Dr Miriam Stoppard Hosts Top Parenting Masterclass

We teamed up with leading parenting guru Dr Miriam Stoppard to host a sensory developmental Play Date in the fantastic Daniels Store toy department, in Windsor, on Friday 5th September 2014 and were joined by a group of beautiful babies and their lovely parents, all eager to learn about child development.

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Parents and their babies gathered to watch Dr Miriam demonstrate the best sensory techniques to use when playing with their baby, and helping them reach vital developmental milestones. Putting years of childcare experience into practice, Dr Miriam gave advice about child development, the importance of play and demonstrated her range of First Years toys for babies and toddlers.

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Dr Miriam has worked with us to design a fantastic range of toys that are perfect for helping little ones learn. The Dr Miriam @ Galt range is 21 wooden, plastic and soft toys designed to encourage learning through play. Each toy has a whole host of engaging features for little hands and minds to explore!

Here are some of Dr Miriam’s top tips for play time:

Why is play time so important?

Miriam 3Dr Miriam: Babies learn more in their first year than at any other time in life, so it’s important to stimulate their development through play. Every time a baby plays, it thinks. And every time it thinks it develops half a million brain connections. If you play with your baby and show them how to do things and explain what’s happening, you’ll encourage the development of really importance physical, intellectual, manual, language and social skills.


 What quick tips can you offer to parents who want to engage more with their child?

Dr Miriam: Babies love over the top gestures, so be sure to whoop with joy at each and every small achievement and movement. Constant eye contact will also encourage engagement and help you and your baby bond, while talking will teach them about sounds, language and memory.

What small changes make a big difference?

Dr Miriam: Playtime has changed over the years, and more parents now often turn to electronic devises as alternative playmates or babysitters for their children. However, we shouldn’t forget the importance of traditional play. Set yourself a target to switch off the iPad, CBeebies and your mobile phone for an hour a day, and focus on releasing your inner child by enjoying playtime with your children. Not only does traditional play allow children to explore their imaginations, but its educational benefits help them reach important development milestones, supporting them through school and into adulthood.

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the event, especially to our ten star mummy bloggers!

Sleep Like a Baby

After all the excitement of a busy day, sometimes the last thing children want to do is to go to the land of nod. Getting a good night sleep is important for a child’s mental and physical development, they need to catch plenty of ‘Z’s if they’re to be bright eyed and bushy tailed the next day.


While newborns can have irregular sleep patterns, they will start to develop a rhythm at about six weeks old. By three to six months old, most youngsters will be set into a regular sleep cycle.

To make bedtime easier, we’ve put together a few ideas to help settle them into this cycle and drift off at bedtime.

Bedtime 2Bath time before bed

Including a dip in the tub as part of your routine can help children mentally prepare for bedtime, as they know that after bath time they will have a story and then it’s time to sleep. A nice warm bath will also help little ones relax. If your child is reluctant to splash about in the water try making bath time fun with some bath toys. The Duck Family, three little ducklings inside a mother duck, will keep them entertained, or you can read them the waterproof Ocean Bath Book while in the tub.


Read a good book together

Avoid activities that are too active right before bedtime as, like adults, children need at least half an hour to ‘wind down’ before bed. Instead, ask your child to pick out their favourite book which you can read together once they’ve settled under the duvet. If your little one is too young to read along with you, soft books with bright pictures and friendly characters, such as the First Puppet Book, are ideal for encouraging baby to focus at varying distances as they follow the movements of your fingers.

Place a soothing lavender bag under the pillowBedtime 3

The scent of herbs such as chamomile and lavender are proven to help children drift off to sleep. Make your own soothing lavender bag using some cotton material, freshly picked lavender and a ribbon. Simply tie the lavender in the bag and either hang securely above the cot or place under your child’s pillow. Alternatively, rub a tiny drop of lavender oil on their favourite teddy or snuggle pal.

Bedtime 4Sleep with a Snuggle Pal

Teddies and soft toys can bring children lots of comfort as they’re drifting off to sleep. Our range of friendly animal Snuggle Pals are made exactly for this purpose, the soft and tactile velour comforters are designed to engage a young baby and help them sleep. The croc, bird, cow and dog design each has ribbon tags, a plastic teether and is made from a range of materials to develop baby’s senses.


Do you have bedtime all sussed out? Perhaps you have some great tips on getting your children off to sleep? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Tweet @Galttoys or post on our Facebook wall.


Brainpower Boosting Games

It’s the start of the summer holidays and a magical time when children have a break from the classroom to enjoy long days having fun with friends or holidaying with family.  While it’s amazing to have the little ones home for summer, there’s much more time to fill keeping them busy. We’ve put together a few ideas of fun and educational toys and games to keep young brains entertained and learning throughout the summer holidays.

Car Countdown

Keep children entertained on long car journeys by playing Car Countdown, a game where you’ve got to use the letters on the number plate of the car in front to create a word. To make things a bit easier you can also add vowels or constantans. For example, if the number plate is ‘RNG’ you can use the word ‘orange’! Use an egg timer to give everyone at least a minute to think of their best word – the person with the longest word wins.

All about schoolLearn All About School

The first day of school is super exciting, but it can be daunting for children. Teach your child about school life and prepare them for the big change by talking to them about what to expect during the summer holidays. Books can help too – the Learn About School sticker book has fun activities and colourful stickers, ideal for kids starting school in September. 


DINODino Escape

Help the young explorer escape from a big dinosaur by answering times tables questions to create a path along the river! The Dino Escape game is so much fun children won’t even notice they’re improving their maths while having fun! The game is free to play on the Galt Toys Activity Zone, simply click on the Dino Escape game to play.

MemoryThe Memory Game

Improve memory and brainpower by playing the memory game! One person starts by saying “Today I went to the supermarket and bought…” and then names an item in their basket. The second person then repeats the phrase, the first person’s item, and then lists their own. The game continues around the circle with everyone adding their own item. If you forget the order of items or can’t remember what someone has bought, you’re out. The winner is the person who remembers all the items listed by everyone!

How are you preparing for school in September? Have you got lots of fun and educational activities planned in the summer holidays? We’d love to hear your ideas! Tweet @Galttoys or post on our Facebook wall.