Christmas with Peppa

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Christmas with Peppa
Dec 152019
 

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Whether you’re planning a quick Christmas getaway, a long Summer road trip or a traditional family visit, Peppa Pig is the perfect Christmas companion for young travellers. My two little ones absolutely adore this little pink piggy which is why Sinterklaas spoilt them with some fabulous Peppa gifts just in time for our holiday adventures:

Now that miss Hattie has had a first taste of kindy life she is super excited about the school year ahead. Learning to write her letters is quite tricky but Peppa knows how to make it fun with the Peppa Pig Scribbles & Sounds Doodle Board (RRP $24.95, ages 2+). Forget scrunched up paper or blunt pencils, don’t worry about leaking markers or messy crayons, this travel size doodle board has everything you need for drawing and writing on the go.

Scribble, write, trace and draw as much as you like and when you’re done you simply pull the lever to erase everything and start all over again. Using the chunky toddler-proof stylus and three sturdy plastic stencils little Peppa fans can create all the letters of the alphabet or even learn how to draw Peppa or George.

The real magic is in the smart interactive technology, allowing the doodle board to recognise which letter or character you are tracing. How clever is that? The board is a perfect combination of doodling and development: Across four different modes kids can learn letters and hear the sounds they make (W makes the sound w), play a scavenger hunt (Can you find the letter U for Umbrella? That’s brilliant), listen to music (Draw to keep the music playing) or use their imagination and make up stories (S is for Suzy Sheep, Suzy likes to be a nurse).

When not in use the three coloured stencils can be stored on the back of the board and the stylus is securely attached to the board, so there won’t be any missing pieces.

Our little two don’t always get along but they definitely bond over their love for Peppa, who would have thought Hattie and Ted could read a book together without fighting? Admittedly there is so much to see and do in the Peppa Pig Learn & Discover Book (RRP $29.95, ages 2+) that there is no time to argue. They are way too busy exploring pages and pictures, letters and lights, stories and sounds and more.

Designed for little hands this colourful book has large buttons and 14 easy-to-turn pages full of Peppa Pig fun. As young readers grow and develop new skills they can make their way from single letters to recognising words and even read them in short sentences eg. L, L is for Lake, Then we flew a kite by the lake and M, M is for Milk, We bought milk and noodles with Mummy at the supermarket.

The many functions of this Learn and Discover book make it an exciting and educational read for different stages. Our 2-year old loves flicking pages, humming along to familiar tunes in Music Time or listening to the sounds of Daddy Pig, Mummy Pig and George. Our 4-year old is more intrigued by learning her letters in ABC mode or hearing the short stories in Story Time. She also enjoys the challenge of Search and Find (Can you find the letter N? Let’s look for the Onions? Well done!), but only if she gets it right!

Now that he is finally finding his voice there is no stopping Ted. He is always pointing at things in books, singing his favourite songs and chatting to Daddy or one of his Peppa friends on this super sized Peppa Pig Let’s Chat Learning Phone (RRP $19.95, ages 2+).

He can hear simple messages from George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig, see them on the LCD screen and listen to tunes from the TV show. His favourite entertainment is blowing up George’s balloon by blowing in the microphone. Usually toy phones quickly lose their charm as toddlers get older but not this one! I love that the Let’s Chat Learning Phone also caters for curious preschoolers like our Hattie with simple math games featuring the numbers 0-9.

Three built-in games are guaranteed to get little minds working as Peppa introduces kids to counting, number recognition and basic addition. Make a batch of cupcakes with Daddy Pig and count them, catch the falling leaves and build a leaf collection with Peppa Pig or count your happy jumps in muddy puddles, but don’t forget your boots!

To find out more about VTech, to browse the Peppa Pig toy range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.vtech.com.au.

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.

Apr 212015
 

Crayola

As a child I once played a special board game at a friend’s house, the aim of the game was to recognise the content of little blank jars by scent and match them up with a picture of the right fragrant item. O how I loved sniffing those little jars and solving the puzzle! It has been years but I still remember some of the smells and the memory of that play date. Isn’t itamazing how important your smell is when it comes to memories? Kids of all ages (and even grownups) are sure to have hours of fragrant fun with this exciting new Crayola product:

Doodle Scents raffleThe brand new Doodle Scents (RRP $11.99, 18-pack) are infused with the wonderful smells of kids’ favourite foods and places, it’s like they packed a little story in each marker. From Buttered Popcorn and Cotton Candy to Lemonade Stand and Toasted Marshmallow, from Evergreen Tree and Breath of Fresh Air to Barn Yard and Brick Oven; just close your eyes, sniff and be transported to your favourite childhood memories.

Crayola Doodle Scents really impressed us, the selection of fragrances is lovely and we were gobsmacked by how realistic the scents were. Some of the biggest winners in our home were Tropical Punch (miss 6), Watermelon Patch (miss 4) and Spice Cake (mummy). Who have thought ‘smelly art’ could be so cool!

Crayola

The thing with markers is that kids don’t always stick to the paper you gave them and tend to decorate all that is around them including themselves. This is not a problem for Crayola though, Crayola’s washable ink is specially formulated to wash off machine washable clothing, as well as walls, carpet and furniture with just some warm water and a sponge.

You can find Crayola Doodle Scents right now at your local K-mart and Big W store.

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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The Chalkboard Tee

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Jan 022014
 

The Chalkboard Tee

When you spend your days with little people like I do you will soon discover that they always have plenty to say, in fact they never stop talking! I could write a book filled with all the funny things they say and hilarious stories they tell. If you have a few little chatterboxes at home too here’s something to keep them busy:

Chalkboard Tee

The Chalkboard Tee by Class Attire

Chalkboard Tee AppleDesigned by Class Attire the super hip Chalkboard Tee range is now available at Tinyfolk, home of those fabulous cardboard playhouses I wrote about a few months ago. Each Chalkboard Tee ($39) features a cool write-on panel that can be written on, or decorated with, chalk again and again. A compact 5-piece coloured chalk set is included and you can even store one piece in the handy little pocket at the front, because you never know when creativity will hit you!

Chalkboard Tee Think BubbleWhen the kids have nothing left to say (for now!) simply wipe off the artwork, just wash like normal laundry and you’ve got a nice clean slate for next time. There are lots of different Chalkboard Tee designs and colours to choose from to suit boys and girls with sizes ranging from 2 up to 8 years old. My favourite designs are the Think Bubble and the City Skyline, I think they look super hip.

To find out more about Tinyfolk, to browse the Chalkboard Tee range and to order online visit www.tinyfolk.com.au.

Oct 262011
 

This week we are heading off for a very short 4-day holiday with my parents, just before they head back to the Netherlands. The kids are very excited about the prospect of going to the beach, Daddy can’t wait to eat a (lot of) donut(s) from his favourite bakery and I am just worried about what to take and what not to forget. One thing I do know: to keep the kids entertained during the trip we are bringing the LeapFrog Count & Draw.

The LeapFrog Count & Draw is a fantastic new learning toy for kids that is all about numbers and shapes. It teaches kids how to write/draw them, counting, adding, subtracting as well as some games to practise their new skills. The handheld toy features a generous sized screen for kids to draw on with the attached stylus pen. A series of little lights placed under the screen guides children in their writing and drawing.

Like most other LeapFrog toys this design can be used in different modes: The Numbers Mode helps children to learn how to write the numbers 1 to 10 by tracing the lights underneath. The Shapes & Lines Mode focusses on lines and shapes as well as position words (above, inside, under etc). Once kids have got the basics under control they can test their addition/subtractions and more than/less than skills with 2 games in the Games Mode.

The twins are at the perfect age for the LeapFrog Count & Draw. Having just turned three they are so keen to learn and their first school day can’t come quick enough for them (not for me!). They can both recognise and write most letters of both the alphabet and their names, and they have mastered recognising numbers so they are really enjoying learning how to write them too. The handheld has a limited number of buttons and the stylus pen is thick and sturdy for small fingers. The lights give them a lot of confidence, kids love getting it right and the lights are a very good teaching aid.

I know not everyone is a big fan of electronic ‘toys’ for young children and I understand that (althought I think there is a difference between ‘game’ toys and ‘learning’ toys). In fact my children spend a lot of time writing on paper, spelling with magnetic letters, reading books, counting with flash cards, do matching letter/words card games and they really enjoy that. However, when taking regular paper and crayons (or markers) in the car or on a holiday we often encounter some issues: How much paper and how many crayons do you bring? What do you put the paper on and how do you make sure the crayons don’t roll away? What do you do when all the papers are full or your child keeps dropping the crayons? What about marker stains or crayons crushed into car seats or clothes? When you multiply these ‘problems’ by the number of children that you have you need to bring a big supply and mum will sit turned-around the whole trip to pick up crayons.

With the LeapFrog Count & Draw kids can do what they really like, learn new things and practise their new skills again and again, and mum can do the praising not the grumping! Your child will not run out of ‘paper’, the Stylus pen is attached and can’t be dropped or make stains and your child will enjoy practising basic drawing and writing skills.

To find out more about the LeapFrog Count & Draw ($34,99, ages 3+) visit www.leapfrog.com.au. LeapFrog toys are available at leading retailers all over Australia, click here to find out where to buy your favourite LeapFrog products.