In the Night Garden - Iggle Piggle and Friends Activity Set
Create Your Own Night Garden
In the Night Garden is about a magical picture-book garden that exists between waking and sleeping in a child's imagination. Iggle Piggle brings the child to the garden to enjoy some sweet bedtime relaxation tunes, and introduces many other weird and wonderful characters which is often quite nonsense to the adult though fun for the child.
Although my daughter is not as into the Night Garden as she used to be, she still became excited when opening her present from her Godfather on her birthday, eager to rip open the box and find out what was inside. Not only does she like Night Garden she also adores anything creative so I felt that this was a great present.
This set comes in an overly sized box for what it contains, so once again we are made to pay more for the packaging! The whole box is covered with the recognisable colours of In the Night Garden as well as Iggle Piggle in his night time boat scene on the back. The front consists of images of what is meant to be inside - and when I say 'meant' I mean that when you buy, or have brought for, a present for your child then you expect there to be what is stated on the box - this, I am afraid, did not happen with my daughters particular box, though more about that below.
Within the box, the contents are wrapped in clear plastic sealable bags, the A4 sheets in one, the crayons and felt tips in two others and the rest of the activity parts in a fourth bag.
Contents should include;
Four first felt tip markers
Six jumbo crayons
Nine A4 card templates
A4 sticker sheet
2 lengths of string
Step by step guide.
Of course, the pack does not include everything you need and rely on you having such things as scissors and double sided sticky tape in your house - the scissors not a problem though we had to improvise with normal selotape, curling it around which didn't work as well as it should. This is specified on the box which is fine if you buy it yourself though when its brought as a present and you don't know - there is no time to go out and get some especially if your child is like my daughter and impatient!
The box also specifies 24 months plus
TIME TO GET CREATIVE
As mentioned above, when opening the box I found that although all main parts were in there, instead of having different things for example an iggle piggle mask and a upsy daisy mask, there was two of iggle piggle which upset my daughter as she saw the upsy daisy mask on the box. She did soon get over this though it was a shame though mistakes do happen.
Immediately, my daughter went for the sticker sheet and started peeling off the stickers and before we knew it, and before I had had a chance to look at the step by step guide, the stickers were decorated all over the different parts - mummy's fault for not paying attention, though unfortunately this meant that some parts were missing stickers after that which should have gone on there, though no worries for my two year old daughter - she had fun colouring in the different parts with the felt pens which she had never used and I wasn't particularly happy with this though luckily my daughter is past the everything-goes-in-the-mouth stage and they were washable markers so I stayed quiet and watched as the markers went onto her clothes and the table cloth which after, washed out perfectly, so they are what they say - washable!
The step-by-step guide is simple enough to follow once you have worked out the order of things in there, and have letter coded sheets according to activity which helps. The sticker part as mentioned above isn't specified in the guide which made it more difficult to see what was meant to be used where though really, after my daughter got her hands on them - it really didn't matter!
There are seven different activities within this pack, and a handy though to be honest worthless, day to day planner to show what has been done. I say worthless as it is separated into seven days though my daughter did four of the activities in one day and the other three a couple of days after that - the activity set not lasting very long though it kept her entertained for a while at least and it was fun doing the activity together - especially when daddy joined in and turned into iggle piggle!
The activities include the following;
Cards - These are simple cards with simple pictures of iggle piggle on one and upsy daisy on the other (although this pack had two iggle piggle cards). These are a simple colour in activity which my daughter loved especially when I said about making them for her godfather and also another member of the family to say thank you for her presents.
Frame - This is a large cardboard activity with a few images of the Night Garden characters to colour in and space for stickers. The middle pops out and a photo can be stuck behind it turning it into a flat frame. The center, though, is larger than regular sized photos so you may need to pay extra for a large photo to be printed if you don't have abilities to do this at home. We improvised again!
Shaker - This is perhaps the most fiddly one for a young child with various small activities leading up to a shaker being made which includes the sets own shaker toy. You do need to add a cardboard tube though finished toilet roll tubes are perfect for this. After this was made, my daughter enjoyed rattling it with her other instruments.
Spinning Discs - More string that is given is needed for this activity though this isn't a problem. You are supplied with six discs to decorate and then stick together, adding string to either side to spin it - my daughter loves spinning this even though she isn't able to do it properly yet. We didn't put string in the others as you were meant to, instead made them into tree decorations for her little pink tree she insisted we already put in her room for Christmas!
Masks - This should also provide two different masks though only one was supplies...twice. These are easy to decorate and fit perfectly onto my daughters head though older children will find this too small for them.
Shape Sorter cube - We haven't actually made this up yet, though after decorating, the cube simply slots together easily. There are five small discs that need stickers on them (though colouring is fine too we found!) that slot through the relevant holes. Of course, once they are in, the cube needs to be unfolded again to get them out.
Push and grow flower - a charming little activity with two supplied. Simply decorate the flowers and baskets, pop them out of the card and fix them together so that the leaf when pushed, raises the flower up and down. This is a lovely activity and my daughter loves her flowers though often pull the flower right out.
This activity set doesn't actually last too long as there are only seven small activities which when made, cant be reused. The pens and crayons of course can be used for other things. Perhaps spreading the activities over seven days as it recommends would have been better though to be honest, my daughter was having too much fun, I didn't like to stop that.
Everything a child does, teaches them one thing or another, even if it is not overly obvious. The things children learn within this pack are not huge, though everything helps. These things include teaching a child to hold a pen and crayon better, responding to simple instructions when working together with mummy and daddy, shapes, and overall creativity. I feel that in some ways this set is really for younger than two years of age though saying that, the enjoyment still occurs with a two year old so it is down to personal choice really.
This gift set can be found between the prices of £4.50 and £10 from places such as Amazon, Lycos shopping and other online stores. Ebay haven't got this at time of searching though you may find it cheaper there.
Personally the lower price for this set is fine though I certainly wouldn't pay £10 for it as I have seen much better creativity sets available than this. Do not let the size of the box mislead you as it really does not contain overly much and probably many things you can make at home anyway.
My daughter absolutely enjoyed this as she adores anything creative and messy. Many of the activities she has played with afterwards, though soon she has lost interest in them as some of them are too flimsy and break easily, especially the ear hooks on the masks and the cube.
In my opinion, it is certainly not worth the higher found price. I believe you are not only paying for the excessive packaging, but also the name itself, being both a Crayola product as well as a Night Garden product. It is a shame that companies make so much money out of toys for children though no amount of complaining is going to ever change that.
Would I recommend this set? It is hard to say. If you can get it at a cheaper price then yes as children into Night Garden and who love being creative will enjoy this and will love, as my daughter did, working with mummy to make the items, though to be honest, these items are very simple and can easily be made at home without buying extra bits, though I am naturally a creative person and love art so perhaps I have more patience with this side of things that others may not. I certainly wouldn't spend £10 on this set as it lasts a short length of time and the things within it are really not brilliant.