Kazoops toys have arrived

This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Cheeky Little Media.

The news all Kazoops fans have been waiting for…Kazoops toys have been released! The full toy range includes plush toys, figurines, play sets and games and we here in the Kids Gifts and Toys household are super pumped to see them available.

The plush toys were released last month by Tomy in Australia and feature Monty, Lily the Alien, Suzy the Dinosaur, Otis the Warthog and our household fave Jimmy Jones. This month they have also launched in the UK via  Toys “R” US  and Amazon.

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Happy Hands Happy Heart Happy Kids

Play dough is one of those absolute classic toys that so many children have grown up with and today 87 years on, it is still a cherished activity that kids love! Play dough even makes it into the National Toy Hall of Fame in the US. What I didn’t know until today was that what we know as Play-Doh®, started life as wallpaper cleaner back in the 1920’s!  Composed of flour, water, salt, boric acid, and mineral oil, the product was first created by Noah McVicker for Cincinnati based company, Kutol.

These days though many families enjoy making play dough at home and in the last few years, Australian based brand Happy Hands Happy Heart has been making waves with their natural version of play -dough with the most incredible scents that literally waft out of the glass jar once you open it.

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Toy of the Month – October 2017

This month we are testing out an incredibly beautiful toy, like I am not joking, this is one I have never seen before and when Happy Go Ducky Toys asked me to review it, I jumped at being gifted the opportunity.

This month we review their incredible Extra Large Wooden Triangle Puzzle which is from Czech brand Playful Wood.

Happy Go Ducky are an Australian based company run by wife and husband team, Amy and Votja, who in 2015 started to bring to Australia the most incredible Czech designed and produced toys like the Playful Wood range of toys.

Their ethos is closely aligned to mine in that they only sell toys that are ethically and sustainably produced, they want their toys to last and not to add to the growing plastic junk pile. Along with being completely safe for little ones in terms of non toxic toys, they are also educational and open learning toys that allow for the creativity and fun!

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Toy of the month – September 2017

Wow honestly I don’t know how we only have a few more months left of 2017, how we are almost in Term 4 and that I am already looking at Christmas gift guides! But let’s not get ahead of myself as this month, I am super pumped and oh so excited to be reviewing the incredible open ended toy, the Wobbel Board.  Yes it has finally arrived in Australia via my brand rep fave The Creative Toy Shop!

This fabulous open ended toy brings hours of fun to not only kids but the whole family. It isn’t cheap and certainly set us back this coming Christmas but the versatility and flexibility of this toy is beyond most toys you have come across. You will be surprised at all the different ways this toy can be used, played with, balanced on and slide down.

I do admit the Wobbel board isn’t new, my eldest son used to play with them in Germany at Kindergarten and now in Australia, they also have a similar version at my youngest son’s preschool albeit their model has a padded cushion attached on the bottom rather than what is available on the Wobbel.

The Dutch company, Wobbel have reinvented a classic Waldorf design of the balance board ( also known as Steiner in Australia and the US) and modernised it with the special wool felt and cork underlays as well as various colour ways to customise the Wobbel for your own home and lifestyle.

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Meet the Maker – KnitSquid

This month we have a wonderful creator and shaker for our ‘Meet the Maker’! Ha I love a good rhyme. But seriously, this month we shine a spotlight on to a gorgeous handmade toy industry that I have long admired and even asked my mum to make one for my eldest when he was born. This month it is all about knitted and crochet toys and a Japanese art form called Amigurumi from US based maker Eliza Ryan from KnitSquid. I am super excited to be showcasing it on the blog as these handmade toys are just super creative and utterly gorgeous.

I first discovered crochet toys when I found the brand Anne-Claire Petit and I bought my eldest an awesome rainbow plane in London, we still have it and it is what started my appreciation for crochet and knitted toys. I know making them certainly isn’t easy, I think you need a whole heap of patience, skill and time! I wanted to find out more and when Eliza approached me about her fab brand, I was all ears.

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Kids Activities – DIY Succulent Crystal Garden

Since we moved back to Australia, we have taken a keen interest in gardening and growing our own vegetables, herbs and flowers each Spring. It is just so nice to have our own small piece of green space and to teach the kids a little more where food comes from in the hope they may eventually eat vegetables… ( still waiting for that!)

This has also translated to indoors as well and this year the boys and I have finally worked out how to take care of some succulents which we bought at our local fabulous sustainable nursery, New Leaf.  We have gone from killing our succulents to watching them thrive! The boys (and I !)  now know that their plants need watering once a week or longer and not every day… It has been a learning curve for us all.

We have also been discovering crystals and learning about gems this year after being introduced to them by a close friend. We found out a few months back that one of our fave shops in the area, Little Paper Lane now stocks crystals and gems, so we went to check out what they had and the boys came away with a clear point crystal quartz and circular rose quartz. The boys have been cleansing them at full moon and loving learning about their healing effects.

Lastly on a road trip up north in July, we visited the incredible Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens, which is close to Byron Bay. This place is sheer magic; the whole area is imbued with beauty, peace and the crystals make you feel so energised and renewed( this is coming from a former skeptic!) The boys absolutely loved it there and we added to our crystal collection with an agate, amethyst and labradorite. In chatting with the staff up there, we bought some large rough hewn amethyst and rose quartz as well they were on sale (hehe love a bargain!) and we thought we might use them one day in our garden.

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