Get into gear with GearZooz

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Mar 172019
 

After several holidays to the Netherlands with our large family a long plane trip does not worry us anymore. By now I know exactly what to pack and what to do to make the journey as pleasant as possible for young travellers…

For our last European adventure in August we bought Ted the cutest GearZooz Lion & Mouse toy and it was a real hit. It’s colourful and fun, it makes music and moves and stimulates little brains, plus it is compact enough for a holiday backpack or nappy bag. After seeing how much he enjoyed playing with it I was determined to find some more GearZooz styles so I was super chuffed to stumble upon this awesome activity centre recently:

The GearZooz Gear Up & Go Activity Table (RRP $69.95, ages 18-36 months) by VTech is a great 2-in-1 toy designed with curious kids in mind. The chunky shapes are a great size for chubby toddler hands and the 30cm height is a great play height for our big boy Ted. This week Ted will be 18 months old, so he is at the perfect age and there is lots left to learn as he gets bigger. At the same time Hattie (3 years old) really enjoys it too, proving this toy is suitable for different ages and developmental stages.

On side one the Gear Up & Go Activity Table offers busy little bees loads to do and discover across five play modes. Kids can practise colours, learn to count, discover instruments and their sounds, sing songs and more, so they are not just playing but learning too! Switch between Learning Fun, Animal Jam Time, Instrument Fun, Concert Time or even play a Guessing Game: Can you find the green piano key? Can you find the number 3? Can you find the violin?

The 16 coloured mix and match gears can be placed in many different spots and, if you do it right, as you turn one the other gears will start spinning too. Picking up the gears, clicking them place and twisting and turning is a great fine motor skills exercise for small toddler hands.

Keep an eye out for the clever Smart Gear spot, if you place one of the interactive Smart Gear Animals on top it will tell the name of the animal and teach you some interesting animal facts eg. Aligators swim by sweeping their tail back and forth, Baby bears are called cubs, Elephants use their trunk to get food and water.

In a few simple steps the table can be transformed for a whole new way of creative play: turn up side two and test out the gear board. The gear board it a fantastic way to practise the cause and effect principle, develop prediction skills and work on strategic thinking: How does turning one gear affect the other gears? Can you place the gears in a way that you can make the whole series move? Maybe you can even make a specific shape?

To make sure you don’t lose any of the gears you can fix them safely on the activity table, click them on the gear board or secure them to the table legs. I just love that you can use the gears on all other GearZooz too for extended play and that all GearZooz toys are able to recognise the cute interactive Smart Gear Animals. So the bigger your GearZooz collection gets, the more different combinations and set-ups you can create.

VTech toys are available at major department stores, select online stores and independent toy retailers across Australia.

To find out more about GearZooz by VTech, to browse the 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.

Play & Learn

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Feb 032017
 

After six long, noisy, happy, fun-filled weeks of school holidays our house is rather quiet this week. It may sound strange but I miss having the big four kids at home and I know Harriet misses them too, she loves having so many playmates around to make her laugh. On the other hand I am looking forward to spending more one-on-one time with her and seeing her grow and develop into a cheeky little toddler. Here are some awesome ‘Play & Learn’ activities to do at home:

All of our girls are big fans of pretend play and can spend hours cuddling their dolls or cooking up a storm in the toy kitchen. Combining many different ways of play this pretty pink Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Shopping Cart (RRP $79, ages 2+) is a delightful and durable investment for young families: Take a stroll around the house and practice your new walking skills, go on a pretend grocery shopping trip or enjoy a walk with your favourite dolly/ teddy. One thing is certain, Little Tikes sure knows how to keep both baby & kids happy!

Discover logic, learn about cause and effect and explore movement with this educational  Vilac House of Balls (RRP $75, ages 18 months+) game. The classic concept of the rolling balls never ceases to amaze little minds and kids will be intrigued by it for hours, watching each coloured ball make its way down the double sided house and finish its journey by ringing the bell at the end. This timeless wooden game would make a wonderful keepsake gift that will be treasured and enjoyed by generations.

Of course there is plenty of fun to be had outside the house too, when it comes to outdoor play equipment Harriet loves the swing, a picnic on the grass and messy water play. I am totally in love with this colourful Water Garden Activity Table (RRP $95, ages 18 months+), a fantastic design for shared play by siblings or friends as children can play on either side of the table and there are lots of accessories to go around. Young gardeners can plant their own flowers using ‘real’ gardening tools and water them with the watering can, what a great way to learn while having fun.

Do you have any other great Play & Learn activities to recommend? I’d love to know what’s keeping your toddler(s) entertained at home!

Plate Up with Petit Jour Paris

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Jul 102016
 

Petit Jour Paris

With just 7 weeks to go until we leave on our European holiday we are getting more excited by the day. Of course we are most looking forward to spending time with our Dutch family and friends (and eating our tummies round with delicious Dutch food!) but we’ve got plenty of other fun stuff planned too. We can’t wait to revisit Paris and explore the many beautiful spots, typical French streets full of character and special attractions, there is so much to love about Paris.

Petit Jour Paris - Forest Set

Can’t make it to Paris? Don’t worry, Australian online store Where Did You Get That? is bringing a piece of Paris to you with the divine Petit Jour Paris dinnerware range that arrived in store this week. Isn’t it just gorgeous?

Petit Jour Forest MugFeaturing stunning illustrations in warm, vibrant colours Petit Jour Paris is sure to delight even the most stubborn little eater. Petit Jour Paris dinnerware is made from strong, durable melamine (100% BPA free) and designed with small hands in mind, what a stylish way to encourage independent eating! There are several sweet themes to choose from: Jungle, Forest or Farm, which one is your favourite?

From delightful 4-piece or 5-piece gift sets to individual plates, bowls, mugs, cutlery, placemats and more, the handy mix and match collection allows you to create the perfect setting for every occasion. Sneakily I am coveting the whimsical Forest Gift Set for baby Hattie’s birthday, the colours and prints are simply amazing. Prices start at $7.95 up to $49.95.

Petit Jour Paris - Jungle

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

Baby Bites with BabyBjörn

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Apr 052016
 

BabyBjorn logo copy

Now that that nasty tongue-tie has been dealt with we can finally continue our solids journey, hopefully this time with more luck! Harriet certainly knows how to attack a teething rusk and she’s even had a crack at some toast soldiers yesterday, very messy but good fun. She has been sitting with us at the dinner table for a few weeks and now she can join in the eating part too, hooray.

Hattie High Chair

She may only be 6 months old but Harriet sits like a real queen in the new BabyBjörn high chair, it’s like a throne for little royals. Designed for ages 6 months up to 3 years this super stylish high chair is a perfect pick for modern families who want to invest in high quality, durable products that grow with their child.

BabyBjorn High Chair

There is lots to love about this trendy seat, like a curved backrest that helps young children to sit upright and an ergonomic fit that supports babies in all the right places. Initially I had my doubts about the ‘harness-free’ design of the BabyBjörn High Chair but my mind was immediately put at ease when I saw how the tray fits nice and snug around her body keeping her perfectly in place. Add to that the safety bar in between the child’s legs and there is no slipping away, even for a six month old.

Hattie BabyBjorn High Chair

The spacious, easy-clean tray can be adjusted to suit your little eater, it can slide closer to provide a tight fit for a small child and it can slide out to offer more room for older children. Unlike traditional rectangular trays that leave gaps around your child for food and cutlery to drop down in, this clever tray has a rounded shape that mimics a child’s body shape; no gaps = less mess! There are no small openings, seams or grooves on the tray or the seat, just a smooth surface that you can simply wipe clean after each meal.

BabyBjorn High Chair colours

The BabyBjörn High Chair is very easy to use: just sit your child in the seat, flip up the tray and turn the table lock to secure the tray and your child in one simple step. Once mealtime is over you can unlock the tray, fold it down and lift out your child. I also love the fact that you can detach the removable top tray for easy cleaning under the tap or dishwasher whilst the main tray stays in place for the next course or play time.

BabyBjorn High Chair Fold

Last but not least: storage! At first sight the BabyBjörn High Chair may not look like a very compact design but you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you fold the back legs in and flip the tray up you’ll be left with a compact and narrow (< 25cm wide) package perfect for transport or storage.

The BabyBjörn High Chair (RRP $299.95) is currently available in three stylish colours: Snow White, Pink and Turquoise.

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

Take A Seat With Babyhood

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Feb 202016
 

Babyhood

Almost eight years ago hip daddy and I selected the Babyhood Georgia sleigh cots and change table for our two bundles of joy, I vividly remember how happy and proud I was looking around our gorgeous baby room. Five babies later and we are still using the same nursery furniture every day, clearly our choice for quality and durability has paid off!

Babyhood Table + Chairs

Hopefully we’ll get just as much enjoyment out of the Babyhood Playing Table with 4 Chairs (RRP $249) which we recently added to our living room. As you can probably imagine it can be quite tricky for short legs and arms to (safely) climb on and off high chairs and sit up properly at a big kitchen table, so this child-sized set is making life a lot easier and safer for our growing family.

Babyhood rounded corners

From breakfast in the morning to tea-parties at lunch and from drawing, puzzling and games to snacks after school, our lovely wooden table is in use all day. The chairs also double as a seats on a bus, the frame of a blanket fort or movie theatre seats, there is no lack of imagination here! The kids can hop on and off the chairs with ease without needing help and without getting hurt (yay for rounded corners). Measuring 60x60cm in size there is plenty of surface space and even with all four chairs taken there is enough room on the table for breakfast plates or colouring books.

Babyhood table

Often children’s furniture features bright colours or busy patterns, great for kids but not always a good match for the rest of your home decor. The traditional look of the Babyhood table and chairs fits in effortlessly in most homes and doesn’t date so we are sure to enjoy it for years to come. The beautiful finish and natural colour variances in the warm, chocolate wood are just stunning especially when it catches the sunlight.

Babyhood chair

Not only does the wood look classy and timeless, it is also very strong, solid and eco-friendly. As a busy family with five young children we always think ahead and opt for durability, this table and chairs set is built to last and I am confident it will survive the every day hustle and bustle of our little tribe.

The Babyhood Playing Table + Chairs set is currently available in four classic looks: white, baltic, cedar and chocolate.

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

Jan 192016
 

Bobo & Boo

As most long-time Hip Little One readers will know food has always been a bit of an issue for our cheeky miss almost-3. While we have overcome quite a few challenges and outgrown allergies along the way it is still an ongoing battle to get her to eat so we are always looking for ways to help make family mealtime a success. Our latest find has been very well received, check out these sweet Bobo & Boo dinner sets:

Bamboo dinnerware

Bobo & Boo is a new Australian homeware label creating stylish eco-friendly dinnerware made from all natural, renewable and sustainable materials like bamboo, bran and cornstarch, making it a perfect pick for modern green families who want to look after the environment and avoid nasty plastics in their home.

Bobo & Boo PebbleSo why is bamboo the talk of the town? With more and more parents become aware of the potential dangers hiding in ordinary plastic the demand for a safer, greener solution has grown considerably. As a natural and renewable resource bamboo is a non-toxic and sustainable choice that is gentle on our our children and the world they grow up in, no wonder Bobo & Boo is such a hit with Aussie families!

Bobo & Boo PacificBobo & Boo dinnerware sets (RRP $25.95) consist of a matching bowl, plate, cup, fork and spoon and are currently available in 6 trendy colours. This means our five kids could each have their own special set or we could play a fun game of mix and match, miss 3 immediately had her heart set on the soft and happy sunshine yellow. Each Bobo & Boo set comes beautifully packaged in a nice gift box.

Officially Bobo & Boo dinnerware was designed with little people in mind but I have to admit I secretly enjoy a scrumptious Bobo & Boo bowl of yoghurt or fruit salad before bedtime too. The cutlery is an ideal size for small hands and it doesn’t feel cold and slippery like metal cutlery. I just love the soft, almost velvety texture of the bamboo, it’s rather luxurious! Good to know: Bobo & Boo dinnerware is dishwasher safe (top shelf), biodegradable and smash proof = Winner!

Bobo & Boo

To find out more Bobo & Boo, to locate a stockist near you and to order online visit www.boboandboo.com.au.

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