Category: Kids products

ToyTainer

As usual, the kids got way too many presents from everyone, which means we had to cull lots of their old toys to make room.  And luckily for me, ToyTainer sent me a bunch of their products just before Christmas, which means extra storage places for all those Christmas toys.

For every day use, this is our favourite ToyTainer

For every day use, this hang on a door ToyTainer is our favourite.  As you can see, there is no room IN the closet for toys….

The princess castle (picture above) is a great space saver since it goes over the door.  It also has adjustable height straps, which is super awesome.  I put it on it’s very lowest setting so that Hannah can see in the mirror from the ground (which she loves), and reach even the highest toys with her stool.  Most importantly, Rosie (our new puppy) can’t get any of the toys in it, which makes it a great place to store all of Hannah’s enticing, chewable, puppies-like-to-rip-the-hair-off dolls.  When we travel somewhere that doesn’t have any toys, we can fold up the princess castle, with all the dolls and things in it, and take it with us.  Easy, and perfect for holidays/vacations.  Daniel got the boys version, called games centre, which has a basketball hoop at the top.  Hannah likes using the hoop, but Daniel is a bit too small for it.  He will appreciate his games centre when he is a little older.  And taller. For now though, it’s great for extra toy storage.

The hoop makes cleaning up super fun.

The hoop makes cleaning up super fun.

We also got a shoe box for each kid.  Hannah decided immediately upon opening hers that it is called a “Caravan Bag” and likes to take it in the car filled with my little ponies and other girly things.  Daniel likes to drive his cars and trains around on his and then put them away through the little opening at the bottom.  I like how they are portable storage, but also a toy in themselves.  We had to go on an unscheduled trip over 4 hours away to attend Aaron’s Nanna’s funeral and the kids piled their caravan bags with chosen toys.  Daniel’s fit heaps of Thomas engines, train tracks, cars, dinosaurs, and the mat I talk about below.  Hannah’s fit ponies, books, play jewellery, and her play mat.  I was surprised at how much stuff can actually fit in them, and they were perfect for taking away with us.

aka "Caravan Bags"

aka “Caravan Bags”

Another easy clean up and travel item is the EZ-mat.  There is a pink one with dirt roads/trails, and a blue one with roads.  The kids can play on them and then use the cord to turn them into a bag with all the toys and cars inside.  Brilliant for travel.

playmat

The blue version

The blue version

There is also the pink ice cream truck which Hannah absolutely loves because it’s fun to push around and unlike most cars and trucks that size, is not made with boys in mind. She loves that it’s pink.  Open the top of the truck and it’s completely hollow, designed for storage. Hannah stores all of her little toys that Daniel is not allowed to play with due to their choking hazard.  They are now all in the one place, and easy to store away from Daniel’s prying hands when Hannah isn’t playing with them.

 

PROS:

-Durable
-Fun to play with
-Functional as storage
-Easy to fold and take on holidays
-Storage solution at home
-Makes toy clean up easy and fun
-Fold and Go has adjustable straps, great for different child heights

CONS:

-I couldn’t find how much they cost online (they are exclusively available at Target)

Finally, a pink truck for girly girls

Finally, a pink truck for girly girls

Yummi Pouch

“If someone made reusable squeezie yogurt containers, they’d be rich.” I told Aaron one day.  Seriously.  Every time we go to the shops, my kids want squeezie yogurt.  They won’t eat yogurt at all unless it’s out of a squeezie pack.  Unfortunately, the squeezie packs are more expensive, and contain more sugar than I’d like them to.

The very next day, I got an email wanting to know if I’d review a Yummi Pouch.  Yes, someone actually did come up with a reusable squeezie yogurt pouch.  Or pureed fruit pouch.  Or baby food.  Or whatever you want to stick in there that is small enough to come out of the hole.  Ingenious.

Oh yes, reusable squeezie pouches

Oh yes, reusable squeezie pouches. Not sure why my screen shot includes a big square, but oh well.

As if I was going to say no.  A reusable pouch meant that I could make my own yogurt, sans all the sugar, and stick that in the pouch for the kids.

I made the yogurt in my $12 yogurt maker from Aldi, and then set about sticking the yogurt into the pouch.  Humph. That part was actually quite tricky.  I got a small spoon, and spoon ful by messy spoon ful, filled the pouch with the yogurt.  It would have been much easier with the special pouring into pouch jug they sell on their website.

See the pouring thing? Would have been very helpful.

See the pouring thing? Would have been very helpful.

The kids enjoyed slurping from their Yummi Pouches, and ate all of the home made yogurt within them.

The next time didn’t go so well.  ”I don’t like this yogurt Mommy.” Hannah told me.  Sigh. It wasn’t so much a reflection on the Yummi Pouch, but my home made yogurt.  Sigh. That’s what I get for trying to feed her greek yogurt instead of fruity yogurt.  Next time I will add some pureed fruit so it passes the taste test of a 3 year old.

I used to buy those squeezie packs of baby food to take when we went out anywhere when Daniel was little.  But again, they were comparatively expensive (just very convenient ). Yummi Pouches would have been great for when Daniel was a baby.

PROS:

-Reusable
-BPA and phthalate free
-Convenient
-Dishwasher safe
-Easy to clean by hand (with a bottle brush to get in the tip)
-Inexpensive
-Easy for kids to use

CONS:

-Hard to fill without the special filling funnel pitcher

Veggie Tales: The Penniless Princess – God’s Little Girl

A cartoon featuring talking, walking (without legs, mind you), dancing, singing vegetables seems rather bizarre. But, kids seem to love watching their favourite, familiar dinner time fare don clothing and going on adventures. Fine, I like to watch it too. Er…sometimes. Not so much 1 million times in a row like Hannah does.

We already owned 2 Veggie Tales DVD’s when I was offered to review The Penniless Princess.

Penniless Princess DVD preview

The Penniless Princess is a vegetable riches to rags story. Sounds crazy right? But that’s the beauty of it. As the introduction song goes, “there’s never ever ever been a show like vegetales!”

True that!

Anyway… The moment the DVD came in the mail, Hannah wanted to watch it. Then she wanted to watch it again. And again. And again. She asks to watch it every single night. We don’t let her watch it every night, but when she does, I’m happy knowing that she is getting a good lesson in humility, generosity, and worth in God’s eyes.

Despite only being 3, she watches the whole thing without needing to do something else. She does get a little bit bored during the texting song, since she can’t read and doesn’t know what acronyms are. I bet girls who are a little bit older would love that bit though.

I won’t spoil the movie for you, but there is a happy ending :) and there are no scary monsters or anything that will give kids nightmares. Because we certainly don’t need that. 

PROS:

-Keeps kids entertained
-Wholesome content
-Good life lessons within the story
-Inexpensive
-Interesting story

CONS:

-Texting song a bit too old for younger kids
-Parents will always wonder how the vegetables hold anything when they don’t have arms. Kids don’t seem to take any notice.

To buy your own copy of The Penniless Princess in the U.S/Canada, click here 

To buy it in Australia, click here 

 

 

Superfoods for kidz – vital veggie powder

Hannah is a really fussy eater. She won’t eat meat and half the time she won’t eat vegetables either. Sometimes she scarfs them down, others she won’t touch them. I don’t want her to be malnourished, so just to be safe, I bought some Superfoods for Kidz Vital Veggie Powder.

I was pretty sceptical of her actually drinking it in her juice, but she loved it. I use half the amount the jar says because she does eat vegetables sometimes.  I fill her little juice bottle with a lid half with water, add the veggie powder (I use a funnel to make it easier), and shake. The powder doesn’t really stir in well at all, but it will mix in if you shake it instead. Next I add some juice (apple, grape, whatever I have on hand), shake again, and it’s ready to go. If you give toddlers juice, diluted is best.

You can use the veggie powder in cooking, but I never have. Too much effort I think, when I can just stick it in her “juice in the morning” (as she calls it).

PROS:

-No added sugar (which is a serious problem for a lot of products these days!)

-You know your child is getting nutrients

-There is nothing artificial, just fruit and veg powder

-3 grams of powder = 21 grams of the fresh ingredients

-Easy to use

-Lasts a long time (if using 1tsp per day, there are 100 serves in a jar, so it lasts over 3 months)

-Relatively inexpensive at 40 cents per serve (when using 1tsp per day)

CONS:

-I couldn’t find how many servings of fruit and veg are in each teaspoon of powder. It would be nice if it told us “5 serving of vegetables” or something like that (note I made that number up for illustration purposes, I have no idea how many servings are in each teaspoon)

-You may get complacent, knowing your child is getting nutrients from the powder and then stop actually offering them vegetables on their plate.

-Separates from juice if not drunk straight away

*Note, I did not receive any money, or product for this review. I buy Vital Veggie Powder because I like it and I use it every day (well, I give it to Hannah).