Monday, 15 September 2014

Plan Toys Croquet

"Get to your places!" shouted the Queen in a voice of thunder, and people began running about in all directions, tumbling up against each other: however, they got settled down in a minute or two, and the game began. Alice thought she had never seen such a curious croquet in all her life: it was all ridges and furrows; the balls were live hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingoes, and the soldiers had to double themsleves up and to stand upon their hands and feet, to make arches" (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)

As a young child, I was fascinated by the description of the mysterious game called croquet in Alice's Adventures. The marvellous Russian edition came with footnotes which explained the intricacies of the English lifestyle and its idiosyncratic features. I learnt what croquet was supposed to be, but much preferred Lewis Carroll's version, and who wouldn't?! Needless to say, I never played this game as a child, it sounded very exotic to me, and quintessentially British. Fast forward 35+ years, and I am teaching my younger son how to play croquet with the help of a beautiful Plan Toys Croquet.

This family game comes in a sturdy box. It includes 4 different animal wooden balls - bird, tiger, monkey and frog, 2 mallets, 4 wickets and a final stand. There is also a bag, handy for carrying the set to and fro.

Eddie was very excited to see a big box, when the game arrived, and was impatient to start playing immediately. As our lawn was quite overgrown, I suggested playing indoors. Then for several days he kept asking when we were going to mow the lawn. Finally we cleared the space for him at the weekend, and Eddie was happy to play outdoors with his new croquet.

Unpacking and testing the ground

This set is well-made of sustainable wood and eco-friendly materials. I have never held a grown-up version of croquet in my life, so it is hard for me to compare, but I liked the fact that the mallets are light enough for little hands, yet heavy enough at the same time so that they are durable and sturdy.
Great fun for playing both indoors and outdoors.
It is useful to learn social interaction skills, like taking turns and patience. And it is good for gross motor skills and coordination.
My son has been very enthusiastic about learning a new game.

This lovely set is available from Great Gizmos online shop which is a veritable Aladdin's cave full of treasures. You can find a big variety of games and toys there, suitable for all ages and tastes. This is a shop to be bookmarked for the coming Christmas shopping, or for any occasion indeed, when you need to buy a gift for a child.

Disclosure: we received Plan Toys Croquet for the purposes of reviewing. All opinions are mine.

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