hiplittleone

Nov 292019
 

Dump trucks, cherry pickers, buses, motorbikes, ambulances, diggers… Ted loves them all! Unlike many other young children Ted thoroughly enjoys car trips and is easily entertained by spotting all kinds of transportation. At home he has his own collection of cool vehicles to play with too, with this funky firetruck being his new favourite:

Emergency, emergency! The bright red Tumbling Blocks Fire Engine (RRP $49.95, ages 1.5-4 years) is always on standby to help a desperate toddler in need of distraction. Siren? Check! Flashing lights? Check! Ladder? Check! Water hose? Check! Get your fire fighting gear on and get ready for a rescue mission that is both exciting and educational at the same time.

Created by the learning experts at LeapFrog this emergency vehicle is packed with educational features, helping playful toddlers develop important skills whilst having fun. Sounds and songs, letters and lights, buttons and blocks, wheels and words, if you’re looking for a quality, versatile Christmas gift that will be enjoyed long after Boxing Day this is it.

There’s a fire at the Bakery, send help! There’s a cat stuck in a tree, to the rescue! Firefighters Scout and Violet are on their way to yet another incident and could do with a helping hand, let’s give the engine a push and get started. Kids can turn on the siren and flashing lights, turn the hose reel and check the water gage to hear the corresponding number.

Knowing your ABCs is a must for any good firefighter. The five coloured blocks represent all 26 letters of the alphabet, 26 different animals as well as 4 types of emergency vehicles. Simply pop the interactive block in the driver’s window to learn more about the letter, the sound and the picture of your choice. Using the music button kids can also hear and sing along to several alphabet themed songs and other catchy tunes.

Ted’s favourite part of the Tumbling Blocks Fire Engine is by far the tumbling ladder mechanism: When you push the ladder down it automatically ‘picks up’ the next animal block and when you lift the ladder up the block tumbles down back into the truck and repeat. It’s like magic! Super easy to do for little hands and virtually fail-proof, this is a brilliant design feature that brings endless joy to curious toddlers.

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

Nov 262019
 

I’ll be honest, I absolutely love writing about all the gorgeous kids’ books I find but I am struggling today. Just last week I lost my amazing Opa, which made this new Walker Books release even more personal, special and quite emotional to me. If you have a wonderful grandpa (or grandma) in your life this book is sure to pull on your heartstrings like it did for me:

In The Corner of my Eye (RRP $26.99) we meet a special grandfather and his granddaughter Sally, who is determined to help her grandpa find what he is looking for. Things would be a lot easier if grandpa actually remembered what he was looking for, but he forgot that too so Sally decides to simply start looking…

From the cluttered kitchen cupboards to the soft, cosy armchair, from the colourful backyard to the farthest corner of the attic and everywhere in between, Sally searches everywhere and while she finds lots and lots of things she still doesn’t find ‘it’ so she must keep going. This treasure hunt sure is full of interesting finds and dear memories which are all precious in their own way.

As I have sadly seen in my own Opa, dementia is a cruel disease. Dementia turns someone’s brain into a big, messy house where they can’t find the one thing they are desperately seeking. As a loved one you often don’t know what the missing object is, however you can help join the search and sometimes that’s enough.

The ‘Corner of my Eye’ is a beautiful and heartwarming book that, in a wonderful, gentle way, helps young children to understand their ‘forgetful’ grandparent a little better. Featuring an interesting mix of hand drawn illustrations and real photos the book is a joy to look at. I just love the balance between the calm, peaceful images and Colin Thompson’s signature busy, overflowing pages which are perfect for a game of search and find. ‘The Corner of my Eye’ is a touching addition to any family bookshelf.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a closer look at ‘The Corner of my Eye’ visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of ‘The Corner of my Eye’ (RRP $26.99) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter, good luck!

Nov 242019
 

VTech

After five girls it seems I had totally forgotten how loud, cheeky and active little boys can be. Ted has turned into a big, boisterous two year old who never sits still. He loves noise (he has the deepest, booming boy voice already!) and is always stamping, dancing and singing which is why this colourful VTech character made a perfect gift for him:

When you first spot the triangle, round and square pegs you might briefly think this is just another ordinary shape sorting toy, but you could not be more wrong… This cool walking, talking and dancing Learn & Dance Dino (RRP $49.95, ages 2-5) offers epic entertainment in more ways than you would think!

Measuring an impressive 30cm tall and 35cm long this large green dinosaur has a ‘shape sorter’ back with three coloured spots where his spikes should be. Each spot sports a different colour, is a different shape and has a different effect, time to add the magic spikes! Once you successfully match the correct spike with the right ‘hole’ your dinosaur will suddenly come alive…

The yellow triangle pegs represent three emotions (happy, sleepy and angry), the red circle pegs trigger three personalities (Dino, Robot and Monster) and the blue square pegs activate three different music styles (marching, hiphop and ballet). In a perfect example of the cause and effect principle your child can handpick each peg and watch dino reward their choices with a fun display of song, dance and sentences.

Dance alongside a sleepy ballet monster, stomp after an angry marching robot or bust some moves with a happy hiphop dinosaur, it’s all possible! Between the nine different pegs kids are able to create 27 unique combinations, what a fantastic sneaky introduction to coding! The dance moves train gross motor skills, the music pegs introduce children to catchy music styles and the three emotions teach children about different feelings eg. ‘Let’s practise calming down, take a deep, deep breath’ ‘When you smile it makes me happy’.

Even young children can press the chunky light-up buttons to hear colours, shapes and phrases or turn the switch to swap between singing or talking, giving them a feeling of independence and control over their new dino friend. Handy accessory: When not in use the coloured pegs can be neatly stored in the big orange dinosaur egg.

You can find VTech’s Learn & Dance Dino at your local Target, Kmart, 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.

Nov 212019
 

Our calendar for the remainder of the year is full of important dates, but some things are worthy of a big red circle and our upcoming visit to Santa’s Wonderland is definitely one of them. The kids are still treasuring their memories of last year and we can’t wait to add many more special moments this December. I previously told you why Santa’s Wonderland is the place-to-be for Adelaide families leading up to Christmas (read up here if you missed it) and I promised you a give away so here it is!

It’s clear to see why Santa’s Wonderland takes the crown as Adelaide’s biggest Christmas event and this year it is bigger and better than ever. Grab the kids, invite your family and bring along your friends to enjoy the magic of Christmas like you have never seen it before.

There is just so much to see and do: Wonder through the Traditional Family Christmas Land, explore the sparkling and slippery side of Ice Wonderland, admire the colours of Candy Land and most importantly, enjoy UNLIMITED rides for three whole hours! Expect to be swept away by the bright colours and the Christmas music, the beautiful decorations and the unique photo opportunities and of course keep an eye out for the big man himself…

If you’re a budget conscious parent like myself you’ll appreciate not having to pull your wallet for every ride, it’s all included in your ticket price. This make Santa’s Wonderland a fun and affordable outing for families with no costly surprises along the way, because we know the December month is expensive enough as it is.

Your all-access ticket includes 3 full hours of:
⭐️ Unlimited FREE Carnival Rides
⭐️ Unlimited Bouncy Castles and Ball Pits
⭐️Unlimited Ride-on Reindeer fun
⭐️ Unlimited Ice Skating
⭐️ Unlimited Ice Toboggan Slides
⭐️ Unlimited Ride on Reindeer’s Coral with Rudolf & Friends
⭐️ Unlimited Dodgem Cars
⭐️ Even More Main Stage Entertainment
⭐️ Story Time with Mrs. Christmas
⭐️ Write a Personal Letter to Santa & Mail It
⭐️ FREE Activity Trail Showbag (10 stops)
⭐️ Roaming Christmas Characters to meet, greet and takes selfies with!

Want to know more? Click here for a full list of all that’s included when you visit Santa’s Wonderland (and the few things that aren’t).

Santa’s Wonderland is located at the Adelaide Showground (Wayville, SA) and will be open from December 6 – December 24, 2019. Each ticket allows for 3 full hours of entry during the session-time chosen when booking, that’s a whole lot of Christmas fun! With over 35 sessions to choose from there’s a perfect time slot for everyone. Please note that advance booking is recommended as sessions do sell out, alternatively tickets can be purchased at the gate at door prices. Children under 2 years of age are free.

To find out more about Santa’s Wonderland and to secure your preferred session online visit www.santaswonderland.com.au.

For your chance to win a Santa’s Wonderland Family Pass (RRP $180, admits 4) to a session of your choice hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page, good luck! Sessions subject to availability.

Nov 182019
 

While most Australian kids are impatiently waiting for Christmas Day to arrive, our six half Dutchies are first counting down the days until Sinterklaas. With only 19 days to go until our special night the house is buzzing with excitement. The kids are making drawings and wish lists, we are baking (and eating) lots of pepernoten and watching Sinterklaas shows on the Dutch satellite. Of course there is also a line of empty shoes waiting for a small gift in the weeks leading up to Sinterklaas evening… it turns out Sinterklaas knows exactly how to reward well behaved little girls!

Whether you want to call them a stocking filler, shoe stuffer or a Christmas sack surprise, the gorgeous SalonDooz are a fantastic budget-friendly December gift for little HairDooz fans. If they loved the luscious locks of the HairDooz collectibles they are sure to be wowed by this brand new range of fragrant fashionistas in their hot pink oversized perfume bottles.

Twelve sweetly scented SalonDooz are waiting in their own mini-salon for a talented stylist to give them a makeover, do you have the magic touch? To get started simply press the spray nozzle to open the salon door and release your new friend  The attractive, brightly coloured packaging is both pretty on the outside and the inside featuring a large mirror and even a tiny catwalk so she can show off her new look once you’re finished.

All SalonDooz have their own signature style featuring colourful hair in eyecatcching dos, fabric clothes, shoes and fashion accessories you can actually take off and put back on. As you SalonDooz collection grow so will your salon wardrobe allowing you to mix, match and create many unique looks, just use your imagination. Underneath the perfume bottle you’ll find a secret compartment with a miniature accessory like a hair straightener, a comb, a brush or another special surprise.

This larger sister of the original HairDooz doll has a moveable head, legs and arms so you can style and pose your lovely client as you play. She can stand up and sit down by herself or you can seat her in her coloured salon chair. You can even use the included suction cup to attach your SalonDooz friends to a mirror or window, making her an ideal car-companion for upcoming holiday trips.

You can find SalonDooz at Kmart, Big W, Target, Toymate, Mr. Toys or Toyworld stores across Australia or online.

To find out more about HairDooz, to meet the different characters and to locate a stockist near you visit www.hairdooz.net.

Nov 162019
 

Time can’t go fast enough for our Hattie who will be having her first taste of kindy next week. She enjoys art and craft, she can’t get enough of outside play and dressing up and she loves music and dancing… sadly learning her letters is a different story. Just like with her older siblings we’ve turned to the magic of fridge magnets to help her on the way.

LeapFrog‘s Fridge Phonics range has been adorning fridges across the globe for many years. Since its first release little learners have been practising their ABCs with a Fridge Phonics bus, a house, a sun, a pond and other fun shapes and the concept is still successful as ever so why change it? Today’s curious toddlers and preschoolers can master the alphabet with the help of friendly frog Tad.

Tad’s Fridge Phonics (RRP $29.95, Ages 2+) consists of a bright magnetic red apple console and 26 letters magnets. The clever apple recognises each individual letter, just pop the magnet in the letter slot to hear which letter it is, which sound it makes and learn interesting words that start with that specific letter eg. super stinky skunk, luscious lemon lollypop or groovy green guitar.

There are lots of different ways to enjoy and learn with this cool magnetic letter set. Explore what each letter sounds and looks like, learn new words with each letter, find the first letter of your name, put all the letters in alphabetical order, try to make simple words, sing along to the alphabet song, sort the letters by colour, separate the vowels from the consonants and of course practise your fine motor skills while you play!

This year’s Fridge Phonics set also includes 3 new large magnets that celebrate three special people (Dad, Mum and Me) with a series of fun sentences eg. ‘Dad’s a rockstar’, ‘I can do anything’ or ‘Mum is funny’. You can even add a unique touch by sliding a nice photo of your child and each parent into the corresponding magnet, how cute is that?

We’ve been using our old Fridge Phonics set for many years and I can definitely vouch for the versatility (suitable for different ages/stages) and durability. After countless drops and throws our previous set is still going strong, however several letters have gone on an extended holiday along the way hence the upgrade to a full new set. Tad’s Fridge Phonics is guaranteed to keep our last two preschoolers entertained while mum does the kitchen chores.

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

Nov 152019
 

As a busy mum of six I try to be as organised as possible for the Christmas season. I generally get my shopping sorted early and aim to get a good combination of fun, practical and educational gifts that are durable and will be enjoyed by all. With the big Summer holidays rapidly approaching I am always on the look out for presents that will keep the peace on long road trips or boring flights and I think a good old Where’s Wally? book is definitely a winner:

If you’re a Wally fan like my kids you’ve probably got quite the book collection already. Search and find mysteries never get old and the kids are always grabbing one or two when we hop in the car. This year Wally is on a different kind of adventure in Where’s Wally? Double Trouble at the Museum (RRP $24.99).

Come and join Wally and the gang as they travel through the ages on a trip to the museum. From the reading room to the museum gardens, from the entrance hall to the costumes and clothing and much more, there is plenty to see for keen spotters. But it’s not Wally or his friends you need to look out for, the aim of the museum game is to spot more than 500 differences. Kids will love this fresh new take on the classic Where’s Wally concept and it might just save your sanity on your next drive too.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a closer look at the Where’s Wally? range visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of ‘Where’s Wally? Double Trouble at the Museum’ (RRP $24.99) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter, good luck!