Better late than never, our monthly Favourite Five is back after it’s holiday hiatus. Here’s our run down of our five favourite things last month at Mr Fox HQ.
As you might imagine, we spend an unusual amount of time seeking out brilliant toys, games, clothes, recipes and decor ideas for kids to share on Mr Fox. It isn’t really very healthy for our own bank balances, especially when our sons catch a glimpse over our shoulders…
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Lydia & Kate
Kate: A long overdue inclusion in our Favourite Five (it was named one of Time magazine’s ‘Best Inventions of 2014’), Osmo is a genius educational iPad accessory, which allows kids to play ‘outside the screen’ and connects digital and physical play. Using a mirror fitted over your iPad camera, it turns the space in front of the screen into an interactive play space where kids use game tiles (letters, numbers and shapes) or a pen and paper to play the games.
Now used in thousands of schools across the US it currently comes with 5 games, which cover literacy, maths, simple physics problem solving and drawing. Recommended for ages 5+ to get the most out of all the features (but my 4 year old loves it and happily plays the early levels of words, numbers and Tangram).
2. London Bus by Kiddimoto
Lydia: I’m a huge fan of Kiddimoto. In fact, my two have the balance bike, Go Kart, helmets and gloves – our shed looks like a Kiddimoto showroom (although caked in mud). I’m now coveting the new London Bus ride-on toy. And would quite like a new small person to ride it and a house big enough to build a fleet. If you have pre-walkers or toddlers with a thing for transport, that’s the next birthday sorted.
Get one at John Lewis
3. littleBits Gizmos & Gadgets
Kate: ‘Technology beyond the screen’ is a trend in kids toys that is showing no signs of stopping. littleBits is a library of simple, snap-together electronic modules that allow children to build circuits and create endless electronic inventions. No soldering, no wiring, no complex programming lesson required.
We’ve had the base kit at home for a while now and it’s a battle to get the 44-year-old to let the 4-year-old play with it. But the real game changer is the new Gizmos & Gadgets pack, which is now shipping to Europe. Billed as the ‘Ultimate Inventions Tool Box’, it makes littleBits more accessible to kids (and the non-creative among us adults) as it includes all the modules, craft materials and instructions to make 12 gadgets including a remote control car, bubble machine and pinball game. And when you are done with those, there are hundreds more ideas and hacks to find in the growing online community.
Recommended for 8+ but can be used with younger children with supervision. Find out more at littleBits.cc
4. What’s Hidden in the Woods by Aina Bestard
Lydia: Children interested in nature who are willing to work for their thrills will enjoy this quirky book, not least for the element of surprise. The primary-coloured undergrowth is teeming with hidden creatures. Using the three ‘magic’ windows (filters on a separate card) they will discover where each animal is hiding. My 7-year-old loves the illustrations and my 3-year-old simply cannot understand how the bear doesn’t show when he looks through one window but appears through another. It’s the most requested bedtime read in our house right now, and appeals to all ages for different reasons.
Available on Amazon
5. Abel and Cole Recipe Boxes
Kate: Entrepreneur, mother of two (and famous sibling) Randy Zuckerberg once revealed that she lived by the mantra: “Work, Family, Friends, Fitness or Sleep. Choose Three”. It’s a dilemma that more than a few modern parents face but we’d throw another one into the mix as well: finding time to cook nutritious, tasty family meals day-in,day-out.
When we know we have a busy week or two coming up we now ‘outsource’ some of the legwork to Abel & Cole – already the winner of our Mr Fox Recipe Box Challenge, they recently upgraded their service so that you can mix and match meals to create the perfect box for your family. The produce is organic, sustainable and high welfare but, most importantly, takes some of the pressure off the weekly dinner dash (and revitalises your recipe repertoire).
Order now and get 50% off your first and fourth boxes (plus a £10 voucher) at Abel & Cole