If you're a regular reader here, you might have noticed a few unicorns and fairies about the place and perhaps my general penchant for making life as magical as possible for my little girls. I believe childhood should be full of wonder and enchantment. I want my girls to feel that their imagination knows no bounds and that anything is possible. Childhood is so fleeting and life gets serious so quickly (and stays that way for a long time!) that I want to make sure that things are as carefree as possible for them while they are still so very young.
I was really excited to hear from a dear friend of mine recently who has developed a gorgeous new product to make the run up to Christmas more manageable for young children and even more magical than it is already, for the whole family. It's called Santa's Little Buddy.
"Santa’s Little Buddy is a unique pack designed to explore magical play. It includes a daily journal for the month of December, a Christmas story, a magic poem with stickers and a step by step guide written by Joanna Fortune (Director, Solamh Parent-Child Relationship Clinic) on how to use the pack. Why is magical play so important for children? Using imagination enables children to develop on their impulse controls, reasoning skills, patience and the importance of emotional self regulation. With the help of Santa’s Little Buddy, parents can utilise the magic of Christmas to invest in their child’s development of these life skills and at the same time reinforce and encourage good behaviour."The developer of this pack, and my old drama buddy, Joanna Fortune is a Clinical Psychotherapist specialising in child and adolescent Psychotherapy, with 12 years experience under her belt. While I was busy birthing my babies in 2010, Joanna was busy founding her clinic - the Solamh Parent Child Relationship Clinic which helps families of all kinds deal with the challenges parenting can bring. They help parent(s)/carers of young children work through things like separation anxiety, attachment disorders, sleeping trouble, tantrums and challenging behaviour. Joanna is a fount of knowledge in that area and I have, on more than one occasion, badgered her for tips when dealing with my own parenting challenges.
The buildup to Christmas can be so overwhelming for little ones. I use an advent calendar every year to try and help my girls understand how many days they have to wait for the big day to arrive. (They still have absolutely NO concept of time). This pack will definitely compliment that and help us all connect as a family over the festive season. Parents can be so stressed during the build up too, and busier than usual trying to get all the shopping done and the food prepared and the party frock to zip up that it can be easy to get swept along by it all and not notice the days flying past. I love that the idea of this pack is to encourage a few minutes of 'slowing down' and spending some time with your children. To make memories with them and forge lasting connections.This pack is easy to use too, with only five simple steps to follow:
- Buy the pack and tell the story.
- Help your child select the right teddy for the job.
- Whisper the magic poem in teddy’s ear to bring teddy to life for the month of December.
- Put up the wall planner and complete the journal every day.
- Wake up each morning to see what teddy has been up to under the influence of giggle magic.
What I also like about this idea is that, unlike other products (I'm looking at you Elf on the Shelf) there is no need to go and buy an expensive toy to use as the 'Buddy'. The child's own favourite toy is the star. AND this Buddy reports back to Santa on the nice things the child is doing, rather than focusing on the 'naughty'. That appeals to me much more than that snitchy elf!
I can't wait to get started on this with the girls. I already have a few lovely things to mark on the calendar such as our Letters to Santa Party, a trip to the panto and putting the tree up. I'm trying to imagine what kinds of things our little buddies will get up to over the month too!
The pack costs €26.00 with FREE standard delivery for up to five packs. Order yours HERE now and join in the fun this Christmas.
Joanna has also very kindly offered my readers a chance to win a bumper pack of their very own - which is suitable for two children.
It's so easy to enter:
Just 'like' Santa's Little Buddy on Facebook and post a comment on the page saying which toy you would have chosen to be your buddy when you were a child, and why.
A winner will be chosen at random at 12 Midday (GMT) on Saturday 29th December and Joanna will send you the prize as quickly as possible so that you can experience as much magic as possible this advent.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of the Santa's Little Buddy as a gift from my friend Joanna. I wasn't obliged to review it, but couldn't NOT tell you all about this fabulous new idea. I asked Joanna if she would like me to host a giveaway and she kindly agreed. All opinions are my own and I was not paid to give them.