Stocking Fillers for 3 and 7 Year Olds

What I bought and why

This Christmas I have four children to buy for

7 year old twins

A 3 year old

And a new baby

Much like taking us all on holiday

Planning Christmas has to be done with military precision

Since the beginning of October

I have been writing list after list after list

As I write a blog

I have also been sharing my lists

And ideas for gifts on there

Just a few days ago I shared my shopping list for

Stocking Stuffers for 7 year olds

The post has been well read and well received

I have now bought the children’s stocking fillers

In the end they all came from Babipur

So I thought I would share what I chose

And the reasons why I made each choice

The first thing to know

Is that as a large family

We have over the years accumulated a huge amount of toys

Some well used and well loved

Some once loved but long forgotten

Some never really used

This year we are reducing the number of toys in our home

We are donating lots of our unused toys to charity shops close by

We have already given some to local schools and preschools

This year we have started to focus on more educational toys

Traditional wooden toys

This year we are having a slow Christmas

With gifts for the children that encourage and facilitate open ended play

We have been working with Babipur testing a large Grimms pastel rainbow

And the way my children

In particular my 7 year old son

Has quashed any doubt that I might not be doing the right thing

Seeing what my boy can do with a rainbow

Has inspired me to really whole heartedly

Give this toy reduction a go

To truly embrace the ethos of fewer better toys

And inspire open ended collaborative play

Within my tiny tribe

And so here is what my seven year olds will find

In their stockings this Christmas

W, Boy, age 7

Holztiger Knight , Holztiger Riding Knight and Holztiger Horse

Ever since we went to see jousting in the summer William has wanted some knights to play with. These are the nicest ones I have found. He wants to stage battle scenes between noble knights. He wants to defend castles and save damsels in distress. He wants to act out the myths and legends that we read. These are gallant knights, brave soldiers, skilled fighters. These are the tellers of tall tales from long ago. I cannot wait to see their adventures unfold.

 

Grimms Cave Doll

Here is a bear in a cave. Here is an explorer sleeping on a mountain on a dark, bitterly cold night. Here is a child playing hide and seek. Here are endless opportunities for storytelling and play.

 

Bajo Balancing Acrobats

William does acro and gymnastics. He is always bouncing, twisting, tumbling and balancing. These little figures provide some fine motor skill acrobatics to support his gross motor skills. Stacking and balancing, building towers or acrobats. A beautiful wooden toy for balancing and constructing, or open ended characters for small world play.

Natural Nins 

These beautiful wooden people can be anyone, anything. Give them a name or not. Give them a character or not. Give them a role or not. Give them feelings or not. So many possibilities. What will he see? What will he play? How will my boy choose to use these stunning sensory natural Nins.

E, Girl, Age 7

Holztiger Prince and Holztiger Princess 

When Esther was in NICU I used to sing her the song, ‘There was a princess long ago…’ This I imagine to be the prince and princess from that song though they can be used as any prince and princess, new or old, with a tale as old as time or a tale yet to be written. These are for Esther to play alone or to use with William and his knights.

Grimms River Pebbles

Esther loves small world play. She loves to create lands and settings and homes for creatures. I love watching her imagination come to life in front of my eyes. It is magical. I love to hear the stories that she tells and get to know the characters that she creates. These pebbles will help her to add elements to her storytelling, to her habitats. They can be placed in the lands she creates. They are also fun for balancing and stacking.

Grimms Tent Peg Doll

Here is a lone adventurer, camping out beneath canvas, ready to study the starry night sky. Here is a young girl having a sleepover with friends. Here is a creature standing their post, enemies of this creature … beware! A figure, a shelter, a story to be told, an adventure to be shared. Anything is possible. Anything at all!

Plan Balancing Bird Tree

A simple balancing game that can also be added to a garden or a forest. So many creative ways to play. I love toys that stand alone and can also be added together with other beautiful toys to create something kind of wonderful.

Natural Nins 

As with William I am so excited to see what these little figures become in Esther’s play. 

I have tried to buy my three year old daughter

Toys that will help her to play with the twins

But that will also allow her to play alone

I am also imagining that once the festivities are finished

These toys will be housed in the playroom

And therefore will all be shared

In my 3 year old’s Christmas stocking

There will be

Natural Nins 

Grimms House Doll

Wobbly Rocks

These I have chosen for because they look fun to stack and sort and balance. They can be put on things and in things, used together and individually. Bea loves collecting stones and these may be seen as special magical stones. We can use them to create small world scenes, we can use them for casting spells and making potions. I am looking forward to arranging and playing with these wobbly rocks and seeing what Bea chooses to do with them too.

Bajo Gruffalo and Mouse

Bea adores The Gruffalo. I think he scares her a little but she knows the story off by heart and recites it in the car and around the house. It will be lovely to act out the story with her with these figures. I think I am going to also get her the smaller Gruffalo figure to be The Gruffalo’s Child. I am also going to get the other animals from the story so that together we can create a story sack and / or storytelling box. It will be lovely to create something together that she can use and share with her siblings especially baby Edie.

Holztiger Damsel

A damsel, a princess, a lady in waiting, a lady. This beautiful wooden character can be used alone or as part of a bigger story with Esther and William’s figures. I have visions of the three of them coming up with great stories together, acting out plays and creating new worlds.

Plan Toys Boat and Submarine 

I have always liked to include a bath toy in a stocking. Bea loves her bath but it is often hurried as Esther and William are so much older and tend to shower. I want Bea to enjoy the magical lengthy water play baths that the twins had at her age. Soon Edie will be old enough to join in the fun and these beautiful wooden bath toys will be perfect for them to share and to have their very own aqua adventures. There are more characters to collect over the years too. These toys are great for bath time but also for water tables and paddling pool play.

My plan with these toys is to remove all the packaging

So that the colourful wooden toys

Look made by elves

Delivered straight from Father Christmas’ workshop

In the North Pole

I cannot wait to see their faces on Christmas morning

I cannot wait to see the ways in which they will play

It really is

The most wonderful time of the year x

 

Huge thanks to Jennie for giving us her top tips on Gifts for 3 and 7 year olds. You can find more from Jennie over on her blog and also on twitter and Instagram.

Christmas Decorations from Babipur

Glosters handmade decorations in support of Medecins Sans Frontieres

This year Babipur have decided to do something a little bit different. We love supporting other independent business, especially local ones.  So we were very excited when our friends at Glosters, a Porthmadog-based pottery, agreed to work with us to make some beautiful Christmas decorations. Some of you may have already become the lucky owner of one of these beautiful keepsakes, but don’t worry, there are still some left (but you will need to be quick!). Currently in stock is Elephant Nadolig Llawen, Elephant #lovebabipur, Elephant Merry Christmas, Penguin #lovebabipur, Fox Merry Christmas and Fox #lovebabipur.

! – Buy yours here – !

This little piece of festive cheer was lovingly made by a friend and local potter in Porthmadog, to bring a little bit of Christmas magic and sparkle to your home. Each ceramic decoration has been handmade with love, stamped and glazed right here in Wales by the talented people at Glosters. They will look beautiful on your tree, mantelpiece, or wherever in your home you choose to love them.

100% of the sale price will be donated to the charity Doctors without Borders, or Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). MSF are an independent and impartial charity who work in disaster areas around the world providing medical care where it is needed most. Natural disasters, war zones, and refugee centres are just some of the places they operate. MSF is designed to respond quickly and to help the people in greatest need. We chose MSF for their impartiality and independence, helping people regardless of politics and free from the influence of governments and corporations.

We hope you will agree that MSF is a very special charity. We are proud to support the vital work they do, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your contribution. We hope these decorations will have a special place in your home for years to come. Comment below if you are already the proud owner of one of these beautiful keepsakes. We would love to hear all the destinations they have found their way to spreading Christmas cheer!

Some of you have asked for a little bit of info about the pottery and charity to pass on to their new home. Below is a printable with all the info in this post so if you are choosing to give it as a gift, you can pass it on to your love ones along with the decoration.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

Love Team Babipur x

 

 

 

 

 

Phil’s “Couch to Clinic” Fundraiser

Phil's fundraiser

Phil works with us here at Babipur on our despatch team, he has Cystic Fibrosis and he’s just turned 40.  Help Phil from Team Babipur to raise money for his Cystic Fibrosis clinic and you could win a Grimm’s double rainbow stacker & a Grimm’s pastel rainbow!  Here’s a message about his challenge and fund raising efforts.

“I’m not a person who shouts and biggs myself up as a general rule, but on occasion I set myself a challenge for a cause I’m passionate about. This time my goal is to walk (yes walk) from my couch in Porthmadog all the way down south to my Cystic Fibrosis clinic in Cardiff over 7 days. I’ll be walking in aid of the clinics own charity ‘The Better Life Appeal’ who take care of me and all their patients. They and the CF Trust are doing a wonderful job in giving us a longer brighter future and this means they continually need to expand the unit and ward to accommodate us. CF is a hereditary disease which primarily effects the lungs and digestive system and lets face it if you cant breath and take on calories you’re in a bit of trouble. Since my diagnosis at 18 months old the NHS and CF Trust have done wonderful job of caring and advancing drugs and understanding of the condition. En-route to Cardiff I’m sure I’ll go through an multitude of emotions and pains. However supported by my wife Beth, family and friends be they walking with me, keeping me fed and watered or cheering from afar I know it’ll all be worth it. Thanks to my wonderful Babi Pur family they’ve allowed me to train at work (well, picking for our lovely customers does put miles in the legs) and support me all the way despite having known Jolene and Jordan since school. Thank you for helping out with my fund raising efforts, Phil. Further details can be found on our Facebook page Couch to Clinic

walking

We want to help Phil raise some more cash through the power of our amazing customers so we’ll be giving away a Grimm’s double rainbow stacker AND a 12 piece pastel rainbow to someone who makes a donation to Phil’s Just Giving page.  It’s super easy, just make a donation of any size and then comment below to say you have donated.  We’ll pick someone from the comments to send the Grimm’s goodies to and we’ll ask the chosen comment for proof of donation.

Two steps: 1 – Make a donation here   2 – Comment below to say you have donated ↓

donate now

Comments may not show up straight away but don’t worry, they just need admin approval.  Any donation of any size counts but of course please give what you feel you can.  Please use the same email address for your JustGiving donation as you do for your comment below, just one entry/comment per person please but please feel free to ask friends and family to donate too. This isn’t a raffle or competition, just a fun way to raise some extra cash for Phil’s cause.  

fundraiser

Story Sack Ideas

story sack gruffalo

Gruffalo and Mouse figures available at Babipur

What is a “story sack” and some story sack ideas

A story sack is fantastic activity for you and your child to to have fun whilst contributing to their learning and literacy. It is a way of making reading memorable and enjoyable. Quite simply, it is a bag (or box / basket) that contains a copy of your child’s favourite book and various visual aids that relate to the plot and characters of the story itself. Through acting out and engaging your child with the story you will be able to support their development of knowledge, communication and empathy whilst stimulating their senses.

How do you use a story sack?

Firstly, remember that you are helping to build imagination and confidence so try not to have too many ‘rules’, the activity should be fun! Depending on the age and nature of your child, you can be more structured, with questions and supporting activities. There is no right or wrong when using a story sack and they can used in different ways. At the beginning of the story all the items will be contained within the sack, including the book. Your child may like to get all the items out of the bag individually as the story plays out, or may lay out all the props at once from the start. Sometimes, whilst they are getting used to the idea of what story sacks are all about, your child may want you to lead the activity and handle the props, but once they become more established they will soon want to lead the story telling! Create a safe environment for your child to explore the story, characters and themes by listening and repeating ideas but try not to correct them.

Octopus's garden story sack

What skills am I helping my child to develop?

Confidence – You will probably notice an increase in confidence as your child embraces story sacks. It gives the opportunity to speak a story aloud, describe their ideas and feelings long before they are able to read. They can ‘tell the story’ purely from what is remembered or take it in a direction they feel more suitable at that moment in time.

Empathy – When acting out characters in the story, your child will have a deeper understanding of the emotion that individual may be feeling during the plot of the story. It also aids understanding of the relationships between characters within the book. You can stimulate their thinking by asking questions such as ‘how do think think that made … feel?’ or ‘what do you think … was feeling?’.

Storytelling skills – The ability to share and express your thoughts through role play is a fantastic life skill. Your child will enjoy being given the opportunity to be creative and express their ideas.

What else can I do with the story sack?

Some children will be content to act out the story using the visual aids you have provided. As time goes on, you may find your child is ready to expand on the activity and enjoy more structure. Here are some suggestions as to how to develop understanding:

  • Include activity cards in the sack
  • Think of games to play that will explore the story further
  • Ask questions about the characters or themes in the story
  • Create recipes that could relate to the story or have been mentioned
  • Use food along with the story to stimulate the sense of taste eg The Hungry Caterpillar
  • Have paper and crayons available to draw characters or a map of the story
  • Use modelling clay to re tell elements of the story

Examples of Story Sacks The Grufallo by Julia Donaldson – Can be used for creative thinking and exploring ideas. Your child (and you) will love to act out the characters using your voice and actions to stimulate their senses. You could create a cooking activity for some of the food mentioned in the story eg Owl Ice cream or Gruffalo Crumble.  View wooden Gruffalo figures at Babipur here

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen – a fantastic story for sensory play. The example in this picture uses sensory pouches (made from laminate pouches sealed on all sides) which is ideal for children from a young age to engage with the story. Because of the language used during the adventure there is a great deal of emphasis on movement and sounds so it is ideal to include some music or instruments. This story is also great for connecting with nature, thinking about the outdoors and also weather activities. Holztiger wooden figures can be found here and all kinds of doll people here 

bear hunt story sack

The Lion Who Wanted to Love Giles Andreae – This is great for talking about the ‘moral’ of a story and helping your child explore themes of family, friendship and empathy.  Holztiger wooden figures work really well with this one.

Lion story sack

Friends by Helen Oxenbury – A much simpler story sack for young readers. From a very young age your child will be able to identify the pictures and start to associate them with the objects you are showing them. You can stimulate hearing, sight, touch and taste (if the mouth the pieces which they inevitably will!). Pictured here with Lanka Kade natural wooden animals

friends story sack

What is your favourite story to read with your child or children? Can you see how you can turn it into a story sack?

Zog and the flying doctors story sack Snail and the whale story sack A squash and a squeeze story sack duck in the truck story sack plenty of love to go round story sack Zog story sack

10th Birthday Competition Winners

This year we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary here at Babipur.  We first opened our doors back in 2007 as a work from home business when our children were babies.  Still based in Snowdonia we’ve steadily grown and we now employ 15 people.  Our aim at Babipur remains the same as it always was, to introduce fair trade, sustainable and ethical products to our customers while offering great customer service. We have lots of plans for the future and we hope to have another successful 10 years ahead of us.

We know how much Babipurians (a slang for Babipur followers) love giveaways and competitions so we recently ran a competition asking you, our customers, to wish us a Happy Birthday. The entries completely blew us away!  We are extremely grateful to all who entered and made such an incredible effort.  What else can we say, you guys are simply awesome!  We put together this video to show off some of the entries we received.

Competition winners

We had to narrow down the entries to 10 winners which has been very difficult because there have been so many fantastic offerings.  We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time to enter, there were lots and lots entries that we wanted so much to give a prize to but we had to choose the winners and here they are in no particular order, the prizes were chosen at random.

Beth  made this amazing birthday cake with nappies on a washing line and it also came with rainbow cupcakes and nappy cupcakes too. Hand delivered to Babipur towers (Pride carrier winner)

Becky made a birthday calendar with the help of her little one which we thought was wonderful (Babipur playmat winner)

Paige made this crochet blanket for us, it’s huge! The time and care taken on this is astonishing (12 Grapat Nins winner)

Llleanna made a Welsh love spoon featuring the Babipur elephant, the babywearing symbol, a nappy and the number 10 (Klean Kanteen winner)

Gemma crocheted this cushion with the Babipur logo and a rainbow on the back along with a picture that her son made for us (Plan Toys Bee Hives winner)

Charlotte made a wonderful picture which includes a wide range of Babipur’s favourite products enclosed inside a heart.  (Wobbel board winner)

Danica created an amazing collage made using labels and snippets from our leaflets and featuring the brands we sell along with the Babipur elephant (birthday nappy winner)

Kayleigh made this animated video telling the story of Babipur which is pretty amazing (Grimm’s rainbows winner)

Happy 10th Birthday, Babi Pur! Please excuse my poor Welsh pronunciation! #lovebabipur

Posted by Kayleigh Loffhagen on Sunday, 30 April 2017

Jade sent us this picture of some special Babipur memories and also had a sticker made for the rear window of her VW van which was spotted by another Babipurian before her entry came in.  That’s dedication (Bajo pebbles winner)

Katie sent us a picture of her little one wearing our 10th anniversary edition nappy along with a T-shirt she’d made (Babipur bibs winner)competition winners

Runners up

We also had to choose 10 runners up which was just as hard to pick.  Each runner up receives a £10 Babipur voucher.

Oana sent us this beautiful picture with nappies drying on the line and lots of her favourite Babipur goodies

Ieva made this Babipur elephant to fit inside a Grimm’s celebration ring

Kathrin made a Holztiger size Babipur elephant and sent it too us

Melissa decorated her window with tissue paper to make a stained glass effect

Clare painted us a beautiful watercolour

Eira and Katie sent us a card with their little ones wearing Babipur birthday nappies

Claire sent us a picture using lots of Babipur products to wish us a happy birthday

Emma wrote a song to the tune of the spice girls wannabe.  We’re still trying to convince the team to sing it with us.

Sonia created a cross stitch of our logo

Alwen made a stunning celebration glass

runners up picture

Winners please claim your prizes by emailing rainbow “at” babipur.co.uk with your name address and phone number and we’ll send out your prize as swiftly as we can.

Thank you – Gift voucher for all the entries

We keep saying it but we were completely overwhelmed by all the amazing entries, it was so so hard to choose the winners.  We were also sent home made cakes, biscuits, hand made elephant toys, drawings, cards, well wishes and lots and lots of creative, fun and beautiful pictures.

There were so many entries that we really wanted to include in the winners list but there simply wasn’t room.  We’re so grateful for the effort you’ve all put in that we’d like offer everyone who entered a £5.00 gift voucher.  We thought this was a nice way to say thank you to everyone and that you could use the voucher to save towards a future birthday or Christmas which lots of our customers use our gift vouchers for already.  To claim your voucher please email rainbow “at” babipur.co.uk with a link to your entry.

Thanks again from Jolene, Peter & the team

#lovebabipur

Nappy guide: washing cloth nappies

washing cloth nappies

Forget the days of nappies soaking in a bucket, followed by fearfully boiling them. Thanks to modern detergents and efficient washing machines, washing cloth nappies these days is wonderfully straightforward: cold rinse, hot wash, line dry, done!

One rule to remember is: no fabric softener! This reduces the absorbency of the nappies, not so good for something used for a absorbing wee and poo. (if this ever happens thanks to a well-intentioned helper, just rinse, rinse, rinse!!!!)

Washing cloth nappies – starter guide

The most effective routine for washing cloth nappies is a cold rinse, with no detergent, followed by a long, 40-60 degree wash with a good dose of detergent. The cold rinse will lightly wash off wee and poo from the nappies, ready to let the hot wash do its work. Most washing machines come with an allergy or baby setting – a cycle of 2 hours is about right: perfect for putting a wash on before doing the school run, over lunch or the kids’ bathtime, or overnight if your machine has a timer.

A scoop of Violets mineral bleach will add some pizzazz to help remove stains (this hero of the laundry world can also rescue school uniform, CSP, towels – anything that needs a stain sorting.) Or, you can try some magic in your wash, with Tots Bots Potion: a chemical-free and enzyme-free detergent that is anti-bacterial, allowing you to wash cloth nappies as low as 30 degrees! They also come in a yummy choice of bubblegum or mint humbug, or you can stick to unscented if you don’t have a sweet tooth.

Tots Bot Potion Powder

Magical potion for your nappies: Tots Bots Potion

Once the wash has finished, it’s time to enjoy the wonderful sight of freshly washed nappies on your washing line. Fresh air and sunshine are best to keep stains at bay, but don’t worry if you don’t have the space or weather, air drying on a clothes horse is grand, too. A multi-peg sock hanger is fab for your wipes, liners and boosters.

Washed nappies drying on a sunny day

A perfect nappy washing day!

Drying cloth nappies

Generally, it’s best to steer clear of the tumble drier (think of the electricity you’ll save!), but in a time-saving emergency, anything without PUL can be tumbled on a low/cool heat (boosters, prefolds, fitted nappies, wipes).

Drying times differ according to each nappy: bamboo and hemp take the longest, microfibre and milovia inserts are super quick, and terry towelling and prefolds are somewhere in the middle. In the winter, nappies shouldn’t be placed directly onto a radiator, as this will affect the PUL and parch your nappies. We find putting your clothes airer right next to a radiator can make a huge difference in speeding up the drying time.

Before you know it, you’ll have the timing of washing cloth nappies sorted, and believe us when we say the delight in seeing those wee nappies drying on the line is so compelling, you’ll soon be sharing  photos on our Facebook hangout page. There is also something highly satisfying and therapeutic in folding them, too…!

Nappies washed and dried, ready to sort

A satisfying nappy sorting session