It’s been a long time since I shared any of our tuff spot play, but today I thought I’d show you one of the Christmas play activities we’ve been loving throughout Advent. This morning I created a winter wonderland tuff spot using the SnoBall Play […]
Category: Baby Play
I’ve teamed up with one of my favourite toy brands to share my thoughts on their top picks for Christmas for babies & toddlers as part of my toy review series. Hape are the worlds largest producer of wooden toys priding themselves on their use […]
Over the next few weeks, as we all busy ourselves with Christmas shopping and preparing for the most wonderful time of the year, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on some of the many toys out there on the market for babies & toddlers. I am passionate about supporting small businesses and so along with a few bigger names there will be a host wonderful independent brands featuring here. Today I’m sharing with you my thoughts on two of the toys on offer at Wicked Uncle, the home of a range of children’s gifts. Disclosure: I am very lucky to have been offered the chance to test out their service and products in exchange for my honest feedback.
SHOPPING AT WICKEDUNCLE.CO.UK
First though, let me tell you a bit about what it’s like to shop at Wicked Uncle. The idea behind the whole shopping experience is to essentially make gift buying for children easier, quicker and accessible for not only those who see your kids all the time, but for those who maybe live further a field too. You log on, select the age & sex (optional) of the child you’re buying for and a range of carefully selected, suitable toys appear before your eyes. Once you’ve chosen the toy(s) you’re going to buy you’ll be directed to the checkout process where you can choose from a variety of gift wrap options, add a greetings card to your order and opt to have the item(s) delivered to you or directly to the recipient which is handy if you’re not likely to see them before the big day, or indeed if you’re a bit late in getting a gift sorted!
When it came to choosing the toys I thought Florence might like, I looked in both the 1year and 2 year age brackets as she’ll be more or less in the middle by the time Christmas comes around. I also skipped the whole gender selection thing and opted to see toys aimed at both boys and girls.
Fix it – my very own tool set
Florence is just starting to get in to role play and likes to try and copy and get involved with things we do Day to day. Sean works in the building trade and is also a bit of a ‘fixer’ and so I thought it’d be nice to add a tool set to her Christmas list. Unusually for me, I chose this plastic Fix it – my very own tool set as opposed to the fabric option also available as the different components seemed chunkier and a bit more durable. The set includes a little tool box complete with carry handle and five colourful tools; a drill (which makes noise when you squeeze the trigger, a hammer, a screwdriver, a spanner and a saw. The only thing missing in my opinion are a couple of screws and bolts that fit the screwdriver and spanner.
It always amazes me how children instinctively know what to do with different things. Upon opening the set, she immediately took the lightweight hammer and started wandering around banging the furniture as to ‘fix it’. Once all of the hammering was complete, she then picked up the screwdriver and again walked around ‘screwing’ in the corners, finding a few uncovered screws as she went.
I left the tool set out for a couple of days before repackaging it and wrapping it in time for Christmas morning, just to see whether she’d return to her game. It was the first thing she’d go to in the mornings! The sign of a well loved gift right there.
The Fix it – my very own toolset is available at Wicked Uncle for £19.95, which I think for the quality and opportunity for play is reasonable.
JANOD four seasons stacking pyramid
As you probably already know, I’m a big fan of themed play and a lot of the activities I do with Florence are themed around the changing seasons so you can see why these four seasons cubes appealed to me. Beautifully illustrated with typical scenes from Autumn, winter, summer and spring on each side, the cardboard cubes can be stacked on top of each other to form a pyramid, placed within each other, used to hide smaller toys & seasonal treasure under or lined up to create a scene. You can also use them separately from each other and We’ll be using ours in our small world play throughout the year.
They retail at £16.95 and are suitable from 1 year.
As well as baby & toddler toys, Wicked Uncle also offer a variety of gifts & toys for older children. Overall, I’m very impressed with the entire shopping experience offered at Wicked Uncle and it’ll definitely be a shop I return to when looking for gifts for both our children and those of friends and family.
I always love this time of year. The change of season always seems to inspire me to get organised and plan new ways to play and this Fall I’ve got a whole bunch of activities planned to keep Florence busy. I thought I would start […]
With the weather outside so incredibly hot at the moment (I’m not complaining, love the sunshine!), we’ve been taking refuge indoors during the warmest times of the day and so I’ve been looking for ways to keep Florence entertained and calm at the same time. […]
Not so long ago, I told you all about our plans to transform our garden from a drab and swampy mess into a toddler friendly play space for Florence to take advantage of through the summer. While I have planters across the middle of the garden which Florence is obviously able to play with, I wanted to create a little garden patch of her own within the whole garden itself and I thought I’d show you how we made our own Little Tikes Turtle Sensory Garden.
We bought a Little Tikes Turtle Sandpit from Smyths Toy Shop, but if you’re lucky you can pick them up on facebook selling groups or gumtree second hand for half the price. You will only need the base bit so either discard of the lid or store it away somewhere. I am still trying to think up a handy use for it so we’ve kept ours. Sean drilled a few holes in the bottom of the sandpit to allow for water drainage so that it didn’t become swamped through rainy periods.
We filled the pit with a 125L bag of peat free compost before planting our herbs & plants. We chose to plant a variety of strong scented herbs opting for rosemary, thyme, lavender, basil & mint along with a strawberry plant and some pink & purple petunias in between which are just starting to come into bloom. For added colour I’ve sewn some seed packets I picked up from Wilko but have to confess, I have no idea which ones went in! I think some of them might be sweet peas? They seem to be coming along just nicely anyway. The turtle sandpit is conveniently accessible from all angles but I’ve also made sure to leave a patch without any plants at the front so that she can climb in and out to play & explore this little corner of our garden too.
We have also added some little bug windmills from B&M which she loves to watch spin in the breeze along with some hand painted Lady Bug Pebbles which are just waiting for their spots.
Each morning I’ve headed out with Florence – in all weathers! – to check on how it’s all growing, to water the plants & we even ‘tickle’ them for extra growing power. Of course, this is already a great source of sensory play for Florence as there are a wealth of textures on offer for her to feel, there’s an abundance of smells, and the herbs are completely edible so it opens up an opportunity to explore her sense of taste too. Once the all the flowers are in full bloom the bright colours will also be quite visually stimulating, but for now the windmills and little bug touches are doing a pretty good job!
At just over one year old, the whole concept of what we are doing and why isn’t exactly understood just yet, but I hope that this Little Tikes turtle sensory garden of ours will act as a lovely baby friendly introduction to gardening and provide a whole host of play opportunities over time.
I’ll be back soon with a post on the progress of our garden as a whole as we’ve made so many improvements over the last few weeks but in the meantime if you fancy giving this a go yourself, I’d love to hear how you get on!
With so many lovely responses to my recent Simple Baby Play posts, I thought I would finally get around to sharing with you a list of items I class as baby play essentials. These are all things that I have built up over time and […]
I’ve had so many lovely messages about my last baby play post that I thought I’d share another five simple baby play ideas with you guys. What’s in the bag? Whenever my Mum comes to visit, the first thing Florence does is empty her handbag […]