As I have watched Hannah grow and change over the last few months, one thing that has amazed me is her resilience. She has had some big changes in her little world, the biggest of which was the beginning of day-care.
It must have been a momentous change for her and, frankly, I was a little terrified that it would be hugely negative. After all, when I put myself in her shoes it seemed like a pretty big deal. Hannah had known nothing else other than the care of her closest family, yet there she was – thrown into a big room with lots of people she didn’t know.
However, while I was stressing, she was loving life. That is in no small part due to the wonderful efforts of her amazing educators – people I cannot speak highly enough about. It was also because she relished the opportunity for social interaction with children her own age. I like to think Emma and I also did a few little things right along the way.
One of the things that I think we did well was to talk about it a lot before Hannah ever stepped foot in the centre. We talked about it in a positive and matter-of-fact way. We told her all about what would happen and who would be there.
The other thing we did was give Hannah a few special “kindy” things. A new backpack and a drink bottle that were all hers.
Continuity through Skip Hop
Earlier this year we tried the excellent Skip Hop Owl Booster Seat and it has been a daily feature in our house ever since. Hannah loves it because it brings her right to the dinner table. She also loves the bright design of the owl.
I realised that this much-loved and daily-used item of Hannah’s presented an opportunity to help her settle into her time at day-care even further. You see, the booster seat isn’t the only Skip Hop product to carry the owl design. They have a whole range of high quality products in the Zoo range, many that are perfect for day care and preschool.
What a great way to provide a little bit of continuity between home and care! That adorable little owl could be just the thing to give Hannah a simple little reminder of home, whenever she needs it while she is away from us.
Skip Hop sent Hannah a matching backpack and stainless steel drink bottle, and even a great little Lunchie (a toddler-friendly lunch box). To say she was excited is an understatement! She exclaimed “Booster Seat!” over and over again as we took the items out of the box. That immediately filled me with confidence. Hannah had no trouble making the intended connection. The new “kindy gear” would help her to make that link between home and day-care.
Skip Hop Quality
I was very impressed with the quality of the Skip Hop booster seat when it first arrived, and nothing has changed since. I was pretty confident that the day-care products would meet the same standard.
The bag and Lunchie have a sturdy feel. The zips feel strong and move freely. They should be easy enough for a toddler to manipulate (with a bit of practice!). The fabric is the same bright colours as the booster seat, with the familiar owl face that Hannah loves. It all feels more than capable of handling a bit of toddler-rough love.
Both the bag and Lunchie have some nice little touches that make me feel like Skip Hop takes pride in their products. There are little embroidered details, like the Zoo on the side of the bag. The leaf on the zipper is also a great little detail and it makes it easier for a toddler to use.
The Ultimate Kid’s Water Bottle?
The Skip Hop Owl water bottle is my favourite of the three Owl products.
Great water bottles for toddlers are surprisingly hard to find. The reason is that there are so many things to consider. I prefer stainless steel to plastic because it is sturdy and doesn’t degrade over time and in sunlight. The necessary plastic components on the lid of the water bottle are high quality – free of BPA, PVC and phthalate. Not all stainless steel bottles from other manufacturers can make that claim.
Crucially, the lid button-mechanism can be pressed by a two year old. This is vital for a child at day care or preschool, who will be expected to independently access their bottle. The spring-loaded lid flips open and shuts with a satisfying click. Hannah mastered it quickly.
The silicone straw is completely removable for washing and, sensibly, the Skip Hop Owl stainless steel bottle comes with an extra straw. It’s little things like that that show Skip Hop’s determination to provide customers with a product that will last.
Finally, the bottle is wrapped in a silicone cover that features a picture of the owl. The silicone insulates the outside of the bottle, helping little hands to stay warm even when there is cold liquid inside.
I spent A LONG time trying to find a water bottle for Hannah, and throughout my extensive searching I didn’t see any other bottle so well designed.
This Skip Hop Owl range of products is great for toddlers in its own right, but when combined with the excellent owl booster seat, the set has the ability to bridge the gap and provide a point of continuity between the two key settings. If owls aren’t your child’s thing, Skip Hop have plenty of other great animal designs available in their Zoo range! Check them out on the wonderful The Stork Nest website.
Disclosure – Skip Hop provided Blog of Dad with the Owl products free of charge. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own views, based on my experiences with the Skip Hop products. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.