16 Smashing Small Businesses!

With unusual and joyful, gifts and activities for children!

One of the most interesting things about being a small business owner is bumping into all the other small businesses out there.  There is a wealth of talent around from the most amazing business owners, who have created some truly beautiful, joyful and innovative products and activities for children. 

So as you are someone who appreciates the uniqueness and fun of Tickled Moon’s personalised children’s books, I hope that you’ll love to support some of these other smashing small businesses in our latest blog. 

From creating science experiments or a bee hotel, to cooking or adventuring outside, to books and games that make a difference – you’ll find something below to suit children of all ages!

(Please note, that although they are all UK based and we’ve quoted prices in UK£, some will ship internationally too – contact them directly for more details, if your country isn’t listed on their website.)

Learning can be great fun!

Let’s start by stimulating their learning and curiosity (and have some fun helping them in the process) with the help of these 2 innovative small businesses:-

Curiosity box experiments with grandparents and kidsThe Curiosity Box – science and experiments to share and learn together

The Curiosity Box is a small business with a big vision. They want to give 1 million children wonder-filled experiences of science and engineering. They deliver boxes jam packed with fun and interesting experiments, collectible lab kit and potential wow moments, so that families can enjoy finding the extraordinary in the ordinary and the wonder in the world. Their Boxes are for 4-12 year olds and are packed full of fun and fascinating curriculum-linked activities, designed by Oxford University’s scientific minds.

They believe that by helping families explore the science in the world around them, it can build a child’s confidence, encouraging them to question what’s possible and see how they can help to solve the planet’s problems.

With boxes starting at £9.95, there’s a wide range of scientific fun to suit everyone at https://curiosity-box.net

Zap Maths – bringing maths to life!

Zap Maths appZap Maths is an educational app that brings the maths curriculum to life for primary school children. It is a fun, effective and rewarding way to help your child with online learning at home. It features gamified learning, inbuilt rewards to promote engagement, and a range of questions aimed at children in both KS1 and KS2.

Children can experience a number of worlds where they can answer questions, challenge friends and take part in lobby quizzes, plus the added bonus of creating their own avatar. The program is easily accessible on smartphones, tablets, and a home computer and is available for Apple or Android. Learn more at https://lifeninja.net/zap-maths

Creating in the Great Outdoors

Who doesn’t want to get their children outside more? If they need a little motivation, then do check out these 3 small businesses who offer a rich mix of exploring, fun and creativity:-

The Little Mud Club – activities to encourage you to spend time together outdoors.

Little Mud club subscription packThe Little Mud Club is a monthly subscription pack for children aged 2 to 7. Each Little Mud Club 24 page A4 pack is crammed full of ideas that support development through play and adventure for children between the ages of 2-7 years. It includes 10 adventurous activities, something to grow, a short story and eco-friendly stickers

Their ethos is more green hours, fewer screen hours. It is a guilt free gift, where all the packaging and contents are sourced to the highest ethical and ecological standards so families can enjoy their time in nature 100% guilt free. Packs start at £10 from https://littlemudclub.com

Dr Ziggs Bubbles –  hours of enormous bubble fun!

girl with giant Dr Ziggs bubblesWho doesn’t love bubbles! Well how about GIANT bubbles! Dr Zigs manufacture some of the best giant bubble toys in the world, with a unique focus on being as ethical and as environmentally conscious as they can.

Dr Zigs is designed to give your child hours of fun and learning with their simple, award-winning Bubble Solution. Whether in the garden, at the park, on the beach or at a party, Dr Zigs Extraordinary Bubbles are easy and always amazing. They guarantee hours of enjoyment for your children to play and learn and are a perfect toy for kids to be active, happy, content and safe.

Visit https://drzigs.com to see their wide range of amazing bubble kits.

The Little Sensory Box – super scavenger hunting!

Scavenger Hunt packLet’s go on a hunt… A Spring Time Scavenger Hunt that is! This Spring Scavenger Hunt Pack provided by The Little Sensory Box is a great activity to encourage your little ones to explore the outdoors and is suitable for various ages making it fun for all the family.

The large A6 real image based cards are a perfect visual aid for those toddlers who are not quite ready for the Scavenger Hunt list but who still enjoy exploring. It is a great way to promote literacy, physical activity, memory/recall, and connection whilst also providing a healthy dose of Vitamin D!

Starts from just £6 at https://www.thelittlesensorybox.com (And do check out their lovely Sensory boxes and gifts to help babies learn and grow too.)

Joyful Activities for the home

Whether it’s an inspirational game together, banishing boredom with a whole mix of activities or getting your children cooking or woodworking, these 4 businesses will certainly liven up those stuck-at-home days:-

Not Just Nibbles – making food and cooking fun

Contents of Not Just Nibbles bagNot Just Nibbles create healthy cooking kits for children which encourage them to cook more and develop a healthy relationship with food. Their cooking subscription boxes take children on a culinary adventure round the world and pair the creative talents of an award-winning designer with the nutritional know-how of accredited chefs.

Nominated for 4 awards and won “best subscription box for kids 2021” it’s easy to see how they’re quickly becoming the nation’s favourite kids food brand. Prices start at £14.99 from www.notjustnibbles.com

Boredom Bags – 35 fun activities in one big bagful of fun that can be enjoyed by the whole family

Various images of the contents of Boredom bagsBoredom Bags are packed full with 35 awesome activities encouraging children of ALL ages and their families to get creative, discover science & nature, learn new skills and above all… have fun! Each bag contains 10 activity kits and 25 “wildcards”. So, whether it’s a quick 5 minute game or a project for an entire afternoon – Boredom Bags will keep kids busy and happy for weeks.

A gift that can be enjoyed by the whole family. And what’s more everything inside has either been recycled or is recyclable!

They cost £20, with free postage and a customised gift note.

Super Sapiens – a card game to help change the world!

2 girls playing Super Sapiens card game‘Super Sapiens’ is a fun, family friendly card game that was created by 2 Oxford Uni academics and parents who were fed up with their daughter being bombarded by white centered games and toys. The game pays tribute to 12 inspiring diverse women from around the world. It’s a simple concept but one that turns play into inspiration and is a helpful way to discuss with children (3 years +) real world issues such as antiracism, gender inequity and environmental justice, while empowering them to help change the world.

Super Sapiens has a conscious supply chain with 80% of supply chain made of Black businesses and consultants. 75% of profits are donated to organisations led by the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC). It costs £12 and you can find out more about it here.

Simply Wood – wondrous woodworking kits 

Simply Wood Bee Hotel kitWant to help your child build a bird box or a bug or bee hotel? Then discover Simply Wood whose kits inspire children’s curiosity, teach new skills and create a sense of achievement by creating purposeful items to be treasured.

Their complete woodworking kits include all materials and clear instructions, as well as 6 activities designed by an experienced teacher to extend and deepen your child’s knowledge, understanding and creativity.

Eco conscious – they use reclaimed wood and recycled / recyclable ♻️ materials including packaging. Check out their lovely kits here.

The Power of BOOKS!

Of course we LOVE seeing kids reading and these books and subscription boxes will keep them enthralled every month. Or how about recording your own life story for your children and grandchildren? Check out these 4 amazing, entrepreneurial small businesses below:-

Little Box of Books – beautiful boxes of books delivered to your door

contents of Little Box of Books subscriptionIf your child loves reading then this subscription of inclusive books is perfect for them. Little Box of Books provides inclusive and representative book boxes to children aged 0-11 year in subscriptions, or as one-off gifts. Their beautiful boxes feature carefully curated selections of children’s books from top publishers and authors, featuring diversity in race, culture family set up, gender roles and representation of disability, incidental to the storyline.

Help more children to see themselves in stories and help all children grow up to be kind and compassionate citizens of the world, by introducing them to wonderful, mind expanding books at https://littleboxofbooks.co.uk

Sparrowlegs – a beautiful story with a mission to promote positive body image

sparrowlegs book coverThe story of a sparrow who embraces her amazing body and thinks that you should embrace your body too! Written by Anupa Roper, a former Primary School Teacher and mum of 2, the book is about a sparrow who learns to love the feathers she is in. The quote on the back says;

“Children can begin judging others based on their appearance from as early as 4 years old. It is important that we educate children early to accept differences in appearance,” – Jade Parnell, PhD Candidate, Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England.

Sparrowlegs is £8.99 and you can buy it here.

Mbawa Books – Happier every Chapter subscription box of books

Mbawa Books subscription boxThis amazing book subscription box business for 8-14 yr olds, was created by 2 dynamic children – Kirsten (13) & Aiyven (11). Passionate about reading (and both published authors too!) they are on a mission to promote literacy and diversity in middle-grade literature by creating a more engaged community of readers.

Their subscription box, Happier Every Chapter is getting rave reviews from parents and kids alike. Their boxes come packed full with 2 fantastic reads (including a diverse book), 2 short stories (which they write), activity sheets, exclusive author goodies, 4-6 bookish treats/lifestyle items and access to a community for author interviews, competitions etc.

Please find out more about their box here: https://www.mbawabooks.co.uk/pages/subscription-box

StoryTerrace – capture your life story

story terrace sample booksStoryTerrace is a unique memoir writing service which pairs you or a loved one with a professional ghostwriter to help recall and capture your life story in a book. The client experience is entirely personalised and intimate, with a hassle-free process managed from beginning to end by their expert team. It truly is a meaningful gift of a lifetime.

StoryTerrace has helped over 2,000 clients turn the dream of having their story recorded into a reality and was recently featured on ‘Dragon’s Den’. Learn more at www.storyterrace.com

Personalised gifts, meaningful toys and prepare to party!

Planning a children’s party just got a whole lot easier, as did buying some unique gifts for your children and the family with these 3 small, but beautiful, businesses:-

Flying Fig – beautiful, handmade personalised gifts

Flying Fig personalised mugsIf you’re looking for a special gift, then check out Flying Fig Studio – a small design studio specialising in personalised illustrated gifts. Created and run by designer-illustrator Karla, everything you see on her website from bags to mugs and cards to cake toppers, is handmade to order and is cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.

You can be sure that you’ll find the perfect gift, and if not, just get in touch with Karla to talk about whatever you have in mind and you never know, it may be possible to create especially for you!

Go to https://flyingfigstudio.com to see her beautiful range of products.

Mini Epic – easy, quick and fun, online party invitations

Mini Epic appAnimator Jonathan and Media Producer Ashley are the founders of Mini-Epic.com – home of the ultimate online invitation for children’s parties, where parents and grandparents alike can personalise a short pre-animated video invitation with their party details and send via WhatsApp or email, with RSVP collection as standard.

As parents of twin 10-year-old daughters they had organised a fair few parties, and never felt the invitations available did justice to the effort they put in. So they created something a little more exciting and whole lot more convenient, in the form of Mini-Epic. They also do epic e-cards too!

Check out https://www.mini-epic.com to learn more about this innovative company.

Capikooa – meaningful wooden toys

Capikooa balance boards and familyCapikooa focuses on creating long-lasting wooden toys, with a low environmental footprint all the way from design and material sourcing to manufacturing and packaging. They aim to support children’s development, through simple toys that excite their imagination, promote their creativity and encourage their physical movement.

Their Balance Board excites the imagination and encourages physical movement and comes in 3 different sizes to suit all ages. You can check it out on their website https://capikooa.com

Small Business LOVE

If I had the room, I would love to tell you more about the background to all of these businesses – each has its own amazing creative journey, with all the highs and lows of running a small business in today’s world. Needless to say, it can be really tough to get noticed in a very competitive market.

But despite the challenges, they all – like Tickled Moon – are passionate about their businesses and about creating a bit more joy, positivity and fun for you and your children.

So I do hope that I’ve given you some new ideas for gifts and fun together and that you’ll check them out and support them!

And if you haven’t already met one of Tickled Moon’s beautiful and fun, personalised children’s books, then come and visit us too!

You can soar up up into the sky or snuggle up with our books for 2 – “The Joyful Adventures”  and “The Longest Cuddle in the World”. Or add the rest of the family in our supremely silly “What’s That??!!” personalised book for 1,2,3 or 4!

Or meet a couple of BOOs! – “The Birthday BOO!” & “The Christmas BOO!” – 2 lovable, hairy monsters who surprise Your Child on their birthday/Christmas Eve (but not in the way they’re hoping for…)

And get wrapping/rapping with “The Christmas Wrapper” – a very different Christmas story, where Your Child stops a rapping reindeer who is intent on World Wrapping Domination…

All are personalised throughout with the child’s name and each book has its own unique and fun personalisations including Family Members, Friends, Pets, their Favourite Food and Gifts! 

And if you’d like to learn more about our small business journey so far, you can read about it in our blog “The Joyful Adventures of Tickled Moon”.

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