Dear Mummy, we had a wonderful time visiting our local Entertainer Toy store this week. We visited the Basingstoke branch in Festival Place, which is the nearest shopping centre to where we live. We’re very fortunate that our Entertainer has … Continue reading
Dear Mummy, the Easter holidays are upon us and social media is awash with things to do over the next 2 weeks. Along with days out exploring the countryside and getting fresh air we’re on the hunt to find things … Continue reading
Care Bear stare! We had the most amazing time at the London Toy Fair this week and our highlight was this giant wall of Care Bears! If you like this photo please pop over to our Instagram feed @dear_mummy to … Continue reading
Dear Mummy, I’m a massive fan of CBeebies and one of my favourite shows is Kate & Mim-Mim. So imagine my delight at getting a new Kate & Mim-Mim toy through to review. Look at the joy on my face! I was eager … Continue reading
Dear Mummy, Woweee! Look at this little toy you found at Molly’s Den, Winchester. As soon as you saw it your heart-strings went. You see it’s no ordinary toy. When you were my age you used to fall asleep watching the … Continue reading
Dear Mummy, I’d like to introduce you to my friend ‘Spike’. He’s a Lazy Lizard. A beautiful handmade soft toy.
We’ve been on an adventure for some time now. He’s been with me taking my first steps through the bluebell woods of Micheldever in the Spring, jetting away on holidays to Gibraltar in the summer and getting his groove on at the Just So Festival, in fact we’ve been inseparable since we first met.
So where did he come from? A local company called Lazy Lizards based in Winchester, Hampshire.
However he was born the other side of the world in the fair-trade ‘Barefoot’ workshops in Sri Lanka. Which have been producing toys and textiles like him for over 40 years. Giving local women in rural communities the opportunity to create and make handmade items for a fair wage and training.
‘Barefoot’ was the brainchild of entrepreneur, Barbara Sansoni.
Sansoni textiles are inspired by the exotic land of Sri Lanka, much different to dreary England. That’s why they are so bright. They use Cibacron F/FN Swiss dyes which make their colourful yarns and fabrics.
All Barefoot products are made from cotton, silk or wool yarn. The dyes are safe and where stuffing is used, it comprises of kapok pulp. All fibres are natural and, therefore, biodegradable.
Barefoot products meet the standards required by EU and UK legislation and are safe for all ages from newborns upwards. That’s reassuring. They are also washable, which makes my mummy happy. Everything is produced in the villages and nothing is mass-produced. No child labour is used.
There are no factories and no production lines. This makes me happy, to think that my friend ‘Spike’ was born from someone else’s imagination and hand. He has an ethnicity, and a connection to this far away place, which one day I would hope to travel to.
Each toy has a unique personality and no two are the same. This is why Spike and I get on so well, as he’s slightly bonkers just like me.
Lazy Lizards in Winchester was established by Jules. She found Barefoot on her travels and wanted to share them with the world. Jules has been creating and trading in Barefoot products for some time and we’re glad we visited her site. I’m not the only one who has fallen in love with this quirky toy.
Jules has friends of her own too, Lemon and Lime – the frilled-neck lizard twins and Funky Unk – the bright red thorny devil. You can follow the adventures of Lazy Lizards on Twitter and Facebook.
I love my Lazy Lizard’s quirkiness and colours, the fact that he was handmade by talented people on the other side of the world. Spike is better travelled than me! Whenever we go on our adventures people always comment on how unusual he is.
He has been made so well, that when I pull at his legs and explore his quirky shapes and feet, he doesn’t look worn or tired.
He may not be the softest of creatures, but this adds to the appeal. His texture is almost natural and adds to the sensory experience of playing with a toy that isn’t the bog standard soft plush cuddly toy. This is what makes him stand out from the rest in my toy box and why I always reach for him first.
I hope to carry on with my adventures with Spike and you may see him crop up from time to time on my blog. He’s definitely one of the most colourful characters I’ve ever met on my travels so far!
There are so many of his friends looking for homes here in the UK, why don’t you see if you can give one of them a home this Christmas?
HAPE – Early Explorer Wooden Plane
Dear mummy, for my second review on my blog this week I have decided to review one of my newest toys. My mummy bought me a blue wooden HAPE airplane from John Lewis for £5.99. I reached out for it in the toy department and she had a couple of quid left on one of her gift cards, so decided to get it for me 🙂
Ordinarily it’s not something I would go for, as it has no sounds or flashing lights, however I liked the look of it and I was fascinated by the spinning wheels and loved poking my little fingers through the holes.
Hape is an international manufacture of high quality and environmentally friendly wooden toys. They were founded in 1986 in Germany by Peter Handstein and distribute toys to over 50 countries. He’s like Father Christmas! He must have a lot of elves working for him!! Their toys have been designed to be neither cultural, language or gender specific. The toys should appeal and engage with all, helping to promote intuitive play. I love HAPE’S company ethos and the way HAPE strives to be ethically and environmentally friendly. It’s a refreshing change from other toy manufactures. You can find out more about HAPE here.
So, the toy itself. It’s packaged in simple cardboard with strings to hold the toy in place. No plastic has been used. It’s easy to open and I play with the box too. It’s a hand powered plane with bendy wooden wings. Mummy shows me how to hold and glide it through the air. She makes a whooshing sound as it whizzes by my head. After handing it to me I mimic her and make ‘seeeeeeethhhhhing’ noises though my teeth and swing it around my body. I wave my arms up and down and grip hold of it tightly. It also has little wooden wheels and I roll it around on the carpet and up mummy’s leg. It’s really good fun.
For a small wooden ‘simple’ plane, my mummy is amazed by how much enjoyment it brings to me. An impulse buy was actually a really good buy. It just goes to show that you don’t always have to purchase ‘all singing, all dancing’ toys 🙂 well done HAPE!
Cloud B Twilight Turtle – Tried and Tested
You all know my fondness of my Turtle, so imagine my delight when a family friend presents me with a Twilight Turtle Night Light from Cloud B. Mummy’s had her eye on one of these since I was born. I’m not scared of the dark as I’m still too little, but I love looking at lights and patterns.
The Twilight Turtle is presented in a beautiful box, ideal for a new baby, christening or baby shower gift. I love the packaging and if definitely looks expensive and well made. You can buy Twilight Turtle from sites such as Amazon, Zulily (who often do discounts) and toy retailers.
Inside the box is the turtle and a little information booklet which talks you through the star constellations which the Twilight Turtle projects from his plastic shell. The instruction guide is easy to understand (even for a baby!) and has simple diagrams explaining how to use the Twilight Turtle. It also has several languages in the instruction booklet…wow mummy this cool night light is sold across the world!
It’s not intended for use inside my cot so mummy puts Twilight Turtle on the rocking chair so he projects his star lights onto the ceiling above my head.
He’s even attractive and colourful when not in use and I love the purple coloured shell and soft purple textures.
You will need to buy AAA batteries to bring him to life and these are found in daddy’s desk drawer……shhh don’t tell daddy! (I hope he doesn’t mind me nicking some) I have to get mummy to do the adult bit of unscrewing his hard shell to insert the batteries, she uses a small Philips screwdriver to remove the screw on the battery door and replace it back again (just make sure small hands are far from reach)
Twilight Turtle has big control buttons at the back of his shell, which makes it easy for little fingers to switch on and change the colour projections of light. The choice of colour he displays are Green, Blue and Orange. My favourite is the green light.
Twilight Turtle projects star constellations on the wall and ceiling in dark rooms, just make sure you position him on an even surface so he doesn’t fall over and hurt himself.
It’s also good to position him in the centre of a dark room for an optimal star-gazing experience.
It is truly amazing the clarity of the shapes that are projected onto the ceiling, so much better than what mummy though!
So we try and test his ‘break ability’ if that’s a word! I throw him across the room and squeeze him to death and still no breaks and the lights work perfectly. I even stand on him and he survives.
It’s great to run my small fingers across the hard shell and feel the textures and materials, he doubles up as a nice sensory toy.
One thing that perplexes me us that when I go to bed I watch the stars, but when I wake up in the morning they are all gone…..hmmmm mystery. (Mummy knows something I don’t know…..it has a 40 minute timer!)
I hope you enjoyed reading my review 🙂