The Winkel has been a popular choice for parents of new children for over 25 years. Made of soft, brightly colored tubing, the Winkel consists of overlapping hoops that link together to a central cube.
The colored tubes are hollow and flexible, creating a soft, but not squishy, teething toy. The tubes are also thin enough for even very young babies to easily grip, grab, and move the toy about. Being shaped like a sphere and thus having “no right way up,” the baby can turn the toy around with one or both hands, allowing for a more carefree experience.
Thin tubes also allow for babies to easily grip the toy with both hands, encouraging two-handed play, a developmental milestone for babies.
The cube has a quiet rattle inside, which could help a child learn basic cause-and-effect, connecting the sound of the rattle to the timing of the baby’s movements.
Additionally, the toy’s light weight means the baby is not hurt or greatly shocked when it eventually hits the toy against its own face.
Questions regarding the toy’s advertised ability to help develop cause-and-effect have been raised. We do not believe this toy helps cause-and-effect development for babies, as most studies suggest the foundation of cause-and-effect starts at around 8 months.
Some users report wishing the rattle was louder. Additionally, the bead inside the cube that creates the rattle sound is reported to occasionally stop rattling, a situation that is corrected with vigorous shaking of the toy.
While many users report that the baby eagerly reaches for the Winkel instead of other toys, some babies show no interest in it. According to reviewers, babies either love it or don’t care for the toy at all.
- Wipe down with a damp cloth.
- Wash in warm water and a mild soap.
- Do not clean in a sanitizer. It will melt the plastic.
For more in-depth information on how to clean this type of toy, please see our blog, The Cleaning Guide for Toys.
Parts and Pieces
Not applicable. No additional parts are needed.
Though very small in number (less than 1%), there have been a few incidents of parents receiving toys they believe to be counterfeit. These counterfeit Winkels are difficult to tell apart from the authentic Winkel, but the signs are as follows:
- Strong gasoline or "plastic-like" smell coming from the tubing. This goes beyond the faint smell that some new toys put off. This smell is strong, and persists after several washes.
- Dye bleeds from the tubing when washed with warm water.
If the toy exhibits one of these signs, return the toy and repurchase at another retailer!