Junior Design Awards 2017 for Best Toy Design (3-5 years)
Pre-school age is the perfect time to encourage learning through play and to give children free reign with their imaginations. As well as being educational and stimulating, we want our kids toys to look good too. Who needs a toy box full of plastic that never gets played with?
As judge Zoe de Pass from Dress Like A Mum said "Toys are a minefield. I struggle with places to look for new toys - as I want to buy good toys. It's been nice to discover specialist places through judging these awards - toys with a bit more thought and attention to detail."
This category was packed full of amazing toys and deciding the winners was no mean feat, but here goes...
THE PLATINUM AWARD FOR BEST TOY DESIGN (3-5 YEARS) IS... MEGABOARDS BY BILDY
"Brilliant!" said our Junior Design awards judge Gabrielle Spang (from Scandi Mini) when she saw this entry and 'Fab idea!" was just another one of the positive comments from The Bonnie Mob founder Tracey Samuel.
Megaboards by Bildy are essentially a construction kit made from giant sized, colourful building boards and connectors, that enable kids to make exciting, large scale structures like cars, houses, forts, or whatever their imaginations can come up with.
Our judges loved the fact that this toy encourages endless creativity and provides a great activity to enjoy with parents. That these boards requires very little storage also scored huge bonus points - as no matter how large your constructions get they will always fold neatly back down into their box at the end of the day.
Judge Zoe de Pass from Dress Like A Mum said, "Just love Bildy - what a brilliant idea!"
THE GOLD AWARD FOR BEST TOY DESIGN (3-5 YEARS) IS... MUD PIE KITCHEN BY PLUM DISCOVERY
We know a lot of parents who would give their eye-teeth for an outdoor kitchen and would be hugely jealous of this wooden beauty that encourages kids to explore the joys of the garden.
The Mud Pie Kitchen by Plum is the perfect station for making mud pies (of course), growing plants, painting on the washable transparent screen and mixing and stirring with all the hanging utensils.
This kitchen offers endless hours of outdoor fun and tinkering. Our judges loved the chunky wooden feel of this unit that would complement any garden and thoughtful extras like the wind chimes and the inbuilt herb planter were a huge hit.
Junior Editor Bonita added, "This is possibly one of the coolest toys I have seen in a long time. I would have loved this when I was a child. It's beautifully made, sturdy and stylish to boot. What a lovely way to get get kids outdoors."
THE SILVER AWARD FOR BEST TOY DESIGN (3-5 YEARS) IS... BEST IN SHOW SET BY ORANGE TREE TOYS
Parading pooches, awards podiums, cones and jumps take the tradition of painted wooden toys to a whole new level of fun here. Any child who loves doggies will love playing with this miniature Crufts in a box from Orange Tree Toys which helps develop motor skills and co-ordination as well as encouraging imaginative play.
Susie Boone, Editorial Director of Parenting at Immediate Media who also judged the Junior Awards was very enamoured with the set, commenting, "I Love the little details - rosettes, dog faces - and the tunnel. Really unique."
THE JOINT BRONZE AWARD FOR BEST TOY DESIGN (3-5 YEARS) IS... HONEYBAKE SHOP & CAFE BY LE TOY VAN
This two-in-one reversible wooden Honeybake Shop and Café by Le Toy Van comes on wheels and would make a fantastic addition to any nursery or playroom.
The amazing attention to detail, including a chalkboard, miniature bell and hand sewn curtains and canopy make this a joy to look at for both parents and children.
With plenty of space to display food and drink and whatever else your little shop keeper might want to sell, this is a great toy for encouraging role play, social interaction and for generally firing the imagination.
Our judges really liked the portability of this product and that it can be used to squirrel away lots of toys at the end of the day making it a secret ally in the battle against toy-covered-carpets!
THE JOINT BRONZE AWARD FOR BEST TOY DESIGN (3-5 YEARS) IS... DEMOLITION SITE BY LEGO JUNIORS
Any kids obsessed with diggers and trucks (we know a few!) will love this LEGO Juniors Demolition Site Building set, which is designed to introduce younger kids to the delights of Lego by combining regular-sized pieces with larger elements that help small hands get to grips with building.
Our judges were very impressed with the attention to detail within this kit including the walkie talkies, the wrecking ball and the elevating dumper truck. A great buy for any budding builders.