This weekend at our gorgeous Bilingual Primary School‘s summer solstice camp, my long-held theory that all children need to have fun, is nature, freedom and space was absolutely confirmed. Of course, I founded Wildplay, so I would say that wouldn’t I?!  But to see kids from around 40 families making their own games out of nature, ebullience and wildness was life-affirming and wonderful.

My two have always been keen on nature and animals and biology.  When they have mates over they often play ‘bug hotel’.  This messy game consists of collecting buckets of mud and leaves from the garden along with any mini beasts they can find.  The make little ‘homes’ for the bugs (which I have to free them from later).  They are fascinated by bugs.  I think it’s brilliant and encourage this natural learning.  As far as I’m concerned, if they’re in the fresh air, it’s all good, irrespective of mud and muck.

We also love a good map in this house and often make our own.  B has learned about direction at school, and often asks which way is north.

So when I was asked if I would review a Bug Observation Dome and a Kid’s Compass for Tobar, I was thrilled.  As regular readers will know, I am on a thrifty ten weeks, so knowing the kids would love these two items, I salted them away for B’s Birthday.  I try not to give my kids ‘things’ when it’s not a special occasion as they are consummate consumers already and that is not something I want to encourage.

As you can see from the picture, B loved the Observation Dome and it was the only toy taken out during her party.  The (ten) kids all thought it was really cool and spent time capturing ants.  I included instructions to find and draw a mini beast in the ‘scavenger hunt’ activity that I made for them, and it was a big hit.


The compass has taken up residence in her pocket, so that she can always check the direction we are moving in.  She also received a watch and I am thrilled that all this learning is happening through natural interest and play.

The dome took a couple of bumps in the party, but seems tough enough and I know its will be very well-loved and used.

I was given both the Observation Dome and the Compass to keep for the purposes of this review, but I am a free spirit and could have said anything!  I was not paid for this review.





Explore & Get Close to Nature 

Every intrepid explorer needs some essential items to survive in the back garden! Our Compass is a 4cm miniature working metal compass, ideal for tucking into a small pocket. SRP £2.50.  

Get closer to nature with our Bug Observation Dome with adjustable bug scope and sliding door. Bugs enter the dome via the door and explore the textured surface whilst observers study and follow them with the pivoting 2X magnification scope mounted on the top. SRP £12.00