLTC, Lil G has been bringing me cups of make-believe tea and slices of toast, ‘have a try mummy’. Then it was making sandwiches for lunch and fruit for dessert. Watching and listening in to this imaginary world is my favourite. It brings me so much joy. Advancing to the Play Shop was most definitely the next stage for Lil G, now he could buy his food before preparing it. This is most definitely one of Lil G’s favourite aspects of this toy ‘mmmm let me think, what do I buy today’.
Initially I have been playing a long with Lil G, assisting him at the shop however what came next was so very cute. Mummy I’m going to the shop … and off he went to George’s Shop. I could hear him playing along, one minute he was the shop keeper, the next he was the customer, talking to himself, acting out the characters. It wasn’t long before I popped in to join in, and to take some pictures of course!
He played alone for a good 20 minutes or so, before asking me to join in ‘have a try mummy, it’s fun’. I felt so proud listening to him, talking about all the fruit and vegetables, listing what food he was going to need to buy to make us tea. On the menu was fish and eggs. Yummy.
This product is great for a child’s confidence and imagination, they can be left to create something for themselves. It is so rewarding to see their imagination at work. Each time he has played with it, he has taken the story and the imaginative play to the next level. What came next blew Mr H and I away.
‘Mummy I’ve made a show for you’ (I assisted Lil G with the writing of course, his choice of theme)
It is an added bonus that you can spin the shop around on its wheels to reveal the theatre. It’s basically 2 separate toys, completely different features, therefore exciting for your child. With having the chalk board Lil G has also been experimenting with his drawing and writing. He really has taken to this toy.
I really enjoy getting involved with his stories and mini adventures as a shop keeper and now master of the theatre (his choice of nickname). Selecting products to purchase and counting money, making up stories or acting out a book. Such great lessons and so much fun for him. I really hope his budding imagination continues to grow whilst playing with such a fantastic toy.
To the person(s) who designed the Play Shop & Theatre, it truly is a whizz bang idea of a toy.
It’s also a great little secret eating spot. Lil G can often be a fussy eater, however it didn’t take him long to sneak off with his food and eat it all up behind the comfort of the curtain.
To Great Little Trading Co or GLTC as we know you, thank you for allowing us the pleasure of reviewing this wonderful product and for improving Lil G’s imaginative play, (and my drawing skills) which is so important at this age.
NB – We were given this lovely toy for the purpose of this review.