Horrid Henry puppet

February 23rd, 2012

World Book Day is coming up (1 March) and what better way to celebrate than with a Horrid Henry hand puppet? Excellent for tormenting your own Perfect Peter.

Or if your child’s behaviour is a little too horrid for your liking, set them on the straight and narrow with a Horrid Henry reward chart by Doowell.

A creative space for kids

September 13th, 2011

It’s Roald Dahl Day today and I’ve been reading about his writing shed. His family has launched a campaign to move the shed to a museum to preserve it for future generations.

Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and James and the Giant Peach in the shed and it made me think about having a special place for being creative.

I love this teepee and I know my sons would love it too. It would be a wonderful place for playing games, but when I look at it I actually picture my older son, cross-legged and reading. Or writing. You never know.

Go to sleep… please!

June 23rd, 2011

I’m sure you’ve heard about Adam Mansbach’s enormously popular children’s book for adults, Go the F**k to Sleep. I was reminded of it when I saw the baby modelling the Hey Diddle Diddle baby sleeping bag, left. That baby does NOT look like he’s keen to go to sleep!

But I know from experience that baby sleeping bags do work incredibly well and will both help the baby go (and stay) asleep AND prevent the parents from becoming so incredibly frustrated that they’re inspired to write a bestselling book. Oh.

Do you love the gingerbread man?

March 3rd, 2011

It’s World Book Day today and what could be a more perfect way to celebrate than with the Gingerbread Man?

It’s surely one of the most popular nursery rhymes of all time, and a finger puppet is a great way to enhance your storytelling.

Run, run, as fast as you can to… buy one!

Are you ready for World Book Day?

February 22nd, 2011

This year’s World Book Day is 3 March and since I know many schools ask the students to come in book-related fancy dress, I thought I’d make a few suggestions.

Shockingly, I STILL haven’t read Noel Streatfeild’s classic novel, Ballet Shoes, but I know it’s incredibly popular and a relatively easy costume to create.

This luxurious pink tutu has nine layers of the softest tulle, with the top layer edged in satin ribbon. Plus it’s machine washable and can be tumble dried too.

Are you a Tiger Mother?

February 3rd, 2011

Have you been reading the fuss about the new parenting book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua? I’ve read a couple of short summaries since there are few things I like less than being told I’m raising my children wrong: “It is Chua’s belief that modern mothers have ducked their duties by focusing on the emotional welfare of their offspring. Instead, she urges, they should be setting high targets for their children and then haranguing them if they fall short.” (From The Guardian.)

Yeah. Not for me. I much prefer this Tiger Wheelybug, which, since Wheelybugs are designed to offer hours of robust fun and help promote self-confidence, spatial awareness and gross motor skills work both on an emotional and an education level.

What do you think? Are you a Tiger Mother? Or are you more of a pussycat?

Keep crafting kids clean

January 6th, 2011

My sons got a lot of crafting stuff this Christmas. I’m not complaining since they love colouring, painting, sticking… basically anything they can do that makes a mess, but while I enjoy the crafting, I’m not such a fan of the mess.

So this Maisy Children’s Apron is perfect for older children and there’s a Noddy Play Apron with sleeves for (even messier) younger children.

Get organised with the Horrid Henry Calendar

December 14th, 2010

I bought one of these magnetic calendars for my son last year and he loves it, but he’d love this Horrid Henry one even more.

Children will love to change the day, month, season and weather. Plus colourful activity pieces featuring Henry and other characters keep track of what is happening ‘Today’ and ‘Tomorrow’.

A great way to start the new year in style.

Put on a puppet panto

November 25th, 2010

It’s coming up to panto season and even though I’ve never actually seen one myself (I know, I haven’t lived), my son loves them (apart from the scary bits!).

This wonderful Snow White puppet from tellatale comes complete with the seven dwarves as finger puppets.

A perfect accompaniment to a story and a great way to fire a child’s imagination.

Top 3 cuddly toys

August 19th, 2010

My oldest son has a collection of “friends” he has to have in bed with him. There’s a dog, a lion, a pigeon, a penguin and a duckling. One goes missing and we have to turn the house upside down or there’s not much chance of him going to bed. And this is a child who never used to have even the slightest interest in cuddly toys. It just shows, sooner or later, we all fall for squishy friends. Here are three of my favourites:

Made from garment-quality, high-pile fabrics, this gorgeous Rarities Elephant is under stuffed and weighted so she can pose, flop, and cuddle just right. Would make a wonderful new baby or even Christening gift.

We have one of these Pea Snuggle Pods by Manhattan Toys and I love it just as much as my boys do. You can remove the cute doll from her satin-lined peapod. I bought it to introduce my older son to the idea of having a younger baby in the house. And now the baby loves it himself.

Rag dolls make me feel very nostalgic and I particularly love this Alice in Wonderland doll. Handmade to the principles of Fair Trade, her dress is removeable and the body can be sponge washed, making these dolls ideal gifts for newborns or any young child.

Do you still sleep with a toy you had as a child? Let us know in the comments.