ROLE PLAY FUN WITH THE PICCOLO PLAY CAFE
With rave reviews following its recent launch, the new Piccolo Play Café is sure to be one of our most popular toys this coming Christmas. Children will love setting up their very own café and deciding what goes on the menu. Hours of role play and pizza-making fun are guaranteed. GLTC testing team member, Charli Walker, was one of the first to receive the café and put it through its paces with her four children. Let's see what they thought of it and why they think wooden toys are the best.
Charli, you're a big fan of wooden toys for children. What is it that attracts you to them?
I love how they look! They’re the sort of toys that I don’t mind being scattered all over the house because they’re nice to look at. They become a part of the decor. They’re also longer lasting and better for the environment, which is always a bonus. They feel like a real investment.
What do you feel are the benefits of opting for wood over plastic?
Certainly the environmental impact and how much more sustainable they are, but also the longevity of them. I like to imagine packing them all away once my children outgrow them and then one day bring them all out again, for my grandchildren to play with. Although that does get a bit scary if I think about it too much.
As part of your role on the GLTC testing team, you were one of the first to receive the Piccolo Play Café. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
It’s a great little play cafe, with lots of accessories and features that allow children to run their very own Italian restaurant. I love that it’s really open ended and all of my children can be involved in the hosting of their imaginary eatery, from taking pizza orders, to cooking pasta dishes, to grating on the parmesan.
Have your children enjoyed playing with it?
Yes they love it. We’ve even been able to involve the baby by sneaking some mini cheddars onto the pizzas! Children are so tech minded these days, but they still get caught up in imaginative play and it’s great to watch them creating entire scenes from their minds.
How do you think that role play toys like the Piccolo Play Café and our Star Beans Coffee Shop help children to develop better social skills?
They’re a great tool to encourage polite interaction. Certainly, my lot are far more civil to each other over a pretend cup of coffee than they are at any other time. I think they like to play the role of adults and it really shows in the way they talk and engage with each other as they serve up meals, or prepare hot beverages.
Have you noticed any extra interest in helping in the kitchen since the children received the café, or curiosity about different foods?
We are big pizza lovers in this house anyway, but they would like a real life pizza oven now! They do often want to help with dinnertime, ESPECIALLY if it’s dough based and actually the cafe has come in handy when there are too many cooks in my kitchen because I can send them off to prepare a nice side dish.
Do the kids have any favourite pizza toppings - play toppings and in real life?
Rufus is obsessed with pepperoni (or “pepper-oni” as he pronounces it). The bigger two have always preferred to play it safe with Cheese & Tomato, but they’re gradually getting more adventurous in real life. Play toppings are a whole different ball game and they like a bit of everything.
We'll be hearing the sound of Jingle Bells soon. Which GLTC toys do you think will be making their way on to the children's Christmas lists this year?
Definitely the Multi Activity Rocket for Dotty. All of her toys are hand-me-downs that have seen better days so I think she deserves something fun, just for her. A wooden till too, for the other three, so they can start charging for all that pizza they’re making.
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