Happy Birthday Prince George!

Prince George of Cambridge will celebrate his first birthday on 22nd July and what a busy year it’s been for the young toddler! From his whirlwind tour of Australia to days out at the polo with mum and dad, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, we’ve enjoyed watching him grow and now it’s time to celebrate! Happy Birthday

No doubt members of the Royal household will be considering the perfect gift to mark the last 12 months, and we have some ideas of our own! Take a look at the toys we think are just perfect for wishing His Royal Highness, and all toddlers celebrating their first birthday this summer, a very Happy Birthday.George

Stacking TowerWhile he may be too young to start building his empire, the young prince can practice his construction skills with the Stacking Tower from the Dr Miriam @ Galt range –a seven cup stacking tower with a fun flower to place on top. The Stacking Tower encourages manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination as the cups are placed on top of and inside each other. Learn about big and small and top and bottom, the cups are ideal for sand and water play.

As Prince George begins to find his feet as a member of the royal household, the Baby Walker, a wooden push along walker truck and 30 bricks, will help him take his first steps! The Baby Walker promotes balance and coordination in preparation for walking independently. Sturdy and stable in quality hardwood, the Baby Walker is part of a range of baby toys developed with Dr Miriam Stoppard, the UK’s most trusted parenting expert.

Max

 The fun Ambi Max Pull Along is a friendly stand-in for when Prince George’s real little dog Lupo is fulfilling his royal duties. Young children love to pull things on wheels and the toy, with a wagging head and tail, encourages balance, coordination and independence as the child walks along pulling Max.Cupcake stand

The royal celebrations are bound to be packed full of party games and fine food, but if you’re planning a party fit for a king, why not make your very own cake stand to display your cupcakes with pride? Simply print off a cupcake stand template, cut out your design then fit it together!

The perfect gift for any toddler on the go, the colourful High Chair Rattle has a fun flower to fix onto a high chair tray or table with the suction pad. The rattle includes a soft squeaky ball, bead rattle and spinner. The toy encourages manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination and the learning of cause and effect.

How do you think Prince George will be celebrating his birthday? Do you have any great ideas for 1st birthday parties? Tweet us @Galttoys or post your ideas on our Facebook wall!

Let’s Get Digging!

The summer holidays are the perfect time to get out in the garden. Planting, digging and growing flowers are all fun activities for children, while gardening can be educational too!

gardening 1

We’ve put together some ideas for creative activities that will get your green fingered family out in the sunshine and enjoying your garden. Who knows, we might even see you all at the Chelsea Flower Show next year!

Paint Plant Pots

Adding a lick of paint to your old plant pots will give them a new lease of life and bring an additional splash of colour to your garden display. Children will love personalising their own pots with bright designs and artwork; either use a paintbrush or create your own stencils and different shaped stamps using a sponge painting set.

gardening 2

Painted plant pots also make great gifts. Surprise friends and family with a beautiful plant pot decorated with your little one’s hand prints! When the paint is dry, remember to varnish the outside to keep the pots waterproof.

 Make statues or sculptures

There’s no need to pop to your local garden centre to buy sculptures and statues – simply use modelling clay to make your own! From clay snails to hand printed tiles, the options of what can be created is endless – the only limit is your imagination! Take inspiration from the garden and use leaves or flowers to print into the clay. Simply lay the leaves on your clay, roll over gently with a rolling pin and then peel off the leaf to reveal a beautiful ornate design!

gardening 3

Build a fairy kingdom

Use old planters and garden tools to build a magical home for all the fairies living in your garden! Sculpt a little house for the fairies using old lollypop sticks or clay and use furniture for a dolls house to make it look like a model village. Children will love collecting twigs, stones and flowers to decorate their miniature home. Broken plant pots make an ideal setting to place your fairy house – simply add soil and a bit of greenery and voila, a perfect miniature garden!

gardening 4

Are you looking forward to spending time in the garden with your little ones? Tweet @GaltToys or contact us on Facebook with your games and activity ideas!

 

A Hero of Toy Design

Meet Patrick Rylands, the world renowned toy inventor behind the classic PlayPlax construction pieces, the iconic Bird and Fish bath toys and the bright and colourful Ambi designs. Patrick was the chief designer at Ambi Toys for more than 30 years and is the creator of some of the most iconic toy designs of the last 50 years.

Celebrity Art Expert & Star Of BBC's 'Bargain Hunt,' Tim Wonnacott, Unveils Galt Toys 5ft By 5ft Mosaic Masterpiece At Toy Fair

Born in 1942 and brought up in Hull, at the age of 27 he was the youngest person to have ever won the Duke of Edinburgh’s Prize for Elegant Design; now known as the Prince Philip Designers Prize.

He first brought Ambi Toys to life in 1976 and the story behind this magical toy range is one that has perhaps gone full circle, for both Patrick Rylands and Galt Toys, who acquired the range at the beginning of 2013.

Ambi is distinctive for its bright, primary colours, and while they may look simplistic, each has been engineered to have the slightest of movement to inspire and captivate children. As Patrick says: “A toy that does everything by itself, does nothing for the child. The main purpose of a toy is to enable children to enter into a world of make-believe, as it is in this way that children relate to reality.”

While Patrick retired in 2002, amazingly he has kept hold of the mechanical drawings for each and every Ambi toy ever designed – 150 in total, the vast majority of which went into production.

Ted carousel_EPR edit

Each design tells a story and we’ve been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some of his ‘never seen before’ designs, as well as hear the stories of the inspiration behind each:

The Ambi Sniffer Mouse is a pocket sized friend whose nose pops in and out with each turn of the wheel as he’s pushed along the floor. In the original design the mouse had a stiff rubbery tail that points upwards, but this has been replaced with a soft cord tail to avoid being put up little noses!

The Ambi Bath Duck was designed so even the slightest movement of the water would send the ducks beak bobbing up and down, and also doubles to let out excess water to avoid the duck ever sinking!

Bath Duck_EPR edit

Max the Pull Along Dog is the perfect pet who shakes his head and wags his tail whilst being pulled along, and even barks!

All the toys created by Patrick work without batteries and are designed to last for generations.

As the UK supplier of Ambi Toys we couldn’t be more excited to be working with such a well respected and talented British toy designer.

In fact, we plan to work closely with him to develop new packaging for all the products and will be bringing four of Patrick’s earlier designs back into production later this year! There is no doubt that Ambi Toys will remain a worldwide family favourite.

Do you remember playing with toys designed by Patrick as a child? Or perhaps your children love to play with Ambi Toys today? We’d love to hear your story – tweet us @galttoys or follow us on Facebook.