My eldest daughter turned 6 a few months ago and she didn't really ask for much specific but she was certain that she wanted a pretend post office, after searching the internet the only one I could find at a decent price was this one from Casdon. The set cost £10 and came with free delivery from Amazon.
The set came in a pretty sturdy cardboard box showing 2 children playing happily with the set, the set is pictured fully set up on the front of the box and it states that the set is meant for children aged 3-8 years so my daughter is pretty much in the middle of the group.
The set consists of the 3 pieces to make up the main base, there are 2 side pieces which are supposed to slide into the main piece however the curves of the plastic don't actually sit together properly so they are actually pretty hard to fit together and it certainly requires an adult to do this. There are 3 parts which make up the scales of the post office and these are easy to fit together and Sophie can do this bit herself and then finally there is a little tray for the stamper to stand inside.
The set has plenty of bits with it to make it a realistic post office, there are little stamps, magazines, tax discs and application forms, a stamper, an ink pad, a pad of paper with a pencil, notes and coins, greetings cards and envelopes and finally a bright red plastic post box.
When you first get the set you have to tear apart some of the items such as the pretend magazines, stamps and the like, I didn't set this up the first time it was played with so cannot say how easy the process was however there are no tears to anything so I would imagine the perforations worked well.
Sophie loves her post office and she plays with it a lot although I do try and put her off playing with it sometimes as there are so many different bits with it that they tend to end up all over the floor and then of course she gets bored and end up putting it all away again.
The pieces do not fit back into the box no matter how hard I try and no matter which way I turn the pieces and try to slide them in I cannot get them back in which is a bit of a pain but it just means we have to store the box with one end of it open. I think there must only be one way I which the piece have to go in to be able to do it and presently I haven't worked it out, I think it would be better if the box was a bit bigger rather than having pieces hanging out of it.
The set is good quality, it is brightly coloured and durable, the stamps and magazine etc are made of thin card so if they were handled roughly then they would bend but Sophie is aware how to handle them without causing damage to them.
Sophie has played with this set a lot and she still enjoys playing with it, whenever she has any friends to the house she always asks if they can have the set out and even lets her 2 year old sister play with her with it occasionally although she hasn't got much idea what a post office is actually about.
I would give this 4 stars as the box needs to be bigger and the set should be a bit easier to put together.
I'm not entirely sure why I bought this Post Office, probably because it seemed cheap for what you get, I think I paid about £10 for it, and I gave it to my eldest daughter for her 5th birthday back in January. Since then it has been played with sporadically, but it is not something that gets regular use and it spends most of its time in its box on the shelf.
**A Miniature Post Office**
What you get in the box is basically a mini post office with all the accessories. It takes a few minutes to assemble but it's really simple, and to store it in the box you must disassemble it each time, otherwise it will need to be left on display, because there's no way this can be stored in a toy box with all the loose parts, which would ultimately get lost or misplaced.
It's a plastic unit with a post box with an opening front, weighing scales for your parcels, a stamper (without any ink), a coin drawer plus coins & notes, and two racks for all your bits and bobs such as license applications, tax discs, greetings cards, postcards, magazines & newspapers. You also get a notebook & pencil. It looks really impressive once you have it all set up, especially with all the miniature cards & magazines, you also get little envelopes to use with the cards and some stamps. So it's got everything you need to spend time pretending that you work in the Post Office, and a lot of thought and detail has gone into creating the ultimate Post Office experience!
I've no idea what the recommended age is, but I would say a child aged at least 4 and upwards to about 7 or 8 would enjoy this toy the most. Simply because most children below that age would not know much about the workings of a post office, and also the loose parts are very fiddly and small, such as the cards and envelopes, and I presume these would end up getting damaged and lost by very young children.
**Time To Play?**
As I said in my opening paragraph, this is not something that my children play with on a regular basis, and to be honest, I think the reason for this is that it takes so much time to set it all up - you have to snap everything back into position, then spend time sorting out all the paperwork and positioning them in the Post Office. My children have no idea what license applications are or indeed tax discs, so these just get put on the rack and left alone, and so do the magazines. But the thing they seem to get most enjoyment from is the greetings cards & envelopes. And because you have a pencil with the set, they like to write little messages inside the card, pop them in the envelope (which is a very tight fit by the way and they often need my assistance with this) and either post them in the post box, or hand them out to people, usually me.
What I have noticed with this toy is that they enjoy the whole procedure of setting everything up, but then it seems that is usually where the fun ends, unless they feel the need to send me a card. I am not entirely sure whether this is due to them not knowing exactly how to play being a "Post Office Lady", or whether it's just something that does not particularly appeal to them. However, when my 8 year old niece comes to play, this is something she often requests and I have noticed that with her being older she seems to be able to gain a lot more from it than my 5 & 3 year olds. So perhaps my kids are too young to get real enjoyment from this toy, perhaps when they are older and have more of an understanding of such things they might enjoy it more.
I actually think as Post Office sets go, this is a great one, with great attention to detail, and it comes with lots of fun accessories. For a child who knows a lot about posting things and buying cards & magazines, then they should gain a great deal from it. My children just don't seem to be too bothered by it at the moment, but I am still going to rate it highly because I do believe other children would really enjoy it.
From my experience I would actually recommend for 6 - 8/9 year olds.
Currently on Amazon for £8.00 (Oct 2012) but I have also seen it in places such as B&M Bargains & Tesco for around the same price.
A few weeks ago before going away on holiday I wanted to place an order with Amazon. To qualify for free delivery I have to order up to £25 worth of goods. This is because I live In Poland and not UK where the limit is less I believe. The item I wanted only cost £15 so I thought I would treat my granddaughter who is two years and 4 months old to a Casdon 532 Toy Post Office. Seeing that she has had the post office for over 4 weeks and I have observed her playing with it I thought I would review the item. Here goes....
~~~~Reason for purchasing~~~~~
Recently, my daughter -in-law has been visiting the post office with many parcels as she deals with Allegro which is like a Polish E-bay. I had noticed that my granddaughter likes to get involved and to help her mother wrapping items up. On visiting the post office in Warsaw she also likes to get involved and sits on the counter top while her Mum fills in forms and the assistant stamps packages with a rubber stamp. The post office is still very bureaucratic over here. Even though the toy I have bought her is based on an English post office I thought she could pretend to do all the duties that she has observed when out with her Mum. She is being brought up bi-lingually so I also thought it would be good for her to learn about English culture and how the good old English Post Office works.
The toy post office came in its own cardboard box made from strong cardboard with a picture of the item on the front. Weight - 1.2kg. Opening the box was simple and easy enough. Inside, were two polythene bags. One contained the base and fittings of the post office and the other bag was filled with paper items, weighing scales, post box, rubber stamp, notebook and plastic coins. Weight of both bags and contents - 943gm.
~~~What's in the first bag?~~~~~
Inside the larger polythene bag were 3 plastic components that fitted together by slotting the edges into each other. Assembly took about 10 seconds - very simple. This is the base of the counter; the middle section is red with a small yellow drawer for putting cash in and three sections for placing the post box, weighing scales and rubber stamp on. These came in the other bag. The other two sections fit either side of the middle section and are both yellow. These are for displaying shelves which hold stationery etc. All three sections are made from a firm plastic material, smooth to touch and no rough edges. The cash drawer is spring loaded and my granddaughter found it very easy to open. I was impressed with this little drawer - it had a nice action.
~~~~~~The second bag~~~~~~~
This bag contained all the fun items; weighing scales, post box, rubber stamp, plastic coins and notes (£5 and £10), various magazines, newspapers, stamps, envelopes, post cards, vehicle licences, birthday cards, notepad and pencil and all the forms and accessories you would expect from an English Post Office.
Preparing and assembling these items took a little longer - about 20mins. All cards, forms and newspapers etc are tiny duplicates of the real items and came in folded sheets with perforations. You have to split each individual item from the sheet and then fold it into its shape. This is a bit finicky and there is no way a three year old or my granddaughter would have been able to do this on their own. Plastic coins were all joined together and had to be separated which is again not an easy task for a child of this age to do. As for the paper £5 and £10 notes these are made from very thin paper and were stuck together on a large sheet. Not easy to separate without tearing - needs a gentle touch and a bit of patience.
All these items are then placed on the white plastic shelves which were also in this bag and slot into the two yellow sections of the base. Fitting the shelves was easy enough but placing all the stationery on the shelves is a bit of a nuisance and I found that they wouldn't stay in place and kept sliding out of the shelves. I suggest here that once all the stationery has been separated from the perforated sheets and folded into individual shapes you then place them under a very heavy book to flatten out. This way they will stand up in the shelves and stay in place.
As you might have guessed by now this toy post office has to be assembled by an adult.
The Manufacturer's recommended age is from 3 - 8 years. My granddaughter is 2 years 4 months old. I will comment at the end of the review whether I think the manufacturer has got this right or not.
The first time my granddaughter used the post office was on holiday. We assembled it at home and put it in the boot of the car in a big box. The reason I took it on holiday was because I thought we might have a rainy day or two and being indoors she might get bored. We didn't have any rainy days but she did play with the toy quite a lot especially in the evenings while I was preparing tea.
The first thing she picked up was the rubber stamp and frantically went around stamping everything. Obviously she had observed this behaviour in the post office at home in Warsaw. She liked the cash drawer and the toy money and the little notebook and pencil. I found a small spare table in the chalet and used the top of it for placing the post office on. The size of the table was 40cm x 25cm and the base of the post office fitted this table comfortably.
It was really cute to watch her play - she would walk up to the wall behind the table and speak to the imaginary ladies behind the wall. She would say, 'Would you like one Pani?' Pani is the Polish word for Mrs. She would then nod her head and say, 'Acar.' This is her word for 'Thank you.' Then go to the drawer, take out a coin and from one of the shelves a card or paper and then go back to the wall to hand these over to the two Panis. She did this without being prompted so immediately got the hang of acting out the role of going to the post office and serving someone.
~~~~~A month later~~~~~~~~
The post office is now at her home set out on a table near to her bed. Most things like the rubber stamp, post box and weighing scales are still in order. Some of the coins are missing as she takes them with her when her mum goes shopping and wants to give the assistants a coin each as well as a card and a newspaper. You can imagine this causes a queue in the shop! The cards, newspapers, forms etc are still on the shelves if all over the place. I haven't seen the paper notes for a while so haven't a clue what has happened to those. When I have visited I have seen her play with the post office on her own and last night my husband said she was asking the ladies if hey wanted a stamp and gave him a coin to bring home so she is using it.
~~~~What do I think and do I recommend it?~~~~~~
The post office is very colourful and looks very nice in my granddaughter's room. It looks exactly like a miniature version of an English Post Office Counter. The attention to detail is very good and I was impressed that the newspaper titles, stamps, vehicle forms are very true to life except the picture of David Beckham on the front cover of the Sun. He looks like he has been Tangoed.
Earlier on I stated that the age range was from 3 years to 8 years. I think I would say that a 3 year old wouldn't fully grasp the concept and I don't think my granddaughter fully understands how to use it properly. She understands about the money and that it is a sort of shop and because she has seen the rubber stamp being used she understands the concept of this.
The paper items like magazines, envelopes, withdrawal receipts, licensing forms etc are far too small and made from flimsy paper. These get screwed up and can easily be torn plus a 3yr old won't understand what to do with a licensing form. The individual cards are nicely designed and there is one for every member of the family; Dad, Mum, Son, Sister etc and one for all the special days in UK like Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter etc. I was impressed with these cards but wished they had been a bit larger because I am sure in another month's time they will be found all over the flat, eaten by the dog or have been thrown away by accident.
I'm glad I purchased the Casdon 532 Post Office because it has made my granddaugter happy. The idea is a good one and the plastic counter, post box and weighing scales are well made, bright and very attractive. I just think she is too young to understand the concept of the toy and what it represents and I don't think a 3 year old would either so I don't think the Manufacturer has got the recommended age right. Maybe 4-8 would be a better age range.
I paid £10 from Amazon and postage was free due to purchasing another item. In UK the item can be delivered free also with Super Saver Delivery. Delivery took 4 days.
I do recommend this item because even though it is too young for my granddaughter it still encourages role-play and keeps her occupied when Mum is busy. What I will say is that if you are going to purchase it for a 3 year old then the child will need supervision and an explanation of how everything works and what the cards and forms are for etc. A 4 year old will have a much better understanding of the toy post office, I am sure.
I am a childminder so I am always looking for fun and educational toys for my children and mindees to play with. All the children I mind love playing with the post office. The box says from age 3 yrs but my kids have been playing with it from age 2 right upto age 14, even I love playing with this with the kids. This toy comes with weighing scales, post box, cash drawer, coins and notes, rubber stamp, numerous magazines, newspaper titles, stamps, envelopes, post cards and all the forms and accessories you would expect from your Post Office.
The post office offers many learning opportunities such as practice of basic mathematics, learning the worth of money, recognizing weights. Also a great stimulation for your childs imagination, encouraging them to send a letter to Father Christmas or write a letter to the Queen? Hours of fun play with this toy post office.
This toy is a real bargain and gives your children hours of fun and learning.
When I was little I had a little post office to play with and I loved it! My son who was just under 3 years old at the time enjoyed playing with shopping etc and I thought he might enjoy the whole Post office scene (especially with his obsession with Postman Pat). I enjoy him role playing as a shop keeper or shopper and was keen to find a post office for him.
I found this Casdon Post Office and was very pleased. (however, I would say wait until your little on is over 3 years old a s specified due to the small pennies being a choking hazard.
The set includes, a small post box which opens and cash drawer, stamp, play pennies and notes. You also have a good stock of magazines and newspapers, postcards, evelopes and get this - car licences
I have great fun as well as my son when playing post ofice! I'm sure your kid will too :)