DigiArt Creative Easel, a stroke of genius

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Jun 302018
 

VTech

Well, the kids have just finished their first full week at the new school and everyone seems to be settling in just fine. There are still some tears from miss Sybbie in the morning (just like at the old school) but five minutes later she is happy and smiling and she is showing some great improvement in her reading and writing already, she is even keen to try more at home. She’s been having lots of fun testing her new writing skills on Hattie’s new easel from the clever toy makers at VTech:

The 3-in-1 VTech DigiArt Creative Easel (RRP $89.95, whiteboard, blackboard and drawing table) is a fabulous interactive design that comes jam-packed with awesome features. There are many different ways to use and enjoy the DigiArt Easel, keeping it fun and interesting for young children as they grow, learn and develop.

At almost 3 Harriet is only just hitting the right age for the DigiArt Creative Easel (ages 3-6) but that is not stopping her from trying out all there is to do and learn. Using the attached magic pen little learners can follow the lights on the light-up white board to learn how to write letters, numbers and more all by themselves. Hattie is pretty pleased with her efforts and loves showing off her work, maybe she’s a school teacher in the making?… With more than 150 numbers, letters, objects and shapes to write and draw there is no shortage of design ideas!

Using the brightly coloured buttons underneath the board children can swap and change between different modes of play (Eg. learn to draw, a guessing game or free drawing), adjust brightness and sound, play 10 classic songs or listen to each letter of the alphabet. But there is more: when you turn around the white board a cool blackboard is revealed, get ready to put your new writing/drawing skills into action with chalk!

The easel features a handy clip-storage spot for the magic pen (which is attached with string so it won’t get lost) and plenty of storage for a bunch of coloured white board markers or a pack of chalk. Three pieces of chalk are included, white board markers are widely available and can be purchased/replaced as needed. Hip Tip: If you are planning to wrap this one up for Christmas you may want to tuck in some extra markers too.

I especially love that in just a minute or two the DigiArt Creative Easel can be transformed into a fantastic drawing table at perfect kids’ height. It allows your little artist to use the Easel like a proper desk and the drawing surface can also be shared by siblings or friends who can sit around the table together and create to their heart’s content. The only downside is that there is only one magic pen but of course you can always use multiple white board markers or clip on a big sheet of ordinary drawing paper.

The DigiArt Creative Easel is available in green and pink, which colour would your little artist like most?

VTech toys are available at major department stores, select online stores and independent toy retailers across Australia.

To find out more about VTech, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.vtech.com.au.

Jun 282018
 

When you have a big family like ours there is sometimes no other choice but to split everyone up and do things separately. Sometimes you win and you get to go the movies with the older kids, other times you lose and you have to do the grocery shopping with the little ones but that’s OK. Recently hip Daddy was the lucky one to take the kids to see Peter Rabbit on the big screen and they had the best time, while my afternoon was a lot less fun. Don’t worry, I am catching up this week with Peter Rabbit being released on DVD:

Whether you have been a long time Beatrix Potter fan or have only just discovered this cheeky rabbit, Peter Rabbit has hopped straight into the hearts of people of all ages with this gorgeous new feature adaption of a Beatrix Potter’s classic:

There is nothing shy about Peter Rabbit! The bold, brave and boisterous (or should I say mischievous) bunny is the leader of the pack and tends to get his bunny buddies into a lot of trouble. Just when he thought his long-lasting feud with Mr. McGregor had finally come to an end and they would have free reign of the bountiful veggie garden new owner Thomas moves into the property and it looks like the bunnies will be banned for good.

Thankfully there is the warm and welcoming neighbour, a kind artist called Bea, who has a real soft spot for the adorable rabbits and she is determined to protect their home. With a big sprinkle of humor, a dash of romance and lots of animal antics Peter Rabbit is sure to please the whole family.

Peter Rabbit is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD at all good retail stores across Australia.

To take a closer look at Peter Rabbit or other exciting new releases and to order your favourite titles online visit www.theviewinglounge.com.au.

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PaperKrane

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Jun 252018
 

As expected of a baby who came into the world weighing a whopping 4.6kg our boy Ted didn’t stay little for long. Our big friendly giant has the strongest legs and is putting them to the test as much as he can, pulling himself up on couches, chairs and safety gates over and over again and falling over just as many times. With his first wobbly steps just around the corner he’s been wearing in his first pair of shoes, aren’t they gorgeous?

Designed right here in Australia by two clever mamas PaperKrane is destined to be the new go-to footwear label for growing Aussie feet. From cheeky crawlers to solid steps and rapid racing, PaperKrane has got a fit and a style that’s right for every little boy or girl, starting at a tiny size 0 all the way up to size 13.

Depending on the shoe size PaperKrane shoes feature either a SOFTI, MIDI or FLEXI sole, ensuring your child gets the right comfort and support for their age, stage and abilities. With Ted being a big boisterous boy he has jumped right past the faux suede SOFTI soles and started at MIDI. I just love how the suede sole gives him freedom to move and the durable suede noses protect his toes. The soft leather bends, moves and adjusts to his chubby feet beautifully.

My busybees Harriet and Sybil can skip, hop, jump and run to their heart’s content on the FLEXI natural rubber sole. Being active kids they never sit still and the flexible rubber sole doesn’t restrict them in their movements, they can stand on their tippy toes and the rubber just bends with them! On the inside the breathable cotton lining keeps feet comfortable and dry while the durable leather heel and toe offers support, protection and shape no matter what the activity.

All PaperKrane shoes are slip-ons (yes, even the lace-up styles), because let’s be honest, who has time for tricky knots or velco straps that catch onto everything! But don’t let the slip-on aspect fool you, my three guinea pigs have thoroughly tested them and thanks to the elasticised gussets your PaperKranes stay firmly in place until you’re ready to take them off.

Hip Tip: If you like to shake things up and change your look make sure you add a colourful Lace Pack (RRP $6.50) to your order, that way you can give your PaperKrane lace-ups a trendy makeover whenever you feel like it.

Not sure what size to get? Check out the helpful PaperKrane size chart to find the correct size based on your child’s foot measurement or Australian/European shoe size, that way you can purchase with confidence.

To find out more about PaperKrane, to browse the range and to order online visit www.paperkrane.com.au.

On the move with Chase me Casey

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Jun 242018
 

VTech

There is no stopping him now! Ted is turning into quite the adventurer and if he sees the chance he is off exploring the house. Thankfully he makes plenty of noise so we know exactly where he is hanging out. His latest hobby is following around this fella by the toy makers at VTech:

VTech Chase me Casey (RRP $59.95, ages 9-36 months) is a gorgeous toy monkey who loves to hang out with curious toddlers. Not only is he very cheeky, he is super clever too as he is fitted with built-in sensors that help him move around the floor without bumping into things, react to movements and interact with your little learner.

Casey is quite the versatile fellow and there are many different ways to enjoy his company, making him a hit with little ones at all different stages. Measuring an impressive 34cm tall Casey is designed with little hands in mind, he is easy to control and easy to spot. Using the five chunky shape buttons toddlers can not only activate lights, sounds and music but also learn about letters, numbers, colours, body parts and more. It’s a fantastic way to train those important fine motor skills and a good introduction to the cause and effect principle too.

At 9 months old Ted loves crawling after Casey in Catch Me Mode, he has just mastered proper crawling and trying to keep up with Casey is great practice! As Casey rolls across the floor he encourages tiny explorers to follow him through music and short sentences. He even recognises when he’s been caught; time for another round of play.

Whether your baby is just sitting up or can already stand independently, with Casey in Music/Dance Mode no one will be able to sit or stand still. Casey can play a range of catchy tunes/music styles for kids to bop, hop, tap, clap and swing along to. In dancing mode Casey will wiggle and dance but not move away so he stays within reach of little hands to press his buttons. Parents will appreciate the volume control for quiet play.

Chase me Casey is available in blue and pink and is available at major department stores, select online stores and independent toy retailers across Australia.

To find out more about VTech, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.vtech.com.au.

Best Furry Friends

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Jun 222018
 

Anyone who knows me will know that I hate change. I am such creature of habit and I like it when things stay the same. This week has been a tough one for all of us as our children left their familiar school, their favourite teachers and their class mates and moved to a new school where we have to start all over again. It has been a sad goodbye to all their closest friends, but thankfully these little BFFs are small enough to come along:

An adorable bunch of Best Furry Friends (ages 5+) has just walked into Australian stores and they are quickly stealing hearts all over the country. From Rose the Pug to ‘Purple Jelly’ Zara the Sloth to ‘Metallic Pink’ Pippa the Pegasus, from a pretty pink frilly bag to a blue clamshell bag to a sweet donut bag, my girls just love the excitement of opening a blind bag. There are more than 60 different BFFs and bags to collect and one even more rare than the other.

You can build your BFF collection one creature at a time and store each in their very own BFF house, carrier or a pretty locket. They are a perfect size for small hands, pant pockets or school backpacks, so you will always have a little BFF on standby when you need a friend. BFFs make a great companion for little trips, doctor visits or (as we can testify) your first day at a new school.

Wherever besties Angelina, Cassandra and Zoe go their furry little friends go too, carried around in a stylish  bag or comfortably travelling in a special rolling pet carrier. Are you a sporty Cassandra, a serious Zoe or maybe an artist like Angelina? Each Besties Doll has a unique personality, she comes with a cool accessory, a fashion bag, a pet carrier and two BFFs. If you’re lucky you could even find the highly sought after limited edition Blossom Panda…. We’re still searching for her!

Of course miss Hattie didn’t want to miss out on all the fun, and thankfully there is a Best Furry Friend for the youngest family member too. Stardust the Pegacorn (ages 3+) is super soft, super cuddly and super sized and she loves coming along on all your adventures in a big carry bag. This Pat & Chat pal enjoys a good hug and if you pat her on the head she’ll reward you with 15 different chatty lines. Hattie takes Stardust everywhere and don’t you dare ask her to share her cuddly companion with someone else…

Who said you can only have one BFF? When it comes to Best Furry Friends you can have as many as you like, the more the merrier!

You can find the BBF range at all major toy stores and toy departments across Australia.

To find out more about Best Furry Friends, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.bestfurryfriendshq.com.

Jun 102018
 

the-wiggles-logo

If, like me, you have a big The Wiggles fan (or a few) in the family there may have been some frowns when yellow wiggle Emma announced she would be taking a break from performing for medical reasons. Thankfully she is on the mend after her hospital stay and this week Emma, together with her Wiggly husband Lachy, treated her little fans to a fabulous new DVD + CD release:

The Emma! & Lachy! Show proves that yellow and purple are a winning combination, both in marriage and in music. Singing and swinging, ballet and bouncing, dancing and dressing up… Emma and Lachy are ready to entertain the whole family with 24 catchy new recordings.

Young dancers will be able to enjoy a range of different dance genres from all over the world while budding musicians will enjoy seeing Lachy play the piano, supported by plenty of other musical instruments. Emma and Lachy are joined by Ponso the Pony, Phil the Fluter, ballerinas and fairies and if you look closely you may even spot another familiar Wiggles face too. If you can’t get the new tunes out of your head you can take them along in the car too with the The Emma! & Lachy! Show CD featuring 29 wiggly sing-along songs.

‘The Emma! & Lachy! Show’ is now available on DVD (RRP $19.95) and CD (RRP $12.95) at major retailers across Australia.

To find out more about ABC for Kids get social with ABC for Kids for Parents on Facebook and to order your copy of ‘The Wiggles: Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas!’ visit the ABC Shop online.

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National Superhero Week

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Jun 072018
 

“Go home and enjoy your son because he will be dead by the time he is 15-years-old” These words and the lack of information and support available in general is what prompted Boris Struk to create Muscular Dystrophy Australia (MDA) so that no other parents should endure what he and his wife went through over 35 years ago.

Muscular Dystrophy is a term used for more than 60 neuromuscular disorders and it is defined as a progressive muscle destroying disorder which wastes all muscles away causing immobility, respiratory problems and cardiac complications. This is a condition which affects 1 in 625 Australians and 82 per cent of children aged 0-14 years with MD are boys. It’s a relentless and disgusting disease. Every day is worse than the previous day. They say the hardest thing is to see someone you love suffer. Well, imagine all the parents out there, their hearts stabbed daily.

Boris has been used as a punching bag for decades by frustrated and traumatised parents and relatives. He could have thrown the towel away and forged a career in marketing which he excelled at. It is his enduring love for his son and sense of duty for the MD community that kept him going. A cure has not been found yet and most likely won’t be found in his lifetime.

Muscular Dystrophy is not widely known in Australia. Maybe it is because progress in research is slow and one of the most challenging fields. This is the last step that Boris would like to achieve. To make Muscular Dystrophy known to the whole country, to have one day a year dedicated to it. A day for awareness and a day for fund raising. A day to recognise our kids and adults in our own backyards who are handed out premature death sentences.

MDA’s website has comprehensive information on all forms of MDs translated in 18 languages. We have been running 106 camps which are offer lifesaving respite for families and their carers. We offer support and programs and fund research. MDA has become an extended family for the MD community. In terms of money, MDA has injected millions into Royal Children’s Hospital and the MDA Neuromuscular Clinic.

Today, when a child gets diagnosed with MD, no parent gets told to go back home and just wait for their child to die. But there’s one more thing that can be done, our duty of care as a community. To recognise and acknowledge our national MD community, just for one day.

This is where National Superhero Week comes in. National Superhero Week 2018 will run from 3rd to 9th September, which will see people across Australia dress as their favourite superheroes to join the fight against Muscular Dystrophy. Register now at: https://www.mycause.com.au/events/nationalsuperheroweek

To find out more about Muscular Dystrophy and to see how you can help support this important cause visit www.mda.org.au.