Hippopotamus SmallOstheimer £12.95
Ostheimer wooden animals are individually carved and painted by hand, giving every figure a unique character for children to love and care for. These timeless wooden toys for children are then dipped in an all-natural walnut oil, giving them a soft and tactile finish that's pleasing to hold. Made from native German hardwoods such as maple and ash.
Height 4.5 cm.
Why we love figures
You don't need many animals to have a collection rich in story-telling possibilities - a handful of 'goodies' and a 'baddie' is enough. To maximise play value, choose animals with distinct characters such as foxes, mice and goats. Think of the adventures you could have with a wolf, a lamb, a donkey, an owl and an ox. When combined with regular reading, especially traditional tales, the creative possibilities are endless.
Peg people occupy a special place in young children's play. With a stability that comes from a wide base and a supremely grippable head, they're perfect for the baby who is learning to grasp and place. Their simple design also makes them a blank canvas on which to paint any personality, great for small world play.
Rehearse real life
Play people are an especially important part of any pre-school toy box. In these characters children recognise themselves and their families and friends. Their play is usually about enacting real-life or imagined scenes - simple scenarios such as being at home in the kitchen or driving along in the car - compounding their understanding of the world and how everyone in it plays a part.