Saturday, October 13, 2018

Toys that Little Girls Love! Calico Critters and Aquabeads!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.
Photo Source: Calico Critters Designer Studio
Have you started holiday gift shopping yet? I know it's a controversial subject, where some are completely for it, and others are on the side of  'no way, it's way to early!' Me? I start shopping the day after Christmas for the next year, and keep shopping throughout the new year, so I don't overextend myself the month or two before the big holiday. This year I've got 2 things put aside for my granddaughter. Well, I did have two things. Now I have 1 because she was with us last weekend and I couldn't resist taking one of them out (I knew I should have wrapped it!) because it's totally right up her alley, and I knew she'd have a great time using it!! More on that to come in a minute. First though, let me tell you about this adorable Designer Studio from Calico Critters (both items are from Epoch Everlasting Play and both will be featured in the Holiday Gift Guide).

Have a tea party with Stella, the older Hopscotch sister!
Photo Source: Toys - Calico Critters 
This little set is one of many you can buy from Calico Critters. Imagine the fun your little one will have, as Stella, the older sister in this series sets about to have a miniature tea party. I'm thinking we'll probably pull out our own little tea set, and have some right beside her, because that's what grandma's and their little granddaughters do! :)  This set does have small pieces, and is not recommended for smaller children.

The Designer Studio is a private studio for Stella the Hopscotch Rabbit older sister, who works as a dress designer in town. Your Calico friends can enjoy a lovely tea party inside. The building and the furniture are neatly designed with gorgeous engravings. Stella in this set wears a different dress from the Town Girl Series -Hopscotch Rabbit-.

You can create your own townscape by combining this product with other buildings in the Town series, such as the Grand Department Store, Delicious Restaurant, and Creamy Gelato Shop. You can also customise your building by replacing the windows, fences, and awnings included with the building (all sold separately).

Designer Studio, roof ornament, fence x2, window x2, Stella the Hopscotch Rabbit older sister, hat, handbag, sofa, table, tart, plate, tea cup, saucer, fork (total 16 pieces).

If you are interested in this and other sets from the series, you can visit the Calico Critters website. You can also find the product in stores (use the store locator) and on Amazon.

The second toy I want to talk about is the one we took out this weekend for crafting and play time. My granddaughter was mesmerized putting together these bead designs by Aquabeads, just as I knew she would be!

She's 5-years-old, so holding a toy where the box is about as big as she is, turned out to be a really big deal. ;) This is the Aquabeads Deluxe Edition and it comes with everything you need to make adorable designs the kids will love. 

We opened the box up and got to work. The first thing to do was open the little bags of aquabeads and get them in their partitions. This turned out to be something that was fun to do too! Who knew? 😊

The bead wheel had to be filled as well, and that was so intriguing, we had to take turns to avoid arguments on that one (you've been forewarned). 😏😄

Once all of the beads were in the container (which has a wonderful lid that allows them to stay in place), the real fun began.

This picture is irrelevant to Aquabeads, but I had to include it because it makes me laugh. While my son was doing the craft activity with his niece (and yes, he loved it too!) his cat...and I say his cat because she only loves me when he is busy, has to be right next to him. We have picnic table-style benches and because he went to sit there for something besides dinner, she felt she had to be right there in the mix. I'm not sure why she was perturbed looking though (when her cute little ears go back she's usually perturbed), unless it was because we were in the kitchen without feeding her, hahahaha.

The kids took turns making their designs. You can see the template under her arm, and under the bead tray my son is using. You slip the cardboard templates under that plastic and can use it to make designs. Of course, you are free to make your own as well!

I included the picture above because a). you can see the way to use the templates better and b). my camera has made my granddaughter look like she's turning into Casper the Friendly Ghost (see her arm?). LOL!

I got in on it too, and made a little bunny. :)

One you make your designs, you spray them with water and let them set for the specified amount of time. They stick together like magic, and for the most part, they don't fall apart (if they do, perhaps because they didn't get wet enough in the process, you can just spray water and restick them).

The waiting is the hardest part. While our creations dried, my granddaughter set to work on making other designs in the 3-D bucket. She made the back of a turtle, but  never got around to making the legs or head because she was too excited to check the ones that were setting. Not to worry though, I sent this toy with her, and when she opens the box at home, I'm sure she'll go right back to finishing up her little turtle. :) 

The video above is for the beginning set (we used the Deluxe set) and you can get either at Aquabeads online, or in retail stores everywhere (click here for store locator). You can also get it at Amazon. We had a great time playing with our set, and I recommend this and the Calico Critters wholeheartedly for any time, but especially for great holiday gift ideas!


  1. Nice, my kid is a big fan of Hopscotch Rabbit and we got so many sets for her birthday. I don't believe she have this one, must check this out online, thx!

  2. Thank you very much for such useful information! you just helped me to pick Xmas gifts for kids !

  3. They sure look to be having a grand time indeed. Geez, if it can make your arm go through things, I want one. Think of the bank vaults I could walk through haha That could be a where's my food look.

  4. Whoa! Time flies...I remember when your granddaughter was a wee little baby. Look at her now! She is growing up fast. ;) These two toys would make excellent holiday gifts for sure.

  5. Yes, and I'm trying to get a list of items my great wants for Christmas. A struggle every year. These all look fun.

    Have a fabulous day and week. ♥

  6. Okay, so I love that cat! I may be biased being a cat person :D

    Hello Rosey!


  7. I remember when my daughter was little and would play with these kinds of toys for hours with her friends. It is great that you shop all year round for presents. I like to be organized too.
    Thanks for the lovely visit to my blog and enjoy the week.
    Julie xo

  8. I miss my daughter being little. She would have loved those aqua beads. But, she is a teen now, so everything is video games and clothes.

  9. That little studio is so cute!

  10. What a fun delivery! My three year old daughter loves Calico Critters but doesn't have any of her own yet. I'm excited to surprise her on Christmas.

  11. I would like to have everything. Great, educational toys. Just what I love to give out every Christmas.

  12. My girls would love this so much. I have to look into these before the holidays. I love educational games.

  13. These toys are so cute. My kids would love these. I think I might enjoy playing with it as well.

  14. Allison got an Aquabeads set one year and it really is a fun toy. I remember those Calico Critters from when Mariah was little. I'm glad to see that they are still enjoyed by kids.


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