We ordered these Extra Large Arches from A Toy Garden and they are fabulous. Why? First of all, they are open-ended toys. So far in my house they have been: horses, boats, garages, towers, ramps, roads, locks, hula hoops, houses, teeter totters, catapults, and art. Hard to believe but adults are often fighting their children for the arches! OK, I admit it, I am usually fighting the kids for them. "Pleeeeese Jack? Can I just finish my art before the monster truck smashes it? Can I pleeeeeese balance these blocks on the ends before you use it for a ramp?" Sometimes he lets me, sometimes I give in and let him play with his toy. Oh, and as the picture shows, they make your baby move super fast.
I bought them as a toy that both Alli, my nearly year old, and Jackson, my four year old, could play with. Not together mind you, that ends in scratching and tears, but separately and each in their own way. Jackson has really put the miles on these suckers. When asked what he thought about the arches he said, "Double thumbs up! They're sweet!" That really is the ultimate compliment.
For now, Alli mostly carries them around chewing on the ends. She is not the best toy reviewer though as small pieces of paper, beetles, and dirt are still her favorite playthings. It can not be overstated how awesome it feels to know that they are safe for my little pony. The arches are dyed with plant based dyes, the hues are beautiful, so there is no need to live in lead-based paint fear. The edges are sanded so nothing sharp or terribly pointy. Of course, they are wooden, and like any hard object they hurt when landed upon. Not their fault really, and they apologize every time. So polite!
The down and dirty? We love them. Maybe a little too "old" for a one year old, but completely worth it as a toy that can be used for many years by many hands. We have the extra large set and it is a little pricey at $59.95 but it has been worth every cent. Selling all of our plastic junk allowed us to buy better things for our babies. More on that later...
We give the arches from A Toy Garden: Double Thumbs Up