This month is a little follow on from last month’s awesome Marbotic Smart Numbers range. This month we look at the Smart Letters range from this fabulous French company.
The Smart Letters range is all about alphabet recognition, learning the sounds of the letters, getting familiar with lower, upper case and even cursive letters. It has varying degrees of difficulty but overall is best suited to 3- 10 years old.
I will say that although I have outlined a very extensive review of the Smart Letters range below, my children worked out how to complete each app and its variations intuitively without any of my guidance. However, for us adults, I found it most helpful to look up the parents corner in each app to read about what the app entailed. I thought it would be useful to provide an overview for you to understand exactly what you get for your money.
The Smart letters range are distributed exclusively in Australia by Keld Industries who kindly sent me the range to test out and review.
This month’s toy review is about a reinvented and remastered take on an old classic, the block. Yes the wooden block has been given a completely new, updated and very much needed revamp. It has moved the block beyond just stacking and building and into a whole new world of engineered construction.
This “Toy of the month” is the utterly brilliant Bokah Blocks and these wooden blocks are so ingenious that we were blown away by them in our Kids Gifts and Toys household.
One Australian online store that I keep coming back to for gift inspiration is the fabulous Finlee and Me. I love that it sells some of my favourite toys like Tegu wooden magnetic blocks, Kinetic sand, flash cards by the gorgeous Two Little Ducklings and I adore their Montessori toys too. But also available are on trend toys like Homely Creatures Dollhouse which I saw at Life Instyle in Sydney and is utterly fabulous! With a focus towards toys that are wooden, sensory and ones that harness a child’s imagination, Angela has found a niche in toys for the Australian kids market.
It is the little details that keeps you coming back. When you start doing a search through the site you realise how many things you have always needed but never found in the one website. Angela, the owner, a mother herself, has truly taken the time to research her products and find things relevant to the modern mama. I have been looking for a large wall decal for the days of the week so I can help to stay on top of all the kids activities, tick, yes, they have 3 different styles available.
They have loads of fab gifts for babies to kids as well as practical essentials for travel, nursery, preschool and bath time. So please check it out if you want some inspiring, unique, high quality toys that are affordable.
I have my eye on a few cool things for the boys like the following:
Tap Tap Hammering set: my son plays with one at school and thinks it is the best thing, apart from when another kid in his class tried to poke his eye out with the hammer! $24.95
Two Little Ducklings – Australian animal flash card set
I am always so excited to find unique toys and gifts that are handmade and created by wonderful and truly divine people, case in point Two Little Ducklings. I discovered Jacinta’s IG feed back in January this year and I straight away fell in love with her designs and creations. She was one of the first accounts that truly took my breath away with her beautiful images and products. Jacinta very kindly gifted me a set of flash cards to review for this month’s Toy of the Month.
Jacinta Weir is a Melbourne based designer who designs and makes cards, invitations, prints, gift wrap, name charts, as well as educational gifts for children. All designs are digitally printed on environmentally friendly paper.
The products that first drew my attention were her beautiful flash cards. I am always on the look out for new ways to educate my children and flash cards are a fun way to introduce them to the basics. Jacinta now produces 6 different designs for her flash cards being: alphabet, shapes, counting, colour, animals and my personal favourite, her Australian animal flash cards.
As my son’s were both born in England but they have Australian heritage as well, they have not grown up knowing all their native Australian animals. They know the Kangaroo, Koala, Kookaburra and Crocodile but not too many others. This flash card pack was the perfect way to introduce some new and old Australian animals to them and have fun along the way.
Arriving in a minimal packaging is a pack of 16 gorgeous cards. Each card is approximately 10cm x 15cm with rounded corners and a divine animal on the front with large text underneath telling you the name of the animal.
We had a great play session one afternoon going through each card, sounding out the words, looking at each picture and making the noise of each animal. We even sang a few songs and played a memory game with them as well. There was a lot of fun, noise, laughter and learning going on that rainy afternoon. Suffice to say after our little flash card session, my boys now know a little more about Australian animals!
Ages: 12 months +
Great for: hand and eye coordination, memory aid tool and observation skills
Disclosure: we were gifted this pack of cards in order to review them.