“ Brand: Chad Valley / Type: Farm „
Chad Valley is a brand of toy made by Woolworths. They tend to have a reputation of being good quality and durable and the Funtime farm is no exception.
My daughters received this farm from their grandparents for Christmas after a little guidance from me! I had noticed it on the shelves in Woolworths, but had already bought enough presents from us, so I was quite happy when Granny asked for a suggestion!
The first thing that struck me about the farm is that it is wooden. So many toys we buy these days are plastic, and although there is nothing wrong with this, there is something quaintly old fashioned about wooden toys. Therefore, I thought this was quite appropriate for a toy as traditional as a farm set. Children, of course, have been creating and playing with farms for years and I am really pleased that my girls have the opportunity to do so as well.
There was great excitement when the girls saw the box as it is huge! Before you open it you only see the wooden animals but you do notice how bright and detailed they are. Once you start to open the box you discover all sorts of delights - farm buildings with bright red roofs, lots of animals, the farmer and his wife, a bright blue tractor, and lots of individual pieces of fencing which you can set out any way you like. All in all, there are thirty four individual pieces. One thing that struck me was that most of the pieces were individually wrapped in tissue paper to prevent damage, and this was definitely a surprising touch which I didn't expect. It demonstrates that this is a high quality product. One slight disappointment was that there was no mat or floor piece to place all the different bits on. I suppose this could be because they don't want to restrict children's imagination, but as none of our floor coverings look anything like grass, I think I shall be on the lookout for some green or muddy carpet tiles.
Something I like about this farm set is that no batteries are required and there are no flashing lights or whirring noises! All that is required is a bit of space and a lot of imagination! The only thing that does anything at all out of the ordinary is a little mechanism that you can turn in order to lift bales of hay into the barn. There is a little magnet, which means that the hay can actually be attached and lifted. A good bit of early science for my three year old!
Since opening up the farm on Christmas Day, both my daughters have really enjoyed setting out the farm and making up their own little stories. My three and a half year old particularly likes setting out the buildings in different ways and making different patterns with the fences. On the box it does say for three years plus, but my nearly two year old is also having great fun with it, and as there are no really little pieces I don't worry about her putting things in her mouth, although she hardly does this nowadays anyway. Having said this, they do warn about small pieces on the box.
I do think that once opened it is not really practical to keep all the bits in the original box, and actually when you remove all the packaging you really only need a box which is about half the size. I guess, inevitably, we will lose some bits, but as there tends to be about three of each animal this won't be noticeable foe a while.
The original RRP was just under £60 which I thought was quite expensive, although before Christmas Woolworths was selling it at half price for only£29.99! This, I felt, was much better value. Woolworths virtually always have some toys with good reductions, and they often do offers on their Chad Valley toys, so it is worth keeping an eye on their prices!
So overall, I think this is a lovely traditional toy,a nd all the pieces are sturdy and well made. I fully hope that my daughters will continue to have hours of fun and make up wonderful stories 'down on the farm'!
Get back to nature with this Wooden Funtime Farm from Chad Valley. Your little one will love building their own farm, playing with the animals and winding up the grass blocks using the special magnetic links. Helping to develop independent and imaginative play, as well as mobility skills, farms have never been so much fun!