Jul 232018
 

I know I’m not always a ‘fun’ mum. I make my children finish their dinner, they go to bed early every day and when they see a muddy puddle they know very well to walk around it. Unless of course we are on Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk… If you ever needed a great excuse to let the kids splash about and have fun in the mud this is it:

From August 13 – August 19 Australian families are being invited to join their favourite little piggy, Peppa Pig, in a Muddy Puddle Walk to raise funds for Save the Children. By participating in the Muddy Puddle Walk children all across Australia will help support Save The Children’s work to give every last child the chance to learn, play and grow up healthy and happy. Millions of children around the world are currently missing out on this due to factors including lack of access to health and education, abuse and neglect, and humanitarian emergencies. But you can help!

Families can sign up for their own family Muddy Puddly Walk and child care centres and playgroups can join in the fun together. There are rewards for everyone, with surprises from Peppa Pig including certificates and stickers plus magazines, books and DVDs. The FREE Muddy Puddle Walk Fundraising pack will help you get the most out of your walk with fun ideas, activities, tips and it will also guide you as you talk to your children about the work of Save the Children.

Slip on your gumboots, head to your favourite neighbourhood park or outback track and raise some much needed funds for a great cause. Your muddy puddle fun will help give disadvantaged children a brighter future and every little bit helps!

To find out more about the Muddy Puddle Walk and to request a fundraising pack visit www.muddypuddlewalk.com.au

Jul 202018
 

Right when I feared that the madness of these crazy, loud, messy school holidays with six kids would get to me I was rescued, just in time. Yesterday sanity arrived in the shape of a bunch of adventurous garden dwarfs called Gnomeo and Juliet and our 7-year old Juliet was super excited to see ‘herself’ on the big screen once again:

In Sherlock Gnomes we catch up with loveable garden gnomes Gnomeo and Juliet (who we met in their first movie adventure). The adorable blue and red hatted gnomes are about to move into their own piece of London ‘paradise’ but first the place will need a good tidy up, and we all know renovations cause friction in the best of relationships…

In an attempt to bring back the love Gnomeo tries to surprise Juliet with a special flower. Unfortunately things don’t exactly go to plan and to top it off they return to find all of their gnome friends have disappeared. Time for dwarf detective Sherlock Gnomes, accompanied by his side kick Watson, to start an investigation. Will they be able to return the gnomes and restore peace in the garden (and in the marriage)?

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

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

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Jul 192018
 

What do you pack to keep a 10-month old busy on a 24-hour plane trip? I’m going with something compact, something sturdy, something colourful, something that moves and something that offers lots of different ways of play. This little gem from LeapFrog ticks all the boxes:

This adorable Rainbow Lights Ladybird (RRP $16.95, age 6 months+) is perfect size for chubby baby hands and for holiday backpacks. Its chunky shape makes it easy to push this little ladybug around (building motor skills) and activate the rainbow light show. A simple push on the round yellow antennae or a press of the large ABC button is all it takes to go on a learning adventure…

The friendly LeapFrog ladybird displays a rainbow of coloured lights on her back and uses them to introduce little learners to different colours and common items that are that colour. She also sings a catchy letter song to teach the letters of the alphabet and the sounds of each letter. Let’s hope the other passengers on the plane enjoy a good old ABC sing-along too!

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

Jul 182018
 

EK Books

The strange thing about moving countries is that somehow in your head you think of everyone exactly the way they were when you left. This years marks 12 years since I moved to Australia and the unfortunate fact is that people have changed and gotten older. My beautiful Opa is now an impressive 95 years old and sadly suffers from dementia. I know that he will not be able to fully understand/remember me when we visit next month but I will treasure every moment I get to spend with him and he will always be very special to me.

In Finding Granny a little Edie has such a special grandparent too. Her lovely granny is funny and fearsome, creative and courageous and Edie finds comfort in knowing her granny is always the same. Until one day Granny has a stroke and all of a sudden Granny is ‘different’…

At first Edie struggles to find her familiar Granny in this strange lady, she doesn’t sound like her Granny at all and she can’t do the things she used to. But with lots of love, patience and art class not only is Granny finding her new self, Edie is also finding her Granny.

There is so many things to love about Finding Granny and the important messages is shared with young readers: The importance of family, the impact of (sudden) illness/accident/age and how it may change people from the outside, but how they stay the same on the inside. Patience, the value of art therapy and how you should never give up on people. And of course never judge someone by their looks or abilities! This gorgeous picture book features colourful illustrations that children will love and it is a fantastic conversation starter for families with young children.

You can find Finding Granny (RRP $24.99) in leading book stores across Australia.

To find out more about EK Books, to browse the range and to order your favourite titles online visit www.ekbooks.org.

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Jul 162018
 

With less than four weeks to go until our big holiday I am starting to feel a little pressed for time. Packing for eight, passports and paperwork, preparing school activities for our trip, keeping on top of the housework, every day life with a big family… and don’t forget gift shopping for our family and loved ones! I am so excited to meet my two brand new nephews for the first time and we can’t wait to spoil them with plenty of gifts.

If you’re shopping for a sweet new arrival but are a little short on time (who isn’t these days?) or lack inspiration you are sure to appreciate My Baby Gifts. The clever team behind this fabulous Australian online store takes the hassle out of baby gift shopping by putting together the perfect baby present and delivering it straight to the lucky recipient, packed in a gorgeous gift box. Surely shopping for presents doesn’t get any easier than that!

My Baby Gifts has the whole family covered with a range of lovingly handpicked gifts for precious newborns (including twins), as well as their proud siblings and the new parents. From beautiful  baby clothing to cute toys, from stunning nappy cakes to lovely keepsake blankets, from soft teddies to first books and much more, with so many ready-to-go hampers to choose from there is a match for every baby and every occasion. Especially for eco-conscious parents there are some wonderful organic options available too.

I know I shouldn’t play favourites but this adorable baby blue Peter Rabbit Gift Hamper is one of my top picks, I love that it contains gifts to be enjoyed right now and some to be used as baby gets bigger. The little plush bunny and Peter Rabbit feeding set would be treasured for many years to come. You can even add a celebratory bottle of Moët & Chandon (200ml) to surprise mum and dad!

Every single hamper item has been carefully selected for its high quality, durability and style and many of the labels stocked by My Baby Gifts are proudly Australian, eg. Bonds, Marquise and Emotion & Kids. Good to know: The standard shipping rate is just $9.95 Australia wide, so you can send your birth, baby shower or christening gifts interstate without breaking the bank and you don’t even have to take care of the gift wrapping! Express delivery is available for last-minute gifts.

Thanks to our generous friends at My Baby Gifts one lucky Hip Little One reader will win a fantastic My Baby Gifts baby hamper (RRP $119) for his/her baby boy or girl. The winner can choose the delightful Floral Blossom Gift Set (Girl) or the stylish Deluxe Blue Star Hamper (Boy), which one would you pick?

For your chance to win enter our giveaway below:

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Jul 122018
 

We’ve only been at the new school for two weeks but for miss Sybbie the move has been a real eye-opener. All of a sudden she is super keen to practise her sight words, write her numbers, read her readers and borrow as many books from the library as she can possibly carry. I am so excited to see another little bookworm in the making!

The toy specialists at LeapFrog know all too well that learning new things can be tricky, so instead of it being a challenging chore they make learning entertaining and exciting! Take for example the new Peppa Pig Learning Game:

Designed specifically for the LeapPad learning tablets Read and Play with Peppa (RRP $34.95, ages 3-5) allows young children to enjoy some screen time whilst mastering a heap of new skills at the same time. Usually Sybbie not that excited to tidy up, but it turns out that tidying up with Peppa is actually lots of fun.

Guided by the alphabet little learners need to help Peppa and her brother George to put all their toys back in the toy basket. They will learn to follow simple instructions, recognise different letters and their sounds, discover what their place is in the alphabet, learn about beginning sounds, match pictures with words and more.

In between the chores Daddy Pig lets them play a little game: the more alphabet toys they tidy up, the more games they unlock! In the mini-games kids can try their hand at things like practise balancing the ball (balance the LeapPad to keep the ball steady) before it rolls away, building a train track, playing catch-the-toy with Daddy Pig or spotting the difference.

Once all the tidying up is completed kids can sit down and enjoy story time with Peppa’s Fancy Dress Party. Young readers can listen to the entire story but also touch individual words to hear them or look them up in the ‘dictionary’.

Created and approved by educational specialists LeapFrog learning games and apps expose children to important areas of learning (eg. maths, reading, science, geography and more) that will greatly benefit them on their educational journey. Parents can explore all the different games/apps in the LeapFrog App Centre and use the handy skill selector on the left to find the game(s) that are a perfect match for your child’s interests and developmental needs.

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

Jul 112018
 

Initially I was going to call this post ‘the big gender reveal party’ but I feared that might get some people very excited thinking we were expanding our family so I changed it. In saying that, the girls have been having the best time with their own mini-version of a gender reveal party and they absolutely love the anticipation of uncovering pink or blue…

With six children our family is already larger than average, but that number is nothing compared to Baby Secrets… There are one hundred of these adorable babies to collect! Our four girls are rapidly expanding their brood with lots of sweet, funny and quirky little boys and girls joining the family.

Baby Secrets (ages 4+) is a new collectible toy range featuring small toy babies in pink miniature bath tubs. Each little baby enters the world with a crisp white nappy on, step two is to discover baby’s gender by dipping the baby into the bath water. In a matter of seconds the white nappy turns pink or blue, allowing the proud adoptive parent to name the new arrival and fill out his/her birth certificate (included). Welcome to the family Penelope Pineapple and Coco Cat!

Strawberry baby or snowman baby, donut baby or dolphin baby, basketball baby or birthday baby, there are so many different characters to collect and one even more rare than the other (but all equally cute!). The excitement of a ‘blind bag’ is hard to resist so you might find yourself bringing home a new baby from your next supermarket visit too.

Can’t get enough of the Baby Secrets fun? There are also several larger Baby Secrets Playsets available that allow keen baby-mamas and wanna-be dads to get even more parenting practice with a pram, bassinet, car, swing, rocking horse and more. Of course each play set comes with some new babies and a dip-and-discover bath tub too. Are you ready to reveal your babies’ secret?

Baby Secrets dolls have adjustable arms and legs, so you can properly sit them down on the swing or send them for a drive in their car. Made from a solid material they are really tough and durable and they’re a perfect compact size for little pockets (and of course Christmas stockings!). I’ve popped a few new babies in our holiday backpacks for our upcoming trip, such an easy way to keep my girls busy on the plane.

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

To find out more about Baby Secrets, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.babysecretshq.com.