AD | Partnership
Smoby encompasses everything that little ones love about play – whether’s playing like mum and dad with cool kitchen and workbenches to playing outdoors in playhouses and slides.
The early years are a pivotal time for children, it is the time when they are learning about the world around them. From the people they love with, their extended network of family and friends, as well as classes, groups or nursery that they may attend. These years are the ones where they will learn so much more than they will as they grow up. From the everyday things of walking, running, talking and understanding (and dealing with) their emotions.
Early years learning
Play is an important part of a child’s early development. Playing helps young children’s brains to develop and for their language and communication skills to mature. The areas of learning are:
- communication and language
- physical development
- personal, social and emotional development
- understanding the world
- expressive arts and design
Learning through play
With an extended period of time at home over the last few months, we took the option to ‘unschool‘ Piglet from the home learning activities that her preschool had set. Whilst she will happily write her name at the bottom of a drawing she has coloured etc. she didn’t want to sit at the table to write it repeatedly on worksheets.
Shifting the focus from the traditional pen and paper activities to ones where she would be able to learn through play. With an amazing imagination, she can happily enjoy role-playing toys, creative activities and have fun with her siblings – all whilst developing her communication, personal, social and emotional skills.
SMOBY Nature Playhouse with kitchen
The Nature playhouse with its kitchen enables kids to imagine a thousand stories and not to get bored anymore!
Spending time outdoors is important for children, not only for the fresh air and exercise but the chance to discover the world around them. Time in the garden exploring the nooks and crannies looking for bugs and flowers. With outdoor play activities allowing them to role-play and entertain themselves, siblings and friends in their own environment.
We have added the Smoby Nature Playhouse with kitchen to our recently transformed garden where we have created a dedicated play area for the children. With the playhouse making a welcome addition as a place to play house, hide from siblings as well as cook up a storm on the kitchen area.
Arriving in one large box, I did wonder how difficult it would be to assemble. With clear instructions, it didn’t take What The Dad Said and Roo long to assemble the playhouse. One small note would be that whilst the pieces are lettered within the instructions there aren’t any actual letters on the pieces themselves (or not that we could locate) so you do need to double-check that you have the right part before you click it into place.
Whilst you might think that an outdoor playhouse is just a house with a roof, door and maybe a window or two. However, you would be wrong, it is so much more than that. The Smoby Nature Playhouse with kitchen comes with an opening half barn style door opening. As well as two windows with sliding shutters, giving that much-needed privacy – especially when you are playing hide and seek.
The kitchen area provides a grill, sink and preparation area as well as a hanging rack on the side for utensils. Complete with two plates, glasses, cutlery and hot dog sausages and a pan.
Once the playhouse and kitchen had been assembled it was time to think about placement. The children’s play area is covered in children’s play bark, giving them a relatively soft landing for when the inevitable slips, trips and falls happen. So this felt like the perfect play to include the playhouse, giving Piglet a ‘floor’ to the playhouse whilst we were able to bed it in so that it didn’t move.
Where can you buy the Smoby Nature Playhouse?
The Smoby Nature Playhouse with Kitchen is available to buy from Argos – both in-store and online for collection/delivery.
SMOBY Supermarket Maxi
Alone or with friends, kids will love the Maxi Market thanks to the many fun game features that it offers!
With a parent who works in retail, it is inevitable that the children wish to recreate what they get up to at home. The Smoby Supermarket Maxi is the one-stop shop to enable them to do just that.
This one proved to be a little tricky to assemble, taking me over an hour to assemble one evening so that it would be ready for play the following morning. The instruction booklet offers a good range of images to aid you with the assembly, although the lettered pieces as indicated on the instructions were not included on the play pieces so I had to be careful to ensure that I had the correct piece (as some of the shelves look very similar).
There are several sticker sheets to be utilised across the supermarket, with an image included at the back of the instruction booklet to guide you as to the placement for these. Thankfully, these are numbered on the sheet and image so that you can ensure you have the right one to hand.
The attention to detail within this supermarket playset is something that sets it apart from anything we have had similar in the past. From a working calculator on the till to the ability to push a receipt out of the card machine when you place the credit card in the bottom. Scales that move and dials to change for both the weight and whether or not the supermarket is open or closed. To the till that can be locked to keep money safe and sound whilst the assistant is restocking the shelves.
Complete with a shopping trolley that is the perfect height for preschoolers, as well as a range of fruit, veg and groceries to enable a fully functioning shopping experience.
Indoor and outdoor play
The Smoby Supermarket Maxi is a relatively substantial playset, however, it doesn’t weigh that much that it is cumbersome to move around. Making it the perfect playset to utilise in both indoor and outdoor play – although it should be brought inside at the end of the day or stored within a storage shed etc.
Enabling the playset to be utilised as a standalone activity or included within a wider selection of fun and games. Piglet has had this set up in the garden during the sunnier days within easy reach of the Smoby Nature Playhouse so that she can pop home for lunch and buy more food to prepare in her kitchen.
Where can you buy the Smoby Supermarket Maxi?
The Smoby Supermarket Maxi is available to buy from Argos – both in-store and online for collection/delivery.
Making time for play
Making time for play is so important to the development of young minds, make sure that you encourage them to learn through play and have fun.