We packed up the kids this week and took a Spring Break trip to Niagara Falls. Knowing we’d have plenty of time in the hotel room and potentially bored/restless kids, I saved a couple of new toys for the trip. This also proved to be a helpful way to get them to behave on the car ride there and while checking in – “if you’re not quiet, you won’t get your new toy!” It bought us some relaxation time that evening, too, as the kids were caught up in their new toys while we were able to relax with a glass of wine and watch the falls from our hotel window.
The toys came from the Manhattan Toy Company’s popular MiO line of playsets, which I like for their simplicity and natural materials. I chose the Food Truck + Person set and the Airplane + Pilot set. Like all the MiO playsets, the play figures have soft, beanbag bodies and the wooden pieces are painted with nontoxic finishes.
I chose the Airplane + Pilot set for my son, who loves anything that spins (especially airplane propellers). My daughter plays with cars and other vehicles constantly, so I knew she would like the Food Truck + Person set. Plus, how cool that a toy food truck exists?!
I was impressed with the toys as soon as I opened the boxes. The play pieces and people are made out of sturdy, smooth wood and are sized appropriately for small hands. The airplane wheels and propeller spin and my son immediately set about “flying” it around the hotel room and giving other small toys rides in the plane.
My favorite is definitely the food truck. It capitalizes on the growing trend of food trucks and is just so cute! I loved the wooden stove and refrigerator blocks that fit within the truck and the ability to open or close the window and back doors. The wooden plates (called “pancakes” by my kiddos) were a little tricky to keep within the truck and we lost them a few times throughout the week, but added an additional dimension of play to the toy. My daughter loved this and both toys were highlights of the vacation for my children!
It’s nice to see traditional, simple toys like these out there amidst all the smartphone enabled products with a variety of bells and whistles. Kids can imagine, pretend and role play with these toys while taking a break from the iPad. These playsets and others can be found on the Manhattan Toy Company web site. The Airplane + Pilot retails for $23, and the Food Truck + Person retails for $30.