Product Review: Multifunctional Toys For Babies And Toddlers

With Christmas not that far off, people are beginning to think about what gifts their loved ones might like and when it comes to babies and young children, what toys would be suitable for them. There are many different types of toys available, from games to cuddly bears and toys which aid learning and development, which can make buying gifts for babies and young children somewhat challenging.

Toys and Bears offer a range of toys and teddy bears, and their handy filters help you take the guesswork out of what to buy! You can filter by age, price, brand and more! In addition, they have a great range of educational toys if you wish to gift something that will aid development. Finally, if you’re interested in the Montessori way of learning and play, then Toys and Bears have a range of Montessori toys.

A multicoloured box containing a toy is laid flat on the floor. The box has a white baby on the front playing with building blocks and the animal cut outs which the toy contains.
The Carotina Baby Blocks Mat in its box.

In terms of toys that aid development, one that is definitely suitable for babies and toddlers is the Carotina Baby Blocks Mat. When in its box, the set doesn’t look that big; however, looks are deceiving, especially with this product. This multifunctional mat and blocks set can be used from around a year old up to four years of age and has many features making it an excellent choice if you want a toy that will last a couple of years rather than a few months.

The large building blocks are great for little ones to explore their creative side whilst developing their fine motor control through stacking and building. The blocks are the perfect size for small hands, and the vibrant colouring of the blocks make them attractive to babies as well as helping to stimulate their brain growth. The blocks also enable toddlers to learn how to count when they’re ready to, and with there being 38 blocks of varying sizes, there’s plenty of ways to get little ones learning off to a great start!

Bright yellow, green, red and purple building blocks are laid out on the floor. To the right is an open box containing several pieces of the playmat in with various colours.
The building blocks and some of the playmat pieces

Moving onto the playmat and the jigsaw style means that little ones potentially have their first 24 piece jigsaw within this toy! The playmat, when put together, measures 70x50cm and is double-sided, making for hours of learning and fun. Each piece has a different scene on the front; for example, an ocean scene for the shark and octopus jigsaw piece and a desert scene with pyramids in the background for the camel. The back of each piece has the backs of the animals and the back of the two houses on the most prominent jigsaw piece with a blue background with white polka dots.

Photo of playmat pieces with the backs various animals and 2 houses. The pieces have a blue background with white polka dots.
The back of the playmat pieces

However, the beauty of this entire set is that 11 of the animals and the houses pop out of the jigsaw piece, whilst a few of the building blocks contain slots on top. This is a fantastic feature as it allows little ones to create their own scenes and helps with many different areas of their development. In addition, the bright colours of both the jigsaw pieces and the blocks really stand out even when put together.

A small jigsaw style playmat is laid on light brown laminate flooring. Each piece of the play mat has a different scene with various animals in and each piece has various bright colours.
The front of the playmat

Right now, Alice is a little too small to use this toy as she’s only 2 months old. However, we can’t wait to see her using it in a few months when she sits up by herself, and we’re excited to see her start using it. The set is the perfect size for our house, especially as we’re pretty limited on space which is why I’m so happy about all of the functions that the Carotina Baby Blocks Mat contains.

This post is kindly sponsored, and we were gifted the Carotina Baby Blocks Mat for this review. However, the content is based on our honest opinions.

Steiff Teddy Bear Review

When it comes to toys for little ones, there are many different types to choose from, but if there’s one essential toy that most people can agree on when it comes to what children should have, it’s teddy bears and plush toys! Whether it’s as a gift for that special occasion, a reward for good behaviour, or just one that parents get for their little one, teddy bears have been a staple in babies nurseries and toddler/children’s bedrooms across the world. Even now, both Alex and I have our favourite teddy bears from when we were children! 

Many brands create teddy bears, but one extremely well-known brand is Steiff. For generations, Steiff has been a go-to brand for families worldwide when giving a teddy bear to a little one and is easily recognisable with the iconic button in the ear trademark that Steiff has had since 1904. Steiff teddy bears are also known for being subjected to rigorous testing and for being of extremely high quality; after all, the Steiff company motto is “Only the best is good enough for children.” Both Alex and I had Steiff bears growing up, and with Alex’s mum’s side of the family being German, they know Steiff very well as a household name in Germany when it comes to teddy bears and plush toys! The high quality of the teddy bears and plush toys also means that they can be passed down for years to come. 

Teddy bears come in many shapes, sizes and colours. Whilst Steiff is renowned for its plush animals and their teddy bears, some of the Steiff range also double up as other types of toys. The Steiff Teddy Bears Stacking Lambaloo Lamb is one such teddy bear that can also be used as a toy. An excellent feature of this particular item from Steiff is that this lamb has 3 separate rings that are interactive and aid development making it truly versatile. The red one rustles, the light brown one in the middle is a cuddly ring, and the green ring at the bottom is a rattle. The lambs head is simply removed from the stack to enable the rings to come off. 

Photo of a cream coloured lamb shaped teddy bear with a smiley face on. The teddy bear has 3 rings making up its body; the top is red, middle light brown and bottom is green. The teddy bear is sitting on a grey box with red coloured drawings on.
Steiff Stacking Lambaloo Lamb

Right now, Alice loves her cuddly light brown ring and the red one which rustles. At 6 weeks old, she’s slowly becoming more aware of her surroundings, so it’s an excellent time to introduce the teddy bear to her in its separated form. The lamb’s stacking feature is also perfect because the teddy bear can be used for a stacking activity as the baby grows and moves through their developmental milestones. Talking of development, we love that one of the rings is red, as this is thought to be one of the first colours that newborns can see when their colour vision begins to develop. 

Alice, a small white baby with brown hair is laying on a multicoloured play mat wearing a green long sleeved top, dark blue leggings and white and light blue socks. Around her are a green ring, light brown ring and red ring.
Alice enjoying the rings as separate toys!

The interactive functions of the Stacking Lambaloo Lamb aren’t the only reason it’s an excellent choice as a cuddly toy; there are other reasons too. At just 18cm in length, Steiff’s Stacking Labaloo Lamb is the perfect size for tiny hands to grab hold of and play with but actually looks taller than its stated length when upright. Another most welcome feature is that the teddy bear is machine washable, even though you wouldn’t think it would be by looking at it due to the plushness of the materials used. This particular feature is excellent for ensuring that germs are kept at bay, especially as babies like to explore with their mouths, and this specific bear is great for babies from their very first days and weeks with all of its features! 

With Christmas coming up, Steiff has plenty of options for gifts for little ones, whether it’s a teddy bear for a new baby, a teddy bear for a toddler or even a collectable for a slightly older child; Steiff really does have something for everyone. The different ranges mean that you can get the infant or child’s favourite animal and, in some cases, their favourite character too! Steiff also packages their products beautifully, adding that extra special touch and quality feel to the products.

Photo of a grey and white striped box with drawings of teddy bears in red on. In the middle of the box is a cream circle with black outline which has the word Steiff in block writing in. The words knopf
How the teddy bear came packaged.

This post is kindly sponsored, and we were gifted the teddy bear for this review. However, the content is based on our honest opinions.