This oddly-named character with equally oddly-named kit has been a real hit with my two characters (Jonny, 4 and Sophie, 1). I have to admit that I was slow to catch up on this relatively new CBeebies programme and hadn’t a clue what Jonny was talking about with ‘Tree-Fu Magic’. Turns out that the programme was on at the very time I usually dump (quite an apt word depending on the behaviour of said children during the day) the kids in front of the television whilst I finished off inventing ways of getting vegetables into their tea and opening the gin bottle in the kitchen. So when the magic sapstone belt and holopax arrived and I looked a bit oddly at it, Jonny and Sophie were far too excited and started doing strange poses.
Turns out it’s a great programme and aims to get kids up off the settee and do some exercise. In fact, it’s better than that as the ‘spell movements’ are aimed to help children with dyspraxia. This, I think, is the real beauty of the CBeebies channel. I know a few parents who say ‘I can’t stand that channel. The sky cartoon channels are much better’. Well, firstly we have freeview with no add-ons so CBeebies is all we’ve got. Secondly, the team that run CBeebies are excellent at teaching children and introducing them to new concepts. The parental guilt of turning on the television when you just can’t face doing anything else is somewhat subdued when they join in dances or learn their phonics. We love it!
I digress. So, Tree Fu Tom is hugely popular with Jonny and Sophie and they jump off the settee to join in the magic. Imagine the delight in their little eyes when they could pop on the belt and wristband to do the magic ‘properly’; just too much to bear! Plus, the simple beauty in this toy is that the more a kid moves, the more the sap glows. Pure, simple brilliance. Time to stand on my pedestal – we have such a problem with obese children and adults – but then it’s not surprising when so many toys involve looking at a screen and sitting still. So this does the opposite and promotes the fact that exercise is good!
The belt is very easy to put together and it has so many buckle holes that is fits anyone (including Sophie who, at one year old is under the recommended age but as long as I’m being a responsible parent (etc etc)). Plus the belt is easy to disassemble so it stores in a small space. Even the plastic seems pretty good quality.
The Magic Sapstone Belt and Holopax Set is available to purchase now from Toys r us and The Entertainer.
A sample was received F.O.C. All opinions expressed are entirely our own and completely honest.