Tag: imagination play

Design A Friend Doll Review And Giveaway

Design A Friend Doll Review And Giveaway

Still wondering what gifts to get for the festive season? Well look no further for the perfect gift for little fashionistas ๐Ÿ™‚

The girls were recently sent a โ€œDesign a Friendโ€ Doll and they are besotted, to say the least. She goes everywhere with them.

I never thought I would have โ€œgirly girlsโ€, being a boy mom for so long, I hardly even know how to plait hair, let alone have daughters that love dolls, tea parties and all things pink. Funny how life works because my daughters ask to wear pretty dresses everyday, and their toys of choice? Any doll or baby.

We got โ€œCandyโ€ โ€“ sheโ€™s a gamer, just like my daughters brothers ๐Ÿ™‚ As her name suggests she’s as sweet as can be but when it comes to gaming she’s as competitive as they come.  Each โ€œDesign a Friendโ€ doll has their own special character, with a unique outfit and special charm bracelet.

Candy Girl measures 46cm tall, I love that she is so big, the girls โ€œwalkโ€ with her and it really does make her feel like a โ€œbest friendโ€.

Candy wears the cutest pink ‘Gamer At Heart’ sweatshirt, a skater skirt, trainers with satin laces & super cute unicorn gamer headphones, can we make these in real life child sizes please?

She has blue eyes that close when lying down & super silky pink hair for styling in the latest trends. A super soft, huggable body for lots of cuddles, but can also raise her arms and legs in life like positions. Design A Friend dolls celebrate childhood, encourages imaginative play and inspires children to be themselves.

Designed for the love of fashion, every Design-a-Friend doll comes dressed in on-trend, fashion quality outfits so you can dress her, style her, change her outfits as you do every day. A little girl’s dream.

To find out more about the full range, check out more at www.designafriend.co.ukย 


To celebrate the Festive Season, I’ll be giving away 1 x Design A Friend Doll (Candy) and 1 x Design A Friend Doughnut Time Pyjamas.

To enter:

Drop a quick comment below (In the comment section)

Make sure you are following @inthesestilettos on Instagram, and like and comment on the Design A Friend post there too.

That’s it! Quick and easy and you could be wrapping one of these beauties up as a gift

This post was written in collaboration with Design A Friend

Creative Cardboard – Thinking Out Of The Box

Creative Cardboard – Thinking Out Of The Box

We are pretty big fans of making things out of cardboard in our house. I love how a simple box can be turned into, well, anything your heart desires really! It drives my husband insane but I keep every single box after a delivery for the boys and I to turn into a magical masterpiece.ย Cardboard sneaks into your home every time you do the shopping, and you can get boxes for free at most stores just by asking for them.

Apart from simply using flat pieces of cardboard as a canvas, you can build things with it using only tape or glue. It’s recyclable as well, so the possibilities are endless.

I thought I’d put together a list of some of the things we have made to inspire you to get creative. March is national craft month after all.

1. A Market Stall

I kid you not, we are going onto year 3 of pulling out our market stall. You’ll need a slightly bigger box for this one (think washing machines, fridges etc). Cut out a window and have fun getting creative.

2. A Rocket Ship

Would it be an article about cardboard crafts without one? We slightly cheated with this one and bought a “flat pack” cardboard rocket ship. I wanted to use it as a craft for Aadam’s party so the kids could all paint it. I can’t remember where we got it from but Makedo sell awesome “assemble your own” cardboard construction kits which you can buy from Takealot.

3. A Marble Run

One of the most iconic ways to use cardboard tubes and it provides hours of endless fun. If you are worried about marbles with your little ones you can also do the same thing with Pom-Poms. Turn it into a colour sorting activity for your pompoms.

4. A Mini Town

Let your imagination guide you here, the possibilities are endless. Just find a nice sturdy box that’s the right height and create away!

5. A Car Ramp

One of our favourite ways to “race” our Hot Wheels or Monster Trucks. Find a bigger box and open it up. A glue gun comes in handy with this one to stick the different lanes on. The boys played for hours comparing which car went faster!

6. A Mini Aquarium

The perfect craft for a cereal box, and a little boy for was dying for a fish ๐Ÿ™‚ The boys did all the painting and bits of cutting here and mummy did need to get involved with the hot glue gun to stick some of the sea weed and suspend the fish. This still sits in our dining room today!

7. A Post Box

After all our family left last year to return oversea’s we were feeling very sorry for ourselves. Combine that with a few movie runs of “Postman Pat”, it wasnt long before the boys wanted to “post” letters to their grandparents and aunts and uncles. A simple small box does the trick here with cut up toilet roll for the legs. Make sure you cut a “door” in the back to retrieve your letters once posted!

8. A Letter Or Number Sorter

This is the perfect educational craft to make out of a shoe box for the kids. We chose to do ours with corresponding uppercase and lowercase letters, to help with recognition. But you can do whatever you want! For smaller kids you don’t need to even use letters or numbers, it’s a fantastic fine motor skill activity in its own!

9. Art, Art, Art

Cardboard really does make the best canvas. Its thick, sturdy and a ton of fun to experiment with. Paint landscapes or portraits, abstract or 3D, just give your kids a piece of a box and let them paint away!

10. A Car

Would a childhood be complete without making your own box car? Have a “drive in” movie night at home and get the kids to make their own box cars. You can see we didn’t even get to decorating ours before Aadam jumped in and was “vrooming” away. He just got frustrated because it didn’t actually go anywhere ๐Ÿ™‚

11. A House

Yes, of course I would finish my list without getting to a house. Whether it’s a big house for the kids to play in (you’ll need much larger boxes for that again), or a smaller house for their dolls (or action heroes); making a house out of cardboard is a must! Mummy got involved again cutting out the smaller detail like the windows and glueing the slightly uneven floors, but the boys designed and painted to their heart’s content!


A few other ideas to give you inspiration, but I didn’t necessarily have “photographic” evidence”:

  • A space helmet – perfect for little heads and oh so easy to make, even easier if you have any “build-a-bear” boxes lying around the house, they were almost made for this!
  • A guitar – Super easy to make, and all you need to do is add a few elastic bands. We have made a number of impromptu guitars out of shoe boxes before!
  • An oven/stove – Fairly simple to make because of the square shape and I have seen some fantastic ones on pintrest. Bottle tops make the perfect temperature dials.
  • A Petrol/ Fuel Pump – Another fab one to all get involved with. The rectangular shape is nice and easy so you can have fun and get really involved in the painting and design detail of it.

There you have it, 15 quick and fun ways to get creative with cardboard. It really is one of the things the boys and I turn to often and I love hoe it expands their imagination. With almost all of these things my eldest has come to me with the idea, and whenever we get a box as a gift or with a delivery he’s the first one to say “mummy, lets turn this into a……”

Happy crafting month and I hope some of these ideas gave you inspiration!



Imagination Play, The Magic of Dolls – Win with Shimmer and Shine

Imagination Play, The Magic of Dolls – Win with Shimmer and Shine

If you have been following my blog for a while you probably would have picked up that I’m a bit of a fan of “Imagination Play”. Good old acting, letting the boys immerse themselves and act out experiences they may have had or dreams they want to pursue. I read somewhere that imagination really develops in children between the ages of 2 and 4. To help deal with experiences and make sense of the world around them, they engage in imaginary play.

Its also no secret that my boys love the show “Shimmer and Shine”, and as a parent so do I.ย  Shimmer and Shine has long been a favourite in our house, it tells a story about the magical adventures of genie sisters “Shimmer and Shine” and their best buddy Leah. “Newly qualified” twin sister genies, Shimmer and Shine, grant Leah 3 wishes to try to help solve her problems. Along the way they go through a number of challenges and often overcome the problem at hand, no thanks to the wishes. I love that it teaches the boys problem solving abilities and positivity. In addition, it teaches kids the value of friendship because Shimmer and Shine shows how friends can rely to each other when times get rough.

We love dolls. I have absolutely no qualms in giving the boys dolls to play with. I bought Yusuf his first “baby doll” when he was 2. He loves babies and playing with dolls helps to develop a sense of empathy and care. The boys were absolutely thrilled when they got sent a “Shimmer” Doll to review. The only conduit being there was one and they had to share. (These school holidays have tested my patience slightly when it comes to the sharing lesson – but thats another blog altogether).

Personally, I feel dolls are one of the best toys to encourage and foster “Imagination play”. Children can act out how they feel and create opportunities for trying out new ideas, ways of thinking and problem solving. The Shimmer doll was perfect and within minutes of unboxing Aadam was transported to “Zahramay falls”. Shimmer is the sister thats always looking to maximize the fun. Her pet monkey Tala is always mischievously by her side and I love that they have incorporated that into Shimmer’s hair comb. The doll comes dressed in a pretty purple satin genie outfit and along with the comb you also get special gem stickers. She’s the perfect size too, fitting into a little ones hand comfortably and being small enough to accompany us on our adventures. My youngest loves to play with hair and had delighted in brushing and playing with Shimmers’ long hair (anything to stop him messing up mine :)).


Our little Shimmer Doll has been the perfect toy to spark curiosity and send them into a world of play. Together with Mattel South Africa, I’ll be giving away one “Shimmer and Shine” Doll which retails at R269.99.

To enter:

  1. Make sure you are subscribed to the blog
  2. Like and Follow “In these Stilettos” on Facebook ,ย https://www.facebook.com/inthesestilettos/ย 
  3. Comment below on who your favourite Shimmer and Shine character is!

Its that easy!

  • The winner will be announced on the In these Stilettos Facebook page on Tuesday 24th July.ย The competition is open to all residents of South Africa. Tโ€™s & Cโ€™s apply.