Friday, May 24, 2013

Baby Charlotte, Canada's Eco-Kid's Store: Review & Giveaway (Closed)


For this review, I'm happy to be partnering with a business that's near (literally) and dear to me. Baby Charlotte is a baby & children's shop located in Conestogo, Ontario which has both a brick and mortar store front and an online shopping option.


I love love {LOVE} this store for a couple reasons. First, their vast and continuously growing selection of high-quality, non-toxic and eco-friendly products. Here's a li'l photo tour to give you a glimpse!

Front room - clothes & shoes:


Back room - toys, crafts, feeding supplies, stuffies & more:


Bath & body care shelf:


It's hard to restrain myself in there, with brands I totally heart including Earth Mama Angel Baby, Green Toys and Clementine Art. It's even more challenging with the numerous discounts they offer; for example, last spring I nabbed my daughter a pair of sweet Pediped sandals at 40% off! 

Second reason - the awesomeness of the employees! Every time I've visited the store with one or both kiddos in tow, they've greeted me warmly, provided helpful information and even (on more than one occasion) hooked me up with a comfy, private nook and a bottle of water to nurse my little guy. Top-notch customer service for sure! They also believe in the little touches; for example, this year in honour of Mother's Day, they gave away samples of their in-house bath bombs. They had some left over when I was at the store the other day, so the owner gave me a couple in two different scents. My daughter certainly enjoyed her fizzy, aromatic tub experience last night, and brought a bomb to daycare today to do an "experiment" with her friends!


Alright, let's rewind a li'l bit. During a shopping trip back in April, I was checking out their sensory play products as my (then) 28-month-old daughter S was at an ideal age to enjoy them.


I was mulling over the numerous options when the store manager recommended an item called Bubber. It's basically a substance similar to playdough in that it's moldable, but it's super light-weight, free of toxins and doesn't dry out. She brought out a sample that the owner's daughter Charlotte (yes, the store's namesake!) had been playing with herself and I was instantly hooked; this was one of the neatest feeling substances I'd ever laid paws on! We got chatting about my blog and she offered me a 5 oz bucket of Bubber (I picked the "Petal Purple" colour) and a castle mold kit to try out!



Product Info - Bubber:

Bubber, the award-winning and lightest modeling compound on earth! This easy-to-use product feels great in your hands, and since it is so lightweight, you can mold just about anything. Bubber is a super-soft compound that leaves clean, sharp lines and takes amazing imprints.

Bubber is non-toxic, leaves no stain or residue and never dries out, so you can play with it over and over. It is great for developing fine motor skills! Bubber is available in six beautiful colors and comes in a handy bucket for easy storage. Bubber is great for sensory therapy. Bubber is also great for kids with allergies - it is wheat, gluten and casein free and 100% safe and non-toxic.

Creative molding media Made in Sweden, unique waterless ceramic and polymer compounds to stimulate sensory experiences. Winner of numerous major toy awards like Parents' Choice and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio.




Product Info - Waba Fun Castle Molds:

This is just the thing to build the perfect castle with! Whether you are using Bubber or MoonSand, you'll appreciate the clean lines and classic castle shapes this kit can produce.



My Review:

I wish there was some way to demonstrate the tactile experience of Bubber through a blog post but, alas, technology hasn't come this far just yet. :) So let me try to describe it. First of all, I want to reiterate the "super light" point; I'd estimate it's only about a quarter as heavy as playdough (per equal volume). It also floats in water, whereas playdough sinks. (My daughter and I confirmed this tonight!) The lightness throws you for a loop, as it looks dense and heavy. Don'tcha think?


The lines and surfaces it can create are, indeed, very smooth. My hubby molded some cones using one of the shapes from the kit and they felt pretty neat-o.

 

If you press a clump of Bubber against a smooth surface, the pressed side becomes totally silky. Very therapeutic to the touch! And if you squeeze it in your fist or within another rough "vessel", it makes a perfect imprint of the corresponding imperfections. Kinda like a 3D fingerprint!

My daughter gets totally immersed when she plays with her Bubber, and even those adults we've introduced it to can't help but muck around with it too!

Here's S playing alone....


...and sharing the fun with her Nana and Papa!


Nana kept herself busy making a bunch of little tiles using the kit's square shape press.


As it can be seen, a 5 oz tub contains enough Bubber for 3-4 people to play with at once.

The shape kit has certainly upped the creativity and fun factor of the Bubber! We haven't attempted a full castle with the kit yet, though. I find a few of its shapes are difficult to use "properly"; for example it's hard to get the Bubber out of the circular tower mold in one piece. (Perhaps this is easier with MoonSand, the other product the kit is recommended for?)

As for clean up, Bubber is both messier and tidier than playdough. Lemme explain. It's messier in that it's more prone to breaking into little, tiny pieces which can end up all over the place. However these pieces don't squish into surfaces; you can simply take a bigger piece of Bubber and dab it on the smaller pieces to collect them. So perhaps a better way to put it is that Bubber's easier to clean up than playdough, but a little more time consuming.

One suggestion from my hubby - he'd like to see Bubber available in multi-coloured packs like commercial playdough. It does currently come in a total of 5 colours, but each has to be purchased separately in a 5 oz tub. Therefore, obtaining all 5 colours would be a pricey affair, and you'd end up with enough to entertain a whole classroom.

Regarding health and safety, although the company claims the product is 100% safe and non-toxic, the Type A part of me wishes it would disclose its actual ingredients so I could verify this for myself. That said, I do trust Baby Charlotte in stocking safe products, so I didn't get too hung up on this.

All in all, Bubber's an awesome playdough alternative which can provide hours of fun for little and big people alike! I recommend it for older toddlers & preschoolers in particular, who (in most cases) are past the point of putting things into their mouths which shouldn't go there, but are young enough to be totally ingrossed in sensory play.


Buy It:

Visit Baby Charlotte's online store (or, if you're in the area, visit them in person!) to purchase Bubber and browse their amazing selection of other eco-friendly baby & children's products.


Win It:

One lucky Manager to Mom reader will win $25 to spend at Baby Charlotte on whatever they wish! The credit can be redeemed online or at the store. (Note: shipping is not included.)

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Please follow all instructions within each entry option to ensure your entries are valid.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  The prize is being provided and shipped to the winner by Baby Charlotte.  I received no financial compensation for writing my review or offering this giveaway, although I did receive the sample items free of charge.  This is my completely honest opinion above and may be different from yours.

33 comments:

  1. I like the Green Sprouts 10oz Aqua Bottle - so much great stuff to choose from and a great website, very easy to navigate!

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  2. I like the Glitter Pie Art Studio In A Box! Great giveaway!

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  3. I love the cute Blueberry daytime training pants. Haven't seen these anywhere else.

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  4. I love the cute Blueberry daytime training pants. Haven't seen these anywhere else.

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  5. The Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash looks pretty awesome, as does the whole line up of that brand!!

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  6. I like the Aden + Anais Princess Posie Swaddle 4pk.

    Narathip Wall
    polo_wataga at yahoo dot com

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  7. I love that they have Tea Collection clothing! My little one would look so cute in the Tea Collection Nordic Blooms Empire Dress. I'd also like to try the Omaiki One Size Sleep Diaper.

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  8. I really like the Omaiki Liquid Laundry Detergent 1L

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  9. i like the recycled sandwich set

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  10. I like the Zoli Bot Straw Sippy Cup
    jjak2003 at gmail dot com

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  11. I like the swaddlebees diapers!

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  12. 3 Sprouts Laundry Hamper - Little Deer
    Tracey M

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  13. The Crocodile Creek Barnyard Shaped Tower Puzzle caught my eye. I can totally understand why it's currently out of stock!

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  14. http://www.babycharlotte.com/index.php?product=3SPROUTS_CBNELP&c=2324

    Thanks for the chance

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  15. The Angel Baby Shampoo and Body Wash would really come in handy around here #dirtykids.

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo

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  16. I've been considering the Flip Training cover so that jumped out at me :)

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  17. I'd love to try the Aromatic Health Antibacterial Surface Spray
    annejk112233 at yahoo dot com

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  18. http://www.babycharlotte.com/index.php?product=GRNSPROUTS_BRUSHCOMBSET&c=2928
    Julianne W.

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  19. Bunnie's by the bay tadbit flipper slippers

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  20. always want more cloth diaper friendly detergents!

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  21. I love the Tea Collection Jaya Peak Playdress! It's on sale too!
    RC name:Mechele JOhnson
    mmjohnson555 at gmail dot com

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  22. i like the earth mama angel baby body wash, or the bummis swimmi

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  23. Love the 3 Sprouts hooded towel - Orange Tiger. So cute!

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  24. I would be giving this away if I won, but if I had a say I like the Aden and Anais Swaddle Packs!

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  25. I'm in awe of the Ubbi Eco-Friendly Diaper Pail

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  26. Love that they have cloth diapers!
    Swaddlebees Newborn Simplex Snaps-Prints

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  27. I like the Blueberry daytime training pants

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  28. I like the Pediped Grip 'n Go Ellie Dk. Purple Leather Mary Jane

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  29. Wow… it looks really nice and well organized.. Your daughter looks very cute..

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