We are excited to introduce our guest blogger Silvia, known  as @thefairyglitchmother, who writes about open-ended play on her blog and shares so beautifully her story about discovering waytoplay.
 

   

My son really started playing with cars a lot just before he turned 3 years old. He had a garage and liked to see the cars go down the ramp but I guess he wanted to know where they could go next. He'd ask us to create tracks so he could play and make his cars go around. We made them with wood planks or we would draw a city on some taped papers. One day we came across the waytoplay road and decided it would be our birthday gift for him, and I'm so glad we did!

 

He still is little to grasp its full potential and he just creates random patterns and circuits that never close. He loves to put all his cars in line and create traffic jams. I am sure this will be one of those toys that will grow with him and we'll be playing with it often in the coming years. We've taken it with us during the holidays and we've had a lot of fun! This flexible road is simply amazing.

 

 

The Story behind the Waytoplay Road 

 

So, the waytoplay road is an open ended toy that will allow your children to create toy roads and worlds that have only lived in their imagination until then. It is a flexible race track made from child safe rubber, fantastic for endless fun. It is a collection of road segments, race tracks, parking spaces, crossings, all in different sets that can be combined together.

The road was created by Dutch designer, inventor and father Sybren Jelles. As a child he loved playing with toy cars outdoors, and he created waytoplay for his son Joep, in 2003. This passion led down a road of evolution to the flexible weatherproof toy road that we can all enjoy today.

We got the King of the Road bundle, with 40 pieces and you have tracks to create many circuits. You get 16 curves, 16 straights, 4 intersections and 4 roundabouts. A total of 648cm of fun.

 

Why do we like Way to play roads?

There are many good reasons why we enjoy and encourage our children playing with it...

  • Open-ended tool with endless possibilities
  • It is an exciting invitation to creativity
  • Fantastic complement to other toys
  • It can be challenging and also helps with problem solving, not all combinations lead to a closed circuit… so it takes time to figure out how to make your circuit fit and close.
  • Flexible toy that can be used on land and underwater
  • Durable and unbreakable (although my son did bite one piece pretending it was pizza and now we have his teeth prints as a reminder.
  • Very easy to clean

It is fantastic.

 

Where can you play with a way to play road?

We decided to take the road out for a run during our summer holidays and honestly, you can play with them anywhere. It is true that the tracks hold better together on a hard surface, but check out all the terrains we've played on - it's still been fun

On a wooden floor...

 

By the pool... 

 

Underwater inside the pool...

 

Running through grass...

 

At the beach - on dry sand…

 

…or on wet sand (be careful, if the waves come in they might take some pieces away… luckily they didn't go far)

 

Over and under the Wobbel board...

 

On carpets...

 

We still need to try it up the bath tub and bathroom walls. It's on our to do list ;)

As you can see, we've had a fun summer ;)

Again, it works best on hard surfaces because it holds in place much better… but you can make them work anywhere your imagination takes you.

 

How do we play?

My son loves puzzles and he saw it as a way to build a big track piecing the segments together. He is still little and can not figure out how to design a close ended circuit… but maybe he will in time if that is what he envisions.

Since it was a little difficult for him at first, I started creating small circuits and decorating them as a way to inspire him (and lets face it, I was having a great time). My 5 year old daughter likes to give me a hand creating the world around the track, with trees and loose parts. And later my son plays or likes to generate a bit of chaos. 

 

After watching us, my son then started decorating his tracks with the Grimms houses, some animals and just place as many cars as possible to create a traffic jam. We play with all his cars, be it wooden, metalic or plastic… if they have wheels they can go on the road ;)

 

Our favourite complements

Playing just with the track is loads of fun, but if you combine it with other toys it is just fantastic. (I think I enjoy this part too much 😅 ).

As bridges and tunnels we use Grimms wooden rainbow, the Bilibo seat or the Wobbel board.

 

For people we use Grimms rainbow friends, Tomtems from Grapat, Janod story characters or any superhero or princess that my children like to add to the party. 

  

As for other decorative elements we use Grimms semicircles to create mini worlds or terrains within the world…

 

the Grimms' houses as buildings around the town or city and Grimms' rainbow cones or Janod's trees as trees…

 

and finally loose parts like the Mandala pieces from Grapat make it more elaborate and beautiful…

 

You can play and add whatever you have around! We still have not combined it with our train tracks, but I'm sure we'll be doing so very soon 😉

 

What is the flexible road made of

The roads are said to last a lifetime. On their website they say that it is practically indestructible, even for children! It is made from the highest grade flexible PVC and it has passed testing to the most demanding norms.

Waytoplay roads have been tested and are free of BPA, cadmium, PAH, lead and Phthalates. Is is also safe for those with silicon allergies.

So the roads are durable, waterproof, safe and flexible... the perfect ally for hours and years of play.

 

I haven't seen them in many toy stores but you can use the store locator to purchase them from a small shop and you can also buy them from the waytoplay online store that ships worldwide. 

If there is one final thing I can say about this amazing toy, creating tracks and worlds and playing with it made me feel like a child again. And this was key to having more fun together as a family. I highly recommend it. You'll love it.

If you'd like to have a look at other gift ideas for a 3 year old, check out this post ;)

Please share with us your ideas, how you play with it and what your thoughts are! We'd love to know!

Happy playing!*

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