“ Type: Early Learning Centre / Age: 18 months+ / Type: Playsets „
This is one of the toys which Hope was bought for Christmas and she has since played with it a lot and I think that we will be buying for more from this range for her birthday.
What is Happy Land?
Happy Land are a series of toys made by The Early Learning Centre. They're aimed at children from 12 months to about four years of age and are great ways to help your children to use their imaginations. They are little plastic, friendly-faced characters including people and animals and they have little houses, shops and vehicles. Each set is a particular theme and there is usually something for most budgets from about £8 right up to over £45. Some of the sets available include:
The Vet set
This vet set is what Hope was bought for Christmas and this was apparently because on the box it says 'woof woof' which is one of Hope's most frequently used words.
What do you get?
This is a little vet set so as you can imagine it is animal hospital orientated. On the picture and description which Ciao have given it shows a dog kennel, we did not get this in our set and I have checked with The Early Learning Centre and they say that the kennel does not come with the set. What you do get:
What do they do?
This isn't just a case of children using the animals and vehicle to create a little story and to imagine what dramas are happening, this toy also has some sounds which can be made when interacting with certain elements. The box says that it has 4 sounds, which is true, but really there are only 3 buttons to press so I think it is a little misleading. When you press the cross above the door it means a siren sound, when the little people stand on the mat by the front door it makes a beeping noise and when you press down on the counter where the animals stand it makes the other two noises -woof woof and miaow, miaow! These buttons are very easily pressed which is very good for little fingers. The door swings open so this is something which young children find very exciting! The back of the building is missing so that your children are able to put the figures inside the shop and be able to play. The point of this toy really is for children to use their imaginations which is very important at this stage in their development as it helps them to understand different situations, communicate with people and to see outside the box.
What do they look like?
The figures are chunky, plastic, smiley people/animals which are very appealing to children, I'm not suprised that Hope took an instant like to them as they are very appealing. The vet looks just like Hitler, every one of my family members commented on this on Christmas day, he is wearing a off green coloured coat ,has thick black side parted hair and a moustach. The nurse has dark skin, a white coat and a white hat on. The animals are a black cat, a yellow bunny and a white and grey long haired dog.
The veterinary surgery is quite small and has a pale green roof and windows and all the furniture inside- a counter and some shelves are also pale green. The car is the same colour green with big orange wheels and an open back so that your characters can fit into it and drive it along.
Hope plays with these toys for about forty five minutes at a time which is a long time for a 2 year old to play but these do capture her imagination. She has began to have the animals talk to each other and it's lovely to see that she is beginning to play with these toys in this way. Previously Hope would play with toys by just making them make noises or interacting with the parts which are designed for children to press or shake but with these they are so basic that it is helping her to find her own way to interact with toys. I think her favourite part of this toy is actually the car, she likes to push it along the floor 'brum brumming' as she goes and always finds it very entertaining and amusing to have one of the animals in the back of it!
This is a lovely toy and so very appropriate for the age group it is aimed at. I think it is very important for children to be encouraged to use their imaginations and not always have toys which are about pressing buttons, noisy sounds and flashing lights. I think it's vital that children learn to find their own amusement by using their imaginations and developing their creative thinking.
I like the fact that it is a veterinary surgery as I think that this gives it a story line to help children to imagine what is happening and it also is very cute how it comes with animals as well as people. Hope loves animals so this is an ideal toy for her.
I think that the only criticism I have is with the noises it makes. The noises themselves are fine but I do think that the box tries to portray it as having more interactive elements than it actually does. We spent a lot of time pressing random areas of the vet's trying to work out where the fourth noise was until we realised that the 'woof woof miaow miaow' that the doorstep makes is actually classed as two sounds.
With Happy Land you can grow your land as much as you like by adding extra parts to it. You can buy other shops, houses, accessories so that you can have your own little town which is a lovely idea. I have looked at some of the other sets which you can buy and I think that they are all very appealing with there being plenty of choice for both boys and girls. The animals and people are very cute and are a good chunky size for small hands to hold and interact with.
This toy is not all that big really so it is easy to store in the toy box or to be displayed on the shelf until play time. Not all of the figures fit into the building though so you can't store them inside it.
In terms of value for money I think that they are quite good value although maybe slightly more expensive than other toys you can buy. This set cost £15 although you can often find 20% off offers around the year so it would be a bargain if you manage to get it in the sale. I think that £15 is good value as this is the kind of toy which your child will play with for several years and it helps to bring on their imaginations which is really important as they learn to play.
I think these toys are very robust and sturdy with being made from plastic they're easy to clean and can withstand some tough toddler play so I do think that the design and concept of these toys are very well thought out for the age range which they are aimed at.
The toys are only available at The Early Learning Centre where you can find a huge variety so you really will be spoilt for choice! 5 out of 5 from us and we're going to buy more we're that happy with them!
Happyland is a very popular brand aimed for toddlers from Early earning Centre. There are many sets available, from figure sets to cottages and fun fairs. I picked up the Village Vet set for my daughter on her first birthday for £16.
The Village vet set consists of 7 pieces
The vet office
Mr Paws the vet
Nancy the nurse
The box informs us that the vet office makes 4 noises. Whilst exploring the toy I found the cross on the outside of the office makes a siren noise, the doormat makes a bell ringing noise, and there is a counter on the inside of the office which makes a 'woof woof, meow meow' sound. I then spent ages pressing every nook and cranny on the office and couldn't find another noise button anywhere, I then took this to mean the counter noise must count for 2. The box was misconceiving.
The actual vet building is quite small, the back of the building is missing meaning it's easy to move the figures around the office. It has a window and an opening door on the front. The van is about half the size of the building so quite big for a van, it has a hole for a figure to attach to it so that someone can drive it around, it also has enough space for an animal to fit behind the driver so they can transport the animal to the vets! The figures are the same kind as with any Happyland set, chunky and easy to grip. The vet is in his vets coat and has a parrot on his shoulder, the nurse looks like a typical nurse in uniform. The animals are chunky and easy to grip aswell, the dog looks like the Dulux dog, long white fur. The cat and rabbit resemble what they are meant to be.
My daughter has had hours and hours of fun with this, especially just keeping hold of the cross on the outside of the building to make the siren noise, I'm quite surprised that the battery hasn't run out yet! She had been playing with it for around 6 months (18 months old) before she actually started making role play out of it, and ever since is one of her favourite toys along with the rest of the Happyland range she has.
I love how versatile the Happyland range is, my daughter enjoys using the vet and his van to transport the school children to school from another set she has. Collections of these toys can be as little or as large as desired. The vet set was the first set we had and there was lots of fun to be had from just this set, so is great on it's own or as an addition to other Happyland toys.
At £16 I think it is good value for money as it is well made and will last for years. Early learning centre says that this set is suitable for 18 months+ but I believe it is suitable from much younger, my daughter had it at 1 year old, I think she could have played with it before her birthday.