Tag Archives: Development

Wobble, Wiggle and Grow

9 Sep

Hi folks,

Seth went back to pre-school last week. He was so excited. To be honest… I think he likes the routine of school Monday – Friday. Over the Summer break he has asked a lot for School. It’s so quiet in the house without him now he’s back. But looking at the positives – it gives me some one & one time with Ted.

Ted is 10 month old now… I just cannot believe that he’s going to be a year old next month. That time has flown. I know I always say it – but the time does just fly by. When people said to me that time flies once you have children… I don’t think I really believed them.

Ted has been having so much fun with his new toy from Hape & Baby Einstein. It’s no secret that Hape are one of our most favourite toy brands. We all just adore wooden toys. Ted’s new toy is Balancing Cal. Cal comes in 5 pieces & is a mix of wood & plastic. Some of the pieces make sounds too when you shake them. Fun & musical. The aim of the game is to stack Cal as tall as you can make him, without him falling down. This toy is great for encouraging & developing motor skills.

Each piece has been beautifully crafted & is the perfect size of little hands. Ted has had fun shaking them to make noise, clacking them together & has enjoyed giving them a good old bite lol. Each piece is lovely & smooth with no sharp edges & the materials feel very durable. The colours are stunning too. So vibrant.

Each piece has a different texture to feel too. The balls are perfectly weighted to be able to stack in a wiggly, wobbly way. Ted loves it when they all fall over. It’s really just a lovely little toy that does so much… makes music, rolls, stacks etc…

I know some folk think it’s a little too soon to be talking about it… however… Christmas is only around the corner! Balancing Cal would make a fantastic gift.

I’ve added some links for further reading & info on the product.

I hope you’ve found this post useful!

Thanks as always for reading,

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Out and About with Versatrax

26 Jul

Hi folks,

We’ve had such lovely weather for the last few days… I really do hope that this is it now… Summer has finally landed!?

I can’t believe that Seth has completed his first full term of pre-school. I’m so glad that we decided to take early intake with him rather than waiting until September. He has come on so much & his development has been amazing in the last few month.

I love that each day he gets excited for his walk to school with Mammy & Baby Ted. It’s one of the first things he says when he wakes up. Driving whilst doing the school run is so not enjoyable. Parking is a nightmare! We walk too & from school everyday. I think it’s good for kids to walk & to get out in the fresh air, rather than bundled in to a car all of the time. We’re very lucky in that our school is only a very short walk away. It only takes us 10-15mins to get there… depending on how slowly Seth wants to walk lol.

Ted just loves being out & about in a buggy too. We’ve just received the Joie Versatrax. It is absolutely gorgeous.

With Joie you always know you’re going to get safety & quality. But the Versatrax isn’t just reliable & safe… it also has that ‘fancy feel’. It has lots of added little extras that just make it all the more luxurious. The tan leather trims & cup holder – really finish this travel system off perfectly.

I love that this is a sturdy travel system, yet folds so compact. It literally folds down in half. Also, there’s no back breaking manoeuvres or fancy footwork needed to collapse this pram. It’s so simple & quick. I am quite literally the most clumsy person I know, & even I have mastered this easy procedure. A click of the safety switch & you’re pretty much done!

Once folded this pram will stand freely. So it’s perfect if you’re short on space. Also, you won’t need to prop it against your hallway wall. There’s nothing worse than a pram or buggy that doesn’t free stand & has to be propped against your cream walls. It’s also great for if you’re in a restaurant etc… you can fold it & stand it out of the way with ease.

I love that this pram gives you the option of forward or rear facing. Ted is 8 month now & loves to be nosy & look at what’s going on. However, he is teething & it’s been making him a bit upset. Sometimes he likes to rear face when he’s feeling a little under the weather. So the Versatrax gives us that option. It’s so simple to unclip & turn round.

Like all Joie products… the Versatrax is super comfy. We’ve had no complaints from Ted. The seat is comfy & has a nice soft feel. No sharp edges or corners. Everything is finished off beautifully. The seat will fully recline & has a soft touch harness. There’s also calf/leg support too. So your little one can really kick back & relax.

The Versatrax handles beautifully. The push bar is comfy to hold & has a one handed push. Now you all know that one handed push is a big requirement for me. I need to be able to push the pram/buggy with one hand while I’m holding Seth’s hand too. We have 2 busy roads to get across on our school run. So need to have hands available. Also, I’ve been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in my right wrist/hand. Vibrations can really trigger the pain. The Versatrax has lovely foam filled rubber tyres making it a smooth ride for your little one & a comfy one for you while pushing it. There’s hardly no vibration.

There’s also a really big storage basket on the bottom & is very easy to access. A big basket is a must for us, as I just seem to have so much stuff with me all of the time lol.

Here is a list of the features:

  • Suitable from birth with flat reclining seat
  • Adjustable forward and rearward facing seat
  • Pairs perfectly with Joie infant carriers gemm™, i-Gemm™, i-Level™, and i-Snug™ with the included adapters or with other infant carriers using Maxi-Cosi® style attachment
  • Pairs perfectly with ramble™ XL carry cot using the included adapters
  • One hand easy fold and setup, with seat rearward or forward facing
  • Freestanding when folded
  • Carry strap built in
  • Water repellant canopy
  • Full-size UPF50+ canopy with eyeshade visor
  • Multi-position recline for backrest tilt options
  • 2 position calf support
  • Front and back access storage basket
  • All wheel suspension for a smooth ride
  • Sweet Stride™ single front swivel wheels
  • One touch brakes
  • SoftTouch, 5-point harness
  • Height adjustable pushbar
  • Locking front swivel wheels
  • Cup holder

This really is a fantastic travel system. If you’re looking for a travel system that you can rely on, look fancy, is great on space & easy to use… then this is the one for you. Travel systems have a reputation for being big & bulky. But this certainly isn’t like that. It’s sturdy, lightweight, easy to use & folds very compact. It really is perfect for everyday family life! It’s going to be great for travel too as it doesn’t take up much space in the car! So look out for my review on how it is on holidays!

Thanks so much for reading & I hope you’ve found this review helpful!

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Toddler Toilet Time

12 Mar

Hi folks,

We’re still in the throws of toilet training. Well… when I say ‘toilet training’ I do actually mean potty as Seth shows more interest in the potty than the toilet.

We were sent the most gorgeous potty from Nuby; The Tots Toilet. Seth is a bit obsessed… which I’m totally taking as a massive positive step in the right direction to a ‘pull up’ free life! The first day it arrived he sat on it to eat his dinner in front of the TV lol.

Firstly… this is a lovely little potty. It’s a perfect mini toilet. There is a potty insert inside the little toilet that comes out easily for cleaning etc… with the potty being a little higher than a traditional potty, it’s great for little boys to be able to do a stand up wee without it going straight over the top. Boy mama’s… we’ve all been there. Now, the most exciting part to this Toilet, is the sounds & light. There’s a little flush button on the top. Seth is so obsessed with pressing the button. I also love that it has a toilet lid that you can close over after a successful toilet time. Seth gets a bit freaked out seeing anything in the toilet, so being able to close the lid is a massive plus for us.

As this potty looks like a toilet, Seth has been happy to keep it in our downstairs loo. Again, a massive plus for us as we’ve managed to get the idea of toilet time moved into the bathroom rather than the potty being in the front room.

Is Seth out of pull ups? Nope… not yet. He’s still a bit freaked out about the whole thing. Some days he’s very amenable to the whole toilet thing. Until we got this potty, he wasn’t. Other days though, he just does not want to know & cries & gets very anxious. I just feel that a tough love approach would not be right in this scenario as I don’t want to enforce anxiety & fear around the toilet. So, right now he can use the potty when he feels confident. And when he doesn’t, it’s not a ‘big deal’. Seth will be starting nursery next month after Easter. I’m hoping that seeing the other kids using the toilet – this will make him want to use it too. I say this because his friend Ruby used our Tots Toilet & it totally inspired Seth to use it too lol. Maybe Ruby can be his Toilet coach? Lol.

Seth isn’t pooping whilst we’re out & he’s completely dry on a night. So I know he has full control over when he ‘toilets’… it just seems to be his anxiety taking over. Like I said in a previous blog post… slow & steady wins the race. I’m hoping the calm & positive approach will help him to conquer the toilet once & for all.

We do love our Tots Toilet… & so does Ruby!

Thank you Nuby!

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative posts – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Festive Gift Ideas for Little Ones

9 Dec

Hi folks,

Me & the boys have been having fun the last few weeks playing with & testing some beautiful toys from Hape.

If you’re not familiar with Hape; they are the world’s largest producer of wooden toys. I always think wooden toys have a certain charm. They create that warm, fuzzy nostalgic feeling. And with such a well known brand – you know you’re always going to get good quality, well made products.

We were sent such a lovely collection… so here’s a little rundown & insight into what we have been having fun with;

This looks super cute & simply perfect in Ted’s nursery. It was really easy to assemble – no tools required & I did this one all on my own. It attaches to the cot really easily & is adjustable in height. The colours are beautiful, perfect & eye catching for little developing brains. It also winds up to play a lullaby. The quality is stunning. The music box is a wind up function, so requires no batteries. This mobile would make any little one a perfect Christmas gift as it’s suitable from birth. This would also make a stunning baby shower gift too.

 

My First Xylophone & Piano

We’re big fans of music in this house. Seth has gone to a music based group class from being 12 weeks old. Music is such an important part of development I think. Seth is now 2 years & 8 month old. He’s been having so much fun making music for his little brother. As well as an xylophone, there is a little piano which is made of removable wooden coloured shapes which also doubles as a shape sorter. This toy as a whole helps to develop shape, colour & sound recognition. I love the compact design of this toy. It won’t take up too much room in a toy box. It’d be great for popping in a bag to take over to the grandparents house when they’re babysitting 🙂 Perfect little parcel for any little folk for under the tree this Christmas.

 

Grow With Me Rocking Horse

I cannot begin to tell you how stunning this rocking horse is. Whenever I think of a traditional toy/play room, the first thing that pops into my head is a traditional wooden rocking horse. This is a perfect update on that traditional horse. The backrest has a lovely padded finish & you can even fix a wooden safety guard for younger children.

Ted is going to love it when he is a wee bit bigger.

Seth adores it as you can see in the above pics. It’s so study & strong. All of the edges are beautifully finished off… so smooth, so there aren’t any worries of finding sharpe bits. If you’re stuck on what to buy as that main big gift from Santa, then this would make a stunning main gift. It’s the perfect addition to any nursery, bedroom or play room.

The robust sturdy design of this rocking horse will withstand even the most boisterous of toddlers… Seth is a tad heavy handed at times & this horsey has remained in perfect shape.

 

Battery Powered Engine Set

What a stunning little set this is. The train set is battery powered & each carriage connects via magnets. There are also little trees & even a crane to bring your railway to life… the magnet on the crane lifts the cargo from each carriage. Each train carriage is brightly coloured & beautifully made – simply perfect for little hands. The track itself fits together like a little jigsaw, perfect for developing hand-eye coordination, creativity and sparks imagination. Seth LOVES this train set so much. Any child would adore this engine set.

Hape really do make some lovely things, they’d make any little one a beautiful gift or stocking filler. Hape offer a range of toys to suit all budgets.

Thanks so much as always for reading & happy shopping!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

App-Tastic

6 Sep

Hi folks,

Whether or not you like technology… it’s here & it’s here to stay. Being a blogger & a lover of gadgets, I very much embrace it. My husband works in a field that is very much technology based too. Before having children we discussed the use of technology at home… how will we moderate it & integrate it. It’s a fairly scary subject to people who are comfortable with it… so I can’t imagine how people feel about it who are’t very confident with it.

Seth is almost 2 years & 6 months old. He’s very aware of technology. He see’s people on their handheld devices, laptops etc… It doesn’t matter how much we try to shield him from it at home… he sees it when we’re out & about… he sees it on TV & in books. So, we made the decision to introduce him to it ‘on our terms’. We bought him an Amazon Kids Fire Tablet. He doesn’t get it 24/7. It’s more for when we are out, travelling or ‘sometimes’ at home for an hour.

I’m all about imaginative play… making things… making up stories etc… But, I do believe that technology has it’s place too. It can help our children to learn & develop if used in the correct ways. And not just used as a ‘nanny’ device.

Over the last month or so, Seth has been playing with the KidloLand Apps. The first thing for me that I like, is that it is Kid Safe Certified.

There is so much to explore on these apps. There are games, quizzes, songs, stories… etc…  Seth is a bit of an artist/creative thinker & also a total problem solver. The first area he explored was the drawing apps. He could draw, create shapes & patterns… the colours are stunning. And there’s also a lovely little tune going off in the back ground too. He kept saying ‘Wow Mammy… the colours’. I don’t think he’d ever drawn on tablet. So he thought it was ‘magic’. It was great though, as while he was playing with it, I could ask him what all of the colours were called or I could ask him to choose a ‘green’ etc… so yes he was having fun & playing which he thought was great & total playtime… but really… he was learning too. It’s not just mind numbing ‘youtube’… it’s an actual app that makes our little ones think & create.

Seth adores a problem solving game… recognising shapes, animals & patterns. You’ll find all of that with Kidloland. There’s also a massive library of stories, rhymes & songs.

Seth’s loved exploring the ‘Balloon Pop’ games & ‘Sorting Games’… I kind of don’t feel guilty about him having a tablet when he’s actually doing some educational.

The other great thing about this app, is that it works offline too. As long as you’ve downloaded the games & activities you want to use. I know it’s rare that you go somewhere that doesn’t offer free wifi, but you can guarantee that the one time you’re relying on wifi access… it’ll be down or super slow. Seth just asks for his ‘Animal games’ or his ‘Animal Books’ & I have them right there. It’s like his only little compact library in one place.

Another plus to the KidloLand Apps, is that they can be installed onto Android & iOS devices. If you fancy the sound of these apps… you can find them here via these links:

For Android:
If you’re looking for some creative, fun learning apps for your little ones, I’d recommend looking into Kidloland.
Thanks so much for reading!
Love & Huggles,
Hayley xxx

Hape Toys Perfect for the Holidays

23 Nov

Hi folks,

Everything seems to be getting very festive everywhere, which can mean only one thing… Christmas is almost here! So I’m guessing that a lot of you are now in panic buying mode. It can be a bit stressful trying to find those perfect gifts. Well… I have a lovely little review for you, all about Hape.

If you’re not familiar with Hape; they are the world’s largest producer of wooden toys. I always think wooden toys have a certain charm. They create that warm, fuzzy nostalgic feeling. And with such a well known brand – you know you’re always going to get good quality, well made products.

The toys that we’ve been playing with, sorry I mean ‘reviewing’ lol, are The Walk-A-Long Snail & the lovely little Red Mini Van. As you can see from the pic above – Seth simply could not wait to get stuck in.

Seth absolutely adores a walk-a-long toy. He’s had so much fun dragging this around the house. The lovely Walk-A-Snail has lots of fun aspects to it. The shell lifts away from the wheels/body & becomes an independent shape sorter. The wood is lovely & smooth & painted in beautiful vibrant colours. The shapes themselves are the perfect size & shape for little hands to grab hold of. Seth will sit & play with a shape sorter pretty much all day. With all of the different elements… wobbly antennas, wheels, bobbing head, shape sorter, etc… this toy would make any little one a fabulous Christmas gift. It’s almost like several toys all in one. It comes in a lovely box too, making it easy to wrap! Now that’s always something I look at when buying gifts… will it be easy to wrap? Lol. I mean we all know a nice box is easier to wrap.

The Mini Van would make a perfect stocking filler. Seth has loved exploring the shape & the design of the van… then propelling it at top speed along the sitting room floor lol. The slimline rounded shape is perfect for little hands to be able to grab hold of. It’s also nice & light, so it’s great for popping in Seth’s back pack for when we’re out & about. Seth always needs to take a toy wherever we go. Also, with it being wooden & rather robust, it can handle knocks & being launched from one end of the room to the other. Robust toys are essential with toddlers!

Hape really do make some lovely things, they’d make any little one a beautiful gift or stocking filler.

Thanks so much for reading & happy shopping!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

My First Thomas & Friends™ Railway Pals™ Destination Discovery

3 Nov

Hi folks,

We’ve been having fun all week with Seth’s new toy set: My First Thomas & Friends™ Railway Pals™ Destination Discovery. 


As you can see from Seth’s dressing gown – he’s a big Thomas the Tank Engine fan! He literally couldn’t wait to get into it. 

So… before I get down to how much Seth loves this toy set… here’s some of the key points: 

  • Roll Percy over the track activation points to hear fun sounds, songs and phrases that teach letters, numbers and colours
  • Press Percy’s light up bumper to hear him talk or sing
  • Nine activation points
  • Over 40 track pieces
  • Over 50 unique sounds
  • Encourages little ones to learn
  • Suitable from 12 months+
  • RRP £49.99

As you can see there is a RRP of £49.99 but right now you can buy this beautiful set for Just £34.99 at Smyths Toy Superstore!!! That also includes free delivery! Utter bargain!!! 

Right then… let’s get to the fun stuff… 


Seth has literally played with this toy set everyday since it’s arrived. As you all know – Seth is 19month old. He’s very heavy handed with toys. So beautiful toy sets are always a bit of a worry… I mean… can they withstand a toddler tantrum!? Well I can hand on heart say that Thomas Friends are rather robust. Seth has leaned on the track… he has thrown Percy down the track at record speed & he’s spun the life out of the light up station. 

The track itself is very well made & all edges are lovely & smoothe. So there are no worries of sharp edges making soft skin sore. Percy the train is lovely. He lights up & talks. Seth is in the throws of learning to talk. Since having this toy set he’s began shouting “Choo Choo” when sliding Percy round the track & he’s even been trying to say “blue” as well as saying “Cee”… that’s Percy to you & me. Not only is it a fun & colourful toy, but it’s educational too.

We all live in a very technology orientated society, but this toy embodies good old fashioned learning through play. Move away from the tv & tablet… & get back to some imaginative play with Thomas & Friends. Seth has a very short attention span with only being 19month old, but all of the different aspects of this set will easily hold his attention for up 20/30mins at a time. Now that’s a lot for a 19 month old I think. And even after he’s moved away from the set, he’s actually carrying Percy around with him pressing his bumper to activate the sounds. I’m seriously considering buying him more trains to add to his set from the range. That’s another great thing about this set. You can add more things, so if you were to buy this for your little one for Christmas you can ask family & friends to buy a few more Thomas & Friends trains as stocking fillers! Perfect! 

You’ll also be pleased to know that being plastic – the track wipes down well. We all know the perils of little sticky fingers… Seth loves to snaffle a gingerbread man or a tangerine whilst he’s playing. I’ve already had to spray with antibacterial spray & wipe down. It cleans perfectly. So that’s another added bonus! 

All in all – this is a gorgeous toy. Bright & colourful, well made & sturdy, no sharp edges & promotes so many aspects of learning & imaginative play. It is well worth the recommended retail price. It’s definitely  gotten a big thumbs up from Seth 🙂 Well I say thumbs up… Seth’s version of a thumbs up is a finger point… we need to work on that one. 


Thanks so much as always for reading & I hope you’ve enjoyed my review & maybe even given you some Christmas shopping inspiration. 

Love & Huggles,

Hayley & Seth xxx