Wave goodbye to bedtime worries with LeapStory

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Wave goodbye to bedtime worries with LeapStory
May 202020
 

I won’t lie: These past months have been hard. I have always been someone who worries easily and this COVID19 outbreak has definitely been a challenge for me mentally. Late last year I lost my wonderful Opa and had to fly to Europe unexpectedly, forcing me to leave my husband and babies behind for the first time. Not long after that my dad received the exciting but scary news that after months on the waiting list a donor liver had been found for him and that he would be undergoing an organ transplant that same day.

We had been waiting impatiently to go and spend seven long weeks with Dad and the rest of family but thanks to COVID19 our flights to The Netherlands were cancelled again and again and after rebooking three times (and travel restrictions coming in) there were eventually no travel options left. With infections sky rocketing in Europe and my recovering Dad in a high risk category we have been terribly worried and still are. The disappointment we (and especially the kids) feel about not seeing our (grand)parents for yet another year is just heartbreaking, not even talking about the money lost through it all. Add to that eight weeks of total home isolation with six kids, home schooling and work worries and 2020 has definitely been a mental challenge I will not easily forget!

For me the only way to keep my head above water has been to grab tight our beautiful kids, take every day as it comes and snuggle up in our safe bubble until this is all behind us. We have baked, coloured, painted, crafted, cooked, puzzled and read. We have spent many days in our pyjamas and enjoyed drives through the country side. We stayed up late, slept in and learnt about all kinds of interesting things. We have built a custom garden bed and set up a chicken coop, we have hatched our very own chicks in an incubator and are watching our chicks and vegetables grow.

As Australia slowly eases back into the ‘new normal’ I look back at a special time with my family and am proud of how we spent it. This week the kids will go back to school and I will go back to my readers, time to tell you about some hip and handy finds that we used a lot during our home isolation time…

While I was away for Opa’s funeral hip Daddy did an amazing job at home. Quite the change for our little troublemaker Ted who was still sleeping with us (and breastfeeding) every single night which was getting pretty exhausting! All attempts at weaning and moving him into his own bed had been unsuccessful until then but with Mummy away he had no choice and it has been the start of a better routine for Ted. He now happily goes to sleep in his own bed with a bit of help from this fabulous LeapFrog bedtime buddy.

Packed full of story classics, myths, nursery rhymes, songs and much more this clever story-telling cube is a wonderful companion for any children’s bedroom or playroom. LeapStory (RRP $69.95, ages 3-8) gives children access to a delightful collection of stories, songs and tunes, they can choose their favourites, listen to them being read out loud and enjoy a mesmerising display of images and animations projected onto the ceiling or wall. Parents can even record themselves reading a special story to their child, which allowed Ted to listen to his mama’s voice even when I was on the other side of the world.

We love the fact that LeapStory presents a great mix of well known classics and lesser known content. With more than 80 preloaded tracks spread out over four different categories (classicsmyths, legends and fables, sleepy time and learning songs children are guaranteed to discover delightful stories and songs they have never heard before. From Rapunzel to Rumpelstiltskin, from the Tortoise and the Hare to Three Little Pigs, from Little Red Riding Hood to Robin Hood, from Jack and the Beanstalk to the Fox and the Crow and so many others, LeapStory offers loads to listen, learn and love. Ted’s favourite is by far the Gingerbread Man!

We have put the LeapStory on Ted’s bedside table so it is always within hand’s reach, he can see the light-up base and projector and he often turns it on himself to listen to a story or two. After six solid months of use we can safely say it has been thoroughly tested by our big family and the kids still turn it on every night at bedtime, if that’s not a tick of approval I don’t know what is!

Whether they want to select a favourite adventure or hear multiple tales, set a timer to listen to stories as they drift off to sleep, flick through the different options or turn on the light projector, we have found the LeapStory cube easy to control. Featuring six simple buttons and an adjustable projector LeapStory allows young children to feel independent and in charge and they don’t need to ask mum or dad for help with every little change (particularly handy at bedtime!).

Getting tired of the same stories? Need a fresh fable or new nursery rhyme? No problem! Simply connect your LeapStory to your computer and download an additional content pack completely free using the LeapFrog Connect application. The LeapStory device will work on 4 AA batteries (great for holidays, camping adventures or road trips) or mains power using the included adapter.

You can find LeapStory at a Big W, Myer 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.

Bop to the Beat with Mixmaster Scout

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Bop to the Beat with Mixmaster Scout
Aug 312019
 

As you can probably imagine a busy home like ours is never quiet. As if six children don’t make enough sound, chatter and noise just yet we also have a piano (the four older kids get lessons at home) and three of them are learning the violin too! He may be the smallest of the family but Ted sure enjoys adding his fair share of volume so this musical LeapFrog toy comes in real handy:

The Learn & Groove Mixmaster Scout (RRP $34.95, ages 12-36 months) is the cutest toddler turntable you have ever seen. Future DJs can bop to the beat as they join puppy pal Scout to create their own unique tunes using a range of instruments, rhythms, sounds and background tracks. With colourful buttons to press, switches to flick, wheels to spin and lights to flash the Mixmaster instantly takes your little musician from cot to club.

I’ll admit, at this stage it looks like Ted is mainly out to make as much noise as possible but there is more to Mixmaster Scout than meets the eye. Not only is mixing your own music secretly a fabulous fine-motor skills exercise for chubby toddler hands, kids are also getting a fun and funky introduction to numbers, colours and instruments and learn to sing along to the catchy ABC song and other melodies.

As kids get older they come to understand the cause and effect principle and learn what the different buttons, switches and play modes (alphabet, numbers and colours) do and the sounds they make, giving them more control over their personal toddler tracks. You’re never too young to become a musician, so get those hands clapping and toes tapping with Mixmaster Scout.

The LeapFrog Learn & Groove Mixmaster Scout is now available from Big W, good toy stores across Australia and online.

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

Dec 072015
 

ByKay Carry Your Love

Christmas Countdown – Day 7

It’s only the first week of December and we’ve already had two 40°+ C days here in Adelaide, I think we can safely say that Summer has arrived in all its (very hot) glory. On sweltering days like this there is nothing more refreshing than a splash in the pool or sea, which is why ByKay has given their famous ByKay baby carrier a wonderful Summer makeover:

As the name suggests the ByKay Aqua Water Carrier (RRP $69.95, black or turquoise) is specifically designed to be worn in and around water, allowing parents to keep cool on hot days whilst keeping their baby safe and nearby.

Aqua Carrier TurquoiseAs a mum of five little ones I love the freedom of baby wearing, I value the closeness and knowing our Harriet is happy and content. She is currently 10 weeks old and has her longest and most settled sleeps when I wear her on my chest (or hubby’s chest), as long as she senses a familiar smell and soothing heartbeat she is in her element. In saying that, on warm days it can get rather hot and sweaty in a carrier which is not very pleasant for parent or baby.

The 100% polyester, fine gauge knit fabric of the Aqua Water Carrier wicks away moisture and sweat and dries quickly. This reduces the chance of overheating and that yucky clammy feeling of wet fabric, making it perfect for our humid Aussie summers. ByKay carriers are easy to wear and soft against the skin, the adjustable wrap around design ensures a comfortable fit for wearers of different sizes and body shapes whilst being supportive and safe.

Aqua Carrier

As the high tech fabric blocks out more than 90% of harmful UV rays you can rest assured that your baby is not only comfortable but well protected too, one less things to worry about for busy mamas. The Aqua Water Carrier is designed for front carrying and is suitable for precious babies up to 12kg. Obviously water safety is important so please be aware of these simple rules when wearing your baby in and around water.

To find out more about ByKay, to locate a stockist near you and to order online visit www.bykay.com.au.

For your chance to win a ByKay Aqua Water Carrier (RRP $69.95, black) enter our giveaway below:

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Aug 282015
 

Print

With just 6 weeks (or maybe less?) to go until baby no.5 arrives I am starting to get very excited about meeting our new addition. I can’t wait to see if we’ve been blessed with a little boy or a little girl, what he/she looks like and introducing the baby to the four siblings. I know it is a lot less important but I’ll admit that I am also looking forward to not feeling/looking like a whale, finally being able to sleep on my belly and getting out of the house and back into shape.

As we are expecting a Spring baby I am planning to spend plenty of time outside, exploring the neighbourhood and getting fresh air whilst enjoying some (gentle!) exercise and hopefully building up to some running in the future. Outdoor specialist Thule, famous around the globe for its high quality transport gear, is on a mission to get parents off the couch and out the door with a fantastic all-round sports stroller perfect for our Aussie landscape.

The sleek and modern Thule Urban Glide is packed with great features that will make your outdoor experience fun, safe, smooth and hassle free:

Thule Urban Glide (Sybbie)
Sybil (2 years old) enjoying a comfy trip

Light weight:
The Thule Urban Glide is one of the lightest full-size strollers I have ever come across, weighing in at just 10.5kg it is extremely light to lift (yay for my poor back and post-delivery recovery) and a breeze to push. Don’t be fooled by the featherlight design though, there is absolutely nothing flimsy about the Urban Glide! It is strong, sturdy and solid and can hold up to an extremely generous weight of 34kg. This means that all four of our children, ranging from 2 to 7 years old, can enjoy a ride in the same pram, now that’s what I call an excellent investment that will really grow with your child.

Thule Urban Glide (Juliet)
Juliet (5 years old) hitching a ride

Comfort:
The clever designers at Thule have made sure the Urban Glide is very comfortable for both child and parent. The pneumatic tires and rear suspension guarantee a smooth, comfy ride even on bumpy terrain whilst the soft padded seat can be reclined to a near-flat position, making it an ideal pick for snoozes on the go. The ergonomic handlebar can be adjusted in height to suit anyone from petite, gorgeous mummies to tall and handsome dads and anyone in between, measuring close to 2m hip daddy is particularly grateful for this back-saving feature! I also love the multi-position sun canopy that comes down nice and low compared to other prams, keeping the bright (and harmful!) sun out of your little one’s eyes.

Thule Hood Down
The extra-generous sun canopy is ideal for bright, sunny days

Safety:
Whether you are strolling, jogging or running, thanks to the strong, adjustable 5-point safety harness your little passenger will sit safe and snug in the Thule Urban Glide. You can keep a close eye on your precious cargo at all times by peeking through the handy view-in-roof window. The front wheel swivels for easy manoeuvrability as you navigate the shops or park and can be locked into place when you are jogging longer distances, of course the Urban Glide meets all safety standards.

Thule Urban Glide
Big sturdy wheels perfect for exploring the Aussie outdoors

Quality:
With years of experience in the car industry hip daddy has come to know the Thule brand as a high quality, durable and reliable label. His expectations of the Thule Urban Glide were therefore very high and I am glad to say it did not disappoint. The frame is very solid and strong and everything clicks and slides into place easily and smoothly. Thule is so confident that their prams are built to last that they back up their design with an unbeatable 10-year frame guarantee, is that the ultimate peace of mind or what?

Thule Urban Glide Fold
Big in perfomance, small in storage

Practicality:
To save you time and energy the Urban Glide can be folded in a quick, effortless one-handed motion. Simply slide the folding mechanism, hidden under the seat and away from curious little hands, to the side to instantly collapse the pram to a compact fold for storing and transporting. If desired the wheels can be taken off to create an even smaller package.

Thule StorageThree of my favourite busy-mum features are the thick, strong fabric that is easy to wipe clean, the handy mesh pocket next to the seat that keeps your child’s drink bottle within reach and of course the large zippered basket that holds up to 4.5kg. I often do a quick shop on the way (usually ending up with more than planned) so I love the roomy storage. The basket cover is even water resistant in case you encounter a little shower on the way.

Accessories:
Thule Mesh CoverThere are quite a few Thule accessories available (sold separately) to help you make the most out of your Urban Glide, including a rain cover, mesh cover, snack tray and more. I am particularly excited about the Thule Infant Car Seat Adapter which is compatible with our chosen baby capsule, I can’t wait to share a snap of our new addition enjoying a Thule trip in just a few short weeks. I will make sure to share our experiences with the Thule and a newborn once the baby is here and we are ready to head outside.

The Thule Urban Glide (RRP $749, colours Dark Shadow, Mars or Thule Blue) is available at Baby Bunting, Babies’R’Us and leading independents retailers across Australia.

Thule Urban Glide

To find out more about Thule, to take a closer look at the Urban Glide and to locate a stockist near you visit www.thule.com.

Stay tuned, once our little bundle has arrived we will be sharing the Thule love and give away an awesome Thule Urban Glide to one of our fabulous Hip Little One readers too. Keep an eye on the blog or sign up to the Hip Little One newsletter so you don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Dec 012014
 

WDYGT

Christmas Countdown – Day 1

As a child I used to love a beautiful snow globe and to be honest I still do. The delightful sight of hundreds of little snowflakes, glitters and sparkles falling down never gets boring so I am not surprised my children love it too. This magical time of year calls for a truly magical gift, so we’re starting our Christmas Countdown in style with this gorgeous prize from Where Did You Get That?:

Djeco Night Light Fawn

These whimsical Djeco Night Lights (RRP $64.95) would make a stunning decor piece in a child’s bedroom or nursery (in fact I would quite like one myself too…) that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Djeco Night Light BallerinaDon’t worry, there is no shaking involved. The Djeco Night Lights are battery operated so the glitter will keep floating around thanks to a super quiet fan while your little ones drifts off to sleep watching the magical effects of the rainbow colours and moving glitters on the bedroom wall. You can limit the playing time with the handy timer to preserve batteries and keep the room dark overnight.

Djeco Night Light FishThere are currently three different Djeco Night Lights to choose from: green Fawn, aqua Fish and pink Ballerina, they’re all equally sweet so I bet our lucky winner will have a hard time picking a favourite. If you would like to place one of these pretty night lights under the Christmas tree this year you better be quick, the first delivery sold out in less than 2 hours so they’re hot property!

To find out more about Where Did You Get That?, to browse the range and to order online visit www.wheredidyougetthat.com.au.

For your chance to win a Djeco Night Light of your choice (choose from Fish, Fawn or Ballerina, styles subject to availability) enter our giveaway below:

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Dec 102013
 

Tiny Love

If you are a regular reader of Hip little one you may have noticed a reoccurring theme in my posts: sleep. It’s obvious that I could do with some more of it and we are slowly getting there, all it takes is patience and a bit of help from some fabulous little gadgets. After five years of almost daily use our trusty old mobile recently stopped working so we upgraded to this gorgeous new Magical Night Mobile by Tiny Love:

Tiny Love Magical Night Mobile

Stage 1: Magical Night Mobile with Canopy Projector

At Tiny Love they know how tricky baby bedtime can be (and how much babies and parents need their sleep!) so they designed their new Magical Night Mobile with lots of clever features to help your baby fall (and stay) asleep peacefully. Suitable from birth the charming animal themed mobile grows with your child through three stages so it can be enjoyed for a long time to come and is a fabulous investment for new parents.

Stage 1 Magical Night Mobile

Stage 1 Magical Night Mobile

As we all know a soothing tune can be a great tool to help little ones get to sleep which is why the Magical Night Mobile plays nine different tunes (in three different categories) that can be started by the simple push of a button. The volume is easy to adjust and music plays for a lengthy thirty minutes, by then our daughter is usually fast asleep. The three round buttons are easy to find in the dark and once your baby gets older he can turn the music on all by himself. Our 9-month old has already started playing DJ when she wakes up in the morning, she doesn’t always go back to sleep but either way it keeps her happy and entertained.

Miniature DJ

Miniature DJ

In the early days (0-5 months) the Magical Night Mobile will catch the gazing eyes of little newborns with the cute, dangling animals friends that slowly spin around under the canopy. The continious movement, bright colours and interesting shapes will grab their attention and will help keep them happy while they drift off to sleep. But that’s not all, the mobile also works as a projector with sweet animal images being displayed on the canopy which is the perfect distance for young babies to look at.

Stage 2: Music box and Ceiling Projector

Stage 2: Music box and Ceiling Projector

As your baby gets older and starts rolling around and sitting/standing up (5-18 months) the Magical Night Mobile canopy can be removed, that way your baby can still listen to the familiar tunes that have by now become an unmissable part of the bedtime routine and at the same time discover an exciting new mode of play: a ceiling projection. At this stage children are able to see that much further and can follow with their eyes all the moving animal patterns that appear and disappear on the ceiling above their bed.

Magical Night Mobile 3

Stage 3: Bedside Light and Starry Night Projector

Even later on (18 months+) your baby, who is by now almost turning into a toddler, can still sleep with their loyal bedtime companion. The Magical Night Mobile can now be removed from the cot and placed on a bedside table or drawers, with the canopy reattached the mobile turns into an adorable bedside music box while projecting a delightful starry night sky on the ceiling.

The Tiny Love Magical Night Mobile (RRP $99) runs on 4 C-size batteries (not included) and can easily be attached to most standard cots.

To find out more about Tiny Love, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.tinylove.com or contact 1300-0-VALCO.

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Pillow Pets Glow Friends

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Pillow Pets Glow Friends
Nov 292013
 

It’s a pillow, it’s a pet AND it lights up your room, it’s the brand new Pillow Pet Glow Friend! Pillow Pets have been a hot Christmas gift for quite a few years now, a hit with both boys and girls and gentle on the (often tight) December budget too. This year everyone’s favourite cuddly pillow has become even more popular with an exciting new 3-in-1 design that the kids are going to love:

Glow Friends UnicornPillow Pet Glow Friends ($29.99, ages 3+) have the soft, cuddly feel of a comfy pillow, they have a lovable, friendly personality and make a fabulous buddy and (the most exciting part) they glow in the dark which looks amazing and offers a bit of extra security at bedtime.  The magical glow comes from special LED lights that don’t get hot (making them completely safe to snuggle up to) and they automatically turn off after 20 minutes to save battery life.

Glow Friends TurtleThere are currently 6 adorable Glow Friends to choose from, my favourite would have to be the unicorn (for that extra magical touch). Which Glow Friend would light up your little ones face (no pun intended)? If you want to surprise the kids with one of these enchanting new Pillow Pets under the tree make sure you get your order in before December 10 to ensure delivery in time for Christmas.

For a limited time only, order two or more items from www.mypillowpet.com.au and receive free shipping Australia wide.

To find out more about Pillow Pets, to take a closer look at the different designs and to order online visit www.mypillowpet.com.au.