Review & Competition: High Tea Shape Matching Set

child's teaset


Some toys are just beautiful aren’t they? Take a look at this pretty wooden teaset. Good enough for the very best tea party. My daughter lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw this  and for days now I have been offered the most beautiful cakes to eat (sadly not real!)  I love that she is using her imagination and role playing and having so much fun with it. It is not just a Let’s Pretend toy it has other fantastic features too. The gorgeously wooden cakes can be matched to their places on the cake stand by using the base which is numbered 1-15 with the numbers on the base of the cakes. For younger children the tea set can be used as a shape sorter, because each of the cakes is a different shape.

I have had a few John Crane wooden toys in my time and they have always lasted the distance, been sadfe and robust and wel made.

The High Tea Shape Matching Set (£23.95) is available from all good  toy stores including Dillon’s ToyBox and you can find more toys from John Crane at

They can also be found at:

twitter @johncraneblog

Would you like to win one of these gorgous cake stands ?

….all you need to do to enter is tell me your child’s favourite Let’s Pretend game (or yours from when you were small) in the comments box below.

T&C’s:  A winner will be picked at random on Aug 12th by baby budgeting. UK entrants only pls 1 entry per person.

Good Luck!



  1. August 5, 2011 / 8:37 am

    I used to make an olympic arena in the garden using brooms (to walk on, one per foot) the remains of the old coal bunker to do ‘balancing walks,’ throwing a ball against the wall and catching it and similar. All on my own and in competition with myself – isn’t a small child’s imagination wonderful. Where did it go???

  2. Katherine Thomas
    August 5, 2011 / 2:49 pm

    Favourite game is : beep-po, can play anytime, brilliant.

  3. Winifred Davidson
    August 5, 2011 / 2:52 pm

    The old favourite, when it is raining, three chairs and a blanket, and you have an indian tepee, a dark and scary forest anythig your imagination an conjure up.

  4. michelle stevens
    August 5, 2011 / 2:57 pm

    making cakes out of mud and the lid of a dustbin always my nans favourite when it was over her new patio.

  5. renae
    August 5, 2011 / 3:07 pm

    my daughters favourite lets pretend game is making tea in her kitchen – she puts all her ingredients in together stirs them around and then serves them up for you to ‘eat’ whilst she describes exactly what she has made. She loves this game and spends hours in her kitchen playing.

  6. Janet Palmer
    August 5, 2011 / 3:15 pm

    Has to be tea party’s….would have my favourite toys of the week there (any that I hadnt decided to like that week would not get an invite lol) I had my own little tea set with teapot love it…cant wait to play with my little girl if I get an invite that is 🙂

  7. Julie Smith
    August 5, 2011 / 3:25 pm

    My little girls love playing being acrobats at the circus…They dress thier dolls up in clown outfits and even have a little table and sell pop corn and juice

  8. Sarah Anguish
    August 5, 2011 / 3:25 pm

    I loved to play post offices and would spend hours drawing stamps and making pretend cheques


  9. Nicole
    August 5, 2011 / 3:35 pm

    I used to pretend that my toy dog ‘Simon’ was real and I used to drag him along beside me on a piece of string.

    August 5, 2011 / 3:49 pm

    my little girls play mermaids constantly and their little brother is always the evil shark!

  11. August 5, 2011 / 3:55 pm

    I used to ride my pretend horse around the garden and make jumps out of stuff that was lying around to jump over and make horsey noises (of course).

  12. Karen Carpenter
    August 5, 2011 / 4:31 pm

    My 2 year old daughter would love this! Her favourite game is to mix a spoon or fork around in a plastic bowl and offer it to me as ‘ice cream’ as soon I put the spoon in my mouth she delightedly shouts ‘it’s marmite!’ which I hate…

  13. Solange
    August 5, 2011 / 4:57 pm

    My daughters like to pretend they are princesses

  14. SARAH L
    August 5, 2011 / 5:06 pm

    Both my children love to play teachers with their teddies they spend hours reading to them and telling what what,Funnily enough it was mine and my younger sisters fav pretend game when we was little.Only touble is kids grow up way to quick these days my daughter is always telling me not to tell her friends that she pretends as they think its babyish she is only 6! shocking 🙁

    Love the blog shared with all xx

  15. c burton
    August 5, 2011 / 5:06 pm

    i loved my rag doll the best she was my best friend

  16. Sarah Edwards
    August 5, 2011 / 5:13 pm

    Me and my dad used to go everywhere together, but when he went to use the toilet, we’d pass toilet paper worms under the bathroom door, Great fun, We called it Wriggly worms 🙂

  17. Stephanie Bird
    August 5, 2011 / 5:21 pm

    My little sisters love to pretend to be super heroes…not your typical girlie ‘let’s pretend’! I think they would love this and maybe encourage them to enjoy tea parties and leave the superman to their brother!

  18. Zoe
    August 5, 2011 / 5:43 pm

    Both my son and daughter like being pirates at the moment and also being Harry Potter too using the mop and brush as broomsticks, my daughter is only 3!

  19. diane whale
    August 5, 2011 / 5:50 pm

    My grandson thinks he is a pirate.He has all the gear including a blow-up parrot.

    August 5, 2011 / 6:27 pm

    My little boy loves to pretend hes a shop keeper and has set up his own shop under his bed!!!

  21. Kelly
    August 5, 2011 / 7:35 pm

    My favourite pretend game when I was small was to pretend that I was a doctor! I had a toy stethoscope, thermometer and medicine bottle that I would fill with smarties!

  22. natalie tod
    August 5, 2011 / 7:40 pm

    My 3 year old daughter loves pretenting shes an hairdresser. Ive had to buy her one of the large styling heads to play with as she not very caring she quite offen pulls all your hair out or gets a round brush knotted in my hair. lol. It is sweet though when shes making the noise of a hair drier.

  23. Karen
    August 5, 2011 / 8:05 pm

    My sister and I desperately wanted a puppy, but no amount of pleading worked. We each had a long piece of wood (the dog) with a rope attached (the lead). OK, you’re getting the picture now. They where called Mitzy and Pepper, both Yorkshire Terriers wwho we took on long walks. We started to save up our pocket money in a jam jar to show our commitment to our parents that we would look after a dog, it worked! We got Tamba a beautiful Red Setter/Collie Cross.

  24. Mayur Koya
    August 5, 2011 / 8:13 pm

    My childrens favorite pretend game is playing cops and robbers at the moment after the pirate faze.

  25. Jenny Eaves
    August 5, 2011 / 8:14 pm

    I used to love big cardboard boxes, my favourite game was to pretend I was in a boat and then my dad would pretend to be an octopus and tickle me through holes he’d cut in the side (portholes!). My first baby is due in 6 weeks and I’m looking forward to having fun playing silly games with it. I’d love to win this as a gift for my niece, she would adore it! 🙂 x

  26. Raising Ginger
    August 5, 2011 / 8:28 pm

    My son loves to be a leopard prowling around the house stalking his prey! If we are lucky, his little sister and I are made honorary Mummy Leopard and Baby Leopard and get given tasks like ‘catch a hyena and bring it back to the den’. I wouldn’t mind being served that beautiful high tea after months of gnawing on imaginary animal bones!

  27. Lucy Jackson
    August 5, 2011 / 8:35 pm

    My children’s favourite make believe game is playing ‘Cornwall Cafes’. We have a lot of cream teas!!

  28. Kasia
    August 5, 2011 / 8:38 pm

    Me and my friends used dance routines from Dirty Dancing and pretending we’re dancers.

  29. Julie Henderson
    August 5, 2011 / 8:44 pm

    i used to pretend to be a policeman on my policebike and took peoples names etc in a notebook

    my son thinks hes bob the builder and pretends to mend thngs

  30. lucy robinson
    August 5, 2011 / 8:51 pm

    We love to play cafes and kitchens.

  31. Georgina Ball
    August 5, 2011 / 9:18 pm

    Magical unicorns!

  32. Lorraine R
    August 5, 2011 / 9:37 pm

    My little girls favorite lets pretend game is “Lets pretend mummys shoes are mine”

  33. Caroline French
    August 5, 2011 / 9:45 pm

    my daughter is only 2 but already has a great imagination for play….if only i could figure out what goes through her head!! She likes to put my plastic potato basket on her head and twirl around the room flicking her right leg out at the moment until she falls over and she loves to tuck iggle piggle, upsy daisy, makka pakka, elmo, monkey and Bagpuss up in my sofa throw, surround them with pillows then get hers tea set out and passes a teacup to each one at a time. God i love my crazy girl 🙂

  34. August 5, 2011 / 9:49 pm

    K has just turned 2 and she loves pouring pretend cups of tea (how long before they can do real cups?!)

  35. C Holmes
    August 5, 2011 / 9:52 pm

    my daughters favourite pretend game is playing shop – she could spend hours palying it!!!

  36. Kelly
    August 5, 2011 / 10:08 pm

    My 4 yo nephew is going through a phase of pretend to be a vehicle recovery man wanting to tow everyone to safety:)

  37. Julie dunn
    August 5, 2011 / 10:30 pm

    making stinky porridge, mixing loads of yucky ingredients together, really stinky but he has so much fun

  38. Victoria Boland
    August 5, 2011 / 10:45 pm

    My little boy likes to play shops. I have to set things out in the living that are ‘for sale’ and he comes along with his pennies to buy them.

  39. Fiona Martin
    August 5, 2011 / 11:56 pm

    My daughter loves playing shops – it’s so cute, she’s always shopkeeper and things are usually £10 or £20. Luckily it’s play money!!

  40. Immortal Beloved
    August 6, 2011 / 12:14 am

    My four year old loves baking and when he’s not baking he’s pretending to bake. I’d love to win him the High Tea Shape Matching Set because its buns and pink!

  41. Helen
    August 6, 2011 / 10:07 am

    My daughter loves to play shop, she is always plays the shopkeeper, however all the items for sale cost £10 though, a bit steep I think for one cake or one tin of soup ha ha

  42. Suzanne sendell
    August 6, 2011 / 10:45 am

    I used to love playing post offices with my nans dressing table and mirror,that acted like the counter

  43. Carolina J.
    August 6, 2011 / 11:02 am

    We used to play school, teachers and pupils 🙂 Loved it!

  44. Kerrie
    August 6, 2011 / 1:09 pm

    doctors & nurses lol 🙂

  45. Sean
    August 6, 2011 / 1:10 pm

    my little girls fav game is pirates hehe

  46. Pamela Gossage
    August 6, 2011 / 4:48 pm

    At my granny’s she used to put the wooden clothes horse on it’s side, put blankets over it and we had a tent. I used to spend hours playing in this , both inside and outside

  47. Jo Bromley
    August 6, 2011 / 9:25 pm

    When I was little my grandma used to have a cupboard full of bottles and boxes she had saved for us. We used to set out our “shop” and play for hours. So I have done the same for my kids – we have a plastic crate full of pretend shop goods and plastic coins, and they love it just as much as we did!

  48. Yolanda Barker
    August 6, 2011 / 9:37 pm

    I used to pretend to be an estate agent or a teacher. – I had a box of teacher things and the squared books from woolworths that I coverted.

    If I was estate agent then it would have been after going around the agents getting house details and laying them out over my bed to sell them. lol

  49. Rachael G
    August 6, 2011 / 10:26 pm

    My little girl’s favourite is to make tea and food for her 2 cuddly toy pals from her play kitchen. Poor creatures often get some weird and wonderful delights served up to them!

  50. Ashleigh
    August 6, 2011 / 10:37 pm

    my little girls favourite game has to definately be pretend mummys!

  51. Laura F
    August 6, 2011 / 11:17 pm

    Mine is a bit strange but just lately if my little boy has helped me with housework or tidied his bedroom he likes my husband to pretend he thinks he’s in the wrong house!

  52. Marta P
    August 7, 2011 / 2:50 am

    My sons is working in a coffe shop with his toy expresso maker!

  53. katrina walsh
    August 7, 2011 / 5:34 pm

    Blanket thrown over the kitchen table with us squeezed underneath. We have to pretend its a cold winters night outside and we’re in a tent.

  54. Lynda Sanderson
    August 7, 2011 / 6:25 pm

    My son used to love to ‘cook’ with my pans and utensils, and would use ‘lego, bricks, plastic shapes’ as the food.
    The best bit was listening to what he was saying …………….. it was me, in mini version!!!!!!!!!!!!

  55. Susie
    August 7, 2011 / 11:37 pm

    I pretended I had a pony and made jumps in the garden. This turned into years of nagging on my part for a real pony. I hope history doesn’t repeat itself!

    August 8, 2011 / 7:53 am

    we have an old car in the garage that my son loves to sit in(we have to sit in the back) & he takes us shopping :O)

  57. August 8, 2011 / 9:33 am

    My 3 year old daughter likes to pretend shes a pirate, this all came about after she found her older brothers old pirate costume (she often rumages in his drawers and comes out dressed in his clothes). First time she wore it she came running down the stairs, jumped in the livingroom door and shouted ‘arrrrrrr me hearties!!’

    August 8, 2011 / 7:05 pm

    My 5 year old son like to pretend that I am a baby and he is my mum he likes brushing my hair he makes me crawl.

  59. jennie jackson
    August 8, 2011 / 11:09 pm

    my son sits on the rug in front of the fire and makes us all get on and he “flys” us away on his magic carpet

  60. amanda egglestone
    August 9, 2011 / 10:52 am

    I use to love to play shops with my fruit stall cart 🙂

  61. Claire Butler
    August 9, 2011 / 5:21 pm

    My son loves playing shop. He loves loading up his car in the garden with what hes bought and driving home ( around the garden). Then putting his shopping away in his toy kitchen

  62. Paul Witney
    August 9, 2011 / 10:08 pm

    My daughters love to have a pretend picnic. Even better if they can play outside with water.

  63. Julia Rockett
    August 9, 2011 / 10:45 pm

    My 2 year old daughter and 4 year old son love to play at being Mummy and Daddy. My son goes off to work on his bike and my daughter stays at home (huge cardboard box) taking care of the baby, named Celeste Bernadette, and preparing the evening meal . So cute!

  64. Geraldine Chaplin
    August 10, 2011 / 3:28 pm

    i had a post office and would work in it for hours serving my mum and family

  65. san
    August 10, 2011 / 4:41 pm

    my son loves to play at being a cat

  66. August 10, 2011 / 9:14 pm

    I used to love playing kitchens with my pots and pans!

  67. katherine grieve
    August 11, 2011 / 9:42 am

    My daughter likes playing cafes, im constantly eating plastic grapes and plastic chips!!!

  68. Rachel Fenney
    August 11, 2011 / 10:13 am

    I used to love playing shops – i especially liked to work in the Post Office – i have a real working (old Style) till as well.

    These days my son loves copying me, which includes pretending to iron, doing the washing up, polishing, vaccuming etc

  69. Maria Knight
    August 11, 2011 / 10:43 am

    Promise you wont laugh……………i used to pretand i was a bin man!!! I was 5 at the time and always wanted to be a bin man (well lady)

  70. stephanie cummins
    August 11, 2011 / 11:24 am

    my 4 year old loves playing mums and dads with her big sister…doctors and nurses is also a big fav.

  71. Jane
    August 11, 2011 / 1:41 pm

    I used to love pretending to have a sister, sometimes a big sister other times a younger one (probably so I could boss her around!). I have four brothers which explains the need. LOL. I used to talk to Dawn all day and if it was a holiday from school, then “we” would go off for the day with a picnic and have a fabby time. I used to have my Mother put twice as much food in my picnic, but there was never any left when I got home. I remember one great day where “we” played in the fields behind home and I think we even played hide & seek, not sure how i worked it out, but i know the sun was shining, the farmers where in a field next door, wish that times were still as innocent now!

  72. Seb
    August 11, 2011 / 2:36 pm

    My son like to be a rabitt the morning and by the end of the night he is Buzz light year ,going through being a shop assistant ,fireman ..

    August 11, 2011 / 2:44 pm

    My son loves to play at being a Doctor, he even uses his pocket money to buy plasters!

  74. Katherine Coldicott
    August 11, 2011 / 3:10 pm

    My son loves playing at being a postman. He has a bag full of envelopes and he stands in the porch & loves to post very important letters.

  75. Emma Smith
    August 11, 2011 / 3:25 pm

    My children’s favourite make believe game is zoo animals! May as well be in a zoo the amoun of noise they make – but at least they’re happy!!

  76. August 11, 2011 / 3:36 pm

    My daughter loves to play pretend cooking with her little kitchen she got at christmas

  77. nichola jones
    August 11, 2011 / 5:04 pm

    Has to be doctors and nurses! funny though it appears to have stuck with me through to adulthood * joke*

    My youngest Ryan whos 3 loves to play shops but equally loves to play army



  78. Amanda Hutchings
    August 11, 2011 / 5:20 pm

    My daughter loves lets pretend tea parties, love the website it’s my favourite baby site. Keep up the good work 🙂

  79. Laura McIntyre
    August 11, 2011 / 6:54 pm

    I love the set .

    My kids current fave game is “Rugrats” which basically involves them pretending to be the babies from the show and going on adventures (my poor 2 year old normally gets to be either Dil or Spike the dog)

  80. Jennifer Kelly
    August 11, 2011 / 7:19 pm

    My daughter loves to pretend she’s a ballerina, she sets up all her teddies as an audience & dances round her room 🙂

  81. annette hanley
    August 11, 2011 / 8:24 pm

    My daughter used to love having us eat the pretend food and drink she would get us to order from her pretend cafe.

  82. Diane
    August 11, 2011 / 8:29 pm

    Pretending the bunk beds were a pirate ship, up on the deck to look for land and down in the galley cooking the fish fingers!

  83. Sarah Parker
    August 11, 2011 / 9:35 pm

    headmaster and pupil

  84. lowie789
    August 11, 2011 / 9:35 pm

    My son likes to pretend to help me with the housework – well I’m sure he thinks he actually is helping me but his dusting/sweeping/mopping technique is never very effective unfortunately!

  85. samantha roberts
    August 12, 2011 / 7:51 am

    Myself and my sister use to play with lego for hours on end (a timeless classic no less) but we would go into our playroom (the cellar) and pretend that there was a wolf (infact a lego dog toy) and give ourselves a set time limit on how quickly we could build a house for our little lego men to live in so the wolf couldnt eat them – we would play downstairs all day long and came up with such elaborate storylines it would put eastenders and corrie to shame!

  86. Heather Shaw
    August 12, 2011 / 11:52 am

    We have a kinds china tea set which we like to play house with (by we i mean myself and my cousin’s kid)

  87. Christine Bray
    August 12, 2011 / 6:57 pm

    My grandsons favourite game is pirates he has a hat and the rest is imagination! He’s walked the plank and x marks the spot on his treasure chest map! I hide his lunch or sweeties and he goes to dig up his treasure….

  88. Stephanie Clough
    August 13, 2011 / 11:50 am

    My sons favourite is to pretend he’s going food shopping, using his till and a grocery bag and toy food.. then he pretends to come home and cook dinner

  89. Pingback: Too many High Teas to mention…. | John Crane Toys
  90. Donna Allison
    November 10, 2011 / 8:07 pm

    My daughter Lily loves her dolly’s and loves pretending to play mammy and baby, she feeds her dollys with her toy spoon and bottle, and put’s them to bed, takes dolly for a walk in her pram 🙂

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