Pay It Forward 2015 – Chykaboo

I love this time of the month as it when I get to be inspired by wonderful handmade fabulousness through my “Pay it Forward” initiative. This month is the utterly gorgeous Chykaboo. A stunning baby and kids decor brand based in the UK.  Since I first saw the name “Chykaboo” I have been intrigued by it and I have wanted to discover more about its maker, Louise, her story and divine products.

Read More

Toy of the month – May 2014

 Apple House by Rock and Pebble

If you follow me on Instagram you will know how much I love and adore Rock and Pebble! They are a truly unique, inspiring and wonderfully creative label brought to you by the awesome Mr Printables  (check out this site for AMAZING free yep you guessed it,  printables).

It was love at first sight when I saw their Apple and Pear houses in February this year via Abacus Kids‘ IG account and I knew that they would make the perfect 2nd Birthday present for my youngest H.

As he loves apples, it was the Apple House for us. I adored playing with my dolls house as a child. It was one that my father had made for me and it had the coolest silver roof!! I felt that just because I had 2 boys and not girls, that didn’t mean I should deprive them of the same joy, imaginative play and fun that a doll’s house provides.

The Apple house is a perfect unisex doll’s house that has been so brilliantly designed that it comes all flat packed in a cute grey bag.  It allows you  then to pack it up when it is not in use. I have to warn you though, it will be in constant use!

As we bought our Apple House as part of their original launch, we received 4 cute pebbles (wooden peg people) included. You can now buy these separately as Modern, Color and Alphabet and they come with reusable clothing! So adorable and yes we had to buy these too as our Apple House likes having guests come to visit.

Doll’s houses by their nature are generally big and bulky and require a lot of room in a child’s bedroom or playroom.  I wanted something we could travel with and easily assemble and dissemble when required.

Rock and Pebble are a US based company that manufactures the houses in the UK using European Birch wood. They felt it was more environmentally sustainable to have the houses made close to where the wood is cut rather than shipping it all the way to the US to manufacture.  I love their catchphrase, “Natural, non toxic, sustainable is our goal.”

Their inspirations for both their doll houses and pebbles have come from their parent company, Mr Printables. Both of the designs were amazing printables that were so hugely popular they decided to create something more permanent using sustainably sourced wood.

If you want to inspire your child with wooden toys that are brilliantly designed and manufactured and that provoke your child’s imagination and sense of  wonder and help to contribute to a greener world, then look no further than Rock and Pebble. Plus these doll houses look  seriously stunning in your children’s room!

Ages: 3+ ( although with parental supervision due to the little pebbles, it is fine from 2+) 

RRP £80.00

Great for: fine motor skills, imaginative/creative play and role play.

IMG_5939 IMG_5961IMG_4190DSC07175IMG_3886IMG_4687IMG_8219IMG_4691

Toy of the month – February 2014

Orchard Toys – Giant Road Jigsaw Puzzle and Playmat

I have to say we are HUGE fans of Orchard Toys in this household. We cannot get enough of their brilliant puzzles and games which are well designed and stand up to test of toddlers and kids playing with them day in and day out. We do take care of our puzzles but I have to say these are fantastically made as they don’t easily bend and are sturdy and strong.

I also love that Orchard Toys are designed and made in the UK.  It is so rare these days to find large toy companies that still produce in their country of origin and I love that Orchard still do! It certainly shows in their products.

The Giant Road Playmat Puzzle is a fantastic multi-functional toy that is not only a giant floor puzzle but it can also be used as a play mat and racing car track. This is quite an unusual puzzle, in that in using the 20 large puzzle pieces provided, there is not just one way to construct the puzzle. Instead it has been so cleverly designed that there are  multiple ways to build the puzzle, which means you can have a different track or street scene every time. You can even build 2 small puzzles if you need to appease 2 children! The design on each puzzle piece are of a busy town and its streets reminiscent of a London street or busy high street in England.

We use this puzzle over and over again and it can be set up for a number of days to allow full play capacity. We all help to build the puzzle together in the design we decide works for that day and then the fun really begins!  My boys just love racing their cars around the puzzle track. They get out their Hot Wheels cars, Playmobil, wooden peg dolls and cars and we make a whole town scene which we then make up little stories for the cars to add another element to play time.

There are fantastic every day activities included on the puzzle, like people crossing the road, elderly people feeding pigeons, physically disabled people in wheel chairs, people carrying groceries, school children crossing the street, an icecream vendor, people walking their dog, and construction workers working on the roads. There is so much to look at and so many different scenes that can be used to create a multitude of stories and help to educate children about everyday life as well as to create imaginary situations.

This year Orchard Toys brought out an addition to this puzzle, the “On the Farm” Giant Jigsaw Playmat puzzle which I viewed at the Spielwarenmesse in February.  This is a 14 piece puzzle that comes with stand up characters that you can use to add to this Giant Road Puzzle. They also have the Giant Town Puzzle Playmat which also can be used with the Road and Farm giant puzzles. All 3 puzzles are an amazingly creative concept in giant floor puzzles which you and your children will enjoy spending hours of fun constructing, creating and playing.

Ages 3 +

Included: 20 pieces in a sturdy carry case

RRP £13.95.

This is a great toy for: problem solving, construction skills, creative thinking, gross motor skills, and imaginative play.

This is not a sponsored post.

 

IMG_3072

IMG_3074

IMG_3077

IMG_3085

IMG_3418

IMG_3428# IMG_3434

IMG_3435