Today sees the release of the newest and much anticipated David Attenborough story as part of the Little People, Big Dreams series.
Not many individuals have been inspiring so many people of all ages, genders and walks of life for so long. Not many individuals have the power to make so many others listen and pay attention. The life’s work of David Attenborough has been to bring the wonders of nature to our living rooms, to make us think and care about wildlife as much as he does. His television series are absolutely iconic, particularly recently Blue Planet 2. It managed to have such a big impact that ‘The Blue Planet Effect’ is a phrase used to describe the mass awakening of people to the dangers of plastic in the seas and oceans.
In this book, aimed at children from 4 years, we learn about his childhood and his early interest in zoology. We watch him develop a television career and become the tour de force he is today.
The Little People, Big Dreams series tell the life stories of some of the most inspirational people from history and the present day. All these lives have one thing in common: a childhood dream. These books are perfect to fill children with a sense of determination, passion and resilience to pursue their dreams. The series also includes some of the more tricky topics to talk to children about such as disability and racism. There was an initial focus on inspirational women but now there are many books about outstanding men including Bruce Lee, Stephen Hawking, David Bowie, Mahatma Ghandi and Muhammed Ali.
This book is a real treat for any library. Whoever would have thought that a little boy with a love for animals would become the legend that is Sir David!
Over the years at Yes Bébé a few products have stood out as favourites, best sellers and come to represent us a community. Here are some of those:
The Spectra by Utukutu defines multi functional toy. It stimulates the senses, promotes gross motor skills, builds strength and balance. When one beautiful toy can switch between a bridge, a tunnel, a house, a seat, a climbing frame, a slide or a counter it feels pretty magical for a child! Build from birchwood with a weight capacity of 60kg this is a real family toy. From 10 months babies can sit and rock, crawl through and learn to stand and older children can practice gymnastics and balance skills. As there are no games it cannot be incorporated into it really becomes part of the furniture, and a stunning part too! Yes Bébé Edition Spectra is also available in Yes Bébé Blue, Monochrome, Pastel, Ema colourway and Emil colourway.
Sumblox need little introduction as they so perfectly epitomise the Yes Bébé Ethic. Number shaped wooden blocks from 1 – 10 where each block represents the number not just in shape but in size and proportion. The 2 is half the size of the 4, the 2 and 3 stacked on top of one another equal the height of the 5…. you get the idea. Immediately the scope for these blocks is obvious, from number recognition and conceptual understanding addition to complex fractions. S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) toys are really important to us and these are perfect. They are suitable for all ages of child and adult but academically best suited to children aged 2-12. Pictured is the ‘Home Set’, there is also the ‘Education Set’ for classroom or multi child use, the ‘Starter Set’ for introducing Sumblox at Home and the ‘Sample Pack’ as a little taster. Supporting materials are available in the form of ‘Activity Cards’ and ‘Lesson Books’. Sumblox are a true investment piece and an invaluable gift.
When the Ocamora Cala Knife was released at Yes Bébé things went WILD! Check out this YouTube video featuring the gorgeous Diana and Riley to see it in action! Made from Olive wood, each knife is individual with the wood grain taking centre stage. Cala Knifes are treated with a natural (ecological) oil for utensils that are in contact with food. Giving young children the freedom and ability to prepare their own food appeals to the senses, development, independence and a great relationship with food. When this can happen safely with no risk of cutting little fingers….what an opportunity! What a gift!
Yes Bébé and Sawdust and Rainbows are great friends. Rosie and S&D designs and builds not only the Wee ‘Un pictured here but also The Folding Hump, The Ladder, The Slide and accessories all of which can be used together to create a fantastic indoor playground/assualt course, jungle adventure or wherever the child’s imagination takes them!
The Wee ‘Un itself is a much sought after and admired Pikler-inspired triangular frame, completely safety tested to the highest standard and awarded a CE mark. It can be used to aid sitting, standing, cruising and climbing and is tested to 50kg. The Wee’un is currently available in Natural, Rainbow, Monochrome and Pastel.
Teniques are a completely original, timeless, ageless item. Based on the Japenese game ‘Tumi ishi’ of rock stacking Teniques are a joy to play with. Their colour, shape and wooden individuality appeal directly to the senses of even the youngest and oldest of us. Hold, stack, build and incorporate into all kinds of play! Irregular shaped and sized blocks develop and train the sense of balance, motor skills and creativity. Here at Yes Bébé Teniques have become a complete favourite, regularly recommended and praised in our community group Yes Bébé Babble and a perfect way to begin a journey into open ended play. Also available in ‘Ice’, ‘Sand’, ‘Clay’, ‘Volcano’ and ‘Natural’.
Children love to make their own music! This First Piano is made from wood and has ‘magic touch’ technology so no need for buttons or keys. Your little one can make their own music or learn to play 6 different familiar songs. No annoying electronic sounds, only ‘real’ piano sounds here! Hape have long been a bestselling brand at Yes Bébé, renowned for high quality toys that inspire play, learning and exploration of the world we live in. This Piano is a perfect example of this and has proven to be a Top Pick in it’s own right. If you fancy starting a ‘magic touch’ band then Hape Baby Einstein Magic Touch Drums are a perfect accompaniment!
Flockmen have been with us for a long time and are very dear to our hearts. Person shaped wooden figures made from the mightily strong European White Oak are inspired by Montessori and based on Waldorf principles. As your child grows Flockmen will be used in different ways, from simple and advanced construction, tessellation and small world play (these Personalisation Stickers are perfect!) to calendar and numeracy work. Flockmen are also available in a Sample Pack of 5, a Set of 16 and a whopping Set of 100.
The Dinkum Dolls from Olli Ella are the latest runaway heroes at Yes Bébé and who on earth could resist them. The gorgeous dolls are soft and snuggly as well as poseable so perfect for play and cuddles. The body measures 35cm and is made from 100% cotton. Each doll comes with its own removable unisex outfit, socks, nappy, and shoes and further accessories are available! Pick your doll from Tiny, Peanut, Sprout, Roo, Poppet and Pumpkin. Dinkum Dolls are in HIGH DEMAND so sign up for stock notifications!
If you have a child this age (which you probably do, or at last know one, if you are reading this) you’ll know that they devour toys, games, activities. Finding gifts that engage them can be tricky so let us offer you some ideas based on our customers top picks in this Gift Guide.
At around this age many children show a fascination and fantastic skill with jigsaw puzzles as their hand-eye co-ordination and problem solving skills develop. Petit Collage have a stunning range of beginner and larger floor puzzles. With 24 large and sturdy pieces which are perfect for little hands. They are bright, bold and have detailed illustrations. Packaged in a keepsake carrying box with a soft cotton rope handle they are ready-to-gift and for little hands to carry. Petit Collage puzzles are made with recycled paper printed with non-toxic environmentally friendly vegetable-based inks.
SHOP PETIT COLLAGE
Smallfoot have an absolutely HUGE range of absolutely fantastic toys perfect for this age group. Do you have a little one that likes to play at being a grown up? Be a hairdresser, a dentist, a gardener and more!
This clever play safe comes with numerous 5-, 10-, 50- and 100-Euro bills, there are also pretend gold and silver coins as well as pretend gold bars made out of wood. The mechanical lock seals the safe and can only be undone when the right position is found, a little bankers dream!
Mail call! This yellow wooden mailbox is a real eye catcher and . A blackboard on the front of the mailbox can be individually labeled with the attached chalk. Four wooden postcards and letters complete this post set and can be thrown through the slot into the mailbox. The active role-play in sending and delivering the letters stimulates children´s imagination and creativity. Now any child can slip into the role of a postman and fulfill their desire to ‘post’!
Orchards Toys have been creating colourful, educational games and jigsaws for over 40 years. Made in the UK their boards are 100% recycled and the paper they use is sourced from sustainable forests. They offer two piece puzzles suitable from 18 months up to puzzles with 150 to challenge the most experienced puzzler! Their games will bring together the whole of the family to make learning fun.
Christmas isn’t Christmas without some family games! Compact mini games, classics and originals will all become firm favourites.
Established in 2011 Indigo Jamm produce lasting toys that are designed here in the UK, using high quality and sustainable materials such as rubber wood. These toys inspire long lasting fun whilst encouraging development through safe play. Their toys often have a quirky or retro style to them and have designed a number of toys specifically for younger children with numerous lines suitable from 12 months plus.
Flo the UFO is really original and fun. It’s made from sustainable rubber wood and ply wood and comes complete with two colourful wooden aliens. Flo is sturdy and top quality making it ideal for play.
Motorbike Micky is ideal for little ones that love vehicles. Push, pull, roll and promote fine motorskills and hand to eye co-ordination! The biker is removeable and made from sustainable rubber wood and birch ply wood. We love Micky!
Recycling Ronnie is a wooden push-along truck. He has two removeable figures, a driver and a refuse collector, you can name those yourself! 6 pieces of recycling need sorting into the tipping and opening rear section. Here’s to your new friend Ronnie!
The Hape DIY Dream House allows little ones to create their own house of dreams. With brights colours and over 30 pieces of magnetic furniture just waiting to be positioned and played with. Empty picture frames are waiting for their own art work! At over 70cm high it’s the ideal size to move around and crouch down to peep inside. Pick your own family and accessories too!
Buying for Under 2’s can be very tricky, especially when you need to have ideas at the ready for friends and family. From rattles and stacking toys to noise makers and soft toys you can take your pick secure in the knowledge that everything we sell is safe and ethically traded. Enjoy this Gift Guide for Babies and Toddlers….
Based in the UK, Best Years have been making toys for over 10 years and were the first to introduce knitted dinosaurs, still a favourite today! They care about remaining ethical all the way through their production process, from where they source their materials to whom makes the toys, currently- a network of fair trade cooperatives, artisans in Peru and disabled groups in Vietnam. All of Best Years toys are suitable from birth and safety tested to CE and EN71. All of their toys are also Machine Washable.
Babies LOVE to make noise and Hape have a huge selection of instruments suitable for even the smallest child. Hape is guided by the philosophy that the future belongs to our children and creates toys that inspire play, learning and exploration of the world we live in. From the best selling and forever loved Pound And Tap Bench to Percussion Sets baby can find their rhythm in their own way!
Usborne have been publishing the very best in board and sensory books for baby’s and toddlers and the ‘That’s Not My’ Collection are must-haves. Why not start a gifting tradition this Christmas?
Also available are gift sets featuring a delightful soft toy!
Grimm’s are a family owned and sustainably managed manufacturer at the foot of the Swabian Alb, which produces natural, high quality and safe wooden toys made to officially certified standards. In product development, they are guided by the principles of Waldorf education and other educational approaches, such as Montessori.
Grimms Toys have a huge selection of toys that are just perfect for babies and toddlers:
Graspers are available in Rainbow, Pastel and Natural colourways and made from maple, cherry and beech wood with a non-toxic plant based oil finish. Little finger are naturally sensory, what a true gift to be able to put these graspers in their hands and allowing these first sensory experiences to be with natural, hand crafted wooden toys. Grimms graspers are also popular with older children who still enjoy their calming and grounding feedback.
The classic stacker with 10 trade mark Grimms rainbow coloured discs! With the large Conical Tower the children can sort, stack and build. Through play little one’s develop eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills and colour sorting. Made from lime wood with non-toxic water based colour stain. Beautiful to display in a nursery too!
When babies have learned to walk then love to pull things behind them especially if they can load all their favourite things on top. The Rainbow Turtle has 10 blocks which can be used as building blocks and a puzzle too. This gorgeous turtle is 24cm and made from lime wood with a non-toxic water based color stain and non-toxic plant based oil finish.
Le Toy Van create traditional wooden toys with a modern feel and high quality. They focus on role play to help promote early learning and imagination development in young children. They ensure they use natural materials including replenishable legal quality smooth rubber-wood. All of Le Toy Vans toys comply with rigorous safety standards and are hand finished to achieve a unique look each time.
This fun sensory toy features 4 pieces to stimulate different senses and skills: sight, sound, touch and dexterity. Each piece is made with solid rubberwood and water based colours,to sort into the matching tray. Shape and colour recognition develop logical thinking. Discover them all with this multi sensory toy.
Grapat is a small family project built on the premise of letting children play, at their own pace and in their own time. They are inspired by the sacred and complete immersion of child like play when new worlds are created with rules unique to that moment and time. They believe in nurturing the safe space children create when playing and provide natural material without instructions. The finishes are made with waxes and oils of vegetable origin and it is made following traditional processes.They use thick soft raw materials and natural dyes which leaves the wood veins visible through vibrant coloured waxes and oils with a slight shine. All products are home made and hand painted with great care. While some small parts might not be suitable for the very youngest of children they have some great toddler friendly items. Check out Tinker Trays for an ideal play companion.
Towards the end of the time in which your child wears a nappy it may be appropriate to use reuseable Pull Up or Training Pants. This may be because your child will not lay down to be changed any longer or you wish to involve them in the change, encouraging independence before they are using the potty or toilet completely independently
Reuseable Pull Ups and Training Pants tend to have a fully elasticated waist band and/or side closure. The absorbent component may lay inside or be put into a pocket. In most cases the amount of absorbency in a pull up is less than a conventional nappy due to the nature of the design. It is also assumed that that there will be a level of potty or toilet training happening and the insert will be changed regularly. Most are designed so that the shell can be used again immediately and the insert changed. It is not impossible to use Pull Up styles for longer periods if required absorbency can be achieved within the design.
Pull Ups may have a higher weight range than most nappies and the size can be increased further using removeable extenders for the sides.
Reuseable Training Pants usually have a very small amount of inbuilt absorbency and little to no waterproofing. These are designed to be used as a safety net for small accidents. They should be treated as underwear and fully changed immediately.
When buying a cloth nappy it’s important to check the guidelines to make sure it will fit your child. However, Cloth Nappy Sizing can be confusing when various brands use different terminology.
You will most commonly come across the phrase ‘Birth to Potty’ this may also be referred to as ‘One Size’. These nappies will be size adjustable most often using snaps on the front of the nappy to make it smaller and bigger. It covers the widest range of sizes from around 4.5kg to 16kg or 10lbs to 35lbs.
The majority of babies are born smaller than this and while ‘Birth to Potty’ is called this, for most a smaller size is needed for the first few weeks. This is called ‘Newborn’ and tends to fit babies from 2kg to 5.5kgs or 4.5lbs to 12lbs.
Some manufacturers believe that a better fit and therefore greater comfort and less possibility of leaks and other problems can be achieved if the cloth nappy sizing is broken down into more, smaller ranges. You may find these described as Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large or 1, 2 and 3. Unfortunately these two methods aren’t exactly equatable.
Small is usually interchangeable with Newborn: Up to 5 or 6kg/11 or 12lbs
Medium: Up to 10kg/22lbs
Large: Up to 13kg/28lbs
Extra Large: 12kg/26.5lbs and above.
Size 1 is usually a rough bridge between Newborn and Birth to Potty: 3-9ks/7-20lbs
Size 2: 9-16kgs/20-35lbs (A size 2 is often appropriate for a large portion of the ‘Birth to Potty’ size range.
Size 3: 16kgs/35lbs and above.
Extra Large and Size 3 are found in nappies that are appropriate for night time or maximum absorbency use as most children will be out of nappies or needing considerable absorbency before they hit this weight range.
Certain brands manufacture nappies that are larger than this to suit older children, teens and adults.
In the case of an All In One nappy both of those parts are permanently attached or sewn together. You put them on as one piece, wash them as one piece and dry them as one piece. You can see that in this picture of the absorbent and waterproof parts that they are sewn together. Some have absorbent parts that are removeable by snaps but even when removed there is still a complete nappy system remaining.
In some All In One nappies, like this one, the absorbent part is visible and lays on top, in others it sits inside under a lining. In most, they fold out to increase the drying speed. You will find All in One’s in both hook and loop and snap closure and in all sizes.
These nappies are most simple and easiest to use type of cloth nappy, popular with child care providers. Disadvantages include length of drying time, the precision and care needed when fitting and possibly less scope for customisation and boosting.
The majority of nappies fasten using with either Hook and Loop (the proper term for the generic use of ‘velcro’) or Snaps. Exceptions are some fitted nappies that use a ‘nappy nippa’ (a stretchy Y shape with hooks on 3 points) and Pull Up styles, either as a whole nappy or in cover form.
Some brands offer a choice in the same style but most stick with one type of fastening or other. It may be a factor in deciding if a nappy is for you or it may not matter at all.
Hook and Loop closure often allow for more precision fit, as the options are not restricted to the position and spacing of the snaps. It’s common for child care providers and the less experienced user to prefer these for ease of use. It’s also worth mentioning that hook and loop can be preferable for anyone changing nappies that has hand mobility issues as snaps can sometimes be tricky and there are a few of them to do at each change.
Hook and Loop fastening needs protecting during washing and drying to prevent ripping and attracting fluff. Cloth Nappy users often find that older babies and toddlers can often undo a hook and loop fastening themselves which understandably can cause problems. A Snap fastening can present as a ‘tidier’ nappy and requires less care, possibly extending the life of a nappy. They are also easier to replace.
Many people begin to use cloth nappies part time or as and when it’s convenient. This is GREAT because it allows time to adjust and work out what suits your baby and family routine and what doesn’t.
If you want to use full time straight away or increasing your use from part time you will be wondering how many cloth nappies you need. Consider a few factors:
The age of your baby, newborns require changing much more frequently than older babies and toddlers, including throughout the night.
The frequency you will be washing. Most people like to wash every second day but for others washing every third day, or every day is convenient.
The type of nappy you use. You will not need as many wraps or covers as you do absorbent inner parts for example
You will need to allow for nappies to be dirty and waiting for the wash, others being washed and dried and the ones that are clean and ready for use. For most people changing 5 times a day (including night) this means they will need 15 plus a few spare. 20 is a great number to work with.
Once you have your nappies you will need to prepare them for use. Consult the manufacturer guidelines for their specific advice. A common preparation is to wash the nappies once with your usual detergent (provided it doesn’t contradict the manufacturer guidelines). This ensures any factory residue or loose fibres are removed.
Absorbent materials get more able to hold liquid inside their fibres the more they are washed. You can run the absorbent parts of your nappy through a few short washes (no need for detergent) to maximise their capability before use. There is no need to do this for wraps or the pocket shells of course. Skipping this step just means that you may want to boost your nappies for the first few uses until they are fully functioning.
Nappies can then be dried and prepared as necessary for use!
How many cloth nappies you own is completely up to you but selecting an amount that means you can use them successfully is key.
The United Kingdom lost its roots with Wooden toy making during the plastic boom. The General public was told plastic was better and more educational if a toy ‘did’ something. This is changing a lot as more and more people look into wooden toys for both enviromental reasons and for educational theories such as the Waldorf/Steiner movement. This sometimes means, as consumers, we don’t always know what to expect, especially with toys that are not only handmade but using plant based natural oils and finishes.
Wood is a natural and living substance. It can be easy to forget this when we are presented with packaged, shaped and brightly coloured toys. It is because of this that no two wooden toys will be identical, the wood’s structure and fibres are different across species and even within the same tree. This means each item is truly unique whether handmade or machine made.
What’s this mark?
The most common wood markings are knots. Thes are created as a tree with branches grows larger and the base of the branch becomes part of the tree. Knots come in all shapes and sizes and each knot tells the story of how that tree grew.
Some knots are purely aesthetic, they are just as solid as the surrounding timber, other knots can be loose and sometimes the wood can develop a hole where the knot has dried out. By the time timber is ready to shape into toys or furniture any changes in the wood have stabilised and knots that affect the structure of a product can be eliminated. Any that are left should be purely a visual reminder of the life of the tree that provided it.
Of the countless markings that can be seen in wood, my personal favourite is spalting. Spalted timber is in very high demand in furniture and musical instrument making due to the uniqueness, beauty and rarity of such markings. Spalting is actually created by a fungus in the tree when it was living, but don’t worry it isn’t harmful.
A second favourite is the mineral streak. You guessed it, this is a line in the wood created as the tree absorbs and deposits minerals from the soil. These lines run straight along the grain and can be dark and striking or very subtle. These are more common in lighter coloured woods especially in Birch, Maple and Lime.
Even if the above are not present the grain of any wooden toy will vary. The age of the tree and the section of the wood the toy was cut from will produce different grain patterns. Each tree species has it’s own grain pattern and, like snowflakes or fingerprints, every pattern is unique.
Hand made toys although all made of wood come in a variety of styles and variations. To love or not to love?