Nov 152020
 

VTech

While having sisters is lots of fun, every now and then a girl needs a bit of quiet time away from her nosy siblings. Secret notes, locked diaries, little treasures… our four girls are generally great at sharing but some things are simply private property. So where do you tuck away your special belongings so your curious sisters can’t find them? VTech has your back:

From secret storage to special songs, from games to glowing lights, from tiny treasures to telling the time and more, the Secret Safe Treasure Chest (RRP $49.95, ages 6-11) is the ultimate all-in-one girls gift this Christmas.

Shaped like a sweet purple and pink jewellery box, this interactive Secret Safe is way too pretty to hide away in your wardrobe and deserves to take top spot on your bedside table. It even doubles as a talking alarm clock and you can change the clock front to suit your style, what a cool way to learn to read the time! When the alarm goes off you’ll hear your choice of sound or tune and the top of the chest lights up in beautiful rainbow colours.

On the inside the Treasure Chest offers a heart shaped mirror, a removable top tray to fit your smallest jewellery and a generous main compartment for more storage. Don’t worry, your valuables are well protected by your own unique password. Only the person who enters all four numbers or symbols correctly will be able to open this chest and unveil its bounty! Once the chest has been unlocked the light-up ring will show a colour display chosen by the owner. (Parents can rest assured: The secret code can be reset in case of emergency)

Aside from keeping your precious belongings safe from nosy sisters, there are plenty of other awesome features hidden in this treasure chest. The saying ‘It’s not all fun and games’ definitely doesn’t apply here but because this pink box is loads of fun AND it comes with 9 great games that teach important skills like spelling, logic and maths. Because the games use only the four gem buttons to control they are easy to learn even for young players yet they still get their brains working and different levels keeps things exciting.

Miss 7 especially loves testing and expanding her word knowledge by making as many four letter words as possible in Speedy Speller, and solving the mystery of the hidden butterfly in Hide and Seek. Miss 5 may not have excess to her sister’s precious goodies, but she is pretty chuffed that she can still play games without knowing the password. She enjoys practising her numbers in Order Challenge and she is a big fan of Magically Disappearing Cat.

Last but not least, the Secret Safe Treasure Chest comes preloaded with 20 different tunes in the Music Box and the ability to compose your own simple tracks in Music Creation with the use of the gem buttons. Stop, play, repeat and shuffle to enjoy a personalised musical experience. You can even use the Treasure Chest as a speaker by connecting an external music player like a phone or MP3 player, time to put all your favourite Christmas carols on repeat!

You can find the Secret Safe Treasure Chest right now at your local Big W store and 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.

Welcome to the family, Little Bubba

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Mar 022020
 

Over the past few months Ted has fast turned into a cheeky, independent toddler, which means his sisters can no longer treat him like their little baby. He won’t sit still, he doesn’t want to be dressed up and most definitely doesn’t want anyone to help him at mealtime. Thankfully the girls are very content with the closest thing to a real baby brother or sister: Meet Little Bubba by HeadStart!

We all know that newborns come in different sizes and so does Little Bubba: Whether you prefer a tiny 38cm baby girl, a cute 40cm doll or a huggable 42cm bundle of joy, there is a wonderful baby waiting for you. Each size has its own unique features, outfit and special skills making every new addition special in its own way. Young parents-to-be are guaranteed to instantly fall in love with Little Bubba’s lifelike appearance, realistic sounds and interactive functions.

Let’s start with the smallest of the girls, a cuddly little lady in a sweet pink jumpsuit. During her awake time My Interactive Baby (Ages, 3+, 15″) likes to suck her dummy or pretend to drink from her bottle (she even moves her mouth and makes drinking sounds) and when you tickle her soft tummy she giggles. Like all babies she does cry sometimes but none of that matters when you hear her say ‘mama’. Come nap time she will close her eyes and peacefully suck her thumb, isn’t she a perfect baby?

Up next is My Real Baby ‘Magic Potty’ (Ages 3+, 16″), a summer baby with a bird print onesie and a matching hat. Unlike her softer, smaller buddy this quiet, content baby has a plastic tummy with arms and legs than can be posed, quite important when it comes to potty time! Once your baby has eaten her meal and finished her bottle of water she can actually use the potty and do a wee, after all you are never too young to start toilet training. With a push of the button the interactive potty will be rinsed and you can put your baby’s nappy back on, time to lay her down so she can close her eyes and have a snooze.

Last but not least, say hello to My Ultimate Interactive Baby (Ages 3+, 16,5″). With 12 impressive functions this delightful baby is sure to delight any new mum or dad. Gurgles and giggles, sad sobs, sweet snores, thirsty drinking or a first ‘mama’, this baby is full of interesting sounds. She can move her mouth to drink from her bottle and wee on the pink potty afterwards. You can also move her arms and legs so can she can sit on your lap, use a high chair or sit in pram just like a real baby (don’t forget to attach her dummy chain so she doesn’t lose her pacifier). We love it when she blinks her beautiful blue eyes, we think she is adorable!

To make the parenting experience extra realistic all Little Bubba dolls come with a range of must-have baby accessories like a dummy, a refillable drink bottle, a baby potty, a nappy, a dummy chain, a beanie, socks and even mealtime utensils (accessories vary per design). Go on, pick your favourite girl, decide on a name and get to know your new family member!

To find out more about HeadStart, to take a closer look at the Little Bubba range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.headstartint.com.

‘The Most Ungrateful Girl in the World’ giveaway

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Sep 032019
 

Penguin

She may not look like me at all, but if there is one thing miss Olivia has inherited from her mama it’s my love of books. Just like her twin brother she absolutely loves to read and if I let you you’d even find her walking to school while reading a book. When I stumbled upon this new Petra James title Olivia immediately put her hand up to read and review it and she has given it the big thumbs up:

Izzy Winkle is the most grateful girl in the world. At least, she was until a red polka-dotted hot air balloon floated past her window, and out came a competition flyer that fluttered right through her window. That is when the trouble really began. Izzy decides to enter the ‘Most Ungrateful Girl in the World’ competition, surely she must be the best at something? She becomes even more determined to win when the Department of Manners asks her to go undercover to spoil the competition. Now, everywhere girls are being ungrateful as they dream of being crowned The Most Ungrateful Girl in the World (RRP $16.99) and take out the big prize.

But how can Izzy Winkle, the most grateful girl in the world, compete against Fib Girl who holds the record for the tallest story ever told? (At least, she says she does) How can she win against Bad Word Girl, whose favourite word is ‘Bumfuzzle‘? How can Izzy beat Nit Girl, who hasn’t washed her hair for six months? The only thing Izzy is sure of is that there is going to be a lot of trouble, bad manners and fun!

I thought that ‘The Most Ungrateful Girl in the World’ is a great book, it was very funny. I think the ages 8+ will really like this book, or anyone with magnificent manners!

Reviewed and written by Olivia (10)

To find out more about Penguin Books Australia, to browse the range and to order your favourite books online visit www.penguin.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of ‘The Most Ungrateful Girl in the World’ hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page an enter, good luck!

Flying high with Magical Lights Unicorn

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Jul 072019
 

VTech

Now that the highly anticipated July toy catalogues have arrived all my children are busy taking notes, writing wish lists and circling favourites. I have started squirrelling away bits and pieces for the December month and our kids’ August/September birthdays (5 of them!) and also picked some well deserved rewards for the excellent report cards the kids brought home this week.

To her great disappointment poor miss Hattie is not old enough for a report card just yet but especially for the school holidays (and with mummy’s sanity in mind) she was treated to this magical VTech gift anyway. I have no doubt it will bring us plenty of smiles and entertainment these coming weeks, look at that happy face!

Brightly coloured and pretty as a picture the Magical Lights Unicorn (RRP $39.95, ages 18 months+) is sure to make the heart of any little unicorn lover beat a little faster. Just like a real unicorn she is full of magic and mystery and there are many different ways to play and learn with this beautiful creature. It always amazes me how quickly kids work out a new toy without needing a manual and this is no exemption, Hattie is having so much fun exploring.

Let’s start with her eye catching looks: The Magical Lights Unicorn is quite a large toy with rounded shapes and big buttons perfect for curious toddler hands. By touching the buttons on her side or her necklace you can interact with this mystical creature and hear words, short phrases and catchy songs. She has a luscious fabric rainbow mane, her pink hooves are fitted with smooth wheels for easy trotting around the house and when you squeeze her tail she even flaps her beautiful wings so you can make her fly through the sky.

The unicorn comes with 7 charms in different colours and shapes which can be placed onto three unique magic hearts on her body and head. By clicking a charm to a magic heart you trigger a special unicorn horn rainbow light show and the Magical Lights Unicorn even tells you which precious charm you’ve placed onto her crown and lights up in the matching colour, how clever is that? She loves testing your recognition skills by asking you to find a specific colour or shape and when you put the right charm in place you are rewarded with praise and songs.

If you really want to teach your child some impressive new skills you can put your unicorn in French mode, now that’s what you call an educational toy! She teaches French colours and phrases and even sing her ballads in the French tongue, Hattie may not understand all (or pretty much nothing) but that doesn’t stop her from trying to copy the words which is rather adorable to listen to.

A little note… We obviously love our Magical Lights Unicorn and I think any child will adore her, however from a mother’s point of view I feel I must mention my only small negative: While the 7 charms do come with a sweet purple plate, they do not actually click onto/attach to the plate which means they could get lost quite easily. We have solved this little issue by storing the heart plate and charms in a ziplock bag when not in use but it would have been great if the charms could click to the plate for easy and safe storage.

The Magical Lights Unicorn is exclusively available at Target stores across Australia and online.

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

Ty to the Rescue

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May 132019
 

Thirteen long years after I moved to Australia my brother and his family finally made it out to Australia for a holiday and boy, did we have fun. We had been counting down for months and managed to make loads of beautiful memories which I hope will last a lifetime. Of course when the welcome is so warm and wonderful the goodbye is utterly heartbreaking too and we’ve all been rather down this week. Time to cheer up my sad girls with some Ty surprises:

From the moment my little ladies first discovered Ty Beanie Boos they were absolutely taken by their big shiny eyes and they have been on every birthday and Christmas wishlist since. They are always checking the shops to (hopefully one day) find that one special Beanie Boo that shares their name or even their birthday. So far only Harriet has been in luck after adopting Harriet the Horse but we’ll keep looking!

Huge and huggable, mini and magical, fluffy and funky, sweet and shimmery… there are so many Ty creatures to choose from. Real Ty Beanie Boos fans can now partner up with their Ty friends in even more ways with the stylish Ty Gear collection. They can complete their favourite outfit with bags, purses, wristlets and even slippers and slides, you’ll be guaranteed to stand out from the crowd.

Miss Sybbie never leaves the house without some tiny treasures stuffed into small pockets so she is completely in her element with her new ‘Whimsey’ Ty Fashion Backpack (RRP $39.99) to keep things safe, doesn’t her smile say it all? Juliet decided on the colour-changing Ty Fashion Purse (RRP $34.99) which turns out to be an excellent way to sneak one of our baby rabbits out of the house, it blends in perfectly! Of course I know my girls very well so her cheeky grin gave her away and bunny was safely returned to its mum.

These three lucky girls slid their feet into some eye catching Ty Fashion Slides (RRP $24.99) and I love how their footwear shows their personalities so well. Shiny and sparkly for Juliet, rainbow pastel magic for Olivia and the cutest kitties (complete with pink bow) for Hattie, there really is a perfect Ty character for everyone. What is your Ty Fashion style?

To find out more about Big Baloon, to take a closer look at the Ty range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.bigballoon.com.au.

A Little Love for my Mini-Me

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Nov 272017
 

VTech

As little as she is miss Hattie has proven to be a very interested big sister, who doesn’t miss a thing when it comes to her new baby brother. She is very keen to help out with changing and dressing him and watches closely when the nurses or doctors check out our little Ted. If you don’t keep an eye on her at all times she’ll even try herself to check his ears and rub some cream onto his face! To reward her caring attitude (and to give Ted a break from all that attention every now and then) we felt this clever VTech creation would make the perfect 2nd birthday gift:

Isn’t she adorable? Young boys and girls will instantly fall in love with Little Love Cuddle & Care (RRP $59.95, ages 2+), a darling girl doll who is in desperate need of some tender love and care. Time to get out your medicine bag and make her feel better…

Little Love encourages children to use their imagination, listen carefully and respond to her needs with the help of six included doctor tools. Miniature doctors can grab the stethoscope to listen to her heart, use the thermometer to check her temperature, inject the syringe, get out the medicine bottle and spoon or cover up an imaginary injury with a pretty bandaid.

Pretend play gets extra real thanks to the special sensors on her body which recognise and react to the different accessories, eg. when you touch Little Love’s heart with the stethoscope you can hear her heart beat, a quick check of the ear with the thermometer confirms if her temperature is normal, when her elbow hurts a bandaid does the trick and a spoonful of medicine takes care of a sore throat.

From sound and colour effects to short, easy-to-understand phrases (simple health lessons in disguise!), with Little Love there is loads to see, hear, learn and discover. By recording your child’s name Little Love will form a special bond with her ‘doctor’. You can even go to the VTech website to select your child’s birthday, favourite things to do and set meal- and bedtimes, then sync these to your doll to get personalised responses.

I love how VTech uses fun, engaging pretend play to teach children about different body parts and everyday health problems, and what a fantastic way to prepare kids for a doctor visit or hospital stay too! If your little one gets nervous when medical professionals perform basic body checks Little Love can be just the friendly companion your child needs to put his/her mind at ease.

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.

Sweet Seven birthday buys

 Style, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Sweet Seven birthday buys
Jul 022017
 

Now that we’re in July the countdown is on until our big birthday month, with four August birthdays (maybe even five depending on when baby no.6 arrives) I have my work cut out for me! Over the last few months I have been writing down some gift ideas for miss nearly 7 and I think I am slowly getting there. I am yet to decide on a fun new board game, which is always one of the best received presents in our house, but I have already come up with these hip finds:

Rain or shine, our wonderful school is a big fan of nature play and the kids love getting outdoors in the school garden and looking after the school pets (we now have free range chickens, goats and even a lamb!). In this cold and wet season a good raincoat is a must, so I’ll be getting miss 6 the next size up in this cute Nordic Apples Raincoat (RRP $64.95). All our children wear Hatley raincoats and I can not recommend them highly enough! They are snuggly warm, keep kids dry and last really well, the quality is just amazing.

Donut Charm BraceletBeing the bright and happy girl that she is Juliet loves to add a pop of colour to her day. Whether it’s a colourful scarf, a pretty bow or a gorgeous piece of jewellery, anything that has rainbow colours is a hit. The talented Lauren Hinkley designs the most delightful Charm Bracelets (RRP $29.95) that look good enough to eat, I think this tropical combination would make the perfect birthday bracelet. There are many different looks to choose from and new creations are being added all the time.

Now that she has discovered Mathletics and WordMania Juliet happily does her numeracy and literacy homework, what a welcome change from that grumpy frown. As careful as she promises to be, accidents do happen so I might invest in a sturdy, shock proof iPad cover like this child-friendly style from casehaven.com.au (RRP $29.99). That way I know our iPad is well protected, it’s a perfect fit for small hands and she’ll love the funky pink colour.

If you have a great gift idea for a sweet 7-year old girl I’d love to hear from you, it might just make it onto our birthday shopping list!