Apparently one teeny-weeny child generates a whopping 30kg of lunchtime rubbish every year – that’s an awful lot of foil, cartons and plastic bags clogging up our landfill sites. So, those clever folks at KidKonserv designed this funky waste-free lunch kit made, of course, from eco-friendly materials, which can also withstand the repeated bashing it gets in the school canteen. Satisfying the thirsty (a 20oz stainless steel drink bottle), the hungry (two containers with leak-proof plastic lids and a reusable ‘kozy’ bag for sandwiches or cut fruit) and the messy (a large cloth napkin that doubles as a placemat), the cool colours and quirky designs will appeal to style-conscious kids (and parents) of all ages. The kits are now available in Dubai and come in their own cotton lunch bag, complete with recycled aluminium name tag.
Dhs180 from firstname.lastname@example.org, 050 553 4057. Visit www.kidskonserve.com for more info.
Bend me, shape me
If you want to make yourself popular among your work colleagues or mums’ group acquaintances, invest in a pack of Poly-dough. One of the most sought-after toys in the Time Out office, the tiny, slightly claggy, multi-coloured beads can be shaped and moulded, time after time, into any creation you can come up with. We had a very therapeutic time making bangles and dangly earrings that would make Pat Butcher proud, as well as ugly mug faces and other weird and wonderful shapes unmentionable in a family magazine. Oh, and we reckon kids will love the stuff too.
Dhs55 Favourite Things, Dubai Marina Mall (04 434 1984)
Chalk it up
Your family not speaking this summer? Kids doing a sponsored silence? Or maybe the brat pack is so busy with summer camps, Dubai Summer Surprises and all the other exciting activities we’ve recommended this issue that you and your brood are ships that pass in the night. If any of the above are true, invest in one of these sticky-backed chalkboards so you don’t lose touch – they’re great for communicating packed lunch requests, evening event reminders or just to say ‘hello’. We liked the snail, but you can get them in fish and frog shapes too.
Site for your eyes
When mums Kirsten and Paula realised that having a bambino in tow seriously hampered their previously finely honed shopping skills, were they content to settle for high street brands for their new arrivals? Absolutely not. Instead, and luckily for us, they gathered up items from all their favourite boutiques and trendy baby stores and brought them to Dubai. The result is Bubs Boutique, a quality, kooky online store that kits out babes from newborn to five years in the trendiest garb. The mums promise to provide cool and contemporary clobber while not sacrificing luxury, durability and practicality. Sounds good to us. These Mikey boardies will let your little monster express his wild and wacky side, while we love this violet confetti corsage dress from cool Aussie outfitter Oobi Baby. More great brands will be coming soon as Kirsten and Paula spend their summer shopping for cool new stuff, jammy things… In the meantime, to celebrate the launch of the site, www.bubsboutique.com is offering 10 per cent off your first order. Just sign up to the online newsletter to qualify.
Mikey boardies Dhs 180, Oobi dress Dhs145 from www.bubsboutique.com.
Piece of Kipiis
Every once in a while a simple, clever baby product comes along which makes us green with envy that we didn’t think of it first and make ourselves a fortune. And as far as these Kipiis bib clips are concerned, it’s not as if we needed prompting. Rarely do we remember junior’s bib when we go out and we’re not averse to making futile attempts at stuffing a scrappy paper napkin down her T-shirt, or even stripping her off and letting her loose with the spaghetti and tomato sauce in nothing but her nappy. These clips allow you to turn anything from a napkin to a muslin cloth or even a kitchen towel into a bib. Just clip the two rounded fasteners onto whatever’s handy, adjust the back, and viola, your child is covered. Now, why didn’t we think of that? Hmph.
Dhs59 from www.dubaibabies.com, stall in Mercato Mall.
Say goodbye to the ordinary brown bears of history: the 21st century is packed with Happy Feet, Batman and bears made to look like you. All you need to do to get onboard is head to the Build A Bear workshop opening at Festival City on August 27.
Although ready-made bears are available, the whole point of this is, as the name suggests, to create your own personalised furry chum. Kids will be taken through eight stations, starting with choosing its ‘skin’. On offer are cuddly, honey-coloured bears, sassy cats and cheeky rabbits to name just a few, and you can also plant an audio recording in there so the bear greets its little owner by name every time you squeeze its paw. A particularly ‘aww’-inducing moment comes in the form of the heart ceremony, during which the bear’s satin heart is placed in it, bringing it to life. After this emotional moment comes the really fun bit, when kids can go mad personalising their toy with pumpkin hats, ’80s-style glasses andHannah Montana gear. Finally, the bear gets a birth certificate and goes home with its new owner.
Prices start from Dhs50, with accessories and clothing being charged individually. Call 04 214 6920 or email email@example.com.
It’s easy to get distracted by pretty dresses and to-die-for dolls when we’re putting this page together – boys’ stuff is invariably plainer and less exciting – so we decided it was high time we redressed the balance and paid homage to our little lads. Here’s our pick of the cutest boy-tot togs on the market this summer.
1 Orange shark T-shirt, Dhs65, Gap
2 Stripy green T-shirt, Dhs60, Mothercare
3 Cream roll-up shorts, Dhs75, Mothercare
4 Brown tropical print shorts, Dhs110, Gap
5 White shirt with blue stripes, Dhs95, Gap
6 Checked shirt, Dhs90, Mamas & Papas
7 Bobby Dazzler T-shirt, Dhs98, ZaZeeZou
8 Stripy cardigan/hat set, Dhs115, Mamas & Papas
Kids with a conscience should check out this handmade solidarity doll. Crafted in the Ein-el-Helwi refugee camp in Lebanon by participants in
a women’s empowerment programme, the Chamaille doll is made of organic cotton and carded wool and has long, plait-able hair. Sold in funky designer boutique S*uce, 10 per cent of the profits go to help the Notre Dame des Doleurs home in Jerusalem, which houses elderly people who are poor and alone. Retailing at a cool Dhs480, it might just be the most expensive doll you ever buy, but at least it’s for
a good cause.
Call Nadine de Mascarel on 050 550 5782 for more information.
Step on it
There’s no excuse for not putting your best foot forward when there are so many funky footwear offerings on the market. Check out our pick of the best:
1 Shark flip-flops, Dhs40, Gap
2 Red dotty flip-flops, Dhs60, Mothercare
3 Sturdy sandals, Dhs60, Mothercare
4 Blue jelly sandals, Dhs65, Gap
5 Leopard print shoes, Dhs125, ZaZeeZou