Meccano Kids Play Range
Buy online at Amazon
Initial thoughts: Meccano for two year olds? Remembering my struggle as a ten-year-old with nuts and bolts and bits of metal, my initial thoughts were ones of disbelief. But these attractive, chunky plastic models stay within the best traditions of meccano yet manage to achieve the impossible and encourage toddlers to start putting things together as well as taking them apart.
We liked: We loved the sturdy, bright construction and the toddler-friendly screwdriver. Most parts in the models I was sent (Ladybird and Caterpillar) just snapped together, but the final stage of the construction involved tightening a plastic bolt to hold the toys together. Charlie got the hang of this quite easily, and enjoyed the process of learning a new skill. The chunky tool is entirely toddler-friendly, easy to hold and manipulate.
We weren’t so keen: on the ease with which the toys can be dismantled. Ritual building and dismantling might seem like a great game when you’re two, but given the need for adult supervision, something just a little more difficult to take apart might be a good idea. On the other hand, that’s the nature of these toys so it’s a relatively minor quibble.
Overall: These 2+ toys make an interesting addition to the repertoire. Ranging from a build-and-play plane (£19.99 on Amazon) to a variety of smaller creatures like the Ladybird and Caterpillar, these kits will sustain the Christmas Day pleasure of unwrapping/unpacking and creating something out of nothing just a little longer.
[Tim, Bringing up Charlie]