The Guardian Small Business Showcase

The Guardian Small Business Showcase

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This is a really exciting time for us at The Bear and Miss Rabbit!  We entered the Guardian Small Business Showcase 2104 in November 2014.

Home Innovation

There are a number of categories to enter, but as The Bear and Miss Rabbit; established in July 2012; continues to be a home run business, I entered the Home Innovation category.

I submitted our entry, which was subsequently published on The Guardian website at the end of November. This in itself is exciting for a small, independent family ran business.

However……we then received a call! We have been shortlisted as one of the 3 businesses within the Home Innovation Category! Amazing News!

I could not believe it! What a great end to the year, and what a great start to 2015 as we are featured as a write up both in The Guardian newspaper and on their website today (7th January 2015)!

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What happens next? Well, we are off for a peak at the other businesses shortlisted ;) But, there is an award ceremony later in the spring in London to look forward to. Watch this space for further details!

A big thank you to Frances Louise Photography in Street, Somerset for our photos. I had a lot of fun having these done.

The Bear and Miss Rabbit is an online traditional toy shop based in Street, Somerset with an emphasis on toys that encourage imaginative play.

Toys, gifts and arts and crafts that everyone will love.

 

Plans for 2015

Plans for 2015

It is here! The fun of Christmas is now over, the decorations are down and 2015 has arrived!

The Bear and Miss Rabbit

We have already been busy over the festive period making changes to the website to ensure shopping with us is as quick and easy as possible. We have improved our search function and we have also added paypal express checkout.

What does 2015 have in store?

The year is getting off to a great start. Although it is a quieter time sales wise, the early part of the year sets the foundations for the coming months. We have Toy Fair and Spring Fair to look forward to where we have the fun of researching and choosing new stock. Last year we introduced a number of new ranges including the Tidlo 2 in 1 shop and theatre. I wonder what we will find this year?

We also start the year with a trip to meet Theo Paphitis to collect our Small Business Sunday award.

We also have a little something else in the pipeline that we will share with you shortly!

Improved Service

Our service is really important to us; ensuring we have a selection of products in stock that we can get to you quickly. We change our courier through 2014 and 95% of our orders reached you in 2 working days (and often quicker!).

To help with all those last minute gifts, this year we will also be introducing gift wrap so that you can ship a wrapped gift direct to the birthday boy or girl. This will be introduced in the Spring of 2015.

We are looking forward to this year! We enter our 3rd year of trading and have learnt a lot along the way!

But, by far the best help for us is word of mouth. So if you have bought from us, we would love it if you could leave a website review and tell your friends about us!

Thank you!

Stocking Fillers for 6 year olds

Stocking Fillers for 6 year olds

Looking for stocking fillers for 6 year olds this Christmas?

1. Why not make it a crafty Christmas

Our sew your own kits at just £4.99. Choose from the colourful pony or cute rabbit.

Sew Your Own Pony

 

2. Wooden Toys

Have some fun for under £2.50 with the wooden paddleball or traditional wooden pick up sticks.

Pick up sticks E13165_800

 

3. Nostalgic Toys

Do you remember making friendship bracelets?

 

4. Activity books

We have a range of activity books that are suitable for when travelling too at £4.99 each

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5. Scratch Art

Our scratch arts sets continue to be popular. 18 designs to choose from and prices start from just £2.99

rainbow holographic

 

6. Wooden Pencils

How about adding one of these colourful characters at just £1.49

pencils

 

7. Skipping Ropes

Skipping ropes are increasing in popularity again. We have 8 designs to choose from starting at £3.99.

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8. Tin Yo Yo

Can you do the yo yo? Our vintage tin yoyos are just £3.49 each.

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9. Bouncy Ball

Well, after all, who doesn’t love a bouncy ball! And just 80p to!

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10. And finally

Well…..you can’t beat a glider at just 40p. Dinosaurs and Fairies to choose from.

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The Bear and Miss Rabbit is a family ran online traditional toy store based in Street, Somerset.

www.thebearandmissrabbit.co.uk

Toys, gifts and arts and crafts that everyone will love.

Stocking Fillers for 7 Year olds and older

Stocking fillers for 7 year olds and older

Looking for stocking fillers for 7 year olds and above? Well here are a few of our ideas!

1. Flip a ring £1.99

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2. Wooden Balloon Car £1.99

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3. Tumble Tower £3.99

Tumble Tower 2

4. Wooden Paddleball £2.50

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5. Pick up Sticks £1.75

Pick up sticks

6. French Knitting Doll £3.99

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7. Paper Planes Kit £3.49

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8. Race Car Kit £2.49

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9. Noughts and Crosses £1.25

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10. Tin Yo Yo £3.49

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11. Scratch Art £2.99

    rainbow holographic

 

Did you know we stock over 170 products at £5 and under? Why not take a look for smaller gift ideas and stocking fillers?

Christmas gifts for 7 years old and older

Christmas Gifts for 7 years old and older

Happy Christmas! Do you have young ones and older siblings? Well here are some of our ideas for the 7 years and older group!

1. Why not make it a Crafty Christmas?

How about Crocheting an owl £4.99, designing your own dolly £26.99 or designing your own shield £22.99?

Seedling designyour own dolly Crochet your own owl Seedling design your own shield

 

2. Why not play a game suitable for all the family? £11.99

Melissa and Doug Suspend

 

3. Make it a magical Christmas? £24.99

Melissa and Doug Magic Set

 

4. Watch a puppet show? £12.99

clown marionette

 

5. Create a mosaic

We stock a range of peel and press sticker sets.

peel and press sticker mosaic

(Please note all toys have a manufactures recommended age. We stock a range of crafts suitable for age 4+. However these are alo suitable for older children who have a greater attention to detail)

Theo Paphitis SBS Winner

Theo Paphitis SBS Winner

Well what a rollercoaster of a week! On Monday 17th November 2014 we were selected by Theo Paphitis as a winner of his Small Business Sunday!

On Sunday 16th November, we tweeted Theo about our business during ‘Small Business Sunday’, an initiative set up by Theo that runs weekly.

Theo re‐tweeted our message to his 453,000 followers and as a result,we (www.thebearandmissrabbit.co.uk) have seen an increase in twitter followers and website traffic has doubled.

The Bear and Miss Rabbit,  is also now profiled on a new website (www.theopaphitissbs.com) that is exclusive to Small Business Sunday winners.

I cannot tell you how delighted we are to have been selected as a small business winner! And even better…we get to meet Theo next year in January to collect our award! Can’t wait! Pics and blog to follow of course!

And what did we tweet?

@TheoPaphitis Turning imagination into education this Christmas with our traditional toys http://thebearandmissrabbit.co.uk  #sbs

Traditional wooden toys

Do you run a small business? Why not enter? Just tweet Theo about your  business on Sunday between 5 PM and 7.30 PM and include the hashtag #SBS. Six lucky businesses are re‐tweeted every Monday at 8 PM! Good Luck!

Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday Winner

First Christmas Gift Ideas

First Christmas Gift Ideas

A first Christmas is such a special time. A new addition to the family to join in all the traditions and celebrations.

The Bear was just 3 months old for his first Christmas. If I am honest, we probably went a little bit crazy with the gifts! His stocking was bigger than him (although it is a stocking that we have continued to use) and it took until Boxing Day to open all his presents in between all the sleeps!

Miss Rabbit was 7 months old for her first Christmas! Just crawling so no present was safe from her grasp! We were lucky to find a single present that hadn’t been ripped open by her.

This year they will be 3 and 5! I think there will be a lot of excitement! But, no doubt I will be the first one awake – laying in bed waiting for their squeals of excitement!

The Bear and Miss Rabbit First Christmas Gift Guide

For some of you, your first Christmas will be with little babies, like The Bear was. For others, you may also be approaching first birthdays as well. Therefore our 1st Christmas Gift Guide includes a range for under 12 months, but also for 12+ months.

1. Wooden Push alongs (start at £8.99)

We have to start our 1st Christmas Gift Guide with the wooden push alongs. By far and away our best sellers for 1st birthdays as well. We have 18 different styles to choose from. Polar Bears, Penguins, Cat, Dog. Mouse and some Peter Rabbit favourites to; including Peter Rabbit himself and Jemima Puddleduck. All our Wooden Push Alongs start at £8.99 and are suitable for 12+ months.

penguin pushalongPola bear pushalong

2. Wooden Baby Walker with Alphabet Blocks (£44.99)

There are so many ways to play with this, and this is a gift that will last for years! The Bear again had this for his first Christmas back in 2009 and it is still used today.

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So what can you use it for? Well, firstly as a walker. Encouraging those first steps. But also, even before those first steps, why not use the blocks to build towers? They will be so much fun to knock down! Or how about sorting the blocks into their colours, and learning the colours as you do! And as your child grows – can they find the letter that their name begins with, and then find all the letters to spell their name? Can you find the numbers, and put them into a number sequence? Or why not lay the mathematical blocks out on the floor for them? Making numbers fun through the start of their education as well. And if you take all the blocks out, the trolley is great for pushing all your teddies around in!

The wooden walker is suitable for 12+ months.

3. Bath Toys

We love bath toys. So much fun splashing around. And we love the versatility of them. Enjoy your bath toys during water play, can they sink, do they float, do they pour water? And in the summer, use them in the paddling pool to. Our 2 favourites for this age group are the Up Up Cups from B Toys at just £3.99 and the wooden submarine from Plan Toys at £11.99.

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The Up Up Cups are just £3.99. Stack them, fill them and pour them. And when you have finished, they neatly stack away!

The yellow submarine is just one of the wooden bath toys we stock from Plan Toys. The wooden bath toys are made using  wood sawdust that is ideal for water play. Each new water toy is finished with a special, non-toxic coating that enables it to be taken in the bath or paddling pool. What’s more, the Plan Wood collection is created using only 1% eco-friendly glue and dyed using only water-based pigments to create the most natural of colours that are not only great for children but safe for the environment too.

The Up Up Cups are suitable for 6+ months and the wooden bath toys start from 6+ months. The submarine featured is suitable for 12+ months.

4. Puppets

We love puppets here at HQ. We love how puppets help to bring songs, nursery rhymes and stories to life. We also really enjoy the imaginative play that comes from children adding their own character to a puppet during their very own puppet shows. The trudi range of puppets we stock are all suitable from birth. They make a great cuddly toy as well as a puppet too. Why not choose one from your childs favourite song or story? The Trudi range are also hand finished, making each one unique. Prices for these start at £12.99

All the Trudi puppets are suitable from birth.

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5. Musical Instruments

Why not make it a musical Christmas? Young Children delight in using instruments. See their smiles as they bang a drum and it makes a sound? Perfect to use in your songs and nursery rhymes, encouraging rhythm and learning about cause and effect. The Tidlo Rainbow Drum is £13.49 and is suitable from 12+ months.

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6. First Shapes Puzzles £9.99

Why not add one of the first shapes puzzles under your tree this year? Puzzles help to develop hand and eye co ordination.

The Melissa and Doug first shapes large peg puzzle is a charming cottage with 5 big puzzle pieces that all form a part of the cottage. The large peg on each puzzle is perfect for little hands to grasp and hold.

Need ideas for play with the Melissa and Doug First Shapes large peg puzzle? Each piece has has full colour matching picture underneath to encourage visual recognition skills. You can complete the puzzle, name the shapes, name and recognise the colours. And as your child gets older, why not pop the pieces down, study them, and take one away. Will your little one notice which shape is missing?

First Shapes Puzzle

We have a range of puzzles in stock suitable from 12+ months.

7. Hug Links

Our Hug Links from B Toys are suitable from 3+ months. There is so much fun to be had with these. Each link is a happy rattle, great for teething too! The beads click, feel good in little hands, and are great fun for sorting, learning colours and more! Roll the jar too for a great rattly rolling bit of fun!

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We hope we have given you some inspiration!

We have suggested some ideas for you that will last you well beyond a 1st Christmas, through to the preschool years too. But, my other advice as a Mum would be…don’t go to mad! For a 1st Christmas, children are little. Mostly, enjoy the time together with a few gifts from family and Father Christmas. They will be writing an extensive Christmas list before you know it ;)

If you do have a new addition to your family this Christmas then we wish you all a very Happy Christmas!

 

 

Our best selling traditional toys September 2014

Best Selling Traditional Toys in September 2014

Earlier in September, we introduced our range of stocking fillers to the website.

These proved to be our top 10 best sellers in September. So if you are looking for stocking fillers, or ideas for traditional party bag fillers, then perhaps these will give you some ideas!

1. Bouncy Balls 80p each

Bouncy Balls

2. Small Windmills £2.49

wooden windmill

 

3. Tip Top Spinning Tops 99p

Tip Top Spinning Top

4. Dino Gliders 40p

Dinosaur Poly Glider

 5. Fairy Glider 40p

Fairy Poly Glider

6. Wooden Finger Fairy Puppets £2.99

wooden puppets

 

7. Wooden Balloon Car £1.99

wooden balloon car

8. Traditional Woodpecker on a Stick £1.99

woodpecker on a stick

 

9. Pop Up Cone Puppets £2.49

pop up cone puppets

10. Fifi Fairy Pencil £1.49

Wooden pencil fairy

All available from The Bear and Miss Rabbit, Somerset based online traditional toy shop.

Wild Wednesday at Fyne Court

Fyne Court

We went on an adventure today to Fyne Court, part of the National Trust near Bridgwater in Somerset.

Throughout the summer holidays, they have Wild Wednesday and today was all about bugs! On arrival we were given our ‘50 things‘ books and a list of bugs to find.

We pond dipped! Tadpoles, waterboatmen and lots more were discovered!

                               

We painted our own pebble bugs!

We climbed tree trunks and tree stumps and jumped in some very muddy puddles whilst on our bug hunt!

We played a musical wooden xylophone, and walked through a stream!

And we even found a tree that looked like an animal that we named Mossy!

We ended the day very muddy, a little wet, tired but happy!

We even ticked of no.35 in our 50 things book – pond dipping!

Everyone there was welcoming and friendly and the facilities we found to be well kept and clean.

It is Dinosaurs and cave dwellers in 2 weeks time. We will be back!

The Bear and Miss Rabbit is an online toy shop selling traditional toys in Somerset. We visited Fyne Court on Wednesday 13th August 2014. We were not invited by Fyne Court or the National Trust, or asked to write a review and therefore the opinions are entirely our own.