Janod never fails to deliver and with these brilliant Story Boxes, they’ve hit the imaginative nail on the head. With a Firefighters Box, a Farm Box, Wild West Box, City Life Box, Safari Box and (our personal favourite) the Circus Box, there is something that will pique every child’s interest and have them busy and playing in seconds. 

We love toys that proclaim “Play with me!” from the moment the unopened box hits a child’s hands. And these Story Boxes are truly exemplary! After all, it is the box itself that becomes the stage for all the fun and games that are going to ensue – so no annoying second guessing whether your child will love the actual toy when they open the box; by choosing the box they love the most, they’re choosing the toy itself! Pretty cool.

Meanwhile tucked safely inside is a brilliant cast of characters ready and waiting to take over the situation, whether it is the elephant, lion, clowns and acrobats at the Circus or the cowboys, indians, buffalo and totem poles in the Wild West.

With more than 20 wooden characters, props and accessories inside each Story Box, everyone  – from siblings and friends to Mummy and Daddy – can get involved in the storytelling here. And what storytelling it will be!

Each box has just the right amount of detail in the illustrations on the outside, so that beyond the wooden characters who can move about, there are all manner of additional characters already integral to the box itself. On the Wild West box, a girl smiles from a second-storey window, while a cowboy, guns at the ready, enters (centre stage) through the Saloon doors; a prisoner glowers from behind the bars in the Sheriffs building, while a young native American stands, bow in hand, asking a question. On the back of the box (which pulls apart, so you simply turn the back of the box around to create a second ‘wing’ to your set), a white bearded ‘pioneer’ drives a Pony Express away while a girl sadly waves her handkerchief.

There is so much going on here, you could spend hours just talking about what your child thinks has just happened, or what is about to happen before calling out “3, 2, 1, Action” for the show.

If, however, you would like even more excitement with your Story Box, you can get the Express Box, which includes not only the Story Box and characters, but also a train that does the rounds of each setting (so gorgeous with the Circus animals riding atop – just like Madagascar 3!)

Good For… Communication skills, vocabulary, retelling events, expressing thoughts, asking questions, reasoning, imaginary play, sharing, cooperation, taking turns, independent exploration

Keep in Mind… This is great for preschoolers who have younger siblings, as the wooden pieces are just large enough to ensure they are not a choking hazard if they are left lying around

Kids Love… The cute little characters and the cartoon-like illustrations that are packed with story-telling opportunities

Parents Love… That this builds storytelling skills. Also, this is great to take when travelling, as everything stays within the box (as long as you pack it in there!!!), and for taking to grandparent’s homes or on first play dates, as it gives the kids something to focus on without having to debate whether they would both prefer to play super characters or serve afternoon tea

Awards PAL Award (2014) and Best Toy Award (2014)

Designer Details Designed in the heart of the French Jura mountains, the Janod range of classic wooden toys are styled for today. With over 40 years experience, these beautifully designed toys are created with learning in mind and awaken the child’s senses. The Janod range includes educational learning toys, puzzles, construction sets, games and outdoor toys.