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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.
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When I was pregnant with Florence I read every parenting book I could get my hands on. It was my inner control freak’s way of preparing for all of possible things that could be thrown at me in those early days as a Mama and while I took a little bit of value from each of them, only one of them talked about what I could expect from myself and not just from my baby. I was very lucky after having Florence that everything was pretty plain sailing. I’d had a straightforward birth with no stitches needed, and I was up and about pain free three days post partum. The baby blues never came and we quickly fell into a steady routine as a new family of three. Added to that the fact that Florence was a textbook, easy baby and it’s safe to say I felt very very fortunate to find those early weeks with a newborn a bit of a breeze.
However, I have to admit, had I been less confident or had Florence not been quite so ‘text book’ I fear my post natal experience would have been a bit of a struggle. I was missed off of the list of any postpartum care and had to chase up the midwife and health visitors on more than one occasion for the standard appointments, which aside from one, ended up making me feel pretty rubbish.
Had I had midwives and a post natal team like the two women who wrote the book I’m about to tell you about, I’d have had an even better experience. The Little Book of Self Care for New Mums by Beccy Hands & Alexis Stickland is an ultimate guide to what you can expect from your own mind and body once you’ve had your little one. Split into three main sections the two midwife-turned-authors discuss everything from vaginal tears and pelvic floors to nourishing your body and dealing with the baby blues in a no holds barred way. With nothing left unsaid and all of those questions you might be embarrassed to ask, Beccy and Alexis have written in such a way that makes you feel like you’re sitting chatting to your best mate rather than reading a ‘self help book’.
I particularly like the way that both women share their own personal experiences of dealing with the rollercoaster that is the post party in period be it through their own journeys as mothers or their experience of caring for others. The emphasis is definitely on accepting your own need as a new mother to trust your instincts and be kind to yourself more than anything else and that’s such a refreshing message compared to other books and websites we are often subject to.
As well as frank & friendly advice, the book contains easy to read and go handy recipe and top tip pages which I will no doubt be turning to as and when the need arises once baby boy is here. The chicken noodle soup recipe looks delicious so I might even try it beforehand!
The Little Book of Self Care for new mums highlights the lacking in care provided to new Mum’s in my own local area when it talks about what you can expect from midwife appointments after having your baby, however this time around I feel like I’d be more prepared and empowered to question if I felt that they had missed something or if I felt I needed something more than just a quick chat. Plus, having this little guide in my armoury on the days when things are feeling a bit overwhelming or I feel unsure about something will help no end.
I’d thoroughly recommend this book to any expecting Mama, first time or otherwise, as at a time when your world feels like it’s been tipped on its side we could all do with a little empowerment and reminder that you matter too. It’s available on Amazon here* for £8.27 and would make a beautiful baby shower gift!
*This post contains affiliate links.
I was sent this book for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own.
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