Attention Santa (and Santa’s helpers): looking for a well crafted and unique Christmas gift? Then check out Wonderworld Toys! We have been road testing two fabulous wooden cranes(Mini Crane and Mini Tower Crane) courtesy of DKL Toys and love them! They would make excellent Christmas presents for little people that love to build. Isn’t that just about every little person?
Wonderworld Toys are a lovely company that produce environmentally friendly wooden toys specially designed for early childhood development. They have a great classification system that not only suggests the appropriate age range, but also the developmental stage. The toys are made from old rubber trees that no longer produce latex (and are no longer useful to that industry) and replace each tree with two new ones. They use environmentally- and child- friendly paints and recycled materials in their packaging, so it’s all very good stuff that you can feel happy about buying. But kids don’t care about that, they just want to have fun!
Made just for little hands (18+ months), the Mini Crane is a very well made wooden vehicle with a friendly little driver inside. The crane arm moves up and down and the cab rotates, making it a bit more interesting than the average car. It has big rubber tires that give it a smooth ride over bumpy terrain (and also stand up to the harsh working conditions of your average sandbox). Alex has been putting the Mini Crane to the test for the past few weeks, dropping it from heights and crashing it into walls—and it holds up (even if my house doesn’t). When given a heavy dose of toddler abuse, the toy breaks apart in two parts that are easy for a parent to snap back together via a plastic ball hinge. We’ve had some other wooden toys that are glued and need to be repaired again and again, so it was a relief to see a toy that was designed for impact. All together a well made and fun little workhorse (that’s great at smashing block towers).
Mini Tower Crane
The Mini Tower Crane is a really cool toy and one that takes a bit of coordination and imagination to work, so it’s more appropriate for 24+ months (but to be honest, Alex has loved playing with it as much as Nate). It’s a tall tower crane featuring our little friend again in a bright yellow cab that revolves and has a bed (is that the right term?) that moves up and down via a knob at the back of the crane arm. It was a bit stiff to turn at first, but after a few days of use it started to loosen up. The turning action is unique to any other toy Nate has, and I imagine it’s good for him to strengthen his grip in this way. We really love building things with blocks and it has been fun to integrate the crane into our play. It also comes with a couple of wooden blocks and a yellow caution sign. I told Nate that the sign said men at work. So it picked it up, put on a funny voice and said “men at work, men at work”. The sign literally said, “men at work”.
Again, it seems pretty robust given the number of times it has fallen off the window sill. The only concern I have is that rotating it in one direction seems to unscrew the yellow cab from the tower. It gets a bit wobbly, but the boys haven’t yet unscrewed it all the way. I’m not sure if it’s even possible, but as with all toys you should keep an eye on them. It requires some assembly out of the box, so have a small screw driver ready on Christmas day. If you don’t already have a set of wooden blocks, I’d recommend getting some with the crane. What’s the use of having great building equipment if you have nothing to build! There are a lot of different block sets from Wonderworld, but this natural wooden block set should do the trick.
Very big thanks to the Christmas elves at DKL Toys that provided the cranes from Wonderwold toys for us to test out. You can find out more about Wonderworld here and can order any of their amazing toys in time for Christmas on Amazon.