Myla’s Sparkling Friends

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Oct 282020
 

If you are a regular Hip Little One reader you might remember the arrival of the fluttering Myla the Magical Unicorn back in 2018. Fast forward two years and Myla hasn’t lost her sparkle yet, the girls still play with her often and she is a main character in many of their plays. In fact, they’ve recently welcomed some new fairytale friends for even more mystical adventures:

Myla’s Sparkling Friends (RRP $29.95, ages 4+) are the perfect proof that there is no such thing as too much magic, the more the merrier is our motto! The adorable Ava, Mia and Penny may be smaller in size but they are definitely big in entertainment.

With their fluttery wings, sparkling eyes, bushy tails and long flowing mane these colourful creatures come straight out of an enchanted forest. They talk, sing, move and light up making them a wonderful companion for all your fairytale stories. When you touch their mouths or wiggle their wings they’ll chatter away with more than 100 different sentences, songs, melodies and sounds that will truly bring your fantasy forest to life.

Simply press the jewel necklace to select a colour, then touch your new friend’s eyes, horn, wings or tail to see it light up in the most beautiful colours. You can decorate them over and over again, it’s a bit like make-up but without the mess (Yay!). The animal friends even teach you the name of each colour, now that’s smart.

My girls like playing with Myla’s Sparkling Friends in the dark and I have caught them taking their light-up buddy to bed so they can admire the rainbow colours as they go to sleep. While the animals are rigid and cannot be posed, they can actually perform really lifelike movements. If you push their wing or squeeze their leg you will be treated to a wagging tail or flapping wings, adding a lovely dimension to your child’s pretend play.

To help you care for and dress up your sparkling friend some little accessories (eg. a comb, hair clips or coloured charms) are included. We love the fabulous price point and the compact size of Myla’s Sparkling Friends because it means these cute creatures can come along on car trips and sleepovers, check out the sweet carry bag Hattie found for her friend Mia.

Myla’s girl squad currently consists of Ava the Fox, Mia the Unicorn and Penny the Peacock.

You can find Myla’s Sparkling Friends by VTech 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.

Sweet Stocking Stuffers

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Dec 152018
 

christmas-holly

With just 10 sleeps to go until the big day parents across the country are madly getting organised, doing a last count of presents and wrapping them in secret. The time for online ordering is quickly running out, but here are fabulous little stocking filler ideas that won’t break the bank and are readily available at local retailers:

Our 3-year old Peppa Pig fan was over the moon to receive a Peppa Pig ‘Peppa’s Secret Surprise’ (Ages 3+, RRP $20) box which, I admit, didn’t actually fit in her shoe! These adorable cubes are like Pandora’s Box, there are little drawers galore and you never know what you’ll find inside. Each drawer holds a blind bag, so it’s a true ‘secret surprise’. The box is reusable and the perfect storage for small treasures.

Hiding inside the 6 drawers we found Rebecca Rabbit wearing a sparkly Christmas dress, a party crown, the most adorable little fairy wings, a hair brush, a toy present and a sheet of gemstones to jazz her up for the festive season. Who is coming to your party: Is it Peppa Pig, Suzie Sheep, Rebecca Rabbit or maybe Zoe Zebra? There are six different figures to collect for super Peppa fans.

Peppa Pig Peppa’s Secret Surprise is available at Big W, Myer, Toyworld, Kidstuff and independent retailers.

I know they say you should never gift a pet for Christmas, but how can you possibly resist these cute TLC Kritters (Ages 3+, RRP $18)? These tiny kitties, puppies, bears and bunnies are looking for a forever home and someone to spoil them with lots of Tender, Loving, Care. Each little kritter comes in a small incubator to keep it warm and brings along a bunch of miniature pet accessories to help you care for your new adoptee.

All TLC Kritters have their very own nappy, with a colour change icon that appears when you clean your little friend in cold water. With the help of the incubator, nappy, dummy, baby bottle or medicine dropper and bow or bib your TLC Kritter will be thriving in no time. Each character comes with a special dissolving envelope to reveal your pet’s gender and adoption paper to make everything official. Check out the collector sheet to see which other kritters are still waiting to be adopted.

TLC Kritters are available exclusively at your local Kmart store or on www.kmart.com.au.

My big four absolutely loved finding these scented Bananas (Ages 4+, prices start at RRP $8) in their shoes. These tropical toys are available in a rainbow of colours to suit boys and girls and come as a single serve or a bunch of three (three serves of fruit a day, keep boredom away?). You can connect your bananas to each other and make your own big colourful bunch, just click them together at the top as your collection grows.

Once you peel your banana you’ll discover a quirky character living inside, accompanied by two mini mates. Will you get Pipo Panda, Lucy Leopard or Hermione Hamster? With 96 different characters to collect there are plenty of fun friends to find. You can decorate your banana with the included gemstone stickers and hang it up with the vine hanger. Bananas can be peeled over and over again.

You can find these fun fruits at Kmart, Big W, Myer, Toyworld, Toymate, Kidstuff and independent retailers.

Counting Down to Christmas with Ooshies

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Dec 062018
 

The Ooshies trend steadily continues and what could possibly be better than a soft, squishy Ooshie? 24 soft squishy Ooshies of course! I’ll admit we are a little late to the party but that’s easily solved: Just open 6 doors at once and your Ooshies Advent Calendar is back on track:

The Ooshies Advent Calendar (RRP $39.95) presents as a large colourful box that can stand up independently. Once you open the front cover the 24 secret doors are revealed while the open cover doubles as a cool pop-out play scene for your new Ooshies characters.

Forget about melted chocolates and unwanted sugar rush, behind this calendar’s 24 little doors you will discover 24 hidden Ooshies pencil toppers that are fabulously fun and functional too. Unlike sweet treats they will last long after Christmas and can be enjoyed over and over again. Big Ooshies fans will be pleased to hear that 12 of the calendar doors contain exclusive advent Ooshies, you can not find them anywhere else and they are a must-have for every Ooshies collector.

My little tribe can’t wait to find out which special Ooshies are hiding in their calendar. Miss 8 was super chuffed to find ‘Ken’ waiting behind one of the doors, so now there is finally a Barbie Ooshies wedding on the horizon. The kids play with their Ooshies all the time and still have a few must-haves they are hoping to add to their collection, so fingers crossed! I love that you can store the Ooshies in their little ‘homes’ like a pretty display cabinet, it looks adorable.

The 2018 Ooshies Advent Calendar is available in nine different styles. Whether you adore Care Bears, love Disney or admire Barbie, go crazy for Transformers or are Marvel mad, there is a perfect Ooshies calendar for everyone. Yes, even for large families like ours there is no need to fight!

Hip Tip: As the advent period has officially already started you can now scoop up an Ooshies Advent Calendar at a fantastic discounted price if you shop smart. Be quick and hunt down your favourite!

To find out more about Ooshies and to browse the range visit www.ooshies.net.

Oct 272018
 

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While first birthdays come with awesome benefits like parties, presents and birthday cake, they also trigger something rather unpleasant: immunisations… Poor Ted didn’t enjoy the four needles at all and left the doctors office with a bandaid on both his arms AND both his legs. Being the school holidays all the kids came along and they were very intrigued by it all, watching closely how the doctor checked Ted over and how the nurse prepared and administered each injection.

Hospital trips and doctor appointments can be quite scary, but pretend play is a fantastic way to help your child prepare and understand what’s happening in a fun, relaxed way. Our kids love getting out the doctor dress-up and their toy first aid kit to attend a medical emergency. Instead of focussing on the scary parts children can learn about all the good things a medical practitioner does and maybe even inspire them to become one too!

If you are a big Peppa Pig fan like our kids you will know that (while miss Rabbit is extremely good at multitasking) there are plenty of memorable characters who have special jobs and responsibilities. We regularly bump into a ‘Mr. Bull’ when we spot roadworks, we visit our own ‘Dr. Brown Bear’ for check-ups and take our pets to ‘Dr. Hamster’. The new Peppa Pig ‘When I Grow Up’ episodes enable children to connect with a range of characters, professions, roles and scenarios and recognise them in their own lives too. From helpful doctors to brave fire fighters, from office superstars to hardworking farmers and much more, Peppa Pig makes children familiar with every day jobs in a fun and playful way.

Research has shown it over and over again: Children’s play is so much more than just having fun! It’s their special way of preparing them for the big wide world through books, TV, craft and the so important pretend play. Parents and teachers can learn alongside too, as supporting and joining in children’s play helps them deeply connect and engage on the child’s own level.

I love listening to my little ones make up their own stories and adventures. From ‘mums and dads’ to keeping shop, from running a restaurant to catching robbers, from teaching a class to even managing their own library, it tells me a lot about their personalities and characters. I wonder what they will be when they grow up…

Thanks to our friends at EntertainmentOne one lucky Peppa Pig fan will win a Peppa Pig Mobile Medical Centre and Flip-Flap Peppa Board Book. For your chance to win enter our giveaway below:

Call the doctor! No matter where the emergency is, the Peppa Pig Mobile Medical Centre (RRP $39, ages 3+) is always on standby to bring help to those in need. While on the road Dr. Brown Bear, Nurse Peppa and Teddy travel in a funky white and yellow ambulance. Upon arrival the push-along van opens up to reveal a fully equiped medical centre complete with hospital bed, first aid kit and more. Even the roof transform into a waiting room with reception desk and chairs!

Parents often tell their children they can be anything they want to be, and the same goes for Peppa in this fun Flip-Flap Peppa Board Book (RRP $16.99). By lifting the flaps young readers can dress Peppa in 100 mix and match outfits to suit different professions, characters and occasions. A witch, a fairy, a doctor or an astronaut… What would you like to dress up like today? This sturdy board book offers endless entertainment for little hands.

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Oct 122017
 

Smiggle

For most of this year we’ve been counting down until our baby’s arrival, without a doubt the highlight of the year. A crazy as they are about him, now that baby Ted is finally here the other kids are quickly moving on to the next big thing on our agenda: Christmas! With just 10 weeks to go time is rapidly ticking away so I better get my act together and start my Christmas preparations, are you on track with your shopping?

At Smiggle they know all too well how much kids love counting down to a special date, event or milestone, which is why they have put together this gorgeous collection of surprises just in time for Christmas:

Behind 25 secret little doors the magical Smiggle Advent Calendar (RRP $39.95, ages 6+) is hiding 25 awesome pieces of Limited Edition Smiggle stationery and gifts. Starting December 1st Smiggle fans can open one door daily to find a new gift every single day, what a great way to count down the days until Christmas morning!

Each calendar holds more than $70 of Smiggle goodies, making this Advent Calendar amazing value for money and much kinder on your children’s teeth than the chocolate alternative. I love the wide variety in gifts as it means there is something fun for everyone and you can even share the calendar as a family taking turns opening the doors.

Our curious tribe of kids was more than willing to take a sneak peek behind a few of the doors, giving Santa’s helpers a tiny taste of what Smiggle has in store this Advent season. From funky erasers to cute pencils, from cool wristbands to teeny notebooks and so much more, this calendar is bound to bring smiles every morning. Don’t worry, we’ll be good from here on and leave the remaining doors closed until December. I wonder what other fabulous finds are waiting for us?

But wait, there is more! As if 25 colourful Smiggle goodies aren’t enough of a gift already, Smiggle has also tucked away a bunch of lucky tickets in their Advent Calendars. You could just be the lucky person who finds 1 of 25 highly sought-after Smiggle Lucky Tickets, which means you have scored a huge $1000 Smiggle shopping spree. The sad news is that we didn’t find one, the good news is that means more chances for you. Good luck!

To find out more about Smiggle, to locate a Smiggle store near you or to order online visit www.smiggle.com.au.

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Aug 112017
 

On the one hand it makes me sad how quick our babies are growing up, on the other hand it is also heartwarming to see them turning into awesome kids who you can really talk to about a range of topics and feelings. Now that the twins are almost 9 we’re having the best chats and they really enjoy having some special time before bed when the little ones are already tucked in. These last few weeks we’ve shared many laughs playing this hilarious drawing game:

Also known as ‘the world’s fastest drawing game’ Pass the Pen (RRP $39.95, ages 8+) is not a game for slowcoaches, you definitely need to be on the ball to get the top score!

Pass the Pen is easy to play and only has a few components, so it requires pretty much no set-up time which I think is great. Each turn one of the players needs to draw a card from the pile and, using a coloured dice, select which of the 5 challenges on the card they will have to draw. The real fun is in the special ‘Pass the Pen’ ballpoint, a unique pen fitted with a 10-15 second timer. Older players can set the timer dial to 10 seconds, while younger players are allowed 15 seconds for each turn.

In a race against the clock the artist needs to draw and the others need to guess, before time runs out and the pen tip disappears. If guessed correctly within the 10 second time frame both artist and guesser earn maximum points. If no one guesses the right word you pass the pen to the next player who continues on the same challenge and so on, with points decreasing the longer it takes for the right guess.

At only eight years old I was expecting the twins to struggle with some of the challenges, but I was pleased to see they knew the majority of words and they love giving the drawing a go so we all liked playing. Pass the Pen is obviously a fast-paced game so everyone needs to be switched on and there is no time for thinking (or perfectionism in drawing, which miss 8 initially found a bit hard to accept), just draw and guess as quick as you can!

Designed for 3 or more players this is a fantastic game for families or a group of friends to play together. As a parent I know all too well that time management can be a tricky when it comes to games so I love how you can make your game of Pass the Pen last as long or short as you like by adjusting the number of game cards. There are 104 cards with a total of 520 challenges, so there’s plenty of drawing fun to be had!

To find out more about Talkin’ Toys, to take a closer look at Pass the Pen and to discover a whole heap of other cool toys visit www.talkintoys.com.au.

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May 182017
 

Now that I’ve passed the halfway mark of this pregnancy it all of a sudden feels like time is going quicker than I’d like, there is still so much to do! As you know we’re all about August-September birthdays here and this little bundle is going to fit right in so it will be a very busy season for me. I am trying to think ahead and shop nursery essentials, toddler gifts and kids’ presents all at once, now that’s quite the challenge with a foggy baby brain.

Thankfully our awesome friends at Childsmart have everyone covered with an awesome range of toys, gifts, decor, baby products and much more and this month they are giving away some of their favourite products. Here’s your chance to win 1 of 3 Mum & Kids Prize Packs (RRP $200+ each), filled with fabulous Childsmart goodies your family is sure to love:

For the lucky new or soon-to-be mamas Childsmart has put together a gorgeous Nursery Prize Pack (RRP $212.75) containing a wonderful selection of Cocalo nursery items. Your baby’s bedroom will be instantly magazine worthy with the addition of a new Quilted Comforter, Fitted Sheet, Chenille Knit Blanket, Changing Pad Cover and an adorable Knitted Plush Toy Bear.

Especially for cheeky toddlers Childsmart has filled the Toddler Prize Pack (RRP $233.70) with a bunch of handy goodies that are sure to make playtime, mealtime and even bedtime fun. Your toddler can practise independent eating with a set of Big Kids Utensils, Cups, Bowls and Plates and learn all about tidying up with the amazing Bear Hug Stack Storage Unit. At the end of a busy day it’s night night in the sweet Sleepytime Owl ‘My First ReadyBed’.

selfiemicChoc-a-bloc with boredom busters the Children’s Prize Pack (RRP $256.75) is guaranteed to keep the kids busy this cold and rainy winter season. Entertainment galore with the musical hit SelfieMic and a 200pc Puzzle & Poster Pack, and for the creative souls a funky Days of the Week Planner Chalkboard Peel and pretty Growing Flowers Peel and Stick Appliques to give the bedroom a makeover. To finish it off the Stars and Stripes Jr Ready Bed will ensure no complaints at bedtime.

For your chance to win one of these fantastic Mum & Kids Prize Packs hop on over to Childsmart competition page and answer the following question: ‘In 25 words or less, tell us your favourite thing about being a Mum’. Good luck!

To find out more about Childsmart and to browse the range visit www.childsmart.com.au or get social with @Childsmart on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.