“ Brand: Mothercare / Type: Eating & Drinking - Cutlery Set „
I'm almost certain that if you have children born within the last few years, you're going to know who the Tombliboos are! These colourful characters (unn, ooo and eee - one, two and three!) are happy little people from the world of 'In the Night Garden'. They enjoy running about, and playing in their Tomblioboo house.
I bought a set of this Tomblioboo cutlery from mothercare when my daughter was 12 months old: the RRP was £4.99, but I purchased it on sale at £2.99. I was originally drawn by the theming - my daughter loved Night Garden, and the Tombliboos were her favourite characters. She loved the look of the cutlery in the packet, and as it was on sale, we snapped it up!
First impressions were good: the cutlery was quite lightweight, which was great for someone just starting to use something other than their fingers for eating :) The Tombliboos themselves were nicely smooth, and pleasant to hold - they were big enough to grip well, and no rough edges to hurt little hands. The metal parts of the cutlery was well shaped, and a nice mouthful size. The prongs on the fork were rounded so ensured less chance of hurting mouths; the knife was blunt but good for cutting into soft food; and the spoon wasn't too deep so was easier for little people to scoop up some of their lunch.
Ongoing use: my daughter still likes using this cutlery set, even though she is past the beginner stage with cutlery. She does still especially like the spoon, and it has become her favourite yoghurt spoon :) They have worn well even with repeated washing: they have been through the dishwasher quite a few times, and they are still bright and colourful.
My daughter has a number of toddler friendly cutlery sets, even now at three years old she prefers using these to adult cutlery. She received this In The Night Garden cutlery set as a stocking filler for Christmas 2011 from her nan.
The cutlery comes contained in a transparent plastic pocket that is attached to a bit of cardboard that contains the In The Night Garden branding. Inside the packaging is a knife, fork and spoon. Each of the cutlery pieces contain a different tombliboo character that is used as the handle. The overall look of the pieces is cute and realistic to the characters from the much loved television program.
Where the product looks cute, it definitely lacks on the usability of it and my daughter really struggled when she first received it at 2 years old. The end of the handle that features the tombliboos head and top half of the body is quite shaped, it doesn't have smooth lines and this made it difficult for my daughter to grip hold of them well. The leg end of the handle is nice with only a slight curve to it, but on the whole, the handle end is quite a bit heavier than the actual cutlery end so it does tend to tip if my daughter hasn't got hold of it properly.
The actual ends that get used for the food is small and very toddler friendly. The fork has three prongs, and each of these is slightly rounded so that there are no accidents with stabbing the fork somewhere they shouldn't but at the same time can stab it through food to get it onto the fork. The knife is blunt; it just seems to be an oblong shape of metal that doesn't really have much use other than acting as a barrier to help food onto the fork or spoon. The spoon is very shallow and cannot hold a lot of food, I guess this isn't necessarily a bad thing for small children as they don't have big mouths anyway!
Over a year after my daughter first received this cutlery set, she has got the hang of using it a bit better now and doesn't have any troubles with it. I wash the cutlery up in with my normal washing up and it's still in a perfect condition, the colours are still vibrant and they aren't showing any signs of wear.
I wouldn't recommend this In The Night Garden cutlery set as a beginner set as the handle makes it awkward to hold and it isn't the best thing to use to teach children how to eat with cutlery. However, now my daughter has got the hang of the handles, she does like using this set. So perhaps wait until kids are used to cutlery before buying it.
When Hollie was a baby she was a huge fan of In the Night Garden and I encouraged this as it's such a sweet kids programme, her big sister bought her this set of Tombliboo cutlery for her second birthday and three years later it's still going strong. The Tombliboos, for those of you not in the know, are a set of three In the Night Garden characters who like to (erm) drop their trousers and bang on small drums in the most irritating way possible. I wouldn't say they're the most recognisable of all the ITNG characters, but they are a rather sweet trio.
The business end of the cutlery is metal with the handles being a thick chunky plastic; I personally think they look fantastic but Hollie has never been too keen on then, this is partly because of the bulky design of the handles but now she's older she has been able to explain that the bodies are far too elongated for them to really resemble the rotund little Tombilboos she knows and loves from her ITNG days.
In the set you get a knife, fork and spoon - Hollies originally came in a colourful plasticised box (I know because I still have it and use it to store a couple of Yankee Candle tarts upstairs), but newer versions of the cutlery sets are packaged in that awful thick plastic that sometimes even scissors won't cut through convincingly. Let's immediately forget the knife as it's rubbish - totally blunt (as I suppose it needs to be considering it's designed for toddlers) with the knife edge being too short to even make it practical as a means of pushing mashed potato onto the spoon.
The fork isn't bad, the prongs are reasonably sharp for poking soft foods and they're also slightly curved so little ones can scoop up food such as beans or squishy casseroled vegetables. There are three tiny indentations on the top of the fork which are (bizarrely) 'pea holders' - now, it would take a very dexterous child to manage to direct three peas into these holes so I really can't see the point of it! I actually use the fork even now as it's fabulous for strawberries and raspberries, whereas Mark likes the grippiness of the handle when he's cooking my prawns on the BBQ and always hunts through the drawer until he comes up with this Tombliboos fork.
The spoon is shallow and wide which makes it ideal for little people who are just learning to eat yogurt, soup and ice cream by themselves. Let's face it, the least amount of food that will physically fit on a spoon the better when it comes to avoiding mess - this one is perfect in that despite the width of the spoon it doesn't really hold very much! This obviously makes it pretty slow going at yogurt time, but when mum or dad is around to lend a hand you can get a Little Stars down their neck in no time...
The main problem for us, and Hollie, has been the handles. I'm looking at the fork now and compared to the other sets we have which are designed for young children these are decidedly awkward. The length isn't really the issue, it's more the shaping and heft of the handle - picking it up and laying it across a couple of fingers I can see the fork is definitely not well balanced because it falls sharply to the handle end when I let it go. This might sound silly, but when you're teaching a toddler the science of feeding themselves you want it to be as straightforward as possible. When Hollie was two or three she simply couldn't manage to wrap her (short and stubby) fingers around the handles of this cutlery set, and now at five years she still struggles to get her hand into optimum position for eating because the handle design is so fluid and curvy. It's a shame really as this is such a lovely set, but I realised just how much she hated them when she started to become more independent and would actually go and change her cutlery when I gave her the Tombliboo set!
I'm not actually sure whether to recommend this knife, fork and spoon set. It looks fabulous and the various components do work (apart from the knife. Forget the knife), but the handles are just too awkwardly bulky and that spoils the set for us - I'm trying to think how they could have done it without adding the extra millimetres of plastic that little hands seem to find such hard work and to be fair they couldn't, short of making straight solid handles and decorating them with Unn, Ooo and Eee (the Tombliboo's names, silly!) designs. But that would take away the 3D effect, and considering my daughter paid £10 for them I suspect it's the shaping that allows the manufacturer to charge so much for them.
We often go to my parents house for the day as they don't live too far away and we end up having lunch and sometimes dinner with them too. Most times I forget to bring cutlery for my little boy and girl and they, up until now only had adult cutlery so this made it really hard at meal times trying to feed the kids, especially my little boy who is only ten months old so I tasked my mum and dad with finding some kid cutlery that they could keep at their house and the kids could use when they were there.
They did really well in my opinion as, knowing we really like In the Night Garden in our house they had bought some In the Night Garden cutlery for both my little boy and girl. THis went down really well and my kids were excited when they saw them, especially my little girl as In the Night Garden is her favourite. My kids are ok eaters, sometimes they have a really good appetite, other times they hardly eat anything but show me a kid who is good all the time. Anyway, I think having a special set of cutlery that is just for them and has their favourite characters on them actually really makes them want to eat to be able to use these utensils so I really like the way these are designed and marketed.
The cutlery feature the characters The Tombliboos. The Tombliboos are strange characters, they are described as tumbly, pepper-pot toys - Unn, Ooo and Eee. They totter about as a group, rarely individually, and their trousers tend to fall down at unexpected times! Very strange but fun and cute characters! This set of cutlery includes a knife, fork and spoon and the handles of each utensil is a Tombliboo. They are quite large hadnles but they are in the shape of the Tombliboo so I think it makes them quite easy for little hands to grip and my little girl always seems to get quite a good hold of these. They are brightly coloured like the characters on television and I think this is definitely what attracts my little boy to them. He is not quite ready to use a spoon or other cutlery items yet but I am letting him hold them and get used to them as he is displaying signs of wanting to do it himself. He shakes his head when I try to feed him now so the sooner he learns the better.
The top portions of these utensils are nicely made and solid. The knife is fairly blunt but will cut through quite soft food items which is fine, I don't need my little ones having sharp knives in their hands. THe cutlery is small so its perfect for their smaller mouths and easy to coordinate from the plate to the mouth. All in all a nice set which makes eating fun and easy.
All parents and grandparents soon begin to feel that they must know every cartoon character going. In the Night Garden is one of the children's favourites and we all know Unn, Eee and Ooo those lovely little group of pepper pot toys. If I am out and about in the shops and the money tree bears I enjoy treating the grandchildren to a little gift. One of our grandsons has been feeding himself for a while and the mess that he makes is unbelievable! But true to form he loves to explore the food with his fingers before popping some of it into his mouth.
My daughter has read a lot about baby led weaning, the idea is good but it is slightly harder to implement. I walked past the In the Night Garden cutlery set and dismissed it first time around but I had to go back for that lovely little Tombliboos cutlery set. Rudi has been offered a teaspoon to feed himself with but he was not impressed but there was every chance that he may pick up the Tombliboo teaspoon.
For the princely sum of £4.99 you get a knife, fork and spoon with Tombliboo handles. If nothing else this set of child's cutlery is fun and colourful. Mothercare state that the set of cutlery is suitable for aged 12 months and over. The cutlery is stainless steel and the handles are lightweight plastic. You can see that they will appeal to little ones, even if they only get played with!
The cutlery looks child friendly and the parts have been especially made to size to suit toddlers. The bowl on the spoon is round and it is not too deep. The knife blade is short and wide and above all it is safe for little ones to use under supervision. The handles are easy to grip and the plastic surface is not at all slippery. The fork is slightly different, it has what is classed as a `pea holder` built into it and I can see that this invention could help to hold the unruly peas albeit that it is just a few little holes in the fork.
The new Mothercare cutlery set met with full approval! But it was the Tombliboos that worked their magic, the cutlery was of no real interest at that point. The colourful Tombliboos were played with and eventually they made their way to the high chair. The little fingers went into the food and we placed the spoon into Rudi's hand. He still used his fingers to eat but he enjoyed admiring his new Tombliboo spoon whilst he was munching. The knife and the fork were cast to one side, the pink and brown Tombliboo must be his favourite.
Who knows, maybe the knife and fork will come into play at a later date. If Rudi uses the spoon then at least he is practising his hand to eye co-ordination. In my daughters house everything finds its way into the dishwasher and the pretty Tombliboo cutlery set went through the wash. The knife and fork are redundant in the cutlery drawer but the spoon does come out to play. Maybe Rudi will not use it properly for some time to come but at least it has given him something to think about.
I brought my sister this cutlery set from Mothercare about a year ago and even though she's never got on all that well with them they've still been used loads by the bigger people in the house! For my sister the handles were too long and bulky, she could get her hands round them ok but the balance wasn't right.
That was a shame because the metal ends of the knife, fork and spoon are just the right size for a toddler's mouth but the shape of the Tombliboo on the handle is a bit awkward I think.
The cutlery looks wicked, the colours are just right to make the Tombliboos look lifelike and I love how the faces have been painted onto them because they look so happy and again the detail makes them look just like the characters in the programme. I think the long bodies they've got here are a bit freaky though because on TV the Tombliboos are short fat characters!
I said before that my sister didn't use this cutlery all that much but she will sometimes use the spoon for her yogurts, the knife has only EVER been used by me and that's because it's brill for spreading butter on crackers! I've got it in my bedroom actually because crackers, butter and cheese are a few of the things I keep in my mini fridge up there! To be fair my sister has got shedloads of different sets of cutlery, I don't know where they've all come from but she's got plastic sets, cutlery with rubber ends (no knife in that set!!! lol) and posh metal ones. She's not bothered about what set goes out with her dinner but if you try and give her this Tombliboo set she'll get up and change it for another fork! She really hates them that much!
Now she's 3 she's feeding herself pretty much and we just help her with messy stuff like yogurts and soup, that's when we use the spoon and I think that's very comfortable to hold. The bowl of the spoon is quite flat so little children aren't going to accidentally put too much on and the way it's shaped means it looks comfortable going into my sister's mouth. I use this for my OWN yogurts sometimes and I've got to say it is a lovely spoon to use..... god, how mad does that sound???
This set costs £4.99 at the minute from Mothercare, that's brill value because I'm sure when I brought this one it cost nearly £10.00. It's lasted good though and that's good because even though my sister's not struck on the cutlery, the rest of us do use them for things like yogurts and my mum uses the fork to pick up raspberries when she's munching a bowl of them in front of the TV!
Recommended...... even if your toddler doesn't like this cutlery, it'll probably still come in useful for the adults!
When my daughter was going through her In The Night Garden phase she was coming up to the time in her life where I thought it would be beneficial for her to learn how to use cutlery and feed herself a bit more. The next time I was out and about in town I popped into Mothercare to see what they had for and was really pleased to come across the In The Night Garden cutlery set featuring all three of the Tomliboos as the handles.
The set was £4.99 for 3 pieces of cutlery which were a knife, fork and spoon. The set was recommended for ages 12 months plus.
The set is really bright and colourful and I hoped that by having the Tomliboos on the handles it would encourage my daughter to feed herself. The Tomliboos were really made well and sat sturdly on the end each piece of cutlery. All of the Tomliboos were the right colours and looked right in terms of how they look on the show. The cutlery ends of the cutlery are all specially made and sized stainless steel. Although they look like they will be heavy the cutlery is actually really lightweight.
One of the things I really liked about the cutlery set was that the fork had little in built holes in the actual fork part which turned out to be pea holders so that when your child is eating peas they don't lose loads off of the fork. I really thought this was a great idea and I have never seen it anywhere before.
My daughter was very excited to see these when I dished up her dinner one evening and she seemed more than eager to hold one herself and try and use it. I was pleased to see that the fork was just the right size for my daughter and she held it with ease. She did have peas that night and the pea holder did work occassionally though not all the time but she was very young and it was her first time using the fork.
My daughter found the fork very easy to use and she picked up the hang of using it almost immediately and it was really a proud Mummy moment seeing her stab at her pieces of food and stuff them into her mouth in the manner only a child can perfect.
The cutlery set is easy to wash up to. You just wash them up the same way you would any of your other cutlery and it doesn't damage the Tomliboos. I think my daughter would have been heartbroken if it had!
I was really pleased with this cutlery set. It was well made, good for little hands and I do think they were pretty cheap for what they were too. These are still available from Mothercare and for the same price.
Recommended for all those little In The Night Garden fans.