Design-a-Boutique – Pet Boutique Review

What little girl would be able to resist something that comes in a gorgeous pink box like this?  Pet Boutique 1

It does all look really appealing and it is part of a new range of toys from Chad Valley.  The Design-a-Boutique are a new range of play sets, dolls and accessories which allow children to create their own little towns.  There is the Pet Boutique, Fashion Boutique and a Café which all come with accessories to set up shop.  You can then buy individual accessories to use with the sets and to encourage imaginative role play.


Pet Boutique 2


As part of Chad Valley’s #100daysofplay campaign, we were sent the Pet Boutique to try out and A was so impressed with the packaging that when the boutique came out and it was pink, she was absolutely thrilled. The Pet Boutique is a good size and it looks like a real shop, with a shop window that has a light above it, a door, counters and boxes.  We were also sent two of the animal accessory sets; a cat and a dog, with their own accessories too.

Pet Boutique 3


A loves the set.  The shop is a good size for her to play with and she loves setting everything out and getting her little dolls to come and buy pets.  From a role-play point of view, this a really lovely set and really encourages children to use their imaginations.

Pet Boutique 4


The pets are really cute and A loves using the accessories that came with them. She has spent many happy hours playing with the Pet Boutique already and integrates her other toys in to her play.

Pet Boutique 6


The Design-a-Boutique play sets cost £24.99 from Argos at the time of writing this post and the accessories cost £4.99.

#100daysofplay is a campaign aimed at inspiring parents with ideas shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram which can all be easily found by searching for the hashtag.

We were sent the Design-a-Boutique sets as part of the #100daysofplay campaign.  All images and opinions are our own.


Wot so funee; the rights of children

My son never ceases to amuse me (and frustrate me) with the way he sees the world.  As far as he is concerned the whole of the universe should revolve around him and everything should happen because he says so.  Just lately, one of his favourite phrases is; “It’s my right!”

He uses this phrase a lot and usually in response to being asked to do something that he doesn’t want to do.  So I asked him what he though his rights are and having gone away and given it some thought, he sat down and wrote this rather entertaining list;

1. Do what I want.

2. Say words like ‘what the hell’ and ‘Jesus Christ’.

3.  Be crazy.

4. Be annoying.

5. Go on video games when I desire.

6. Take my sister’s pizza when I desire.

7. Drink real ale.

8. Be demanding.

9. Not sleep.

10. Burp.

11. I can swing on the washing line.

12. I don’t need to put my shoes on properly.

So those are the ‘rights’ of a nine year old boy, apparently.  Do not ask me where the real ale came from, that is a very random one.  It did make me smile though.

Wot So Funee?



Why are Stunt Scooters so popular?

You only have to look back through my blog over the years to see how much my children love scooters.  They all had them from a young age and have risen through the sizes and styles of scooters as they have grown.  Personally, I think that scooters are amazing as they give children  independence, speed and also help them to learn balance and safety which is all good when they are young.  If you think that children outgrow scooters when they get to a certain age, think again.  My ten year old son has graduated onto a stunt scooter and he loves it.  It is fast, it looks more grown up and he can try out new tricks on it too (the emphasis here is definitely on the word ‘try’).


So today I have a guest post from Toyz World all about stunt scooters and why they are so popular;

Scooters have been popular with kids for generations but, today, kids everywhere are having hours of fun courtesy of the stunt scooter craze that’s sweeping the nation.  They’ve become so popular their even challenging bikes and skateboards in the popularity stakes.

Kids love them because their FUN!!! And it’s not hard to see why when you see the myriad of stunts, jumps and tricks you can learn to do on a stunt scooter.

Stunts, Jumps & Tricks

Beginners can start by practising basic tricks like the Ollie where you pull the handlebars up and then quickly pull your knees into your chest before landing smoothly, or the Bunny Hop which requires you to put your strongest foot on the brake and your weaker foot in front of it, then lift the handle bars and jump up and down using your stunt scooter like a pogo stick. And once kids have mastered those they’ll be keen to move on to more advances stunts such as the 180, 360 or the Tail-Whip, to name but a few.

stunt scooter

Fashion Accessories

Stunt scooters are also becoming a bit of a kid’s fashion accessory with manufacturers making a wide variety models which feature vibrant colours such as orange, blue, yellow, red, green and purple, as well as a host of techno-gadgets such as shaped steel-alloy handlebars, triple stack collar clamps, reinforced steel alloy forks, aluminium quick-stop brake with friction ribs, alloy core PU cast wheels, and heat-treated Reinforced Footplate Deck – all of which combine to give a fast yet smooth yet safe ride.

Why mum’s love them

It’s not just kids who love stunt scooters though as mum’s love them too – though for different reasons such as they really motivate kids to get out of the house and they’re really good exercise. It’s also really fashionable to have all the rights safety gear such as helmets, knee pads and elbow pads. They’re also very robust as they’re designed to withstand a lot of punishment.


Stunt Scooters aren’t a craze that are likely to die out any time soon either as more and more scooter/skate parks being built every month – so why not join in the fun!

This is a guest post

Introducing Fundamentally Children

Wouldn’t it be great to find a website written by childcare professionals and experts that could offer advice on all aspects of parenting, child development, e-safety for children and offer advice on play, apps and toys?  Well the good news is that there is such a website and it is called Fundamentally Children.  It really is a great place to spend some time and alongside interesting articles and advice, there is current news articles and app and toy reviews and even giveaways and competitions too.

Fundamentally Children Website


Fundamentally Children includes a Good Toy Guide and this gives you a easy to use guide to a range of toy reviews and you can easily filter the toys by age, brand, type, skills developed and even by the curriculum subject it is linked to.  All of the toys are thoroughly tested by four independent testers and the results are shown in an easy to follow format.  Each toy is described and pictured in detail with a list of the skills that it develops, the appropriate age range, recommended retail price and key features.  Personally, I think this is a really valuable insight into buying toys as it really does show you how your child will benefit from the toy and of course it is also rated for fun too.  Another helpful feature is a link to a recommended retailer on each toy.

There is a range of toys reviewed on Fundamentally Children and many of them have educational benefits as well as being fun.  Personally, I am finding the guide a real inspiration for Christmas this year as I want to buy the children presents that they will use, enjoy and learn from and as there are toys reviewed for all ages, there are some amazing toys such as this Remote Controlled Illuminated Solar System from Brainstorm Toys.  This is an unusual toy that attached to the ceiling and lights up rotates in three separate orbits around the sun.

RC Illuminated Solar System

RC Illuminated Solar System

RC Illuminated Solar System


Alongside games, puzzles, and educational toys, there are also lots of role play toys reviewed and one toy that we were sent was Hetty Vacuum Cleaner and I have to say that I love this toy.  Not only is it a miniature of the real Hetty, it actually works.  My daughter thinks that it is amazing and is more than happy to help me with the housework which is quite frankly brilliant.  Having read the review on Fundamentally Children, I would totally agree with the review and I thoroughly recommend this toy.

Hetty Vacuum Cleaner

Hetty the Hoover

Dirt in Hetty the HooverFundamentally Children is a great website for parents whether you are looking for advice, toy or app reviews or just something to read. Every time I am on the site, there is something new to read on there and I would whole-heartedly recommend the Good Toy Guide for present inspiration this Christmas.

We were sent the pictured toys from Fundamentally Children but the post, images and opinions are my own.  


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