A trip to Diggerland

A trip to Diggerland

The Bear has recently had chicken pox. He coped really well with it, and at the weekend, after 10 days at home, his spots had finally dried up to enable us to venture out. So, as a treat, we thought we would venture to Diggerland.

Diggerland Devon

Diggerland Devon

Diggerland Devon is in Cullompton is only about 45 minutes from us, so a manageable journey with an impatient 4 year old and 3 year old!

I had purchased out tickets in advance by using Tesco Clubcard Rewards which is a really cost effective way to visit. (We have lots of days out planned thanks to our Tesco Clubcard Rewards!). We had planned to go a few weeks ago when we were traveling to Torquay, but Diggerland Devon only opens at weekends and every day during the school holidays, so it is worth checking first!

Expectations

I was a little apprehensive having read some of their reviews. Some people saying it is run down, and overpriced; and therefore I was naturally a little worried about what the day would hold. Some of these comments are true though. As you walk in it does look a a little run down, and there are also quite a lot of £1 to pay rides as you walk through the reception and in the cafe area. But if you can distract your kids from wanting to go on these, then the fun can really begin!

The Rides

We had a brilliant day.

Both The Bear and Miss Rabbit are over 92cm tall, so could go on almost all the ‘rides’, and some they could even have a go at driving themselves. I say rides – these are not really rides in the conventional sense – they are DIGGERS!! Big diggers, litter diggers, playing skittles in diggers, hook a duck with a digger, tractors, dumper trucks and more besides. If you have often looked at diggers and thought ‘I can do that’, then this is your chance!

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We arrived just before 11, and on arrival the park does look a little small. However – there is plenty to keep you entertained. It was quiet the day we went, so we hardly had to wait for anything; perfect for the kids! And because it was quiet, we weren’t restricted by time limits either; we could dig away until our hearts content. We left the park at 4, and there was still rides we could have gone on! But with happy, tired kids, we thought we would save those for another day!

20140713_144330     Diggerland in Devon

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I think we all smiled throughout the whole day. And even the run down play area was a lot of fun through the eyes of a child. As Miss Rabbit said during the day, ‘I love Diggerland because it is so much fun!’ And us parents? Well we loved it to! Real family fun as we could all join in!

Although I must confess, I was not brave enough for spin dizzy! But Daddy did have a go! His face provided us with more laughter ;) Not as brave as he thinks he is!!

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Although I must confess, I was not brave enough for spin dizzy! But Daddy did have a go! His face provided us with more laughter ;) Not as brave as he thinks he is!!

 

 

The Bear and Miss Rabbit is an online toy shop selling traditional toys in Somerset. We visited Diggerland Devon on Sunday 13th July. We were not invited by Diggerland, or asked to write a review and therefore the opinions are entirely our own.

The Power of Magic

The Power of Magic

How do I make his dreams come true?

 

The Bear loves magic. I mean, really loves magic.

It intrigues him, fascinates him and leads to him trying to copy tricks he has seen.

So I bought him a wand.

A magic wand.

A black one with white tips.

He took a toy, closed the door, waved the wand, said the magic words…….and………opened the doors.

Oh. The toy was still there.

‘Mummy, this wand is broken…it doesn’t do magic’

We went to the Sooty show.

So he bought a second wand.

This time a really big one that lights up.

We arrived home. He took a toy, closed the door, waved the wand, said the magic words…….and………opened the doors.

Oh. The toy was still there.

‘Mummy, this wand is broken…it doesn’t do magic’  ‘How many magic things do I need for the magic to work’?

A few nights later, The Bear asked if we could visit a wishing well.

‘What would you like to wish for?’ I asked

‘I can’t tell you Mummy as then my wish won’t come true’

‘Perhaps Mummy can help your wishes come true’?

‘I would like to wish for a magic wand that really works’

‘Oh’ I said

‘And I would like to be able to fly’ he said………

I am doomed!

I know one day I will tell him this story, when he works out that the magic comes from the person, and they are tricks.

But for now, I will enjoy the innocence of childhood and ponder how I can make these dreams come true.

 

 

Melissa and Doug Create a Craft Princess Magnets

Melissa and Doug Create a Craft Princess Magnets

Time for a one on one activity with Little Miss Rabbit. Miss Rabbit loves the create a craft sets from Melissa and Doug and has been after one for a while now.

Miss Rabbit is 2, very nearly 3, and loves to do sticking, glueing, making and generally being creative.

I should say that the Create a craft sets from Melissa and Doug are aimed at age 4+ but as a supervised 1 to 1 activity I thought we would give them a try.

The Set

The Melissa and Doug Create a Craft sets are a wooden craft set. Everything you need is inclued in the set. The Princess Magnets came with 2 Princess Magnets, gems, glue and glitter glue and 2 crayons all contained in their own wooden tray.

Melissa and Doug Create a Craft Princess Magnets

 

Miss Rabbit set to work with unpacking, colouring in the princesses and then the fun really begins – adding the glue and the glitter glue!

Melissa and Doug Craft sets     wooden craft sets  Melissa and doug wooden craft sets

How beautiful her first princess was once she had finished. princess magnets from Melissa and Doug

 She then set to work on the second one, and we then placed them in their wooden tray to dry overnight.

wooden princess magnets

Finished Princess Magnets

And here they are, pride of place on the fridge! Miss Rabbit was very pleased with these!

wooden magnet craft set

The Melissa and Doug Create a Craft Princess Magnets are just £3.99. Perfect for rainy days! Or ideal as presents for all those school and pre school party invites. The Create a Craft Princess Magnets are just one of the Melissa and Doug Create a Craft sets available from The Bear and Miss Rabbit.

 

Baby Gifts: Traditional Wooden Toys

Baby Gifts this Spring

It is April 2014, and there seem to be lots of bumps and new babies about. We have certainly seen an increase in the last few weeks in people looking for and buying baby gifts.

Traditional Wooden Toys as Baby Gifts

Traditional wooden toys continue to be popular as baby gifts. They are usually well packaged and therefore make an attractive gift. In addition, traditional wooden toys are a classic gift, and a gift that will last. Whilst many of the best sellers are unlikely to be played with from birth, all the best sellers will be used within the first year, and will last well into the toddler and preschool years.

And we all love a pressie that will last!

So what are the 3 best selling baby gifts this spring?

Baby Gifts: Wooden Bath Toys Sea Life Set from Plan Toys

A gorgeous set of 4 wooden bath toys. These have been a best seller this Spring for baby gifts and the feedback has been fantastic.

‘such a lovely present. We have 3 children already and have never seen anything like these’

Launched by Plan Toys in 2014, the Sea Life wooden bath set is £15.99 and suitable for age 6+ months.

Wooden sea life set baby gifts

Baby Gifts: Wooden Push Along from Orange Tree Toys

These are a best seller for baby gifts and the all important first birthday. With over 10 different types to choose from there is one suitable for all!

Wooden push along

‘My daughter had one of these as a gift and still loves it now as a 3 year old’

All our wooden push alongs from Orange Tree Toys are £8.99 each. Suitable for 12+ months

Baby Gifts: Hug Links from B Toys

The hug links from B Toys are £13.99 and are suitable from 3+ months upwards to 3 years (an older!)

B Toys Hug LinksRoll the jar, and hear the hug links rattle. Take them out and shake them and hear them click clack. Use them for chewing and teething. Link them together. Learn colours. Count them. Take them out the jar and put them back in the jar.

‘my son loves these. He has so much fun shaking them and they have been great for teething and chewing to’

B Toys Hug Links

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for other ideas? The Bear and Miss Rabbit has a range of traditional wooden toys suitable from birth upwards. Or just email us at info@thebearandmissrabbit.co.uk

 

Travel Activity Books

Travel Activity Books

It can often be difficult to keep children entertained whilst out and about or while traveling. What can you take to entertain them that is small enough to pop in your bag, but also doesn’t make a mess?

Water Wow Activity Books

The water wow activity books from Melissa and Doug caught our eye last year. However,both The Bear and Miss Rabbit were a little young last year for product testing. But, by the magic of the Easter Bunny, this weekend provided the perfect opportunity to test the Activity books from Melissa and Doug.

Water Wow Alphabet and Water Wow Fairy

The Bear, age 4, received the Water Wow Alphabet. Miss Rabbit, age 2 (but very nearly 3!), received the water wow fairy book.

20140420_120439 Water Wow Alphabet

Both were delighted with these and had to use them straight away. Each activity book comes with its own ‘pen’ that you fill with water. The pen is held in a plastic case at the front of the book that can be used again for storing the pen whilst traveling.

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Each page of the book comes with some suggested activities. On the water wow fairy book we had to look for different pictures once we had coloured in the scene. On the Water Wow Alphabet you are encouraged to find the letter that matches the pictures.

Miss Rabbit was particularly enthralled by the princess and mermaid pictures. I was especially impressed by the colour produced and the vibrancy of each image as it magically appeared using just water.

Melissa and Doug Water Wow

Practicing Phonics

The Bear is practicing his phonics. He really enjoyed finding and colouring in all the letters from his name, as well as practising the phonic sounds of each of the letters as each image appeared.

Water Wow Alphabet activity book

I was also pleasantly surprised at how quickly the images dried. By the time they had finished the book, they were able to start again.

This kept both The Bear and Miss Rabbit entertained for a good few hours on Easter Sunday. This will definately be coming with us when we go out or go on holiday. But is also a great little activity book just to have at home.

There are 6 designs of Water Wow available including the ones above, numbers, vehicles and more.

The Bear and Miss Rabbit is an online traditional toy shop based in Street, Somerset.

 

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Fund Raising

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance

A fundraiser for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance took place last Tuesday, 25th March.

We were lucky enough to be invited in to the Kids Fitting room at Clarks HQ for the charity fundraiser. Two local businesses working togather to raise money for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance

The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance service needs £1.5 million each year of public funding to keep flying, attending an average of 3-4 incidents every day, so every bit of fundraising helps.

The traditional toy stall was set up and the shoppers arrived. It was a busy day with pocket kites proving to be by far the best seller.

The event ran form 11 – 3, and we raised £30 on the day. A cheque was presented to the Clarks Kids Fitting team on 1st April to be sent to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.

You can donate to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance through their Just Giving Page.

Local to us and fundraising? Why not get in touch to see how we can help? You can contact us at info@thebearandmissrabbit.co.uk

 

Carddies

Travel Toys – Testing the Carddies

On 2nd March 2014, we travelled to Bath for the Bath Half Marathon.

We knew it would be a long day. And with the added forecast of heavy rain, and therefore the potential need to take shelter, entertainment would definately be needed.

My travelling companions to cheer Daddy on were The Bear, age 4, and Miss Rabbit, 2 (but almost 3!)

Carddies Sets

Daddy would be running, so I would be juggling both kids, the bags, and the snacks and picnic. I needed some entertainment that would be light to carry and small. So before we left, I sneaked 2 packs of Carddies into my bag – the Knights Carddies for The Bear and the Ballet Carddies for Miss Rabbit.

We arrived in good time and stopped for breakfast, and the eagle eyed Bear spotted the boxes! ‘What are those blue and yellow and pink things in your bag Mummy?’. ‘Surprises’ I replied!

Lunch Time – playing with the Carddies

The surprises were unveiled at lunch time. A much needed break for Daddy to rest after the run, us all to warm up after a morning in the cold and the rain, and to refuel hungry tummies.

The Carddies sets are everything you need in a box. They come with a scene to colour in, 12 characters, 12 stands and colouring pencils.

The Bear very quickly got his Carddies unboxed and set up. He liked being able to stand up all the knights and the dragon, and quickly started to colour the characters in

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                                                             Carddies Travel Toy

Even Miss Rabbit’s little hands could stand the ballet dancers in the stands which she was thrilled about!

Carddies Ballet The Bear and Miss Rabbit

And then the colouring began.

Carddies Ballet Travel Toy

We were at lunch for over an hour. Both of them were really well entertained by the Carddies sets.

We packed them back in the boxes and back in the bag once we had finished.

Using Carddies at home

Once we arrived home, they set them up again and continued to colour them in – both of them thinking up ideas for stories and names for the people. I was under strict instructions at bedtime to leave them out on the table!

This morning, before breakfast, the stories began! With the knights saving the ballet dancers from the dragon!

‘What do you like about them Bear’, I asked?

‘I can make up my own stories. I like colouring them in. I am going to give them all names and play with them in my castle. Have you got any more of these Mummy? I would like some Circus ones!’

So a big recommendation from us!

Oh, and the run? Well a very commendable 1 hr and 58 minutes! Under the 2 hour target time. A good day all round!

The Bear and Miss Rabbit is an online traditional toy shop stocking a range of toys, gifts and arts and crafts that supports early learning through play.

 

 

 

 

Wooden Bath Toys by Plan Toys

Wooden Bath Toys

We have been looking to expand our range to include wooden bath toys for some time now. But our quest to find wooden bath toys was not going well. So imagine our excitement when a new brochure landed on our desk just before our visit to Toy Fair in January 2014.

Plan Toys Wooden Bath Toys

I couldn’t believe it. Brand new for 2014 from Plan Toys was a delightful range of wooden bath toys. They looked great in the catalogue. But what would they look like? Would they float? Would they sink? Would they be a good size? Would they be good value for money?

Armed with all these questions, there was only one way to find out!

 

wooden bath toys plan toys The Bear and Miss Rabbit wooden bath toys plan toys submarine The Bear and Miss Rabbit

Wooden Bath Toys – the research

Top of our list of visits for Toy Fair 2014 was to visit Plan toys and see for ourselves. We weren’t disappointed. The bath toys were displayed in water so you could actually see them floating, and look at them and touch them.

wooden bath toys plan toys coastguard The Bear and Miss Rabbit wooden bath toy The Bear and Miss Rabbit Plan Toys

Wooden bath toys in stock

We loved them! Orders are placed and some of the wooden bath toys from Plan Toys are now in stock. Others are arriving mid February 2014.

To be one of the first to get these, just waitlist them on the website and you will be emailed as soon as they arrive!

Which one is your favourite?

wooden bath toy speed boat plan toys The Bear and Miss Rabbit wooden bath toy speed boat plan toys The Bear and Miss Rabbit

 

 

Rainy Day Fun

Rainy Day Fun

As we are living in Somerset, we have needed a lot of ideas for rainy day fun lately! This is such a simple idea, and something we do a lot, but with a bit of a twist.

Both The Bear and Miss Rabbit love mark making (for Miss Rabbit) and drawing and learning to write for The Bear. I love seeing how their mark making changes and develops.

Miss Rabbit already holds a pen really well and enjoys colouring activities. The Bear is now at the stage where he actually draws pictures, rather than just lines on the page. This is a relatively recent step forward in his development and in particular he likes to draw himself, Mummy, Daddy and Miss Rabbit.

The Pictures

So for our rainy day fun at the weekend, using a simple flip chart, we stuck the paper to the window. Both The Bear and Miss Rabbit concentrated very hard on what they were doing!

 

                        Drawing on a rainy day fun Drawing on a rainy day fun

The results of our rainy day fun

Both looking very pleased with their pictures!

Drawing on a rainy day fun                              rainy day fun drawing

We have lots of the flip chart left luckily – as there are more rainy days forecast for us, so lots more opportunities for rainy day fun!

The Bear and Miss Rabbit is an online traditional toyshop based in Street, Somerset. The real ‘Bear and Miss Rabbit’ are our chief product testers!