Tag Archives: Imagination

“Reading is a Passport to Countless Adventures” – Mary Pope Osborne

31 Aug

Hi folks,

Wow… can you believe the kids go back to school this week? I feel so emotional about Seth starting full time school. He’s super excited & is taking it all in his stride. Me on the hand… I’m an emotional wreck. I’m really going to miss him. But I know he needs not only the education side of things… but also the social aspect too.

We’ve done learning from home over this pandemic/lockdown, so I’m not too worried about the learning side.  And we have always been avid readers so I know his literacy is progressing.

From the moment Seth & Ted were born I’ve read to them. In fact, while I was pregnant I actually read to them. I watched a documentary about pregnancy & they said that babies can start to recognised texts when read over & over. I love that. My boys both love books & listening to stories. Ted gets so excited when he turns the pages to see new pictures.

The boys were sent the most gorgeous books from Wonderbly.

Ted is 22 month old & was sent: “The ABC of You”. You can add your childs name & change the colour of the front cover. Each page is totally personalised for your little one. I love the illustrations. The quality of the book is absolutely stunning. The cover is hardback & the pages are made from beautiful thick paper. Perfect for little hands to navigate.

I also love that you can customise & personalise the first page with a cute little message. These books are something that will be treasured by your little ones. I received a personalised book for christmas one year when I was a child from my God Parents & I still have it on my bookshelf.

Seth was sent: “You & the Beanstalk”. This is a lovely little re-telling of a classic. Seth was so mesmerised when he realised he was in the story. Seth is 4 yrs old. He literally could not believe he was the main character.

Seth loves seeing his name in his reading corner.

As with Ted’s book, this book can be personalised & you can also personalise the first page.

Seth has such an amazing creative personality & is always looking for adventures. This book fits him perfectly.

If you’re looking for that perfect gift – look no further than these stunning books. Right now, Wonderbly have 20% off when you buy 2 books. Just use code: MULTI20 at checkout. Books can be shipped worldwide & dispatch is within 48hrs.

We have had so much fun reading these beautiful books.

Thank you as always for reading & I hope you’ve enjoyed this review.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

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

Lockdown Learning

20 Jul

Hi folks,

I can’t believe that the academic year has come to an end & we’re now into the Summer Holidays. I feel so sad that Seth didn’t get to say a proper goodbye to his Pre-School Teachers & Class Mates. We found out last week who his new Reception Class Teacher would be & which of his friends would be in his class. Seth is so excited to get back to school in September. He just loves to learn.

We’ve been doing lots of fun learning activities over lockdown & I think we’ll be carrying them on into the Summer Holidays too. Learning is much easier when its fun!

We had another lovely delivery of goodies from Best Learning.

My Learning Board iPoster  is utterly fantastic! It’s perfect for helping with Spelling, Writing & Counting. It’s interactive with touch technology & you can also use the wipeable pen too. There is 12 separate learning activities already built in. It’s perfect for fun learning games together. Lots of fun sounds & songs will keep your little ones entertained for hours. We’ve had so much fun with this lovely interactive toy. You can also hang it on a wall, perfect for a play room, study area or kids bedroom. The integrated calculator is great too… Seth thinks it’s magic.

Inno Pad: Smart Fun Lessons. This is such an amazing compact toy. It comes with 16 separate learning pages that slide into the Inno Pad for different learning experiences. The pages themselves are made from durable plastic… meaning they’re sturdy but also can be wiped clean. Skills that can be learned include alphabet, numbers, time, colours, fruits, shapes, animals, the weather, emotions, professions, music, various transportation & problem solving. The learning levels range from basic to advanced. This is toy is great for travel… it’s really lightweight & slimline. It’ll be great for travelling when we go to visit family etc…

Seth loves problem solving & having quizzes, so he’s had so much fun playing with it. It’s great for a childs development, as well as promoting creativity. We’ve had fun playing this together, but Seth also like independent play & learning. He can off & play with this & figure it all out for himself.

Magic Puzzle Globe. This lovely little globe comes in 26 pieces with a little stand. We did have to help Seth with putting this together. It’s been great though for helping Seth with basic geography. Seth is only 4 years old, but he’s utterly obsessed with asking where each country is in relation to the United Kingdom. So this has been such a great learning aid.

Our magic Puzzle Globe lives in Seth’s room, because he loves to go over to it & find all of his favourite countries. I just love the wonder & amazement on his little face when he looks & then finds different places.

“Play is the highest form of research” – Albert Einstein.

If you would like to read a little more about the toys we’ve reviewed – please click the highlight text.

Thanks so much for reading.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Creativity, Imagination and Learning Through Play

26 Apr

 

Hi folks,

It’s definitely no secret that we’re big Hape fans in this house. I very much follow the mantra of ‘Learning through play’. I try to make each day as fun as possible for my boys. I am very lucky in that I get to stay at home with my boys, so I make it my duty to try & teach them as much as possible, in a fun, creative way.

Seth starts pre-school on Monday… eeeeeck! I’ve tried so hard to make sure he knows his alphabet & his numbers before starting. Along with recognising his name & other words. Our lovely bundle of Hape goodies came at just the most perfect time.

So… what did we receive?

ABC Magnetic Letters

Seth has had so much fun using these gorgeous letters. There is a mix of upper & lower case letters. They also come in a gorgeous little drawstring bag that will keep them neat & tidy. The edges are all beautifully rounded & smooth – perfect for little hands to use. They are also beautifully coloured.

We’ve had so much fun trying to get the alphabet in the right order & also spelling out words. They’re such a good teaching tool.

ABC Wooden Blocks

Seth is such a huge fan of building blocks. Like all Hape toys, the quality & finish on these lovely little blocks is stunning. Just like the magnetic letters, these blocks come in a lovely little drawstring bag. The bag makes it so easy to pop into your handbag for taking over to the Grandparents house etc… to keep your little ones entertained for on the go.

These blocks are multicoloured & feature letters, words & pictures. So not only can you build, but you can also make up stories & work on your alphabet & spelling too.

Clown Stacker

The Clown Stacker has been such a huge hit with Seth & Ted. Seth has been having so much fun trying to teach Ted colours. He’s been trying to tell him how it stacks up too. It’s so super cute to watch them bond over a toy.

This toy is fab for hand eye coordination.

Ted has had fun batting it about with its wobbly bottom.

We’ve had fun stacking it from biggest to smaller & smallest to biggest. This toy is great for colour recognition & also sorting & recognising patterns.

Baby Bugs Books

Books are so important for a childs development. The earlier you can introduce books, the better in my eyes. This gorgeous little bug book is perfect for those early introductions. It gives them their first experience of having to turn the pages.

The illustrations are so bright & colourful. Ted loves looking through it. It’s also lovely size for chubby little hands to manage.

You’ll also be glad to know that its 100% safe to chew too… Thats good where Ted is concerned lol.

Like I’ve said in the past, wooden toys seem to have that unique, timeless, charm. We are never disappointment with Hape Toys… bright, colourful & safe. They’re the perfect addition to any toy box, bedroom, nursery or playroom.

As always, thank you so much for reading & I hope you’ve found this review useful.

I’ve got some interesting blog posts coming up… so keep a look out for those!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

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

Teething Troubles

22 Jan

Hi folks,

We all know one of the toughest things to go through with your little one is teething. It’s one of those things when you feel completely helpless. Seth has been struggling off & on for a while now with his back teeth. Well… that was until our lovely package from Gummee arrived!

This Molar Mallet is fantastic & it certainly gets the seal of approval from Seth!

The shape of it allows it to reach back corners of the mouth that other traditional teethers just don’t reach. It’s also got a little bell inside too that Seth likes to shake around like a musical instrument. It’s so cleverly made. When you drop it on the floor it even stays upright! Amazing! Utterly fantastic for when you’re out & about.

The circular guard around the middle also prevents it from being shoved into the mouth too far.

If you head on over to their website – you will find lots of fun & colourful teethers in all sorts of shapes & sizes. You will literally find something on their to help your little one through this tough time. I wish I’d discovered Gummee when Seth was very first teething.

Seth is a tough cookie to please at times – but he just took to the Molar Mallet instantly. He’s been chomping on it morning, noon & night. I don’t know how he’d have gotten through the last 2 weeks without it. He’s cut 2 back teeth this last fortnight bless him.

If you’re looking for a baby shower gift – I’d definitely recommend Gummee… useful presents are always much appreciated & a teether would be very much welcomed. It’s probably one of the toughest things as you can’t really do much to help.

Well, I shall go as I have lots of things to be getting on with… #MumLife… our daily tasks & chores are just never ending! But we wouldn’t have it any other way would we 🙂

Thank you so much as always for reading!

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

I LOVE Being a Guest Blogger 

26 Jan

Hi folks,

Just a wee blog post to remind you all that tomorrow my guest blog post for Cofi Coo will go live. I will post the link tomorrow evening. But you can follow their blog here.


If you simply cannot wait until tomorrow… then why not head on over to their Facebook Page to read my little interview.

I’ll also be writing a full review of their fantastic ‘quillow’ really soon!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx