WHENEVER we go to playgroups, at some point my toddler will make a beeline for the pretend kitchen areas.
He loves the role play of making me a cup of tea or something to eat! So it was great to try out the Hape Pop-up Toaster Set at home.
It definitely came at the right time for us as we were stuck in the house as my son had a viral infection. #funtimes
So it was a great distraction for him as we pretended to make breakfast together. Sometimes I was lucky enough to be served breakfast on the sofa!
The classic wooden set comprises of seven pieces including a toaster that pops up two slices of bread, a plate, knife, butter and honey pot.
I absolutely adore wooden playsets, for me they’ll always have the edge over mass produced plastic toys – although don’t get me wrong, you’ll still find lots of plastic toys in my home too!
Made to last, they’re the sort of thing you pass down from child to child.
Toys like this are great for your little one’s imagination – it makes you realise how much they actually watch you while you’re at work in the kitchen!
The Hape Kitchen and Food range also includes a Tea Set for Two and even a Coffee Machine – very millennial!
Available to purchase from Hape’s Amazon store.
AS a parent in the age of technology, it won’t be long before you’re debating how much ‘screen time’ to allow your child.
For some parents it’s not a real issue, while others prefer to limit the amount of time their little one spends in front of a screen to the bare minimum – each to their own.
But when choosing WHAT they watch it helps that it’s both fun AND educational, which is what the launch of Learning Time with Timmy seems to have achieved.
Created by Aardman – the Oscar-winning animation studio behind classics Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep – in partnership with the British Council, the interactive online series is aimed at making learning English fun.
And while my boy has just turned one, he took an interest to the preview episodes we were shown, in particular trying to join in with the animal noises and the dance at the end of each episode with Timmy the sheep. It also helped that there was popcorn – and a giant-sized Timmy in the auditorium…
The episodes are also short enough to deal with a toddler’s attention span!
You can watch the series on YouTube at www.youtube.com/LearningTimeWithTimmy
It takes a lot to get me up and out of the house before 9am on a Sunday morning – luckily enough my early hour traipse into the West End with a toddler to attend The Croods gala screening was well worth it.
Joined by the likes of Elen Rivas, Olympic athlete Steve Backley, Gaby Roslin and their broods, we all had the chance to enjoy ‘fun in the foyer’ – face-painting, balloons etc – before heading into the 3D screening.
If you’re looking for a film to take your little ones to I would highly recommend this offering from DreamWorks, the makers of How To Train Your Dragon and Madagascar. The ‘pre-historic’ animated comedy follows a stone age family as they finally venture out from the cave that has always been their safe haven. In my mind it was the perfect mix, appealing to both adults and children – I mean I laughed so many times I lost count and hell, I even almost shed a tear at one point (yeah, I said it).
Admittedly 3D screenings with toddlers who lose quickly lose interest in wearing 3D glasses is a challenge, but mine managed at least 40 minutes before deciding to discard them…
With characters voiced by Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone and Catherine Keener, each of them had something about them to draw you in, but when it came to my three year old, the star of the show was definitely the sloth and his catchphrase ‘dun, dun, daaah!’
So basically, I loved it, my daughter loved it – watch it.
I WOULDN’T say I’ve subscribed to the whole ‘new year, new me’ mentality, I’m just working on being even better than usual!
Jokes aside, I’ve been trying out the new Boots Good Gut range which put simply helps to create a ‘healthy gut environment’.
There’s something for everyone in the range – my nine-year-old daughter has happily been taking the Live Bacteria for Kids edition which comes in a chewable strawberry flavoured tablet. And with an added vitamin C boost it’s also good for the immune system (you know these kids pick up everything going at school).
Meanwhile I’m sold on the Live Friendly Bacteria with Skin & Hair Support which comes in a handy size tablet. I’m not great with taking tablets, but I found the size of this one reasonable and not unnecessarily huge like some supplements.
Another plus is that the range is vegan and does not have to be kept in the fridge. So basically, smiles all round #winning.