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Enhancing Bedtime Stories: A Parent’s Guide to Magical Storytelling

Bedtime stories hold a special place in the hearts of both children and parents. They’re not just a way to wind down the day, but a gateway to imagination, bonding, and learning. Here’s how you can enhance this cherished ritual and make every storytime a magical experience.

Choosing Stories That Resonate

Selecting the right book is more than just picking a title off the shelf. It involves understanding your child’s interests, developmental stage, and the values you want to instil. Look for stories that not only entertain but also stimulate curiosity and impart life lessons. Whether it’s an adventure in a fantastical land, a tale of friendship, or a journey through history, the right book can open new worlds for your child, sparking their imagination and fostering a love for reading.

Bringing the Story to Life

Reading aloud is an art form. Use different voices for each character and be expressive with your intonation and gestures. This brings the characters to life and enhances the storytelling experience. Your enthusiasm and animation in reading can turn a simple story into an enthralling adventure, making the narrative more engaging and memorable. It’s also a wonderful way to demonstrate the joy of reading and can significantly impact your child’s enthusiasm for stories.

Creating an Interactive Experience

Transform reading from a passive activity into an interactive experience. Engage your child by pausing at pivotal moments to ask their opinions or predictions about the plot. Encourage them to imagine alternative endings or what they would do in a character’s place. This not only keeps them engaged but also develops critical thinking and comprehension skills. It’s an excellent way to deepen their understanding of the story and the characters, and it turns storytime into a collaborative adventure.

Linking Stories to Real Life

Try to find connections between the story and your child’s everyday experiences. Relating the narrative to real-life situations can help children understand and internalise the story’s lessons. This approach makes the story more relatable and can be a powerful tool in teaching empathy, problem-solving, and other important life skills.

Establishing a Comfortable Environment

Create a dedicated cosy corner for reading. This could be a special chair, a pile of cushions, or a makeshift fort. A comfortable, inviting reading environment can make storytime a special and eagerly awaited part of your child’s day. It also helps in creating a routine, signalling that it’s time to wind down and immerse in a story.

Consistency is Key

Incorporating storytime into your daily routine is important. Regular reading not only strengthens the parent-child bond but also fosters a love for books and storytelling. It also establishes a rhythm that children can look forward to, making reading a cherished part of their day.

Exploring a Variety of Tales

Introducing a variety of books is crucial to keep the storytelling experience fresh and exciting. However, you don’t always need an extensive library. Even rotating a few books can provide a sense of novelty. Whirli offers a unique solution here – with our book swapping service, you can keep refreshing your child’s reading list. This not only minimises clutter but also ensures that your child is constantly exposed to new stories, ideas, and cultures.

In conclusion, bedtime stories are an invaluable opportunity to nurture your child’s development, imagination, and your relationship with them. With a little creativity and thought, you can turn bedtime reading into an enriching and delightful experience. Remember, the end of a book doesn’t mean the end of adventures. With Whirli, you can continuously swap books, giving your child access to a never-ending stream of stories, keeping their imagination ignited and their love for reading growing with our ever-expanding collection. This constant refresh of stories ensures that every bedtime story is an adventure in itself, filled with new worlds to explore and lessons to learn.

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Whirli’s Sustainable Playdate Guide for Parents

Hello, Whirli Parents 👋 Are you looking for a way to make your child’s playdates not just fun, but also eco-friendly? You’re in the right place! At Whirli, we believe that playtime is the perfect opportunity to blend enjoyment with environmental consciousness. Let’s walk through some tips for hosting a sustainable playdate that’s sure to be a hit with both kids and parents alike.

Sustainable Playdate Guide by Whirli, the toy subscription service

Embrace Toy Sharing at your Sustainable Playdate

Kickstart the playdate with a toy swap. Encourage each child to bring a gently used toy and swap it with their friends. It’s a great way to give toys a new lease of life and keep the kids excited about new play experiences. Plus, it aligns perfectly with Whirli’s ethos of reducing waste by reusing and sharing toys.

Eco-Friendly Snacks and Treats

Playdates and snacks go hand in hand, but this doesn’t have to mean a table full of plastic-wrapped goodies. Opt for homemade snacks or buy in bulk to reduce packaging waste. Fresh fruits, veggie sticks, and homemade cookies are not only healthier but also more eco-friendly. Don’t forget to serve them with reusable plates and cups!

Get Crafty with Recyclable Materials

Craft time can be both creative and sustainable. Set up a craft station using recyclable materials like cardboard tubes, scrap paper, and fabric remnants. It’s a fun way for kids to unleash their creativity while learning about the importance of recycling. You can even theme the crafts around nature or sustainability to spark eco-aware conversations.

Sustainable Playdate Outdoor Adventures

If the weather permits, take the playdate outside. Activities like nature scavenger hunts or planting seedlings in the garden are fantastic ways to teach kids about the environment. It also gives them a much-needed break from screen time and a chance to appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

Educate Through Play

Incorporate games and activities that subtly teach sustainability. For instance, a game of sorting recyclables can be a fun way to learn about waste management. Use this playdate as an opportunity to instill eco-friendly habits in a playful, engaging manner.

Sustainable Playdate Party Favours

Instead of the usual plastic toys or goody bags, consider giving out sustainable party favours. Seed packets, DIY craft kits, or small potted plants make for memorable and environmentally friendly gifts.

Digital Invitations

Ditch paper invites for digital ones. There are many creative and fun ways to design digital invitations that add a personal touch without the waste. Plus, it’s easier to manage RSVPs this way!

Fun, Educational, and Green

Hosting a sustainable playdate is about more than just entertainment; it’s an opportunity to teach our children and ourselves about taking care of our planet in the most enjoyable way. With these tips, your next playdate can be a fun, educational, and green event that both kids and parents will love. Happy playing! 🌱🎈🌍

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Toy Rotation Simplified with Whirli: Fostering Development and Reducing Clutter

Incorporating toy rotation into your child’s play routine is a powerful way to foster development and keep your home clutter-free. Whirli’s innovative toy swapping model seamlessly complements this concept, offering an on-demand, hassle-free way for parents to keep their children engaged and learning.

Toy Rotation Simplified

The Benefits of Toy Rotation

1. Consistent Engagement and Learning

Toy rotation keeps playtime fresh and challenging. Regularly introducing new toys helps maintain your child’s interest and caters to their evolving developmental needs. It encourages exploration and learning, as different toys develop various skills, from motor abilities to cognitive processing.

2. Minimised Clutter and Overwhelm

A key benefit of toy rotation is the reduction of clutter. By limiting the number of toys available at any given time, you not only tidy up your space but also create a more focused and enjoyable play environment for your child, free from the overwhelm of too many choices.

3. Cost-Effective and Sustainable

This approach is both economical and environmentally friendly. Instead of constantly buying new toys, you can rotate through a select collection, reducing waste and unnecessary spending.

Toy Rotation simplified with Whirli

How Whirli Enhances Toy Rotation

On-Demand Toy Swapping

Whirli’s service aligns perfectly with the principles of toy rotation. It allows parents to swap toys on demand, ensuring that the toys available to their child are always age-appropriate and interesting. This system takes away the need to store a large number of toys, helping to keep your home organised and clutter-free.

Tailored to Developmental Stages

As children grow, their interests and developmental needs change rapidly. Whirli’s diverse range of toys means you can easily select items that match your child’s current stage, ensuring they are constantly learning and developing new skills. This adaptability is crucial for their growth and keeps playtime both educational and fun.

Toy Rotation is a Sustainable Choice

Choosing Whirli is not just convenient; it’s a commitment to sustainability. By participating in a shared toy economy, you reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable future. This choice sets an example for your children about the importance of resourcefulness and environmental responsibility.

Toy rotation is a beneficial strategy for your child’s development and your home’s organization. Whirli’s toy swapping model enhances this practice, making it easier for parents to provide their children with the right toys at the right time, while also promoting sustainability. It’s a win-win for both families and the environment.

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Changes to our subscription plans and delivery fees from 4th August 2020

Our mission

Our core mission at Whirli is to support busy parents. For me, this has always meant providing a high level of service that is convenient, flexible, affordable, and also driven by ethical values. These principles run through Whirli today, from how our sharing economy works, to our selection of toys, and even to how we provide customer service and treat all our staff.

More recently, we stood firmly by these values and principles, and served the thousands of families in our community throughout the COVID-19 lockdown from March to July. We heavily subsidised our home collection service at the fraction of cost price, so families could continue to use our service without having to leave their homes. Our staff also navigated the crisis admirably and continued to put our community of parents first, helping all our subscribers through an extremely challenging and difficult time.

It goes without saying that COVID-19 has ravaged many businesses. While we count ourselves as relatively fortunate, we were not unscathed. Whirli is largely a founder-owned small independent business (not backed by corporates or venture capital). As with all small independent businesses across the country, we have had to adapt to huge changes as well as absorb unexpected costs. Whilst this has been possible in the short term, we now need to look ahead and strengthen our community and business so we can thrive in the long term.

Looking ahead

We’re making small changes to our subscription plans and delivery fees to address the long term impact of COVID-19 and ensure our business can be sustainable. These changes have a small impact on individual subscribers. There are no immediate charges levied or changes to the prices for our subscription plans, but standard delivery and return fees are increasing by 50p each (£1 monthly for Delivery Booster).

These small changes will help us materially improve the experience for all subscribers in our community. It will allow us to continue investing and improving our customer experience – better toy availability, a broader range of products, further improvements to the web experience, more varied delivery options, and many more things to come. All while staying true to our mission for all our subscribers and all our staff.

Value for money

We scrutinised our changes and remain confident that Whirli still represents the best value for money, by far, when it comes to children’s toys.

Our data shows that :

Over 6 months, the average subscriber plays with 400-600 Tokens of toys (worth £400-600 RRP), representing 3-5X more than they have paid to Whirli (including all delivery and return fees).

Despite the changes announced today, all our subscribers will still continue to enjoy this unbeatable value where Whirli is always better value for money than shopping for toys, no matter how frequently you swap with us.

Here are the changes to our subscription plans and delivery fees in full detail:

Token allowance changes

There have been no changes to the price that subscribers pay for the plan. However, the maximum Token allowance for each plan has reduced slightly to the following:

Each plan continues to deliver tremendous value for money, allowing subscribers to play with toys equivalent to at least 8 times the monthly plan cost at any time. There is no need for subscribers to return any toys immediately, these changes only take effect in your next swap. There are also no changes to Swifter Swaps, so customers can continue to enjoy receiving their latest orders before returning toys and be in a period of ‘overdraft’ with toys exceeding their plan’s token allowance.

We are also now able to craft bespoke plans beyond 240 Tokens. If you need more than 240 Tokens, please do get in touch and we will be able to cater for you.

‘Keep a toy’ changes

In buying a toy to keep, we consider the amount of time you’ve borrowed the toy to ensure you never pay more than retail price.

A toy never swapped

In line with the changes to our subscription plans, you can now keep a toy forever, at no extra cost, if you have had the toy for 8 months (vs 9 months previously).

Buy a toy

When buying a toy from your toy box, we will now calculate the residual value based on 243 days (8 months) rather than 274 days (9 months).

This therefore makes it cheaper to buy a toy to keep, and is a pricing improvement for all subscribers.

Pay monthly ‘Intro period’

For new customers only

For new pay monthly subscribers only, we are increasing our introductory period from 2 months to 3 months in line with many other subscription companies. This means that you will only unlock your full Token allowance after 3 months of being with Whirli.

In token terms here’s how it plays out:

No changes for existing customers in their introductory period

This introductory period change only affects new pay monthly subscribers. All existing subscribers who are still in their 2 month introductory period are unaffected and will get all their plan’s tokens available upon completing their 2 month introductory period.

Delivery fee changes

We’ve made some changes in line with price increases received from our delivery partners.

All changes are highlighted in yellow. Our Standard Delivery and Standard Return fees have increased by 50p each, and Home Collection has increased by £1.50 (this continues to be a subsidised service priced well below market rate).

Delivery Booster has correspondingly increased by £1 per month. There have been no immediate charges, the new pricing for Delivery Booster only takes place on the next renewal of your subscription plan.

Changes to our Subscription and Gifting Terms and Conditions

We’ve made changes to the formal terms and conditions for subscriptions and gifting. These were to correspond to the changes listed above, as well and capturing new features that we’ve built since we launched Whirli in 2018.

Have any questions?

As ever, please contact us if you have any questions about any of these changes or if you need any help getting the best value possible out of your Whirli subscription. We’re always here to help.

Thank you for all the positive encouragements and continued support.

Best wishes,
Nigel Phan
Founder and Managing Director

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COVID-19: Whirli is operating at normal service levels

This is an update to my previous post at the start of the COVID lockdown which said that Whirli was operating on reduced service levels. Read here.

It is bittersweet to celebrate our country getting over the peak of the health crisis and further easing of restrictions on the 4th of July. The past few months have had a heavy toll on the nation, with tragic losses of life and devastating economic impact, and the next few months (or years) still look extremely uncertain.

Yet, I wanted to take this moment to thank all our subscribers, our partners, and our staff. Service levels have now returned to normal – that means orders are dispatched within a day, returns are processed within a day, Live Chat is back, and other customer service enquires are dealt with within a day.

Please note, we will still be conservative on estimated delivery dates as we recognise that couriers might still be experiencing occasional delays in certain areas. We thus expect subscribers to typically receive their parcels ahead of the estimated delivery date provided on checkout.

Thank you

Firstly, a massive ‘thank you’ to all our subscribers for your patience over the last few months. As a business we faced huge challenges. Our suppliers were operating with reduced capacity, some had closed temporarily, and unfortunately some also closed permanently. The delivery companies operated with unprecedented levels of demand, despite seeing higher levels of staff sickness. And we too, experienced higher than normal staff absences combined with higher rates of orders and customer enquiries.

As a result, we were unable to operate to our usually high standard at all times and we did not always get everything right but having such a wonderful subscriber base and community has made all the difference for us.

Thank you for sending in notes of gratitude, for the encouragements, and the occasional chocolate and sweet delights. Thank you for being so understanding and patient with us, as orders took longer than usual to reach you or we took longer to respond to your service enquiries.

Proud moments

That said, the last few weeks have given us a lot to be proud of as an organisation and community:

  • Due to increased demand for our service, we delivered and processed over 50% more orders and returns than we usually do – helping all our subscribers access and share toys to entertain and educate their children.
  • We achieved this without compromising our staff’s well-being; ensuring full sick pay, safe distance working in the warehouse, and adequate supplies of protective clothing and disinfectant. We also hired where we could to help those who are looking for jobs in this climate.
  • We worked closely with suppliers to reduce any impact of supply disruption, and were also mindful and supportive to their own business and personal challenges.
  • We on-boarded new educational brands like Learning Resources and BrainBox.
  • We worked with our courier partners to ensure their staff’s safety and minimise delivery delays.
  • We kept our home collection fees low, far below market rate, so that subscribers could take advantage of this option whilst they stayed safe at home.
  • We also introduced label-less home collections (no need for printing!) to make returns even more convenient.

A small but mighty business

We may be a small business but we have overcome some huge challenges. Underneath these broad accomplishments are many stories of individual achievements with colleagues going above and beyond. It’s been extremely inspiring to observe and I’d like to emphasise 2 points to my colleagues and our subscribers:

  1. Our values only matter when we adhere to them at moments of maximum risk – it is times like these, when we stand by our principles and ways of working in the face of unprecedented challenges, that really demonstrate who we are as an organisation and what we stand for.
  2. It’s important to start like how we mean to go on – we are a small and young company with only 24 staff in total, with not much by way of vast resources or a network that larger companies can draw from and rely upon. I hope that Whirli continues to grow to a significant venture, and I hope that we never see an event like this again in our lifetimes – but if we do, we must not forget what we managed to achieve together, when we were small and had so little.

Continuing to strengthen our business

As we move forward there is a lot to be excited about. In a few weeks, we’ll be relaunching our website – this will provide a significantly improved experience, with faster page load speeds, better navigation, and better native experience on mobile phones. Shortly after, we’ll be working on new features to help customers reserve out of stock toys, and also re-engage with new suppliers to add new toys to our range. We will continue our investments in improving the service offering and the Whirli experience for all our subscribers.

We also cannot be complacent. Our service and operations need to evolve and adapt alongside the changing consumer behaviour and economic outlook, thereby ensuring we can continue to serve subscribers in a sustainable manner. We will soon announce a few small changes to help make our business stronger, more efficient and more sustainable. This includes tackling an increase in subscribers who have a token ‘overdraft’, and our heavily subsidised delivery and collection costs. These are small changes for individual subscribers, but make a big difference overall to our sharing economy community and every subscriber’s experience. I hope that you will all be there to continue supporting us to the full, as we have been here in the last few months to support you.

As usual, we are always available to speak with you regarding any questions, concerns, or help you might need. Get in touch with my team here, and as usual if you want to speak to me directly you can always ask my team to pass you on to me.

Best wishes,
Nigel Phan
Founder and Managing Director

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COVID-19: Whirli is operating as usual

These are extremely difficult and unprecedented times. First and foremost, our thoughts are with all families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope all of you and your loved ones stay healthy and well throughout the challenging months ahead.

At Whirli, we have been weighing up how best to balance our responsibilities to our staff and their families, to our subscribers and their families, and also to the general public’s health and well-being. We recognise the mental and financial strain extended periods of home isolation and school closures will put on parents, and Whirli’s potential role in helping alleviate these concerns.

We’ve taken the decision to keep ourselves operational and to continue providing our services for families, albeit with strong precautions in place.

Warehouse operating with occasional reduced capacity

All office-based staff will work remotely for the foreseeable future. Only myself and a bare bones crew of essential staff will operate our warehouse and fulfilment operations. In this critical period, I am personally supervising our in-person operations to ensure we are not putting our staff, customers, or the public at risk.

We are guaranteeing full pay to any staff who need to self-isolate due to symptoms of illnesses, however minor or whether it is directly related to COVID-19. This is to ensure all our staff make the right decision to help prevent the spread of illness, and to support them through a challenging economic outlook.

Consequently, when the infection peaks in the UK, we are likely to have reduced capacity in our operations and in our courier networks. This might mean that your orders and returns take slightly longer than usual, or that we’re slightly slower than usual to respond to you. I kindly ask for your patience and to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to maintain our high service levels.

Toy sterilisation

When COVID-19 first surfaced months ago, we immediately took steps to assess the risks and prepare ourselves. As you know, all toys have always undergone a stringent cleaning and sterilising process at Whirli before we send it on to another family to enjoy. This process varies depending on the type of toy, but always includes sterilisation either through high temperatures (e.g., plush toys in the wash) or sterilising fluids and wipes. For example, we use commercial Milton sterilising fluid which kills 99.9% of germs including the Coronavirus and is safe to use on children’s toys (Milton is regularly used in hospitals and maternity wards).

We are ensuring our warehouse is kept a clean zone, with no sick staff present and regular cleaning is undertaken. We are also enforcing regular hand washing, use of masks and gloves to reduce any contamination risk.

Imported goods

We assessed the risks of imported goods carrying the virus and general transmission probabilities through goods in the post. Broadly, whilst it appears that transmission is possible through contaminated surfaces, the early indication is that the virus does not survive on surfaces for very long periods. The primary source of infections have appeared to be through direct exposure to an infected person, and not through goods received from online shopping or from other countries.

Nonetheless, we have taken additional precautions to enhance our processes and all toys, whether they have just been unboxed from the manufacturer or have been returned by another customer, are thoroughly sterilised before they are sent out again.

To-door deliveries and home collection services

Price freeze

We will continue to offer our door delivery service, postal service and a courier collection service from your home at the normal rates. We will honour these prices as we have never believed in profiting from them. As a reminder, here is what we will continue to offer:

Transparently, we do not apply a mark-up to our pay-as-you-go rates. We are charged the same rate by Royal Mail and Parcelforce.

We also offer a Delivery Booster package and home collection service to our customers at below market rate, upon which we incur a loss.

Home collection

We will continue to price our collection service at below market rate. For any customers wishing to self-isolate we encourage you to use this great service carried out by DPD.

Lastly, for any customers who are worried about general goods being delivered to your home, please get in touch. We will be more than happy to share tips on sterilising and cleaning different types of products and surfaces.

New in-home toys

In light of the recent recommendations to stay at home, we have switched our attention to purchasing more in-home toys and games that will keep families occupied. This includes buying more:

  • Indoor toys and Pretend Play
  • Family / Board games
  • STEM / Educational toys

As always, please send through your recommendations and we will do our best to get hold of them for you.

Our community

In these worrying times it may also be comforting to reach out to our community on Instagram and Facebook and share what you have been doing at home. We will also keep you updated by email, Insta and Facebook and send through play ideas, educational tips and cleaning techniques to keep you busy and safe.

As usual, we are always available to speak with you regarding any questions, concerns, or help you might need. Get in touch with my team here, and if you want to speak to me directly you can always ask my team to pass you on to me.

Best Wishes,
Nigel Phan
Founder & Managing Director

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How’s the January toy explosion going?

Were your kids gifted lots of toys at Christmas? How’s the house looking now? Messy? We hear you. It’s one of the reasons we created Whirli.

We spoke to lots of parents and one theme really stood out. Their children get gifted a LOT of toys at Christmas. Big ones, ones with lots of pieces, some they’re likely never to play with. Or play with just once. They’re gifted out of love and are greatly received, so you don’t want to tell friends and family not to bother. But, come January, it’s clear that some simply weren’t value for money. They take up space in your house, yet they’re not played with.

What’s the issue?

So when we created Whirli, we knew we needed to offer a gifting solution. A way in which friends and family can participate in toy swapping. We started by listing common stories:

  • kids like unwrapping! They don’t always appreciate a voucher.
  • sometimes kids receive duplicate or inappropriate gifts
  • parents can’t always predict what their kids will like or discard
  • parents wish they could spread these gifts across the year

Whirli Gifting Features

We then started feature building! The must-haves were to offer:

  • physical toys that can be gifted alongside a voucher
  • gifts that can be turned into Whirli credit and fund a subscription
  • gifts that can be swapped
  • a gift list that can be shared with friends and family

So when you think of your Whirli subscription, think how it can benefit your lifestyle across the year. How you can include friends and family, how you can cut down on waste and get the best value for money.

Next year when we ask “How’s January going?” hopefully your response will be “much better thanks!”

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Gifts that fund your Whirli subscription

Spot the difference

One gift is bought from the high street.

The other is a Whirli gift, which can be turned into £11 Whirli credit.

Why buy brand new, when you can ask friends and family to buy your children a gift through Whirli, and fund your subscription?

Whirli Gift Lists

This week we launched Gift Lists. Lists created by you and shared with friends and family. You don’t even need be a Whirli subscriber to create a gift list, you just need an account.

Friends and family can buy a toy from your list, and when your child receives the toy, it comes with a code. You can then redeem that code on the Whirli website and turn it into Whirli credit.

For example:

A £10 toy = £10 Whirli credit = one month on Toy Sack

10 x £10 toys = £100 Whirli credit = Toy Sack yearly plan.

Why buy brand new when you can get better value through Whirli?

How do I add toys to my gift list?

Log in to your account (you simply need a Whirli account, you do not need to be a subscriber)

Click on the yellow heart, next to a toy.

If on a mobile device, you’ll be offered the choice to ‘Add to Another List’ at the bottom of the screen.

You can then select which list you would like to include or exclude this toy from.

How do I view my Gift List?

To view your gift list, select ‘Favourites’ from the menu at the top of the website. You will see 2 lists, ‘Favourite Toys’ and ‘Gift List’.

How do I share my gift list?

At the top of your gift list you will see a share button which will allow you to send to your friends and family using your preferred messaging app.

What happens if a friend buys a toy from my list?

The list will update for everyone, so you don’t receive duplicate gifts.

Can my child keep the toy?

Yes. Every toy bought through your gift list comes with a code. If you redeem the code on the Whirli website, it is turned into credit and will become part of your Whirli subscription.

If you don’t redeem the code, the toy is effectively yours to keep, forever.

How do I turn my gifted toy into Whirli credit?

Each gift order comes with a code. If you redeem that code, the toy will be turned into Whirli credit and added to your account. To redeem your code, just visit our website https://whirli.com/gift and tap on ‘Redeem Gift’.

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Toy Story 4: Movie review and everything you need to know before heading to the cinemas

Thinking about whether to catch Toy Story 4 at the cinemas? You absolutely should! Toy Story 4 was just released in cinemas on Friday 21st June 2019, and my partner and I made plans to catch it on a Saturday night screening the following day. We thoroughly enjoyed it!

We chose a late screening for 10pm at our local cinema as it was easier to get tickets. For a late screening of a family oriented film, I thought we might even have the theatre to ourselves! I really enjoy movie trailers, so we took our seats early as usual. By the time the movie actually got going at half past, the theatre was half full – pretty decent for our local cinema mind you – and impressively most of the audience were groups or couples of young adults with no children.

Such is the power of the Toy Story franchise that first gripped myself and many others over two decades ago. Such is the power of Disney Pixar’s reputation where family friendly films are not just for the children!

Check out our favourite toys from the movie here or see all our Toy Story 4 toys. These toys are perfect for getting kids fired up for a day at the cinema, or to stir their imagination and recreate the scenes once they come home.

What do I need to know before going to see Toy Story 4?

Not much to be honest. The original Toy Story was released in 1995, and the previous instalment Toy Story 3 released in 2010. Franchises that span multiple decades always risk alienating new audiences or not paying enough homage to the fans.

In Toy Story 4, Disney Pixar managed to balance this really well. Familiar faces return with the core posse of toys in their supporting minor roles (Hamm and Rex were two of my favourites and I always crack up at their lines). It is worth remembering that in Toy Story 3, Woody and the entire group of toys have been unloved by Andy. As Andy moves for college, he gives his toys to a little young girl, Bonnie, to play with.

We’re introduced to new characters including:

  • Forky – a spork that comes to life when he is created to be a toy using strings for arms, sticks for feet, and googly eyes (voiced by Tony Hale)
  • Gabby Gabby – a doll our group encounters on their adventures (voiced by Christina Hendricks)
  • Ducky and Bunny – inseparable plush toys that bring family friendly dark comedy (voiced by comedic duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele)
  • Duke Caboom – a motorbike stuntman action figure (voiced by reddit’s favourite person right now, Keanu Reeves)

Lastly, Bo Peep plays a central role in this film after not appearing at all in Toy Story 3. Bo Peep belonged to Andy’s sister, and previously it was mentioned that she was given away to other children to play with.

What should I expect for Toy Story 4?

I had high expectations going in. Toy Story 4 is scoring an astounding 98% critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 95% audience score. For it’s first weekend, the film grossed over $238 million world wide – and somehow this was still short of analyst’s expectations.

There’s always a risk going into a cinema with such high expectations. I couldn’t put it better than the critic consensus from Rotten Tomatoes so I’ll just leave it here:

“Heartwarming, funny, and beautifully animated, Toy Story 4 manages the unlikely feat of extending – and perhaps concluding – a practically perfect animated saga.” — Rotten Tomatoes, Toy Story 4

What did I think of the movie? My review of Toy Story 4

I loved it. It has everything you want – humour, strong characters, teary moments, and even the occasional suspense and thrill (that caused my partner to startle once or twice).

Toy Story 4 extends the core premise of the franchise as well as explore new and modern themes. Much like Inside Out (one of my all time Pixar favourites), the themes explored in this movie appeal at different depths to all ages. For children, the complexity of Toy Story 4’s character arcs will also teach about emotions and empathy.

Bo Beep is a stand-out character for me and it is great to see her take a leading role in the film. Likewise with newcomer Gabby Gabby whose arc develops and concludes majestically in the film. It’s fantastic to see two leading female figures in this Toy Story film, as the franchise that can otherwise be dominated by leading males Woody and Buzz.

Forky provides a light-hearted, more silly and slightly slapstick character younger children will adore. Yet his existential crisis about being ‘trash’, not a ‘toy’, and how he develops from the infancy of his sentience to his persona at the end, is complex and mature.

Toy Story 4 is a wonderful film. It’s overarching plot is a relatively simple frame against which many different character arcs blossom and conclude. The movie is well paced and entertaining. It’s hard to find any fault with it!

Are there post credits scenes?

I’m a big fan of Marvel films and always stay back for the post credit scenes. With Toy Story 4, there are a few mid-credits scenes and a final post credit scenes. None of them reveal any important plot points or hint at what future movies (if any) might look like.

The mid-credits scenes are pretty hilarious and certainly worth the few minute wait. Besides, I much prefer to hang about and not rush out in a human stampede. The end credits scene gives a light chuckle, but I wouldn’t wait unless you’re a huge Pixar fan.

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Toy Story 4: Our five favourite toys from the new movie

Just under a month more to go until Toy Story 4 hits UK cinemas on 21st June 2019. It’ll mark nearly 25 years on since the original Toy Story movie released in 1995!

I absolutely adore the Toy Story franchise. In fact, one of my favourite toys when I was younger was a Buzz Lightyear Action Figure. Complete with a full range of motion, wings that pop out, a laser pointer, and his catchphrase “To infinity… and beyond!”, this toy really captivated my imagination and went everywhere with me.

As the franchise grew over the next decades, so did my appreciation for it’s core premise. Disney Pixar have consistently delivered high quality entertainment, perfectly balancing humour (for both kids and parents), emotional moments, and meaningful messages. Toy Story’s core premise focuses on a lovable set of toys who find themselves, or rather feel themselves, getting unloved and neglected by the kid who owns them, Andy. It’s no surprise that these stories have in part inspired what we do at Whirli.

Quick Preview of Toy Story 4

The fourth installment of this franchise continues where we left off in Toy Story 3 with the toys having been given from Andy to Bonnie. Some years later, Bonnie creates a new toy in arts and crafts, named Forky. Forky suffers from a constant existential crisis about being a toy, and the rest of the toys rally together to help Forky and save him when he gets separated from Bonnie on a road trip.

With this premise, Disney Pixar have set the stage up for tonnes of nostalgia mixed in with a very modern twist, and fun new characters. This movie is sure to delight fans of the previous films and create new following amongst younger children today. Great day out for the whole family!

If you haven’t already, check out the official trailer for Toy Story 4:

Disney Pixar – Toy Story 4 Final Trailer

Whirli’s Picks: Best Toys from Toy Story 4 movie

We were so thrilled when we received our first batch of Toy Story 4 toys a few weeks ago. Mattel have done an outstanding job with the range – as usual their dolls and action figures are top notch, and their bigger play sets would delight any kid.

Here are our top 5 toys from the Toy Story 4 movie:

1. Ultimate Walking Buzz Lightyear (35 Tokens)

Photo of Toy Story Ultimate Walking Buzz Lightyear Toy
Photo of Toy Story Ultimate Walking Buzz Lightyear Toy

Oh the memories! This Buzz Lightyear action figure is everything I remembered it to be, and then some. On top of the standard fare Buzz motions, pop out wings, and laser – Ultimate Walking Buzz Lightyear can also activate to walk forwards, backwards, and swivel (and there is a secretive Easter egg to make Buzz moonwalk!).

2. Carnival Spiral Speedway (40 Tokens)

Photo of Toy Story Carnival Spiral Speedway Toy
Photo of Toy Story Carnival Spiral Speedway Toy

This toy was so popular that we went out of stock less than 24 hours after uploading it onto our website. So we got some more! Taking inspiration from the carnival scene, kids will really enjoy setting cars racing down the spiral track. We can see why this was so popular!

3. Fisher Price Little People 7-Figure Pack (20 Tokens)

Photo of Toy Story Fisher Price Little People 7-Figure Pack Toy
Photo of Toy Story Fisher Price Little People 7-Figure Pack Toy

If your kids like to recreate scenes using a variety of figures then this is the perfect pack for you. Kids can let their imaginations run wild and play with 7 of the key characters from Toy Story 4. Mattel has co-branded this set under their Fisher Price Little People range as the figures are perfectly sized for toddlers, and age appropriate from 1 year+. That gets a big thumbs up from us at Whirli.

4. True Talkers Rex Figure (18 Tokens)

Photo of Toy Story True Talkers Rex Figure
Photo of Toy Story True Talkers Rex Figure

If the standard iconic and realistic figures aren’t enough to hold attentions, then try the True Talkers range of figures. Fully posable with many articulations, the True Talkers range adds many realistic voice phrases from each character. Rex is one of my favourite characters, as I just love his comedic relief moments in the films!

5. Alienizer Voice Changer (16 Tokens)

Photo of Toy Story Alienizer Voice Changer Toy
Photo of Toy Story Alienizer Voice Changer Toy

Not going to lie… we had A LOT of fun with this at the office. The Aliens are probably the most adorable and cute characters in the franchise, with such an iconic scene in the original movie (“the claawww….!”). Get one and have hours of fun at home, or get a couple and try to have a business meeting in alien voice. Trust us on that one.

How to Choose the Perfect Play Mat for Your Baby: A Comprehensive Guide

Hey there, super parent! Ready to dive into the world of play mats and discover how these colourful, squishy wonders can make a big difference in your baby’s development? Buckle up, because we’re about to embark on a fun, informative journey that’ll leave you feeling like a play mat expert!

Benefits of Using a Play Mat

How a Play Mat Supports Development

First things first, let’s chat about why a play mat is an absolute game-changer for your little one. Imagine a magical place where your baby can roll, crawl, and play safely while learning about the world around them. That’s what a play mat does! Here’s how:

  1. Tummy Time: Tummy time on a play mat is essential for strengthening your baby’s neck, shoulders, and upper body muscles. Plus, it helps with motor skill development.
  2. Sensory Stimulation: Many play mats come with different textures, colours, and sounds that keep your baby engaged and help develop their sensory skills.
  3. Safe Play Area: A play mat provides a clean, cushioned space for your baby to explore without the risk of bumps and bruises.

Safety Features to Look For

When shopping for a play mat, safety is a top priority. Here are some key features to keep an eye out for:

  1. Non-Toxic Materials: Ensure the play mat is made from BPA-free, phthalate-free, and non-toxic materials.
  2. Anti-Slip Backing: A good play mat should have a non-slip backing to keep it in place, even when your baby is on the move.
  3. Easy to Clean: Babies are messy, no doubt about it! Look for mats that are easy to wipe down or machine washable.
  4. Thick Padding: A well-padded mat protects your baby from hard floors, making playtime comfortable and safe.

Best Baby Gyms of 2024

Ready to find the best of the best? We’ve rounded up the top-rated baby gyms that are making waves in 2024. These gyms are not just play mats; they’re full-on adventure zones for your little explorer!

Top-Rated Baby Gyms on the Market

1. Taf Toys Outdoors Play Mat

  • Features: This play mat is perfect for outdoor adventures. It’s waterproof, easy to clean, and comes with a sunshade to protect your baby from harmful rays.
  • Why We Love It: It’s designed for the wanderer in every baby. Plus, it’s super portable, so you can take it to the park, beach, or even a family picnic.

2. Tender Leaf Space Adventure Play Mat Set

  • Features: This play mat brings the cosmos to your living room. With its space-themed designs, it’s packed with interactive elements like crinkly planets and a soft rocket ship.
  • Why We Love It: It encourages imaginative play and is perfect for tummy time. Plus, it’s a part of a larger collection, so you can expand your baby’s play universe!

How to Select the Right Play Mat

Choosing the right play mat can feel overwhelming, but don’t worry—we’ve got your back! Here’s how to find the perfect fit for your baby.

Soft Play Mat Options for Different Needs

  1. For Tummy Time Enthusiasts: Look for mats with extra padding and fun textures to make tummy time enjoyable.
  2. For Active Babies: Choose mats with built-in toys and activities that keep your baby engaged and moving.

Play Activity Mats for Active Babies

Activity mats are fantastic for babies who are always on the go. Look for features like:

  • Interactive Toys: Mats with attached toys like rattles, mirrors, and teething rings.
  • Sound and Lights: Some mats come with built-in sounds and lights to captivate your baby’s attention.
  • Convertible Designs: Mats that can be transformed into tunnels or tents as your baby grows.

Incorporating Play Mats into Daily Play

Now that you’ve got the perfect play mat, let’s make the most of it!

Fun Activities with Baby Play Mats

  1. Sensory Exploration: Encourage your baby to touch and feel different textures on the mat.
  2. Peekaboo Games: Use the mat’s features to play peekaboo, helping your baby learn about object permanence.
  3. Interactive Play: Engage with your baby using the toys attached to the mat, promoting bonding and development.

Maintaining and Cleaning Your Play Mat

Keeping your play mat clean is crucial for your baby’s health. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Regular Wipes: Use baby-safe wipes to clean the mat after each use.
  2. Deep Cleaning: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for machine washing or deep cleaning to remove any stubborn stains.
  3. Drying: Ensure the mat is thoroughly dried before use to prevent mould and mildew.

Final Thoughts

There you have it—the ultimate guide to choosing the perfect play mat for your baby. From understanding the benefits and safety features to finding the best baby gyms of 2024, you’re now equipped with everything you need to make an informed decision. So go ahead, pick the perfect play mat, and watch your little one play, explore, and develop in the safest, most fun way possible! Happy parenting!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is the best play mat for a newborn?

  • Look for a soft play mat with plenty of cushioning and sensory features to stimulate your baby’s development.

Q2: Are play mats safe for babies?

  • Yes, Play Mats are designed with safety in mind, featuring non-toxic materials and cushioned surfaces to protect babies during playtime.

Q3: How do I clean a baby play mat?

  • Most Play Mats can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Some have removable, machine-washable covers for easier cleaning.

Q4: Can a play mat help with my baby’s development?

  • Absolutely, Play Mats encourage tummy time, help develop motor skills, and provide sensory stimulation with various textures and colours.

Q5: How do I choose the right size play mat for my baby?

  • Consider the space available in your home and your baby’s age. Larger mats provide more room for movement and play, which is beneficial as your baby grows.
  • Look for a soft play mat with plenty of cushioning and sensory features to stimulate your baby’s development.

Montessori Toys: The Whirli Guide

What are Montessori Toys?

Montessori toys are special tools designed to help children learn through play. Inspired by the Montessori philosophy, these toys are all about encouraging kids to explore, discover, and learn at their own pace.

They are simple, often made from natural materials, and are intended to stimulate a child’s curiosity and sense of wonder, and are perfect for helping children develop fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities.

What are Montessori Toys

Why choose Montessori toys?

The Montessori method, developed by the brilliant Italian physician Maria Montessori, is all about fostering independence, creativity, and a love for learning in children. Montessori education emphasises hands-on learning and teamwork, improving motor skills, problem-solving, and social skills in children. No wonder parents and educators around the world swear by it!

Exploring Montessori Toys by Age

Montessori Toys for Babies: Stimulating Growth and Development

Montessori toys for babies are designed to engage their senses and encourage exploration. Think about soft toys that are easy to grasp, rattles that make gentle sounds, and play gyms with contrasting colours. These toys help your baby develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, making playtime both fun and educational. Early learning toys like these are great for helping little ones discover the world around them.

Montessori Toddler Toys: Encouraging Independence and Learning

As your little one grows into a toddler, Montessori becomes more focused on promoting independence and basic problem-solving skills. Toys like shape sorters, stacking blocks, and simple puzzles are perfect for this age group. They help toddlers understand cause and effect, improve their fine motor skills, and encourage them to figure things out on their own. These educational toys are fantastic for teaching toddlers through play.

Preschool Montessori Toys: Preparing for School and Beyond

When children reach preschool age, Montessori starts to prepare them for school. These toys might include more complex puzzles, role playing toys like hair dresser sets and wooden kitchens, and early learning toys that teach letters and numbers. The goal is to foster a love for learning and help children develop the cognitive skills they’ll need in the classroom. These preschool toys are essential for getting kids ready for group play and school activities.

Wooden Montessori Toys

Types of Montessori Toys

Wooden Montessori Toys: Natural, Sustainable Choices for Play

Wooden Montessori toys are a big hit because they are made from natural materials and are super durable. They are safe, non-toxic, and perfect for children to explore. Wooden toys like building blocks and shape sorters help develop fine motor skills and encourage imaginative play. Plus, they look beautiful and can last for generations.

Learning Toys: Educational Tools for Curious Minds

Learning toys are designed to pique your child’s curiosity and support their educational journey. These toys include flash cards, counting beads, and puzzles that teach numbers, letters, and shapes. They make learning fun and interactive, turning everyday playtime into a valuable learning experience.

Popular Montessori Toys

If you’re wondering which Montessori toys are must-haves, we’ve got you covered. Here are some top choices for every age group:

  1. Wooden Building Blocks: These are fantastic for toddlers and preschoolers. They help with fine motor skills and spark creativity.
  2. Shape Sorters: Great for toddlers, these toys teach shapes, colours, and problem-solving skills.
  3. Counting Beads: Perfect for preschoolers, these beads help with counting and understanding numbers.
  4. Rattles and Mobiles: Ideal for babies, these toys stimulate the senses and encourage early hand-eye coordination.
  5. Flash Cards: Excellent for preschoolers, flash cards can teach letters, numbers, and basic words in a fun and engaging way.

You can explore our Educational Box for 7- 12m olds.

Choosing and Using Montessori Toys:

How to Select The Right Toys: Tips for Parents and Caregivers

Choosing the right toys can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips to help you out:

  1. Focus on Natural Materials: Look for toys made from wood, cotton, or other natural materials. They’re safer and more durable.
  2. Keep it Simple: Montessori toys are designed to be simple and open-ended. Avoid toys with flashing lights or too many features.
  3. Match the Toy to Your Child’s Developmental Stage: Choose toys that are appropriate for your child’s age and abilities. This will keep them engaged and challenged.
  4. Think About Interests: Select toys that align with your child’s interests. If they love animals, look for animal puzzles or figurines.

Incorporating Montessori at Home: Practical Ideas for Everyday Learning

Making Montessori a part of your daily routine is easy and fun. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Create a Play Space: Dedicate a small area in your home where your child can play with their Montessori toys. Use low shelves to keep everything within reach.
  2. Rotate Toys: Instead of overwhelming your child with too many toys at once, rotate them regularly. This keeps things fresh and exciting.
  3. Encourage Independence: Allow your child to choose their toys and play independently. This helps build confidence and decision-making skills.
  4. Integrate Learning into Play: Use toys to teach real-life skills. For example, counting beads can help with math, and shape sorters can teach geometry.

Montessori Gifts & Accessories

Looking for a thoughtful gift? Montessori toys make excellent presents for birthdays, holidays, or any special occasion. Here are some ideas:

  1. Tender Leaf Toys: Beautifully crafted wooden toys that are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
  2. Educational Toys: Consider toys that teach letters, numbers, or shapes, like flash cards or counting beads.
  3. Practical Life Tools: Items like child-sized brooms, kitchen sets, or gardening tools are great for teaching practical life skills.
  4. Play Sets: Sets that include a variety of toys for imaginative play, like building blocks or animal figurines.

Montessori toys are more than just playthings—they’re tools for learning, discovery, and growth. By choosing these thoughtful, natural, and educational toys, you’re giving your child the best start in life. Whether it’s wooden toys that last for generations or interactive learning toys that make education fun, these toys support your child’s development in countless ways.

So, dive into the world of Montessori toys and watch your child thrive, learn, and discover the joy of play.

Build your Montessori friendly Whirli box today!

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Sustainable Gardening for Kids: Helping Them Bloom

In today’s world, encouraging a sense of responsibility for the environment in our children is more important than ever. Sustainable gardening is a good way to teach children about taking care of the planet. It can also help them to grow a love for nature.

Gardening can greatly benefit children’s mental health by boosting their self-esteem and providing a sense of accomplishment. Spending time in nature and gardening can help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety in both children and adults.

Here we discuss the importance of exploring sustainable gardening for children and how we can involve them in these eco-friendly practices.

Sustainable Gardening for Kids | Whirli Toy Subsciption

Reasons to Explore Sustainable Gardening for Kids

1. Planting The Seeds of Sustainability

Sustainable gardening goes beyond just growing plants; it’s about encouraging an environmental mindset from a young age. When children participate in sustainable gardening, they can learn how their actions affect the environment and make better choices.

2. Hands-on Learning and Discovery

Gardening offers children a hands-on learning experience. Kids can experience the full life cycle of plants, from planting seeds to harvesting fruits and vegetables. This hands-on experience helps them gain a deeper understanding of where food comes from. Sustainable gardening activities like composting and water conservation teach valuable lessons about resource management and ecosystems.

3. Nurturing Green Thumbs Through Sustainable Gardening

When kids take part in gardening, they develop essential life skills, such as responsibility, patience, and perseverance. As they care for plants and watch them grow, children learn the importance of dedication. Gardening allows children to be creative and express themselves by designing their own gardens and experimenting with various plants and layouts.

4. Environmental Awareness

Sustainable gardening encourages children to become environmental champions in their own communities. By participating in activities like planting trees, creating wildlife habitats, and recycling garden materials, kids learn how their actions can positively impact the environment. Gardening projects also offer opportunities for children to engage in meaningful discussions about conservation and sustainability,.

5. Building Stronger Connections

Gardening is a wonderful way for families to bond and spend quality time together outdoors. Working side by side in the garden provides opportunities for meaningful conversations and shared experiences. Whether it’s planting a vegetable patch, building a compost bin, or creating a butterfly garden, sustainable gardening projects offer countless opportunities for families to connect with nature and each other.

Involving Children in Sustainable Gardening

Here are some practical tips for some activities that will encourage sustainable gardening for kids:

  • Start small with a container garden or raised beds that are easy for children to manage.
  • Choose native plants that are well-suited to your climate and require minimal maintenance.
  • Involve kids in every step of the gardening process, from planning and planting to watering and harvesting.
  • Teach children about the importance of soil health and how to create compost from organic waste.
  • Encourage wildlife-friendly practices like planting pollinator-friendly flowers and providing food and shelter for birds and insects.

Mud & Bloom have lots of ideas to get the kids involved in gardening, as well as offering monthly gardening boxes.

Promoting sustainable gardening involves more than just growing plants. It’s also about encouraging a love for nature and teaching children valuable life lessons. Involving kids in gardening helps them learn about the environment and make a positive impact on the world.

So let’s roll up our sleeves, grab our gardening gloves, and help our children bloom together.

—–

Discover Whirli’s range of outdoor toys, and fill their next Whirli box with outdoor fun.

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Are Wooden Toys Better for Your Child?

Are wooden toys better? Child cutting wooden vegetable toy

Exploring the Benefits of Wooden Toys for Your Children

Wooden toys hold a special place in the hearts of many parents, and for good reason. Not only are they a timeless classic, but they also offer a host of benefits for children’s development. At Whirli, we’re particularly fond of them, and we believe they deserve a place in every child’s playtime.

Here are five reasons to add some wood toys to your next Whirli box:

1. Environmentally Conscious Choice:

With sustainability becoming a growing concern for many families. Wooden toys offer a greener alternative to plastic toys, which contribute significantly to pollution and landfill waste. Made from sustainable, recyclable, and biodegradable materials, wooden toys have minimal environmental impact. When you choose toys made from wood, you’re not only reducing plastic consumption but also promoting a more sustainable future for generations to come.

2. Spark Creativity and Imagination:

They are known for sparking creativity and imagination in children. Unlike many plastic toys that come with predetermined instructions or limitations, wooden toys encourage open-ended play. Children can build, create, and invent using their imagination, developing creativity and problem-solving skills. From building blocks to pretend play sets, the possibilities are endless with wooden toys.

Are Wooden Toys better? Rainbow Blocks in Wooden Toy Trolley

3. Durability Lasting for Generations:

One of their standout features is that they are durable. Built to withstand the test of time and rough play, these toys can last for generations. These are not just toys; they are cherished heirlooms that families can pass down from one generation to the next. Investing in quality and well made toys means investing in lasting enjoyment for your family.

4. Develop Motor Skills and Coordination:

Wooden toys help children develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Toys that help children and babies learn to stack blocks, string beads, and solve puzzles are beneficial for developing motor skills. These toys can improve hand-eye coordination and problem-solving abilities. They also help with fine motor skills and spatial awareness.

Overall, these toys are great for promoting healthy development in children. By engaging in hands-on play, children can improve their dexterity and coordination while having fun.

5. Safer and Non-toxic:

Wooden toys are often made from natural materials. These materials can reduce the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals found in plastic toys. Unlike plastic toys, which may contain toxins such as phthalates and BPA, toys made from wood are non-toxic and safe for children to play with. Parents can have peace of mind knowing that their children are not being exposed to harmful substances while playing with wooden toys.

In conclusion, wooden toys offer a range of benefits that make them a worthwhile addition to any child’s playtime. They are a great choice for families who want to provide their children with quality play experiences

So why not consider adding some wood toys to your next Whirli box? Your child will thank you for it!

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Exploring the Benefits of STEM Toys for Children

Benefits of STEM Toys for Children

As parents we are always looking for the best ways to encourage our children to learn, and often the best way to learn is to play. Nurturing a child’s interest in STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, has never been more important, as the world becomes more and more reliant on technology, luckily for parents one of the best ways to nurture these skills is through play with STEM toys.

Here, we explore the many benefits of STEM toys for children. Looking at how they help to develop curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking skills in little ones of all ages.

The benefits of STEM toys for children - Kids play with STEM robot toy

What are STEM Toys?

STEM toys are a range of educational toys that introduce children to STEM concepts. They do this in a hands-on and interactive way. From building blocks and coding robots to science kits and engineering puzzles, there are options for all age groups.

What are the benefits of STEM toys?

Engage with STEM Early On:

One of the main benefits of STEM toys is their ability to spark curiosity and fascination with STEM subjects from the outset. By immersing children in biology, geometry, and coding through play, these toys lay the foundation for a lifelong love of learning and pave the way for future success in STEM-related fields.

Make Learning Fun and Build Confidence:

These toys can transform learning into an exhilarating adventure. They provide a refreshing alternative for children struggling with traditional teaching methods, building confidence through creative problem-solving and hands-on exploration.

Improve Fine Motor Skills:

One of the benefits of STEM toys is that they require hands-on play, developing your little ones fine motor skills as they engage in building, constructing, and experimenting. Whether it’s assembling intricate models or coding robots, these activities develop dexterity and coordination in a fun and interactive way.

Boost Cognitive Skills and Creative Thinking:

STEM toys serve as catalysts for cognitive development, encouraging critical thinking, decision-making, and memory retention. Through experimentation and exploration, children learn to tackle problems from multiple angles, and build innovative thinking and flexibility skills whilst also nurturing their growing creativity and imagination.

STEM Toys for All Ages:

From magnetic building blocks to advanced robotics kits, there’s a STEM toy suited to every age and developmental stage. Parents and educators can enrich children’s learning experiences by providing age-appropriate toys that stimulate curiosity, challenge young minds and inspire a lifelong love of learning.

In conclusion, the benefits of STEM toys for children are clear. By introducing young minds to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, STEM toys help children to develop essential skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

By embracing these toys as valuable educational tools, parents and educators can empower children to explore, innovate, and thrive in an increasingly STEM-driven world.

How can Whirli help your child develop STEM skills?

Whirli’s toy subscription service can be a great way to rotate the STEM toys your children have access to. Renting these toys from Whirli removes the need to purchase a wide range of options. This can be particularly helpful for home-education families.

Learning about Chemistry this month? Add a Science Lab Set to your Whirli box. Are you discovering all about the Biology of Plants? Add our Learning Resources View Scope to your next box. 

The best part is you can order your toy swaps before returning your current products. So the learning doesn’t need to stop while you wait for the next STEM toy to arrive.

Discover Whirli’s Toy Subscription Box plans TODAY.

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  "headline": "Exploring the Benefits of STEM Toys for Children",
  "description": "As parents we are always looking for the best ways to encourage our children to learn, and often the best way to learn is to play. Nurturing a child’s interest in STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, has never been more important, as the world becomes more and more reliant on technology, luckily for parents one of the best ways to nurture these skills is through play with STEM toys.

Here, we explore the many benefits of STEM toys for children. Looking at how they help to develop curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking skills in little ones of all ages.",
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The Whirli Approach to Sustainable Play: A Deep Dive

Welcome to the world of Whirli, where playtime isn’t just about fun and games—it’s about shaping a sustainable future. In today’s blog, we’re taking a deep dive into our approach to sustainable play. It’s a story of how we’re turning the joy of childhood into a force for positive change, one toy at a time.

Sustainable Play - A Whirli Guide

Our Mission: Sustainable Play for Every Child

At Whirli, we believe that the choices we make for our children today can have a profound impact on the world they inherit tomorrow. Our mission is to offer an alternative to the traditional ‘buy-use-dispose’ cycle that dominates toy consumption. By choosing Whirli, families are not only getting access to a world of fun but also contributing to a more sustainable planet.

The Circular Toy Economy

Central to our approach is the circular toy economy. This means that instead of toys being discarded after a short period of use, they are continuously circulated among families. When your child outgrows a toy, or simply wants to try something new, it can be swapped for another, keeping the cycle going. This not only reduces waste but also conserves resources and minimises our collective carbon footprint.

Quality Over Quantity

We handpick toys that are not just entertaining but also durable and well-made. Quality is key in sustainable play. By selecting toys that last longer, we reduce the need for constant replacements, thereby reducing waste. It’s about investing in toys that can stand the test of time and play.

Building a Community of Conscious Consumers

Whirli is more than a service; it’s a community. By joining Whirli, families become part of a movement towards more responsible consumption. It’s a space where we can share ideas, learn from each other, and collectively make choices that are better for the environment.

Join Us on This Journey to Sustainable Play

The Whirli approach to sustainable play is about creating a world where the joy of childhood and the health of our planet go hand in hand. It’s a journey we are proud to be on, and we invite you and your family to join us. Together, we can make playtime a time for positive change. Let’s create a future where every child can play, learn, and grow in a world that’s greener and brighter for all. 🌍🧸💚

Circular Play: Nurturing Minds at Every Stage with Whirli

Have you ever thought about how the toys your child plays with can shape their learning and development? That’s where the magic of circular play comes in, and it’s something we’re passionate about at Whirli. It’s not just about having a continuous stream of toys, but about providing the right toys at the right time for your child’s ever-evolving needs. Let’s dive into the educational and developmental wonders of circular play.

Circular Play with Whirli

Tailored Learning with Every Swap

As parents, we all know that children grow and change incredibly fast. What captivates them one month might be old news the next. Circular play is the perfect answer to this rapid development. By regularly swapping toys, we can ensure that our little ones always have access to toys that match their current age and stage of development. This means they’re consistently challenged, engaged, and learning at their pace.

Keeping Curiosity Alive

One of the best gifts we can give our children is the joy of learning, and nothing keeps curiosity alive like the thrill of new play experiences. With circular play, the arrival of a new toy is an opportunity for discovery and exploration. It keeps their minds active and engaged, as they encounter fresh concepts, stories, and puzzles. This constant exposure to new ideas helps foster a love for learning that goes far beyond playtime.

Circular Play with Whirli

Development Through Variety

Different toys offer different learning opportunities. A puzzle can enhance problem-solving skills, while building blocks can improve spatial awareness and fine motor skills. By rotating toys, we provide our children with a rich variety of developmental experiences. The diversity in play helps them develop a well-rounded skill set, from cognitive and motor skills to emotional and social intelligence.

Sustainable Learning through Circular Play

Circular play is also a lesson in sustainability. It teaches children that enjoyment doesn’t always come from owning new things. By participating in a shared economy of toys, they learn the value of resources and become more environmentally conscious. This early understanding of sustainability is crucial for their development as responsible individuals.

Circular Play with Whirli

Adapting to Change

In a world that’s always changing, adaptability is key. Circular play naturally teaches children to adapt. They learn to look forward to change and embrace it. This adaptability is a skill that will serve them well throughout their lives, making them more resilient and open to new experiences.

Growing with Whirli with Circular Play

At Whirli, we believe that play is an essential part of learning and development. Circular play offers a dynamic and sustainable way to keep up with your child’s growth, fuelling their curiosity and development at every stage. It’s more than just play; it’s a journey of continuous learning, discovery, and growth. Let’s embrace this journey together, ensuring our children have the tools they need to thrive in every new adventure life brings. 🌟🧸📚

Explore The World of Whirli Today!