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Author: Kate Korber

I'm a passionate educator who loves helping teachers and parents understand how to engage our students in this digital world. I'm also a Mum who is learning to tackle the everyday challenges of being a parent of a our two year old Ella and new born son, Hudson!
Christmas Toy Review #3 : Pop the Pig from Talkin Toys

Christmas Toy Review #3 : Pop the Pig from Talkin Toys

This Christmas my two children are getting to an age where they can start to play board games. Maybe not quite Monopoloy, but certainly games that involve interaction! You may or may not know, but this year I’m trying to find toys that I can buy for them together. Toys that they can both play with, and hopefully play without fighting #wishfulthinking. Whilst we were away in Hawaii, we played good old Jenga quite a few times, and I realised that they haven’t really had the opportunity to play games like it, that involve the whole family. They promote turn taking, patience and strategy! So when Talkin Toys contacted me to try out one of their new offerings, I jumped at the chance to try out Pop the Pig!

Pop the Pig is a game that can be played by two or more players. The Pig sits in the middle, and each person takes the turn to roll the dice. The dice shows one of four colours: red, green, purple or yellow. The player then picks up a token of that colour and turns it over showing a number. The token is then placed in the Pig’s mouth, and pushes down on it’s head the corresponding number of times. Each time you push down, it pumps the Pig’s tummy a little larger. The game keeps going until you….Pop the Pig’s tummy!

This game has been fantastic in a number of ways:

  • Turn taking….obviously!
  • Rolling the dice and recognising the colour
  • Recognising numbers
  • Predicting who is going to win based on how many times the Pig’s head has been pumped

It isn’t a game of skill, which is also great at this age because it means that no matter how old they are, anyone can win!

Pop the Pig can be purchased at Kmart for $25 here! Suitable for years 3+

GIVEAWAY: Win tickets to the Australian Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty Story Time

GIVEAWAY: Win tickets to the Australian Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty Story Time

To be a ballerina. Whether you are five, fifteen, thirty-five or eighty five. Those of us who have grown up dancing, twirling, stretching and practicing ballet have long admired those few who have gone on the make their passion their vocation. To be able to set foot into a real ballet studio at the Australian Ballet School has long been something that I could only dream of. Until last week when Ella and myself were invited along to have our very own private ballet class with on of their ballerinas to celebrate the launch of the Australian Ballet’s story time : Sleeping Beauty. I have to admit, that I may have been a teeny little bit over the moon about my daughter being invited, and myself being able to ‘tag’ along. I felt myself floating when we walked through the carpark, and into the lifts to stand along side those girls and boys who, with their hair slicked into neat buns, and wearing block dance shoes on their feet, were about to attend their daily sessions of rigorous training. For an hour we would ‘dance’ along side them, and my daughter, in all her tutu glory would be able to be in her element in the most sought after dancing school in the country.

Evie from the company was our teacher for the lesson, and greeted the girls as fairy from the beautiful story of Sleeping Beauty. If you are not aware, Storytime Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty brings to the stage the classical ballet for years three and up, featuring Princess Aurora, Prince Désiré, a sparkling crowd of fairies, and storybook characters including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. Created especially for children, Storytime Ballet is sure to become an annual family favourite. Expect little ones to be dancing down the hallway with (almost) perfect pirouettes, long after the curtain comes down.
The production, which runs for a child friendly 50 mins and features a narrator to help kids navigate the storyline, will visit venues across Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland from 13 December – 25 January.

What’s even more exciting is the fact that we are giving away tickets to see this Ballet in Melbourne!

THE PRIZE:

One winner will win two tickets to Storytime Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty at the Arts Centre in Melbourne On Saturday December 15 at 2pm

TO ENTER:

Simply head to my Instagram Page and look for the comp post.

*Comp ends on Monday 13th Novermber at 9pm AEDST. Winner announced shortly after. Open to Australian Residents who are able to attend the Storytime Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty at the Arts Centre in Melbourne On Saturday December 15 at 2pm

For more information about the story time ballet, and to purchase tickets, head to the Australian Ballet’s website here. Truly magical for all dancers, of all ages!

Christmas Toy Review #2 & Giveaway!: Leap Frog Sweet Treats Cafe and Scoop & Learn Icecream Cart

Christmas Toy Review #2 & Giveaway!: Leap Frog Sweet Treats Cafe and Scoop & Learn Icecream Cart

This Christmas, I’m thinking laterally and looking for toys that give me bang for my buck. Two for one. Killing two birds with one stone you could say (even though that sounds terrible!). No, all jokes aside, I’m actually looking for toys that both of my kids can play with. Together. Toys that develop oral language, role play, imagination and working together. I’ve found that Ella and Huddy are now at an age where they actually can, for a small period of time, play together quite happily. Toys that encourage them to use their imagination and role play have been wonderful. They are also at an age where gender stereotypes have not REALLY set in, and so it’s a great time to encourage them to have fun no matter what they are playing with.

Leap Frog Sweet Treats Cafe

Recently we were asked my Leap Frog to review two of their new offerings; their Cafe set and Ice cream Cart. Leapfrog are known for developing toys that developing thinking. That encourage children to make decisions, to interact and be creative. So I was quick to say YES and get my kids involved. What’s even better is the fact that we are giving away a Cafe set to one lucky reader. Read on to learn more!

THE PRIZE

We are thrilled to be offering one lucky follower a  Sweet Treats Learning Café (for 2+ years), RRP $59.95.

See post below for more information about the product. Comp is open to Melbourne followers only who are able to pick up the prize from St Kilda. Comp Closes Monday 6th November at 8pm AEDST.

HOW TO ENTER

Simply head to our Facebook Post Here and leave a comment sharing your child’s favourite cafe treat and tag a friend!

*For a bonus entry , head to Instagram, follow us, like our Instagram Post for this giveaway and comment letting us know you have entered on FB.

Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart

(for 2+ years), RRP $79.95 Available for Christmas from Big W and selected toy retailers.

We’ve all grown up with the sound of Mr Whippy driving the streets, and this is seriously like having your own at home. The LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart lets your children create a variety of  tasty-looking ice cream combinations using four flavours of ice cream, three toppings and three syrup flavours. The magic scooper helps them scoop up the ice cream and toppings to build customer orders (ie. Mummy’s favourite flavours) and it will recognise the colours and flavours. Add toppings and syrup to complete the treat!

They also get to build memory and sequencing skills by choosing from six cute animal order cards and following the instructions. Playful phrases introduce colours, numbers, flavours and more while you explore the cart’s features and activity cards. The cutest part is the fact that it is mobile, and allows kids to move around whilst playing music.

This is a real winner in our house and I would highly recommend it for Christmas!

Sweet Treats Learning Café

(for 2+ years), RRP $59.95 Available for Christmas from Big W and selected toy retailers.

Weekends in Melbourne are not complete without a trip to our local cafe. With the sweet treats cafe, your kids can serve up learning with a double shot of fun! Fill cups, complete customer orders and serve tasty-looking pastries while learning numbers, shapes, colours and sizes; and running your own café. With four original songs, 10 touch points and 12 pieces including magic tilting cups, your little baristas will feel as though they really work in their own cafe!. Pick the right drink, choose the correct sized cup and set the right temperature. They’ll love learning about numbers, shapes, and colours, while developing listening and memory skills as they froth the milk, grind the beans and brew the coffee. Whether they’re hosting a tea party for their toys or role playing with friends, its espressos, hot chocolates and babycinos all round!

Another awesome toy that both my kids love playing with together, and with the whole family. It’s really compact and can easily be taken out for the day.

So be sure to enter our giveaway today!

 

Introducing Disney Originals 2 Sleepwear – Exclusively at Big W

Introducing Disney Originals 2 Sleepwear – Exclusively at Big W

We all know that the sheer range of divine clothing for little girls is abundant and amazing. It should be no surprise then, that the one and only Disney have not only brought out an amazing range of sleepwear for girls, but also have designed matching / complimentary PJ’s for Mums. Featuring the classic Disney characters such as Bambi, Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella, in subtle pastel tones, Ella and I were lucky enough to recently try out some of the Disney Originals range for ourselves.

I’m not normally one to do the who matchy, matchy, mini me thing, but  Ella squealed with delight when she saw that I too was wearing Disney ‘jammies’. I love the fact that they are not exactly the same, but actually designed in both image and wording for Mums.

I love wearing a nightie in the hot summer months and made of cotton, these are just divine. The cap sleeve on Ella’s girl’s nightie is also too too cute.

The tee and shorts are generous in size, not too short and have an elastic waste.

Available at Big W with prices ranging from $16 to $22, they are the perfect addition for any Princess and her Queen Mother this summer!

To purchase your own, head here!

GIVEAWAY: Peppa Pig Nappy Pants available @ Big W

GIVEAWAY: Peppa Pig Nappy Pants available @ Big W

Just when we thought we couldn’t love (or live) with the great Peppa Pig any more, they have gone and released their very own Napppies. Recently announcing a brand-new range of Peppa Pig Junior, Toddler and Walker sized Wonder Nappy Pants, along with Peppa Pig Wonder Baby Wipes  – they are available exclusively at Big W stores, nationally. We are currently trying (very unsuccessfully to toilet train Hudson) and given the fact that he adores Peppa, I think that this may, well and truly just help!

This is the first time that Peppa Pig Nappy Pants and Baby Wipes have been available in Australia, helping little ones and parents across the country, with life’s tiny accidents.

All easy pull on and off Peppa Pig Wonder Nappy Pants are unisex and feature a comfortable and snug, supportive fit, ‘uber-absorbent’ core, anti-leak guards, super softness and an advanced, breathable cover for up to 12 hour protection, day and night.

Peppa Pig Wonder Baby Wipes are hypoallergenic, fragrance and alcohol free and easily in reach to help wipe away little messes, keeping skin soft, fresh and clean.

GIVEAWAY: What’s even COOLER is the fact that we will be giving away 2 packets of Nappy Pants (in your choice of size) and 4 packets of handy wipes! Valued at $30!

To win, simply head to my Instagram feed, and look for Huddy holding a stack of nappies!

Christmas Toy Review #1: VTech Toys

Christmas Toy Review #1: VTech Toys

In the cray cray lead up to Christmas, I’ve decided to hire my own children and put them to work, reviewing some amazing toys to help you all know what the heck to buy (aka ask Santa for) this December. There is sooooo much variety out there, it’s hard to know where to start. This week’s first review is about two toys from VTech. Have you heard of VTech? They are world leader in developmental, stage-based, electronic learning products for children. A pioneer in the learning toy category, VTech create innovative educational products that enrich children’s development and makes learning fun. With a history of almost 35 years,  they have now created toys that are available in 25 different languages worldwide, with more than 100 new products are introduced every year.

With something for everyone, from birth to 9 years, VTech toys offer the right mix of fun play time with enhanced learning and development for all ages.

For your School Aged Child : Ella – Aged 5

Kidizoom Smart Watch – RRP $79.95

Ella was recruited to try the Kidizoom Smart Watch DX (4-9 years).  Think of an Apple watch for kids, The Kidizoom® Smart Watch DX is the next-gen smart watch for little ones, available in cool new colours – lime green, camo, and purple.  Immediately, Ella was hooked. As a keep mini photogpraher, this durable smart watch has more memory so kids can take tons of pictures and videos; add frames and effects, anywhere, anytime. The Smart Watch DX takes learning to tell the time seriously with the clever Fun Time Master feature. There are more than 50 3D analogue and digital displays to choose between and the Fun Time Master uses verbal cues to match the display, helping kids understand the clock face and time. Kids can even customise their own clock face and, there’s also alarm, timer, stopwatch, pedometer, calendar and calculator features.

It also encouraged her to exercise! The new motion sensor encouraged her to explore three action challenges! The Smart Watch DX also includes eight games kids can play using the touch screen, as well as the ability to download even more from the Learning Lodge.  Sweat and splash-proof, with an intuitive colour touch screen, and built-in rechargeable battery, this watch is smart fun, smart tech. Available in blue, pink, lime green, camo and purple, telling the time never looked so cool!

Honestly, whether a girl or a boy…this toy is one for everyone!

For your Pre-Schooler: Hudson – Aged 3

Cars 3 Tablet, RRP $29.95

Huddy is literally obsessed with CARS. If you’ve got a little one who is equally hooked, then this one is for them! Help Lightning McQueen win the big race with the Race & Learn Tablet™. Interact with your favourite Cars 3 characters as they come to life in fun and engaging activities on the LCD screen. Seven exciting games introduce letters, objects, spelling, number order, counting, logic and more. Find letters to help Lightning McQueen gear up for the race, spell out words on road and crowd signs, count objects as you help clean up Doc Hudson’s garage, spell out words to pass other cars in the race and much more! Press the character buttons to meet and interact with Lightning McQueen and his friends. The tablet also introduces beginning typing with a QWERTY keyboard. Get on the fast track to learning with Lightning McQueen!

VTech toys are available from major department stores, independent toy stores, and select online retailers. For further information on VTech and its products, visit www.vtech.com.au , or check out the VTech news on Facebook @ VTechANZ and Instagram @vtech_toys_anz. For more info and to see these toys in action, visit our Instagram Stories!

Blissful Bellarine Getaway Giveaway!

Blissful Bellarine Getaway Giveaway!

This last weekend we travelled down to the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula. Not quite two hours from Melbourne, it was the perfect spot to getaway on a Friday afternoon for one of the first real weekends in spring. Those who have a life long love of this beautiful part of Victoria will know, that it’s beauty stems from the sum of it’s parts. You see, you get not one, but many gorgeous towns, all a stones throw from each other. Based in Ocean Grove at the super cute Riverside Ocean Grove Motel, we spent the weekend visiting Queens cliff, Drysdale, Barwon Heads, Point Lonsdale and Geelong. Visiting a different spot throughout the day was spectacular fun and oh so easy to do. Before we start with a recap of our weekend, I need to begin by letting you know that we are giving one lucky follower the chance to experience a weekend away in this beautiful part of the world!

This is our BIGGEST GIVEAWAY EVER!

Bellarine Giveaway

THE PRIZE: One follower will win:

Two nights accommodation in a family room at the Riverside Ocean Grove Motel for January 19 / 20, 2018 – $255 per night

A Day Out With Thomas at the Bellarine Railway– $80 for a family of 4 on January 20

A lunch/dinner for 4 at Mr Grubb @Oakdene $150 inclusive of drinks

Our Sweet Treats Good Box upon arrival – $45

That is a total value of $785

TO ENTER:

Simply head to our Facebook Post Here and leave a comment sharing what part of the Bellarine Peninsula is your favourite, and tag a friend!

*For a bonus entry (but not compulsory), follow each of the business accounts (listed below) and leave a comment on my INSTAGRAM post letting me know you’ve followed everyone.

@riversidemoteloceangrove,

@mrgrubboakdene,

@our_sweet_treats,

@the_bellarine_railway

T&C’s: This giveaway closes on Friday 20th October @ 9pm AEST. This giveaway is in no way endorsed, promoted by or connected to Facebook or Instagram. Open to Australian Residents only who are able to travel on January.

Our beautiful stay…

As mentioned above, our weekend began by checking into the Riverside Ocean Grove Motel. Owner and Operated by a beautiful local family, you can tell that this place is meant to be enjoyed by everyone who stays there. Beautifully modernised, the family suite has two separate bedrooms, a large bathroom and well stocked kitchenette. My favourite find was the FOUR slice toaster. Quite possibly the best part of this accommodation is the fact that all of the rooms open out onto their own deck, overlooking the gorgeous pool and spa. Landscaped with gorgeous flowers and natives, there is also a huge BBQ area. This means that if travelling with family or friends, you can have your children asleep inside, but still feel safe and secure that you are together just outside.

When we arrived we were starving (being a Friday afternoon), and were beside ourselves to find a box from Our Sweet Treats:  some of the most delicious cakes, slices and biscuits we’ve ever seen, and devoured! The kids adored their Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol bikies, and Dan and I loved the slices!

Our next stop for the weekend was a fabulously fun Day out with Thomas in Queenscliff at the Bellarine Railway. Arriving about an hour before our scheduled time of 12.30pm, the kids set off on a trail of activities, from a jumping Castle, steam train tour, miniature railway and fire engine ride! As the conductor yelled ‘all aboard’, we all met the Fat Controller and set off on a 45 train journey on a vintage train. The kids loved waving at anyone and everyone along the way. Once at our destination, there was a quick train shuffle and we set off back to Queenscliff. The kids loved every minute of it!

Lastly, we finished our weekend with a delicious dinner at Mr Grubb @ Oakdene Winery. Set in a lush garden, with sculptures and a huge sandpit, the kids made friends with others, kicked the footy and played tiggy, whilst Dan and I enjoyed a couple of glasses of their wine. A fabulous kids menu meant that our normally  fussy eaters ate every morsel on their plate. The service was just wonderful, and nothing was too much trouble. Even blankets were provided to those of us wanting to sit outside, so we could stay a bit longer!

So with that, we present our amazing Blissful Bellarine Getaway Giveway. This is such an amazing opportunity for one special family, and I wish you all the very best of luck!