The Big LeapFrog Bake Off

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on The Big LeapFrog Bake Off
Jun 202020
 

During our weeks of home isolation hip daddy finally finished off our outdoor cubby house and it has been a source of joy, giggles and adventures for all the kids (and even the pets). Tea parties, mums and dads, schools, deserted islands, picnics… there is no limit to their imagination and I love hearing their chatter as they play. Unfortunately the weather for outside play has now ended so we’re snuggling up inside instead. Bye bye cubby house snacks and hello toasty winter treats, welcome to the big LeapFrog Bake Off!

The adorable Number Loving Oven (RRP $39.95, ages 2+) is sure to appeal to budding bakers and curious chefs, our two pre-schoolers have been cooking up a storm. Yummy pizza, pretty cupcakes, a fried egg or even a freshly baked loaf of bread, this cute little oven does it all!

The Number Loving Oven is cleverly designed to suit a range of ages, development stages and learning interests, making it a great toy for siblings to share. For early learners the oven brings different types of food and colours, a shape sorting oven tray, the puzzle of building a pizza and a baguette, a sizzling stove top, a door that opens and closes and of course lights, sounds and songs.

As your master chef gets older he/she will start recognising the numbers on the pizza and the oven timer, you can learn about temperature and time, practise sharing and dividing food between guests and serving food on a plate with a spatula.  Seeing how our 2-year old, 4-year old and even 7-year old ‘play kitchen’ together with the Number Loving Oven, yet notice, learn and enjoy different things about it, proves it is a toy that will last the distance in a growing family.

By moving the timer, opening and closing the door and pressing the green chef’s hat button children will hear a wide range of learning questions (Let’s see, how long will that take to bake? Set the oven to four. That’s it! Let’s cook and count), encouraging sentences (That turned out beautifully! Mmmm, delicious. Let’s share), cooking information (1. Pre-heat, this little oven must pre-heat before you start to bake a treat. 4. Hot hot hot, to cook the pizza that’s you’ve got) and catchy songs about hand washing, cooking, waiting and counting. Plenty of kitchen chat to make cooking fun!

Bonus: As a mum I am super chuffed that all the food items fit neatly inside the oven, just close the door and everything is properly tidied away. No missing pieces and easy to store, winning! It is also a perfect compact size to keep in the cupboard at Grandma’s for when the grandies come visit.

You can find the LeapFrog Number Loving Oven at a Big W or other good toy store near you and 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.

Table for Two

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Table for Two
Jul 222019
 

With all this wind and rain it may not be the nicest weather for outdoor meals right now, but my little bunch is having just as much fun with an indoor picnic. And for once no one is complaining about who is setting the table either with this gorgeous little set by LeapFrog:

After four girls we had gathered quite the collection of pink tea seats, but a boy needs to eat too! With its cheerful yellow and green colours the LeapFrog Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket (RRP $34.95, ages 6 months+) is a perfect pick for our little man Ted and he carries his private lunch everywhere, it is adorable. Every now and then an older sibling is lucky enough to be invited which works out well because there is enough to set a table for two.

This cute picnic set up is your perfect pretend-play companion. The colourful basket comes with everything you need for a delicious meal: 2 cups, 2 forks, 2 shape sorting plates, 2x 4 yummy snacks and even a traditional checkered table cloth to dine in style. Made with small hands and developing fine motor skills in mind the pieces are large in size with neat rounded corners for safe play.

But little tummies are not the only thing growing, curious minds are growing with every bite as well. The interactive basket adds a whole new dimension to your picnic party. In ‘Shapes & Colours’ mode kids learn about the shape and colours of the different foods and they can test their matching skills by putting the correct piece through the shape sorting lid. The talking lid even recognises and tells you which shape, colour and food you are packing, so smart!

This chatty picnic pal loves testing you on your new found knowledge in Picnic Time mode. Learn to listen carefully and if you find the right piece you get rewarded with praise and gratitude eg. May I please have a biscuit? Perfect! Please give me a snack shaped like a circle. Exactly what I wanted. This is a lovely playful way to encourage beautiful table manners in little tots. Last but not least, turn on ‘Music’ mode for a range of happy tunes and catchy sing-along songs that make the perfect background music to your meal.

The Shapes & Sharing Picnic Basket is available in pink and yellow and you can find it at Big W, Target, good toy stores and online retailers across Australia.

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

The Very Hungry Number Crunching Squirrel

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on The Very Hungry Number Crunching Squirrel
Nov 132018
 

Where miss Sybbie was a very quiet 3-year old who would only say a handful of words, our little Hattie is the total opposite and a real chatterbox. What a great result from having her tongue tie snipped at 6 months old, I truly believe it made a big difference. She talks all the time and I love hearing her chat to her siblings, have conversations with her toys while playing or respond to her favourite TV shows. This cheeky critter from LeapFrog is her new chat-pal:

The hungry Number Crunching Squirrel (RRP $24.95, ages 2-4) enjoys nothing more than a varied diet of apples, strawberries, bananas and grapes, in fact he can eat up to 10 pieces of fruit in just one sitting! Toddlers will love filling him up with his favourite foods and learning fruit names and facts and the importance of a healthy diet at the same time.

When you press the squirrel’s nose he will ask a question eg. ‘Can you feed me 5 pieces of fruit?’ ‘Can you feed me something green?’ ‘Can you feed me a red strawberry?’. This encourages interactive play and introduces kids to the cause and effect principle, who doesn’t love praise when you get things right?! The squirrel counts out loud with each coin he eats and even tells you about the colour and fruit as he swallows, now that is clever.

Putting the coins in the squirrel’s mouth, pressing his red nose and the acorn music button, opening and closing the door and pushing his tail are all excellent fine motor skill exercises for curious toddlers. As they play toddlers also learn to count the treats, sing cute fruit-themed songs, recognise different colours and sort by colour/image.

Once the friendly squirrel’s hunger has finally been stilled you can empty his tummy with a simple push of his big tail. All the treats will pop out one by one (Ted loves this part!) and the feeding fun starts all over again, he has quite some appetite. The little door keeps his tummy contents safely stored, that way you never have to hunt for any missing treats.

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

‘Feed Your Brain: The Cookbook’ giveaway

 Giveaways, Mum, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on ‘Feed Your Brain: The Cookbook’ giveaway
Nov 282017
 

Exisle Publishing

If you are a longtime Hip Little One reader you may remember that I introduced you to the talented Delia McCabe, the talented author of ‘Feed Your Brain’. Delia has a Masters of Psychology under her belt and for the past 20 years has been researching how certain foods influence brain function. To help people create quick, easy and tasty ‘brain healthy’ meals and snacks Delia has put together a fantastic new cookbook filled with recipes the whole family will love:

Delia McCabe’s Feed Your Brain: The Cookbook (RRP $34.99) offers a refreshing combination of teaching and tasting. Before you get started in the kitchen Delia teaches you how your brain works and how certain food(group)s affect your brain, as well some handy preparation and storage tips. Once you’ve literally fed your brain with knowledge it’s time to feed your brain with more than 100 nutritious (and of course delicious) recipes.

From Quick Fresh Thai Stew to Sweet Potato and Tomato Gratin, from Spicy Mexican Bean Salad to Mushroom and Lemon Risotto and many more mouthwatering delights, this cookbook is sure to please everyone with healthy dishes that will impress your family and guests but don’t require hours in the kitchen. If you are anything like me a meal is not complete without a scrumptious dessert, so Delia has your sweet tooth covered too with tasty treats like Chocolate Mint Slice, Raw Pecan Pie, Spiced Christmas Ice-Cream and even Apricot and Almond White Chocolate Bark (a perfect homemade Christmas gift). What are you waiting for, do your brain fever and tuck in.

Whether you want to improve focus and memory, reduce stress and anxiety or think more clearly, ‘Feed Your Brain: The Cookbook’ will help you find the dish that does the trick!

Right now Exisle Publishing is giving you 20% off, free shipping AND the chance to win 1 of 3 Brain Food Hampers (valued up to $300), simply purchase a copy of Feed Your Brain and enter the code ‘FYBCB17’ at checkout. Be quick, entry is limited to the first 100 orders.

To find out more about Exisle Publishing, to take a closer look at ‘Feed Your Brain’ and to order a copy online visit www.exislepublishing.com.au.

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Apr 212017
 

Exisle Publishing

With all the yummy Easter chocolate gobbled up and the lazy long weekend over and done with I can’t wait to get back into the kitchen and cook delicious food from scratch. With everyone home on school holidays the kids and I have been trying out different dishes from around the globe and this week it’s all about Croatia with this lovely little cookbook from Exisle Publishing:

Inspired by her father’s homeland of Korčula, Croatia award-winning author Barbara Unković has bundled some of her favourite rustic recipes and special memories in The Adriatic Kitchen (RRP $14.99).

Using a refreshing mix of seasonal ingredients, combined with pantry staples, and guided by easy step-by-step instructions Barbara helps her readers whip up traditional Croatian delights in their own kitchen. The book covers more than 70 delicious recipes, lovingly divided by the season they are generally made in so you can enjoy a taste of Croatia all year around.

From delicious dinners like Dalmatian Shepherd’s Lamb with Potatoes and Broad Beans, End of Summer Cazlone and Roast Chicken with Pomegranate and Spinach to sweet treats like Bowknots, Double Chocolate Fig Truffles and Lemon and Lavender Shortbread and so much more, you will find The Adriatic Kitchen serves up something to please everyone.

To find out more about Exisle Publishing, to take a closer look at ‘The Adriatic Kitchen’ and to order a copy online visit www.exislepublishing.com.au.

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From first bite to family table

 Baby  Comments Off on From first bite to family table
Feb 232017
 

This post is brought to you by Heinz

I can’t believe how far baby Hattie has come since she had her tongue tie snipped just almost one year ago. After being sent from GP to paediatrician to ENT specialist we finally ended up at a wonderful oral surgeon who listened to our concerns and rectified the issue in a matter of minutes. In the past eleven months our little girl has changed from a grumpy eater who would keep her mouth firmly shut when first starting solids into a inquisitive lady who loves trying new foods!

Harriet 3

Even though we were a bit late introducing solids Harriet quickly caught up and at 17 months old she now joins us for family dinner every day. When feeding baby solids you may choose to start with single flavours/foods so you can easily detect any possible allergies, thankfully Harriet (unlike her siblings) experienced no dramas with most popular solid food for babies so by now she is eating pretty much everything.

french-toast

With 4 siblings to look up to it is no surprise Harriet prefers baby food that she can hold herself, so we’re always trying new baby finger food recipes. You can easily use your child’s favourite homemade baby food or Heinz food pouches and make them into fun finger food for babies that they can eat independently. I love that Heinz baby food is Australian made and approved by nutritionists. You can use the handy pouches on their own (at home and on the go) or as a tasty base to create new recipes for toddlers.

The Banana Pikelets with Strawberry and Vanilla Custard, topped with a few slices of kiwi, make a great (messy!) dessert and the Very Berry French Toast is always a hit with all our kids. Toddler food should be sturdy enough to hold, yet soft enough to break for little hands and moderately easy to chew. You can adjust the consistency of your toddler recipes as your baby grows.

pikelets

Need some more mealtime inspiration? You can find lots of other tried-and-tested baby recipes and toddler food ideas on the Heinz for Baby website, all recipes are quick to prepare and suited to your child’s developmental stage. You can rest assured with Heinz you’re whipping up wholesome baby meals and tasty treats.

If you’ve got a winning recipe to share make sure to drop by at www.facebook.com/HeinzForBabyAustralia so other families can do the taste test too.

Feb 192017
 

EK Books

As a mother of five little ones, and only one of them a picky eater, I can’t really complain. Our kids happily munch away on vegetables, love every single fruit and are always excited to try new foods. If you have a fussy child who needs a bit of gentle encouragement when it comes to healthy eating here’s a gorgeous read by EK Books to win him or her over:

In Our Dog Benji (RRP $19.99) we meet a loveable dog called Benji, a friendly fellow with an impressive appetite. Wherever Benji goes he is jumping at the chance to put his teeth in something tasty and his hunt for food brings him to all kinds of interesting places. He even eats Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, olives and avocado, can you believe that? Of course you don’t have to pretend to like flowers, bones or bugs but maybe you could learn from Benji and try something new from time to time too…

To find out more about EK Books, to browse the range and to order your favourite titles online visit www.ekbooks.org.

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