Thursday, 30 May 2013

HABA is 75 : Charlotte Doll Review

We are big fans of HABA toys in our family, but before now I have associated them purely with wooden toys as that was the only part of the HABA brand that I had personally experienced. However, I was thrilled to learn that they have quite a vast range of toys and games that all seem to hold the same ethos as the wooden toys my children love so much. If your're not familiar with the brand they are a wood manufacturing company known for their high-quality baby and children's toys, as well as their children's games and furniture. You can find out more on their website Or by following on Twitter and facebook. I love this quote from their brochure...

At HABA we design and invent what our research shows us that today’s children and parents really want - high quality toys that support children’s development in an enjoyable way that is age appropriate.
Do you know what that is exactly what I want! Not faddy toys to go with the latest craze that will be broken or discarded in a matter of weeks...

As they are celebrating their 75th Year at the moment,  they have chosen 75 bloggers to share reviews of their lovely children's products. We have been sent three items and you'll be able to read the reviews here over the next few days.

The first product we received was the Haba Charlotte Doll...

As a parent I am quite particular about the type of doll my children play with. I really don't like 'battery operated' plastic dolls that cry and burp and do lots more that would be much better placed in my child's imagination, and I'm not a fan of dolls that come with bottles either, my daughter didn't use a bottle so why should she be encouraged to feed her dolly with one? She happily holds dolly to her chest (or more like her tummy most of the time!) to feed. If I'm totally honest I just don't like plastic dolls in general. I much prefer soft fabric 'ragdoll' style ones instead and my daughter seems to agree!

She absolutely loves the Charlotte Doll from HABA and has been carrying her around everywhere with her since she arrived. Like many children her age (her brother was the same) Elizabeth loves undressing dolls (or teddy bears etc) to find out what's underneath (even when they are sewn on!) The clothes on the Charlotte Doll are designed to be taken on and off and are mostly easy for Elizabeth who is two and a half to do herself. This in itself is a game for Elizabeth as there are so many different items of clothing: Charlotte comes with a lovely soft kitted hat, a scarf, a cord waistcoat, a blouse, skirt, panties, shoes and socks. What a selection!

All of the clothing is beautiful quality, well made and of such an intricate design, the fastenings are all velcro to  allow small hands to undo and refasten them easily. I wouldn't mind an outfit like Charlotte's myself...   In a bigger size of course!

The Charlotte Doll itself is made from fabric with soft stuffing and a bean filled bottom. Her hair is lovely and wild and made from chenille which feels velvety to the touch and Elizabeth LOVES to stroke it, especially at bedtime! Her features are embroidered and so detailed with a wide eyed inquisitive expression and smile, she even has freckles and an embroidered belly button! Her bright blue eyes will appeal to young children and because there are no small parts she is actually suitable from 18 months. At approximately 38cm tall, she is just right for small hands to carry everywhere they go. I think this would be a lovely age to introduce the Charlotte Doll as a companion for cuddles and to start to encourage Imaginative play.

At Elizabeth's age (2 1/2) Charlotte is the perfect dolly to encourage imaginative play and support her development. She has tea parties with her, gossip's away to her, 'reads' her stories and of course undresses her and tucks her in to bed. I can see Charlotte being a companion for Elizabeth throughout her childhood as there are no faddy features for her to outgrow. This is a doll made to last, not just in material and design but in a child's imagination too!

From a parent's point of view I have to say I love the doll! Although not the cheapest (retailing currently on amazon the Charlotte Doll is around £37) You do get what you pay for and I think it is great value. This is the doll that you would buy your son or daughter for their childhood not just for Christmas! The doll can be handwashed in hot water as can her clothes so you I don't need to worry too much if Elizabeth gets a bit too enthusiastic when sharing her dinner with her!

A beautiful product that will last a childhood and could even get handed down to my grandchildren one day!

Come back tomorrow to see our review of one of the additional outfits available for Charlotte and her HABA friends....

Due to computer issues I have not been able to upload all the photo's that I wanted to, so more will be added soon.

I was sent this doll for review purposes, all opinions are my own.

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