Oct 162020
 

EK Books

If there is one thing I have realised during our unexpected homeschooling this year, it’s that kids love learning as long the topic interests them. As we were thrown in the deep end we had to be creative with our methods, resources, time and expectations and looking back we did really well. We actually found lots of handy, interesting and useful books on our own bookshelf, like this cool science read by EK Books:

The ‘Scientists Who Changed the World’ book series makes science fun and relatable by introducing young readers to a bunch of famous scientists, sharing stories of their childhood, their discoveries and their impact on the world of today. What a fabulous way to raise little science enthusiasts!

In Scientists Who Changed the World: Rachel Carson we travel back in time to the early 1900’s to meet US scientist Rachel Carson and learn about the dangers of chemicals and their disastrous effects on nature. Did you know as a child Rachel excelled at recognising different bird songs and could identify the stars in the sky? She absolutely loved nature and her passion would lead her to become a biologist, writer and well known environmentalist.

We love how Scientists Who Changed the World combines the power of story telling with history and science, it is a winning combo. Reading how everyday children can grow up to make world-changing discoveries is exciting and inspiring and my children were intrigued by this story. We can’t wait to check out other titles in the series too.

You can find ‘Rachel Carson’ by Anita Croy 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.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of ‘Scientists Who Changed the World: Rachel Carson’ (RRP $24.99) head over to the Hip Little One Facebook page, good luck!

Oct 152020
 

When we booked our European adventure last year, we could not ever have imagined how the world would be turned upside down just a few months later. No amazing new memories with our Dutch family, no exploring new countries and cities, no tasting new foods or trying new languages… it was a such a disappointment when our tickets were cancelled indefinitely. However through a stroke of luck the kids have still been able to go on a (virtual) trip around the globe, thanks to this amazing invention from Oregon Scientific:

At first sight you may think this is just another ordinary world globe, but I can assure you there is nothing ordinary about the SmartGlobe Explorer AR (RRP $399, Ages 5+). Using clever interactive technology the award-winning design allows children to learn all about the world they live in, the earth they live on and the solar system they are surrounded by. Come and explore with us!

The large SmartGlobe is absolutely packed with features and even after months of investigating there is still so much more left to discover. With a simple touch of the special SmartPen children can explore over 220 countries, learn 20,000+ interesting facts, play 42 educational games and so much more. From countries to capitals, from continents to currencies, from languages to landmarks, from anthems to animals, from the weather to world time, the SmartGlobe is an endless well of information for young and old.

But there is more to the SmartGlobe Explorer AR than meets the eye. As the world’s first and only ‘open’ globe in the market the SmartGlobe opens up to reveal a unique view of the earth’s interior, as well as the solar system. Grab your SmartPen and learn all about the planets, find their place in the milky way and delve deeper into the layers of the earth. The SmartPen is wireless, rechargeable and is stored safely at the back of the unit when not in use.

By downloading the SmartGlobe App onto your smart phone you can actually bring your SmartGlobe to life, simply move your phone around the globe and be treated to a fabulous augmented reality experience. Watch exotic animals walk into your screen, visit famous landmarks and even check out delicacies from around the world. You can also use the app on its own, which is great fun on-the-go when you’re not near your SmartGlobe, and test your world knowledge with a cool quiz or two.

As a mum of six children I particularly love that this design caters for different ages and interests, making it a valuable investment for growing families. By selecting the right age group (Ages 5-8, Ages 9-14 and Ages 15+) you can automatically customise the SmartGlobe content to match your child’s development stage. This keeps things interesting, age appropriate and fun, no matter how old your child is. Siblings and friends can also enjoy learning together because the SmartGlobe allows for up to 4 multi-players, now that’s what I call family friendly!

Of course the world’s facts and figures are forever changing, so to ensure your SmartGlobe teaches your children the latest and most accurate information Oregon Scientific offers unlimited updates to your SmartGlobe for the first 12 months (from date of registration). After this you can access updates for a small fee of $14.99 per year.

Hip Tip: Sign up for the Oregon Scientific newsletter to receive a 10% discount code for you to use on your first purchase, bonus!

To find out more about Oregon Scientific, to take a closer look at the SmartGlobe Explorer AR and to order online visit www.oregonshop.com.au.

Oct 142020
 

VTech

It only feels like yesterday that I held my beautiful chubby newborn in my arms, admiring his big rosy cheeks and full head of dark hair. Suddenly the next day Ted is a cheeky 3-year old who keeps us on our toes 24/7 with his busy chatter and silly antics. Birthdays are a strange thing, they are both a joy and a heartbreak in one.

Of course Ted himself absolutely loved being in the birthday spotlight and he has been thoroughly spoilt by friends and family last month. Among his gifts were a big stack of Campbell Busy Books (I highly recommend these!), some cool new Imagicard games for his LeapPad (Blaze and the Monster Machines, perfect for our car-crazy boy) and this fun interactive play set by VTech.

Remember that old school fishing game with a small plastic rod and tiny magnetic fish? Well, the toy specialists at VTech have given it a trendy and educational makeover making it the perfect catch for curious preschoolers of today. Get out your fishing gear and hook a winner in Wiggle & Jiggle Fishing Fun (Ages 2-5, RRP $44.95).

The bright blue ocean is home to 7 colourful sea creatures: A crab, a clam, a lobster, an octopus, a puffer fish, a marlin and a seahorse. Using the magnetic fishing rod, fitted with a pretend reel and ‘smart sensor’ hook, you can catch the creatures one by one, watch them wiggle and jiggle on the line and learn about each animal as you go. The chunky shapes are are easy to hold for small hands, but at the same dangling the rod above a specific animal is a great exercise for those important fine motor skills and requires a bit of concentration.

The clever fishing rod automatically recognises and teaches little fishermen and women the names of the different animals, their colours and their numbers and the buoy light even changes colour to match your catch! In ‘game mode’ children are encouraged to search the sea for a certain animal or colour, giving them a little hint by lighting up the buoy in the right colour. Add to that some fun songs and happy tunes and you’re in for a fabulous fishing adventure.

Even though there is only one fishing rod this play set is definitely good fun for siblings or friends to enjoy together, Ted and Hattie happily take turns reeling in an ocean creature. They encourage each other by telling the other which colour to aim for next or they catch the pieces in numerical order. When you are done fishing and it’s time to head home you can store your catch in the handy green basket.

Hip Tip: Because we would like the ‘paper sea’ to last a little longer we intend to laminate the sheet, making it stronger and easy to clean.

You can find Wiggle & Jiggle Fishing Fun right now at your local Target store and 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.