Kids a go-go
There’s nothing our little bundles of energy love more than zipping around on some precarious mode of transport (unless, of course, it’s a supermarket shopping trolley). Bikes, scooters, ride-ons, pedal cars, motorised quad bikes – you name it, they love it. Why? Chiefly because the mischievous devils have absolutely no sense of danger and take great pleasure in freaking out their mums and dads. That said, ride-on toys give kids a tremendous sense of freedom and independence, as well as providing a great workout. We reckon kids and parents alike will be pretty enamoured with these funky – and award-winning – rides we’ve spotted around town.
For tiny tots, the bright and friendly Wheelybugs (they come in mice, bumble bees and ladybirds and in two sizes) will let little ’uns zip backwards, forwards, side to side and round and round. Plus, because they have multi-directional castors, you’ll avoid those squawks of frustration every time junior wedges himself against the kitchen table.
Meanwhile, your toddler will be the envy of the park with this pedal-less Wishbone bike that lets them propel themselves along ‘Flinstones-style’. Known as pre-bikes, the nifty vehicles allow younger kids to experience bike-riding until they are ready for a two-wheeler with pedals. Great for teaching kids about balance, the Wishbone bike grows with your child, converting from a three-wheeled ride-on toy for early walkers to a two-wheeled bike that can be adjusted from a low-rider to a high-rider (suitable for kids up to five years old) with just a flip of the frame.
Wheelybug suitable for kids from walking-25kg, Dhs250-300 from JustKidding (04 341 3922). Wishbone bikes Dhs1,000 from Bumble Bee, The Dubai Mall (04 3308160)
Valuable belongings, cherished possessions or just junk... call it what you like, but when you have kids, you don’t bank on the container-load of stuff that comes with them. While clutter doesn’t seem to bother the untidy toe rags as much as it bugs us, it’s worth at least attempting to instill a sense of organisation in your brood. That’s why we’re fond of these bright storage boxes that can be personalised to show kids – in no uncertain terms – exactly what goes where. The mini boxes fit 40 matchbox cars or five My Little Ponies plus accessories and are small enough to be carried by a two-year-old, while the minor boxes will hold 10 colouring books, six puzzles or a selection of dress-up kit. All containers are designed to fit under the bed, cot or changing table. Sorted.
Available in sky blue, watermelon pink or classic white for Dhs49 (mini) or Dhs89 (minor) from www.babysouk.com. Personalised letters Dhs2 each
While we sometimes cringe at adult clobber for tiny tots, we couldn’t resist this adorable formal suit for wee lads. In three parts, the stylish grey jacket and trousers in oh-so-fashionable linen-mix blend perfectly with the understated fl amboyance of the fl owery shirt (which, incidentally, matches the jacket’s lining – nice touch, no?). Perfect for the little man about town.
Dhs240 from Marks & Spencer, Dubai Festival City (04 206 6466)
Good green fun
Banish the plastic with this range of traditional, environmentally friendly games at Toys R Us. Made from sustainable bamboo, which, as the box helpfully informs us, is the fastest-growing plant on the planet, the games include this three-in-one chess, checkers and tic-tac-toe box set, as well as a tumbling tower and a mancala set. Toys R Us promises the toys are natural, safe and better for the environment than their plastic counterparts. Even the inks and dyes are eco-friendly and the packaging is made from at least 70 per cent recycled materials. Fun games that look good and care for the planet too – what could be better?
Three-in-one chess set Dhs69 from Toys R Us (04 206 6564)
’Tis the season…
…For new shoes. Yet, far from being a joyous occasion, buying school shoes for little feet surely ranks up there with a new car purchase in terms of stress and heated discussion. Pitched battles between parents and kids can ensue over style, comfort and practicality. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of quality kids’ footwear in Dubai. These designs will make sure your little pupils aren’t stuck in a corner popping blisters when they should be concentrating in class or running around the playground with gusto.
Brown boys’ shoes, patent girls’ shoes, both Dhs225 from Pablosky, Ibn Battuta Mall (04 368 5085); Ecco girls’ Imagine Dhs295-365, Ecco boys’ Sidewalk Dhs325-365, from Ecco, The Dubai Mall (04 339 9471); Black trainer-style patent shoe for girls Dhs360, non-patent version for boys Dhs275, both from Geox
If you go for a pair of shoes from Geox, the Italian company is giving away a designer backpack bursting with school essentials including a cooler bag, pencil case, post-it notes, eraser, notebook, pens and colouring pencils. Offer runs from September 1 while stocks last.
Miss-apprehensions of youth
Nine times out of 10 we reckon kids’ clothing should remain on kids, but, very occasionally, we’ll stumble across a gem of an exception. This range of Little Miss underwear, sleepwear and accessories, aimed at the not-so-little-anymore among us, is great fun yet not so kiddie-fied as to lose its grown-up appeal. Earn admiring glances from your own fashionable little miss in these comfy pyjamas, finished off with a pair of Miss Curious and Miss Stubborn slippers.
Pyjamas Dhs149, slippers Dhs89 from Women’Secret, The Dubai Mall (04 434 3177)