One of the most magical things about childhood is being able to indulge your imagination at all times. I loved the innocence of it. Once I was faced with some very harsh realities (much too early in my life) I longed for that world of wonder and excitement to come back. The world where anything was possible and I didn't know any different. I really want to nurture and inspire my daughters imagination for as long as possible. I am relishing the fact that I will be able to enjoy her make believe worlds with her.
When I was young (it wasn't as long ago as that statement makes it sound) we had to make our own fun from scratch, there weren't as many wizz bang toys as there are now (or maybe my mum was just poor?). We made do with empty boxes, toilet rolls and my favourite the empty clothes trolley and coloured pegs (they were my food cart and veggies to serve the imaginary old people in my great grandmas sun room). These days there are a lot more tools around to help parents inspire imagination. I have recently found out about the Beetle Bottoms stories. I was immediately drawn to them because they brought back fond memories. Although they were not around when I was a child, they immediately reminded me of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. I was also mesmerised by fairies when I was little and the idea that tiny little people could exist (think Fern Gully). To me Beetle Bottoms are a nice combination of both of these.
Beetle Bottoms are tiny little people who live in gardens all over the world. Not very many people get to see them as they are sooo tiny (about the size of an apple pip). There are two types of Beetle Bottoms - the apple keepers and the honey keepers. They live high up in trees in tiny little houses. They fly on butterflies and tiny little birds to get up to their houses. They have lots of exciting (and sometimes dangerous) adventures which children can learn about from the Beetle Bottoms story books and games.
The Beetle Bottoms stories are told by Fiona Whyte, Sarah Hill and Madison Holroyd. All of the Beetle Bottoms products are designed so children can play, create and imagine. Beetle Bottoms bring children's imagination to life so the fun doesn't end once the stories are over. Story play allows children to come up with their own Beetle Bottoms adventures and believe anything is possible. It also helps to boost confidence; build language, relationship and problem-solving skills and enhance communication skills. It also promotes acceptance of others and a curiosity and respect for nature. Most of all it is learning through play - which I believe is the most effective (and fun) way to teach children.
There are a number of different Beetle Bottoms products available including story books, educational games and wall decals. I was lucky enough to test out a few with my niece. Here's what we think.
|She was so excited she wanted to play with everything |
at the same time
Memory & Snap Game
The memory and snap game is a pack of 36 cards (with 18 matching pairs) which can either be used to play a game of memory or a game of snap. The games can be played either by one person or more. Both games help increase concentration and improve cognitive skills through play.
I was most excited about this game as snap and memory were some of my favourite games as a child. These cards are a fun take on the sometimes boring ones we used to play with. We played both games together, but my niece was more interested in memory than snap so that game lasted longer.
|Helping me to set up the cards for Memory|
She was mainly more interested in the memory game because she got to look at the pictures for longer. In the end she ended up just wanting to turn over all the cards because she wanted to look at all the pictures at the same time. She is only 3 so I can't blame her for getting frustrated with me for making her turn the cards back over. The fact that she wanted to look at them so much is a testament to how gorgeous Fiona's illustrations are. These cards are probably more suited to children aged 4+, but its still fun playing with them with a younger child (as long as you aren't a stickler for the rules).
Where is Pip is a pop up book that tells the story of Petal looking for her little sister Pip. Pip searches different places in the garden to try and find her sister. The illustrations are gorgeous, colourful and engaging.
First of all let me just say pop up books are the best type of childrens book ever! My niece was obsessed with this book. We read it over and over and over. And then a few more times so she could keep opening the flaps. In the end she was telling me the story, instead of me reading the book to her. Her version was a bit different to the actual story, but thats the whole magic of story play.
|Looking for Pip|
If I had not of packed the book away I swear she would have sat there for hours with it (take note parents). This book is great for toddlers and above. I will be giving it to my daughter (5 months) to play with soon, but at the moment shes into ripping paper so I don't want her to destroy it. For now she has to make do with mummy opening the flaps for her.
Beetle Bottoms and the Sticky Situation
This book tells the story of an exciting and dangerous adventure that Pip, Petal, Thorn and Nut have one day. It includes flying on birds, hiding in a spiderweb, being trapped in a wormhole and the steps they all take to try and rescue each other. I love that it teaches children about problem solving and the importance of working together. It also subtly teaches them about danger and consequences. It sends a great message of teamwork and triumph against all odds.
Although she can't read yet herself, my niece loved this book. She was looking at the pictures and adding to the story as I was reading it to her. She got a little bit frightened of the spider, but once she saw what happened after and as I explained it to her she very quickly got over her fear. It definitely captured her imagination and got her thinking.
I am a big fan of the Beetle Bottoms products as they provide numerous options for educational play which helps children developmentally while also being heaps of fun. Each time you play the stories and games will be different as your child creates new and exciting adventures. You are only limited by your childs imagination. Once you are done playing inside you can go outside and have your own adventure searching for Beetle Bottoms in the garden.
There are many different products available for a range of age groups from babies to 10 year olds. At the moment there are also gift packs on special (perfect for Christmas or birthdays). Sarah has generously provided a copy of Beetle Bottoms and the Sticky Situation to giveaway to a Finding Myself Young reader. There are also runner up prizes! See details below.
Disclosure - I was not paid for this review, but was gifted a copy of the products shown in order to review them. All opinions are my own and my nieces.
BEETLE BOTTOMS GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will win a copy of the story play book Beetle Bottoms and the Sticky Situation and three runners up will win a beetle bottoms removable bird decal.
For your chance to win follow the rafflecopter prompts below and leave us a comment telling us:
Which Beetle Bottoms character is most like your child and why?
You can find out about each characters individual personality here
Terms & Conditions
Open to Australian residents only, excluding ACT.
Prize is not transferable.
All mandatory steps must be completed to constitute a valid entry.
This contest is a game of skill and will be judged based on the most creative answers.
Winners will be chosen by Beetle Bottoms.
This contest is in no way associated with or endorsed by Facebook.
a Rafflecopter giveaway