By Sian Thomas from Teach Investigate Play
The waytoplay road is one of those toys I had my eyes on for ages. Well, I could hardly ignore them since they were all over my Instagram feed. I eventually caved and ordered my children a set from ‘Santa’ as a shared Christmas present. They have not stopped playing with it since!
The beauty of this flexible road is that there are just so many ways that it can be played with – I guess the clue is in the name! The road was born out of the creator’s desire to design a flexible road for his 4-year-old son. Initially created as a one-off birthday present, waytoplay roads first hit European stores in 2013.
If you’re a little hesitant about the waytoplay road pricetag, here’s 5 reasons why we love it…
1. It encourages collaborative play…
The waytoplay road fits together like a jigsaw, meaning that whichever set you decide to buy, there’s plenty of opportunities for collaborative play. Its brilliant for siblings, playdates, family day-care centres or even pre-schools.
The waytoplay road keeps my eldest two engaged and having fun together, which is no mean feat considering the 6.5-year age gap! I love seeing them work together on city builds – the big kid develops patience and Miss 3 learns to share which makes it a pretty awesome open-ended toy.
2. It stands the test of time…
As many of us move towards more conscious purchase choices, toys need to be able to last the distance. This isn’t just in terms of quality, but also the age groups a toy appeals to. Whether you have a car obsessed tot, or a mini Top Gear fan (in the case of my nine-year-old), the waytoplay road has a longevity that plastic or tape alternatives don’t. Younger children will have fun creating race tracks or small worlds whilst older children can get to work on more ambitious STEAM projects. It’s most definitely a toy that can grow with your child.
3. It encourages Outside Play…
Outside play is so important for a variety of reasons and sometimes it’s all you need for a reset. Whether you’re taking a quick trip out to the backyard or planning a day trip to the park or beach, the waytoplay road is a great way to extend time outside.
We’ve tried out the road in a range of weather types - our express way road has endured sand, mud, frost and rain without even a hint of damage. Plus, even if it does get a little dirty, you can just rinse it off in the sink!
4. More play means less screen-time…
If the school holidays are dragging or you’re stuck indoors due to bad weather, the waytoplay road makes a great alternative to endless screen-time. One of the many ways my children love to use the road is in water. There’s plenty of ways to add a new dimension to play in either the sink, bath or shower – especially since the road can stick to walls when its wet! Again, the road works brilliantly as a way to change the scene and you don’t even have to worry about it getting ruined because of the waterproof material.
5. It works really well with existing toys…
In fact, it works really well with a number of materials, not just toys. Whether you want to create a racetrack, farm, city or even carwash the open-ended nature of the waytoplay road means that you can follow the interests of your children. They don’t have to be completely car obsessed to enjoy the road.
In the past, mine have used their road to build cities (along with Magformers, Rainbow Blocks and Grapat Nins) but it’s also featured in many a sensory bin too – most recently as a way to help Miss 3 with name recognition.
If you’re not too sure which road to start with, take into consideration how many children will be playing with the road at once. We started with the 16 piece ‘Express Way’ track which my eldest two will happily play with, although we do plan to buy extension packs soon!
For more details on the product range at Little Sprout, click here
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