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1 Review

Category: Kids / Family

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      19.03.2010 16:01
      Very helpful



      Top quality placemats that are pretty unique, very well presented online

      I came across the Little Wigwam website whilst looking for some new placemats for my kids who are still at the age where the dinner table regularly resembles a spaghetti bolognese war zone. The first thing I noticed was the word "educational" which I have to admit has a similar effect on me to the word "taxes"... I was already picturing some outdated, hand-crafted website from the early 90s with flock-wallpaper backgrounds and "educational" artwork dating from Victorian times.

      However I was pleasantly surprised - the Little Wigwam website is modern, clear and fast... it's not plastered with adverts or animated gifs, and looks nice and professional. Having passed the "taxes" test, I found the site easy to navigate although this is not that surprising given they only sell placemats! From the initial "thumbnail" display of available placemats in their range, a single click brings up a larger picture of the placemat together with information about the educational content (more obvious on some than others) and the material and size of the mats. I was only looking at their reusable placemats but I noticed they also sold disposable paper placemats in pads, and these were displayed in the same way.

      One thing that usually frustrates me about online shopping is the quality of the images - you find something that you might want to buy, only to discover that the image is the size of a dry-roasted peanut. Thankfully the images on Little Wigwam are far larger than your average salted snack treat, and having already been presented with a decent-sized image, I was positively thrilled to find that you could then click on the image once more to be presented with a super-sized image that actually let you see the details on the mat. It's almost like they've thought about the customers when designing the website...

      Anyway, the pictures were so good that I retrieved the kids from the bolognese battlefield and let them choose a new placemat - the only problem being that they wanted every single one. After an intense period of negotiation and puppy dog eyes, I was talked into getting them 2 each so I ordered Alphabet and On The Farm for my youngest, and Number Bonds and World Map for my eldest. I might have accidentally ordered an extra Solar System one too (cough).

      The online payment was simple and clear and I chose to register my email address when I paid by credit card so I could track my order online. In actual fact I didn't check the online status but the mats arrived promptly after 2 days (sent 1st class) and were well protected in a board envelope which seemed pretty reasonable for the £2.95 P&P charge.

      The mats are large and appear to be excellent quality, certainly a step up from the dreadful under-sized laminated plastic things we used to have, and quite a hit with the bolognese battlers who enjoy being tested on their letters and numbers at the table. The illustrations on the mats are really cute, and the educational content is excellent without being intrusive - and I've learnt more about the Solar System in the last week than I learnt in the previous 40 years! Who'd ever heard of Makemake before?! I should also mention that the mats wipe clean pretty easily and haven't marked at all yet, but we've only had them a couple of weeks.

      Little Wigwam sent me 5 free rulers with my order which the kids also love as they have the same cute characters on them and they are made from the same material as the placemats. I hadn't realised these were included for free so that was an unexpected bonus, but it does say about them on the website so I must have missed it - I'm not sure if that's a temporary promotion or not.

      I didn't experience their customer service levels as I didn't have any problems - from their contact details they provide both a phone number and an email address though which is promising.

      I guess this has become a combined review of both their website and the products, but because they only do placemats I guess they are one and the same. Anyway, in summary I found Little Wigwam to be a great little site with a great product that is keeping both me and my kids happy - bring on the spaghetti bolognese!


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