From guest blogger – Sioned Bannister
The big puppy dog eyes and cute waggy tail of the Hape Walk-Along Puppy are super cute, and pretty hard to resist, as my one year old daughter Isla proved when she grabbed him straight away and started shaking him until his ears were spinning, poor puppy.
Made from lovely quality solid wood and full of cute character this little pull-along puppy is adorable! He’s got big puppy dog eyes, a wide smile and a big red nose, ah cute. His “legs” are made from bright red wheels with a rubber grip that wobble along when he’s pulled by the lead, which make his tail wobble in cute (and surprisingly realistic) puppy-like movements.
The great thing about this Hape walk-along puppy are the moveable parts because they really bring the toy to life. His head nods up and down, his ears spin, his tail wobbles and his back legs move so that he can persuaded to sit down and wait – good puppy!
Isla isn’t quite walking yet, but after I gave her a quick demonstration of pulling his lead, she grabbed it from me and crawled off with little puppy trailing behind, wagging his tail enthusiastically. But as well as pulling him behind her, she likes to shake him up and down and listen to the clacks of wood against wood (and so far the toy is holding up!). She’s also quite taken with trying to spin his little wheels round and watching them wobble. Oh and of course she likes to have a chomp on his tail.
Hape Toys are traditional toys with a modern twist. There’s no gaudy plastic, tinny music or bright lights here; they are about lovely sustainable wood, traditional themes and good old fashioned fun. And that’s what I love about this toy. It’s lovely to watch Isla crawling along the living room floor, babbling away and turning to “talk” to her little puppy as he follows obediently behind her! While hi-tech toys have their place, I think this type of old-fashioned toy can teach small children a lot about role-play and using their imagination, which is crucial for their development.
I also think it’s a toy that will last well, not least because it’s well made but also because she’ll enjoy it now and for a few years to come. And perhaps now the family pooch will finally get some peace and quiet and a few less ear pulls…..