Celebrate National Insect Week with the National History Museum Shop


National Insect Week (20th to 26th of June 2016) will be officially launched at BUGS exhibit ZSL London Zoo on Monday, 20th of June, 2016. Every 2 years, the Entomological Society holds a National Insect Week, to inspire people of ages to learn about insects.

Find an event in your area by clicking here.

The National History Museum Shop is offering a delightful range of insect themed toys in honour of National Insect Week which all inspire a love and respect of insects.  Our panel of budding young entomologists had the opportunity to test out two of the products:

Bug Safari £12.00


For the buddying mini naturalist in your life, look no further than the Bug Safari.


This kit comes complete with equipment designed by naturalist Nick Baker and includes a field lens, bug tongs, magnifying pot, tweezer, a paint brush and a graticule. A child can easily access each of the equipment as it is designed with a child in mind. An adult may need to assist with the oversize bug tongs as they may be difficult to some children to operate. The magnifying pot is a good size to ensure that most insects can be studied well.


In addition, a detailed guide is included which explains how to use each tool as well as a fact filled guide of common insects that you and your child are likely to encounter throughout the UK. The guide provides the location of the insects, the best time of year to find them, their food source as well as any special safety warnings.


The guide encourages children to seek out insects for further study and at the same time to be very gentle with each creature to ensure that no creature is harmed during the inspection period.

Armed with this guide and the included equipment, along with an adult for supervision, your child will be inspired and ready to explore the world of insects.

This kit is suitable for children ages 5 years and up, under the supervision of an adult.

To purchase, please visit:



Creepy Crawly Torch and Projector £7.00


Bedtime routines for nature lovers will no longer be boring with the introduction of the Creepy Crawly Torch and Projector. This compact and innovative torch and projector comes complete with 24 insert disks which when inserted projects illuminated insect images up to 1 metre in width, encouraging visual learning. 24 insects will mesmorise your child from spiders, a butterfly, a ladybird, a praying mantis and many many more! Perfect for a child who loves nature and insects! A silver chain keeps the torch chained to clothing to ensure that the torch doesn’t get misplaced. This product comes complete with replaceable batteries. Our 5 year old tester was immediately drawn to this product and from the moment his mom showed him how to use it, he was smitten! He carries this torch and projector around with him at all times and can’t wait for bedtime to explore the insect projections. Highly recommended.

To purchase, please visit:





To see the full range of items available from the National History Museum, please click here.

All sales support the Museum.






Eco-shopping with Value Valet


Canada’s premier online health and beauty store!

Value Valet is a division of Value Drug Mart Associates Ltd.—a name many consumers and businesses have come to trust to provide exceptional service and outstanding value since 1978. Value Valet is an Edmonton-based company, 100% Canadian-owned, founded on the principles of strong independent ownership and outstanding community spirit.

“For years, the people behind Value Valet have been in the business of delivering value—sourcing the right products, getting the best brands at competitive prices, and developing a streamlined distribution network that is accurate, timely, and responsive. Our 85,000-square-foot Distribution Center is continually replenished with what our customers are looking for and regularly updated with products that meet every individual’s needs. In short, we know service and we know value. And now we’re giving you the keys to roam our aisles.”

Nothing beats the convenience of being able to shop from the comfort and convenience of your own home. Value Valet offers a full range of products for the entire family; with an increasing focus on eco-friendly items: from Health and Wellness, Personal & Beauty, Baby & Kids through to Grocery as well as many other categories.

A member of our panel had the opportunity to experience shopping online first hand from the Value Value Website. The well designed website made navigation quick and effortless. The well defined categories enabled our tester to browse through the entire range of products and with the additional assistance of the search bar, was able to find what she needed.

The chosen items were delivered promptly and a day ahead of schedule and our tester was very satisfied with her online shopping experience.

Here are our top eco-friendly picks which are available from Value Valet:


For Baby

487314ALEVA NATURALS Baby Calendula Skin Remedy 50 ml


487371ALEVA NATURALS Sleep Easy Baby Wash 240 ml


483370FARM BUDDIES Organic Plush Toy Pirate Pig


483479FARM BUDDIES Organic Teething Rattle Boxer the Dog



DIMPLESKINS NATURALS Sweet Cheeks Body Balm 30 g


52530DIMPLESKINS NATURALS Boo Boo Goo Cuts and Scrapes Salve 30 g


For Mama


diva2 diva1








 DivaCup Model 1




Healthy Food

541698CANADA HEMP FOODS Organic Hemp Protein Powder 454g


blueberryTASTE OF NATURE Nova Scotia Blueberry Fields Organic Food Bar 40 g


chaiTAZO Tea Organic Chai 24




483180SPOONK Acupuncture Massage Organic Hemp Mat


491993ISOLAR BACKUP Battery Charger


568238GREENCASE Ipad Case


To view the full range of products, please visit the Value Valet Website.


All images copyrighted Value Valet.

Holiday Shopping with JoJo Maman Bébé



JoJo Maman Bébé, Newport, UK based company,  was founded in 1993 by Laura Tenison who recognised the gap in the market for stylish maternity fashion. Laura, who was living at the time in Brittany, Western France, was inspired by the Nautical Breton Style which still remains a prominent feature in the current collection. Laura, a mother of two, started JoJo with just a single sewing machine, and today, JoJo is regarded as the UK’s foremost niche market specialist in pregnancy, baby, children and nursery market. JoJo prides itself on the treatment of its staff and third party workers and has links to Africa charity Nema – which aims to reduce infant mortality in Mozambique.

In addition to their designer line of maternity, nursing and children’s clothing, JoJo also offers a fantastic selection of toys and children’s products. Here are our picks for the upcoming Holiday Season. Each of these products will make terrific gifts!

Reversible Play Mat


A play mat is one of the most versatile products which you can purchase for your child and will grow with him from the infant phase through to the toddler and preschool years. This mat is ideal to use for tummy time from the very first weeks of life. Since it is lightweight and rolls up compactly, you can move it easily from room to room. Parents/grandparents/caregivers can multi task by placing the mat in the kitchen area for example and supervising their child while they are preparing food. The mat will also come in handy once baby learns to roll, sit and crawl and will provide the ideal sensory motor environment for your baby to master the early milestones. The mat is also ideal to place over tiles which can be slippery as well as cold, creating a warm and inviting space for your baby to play. This reversible play mat offers mat2essentially 2 mats in 1 because it features a different design on either side. The first side features bright and colourful squares, each featuring an animal with a corresponding letter of the alphabet. Plenty of learning opportunities can stem from this terrific design. Flip the mat over and you will find a kid friendly map complete with roads, houses, parks etc. Your child will love pushing their toy cars along the streets, making up exciting adventures along the way with the mat providing the stimulus for imaginative play. The mat is waterproof making it ideal for the little ones and very easy to wipe clean.

ABC Architectural Building Blocks

blocklargeBuilding blocks are classic toys which have been enjoyed by many generations. The ABC Architectural Building Blocks are a modern take on the traditional wooden building block. They are soft yet durable and perfectly sized for little hands. Suitable from 6 months of age upwards, these innovative blocks are Phthalate and BPA free making them safe for baby to mouth.  The blocks are uniquely designed for tactile stimulation offering a variety of textured surfaces which provide rich sensory feedback to little hands. Each block has a letter and corresponding animal and includes towers and arches for older children so children can get really creative. These blocks are sure to become your baby’s favorite toys and will hold their interest for many years to come. The blocks come in their very own handy carry case and 26 blocks are included.

Bobo Buddies 4 in 1 Travel Toy

BobabuddiesBobo Buddies are plush travel toys which will help to ease your child through the usually stressful experience of travelling whether via plane, car, bus, train or sea. The Boba Buddies 4 in 1 toy offers a great value because it is multifunctional:

1. In its most simplest form, it is an adorable plush toy  available in 4 different animals: Elephant, Giraffe, Lion and Monkey. Your child will be comforted during travelling because they will have their familiar friends right next to them throughout their journey.

2. Functional mini backpack: Perfect for outings, the mini backpack can hold some basic essentials and the padded straps (arms of the animal) are designed for both security and comfort.

3.  Travel pillow: When your little one is all worn out and ready for a sleep, the Boba Buddies will come to the rescue once again by functioning as a pillow.

4. Blanket:  Keep your child warm with the soft blanket which is versatile and is sure to come in handy during your travel adventures.

The Boba Buddies is a wonderful product for travelling because it is so multifunction. Perfect for quick outings or longer journeys. You will always be prepared when you bring the Boba Buddies along with you.




Shop the JoJo online boutique or find a store in your area. Our testers have received their samples in a very timely manner and we can attest to the prompt and professional service from JoJo. Shop in the comfort of your home with complete confidence.

All images copyrighted JoJo Maman Bébé


Holiday Shopping Guide 2012: Melissa and Doug Wooden Puzzles


Melissa and Doug was founded in 1998 in the garage of Doug’s parents’ house.  It has since grown in leaps and bounds and is now a well known brand the world over offering over 2000 innovative products for children of all ages.



Melissa and Doug has a wide selection of innovative Puzzles.

The variety of Wooden Puzzles is very impressive and the collection features the following categories of wooden puzzles:



Developmental benefits of wooden puzzles:

With the wide variety of plastic battery operated toys available to parents these days, less consideration is often given to wooden toys which are typically not battery operated. While plastic battery operated toys are passive in nature, wooden toys which are not battery operated are active toys, offering significant developmental benefits. Wooden puzzles promote eye-hand coordination, fine motor skills, cognitive skills, concentration, motor planning and social skills.

Our top picks from the Melissa and Doug Wooden Puzzle line for ages 1+ through 3+:

1 + years

Jumbo Knob Puzzle

Around age one, children delight in fitting a piece into the “right” spot. Try an oversize Knob Puzzle with just a few big pieces to encourage them. The individual pieces fit into distinct spots in a recessed puzzle board, so each one is like a separate one-piece puzzle. Pieces with large handles are easiest to grasp. Source: Melissa and Doug


This 8 piece large knob puzzle is the ideal first puzzle for your toddler. The large knobs are especially designed for your toddler to grab, hold and release with ease. The brightly colored puzzle pieces will attract and hold your toddler’s interest. This puzzle is a great introduction to shapes and colors and will grow with your child. Each puzzle piece is color coordinated with its base, and is perfect for the beginner learner who needs additional cues and guidance.

2 + years

Chunky Puzzles

For older toddlers beginning to engage in imaginative play, Chunky Puzzles are ideal. Both puzzles and play sets, they feature big pieces that are easy to hold and thick enough to stand up for pretend play! (They also make good first manipulatives-use them for counting and sorting.) Source: Melissa and Doug

Safari Chunky Wooden Puzzle



This delightful puzzle will charm and engage your child with its sweet safari characters. The pieces are thick and substantial and easy to grasp. The image of each animal is imprinted in the base which helps to cue the child to identify and match the correct piece in its place. Parents can get involved and encourage their toddler to seek out the animal by showing them the puzzle piece and asking them to point to the matching location and insert the piece. This particular puzzle will help your child to improve his figure ground perception among other skills. This puzzle will also grow with your child being used for pretend play later on. Each puzzle piece can function independent of the puzzle base in pretend play scenarios with each piece being able to stand vertically on a table or on the ground.

3 + years

Jigsaw Puzzles

No toy collection is complete without these classically cut wooden jigsaw puzzles. Each beautifully illustrated puzzle is assembled in a sturdy wood tray. With piece-counts ranging from 12 to 48 pieces, and an amazing variety of fun themes, we have a puzzle to delight any young child.

On the Farm Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle 12 piece



This 12 piece puzzle is the ideal size for the child who is new to tackling jigsaw puzzles. The Melissa and Doug design team designed this puzzle with careful thought and attention so that the child will build the puzzle within a frame for additional guidance. The wonderful farm animals are endearing to all children and parents can further engage their child by talking about each farm animal and what they are doing.  The puzzle is sturdy and well made and will provide your child with a wonderful introduction into the world of jigsaw puzzles.


These puzzles may be purchased at www.MelissaandDoug.com

Shop Toys by Toy Type, New Products as well as Age and Skill.

Shopping for a gift? Check out the gift finder


For further information and to see the full line of products, please visit MelissaandDoug.com


All images copyrighted Melissa and Doug

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