With April showers in mind, we turn our attention this month to a perennial favourite – the much loved animals who share our homes, namely cats and dogs.
This is Poppy, the rescue cat who arrived in our home shortly after we founded Whirligig. Never mind raining cats and dogs, this madam reigns supreme – she is most definitely in charge in our house. (She is currently sitting on the desk and I’m crammed in the corner writing this – nothing changes!)
So, here are a selection of products that we love that feature cats, dogs, or both, that we know children will love too. We hope that you find something that reflects the your bundle of joy and fluff!
Following on from the ever popular bird bingo, Lawrence King present these amazing family games. Each featuring 64 breeds of cats or dogs, do away with looking for numbers and spot the beautiful animals instead. With 12 player cards, a callers card and a detailed book that explains each variety you are ready to play. Children love knowing the different facts relating to each breed and the illustrations are superb. One of our most popular games.
Suitable for 5 – 90!
A recent discovery and firm favourite are these adorable story telling finger puppet sets from Little Fingy. Each one contains a set of 5 cats or dogs, one for each finger, each beautifully knitted by a small community in Peru. As a knitter myself, I can tell just how well these have been made and each character has, well bags of character! Try mixing them up – the stories may get out of hand but they may have many different tales to tell.
Suitable for 5+.
These ever popular mosaic kits from Craft Magic come in a wide range of animals, but the cat and dog are among our most popular. With everything you need in the kit, these are easy to make as their is no grouting. Simply paint the shape with lovely acrylic paint that is supplied and then glue the mosaic tiles on in your own design – there is no right of wrong way to do it. A beautiful display piece every time (and no clearing up after the animals either!).
Suitable for 5+.
Perhaps the best value set we sell, these amazing Pom Pom kits have enough materials in them to make kennels worth of cats or dogs. Start with the pom pom maker and then learn to wrap the thread around in different patterns to get the effect needed for each breed. Then trim and add the accessories to finish your pet – you even get a comb so that you can make their coats fluffy! Beautifully packaged and with an end product that look amazing.
These pet puzzle sets are from Djeco – beautifully designed with loveable images and three puzzles in each box. Ranging from 9 to 15 pieces these are great for beginners with strong colours and good contrasts – oh, and delightful cats and dog!
And then there are the games! Cobra paw lets you use your inner ninja cat skills to the first person to identify the images and grab the pieces whilst Rat A Tat Cat is a fun game where memory, simple mental maths and probability will let you catch all the cats you can handle!
Our lovely trump cards sets are all about the best in breed. Compare and contrast the different breeds by looking at their vital statistics – a classic game with a new set of beautiful creatures.
And for the artistic cats and dogs out there, here is the Hirameki colouring book that allow simple splodges of colour to become amazing pets that you draw yourself. Do you look your dog? Probably is most people’s answer, but wait until you see the amazing photography here that really brings the comparison to life. Will they do a cats version?
So enough with the cats and dogs! Poppy is giving me the evil eye – I think it may be time to stop writing and give cuddles, or more likely even more food!
Our top tips:
- Featuring cats and dogs in a toy is a sure way to capture children’s attention so if you want them to try something new, then the familiar is a great place to start
- Cats and dogs come in all shapes and sizes and so do their toys – look out for something toys that celebrate all the varieties so that children see how lovely they all are
- If you don’t have a pet of your own, be warned that making one from a kit may not satisfy the child! You may end up with fur in your house eventually!
- They are in charge of everything – just give in – it is quicker!
We hope you enjoy our recommendations – let us know if you have some of your own. If not, just send us cute photos of your cats and dogs – we love them!