Connecting with Connetix

[Post contains PR sample]

Despite our best intentions, Eliza has amassed a lot of toys in her (almost) two years on this earth. This means it really takes something quite special to hold her attention for any length of time as she is constantly flitting to the next thing, and the next. We were very kindly sent this 120 piece pastel creative pack by Connetix and both Bob and myself are amazed at just how many hours have been spent playing with this already- more than any other toy Eliza has ever owned!

Connetix tiles are great for so many reasons:

Engaging in creative play with Connetix Tiles promotes several benefits:

  • Encourages Creativity and Imagination: Children are encouraged to unleash their creative potential and let their imaginations soar as they design and build.
  • Develops Fine and Gross Motor Skills: Through hands-on construction, children enhance their dexterity and physical coordination.
  • Supports STEAM Learning: Construction play actively supports learning in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, fostering a well-rounded skill set.
  • Promotes Problem Solving and Perseverance: As children encounter challenges during construction, they develop problem-solving abilities and learn the value of persistence.
  • Open-Minded and Versatile: Connetix offers endless possibilities, allowing children to experiment, innovate, and explore various designs.
  • Spatial Awareness: Magnetic play helps children develop a better understanding of spatial relationships and geometry as they create and manipulate objects.
  • Magnetic Learning: Magnetic properties provide an introduction to the principles of magnetism and physics, making it an ideal tool for STEAM education.

We’ve spent many a happy hour constructing towers and buildings as a family. Eliza now has a well established career in demolition too! The tiles are also amazing for solo play, which means mummy can supervise from the sofa and drink a hot cup of tea!

Whilst the Connetix products are on the pricier side (this kit retails at £115) both Bob and I have agreed they are 100% worth it as the possibilities are endless and already we’ve seen huge improvements in Eliza’s colour and shape recognition, ability to build towers and problem solve with them as well as utilise her constructions with other toys for imaginative play. There are small packs available, as well as add-ons and we’ve got our eye on a couple for Eliza’s christmas list- the ball run expansion pack being top of that list (well, our grown up lists actually!)

Whilst this was a PR sample, and a product we probably would have been put off of purchasing due to the price, this review is 100% honest and we genuinely are blown away by Connetix and what it has bought to family play time. I cannot speak highly enough of the brand and I can promise you purchases will be made, soon.

Bio-Plates for Little Ones from Dantoy*

The product in this post was gifted to us for consideration.

We started weaning Eliza at 6 months old and it’s been such an adventure. We mostly followed a baby led weaning approach and she’s loved food from the word go, and now, at 16 months old is a fantastic eater (and I’m sure I’ll kick myself for saying that when the inevitable fussiness kicks in!)
We’ve definitely found that the right tablewares are every bit as important as the food itself, and whilst we started off with suction bowls and plates, now Eliza is a bit older and a lot more independent we are starting to introduce more “grown up” plates and cutlery as she likes to be just like us.

This set is from Dantoy, who have featured before on the blog and are a brand that both Bob and myself love when it comes to shopping for Eliza.

This set is perfect right the way through the weaning process (although we definitely couldn’t get away with non-suction at the start) and the set’s plate allows you to divide up the meal if you so wish- we often put main and “dessert” out together so Eliza can choose what she wants to eat and doesn’t put sweet, or savoury on a pedestal. If the 2 smallest spaces of the plate are not used for food, the bowl and cup can instead be placed in these spaces and used as a tray to carry food and drink together.

The first meal we used our set for was Eliza’s all time favourite, bean and pepper chilli. As you can see, we’ve used the compartments to serve. The cutlery is a great size for the stage we’re out now, but Eliza still finds the beaker a bit tricky to manage; she still finds handles easier.

She definitely embraced the set up though and I doubt it will take her long to perfect the art of the beaker!

As with all products from Dantoy, the set is made from bio-plastics making it 100% recyclable. It can be microwaved up to 70% and can also go through the dishwasher- although we tend to handwash all of Eliza’s bits as we find they can take on a soapy taste/smell no matter what they are made of.

This set costs £18 (plus shipping) which is really reasonable in my eyes- children’s tableware can be super expensive and you often see just one plate costing that! This would make a lovely gift for new parents to put away- we really rate it for the quality practicality and will be looking to replace some of our baby plates and bowls from more of the range.

You can shop the range here.

Gift ideas for toddlers*

[Post contains products that were gifted]

Recently Eliza and I were lucky enough to be sent a selection of toys which we have been trying out over recent weeks. With Christmas fast approaching I thought now was a good time to share the ones we love the most incase anyone else is struggling with what to get their toddler (because somehow my baby is now a toddler, complete with attitude) this festive season.

You’ll have to excuse the quality of the photos, trying to get Eliza to stay in one place long enough is just impossible these days!

This first toy is the Geomag Magiccube magnetic cubes, a great introduction to building blocks. This set is £29.99 and comes with 13 coloured cubes in different shapes plus wheels. The building possibilities are endless and both Bob and I have spent many a happy hour making various constructions with Eliza; to be honest we get as much out of these as she does! All parts of this set are made with 100% recycled plastic too, so you get bonus points for the planet!

Next up we have the Dantoy Bioplastic gardening kit, £30, which has very quickly become one of Eliza’s favourite things ever. She loves planting out her carrots and watering them (and us, and Pablo) and as well as being both 100% sustainable and recyclable, it also is great for developing her fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. We love this, even if I am finding carrots in all kinds of places!

Another fabulous piece from Dantoy (we are a big fan of this brand) is the Blue Marine large dumper truck, £22.94. Eliza loves racing this around the living room and loading/unloading her smaller toys (and cat toys, my phone and whatever else she finds) endlessly. This will be really great in the Spring and Summer too when we get her sand and water table in to operation. This is another sustainable piece made from recycled marine products such as fishing nets.

We hope you’ve found this guide useful, I would love to know what toys your little ones are loving right now.

Posted in baby, gifts


Playtime with Dantoy*

[Ad- gifted product]

One of my favourite things about being a Mum is watching Eliza learn and discover new skills whilst playing with her toys. Despite my best intentions, the majority of her toys are noisy and plastic- it’s just how it goes it would seem! However, we do like to shop sustainably where possible; sometimes this means picking up something from our local charity shops or from vinted and other times it means treating ourselves (or being treated) to something new from the every growing range of sustainable children’s brands.

A little while ago now we were gifted this Hammer Toy by Dantoy. Eliza loves to bash things (trust me, I have the bruises to prove it) so this toy was an instant hit with her and her curious little mind and it didn’t take her too long to work out how to smash the balls through the toy by using the hammer, and Pablo loves to chase them as they escape and roll across the living room floor.

Whilst Eliza loves the fun side of this toy, I love the eco-credentials of the brand. The hammer toy is made from bioplastic, a 100% sustainable and 100% recyclable raw material. Even the packaging is environmentally friendly, being made from recycled cardboard so it really is a product that gives back.

A month on and the novelty of this toy hasn’t worn off, it’s great to watch Eliza become more and more confident, knowing it’s helping her hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, as well as doing something for our planet too.

Dantoy is firmly on our radar as a brand we love, and with Eliza’s first birthday rapidly approaching, we will hopefully be adding some more to our collection soon!

Posted in baby


The Perfect Gift for Mum’s to Be from Natural Birthing Company*

It’s been very quiet around here of late, right? Perhaps more so than ever before…
You see, I had all these grand plans to use the start of my maternity leave to plan and schedule content, and then keep it up whilst baby naps. What actually happened was I managed three days of maternity leave before my daughter decided to show up, with a short, sharp three hour labour. We’re now 6 weeks in and it turns out she is one of those babies who refuses daytime sleep (but I forgive her because she is great at night!).

So this post was actually supposed to be a product review, however due to aforementioned speedy (and shock) labour I never actually got a chance to even get my hospital bag out of the car, let alone use what was in it until long after the event! So in the spirit of Christmas I’m here to tell you THE most perfect gift you can give to anyone expecting a baby, the Mamas Moments Birthing Essentials Gift Pack from Natural Birthing Company.

Gifted Product

I was genuinely really excited to have this packed in my hospital bag, and having given them a little try since I can say with confidence that these would make a wonderful gift for any expectant mother (or a present to yourself if you are the expectant mother).

For £20 you get a lovely little pouch containing four products:

Cool It Mama (Cooling Body Spritz) to help calm and revitalise you (and your birth partner) during labour. I actually found this quite useful post-birth on the ward as we had to stay in overnight. It was BOILING on the ward and I was exhausted yet to afraid to sleep lest my brand new human needed me. This spray really did make me feel a little bit more human and a little less like I was about to melt.

Relax and Breathe (Calming Massage Oil) this is supposed to help ease any feelings of discomfort and is a good way to get your birth partner involved during labour. It certainly smells good! Had my labour been slower I think a massage with this would have done me the world of good, if for no other reason than to keep me grounded and stop me tensing up so much in my back and shoulders!

Bottoms Up (Soothing Bottom Spray) I am not exaggerating when I say this spray saved me in the two weeks post-birth. I tore, and grazed, and had stitches and nobody warns you about just how painful recovery from birth can be, even from a “normal” vaginal delivery. Going for a wee felt like torture but one thing (the only thing) that really eased that pain was spritzing this on a maternity pad as well as direct on the skin. I got through so much of this and cannot recommend it enough- that and a jug so you can pour warm water “down there” when you pee; it took me a few days to believe this could help, trust me, it does and you should do it!

Sleep Mama (Relaxing Pillow Mist) this is another lovely post-birth product and one I use on the rare nights when I struggle to drift off- rare as these days my eyes are shut before my head hits the pillow but I still enjoy the soothing scent of lavender and other essential oils for a calming sleep experience.

You can find this gift set, and the other products from Natural Birthing Company in Boots and Holland and Barrett as well as from various online retailers such as Amazon and Feel Unique.

This might be the only Christmas gift-guide/gift idea I post this year, but damn it’s a good ‘un!