Apr 122021
 

Smiggle

Term 1, done and dusted! Four of my students have settled in beautifully this year but the last little one is not so keen on this whole school business. We are trying our very best to change her mind and have been showering her with special treats and fun rewards, after all who doesn’t love a trip to Smiggle with her sister-squad?

Smiggle is home to a kaleidoscope of colours, pretty prints and funky finds, basically everything my girls could wish for. As a busy mum of six I love being able to find all I need in one place and Smiggle is cool, quick and the ultimate one-stop-shop for school gear, it’s a win for everyone! Here are some of the treasures my girls have collected:

Writing out your spelling words is suddenly a lot more interesting when you have a pretty notebook to write them in and Miss 8 has discovered her wild side with the Galaxy Notebook and Markers (RRP $24.95). This animal print spiral A5 notebook comes with a handy attached pencil case and 6 coloured fine-tip markers, the all-in-one homework solution. Now here’s to seeing more green ticks and less red crosses!

Miss 10 joined the jungle gang with the matching Galaxy Twin Zip Pencil Case (RRP $22.95), a spacious zip-up pencil case with loads of room for all her writing must-haves. With all her markers, pencils, pens and erasers within reach she is ready for lots more story writing, she is definitely the one with the wildest imagination! The black is a bit more grown-up and was popular with miss 12 too who scored the Galaxy Drink Bottle for this season.

With all the stress that comes with going to school, night time has become a challenge for our little Hattie. Audio books (and LeapStory) have been a real sanity saver for us and she loves snuggling up in a cosy corner to listen to her favourite stories with her own Smiggle Foldable Headphones (RRP $29.95) on. Her lovely mint green headphones have soft ear pads and an adjustable headband, so they can be made to fit her small head perfectly (just!). Peace of mind for parents: These headphones have a limited volume to protect young ears.

As always, just when you’re on your way to the shop counter you spot all those gorgeous pens, pencils and novelty erasers… we can never resist adding a few more stationery must-haves to our shopping basket! We have a soft spot for things with lovely scents and Smiggle has never let us down with all their fragrant options. This Unicorn Universe Scented Eraser (RRP $3.95) is rather sweet and at less than a fiver they’re the cutest little add-on for a birthday gift.

If your fussy tween is feeling too old for busy prints and patterns do not fear, Smiggle Sorbets is here to save the day (I told you you can find everything you need in one place!). These classy backpacks are plain in colour but full of personality, offering all the handy features of the famous Smiggle backpacks in timeless pastel colours for the girls and neat navy and grey options for the boys. The Sorbets backpack is available in three different sizes/styles (RRP $42.95 – $64.95) to suit every occasion. We’ve put them to the test and we’re giving them the thumbs up!

To find out more about Smiggle, to locate a Smiggle store near you or to order online visit www.smiggle.com.au.

Apr 112021
 

They say good things are worth waiting for and the extra long wait is finally over! Now that COVID is ‘under control’ the red velvet curtains of Silvers Circus can reopen at last to reveal a fabulous circus treat that is sure to capture the hearts of young and old:

Showtime Attractions and Silvers Circus have joined forces to bring to Australia an exciting show filled with entertainment for the whole family, meet Sesame Street Circus Spectacular! Get ready to see Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and all your favourite Sesame Street characters like you have never seen them before.

Together with a range of talented circus performers from around the world they will treat the audience to a unique, authentic Sesame Street experience in a heartwarming 90-minute big top spectacular. Little fans will love watching their Sesame Street heroes, recognising their voices and seeing their personalities shine through in the different elements of this brilliant production.

To start the school holidays in style we took our tribe of kids to see the Sesame Street Circus Spectacular last night and it was a huge hit with the whole family! The little ones absolutely loved seeing Elmo and Abby Cadabby while the Wonder Dogs were a big favourite with all. The cheeky puppy who didn’t follow the rules had everyone giggling and when I asked the kids afterwards they said he was the star of the show.

The older kids were super impressed by Gypsy’s Hula Hoops (Did you know she can hula hoop with 80 hoops at once?) and sat on the edge of their seat watching the Globe Riders roar around the The Globe of Death on their motorbikes. One of our girls was so worried about their safety she burst out in tears, she was very relieved to see them drive away in one piece at the end of this heart-racing performance.

From the moment you arrive at the circus location you are truly stepping into the colourful world of Sesame Street. Before you even enter the big top you’ll spot Sesame Street themed cars and food vans, kids can enjoy a jump on a Sesame Street bouncy castle and you can even pose for a photo with hungry Cookie Monster or loveable Big Bird before/after the show!

The combination of Sesame Street’s friendly and familiar characters and Silvers’ talented performers is a winning mix, resulting in an engaging family experience that is inviting, interactive and captivating for everyone. From our cheeky 3-year old to our cool 12-year tweens, they all had a fantastic evening out. To treasure this great memory we brought home the Souvenir Programme and I know they can’t wait to take it to school and tell their class mates all about it.

As this amazing production travels around Australia the Sesame Street Circus Spectacular has put up its stripey tent in Adelaide’s Bonython Park until May 2, 2021 after which they will continue down south to Noarlunga. Perfect timing for the school holidays if you ask me! If you want to be guaranteed a slice of the Sesame Street fun be quick and secure your favourite seats through Ticketmaster, tickets for other locations will be added as they become available.

To find out more about Sesame Street Circus Spectacular, to take a closer look at the tour schedule and to book your tickets online visit www.sesamestreetcircus.com.au.

Thanks to our generous friends at Sesame Street Circus Spectacular one lucky family will win 4 Sesame Street Circus Spectacular tickets to enjoy the show at Bonython Park, Adelaide on Friday April 16, 2021 at 6.30pm. For your chance to win hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page, good luck!

LeapStart 3D: Simba’s Surprise

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on LeapStart 3D: Simba’s Surprise
Dec 242020
 

When you have a big family like ours, storage space is always hard to find especially when it comes to toys. Ahead of the festive season I always give our playroom a thorough clean-out, sorting all the toys in the right boxes, donating older toys they’ve grown out of to our local op-shop or church and throwing away any broken bits and pieces. The kids love rediscovering everything they already own and I like the fresh start before new gifts arrive.

Another space-saving trick is to build on collections/brands you already have, it is often cheaper to buy new additions than to start a whole new collection and it is much easier for kids to put away their toys when there are less boxes/tubs. With this theory in mind we recently expanded our LeapStart 3D library with a fun new title for Ted and Hattie to explore, being compatible with the LeapStart 3D Learning System we already own there is no expensive outlay so it’s a super affordable gift AND takes up next to no space. Everyone’s happy!

If you are a longtime reader you will probably remember all about LeapStart 3D, but just in case you missed it you can check this clever learning system out here. The LeapStart 3D Library consists of many different titles that focus on specific learning skills and interests and new books are always in the making. One of the latest releases is Simba’s Surprise (RRP $19.95, ages 2-5), a cute storybook for preschoolers filled with interactive fun. Let’s go on a journey in the jungle with Simba the Lion King, Timon and of course the oh-so-funny Pumbaa.

To transform your LeapStart 3D book from an ordinary book into an interactive 3D adventure, simply open the LeapStart unit, click your book into place and turn the device on. The device will automatically recognise your book when you touch it with the smart stylus and guide you through downloading the audio for you new book (PC with internet connection required). While the main part of Simba’s Surprise is (of course) the story of Simba who wants to treat his friends to special gift, there is actually a lot more hiding on each page than ‘just’ words…

The stylus can be used to hear the story read out loud (allowing learning readers to read along with the words) but also to activate games, puzzles. challenges, hints and eye-catching animations that show up on the unique LeapStart 3D flip screen. Just touch anywhere on the page and see what happens! What do Ted and Hattie love most about Simba’s Surprise? They enjoyed playing the Animal Matching game (spotting body parts and connecting them them to the right animal owner), they liked watching Timon tickle Pumbaa with a feather and they thought Timon and Pumbaa stuffing their faces with scrumptious bugs and creepy crawlies was very funny. As a bonus the book also includes a page of free The Lion King stickers, nice treat!

Hip Tip: If you happen to own the original LeapStart System instead you can still enjoy all the fun the new titles have to offer (except for the 3D experience). Just another way LeapFrog cares for families and their budgets.

You can find the LeapStart 3D Library at your local Big W and other good toy stores across Australia or online at selected retailers.

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

Go Away, Worry Monster! giveaway

 Giveaways, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Go Away, Worry Monster! giveaway
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!

Around the world with SmartGlobe

 Sales & Savings, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Around the world with SmartGlobe
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.

Bedtime, Daddy! giveaway

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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!

‘There’s a Zoo in my Poo’ giveaway

 Eco, Giveaways, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on ‘There’s a Zoo in my Poo’ giveaway
Sep 052020
 

Pan Macmillan Australia

Gut health, good bacteria, microbiome, digestive system… every day we hear about these things on TV, in catalogues and on product packaging and we are constantly reminded of how important our gut it is for our general wellbeing. Of course the same goes for our children’s health, but those are pretty big words for kids to understand! Before you throw this one in the ‘too hard basket’, check out this fantastic book by Pan Macmillan Australia:

As an international expert in Nutritional Psychiatry and gut health, professor Felice Jacka is your go-to girl for all your tricky gut questions. Felice has teamed up with clever teacher, musician and illustrator Rob Craw to create There’s a Zoo in my Poo (RRP $24.99): a funny, easy to understand book that teaches children all about gut health.

If you thought gut health was boring, think again! Felice Jacka has managed to make it both educational and very entertaining by inviting kids to become zookeepers of their very own internal zoo. Learn about good bugs and bad bugs, where they live and what they do, follow the poo-train down its track, discover the secret messages hidden in your poo, see why dirt is awesome, find out what to feed your zoo creatures to make them strong (and what to avoid), try out zoo-friendly recipes and become an expert zookeeper!

Of course the word ‘poo’ is bound to make kids smile and there’s plenty of poo-fun in this book! We love the jokes, the rhymes and let’s not forget the gorgeous illustrations by Rob Craw which put a cool face to all these zoo bugs. All jokes aside, There’s a Zoo in my Poo is a wonderful combination of laughing and learning and it is sure to leave them with some valuable knowledge for a healthy future.

To find out more about Pan Macmillan, to take a closer look at ‘There’s a Zoo in my Poo’ by Felice Jacka and to order your favourite titles online visit www.panmacmillan.com.au.

For your chance to win a copy of ‘There’s a Zoo in my Poo’ (RRP $24.99) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter. Good luck!