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National geographic STEM Kits

National geographic STEM Kits

We were really excited to try these national geographic kits as they are a creative and fun way of learning about the world and science.

They all came with little learning guides with facts in them about fossils and crystals. Isabella and Megan really enjoyed learning about them.

The first kit we tried was the Crystal garden kit, where you get to grow your own crystals and it was so much fun.

The box  and the instructions are clear and informative, so we had no problems figuring out what to do.

It came with all the thing you needed to grow the crystals and you could even choose from a variety of 5 colours of crystal!

We followed the instructions which were easy and simple, after just 30 mins some crystals started to form. Isabella found it very interesting to watch the crystals grow over time into a full tree of crystals just like a normal tree would.

Once you have completed the experiment and had some fun looking at it you can go to your learning guide and learn all about different crystals.

Megan who is 15 even enjoyed this and loved teaching Isabella all about the crystals and growing them together.

She said “I really enjoyed growing the crystal trees, it was very calming colouring them in with the pens provided and then to watch them from into the beautiful crystals, it was so much fun”

 

The next ones we tried were the gemstone and dinosaur fossil digging kits.

These were fab, and Megan and Isabella spent a long time searching for the gemstones and fossils.

It came with little digging tools, a brush, and a magnifying glass which they used to dig at the blocks.

The blocks weren’t too hard, so Isabella had no problems finding her gemstones and fossils.

You can add a bit of water if you would like to make it softer for younger children.

I think this is an amazing way for young children to get a sight into future hobbies and job ideas like archaeology and Megan had such fun with this that it inspired her to consider it for a future career.

She thought it would be a fascinating thing to do when she’s older!

The girls both spent a long time focusing and concentrating on the digging and they really enjoyed it.

Just like the crystal growing kit, these also came with a learning guide so once they had found their fossils and gemstones, they could find out the names of their discoveries and learn what they are and where they came from. 

Thank you for reading about our experience with our national geographic kits and we hope you enjoy yours!

Recommended ages 8 years+

My Three Little Strawberries

xxx

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Play Osmo – Little Genius Starter Kit

Play Osmo – Little Genius Starter Kit

We were very kindly gifted this amazing set to review from Play Osmo.

Technology is a big part of life now and children enjoy it.

So Play Osmo is the perfect solution as it’s hands on learning and digital learning in one.

 

What is Play Osmo

Play Osmo is a hands-on learning game in which children use objects in the real world to interact with the digital world on their device.

It was developed by child development researchers.

Its available for selected iPads and Fire devices at the moment.

The ‘Little Genius Starter kit” is suitable for children aged 3-5 years and has four games at present.

This set has  RRP of £79

Its available in English and Spanish right now.

Once you have put your device into the compatible Osmo base and then add the red reflector over the devices camera, you can begin.

Its really easy to set up by downloading the app and it also has a parents app so you can view what areas they are covering or need to work on.

Osmo scans the table and your Childs creations then come alive on screen. Its really amazing to watch even as an adult.

Osmo has a covered reflector to only capture images in a bounded area and your Childs privacy is always protected

 

 

 

 

What I love about Play Osmo

I love to watch Isabella playing with it as she becomes so engaged and her facial expressions are fantastic.

It really helps her concentration, which is something we have been working on.

The ABC game is absolutely perfect for learning letter sounds and to recognise the letters.

You also get to create the letters using all the shapes that come supplied in lovely storage boxes.

There are just so many opportunities for learning, from the fine motor skill development when picking pieces up to to the hand and eye co-ordination when creating.

Osmo captures childrens imaginations, developing their listening skills.

Isabella loves to listen to Mo the monster and then follow his instructions, which again is something we are working on as listening is not always top of her priorities.

I really like that it has different levels so as Isabella progresses we can make it a bit more challenging for her or if she’s finding it a bit tricky then we can put it onto an easier setting.

I have absolutely no guilty letting Isabella use this as its “healthy screen time” and not a child sat staring at a screen with no interaction.

 

 

What Isabella loves about Play Osmo

Isabella was so excited when she first played it and I did wonder if the novelty would wear off but a few weeks on and it has not. She asks to play it everyday and we now have its own little table so she can access it freely.

She really loves “Mo” the monster and finds him very funny.

She loves all his encouraging words and how he offers to help if she gets stuck or gives her an opportunity to try again if needed.

Isabella favourite game so far is the stories. She just loves to sit and listen to the story and then join in by adding a costume.

Its amazing for problem solving too, I will give you a quick example.. we come across a swarm of bees and need something to protect our head so you need to have a look at all the pieces and choose the correct one, then we can carry on with the story.

It really gets children thinking!

 

 

You can see in this photo how happy she is when she completes the letters and this shows how it also helps develop self confidence.

Isabella gives it a 10\10 and so do I. I can’t recommend it enough and look forward to purchasing more games to add to it.

As always I would only ever write a review on a product I truly love and would purchase myself. I can see this being a number on toy for next Christmas.

Play Osmo also has a huge range of games available for children ages 5- 12 years so be sure to check these out too. I can’t wait until we can play some of these!

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions, we are more than happy to help answer them.

My Three Little Strawberries

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE 2019

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE 2019

Every year I find it becomes harder and harder to decide on which gifts to get, so I have put together a few ideas of gifts we have tested to help you out!

In no particular order!

Here are some of the toys we have really loved. 

 

LEARNING RESOURCES 

 

CODING CRITTERS – RANGER & ZIP

Coding Critters™ Ranger & Zip

Award winning Coding Critters from Learning Resources

RRP £40.00

Suitable for ages 4-10 years

There are three sets to choose from a cat called Sneaker & Scamper, a dog called Range & Zip or a dinosaur called Rumble & Bumble.

Isabella was so excited to get this out of the box and she was not disappointed!

She has loved using it as an interactive pet and also programming it to follow directions and perform tasks from the book.

I think its an amazing screen free and educational toy to give as a gift.

Its easy for children to use themselves yet still challenge them, perfect fro keeping them busy on Christmas Morning!

 

PLAYFOAM PLUFFLE 

 

 

 

Playfoam® Pluffle™ Pink & Green 2-Pack

Playfoam Pluffle had to be on my list. I cannot recommend it enough and its really great if you are looking for a sensory gift.

RRP £12.00 from Learning Resources

Suitable for ages 5-10 years

This stuff is just amazing and did I mention its mess free!!

It never dries out so you can use it again and again, its fluffy and squishy.

Its available in beautiful 6 vibrant colours and has glitter mixed in it.

Its great for developing hand strength and tactile learning.

This is ideal as a calm down activity or for children that like to keep their hands busy.

 

LANKA KADE

CHRISTMAS CHARACTERS 

 

 

 

 

If you have been following us for a while, you will know that we are massive Lanka Kade fans and we are also proud to be a brand Rep for them.

Lanka Kade make Beautiful wooden Fair-trade toys and we love all the items we have purchased from them.

They are a toys to be treasured and passed on for years, due to their fantastic quality.

I have chosen the Christmas Characters to add as I think these would make amazing stocking fillers or maybe even for an advent calendar if you can’t wait until Christmas.

They also make a lovely gift with a book as a story sack. I have added The Nutcracker story with them and Isabella is really loving finding the different characters in the book.

Lastly you can also use them as a stacking toy so what more could you want.

RRP From £2.70 – £3.00

Suitable from age 10 months

CODE : STRAWBERRY10 FOR A DISCOUNT

 

ORCHARD TOYS

NUMBER STREET PUZZLE

 

This is a really colourful 20 piece puzzle from Orchard toys and I would highly recommend any of the puzzles or games.

We have so many and they are super chunky and last years.

This puzzle is great for developing hand and eye co-ordination and counting skills

It comes with a giant poster which is really helpful to follow when making the puzzle or beautiful to stick on a wall.

Suitable for ages 2-5 years

RRP from Orchard toys £10.50

 

RAINBOWS AND UNICORNS


This is a magical colour matching game and Isabella just loves anything to do with Rainbows and Unicorns so this was a win win!

She loved the cute little unicorn characters and the pot of gold.

Its an amazing game to develop colour recognition and matching and memory skills.

Its a 2-4 player game so lovely for Christmas parties or from some one to one time with your child.

Suitable for ages 3-5 years

RRP from Orchard Toys £8.25

 

 

PENGUIN PAIRS MINI GAME

 

 

This is definitely one for your handbag and amazing for traveling due to its size and great entertainment.

Isabella loves all the Orchard Toys mini games and this one was no different.

The cute penguins tie in with Christmas and winter.

Its a 1-4 player game so children can play this on their own!

I think it would make a really lovely stocking filler.

Suitable for ages 3-6 years

RRP from Orchard Toys £5.00

 

 

NUMBER COLOURING BOOK

 

 

This is our first colouring book from Orchard toys and won’t be the last.

It has 24 pages and comes with stickers which Isabella loves!

There are numbers 1-10 to trace and colour and we have had great fun counting with it.

All the images are beautiful and the quality of the paper is so good.

Its an A4 size so nice big pictures to colour.

Suitable for ages 4+ years

RRP £3.00 from Orchard Toys

 

POWELL CRAFT BOUTIQUE

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD RAG DOLL

 

Isabella loves stories and cuddly toys so this beautiful Little Red Riding Hood from Powell Craft Boutique was a lovely addition to the angel we bought from them previously.

It’s suitable from birth and made with cotton.

The cloak can be taken off and Isabella loves pulling the hood up and down.

I think its an amazing prop for story time but it also looks beautiful sat on her bed!

RRP £16.00 from Powell Craft Boutique

Its 40cm high

 

CHRISTMAS NIGHTDRESS

 

Every year we always buy the girls a Christmas nightdress or pyjamas, which they then wear throughout the year too.

They are always so excited to put them on the night before we visit Father Christmas and on Christmas Eve.

This year Isabella will be wearing this absolutely beautiful nightdress from Powell Craft and the picture does it no justice as the detail and feel of the fabric cannot be felt.

Its has long-sleeves with appliqued angel and forest scene and braid trims.

I just love its traditional look!

Made from 100% cotton

A percentage of their sales for nightwear sales goes to mobile creches which is so lovely to help other children.

RRP £36.00

 

 

DKL BEYSAL TOYS

 

PLUS PLUS

We love Plus Plus in our house. Isabella loved using the larger piece sets and now enjoys using these smaller pieces too.

They are so great for fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination development.

This set comes in a handy metal suitcase so great for on the go play.

Each suitcase includes 300 pastel pieces and 100 neon pieces, plus a guide book for ideas.

You also get a base plate to build creations on.

You can make 3D and 2D creations.

Plus Plus also comes in other sizes and colours.

There are many different packs available and are available from DKL Beysal.

The perfect educational building gift.

RRP £19.00

Suitable from 1 years – 12 years of age

 

PLAYMAIS

 

I get asked about this all the time.

PlayMais is just amazing!

PlayMais is an all natural crafting toy that is 100% biodegradable and doesn’t impact the environment. It’s made from corn grits and water, and colored with food coloring

It works by getting it a little wet from a sponge and then it sticks together, so you can create pictures (as above) or little models with the larger PlayMais.

You can view all the different types of sets available over on DKL Beysal.

 

BLACK BEAUTY

Who doesn’t love the Story of Black Beauty?

This is any horse lovers perfect gift.

Anna Sewell’s classic horse tale, Black Beauty, has inspired generations of horse lovers, and you can get it in a set with a beautiful Breyer Classics Black Beauty horse from DKL Beysal.

Approx size horse 15cm H X 22cm L

Breyer Horses are hand painted.

Suitable from age 4 years +

 

MY DREAM HORSE


 

This Beautiful kit from DKL Beysal includes everything to create your own colourful unicorn

It comes with 6 paint pots and a brush, Plus a Breyer unicorn.

Isabella cannot wait to get this out as she loves painting and playing with horses!

I thinks its a great gift for anyone creative!

Unicorn measures 8″L x 6.5″H x 3″W

Suitable from ages 4 years+

 

THE LITTLE COACH HOUSE

 

Personalised Wooden Name Tracing Board from The Little Coach House.

This is absolutely beautiful and I can’t recommend it enough.

I love the Montessori approach to learning and these handmade wooden learning resources are made from beech wood, which is also FSC certified.

I think this is not just a toy/learning resource but something your child can hold onto forever.

I will be purchasing one for each of my older children too as I think they will look beautiful in their bedrooms.

The Little Coach House also make other resources from wooden number counting boards to flash cards so please go and check them out.

I also have a discount code for The Little Coach House as we are a brand representative for them.

Discount Code : STRAWBERRY10

RRP £25.00

Suitable from ages 2 years +

Don’t leave it too late to order as the current dispatch time is 3-4 weeks and final orders for Christmas is 8th of December.

 

GREAT LITTLE TRADING COMPANY

The Great Little Trading Company is one of my all time favourite childrens companies and I have been buying their products for years.

Megan and Sophie had a playroom filled with their stuff and they were all such amazing quality, so here I am ten years later buying the same stuff for Isabella as I know they will last. Yes I wish I had held onto everything but we passed them onto a preschool to enjoy.

We have many of their toys in our home once again. Some of my favourites are the SixPence play shop, the Emily dolls cot and the Emilys dolls highchair. I do love the Zigzag Sling bookcase and I cannot wait to open the painting easel which Isabella has asked for this year.

We have chosen the new wooden ambulance set to share with you. I think it makes not only a fun but beautiful gift for any child.

The push along ambulance comes with 12 accessories, a stethoscope, a digital thermometer, a syringe with plunger, an ear/eye scope, a reflex hammer, a telephone, a bottle of vitamins, a box of plasters , cough mixture, a tube of antiseptic cream and a doctors note pad.

All the toys are a smooth painted wood and of great quality.

Isabella has loved zooming her teddies around in the ambulance and playing doctor with her dolls.

Isabella had her immunisations and even brought her ambulance along with her. We role played the immunisations out before the appointment with the set and when it was her turn she jumped up on the chair and did not have one tear. The nurses commented how by preparing her before hand made such a massive difference!

I truly believe in GLTC’s Moto of “buy wood, buy once” as it really does last.

RRP from Great Little Trading Company £45.00 (although I have noticed its on offer today for £33.75)

Suitable from 3 years+

 

LITTLE BRIAN ART

Little Brian Paint Sticks are a must have!

I can’t even put into works how easy they make life.

The are the best quality and the most vibrant colours.

No mess, easy to use, and quick to dry.

The have so many varieties, metallic, day glow, chalk sticks and even face paint sticks!

Isabella uses these everyday and we take them out to restaurants too.

You can use them on so many different surfaces, we have tried mirrors, windows, tin foil, and paper.

They even have a paint station now, which comes with chalks and paint sticks. It folds up flat for storage and has a white board side and a black board side.

They are available to buy from Amazon, Argos and Smyths Toy Store.

RRP from £5.99

Suitable for ages 1 year +

 

 

THE FIELD TOY


 

The Field is an Irish made and hand crafted toy of exceptional quality.

It’s  great for indoor and outdoor play and has endless opportunities to what children can do with it.

We have made it into a spooky farm and Isabella has played with her dinosaurs in it

I’ve also seen it be used as a center piece at a children’s party!

It’s fantastic for small world play and perfect to develop children’s imaginations and bring out their creativity.

Here are some ideas we are planning to use it for,

Farm, Zoo, Football, Picnic, Tea party, Fairy garden, Dinosaurs, Horse scene and a House for Santa with snow!

RRP £39.99

Available on Amazon.co.uk

 

LITTLE SCRIBBLERS WORLD

 

Little Scribblers’ Busy Bags are self contained educational activity bags that include reusable and engaging activities that your little one can use at home or out and about. They are ideal for keeping little ones entertained when travelling, at a restaurant or if you need a few moments of calm at home.

We love Little Scribblers activity bags.

They are educational and so much fun.

The packs are the perfect size to take out or for travelling to keep little ones entertained.

Im still amazed at home much learning is packed into one bag.

Developed by a mum with many years of Early Years Childhood and Education experience.

This is the new Christmas activity pack, which makes a perfect gift/stocking filler.

Also these are just amazing to keep little ones busy and entertained over Christmas without using screens!

RRP £4.50

Suitable from ages 3 years+

I really hope you enjoyed our Christmas Gift Guide and that it gives you some ideas.

Some of the items were gifted or I used a discount code to purchase but all views are my own and in my own words.

I would only ever recommend something I would buy myself.

 

HAPPY CHRISTMAS

My Three Little Strawberries

                   xxx

 

 

 

 

 

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The Field

The Field

We are very proud to show this hand crafted Irish toy to you. Have I mentioned before I am Irish!, which makes me so happy to watch Isabella play with this field.

‘The Field” has also been on TV, it was on ‘The Late Late Toy Show’ on RTE. As a child every year we were allowed to go to the shop and get some sweets to watch ‘The Toy Show”. It was a Christmas tradition for us and I still do it for my girls. Even whilst living in the UK (my lovely Auntie records if for us and posts it over). I still get excited to watch it so to see ‘The Field’ on there was just amazing!

I love the story behind The Field.

Padraic Cuddys son inspired him to create ‘The Field’ when he wanted a toy Field for his animals. He made it out of products from his company ‘Class Grass Providers’. He hand made the field with hedging and a traditional gate from scrap wood.

We have the field which measures 24 inches by 17 inches and I think it’s an amazing size, great for more than one child to play with.

Its exceptional quality and much bigger than it looks in the photos.

It’s very sturdy with no loose parts of grass and makes a lovely sensory experience to feel it.

It’s suitable for ages 3 years and above.

The field is great for indoor and outdoor play and has endless opportunities to what children can do with it.

We have made it into a spooky farm and Isabella has played with her dinosaurs in it

I’ve also seen it be used as a center piece at a children’s party!

It’s fantastic for small world play and perfect to develop children’s imaginations and bring out their creativity.

Here are some ideas we are planning to use it for,

Farm, Zoo, Football, Picnic, Tea party, Fairy garden, Dinosaurs, Horse scene and a House for Santa with snow!

 

 

This is the one we have but also available are ‘The Field Farm’, ‘The Compound’, ‘The Grass Roll’, ‘The Half Acre Field’, ‘The Field Paddocks’, ‘ The Collection’ and ‘The Ultimate Collection’.

They all come with a certificate of title and packaged in a beautiful box.

 

The Field Toy

They are available to buy on www.amazon.co.uk and for the USA/Canada customers on www.amazon.com

RRP £39.99 for ‘The Field’

www.thefield.ie is the main website if you are ordering from Ireland.

We hope you enjoyed this review and would be happy to answer any questions about ‘The Field’ if you have any.

We would also love to hear how you use your Field Toy.

My Three Little Strawberries

XXX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Learning Resources – Zoomigos

Learning Resources – Zoomigos

We were very kindly gifted two Zoomigos from Learning Resources in exchange for an honest review.

Isabella choose the Alligator with his float car and the Hippo with his boat car but there are six Zoomigos to collect!

So what are they? They are interactive pet themed toys.

Isabella loves them. Her favourite thing to do is race them so I would recommend having two.

They are so much fun and look very cute whilst being very well made.

You can pump the Alligator or the Hippo on the floor first and then put it in the car or what Isabella likes to do is pump it whilst its in the car already.

After pumping it/ pushing it, you pop it in and the gears power it to zoom across the room. Isabella laughs every time she sees it go!

We also filled the tuff tray with a little water and raced them in the water.

One major bonus to them is that they do not need any batteries and or need to be plugged in to charge.

They zoom really fast across the floor and you can mix and match them into each car. These are really lovely for imaginative play and Isabella enjoys making little voices for them to talk to each other.

I think they are an amazing toy to help children understand cause and effect. they are so hands on and perfect for developing fine motor skills!

The see through legs show how they work as you can see the gears move inside them, making them great for inquisitive children.

I think all parents are looking for ways to entertain children without using a screen and these Zoomigos certainly tick that box.

They really are a fun toy and I think younger children would love watching them zoom along with an adults help to pump them until they can do it themselves.

 

RRP £12.00 From Learning Resources

Thanks so much for reading and we are happy to answer any questions you may have.

My Three Little Strawberries

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