All the Fun of the Zoo with None of the Smell
- What: Playmobil 123 Take Along Zoo
- When: 18 months to 5 years
- Why: Portable, durable, water play fun
- Where: Amazon
My son received this Playmobil 123 Take Along Zoo and Aquarium set for the holidays and I love it, almost as much as he does. The plastic suitcase contains all the pieces without needing a degree in engineering to get them back into the carrying case. It sets up in a matter of minutes and cleans up even faster, since you dump the water and let the pieces air dry.
The suitcase splits into two pieces, and you reconnect them to create a raised playing surface, one side blue, the other green. It has three areas to collect water to make little pools for splashing fun. One of the pools can be removed to use as a scoop for water. Kids can dump water on top of the tree, where it will cascade down and run back into the pool at the bottom. That means you don’t even have to be near a water source to enjoy the fun. It rinses easily if you take it to the beach or the park or sandbox, and it attracts kids like flies to fruit.
My son loves filling (and overfilling) the pools with water. We use it primarily as a bathroom toy, where it can buy me a coveted solo shower, or some time to get ready for the world outside our house. He also regularly asks to play with it without prompting from me, so much so that we store ours next the sink in the bathroom to save some trips carrying it back and forth.
My son can easily carry the entire thing packed from place to place, though he needs bit of help setting it up. (He can’t line up the sides of the suitcase quite right on his own.) The compact case holds up to the roughest play, even from older kids. The sturdy animals and figures have no little pieces, like any other Playmobil 123 set.
When we play with it Indoors, I put a towel down under or near the play set to soak up any spills. Then I wipe down the floor or other surface with the wet towel after he finishes playing, and I get a cleaner floor out of the deal, too. It doesn’t get much sweeter than a toy that helps me have a time to myself, a happy kid, and a cleaner bathroom.