I don't have any kidlets of my own but I couldn't help but be distracted by the wonderful array of kids products, when I visited Life Instyle trade show in Melbourne last weekend.
A little of my fascination was fueled by the kid inside and all the things I know I would have LOVED when I was young. So for those of you who have little cherubs of your own, I thought I would highlight a few great companies that really caught my eye.
First up is New Zealand based company Flatout Frankie. As many of you are aware the box is often the highlight for many kids when a new TV is bought or even when it surrounds a new shiny toy! Go figure! The smart peeps at Flatout Frankie have capitalised on the cardboard box fascination of little ones and taken things a step further designing a wonderful range of cardboard flat pack toys. These toys not only encourage creative minds to think 'outside the box', they also are friendly on the environment and aren't gonna cost a small fortune!
They really are a blank canvas for some serious fun, I mean come on, who wouldn't want to have some fun with crazy dinosaur heads, cardboard aeroplanes, cars...or even a princess castle!
Next up may be the the most fun thing EVER, a big call I know! I met the Smellie peeps at the show, perhaps I should clarify when I say Smellies, thats not my name for some odorous people I met on the day, it's actually Smellies Clothing a T-Shirt company who have brought back the 80's scratch and smell stickers fad with a new spin. They have in fact created a range of super fun scratch and smell T-Shirts! How fun, yes?
I was blown away with how clever it was, it was like something out of a Willie Wonka movie! Scratch the popcorn box and it smells like you are sitting down with some butter popcorn and your fave movie, or the candy cane which smells like Christmas, and who doesn't love the smell of fresh strawberries! Oh yeah and what kid is not gonna have a giggle when they tell their friends they have a smellie T-shirt!
The tried and tested microcapsule technology holds the scent and is released when scratched. If that's not enough of a flashback they have also relaunched the hyper colour technology we all know and loved from the same era! They are back for the kids to enjoy all over again.
I am not sure about you but as a kid I was all about creating! I would sit for hours cutting and colouring in or fashioning an egg carton into a Barbie hat. I loved to be creative and be imaginitive and as a result I still love spending hours cutting, painting and making new things (although not making Barbie hats out of egg boxes so much anymore)! Without getting all "in my day" on you, I think a little of this is lost today and computer games/ipads and all things interactive have taken over. So when I saw the Seedling stand at the show I was taken back to my five year old egg box hat making self.
I couldn't get enough of their range, really clever ideas which aim to encourage little minds to get creative and discover cool stuff. They have a wide range of items which are a template for their imaginations to go wild. Just a few of the kits include the fashion designers kit,design your own pirate treasure map,or the best in my opinion design your own superhero cape. I think I know a few adults who would even be into that!! Ha!
They also had a great pocket money collection, lots of fun little things which are always a winner for those special pocket money treats.
Next up is another fab company that caught my eye mainly for their stacked abacus like colourful Playon Crayons which are fantastic for little fingers and stack up nicely out of the way when not in use. I also really liked their world maps, great for an adult study to map where you have been or for the kids to decorate and record their travels or just dare to dream of future adventures.
Check them out here for stockist details.
I could quite easily write all day about all the wonderful things I saw there for more info you can check out the Life Instyle website to have a look at all the exhibitors from the weekend.
Tomorrow I will be back with some more highlights from the show just so that I can prove that I did manage to escape from the kids show for a bit.