Oct 272018
 

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While first birthdays come with awesome benefits like parties, presents and birthday cake, they also trigger something rather unpleasant: immunisations… Poor Ted didn’t enjoy the four needles at all and left the doctors office with a bandaid on both his arms AND both his legs. Being the school holidays all the kids came along and they were very intrigued by it all, watching closely how the doctor checked Ted over and how the nurse prepared and administered each injection.

Hospital trips and doctor appointments can be quite scary, but pretend play is a fantastic way to help your child prepare and understand what’s happening in a fun, relaxed way. Our kids love getting out the doctor dress-up and their toy first aid kit to attend a medical emergency. Instead of focussing on the scary parts children can learn about all the good things a medical practitioner does and maybe even inspire them to become one too!

If you are a big Peppa Pig fan like our kids you will know that (while miss Rabbit is extremely good at multitasking) there are plenty of memorable characters who have special jobs and responsibilities. We regularly bump into a ‘Mr. Bull’ when we spot roadworks, we visit our own ‘Dr. Brown Bear’ for check-ups and take our pets to ‘Dr. Hamster’. The new Peppa Pig ‘When I Grow Up’ episodes enable children to connect with a range of characters, professions, roles and scenarios and recognise them in their own lives too. From helpful doctors to brave fire fighters, from office superstars to hardworking farmers and much more, Peppa Pig makes children familiar with every day jobs in a fun and playful way.

Research has shown it over and over again: Children’s play is so much more than just having fun! It’s their special way of preparing them for the big wide world through books, TV, craft and the so important pretend play. Parents and teachers can learn alongside too, as supporting and joining in children’s play helps them deeply connect and engage on the child’s own level.

I love listening to my little ones make up their own stories and adventures. From ‘mums and dads’ to keeping shop, from running a restaurant to catching robbers, from teaching a class to even managing their own library, it tells me a lot about their personalities and characters. I wonder what they will be when they grow up…

Thanks to our friends at EntertainmentOne one lucky Peppa Pig fan will win a Peppa Pig Mobile Medical Centre and Flip-Flap Peppa Board Book. For your chance to win enter our giveaway below:

Call the doctor! No matter where the emergency is, the Peppa Pig Mobile Medical Centre (RRP $39, ages 3+) is always on standby to bring help to those in need. While on the road Dr. Brown Bear, Nurse Peppa and Teddy travel in a funky white and yellow ambulance. Upon arrival the push-along van opens up to reveal a fully equiped medical centre complete with hospital bed, first aid kit and more. Even the roof transform into a waiting room with reception desk and chairs!

Parents often tell their children they can be anything they want to be, and the same goes for Peppa in this fun Flip-Flap Peppa Board Book (RRP $16.99). By lifting the flaps young readers can dress Peppa in 100 mix and match outfits to suit different professions, characters and occasions. A witch, a fairy, a doctor or an astronaut… What would you like to dress up like today? This sturdy board book offers endless entertainment for little hands.

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Oct 252018
 

One of the things my girls love most about staying at Opa and Oma is playing with mummy’s old toys. Care Bears, Dufti’s, Pin y Pon, the Klorofil tree, Polly Pocket… they’re a little worn and dusty and sometimes missing an arm or leg but it’s the special memories that count. Ever since the kids found out that the very first Cabbage Patch Kids doll was born in the same year as mummy they have been big fans of this 80’s toy trend and we’ve even adopted a few ‘younger’ dolls of our own in the past few years:

While my 35th birthday went by quietly this year the Cabbage Patch Kids family is celebrating in style and throwing a proper party with a festive range of Cabbage Patch Kids 35th Birthday ‘Lots of Licks’ Kids (RRP $79, ages 3+). The new Cabbage Patch Kids are available in a variety of ethnicities, hair colours and eye colours and these cuddly babies are available for adoption right now.

Once you’ve chosen your kid (or maybe I should say: once he/she has chosen you as their new mum or dad!) you will discover your baby’s unique name on their Birth Certificate and you can fill out the adoption papers to make it all official. Our newest family member is called Lenore, such a pretty name for a gorgeous girl! Miss Sybbie is totally smitten with the long red hair and she even has pink and white sneakers.

But there is more… if you look closely you’ll see that each ‘Lots of Licks’ Kid comes with a yummy party treat. Shaped like a heart these tasty lollipops are not only a hit with the Cabbage Patch Kids, the new pets in the Cabbage Patch love them too. Check out the Adoptimals:

Soft, cute and huggable the Cabbage Patch Kids ‘Lots of Licks’ Adoptimals (RRP 39, ages 3+) are totally pawsome. These friendly kittens and puppies love licking their ice-cream, just hold a treat in front of their little mouths to see their pink tongues in action, and they will steal a lick from their owners lollipop too whenever they can. I know I said no more pets, but maybe we can make room for that adorable tabby kitty?

Cabbage Patch Kids 35th Birthday ‘Lots of Licks’ Kids and Adoptimals are available from Big W, Myer and Target store across Australia and online.

To find out more about Cabbage Patch Kids and to locate a stockist near you visit www.bigballoon.com.au.

Oct 152018
 

VTech

Like many other girls our little ladies go absolutely crazy for unicorns. Unicorn jewellery, unicorn cupcakes, unicorn headbands and unicorn stationery, they just can’t enough of these magical creatures! I have gently tried to convince miss 5 that there is no such thing as a real unicorn, but I have to admit that VTech has come pretty close…

Myla the Magical Make-Up Unicorn (RRP $79.95, ages 5+) is beautiful soft unicorn that is sure to charm little fans with her many magical features. Sybbie has been in absolute awe of Myla and the two have been inseparable since their first encounter, she now accompanies us on all our adventures.

Measuring 37cm tall Myla is quite a large toy, which means she gives rather impressive hugs and is easy to handle for small children. You can pose her legs so she can stand up independently and she can even move her head and blink her eyes like a real animal. When you touch her back Myla rewards you with compliments (eg. You are special) and encouragements (eg. Be confident) which encourages interaction between Myla and her owner.

Myla comes with a special microphone that makes her sing a selection of fun and inspirational songs, just hold the microphone in front of her mouth and she’ll perform her latest track for you. Miss Sybbie really enjoys doing Myla’s mane and tail with the included comb and accessories (she has even learnt to braid) however her favourite past-time is by far doing Myla’s make-up.

Just in case you are anything like me: Don’t worry, there is no mess involved! Using the magic make-up brush and a colourful make-up palette you can decorate Myla over and over again with the most beautiful rainbow colours. Simply touch a colour on the palette with the brush and then touch Myla’s horn, eyes or wings to see them light up like she comes flying straight out of a fairytale (this looks especially amazing with the lights off).

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.

Oct 102018
 

And then he was one… As much as I wish it wasn’t true our little Ted is no longer a baby. In the blink of an eye he turned into an adventurous boy who walks everyone, climbs on everything and loves exploring the house. He walks so quietly that you don’t even hear him coming (or going) so I could really do with an extra pair of eyes! Thankfully this LeapFrog birthday gift does an excellent job keeping him entertained so I can quickly get some jobs done:

The LeapFrog Learning Safari Playspace (RRP $99.95, ages 6-36 months) is super versatile educational toy that is designed for growing babies, offering a range of ways to play and learn at different ages and stages. This made it a perfect birthday gift for Ted (and great value for money) as I know it will be enjoyed over and over again.

The Learning Safari Playspace features a sweet selection of animal friends who love teaching your baby new things. Simply press the large buttons to learn about numbers and letters (and watch them pop up on the digital light up screen), practise your colours, turn on the chameleon’s magical rainbow light, discover animal facts spin the beads and much more. Each action helps little explorers work on important motor skills whilst having fun (smile and get smarter!).

Babies can (p)lay underneath the large arch and watch the colours, lights and dangling leaves (when you pull each leaf you hear the corresponding number), they can crawl through it or pull up and stand next to it, great practice for those developing leg muscles. You can even lay the arch flat to transform it into a ‘table’ for baby to sit at. Ted loves showing off his talent for the piano (not only do the piano keys play music, they teach shapes too) but he loves it even more to sit ON the piano so we might keep the arch up for a while longer!

From laying down to sitting up, from crawling to standing and beyond, the Learning Safari Playspace will challenge little minds and help young children develop new skills as they get older. From the moment we unpacked and set up this fun new toy Ted has been intrigued by it, he loves the bright colours, enjoys the sounds and songs and his absolute favourite part is the ball slide.

The Learning Safari Playspace comes with three coloured balls that roll through the monkey’s tail down the slide, it even counts the number of balls as you insert them. Seeing the balls disappear down that mysterious hole and finding out where they will reappear next is a perfect cause and effect exercise and Ted can’t get enough of it.

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

Oct 092018
 

The Monster Jam trucks may have driven out of Adelaide again, but the excitement is still high here at Hip Little One HQ. On Saturday Hip Daddy took our biggest car crazy kids for a surprise outing to Adelaide Oval to see Monster Jam, a treat they are sure to treasure forever…

Known for its larger-than-life Monster trucks, superstar drivers and adrenaline-charged stunts the Monster Jam experience is a hit with fans of all ages. This last year our kids have fallen head over heels for anything that is fast, noisy and has four wheels, so Monster Jam easily ticked all the boxes and more!

11 time Monster Jam World Finals® Champion Tom Meents and a host of other drivers took to the impressive dirt tracks and dare-devil ramps in true Monster Jam style, leaving the audience on the edge of its seat the entire show. Whether you’re rooting for Max-D, are a Grave Digger fanatic, go crazy for El Toro Loco, adore Wonder Woman or another four-wheeled hero, you are guaranteed a true spectacle that will be enjoyed by the entire family.

As a special bonus our little tribe attended the ‘Party in the Pits’ before the show where they had the chance to get up close to their favourite trucks and drivers. If you have a Monster Jam in the family too a Pit Pass is an absolute must-have, who doesn’t want a selfie with their biggest Monster Jam star or the chance to grab a signature or two?

The Monster Jam convoy is currently en route to ANZ Stadium, Sydney (October 13) and will perform its final stunt of the 2018 Australian tour at AAMI Stadium, Melbourne (October 20). Don’t miss out on this year’s monstrous show and grab your seats today.

To find out more about Monster Jam, to check out the tour schedule and to book your tickets online visit www.monsterjam.com.

Oct 082018
 

As sad as it is all good things have to come to an end. We returned from our big European adventure almost three weeks ago and (after sleeping off their jet lag) the kids squeezed in two more weeks of school before the school holidays arrived. They settled back into school life in no time and also quickly caught on to the Ooshies trend:

Ooshies (ages 5+) are the latest collect and swap trend to hit the school yard and with so many awesome Ooshies characters to collect it is no wonder all the kids are joining in the fun! Don’t be fooled by their small size, these soft squishy pencil toppers are big in entertainment and hot property among hip boys and girls. They can be enjoyed on and off your pencil and they are a perfect size for pockets, pencil cases and backpacks.

Ooshies are available in loads of different ranges so there is a favourite Ooshie for everyone. From DC and Marvel to Pixar and Disney, from DreamWorks to Cars and much more, no matter which team you’re on, Ooshies has you covered. We started our collection with Elsa and Olaf (of course!) and just discovered that Barbie and her friends are the latest additions to the Ooshies family, fabulous news for my little Barbie fans!

The excitement of a blind bag never wears off and the girls were in luck: the adorable Pyjama Barbie and pretty Mermaid Barbie were at the top of their wish list. There are 17 different Barbie Ooshies to collect including a highly coveted limited edition Golden Mermaid Barbie. If we do manage to find that special goldilocks I’ll make sure to share a snap!

My personal favourites (yes, even mums can have an Ooshie soft spot) are the Care Bears Ooshies, it’s like being a child all over again. I just adore these gorgeous bears, I might have to start my own collection! I have already popped some Care Bears blind bags away to put in the girls’ shoes in the lead up to Sinterklaas, I have no doubt they will absolutely love the surprise.

Ooshies are sold in single bags (ideal as a small treat, a pocket money buy or stocking filler for Christmas) or as multi-packs, a speedy way to complete your Ooshies collection. And don’t forget you can always trade with your friends if you have doubles! A little birdie told me that Transformers and Star Wars are soon to join the gang and even an Ooshies Junior range is coming up.

Keep your eyes peeled, you never know when and where the next Ooshies will pop up…

To find out more about Ooshies and to browse the range visit www.ooshies.net.