Resoftables: Cuddles with a conscience

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Jun 152020
 

While the last few months have definitely not been easy, they have also taught people all over the world some valuable lessons. I have heard so many inspiring stories from people who soaked up this precious time with their loved ones, acquired new skills, reshaped their goals for the future, became more self-sufficient, discovered a love for nature and decided to make better choices for themselves and their families. If you would like to recycle, reuse, repurpose or refurbish more you are guaranteed to adore Resoftables:

Looking at how quickly our household plastic waste adds up each week, I am not surprised to hear that the world produces more than 275 million tonnes of plastic waste every single year. It is impossible to comprehend how much that really is, but it is roughly the body weight of a herd of 55 MILLION elephants!

We can all do our share: By sorting our household waste in the correct bins, donating unwanted goods and upcycling/recycling where possible, avoiding single-use items, bringing our own shopping bags and of course by consciously buying recycled products in store. Thanks to HeadStart now even the youngest family members can do their part, meet the Resoftables.

Not only are Resoftables hailed as the world’s softest plush, they are also made using 100% household plastic waste so they’re a safe and responsible choice for your children and the environment. Each adorable Resoftables toy (14″, ages 0+) is made from approximately 11 recycled plastic bottles, how cool is that? Next time you recycle your empty plastic bottle, your ‘rubbish’ might just turn into someone else’s Resoftable.

There are currently five different Resoftables to choose from: Bobo the Bunny, Sparkles the Unicorn, Snowie the Polar Bear, Kiki the Koala and Ted the Teddy Bear (a perfect match for our 2-year old Ted). You can find your favourite Resoftables toy at your local Kmart or Big W store. Bring on the cuddles!

To find out more about Resoftables by HeadStart and to take a closer look at the range visit www.resoftables.com.

Welcome to the family, Little Bubba

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Mar 022020
 

Over the past few months Ted has fast turned into a cheeky, independent toddler, which means his sisters can no longer treat him like their little baby. He won’t sit still, he doesn’t want to be dressed up and most definitely doesn’t want anyone to help him at mealtime. Thankfully the girls are very content with the closest thing to a real baby brother or sister: Meet Little Bubba by HeadStart!

We all know that newborns come in different sizes and so does Little Bubba: Whether you prefer a tiny 38cm baby girl, a cute 40cm doll or a huggable 42cm bundle of joy, there is a wonderful baby waiting for you. Each size has its own unique features, outfit and special skills making every new addition special in its own way. Young parents-to-be are guaranteed to instantly fall in love with Little Bubba’s lifelike appearance, realistic sounds and interactive functions.

Let’s start with the smallest of the girls, a cuddly little lady in a sweet pink jumpsuit. During her awake time My Interactive Baby (Ages, 3+, 15″) likes to suck her dummy or pretend to drink from her bottle (she even moves her mouth and makes drinking sounds) and when you tickle her soft tummy she giggles. Like all babies she does cry sometimes but none of that matters when you hear her say ‘mama’. Come nap time she will close her eyes and peacefully suck her thumb, isn’t she a perfect baby?

Up next is My Real Baby ‘Magic Potty’ (Ages 3+, 16″), a summer baby with a bird print onesie and a matching hat. Unlike her softer, smaller buddy this quiet, content baby has a plastic tummy with arms and legs than can be posed, quite important when it comes to potty time! Once your baby has eaten her meal and finished her bottle of water she can actually use the potty and do a wee, after all you are never too young to start toilet training. With a push of the button the interactive potty will be rinsed and you can put your baby’s nappy back on, time to lay her down so she can close her eyes and have a snooze.

Last but not least, say hello to My Ultimate Interactive Baby (Ages 3+, 16,5″). With 12 impressive functions this delightful baby is sure to delight any new mum or dad. Gurgles and giggles, sad sobs, sweet snores, thirsty drinking or a first ‘mama’, this baby is full of interesting sounds. She can move her mouth to drink from her bottle and wee on the pink potty afterwards. You can also move her arms and legs so can she can sit on your lap, use a high chair or sit in pram just like a real baby (don’t forget to attach her dummy chain so she doesn’t lose her pacifier). We love it when she blinks her beautiful blue eyes, we think she is adorable!

To make the parenting experience extra realistic all Little Bubba dolls come with a range of must-have baby accessories like a dummy, a refillable drink bottle, a baby potty, a nappy, a dummy chain, a beanie, socks and even mealtime utensils (accessories vary per design). Go on, pick your favourite girl, decide on a name and get to know your new family member!

To find out more about HeadStart, to take a closer look at the Little Bubba range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.headstartint.com.

Do the Dino Dance

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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.

Bop to the Beat with Mixmaster Scout

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Aug 312019
 

As you can probably imagine a busy home like ours is never quiet. As if six children don’t make enough sound, chatter and noise just yet we also have a piano (the four older kids get lessons at home) and three of them are learning the violin too! He may be the smallest of the family but Ted sure enjoys adding his fair share of volume so this musical LeapFrog toy comes in real handy:

The Learn & Groove Mixmaster Scout (RRP $34.95, ages 12-36 months) is the cutest toddler turntable you have ever seen. Future DJs can bop to the beat as they join puppy pal Scout to create their own unique tunes using a range of instruments, rhythms, sounds and background tracks. With colourful buttons to press, switches to flick, wheels to spin and lights to flash the Mixmaster instantly takes your little musician from cot to club.

I’ll admit, at this stage it looks like Ted is mainly out to make as much noise as possible but there is more to Mixmaster Scout than meets the eye. Not only is mixing your own music secretly a fabulous fine-motor skills exercise for chubby toddler hands, kids are also getting a fun and funky introduction to numbers, colours and instruments and learn to sing along to the catchy ABC song and other melodies.

As kids get older they come to understand the cause and effect principle and learn what the different buttons, switches and play modes (alphabet, numbers and colours) do and the sounds they make, giving them more control over their personal toddler tracks. You’re never too young to become a musician, so get those hands clapping and toes tapping with Mixmaster Scout.

The LeapFrog Learn & Groove Mixmaster Scout is now available from Big W, good toy stores across Australia and online.

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

Surprise in a Bottle: Baby Secrets

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Aug 032019
 

Now that she is turning 4 our miss Hattie is turning into quite the little helper. She attempts to feed Ted breakfast, brushes his hair, puts on his favourite songs and is always the first one to helpfully report a possible ‘nappy situation’… if I let her she would even try to change his nappy too! To be on the safe side I do the real nappy checks while she takes care of her own baby’s messy business:

The adorable new Baby Secrets Bottle Surprise (Ages 4+) collection has taken the gender reveal fun of the original Baby Secrets range and turned it into a great miniature baby play set that young parents-to-be are guaranteed to love.

As the name suggests the Baby Secrets Bottle Surprise is shaped like a large pink and aqua blue baby bottle. When you open the bottle door you are greeted by the cutest Surprise Baby in its own little nursery. On the flip side of the nursery you’ll find a baby bottle for your hungry friend and a teeny potty, because everyone needs a toilet break sometimes.

To reveal your baby’s gender simply fill the included bottle with icy cold water, feed your little one and check the inside of its nappy where a pink or blue star will appear, how cute is that? When you remove the nappy, pop your baby on the potty and give it another drink you can even spot a number 1 or 2 in the potty, if only toilet training was that easy in real life!

Measuring ca. 9cm tall the new Baby Secrets characters are larger in size than the original babies, they have arms and legs that can be posed so you can sit your baby down or stand it up independently. You can click both the baby and its bottle securely into the storage bottle to keep the pieces safe and the bottle play set is an ideal size for car trips and back packs. (I know shaking your baby is not usually recommended but in this case it’s a must to prevent leftover water from staying inside)

There are currently six adorable Bottle Surprise babies to collect and one of my lucky ducks already adopted the shimmery sparkle edition so we’re off on a good start. A Rollerskater Baby, a Chef Baby, a College Baby… you never know who will be waiting for you!

You can find the Baby Secrets ‘Bottle Surprise’ range right now at Mr. Toys and Catch.com.au and it’ll soon make its way into Big W stores across Australia and online too.

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

Table for Two

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Jul 222019
 

With all this wind and rain it may not be the nicest weather for outdoor meals right now, but my little bunch is having just as much fun with an indoor picnic. And for once no one is complaining about who is setting the table either with this gorgeous little set by LeapFrog:

After four girls we had gathered quite the collection of pink tea seats, but a boy needs to eat too! With its cheerful yellow and green colours the LeapFrog Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket (RRP $34.95, ages 6 months+) is a perfect pick for our little man Ted and he carries his private lunch everywhere, it is adorable. Every now and then an older sibling is lucky enough to be invited which works out well because there is enough to set a table for two.

This cute picnic set up is your perfect pretend-play companion. The colourful basket comes with everything you need for a delicious meal: 2 cups, 2 forks, 2 shape sorting plates, 2x 4 yummy snacks and even a traditional checkered table cloth to dine in style. Made with small hands and developing fine motor skills in mind the pieces are large in size with neat rounded corners for safe play.

But little tummies are not the only thing growing, curious minds are growing with every bite as well. The interactive basket adds a whole new dimension to your picnic party. In ‘Shapes & Colours’ mode kids learn about the shape and colours of the different foods and they can test their matching skills by putting the correct piece through the shape sorting lid. The talking lid even recognises and tells you which shape, colour and food you are packing, so smart!

This chatty picnic pal loves testing you on your new found knowledge in Picnic Time mode. Learn to listen carefully and if you find the right piece you get rewarded with praise and gratitude eg. May I please have a biscuit? Perfect! Please give me a snack shaped like a circle. Exactly what I wanted. This is a lovely playful way to encourage beautiful table manners in little tots. Last but not least, turn on ‘Music’ mode for a range of happy tunes and catchy sing-along songs that make the perfect background music to your meal.

The Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket is available in pink and yellow and you can find it at Big W, Target, good toy stores and online retailers across Australia.

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

Taking Off with VTech

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Jun 132019
 

At almost two our boy Ted is quite the busy bee, he never sits still (day or night!) and is always exploring and getting up to mischief. He may not be a keen talker but he loves copying sounds and songs so I am not surprised this awesome new VTech Baby toy was an instant hit:

This colourful VTech Push & Spin Helicopter (RRP $19.95, ages 9-36 months) instantly caught Ted’s eye and it’s been a great entertainer for the last few weeks. The big round buttons and chunky shapes are ideal for his chubby little hands and he is forever driving it across the hallway or flying it through the air. It can even roll all by itself if you successfully press the rotor blade on top of the helicopter, a skill Ted is proud to have mastered.

With 3 catchy songs, 10 melodies and a range of sounds and sentences the Push & Spin Helicopter is definitely encouraging Ted to find his voice and chat along. Good to know: Because VTech knows even the most patient mums are sometimes desperate for some peace and quiet there are two different volume levels or you can turn the sound of completely.

By pushing the buttons on the side little explorers can trigger the light-up window and enjoy a first introduction to colours (green and blue), animals (dog and bear), letters (ABC) and numbers (123) so there is both laughing and learning going on at the same time; double win!

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.