Monthly Archives: January 2016

Skip Hops Cow Design is out of the Zoo

Weird title? Well no one seems to be asking Skip Hop when they last found a cow in the zoo. But we’re here to check out the Skip Hop Cow backpack and lunchbox for daycare and kindy use, so lets get into it!

Plainly speaking, Skip Hop kids backpacks are definitely not for primary school use until the day kids only need to bring an iPad and are happy to carry their lunchbox separately. But as a childrens backpack for a 3-5 year old on a day out or for daycare use where books aren’t required they work pretty well. So to get an idea of the size of the backpack and what it can hold I’ve got some happy snaps.

Skip Hop Cow Backpack with an A4 book inside

Cow Backpack with A4 book Not fitting inside

Skip Hop Cow Backpack Inner

Sandwich container and drink bottle & plenty more room

Children could fit in a comfort toy, light jacket or raincoat, a hat (best in front pocket) and a small drawing book and pencil case as an example. The Skip Hop lunchboxes are also quite roomy, and can carry enough food for most children in the 3-5 year age group.

Skip Hop Lunchbox on top of backpack

Skip Hop lunchbox overlaid on top of backpack

But it definitely isn’t worth putting the lunchbox inside the Skip Hop backpack, as it takes up most of the room as you can see in the picture on the left where I have laid the lunchbox on top of the backpack. You can also see how the bottle fits in the mesh pocket on the right hand side.

The Skip Hop Zoo lunchboxes are really designed to be carried separately, and have an adjustable handle on top that also has a snap in clip, so it can clipped onto the backpack straps or a pram handle as examples off the top of my head.

Skip Hop Cow Lunchbox Inner

Skip Hop Cow Lunchbox with sandwich container inside

Skip Hop lunchboxes also have a reasonable amount of room inside, as per the photo on the right, and can hold a sandwich container and other small container or fruit. Although I do find the curved corners at the top of the lunchbox make fitting in a second container difficult. The Skip Hop lunch boxes also have a mesh inside the lid for cutlery. And yes, Thomas is the best engine 🙂

So, the inside goss on the build! The lunchbox and backpack are made from a Polyester fibre material with Polyethylene foam inside for padding. Polyester fibre wears reasonably well, and a well used Skip Hop Zoo Dog backpack we have has only worn where it is wrapped over the plastic tubing at the front, with no split seams. However, the material is not waterproof, so it can adsorb water and stain if that water happens to be juice or mud. On the upside it won’t hold water inside and go mouldy like a canvas backpack with outer PVC laminate may do. I rate build quality of the Skip Hop range, with nicely finished stitching and lining, and a nice solid feel to the fabric.

A small niggle I have is they only have 1 zipper pull per opening, which is probably all you need on a smaller backpack, but I do find double zippers more convenient. On the Cow backpack I’ve found the nice looking horns and ears also tend to get in the way of the zipper on the lunchbox and backpack. On the plus side the backpacks do have padded shoulder straps that are nicely finished, and they also have a loop on the top to hang the bags on the hook at school. The lunchbox also has a nice cloth lining with insulating foam, much nicer than the aluminium foil in some lunchboxes that is brittle and can split.

Finally on the water bottles, they are nice looking and the open and close mechanism that folds down the straw is very well designed so it is easy to use and very smooth in operation. A clever idea is they also include a spare straw and silicon mouthpiece, which are always the first parts to be broken or lost. On the negative side they are not insulated, but are also cheaper than a comparable size Thermos insulated bottle.

Skip Hop Zoo Cow Set

The Skip Hop Zoo Cow Set, love the gold trim

Skip Hop Zoo Cow Set Back

Skip Hop Zoo Cow set, nice padded straps

Overall I rate the Skip Hop backpacks and lunchboxes for fabric, build quality and style. Just remember the main restrictions of size so they are suitable only for toddlers at daycare (for parents who don’t try to prepare for every eventuality), or as a fun going out pack for toddlers and slightly older children. I hope this overview helps you decide if Skip Hop offers the perfect backpack and lunchbox set for your toddler 🙂

Get your Kids ready on time!

Tiger Tribe has gamified motivating children to get ready on time, and without using an app. They’ve combined a stopwatch with a fun booklet including lots of games to teach children about the concept of time, and get them interested in using the stopwatch. The Tiger Tribe ‘Beat the Clock’ game set starts with fun games such as balancing one of the two included balloons or putting on 7 pairs of underpants, but gradually works into games parents will love.

Tiger Tribe Beat The Clock Inside

Tiger Tribe Beat The Clock Inside Goodies

Games like how quickly you can get dressed for school (my pet whinge), or to empty the dishwasher , although possibly not something to rush, try dishwasher plastics first 🙂 And lots of other weird and wonderful games to keep kids occupied and active physically or mentally, even at the same time! All up it includes ’36 tricky challenges’.

Tiger Tribe Beat The Clock Box

Tiger Tribe Beat The Clock Box

Children around 4 or 5 will get the idea but may need some assistance to follow the games depending on their reading level, and around 6 or 7 years will still enjoy the games and can follow the instructions.

The box set comes in nice packaging that can be re-used, so if you’re looking for something to keep the kids amused for a while, or a gift for someone else, the Tiger Tribe Beat the Clock set is worth a look.

Bring on the morning rush 😉