Tag: mattel

The Ultimate Kids Christmas Gift Guide

The Ultimate Kids Christmas Gift Guide

Its officially “Gift Guide Season” and I have been scouring the best toys across leading suppliers in South Africa to compile my gift guide for the Christmas Period. To make your life a little easier I’ve divided them into Toddlers, Kids and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math).


That’s every cute age where they don’t reaaally understand what the Festive Season is all about, but they do enjoy ripping wrapping paper apart quicker then you can put on a nappy! I speak from experience when I say these are fabulous from ages 1 to about 3, my little niece even has a few of them!

Here are my top picks:

From Top Left to Right:

Mini Mickey Plush Toy from Prima Toys (avaliable at all leading retailers) // Leap Frog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket R259 // Leap Frog Sweet Treats Learning Cafe // Playdoh Kitchen Creations Spinning Treats Mixer R329 // LeapFrog Popping Colour Mixer Truck R429 // Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Microphone R199.99 // LeapFrog Water & Count Veggie Garden // Playdoh “Wavy the Whale” Set R219


Kids Selection

I haven’t separated these into “Boys or Girls” as I really don’t believe girls should only play with girls toys and boys with boys. Children should be allowed to play with whatever they choose too! There are so many incredible toys out there, and I know I haven’t even included half they things my son asks for on a daily basis, including a “Paw Patrol Helicopter”, however, these are some of my top picks:

From Top Left to Right:

From Mattel we have the Barbie Colour Surprise Doll. Available across all ethnicity’s and body shapes, children can spray and style Barbie’s hair however they please! R489.99 // Prima-Toys Scruff-a-Luv is still one of my favourites. They arrive as a sad, matted ball of fur, but once you bathe them, dry them, brush them and love them, you’ll discover what kind of pet they really are and reveal their true beauty R360 // The Hot Wheels® Track Builder Epic Challenge Race Crate contains everything needed
for creativity, building, imaginative play, and problem solving R789.99 // Super Hero Super Stretch is one of my boys favourite, Stretch him, pull him, tie him in knots. When you release him he uses his amazing stretch to slowly return to his normal shape. R509 // Baby Thando speaks both English and IsiZulu and has proven to be one of the most popular dolls of this year R699 // Fingerlings come in a wide range of different animals including dragons, panda’s and monkeys. See how they react when you swing them, pet them, rock them, startle them or hang them upside down. R399 // Transformers are everywhere this year and Hasbro has released the Power Charge Bumblebee. Action figure converts from robot mode to
classic Volkswagen Beetle mode in 17 steps so kids can amp up the power in 2 modes R949 // LOL Surprise have taken the world by storm. Children unwrap the ball finding a surprise in each layer. Prices vary dependent on the type you buy.



From Top Left to Right:

Thomas & Friends Perfect for early childhood fans, this shiny assortment of durable die-cast Thomas & Friends large engines is suitable for age 3+. RSP: 114.99 // Treasure X, I love the sensory element to this toy! Treasure X is the ultimate surprise-reveal collectible with a multi layered reveal process, cool figures, and the chance to find REAL treasure! // Join the buzz with the Bumblebee Showcase Helmet that captures the cool swagger of the loyal Autobot scout R1400 // Barbie Dream Camper -The signature pink Barbie® DreamCamperTM transforms from a camper van into a campsite play set with the push of a button R1949.99 // The Barbie® Cooking & Baking Ultimate Kitchen is a must-have kitchen play set for little chefs aged 4+, complete with its Barbie® chef doll and 20 accessories R829.99 // The My Little Pony Equestria Girls fashion dolls, each dressed in a stylish outfit, complete with fashion accessories that match their character personalities // Little Live Pets: These little dogs are the cutest pups around. Lil’ Cutie Pups are full of life and love to show off their own personalities as they scamper about, beg and play with you.


This is an absolute passion of mine! Doing STEAM/STEM activities with my boys and broadening their thinking and problem solving skills. My educational gift guide from last year still has some fantastic choices that are still in store, added to my list from this year you’ll have no shortage of ideas.



From Top Left to Right:

VR Real Feel is the ultimate in experience in 3D. We got the racing one for my son for his birthday and the graphics are incredible! It works alongside your mobile phone and can be bought in a variety of options, including fishing and racing. R649.99 // Tower Products has an incredible arts and crafts range for kids, available from most leading toy and craft stores. Prices from R34 // V-Tech Light and Flight Discovery Globe . As they pretend to travel the world, the globe teaches kids basic geography skills with colourful lights, playful phrases and cool sound effects. R725 // GeoSafari Bug watch R349 // Magna Tiles are a firm favourite in our house. The options to create are endless ! Well worth the price! R2489 // Tower Products delivers again with their fantastic range of STEM home kits. Make your own slime, crystals or snow! R68 // I’m seriously crushing over National Geographics range of exploration sets. It varies from Dino Digs to Volcano sets and Shark Tooth Kits from R199 on Takealot // Toby Tower’s Bath Crayons are perfect for Picasso creations in the bath! RSP 60.


Blaze and The Monster Machines: how simple toys and TV shows can spark creativity and imagination

Blaze and The Monster Machines: how simple toys and TV shows can spark creativity and imagination

We all know we should be limiting screen time for our kids…. right?

Well I will be the FIRST to admit there are certain times in the day where TV is my LIFESAVER, and I am not afraid to say it. Yes I try to “limit” their screen time, but I also need my sanity. First thing in the morning, when I am too tired to think and need them to just sit in one place long enough to eat a decent bowl of oats, Saturday afternoons when I just want to try to catch a 15 minute nap and of course sometimes at those unravelling dinner times, when the only way to get them to eat is to watch something on the I-pad (we have all been there right?).

YES, my kids watch TV ! In fact it’s often on in “the background” in my house, BUT, I do monitor what they are allowed to watch VERY carefully.

We are pretty spoilt for choice in today’s world with educational shows for our children, but one of our favourites by far, has to be Blaze and the Monster Machines. As a mum, it ticks all of my STEM obsessed check lists, teaching children about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (click here to see some of my STEM experiments). As a child it ticks off speed, cars, and crazy imaginative talking animals/vehicles.

Each of the show’s presents some sort of problem that is addressed and fixed by getting kids involved, asking the viewer’s questions directly, inviting responses. My 3-year-old has learnt about concepts such as force, acceleration and friction. He can tell you all about combustion and how an engine works. He knows about angles and trajectory. In fact, by allowing him to watch Blaze I feel like I am encouraging a future scientist in him, I certainly DO NOT worry about him watching TV.

Playing with toy trucks in a sense promotes STEM concepts as well. Toy cars roll, they crash, they race. They learn that “wheels turn” and that cars move faster when pushed downhill. It teaches them pressure, and strength, learning how hard to push a car to make it go further. By playing with the toys alongside the show, they aren’t just “learning”, they are “experiencing it”. The best way to learn is through doing.

Mattel South Africa has a great range of toys out from Blaze and the Monster Machines™. We have had great fun playing with our trucks, re-enacting scenes from Blaze with our Talking “Zeg”. Zeg “loves to race” and is a mighty dinosaur truck who loves to smash and bash. The “Talking Zeg Truck” brings to life for kids the STEM concept of sound waves. Get involved with the kids and create your own adventures.

There is a full range of Blaze Talking Vehicles available to help you and your littlies recreate Blaze’s high octane adventures at home. These monster-sized truck tires, authentic styling and lots of phrases make these talking Monster Machines a must for every Blaze fan! Perfect for recreating the amazing adventures of Blaze and the Monster Machines™, each of these freewheeling vehicles comes to life with phrases and awesome action sounds! Suitable for ages 3 plus.

Technology is here to stay, that’s a given, I won’t feel guilty about letting my children watch TV, but I can also actively get involved in their play time and be selective in the programs they watch. If I had shows that encouraged critical thinking like Blaze does when I was growing up, maybe I would have had a chance to pass physics 🙂

** We received a talking Zeg Truck to review**