hiplittleone

Nov 152020
 

VTech

While having sisters is lots of fun, every now and then a girl needs a bit of quiet time away from her nosy siblings. Secret notes, locked diaries, little treasures… our four girls are generally great at sharing but some things are simply private property. So where do you tuck away your special belongings so your curious sisters can’t find them? VTech has your back:

From secret storage to special songs, from games to glowing lights, from tiny treasures to telling the time and more, the Secret Safe Treasure Chest (RRP $49.95, ages 6-11) is the ultimate all-in-one girls gift this Christmas.

Shaped like a sweet purple and pink jewellery box, this interactive Secret Safe is way too pretty to hide away in your wardrobe and deserves to take top spot on your bedside table. It even doubles as a talking alarm clock and you can change the clock front to suit your style, what a cool way to learn to read the time! When the alarm goes off you’ll hear your choice of sound or tune and the top of the chest lights up in beautiful rainbow colours.

On the inside the Treasure Chest offers a heart shaped mirror, a removable top tray to fit your smallest jewellery and a generous main compartment for more storage. Don’t worry, your valuables are well protected by your own unique password. Only the person who enters all four numbers or symbols correctly will be able to open this chest and unveil its bounty! Once the chest has been unlocked the light-up ring will show a colour display chosen by the owner. (Parents can rest assured: The secret code can be reset in case of emergency)

Aside from keeping your precious belongings safe from nosy sisters, there are plenty of other awesome features hidden in this treasure chest. The saying ‘It’s not all fun and games’ definitely doesn’t apply here but because this pink box is loads of fun AND it comes with 9 great games that teach important skills like spelling, logic and maths. Because the games use only the four gem buttons to control they are easy to learn even for young players yet they still get their brains working and different levels keeps things exciting.

Miss 7 especially loves testing and expanding her word knowledge by making as many four letter words as possible in Speedy Speller, and solving the mystery of the hidden butterfly in Hide and Seek. Miss 5 may not have excess to her sister’s precious goodies, but she is pretty chuffed that she can still play games without knowing the password. She enjoys practising her numbers in Order Challenge and she is a big fan of Magically Disappearing Cat.

Last but not least, the Secret Safe Treasure Chest comes preloaded with 20 different tunes in the Music Box and the ability to compose your own simple tracks in Music Creation with the use of the gem buttons. Stop, play, repeat and shuffle to enjoy a personalised musical experience. You can even use the Treasure Chest as a speaker by connecting an external music player like a phone or MP3 player, time to put all your favourite Christmas carols on repeat!

You can find the Secret Safe Treasure Chest right now at your local Big W 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.

Nov 042020
 

EK Books

In just a few short weeks this unusual school year will end, which means Hattie is getting ready to leave kindy and become a big school girl. It is going to be quite the change and there’s definitely a mix of nerves and excitement. Time to boost the morale by shopping for some cool new school gear and reading up to prepare. This gorgeous EK Books release tackles those ‘new school’ worries beautifully:

In Go Away, Worry Monster! (RRP $24.99) we meet Archie who experiences a night time visit from an unwanted guest, the Worry Monster… New classrooms, big buildings, tricky maths and a school full of strangers, the Worry Monster knows exactly what’s on Archie’s mind on the eve of a new school year. The more Archie worries, the bigger the monster gets. Archie’s heart is beating fast and his tummy is starting to feel a little queasy; if only the Worry Monster would go away!

After taking a deep breath Archie follows the simple tricks his mum taught him, tackling his worries one by one and replacing them with powerful facts. All of a sudden the monster doesn’t seem so big anymore. Now that all his worries have been squashed the Worry Monster has no choice but to leave. Well done, Archie!

Worry Monsters come in all shapes, sizes and colours, they keep you up at night and make you feel miserable. This sweet picture book takes the scary out of school and the negativity out of nerves, leaving kids feeling strong and empowered to banish their very own Worry Monster. It’s the perfect book for little school starters!

You can find ‘Go Away, Worry Monster!’ by Brooke Graham 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 ‘Go Away, Worry Monster!’ (RRP $24.99) head over to the Hip Little One Facebook page, good luck!

Oct 282020
 

If you are a regular Hip Little One reader you might remember the arrival of the fluttering Myla the Magical Unicorn back in 2018. Fast forward two years and Myla hasn’t lost her sparkle yet, the girls still play with her often and she is a main character in many of their plays. In fact, they’ve recently welcomed some new fairytale friends for even more mystical adventures:

Myla’s Sparkling Friends (RRP $29.95, ages 4+) are the perfect proof that there is no such thing as too much magic, the more the merrier is our motto! The adorable Ava, Mia and Penny may be smaller in size but they are definitely big in entertainment.

With their fluttery wings, sparkling eyes, bushy tails and long flowing mane these colourful creatures come straight out of an enchanted forest. They talk, sing, move and light up making them a wonderful companion for all your fairytale stories. When you touch their mouths or wiggle their wings they’ll chatter away with more than 100 different sentences, songs, melodies and sounds that will truly bring your fantasy forest to life.

Simply press the jewel necklace to select a colour, then touch your new friend’s eyes, horn, wings or tail to see it light up in the most beautiful colours. You can decorate them over and over again, it’s a bit like make-up but without the mess (Yay!). The animal friends even teach you the name of each colour, now that’s smart.

My girls like playing with Myla’s Sparkling Friends in the dark and I have caught them taking their light-up buddy to bed so they can admire the rainbow colours as they go to sleep. While the animals are rigid and cannot be posed, they can actually perform really lifelike movements. If you push their wing or squeeze their leg you will be treated to a wagging tail or flapping wings, adding a lovely dimension to your child’s pretend play.

To help you care for and dress up your sparkling friend some little accessories (eg. a comb, hair clips or coloured charms) are included. We love the fabulous price point and the compact size of Myla’s Sparkling Friends because it means these cute creatures can come along on car trips and sleepovers, check out the sweet carry bag Hattie found for her friend Mia.

Myla’s girl squad currently consists of Ava the Fox, Mia the Unicorn and Penny the Peacock.

You can find Myla’s Sparkling Friends by VTech right now at your local Big W 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.

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.

Bedtime, Daddy! giveaway

 Giveaways, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Bedtime, Daddy! giveaway
Sep 062020
 

EK Books

Happy Father’s Day! Our six children are blessed with a wonderful, amazing, giving dad who loves nothing more than to spend time with them. He makes silly jokes and does funny dances, he plays games and drives them everywhere, he builds LEGO and watches dance shows and I can count on two hands the times he missed the bedtime routine. On this special day of celebration, here’s a sweet bedtime story with a twist from EK Books:

In Bedtime, Daddy! (RRP $24.99) the roles are reversed as we follow the adorable Little Bear who, at the end of a long day, sets off to put his big cuddly Daddy Bear to bed. As good parents know all too well, bedtime routines are tricky and you have do it exactly right…

All the elements of bedtime are there: The delaying, the messy tooth brushing, a story or two or three (but the extra ones a little rushed), the stalling, the strange questions, the mysterious monsters and unquenchable thirst, the open door, the sudden hunger and then that final stretch of waiting around the corner for the breathing to slow down.

This putting people to bed business is surprisingly exhausting! In his final moments of waiting Little Bear is getting pretty tired and his eyes are slowly closing… Thankfully parents tend to outlast their little ones (most days!) and there comes big, strong Daddy Bear to pick up Little Bear and tuck him in for the night.

With its cute illustrations, catchy lines and funny jokes Bedtime, Daddy! makes the perfect bedtime tale for young sleepyheads. Kids just love the familiarity of Daddy Bear’s bedtime antics and my tribe had a good giggle as they recognised their own delaying tactics on each page. What a blessing good dads are, on Father’s Day and every other day.

You can find ‘Bedtime, Daddy!’ 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 Bedtime, Daddy! (RRP $24.99) head over to the Hip Little One Facebook page, good luck!