Editor’s shopping basket: Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog and friends

Toddler plays with Spike the Hedgehog toy

by Sophie Knight |
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In the hot seat this month and straight from Mother&Baby contributor Sophie Knight’s shopping basket, Sophie shares the educational toys she’s buying for her toddler, Matilda, as her birthday approaches.

When your child’s birthday is approaching, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of toys available to buy. A good idea is to focus on your child’s upcoming milestones, or development needs, and think about educational toys that will keep their interest for plenty of time after their birthday.

With that in mind, I’ve been taking a closer look at the latest toys available from Learning Resources. This brand knows that children learn best through play, and that the most important toys are the ones that engage all their senses and help their intelligent development while having fun, too. Here are our top picks from the latest range featuring the fun character, Spike the hedgehog…

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog toyLearning Resources

Spike is a plastic hedgehog with removable quills; there are 12 quills to sort into colours, and then place back into Spike, engaging your little one’s fine motor skills that are so important as they develop. Toys like Spike are a vital part of preparing children’s dexterity ready for holding crayons and pencils – but your toddler won’t have a clue about this as they’re happily sorting Spike’s quills, taking them out and replacing them over and over.

Spike is a good size for small hands, and the best bit is that the quills can be stored inside when with it’s tidy-up time. The quills can also be used for counting and colour recognition too.

We also tested Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog toy as part of the Mother&Baby Awards 2023, where it won Bronze for Best Toddler Toy; one of our mum testers, Hayley, said: "Great toy for hand-eye coordination and learning colours. My 18-month-old loved it and knew how to use it straight away. My 4-year-old also took great enjoyment out of it and they played together for hours. My little one has got a lot better with her fine motor skills since using this and can easily put the spikes in the holes compared to when she first used it, so it has definitely helped her develop these skills. My 4-year-old has ASD so his fine motor skills aren't at the level they should be and this has helped immensely also!"

Read our full Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog review.

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog Tissue palLearning Resources

If you love Spike with his removable quills, then you’re sure to love this version of Spike, complete with fabric tissues to fit into his holes. Another toy to help develop your toddler’s fine motor skills, the fabric tissues add another layer of sensory enjoyment with a different feel. This might encourage your child to play with Spike rather than pulling all the tissues from the box on your bedside table – but knowing our luck, it’ll convince them to do it more often.

This version of Spike is similar to the original, but with ten holes and ten fabric tissues to play with. Helpfully the fabric tissues are washable, and again they can be tidied away and stored inside the hedgehog shell.

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog Poppin' Shape SorterLearning Resources

Third in the Spike family is this colourful shape sorter, with five shapes to sort into the matching holes. What’s different about this shape sorter toy is that the shapes are made from a soft silicone material, rather than hard plastic, giving another dimension to the sensory experience for your little one. They also double up as individual fidget poppers – which we love popping just as much as our toddlers do.

Again, the smaller toys can be stored inside the main shell, making tidying up easier.

Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog Splashin’ Bath FriendsLearning Resources

Taking playtime to the bath is always a good idea for changing your child’s playtime routine and bringing new senses into action; we swear by a daytime play in the bath when it’s raining outside and the playroom or kitchen have lost all interest. This Spike bathtime toy looks super cute in his goggles and snorkel, and comes with three different-shaped cups for sorting, pouring, and sprinkling water. The smaller pieces all handily store in Spike’s back when bathtime is over.

Sensory water play is another vital part of playtime for your toddler, not only focusing on fine motor skills but also coordination and hand strength.

Find out more about Learning Resources' wide range of toys, from fun developmental toys such as Spike the Fine Motor Hedgehog to gardening sets for children, maths and science toys, and much more.

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