When I read about Wicked Uncle and their online toy shop I just knew I would love the experience of reviewing for them.
Wicked Uncle is a online toy shop that doesn't primarily concentrate on just the parents buying toys for children. It also provides the opportunity for uncles, aunts, grandparents and friends of parents to find the perfect gift. I think this is a great idea as I think relatives and friends can sometimes struggle to think about what to get.
The website is brilliant and has loads of different search options so you can try and find the perfect gift. They do have a girl toy and boy toy section but its great that they also have an option to search for types of toys in a category section, as girls can love cars and boys can love dolls. It also has a age range search so you can try and find a toy perfect for the child's age.
The range of toys on the website is brilliant, and I think if you were buying for a child and you didn't know their preferences then you would still be able to find something for them. For example, if Lily's guide parents needed to get a gift and shopped the two things they knew most, girl and age one, then there are so many toys in this section that Lily would love.
I also love that the toys aren't ones that you see all the time everywhere in all the shops, and so that rules out the possibility of buying something that they already have. Which from buying for nieces and nephews of my own has always been a concern. The experience doesn't stop there. You could buy the gift to be sent to you to give to them, or you can take advantage of the gift wrap option and get it sent directly to them. All my family lives up north and I will definetly be considering using Wicked Uncle for the next children's gift I need to send.
Wicked Uncle gave me £40 to spend on the website to review, so then I could see what shopping was like with them. I must admit I spent ages looking, and not because there wasn't anything for Lily, but because there was so much she would love on there. I ended up shopping mostly in the ALL 2+ area as Lily likes toys that are for children a little older than her and also as she is nearly 18 months I felt she would enjoy them for longer. Eventually I picked what I wanted and placed my order.
My order arrived very quickly and here is what we chose.
The Grow it - My Very Own Garden Set by Learning Resources - £19.95
The Farm Sound Blocks - By Melissa and Doug - £12.95
The Farm Touch and Feel Puzzle - By Melissa and Doug - £8.50
With postage on top my order came to a little over £40 but I didn't mind paying the difference to get Lily what she would love.
So what did Lily and I think of the toys.
First we tried the Farm Touch and Feel Puzzle.
I chose this for Lily because she really loves her farm animals at the moment. We have recently visited one and she is now learning all about the different animals. Lily has also loved her touch and feels books since she was little and so when I spotted a puzzle that was touch and feel I knew she would love it. Puzzles are one thing I love buying for Lily and Ive had Melissa and Doug before and knew how lovely there wooden toys are.
Lily couldn't wait for me to get it open and played with it as soon as I took the wrapping off. She found the pieces really easy to slot in and loved stroking the animals. We have had the toys for two weeks now and Lily plays with this everyday so it was a great choice for her.
Secondly we tried the Farm Sound Blocks
I chose this for Lily as again she is interested in her animals at the moment and also is starting to learn the noises that the animals make. I also thought they would be nice and educational for her. These needed batteries and so to begin with we couldn't make the blocks make sounds as we had no batteries. They are really clever toys and when you match the 2 blocks together they make the animal noise.
Lily really enjoyed placing the bricks into the holder. She also kept placing them one on top of each other to build. Lily doesn't quite grasp the idea that she has to match the pictures up to make the sound, but thats something that she will learn for future use of the toy. Two weeks later and the batteries are now in and Lily loves hearing the sounds of the animals and copies the pig and cow when they oink and moo.
I chose this for Lily as she loves a little bit of role play. She also really enjoys placing things in things so it looked the perfect toy for her. Lily already owns a Learning Resources food set that she loves and I also knew that they made great quality toys.
The set came with a watering can, two flower pots, two flowers, a radish, a carrot and a spade.
Lily Really enjoyed this toy and I would say it was the favourite out of the three. She enjoyed using the spade to pretend to dig and the watering can to water the flowers. She also enjoyed putting the flowers and veg in and out of the flower pots. The shapes were really easy to place in and out of the flower pots which is great for Lily as she can get frustrated if she can't do something. Over the last two weeks Lily would constantly bring me the box of the garden toys for me to get them out for her to play with, so I know that these were a really good choice.
To add to the Wicked Uncle gift experience the parcel also comes with a little Thank you card inside that has the senders address on. It says thank you and also has a little thing on the back that you can fill in to say you liked it. I think this is a lovely little extra touch that Wicked Uncle provides.
So next time you need a child's gift why not head to the Wicked Uncle website and see if you can find the perfect one!
Do you think the Wicked Uncle experience sounds great? Would love to know your thoughts?