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The fact that I am reviewing another Happy Land set concerns me, it makes me realise that we have bought Hope more of these sets than I realised but the truth is that they are very appealing and she gets so much entertainment and enjoyment out of them that we cannot help but buy her them!
This is the latest addition to our collection and we picked it up for a bargain. It should have been £8 but it was on offer for just £4! We couldn't resist the price at all! If it had have been full price we probably wouldn't have bought this but for half price we just could not help ourselves!
What is Happy Land
Happy Land is a series of toys brought to you by The Early Learning Centre. They are a collection of various sets of plastic houses, objects and characters all designed to help children to use their imaginations and to create their own little worlds within this Happy Land. There are various items you can get so no matter what budget you are on you should be able to afford part of this series. There are huge building which cost over £60 and then little buildings which cost as little as £15. Some of the sets of characters and people are £6 so most people will be able to afford to buy some items in this series.
With Happy Land the characters are all transferable, they can be used on their own or with the other sets that you can buy which makes them very versatile and enables your child to use their imaginations to integrate them into new scenarios. Each set has a theme; the village vets, the farmhouse etc and with each set you get some items which are related to this theme- a sty, some ladders, a tractor etc for the farm and characters that fit into it- a farmer, a pig, a horse etc for the farm so that you don't have to go and buy the characters or furniture separately.
Some of the sets have special effects too- and not just the expensive ones! This includes a turning wheel at the fun fair or interactive elements in the vets which create noises but these are only minimal. The main emphasis of this toy is for children to do the interaction without all of the lights and sounds that some toys have. This is all about children finding their own stimulation. An example of some of the sets available:
The wedding set
I think this set was brought out earlier this year in conjunction with the Royal Wedding taking place. I think if we had been going to a wedding this year we may have bought this before hand to help introduce the concept of the event to Hope and help her to understand what to expect from the day seeing as she is only two she does need things like this to help her to gain understanding. Within this set you get:
You don't get a building that comes along with this as it is only one of the cheaper sets so it is up to your child to create the scene for themselves or to use one of the buildings you already have to create the scene. Hope already has a few horses in her collection but each one is different so the fact that she now has a fifth one doesn't matter at all. This horse has blinkers on and has it's mane plaited for the occasion so he is very distinctive, Hope knows which of her horses will fit the reins that come with this set!
The little cart is yellow and has places for the characters to 'sit'. The characters are not flexible, they do stay upright but there are places for them hollowed out so that they won't fall when the cart is in motion. The reins attach on to this and then over the horses back and your child is able to move the horse along which then pulls the cart. This is quite awkward as sometimes the reins do come off as they are pretty much just balanced on but this doesn't seem to frustrate Hope in fact it has taught her to be more careful with when playing which I think is a good thing!
The bride and groom are traditionally dressed so there is no denying what their role is! The groom has a top hat on which Hope thinks is very funny! The bride has a pink bouquet of flowers.
Hope doesn't know what a wedding entails so when she plays with these she doesn't enact a wedding scene but just likes to put the people inside the cart and use the horse to pull them along. With time once she understands about weddings I can see that she will be acting out the service and using her imagination to create a party afterwards.
What I like about this set is that it is very imaginative. You have enough items included for your little one to be able to make up a story and have lots of fun with it without having to spend a fortune or buy a big set which takes up lots of room. Your little one can have the characters talk to each other, tend to the horse, fix the cart, have the cart be pulled by the horse and it is up to them how they create a scene. Sometimes I find Hope just holding one of the characters and talking away to them!
With Happy Land there really is a lot of interaction that your little one can have and create, it's all about them using their imaginations which is really important as imaginative play helps children to develop their understanding about various situations and enables them to be more open minded. Once your child becomes a toddler it is important to encourage imaginative play and these toys are great for doing that.
These toys are very practical because they are made from a firm, robust plastic which means that if your toddler is heavy handed and likes to throw things -which, let's face it, most of them are- then these toys will still survive it! They are also easy to clean too as they are plastic so you can just put these in the sink and wash them up to rid them of sticky finger prints and things. The characters are slightly softer than the furniture and sets but they still withstand being played with although a few items do chip off paint if gnawed on so it's a good idea not to give these to children who are still liking to chew on things.
This set doesn't have a house in which to house them so they will have to be stored separately with your toy box or on the shelf but they are not very big so they don't take up much room. It isn't a problem for us as we have a special happy Land storage box.
Because the animals and characters are all very much the same- the same width etc- they will be able to interact with the other sets you can buy so they will fit on chairs from other other sets or be able to fit on the stairs or bed or cars etc. This means that as your set expands your child isn't restricted as to what can be used with what.
They certainly are practical, they create a chance for your child to just lose themselves in another world and to create all kinds of scenarios for the various characters. This wedding set I think is a great little addition and I think it appeals to both boys and girls. If you are going to a wedding it would be a good purchase to have so that you can play with it with your child and talk them through what to expect from the day or it could be something which your child enjoys playing with after they have been to a wedding as they have already seen first hand what one is.
I am really very pleased with this purchase. I think for £8 it is reasonable in terms of it being a Happy Land toy but seeing as we got it for half price then I think it's absolutely fantastic value and well, well worth it indeed. It helps your child to be entertained, use their imaginations and to gain a better understanding of traditions.