As a primary school teacher, it's hard to let go of searching out the educational value of a toy coming into the house, but when I was offered the chance to review the Fairy Light Garden, I googled Interplay and the first thing I read was 'STEM toys' which was positive! While we put the garden together, lots of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) chat naturally occurred. We discussed 2D and 3D shapes, symmetry and the seed growing process. Honey commented that the soil pilfered from our solitary plant in the garden was cold and probably needed some water to soften it so the seeds would be able to bed in. She also reminded me when we needed to water the seeds (I needed reminding, I cannot keep plants or flowers alive to save my life). After a few days, the grass hadn't started to grow, so we had another conversation about why that might be and what we could do to encourage growth and together, we decided to move the garden to a sunnier location. Bingo, grass shoots!
A pair of scissors to aid unpacking.
A small cross head screwdriver.
Some soil or compost.
Roughly a tablespoon of water.
The Fairy Garden would be even better if...
The toadstool house was secured on top of decking. At the moment, it is really easy to take off and play with separately but it slides around if they try to play with it in place. Perhaps velcro or a clip could be used so you still have the option of removing the house.
The manufacturers used less packaging. The kit came packaged in lots of different plastic bags, most of which could have been avoided, as the first thing Honey wanted to do was spread all the pieces out on the table so they ended up jumbled together anyway!
Overall, the Fairy Light Garden is a hit in this house. I am happy with the balance of traditionally educational and free play opportunities the garden opens up and Honey is thrilled to own a much longed for toy. Even Ace asks to put the nightlight on when I put him to bed, which is super cute! The Fairy Light Garden is available from Interplay UK Ltd and while its not exactly a pocket money toy (this set retails at £29.99), I would definitely purchase it as a Christmas or birthday present.