Category: Toys

Masterchef launches Cooking Sets for Kids

Masterchef Cooking SetCooking with your kids usually requires yummy ingredients, a mop, and a good dose of patience from mom. We have had some fun making chocolate cookies, fairy cakes and breakfast bars, amongst other recipes. I can’t say I have enjoyed all my time with the kids in the kitchen, but we have made some delicious, spoon-licking treats and memories, which made it worth it. Whilst the kids are small, I do prefer their help with baking rather than cooking, as it involves less knives. They do also like to help out with the washing up, but that usually involves even more cleaning afterwards!

My motives in getting the kids helping in the kitchen at a young age are somewhat selfish in that:

  • I imagine a day when I can sit down to a breakfast or meal prepared by my children. A meal without broken egg shell, burnt bits and all the dishes are cleaned by my helpful kids.
  • By instilling a joy for food, they will be more willing to experiment with different food types and become less fussy.
  • My children will start to enjoy grocery shopping, and become more involved in writing down a list and buying ingredients.

A brand new Masterchef Junior product range is now available for children who enjoy cooking or want to experiment in the kitchen. Designed especially for children the new MasterChef Junior cooking range recreates the fun and excitement of the hit TV series at home.

Each set includes real cooking tools with kid-safe, non-slip silicone grips and features three unique recipe cards for all levels of experience – line cook, sous chef and master chef – plus one blank recipe card to write your own recipe.

Masterchef Cooking Set

There are five sets in the range including the Cooking Essential Set Breakfast Cooking Set, Pizza Cooking Set, Burger Cooking Set and Baking Kitchen Set.

The product sets come in playful colours and the cooking tool sizes are perfect for a child’s hands. Ideal for ages six plus. The Masterchef Cooking Sets are available at toy stores countrywide from R599.99.

This is not a sponsored post. The information and the Masterchef Cooking Essential Set was given to me.

Save

MONOPOLY has new tokens thanks to their fans

MONOPOLY Token MadnessWhen I think of MONOPOLY, I remember the hundred or so times my younger sister beat me at the board game. She just had incredible luck of the dice or made shrewd purchasing decisions, either way, she was a legend at the game. I was better at other Hasbro games like Cluedo, Guess Who?, Jenga and Operation. How I miss those days, spending endless hours playing games as children. I still love board games, but until Paige and Ethan are old enough, I will have to get my mom and older sister around the table for a game. My younger sister may, or may not, be invited…

Back to MONOPOLY. They have some exciting news after they asked fans across the globe to vote on their favourite tokens.  From 64 possible options, and after an incredible 4.3 million votes, the top eight tokens were picked for the next generation of the MONOPOLY game. The tokens set to “pass GO” in the next generation of the MONOPOLY game are the Scottie dog, top hat, car, battleship, cat, T-rex, rubber ducky, and penguin tokens.

MONOPOLY Token Madness

Next generation MONOPOLY tokens

  • Scottie Dog Token: The best friend of Mr. MONOPOLY since the 1950s, the Scottie Dog token proved its popularity by receiving the most votes – making it the overall first place winner.
  • T-Rex Token: The mighty T-Rex token stomped its way into the new game, garnering the second most overall votes and making history as the first dinosaur token of Mr. MONOPOLY.
  • Top Hat Token: Coming in third place in overall votes, the Top Hat token – a staple in the game since 1935 – will keep Mr. MONOPOLY looking dapper well into the future.
  • Car Token: This 1930s roadster will continue fueling adrenaline rushes for Mr. MONOPOLY in the next generation of the game; coming in fourth place in overall votes.
  • Rubber Ducky Token: Coming in fifth in overall votes, the new Rubber Ducky token is truly all its “quacked” up to be.
  • Cat Token: Fans voted the Cat token into the game in 2013, and she clawed her way back in as one of the eight winning tokens, coming in sixth place in overall votes.
  • Penguin Token: Waddling into the game in seventh place in overall votes, the Penguin token is the new style muse for Mr. MONOPOLY.
  • Battleship Token: The beloved Battleship token represents the first round-the-world trip for Mr. MONOPOLY; securing the eighth spot in overall votes, this token’s legacy will cruise into the next generation of the game.

So long MONOPOLY tokens

While the Scottie dog, top hat, car, cat, and battleship tokens can breathe a sigh of relief, the iconic thimble, boot, and wheelbarrow tokens didn’t make the cut. Instead, they’re planning to take some time off and will not be part of the next generation of the MONOPOLY game.

  • ‘Sew’ long, Thimble: The lucky Thimble token is down on its luck. With just over 81,000 votes, this token will be left out of the next generation of the game after more than 80 years.
  • The Boot gets booted: Mr. MONOPOLY needs a new pair of kicks, because the once popular boot token – modeled after the working shoe of the 1930s – received just over 83,000 votes, and was ultimately booted from the game.
  • Bye, bye Wheelbarrow: The wheelbarrow token, a staple in the game since the 1950s, will wheel no more. With just over 60,000 votes, this historic token was voted out of the next generation of the game.

The next generation of the MONOPOLY game will be available for purchase this August. Until then, you can play the MONOPOLY Token Madness edition or localised MONOPOLY Mzansi edition available at your nearest retailer.

This is not a sponsored post. The information and a copy of the MONOPOLY Token Madness edition was given to me by Hasbro South Africa.

Childhood memories and Fisher-Price® toys

SponsoredFisher-Price #BestPossibleStart

Looking through old baby photographs has made me feel nostalgic of late. I only have a few of my own photos, as compared to Paige who will have a few thousand to sort through one day (the joys of digital). I even have a few of my maternal grandparents as children and I love to see their younger versions captured in black and white. As I look through these photos I can’t help but notice the shared feelings of joy and love for our children, and the family resemblance. Time passes quickly and already I feel the pangs of sadness when seeing how much Paige has grown. She is no longer my baby, but  my beautiful little girl with long flowing hair and a purple handbag big enough to store her treasures which she carries everywhere. My mom, and her mom, must have felt the same way looking back at how much our children have grown. My grandmother is amazing at 90 years of age, and when Paige was born she flew out from England to be here. She held her daughter’s, daughter’s, daughter in her arms and saw four generations come together. That was a special moment.

Like photographs, possessions passed down through the generations also have sentimental value for me. A piece of jewellery, a book or a toy can hold memories and be treasured for years. I have a box of my own treasures which I keep safe, and will be handed down to Paige and Ethan one day. For now, they get to play with our old Fisher-Price® toys which their grannies kept boxed for 30 years, waiting for their grandchildren. I can remember pulling around my Queen Buzzy Bee and the sound of dialing my Chatter Phone. My husband can remember playing with his truck and his sister singing for hours into her microphone tape recorder, which still works today. These toys probably mean more to me than they do to my children at their current age, and are a happy reminder of my childhood.

Fisher-Price #BestPossibleStart

As you can see, we do have quite a few old and new Fisher-Price toys, and this doesn’t include the baby toys already stored away. This is thanks to the grannies who kept our old toys safe all these years, and continue to buy Fisher-Price for their grandchildren. The toys are built to last and even though there have been improvements over the years, their toys still remain timeless and relevant. It is a trusted brand which I grew up with, and still choose today. These are the toys which I will once again store away for my grandchildren and watch with joy as they are continued to be played.

There are a number of new additions to the Fisher-Price range, as they continue to develop toys with a child’s developmental milestones in mind. Please visit their Facebook page for latest news, giveaways and #throwback moments (my favourite). If you are looking for a toy to get your child moving, BeatBo is set to be this year’s ultimate Christmas present. Fisher-Price Still the #BestPossibleStart after 30 years

Fun and games with Prima Toys

Prima Toys review by The Mommy CityWhen you have two kids who are at a similar age and play together all the time, it helps to have two of everything. Yes, I would love for them to learn how to share, but they are toddlers after all so I can only ask so much until play time turns into tears. When Prima Toys asked what toys the kids would like, I knew exactly what they would want as they had similar toys they already loved to play with, but now they could both have one. There was still some lively debate between them as to who gets to play first with their new toys, and the cash register was a favourite and kept them busy for hours (which made mommy and daddy especially happy).

Little Tikes Xylophone review by The Mommy CityI come from a musical family, so it’s wonderful to see that Paige and Ethan love music too. The xylophone is a must for noisy music time and even though I can embrace the discordant sounds of a two-year old musician, my husband not so much. So when he’s away, out rolls the colourful Little Tikes Xylophone and music is made. I’m not allowed to sing though, as Ethan puts a stop to that immediately. He really isn’t a fan of my singing voice, which I didn’t think was that bad? What’s nice about this toy is that it has wheels, the plastic mallet is attached and clips away when not in use. There are 4 play along nursery rhymes which are cut out from the packaging, which gives parents a few tunes to teach the kids.

Leapfrog Chat and Count Phone review by The Mommy CityPaige already had a LeapFrog Chat & Count in pink, so it was only fair that Ethan got his own in white. The phone has two volume levels, large press buttons and screen. The phone talks and Scout/Violet the dog runs across the screen and you get to count along with him/her. It’s a good phone from 18 months+ and don’t forget to put their names on it as they will want to take this on outings like mom and dad. It won’t beat playing with mom’s real iPhone, but it is cheaper to replace when it’s thrown in a toilet.

Little Tikes Cash Register review by The Mommy CityThe Little Tikes Cash Register was a hit with the kids, and they really liked being able to swipe the card across to bank the coins in the till. The coins can be inserted in the top and run down to the side or in the colour coded front panel which drops into the till. The top yellow counter can be tapped to change the amount owed and the side lever pulls down to open the till. This is great for playing shop and a nice idea is to buy orange, yellow and purple stickers to put on items to ‘buy’ so can learn how to count their money.

Little Live Pets review by The Mommy CitySince we won’t be getting the kids a real life bird, Little Live Pets is the next best thing, well at least Paige and Ethan think so. This little bird sings when you stroke it’s back and you can also record a few words for it to sing back at you. I had recorded ‘I love Paige’ and I love Ethan’ and it was amusing watching the kids walking around mimicing the bird. Since we needed two birds, we bought a white bird for Ethan, which in hindsight was the worst colour to get a two year old boy. Anyway, the now greyish white and blue birds live in their cage on the fridge and come out to play on supervision. This is more because we don’t want Ethan to break them, but it actually teaches them to be gentle with the birds, and they need to be cared for. It’s sweet to watch.

These toys are available at most large retailers and toy stores.

Snookums has a new look

Snookums has a new look - The Mommy CityRecognise the before logo? Well it’s about to change to this. Looks great right? Yes, the trusted South African baby brand Snookums is having a revamp and you will still be able to find all their quality products in your favourite stores, just with a different look. They are still producing their extensive range of affordable baby products right here in Cape Town, like they have done for over 43 years. Their products cover most categories such as Baby Feeding, Baby Bathing, Baby Grooming, Baby Soothing, Baby Teething, Baby Potty Training, Baby Development, Baby Toys and Baby Safety and Health. They constantly strive to include new innovative baby products to the range to ensure they stay at the forefront of international parenting trends.

I wanted to find out more and so I asked David Botha, managing director of Advacare of which Snookums is one of their brands, how their proudly SA company produces local products but at an affordable price and he replied: “Our ultimate customers are small innocent babies, so at Snookums we never compromise on quality, because we take their safety and wellbeing very seriously. We continuously strive to offer parents quality value for money products.  We are proud of our customer service. If parents are not completely happy with their Snookums product they can contact us directly at info@snookums.co.za. We will do everything in our power to help them. Snookums is a proudly South African brand, rooted in Cape Town. We understand the challenges of South African parents. We will never be the cheapest, but our quality products are excellent value for money, backed by caring staff and customer service.”

Snookums is available in all specialty baby shops, most pharmacies and mass retail chains.

WIN a Snookums hamper worth over R1000 on my Facebook page. Entries close Thursday, 22 October at 2pm.

Win Snookums hamper with The Mommy City

Hamleys, The World’s Finest Toy Shop, opens in South Africa

Hamleys Cape Town South Africa by The Mommy CityChildhood memories should be filled with happiness, laughter and experiences like walking through the doors of the world’s finest toy shop, Hamleys. As a little girl, I can remember visiting the store on a trip to London and thinking this is something out of fairy tales. There were shelves upon shelves of toys over seven floors, the shop assistants were dressed in costumes demonstrating toys and loads of bubbles wafted through the store and down the escalators. Bubbles machines were popular then and so were stamps, I remember my sister got a set of Lion King ink stamps. I couldn’t get over the electric cars for children, and really wanted to drive around in the bright red mini Porsche but was a bit too big. I wonder what Paige and Ethan will remember from their first trip to Hamleys at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town? That’s right, Hamleys is opening stores in Cape Town and Johannesburg next month!

As you may know, I love to hear the history and the behind the scenes of businesses and Hamleys has a very special story. When Hamleys first started selling toys in London way back in 1760, gas lights would not illuminate the city’s streets for another half a century. William Hamley filled his cramped Holborn shop with every toy he could find – the sort of toys that would make a child smile from ear to ear, the sort of toys that define a generation. Hamleys His dream was to own the finest toy shop in the world. The store found incredible success over the years until the shop was forced into liquidation in 1931 during the economic depression. Hamleys was saved by a man who had ridden on the delivery vans as a boy, Walter Lines, who bought it and rebuilt its reputation. In 1938, he was rewarded with the Royal Warrant from Queen Mary. Her granddaughters, the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose, both had Hamleys toys in their nursery.

Even being bombed five times during World War II did not stop Hamleys. Wearing tin hats, staff served at the shop entrance, rushing in to collect the toys then handing them over at the door. When Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne, she still remembered the toys her grandmother had given her and in turn, gave Hamleys toys to her own children. Hamleys in its famous location at 188-196 Regent Street, London, England. The toys may have changed, but if he were here today, we’re sure William Hamley would recognise the same delighted faces as he guided you round the shop he dreamt of as a boy.

Find out more about the store openings at Greenstore Mall in Johannesburg and the Cape Town V&A Waterfront on the Hamleys South Africa Facebook page and visit their website to see what you can expect.

Hamleys Train Cape Town - The Mommy City

School Zone Flash Cards for Tots

SchoolZone FlashcardsI spotted these fantastic flashcards at Toys R Us and Paige loves playing with them, and she really has been learning from them. They are from the School Zone range of educational products, and suited for ages 3 and up .The shapes and colours pack and the 3 letter words are just right for Paige, and as she gets a little older, I’ll buy the Maths counting flashcards as well. Paige spreads the puzzle cards out and then finds the 3 cards which we put together to show an animal and we spell out the word.  With the flashcards, I hold them up for her and the answers are written on the back. They include shapes, colours, counting, directions and pairing cards, with parent instructions with ideas for games. For R39,95 a pack*, this is a bargain buy and Paige is really excited to play with them.

*Price at April 2015