All posts filed under: Toys

Circular Calendar, a Waldorf way for teaching the seasons, the months and the year {Grapat Toys}

Few months ago, we started a new routine in our house to help to give rhythm to our days. Every morning with #1 before the school run we set the date, we check the seasons, revise the months and days of the week. I was looking for a fabric calendar for months and we finally got our hand in one while we were in Holidays in France. This calendar is really well made and it is a lovely educative room/playroom decoration. We love it a lot. But little by little,  I noticed that #1 was struggling a bit with the concept of year, months and seasons. We have talked about the solar system trying to help with the cycle concept. This is when I realised that our fabric calendar was not helping. I then thought that a circular one will be more helpful and realistic. Why a circle? We usually think of the passing of time as linear, with one event following another in sequence by day, by month, by year. But placing events in a circular or wheel shape …

Montessori inspired Toys or traditional materials for home? Introduction to Grapat Toys

When we decided to switch and totally commit to Montessori pedagogy, we also decided to change our way to play. We use the Montessori materials to work and we make things clear for our daughters that they are not toys but we also wanted to keep a specific space at home for free play. But what about the toys we wanted ? It is quite an important question if you want to settle a Montessori environment at home. You do not need Montessori materials but you might be willing to use Montessori inspired toys, but what to choose? Clearly, we wanted some toys that will enhance the teaching and be in the continuity with the Montessori materials. One of the hallmarks of Montessori is the use of natural materials and colours that are not over stimulating. Natural materials are more beautiful and offer the child the understanding of the true weight of an object, helping them learn how much strength is needed to lift or move something. So through that lens, even if bright colours are not really Montessori …

Ewan The Dream Sheep, a magical sleeping aid?

I have so much to say about Ewan. Ewan, for us, our family, is more than a sheep, more than a sleeping aid, it is a trusty friend the one we seek help from when we are on a crisis. Our love story with Ewan began few months ago, back in December, when I was looking for a sleeping aid to install a new bedtime routine for baby in anticipation to our Holidays, after the Whisbear failure. I was looking for something to help baby settle down and “recognise” bed time. Ewan the Sheep has been suggested to us and I thought why not try? But not convinced at all after our previous attempt.   When we received Ewan The Dream Sheep and Ewan Snuggly, the goal was to give them to baby. Baby responded really well as they were both very soft and great for a cuddle. To my surprise, someone else was really curious about them and clearly very attracted, it was #2. She has never been interested on any other soft toy …

Rainbow box, Montessori philosophy, child’s play and Toy Rotation

We are lucky to have a spare room in our flat and we use it as a playroom. We have never been satisfied by the way it was looking and found it so unpractical with lots of plastic boxes filled with toys.  It took us few months to decide exactly how we wanted to organize this spare room and how we wanted to use it. We definitely knew that the room needed to be divided in different areas like reading, playing, and study. We wanted to make a class room with a Montessori philosophy. I will explain this later in another post. Basically, we are looking for the child independence and try to encourage it by letting him choose and decide. Therefore, the two essentials we absolutely needed were a child-sized table and chairs and  low shelving unit for materials. We choose the famous Kallax units {Ikea} and used them to divide the room too. We made a reading/Montessori Study corner, a writing/Art corner with a table and a playing/Practical life corner. We now organize any educational …

Whisbear, The Humming Bear Review

Before baby#3 birth, I was looking for a sleeping aid. I know how important it is to establish a good sleep routine and this, from birth. I heard about the Whisbear and I shall say that I was impressed! Having already two babies, one who suffered from allergies and bad colics from birth and the other one from reflux,  I should admit that we have used quite often the vacuum and a hairdryer to help soothe them in despair. I forgot the road trip in the car and the tumble dryer! So talk to me about white noises, yes, they can be definitely useful and if anything could avoid us to use all these devices, why not to try? What or should I say who is Whisbear®, The Humming Bear? Whisbear® The Humming Bear is an innovative sleep aid created by two Mothers and a multi-award winning bear. Based on their own experience, they have designed a product aimed to help newborns with a smooth transition from a prenatal to postnatal life by recreating soothing sounds of the …

Four Months old Milestones: Enjoying Tummy time with Little Tikes Toys

The first year in a baby’s life is so rich and filled with milestones. We have reached the four months stage recently and baby is not a baby anymore. She moves a lot, smiles, interacts with her sisters and seems even to be interested by food! So what are the important things for this fourth month? Baby is becoming keen to explore her surroundings therefore it is important to try giving her materials of different textures to explore and stimulate her. It is the right time to introduce a treasure basket with a lot of sensory toys to help baby explore with all her senses. I will try to show you later an example of treasure basket: I am actually preparing one for her six months as she is grabbing very well at things. Baby is also more likely to be distracted by what’s going on around her so feeding is becoming more difficult. She is so happy to look at her sisters and loves playing with them particularly with #2 who is two years old. They are both funny and so …

Developing fine motor skills through Arts {OkoeNorm Cone Crayons Review}

When I was young I always enjoyed drawing and painting. I love arts in every form so it was naturally that I introduced arts very early in my daughters lives. I am no Picasso or Monet. I just enjoy using charcoals, watercolours and paints. And a thing I learned as a childminder –I used to do it to pay my studies – children love arts too! Children delight in exploring and creating with art materials. These experiences help children develop many life skills. Art is important during their early development. It engages all the senses in open-ended play and supports the development of cognitive, social-emotional and multisensory skills. As children progress, art continues to provide opportunities for brain development, mastery, self-esteem and creativity. This is why I introduced really early arts in my children lives. Baba#1 started when she was really young to be interested by my crayons and she learned easily to hold a pen. She loves crafting and drawing. Baba#2, only two years old, starts being fascinated by our drawing sessions and wants to join …

Wood, a Safe and All-Natural Teether for Baby {Haba Clutching Pyramid Toy Review}

Before becoming a parent yourself, you would never imagine how hard it is to choose a teether for a baby. Yes, I would have never imagined that choosing a teether for my little one’s aching gums could be so complicated. Well I knew that we will use Sophie La Girafe for sure but what else? When #Baby1 was teething I assumed Sophie la Girafe would be sufficient and I was wrong. I then thought that one of those plastic water-filled stars that you could freeze would do the trick. But that was not the case, they were so hard and they have joined the huge amount of products I bought for my first baby that I have never used: useless, inappropriate and unsafe. You know my passion for green living and our aim to choose safer alternatives, more natural and environmentally friendly when we can. So for Baby#3 who just starts teething at 3 months and a half I thought It was the right time to purchase her some teething toys. But which one? I definitely knew that I wanted …

Teething with Sophie La Girafe So Pure Teether

Teething… Here we start again with Baby number three. Teething is quite a big part of a baby’s life and unfortunately a big part of parents sleep’s life too. These tiny teeth make baby’s life a bit harder and keep them very busy through the day. I should say that they help them to explore the world more deeply by bringing everything and anything to their mouth. I am not abording yet the terrible subject of dribbling. Teething can start really early from three months old. All of my daughters started at approximately three and a half months. A good sign of it is seeing them trying to put all their hands and fists in their little mouth and getting annoyed, and of course this little trickle of saliva down their lower lip. So cute! Well not so cute when you find your little baby completely wet like she just had a shower fully dressed! You can change your baby every 20 minutes if you do not use a dribbling Bandana bib and I am not exaggerating, believe me. To help baby …

Making Bathtime fun and hygienic {Hevea Bath toys Review}

Let’s talk bath time today as it is Saturday and week-end means Spa Session with my daughters. As a bachelor, bath time meant for me : relaxation, bath salt, taking care of myself and when I had my first baby, my understanding of bathing literally changed and made a loop. Bath now was all about having fun, playing and enjoying precious moments with my baby. The bathroom was now a park -aka Bathplayroom –  which needed some toys. My partner and I had a clear idea of bath toys: I guess we have been a bit brain washed by TV adverts and movies, Yes, because believe it or not all we see enter our minds and influence our choices. We decided to buy a bundle of plastic bath toys with the very popular YELLOW DUCK! Where does this come? No idea. We wanted a yellow duck. We filled our bathroom with some of these toys and enjoyed a lot –relatively lot– of play. After few months, we started to notice some black sediment starting to …