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NOW CLOSED: Does your child play with a Chad Valley toy? Tell us about it - you could win a £100 voucher

(55 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 07-Jun-11 14:33:56

This thread is for both the 10 lucky Chad Valley product testers and any Mumsnetter whose child has/had a Chad Valley toy - all feedback on the range welcome. You can find out more about Chad Valley here - do watch out for the testers videos which will be coming soon!

So if you are a tester or an existing owner please tell us:

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?

If you're not a tester but you add your feedback here you'll be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a £100 store voucher for the store of their choice.

In addition, all official testers who add feedback will be entered into a draw to win a £100 voucher for the store of their choice.

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ

WhipMeIndiana Tue 07-Jun-11 15:10:37

1) Design a bear Pretty Bunny and 2 outfits and picnic set accessory
2) I loved it - impressions - bunny - lovely soft floppy cuddly, fab quality, really huggable, friendly faced, the outfits - beautiful quality, funny details, sweet, picnic set - quaint, old fashioned, charming, high quality, pretty, feminine, elegant, refined, twee.
the bunny's box couldve been sturdier to last longer, the outfits couldve included a little pumpbag to store in, cannot improve the picnic set, the little case is beautiful <want for myself>
3) 5yr old girl thrilled, carefully unwrapped, immediately dressed and undressed several times, played with about 20mins before teatime
demanded it after tea - where's my bunny, then it all had to go to bed, after storytime Im sure she continued playing for at least another 20-30mins alone in her room with bunny
she liked the outfits best. was blown away by them didnt really 'see' picnic hamper at first
saved the hamper for the next play-time, we went for a picnic with bunny in conservatory, loved the refined-ness and the rules of pouring everyone a cup of tea, she hasnt had a teaset since she was 3 and never a china one. delightful. trying to impress on her to be careful not to drop it and chip it.
4) definately engaging, glad I withheld picnic stuff as that rekindeld new kinds of play, ie a lovely teddy bunny AND you can dress it AND now it can go on picnics, lots of different play with it. very comforting, will sit and cuddle it watching tv, for example
5) young brother v interested, (2yo) bunny a bit girly but likes the rules of having a picnic- ie laying out all the stuff, pouring, polite conversation etc, quite formal. nice- again reminds me of quaint/twee playing. she wont share it with him though, it's too new...
6) value for money - the quality is wonderful, think it is well worth it. def an equal to the bear factory stuff ( have a dragon from there)
7) a little pump bag to keep outfits in, easy to lose a shoe, eg. also maybe bunny a bit more stuffed so it could sit up, it is v squidgey and floppy - nice to hug though.
8) def would recommend. my girly- 5yo dd LOVES it. quite gentle, feminine toy for nurturing and caring little girls.

Thank you very much for picking me.

Not a tester
1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns

Sand and water table

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy

Has survived much longer than the ELC one that fell apart within three months hmm

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?

Water/sand, what's not to like?

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?

Until I drag them screaming away, I have a four year old and a two year old, they will play for hours with it if they get a chance.

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?

See above, took a while to stop them dumping water on each other's heads but they seem to have got there....mostly!

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?

Brilliant

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?

The top isn't quite watertight so you still get bugs in the water.

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?

Yes absolutely, it's been wonderful. Really. We have had three sand and water tables in the past four years and this one we've had for two years I think and it's still going.

Humphreythehamster Tue 07-Jun-11 16:24:41

Hi, product tester here.

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns

Electronic kitchen

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy

Fantastic toy, lots of features, bit of a bugger to build initially smile Double oven was great as they 'cooked' 2 different dishes, lots of nice accessories.

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?

They loved the noises the kitchen made, very impressed that the different pans/kettle made different sounds.

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?

Usually for an hour a day in 15 minute sessions (roughly) depending on who was playing with it.

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?

It is absolutely brilliant for a sharing toy as there are lots of different things to do with it. I have 4 DC aged 21 months-9 years and this toy was the first thing that they have all played happily with together.

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?

Excellent, there are many more expensive toy kitchens on the market but I cant imagine children having more fun with them.

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?

The hood and shelf could be a little sturdier but not a big problem at all. Could you make the noises very slightly quieter please, they do get grating quite quickly for the adults.

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?

Absolutely. Very versatile toy with lots of scope for imaginative play both solo and as part of a group. Kept my 4 DC quiet and happy for long stretches of time grin

littlelapin Tue 07-Jun-11 16:30:52

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
Chad Valley Grand Piano

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
It is very very very PINK! and probably slightly larger than I expected, but not too big if you see what I mean. DS is 5 and fits comfortably on the stool with legs under the piano but I would think it would be too little for 6+. Otherwise it was solid and fitted together well, very simple to assemble. The sound was clear and not too tinny (other than the microphone)

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
He hated it at first because of the colour, but after curiousity got the better of him, he really liked it. He plays the "demo" tunes and dances about, sometimes singing along and swinging the microphone grin but mostly he makes up his own tunes. He likes the various beats etc available but the keyboard is the best bit.

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
Between 15 and 30 minutes, which isn't bad for him. It does engage him, and he is happy to go off and play on it on his own.

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
His baby cousin had a good suck on the microphone grin and apart from a brief expression of disgust he was fine with that. He wasn't keen on Mummy having a go or doing a duet with me though!

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
I don't think I would pay this much - especially given the colour - when you can buy a much more professional looking keyboard for similar money.

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
DIFFERENT COLOURS! Most of the other "pink" toys come in blue as well, so why not this one? or something like black, or white, or silver? I think the lurid pink only colourway really limits the market.

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
Yes, if they were into music and a) a girly girl or b) a boy not too fussed by mad pinkness.

Thank you for picking us, he has had great fun with it!

grumpypants Tue 07-Jun-11 18:26:07

Product Tester
1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
Chad Valley Castle
2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
Very detailed, possibly tricky to assemble
3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
They like the cannon ball firing things. They either pretend to be giants or use the action figures in the castle.
4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
They play with it alone for about half an hour, really inventing goodies and baddies
5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
There was an odd number of figures so teams were uneven. This caused a bit of stress as the dragon had to swap sides.
6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
Excellent. Would buy this for a favourite neice/nephew
7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
I would make the number of figures even, and I would not have the packaging labelled 'boys toys'
8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
Yes. It is very user friendly and adaptable.

IAmTheCookieMonster Tue 07-Jun-11 22:06:30

1) My-First-Sit-Onhow would you rate the value for money of the toy?
2) We were intially thrilled by the excellent value and the fact that it has a high back (we have a wriggly baby) and that it was so light so he could pick it up himself. However, the back wheels snapped off after a few weeks and it was unfixable.
3) It was his favourite toy, he loved to push it along and press the horn
4) It was very engaging, he found lots of different ways to play with it and it would keep him entertained for a lot longer than his other toys.
5) He never played with it with anyone else
6) Even though it broke, I think the enjoyment he got from it was well worth the £6 price!
7) Sturdier wheel fixings.
8) Definitely, because of the reasons I mentioned above: the high back, the lightness, the variety of ways it can be used.

stressheaderic Tue 07-Jun-11 22:16:41

I am not a tester. My daughter is 15 months old.

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
Chad Valley car garage
2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
value for money, robust, good quality, easy to put together, just the right size for the age range suggested, great lights, sounds and imaginitive play
3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
she likes to drive the cars along and down the ramp and she loves the lift, and the car wash
4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
she will play with it alone or with an adult for upto 20 minutes at a time, it encourages her to make 'brum brum' noises and there is plenty to do
5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
she likes playing with her granddad, he's not too mad on dolls and teddies so this just right, he drives the cars around and she copies
6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
excellent - a real bargain from Argos, just as good as Fisher Price
7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
lift handle is a bit fiddley for small hands
8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
yes absolutely

Not a tester but both my ds's love a Beetle game by chad valley, we were given it by friends who's dd's had loved it too!! It's a 3d beetle game like a beetle drive.

Not sure if you even still make it but is great!!!

I am not a tester. My son is 2 years old.

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
Chad Valley car garage
2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
Nice and colourful, robust, easy to use for small fingers, and not too delicate (important as ds is a hammersmash)
3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
He loves to send cars whizzing down, knocking them off to be 'rescued' again and putting them up and down the lift. He has other toys he likes to go into the lift too.
4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
He will play for anything up to an hour, depending on his mood etc. I've seen him play for a while and add in new scenarios, characters etc. It is very engaging, as it lends itself to all kinds of imaginative play.
5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
He loves to play with one of us, but is equally happy playing on his own. He does occasionally share when his friend comes over to play.
6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
Excellent - he has had it for a good while now and my ds2 seems to be very interested too - it's one of the toys which escapes the 'cull' time and time again, so it must be doing something right!
7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
The lift gets stuck sometimes and he gets a bit frustrated by not being able to fix it himself which sometimes breaks his play.
8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
Yes, in fact we did and ds's friend has the same one! It's just a great toy which suits a variety of ages and acts as a good base for play options.

Spagbolagain Wed 08-Jun-11 10:59:22

Not a tester

1. Sand table, the one with the flip-out lid sections
2. Sturdy, good size, nicely designed
3. Spends hours making sandshapes with the accessories and just rooting around (he is 18 months)
4. Around half an hour, he would play longer its just that I usually need him to come with me somewhere. He often gets cross that I am interrupting him. It is very engaging, I love the fact that they have a flat surface to play on not just the sand containers themselves, you can see his sense of achievement when he makes a sandcastle on the side.
5. Not had to yet, but as there are 2 sand containers it should be no problem
6. Excellent. Couldn't believe how expensive some other brands were, this one is brilliant
7. Maybe include a spade or scoop? We didn't have anything suitable so had to find a big spoon
8. Definitely. This is first Chad valley we have bought, and it's proved to be a real winner

FoofffyShmoofffer Wed 08-Jun-11 12:03:16

Not a Tester My DD is 2.9 yrs
1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns

The sand and water table with three sections

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy

As sand and water tables go we have been very happy with it.

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?

She builds sandcastles, sails boats etc.. Sand is her favourite.

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?

She plays for long periods (weather permitting). It's one her favourite outdoor toys.

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?

Her older brother plays with her occasionally but it's mostly just hers.

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?

Definite value for money.

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?

I would possibly make the sections a little larger.

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?

Yes my DD has had lots of fun with it since we bought it at Easter. It's sturdy has a lid and comes with accessories.

MadameGazelle Wed 08-Jun-11 12:20:29

the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
Fire Engine

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
Good concept, like the fact that it folds away and can be transported easily to grandparent's house. When opened up and set up there is lots going on and plenty to play with

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
My child liked playing with the helter skelter style ramp the most, he enjoyed putting the cars up the lift and letting them slide down the ramp. He also liked the bridge with the fire on and the roundabout. When the game had been tidied away he also enjoyed playing with the large fire engine

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
He has played with it every day since we got it in bursts of 10-15 minutes at a time, it is an engaging toy as there is so much going on, however it takes about 10 minutes to set it up after it has been folded away and he somtimes gets impatient with this as he is unable to set it up himself

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
Yes - shared with his brother. There was plenty to engage both of them on separate activites with the same toy

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
Good value for money, it is really 2 toys in one - the large fire engine and the fire city - would consider buying this as a gift for nieces and nephews

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
That you don't have to take it all apart to put it away or that the parts are easier to put together so children could do some of it themselves

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
Yes, well made and good value for money, well thought out, plenty of activities to engage your child and it folds away after use

MadameGazelle Wed 08-Jun-11 12:22:16

Forgot to say I am a product tester btw - thanks for picking us!

moonbells Wed 08-Jun-11 13:48:25

Not a tester
1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
building bricks

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
Simple toy perfect for tiny folk!

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
DS loved to build towers, knock them over and suchlike when he was very small. Now he's older, he still plays with it and now builds quite complex things

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
He'll play for about half an hour

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
Usually plays with us - competitions for who can build the highest tower before it falls over etc (though knocking Daddy's over was rather a cheat!)

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
Really good.

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
more cylinders

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
yes, has made learning spatial awareness, dexterity and shapes/colours fun to learn when he was tiny, and is still fun for 3-4yo.

SummerRain Wed 08-Jun-11 15:57:52

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
We were picked to test the Post Office

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
Me Quite good, it has nice colours and plenty of accessories, fairly fiddly to set up though and although it's great that it folds away (less mess!) it certainly isn't manageable by the kids, I have to open and close it for them every time and even an adult struggles until they've done it a few times.
Kids They loved it and were really excited to play with it when it arrived. My 2 year old was obsessed with it which surprised me as I thought he'd be a bit indifferent. In fact he's the only one still playing with it

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
They liked all the accessories and had great fun setting themselves up at the table and doing role play stuff and writing each other letters and sticking stamps on everything. We had tantrums about the lack of ink in the stamp pad though and the boxes didn't last 2 minutes.

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
The first few days they all played with it loads, easily an hour at a time. They seemed to lose interest rapidly though and now only the 2 year old asks to have it out, I think part of the problem though is that the blue plastic shelf bit that holds it up became damaged very quickly so now it tips forward and wobbles a fair bit.

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
As I've said they were happy to let the baby join in and he loved it. A friend (age 6) came one day and they had a poke at it but didn't spend too long at it.

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
Quite good, lots of accessories and looks pleasant and it is very cheap compared to similar toys. However long term I was a little disappointed, I'd have settled for less bits and bobs if it lasted a bit longer before becoming damaged

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
a) Easier to put together and take apart so the kids can actually do it themselves.
b) The plastic bit on the blue shelf just above where it slots into the groove became white and damaged very quickly, which had a huge affect on the play value. This needs to be stronger/better designed
c)The post slots trapped fingers on several occasions as they're so tight... the children eventually became afraid to use them

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
yes, but probably only to people with one child, it wasn't really durable enough to cope with my three for very long and it's better suited to an adult playing with the child due to the complexity of setting up and packing away.

asdx2 Wed 08-Jun-11 19:45:37

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns Chad Valley Dolls House
2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy very inexpensive but surprisingly good quality
3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it? she plays with it for quite a while decorating the rooms and making furniture. She likes that it is a blank canvas for her to decorate
4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?she can spend a good hour designing wallpaper and gluing it on the walls. Yes it's a fantastic toy.
5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on? Yes she has played with a friend but more in a small world play
6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy? Exceptionally good
7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be? I wouldn't because the simplicity is what makes it so good
8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not? Yes and probably even younger as dd has autism so is a young for her age child.

Mouseface Wed 08-Jun-11 20:14:43

Not a tester, DS is 2.1yrs and has Complex SN.

1) Q the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns - A It's a Chad Valley Tool Box

2) Q your overall or initial impressions of the toy - A Excellent value for money and very sturdy.

3) Q how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it? - A DS is SN and has LD so he loves to 'pretend' and copy. He pretends to fix things (like daddy hmm grin) and finds it really easy to hold all the parts in the kit.

4) Q how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not? - A He will play with it for up to an hour, Not really an ingaging toy due to it's nature but he loves all the bits never the less. Especially the tool belt.

5) Q did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on? - A Not shared.

6) Q how would you rate the value for money of the toy? - A 10 out of 10

7) Q if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be? - A It needs a hammer! grin

8) Q is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not? - A Yes! Definatly. It's high quality for a low price, you can add it to other tool kits, it all fits into a small storage box that's easily transported....... nothing bad to say about it at all, will be buying more Chad Valley toys in the future. smile

mrspear Wed 08-Jun-11 20:57:32

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
Not a tester but did get my son the Chad Valley Music Set – drum, maracas, trumpet and tambourine
2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
Larger than I expected, nice how it fit inside the drum and seemed really robust
3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
Loves banging the drum and shaking the maracas. Gives the trumpet to an adult to blow.
4) How long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
He is always picking it out the toy box and it really excites him – usually he manages to dance whilst shaking the maracas!
5) Did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
He has no siblings but shares with the adults and gets them to make music too particularly with the trumpet!
6) How would you rate the value for money of the toy?
Really good much better than ELC
7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
Trumpet is hard for a child to muster but I did get this to DS younger than the recommended age (he was 14 months when got it for Christmas last year)
8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
Yes I would and I would out that really it can be used from 12 months

smokinaces Wed 08-Jun-11 21:21:35

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
Owns an electronic play kitchen

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
came with lots of accessories, noise and functions which immediately appealed to a 3 year old!

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
We have had this toy for over a year now, moving from being played with daily in the front room, to being played with occasionally in the bedroom, to now being in the wendy house in the kitchen. They love making me "breakfast" and "dinner"!

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
On average around 20-30 minutes a time. Yes, was engaging.

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
Both boys have played with it, together and seperately. They are now 4 and 3, and can still play with it together easily

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
Didnt pay full price - we got it for £20 in the sale. Not sure I would pay £35

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
More solid, the back and shelves of the ovens. The rest of it is very hard wearing and still really good for playing even after being in the wendy house in the garden!

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
Yes, but again, not sure if I would full price/

notnowbernard Thu 09-Jun-11 11:52:28

1) Bead box set

2) Fantastic value, both dds (7 and 4) play with it loads

3) They both sit for ages making jewellery (necklaces, bracelets) for themselves or as presents for people

4) They will sit for anything up to 45mins at a time with the box, often together. Very engaged with it, excellent for concentration and 'chill-out' play

5) Yes, share it with each other and often friends will join in too

6) 10 out of 10 for value for money!

7) A better fitting lid would be good - clearing up 100s of spilt beads a bit of a pain

8) Would highly recommend to those whose DC like sitting and 'making'. Plus it was bought almost a year ago and there are still beads left

aristocat Thu 09-Jun-11 14:56:36

not a tester

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
build a bear

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
excellent, very pleased, nice quality toy

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
plays schools/reads a book together. DD loves the clothes to dress the bear and more are needed already!

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
30mins+ yes an engaging toy for my DD (7yo)

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
no not yet.

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
10/10

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
a bag to keep the accessories/clothes in would be nice

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
yes, good VFM and a well made product

CoffeeGoneColdAgain Thu 09-Jun-11 16:55:58

Not a tester
1) The Post Office.
2) Fiddly to put together, having to snap pieces of plastic together!
3) My daughter played with it for hours, she loved the fact she could 'sell stamps' to her big brother (for real money)!
4) Played with for hours on end, she was engaged with it from the moment she opened it on Christmas morning!
5) At first she wouldn't share at all, wanted to inspect the stampers, stamps and stickers herself and twice attempted to put the parcels together before admitting defeat.
6) Ok value for money,
7) Make the stamp part a working instrument rather than a pretend one.
8) Definately recommend to others, Dd's friend have all played with this. We now print stamps from the internet so it can be used over and over again!

LatherRinseRepeatAsNeeded Thu 09-Jun-11 17:04:57

Not a Tester

1) Junior Trampoline
2) Very good
3) My Daughter fell in love with it the day we put it up, which is rare as she normally takes time to get used to a new toy.
4) as long as we'll let her
5) No chance she'll let anyone else near it
6) Very good
7) Possibly include a rain cover?
8) Definitely our daughter loves it and it keeps her active

katiesobol Fri 10-Jun-11 16:13:10

Not a tester (although I would have loved to have been!)

1) 70 piece Kitchen set
2) So many different bits and pieces to play with, my two girls are never bored. They love playing cooking, washing, running a cafe, preparing for a picnic and much much more with this wonderfully sunny, colourful set
3) Lots of make believe and it is a set that brings them together to play (they are 3 and 4.5) The favourite parts are the kettle and toaster as well as the oven and washing machine - oh and the teapot
4) They could and would play with all day!
5) They share it with each other and with friends and there's rarely any squabbling!
6) excellent. I'd rather spend more on a better toy that lasts and has more than one use. It is very good value for money
7) Not a fan of cardboard boxes as these are so limited in their life span - they get thrown away all too soon. Something more durable would be better - or some reenforced card.
8) Certainly. My children are 3 and 4.5 and this really fires their imagination.

katiewalters Fri 10-Jun-11 18:07:48

1. not a tester, but my 24month old son owns complete kitchen set.
2. overall impression was great. i thought you got a lot for the money, and the items were good, i thought it was great that the kettle and cooker made realistic sounds.
3. i knew my son would love it which is why i brought it, as he loves playing at the play kitchen at nursery. he interacts with it by pretending to make dinner and drinks for people, and pretends to eat and drink what he made. he likes the oven the best, and thinks the noise it makes is great.
4. he generally plays with it for between 30-60minutes. yes its engaging, keeps my son entertained, encourages role play and creativity.
5. my son has shared it with numerous children and gets on fine. hes good with sharing things anyway. he had more of a problem witht the other kids not wanting to share his toys with him, and my son would say share to them.
6. value for money is excellent 10/10. for £24.99, you get a lot of things, that are all good.
7. would include more actual pretend food and less of the box foods.
8. would definately reccomend it. its great value for money, you get a lot of items, it keeps the children entertained, and is something that will last them til they are older as well. its stimulating and fun for the kids

Not a tester.

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns - Bingo Lotto (about three years old, blue with yellow balls version)

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy - does exactly what it says on the box, DS spied it in Woolies when he was about 4 and wanted it immediately.

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it? He plays it with other people and on his own, just likes turning the thing, getting the balls out, trying to guess which one will be next, also we printed out all the traditional bingo calls and he likes trying to remember them too. He is 7 now and still loves it, we all play as a family.

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not? A good half an hours and yes it does engage him well, his 5 year old sister less so, but she will play for a while.

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on? Well, it's a game, so yes, shared and the rules are simple so we get on fine.

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy? - excellent but we bought it for a couple of pounds when Woolies was closing down. Have googled and found it for approx £7 new which I think is excellent for the amount of use we've had from it.

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be? The little counters slip off the cards too easily, the kids lean over to turn the handle and knock the cards and all the counters move. Would happily pay more for maybe indented cards that would hold them better. Also it is a bit fiddly for them to get the holder thing into it's stand, I still have to do it for them. I would also like to be able to unclip it open and put all the balls back in at once instead of one at a time through the hole.

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not? Yes, teaches about turn taking, numbers, keeps them occupied, very good value I think.

SamsGoldilocks Fri 10-Jun-11 20:33:05

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
Cash Register

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
Small, portable, easy to use, makes beeping noises as though scanning goods, like the fact the calculator actually works so if you tap in numbers the sum is done for you

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
Sometimes they like to scan the shopping food we have, sometimes my oldest child likes to practise her maths

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
Varies on the complexity of the game and how involved they are - 10 mins to 20 mins. It does get used on a regular basis unlike some toys

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
not always and not easily - it's hard to have two checkout assistants

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
don't know how much it was as it was a gift. Don't think i'd really want to pay more than a tenner for it

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
The compartment for money should extend further, there should be more coins, and it would be good if the credit card slot was a bit deeper so it slid through easily and or more like the real ones

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
Yes - real life play is always good

peronel Fri 10-Jun-11 20:48:25

1) Chad Valley swingball set.
2)Cheap and Cheerful.
3)Our two children play regularly with this toy; they think it's fun!
4)An average of 10 minutes. It is an engaging toy which improves their tennis skills. It is enjoyable to use.
5) The kids share it with their friends and the neighbours kids have all had a go.
6) It is fair value for money. Whilst it was very cheap, one racquet has just broken. In retrospect, it would have been better to have bought a higher quality product and paid extra.
7) The design is fine - the only improvement it needs is better quality materials.
8) Sorry, although we have had fun with this product I would not recommend it.

bluebump Fri 10-Jun-11 21:30:36

Not a tester...

1) Supermarket Cash Register

2) Really like it, comes with a small range of pretend food and money and the calculator actually works. It's small enough to take away with us on holiday/to people's houses.

3) He likes the noises it makes when scanning goods and when you scan the credit card.

4) He will play with it for ages. I think I need to invest in the supermarket trolley and extra food items to make it last longer as a game. We like playing with the money and counting it.

5) He doesn't like to share!

6) Very good (we got it as part of a 2 toys for £15 from Argos)

7) A few more food items/money would be good.

8) Yes i'd recommend it, it's not as annoying as some toys that make noises etc and you can make an interactive game of it if you chose so but my son is just as happy using it on his own.

hellymelly Fri 10-Jun-11 22:58:57

1.We've been testing the complete kitchen set.
2.our overall /initial impressions of the toy :- daughters (4 and 6) really really excited by the box and the four year old in particular squealing with joy at all the play food as she unpacked it,and then all the other items. I liked the fact the cooker was dinky and so didn't take up vast amounts of space to put away.
3.How they interacted with it,and what was most liked about it:-They have both played with it a lot,although my younger daughter is the most keen.They have played at being cafe owners mainly as the set has a cooker,kettle,toaster,food,crockery and cutlery so everything to set up a small cafe.They both loved the realistic noises and the fact the set covered everything(I am impressed by the kettle noises in particular).
4.How long do they typically play with it? Well they have spent hours with it,a good half an hour or so a day.It was engagning for both girls and they developed it into a large game where they took turns to be the waitress and took orders on a pad etc.
5.did they share it? -well it was technically sent to my younger daughter but both girls shared it and it made for surprisingly harmonious joint play,there wasn't much aurguing. They have been unwell so no friends have been to play but I can see they will use it as part of bigger group games with other children.
6.Well I think the toy is really good value for money,it has so many different things to play with in the set,and it seems pretty robust.But especially given how much they have loved it.
7.One thing to improve the toy-the colours are very lurid,I would have liked it more if the cooker was plain red or something,with matching kettle etc.I do think it would look cuter.
8. would i recommend it to other parents? -yes.I would and i would buy it as a present now I've seen how much the children enjoyed it.
a sample scene:- My dd (just turned 4) was being the cafe owner,I was the customer,(we are a vegetarian family in rl). DD "would you like the chicken?"
Me "no thankyou,I think I will have some cake please."
DD "Good. Our chicken is absolutely horrible,even our meat eating customers don't want our chicken".
I laughed and am still laughing,do you think she has a future in catering?

Lilyloo Sat 11-Jun-11 08:41:04

Not a tester
1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
Chad Valley Shopping Trolley Play Set

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
My dd absolutely loves pushing the trolley and it is an addition to her play kitchen. It is a good selection of play food. My only issue is the sturdiness of the trolley. Whilst the folding handle is good for storage i think it does make it less sturdy as if leant on too hard it folds down when being pushed.

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
She loves pushing the trolley and uses it also as a pushchair for her dolls.

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
She can play with it for 30 minutes or more. She generally uses the food within her kitchen but has set up tea partys for her dolls. It is definately an engaging toy.

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
Sometimes her older sister will join in but she has to be reminded it isn't very strong.

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
For the price i think this is overall good value for money but would like to see it made of sturdier plastic without the fold down function.

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
Remove the fold down function.

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
Yes only if they played quite gently with their toys , it wouldn't take boisterous play.

angell74 Sat 11-Jun-11 14:58:27

We are not official testers but this is our review for the following toy:-

Chad Valley Post Office Play Set

Our first impression of this toy was good. My husband set the counter up and it was well stocked with lots of essential Post Office items (stamps, parcels, stickers, envelopes) to encourage imaginative play.

My 8 and 3 year old were both very excited and played together nicely for about an hour. They were role playing post office salesperson and customer - writing letters and using the money to carry out pretend transactions. However, when it came to posting the letters it all went horribly wrong. The unit itself is very difficult to convert from counter to post-box and the plastic is very flimsy and it took me (an adult) quite a while to put it alltogether. By now they had used lots of the supplies and they abandoned it in a corner of the playroom ....... I hid it in the garage about 4 weeks ago and neither child has noticed - it willbe going into the recycling soon. This toy would be improved considerably if the counter was more stable and it converted to a post-box more easily.

They liked the stamps, writing paper and envelopes the best. These ran out quickly and I have replaced them with other similar items (paper, cheap envelopes, stickers) from £1 shops.

After the initial hour playing with this toy on the first day neither of my two boys has played with it again. Although they enjoyed the concept they found the fact that the counter falls off the unit very easily extremely frustrtaing and the difficulty inconverting it to a post box was insurmountable for them. They have played Post Offices again but stored their supplies in a shoe box and used another toy till for the payment transactions.

One of my sons friends was very taken with the little sheets of sticky stamps but other than this no other child has shown much interets in this toy. As a consequence I consider this toy to be very poor value for money and I would not recommend this toy to other parents. Although it does have an initial wow factor - the post office supplies are quickly used up and the office counter is very flimsy and too difficult to convert into a post box to maintain their attention for any period of time.

pipersky Sat 11-Jun-11 17:09:40

I'm not a tester. My daughter is 4 years old (and younger sister almost 2).

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns

Chad Valley Children's Playhouse

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy

Sturdy, bright, good value summer toy. My other half is great at putting things together and this was very easy for him.

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?

She loves it - we bought it because she likes role play and this is ideal, especially as it's warmer now and she can play out in the garden all day if she wants to.

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?

She plays (with her little sister) for around 45mins to an hour depending on circumstances. It's very engaging, even for her 2 year old sister.

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?

As above, she likes to play with her little sister and her cousin who is often visiting. There are occasional arguments about who's 'Mummy' and so on, but generally harmonious!

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?

Excellent. Very few toys that keep her as engaged (exception = mud and gardening tools).

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?

I'd make it bigger! Then she could fit her play kitchen in smile

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?

Yes, especially if, like mine, your child enjoys role playing. She is extrmeely interested in how the world works and this touy allows her to be 'in charge' of her own home smile

allthefires Sat 11-Jun-11 20:38:40

Not a tester

1) Fire Station play set

2) Excellent toy idea

3) Like to use it with his lego men

4) how long do they typically play with it? 20 mins at a time
He makes up little scenarios/ Acts out things he has heard

5) Yes - not too well. Got frustrated by the flimsness of it.

6)I would rather see it priced around the £15- £20 mark

7) It is so difficult to fit all the pieces in there.
The plastic needs to have stronger joints. The spiral ramp didnt fit well together at all and now didnt fit at all. Lift doesnt work.

8) No- not unless the improvements are made. Its frustrating and disappointing.

chopstheduck Sun 12-Jun-11 10:51:07

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
chess set
2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
really nice quality, and a bargain price
3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
he leared to play chess with it
4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
he finds it very engaging, can play for a few hours
5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
he wasn't so good at playing it with siblings, prefered it with adults
6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
excellent
7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
nothing
8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
Yes I would I thought it was a nice set, at a good price for athe perfect introduction to the game

emmav6 Sun 12-Jun-11 17:42:06

NOT A TESTER grin(

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
* WHEELBARROW SET & LAWNMOWER (2 FOR £15)

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
*looked a little flimsy like it would not last very long but nice bright colours.

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
my son loved it, the colours attracted him & helped him interact with grandad whilst doing the gardening. He loved being able to use the gardening tool in the soil.

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
*He will typically play with it for 20 mins alone, or upto an hour with family members. i think he is more engaged when playing along side someone who can show him how they work.

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
*He would willingly share with adults but not with other children.

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
*excellent value for money, both only costing £15 and lasted 2 months so far without damages.

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
* i would be happier if they were more heavyweight. My son would like character pictures on them eg peppa pig/disney cars.

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
*i would if they last the summer months. value for money definately.

andthenshewasdone Sun 12-Jun-11 18:05:42

not a tester
1) CHAD VALLEY airplane
2)good quality, nice shape. very robust and well sized for small hands.
3)they like putting the people that come with it and also other small toys in and out. flying the plane. serving drinks with the trolley. using the lid upside down to be a boat/flying lid.
4)yes, engaging. up to an hour. ages 2 and 4.
5)no.not great for sharing as cannot agree how to load plane, seems to fit best parrellel play, with space rocket or another (much less robust!) airplane, then they will fly together.
6)yes, 10/10. still in one piece after lots of crash landings.
7)my 2 nearly 3 yr old can't remove the roof without help, had the same issue with eldest when he was younger
8)yes i would. tough and safe enough for young children but with enough pieces for older ones. maybe 2-5 yrs. i do recomend it in fact when someone wants a plane toy.

toodles60 Sun 12-Jun-11 23:48:54

Not a tester

1) FIRST MARKET STALL
2) I was pleasantly surprised when we opened this on my daughters birthday. its really easy to put together and once up is also very stable unlike similar products from other companies. Bright and colourful and lots of produce to sell.
3) It was the one present my 4 year old played with all day and even my older son got involved in the action. It just seemed to let their imagination run riot and they even added cans and food from my cupboards to apparently turn it into a supermarket to earn more money smile The till was the centre of the fun and that alongside constantly rearranging the pretend goods seemed to be the favourite part of play.
4) This toy is brought out every day and is a firm favourite. On average I would say its played with for around 30 mins but is always returned to multiple times a day. I do feel this is an engaging toy for the both my children. They get totally engrossed with imaginary customers and have even had a row with a pretend customer who tried to return an item he had apparently already taken a bite out of.
5) My daughter has played with this with my son and two of her friends and each time great fun was had. Sometimes theres great debate as to who will be shopkeeper and who will be the customer but it usually turns out to have one person being the shopkeeper and one the shelf filler. There's always a queue of imaginary customers at the door.
6) Absolutely brilliant value for money. This a a toy that is brilliant fun but it has some real educational too. Counting, measuring etc. I think its very fairly priced for what you get.
7) The one thing I think could have done with improvement was that the till kept getting knocked off along with the scales. i think if there was a better way to attach them to the main body of the stall it would much better.
8) I would absolutely recommend this product. Its not expensive and yet not only does it open up a whole world of imagination for children its also got the educational value.

Siobhan487 Mon 13-Jun-11 09:31:23

.

widedreamer Mon 13-Jun-11 10:33:36

We are existing owners!

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
CHAD VALLEY WATER PLAY TABLE

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy:-
It is a great deisgn as well as being a water table it can be used with sand too. It has a lid that can be put on the top to transform it into a little play table. I like this as it has many different uses. So once my son is fed up of one game we can quickly get into another without any fuss. It is good value for money and loved by a lot of children of various ages, 1 up to 5years have all had their little mits in the sand building castles and playing with that toy boats splashing.

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
You can fill it with water or sand. My boy loves to build a sand castle, or a better game is making me build them so he can knock them down.
We enjoy playing with the little boats in the water.
Its a great messy toys that could be used inside or out. My son is 2 and really loved splashing and making a mess with the sand. When left to play on his own he was busy taking sand out and filling up numouros buckets (and flower beds...) He enjoyed the different textures of the sand and the water.

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
When playing on his own he could be left between half an hour to an hour depending on if theres water or sand inside. The sand kept him busy for longer (at least until the sand had all been transported into the flower beds!)

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
He did enjoy letting others playing around the table. This encouraged him to play with it more as he wanted to show his friend all the accessories and everything they could do. Two boys of the same age played for about 30 minutes together with no arguments... just lots of messy sand.

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
Extremely good value for money. However the table could of been bigger to allow a bit more sand inside - although as it is advertised as a water play table I would say it does the job it was designed for.

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
More space for sand! I wouldn't want to change much about this toy, it is a great design and doesnt take up too much space in the garden or house.

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
I would most definately recommend this toy for children of the same age - even slightly older or younger as I feel the water table could be fun for all ages (provided they can stand up at the table) We have had a lot of good use out of it and feel it is a toy that will last a long time.

sadiewoohoo Mon 13-Jun-11 16:55:14

1) Q the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns - A Chad Valley 20 Piece BBQ Set.

2) Q your overall or initial impressions of the toy - A Well made and sturdy

3) Q how did/does your child interact with it? He started making sizzling sounds with his voice for the bbq sounds so was beyond thrilled when i showed him that it actually made real sounds from within. The use of bright coloyrswent downw well too - a very nice looking toy

4) Q how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not? - A About half an hour at a time - just long enough for us all to be served with our plastic hot dogs with sauce lol

5) Q did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on A - the toy was shared due to its nature - serving up food to others so its quite a social toy that would be hard to play with alone

6) Q how would you rate the value for money of the toy? - A 9 out of 10

7) Q if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be? - A To include a apron

8) Q is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not? - A Yes! Definatly. Excellent value for money
http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/3677739/c_1/1%7Ccategory_root%7CToys+and+games%7C14417629/Trail/searchtext%3EBBQ.htm

Not a tester.

1) the name of the toy: shopping trolley.
2) your overall or initial impressions: don't like the looks of it, and it's a bit small for the age range.
3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it? When used as a shopping trolley, rarely uses the items it came with - they tend to be used in cooking play.  Most often uses it as a supplementary dolls' pram. Occasionally uses it to carry his superhero gear - apparently it is jet poprelled [sic].
4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?  Not a favourite, but a good, engaging toy, played with intermittently, usually several times over the course of an afternoon/day/week, and then ignored for a few days or weeks.
5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?  Only when there weren't enough prams or buggies to go around.
6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy? It was a gift!
7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?  A seat for doll or teddy, like the seat for a child in a real trolley.  (Also the design - it looks like a basket on a walker, not a shopping trolley.)
8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not? Yes and no.  It is a good role-playing toy for all ages, but it's just too small.  Ds is 4, and has physically outgrown it. He wants to continue playing with it, but finds it annoyingly low.  I would recommend it for a younger or smaller child.

star1000 Tue 14-Jun-11 08:52:40

1) Chad Valley Snakes and Ladders (giant walk on board)
2) great fun for all the family - can be used indoor or outdoor
3) my daughter loved jumping from square to square as you stand on the number you are on
4) we play several games one after the other - my daughter would happily keep playing it again and again
5) we played the game as a family which was good fun. It taught my daughter to take turns, counting the dots on the dice, counting the squares to move etc
6) great value
7) it would be nice if it had included counters so you didn't always have to walk on it and stand on the squares especially when you have to run after the dice and can't remember what square you where on.
8) yes would recommend this to anyone with children. My daughter is 3 and it was very good for her counting but would be equally as much fun with an older child.

shivster1980 Tue 14-Jun-11 12:09:29

We were not picked to test it but bought it on Saturday with my DS's birthday money.

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns
A) Dino Adventures Set

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy
Easy to put together, lovely design, bright and perfect for my newly 5 year old dinosaur fan. Chunky. Quite solid despite the purely slot together design.
We are toy dinosaur experts and the dinos it came with are good additions to Ds's collection.

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
He likes all the different levels, the volcanoes and the dinosaurs. He uses it with his current collection.

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
A couple of hours at a time. This toy has been played with daily since Saturday when we bought it. Certainly engaging for my dinosaur fan.

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
DS is an only child, he hasn't had opportunity to share it yet - but there is lots of scope to play with it with more than one child.

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
I thought at £24.99 it was a little more costly than I would have liked but cheaper than alternatives I had researched and therefore a fair price.

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
It needs to have the opportunity to clip together more permanently, I can imagine as time goes on I will be continually putting this together!

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
Yes, I would recommend. It's nice to look at and my son loves it a lot.

MumGoneCrazy Tue 14-Jun-11 14:27:25

1) the name of the toy you've been testing or that your child owns

I (well DD1 & DD2) tested the Chad Valley Pink Wooden Dolls House, we also own a few other Chad Valley toys bought at christmas, including Girls junior trampoline and Pick'n'mix sweet shop

2) your overall or initial impressions of the toy

First thought was "oh I have to assembly this ummm" but DP said It wasn't as bad at it looked it took him an hour but that was because he insisted on reading all the instructions then laying everything out then put it together grin once it was up it looked great.

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?

the girls started playing with it immediately and haven't stopped yet every spare chance they get they play with it, it's helped them share and haven't argued as much over this toy as they have done over others, it came with 2 dolls so they each play with one pretending to be brother and sister or mummy and daddy, they love rearranging the furniture, they said they liked it all and love that its pink

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?

They spend anywhere between 5 minutes and an hour playing with it depending on what else is going on around them, but they always go back to it. they definitely found it engaging.

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?

The DD's share it between them and have also dragged DS (10) into playing it with them but have said that DD3 is not allowed to play with it until she 4 as she likes to break things

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?

I think it's brilliant for the price and If we hadn't been picked to be a tester it would be something that we would of bought for the DD's as it's the type of toy they love

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?

The girls said they would of liked more dolls with it, maybe a child or 2 so they had a family, also it could of done with a bit more colour as it was just pink and wood with a few stickers. The chimneys don't stick on they just balance on the top so got knocked off a few times and on one occasion the 2 chimney pots broke off but they glued back on easy enough.

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?

Yes I would my girls really love it it and have so fun with it, it's funny listening to them and I feel so many other children would enjoy it as well.

Thank you very much for picking us to be testers, it was and is greatly appreciated grin

MumGoneCrazy Tue 14-Jun-11 14:28:32

assemble not assembly blush

fatzak Tue 14-Jun-11 17:04:52

Tester

1) the name of the toy you've been testing
Dino Adventures

2) Overall impressions
A little fiddly to put together - lots of wood to slot together. Great selection of toy dinosaurs which came with the set

3) how did/does your child interact with it? What did they like best about it?
Wasn't really that taken with it! Had a few "dino wars" with his brother!

4) how long do they typically play with it? Did you feel it was an 'engaging' toy for your child? Why? Why not?
Didn't really grab his attention for very long although he has played with the toy dinosaurs on their own.I I think that he has had too many interactive toys with noises and lights to be stimulated by the simplicity of the toy

5) did they 'share' the toy with anyone else or play with it with someone else? If so, how did they get on?
Played a little with his brother who again spent more time with the dinosaurs on their own

6) how would you rate the value for money of the toy?
Good value for money even for just the dinosaurs. If the playset had engaged my DS, it would have been excellent value for money

7) if there was one thing you could improve about the toy what - if anything - would it be?
It was rather small - perhaps a bigger "dinoland" might have been more attractive to my DS.

8) is this a toy you would recommend to parents with the same age child as you? If so, why? Why not?
No - I think that the toy would have been more suitable for a younger child than mine - 3-4 rather than a 5y old.

DunnoWhy Tue 14-Jun-11 18:14:09

1-) Not a tester but we have several Chad Valley toys at home.
The most recent impressive one is Brain Buzz Magnetic word tiles which I had bought few years ago for future use, when DD grows up! And now it is the time, dd is playing with it, making words, learning to spell.
2-) It is brilliant! I could not find it anywhere else, I was looking to buy one as present.
3-) it is educational, it is fun, easy to carry as it comes with a transparent bag.
4-) on and off she used it almost daily basis since she learnt the letters. The more she learnt the letters at school, the more use we get out of it. Competing with each other etc.
5-) she used it with her friend when her friend comes to visit her. they both liked it.
6-) I cannot remember how much I had paid for it, as it was long time ago, but I am sure it was affordable!
7-) make it available to buy it everywhere! I cannot find it to buy for my friend’s kids. Also more letters in the same pack would be great. So longer sentences can be produced.
8-) would recommend. Reasons above.

emiai Tue 14-Jun-11 21:08:24

Not a tester - but a very happy consumer.
Chad Valley Double sided easel - Was purchased in the Argos sale for £10!!!

The toy required some assembly, but instructions were clear and easy to put together with eager little ones around. Its chunky frame and seat were a delight and it has good height too. The stool slides under the toy with ease too for compact storage. Supplied with chalk and eraser.

My son was never a fan of really putting crayon to paper and it was suggested to try him on an easel - something new to lure his creativity and it took to it right away. The chalk sticks are like school ones - not the chunky ones some stores sell which I prefer, and there is a clip to slide paper under to hold it in place so its not sliding all over when heavy handed scribbles are made.

My son played with this toy for a long time, but I had to keep my toddler away from it when he was using it as she kept trying to eat the chalk. The size of the desk when the lid is put down also meant that my son could have his lunch sat up to it, and when finished could flip up the lid and start drawing again, The first few days we had it - it was his favourite toy, now its part of our active toy rotation which he uses once a week, and will keep him busy for a good 1-2 hours depending on what I supply for him to use, (Paints, crayons, chalks, printed pictures etc)

Sharing this toy is easy as one child can be stood at either side, He has not shared this with his sister however, because as I mentioned before - she would have eaten the chalk. She can raise and lower the lid herself though, again showing how simple the toy is to use.

The toy is fantastic value for money, and I was really pleased with the self assembly option, The instructions suggest having the chalk board face up so it can be used flat, and there is a clip for the other side to hold the paper. I take the toy apart to change this according to what we will use it for, My son prefers to chalk upright at an angle, and draw flat - by simply taking the top crayon rack off and flipping the board gives different uses for this fantastic toy. Well worth the full retail price - and as you can imagine a bargain at sale price.

I dont feel there is any room for improvement, a solid, sturdy, fun, flexable toy - and NO STICKERS - which made it looks really smart. (I hate stickers, children always rip them)

To anyone who would like to purchase an easel, or to try a new angle when approaching home art, this is a definate reliable purchase. Its very light but incredibly durable - and can be used in a wide variety of ways, easily cleaned and its real fun!

My son is 3 - and has no problem using this toy, or sitting on the seat unassisted.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 17-Jun-11 10:53:05

Thanks for all the feedback on the Chad Valley toys.
Am pleased to say the winners of a £100 voucher for the store of their choice are SamsGoldilocks (non tester) and SummerRain (tester). Well done

SummerRain Fri 17-Jun-11 16:48:16

Thanks Chad Valley and MNHQ grin

Am grinning ear to ear as I'm beyond broke and badly in need of some clothes so this couldn't have come at a better time!

SamsGoldilocks Fri 17-Jun-11 18:55:49

Indeed - whoop de doo. And it's my littel boy's 3rd birthday today - makes it feel like a doubly brilliant win.

Thank you very much - so much to choose from.

littlelapin Fri 17-Jun-11 20:24:00

Hurrah and congrats smile

badgermum Fri 17-Jun-11 20:55:43

Not Currently a Tester but open to offers - wink

1) Battle Ship
2) Very good Value for money with good quality metal aeroplanes
3) My sons is intruiged with the battle ship and aeroplanes he loves the siren too
4) Plays with this as long as his other favourite toys also a good toy to play with other children too
5) Yes more than one child play with this very well in fact there are enough extra aircraft for up to three other children
6) excellent value for money
7) To improve it I would make the base open up with either a sliding door or a flap at the rear for storage of the aircraft and extra features
8) Would definately recommend for children age 5 and over, good boy toy.

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