Ready, Set, Action with Kidizoom

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Ready, Set, Action with Kidizoom
Jan 142019
 

VTech

Growing up in The Netherlands our Christmas holidays only lasted two weeks, so for me it still feels a little strange to have 6 long weeks of school holidays this time of year. Not that my kids are complaining, they love the summer holidays and having a brand new selection of Christmas presents to play with makes it extra fun! For master 10 this Vtech gift was an absolute winner and he has used it every single day so far:

The Kidizoom Action Cam 180° (RRP $89.95, ages 5+) is a compact, light, kid-friendly camera that is built for adventures. Fitted with a cool 180° rotatable lens that simply flips from front to back you will never miss a perfect picture or special selfie again, just point and click!

With the help of special effects, self-timer, background music, time-lapse and stop/slow/fast motion you can turn your photos and videos into unique pieces of art and fancy action shots. You can then share your files with your family and friends by exporting them to your computer. This is such a great way for my family in The Netherlands to see bits of our life in Australia, as seen through the eyes of the kids (instead of us adults). At 128MB the camera’s internal memory is not huge, however if you want to store more videos and photos you can expand the memory with a microSD card (not supplied).

Whether you are taking snaps at home, videoing a song or dance, recording your latest skateboard trick, cruising the bike track or even splashing at the pool or beach Kidizoom is always ready for action. Of course we wouldn’t want you to your ride your bike handsfree or lose your balance on your scooter so the Kidizoom Action Cam includes a handy bicycle mount that allows you to attach the camera to your bike or scooter. The mount is super easy to install and to use, in fact you don’t even need a screwdriver to set it up!

Because VTech knows active Aussie kids absolutely love the water the Kidizoom Action Cam 180° also comes with a special waterproof case that enables you to take your camera to the pool or beach and make the most amazing underwater photos and videos (up to 6 feet under water). Our kids can’t wait to test this out on our next trip to the beach! Swimming, snorkeling, fishing, or even surfing or paddle boarding (using the included adhesive mount), you’ll be able to record and relive your favourite watersport memories whenever you want.

But there is more, aside from taking photos and videos you can also use the Action Cam 180° to play three fun games: Ocean Dive, Forest Quest and Unicycle Challenge. Forest Quest is miss 5’s top pick, she loves moving the camera around to look through the binoculars and hunt for forest creatures. The built-in games are a fabulous boredom buster for long drives and have saved us from a lot of ‘are we there yet?’ questions these holidays.

Budget-conscious parents will be pleased to know that there is no needed for expensive batteries, that somehow always seem to run out at the most inconvenient of times. The Kidizoom Action Cam 180° has a convenient rechargeable battery, allowing you to charge it over and over again with the included USB cable. If you have a USB car-charger you can even charge it on the way to your next adventure, how easy is that?

The verdict: We have found the Kidizoom Action Cam 180° very child friendly: it’s easy to set up and easy to use, in fact our 5-year old daughter barely needed any help and knew her way with the camera in no time. This offers a great feeling of independence and the kids are always very proud to show off their photo art, videos or animations they have made. The Action Cam has definitely become a must-have for our family adventures!

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.

Discovering the highlights of Malta

 Out & About  Comments Off on Discovering the highlights of Malta
Aug 202015
 

Visit Malta

People sometimes ask me about my life ‘before kids’ which I admit feels like forever ago. As you probably know by now I grew up in the Netherlands and moved to Australia after meeting my wonderful Aussie hubby. What most of you don’t know is that I used to work as a travel agent, sending people on fabulous journeys around the globe and even going on some wonderful trips myself too. I have seen quite a few beautiful holiday destinations during that time but one of my personal favourites was a visit to the Island State of Malta thanks to Malta Tourism Authority:

Malta

From prehistoric temples and ancient walled cities to scenic coastlines and beautiful cathedrals, the islands that make up the Mediterranean country of Malta (Malta, Comino and Gozo) are unlike any other place on earth – in the best of ways. Malta’s geographic position has meant that it has played a significant role through history and had been been invaded by many empires, the result of which can still be seen today in its rich tapestry of historical monuments and sites. If you’re looking to head on holiday to a place that has a great mix of history waiting to be explored, as well as stunning Mediterranean beaches and beautiful nature, you are sure to love what Malta has to offer. Here are just some of the great things you can see and do during your stay:

A cultural visit to Valetta

A cultural visit to Valetta

Valletta

Malta’s capital was built by the Knights of St. John in the 16th-century, and today UNESCO has called it “one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world”. The town, which measures little more than a square kilometre, is a stately design and home to the country’s most famous and grand cathedral, St John’s Cathedral, as well as the Grand Master’s Palace, both of which are decorated with ostentatious interiors. Here you will also find the National Museum of Archaeology, a great starting point to explore Malta’s many famous archaeological sites.

Sports

For those who like to keep active on their holiday there are plenty of sporty opportunities to be explored. Walking, hiking, rock climbing, abseiling, kayaking, biking and even snorkelling… from amateurs to experts, there is lots of active fun to be enjoyed for everyone. With so many great options to choose from Malta and its surrounding islands are a perfect family destination where no one will have to go bored!

Abseiling (My kids were very impressed when I showed them this picture of mummy!)

Abseiling (My kids were very impressed when I showed them this picture of mummy!)

Malta Marine Park

One of the highlights of my trip was a visit to Malta Marine Park, situated right next to the sea, where I had the fabulous opportunity to swim with dolphins (and all that was classed as ‘work’, how lucky was I?). If you’re not too keen to get in the water with these amazing sea creatures you can still get up close with some other wonderful animals like sea lions, parrots, iguanas, turtles and many more.

The Ġgantija Temples

Scattered throughout Malta there are a variety of prehistoric temples, which are megalithic structures built between 3600 and 2500 BC. The most famous of these temples, and what are often cited as being the oldest free standing structures in the world (older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids), the Ggantija Temples will provide visitors with a surreal perspective of the ability and innovation behind this region’s ancient inhabitants. These sites are some of the best representations of artistic and architectural development from early humans.

Azure Window (one of my favourite Maltese photo spots)

Azure Window (one of my favourite Maltese photo spots)

So whether you’re interested in some of the best architecture of the medieval period, want to admire the amazing beaches and scenery or enjoy an active holiday, Malta has treasures for all to discover and remember.

Jun 162015
 

Penguin Australia

Every Sunday afternoon we pack the entire family in the car and head to the pool for swimming lessons. Thankfully all four kids have their classes at the same time and they absolutely love their time in the water; it’s fun for the whole family and an excellent way to fit some exercise into their week. For now swimming is their only sport but the kids are already discussing their next after-school activity, ballet and soccer are the hot favourites at the moment. The Sporty Kids book series is fun, quick and easy to read and a great way for young kids to read up on different sports:

Sporty Kids SwimmingIn Sporty Kids: Swimming Emma is determined to turn her embarrassing belly whacks into proper dives, after all no one likes being the laugh of the team. By picturing different animals and the way they get around in the water Emma soon slides to the water like a real pro. Our miss 6 is not usually very keen on reading but this short read was just perfect for her and she was very proud of herself when she finished.

Sporty Kids FootyWe all know it is not about but winning but having fun, in saying that when Joe feels it is his ‘fault’ his team doesn’t win he is not very happy. In Sporty Kids: Footy Joe spends his week practising his handball skills so that he won’t let the team down at the next match. Not everyone is pleased with all these test throws but it is all worth it in the end when his last-minute handball leads to the winning goal.

Keep an eye out for more Sporty Kids titles later this year.

To find out more about Sporty Kids (RRP $9.99 per book) by Felice Arena, published by Penguin Books Australia, and to order online visit www.penguin.com.au.

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Apr 112015
 

Duukies

Since starting swimming lessons last year our four kids can’t get enough of the water, but getting to the water is not always as easy as they would like. Whether it’s a hot and sandy beach, a rocky lake side or a slippery pool deck, often there are some obstacles to overcome for little swimmers. Dutch designer label Duukies has come up with the perfect way to help little feet find their way into the water:

duukies-beachsocks

Duukies Beach Socks (RRP $34.95) are the hip and comfortable way to keep kids’ feet safe in and around the water. Brand new to Australia these clever nylon/neoprene beach socks are sure to be a huge hit, after all we are blessed with beautiful weather for most of the year and you will have a hard time finding an Aussie kid who doesn’t love the water!

Duukies Beach Socks LieveDuukies are comfortable to wear, protect against the sun, hot sand and sharp rocks, are slip-resistant, easy to put on and they won’t be in your way when swimming (unlike the traditional stiff and uncomfortable water shoes). There are currently six colourful designs to choose from to suit both boys and girls with sizes ranging from a tiny 4 up to a big 4. Not only do Duukies match up with your favourite swimmers, just like your cossie they dry in a flash too.

To find out more about Duukies, to locate a stockist near you and to order online visit www.duukies-beachsocks.com.au.

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Dec 162014
 

White Soda logo

Christmas Countdown – Day 16

Two months ago our children had their first swimming lesson, quite an undertaking when you have four children (6 years and under) but also a lot of fun. Every week they count down the days until it is time for swimming again and now that it’s school holidays we will have more time to splash around in the pool or go to the beach. Get water ready and sun safe in style this Summer with White Soda:

White Soda range

Australian swimwear label White Soda, created by talented designer Caroline, caters for active boys and girls aged 0-8 who love to be in and around the water. Whether you prefer a rash top and brief, a one piece, tankini, swim shorts, board shorts or even a swim nappy, White Soda has got everyone covered (literally!) and well protected from the harmful sun.

White Soda Pink Flowers Rash TopPersonally I feel a rash top is a must when swimming in the ocean or outside pool so all four of our children wear a long-sleeve rashie. All White Soda rashies are made with UPF 50+ chlorine, stretch and fade resistant material so I know it is the safest choice for my children’s skin and (not unimportant) a durable one for my wallet too. There are both long and short sleeve rash tops available.

Turquoise Stripe One PieceFor indoor swimming our little miss 4 has been wearing this gorgeous Turquoise Stripe One Piece, it looks fantastic on and thanks to the adjustable straps it’s always exactly the right fit. How cute are the bright orange ruffles? I have found White Soda swimwear to be strong and stretchy which is very important, there is nothing as annoying as thin, see through, stretched bathers after just a few swims.

White Soda Nautical Green Swim ShortOf course every little swimmer is different so within the range you can mix and match to suit your needs and taste, allowing your child to put together his/her ideal White Soda swim outfit. The White Soda Girls collection alone consists of 39 items and the White Soda Boys collection offers 26 pieces, with so many options it is not easy to pick a favourite! Prices start at $21.95 and postage is just $8.50 Australia wide.

To find out more about White Soda, to browse the range and to order online visit www.whitesoda.com.au.

For your chance to win a White Soda Swim Outfit (one piece OR top and bottom) in the style/size of your choice enter our giveaway below:

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Oct 312014
 

SwimFinLogo

Last Sunday we took the kids for their first swimming lesson, quite an adventures when you have four children! With swimming season now in full swing we decided not to wait any longer and make sure our children are safe and confident in and around water, something that’s very important in Australia where everyone loves spending time in the water.

This year Australian icons The Wiggles and four-time Olympic gold medalist Libby Trickett have teamed up with SwimFin Australia to spread the water safety message amongst Aussie kids and what better way to get little people’s attention than with a catchy Wiggles song?

SwimFin RedSwimFin (RRP $39.95) is a unique, self-adjusting swimming aid that is set to change the way Aussie kids learn to swim. It looks awesome, gives kids confidence and is suitable for all ages (2+), abilities and strokes. Unlike many other floating devices the SwimFin does not impact on arm and leg movement so you can practise your swimming skills properly whilst feeling safe and supported knowing SwimFin has got your back.

SwimFin is available in 7 great colours to suit both boys and girls, this means all your children could stand out with a different colour (unless you’ve got a real big family of course!). This fantastic design is currently being sold in more than 80 countries worldwide and there are already over 300,000 SwimFins cruising pools, lakes, rivers and oceans, that’s a lots of colourful fins sticking out of the water!

SwimFin Blue

To find out more about SwimFin, to locate a stockist near you or to order online visit www.swimfin.com.au, free shipping Australia wide for orders over $75.

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Oct 242014
 

Jack & Evelyn

When the thermometer reads 37ºC in mid October you know it’s time to dig up the bathers and shake out the towels, swimming season has begun! Unlike myself, who would love to just lay on the beach and read a good book, the kids are always busy: swimming, building sand castles, playing catch, kicking balls, flying kites, searching for shells and more. So how do you keep kids dry and toasty while they play?

Jack & Evelyn Navy Poncho Towel

Designed right here in Australia by a lovely mum-of-two Jack & Evelyn is home to a growing range of stylish, practical, high quality products for your family. Being a mother herself owner Melissa knows exactly what parents want, need and look for when searching for the right product so she’s made sure her designs tick all the boxes. In time for Summer the first Jack & Evelyn product has just been released, check out the fabulous Jack & Evelyn Poncho Towel:

Poncho Towel RedUnlike many other children’s towels on the market Jack & Evelyn Poncho Towels (RRP $35) are made from the highest quality 100% cotton terry toweling so they are super soft, lovely and thick and very absorbent. The simple over-the-head design makes these beautiful towels very easy and quick to put on and take off, even toddlers can do it! To keep the poncho in place when your little water lover is on the go it is fitted with press studs under the arms and around the neck.

Poncho Towel PinkJack & Evelyn Poncho Towels come in one size only to fit ages 2-8 and are currently available in four different colours to suit boys and girls, which one is your favourite? The poncho towels are plain with a contrasting trim so they are timeless and a great choice for all ages, so much more appealing than all the licensed gear around. Whether you’re on the beach, at the pool or playing with water in the garden, Jack & Evelyn has got you covered.

Until November 30, 2014, all orders ship free Australia wide, don’t miss out and stock up for Christmas! 

To find out more about Jack & Evelyn, to browse the range and to order online visit www.jackandevelyn.com.au.

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