Advertisement* As last year we visited the Kind + Jugend trade fair on Sunday together with our three children. They are the experts and often they find products fascinating which we didn’t notice at all. So we value their opinion at lot even seeing it from a professional point of view. You can read about my first and second visit as well. The German version is available here.
Joolz & Egg strollers
We started off at Joolz again. But again it was just browsing without getting much new information. There are new colours available and there appear to be the Day3, the Geo2 with sibling-seat and without and the Joolz Hub buggy.
This time I had a look at the Babystyle Egg strollers as well. They are not available in Germany yet as far as I know (and was told) but I see them a lot on Instagram so I wanted to see them in real life. The strollers have a sleek design and we loved the fabrics. As I mentioned in my first parts of the trade fair report I have the impression that the latest trend is smaller size full strollers, which aren’t buggies but have all the comfort of a full size stroller like an adjustable leather handlebar and a bumper bar for the child while still leaving a small footprint. They are light and have a good size basket. I hope to see more of Egg here in Germany!
Next we I went to see Bambino Mio, we have been using the cloth nappy for a while (we mostly use them when he has a nappy rash) and I really love their colorful and happy designs. What caught my eye though was their new range of training pants. Again you find the bright and friendly designs while having clever functions. They are terry cloth and have concealed water resistant layer. We are soon starting to potty train our youngest (well, actually not „train“ but suggest it and support him) and he liked the dragons and rocket designs as well. Childrens‘ clothes can und should be fun so they like to wear them.
Especially when just starting to use a toilet or potty children tend to go rather late and sometimes too late so with functional underwear like those training pants it’s much less mess.
While I was at Bambino Mio the men in my family went to check out half a car (which actually reminded me of the Science Museum) where Rive Kids introduced a product we actually never thought of but have needed it. Last year we were thinking about buying a new car but most cars were spacious enough until you tried to squeeze in three car seats, at least one with Iso-Fix. The Iso-Fix is often rather in the middle (which lots of room left on the door-facing side). The Rive Move is an adapter which „moves“ the Iso-Fix. They say it is tested and safe, you can get a list of cars in which you can use it. I can’t wait to hear more!
The design area
Then I wanted to show my family the winner of the „Kid’s Design Award“. Creatus presents the wooden blocks Upe with which you can build not only houses but also write letters and numbers. It ticks all my boxes: it’s wooden, it’s a great design and it’s educational while still being loads of fun! To me it is the best and most promising new product at saw at this year’s expo. At the moment we are testing and reviewing one bag of Upe.
The boys then found something else they were interested in, again something wooden (it’s not only me who likes wooden toys). imagno from Germany developed a toy which combines wood and a digital function. The imagno is made of wood and inside are magnets so you can built animals. The starter pack „farm“ will include 4 different animals. Then there is a free app with which this animal (there are tiny speakers) makes noises and there are songs as well. It will include a German and an English version. They kind of take wooden toys into the 21st century.
While we were still talking to one of the inventors our youngest two went to see colourful furniture. ecobirdy is a Belgian company which recycles used toys and gives them a new life as furniture, lamps and storage. The design looks very natural and round. Every piece is unique as each it speckled differently.
It doesn’t just look nice the chairs are actually comfortable and ecobirdy collects old plastic toys and the final product is made of 100% European domestic waste. There is a book for children that explains the story how old toys get a new life.
Furniture by Kidday & Nordi
I wanted to show my husband and sons the Kidday house bed I saw on Thursday, the youngest liked them a lot and already moved in. He would have loved to get one for his room. They offer a range from bassinet up to full size beds, I hear so much about floor beds. The other two kids liked the bunk bed by Nordi, which is influenced by the shape of mountains and you actually climb it (they recommend that younger children use the upper bunk as a play area and sleep beneath). Our middle son now wants one for his room, he is very into modern furniture.
Kidzzfarm & label label
Our next stop was familiar as well, last year we absolutely fell in love with their jumping animals, our youngest got a „Harry, the horse“ which is still very much loved here. Last time we had to drag him away from the jumping car, same again this year. He absolutely wanted a „Harry, the horse car“ which was a prototype and as it was a trade fair, not for sale. Most children love jumping animals but Kidzzfarm managed to design them nicer looking while keeping the function. I’m all for things that look nice but of course work as they are supposed to. Our boys all had loads of fun doing a race there!
They had something else which I have been in need of millions of times. You know when you spontaneously go into some café or restaurant with your child and didn’t bring a sippy cup or they ask for an orange juice and you get a glass or a glass with a straw and you kid spills it all? From label label they have sippy straw tops which you can just put on a normal glass and it’s spill-proof! Brilliant, isn’t it? Of course it is 100% silicone and safe for the kid and it fits most cups.
Tonies goes England
Now there is something new and brilliant coming to England. A German product we absolutely love which our kids have been using for over a year now and it even comes an all holidays with us. First I guess I have to explain what it is, a Toniebox is a small box, it’s soft and covered in fabric (there’s pink, purple, green, blue, red and now grey to choose from) and it has „ears“. You buy a so called „Tonie“ which has an RFID chip and uses a cloud so for example you buy the „Gruffelo“ (shaped like the Gruffelo) tonie. You child puts it on the Toniebox, it downloads the sound data and plays the story. It looks small but the sound quality is good. (to turn it on you need to pinch it’s ear). Tonies recommends it from 3 years but our youngest got his for his second birthday and immediately was able to use it. It’s rather intuitive for kids (like hitting the box to skip to the next track). Besides the ready made Tonies there are also „Creative Tonies“ on which you can put your own stuff and even record yourself.
Our kids all have a Toniebox, the battery (charger is included) lasts for ages and the kids swap Tonies. Even on holiday we bring the boxes and the kids listen to their favorite stories in the car or on the plane (there is a flight mode). The Toniebox only needs a WLAN connection when installing it for the first time and once for each new Tonie. Last year they were completely sold out for Christmas here in Germany and rarer to come by than a unicorn.
We always notice that loads of the products we like a lot are Dutch. Last year our youngest disappeared while we spend too much time at Wobbel. He went to the next booth and was playing there. At first we thought it was this famous Danish blocks but actually it is the same shape but something completely different. As I mentioned I try to be conscious of the environment and very much prefer wooden toys to plastic made of oil. This is where Biobuddi comes in. It is an eco-toy as it is made of sugarcane.
Last year we were allowed to test one box and for the children there is not much difference to the well known plastic stones. But to me it makes a difference that it’s ecological. Our eldest says the Biobuddi blocks feel better to the touch. With Biobuddi kids can build and play while the toy being eco-friends AND made in the Netherlands. They are a big success in the Netherlands and hope to be available in Germany soon as well.
This year they had a much wider range than last year. The designer made some sets with animals but there are also trains and a few sets of Dutch television shows plus huge boxes for Kindergartens.
Play & Go
Again our children chose what they liked, they went to play at Play & Go. Play & Go makes play mats which you can then gather together like a bag. This means it’s easy to carry around like going on holiday or visiting family but also you can just „tidy“ the room by closing the bag and hiding the toys inside. The kids loved the train on (plus there were wooden train sets to play with) and we all liked the street one a lot.
They introduced a new softer and smaller play mat for babies at the Kind + Jugend.
Everearth, Jabadabado & Anna und Paul
Our boys got wooden dinosaurs (actually they are bamboo) on holiday in the Netherlands, they are made by Everearth. Everearth presented loads of wooden and bamboo toys like a train set, a Noah’s ark and several animals. I liked the belt with tools a lot.
When we got there it was a bit late so they were already starting to pack everything.
We had a short look at Jabadabado, the Swedish brand but unfortunately didn’t get to speak to someone. The children liked the toys, the two younger ones found all the stuff you need for playing shopping, even a till with a card-reader! Our eldest kept pointing out how much he thinks he needs petrol blue canopy for his bed.
We had to see Anna und Paul as well, we’ve had their shoes since our eldest was born in 2009. They are the brand that passed the Oeko-Test test best and the quality is brilliant, we still have shoes the eldest got as a toddler which are still good. Our youngest did some modeling for them last year. Everybody is talking about barefoot shoes, Anna & Paul aren’t officially barefoot shoes but in my opinion they have a the important details. Our youngest can’t walk in hard shoes so he either wears Anna & Paul or real barefoot shoes.
Anna und Paul showed some new designs but also all the classic ones as well.
The kids had been asking for the whole day when we would finally go to Wobbel. Last year they tried all the Wobbels and we have three Wobbels at home. All kids love the Wobbel, visiting kids always try the Wobbel. The slogans „invitation to grow“ and „open-ended toys“ are so true. All kids play differently with the Wobbel. Sometimes it is a balance board or a slide but it can also be a bridge for cars or trains, a shelter for animals, the counter of a shop, the barrier of something or the children just relax in the Wobbel and read a book. It is a Dutch brand and is also produced locally.
Wobbel doesn’t do any advertisements it grows organically. People see the Wobbel in our house and get one as well. Most adults are a bit skeptical at first, children are drawn to it.
We have two Wobbel Originals and the eldest got his Wobbel XL for Christmas 2017. This year Wobbel introduced the smaller and lighter Wobbel Starter. It is for smaller children but also great for traveling or just taking it to your friends‘ house. Wobbel is such a great vision and the founders Hannelore and Wouter are in it with all their heart. In a few weeks I will do a comparison of all three Wobbel sizes. The Wobbel is available in most countries now.
At last we went to micro scooter, actually it was Hannelore of Wobbel’s „fault“, she showed me the scooter and how you steer it with moving your weight. Obviously our children (the only children in our circle of friends who didn’t own a scooter yet) loved them and tried them all. The two elder kids tried the micro scooter maxi and the youngest the micro scooter mini. They all didn’t want to leave there and the youngest then was pushed round the expo on the new luggage which is a seat for toddlers at the same time. Our son fell in love with her and had so much fun. Micro scooters were a must-have when I was a teenager and they improved the old scooters and they are still something kids need. There are new colour combinations for 2019 available. We will do a review of them soon!
*Please note I am German and not a native speaker. I mention brand names and information I got from different companies. I was neither influenced nor paid to write this article. By German court ruling mentioning and showing brand names still constitutes „advertisement“. All opinions and photos are my own.