Earlier this month, I discovered a new brand of wooden toys – Mommy’s Promise. They make beautiful natural wooden toys for children that are made from 100% wood. After spending ages on their website admiring their stunning products, I decided to pick their set of wooden vehicle puzzles for my youngest son, who’s only a few weeks away from his fourth birthday. You should have seen the excitement on his face when he got to open an early birthday present!
Why wooden toys?
If you’re familiar with my work, you’ll know I have a passion for wooden toys. I’ve written before about why parents should choose wooden toys for their children, and I honestly think that as consumers, we need to become more aware of what we buy and use. Popular initiatives like Plastic Free July that encourage people to reduce their plastic usage, for example, are definitely helping us make progress and move in the right direction.
As parents, we have a responsibility to think about the toys and products that our children play and interact with. And wooden toys are a great alternative to plastic. A more eco-friendly and sustainable material than plastic, wood is better for the environment. Plus, wooden toys are also safe for our children and much more durable. We all know how plastic toys tend to break really easily, while simpler wooden toys can last for generations.
As I was browsing through the Mommy’s Promise website, I realised that, as a company, they’ve partnered up with onetreeplanted.org. This means that for each wooden toy purchased from their shop, they plant a tree. And for me, this is just amazing on so many levels! They’re not just doing great work by selling eco-friendly toys for our children, but they’re also giving back for our children in such an important way.
Mommy’s Promise wooden toys
If you head over to the Mommy’s Promise website, you’ll notice that you can shop for toys by selecting your child’s age bracket (0-1 years, 1-3 years, 3-5 years and nursery accessories). I was spoiled for choice when looking for something special for my youngest son. Keen to strike the right balance between education and fun, I wanted to get him something I knew he’d love but that would also give him a great opportunity for learning. I fell in love with a number of toys, especially the ones that would have made a great addition to our collection of role-play and pretend play toys, like the Coffee Making Playset or the Cash Register.
However, I eventually decided to go for the wooden educational puzzle (vehicles) as my son is really into his cars, trains, and planes at the moment. Plus, he loves his puzzles! And it looks like I picked the perfect toy for him. We both loved the bold, vibrant colours of the vehicles and the shiny, smooth finish of each individual puzzle. The pieces are well made and easy to move around, even and especially for his little fingers. Each puzzle has about five parts to it – the pieces are just about the right amount and size for him to be able to figure out (with a bit of trial and error) where everything goes. He can put them together independently at his age, without my intervention or assistance, and I love watching him play.
Learning through play
You’d think a puzzle can’t do much, right? You take it apart, and then you put it together again. How long can the fun last? Well, let me tell you (and then show you) some of the things I’ve witnessed my son doing while playing with his puzzles.
- Counting – he told me he had eight different vehicles. And he also tried to count the various pieces that made up every single puzzle.
- Learning vocabulary – the vehicles on the puzzles are quite simple and recognisable. But they still gave us a chance to learn some new vocabulary. We had a nice conversation about the difference between ships and boats. Then we talked about sailing boats, and how those are different from ships and ‘powered by the wind’. We went through all the colours he could see, and then we even translated all the words in Italian! Playing with the puzzles together turned into a very language-rich opportunity for us.
- Phonics – as my son hasn’t started formal education yet (although he will soon), he’s not expected to be able to read. But he can recognise some letters and sounds. We had fun picking out the letters he knows already and trying to identify a few more.
- Problem-solving – I watched my son trying to figure out where all the parts would go. And I loved staying back and seeing how he started experimenting, making ‘mistakes’ and then worked it all out by himself. He was so excited at first that he was trying to put the puzzles back together as fast as he could. But as I carried on observing (and filming), I noticed he slowed himself down. He started to think and plan ahead, rather than placing the pieces anywhere. I honestly find this amazing to watch – children are so resourceful! And often, when we jump in to offer solutions, we can take some of that learning experience away from them.
Watch a video of Mommy’s Promise wooden toys in action.
My son is a bit camera-shy, so I have to take videos when he’s busy playing and not paying too much attention to me. I hope you won’t mind not being able to see his little face! As you can see from the video though, my son also enjoyed putting his puzzles in a line and sorting and organising them into shapes.
Since taking the video I’ve observed him engaging in pretend play with his vehicles (that fire engine was making an amazing noise!) I’ve seen him take some of the pieces out from their puzzle frame, put them together on the floor and tell me “that’s how a car is made”. He also told me that you don’t take wooden toys into the bath with you because you don’t want them to get wet. All of this is absolutely great for his understanding of the world. Not to mention that he’s been taking them everywhere with him – even to bed! And apparently, we have to bring them on holidays with us so he can play with his Nonna too when we go and visit. That’s what I call a great present!
Grab yourself a 15% discount on your first Mommy’s Promise purchase!
Although some products are only available to the US market, Mommy’s Promise offers FREE shipping worldwide, so if you’re looking for a birthday present for your child or a thoughtful gift for a friend or family member, I think you’ll love the choice from Mommy’s Promise. Enter code SARASREVIEW at checkout, and you can get 15% off your first order! Happy shopping!
*Disclosure: this was a sponsored post created in collaboration with Mommy’s Promise. I received a free wooden puzzle in exchange for an honest review.