Toby and Gabe both love science and STEM toys are a big part of that. They absolutely love magnets playing with magnetic toys at the moment – we have a few different kinds of building sets. When the people from Geomag got in touch and asked if the boys would like to try their Gravity Magnetic Track (affiliate link) it sounded like it would be right up their street!Read more
I’ve been very envious of all the snow pictures I’ve been seeing all over social media last week – it was just cold, wet and a bit miserable here so we’ve had a quiet week at home. We did make it up to Cumbria on Saturday to visit my in-laws but that’s about as far as we went.
The rubbish weather, combined with the fact that at the moment the best time for Gabe to nap is right in the middle of the day, means we’ve spent a lot of time at home. Gabe really is into everything now and always wants to be doing whatever his brother is doing. Toby is getting better but he does get frustrated when Gabe destroys his latest Duplo creation, or knocks over another tower. I don’t know about the rest of you who have more than one child but I feel more like a referee in a wrestling match than a mum half the time! Read more
So after last week’s sunny picnic in the garden we’ve had every kind of weather from rain to hailstones but at the weekend the sun made it out for a bit so we decided to go out for lunch. Not far from us there is a pick your own fruit farm which also has a fabulous farm shop and cafe. There isn’t any fruit to be picked at the moment but there some animals to see too and a great play park so we thought it would be a good place to go to let Toby burn off some energy.
After Gabe had fallen asleep on the way there we took a bit of a circuitous route so he could have a longer nap. There’s a great view over the Forth back towards Fife.
y the time we arrived it was time for lunch. It’s so much easier to go out to eat out now Gabe can sit in a high chair and have something too, and Toby can eat almost entirely independently too. He’s not that keen on having to wait for Daddy to bring his lunch though…
Toby enjoyed looking at the animals and then playing in the park, and Gabe was still feeling a bit under the weather so he mostly enjoyed being snuggled in the sling.
Hannah is on holiday in Italy next week (lucky thing!) so I’ll be hosting My Wild Ones – please do pop by and link up your posts.
Toby is just getting to an age when he is starting to play with other children, rather than just next to them. I’m sure being at nursery since he was 13 months old has helped him develop this skill. Having said that he’s still got a way to go before he can really play with other children happily by himself.
Yesterday we went to visit my friend Claire and her twins Thomas and Edward who have featured in some of my previous My Wild Ones posts. Being three months younger than Toby all three boys have spent a lot of time together since they were tiny. In this picture I think Toby is about 8 months and the twins are 5 months.
Recently they have started asking to see one another which is very sweet. The other day when we were on the way to take Toby to nursery he was saying, ‘not nursery, see Thomas and Edward in the park’. I tried explaining that Thomas and Edward were at nursery too (they go to the same one as Toby but are in a different room at the moment), but he wasn’t having any of it.
Anyway, yesterday Toby was very excited to go to Thomas and Edward’s house and the twins had been waiting for Toby so he could help decorate some cakes they had made in the morning.
Obviously having been dealing with her boys since they were born Claire is very used to policing them and trying to get them to share and take turns, and they’ve had to do this since they were born too. Toby isn’t always so keen on the idea though and although we had a few moments of playing together we had quite a lot of crying too. How is it that in a room full of toys toddlers will always want to play with the same thing?
Actually on advice from Claire I now always get the boys exactly the same thing for Christmas and birthdays – if you know someone with twins I would definitely recommend it. You might think that getting them two similar but slightly different things is a good idea but invariably they will both want to play the same one – and having two identical toys can help solve the problem (although sometimes even that doesn’t mean they won’t both want the same one!).
Despite the tears and moaning Toby didn’t want to leave and had a lovely time playing with Thomas and Edward. I just realised last week though that even though he’s known them all his life, and they aren’t identical, Toby doesn’t actually know who is Thomas and who is Edward. I suppose we always just refer to them as ‘Thomas and Edward’ so it might be quite tricky to work out. Toby has solved the problem though by just calling them both Thomas!
I think I’m going to have a very sad little boy on my hands at the end of the month when his friends move away back to England. And I’ll be sad too – I’ll miss having a friend round the corner who I know I can always call on for a cuppa and a moan…I can see a lot of FaceTime happening in our future!
If you look in any home where there are kids you will almost definitely find something from Fisher-Price – they have been making toys since 1930 after all! But what’s great about Fisher-Price is that they are always innovating and creating new toys that allow kids to learn through play. Toby loves the Laugh & Learn Love to Play Puppy that we reviewed a while back so when Fisher-Price got in touch again and asked if would like to try a new baby learning toy, the Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair I was pretty sure it would be something that Toby would enjoy playing with.
The chair has over 50 songs, tunes and phrases – there are three different levels suitable for 12 months+, 18 months+ and 24 months+ and the integrated Smart Stages technology means that the interactive elements change as your child grows. The Smart Stages chair uses 3 AAA batteries. The chair has an RRP of £34.99 – however, at the time of writing it is selling on Amazon for £26.94.
- The chair was easy to put together, just a few screws required to attach the feet and the chair back. Once it’s put together the chair feels very sturdy and well made – as you would expect from Fisher-Price!
- It’s just the right size – I was a bit worried before we got it that the chair was going to be enormous and take up loads of space but it’s actually very compact.
- It’s very easy for toddlers to grasp what they need to do to get the sounds and songs – Toby got started on playing straight away!
- There are so many different songs and sounds that it doesn’t get repetitive – especially for mum and dad who have to listen to it. There are two different volume levels as well so it doesn’t have to be too loud.
- The Smart Stages technology means you can program your child’s age into the chair when you first turn it on and then the activities will automatically change when they reach 18 months and 24 months. You can also change the stage manually if you prefer.
- I like how a sound is activated when the child sits down or stands up from the seat – Toby hasn’t really learnt to sit on a chair by himself yet (or stand up from one) but I’m sure this will encourage him to do so.
- The only slight issue with the chair for Toby (it may well be different if you have a smaller child!) is that he can’t really reach any of the things on the arms whilst he is sat in the chair. This isn’t really a problem as he can play with all the buttons whilst facing the chair but just something we noticed.
- You need to put the batteries in before you attach the back legs, and will also need to remove the legs if you need to change the batteries. This isn’t a massive inconvenience as it’s only a couple of screws but it is a bit annoying (especially if like me you don’t really read the instructions before you start putting it all together!)
The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair is a great addition to any playroom. As you can see from the pictures above Toby wasn’t entirely sure about sitting on it at first but he soon got the hang of it and was dancing along to the ABC song! The fact that the interactive elements of the chair can change as your child develops makes it even better and great value for money.
**Disclosure: I was sent the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair in return for this review. All opinions are my own.