Toy of the month – May 2016

This month, the boys and I have been super excited to review and test out a fab new block on the street, SumBlox! These blocks are seriously clever, beautifully made of heirloom beechwood and are not only fun but they help teach numbers and mathematical concepts too. Winning for the parents!

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Reaching the highest of heights in wooden toys!

As a toy blogger I see a lot of kids toys as you can imagine, but the ones I am always drawn to are ones that will last generations, ones that our children can enjoy, but also their children. In this very consumerist society, it can be easy to give your children toys upon toys upon plastic toys. But the ones that they will remember won’t be the plastic ones that break or run out of battery, but those that provide them with hours of imagination and wonder. The ones that are sturdy, robust and built to last, which is why I tend towards wooden toys. Aesthetically from a parent’s perspective they are beautiful to look at which is important as you will be seeing it daily,  but from a consumerist perspective, they are also ones that you know will survive the rough and tumble of children. They won’t be thrown in the bin because they no longer work!

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Wooden Toys – made in the USA

I wrote a blog feature last month all about Australian Wooden toys and I am very exciting to start looking around the world at what other countries makers and creators are designing and producing for our children in terms of sustainable heirloom wooden toys.

This month, we travel to the grand ol USA! And gosh there is so much going on here, it was really hard to make a decision on the curated goodness coming out of the US. I think I will need to do another one very soon.

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Toy of the month – March 2016

Oh my how are we already March with April looming! Life with kids especially school kids, makes your weeks zoom at a hundred kilometres an hour, don’t you think?!

For my “Toy of the month” for March, I am reviewing a wonderful new brand Golly Family, created by the loveliest Gaby Suhl, an Argentinian who has been based in New Zealand for the past 8 years.

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What is this blog about?

I realised that  as I rebuild my site, I need to provide some explanation to you, my readers, as to why I started to write this blog and why I decided to come back for round no 2!

My main aim on this site is to provide you with some of the most awesome toy finds, brilliant gift inspirations and stunning fashion labels that are on the market today. I may also occasionally write about mama things, life in general, travel and more.

Some are well established and with good reason, others are new, upcoming and seriously exciting and you need to know about them!

Others still are handmade and I think at the moment, it is this area that is the most impressive to me. I am in awe at the creativity, detail, passion and dedication people are putting in to their products. They are mainly mothers usually stay at home who are rediscovering their inner talents and creating some seriously incredible products.

Most of all I adore giving gifts. I love seeing the faces of my children, friend’s children and family light up when they open up a present. I am known by my friends for always remembering birthdays, even when I lived overseas. I just like giving and hence I LOVE finding the BEST gifts that are suited to the individual.

However, I also like to know a little about the gift before buying especially if it is expensive, so this is why I started this site. I want to provide meaningful reviews to help you decide on a gorgeous and unique gift for your little one.

The fact that I have started this blog again from scratch, just shows how much I love and adore what I do. It gives me an outlet as well as letting me take care of my kids. I can’t believe that I have lost the last 9 months and actually even more, as I started the blog in September last year with my first post. So I have lost a year of my life all zip, gone, whoosh in a spam bomb attack! But I love what I do, I want to keep doing it and it is something that for the first time in my life, makes me happy. I am finally after 34 years following my original dream of becoming a writer and realising that the inner voice inside has finally been awakened and has a platform.

If you are thinking of starting a blog, I would say that it takes up a lot of time. I never realised or appreciated how much time blogging takes up when I first started out. I thought it would be oh so easy! My nights from 8pm- 11pm or later are spent on this blog, researching, reviewing, writing, editing and posting content pretty much 5-6 nights a week. I also spend my son’s nap time blogging and 2 days as of October, are now dedicated to blogging whilst my youngest goes to day care. I want to make this blog a reality, a life changing experience, a career that I love and want to continue with for a long time.

If you want to start a blog, I would say write about something you love as you will have to write about it and spend time away from your bed, your hubby, your family and it takes dedication if you really want to make it something. But if you love something enough, you will be happy to do this! Dream Big is my motto! And if you are reading this, then it can be yours too.

Toy of the month – August 2014

Quut toys – Alto and Cuppi

One of the toys that I was excited to discover at this year’s Spielwarenmesse in Nuremberg was by young Belgian design company Quut. These young designers and parents had re-designed the way that sand toys should look and work -finally!

My kids absolutely adore playing in the sand, both at playgrounds and at the beach. They can be there for hours on end, which is an impressive feat given children’s short attention spans.

However, all the sand toys that I have bought so far to make sand castles has usually resulted in a sandy mess! What impressed me most about the Quut Beach toys were the ingenious designs that they had come up with which were relatively compact in size, brightly coloured and made of durable hard plastic which meant they were not just another throw away sand toy designated for the rubbish bin after a summer holiday.

As we were living in Nuremberg at the time I originally wrote this review, there were no beaches close by, however, we had a summer holiday planned to Turkey in late May and I wanted to buy some of these toys to test out on our trip.  I chose the Alto and Cuppi as I thought they were best suited to our needs of wanting to build sand castles and my kids love a good marble run which you can create with the Cuppi. They also both fit in our suitcases!

We had a lot of fun playing around with these toys to make the perfect sand castles on our trip away. I have to admit though my husband was a much better sand castle builder than me, but shhh don’t tell him!

In playing and creating sand castles with both the Alto and the Cuppi ( it is good to use as a scoop if you don’t have a shovel), I would say a few things… you need good clean sand, it can’t have pebbles in it as they can create air bubbles which don’t allow the sand castle to stand up. Also it can’t be too wet as then the castle just collapses. I think these toys would be perfect in sand pits as well as at the beach. There is definitely some trial and error in building a castle with these toys but you have a lot of fun in the process!

We have even used the Cuppi in the bath which the boys loved as they could tip and pour water to their hearts content. Not as much fun for Mama who had to clean up the floor afterwards.

We have also used the Quut beach toys  a fair few times at our local playground. I have to say all the kids in the playground where quickly attracted to the brightly coloured designs and they wanted to have a go at building a sand castle straight away. We have had crowds of kids each time we have brought the Quut toys with us and they have all had an absolute ball with them!

I am looking forward the fun we can have with our Quut over the Summer now we are living back in Australia!

Designed in Belgium and made in China

Ages: 12 months

RRP: Alto £14.99 and Cuppi £7.99.

Great for: construction, fine motor skills and fun in the sun!