Friday, December 18, 2015

Does Your Health Insurance Cover You Outside of Your State?

For most people the Christmas period means holidays and leaving the everyday grind behind for a few weeks. Lots of people take advantage of the extended school holidays and time off work to go on family vacations {we did when I was 12 and went to England to visit my Aunty & Uncle}. There are obvious insurance plans that need to be put in place when travelling overseas should something go wrong, however travelling within Australia can have insurance implications as well. Today the team at HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au are guest posting to help shed some light on insurance questions you should ask before travelling over the holiday period.


Does Your Health Insurance Cover You Outside of Your State?


Visiting family in another part of Australia can be a great change of scene during the holiday season but it can be a potential nightmare if circumstances mean you have to seek treatment there and your health insurance doesn't cover you in this location. Depending on your health fund, you may be covered throughout Australia but this won’t necessarily be the case. Here’s what you need to know about accessing hospital and ambulance services when you’re away from home.


Are You Covered?


Some health funds will cover you for treatment in any hospital that they have an agreement with, even if it isn’t local to you. If your health fund has agreements with lots of private hospitals across Australia, there is a very good chance that you will be covered for treatment outside of your state. If you know that you’re going to be away for home for more than a day or two, it’s always worth checking to see whether your health fund has agreements with private hospitals in the area.

Assuming that you can use a participating agreement hospital, you’ll be covered for the same level of benefits in line with your policy. Basically, you won’t be covered for anything that your policy doesn’t include but at the same time, you won’t usually receive lesser benefits.

What If Your Health Fund Doesn’t Have an Agreement with the Hospital?


If you do have to be admitted to a hospital that your health fund does not have an agreement with, you may not be covered for very much or anything at all and can expect to pay out-of-pocket costs for treatment.

What About Ambulance Transport?


Emergency ambulance services are included by some health funds in Hospital or Extras cover. Beyond this, you can often buy standalone emergency ambulance cover through most health funds. This is usually national coverage throughout Australia. Generally speaking, “emergency” ambulance transport include cardiac arrest, severe breathing difficulties and other symptoms that strongly suggest that the patient’s life may be in danger. Non emergency ambulance transport that does not require the use of flashing lights and sirens doesn’t fall into this category and won’t be eligible for a claim.

Most state ambulance schemes only cover you within your own state but there are some exceptions to this, which can be invaluable if a member of the family requires ambulance transport while you are away from home. Some states have reciprocal agreements with one another if residents of one state need ambulance transport in the other state. NSW and ACT residents with a concession card or eligible Hospital cover with a health fund can access emergency ambulance services in most states, excluding SA and QLD. It’s a similar story in TAS, and residents are covered in all states except for SA and QLD. If you’re not sure, check with your state ambulance provider to see if they have any reciprocal arrangements in place with other states.

If there is no state ambulance scheme in your area and you don’t have any form of ambulance cover, you won’t be exempt from being able to access ambulance transport but it can be a very expensive trip (even for short journeys).

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Top 10 Finding Myself Young posts for 2015

As the year draws to a close I thought it'd be fun to take a trip down memory lane and see which posts were your favourites of 2015. One of the main reasons I write my blog is to capture memories and moments that I'd probably otherwise forget. I'm so glad I do this because I have to say sometimes I forget all about things until I re-read them on my blog {sad but true}. Its nice to have those snippets to look back on. So, lets have a look back at your favourites from the year.


Your favourite posts on Finding Myself Young in 2015



I never thought I'd ever have a home decorating style post on my blog {because I'm not a designer or style blogger}, but it's proven to be a super popular post. Maybe I should do more? I mainly wrote this post to celebrate the fact that I'd finally got her nursery together after months of indecisiveness. Although apart from the cot and the change table it's definitely more a little girl's room than a baby's nursery, and that has a lot to do with the fact that it took me 20 months to put it together. I know, I know nursery's are supposed to be done before the baby arrives, buuuut we got there in the end and that's all that matters.


This is a post I wrote back in 2013, but each year it continues to be popular. And I love that because its a great message that I think more people need to hear. The greatest gift a man can give his daughter, is to love her mother. I grew up in a family where affection wasn't freely given or shown. I never saw my parents love each other and I think, in part, that set me up to make some poor choices in the future. T and I have made a conscious decision to parent differently and make sure that bub, and any other children we have, know their parents love each other. I want bub to find a man who treats her right and shows her the love she deserves, and I'm hoping by setting a good example for her we can some how shape that future.




Ever had one of those moments that reminds you everything can change in a split second? I had one earlier this year when bub fell off the couch and landed smack bang head first into our tile floor. The moment I saw her land on the tiles with her poor head all twisted and crooked will never leave me. They were without a doubt, up until that point, the worst moments of my life as a parent. I honestly thought for a moment we'd lost her, or that she'd be severely disabled after landing so awkwardly. It seems toddlers are quite prone to jumping/falling off couches though as she's done it again since {it didn't involve an ambulance trip though thank god}.


This year I decided to put together my first ever gift guide and it's proven to be extremely popular. I compiled my 5 favourite newborn/baby items that we've used and loved. If you're expecting you really should check it out.


Since having bub I've discovered all sorts of weird and wonderful kids products and sonny angels have to be my favourite. Mainly because they're cute and I can claim my obsession collection is for bub, which makes me feel less guilty. Don't know what they are? You really should, but be warned, they're addictive.


Remember before when I said bub falling off the couch was the worst time I'd experienced as a parent? Well she topped it. In her defence though she did nothing to cause this one. Back in April this year bub went through her first surgery. When bub was about 10 months old I noticed her eyes were starting to turn. I was born with permanently turned eyes {which were corrected when I was a child} and I was worried bub would have the same issues I did. It turns out she did and at 14 months she started seeing an eye specialist and was given glasses and put on the waiting list for eye surgery. Even though I knew it was coming I was still a complete mess.


Back in May we attempted to introduce the idea of toilet training to bub. I was trialling the new Charlie & Lola training pants from BabyLove and thought we'd give the whole potty thing a go. Fast forward 7 months and we're still trying to introduce toilet training. It went that well haha. She still hasn't done anything in the potty, but loves to sit on it when either of us goes to the toilet. So I guess that's a good sign. Hopefully nobody is googling that post for toilet training tips because I got none.


We all have those moments when we reach the end of our tether and just want to lose our shit or crumble into a useless mess on the floor,right? I know I do. Parenting small humans is such a hard and relentless job. And tiring, oh my god its so tiring. There are bound to be periods of time where we feel like we just can't cope with it all. I wrote this post after one of those days {when my daughter made me cry}.


Another old post from back in 2014, this one is quite often in my most popular posts each week. It took me a long time to write it and I second guessed it a billion times after I published it, but I think it was important to share my story. I often re-read it to remind myself of how far I've come.


Seems there really are a lot of other sonny angel obsessed people out there! Judging by how many times this post gets viewed anyway.

So there you have it, your favourite posts of 2015.

Toni x

Linking with Jess
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Friday, December 11, 2015

Smiggle has Christmas all wrapped up

I'm really excited for Christmas this year because bub's finally starting to understand it. She's just started recognising who Santa is, but she hasn't quite worked out what he has to do with Christmas or that he brings presents. Mind you she does have the present thing figured out {to the extent that she knows presents need to be unwrapped and they're awesome}. So awesome that I haven't been able to put any under the tree because she wants to rip them open right away.

Choosing presents can sometimes be super hard though, especially for young kids. This year I've gone for two semi big presents {a small trampoline + toddler slide} and a handful of smaller gifts. I know everyone says you should buy something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read; but this year my present buying philosophy has been something to have fun. Ok not just something, lots of something's. She's only going to be little once and I want her to have as much fun as possible {plus I'm buying things I always wanted as a kid so I can relive my childhood}.

If you're still wracking your brains about what to buy, or need some more stocking stuffers, Smiggle have a huge range of games, toys, gadgets and activity sets to get kids excited on Christmas morning. I'm particularly loving that all the cool old school toys {ones that I played with as a kid, not that I'm old *ahem*} are making a resurgence. Things like slapbands, lamps {think lava lamps}, pin art, mini pinball games, bead kits and bouncy goo. I loved all that stuff as a kid. Needless to say when Smiggle asked if I wanted to bub wanted to try out some goodies I couldn't say yes fast enough.


Bub's been road testing the new Smiggle pin art shapes. You know the little metal pin boards you press down and make shapes in aka one of the most fun things to do ever, especially if you're a child {or a child at heart}. Smiggle have taken the classic grey pin art squares that were around when I was a kid and transformed them into cool colourful shaped pin art. There are hearts and hexagons available in a range of bright colours. We've got the pink heart and the green hexagon. Bub preferred the heart {because its pink} so I've wrapped the green hexagon up under the Christmas tree as a present for her daddy. He's a big kid like me so I have no doubt he's going to love it.

Meanwhile we've been having hours and hours of fun with the pin art heart. Even though bub's only 2 and a half {and the pin art shapes are recommended for 6+}, she worked out what to do with it immediately. She was so confident that when I tried to help she said "no mummy help, I do it". Sure enough she knew what to do {once she worked out which side to put her hand on. Now she walks around the house for ages holding her hand up in the heart saying "wow my hand, look my hand". I'm pretty sure she thinks its magic.


Of course I couldn't let bub have all the fun, I've been stealing the heart to play with myself as well. Don't judge me, I bet you would too. Pin art is just so addictive, the pins feel so relaxing I can't help myself. It's like a tiny little massage for my hands. And its so much fun.


If you'd like to get your hands on a pin art shape for your child {or yourself, no judgement here}, you can buy them online or in-store at Smiggle for $19.95. Smiggle also have a huge range of other goodies starting at under $10. 

SMIGGLE PIN ART GIVEAWAY


So I couldn't keep all the fun just for us, thanks to Smiggle I have a set of 2 pin art shapes for one lucky reader. The set includes the pink heart + green hexagon pin art shapes just like we have. For your chance to win leave me a comment below letting me know what your favourite childhood toy or game was and why.


Please remember to fill in the rafflecopter widget as well so I can contact you if you win. The easiest way to leave a comment is to choose the name/url option and leave the url section blank {if you don't have a website or blog}. If you're having any issues commenting please email me or send me a message via my facebook page and I'll help you out.

Good Luck!

Toni

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TERMS & CONDITIONS
Competition commences 12:00am December 11th 2015 and ends 12:00am December 16th 2015. Entry is open to Australian residents only, excluding ACT. One winner will receive two Smiggle pin art shapes. Prize will be delivered by Smiggle, Finding Myself Young takes no responsibility for prize delivery. This competition is a game of skill and will be judged as such. All mandatory entry steps must be completed to constitute a valid entry. Incomplete entries will be deemed invalid and excluded from judging. Winner will have 72hrs to respond or prize will be redrawn. This competition is in no way endorsed, promoted or administered by Facebook.

Disclosure - I was gifted 2 pin art shapes for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own based on my experience with the products. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with Caroline.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mummy Must Have Review | Magne Tricks

Bub is such a little sponge at the moment, always absorbing everything around her and coming out with new things. I'm one of those parents who likes to turn every situation into an opportunity for learning. I'm constantly looking for new ways to tweak activities or add props to incorporate learning into our play time, so she's developing new skills in a fun environment. At the moment she's really into learning letters and numbers so we've been using tools like the etch-a-sketch, you tube videos, songs, bath appliqu├ęs and books to help her learn the alphabet and counting. Its been working really well as she can count to twenty and has a basic understanding of the alphabet.

We're now looking to build on her skills and add in things like phonics, so I'm always adding to our stash of educational toys and tools. A great resource I've recently discovered is Magne Tricks which are educational magnets designed for children. They come in a range of different sets all designed to teach different skills for different learning levels. What a cool idea to turn the fridge, which she looks at almost every day, into a learning tool. We've been using the basic alphabet, numbers {up to 12} and a family name set for a few weeks now.

When the magnets first arrived I set them up on the fridge without telling her so she could explore them herself {and because I wanted her to be surprised}. Then of course I forgot about them until I heard her saying "wow a A, a D, a H, a J" from the kitchen. Needless to say she was super excited the boring fridge is now covered in bright colours, letters and numbers. She's also been really good and hasn't tried to take them off yet.


Without a doubt her favourite set are the alphabet flash magnets. She can't walk past the fridge without pointing out letters and saying them. What I love about this set is that it also teaches phonics by matching the letters with an object or animal, so she's learning the sounds the letters make in addition to recognising the individual letters themselves. She just started saying A is for ..., B is for ... etc before we got the magnets so this set has really harnessed her enthusiasm and given her more words to match to the letters. Although she still prefers saying A is for apple and B is for ball over the ant and bird, but she has been telling me I is for igwoo a lot. I really love that the set includes the letters in both lower case and upper case. She's really good at recognising letters in upper case and we're starting to work on the lower case. Having them side by side is making it a lot easier for her to understand.


Although bub can already count past 12, I got the basic number set to help her learn sequencing and matching groups of items to the numbers. What I love about this set is that the numbers and the matching items are colour coded making it easier for younger children to match them up. It also gives a visual representation of the numbers. At the moment bub's just been pointing out the numbers and counting out the items with me, but when she understands it more I'm going to make it into a game where she can match the numbers and items. I'm also thinking of getting the next set from 13-24 as she can count to 20, but gets a bit confused with the order of some of the numbers. She also still pronounces thirteen and fifteen as threeteen and fiveteen, but we'll work on that over time.


I also got a set of custom family name magnets which are more for future use so that she can learn names of her relatives. The sets can include 18-24 different names and are great for kids who are learning to read and write. Obviously bub is nowhere near reading yet so I've got them mainly for her to learn the names by me saying them {although she does spell out the letters to me already because she loves pointing out letters}. I got a mixture of names and titles {e.g. aunty, uncle, nanna}. I'm planning on matching them with photos of family members on the fridge so she can learn name recognition and then later on we can use them for reading and writing. 


Magne Tricks was created by a mum and primary school teacher to give parents reusable resources for the home or classroom. The magnets are colourful, engaging and can also be customised. Magne Tricks offer a wide variety of magnets to help children master literacy, numeracy and communication skills. The magnets cover a large age group from toddlers to school children with simple sets such as the ones we've been using through to more advanced sets including sight words, songs, calendars and an analogue clock set. There are also magnet chart sets for routines, chores and reward systems. Plus there are special Christmas themed sets at the moment. There's pretty much a magnet set for everything.

There are so many other sets I want to get for bub in the future, but I'm going to have to either buy a magnetic board for her or get a bigger fridge to fit them on. Just quietly I don't like my chances of getting a bigger fridge. But, that's not going to stop me from getting more, the song sets and shape set are definitely on my wish list because I know she'll love them.

Is your fridge covered with magnets?

Toni x

Disclosure - I was gifted the sets shown above for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own based on our experience with the products and I fully intend to purchase more in the future. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with Jess & Caroline
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Monday, December 7, 2015

Dyson v6 Absolute vacuum review

Normally I'm against stereotype "female" gifts i.e. toasters, blenders and other household appliances. I'd like to think that in this day and age we've moved past thinking housework is just women's work, but it seems all the department stores still think it is. Granted it is me who does most of the "housework" here, but that's not the point. I have to admit though, despite my dislike of pigeon-holed gender roles and the gifts associated with them, I was absolutely swooning over getting a new Dyson vacuum. I know I'm a big fat hypocrite, but trust me you'd be swooning over it too.

Up until recently vacuuming wasn't something I enjoyed doing {because hello it's vacuuming}. However, with a small toddler I don't really have a choice because toddlers are super messy. Playdoh, dirt, glitter, sultanas, peas and a whole bunch of other stuff inevitably finds its way onto my floors about 4000 times a day. Needless to say that requires a bit of cleaning and also meant I've had a lot of resentment towards needing to do it every five minutes. That was until my new Dyson v6 Absolute arrived this week.

Christmas has come early in our house, well for me anyway {bub still has to wait}. I never thought I'd be so excited...
Posted by Finding Myself Young on Saturday, December 5, 2015


You see up until this week I've been cleaning with a really heavy barrel vacuum that I've had for 9yrs. I didn't realise how far technology had come in the last 9yrs, my old vacuum really does look like something from the stone ages compared to the Dyson. I really had no idea what I was missing out on. Handstick, cordless and bag-less were words I never associated with vacuuming until the last week. I'm so glad Dyson has opened my eyes to how easy {and dare I say enjoyable} it can be. I'm totally in love with vacuuming now and I'm secretly loving it when bub makes a mess because it means I can clean it up {who even am I?}.

Dyson v6 absolute cordless vacuum cleaner review

Without a doubt the biggest benefit of the Dyson v6 Absolute for me is that the vacuum is cordless. Not only does it save me having to stop and change the plug 3 different times while moving around the house, it also makes vacuuming a lot safer. A toddler running a million miles an hour plus a rogue vacuum cord don't really mix. Not to mention all the times the cord used to get caught on furniture as I moved around each room. Now I can move from room to room much quicker and easier.

The Dyson v6 Absolute comes with separate hard floor and carpet cleaning heads which makes it really simple to move from the tiles downstairs to the carpet upstairs. A simple click of a button removes the head and the new one slots in place. It also comes with a mini motorised tool, crevice tool and combination tool for cleaning all the hard to reach places like the couch, car and skirting boards.


The v6 Absolute also makes cleaning the stairs a lot easier. It was quite dangerous cleaning my stairs before, because I had to balance my heavy vacuum precariously on the edge of each step as I moved up. Not any more, thankgod. The Dyson vacuum is so light I can clean the stairs really quickly {and safely} now.

The vacuum is completely bag-less, storing all the contents in a clear canister. There's something so satisfying about seeing all the dirt that I've just sucked up sitting there waiting to be disposed of. It's really easy to empty - a simple flick of a button and all the dirt falls straight out into the bin. No more messing around trying to retrieve overflowing dust bags. The Dyson V6 Absolute also uses patented 2 Tier Radial™ cyclones, a post motor filter and a sealed system to ensure that the air that leaves machine is cleaner than the air you breathe. I have really bad asthma and I'm allergic to dust, so being able to vacuum without being exposed to all the dust particles is a huge benefit to me. The filters also don't need replacing, just a clean out once a month. No more buying replacement bags or filters.

Instead of having an on/off button, the Dyson v6 Absolute has a trigger button which needs to be held down to work. I'm in two minds about this. On the one hand I love it because it makes me feel in control, plus it means the vacuum only works when I need it to, so I'm not wasting any power while moving from one room to another. But, it does mean that my finger gets a bit fatigued if I use it for the whole 20 minutes.

The main drawback with the v6 Absolute is that it only has a 20 minute battery life, which means its not really designed to clean an entire house in one go. Its more for spot cleaning high traffic areas in between. However, because I live in a small townhouse I can pretty much do my entire house before the 20 minutes runs out {if I don't use the max button}, so it's not a huge issue for me but may turn others off. From what I've researched the 20 minute battery life seems to be pretty comparable to other cordless vacuums on the market.

What I love

Cordless
5 different cleaning heads
Compact + light {2.3kg}
Bag-less + HEPA filters
No need for replacement filters
Can convert to handheld for cleaning car + small areas
2 year warranty

Drawbacks

Short battery life
Trigger button
Price {It's on the expensive side, but in my opinion is worth every cent}

Overall opinion


The Dyson v6 Absolute has made cleaning so much easier and a lot safer, especially with a toddler on the loose. It hasn't stopped bub's fear of vacuum's, although she will try and help me use this one despite being scared of the noise, which is a huge improvement. She's even tried to change the power heads for me which gives me hope that one day maybe she'll do the vacuum cleaning for me! Although she'll have to fight me for it because right now I love it too much to share.

Its safe to say it's ignited a love for vacuum cleaning I never knew I had in me. I'm constantly looking for mess on the floor just so I have an excuse to use it. My floors have never looked so clean {if you ignore all the toys bub has lying around}. I'm sure if T knew it'd have this effect on me he would've got me one years ago. It's definitely a worthy investment.

You can purchase the Dyson v6 Absolute online from Dyson with free shipping, or find it in store at Myer, David Jones, Big W, Masters, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman and many other leading electrical retailers.

Do you love or loath vacuuming?

Toni x

Disclosure - I was gifted the Dyson v6 Absolute in exchange for attending a demonstration at the Food & Wine show and reviewing it here on the blog. All opinions are my own based on my experience using the vacuum cleaner. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with Kirsty, Alicia & Eva
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Friday, December 4, 2015

Cool tees for adventurous kids

Have you ever wandered around the department stores looking for kids clothes and thought everything looks the same? Struggled to find cool, unique clothes that stand out from the rest? That's exactly what happened to my friend Megan each time she went shopping for cool, age appropriate tees for her son. After becoming increasingly frustrated with the mass produced department store tees, she decided to make her own tee range.

After months of planning, she launched her own label Indie & Sloan in 2014. Indie & Sloan create cool tee's for kids with an adventurous spirit who like to stand out, have fun and who aren't afraid to get messy. Each design has a hint of attitude and spunk to represent the personality of the kids who wear them. Indie & Sloan originally started as a unisex tee range, but now includes some specific girls tees {which are a mix of whimsy and tomboy, so still have the same edgy feel as the other tees}.

The cool part about having a friend who owns a tee business is bub gets to occasionally road test the designs. Bub's had a few different Indie & Sloan t-shirts and I'm always sad when she outgrows them because they're my favourite tees {especially given they still look brand new after 6 months of wear}. The latest tee we've got is Oh Deer! a gorgeous little doe eyed deer surrounded by a floral wreath. 


So cute right? Then I put it on my not so angelic, slightly tomboy child and all of a sudden the deer takes on a mischievous look. Or maybe that's just my sassy little miss projecting her personality. Either way I think the deer suits her and she certainly seems to like it {although she refused to smile for all my photos}.


Indie & Sloan tees are premium quality 100% cotton and pre-shrunk. They last for ages and can handle all the wear and tear of a toddler. And trust me bub puts them through their paces. The first time she ever wore an Indie & Sloan tee she covered herself in wet mud and I swear every time she's worn one since she deliberately gets as dirty as possible. They've been covered in pen, paint, dirt and food and yet they still come up as new after a wash {with stain remover}. The poor deer has been no exception, the day I took these photos she was tearing around the backyard a million miles an hour rolling on the grass, jumping on the trampoline and getting messy with her water table. By the end of the day she'd managed to get water, sauce and then ice-block on it. I swear she tries to destroy them on purpose. But it still came up good as new. T-shirt: 1 toddler: 0.


Indie & Sloan have a huge range of funky t-shirts for babies through to 8yr olds. Each design is hand drawn first and screen printed using eco-friendly, non-toxic ink. Indie & Sloan will be expanding in 2016 to include trucker caps and singlets. A few other products are also in the pipeline to be released later on in the year. Follow Indie & Sloan on Facebook to keep up to date with new product launches.

Toni x

Linking with Kaz & Caroline
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mummy Must Have Review | Box For Monkeys

I'm really loving the toddler stage. I have to admit when she was younger I was dreading the toddler years because I thought it would be all tantrums and defiance, and while I admit there is a lot of that, there's also the fun stuff like crafting and imaginary play. I swear bub's an artist in the making, she's all about painting, drawing and stickers at the moment. The creativity is strong in this one {and I'm loving it}.

Now that she's 2 and has a {slightly} longer attention span it means we can enjoy doing crafting and play activities together, for longer than 5 minutes at a time. She still wants to do everything together with me rather than on her own, but I don't mind because I really enjoy it and love watching her mastering new skills. She gets so proud of herself when she can do new things.

She's such a sponge for new information at the moment, always after new activities and new experiences. I'm constantly coming up with new craft and play ideas {or tweaking her favourites} so that she doesn't get bored. Because bored toddlers are grumpy toddlers and nobody wants that. It can be a bit exhausting constantly coming up with new ideas though, unless you have hours to spend trawling Pinterest each night {which I don't}. Luckily, there are businesses out there where other clever souls have done all the thinking for you. I've recently discovered Box For Monkeys and thanks to them bub's had hours of fun playing and creating.


WHAT IS BOX FOR MONKEYS?


Box For Monkeys is a themed monthly subscription box full of unisex kids activities designed specifically for 3 - 6 year olds. Each box contains all the materials and inspiration to explore for items, cook a recipe, make and create masterpieces, sing music, play games and read stories. Each box is lovingly created by a team of educators and creative parents, and each individual item is tested by a team of product testing monkeys for their seal of approval before it's included.

Each month's box has a new theme and includes a mix of fun, creative and educational elements. The boxes are primarily designed to promote interaction between parents and kids. Don't worry if you're not an overly crafty parent though, all instructions are really easy and they've thought of everything you'll need. Even though bub's only 2 she loves doing assisted creative activities so we gave the October box a go.

BOX FOR MONKEYS OCTOBER BOX - FARM ANIMALS


The October box was all about animals, which is right up bub's ally as she loves all different animals {especially farm animals}. The box included a farm story book, a farm sticker and colouring book, another farm sticker book, a piggy bank to paint, a set of animal dominoes, an animal cookie cutter and twisty crayons. It also included cards with a recipe, a song and items to explore. Each of the games and activities have a sticker with the estimated time it takes attached so you can take this into account when planning to do each one. 

Even before we started playing with any of the items I could tell the box was value for money. With 7 items its definitely a worthwhile investment. There was even ideas for how to reuse the box for play. 

COLOURING & STICKER FUN



You should've seen bub's eyes light up when she saw the crayons. She was literally yelling at me "mummy get scissors open" and followed me to the kitchen to make sure I was opening them. I was a bit excited and apprehensive when I saw that the crayons were twisty ones. Excited because yay I can twist them back up so she can't draw on the walls with them when I'm not looking, but apprehensive because I knew she'd get frustrated not being able to open them herself. There was a bit of frustration because she was adamant "no mine do, not mummy do", but in the end she relented and we twisted them together. Surprisingly enough there were no huge tantrums and then she was content to colour away for a good 20 mins {which in toddler time is forever}.


The Farm Sticker & Colouring Book is a really cool colouring book because instead of being a blank colouring book its an actual story book with coloured pages and some blank sections for kids to colour in. It also has heaps of stickers {which she hasn't pulled out yet, but I'm sure will discover in time}. I've put the smaller sticker book away for later on so I can make all the stickers last as long as possible.

STORIES & GAMES



Being 2 bub doesn't have the comprehension to play a proper game of dominoes yet, but nevertheless she has had a heap of fun playing with them. She loves to tell me what's on each one "sheep, sheep" "cow, pig" "horsey, horsey" "cat, duck". I showed her how to line them up so the matching animals are next to each other, but she prefers to just line them up randomly in a row. To be honest I'm impressed she has the patience to sit and play with them for a long period of time, regardless of whether she's doing it correctly or not. She also packs them away into the box with me when she's finished, which is a small miracle because this child does not pack away toys, ever.


We're going to bake the cookies soon {I've tried to do them a few days in the last week but she wasn't interested then she got sick}. I'm thinking of turning the explore activity into a sensory bin play experience by taking toy versions of all of the items and putting them in a sensory tub with rice. That way she can still find them, but its more suited for a toddler.

PAINTING FUN



I was super excited when I saw that the box contained a piggy bank plaster of paris {are they even called that anymore?}. I have a pink porcelain piggy bank and bub is obsessed with it and always wants to play with it, but it's way too fragile for her so I had to move it to stop her trying to carry it around everywhere. Now she has her very own mini piggy bank that she doesn't have to share. Of course the really awesome part is that she got to paint it herself. The kit included the paint brush and paints {I raided the coins from my other piggy bank}.


I have to admit my ocd was super thankful that the paint included came in individual snap shut pots. I only opened one pot at a time hoping that the piggy bank wouldn't end up a big brown mess. It kind of worked until she started smearing all the paint together on the pig anyway. But she still ended up with an ok pig which has now been dubbed "wainbow pig".



Even though bub is only 2 and a bit {so technically younger than the boxes are designed for}, she's had a great time doing all the activities with me. The box will also keep giving over time as our games of dominos will evolve as she gets older and the crayons will last for ages. I'm also planning on using the cookie recipe to create Christmas cookies for the kids on Christmas day.

It's evident that the team at Box For Monkeys put a huge amount of thought into the products that make up each box. The items cover a range of ages, but its easy to tweak the activities to make them more suited to younger kids. I love that nearly all the items have an educational aspect as well.

I'd definitely recommend Box For Monkeys to other parents and they'd make an awesome Christmas gift for kids young kids. I'm planning on getting more boxes for bub next year because she's had so much fun doing all the activities in this one. Subscriptions are available in monthly, 3 month, 6 month or 12 month options and you can cancel at any time. The price per box decreases with each option {ranging from $47.95 - $59.95/month}. Shipping within Australia is included in the price. For families with more than one child you can pay an extra $10/month to have additional make, create and explore pieces added to the box {no need to buy an additional box for each child}.

Box For Monkeys have provided a special discount code for Finding Myself Young readers who want to try out a box for themselves. Simply sign up for a monthly plan before December 31st and use the code $10offbfm to save $10 off your first months box.

BOX FOR MONKEYS GIVEAWAY {CLOSED}



Box For Monkeys have also given me one December box to give away to a lucky reader. To be in the running to win let me know in a comment below which is your favourite idea from the Ideas for Kids section on the Box for Monkeys website and why. You can see all the ideas for kids here.

Please remember to also fill out the rafflecopter widget below {so I can contact you if you win}. The easiest way to comment is to choose the name/url option and leave the url section blank. If you're having issues leaving a comment, message me on my Facebook page or email me and I'll help you out.

Good Luck!

Toni x


a Rafflecopter giveaway
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Competition commences 12:00am December 1st 2015 and ends 12:00am December 15th 2015. Entry is open to Australian residents only, excluding ACT. One winner will receive a Box For Monkeys December activity box RRP $59.95. Prize will be delivered by Box For Monkeys, Finding Myself Young takes no responsibility for prize delivery. This competition is a game of skill and will be judged as such. All mandatory entry steps must be completed to constitute a valid entry. Incomplete entries will be deemed invalid and excluded from judging. Winner will have 72hrs to respond or prize will be redrawn. This competition is in no way endorsed, promoted or administered by Facebook.


Disclosure - I was gifted a Box For Monkeys box for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own {and bub's} based on our experience with the products. I did not receive payment for this review.

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