Friday 15 November 2013

Review: Haba First Nativity Playset

Last year I hunted website after website, department store after department store trying to find a Nativity Set for my boys. You wouldn't thought it would be a difficult thing to find ... I only had 5 criteria:

  • It had to be wooden 
  • It had to be well made 
  • It had to have large enough pieces for small children to handle 
  • It had to be robust enough to withstand toddler play. 
  • It has to be affordable 

I found Nothing out there that fitted the bill. The bits were either too small, or didn't include all the characters or was plastic or worse cost far more money then I would every spend on a toy.

Then this year I discovered The Toadstool........ and the

Haba First Nativity Playset

Meet the Testers:

This product was mainly tested by Ben (5 years old) who enjoyed trying to teach his little brother the story of the First Christmas, with this being their topic at school this half term it really helps to consolidate his learning. Noah (2 years old) doesn't quite understand the concept but loved the colourful figures and plays with it most days.

Meet the Creators:

Haba have been a family run German company since 1938. They produce some wonderful high quality wooden toys for babies and children.

Meet The Toadstool (and Niki):

The Toadstool grew from Nikki's experience as a mother struggling to find educational, motivational toys that were ethically made in the UK. She researched and tested numerous companies before selecting those she wanted to feature on her website. This is a one stop shop for all your inspirational and high quality pre-school and toddler toys that everyone will fall in love with.

Niki is very enthusiastic about the products she represents on her website. She delivers fantastic customer service and keeps you informed every step of the way about your order.

Meet the Product:

The Haba First Nativity Playset is brilliant as the box turns into the playscene, making it ideal to transport to families houses with you, especially on Christmas Day. Because it folds up nice and small it makes storage easy.

This playset has been created so children can re-enact the nativity story and learn the true meaning behind why we celebrate Christmas!

It is designed for children between 1 and 4 years of age. Ben is 5 and as I mentioned earlier he doesn't sit and play for as long as Noah but when he does it is lovely to hear his story telling. It will make a fantastic addition to any schools story sack or your Christmas box.

The set also comes with a booklet giving you tips on how to use the product to get the best educational experience out of the playset (at the time of writing this tho I have a feeling this may have been accidentally packed in a moving box, as soon as I unbury it I will add more information about what it includes).

What's in the Box?

11 beautifully painted, good size wooden Christmas figures
All the figures are painted with non-toxic paint

- Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus
- 3 kings
- an Angel
- a donkey, cow and camel
- a shepherd

Sturdy cardboard packaging unfolds into a stable for playing - Ideal for transport and storage

1 set of game suggestions

Height - Joseph is 10cm tall, the Box/Stable is 31.5 x 10.5 x 24 cm.

How easy is it to set up?

This is so easy to set up. You simply open the box.

Our experience...

From the minute the parcel arrived the boys were excited. When the saw the Nativity Set they couldn't wait to open it and play.

I introduced the characters to them explaining who each one was and re-telling the Nativity story. I then let them explore the product themselves.

Ben had a great time explaining to Noah who the characters were again, asking questions such as:
"why is there an angel" and "how did the shepherds/ kings" know where to go etc.

Noah loves to keep unpacking the characters and using other small world animals to be animals in the farm... in fact he's just opened it as we speak and the King is busy taking his present to Jesus as we speak.

Unfortunately the box/ playset is just cardboard and after just a week of being packed/ unpacked, played with by a boisterous 2 and a half year old, and carried around it did break inside (the bit you can see above with the hole/ doorway cut out) and needed to be mended with sellotape. The characters and the external parts of the box are still perfect condition tho, so it is pretty robust.

Our Verdict

Mummy loves the set and the tiny testers love the set. It is a fantastic start to the story of The First Nativity and should be a part of everyones house this Christmas Period.

It would be lovely to see Haba/ The Toadstool sell add on packs to include a star, more shepherds, an inn keeper and more animals so we could expand the story.

Other Suggestions to accompany this product

There are lots and lots of other items by Haba on The Toadstool's website so you are sure to find the perfect Christmas Present.

Ways to contact The Toadstool

Website -

You can follow them on Facebook

and various other channels which can be discovered on their website.


Whilst we did receive a discount on our Nativity Set all opinions expressed are honest and entirely my own, or that of my boys.


  1. Aw sad to hear the box broke already! Our farm play set has been in use by ourselves at numorous fairs has been send out for press to borrow and it is still not damaged!

    On the other hand Haba has a great service for sending out spare parts etc. The easiest and quickest way is to contact them directly via:
    Haba Germany dispatches replacement parts straight from there and so far has never failed to do so. As a retailer I have experienced that you get the replacement parts quicker if you contact them directly rather then me going through the sales rep in the UK etc. However obviously I can offer this service to you. Let me know what suits you best ( I would need a mail with pictures of the damaged box).

    Look at the links below: these are puzzles of which the very chunky wooden pieces would be great to add to the set! (nativity puzzle) (more santa and winter time related)

  2. tis no biggy, nothing sellotape won't fix :)
    those puzzles are great for spare parts, thanks for mentioning it.

  3. Hi Chickywiggle! If you send me the broken box, Haba has now send me new boxes, so I could exchange it for you! Loving the festive blog design. Your blog has grown so much over the passed months, love to see the evolution! Hope the move went well, sorry I have been out of touch, running a couple of nights with packing orders and no sleep xxx


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