Summer holidays are here! With good-byes to exams, school, play-time & friends, it is a herculean task for kids to battle the ogre called ‘boredom’ & more importantly for parents to keep their kids away from screen time to avoid jadedness. With kid’s pool & house parties this summer, if you are wondering what to gift your child or your child’s friend for her birthday or a season, well, thankfully, this blog-post has come to your rescue. While going gaga over the golas, gelatos, gol-gappas groovy gifts this summer, your children will have newer reasons to smile. While we will help you choose fabulous toys to keep you hyper-active brats occupied, enjoy this summer bonding with your little munchkins, play interactive games, read out a story & take them for a swim! 🙂
As a smart parent, we often choose toys not just because they look good or they are pink or blue in colour. We also keep in mind –
- Safety – child safe(no sharp edges & harmful chemicals/dyes)
- Durability – Long-lasting (Definitely not a use & throw)
- Interactive – It should be engaging with my child.
- Early learning & development of the child
- Either or a combination of applying Social, Physical, Mental, Logical, Analytical, Fine Loco-Motor, Problem Solving skills
- Use of materials (eg. harmful plastic. Which toddler does not put toys his mouth)
- Investment (commonly said as ‘Cost’)
- Pollution of sound (I am particularly not very fond of loud music that keeps buzzing from Chinese toys).
- Attractive & Appealing (well, most toys are intended & designed to be)
Considering all of the above, there is one brand of toys I love called “Shumee”. What is Shumee? Meet Meeta Sharma Gupta, the Founder of Shumee who has graduated from IIT & Harvard. She has added a whole new dimension to eco-friendly wooden toys ‘Made In India’. Awarded as the Best Toy Brand For Kids at KSP 2017, Meeta takes pride in introducing her latest collection of hand-painted toys that are age-appropriate (0-7 years) to acuminate & stimulate mental, physical, problem-solving, logical, fine loco-motor, hand-eye co-ordination, imaginary and social development skills of your child.
From the arsenal of offerings, we have chosen 3 toys that we like the best –
- Musical Animal Truck
If there is something called “Love At First Sight” – It is true! A fabulous combination of a truck, xylophone & an animal sorter is sure winner with my toddler. It is cleverly designed as a pull-along because you do not want your little one to carry it around and accidentally drop it on his/her gentle feet. Soft music applying fine motor skills to figure out which animal fits into which cut-out is an intelligent way to keep the young Turks engrossed.
Priced at Rs.1400 you can buy it here.
- Kitchen Pretend Set
Well, there are always some toys for children which are skewed preferences for girls & boys. The kitchen pretend play set is bright & colorful for your little princess to introduce her to the culinary world. Bring on your creative skills & cook an imaginary meal for her Dear Daddy with veggies and protein rich fish sailing beautifully carved that employ spatial skills.
Priced at Rs.1300 you can buy this here.
- Sea World Peg-It-Right
It’s time to make new friends with the beautiful sea creatures! Turtles & Starfish will be your child’s new besties! Assorting the colours by applying sensory & tactile skills makes this an interesting pick. Different combinations can create new challenges & helps solve them innovatively.
Priced at Rs.950 you can buy it here.
What we love the most –
Bright Colours – 9.5/10. The assortment of colours used in the Xylophone & the animals is incredible. My daughter absolutely loves them.
Sturdy & Great Quality – 9.5/10. Made from fine wood & natural water-based colours & dyes, the truck is an absolute delight as it comes with well-carved sturdy animals that are unbreakable. Many brands manufacturing wooden toys use thin planks of wood that are easily breakable. These animal are atleast 1.5 cms in thickness. Solid & Strong – they are very durable for everyday use.
No Plastic. – Putting all things in mouth plague all children. “Muh mein mat dalo”… is a phrase all moms tell their toddler atleast a dozen of times a day. Since Shumee uses only natural wood and no plastic makes all the toys eco-friendly & safe to use even without adult supervision. Thus, it’s free of chemicals, phthalates, PVC & lead which are toxic to your toddler’s health causing impairment of brain, cancer or allergy.
Engaging – Children are quick to grasp things. We should buy toys for toddlers that can constructively engage the child to hone physical, mental, logical, fine loco-motor skills. The underlying philosophy is that “Children should drive the toys, the toys should not drive the children”. It’s best to buy toys that open up the creative mind instead of buying stuffed toys that cannot generate curiosity but accumulate dust.
Made In India – Well, I am a big fan of “Made In India” products, even if it sounds old school. From design to manufacture, it all sourced locally. Traditional toys which had become obsolete with the influx of factory made toys are slowly making a come-back as they are far more well-thought than many of the modern toys that have jarring lights & sounds that are surely not pleasant to our ears.
What could have been better –
Packaging – 7.5/10. It would have been great to have the toy packed in a Shumee Branded Box. Priced at a slight premium of Rs.1,400 for a Xylophone Animal Truck, I’d be happy to see a cardboard box instead of a cling-wrap and paper wrap as cushioning for shipment, although this does not have a bearing on the quality of the product.
Fixtures – 8.5/10. The fixture at one of the wheels in the truck is not very firm. It gives away when my little one pulls it; and you know most children are destructive by nature & love exploring everything