Talk about creative play! Unpacking our latest order of Kraul Toys make me want to pack up my computer and sprawl on the floor with dragonflies, paddlewheels and see sawing gnomes. They take me back to a time kids were kids and screens were something you put on your windows to stop the carpet from fading. Kraul toys are one of our most popular brands at Dragonfly, and the question is why? These toys are all about interactivity, but sure not the one-dimensional interactivity of a computer screen. They are purposely designed in Germany to increase your child’s creativity, and encourage him or her to play, observe, experiment and understand the forces of earth, water, fire and air. Without getting too esoteric, that’s really what they do. Sure, you can watch David Attenborough with your kids, but Kraul toys are about that old dictum, “Teach by being and learn by doing.” We have bamboo dragonflies and helicopters that take to the air, cable cars and rope runners to transport your gnomes up the sides of a couch turned into Mt Everest, paddleboats and waterwheels, and even a delightful gnome seesaw kit that runs on the simple power of a tealight candle. The toys are made of all natural materials, and they’re an obvious choice for parents concerned about not just their child’s play, but the quality of that play. There’s something in the Kraul range for kids of all ages, including some that are are a little more complex and require assembly. Let’s look at the Kraul Trout for a moment, which is really ingenious. A paddle boat like the ones that still ply the Murray River – albeit a lot smaller – it works in a body of water with a current, which could be a bath or, for older kids, a creek or river. The boat’s paddle wheels are powered by flowing water, and although the Trout will initially float away with the current, the paddles activate and bring it back to you against the flow. Pause for a moment to look at the Kraul range, and if there’s a bit of a kid in you still you have to be intrigued!