Let’s Grow! With Great Little Trading Company | AD

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Disclosure: We were sent the Wooden Garden Toy by Great Little Trading Company, in exchange for this blog post. All words and opinions are my own.

As a family, we love to grow things. We’ve always grown a few bits here and there, but over the past couple of years our efforts have expanded massively, to a home veg plot, and more recently an allotment too. Gardening is definitely a family affair for us, and I think it’s so important for children to discover the joy of nature and of growing. When I saw Great Little Trading Company’s newest addition to their role play toy range, I couldn’t have been more excited – the wooden Growing Garden toy, perfect for the little gardeners out there.

Ben, my 3 year old, is a big fan of the Great Little Trading Company’s role play toys and we’ve bought him an ice cream set and a coffee shop over the years, both of which have been very much loved. I had a strong suspicion that the Growing Garden toy would go down rather well.

I was pleasantly surprised to note that the assembly design of this had been updated and improved on some of the other role play toys we’ve had and was very easy on the whole (apart from one bit where I failed to properly read an instruction – I’m a notorious scan reader for things like this!). I often find that little toys like this can be far more fiddly to put together than bigger items of flat pack furniture, but the nut and screw method used here works really well and means there’s no inadvertent threading of screws, which has definitely happened to me on occasion in the past.

The set itself is super cute, and equipped with lots of the standard fruit and veg that you might grow at home: tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, and peppers. In fact, of everything provided, it’s only the peppers that we’re not growing this year, so it was lovely to see that Ben was able to name all of the items and that everything was familiar to him. I was a very proud gardening mummy!

The set is really interactive, with little velcro spots for the strawberries, tomatoes and peppers to attach, so your child can play at harvesting the ripe fruit. There are little labels for each of the fruit or veg, complete with a picture for pre-schoolers who can’t yet read, and you can move around the fruit and veg to different positions.

There is a mini watering can and a wooden toy packet of sunflower seeds, which makes a shaking sound when you move it, so it sounds like real seeds. The attention to detail is really impressive and really brings it to life.

We took the whole set up to the allotment with us, so that Ben could play alongside us while we did some jobs and I took a few photos. Although we try to involve Ben with as many allotment jobs as we can, his age means it’s often difficult to find tasks that he can actually help with at the plot and he can get easily bored. He was absolutely thrilled with a new toy to play with, and instantly got stuck in, sowing seeds and harvesting strawberries.

A small wooden crate sits on the ground, filled with brightly coloured toy fruits, including strawberries, tomatoes and carrots
A little boy dressed in a yellow top is standing up and holding up a green pepper toy to the camera, triumphantly
A close up shot of a little boy holding a toy wooden crate, filled with wooden play food.

I love how imaginative kids are – Ben declared that his little basket of goodies smelled “delicious”!

A little boy is sniffing a little wooden crate of play food

I loved that playing with this was then able to link directly on to actual gardening tasks – Ben has grown a sunflower which we’ve been looking after at home having sown the seed ages ago. Today was finally the time to plant it out, so Ben loved practicing sowing the seed with his toy, making it grow into a sunflower, and then moving on to planting out his real life sunflower.

A little boy dressed in a yellow top and denim shots is holding up a pot containing a tall sunflower plant. He is beaming with excitement
A little boy dressed in a yellow top and denim shorts is using a wooden toy watering can to water a row of broad beans
Two little boys are both holding a metal watering can and lifting it together to water a row of broad beans

I was also really impressed that my 7 year old was also keen to have a play. I’d thought he would be a little old for a toy like this, but while I was cracking on with some jobs I noticed that the two of them were playing together with the Garden Toy. My eldest is a very keen gardener, so it was really sweet to hear him encouraging Ben and sharing some of his top tips.

Two little boys are playing together with the Great Little Trading Company Wooden Garden Toy
Two little boys are crouched down, playing together with a wooden gardening toy
Two little boys are crouched down together, playing with a wooden gardening toy

This past year has really brought home to me the therapeutic effects of gardening, and it’s something that has really helped us as a family to get through a pretty tough year. I think it’s so important for children to understand those benefits and engage with growing things, and I’m often amazed at just how interested they are to learn about it all. To me, this little set is the perfect tool to use alongside real life gardening activities, to teach little ones and inspire a love of gardening that will hopefully stay with them for life.

Disclosure: We were sent the Wooden Garden Toy by Great Little Trading Company, in exchange for this blog post. All words and opinions are my own.

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