Adventure, baby!

Product Reviews

Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids

Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids via christineknight.me

Is there anything more fun than getting letters and packages in the mail? I thought not. While we love travel, we are not one of those nomadic families who travel year-round. We spend most of our year in Sydney, loving our life here but also dreaming of seeing every country under the sun.

Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids via christineknight.me

Little Passports is a fantastic new find I made recently that fits perfectly into our lifestyle. It’s a monthly subscription box for kids designed to encourage a love of travel and teach them about the world.

The way it works is simple. Choose the monthly adventure best suited to your family, select your subscription plan, and then watch your kids’ faces light up when they receive their monthly packages filled with letters, souvenirs, activities & more.

Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids via christineknight.me

There are three age brackets, or “adventures” to choose from – which means the packages delivered are very tailored to each age range.

Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids via christineknight.me

Early Explorers for 3-5 year olds
Explore a new world theme each month, like music, oceans and dinosaurs.

World Edition for 6-10 year olds
Discover a new country each month, with souvenirs and hands-on activities.

USA Edition for 7-12 year olds
Learn about two new states each month, with activity-packed State Journals.

We selected the Early Explorers for ages 3-5.

Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids via christineknight.me

Next, choose your plan. Each plan includes the Traveler Kit and subsequent monthly world theme kits. Note: prices are in US Dollars (USD). These prices are for the Early Explorers boxes.

12 Month
$13.95/month
One time payment of $167.40 USD
+ $36 shipping to USA/ $66 USD shipping to Australia
Auto renews after 12 months
Cancel renewal anytime

6 Month
$15.95/month
One time payment of $95.70 USD
+ $18 shipping to USA/$33 USD shipping to Australia
Auto renews after 6 months
Cancel renewal anytime

Monthly
$15.95/month
$15.95 + $3 shipping
to USA/$5.50 USD shipping
to Australia, billed monthly
Auto renews each month
Cancel renewal anytime

Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids via christineknight.me

First Month: The Traveler Kit
The first month you will receive:

  • A fun orange suitcase
  • Wall-sized World Map
  • 20-page activity booklet
  • Luggage Tag
  • Stickers and photo
Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids via christineknight.me
“Landmarks” themed kit

Every month following, the kits will have a different world theme. Each kit will include:

20-page activity booklet
Fun Souvenirs
Flashlight Adventures
Trading Cards
Letters, photos, stickers and luggage tags

Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids via christineknight.me

What I love about Little Passports:

The characters:
Little Passports has created three adorable characters called Max, Mia and their dog Toby, to guide children on their adventures. The characters are very age appropriate and super cute. Having characters make the adventures more relatable for little preschoolers, and each month when the kit arrives, kids can look forward to an update from Max, Mia and Toby’s new adventures like they are getting care packages from a friend.

Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids via christineknight.me

The variety of themes:
There are so many! Rather than focusing on one location, the broader theme of “music” or “art” lends itself to different types of conversation, as well as being easier for a preschooler to grasp the concept of. Locations, distance, space – these concepts are tough for little kids to understand, so the themes encompassing a feature that numerous locations have in common makes learning easier for this age group. Cheese is able to tell me, for example, that the Eiffel Tower is in Paris, but she has no idea where Paris is.

Themes that the kits encompass:

Landmarks
Music
Animals
Food
Art
Natural Wonders
Oceans
World Coins
Space
World Discoveries
Dinosaurs
Science
Celebrations
Habitats
Transportation
Insects
Sports

Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids via christineknight.me

The activities
Each kit has activities that kids can do on their own, like stickers, and adult-participation, like the activity books. This mix works well as we have items that Cheese can get out and enjoy on her own, but also ones that we can do together, leading to further discussions. There is a lot of detail in each pack with interesting facts about the world, so when we go through these pack together, I read the information to Cheese, then we chat about what it means, and what she thinks about it.

When I first opened the activity books I wasn’t sure how Cheese would go as she is typically more into physical games than those on paper. I was really surprised however, as she was really happy to sit and work through the whole book in one sitting. I did need to read the instructions to her, but she was then able to perform each activity entirely on her own (note: she is 4.5 yrs old).

Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids via christineknight.me

They’re educational
I’m a big fan of learning through play, and these kits enable kids to do just that. The landmarks kit we received had the cutest mini figures of famous landmarks around the world like the Sphynx and Great Wall of China. After their introduction to Cheese, they are now being used in imaginary play with her other toys, and she’s dreaming up new and exciting geographic locations for her games. These kits, with bite-sized information and games that teach about the world, are an easy way for kids to absorb knowledge while playing.

Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids via christineknight.me

We now have the world map on the wall of Cheese’s bedroom and talk about the different continents, what landmarks are on them, where we live, where we used to live in New York, and so on. I plan to write on the cities soon, where we have been and where we are going, so she can get a good picture of the world and dream up her own big adventures.

Little Passports: The Best Subscription Boxes For Kids via christineknight.me
“Music” themed kit


Thank you to
 Little Passports for sending us these kits to check out. All opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliate links. This means if you buy a kit from Little Passports using these links I will receive a very small commission from the sale. Thank you for supporting me and my blog.

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Cleaning up after life’s little adventures with the Dyson V6 Absolute

Dyson V6 Absolute review via christineknight.me

I love taking my little family on adventures. What I don’t love is cleaning up afterwards. Particularly the car! Cleaning the car out after a day at the beach is a particularly painful prospect. No matter how much we try to leave the sand at the beach, a huge amount always ends up in our car and then ingrained in the carpet back home.

Dyson V6 Absolute review via christineknight.me

I’m very thankful right now to Dyson for their new V6 Absolute cordless vacuum, which is taking the pain out of cleaning up after our little adventures. The Dyson lives in our apartment but, as it’s cordless, it’s able to be taken easily outside to clean up the mess our adventure has left behind.

Dyson V6 Absolute review via christineknight.me

The Dyson V6 Absolute comes with an array of heads to cleaning various surfaces. It’s called the “Absolute” because it contains all the attachments and all the extra features. For the car, I use the long pointed nozzle attached directly to the base, which lets me get into all the nooks that Cheese drops food into, as well as suctioning up big piles of sand.

Dyson V6 Absolute review via christineknight.me

Inside the home, the Dyson has a long stick attachment which makes vacuuming the floor less of a backache than using a regular handheld (in a tiny apartment like ours, we are all about the handheld vacuum cleaners!).

Dyson V6 Absolute review via christineknight.me

Additional heads for hard floors and carpets ensures that dirt is being effectively removed. The soft roller cleaner head removes large debris and fine dust, particularly good for hard surfaces, while the direct drive cleaner head is perfect for carpets – it has 75% more brush bar power than the popular Dyson v6 Animal vacuum.

Dyson V6 Absolute review via christineknight.me

I was amazed by the amount of dirt that the vacuum sucked up off carpet that looked like it was clean. The motor is seriously impressive. It was also so light and easy to use that Cheese, who just turned four, was able to operate it. Win! The kid can finally vacuum!

What I liked about the vacuum:

  • Lightweight, easy to assemble
  • Low power consumption means the battery lasts about 20 minutes. In “boost” mode (extra power) it last for 6 minutes.
  • Charges fully in about four hours.
  • It’s compact – perfect for apartments. The wall-mounted docking station means it can be stored in small spaces.
  • Anyone can use the vacuum – even kids! It’s so easy and light, so no excuses to get out of cleaning.
  • Cleans hard surfaces as well as carpets.
  • Dust bin is easy to empty without getting dirt all over you and the floor. Simple “push-the-button” system.
  • Powerful suction – really gets all the dirt and dust out.
  • The V Ball Technology – The heads have swivel steering.
  • The post-motor filter expels exceptionally clean air.
  • Cleans from the floor to the ceiling.
  • Converts to a handheld.
  • The Dyson docking station stores and charges the machine.
  • 2 year warranty.
  • Easy to use trigger grip that releases instantly, so battery power is only used for cleaning.

The downside:
There was very little I did not like about it. It’s a really fantastic vacuum.

  • No “low power” warning before the vacuum shuts down.
  • The dust bin is a bit on the small side at 0.105 gallons.

What you get in the box:

  • 2 vacuum heads (the direct-drive head and the soft roller)
  • Crevice tool
  • Combination tool
  • Mini soft dusting brush
  • Wall-mounted charging dock

The Dyson V6 Absolute retails for $899.

Thanks to Dyson for sending me a Dyson V6 Absolute for reviewing purposes. All opinions and dirty car my own. 

 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

On The Town With The UPPAbaby G-LITE

Family Travel Must-have: UPPAbaby G-LITE #stroller #familytravel #framilyfriendly

When you’re travelling with a little kid, a good umbrella stroller is a must. We made the mistake of not taking one with us when we started our trip, thinking Cheese was big enough to walk everywhere. Big mistake. I forgot that when we travel we walk a lot – like upwards of 10km a day. Way too much for little legs to handle. So when we reached New York, I was so incredibly thankful to have the UPPAbaby G-LITE  to get around town.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

I’ve previously spoken about my love for the UPPAbaby series and have listed another of their models, the G-LUXE as a travel must-have on this blog post. The G-LUXE was a great stroller when Cheese still napped as it has the full recline feature that is important to nap on the go. Now that Cheese doesn’t nap anymore and the main purpose of the stroller is to get from A to B with the most ease, what I primarily want out of a stroller is for it to be as light as possible and extremely easy to maneuver.

The UPPAbaby G series dominate the lightweight stroller market for a good reason – they are excellent, affordable strollers. I’ve listed the reasons why I just love their strollers, especially the one I’m using at the moment, the G-LITE.

Lightweight and easy to carry
The G-LITE is their lightest model, at 11 pounds (4.9kg). This makes it so light that I can collapse it and carry it around easily on my shoulder. I can also lift it with the child still in it, up and down stairs.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

Easy to collapse
The stroller does need two hands to collapse but it’s so quick and easy to fold down. Simply push a button near the handle and pull the ring on each side of the handles at the same time and the stroller folds down and clips into one piece.

Stays closed
The stroller has a neat little clip that automatically snaps the top and bottom of the frame together when it’s folded, so when you pick it up, it stays closed.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

Stands on its own
The stroller has a little stand under the wheels so it stands upright on its own when closed.

Easy locking breaks
Little locks over the wheels are easy to push up with a flick of your toes.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE
Easy to maneuver
This stroller is made for fast walkers like me who like to dodge and weave among slower pedestrians. It’s also tall enough that I find it very comfortable to push, with no pressure on my lower back. My husband, who is 6 feet tall, loves pushing this stroller for the same reason.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

Big canopy
As well as the regular canopy that folds down, the UPPAbaby strollers have an additional section inside, the UV canopy, which folds down to provide protection from the elements.

Decent basket
The basket under the stroller is roomier than you’d imagine. I can fit a fair amount of stuff and with the high edges nothing falls out.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE
Comfortable ride
Cheese is approaching 4, and 17KG (37.5 pounds). The UPPAbaby G-LITE is suitable for kids from 6 months to 55 pounds /25kg. It has to be said, Cheese loves this stroller. She finds is incredibly comfortable and is happy to sit in it for long periods. The seat length is perfect for a child of her size, letting her feet land on the foot rest at the right angle. Other strollers we borrowed had the foot rest at an angle where her legs couldn’t fold to touch it, leaving her legs to hang and feet to get caught on the ground.

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE

Some extra info on the UPPAbaby G-LITE from their site:

  • Tall ergonomic handles for easier pushing
  • Hand level triggers for quick fold – no foot action required
  • Lockable front wheels for added stability
  • Shock-absorbing, 4-wheel suspension
  • Easy-open, removable canopy
  • Extendable SPF 50+ sunshade
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Stands when folded
  • Stain + water resistant fabric
  • Removable, machine-washable seat pad
  • High-performance, 4.5” diameter wheels
  • Convenient carry strap
  • 5-point harness
  • Large easy-access basket
  • Removable cup-holder
  • Weight: 11lb / 4.9kg

On The Town With The Uppababy GLITE
Thank you to UPPAbaby for sending us this stroller for our around the world trip. I’m a loyal UPPAbaby stroller user and all opinions are, as always, my own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

To Market, To Market! Market Basket Giveaway

Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me

I am so obsessed with bags. Not fancy pants handbags (although I love them too!) but mostly bags that I can use to carry all the stuff around that I have to lug now I have a kid. I’ve tried all kinds of backpacks and shoulder bags, and I’m currently really enjoying the Market Basket.

This really cute Market Basket was introduced to Australia by Lindy McLeod. The baskets have been used in France for a long time by women to carry their fresh produce in. I’m a strong believer in using recyclable bags for groceries rather than plastic anyway, so I really love that this basket does double duty for me. I can use it for my grocery shopping, and also for all of Cheese’s stuff that I inevitably need to take with us, like water bottle, snacks, spare clothes and toys.

These baskets are genuine French-style market baskets imported from Morocco. Each one is uniquely handmade using traditional methods, and is made of strips of woven palm leaves from a species of date palm – Phoenix Dactylifera. The strips are then sewn together and the basket built up in “rounds” into the traditional triangle shape, variations of which can be found in countries all around the Mediterranean. The handles are of genuine Moroccan leather and firmly fixed to the baskets so they won’t pull off. Handles are either short so the baskets can be carried in the hand or on the elbow, or longer to go over the shoulder.

Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me

The lovely Lindy send me a Market Basket “Mia” to test drive. I was full of intentions to use mine to get the groceries, but this happened when I tried to take it out the door. Cheese also loved my beautiful new basket and hijacked it to use as a toy carrier. It was so adorable I couldn’t resist taking a few photos (please excuse my messy apartment in the background! There’s nothing like spontaneous photos to show up when you need to tidy up.).

Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me

The market basket is also great for the beach (not that it’s beach weather in Sydney right now!). The basket is fine to get wet, but needs to be hung up after use to allow for drying thoroughly.

Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me Market Basket Giveaway via christineknight.me

GIVEAWAY! WIN A “MIA” MARKET BASKET

Lindy at Market Basket is offering one lucky reader the chance to win their own Mia Market Basket. (RRP $49). To enter, fill in the form below and tell me what you’d use your basket for.

Entry open to Australian and US residents. The most creative answer will win. This is not a game of chance. Competition is open Friday June 5 2015 to 11:59pm Wed June 10 2015. For full terms and conditions click here for Aussies and here for the U.S.

Thanks so much to Market Basket for sending me the basket for reviewing purposes. 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

New ABC Kids DVDs + DVD Giveaway

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me

My daughter loves watching shows on ABC Kids. I think the ABC kids’ programming might be one of the best things we’ve discovered since moving back to Australia. It means Cheese is able to watch some really sweet and entertaining programs instead of rotting her brain with her beloved “Easter egg” YouTube videos she and all the preschooler set seem to be addicted to.

We had a very exciting week in our house watching brand new DVD releases from some of Cheese’s favourite shows. Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the post and enter the giveaway to win these exact same DVD titles for your own kids.

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me
THE WIGGLES: ANTHONY’S FRUITY FEAST
We have a HUGE Wiggles fan in this house. Join Anthony, Lachie, Simon and, of course, Emma, in 12 wiggly episodes and over 40 upbeat songs. Episode selection includes recent favourites like “Cowboy Anthony” and “Captain’s Magic Buttons”.
RRP: $19.95
RUNNING TIME: 140 MINS

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me
OCTONAUTS: GREAT ARCTIC ADVENTURE
Our other favourite show in high rotation in our house is the Octonauts. This fun DVD features 6 episodes, including a really sweet one with Captain Barnacles helping his sister and her new polar bear cubs learn to navigate the harsh conditions of the frozen arctic.
RRP: $19.95
RUNNING TIME: 82 MINS

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me

BING: SWING & OTHER EPISODES
Bing is brand new to us. It’s an adorable new 10-episode TV series about a 3-year-old bunny named Bing. This playful, energetic and joyful bunny embodies life as a preschooler, and encourages kids to experience the world around them with equal enthusiasm.

Exclusive to ABC Shops and Centres
RRP: $19.95
RUNNING TIME: 70 MINS

#Australia DVD #giveaway via christineknight.me
PLAY SCHOOL: COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW
The cast of Playschool has changed since I was a kid, but the educational content has not. This DVD explores the wonder of colour in nature, painting, culture, food and experiments. Kids will enjoy following the activities at home such as painting rainbows and staging a piggy opera.

RRP: $14.95
RUNNING TIME: 137 MINS

The kind people at Roadshow Home Entertainment are giving this exact DVD pack to one lucky reader. (RRP $74.80). To enter, fill in the form below and tell me what your kids’ favourite ABC Kids show is.

Entry open to Australian residents only. The most creative answer will win. This is not a game of chance. Competition is open Wednesday June 3 2015 to 11:59pm Tuesday June 9 2015. For full terms and conditions click here.

Thanks so much to Roadshow for the review copies of these DVDs. 

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Smiggle Back To School Giveaway

Smiggle Back To School Giveaway #backtoschool via christineknight.me

Cheese is starting preschool in a few weeks and we’re both super excited about the change. She’s been calling her new school “the special school”, which is adorable – less adorable is her calling her current daycare “the bad school” to differentiate them, no matter how many times I correct her that there’s nothing bad about her daycare!

Anyway, in preparation for Cheese starting preschool, the kind folks over at Smiggle sent us some of their awesome back to school range – and have also given us a matching pack to give away to one lucky reader.

Our kit contained the basics for starting school, in an adorable pink and puppy print, which Cheese absolutely adores. In included a Travel Double Decker Lunchbox (RRP $24.95) Travel Tube Pencil Case (RRP $10.95) Travel Wallets (RRP $10.95), Travel Lanyard (RRP $4.95), Travel Holographic Ruler (RRP $3.95), Pop Mini Electric Sharpener (RRP $16.95).

Smiggle Back To School Giveaway #backtoschool via christineknight.me

As you can see, Cheese is into her stationary. I particularly love the Smiggle brand because not only are their products super cute, they’re also well designed. The double decker lunch box, for example, is so useful we take it everywhere. The bottom section is perfect for enough food to last the entire day, and the top section is where I put a cold pack and anything that I want to keep separate, like a frozen yogurt pouch.

Smiggle Back To School Giveaway #backtoschool via christineknight.me

I also love the themed ranges with the creative prints. It’s really nice to have gear that isn’t covered in licensed characters – I much prefer designs such as these dog ones, which are age appropriate and have longevity past a short-lived fascination with particular animated characters.

Smiggle Back To School Giveaway #backtoschool via christineknight.me

All of the Smiggle products are well-made and durable, making them a great choice for little kids. It makes me happy when things don’t break the first time my preschooler (mis)uses them. Big hardy zippers, strong stitching, sturdy plastic, thick velcro – these products are made to last rough use by little hands.

Smiggle Back To School Giveaway #backtoschool via christineknight.me

Smiggle Back To School Giveaway #backtoschool via christineknight.me

Smiggle Back To School Giveaway #backtoschool via christineknight.me

Smiggle Back To School Giveaway #backtoschool via christineknight.me

Is your child starting school soon? Why don’t you enter the giveaway below to win your own Smiggle Back To School pack? Entry is open Monday January 12, 2015, 12:01 am to Sunday January 18, 11:59pm (Sydney-time). Entry is open to Australian shipping addresses only via the form below. You can read the full T&Cs here. The most creative entry will win.

The winner will receive the red Smiggle pack pictured (no other colour option), including:

Travel Double Decker Lunchbox (RRP $24.95)
Travel Tube Pencil Case (RRP $10.95)
Travel Wallet (RRP $10.95)
Travel Lanyard (RRP $4.95)
Travel Holographic Ruler (RRP $3.95)
Pop Mini Electric Sharpener (RRP $16.95)

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!

Good Night, Sleep Tight: Oricom Night Light

Oricom Night Light via chrisineknight.me

At around 2-and-a-half, Cheese developed a fear of the dark. Ever since, I’ve been looking for the perfect night light for her bedroom. One that isn’t plugged attached to the wall so Cheese can carry it around or take it to bed, something that is easy to operate,and that doesn’t go through hundreds of batteries a year. We’ve been through a lot of night lights in the past year.

Enter the Oricom animal night light collection. This new multi-colour night light collection comes in four animal designs – a cat, dog, monkey or pig (Cheese has the dog).

Oricom Night Light via chrisineknight.me

The night lights are safe for little hands, and are durable, so you don’t need to worry about them getting broken by the little hands playing with them. The night light’s casing is soft and BPA-free, making it gentle bed companion if that’s what your child needs.

Oricom Night Light via chrisineknight.me

Each night light comes with a base that plugs into the wall. The night light character sits on top of the base to charge via the wireless charging system – no clipping or buttons, it literally just perches on top, making it easy for kids to remove and replace during the night. The night light can be taken into bed, or used as a torch if your child wakes during the night needing you, or the bathroom. A 10-hour battery life, means it can stay on all night long if your child needs it to, and a timer control helps to save energy.

Oricom Night Light via chrisineknight.me

To turn the nightlight on, simply press down the head. Keep pressing the head to change the night light into a rainbow of colours – red, blue and green.

The Oricom animal night light collection” target=”_blank”>Oricom animal night light collection retails for $49.95 each.

Thanks to Oricom for providing me with a night light sample for reviewing purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.

Christine Knight
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!