Author Archives: Scott

Skip Hop Fun Kids Night Lights

Skip Hop recently released a new range of kids night lights to match in with their Zoo range themes. I think they have done a great job on the character details, with the outside design really bringing characters like the owl, monkey and butterfly to life. The night lights run on 3x AAA batteries (not included), which is good as it means they are portable, but also means you will eventually need to replace the batteries. However they use LED lights, so they will likely last quite a while before you either need to replace the batteries or recharge if you decide to use more sustainable rechargeable batteries. As they don’t need a power cord they also work well when there isn’t a power-point nearby, and less concerning when your child wants to sleep with it (not recommended, but my son was pretty keen).

Skip Hop Monkey Night Light

Skip Hop Monkey Night Light illuminated front

The use of LED lights means the nightlight will stay cool, and the carry handle on top means the Skip Hop night light is easy to carry as a companion for toilet trips. The carry hand is a good size for younger children, and more of a 2-3 finger hold for adults. The Skip Hop night lights have a 30 minute auto-off that slowly dims off, and a large on/off button to make it easy for little hands to switch the night light on or off, meaning they are also good as a bedside night light. The button was also pretty handy for me when checking on the kids as it’s nice and central on the back of the unit.

Skip Hop Monkey Night Light Back

The back of the Skip Hop Monkey Night Light Illuminated with red button

The illumination level of the skip hop monkey night light is reasonably bright, and I think a good level to have on the bedside table. But I did find it wasn’t that great as a light to walk around with, as the light is not directional. One issue is with the light coming out the front and back of the unit, so your eyes have light directly shining into them from the back of the nightlight as you walk around, which makes it challenging to see what is illuminated by the front of the light. Ideally the night light would be darker at the back, and ideally have a lens at the front that directed light on a downward angle to better illuminate the floor. It’s a small functional gripe, but one I hope they may improve in future.

Overall my son loves the light, and it’s getting a regular work out. The build quality appears pretty good, but I’ll check back in on this post when we’ve been using it for a few months. Currently I would recommend to consider a Skip Hop night light as a great gift idea and confidence booster at night.

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 😉

Skip Hop is Hip and Happening at Motherslove

Ladybug kids backpack from Skip Hop

Skip Hop Backpack is fun at kinder or around the park on a sunny day.

Skip Hop has joined the Motherslove range, and we’re loving it! The combination of animal characters into backpacks, lunchboxes and bibs draws is fantastic for little ones who want to be just like their older siblings, only cuter 🙂 Our son loves his doggy Skip Hop backpack, carrying it around the house just to be like his older sister, and always remembers to grab it on his way to daycare.

The Skip Hop backpacks are a great size for confident walkers from around 2-2.5 years, up to children around 4 years as a smaller size backpack. They have a main inner compartment and a front pocket, with a nametag on the inside. The Skip Hop backpacks can be matched up with animal character Skip Hop Lunchies school lunchboxes and tuck-away Skip Hop bibs.

The lunchboxes are insulated to keep food cool until lunchtime with a wipe clean interior, and mesh in the lid to keep utensils handy. The Skip Hop bib is water resistant and have a catch pocket at the front which the bib folds up into when it’s time to head off. Especially handy when you don’t have anything handy to clean the bib on the spot. So if you’re looking for animal backpacks, lunchboxes and bibs to keep your little having fun and looking cool at daycare, kinder and school, see the Skip Hop range at Motherslove today.

Welcome the Arrival of Sylvanian Families

Welcome to the wonderland of Sylvanian Families. The Sylvanian families live in the idyllic world of Sylvania and love to encourage traditional family life play incorporating house, furniture, accessories and memorable characters all with incredible detail that you’ll adore. If you loved the Sylvanian cartoon, you do not want miss the chance to get to know the real  families and the interesting stories behind them.

Sylvanian Families

Sylvanian Families Kids Collectibles

The cute fluffy mice, bears, kangaroos and a lot more animal characters which form inevitable attractions in any kid’s life. Since launch back in the 90s, Sylvanian Families are always in great demand. Nowadays the market is inundated with tons of toys with all kinds of shapes and colors. However, this does not make choosing a safe piece of toy that motivates and guides children any easier. Toys play a pivotal role in fine honing kid’s logical thinking and aptitude. It is parent’s duty to buy your kids safe and useful children toys to make this world a better place for them.

Each character has a role of mother, father, sister, brother or baby. Children just love to mix and match their favorite figures and throw a big party for them.  It could be considered as a trial run for every child and see where their imagination lead them in these affable family settings. By familiarizing themselves with these figures, children can easily relate to these animals that can talk and move because they resemble their human counterparts on so many levels!  Aren’t these thoughtfully made lovely toys educational?

Family Setting

Family Setting

One obvious reason behind the popularity of the Sylvanian Family children toys is certainly their look. The chracters have been true to their name, and they show human qualities at the same time. Another reason is the extremely delicate detailing with which these toys are manufactured. If you look closely, you will be surprised at the number of accessories available to the Sylvanian Families. They cover everything you can imagine that the humans need for daily life. For example, each of the households has kitchens, toilets, beds, sofa sets, dining tables, tea tables and every other thing that they want. who can resist the chance to have a pretend play?
Family Animal Figures

Family Animal Figures

the Sylvania Families concept is unique and endearing to the kids, which kindles warmth and familiy ties in the young minds of children.

There are children toys for fun, education and entertainment and while choosing a toy for your little ones, make sure that it enhances their thinking abilities, coordination, expression as well as their imagination.
Tell us which Sylvanian Family appeals to you most down below and don’t forget to go explore their colorful and lively world on our website.

Exciting Melissa and Doug Toys Released!

The wait is over, we finally have the exciting and unique range of Melissa and Doug toys online for you to check out. We bet there is a perfect piece of toy for children of all ages!

Melissa and Doug Classic Wooden Toys

Melissa and Doug Classic Wooden Toy

When it comes to children toys, safety is our biggest concern, well thanks to Melissa & Doug, this reliable company has done all the audit, inspect and test for us, not only once but at various stages of production. So you can definitely trust the products you bring into your home and enjoy them with confidence.

Our Melissa and Doug range covers classic wooden toys which you grandpa used to play, games, pretend plays, puzzles and so much more.  Some toys have brought us so much fun for generations. Just like the wooden stacking train in the picture, it has always been the top seller and of incredible collectible value. Their durable material allow children to enjoy the

Melissa and Doug Nina Ballerina Dress-Up Doll

Melissa and Doug Nina Ballerina Dress-Up Doll

creative fun for years to come. Our dress-up figures offer you imaginative fun for the whole family to play at home or on the go. Also, you do not want to miss our puzzles as you are never too young or too old to play one of our puzzles.  Everybody is tempted to get  their hands on these educational yet interesting toys, the problem is , can you put them down?

Let us know what was your favorite toy when you were a kid and what would you like your kid to have down below in the comment.

 

Melissa and Doug Stacking Train

Melissa and Doug Stacking Train

There will be more toys coming up on our Motherslove website, so stay tuned. Don’t forget to sign up for our website newsletter for monthly updates, new releases as well as great sales!

 

Until next time, have fun and be good!

Baby and Kids Rainwear Essentials

In the second of our Winter Essentials series I’m looking at Rainwear essentials.  Key items of rainwear include raincoats, umbrellas and gumboots. Simple enough, but after using these items with our kids and reviewing new products for our website I’ve realised there are a few additional things to consider other than how colourful or pretty rainwear looks.

Penny Scallan Raincoat with Lining

Penny Scallan Raincoat with Lining

For raincoats there are quality features to consider, and the thickness. When I say ‘quality features’ I think a raincoat needs to be lined to stop sweat condensing on the inside, and it’s great if the lining continues a bit beyond the coat outer sleeve as it’s a bit yucky having that wet feeling on your wrist after running around a bit in the playground. It’s also preferable for the coat to have a hood for those times when you’re caught without an umbrella, a common occurance in Melbourne, and for the coat to have a flap that sits over the coat zip to stop chilling wind forcing its way in the front of the jacket.

When looking at thickness, or padding, I’ve become a fan of jackets that are lined but not padded, except perhaps for days bordering on snow. Padded jackets are so stiff that they really reduce mobility for toddlers and young children, especially since the padding is a lot thicker relative to their body proportions than for an adult. A lined raincoat without padding is ideally fitted with a bit of slack extra room inside, and that way you can use layering of clothes underneath to better suite the temperature. This gives you the most use out of your child’s jacket as they can be used with just a T-shirt on humid rainy days, and with a long sleeve top and jumper on cold days. Using multiple layers also gives more flexibility as each layer can slide past each other, reducing the overall stiffness compared to a padded jacket. We’ve found Penny Scallan jackets to be great for our kids, and they also meet the stylin’ requirements.

Penny Scallan Gumboot Chunky Grip

Penny Scallan Gumboot with Chunky Grip

Kids Gumboots are simpler but again it really is a necessity to have lining. For gumboots lining not only reduces sweet inside the boot, but it also provides a softer surface for feet to rub against. Gumboots don’t exactly flex like sneakers, so they tend to rub more on little feet. Lining is the best option to reduce the chance of blisters and general anguish for your child. The other key requirement is chunky grip since gumboots are more likely to be used on muddy surfaces and shallow grips will be filled up in no time. The final nice to have I can think of is just a cloth tab at the back of the gumboot which makes it easier to pull the gumboot on.

Penny Scallan Umbrella Push Open

Penny Scallan Umbrella with Push Open Toggle

Umbrellas are heaps of fun for kids, although never around when you need one. My memories of umbrellas are constantly hurting my finger trying to push the small, stiff metal tab in to open the umbrella. A really simple yet clever idea I noticed on the Penny Scallan umbrellas is the push up, pull down knob that doesn’t have a latch to hold it closed. The push, pull design simply relies on the spring in the umbrella rods to hold the umbrella in the open or closed position, there’s no latch, push button or other hard to use open mechanism. Kids love independence, so simple and easy is the way to go to keep them in control.

I hope these ideas help your family have a happy and healthy Winter, let us know of any other products or suggestions you might have in the comments.

Snugtime Winter 2012 Sleeping Bags Released!

The weather may be a bit confusing at the moment, but we’re definitely getting some hints of what is to come when Winter hits. Snugtime baby and kids sleeping bags are a popular choice around this time of year, especially for parents with toddlers who want the freedom to stand up, jump around and throw their pillow out of the cot, along with everything else they can lay their little hands on. The well-known Snugtime blanket sleepers are the ideal choice for toddlers as they offer a good level of warmth with a Tog 2.0 rating, allow little walkers to move around to their hearts content, and offer Winter comfort for children all the way up to Size 7.

Snugtime Blanket SleepersSnugtime Blanket Sleepers have an inner cotton lining so they are comfy to wear, and they have an outer polyester fleece in a selection of bright colours which is light but also traps in air making it a great insulator to hold warmth like a woollen blanket. Typically people equate padding with warmth, but a fleece fabric is just as effective and offers more flexibility, so it’s better to be guided by the Tog Rating rather than ‘it feels thicker’. A higher Tog Rating means the fabric of the sleeping bag holds in more heat, with Tog 2.0 to 2.5 being good for cold Winter nights (don’t forget to consider a lower Tog Rating if you use heating at home!). If the blanket sleepers used padding like that used in the Cosibag, they would be stiff and cumbersome to wear, turning toddlers into walking starfish 🙂

Snugtime Cosi BagSnugtime also offers the CosiBag as a baby sleeping bag in sizes from 000 up to 2 years. CosiBags are available in a range of Tog ratings depending on the season, with thermal ratings to suit Summer nights at Tog 0.2 up to a maximum Winter rating of Tog 2.5. Many designs also offer the ‘Gap Strap’ with an overlapped opening at the back and double zip at the front so you can feed a car or pram harness buckle and strap through. The Cosibag also comes in a range of bright colours and striped patterns plus has cute motifs for extra fun mirror gazing at toothy brush time.

Snugtime New Cosi Bag Design

New Cosibag Design with Zip Running Front to Back

A new Cosibag design Snugtime has introduced really caught my attention with some clever ideas. The Steel Blue, Red and Grey Hoodie Fleece Cosibags have a great nappy change concept with the zip running down the middle, going all the way around the bottom, and then up the back to babies waist. So you can get easy access for nappy changes as the Cosibag can be opened out sideways. This is potentially even better than the zip around the  side and fold open bags as there is less chance of making a mess on the inside of babies sleeping bag. The second clever innovation is the underarm elastic that runs from under each arm and all the way across the back for a snug fit that is more adjustable than just have an extra snap under each arm. All up a clever Cosibag with designer style fabrics and graphics.

You can see the range at our Snugtime section or view our whole baby sleeping bags range. If you want more information on what to wear with different Togs, have a look at our Grobag Winter 2012 New Release article. Visit www.motherslove.com.au for our whole range.

Baby and Children’s Winter Essentials

Summer may only just be coming to a close, but Winter stock is already arriving! To avoid missing out on the styles and sizes you want for your child, now is the time to figure out what you need. We’ve put together a series of tips on what you should consider adding to the shopping list for this Winter. In this first Post we’re talking about bedding.

Grobag Flutterby Sleeping BagYou can’t go past bedding as a key Winter necessity for baby and children. We prefer sleeping bags, especially for newborns as they reduce the risk of baby getting caught up in sheets and blankets, which can restrict breathing. Also, as baby and toddler our children tend to move around a lot when sleeping and frequently kick off their blankets, so sleeping bags ensure a better night sleep, especially in Winter when little ones can’t pull their own sheets and blankets back up. Around the age of 3 to 4 years our daughter didn’t move around as much and could pull up her own blankets, but we found she still has a better sleep with blanket sleepers.

When you first get your sleeping bag, it’s important to check that baby’s head can’t slip through the neck opening. Other sleeping bag features that can be helpful are an opening at the back and double zip at the front so you can feed a pram or car harness through, and a cover at the top of the zip so it doesn’t scratch you child’s neck, plus the new ZipClick™ system from Grobag helps stop little fingers from opening the zip. Tog rating can also be a great guide for the thermal rating of the sleeping bag, you can refer to our article Grobag New 2012 Styles for their guide on what to wear with each tog rating.

Snugtime Blanket Sleeper

Blanket Sleepers are great for independent toddlers and children

When baby starts to transition to toddler and begins standing up, they can also develop a dislike for standard sleeping bags. Each child has their own preferences, but in our case once standing and jumping became a popular activity in the cot, standard sleeping bags were too restrictive and no longer welcomed by either of our children. Blanket kick offs were still a regular nightly activity, so we luckily found the third option of blanket sleepers. Blanket sleepers from Snugtime have been a great Winter sleeping bag alternative, as they are basically a full outfit with arms and legs so our children actually like to wear them, and they also have a tog rating of 2.0 which is good for cold nights, and can be mixed with light undergarments for different temperatures.

So from our experience, traditional sleeping bags are good for newborns up to around 18 months to 3 years in Summer and Winter depending on whether your child finds them restrictive, Blanket sleepers are good from 1 year up to 7 years during Winter, and sheets with blankets are good from around 3-4 years. Hope this helps with you bedtime accessories this Winter! Visit www.motherslove.com.au for our whole range.

Grobag New 2012 Styles Now At Motherslove

Grobag Baby Sleeping BagGrobag are likely the most well known baby sleep bag brand in Australia. They are produced by The Gro Company, which is based in the UK, and are a premium sleeping bag with a focus on quality, safety and comfort for your baby. The range just released meets the new British Standards, and in fact as the pioneer of sleeping bags in the UK, The Gro Company has been a big part of developing these standards.

A clever inclusion with the new range is the bonus room thermometer to help parents decide the best bag and clothing combination for different room temperatures. I’ve also included below the Grobag table which is a guide for what to wear depending on the temperature. Since cooler weather leading to Winter is only a couple of months away, we have mainly stocked the Tog 1.0 and Tog 2.5 range. Grobag also has a Tog 0.5 bag which we just stocked in one style, but can get in more if you let us know in the comments!

So have a look at the table below to decide what sleeping bag and clothing suites your baby best, and then have a look at our Grobag Baby Sleep Bag range. Just remember to also think about how much heating you use in Winter, not just the outside temperature. A hot baby is not a comfy or safe baby! Visit www.motherslove.com.au for our whole range.

Grobag ‘What to wear’ Guide:

What your baby wears will depend on the tog of Grobag baby sleep bag and the temperature of the baby’s bedroom. (In the same way as you would adjust nightclothes and number of blankets). As a guide, please refer to the table below. Please remember, though, that babies are all different and, just as with blankets and sheets, you will soon discover what your baby is most comfortable wearing – placing your fingers on your baby’s chest is the best indicator of whether they are too hot/too cold/just right as babies’ hands often feel cool.

Nursery temperature 2.5 tog 1.0 tog 0.5 tog
26°C (79°F) Short-sleeved bodysuit
24°C (75°F) Short-sleeved bodysuit
22°C (71°F) Long-sleeved bodysuit
20°C (69°F) Long-sleeved bodysuit Short-sleeved bodysuit and pyjama top
18°C (65°F) Long-sleeved bodysuit and pyjama top
16°C (61 °F) Long-sleeved bodysuit and sleepsuit/pyjama set