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      Jun 22, 2017
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Category: Blog

The Importance of Music and Instruments for Young Children

 

Yesterday (the 21st June) was World Music Day so I thought I’d write a short blog highlighting some of the musical instruments I stock for babies and small children. Music is important for all ages and it’s never too early to introduce musical instruments to children.

Getting young children to play simple instruments is beneficial.

  • It can calm and sooth babies and children
  • It can be a tool to engage with children and distract them
  • It enhances brain development and language skills. If you want more information, check out this article.
  • It improves motor skills (fine and gross, depending on the instrument)
  • It encourages self-expression
  • It is fun!

The great thing about musical instruments for young children is that they are generally inexpensive in comparison to pianos, violins etc. So, here’s some that I stock…

  1. Wooden Animal Castanets – €3 each

Musical instruments for babies and young children

Although your child may not master clicking these until they are around 2 years old, they make a beautiful dull clacking sound which your child be mesmerised by as you click them together. Older toddlers will love clicking them and dancing to the rhythm they are making.

  1. Wooden Mini Maracas – €5.75 each

Musical instruments for babies and young children and kids

These are very similar to old fashioned baby rattles. They have a slim handle and a bulb at the top which contains grains or something that makes a lovely shaking noise

  1. Triangles – €7

Musical instruments for babies and young children and kids

 

These bring me back to my school days. You hold the string and use the small metal rod to hit the metal triangle. Again, these are great at helping children develop rhythm

  1. Wooden Tambourines – €8.50

Musical instruments for babies, kids and young children

I stock these in 3 different colours.

  1. Beginner Band Set – €34.99

musical instruments for babies and young children melissa and doug instruments wooden

If you want to encourage music and rhythm in your child’s life and want more than one or two instruments then it’s cheaper to buy them in a set than individually. This Beginners Band Set from Melissa and Doug comes with six instruments, each making a different noise.

I hope you enjoyed World Music Day and that you and your child will take a few minutes to listen to or play music together.

Xx Suzie

How to Prepare your Toddler for the Arrival of a New Baby

It doesn’t feel like 6 years ago when we were preparing our, then 19 month old, daughter for the arrival of a baby. Time has really flown but I remember those days very well and I received  some great advice on how to help my toddler to adjust to having a sister. I thought I’d pass it on, as I’m sure there are lots of expectant mummies in similar scenarios.

  1. Talk about the baby lots, so that your older child knows what to expect.

No matter how young your child is, explain as simple as possible that there is a baby growing in your womb. Explain what will happen when you go to the hospital, where your toddler will stay, who will look after them and that you will be bringing home the baby. Take turns roll playing. Help them to pack their suitcase (if they are going to stay with a relative) when you are packing yours. Borrow or buy a book that might help them understand what is going to happen. I stock a really funny pop up one called, ‘What’s in your Tummy Mummy?‘. Help them to also understand what life might be like once the baby comes home. Make sure they understand that the baby is going to stay. I’ve heard so many stories of children, after a few days, telling their parents that they can bring the baby back to the hospital now!! The more information you give your child, the more prepared they will be.

Preparing a toddler for the arrival of a new baby, what is in your tummy mummy

2. Have a gift prepared for the baby to give the toddler and some extra little gifts.

If you have a gift wrapped, then you can produce it the first time your child meets the baby. You can say that it’s a gift from the baby. This will not only help them love the baby but the contents will hopefully distract them for 20 minutes here and there during the busy few weeks of adjusting to live with two. I’d also recommend that you have a stash of pocket money toys wrapped in the cupboard. Over the coming few months, every visitor that comes into your house will bring a gift for the new baby and your toddler may feel overlooked. If you have a stash of toys, you can produce one anytime you think your toddler is about to have a meltdown over having no presents themselves. They can also work magic if you need to bribe your child. After your baby is born, it will be twice as hard to leave the house, so be prepared and buy in what is needed before baby arrives.

3. Leave mummy hands free to hug toddler when s/he first meets baby.

Someone recommended this to me and I thought it was a great tip that I never would have considered, if I hadn’t been told. If you can arrange for daddy or granny to hold the baby the first time that your toddler meets him or her, it will reduce early onset jealousy. It means that your toddler can have your undivided attention, which s/he is used to. They can get normal hugs, can hold your hand etc without feeling there is a baby between you and them. Obviously this isn’t possible all the time, but it’s worth making the effort for the first introductions. I have so many memories of my toddler insisting that baby should be in her bouncy chair and I was happy to oblige this request most of the time when possible as it meant my toddler didn’t feel like I was holding the baby all the time and I got hours of cuddles from baby at night time when my toddler was asleep.

4. Involve them as much as possible, so they feel part of the team welcoming the baby.

Once your baby is home, s/he will demand quite a bit of your attention. If you can include your toddler in as much of it as possible, you are making them feel part of the ‘grown up’ team welcoming the baby. Teach your toddler some lullabies they could sing to the baby. Keep the nappies and wipes on a low shelf/drawer so your toddler can get them at ease for nappy changing time and praise your toddler no end for how helpful they are being. All this will help them see that they still have an important role in your family and that they are needed and loved as much as the baby. When the baby naps, you may feel like you want some down time yourself, but resist the temptation and read your toddler a book or do a puzzle together.

Some Tips for Mummy

  • Be prepared for your toddler to regress. I’ve heard of toddlers that were potty trained starting to wet themselves and others needing to be spoon fed again. For me – my toddler refused to walk up or down the stairs about 3 months after our baby arrived. I had to carry them both every time we moved up stairs. It was a short season, so be prepared and be patient. It will pass.
  • Don’t be afraid that you’ll have to split your love  once baby arrives. It’s amazing how it’s possible to love two little people 100% each.
  • Don’t panic about how you are going to cope. I actually found the last trimester of pregnancy with a toddler much harder than the first three months of life with a baby and a toddler. Once the baby arrives, you have your energy back (despite sleepless nights, pregnancy tiredness is much worse), your baby will sleep a lot and you’ll find you are able to do things that you couldn’t do with baby inside (like bend down and play with your toddler)
  • Invest in or borrow a good sling. You will want your baby close to you and your baby will want to be close to you too. However, your toddler also will want to hold your hand, make you play with them etc. Having a sling will mean that your baby is close and you still have 2 hands to play/help your toddler.
  • Don’t let yourself feel guilty if you give your toddler extra tv time or send him/her to creche for a few extra hours. You need time to bond with your baby/establish feeding etc and your toddler will love extra tv time/time with other little people. The first few months are really hard for most mums so do what you can to make life a little easier and over time you’ll be able to reduce these hours and spend time with both children together without them fussing.

All the best as you transition from one child to two. It’s a hard move but one that I’ve never regretted.

xx Suzie

Robots That Will Keep Your Dad Happy This Father’s Day

I  can’t believe that Father’s Day is just around the corner again (18th June). It feels like only a few short months ago when I wrote the blog “15 Gifts for Father’s Day that cost less than €15 each” but it’s obviously been a year!

This year I thought I’d focus on some Robots that I stock which I think lots of dads would like to make.

  1. Solar Bots – €8.75

Solar Bots robot kits for Fathers Day present

These are the cheapest robots that I stock and although they won’t break the bank, there’s lots of fun that can be had with this kit. In fact, this kit is a little bit like having a transformer – you can make one of six different types of solar powered robots. When you’re tired with the first one, you can dismantle it and make another type.

  1. The Soda Can Robug –  €16

Green science make your own robot out of a drinks can or soda can, father's day gift

This is also a very popular robot. In this kit you have everything you need to make a robot-bug (robug) from a drinks can (apart from the can itself). The Robug will scurry along the floor like a real life bug!

  1. The Brush Robot – €22

Make your own Brush Robot this Father's Day

You may think that by buying this for your dad, the amount of house work you do will be reduced but unfortunately, I don’t think that this brush robot will reduce it that much. It will however be great fun to make and watch.

  1. The Doodling Robot – €24

Doodling robot gift for father's day

This happens to be my favourite of the robots that I stock as I think I’d enjoy colouring in the doodles that it makes (a little bit like Spirograph). Again, this robot needs to be assembled.

 

 

If you think your dad would enjoy a robot this year, that they could make and then play with when they are supposed to be doing office work, then don’t delay. Nationwide delivery is only €2 on orders over €15.

 

I hope you have a lovely Father’s day as you celebrate with the people you love.

 

Xx Suzie

8 Art and Craft Activities for Boys

The summer holidays are just around the corner and I know we are all hoping for gorgeous weather, but the reality is that we live in Ireland! This means, that we’ll have more than our fair share of rainy days. If you have boys in your house, what do you do on such days? Give them extra TV time? Put on their wellies and send them out? Or take out the trusted old puzzles, lego and kinetic sand? Whatever you do, I thought I’d show off some of the arts and crafts that I have that are designed with boys in mind in case you feel like stocking up in preparation for that rainy day!

  1. The Melissa and Doug Decorate your own Pirate Treasure Chest – €9.99 Melissa and Doug Pirate Treasure Chest art and craft for boysThis gorgeous set comes with a wooden treasure chest, paints, a paint brush, glitter paint and stickers and once your child has finished painting it, they can keep all their treasures in it. While your child is busy decorating this box, why don’t yu take a minute to hide some ‘treasures’ around the house so they can have their own treasure hunt afterwards? I’d recommend this craft for children aged 4-8.

2. Djeco – Make your own Cardboard Vehicles Kit – €9.25

Djeco Make your own cardboard vehicles set arts and crafts for boys

This kit comes with 5 pre-designed vehicles. Simply pop out the pieces and follow the instructions to slot them together. This is a great kit to have if you have more than one boy as they can all have a vehicle to make or if you’ve arranged a play date and the weather turns. Alternatively, spread out the enjoyment by giving your child one or two vehicles to make at a time. These are the types of crafts that your child will take pride in and will display on a shelf in their room. No glue or extra materials are needed. This craft is recommended for children aged 6-11 years.

3.  Make your own Doodling Robot Kit – €24

Make your own doodling robot art an craft kit for boys

Sometimes it’s hard to draw a line between what is art and craft and what is mechanical/science/engineering and this kit falls into that catagory. This kit has everything you need to create your own robot. Attach the colouring pencils and turn it on. It vibrates/moves in circles making gorgeous patterns which your child can later colour, if they choose. I’d recommend this kit for children aged 8+ but I think adults would enjoy it too.

4. Djeco – Medieval Tales Transfers – €13.50

Medieval tales transfer stickers from Djeco arts and crafts

If your child is fascinated by the medieval world then they are sure to love these transfers. The pack comes with 3 backgrounds and approx 90 rub on transfers. Simply place the transfer on the background where you want it to be and then using a pencil rub over the transfer to move it from the transfer sheet to the background. Great for developing your child’s fine motor skills and pencil skills. Recommended for children aged 4-8 years.

5. Disney Planes – Sand Art 2 Pack – €10.99

Disney planes sand art for boys

Sand art is very theraptic, no matter what age you are, although these kits are designed for children aged 5-10 years. Inside the box you’ll find two pictures and 15 tubes of colourful sand. The pictures have a top layer of paper on top. Take off one piece at a time, revealing a sticky surface and sprinkle the sand over it. Move to the next piece and another colour of sand until you have the picture complete. These crafts take about 30-45 minutes to complete.

6. Melissa and Doug Complete the Picture Drawing Pad – €6.99

Complete the picture drawing pad

If you have someone who likes sketching pictures in your house, they would love this large drawing pad that has backgrounds drawn for your child to complete. It’s great value at just €6.99

7.  Melissa and Doug Build your own Birdhouse – €15.99

Melissa and Doug Build your own birdhouse project for boys

Introduce your child to woodwork with this really simple but effective birdhouse to build. The pieces are already cut out so all it involves is nailing it together and painting it. For children aged 5+

8. Make your own Bouncy Balls – €4.99

Make your own bouncy balls

This craft/science kit is new to my stock and I’ve a feeling they will sell quick. Mix the ingredients to make your very own bouncy balls. This kit is recommended for children aged 10+

I could go on and on with lots more art and craft activities for boys but I’m going to leave it here. If you wish to check out my full range of art and craft kits, you’ll find a lot more that suit both boys and girls of all ages.

Let’s hope we don’t have too many of those rainy days this summer but if we do, let’s be prepared!

xx Suzie

Review of Melissa and Doug’s Mess Free Glitter

My daughters are aged 5 and 7 and they love anything that glitters. My husband, who is in his 40s, however, can’t cope with glitter!! He complains that it goes everywhere and ends up in his food. I feel caught in the middle. I want my girls to enjoy crafts that include glitter and yet, I want to have as little as possible glitter in my husband’s meals!! This seemed like an impossible place to be until we discovered Melissa and Doug’s Mess Free Glitter. This comes in lots of different packs/designs. I decided to stock one and see if it really was mess-free before adding to my range on www.toysandgames.ie. The one I choose was the Friendship Foam Stickers. It is very affordable at only €7.50 – making it possible for your child to save for it or for a birthday present.

Melissa and Doug's Mess free glitter craft

It was a rainy day when I produced this pack to my daughters and they were thrilled. They both love doing crafts and making pretty things. This set was ideal for them, as there were two sheets of stickers to work on so it was easy for me to give them a sheet each without  any fighting over who got what. In total there were 23 stickers to work on, but there is also lots of extra bits around the stickers so once the stickers were all done, my girls drew heart shapes and flowers and used the remaining glitter on the shapes they’d drawn and cut out.

Melissa and Doug's Mess free glitter craft stickers

Also in the packet are 5 different coloured glitter sheets. Once the first sticker to do was chosen, the top white later was pulled off, revealing a sticky foam area. Then, they choose what colour glitter to put on it and placed it on top with the glitter side up. They rubbed it with their fingers and then lifted the glitter sheet. The glitter sticks to the foam shape and peels smoothly off the glitter sheet.

Melissa and Doug's Mess free glitter craft stickers

Most of the stickers have two or more areas to be filled with glitter. Your child can choose whether to use the same colour for all the areas or to use a different colour. The great thing about using a different colour is that the glitter doesn’t spread into other areas until the white layer is removed and it doesn’t move across blending the colours.

Melissa and Doug's Mess free glitter craft stickers

Melissa and Doug's Mess free glitter craft stickers

Once the sticker is complete, it can be popped out from the sheet of stickers (no scissors needed) and the back yellow layer can be peeled off, so it can be stuck into a book, onto a card or placed wherever your child wants it to go. The glitter on the sticker looks like traditional glitter and feels like traditional glitter however, when you rub your finger over it, it doesn’t come off on your finger, the way traditional glitter would.

Melissa and Doug's Mess free glitter craft stickers

Both my daughters loved this Melissa and Doug craft. They both managed to do it with very little help from me and they are both asking for another set to work on! It took them about 45 minutes each to complete their sheet of stickers. I am happy to recommend this set for children this age and older.

If you are looking for other similar craft kits for girls this age, I can also recommend:

The best news of it all was that my husband didn’t get any glitter in his dinner that day!

xx Suzie

 

 

Toys at Granny and Grandpa’s House

I recently received an e-mail from a customer whose Father in Law wanted to buy some new toys to be kept in their house for when their one and a half year old grand daughter came to visit. My customer was looking for some recommendations which she could pass on to her father in law.

I love getting questions like these and I know every child is different, as is visits to granny and grampa’s house, so my reply was quite general. But, I thought I’d copy it onto a blog, in case there’s other grandparents out there who want to have a few special toys in their home.

Toys at granny and Grandpa's house

Before I start, there’s some factors that need to be stated.

  1. If you are a grandparent, you need to choose toys wisely, as unless the child/children are in your home a lot, these toys won’t get played with as much as the child’s own toys and so you want them to last for several years. The last thing you want is for the child to grow out of them within a year (unless you have more grand children to grow into them, which is often the case)
  2. Ideally, you want to choose toys that the child doesn’t already have, so there’s a novelty factor when they come to visit.
  3. You need to think about the purpose of the toys. Are they to entertain the children when you try and serve up Sunday lunch to the rest of the family, or have a chat with your own grown up children. Or, are they toys and games you want to sit down and do with your grandchild. So, for example, if it’s the former then you’d probably choose toys that the child can engage imaginatively with and you wouldn’t choose a book or hard puzzle which the child needs help with.
  4. Many grandparents have had ‘toy-free’ houses for years and the thought of introducing lots of toys into an environment that is tidy, can be a bit daunting. Can I remind you that you may only have to have toys for six or seven years. For the child’s first year of visits, they will probably be entertained by items that mummy or daddy can bring with them in the baby bag. Then, when they get a little bit more inquisitive they will look for something more to entertain them. If you want to spare your best china and ornaments, now is the time to buy some toys! This will continue for four or five year and then, they will be happy to turn up on your doorstep with a bag of items from their own house to entertain them. My daughters are five and seven and they bring books and colouring books when we visit Granny and Grandad. I know other kids who bring Lego.
  5. Finally, before you start forking out on buying toys, have you checked your attic!? You might be surprised to find some toys that your children played with, that can come down for the next generation.

Bearing these in mind and the fact that the child in question was a one and a half year old girl, here’s the toys that I suggested the grandparents might like to purchase.

  1. I really like the Doorbell house for this age. It’s great for imaginative play and fine motor skills. It’s small and can be packed away easily and the doorbell noses aren’t too loud. It’s also gender neutral, so if grandsons appear in the future, they can enjoy it just as much.Melissa and Doug Doorbell House
  2. The Djeco Duo Puzzles are brilliant. Each box has several 2 piece tough cardboard puzzles that match for example mum animals with baby animals or animal homes with animals. They are gorgeous designs and come in a lovely tough box for easy storage. These are puzzles that she will need help with initially.Djeco Duo Puzzles
  3. If you like reading to her, I’d recommend a couple of board books. If she’s gentle with books, then the Acorn Wood lift the flap books are lovely, otherwise, I’d recommend the Monster Scared of Children under It’s Bed and Do Dogs Wear Clogs? books. My niece, who will be 2 in August is loves her ‘Water Wow‘ book. Simply fill the pen with water and colour the pages to discover colours and patterns underneath. Within a couple of minutes the page is dry and white again, ready to be done over and over.Reading with your grandchild
  4. If you want a wooden puzzle, I’d recommend the Djeco Nature and Co Cube Puzzle. It has 4 four cubes and depending on what side is up, you can make several pictures from it. It’s the kind of puzzle that she will need help with now but she will still love in a couple of years.Nature wooden puzzle for toddlers and young children
  5. I’m a big fan of magnetic toys for this age group. I stock 2 magnetic fishing games/puzzles and I also love Abby and Emma – where your child can dress these wooden dolls and learn what clothes match etc.magnetic games
  6. If you are always eating or having cups of tea when she is over, having some play food will help your grand daughter feel part of the gang in preparing and serving. The wooden tea set that I stock is gorgeous. My girls got the felt food when they were her age and they still play with it, and if it gets griming, it can be washed.wooden tea set
  7. Finally, although not really a traditional girl’s toy, if she doesn’t have a train set, having one at Grandpa’s house could be a real treat. I stock a beginners one that Melissa and Doug make which would be more than adequate. If you buy a wooden train set, you can add to it as your child and family grow as all wooden tracks and trains work/fit together.Melissa and Doug Train Set

It’s very hard to know what to buy for this age group and it depends a lot on the child. A lot of toys that she would probably love are recommended for children aged 3+. This is just a precautionary safety standard that a lot of people will ignore, especially if their child isn’t one who puts things in their mouth. It is nearly always ignored when a second child is added to a family as it’s not fair to put the older child’s toys away when a baby arrives. If you have already gone through a set of toys for babies, you probably don’t want to invest in another set of toys that will last less than a year before she grows out of them, so choose wisely and hopefully these ones will last a good bit longer.

I hope you all get to enjoy your extended family time as much as my family do.

xx Suzie

Travel Games for 6-9 Year Olds

Hi Suzie,

Its my god daughters Birthday this week and she is heading to America in a couple of weeks, so I wanted to get her some bits and pieces for the plane journey. Would you have any travel games or toys, she will be 6 and her brother is 9 so something that would be suitable for both,

Cheers, ——

Hi ——.

Thanks for thinking of my shop. If she is good at spelling, then this travel boggle could be fun.

Boggle travel game

My girls love the Djeco Mini Cards Packs. They have the floral colouring ones and the wordsearch ones. They are a very handy size for travelling with.

Djeco Travel Games

They also really enjoy some of the Melissa and Doug crafts that are good for travelling with. Any of the Scratch Art packs are light and the mess-free glitter  is something she could do while travelling,
although her brother probably wouldn’t want to join in.

Melissa and Doug Travel Games
They might enjoy the the Scooby Doo Card Game

Scooby Doo Card Game

or they could play games over and over with the Chalk Activity Book

Chalk activity book

My girls also love the Beetle Game  although there are some small pieces so it may not be a great idea to play if the flight is turbulent.

The Beetle Game

The Yes/No game is fun to play and is light and small.

The yes no game

These Creativity Placemats are handy to bring on holidays when they are eating out, although I think they may be a little advanced for a 6 year old.

Creativity placemats

If she is creative, I’ve just adding this Spiro Graph Book to my range of toys and it looks really cool.

Spiro Graph Pad

Or these Colouring Velvet Cards are lovely and you can’t colour outside the lines, even if the journey is rough! Most colouring velvet is for younger children but this set of ‘Forest’ scenes are recommended for children aged 6-9 years.

Colouring Velvet Forest Pictures
I’ve written a couple of blogs that might interest you/have some ideas – Activities to bring on holidays with 5-7 year olds and 5 Things to Keep Children Happy on a Long Flight

Thanks again for your enquiry,

Regards,

Suzie

4 Essentials at an Easter Party

Every year, my sister-in-law hosts an amazing Easter party for all the cousins to get together and have some fun. She is a brilliant event organiser and puts a lot of work and creativity into her parties. This year, however, she has just moved house and she’s pregnant, so I’ve volunteered to take on the job. I’ll copy a lot of what she already does and maybe, if I have time, will add a few personal touches. In order to do this, I’ve taken some time to get ideas online and here’s what I’m happy to share.

An Easter Egg Hunt

In my daughter’s eyes, the most important part of an Easter party is having an Easter Egg Hunt. As a parent, I have to accept that at parties, my kids eat a lot of junk, but if I can limit it slightly, I feel like a better parent and they are still happy. My sister in law, got this balance just perfect. She purchased empty plastic eggs from a euro shop and only filled one third of these eggs with small chocolate eggs. In the others, she would put Easter stickers and little fluffy chicks. These plastic eggs are great, as you can re-use them every year and it means that you don’t have to hide foil covered Easter eggs (inevitably the foil ends up all over your garden and is in such small pieces that you give up picking it up). It also means that if the children miss one or two eggs, you’re not feeding mice or rats!. The children have great fun finding the eggs and discovering what’s inside.

Or, if you’d prefer to give out one or two larger eggs to each child, why not organise a scavenger hunt with lots of clues. The final clue would lead the children to a basket of eggs. The children could work in teams, so little ones aren’t left out.

One problem that can happen very easily at Easter egg hunts is that the older, more capable children will get to all the eggs first. It’s worth putting down ground rules before you start, outlining how many eggs each child is allowed to find. Or pair off the older children with a young child, so they work together and share what they find.

Easter party

A Craft

Depending on the age of the children attending, this can be as simple as sticking crepe paper onto a picture of a chick or can be more elabourite. My daughters have started making these really lovely Easter egg baskets. There are lots of great Irish children’s craft bloggers that have lovely ideas. My favourite are Craftea Parties and Crafty Kids at Home. If you do the craft activity after the egg hunt, you could use the stickers that have been collected as part of the craft. If you want a craft kit, without the work of having to source all the items, photocopy, cut out etc, I’ve a large selection of art and craft kits on my website.

 

Some Snacks

If you are following along the Easter bunny theme for your party, you could serve Carrot Juice and Carrot cake. Get your children involved in making these before hand, and they’ll be more likely to consume them. Since they’ll be eating their fill of chocolate already, it might be worth having some healthy snacks before the egg hunt (if your children have the patience to wait). Healthy snacks could include carrot and celery sticks with humous, boiled eggs cut in quarters or, if you have time to make these, they look cool! But, don’t go overboard, as chances are, it will be the adults who eat most of these, as the children will hold out for the chocolate!

Some Games

Depending on the age of the children and the weather, they will probably be happy enough running around. However, if you like organising games, I came across some Easter party themed games.

The first was a variation of pinning a tail to a donkey. Instead of the animal being a donkey, draw out a big chick on some paper and blind fold one child at a time. They have to attempt to stick a piece of cotton wool where they think the tail should go. The winner is the one who gets the tail closest to where it should be.

Or, fill an empty jam jar with Easter eggs and allow the children to guess how many eggs are in the jar. The winner is the person who guesses closest to the actual amount.

If the weather allows and you have the space, you could have a chocolate egg and spoon race.

Again, if the weather is nice, older children and adults will enjoy the risk involved in an egg tossing competition. In this, everyone has a partner and each team have an egg. Ask them to step 1 meter apart and throw the egg to their partner. If the partner succeeds in catching it, they have to take a step back and then throw the egg back to their partner. With each successful catch, they move a foot further from each other. Beware – this is a messy game!

Finally, if you are familiar with how to play a Beetle Drive/Game, you could alter it so that instead of drawing a beetle, you are working towards drawing a bunny. Have the children sit in a circle with a piece of paper and a pen each. They pass a dice around. In order to start their Bunny, they need to throw a 1 to draw a body. Then you can appoint the numbers 2,3,4,5 and 6 to different bunny parts for example – when your dice lands on 2, you draw the head, on 3 you draw the ears (you’ll need to get this twice to get both ears), on 4 you draw the arms/legs, 5 for the nose and 6 for each whisker. The winner is the first to have the bunny drawn.

Whatever you end up doing, I hope you all have a really lovely Easter,

xx Suzie

 

Some April Fool Tricks for Children to Enjoy

Have you ever played a great trick on someone? I remember, as a young adult acquiring a ‘You’ve been Clamped’ sticker for a car window. Myself and my friends played numerous tricks on friends and family using the sticker and a caravan wheel clamp.

With April Fool’s Day approaching, it’s never too early to teach your kids some tricks, which they, no doubt, will enjoy playing on those around them.

For older kids, this Melissa and Doug Deluxe Magic Set has 10 deluxe tricks for your child to learn. It’s recommended for children aged 8+.

April Fool's tricks for children

Younger kids (and older ones too), can have great fun with a simple whoopee cushion. Blow it up and hide it underneath someone’s bum before they sit. When they sit on it, it will make a farting noise, much to the amusement of everyone there!

Finally, I’ve added a couple of ‘magic’ type pens to my range of toys and games. My daughters are getting great fun out of them, so I’m happy to recommend them. The first are the Djeco magic markers. Do you remember having these as a kid? Simply colour in a picture or colour in a block of colour. Then use the white pen to colour over part of it and it magically changes colour. The second are Spy Pens. When you use one of these, it appears that you’ve written nothing. Then, use the little torch that’s built into the lid of the pen to ‘cast some light on the area’ and the original words appear.

Magic markers

Spy pen

Whatever tricks you and your children get up to this April Fools. I hope you have a great one.

xx Suzie

Don’t forget that nationwide delivery is currently only €2 on all orders over €15. Shopping with Toys and Games Ireland couldn’t be easier or cheaper!

 

3 Easter Gift Ideas

Easter is just around the corner now and it’s becoming more common to give gifts, often instead of a chocolate egg but sometimes with one. I’ve put together a little list of some Easter gift ideas below.

  1. Chick Hatching Eggs

If your child doesn’t like chocolate (or you don’t like giving them chocolate), then these eggs are a perfect alternative. They cost only €4.50 each and come in 4 different coloured eggs. Simply put your egg in a bowl of water and watch and wait. After 12 hours, the shell will start to crack and within 48 hours the (rubber) chick will have out-grown the shell and is a toy your child can continue to play with. I also stock similar Dinosaur Eggs.

Chicken hatching eggs easter gifts

2. Soft Toys

These soft rabbits are very popular over Easter time as there’s so much talk about the Easter Bunny. This one is called Hobbel and he’s super soft and cuddly with large drooping ears. If you give this bunny to a child, I’m sure he’ll soon become a favourite and I’ve reduced him for the season by 25% to €14.99, so don’t delay, as it’s only while stock lasts!

3. Baby Toys

Most people wouldn’t consider giving a chocolate egg to a baby (unless they think the parent’s will eat it for them). However, if other children in the family are getting gifts, it’s not fair to over look the baby! I stock gorgeous rattles that are soft bunnies. They are made by Ragtales and the boy one is called Alfie while the girl one is called Fifi. They cost €16.99 each

If you don’t feel tied to ‘Bunny’, ‘Chicken’ or ‘Egg’ themed gifts, I’ve a large selection of cheaper toys (priced under €10) or arts and craft kits which will keep your child busy during the school holidays.

I hope you all have a lovely Easter,

xx Suzie