To celebrate summer fun, the girls were sent a couple of perfect picks for them: a Little Tikes Let's Make Music Set for our little noise demon, Sophia, and a 1-9 Number Playmat for our little learning sponge, Lara. Of course, it's not quite like that, they're both happily playing with both interchangeably and in all sorts of creative ways, but that was how they shared the parcel out when it first arrived.
The music set comprises a pair of smiley-faced maracas (Lara: "How do you say maracas in Russian, Mummy?"), a sunny drum with mini tambourine attached, and a little keyboard, with two beaters. Sophia seized on it immediately and turned herself into a one girl band! She's played with it every day since, although she's still trying to convince the noise-sensitive cats that it's fun!
Lara, meanwhile, is on a mission to learn all the letters and numbers as quickly as possible. I know the theory that being surrounded by letters and numbers, children will naturally seek to learn by decoding this essential code. But it's still amazing seeing it in action without any prompting whatsoever from us. She sings the alphabet song all the time, and constantly seeks out letters, numbers and symbols that she recognises, checking any she's not sure of with us.
She's been wanting one of these big foam puzzles for ages, so was delighted to receive it and immediately set to putting the puzzle together, checking the numbers with us as she did so. Great fun, and perfect for putting down on any hard surfaces like decking or patios outside, as well as playing with - and wrestling with her sister on! - inside.
The whole range of summer toys is in store, and online, at Asda now.