DigiArt Creative Easel, a stroke of genius

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Jun 302018
 

VTech

Well, the kids have just finished their first full week at the new school and everyone seems to be settling in just fine. There are still some tears from miss Sybbie in the morning (just like at the old school) but five minutes later she is happy and smiling and she is showing some great improvement in her reading and writing already, she is even keen to try more at home. She’s been having lots of fun testing her new writing skills on Hattie’s new easel from the clever toy makers at VTech:

The 3-in-1 VTech DigiArt Creative Easel (RRP $89.95, whiteboard, blackboard and drawing table) is a fabulous interactive design that comes jam-packed with awesome features. There are many different ways to use and enjoy the DigiArt Easel, keeping it fun and interesting for young children as they grow, learn and develop.

At almost 3 Harriet is only just hitting the right age for the DigiArt Creative Easel (ages 3-6) but that is not stopping her from trying out all there is to do and learn. Using the attached magic pen little learners can follow the lights on the light-up white board to learn how to write letters, numbers and more all by themselves. Hattie is pretty pleased with her efforts and loves showing off her work, maybe she’s a school teacher in the making?… With more than 150 numbers, letters, objects and shapes to write and draw there is no shortage of design ideas!

Using the brightly coloured buttons underneath the board children can swap and change between different modes of play (Eg. learn to draw, a guessing game or free drawing), adjust brightness and sound, play 10 classic songs or listen to each letter of the alphabet. But there is more: when you turn around the white board a cool blackboard is revealed, get ready to put your new writing/drawing skills into action with chalk!

The easel features a handy clip-storage spot for the magic pen (which is attached with string so it won’t get lost) and plenty of storage for a bunch of coloured white board markers or a pack of chalk. Three pieces of chalk are included, white board markers are widely available and can be purchased/replaced as needed. Hip Tip: If you are planning to wrap this one up for Christmas you may want to tuck in some extra markers too.

I especially love that in just a minute or two the DigiArt Creative Easel can be transformed into a fantastic drawing table at perfect kids’ height. It allows your little artist to use the Easel like a proper desk and the drawing surface can also be shared by siblings or friends who can sit around the table together and create to their heart’s content. The only downside is that there is only one magic pen but of course you can always use multiple white board markers or clip on a big sheet of ordinary drawing paper.

The DigiArt Creative Easel is available in green and pink, which colour would your little artist like most?

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.

Aug 112017
 

On the one hand it makes me sad how quick our babies are growing up, on the other hand it is also heartwarming to see them turning into awesome kids who you can really talk to about a range of topics and feelings. Now that the twins are almost 9 we’re having the best chats and they really enjoy having some special time before bed when the little ones are already tucked in. These last few weeks we’ve shared many laughs playing this hilarious drawing game:

Also known as ‘the world’s fastest drawing game’ Pass the Pen (RRP $39.95, ages 8+) is not a game for slowcoaches, you definitely need to be on the ball to get the top score!

Pass the Pen is easy to play and only has a few components, so it requires pretty much no set-up time which I think is great. Each turn one of the players needs to draw a card from the pile and, using a coloured dice, select which of the 5 challenges on the card they will have to draw. The real fun is in the special ‘Pass the Pen’ ballpoint, a unique pen fitted with a 10-15 second timer. Older players can set the timer dial to 10 seconds, while younger players are allowed 15 seconds for each turn.

In a race against the clock the artist needs to draw and the others need to guess, before time runs out and the pen tip disappears. If guessed correctly within the 10 second time frame both artist and guesser earn maximum points. If no one guesses the right word you pass the pen to the next player who continues on the same challenge and so on, with points decreasing the longer it takes for the right guess.

At only eight years old I was expecting the twins to struggle with some of the challenges, but I was pleased to see they knew the majority of words and they love giving the drawing a go so we all liked playing. Pass the Pen is obviously a fast-paced game so everyone needs to be switched on and there is no time for thinking (or perfectionism in drawing, which miss 8 initially found a bit hard to accept), just draw and guess as quick as you can!

Designed for 3 or more players this is a fantastic game for families or a group of friends to play together. As a parent I know all too well that time management can be a tricky when it comes to games so I love how you can make your game of Pass the Pen last as long or short as you like by adjusting the number of game cards. There are 104 cards with a total of 520 challenges, so there’s plenty of drawing fun to be had!

To find out more about Talkin’ Toys, to take a closer look at Pass the Pen and to discover a whole heap of other cool toys visit www.talkintoys.com.au.

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Click and create with Build-a-Bot

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Jul 032017
 

What do you do when you need to bring ‘something robotic’ to school for Show & Tell? Build your own robot of course! With school being all about robots these last few weeks miss 6 was super keen to try her hand at making a robot herself, which turned out to be not only lots of fun but also very interesting with this exciting new release from the toy specialists at Colorific:

Build-a-Bot (RRP $39.99, ages 5+) is a fantastic range of toy building kits that introduces children to the basics of S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) through play. Who knew learning about motors and sensors, magnets and levers could be so cool? The simple click-and-create system makes kids feel confident that their project is coming together properly and at the end they are rewarded with a robotic toy that really works.

Being only 6 years old Juliet did need a bit of help building her robot, supervised by Hip Daddy she looked at the photos and read the step-by-step instructions until her Build-a-Bot Bunny was ready to come to life. There is even a sticker sheet included so you can decorate and personalise your bot to your own taste. It was a really great activity to do together and the best part is that you can build/pull it apart as many times as you want.

The pretty pink rabbit robot was just up Juliet’s alley, it has the cutest little nose, huge bunny ears and a cheeky tail. It took a bit of patience but once complete it was finally time to introduce the tasty carrot, a clever food trigger that will magically get your bunny to hop around when the carrot touches its nose (Just makes sure you have two AA batteries on hand to make it work). To record your child’s achievement in style a build certificate is included.

One of the other things I really like about Build-a-Bot is that you can swap and change parts between the different kits to create your very own unique bots, what a great way to encourage young builders to use their imagination! There are currently three separate Build-a-Bot kits to choose from (Bunny, Dino and Fox) and with more than 20 pieces per set the combinations really are endless.

To find out more about Colorific, to take a closer look at the Build-a-Bot range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.colorific.com.au.

Dec 182016
 

Smiggle

Christmas Countdown – Day 18

Secret Santa, Stocking Stuffer, Special Surprises… it’s hard not to see a pattern when it comes to the festive Season. If you’re searching for a Christmas gift that hits the right note every time look no further than Smiggle:

I don’t know about you but we never seem to be able to pass a Smiggle store without popping in. It’s always so colourful and inviting and filled with cool stationery and other treasures that are fun and quirky, the kids could browse our local Smiggle store for hours if I let them. If your kids love Smiggle too today’s Christmas Countdown giveaway is perfect for you:

An ideal size for upcoming holidays trips and going back to school the cool Junior Character Backpack (RRP $49.95, Bat or Butterfly) is sure to deal with any ‘Can you carry my bag for me? complaints. Available in either a pretty pink and purple butterfly or a scary blue bat design this Smiggle backpack is perfect for boys and girls it comes packed with practical features like padded shoulder straps, two drink bottle sleeves and lots of handy pockets and zips.

With the weather quickly warming up it is very important for children to drink plenty of water so they can stay hydrated throughout the day, it turns out making it fun is the key. This funky 700ml Silicone Drink Bottle (RRP $24.95, Woof or Meow) is a great tool to help kids keep up their H2O intake and you can even roll it up to save space. Our kindy girl is totally in love with her Meow flip spout-bottle, especially when I freeze it so her water stays extra cold for longer.

One of our girls’ favourite holiday activities is ‘art and craft’: from drawing to painting, from glueing to cutting and everything in between, they love using their imagination to create something original. These Scented Pencils (RRP $16.95, 12pk) are sure to add an extra special touch to your child’s next drawing by infusing the lines with delicious scents like strawberry, grape, sour lemon, chocolate, cola and more. With 12 colours/scents per pack the final artwork is guaranteed to be a fragrant surprise!

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

For your chance to win a Smiggle Prize Pack (total RRP $91.85, Junior Character Bat Backpack, Woof Silicone Drink Bottle and Scented Pencils 12pk) enter our Christmas Countdown giveaway below:

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Jun 182016
 

Crayola

Just like probably every other child in Australia our tribe is terribly excited to go to the cinema and see the long-awaited movie Finding Dory which finally hit the big screen this week. I myself would love to see it too but am not that keen on long line-ups or packed movie theatres, so we might hold off on the cinema for a little while.

Crayola Dory

Don’t worry, until the crowds die down kids can enjoy plenty of underwater fun with the exclusive Finding Dory range by Crayola:

Crayola Color & StickerThe new Crayola ‘Finding Dory’ Color & Sticker Book (RRP $4.99, ages 3+) is the perfect pick for Disney fans of all ages (Yes, even the youngest of the family!). With 16 sturdy, double-sided colouring pages (32 images) and more than 50 cute Finding Dory stickers there is plenty of creative fun to go around, even for our big family. The loose pages and 4 individual sticker sheets make sharing super easy, everyone can colour their favourite Finding Dory characters and decorate them to their liking.

Crayola ChalkLet’s hope there will be a few dry hours this weekend for our little artists to get outside with this awesome Crayola ‘Finding Dory’ Color Your Heroes Sidewalk Chalk (RRP $7.99, Ages 4+). The pack contains 8 large pieces of coloured chalk and on the back of the pack it shows kids how to draw Dory in just 6 simple steps. That’s right, you could find Dory on your doorstep in no-time! My kids have had a quick try on normal paper already and their Dory creations turned out ador(y)able.

Crayola Color WonderIf you are a longtime Hip Little One reader you know by now how much we love Crayola’s ‘Mess Free’ entertainment. The magical Color Wonder markers only work on special Color Wonder paper, keeping clothing, skin, furniture and walls squeaky clean (and saving my sanity). It’s great to see that Dory and her underwater buddies have splashed their way into the Color Wonder range too and I think the Crayola ‘Finding Dory’ Color Wonder (RRP $13.99, ages 3+) set will be a very popular buy these school holidays.

Each Color Wonder set includes 18 Color Wonder colouring pages and 5 special markers in assorted colours that match the theme. To make Dory look her very best this cool pack comes with the typical Dory blue and yellow, orange for Nemo and two other cheerful colours to create an amazing underwater scene.

You can find these and other Crayola ‘Finding Dory’ products at major leading retailers across Australia.

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

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May 282016
 

Crayola

Yippee, with exactly three months to go until our European holiday the countdown is finally on! By now we know what to bring to survive a very long plane trip with young children so I have started filling their backpacks with little bits and pieces already. To add to the excitement I wrap some of the items in pretty paper and of course I keep the contents a secret until the plane has taken off…

Crayola Paw Patrol

A new colouring book is always an excellent boredom buster and Crayola happens to have some ‘PAWesome’ new arrivals my kids will love:

Paw Patrol Color WonderWith this clever PAW Patrol Color Wonder (RRP $13.99) set you don’t have to worry about your budding artists leaving their colourful mark on the plane seat, fold-out tray, their outfits or even their own skin. Like magic the included Mess Free Markers only colour on the special Color Wonder paper, keeping the colour exactly where you want it. With 5 different markers and 18 colouring pages featuring the furry PAW Patrol friends there is plenty of decorating to be done.

On our last holiday we gave each child his/her own Color Wonder pack which worked a treat, together we had a rainbow of coloured markers and they could swap colouring pages to keep things interesting. Color Wonder is such a fabulous idea, enjoyable and intriguing for the kids and mess (and sanity) saving for mum!

Paw Patrol My First CrayolaEven the smallest puppy lovers can join the fun with PAW Patrol Color & Shapes Sticker Activities (RRP $4.99), part of the toddler-friendly My First Crayola range. This well-priced activity book is designed for ages 12 months+ and uses adorable PAW Patrol stickers to help young children practise shapes and colours through play. It is also an excellent tool for parents to work on fine motor skills with their child in a refreshing way, and the best part is that you can do it anytime and anywhere.

Crayola Paw Patrol GCPDue to their generous measurements (32 x 49cm) the PAW Patrol Giant Coloring Pages (RRP $8.49) are more of an at-home activity than an on-the-go entertainment, they’re absolutely huge in size and big in fun too. Decorating these large pictures of Chase, Marshall, Rocky and the rest of the PAW Patrol gang will keep the kids busy for ages. Once done why not stick them on your bedroom door or wall and turn them into your own unique PAW Patrol poster?

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

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Mar 202016
 

FinalLogo

Being the preparation-princess that I am slowly starting to work on the kids’ backpacks for our holiday later in the year. Spending almost 24 hours on planes and airports (one way) our little travellers will need to come packed with entertainment that is big in fun yet small in size AND weight.

Crayola Syb

For the little two I have already popped a few Crayola goodies in their luggage. By the time we go on holiday they will be 1 and 3 years old which is the perfect age for the My First Crayola range:

Palm Grip CrayonAlthough she is still a bit too small for arts and crafts right now I can imagine Harriet will want to copy her older siblings soon enough. The My First Crayola Palm-Grip Crayons (RRP $9.49, 3-pack) are designed for the hands of tiny little artists aged just 12 months and older. The unique egg shape of these brightly coloured Palm-Grip Crayons makes them easy to hold and allows children to colour from every angle.

My First Color and Sticker BookWith 24 pages and 40 stickers the My First Crayola Color & Sticker Book (RRP $3.99) offers excellent value for money. Between the colouring pages and stickers there is lots of designing and storytelling to be done, so it’s perfect for keeping busy bees entertained in the car or waiting room. There are three different books to choose from: At the Farm, Under the Sea and Just Hatched.

Crayola Easy-Grip CrayonsWe’ve been using the My First Crayola Easy-Grip Triangular Crayons (RRP $6.29, 8-pack) at home for quite some time and I find they are a great tool to teach children how to correctly hold a pen or pencil. Even though she is only three Sybil has really mastered the correct writing grip and her drawings are very precise which will be a great preparation for kindy and primary school.

Crayola Washable MarkersAs precise as Sybbie is about drawing on paper, she is just as detailed when decorating our walls or applying ‘body art’, something I am not too keen on. The My First Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Markers (RRP $8.49, 8-pack) can be washed off walls, furniture and clothing so they’re a real sanity saver. The rounded, ball-shaped tip is a sturdy, durable choice for toddlers who press a tad too hard when colouring as it can not be crushed (or peeled off by inquisitive little hands).

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

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