Little Extras

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At Planet Apple Toys Little Extras means exactly that, a selection of traditional or wooden presents which won’t break the bank.

If your child is ‘crafty’ and enjoys nothing more than colouring in then we have a wonderful range of amazing colour in tablecloths. Lots of different themes to choose from Amazing Animals, Seaside, Countryside, Teatime or if they love puzzles a tablecloth to colour in that has puzzles too. In the same range how about some postcards to take on holiday and send to their friends or even the traditional ‘thank you card’ to send after a special birthday or Christmas. This is often seen as boring chore, but when transformed into a craft activity can be seen as fun, ideal when the weather stops you from playing outside.

If craft projects are a favourite, how about our Mess Free Glitter range? What child doesn’t love the chance to use glitter and this range comes without the chore of finding glitter around the house forever. These lovely kits from Melissa and Doug feature either foam stickers or pictures that can be stylized with different coloured glitter to make each one unique.

Have you got a birthday party coming up soon and are struggling to think of things to fill party bags? What about some traditional ideas which make nice presents to take home? Jacobs Ladder is a classic wooden toy, as is the Magic Drawing Sketch Pad, Paper Lasers and Wooden Clown Whistles. Baby Forest Mini jigsaws are ideal for children over 3 as a first jigsaw puzzle and feature woodland creatures. Does anyone remember hand shadows, the skill of making shadows come alive with your hands? Impress their friends with a simple book that gives lots of examples on how to do this.

Who doesn’t love the chance to dress up and take part in role play? Combine this love with colouring in and you have a winning combination. Ever popular princess or pirate outfits and fairy wings can be personalised in favourite colours to create a unique dressing up outfit. Or have you thought about a themed children’s party with guests having their own opportunity to create an outfit of their own to colour in and wear. Sure to be a big hit with children and their parents and makes a welcome change from party games. You could have a special prize for the best outfit for boys and girls.

Skipping is a traditional past time and skipping ropes have been around for ever. As well as being great exercise for kids, skipping ropes can be used to play all sorts of different skipping games, ideal to practice with friends when they come over to play. Our skipping ropes are hand made in Fair Trade workshops in Sri Lanka from natural wood, are made to last and can be handed down.

Are you looking for the perfect toy which will encourage imaginative and open ended play? One which your child will never tire of yet costs nothing? Sand is such a toy! Wet or dry sand is a great sensory material which will provide hours of fun. The texture of sand encourages exploration of the sense of touch and play and with a set of moulds all of which have a fishy theme they will be encouraged to mould shapes, make up stories and develop role play. If you can’t get to the beach easily how about making your own sandpit in the garden which can be covered when not in use?

How can you get your child away from the TV, the computer or all the other easy indoor options and encourage them to go outside even when it is cold or rainy and what are the benefits? Firstly it gives them the opportunity to connect with the natural world and appreciate the interaction between plants, animals and humans. With the right encouragement they will develop a natural inquisitiveness and begin to ask questions and wonder as how it all works. What makes grass grow, where does rain come from or how do snails move? The list is endless! What about a special pair of binoculars to help them explore things in more detail.

Regular daily exercise helps muscle development, strengthens bones and is good for the heart and the cardiovascular system. The NHS recommends that children over the age of five should have at least one hour of exercise per day and the under five’s three hours per day. Exposure to sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D and some sources believe spending time in a green setting helps with a child’s attention span. As adults we are always being encouraged to take walks in the countryside to relieve stress and improve our health and well being. This is no different for children and every child benefits from having access to nature. Being outdoors allows your child to have a sense of freedom; it doesn’t matter if they get dirty and they can run about to their hearts content and express themselves freely without the risk of breaking anything. It is also great fun and when the weather makes it impossible to be outside they can use their imagination to draw pictures of what they have seen and learnt.