Category Archives: Toys for Tots

Doodle Do’s (and Doodle Don’ts)

– Well-loved ’70s toy gets a makeover 


Grown-ups. It’s always the same story. Just when you’re in the mood to express your inner artistic self, they start reading you the ten commandments of the art world ‘Roll up your sleeves’, ‘Don’t scribble on the walls’… you know the routine. I’m sure Tracey (Emin) never had to endure constraints on her creativity (or on her personal space).


That’s why I love my new Colour Doodle. A simple tablet with a magnetic back that is the perfect anti-dote to those pesky little do’s and don’ts. The first colour magnetic drawing board, this has nostalgia factor (every mummy had one when she was growing up) but it’s newly improved for the 21st century. This is where art meets technology. It contains a fine line drawing pen and circle, square and triangle stamps.  With the colours repeated and lots of circles, this could easily be a Hirst. But it’s all me.


metm_4febAfterall, even in this climate (and no, I don’t mean the snow), the arts must still thrive. And the sun will shine when I hold my first sale at Sotheby’s and make that cool £100 million.


What Moi says:

It’s time you made your cot and tidied up your room!


The Colour Doodle (SSP £15) is available from Amazon. And despite the recommended age of 3 years +, we found that the Colour Doodle is good (supervised) fun for children from one year. 

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All the way to Oxbridge, Baby!

metm111– DVD to aid babies in early communication


The little genius in your arms has his future determined for him: the finest nursery and a highly pedigreed education (of course, his name has been down at all the right places since conception). In your eyes, all paths lead to Oxbridge 

Indulge your competitive urgings and give the future Nobel laureate a head start with the Learn to Talk DVD by Oxbridge Baby.


Perhaps not the most glamourous gift he’ll receive, the academic credentials are all there. And Junior’s will be too.  

metmx_19decGood quality and simple imagery allow baby brains to focus on the important message, and a clever combination of sounds, music, visual stimulation and basic sign language will introduce your little grad to different vocabulary as he learns to say his first words. 

What Mini says:

Which, of course, will be ‘A first at Oxbridge, Baby.’


Learn to Talk by Oxbridge Baby (SSP £12.99 with free UK p&p) is available from the Oxbridge Baby website. We’ve included a copy in each of our Christmas Bootie Hampers. is the ultimate review site for London mums, babies and toddlers. Click here to read more about our reviews of classes, activities and great things for Mum and baby or toddler.

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Drawing the Line

– Absorbing art for travelling tots


Arts ‘n crafts. Fun ‘n games. Paint drips on your floors. Red scribbles on your walls. The next Jackson Pollack he may be – just not on your carpet.


Sure, you’d like to encourage your mini master’s creativity, but at what cost?


With the new Aqua Draw travel bag, Junior can perfect his master strokes and make as much ‘mess’ as he likes, without leaving you to tidy up. And, more importantly, without leaving traces of his creative genius to welcome guests as they walk in the front door. 


A soft, brightly-coloured, padded case opens out into this dual-sided drawing toy. Use the special AquaDraw pen which is stored inside for on-the-go, no-mess creative play. Simply fill the pen with water and set Junior free.


Absorbing and amusing, you may even be able to draw the line at – or at least divert his attention from – temper tantrums in restaurants, the car or waiting rooms. And, because the pictures fade as the water evaporates, Junior can keep creating over and over again.


Your only challenge will be keeping a record for the budding artiste’s portfolio.


What Mini says:

Forget Jackson Pollack – I quite fancied myself as the new Banksy …


The AquaDraw travel bag (SSP £9.99) is part of the AquaDraw range from Tomy and is suitable for children aged 18 months and up. It is available from good toy shops and online.

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Feeling Peckish?

For the Library

Every self respecting Moi is forever on the look out for the Next New Thing but sometimes Retro Cool is where it’s at.  And what better entrée into the fashionable world of vintage than the brilliant The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.


This timeless story, with stunning illustrations, is a feast for Mini’s eyes and ears.  And for those who like to mix their vintage with something new, check out the colourful cuddly caterpillar toy – who will delight in ‘munching’ his way through endless pumpkin purées and is guaranteed to become a future classic – and the Very Special Baby Book, a beautiful keepsake baby book to record Mini’s personal details and milestones. And for those into something a little theatrical, try the velvety caterpillar hand puppet which is sure to bring the tale of this greedy green gourmand to life.


This book is perfect for every age, so go on – join the Hungry Caterpillar on his gourmet trip!


What Mini says:

I can’t wait to get my teeth, well gums, stuck into this!


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and his other books and associated merchandise, are available at all good bookshops and online


– Classic tale for every library is the ultimate review site for London mums, babies and toddlers. Click here to read more about our reviews of classes, activities and great things for Mum and baby or toddler.

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The name of the game

– Beautiful bespoke toys (that don’t cost a fortune)


In the playground – and on play dates – the little muffin is making quite a name for herself. As the girl who doesn’t want to share. That’s right, she’s claiming ownership to everything she can lay a finger on.


Give her good cause with a stunning and unique name tray from Robert Longstaff.


Customised with whatever name you choose (her birth name or a nickname, perhaps), these bright, multi-coloured wooden puzzles are made to order by a family-based business in Oxfordshire. Laser cut into good quality wood, they are well-finished, making for an impressive and imaginative present that will have the recipients in awe of your creativity and resourcefulness.


Aside from the obvious benefit of having the tot’s name in, well, “lights”, the sturdy wooden puzzle will also provide her with a fun game, and an opportunity to learn how to spell.


Now that’s a toy that really does have the little kleptomaniac’s name on it.

What Mini says:

Mine! Mine! Mine!


Prices for the bespoke name tray start from £15 depending on the length of the name. See the website for details.

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Supersize Me!

– LEGO for the Littl’uns

Let's Party


My aspirations in life are big! Given my diminutive stature, my plans need to be big too. That’s why I like things supersized.


Including my toys.


Take for example my LEGO® Soft Starter Set. It contains LEGO® bricks that have been supersized (they are literally six times the size of normal LEGO®). Perfect. We can build towers, caves and obstacle courses. In fact, with pieces this size, it’s easier to take over the run of the home. (Caution: The next step is world domination.)


Made from a unique soft material, they’re safe, quiet and durable (and washable too). That’s super! Now Daddy won’t complain when he steps on a piece. And mummy can relax knowing that I won’t hurt myself.


All in all, what I’d call a really super idea!


What Moi says:

Umm … supercalifragilistic …


The LEGO® Soft Starter Set is appropriate from 2 years and up. At £180, the price is supersized too (but then so is the fun!).


The Lego® Soft-Starter Set was submitted by the gorgeous Mini, Sasha. If you have an idea that you’d like to share with us – or if you’d like to see some of your own writing published, write to Mini-et-Moi at info [at] mini-et-moi [dot] com.


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– Best wooden push-along toy

Push! Push! Push!

No, that’s not a reminder of the labour ward. We’re simply describing how occupied your toddler will be with this fantastic toy. Ideal for confident walkers, this gorgeous wooden push-along will provide lots of fun around the house, in the park or on the path.

It\'s Mini Mouse!We love the pink mouse, replete with a bow in her ear, and small pink balls that bounce along her wheels. But there are plenty of designs to choose from, something of a menagerie of domestic and wild animals, and some great unisex choices too (for those of you who are sick of deciding between that wide range of well, um, blue or pink).

Roar!Go on, expand her horizons – and her vocabulary. Reasonably priced and great value given the playtime, there’s no need to push the boat out on this one.

What Mini says:
A toy that moves with me, now that pushes the right buttons.

The Orange Tree push-along toys (SSP £8 ) are available from good local toy shops or online. is the ultimate review site for London mums, babies and toddlers. Click here to read more about our reviews of classes, activities and great things for Mum and baby or toddler.

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