All aboard the Playtime Bus

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Jun 282020
 

VTech

As a mum of 2 boys and 4 girls I love seeing how our two sons are alike in many ways. Our oldest son Tommie (now nearly 12) was extremely interested in learning his letters when he was just a toddler and he still an avid reader now. He loved ABC puzzles, wipe off letter boards and any toy that would sound out the alphabet and the individual letter sounds. Five siblings and ten years later our boy Ted (2) is obsessed with the alphabet too so I had no doubt this cool VTech ride would get his (brain) wheels turning:

If your little learner is crazy about everything that moves the Playtime Bus with Phonics (RRP $34.95, ages 2-5), with its bright colours, realistic traffic sounds and push along handle, is guaranteed to be a huge hit. Initially there may just be lots of laps around the house, but there is plenty more to discover along the way…

Ted’s eyes instantly lit up when he spotted all the buttons on his new Playtime Bus. With more than 40 buttons to press, four different modes of play (Phonics, Numbers, Music Station and Challenge Time) and a door that opens and closes there is certainly no time for sitting still. All together this fabulous vehicle offers more than 100 interactive curriculum questions and 30+ melodies, songs and sounds so it really is jam-packed with learning fun.

On the top of the bus you find 4 chunky buttons to control the engine sound, horn, brakes and the intercom telling you where the bus is heading next (The next stop is the zoo) accompanied by a catchy song. By opening the door you can learn to count by counting the number of children get off the bus. Three happy passengers have a window seat and share easy-to-understand sentences about their trip when you press their picture, eg ‘A green light means go’, ‘Always wear your seatbelt in the car’ and ‘I sit with my best friend on the bus’.

The main reason the Playtime Bus caught our eye was because it teaches children all 26 letters of the alphabet, as well as the number 1-10. Simply press one of the coloured letters to hear the letter, the letter sound and an easy everyday word that starts with that particular letter. It even distinguishes between vowels (blue) and consonants (yellow), which you don’t see that often in pre-schooler toys!

Of course Ted is only just starting to practice his ABCs, but once he’s a bit more confident he can test his knowledge with a fun question and answer game in Challenge Time mode, eg. Which letter sound does elephant start with? Can you find the letter C? Let’s count how many children get on the bus!

As a mother one of the things I love is that VTech understands that praise and encouragement is a great motivator, therefor this clever bus is full of positive affirmations eg. Great job! Terrific! If kids get it wrong there is no harm done either (Nice try, let’s try again) and they’ll be keen to give things another go. Are you ready to hop on the VTech Playtime Bus?

You can find the Playtime Bus with Phonics right now at your local Big W store and soon at 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.

To the rescue with LeapFrog

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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.

Ready, Set, Go with Turbo Force Racers

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Oct 112019
 

And that’s a wrap, two weeks of school holidays gone in a flash! Aside from a week with sick kids we had a lovely time soaking up the sunshine and enjoyed lots of playdates, the fuller the house the better. Thanks to a long overdue playroom-makeover the kids had plenty of room and new (or rediscovered) toys to keep them busy. The extra floor space has come in real handy for Tommie’s newest set of wheels:

Turbo Force Racers (RRP $29.95, ages 4-10) are the ultimate combination of portable power, cool cars and R/C rides. Simply use the adjustable strap to secure your Turbo Force Racer around your wrist and you’ll always have your dream ride within hand’s reach!

The Turbo Force Racer vehicles may be compact in size, but they are big in performance and super portable. The key to this motor magic is in the special wristband: Not only does it provide safe car storage/transport AND charges the vehicle, it is also the remote control that will make your car perform the coolest tricks and cross the finish line. We love that you can take your car everywhere and charge it ‘on the go’ too, it’s perfect for holiday trips!

On the wristband you’ll find your six direction arrows as well as three other buttons: Talk, Sound and Turbo. The music and sound buttons will play controller-car chats and background music to which the vehicle will respond. Before you can activate the Turbo button you will need to shake your wrist band repeatedly to build up your boost, the controller will tell you when your Turbo Boost is ready to use.

To recharge your Turbo Force Racer for the next speed session simply pop the car back on the Turbo Station wristband, as soon as the lights stop flashing you’re fully charged and good to go. Did you know you can even race two Turbo Force Racers against each other? Just make sure each of the vehicles is tuned to its own channel using the channel switch to avoid channel confusion. May the fastest sibling driver/friend driver win!

Hip Tip: If you think you’ve got what it takes, put your racing skills to the test on the loops, ramps and jumps of the Turbo Force Racers Race Track (RRP $89.95, sold separately).

Turbo Force Racers are available in blue, red, green and yellow and you can find them at Big W, select online stores and good independent toy retailers across Australia.

To find out more about Turbo Force Racers, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.vtech.com.au.

Micro Motorz giveaway

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Jul 012019
 

When it comes to collectibles it’s generally our girls who join the latest trends, with our boy(s) twiddling their thumbs on the sideline. As fun as tiny dolls, cute kittens and sweet squishies may be, master 10 is a bit too cool for all those gorgeous goodies. You can imagine his excitement when I finally stumbled upon this rad racing range from Jasnor:

Micro Motorz (RRP $12.95, ages 3-8) are the newest collective trend and all the boys (and girls too) are bound to go gaga for it! These miniature cars are small in size but big in action, combining building with collecting and even competiting for multiple layers of fun.

Each Micro Motorz pack consists of three connected packs: Pack one holds the tuning tool while pack two contains a car accessory (engine/spoiler) and a launching plate. Saving the best for last pack three will unveil your lucky Micro Motorz ride in a neat launcher/display box.

I absolutely love the fact that Micro Motorz are a real hands-on toy. First car crazy kids are required to use their brains and exercise their fine motor skills when building their launcher. Once the construction is complete you can shoot your Micro Motorz vehicle at lightning speed or even hold a race with multiple vehicles. Why not get your friends together and see who crosses the finish line first!

Are you driving for team Speed Demonz, Hot Rodz, Nitro Chargerz or Monster Treadz? With 21 awesome cars to collect across the four different teams there is plenty of collecting to be done in Micro Motorz Series One. Will you complete your team, unwrap rivals or discover an ultra rare set of wheels? You never know what you will find, each Micro Motorz blind pack brings a new surprise. Keen fans can proudly store and show off each car in its own handy launcher turned display case, they even click together to create a cool stack display!

You can find Micro Motorz at Big W store, Toyworld, Toy Mate, Kidstuff, NewsXpress and other leading independent toy stores across Australia.

To find out more about Jason, to take a closer look at Micro Motorz and to locate a stockist near you visit www.jasnor.com.au.

For your chance to win a Micro Motorz prize pack (RRP $51.80, consists of 4 randomly selected Micro Motorz) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter. Good luck!

Dec 092018
 

As the world goes quiet and everyone finally closes their eyes at the end of a long day three brave adventurers come out to play. When Connor, Amaya and Greg put on their pyjamas they turn into real night times heroes Catboy, Owlette and Gekko, meet PJ Masks:

Catboy is the leader of the pack, he is fast, agile and has amazing hearing. Owlette is an excellent planner and has fantastic flying skills, her Owl Glider takes her high above everything. Gekko may be the youngest of the trio but he is strong, sticky and a real camouflage hero. Together they save the day and your little PJ Masks fan can come along for the ride…

The PJ Masks Catboy Cat-Car Ride On (RRP $59.95, ages 1+) is a fun scooting mobile designed to look just like Catboy’s car: blue, fast and the perfect transport for heroes in pyjamas. The iconic Catboy shield shaped handle bar features two buttons that activate lights and fun sound effects. The amazing Catboy leaps to the rescue!

When you peek inside the transparent windshield you will see that all three PJ Masks heroes are on board of the Cat-Car, Catboy is in the driver’s seat and right behind him Owlette and Gekko are waiting for their next adventure to begin. Will you be the driver of the getaway car? Hop in the comfortable seat and play the PJ Masks theme song as you take off! The ride-on features extra wide wheels to ensure great stability for young drivers.

You can find the PJ Masks Catboy Cat-Car Ride On at your local Big W store or online at www.bigw.com.au.

To find out more about PJ Masks, to meet the characters and to discover loads of fun PJ Masks activities visit www.pjmasks.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 2 PJ Masks Catboy Cat-Car Ride Ons (RRP $59.95) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter:

Hit the road with Mickey

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Hit the road with Mickey
Nov 112018
 

Toot-Toot Drivers

When you have a large family like ours you quickly end up with lots of toys and a lack of space. Birthdays, Sinterklaas, Christmas… every year our toy collection grows so I am trying to choose wisely when it comes to new additions. One of my top tips is to expand what you have instead of starting with a new range, not only does it keep your play area easier to organise but just one or two small add-ons open up lots of new possibilities.

Our basket of Toot-Toot Drivers is always super popular, so for Ted and Hattie’s birthday we added some fabulous new pieces that can be used on their own but also in combination with the styles we already had; a perfect way to keep the kids busy and creative. They love anything with wheels and of course they adore Mickey Mouse!

With three possible track configurations the Toot-Toot Drivers Mickey’s Happy House (RRP $34.95, ages 1-3) playset guarantees lots of race track fun for little builders. They can send Mickey Mouse down the slide in his convertible, build a double ramp and even set up a competition with one of Mickey’s friends, who will be the first to cross the finish line? The brightly coloured plastic pieces are the perfect size for small hands and easy to click in place, helping toddlers to develop important fine motor skills.

Like all the other Toot-Toot Drivers toys we already have these new Disney designs are fitted with special SmartPoints. When Toot-Toot Drivers vehicles drive past these clever spots children are rewarded with a phrases, songs, sound effects and melodies to encourage pretend play and introduce music and language to curious tots.

The entire Toot-Toot Drivers range is designed to work together, so you can combine different play sets and vehicles for even more fun! Fire stations, garages, airports, space station and much more, Toot-Toot Drivers has all your construction dreams covered. We still have the gorgeous Minnie’s Ice Cream Parlour (the pink ice-cream truck is just the best and the parlour even has a shape sorter) and Mickey’s Magical Wonderland (complete with Ferris Wheel) on our Christmas wishlist so if you happen to spot them on sale somewhere please do let me know!

Priced at just $13.95 the new Toot-Toot Drivers Disney vehicles (ages 1-3) are a fantastic stocking filler for young Toot-Toot Drivers collectors. Mickey and his friends talk (with real character voices), sing songs and teach sounds and their vehicles have headlights that really work! Would you like to hop into Goofy’s Tow Truck, hit the road in Donald’s Off-Roader or join the lovely Daisy and Minnie for a ride in their cute convertibles? There are currently six Disney vehicles to choose from and each triggers different responses when passing SmartPoint locations.

Hip Tip: The Toot-Toot Drivers cars are fun off the track too. They are an ideal size for handbags and nappy bags and offer entertainment for long holiday trips, visits to grandma or a doctor’s waiting room.

VTech toys are available at major department stores and independent toy retailers across Australia.

To find out more about VTech, to browse the Toot-Toot Drivers range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.vtech.com.au.

Apr 042017
 

ergopouch

It may only be early April but it looks like Autumn has officially arrived here in South Australia. We’ve already had quite a few cold, dark and rainy days and it’s getting a little harder to get out of bed in the mornings. To be honest as a foreigner I am always glad when the cooler season sets in and I can’t wait to rug up for Winter and get a nice woodfire going.

As the nights get chillier it is important to adjust your child’s sleepwear accordingly, to ensure your little one is comfortable and warm all night long. No matter what climate, ergoPouch has you covered and the latest Autumn/Winter arrivals are an absolute treat.

The now famous ergoPouch Sleep Suit Bag (1-3.5 TOG, RRP $74.95-$84.95) is a hot favourite all throughout the year with stylish sleepyheads from 2 months all the way up to 6 years old rocking this genius design. The clever two-in-one sleep bag suit converts from a traditional sleeping bag to a handy sleep suit in only a few quick zips, it doesn’t get easier or quicker than that.

Especially for the upcoming cool season ergoPouch has just released some super cosy 3.5 TOG Sleep Suit Bags in four gorgeous prints to suit boys and girls. Featuring a luxurious organic cotton sheeting outer layer, warm 100% cotton filling and long cotton fleece sleeves children can sleep comfortably without need for loose bedding that could pose a potential safety risk.

It is clear that the ergoPouch Sleep Suit Bag has been designed with real children and real parents in mind, it comes packed with small and big details that will make life easier for everyone. From no-slip grip pads on the feet to fold over mittens to keep little hands warm (and prevent scratching), from stretchy side-panels to allow plenty of movement to covered zippers, from being suitable for pram, car and baby carrier to easy nappy change access, this well engineered product ticks all the boxes.

Not sure which ergPouch product/TOG rating is right for you? Use the handy ergoPouch Finder to find the best match for your child and his/her sleeping environment, easy as pie.

Hip tip: Sign up for the FREE ergoPouch newsletter to stay up-to-date with all the latest news and exciting arrivals and receive 10% discount on your first order.

To find out more ergoPouch, to locate a stockist near you or to order online visit www.ergopouch.com.au.

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