Hit the road with Mickey

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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.

Sep 112016
 

Penguin

Now that miss Juliet is 6 years old she considers herself quite the lady (Can I have earrings now Mummy?). She has grown so much this last year and is definitely a real schoolgirl, her reading is getting better by the day. A few weeks ago she brought her favourite picture book to school for Show & Tell and proudly read a few lines from this gem by Jen Storer:

Blue, the Builder's Dog

Blue, the Builder’s Dog (RRP $24.99) spends his days at his boss’ construction site, keeping an eye on the building work and offering a helping paw here and there. At work Blue feels pretty special, but at home it’s a different story and it’s weighing him down.

Surely a real builder’s dog deserves a proper kennel to match his job description? Inspired by his day-job Blue decides to construct his very own dream home and the end result is looking pretty pawesome. But then the storm rolls in…

The book’s bright colours and friendly illustrations are sure to appeal to young readers and I think especially little boys will love the construction site setting, the diggers, building tools and hard hats.

To find out more about Blue, the Builder’s Dog by Jen Storer and to order a copy online visit www.penguin.com.au.

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Ready, Set, Go with VTech Toot-Toot Drivers

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Jul 312016
 

Toot-Toot Drivers

When people hear we have four girls they often assume that our house is filled with dolls and other pink stuff. While I admit that we do have quite a lot of pink and purple and have adopted several dolls over the years too, our house most certainly isn’t a no-go zone for cars. If your kids love building tracks, doing construction works and having races as much as our five kids do they are sure to go mad for the latest VTech craze:

VTech 1

Toot-Toot Drivers is a fun, interactive and educational range of cars and playsets created for children aged 1 to 5, in saying that even our almost 8-year olds have been fighting for a turn with these cool wheels. From a garage to an airport and from a parking tower to a service station, there is plenty to see and do in the world of Toot-Toot Drivers.

VTech 2

Designed to be mixed and matched the Toot-Toot Drivers range is a fantastic concept for young families, as they can build, extend, connect, swap, change and grow their collection one piece at a time. The brightly coloured pieces are perfectly sized for small hands so young children can build and play independently and use their imagination to make up their own exciting Toot-Toot adventures.

VTech 3

Let’s be clear, there is much more to Toot-Toot Drivers than just some cars and a track. The colourful electronic vehicles are power packed with lights, sounds, phrases and songs, which are automatically activated when a vehicle passes one of the clever SmartPoints. What a fun way to encourage pre-schoolers to learn while they play and practise their fine motor skills!

Lift & Fix Repair ShopIf your car is in need of a thorough checkup you can drive straight into the brand new Toot-Toot Drivers Lift & Fix Repair Shop (RRP $34.95). This extensive set is fully kitted out with a car wash, a workshop with a real lift and tools to get the job done, one car is included. With the car service done and dusted you can quickly fill up on petrol on the top floor and drive down the ramp to continue your journey.

Toot-Toot Racing RampwayAnother great example of Toot-Toot Drivers’ many different ways of play is the need-for-speed Toot-Toot Drivers Racing Rampway (RRP $24.95). Using the 15 included pieces young race drivers can construct an impressive two-storey stunt track, an extra long raceway or a side-by-side race track (great fun when you are playing with friends). The Racing Rampway comes ready-to-play with a fast Toot-Toot Racer, pop him on the SmartPoint Launcher to test your new track right away.

Toot-Toot Fire TruckPrices start at RRP $11.95 for single vehicles up to RRP $99.95 for the amazing Toot-Toot Drivers Super RC raceway. This affordable pricing allows families to treat their little collector to a new set of wheels, playset or addition for the track on birthdays, special occasions or just a nice surprise every now and then without breaking the budget. Plus it makes it very easy for family and friends to come up with a birthday gift idea too!

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.

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Feb 142016
 

Grimm's

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ll admit that I am not really into the commercial side of Valentine’s Day, surely I don’t need an excuse to shower my special people with a bit of extra love? Even the littlest treasures can celebrate love all year around with this gorgeous find from Honeybee Toys, isn’t it delightful?

Grimm's Heart Blocks

Grimm’s Wooden Heart Blocks ($74, ages 12 months+) are made from smooth non-lacquered wood in bright rainbow colours. These beautiful heart-shaped blocks are an ideal size for little hands and designed for creative building fun.

Grimm's Heart SetStack them, sort them, line them up… it’s all about using your imagination and even the wooden storage ‘box’ can be taken apart to become part of your unique sculpture. This lovely Grimm’s building set is a wonderful fine motor skills exercise and would make a great timeless gift for young builders. I think it would look fabulous on display in a baby’s nursery, kids playroom or classroom too.

To find out more about Honeybee Toys, to browse the Grimm’s range and to order online visit www.honeybeetoys.com.au.

Geomag

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Sep 252015
 

Geomag

One of the comments that keeps coming up during our parent-teacher interviews is that our children are very creative, they just love ‘making’ things and come up with the most interesting designs. It is so much fun to see their little brains work and watch their hands turn their plans into something unique and amazing. Construction toys are therefore a big favourite in our house and as soon I spotted Geomag I knew the kids would enjoy the challenge:

Geomag

Geomag is a Swiss designed construction toy range that uses the timeless fun of magnets to open a whole new world of building opportunities. The range is suitable for ages 3+ and consists of lots of different designs, shapes, colours (yes, even pink and glitter!) and accessories that are sure to appeal to creative minds of all ages.

Geomag PanelsWe started our Geomag journey with Geomag Panels, a collection that combines the magnetic fun of Geomag Classic with brightly coloured panels in basic shapes. To help you on your way the back of box shows a selection of projects you can make with the contents of that box, but obviously the sky is the limit and you can use your imagination to build your very own creations too.

With the school holidays around the corner Geomag will be a fabulous boredom buster and of course you can use and reuse the pieces over and over again or combine different sets. Our 7-year old twins have recently been exploring the world of geometry at school and how much more exciting than seeing shapes on boring paper is bringing them to life by building them yourself!

Geomag Panels Diamond

This is a fabulous example of why Geomag is not just a toy, it’s an excellent educational tool too and a great exercise for fine motor skills. The Geomag ‘Magic Rocker’ is one of those quick, simple but fun projects that teaches kids the basic of magnetism, our 5-year old thought it was amazing and wanted to build it over and over again.

Geomag Panels House

Geomag Panels are available in five different sets and prices start at a very affordable RRP $20.

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

Jul 182014
 

New Black Press

Huggable teddies, soft bunnies, cute dollies and gorgeous babies, when it comes to bedtime stories the majority of children’s books is rather squishy and girly. Time for the excavator to come through and mix things up a little with this cool bedtime tale for adventurous boys and girls:

Sleep tight Digger Dan!

If your little one is crazy about diggers, cranes and dump trucks he is sure to love Sleep tight, Digger Dan!, a goodnight story from the construction site. The guests at Digger Day Care have a busy day ahead of them, there is sand to be compacted, holes to be dug, stuff to be moved and loads to be transported, I wonder what they are making?

Sleep tight Digger Dan Pages

All that riding around on the construction site is hard work when you’re a miniature vehicle; a yawn here, some rubbing in the eyes there, it’s time for a well deserved rest. Goodnight Crane Carley, sweet dreams Clive the Compactor, have a nice rest Leo the Wheel Loader and sleep tight Digger Dan! A gorgeous bedtime story with fantastic illustrations that will no doubt be a huge hit with young transport lovers all across Australia.

Right now Hip Little One readers enjoy FREE shipping Australia wide on their Sleep Tight, Digger Dan order, simply enter the code ‘HIPFREESHIP’ at checkout. Offer ends August 31, 2014.

To find out more about Sleep tight, Digger Dan! ($16.95) by Dorte Horn and Philipp Stampe, published by New Black Press, to take a look inside the book and to order your copy online visit www.sleeptightdiggerdan.com.au.

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