I first started my blog over 3 years ago when my eldest was 5 years of age and my youngest just 2. Why did I start? Mainly because I wasn’t what kind of gifts were age suitable for my kids and I wanted to research and find out the best ones.
Not just the best ones though, because what is the”Best”? Best means different things to different people. For me “Best” was all about the longevity of the toy, how long a child would play with it and how long it would last with it being played with constantly? Could the toy stand up to the test of being treated sometimes rough and tumble by a toddler or a child?
Also toys are not cheap, or rather you can buy cheap plastic toys but we all know that they don’t last, they break, or need batteries. I was finding these toys were not cutting it with my boys. Yes we had plastic toys, we had musical bongo drums, we had musical electric guitars, we had Hot Wheels track( we still do!), we had a few plastic ride on cars and bikes. But personally I found anything with batteries, highly annoying, like highly annoying! LOL. I know the kids enjoyed them, however I noticed it was never for long periods, it never engaged them longer than 5 mins and so this is why I started investigating ethical and eco friendly toys.
This month it is all about trains!! I have found over the years as a mother that wooden trains are one of the best open ended toys and not just for boys either. They are a great gender neutral toy that can be played with from 1 year right up to adults 😉
My eldest received his first very small train set for his 1st birthday and we have grown the set each year with family and friends adding trains, tunnels, stations and more to make it into a little city. What I have found though is that wooden trains and track are not cheap, not at all which is why my boys have received most of their train track and accessories as birthday presents over the years ( with a few flea market purchases in Germany!)
My boys play with their train set on a weekly basis building, creating and exploring new track set ups and cities. They can honestly play for hours on end, just by using their imagination to create wonderful worlds of train exploration, such is the joy of this open ended toy.
Brianna, the brains behind The Creative Toy Shop has created an wonderful selection of toys for her shop and uses her daily job as a special needs home educator and teacher to help her test out and decide on what toys she will offer. Originally a blogger, she has taken her blog to the next level and established one of the most gorgeous online toy shops in Australia. I am honestly in love with her toy shop and so excited and honoured to be working with her this year.
So my first baby turned 8 this week! I am not quite sure how the years have flown by ever so quickly and how I suddenly have such a big boy… He has certainly made me a very proud Mama and he teaches me so much each and every day. I have definitely learnt a lot about patience, resilience, sleep deprivation and I can now negotiate better than any UN employee!
8 years old is starting to get into the “awesome” stage of life and gifts and moving away from the kiddy stage, so I found presents this year to be a little more tricky. They needed to be more rad and a little on trend.
In case any other mums, dads, grandparents or carers are also finding it hard to pick that gift for your 8 year boy, I thought I would share some of the presents that Master J received this week as well as some other gift ideas I know my 8 year old son would LOVE!
We were gifted a bento style lunchbox, the Goodbyn Hero from the brilliant site Munch Cupboard to test out and review. Given that I am really quite enamored with the Yumbox lunchboxes for the boys it was going to be a tough test and review!
The Goodbyn Hero is a larger style Bento lunchbox that comes with 3 main compartments as well as 2 separate storage containers. I love Bento style lunchboxes for the boys as the compartments mean the foods don’t get all mushed up with each other and visually lunch time looks exciting and we all know that kids are quite visual when it comes to eating food!
This month is an exciting one my friends. This month is a celebration of how far toy making has come in Australia.
When I started Kids Gifts and Toys over 3 years ago and started researching toy brands worldwide, there was very little coming out of Australia that was designed and made in Australia. In just a short space of time I have watched an incredible transformation and now I can happily say there is actually a handmade toy industry in Australia! I am super excited to be featuring “Monday the Plane” from Have a Nice Day toys for March’s “Toy of the month”; this is one Australian toy company that is making waves for all the right reasons.
“Monday the Plane” is just one of 7 wooden toys created by former industrial designer Jake Diaz alongside his wife Dom Diaz who fronts up all the business and social media side of things. This husband and wife team based on the Gold Coast, are reinventing wooden toys and bringing back the simplicity and purity for a new generation of children.