Any mum knows that catching a few moments when we’re out and about with the kids to concentrate on the task in hand is sometimes near impossible. We need all the distraction techniques – often in snack form – and when we’re running low (on food and patience) the emergency stash of toys is called upon. Here I’m working in paid collaboration with Claire’s as part of their Claire’s Cares campaign to show you guys some of the grab-and-go, fun toys and trinkets I picked up in store recently that are perfect for those tricky moments. I reach for these when I’m leaving the house in a hurry, throw them in the changing bag, back of the car and under the pram. Plus, there’s a few quick-fix tropical interiors updates that’ll add plenty of feel-good summer carnival charm to kids nurseries, bedrooms, play areas and the picnic kit too.

Claire’s Cares: Topping Up The Toy Tubs

With a huge list of errands to run and a tired and fed up child along for the ride, getting everything done can often be a battle. Being able to reach for something to capture their attention can be the difference between having to abandon the trip and being able to stay out for another hour. Suddenly, drinking the coffee you’ve just ordered, searching the supermarket aisle for that one special ingredient and swiftly trying on the fab top you spied in the store window becomes possible! Hurrah! It’s why I’ve picked out some Claire’s toys that are small and lightweight enough to carry around in the changing bag.

I’m a bit of a stickler for keeping my nappy bags super organised. Anyone else? I find being as prepared as I can with all of the baby kit that has to come everywhere with us takes away a big part of the stress-factor. I have two on the go at all times – one lightweight version with basics for quick outings like nipping to the shops and another all-dayer bag for when it’s a longer trip out of the house, going to playgroups or heading into central London.

The last thing we always do before leaving the house is head over to the toy tubs and pick out one or two things to take out with us. I like Hector to choose himself (within reason – nothing bulky or heavy!) and it makes getting ready and out of the door a smoother process. He knows our routine – nappy change, pick out our toy tub faves, shoes and jacket on, then sip of water and go. That way, wherever we are, whether it’s the waiting room at the doctors or a swish restaurant for a work lunch, I’ve always got a handful of fun bits and bobs for him to play with. I find Claire’s in the perfect place to pick up a few of these for our kit.

We found some cool tropical-themed soft animals in store that Hector instantly gravitated to. Spike the Alligator and Wynnie the Parrot have been firm friends since our visit. Plus, he loves these exotic friendly fish too – their bright colours and interesting textures are a real hit and brilliant for baby sensory so that’s an added bonus!

I’ll be stopping into Claire’s regularly for pieces to top up the toy collection and to pick up affordable gifts throughout the year. I’ve already spied some goodies for kids parties, birthdays, Christmas and celebrations to come.

Claire’s Cares: The Summer Picnic Find

I also spied some holiday-perfect items to add a bit of vacay fun to our summer. Starting with these cactus mason jar cups, which Hector thinks are the best thing ever (I think it’s to do with mama letting him have a grown up glass instead of his standard plastic tumbler!) They’ll also be brilliant for beach and picnic season. I might even use them as statement vases for flowers during garden parties and bbq’s to bring all the desert feels. I’ve had my eye on something similar for a while so these are a real find.

Claire’s Cares: Grab Your Easy Interiors Updater

These cactus and pineapple dream catchers are such an easy and cute seasonal interiors update for bedrooms and play areas. We made our own little Hector and mama ritual by going to hang them up in his room together. I explained they were there to chase away any bad dreams and I’ve got to say I love the way the fruity theme and zingy colours give his bedroom shelving a boost. The way the sunlight hits the sequins in the evenings is really gorgeous too – who needs a fancy mobile?

It’s been fun introducing Hector to Claire’s, a store I remember well from my own childhood. There’s a real commitment to customers, Claire’s Makes Memories and its a brand to grow with as a family. Kids can’t get enough! Plus, I totally got distracted by all of the hair add-ons too and may have added some coiled hair ties and a unicorn headband to my own collection – did you spot me wearing it in these shots? Hector thought mama was hilarious, my husband however, might take a little convincing! And don’t get me started on the selection of flower head crowns – anyone off to a festival? Be sure to check out the range in store!


This post was in paid partnership with Claire’s and part of the Claire’s Cares campaign. We visited Claire’s stores in both Chichester, Sussex and Sutton, Surrey and managed to fill a basket full of goodies in no time at all.