Tuesday 9 August 2016

The Dotty Hippo Guide to Summer Fun

School is now out for summer and hopefully we’ll all be enjoying a decent amount of sunshine. Regardless of what the weather chooses to do we have a number of great ideas for summer fun for you and your little ones to choose from.

Paint the Garden

Not as messy as it sounds, this activity involves children using paintbrushes (big house-painting brushes if possible) and a bucket of water to “paint” the garage, the fence, the shed, their bikes, the floor and quite possibly each other. This is a great water-play activity and of course there’s no real mess as everything dries up in the sun.


If you haven’t yet given this treasure-hunting activity a go it is well worth looking up. Use the free app (android and iOS) to locate local caches using your GPS. Follow the maps and the distances to each one and be rewarded when you find what you are looking for. Once you’ve found the “treasure” open the box or small cylinder, take out the log sheet, sign and date to show you found it then replace exactly how you found it. Update the app to show your find then move on. Children love the hunt and it’s great for getting the whole family out and about. See more on the Geocaching website.

Crafty Fun

Children love arts and crafts and we have a huge range of kits and more for you to choose from. Not only are these great for rainy days or those times when a quieter activity is needed, they are perfect for helping children to develop a number of skills. Our Alex Colour a Backpack for example comes in a fun pirate or cutie design and allows children to design and colour their own backpacks.

We have beading, threading, colouring in, making, sticking, designing, building and a whole lot more in our arts and crafts section, all at very affordable prices.  Creative fun is also great for those days when your children have friends over to play.

Play Tent Fun

Play tents are brilliant for make-believe play, for using as a den and of course may be used indoors and out. Children may enjoy tea parties in a pop-up tent, play with friends and siblings, move their toys into their “den” and more. Pop up tents are great for quickly putting up and down however if you’re looking for something to be used daily which will stay in place for longer periods have a look at our play houses. If you play your cards right you might even get an invitation in to play.

Explore Your Local Area

Summertime offers a great opportunity to get out and about and take a proper look at your local area. Visit places you wouldn’t usually go, walk places you wouldn’t normally walk and you might be surprised by what you find. Visit your local tourist information centre or search online to see what’s going on around you.

Get Out into the Garden

Not every day has to involve structured play or outings during the summer; sometimes simply having a good run around outside is just what the children want and need. Arm yourself with bubbles and wands, a ball and let their imagination do the rest.

Many children enjoy helping out in the garden too so if you need a helper for watering the plants, pulling up weeds or planting seeds we’re sure you’ll not be short of a volunteer or two.

Make Believe

This type of fun never gets old! Have a dressing up box handy, save a big cardboard box for children to play in (it could be a fire engine, a plane, a horse!), encourage role play fun such as cookery (pretend food can be delicious) and enjoy watching a puppet show the children have put together. Children have brilliant imaginations, let them use them and explore make-believe worlds!

Visit the Library

Over the summer UK libraries are running a Summer Reading Challenge. This year the theme is the Big Friendly Read (BFG) and looks set to be enormous fun! These challenges run every year, are free and are a great way to promote literacy and reading for fun. Read more here or pop into your local library for more information on special events.

The summer is a time for fun, adventure, relaxing, exploring and trying new things. Whatever you have planned we hope you have a fabulous time. Don’t forget to have a look on the website for crafts, indoor and outdoor toys and more!

Friday 26 February 2016

3 Sprouts: Fun Organisation

As parents ourselves here we decided that at Dotty Hippo we would only stock items that we would use ourselves, that we could see our children enjoying and that were of a high quality and yet at a reasonable price. The 3 Sprouts range ticks all of these boxes and more, with fabric storage bins, hooded towels for baby and toddler bathtime, bath storage, laundry hampers and more.

Where did 3 Sprouts Come From?

3 Sprouts was actually put together by three friends, all of whom loved modern family-related products and had a keen eye for practical yet fun designs. Their animal designs are unique and really do look fantastic (as well as helping keep everything in order, a task not easily done when you have little ones running around!).

Claims to Fame

Clearly we aren't the only ones tickled by the 3 Sprouts range. Recently our Crocodile Storage Box was featured on the BT Lifestyle blog and another storage box and the very popular 3 Sprouts wall organisers were featured on the MYBABA site as part of their spring clean essentials round-up.

More Affordable Than Ever

We really do rate the 3 Sprouts range and as such we have reduced their prices to the lowest they've been in years, making it more affordable than ever to transform your home with these fantastic and fun organisational wonders. Our storage boxes for example are now £21.95, down from £24.

We are proud to stock 3 Sprouts and love to hear back from customers who have bought any of their items and have fallen in love with them. If you haven't explored the 3 Sprouts range now is certainly the time!