REVIEW: Haba Toys

We are thrilled to have been sent a superb selection of HABA products for review. “HABA’s company philosophy is based on one simple principle: Children are the most important things in life. . Instilling fundamental values, helping them become independent and develop into creative and imaginative people is not the exclusive job of the parents; children grow up in a complex network of relationships. Siblings, friends, care-givers, teachers—they all have an influence on child development. In addition to the people in their life, the environment and the objects around them play a major role in their development from the first day on.” See the entire fantastic range on the HABA website.

Adam’s Farm Playset

This lovely multi-piece playset is suitable for children 18 months up – it’s always great to find toys recommended for this age group. Made from solid beech wood and attractively painted, young ones will love to help farmers Adam and Molly look after all the animals on the farm. There’s a farmhouse, of course, plus a horse, a pig, a cow, a calf, a sheep, a goat, a dog, a manger, three fences, a pitchfork, a bucket and a milk churn. The animals all look really friendly, with happy expressions that will appeal to children The farmhouse is prettily decorated, with charming touches like a line of washing and pretty flowers; it assembles easily with a slot-together system and is very solid once made. This is a really high quality product which is well designed, with rounded edges to most of the pieces, and no sharp corners. All the pieces stand up well and offer lots of opportunities for imaginative play; with the variety of pieces, children will find plenty of stimulation to act out stories. The set can also be extended by using other sets in the HABA Playworld series – find out more here. This is a lovely toy which will look good displayed in a child’s room when it is not in use. Wooden toys are a great favourite of mine as their appeal is timeless and then can be passed down within and beyond the family, giving pleasure to many generations. It’s a super way to teach children about life on the farm and to use to start discussing where our food comes from.

Discovery Blocks Fun with Sounds

Toddlers will love the range of sounds produced by these colourful blocks. There are six discovery blocks and all but one offer different acoustic effects; the final one has a ridged tactile effect. It’s a great way for toddlers to explore the world of sounds, with squeakers and rattles that require the child to make different movements with the blocks, such as twisting or pressing, to generate the sounds. The brightly coloured beech wood blocks can also be used to build a tower – each cube is 4 x 4 x 4 cm. They are beautifully made, with rounded edges and lots of shapes to explore. A lovely toy for children who are starting to investigate the world.

Small Sound Workshop

This starter set is a lovely way to introduce children of 2+ to musical instruments. It includes a penny whistle, a drum with sticks and a three note metallophone. Made largely of beech wood, these are really attractive and well made and a super way to encourage musical development and a sense of rhythm. The sound levels are suitable for young children, ensuring no damage to delicate hearing – and no driving mum and dad mad! Like all HABA toys, these are made in Germany. HABA tell us that beech wood is light brown, very hard and versatile. All their Play Worlds figures, HABA ball tracks and building blocks, many of their clutching toys and pacifier chains, and the figures for board games, are all made of regional, sustainable German beech wood, growing in the forests surrounding the company’s location. Durable and attractive, this is a lovely set of musical instruments to generate an interest in making sounds. HABA produce a wide range of musical instruments to complement this set

Number Maze Magnetic STEM Toy

This is a beautifully made attractive wooden toy which is perfect for learning numbers 1 to 5 as well as colours. It also encourages fine motor skills and concentration as children (recommended age 2+) use the magnetic pen to move the balls around the maze. Usefully, the attached magnet wand (no danger of losing it!) tucks safely away in a convenient storage slot inside of the maze – the whole game is really well designed and it’s perfect for taking out and about. Based around five animal friends (pig, cow, sheep, pig and hens), there are 15 colourful balls to match up with the corresponding animals and numbers. For example, the five white balls turn into chicken eggs in the nest. For added challenge, there are maze dividers that can also be moved around with the magnetic wand. The toy is totally safe, as all the parts are enclosed withing the wood and perspex outer. Made of lime plywood, this colourful toy measures 23 cm diameter x 3.6 cm deep. Adults – have a play with it first because your child won’t want to part with it; I found it quite addictive and very relaxing. A real joy of a toy which is superbly made and which develops a range of key early learning skills while children are having fun. HABA pay a great deal of attention to safety – products comply with European and national regulations for toy safety for both materials used and their processing. They comply with the European toy safety directive (2009/48/EG) and the EU directive on general product safety (2001/95/EG), as well as the EU standard for toy safety (EN 71).

Clutching Toy Magic Rolling

This wooden clutching toy is painted with bold eye-catching colours. It makes a very gentle clacking noise when played with and is saliva resistant. The wooden balls are moveable, thanks to the strong elastic band which holds the whole toy together. Each half-ball is painted a different colour which still allows the attractive wood grain to show through. The toy is made of beech wood. It has a lovely feel – very tactile. It’s a simple toy but one that will give a baby hours of pleasure. Dimensions – radius 9 cm, with 12 half balls.

Wooden Threading Beads

What has really struck me, as well as the high manufacturing standards, are the bright vibrant colours used throughout the HABA range – these are perfect to capture children’s attention and make the toys so attractive to look at and to have on display in a child’s room. These 72 multicoloured wooden beads epitomise these values perfectly. The variety of shapes is excellent, including big and little cones and cylinders large and small. The pack also includes threader and cord; the holes are just the right size for a three year old and this toy will really develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Young children will just enjoy the threading; older ones may well design necklaces, bracelets and belts to their own taste. The beads can also be used to teach about pattern, laying the beads out and asking children to copy the order, for example. Beads are made from beech wood and painted with a nontoxic, water-based stain. Like all HABA toys, this is made in Germany.

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