If you’re still searching around for Christmas gifts for the children, but don’t want to buy the usual plastic tat, may I recommend Treasurebobs? These little characters come in book or game form and are perfect for those of us whose children love a game of hide and seek.
Treasurebobs are the idea of Alison Crawley, a Leeds-based mum who dreamt them up a few years ago but has only recently been able to put her idea into practice. They are a bunch of five characters who like parties and hiding, and playing with them is E’s new favourite thing.
The book, Party Time with the Treasurebobs, is a lift the flap-style board book with a twist – the characters are removable so a different person can be found behind the balloons, presents, bunting etc each time.
The game is our real favourite though. It contains a base board complete with magnetic strips, and a series of cards. You stick the cards in hiding places round the house, let the children loose to find them and bring each card back to stick on the base. Whoever brings the most cards back is the winner. Simple yes?
Simple it may be but E loves it. We played with it on Sunday, after a full day. She and S started off looking carefully but as soon as she found the first card she charged back to the kitchen yelling “I’ve found one!” and bombed off to find the others. S didn’t get a look in.
We did try getting her to hide the cards for us to find though this was slightly less successful as she just put them all in the same place. But she’s only three, so if you have older children this will be slightly easier for you. She is very interested in each character, learning all the names, and the game was the first thing she played with when she came in from nursery last night. I feel the base board may be a permanent addition to the front of our fridge.
So, it’s a homemade project, I hear you say? Let’s talk quality. The book and game have been professionally designed and printed but still retain the charm of a homegrown project. The board book is thick and sturdy, and the game is laminated and shiny so easy to reuse. The design has a patchwork quilt theme, reflecting Ally’s love of craft, and the characters are all very cute (and I think two of them may be named after Ally’s boys).
I should add a disclaimer here, Ally sent me a free copy of both of these products and I used to work with her in a previous job. But knowing her as I do, I know the Treasurebobs will have had a lot of thought and love and attention to detail on them.
Details: Treasurebobs board book – 18 pages including covers, 5 flaps, 5 removable characters, bound with twine. Cost £10
Treasurebobs game – Base board, 12 pictures, magnetic strips, sticky tack, neatly packed in a plastic wallet. Cost £7
You can also order personalised versions to reflect your child and their friends, and Ally has a Christmas version of the game for this time of year. For older children, you can also download some treasure clues from the website and make it into a proper game of hide and seek.