Habitots Blog

Simple and easy ways to style a party affordably

We love a fun, colourful party and we know it doesn't have to cost the earth! We suggest picking either a theme that your child will love or a colour scheme that will fit the tone of the party you want. 

From there, it's about pulling some party accessories together that revolve around your key decorating elements. Big balloons like our Poppies for Grace balloons make a statement and fill a room with colour as soon as your guests walk in. 

If your child is in love with a character like Peppa the Pig, you don't have to spend big $$ on huge amounts of licensed tableware & accessories. Instead, get a few things that will make an impact like a poster or stuffed Peppa that can go on the wall or table & then a tablecloth that is cost effective but has a big impact. After that, combine colours like pink, green and white to compliment the theme. Get an offcut of synthetic grass to run along the table and you'll look like a stylist! 

For the bigger themed parties, it's all about layering up things that hang, float and can add pops of fun. Helium balloons always make a room look nice and full and are cost effective to buy and have filled. The discount shops have honeycomb balls, bunting and other great paper accessories to make a gorgeous display. 

The most important thing is about your kids having fun so don't stress too much about the decor and think more about the entertainment or activity. Stay tuned for some great party activities coming soon. 

Mission: Hiding Veggies for a kid who eats none!

I've blogged before about our middle son who eats very little and only eats 1 vegetable which is a carrot. I've tried everything, have seen nutritionists, occupational therapists, read loads online yet haven't made much progress in the past 5 years (he's 6!). My other 2 eat nearly everything so it drives me a bit crazy but as I'm carving a bit more time out for things I'd like to do, I found 2 days this weekend for making and baking. 

I started with one of his favourite meals which is pizza so thought I'd chuck out the store-bought pizza sauce and make one filled with veggies. With ham & cheese on top, he doesn't know the difference and I feel ever so slightly better. Actually, I don't suffer too much from guilty-did-I-make-you-like-this-syndrome but know that if he eats better his behaviour would also be more steady and less Jeckle and Hyde. So here's the recipe I used for my super hidden veggie pizza & pasta sauce: 

2 cans of diced tomoatoes
1/2 can red kidney beans
1 celery stick chopped
1 carrot chopped
3 pieces of brocolli (don't overdo this or it'll turn your sauce green!)
1/2 a red pepper
1/4 of a sweet potatoe
1 clove of garlic

Cook everything in a pan for about 30 minutes until all of the veggies are soft. Put through a blender or use a hand blender. Voila! Pizza & pasta sauce that I put into ziplock bags and froze in portions for 1 pizza or bowl of pasta at a time (nb 6 yr old won't eat pasta but the 1 yr old will...and ate it out of the bowl when we finished!). 

3 Easy Activity to Bond with your kids at home

The story of Habitots began with a vision to create a beautiful kids brand that engaged with families in unique ways. We set out to find products you couldn't find everywhere and didn't cost the earth. Each week we're proud to welcome many little people into our space for specially developed classes where imaginations are set free to explore and create.

In this day and age, we have an increasingly difficult job as parents and need to juggle so many things that our own parents never had to. Technology has crept into our lives in so many useful ways, but you may still struggle with the balance of seductive screen time. It can sometimes be hard to drag your kids from them without an all-out battle and potential tantrum.

We see parents each day at Habitots, setting aside time to participate in quality activities with their kids and we love to see how their 'Messy Play' time becomes a ritual that both parents & kids love each week. That’s why we were excited to contribute to Bupa Life Insurance’s recent article, '12 Fun Activities to Enjoy with Your Kids'.

Some of the simplest activities with kids can help forge beautiful bonds and special memories they will always remember. Try these three at home!

1. Fort making: I remember making forts as a child and loving the sense of adventure I felt. As an added bonus kids often feel a sense of closeness to whoever they make it with.

2.  Cardboard box adventures: Another simple, cost effective activity that kids adore. Let your kids lead the way to making a boat, rocket ship or house. They’ll love that you’re along for the ride and get swept into the imagination of their creation.

3. Read them a ‘book in your head’: My Dad always told us stories at bedtime that he made up on the fly, and guess what, my kids love just the same thing. So next time at bedtime, make up silly names, settings and adventures and watch as they are totally captivated by the stories and ask for more each night.

So set aside an hour and actively engage with your kids to see what special bonds you can create. Put the phone down, get lost in the fun and watch as their own self-esteem grows and they develop through play. You really only need your imagination and some products from home to bring these activities to life. ​

February 06, 2017


Pop-Up Shop at Habitots

As our final days of trading approach, we've found that we're not quite ready to let things completely slow down yet! However, as we've discontinued some lines and haven't restocked all of our product since Christmas, we do have some space to spare in our lovely shop. So, we're offering an amazing opportunity to join us for your own Pop-Up Shop at Habitots! Bring in your brand to sell amongst our current merchandise and enjoy a retail environment for a few weeks. If you've only ever sold online, if you're interested in how your brand would do in a physical shop, or if you'd just like to try out the market for your products in Albert Park now is the time! A fabulous, low-risk and low-commitment chance to join us for our final few weeks before we close on March 31.

If you're interested, please contact us for details at suzanne@habitots.com.au 

December 19, 2016


Gifts under $20

Whether you're looking for a gift or something small to tuck in a stocking or Santa sack, we've got you covered! With a variety of toys, art supplies, dining pieces & other lovely items to choose from you're sure to find what something special for all the special little ones in your life!  Below is a highlight of some of our favourites, but make sure to browse through our online store to see the full range we carry. Everything we sell in our shop is also offered online, and if you're local to Melbourne you can order online and pickup from us! We're holding extended shopping hours all week to make it even easier to get Christmas shopping done before the weekend hits - come see us until 8pm Mon - Thurs this week!

Product details, clockwise from top... 

  1. Done by Deer - Bibs, 2 pack $19.95
  2. O.B. Designs - Betsy Bunny Dingaring Teether (other styles also available) $19.95
  3. Butterfly Mask - $5
  4. Done by Deer - Compartment Plate, grey (also available in raspberry) $16.95
  5. Stackable Markers, 12 pack - $12
  6. Wooden Pull-Back Helicopter - $12
  7. Lovelies Piper Pig (also bunny & fox available) $19.50
  8. Delight Decor - Light Up Apple, pink $15.96
  9. Unicorn Greetings $12
  10. Petit Collage - 123 Count with Me board book $19.99
  11. Orbit - Beach Soccer Ball $19.95
  12. Seedling - My Little Dino World $9.50
December 12, 2016


Classes: Term 1, 2017 Confirmed!

As many of you know, the Habitots business is changing slightly in the new year but we are excited to announce that our classes & parties will continue in our space, business as usual, for 2017! We have a new retail partner who is moving into the front retail shop in January, so we now ask that you come in via our back gate (45 Bevan Street) for your classes. You can easily park your prams in the back courtyard which is also getting a refreshed look over the summer! 

Take advantage of our early bird offer and sign up for a full term class early to ensure you get the day & time you want. You'll save 10% when compared to booking casually and can plan ahead for a full term of fun activities! Term 1 classes are listed below and are available to book as a full term only at this stage. All term bookings will also receive 2 make up classes per term.
We will only be offering art classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this term, so there are slightly fewer classes on offer but still just as much fun. Art will still take place in our upstairs art room and music will continue on Tuesdays with Baby Love Music in our downstairs playroom.
Watch out for new themes, new materials and lots of new ideas that will be coming your way in 2017!  See you soon. Please email info@habitots.com.au if you have any questions at all. 

Christmas Cookies 101

We absolutely love making Christmas cookies and having grown up in Canada, I made them as kids and have loved bringing this tradition to Habitots. We had the opportunity to do cookie decorating for over 250 kids at Highpoint Shopping Centre last week, and I loved watching as kids, who'd never decorated cookies before, figured out that their creation was edible! It was gorgeous. 

cookie decorating

We have loads of cookie decorating classes over Christmas at Habitots but know that not everyone can join us, or want to recreate the tradition at home. Well, we thought we'd give you some of our tips & tricks for doing it at home with kids. 

Top 5 tips for decorating cookies with kids
1. Use a sugar cookie recipe instead of Gingerbread as it's loved by more kids (and adults!).
2. Make Royal Icing to decorate as it dries quite quickly and dries harder than butter cream icing (or just sugar/water).
3. Use a piping bag or plastic squeezy bottle to make decorating easy for kids.
4. Decorate on a plastic or paper plate with an edge to keep all of the decorations together.
5. Use a variety of decorations including sprinkles (hundreds & thousands in Aus), M&Ms or Smarties and colour your icing red or green to make it festive. 

Sugar Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose or plai flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Royal Icing

900 grams (little less than a 1kg bag) of icing sugar
1/4 tsp of cream of tartar (helps makes it less runny)
5 egg whites

Mix all together, some people will whip it with a blender but I just mix it by hand for a few minutes. 

November 24, 2016


VIP Shopping Night at Habitots

Join us for our 2nd annual VIP Shopping Night! 

An after-hours event for our local shoppers to get some early Christmas shopping done before the season gets really crazy! Come see us on Thursday, December 1st from 5-8pm for a social and spirited time in our store.

The evening will include festive nibbles & bubbles, plus SPECIAL SALES offered to shoppers in store that night only! We've got heaps of cars & trucks, games, soft toys, books, wooden toys, art supplies, baby items and craft kits to explore. New brands and returning best sellers are all featured - make sure to RSVP so you don't miss out! 

Send your acceptance to suzanne@habitots.com.au and we look forward to seeing you there! xx

November 21, 2016


Christmas Gift Guides, volume 6

A tree to decorate, parties to attend, Christmas meals to plan and gifts to give! There are so many things on the to-do list this time of year, why not hop onto our online store and take care of all the shopping for your little ones! Our gift guides have organised some of our best sellers into easy-to-shop categories, with the full ranges available to shop online (and in store!). If you're local to Melbourne, you can always pick up your orders from us and save on shipping too! Happy shopping!

PRETEND PLAY: Kids are the best at imaginative play, they come up with some of the best stories! Details on these winners for hours of pretend play, clockwise from top... 

  1. Discoveroo - Movie Star Beauty Case
  2. Petit Collage - Mix & Match, robot (holiday set also available)
  3. Plan Toys - Robot Tool Box
  4. Green Toys - Helicopter
  5. Discoveroo - BBQ & Stove Top Set
  6. Plan Toys - Kitchen Set
  7. Green Toys - Chef Set
  8. Vintage Tea Set, rose  (scandi style also available)

SOFT TOYS: Although a favourite for babies, young children love to make believe with soft toys too! A variety of characters for boys and girls, details clockwise from top...

  1. Manhattan Toys - Lovelies pig and fox
  2. Done by Deer - Nozo Cozy Friend, blue (Nozo orange also available)
  3. Nana Huchy - Oliver Knitted Doll
  4. Nana Huchy - Princess Peach
  5. Nana Huchy - Mia Mermaid, gold (pink also available)
  6. Nana Huchy - blue bunny rattle
  7. Nana Huchy - Princess Petal 
  8. Zainy's Hand Puppet - croc
  9. Nana Huchy - Ambulance rattle
  10. Dotty Dog (sold out)
  11. Nana Huchy - Twinkles Ballerina
  12. Manhattan Toys - Travel & Comfort, Stowies fox and deer
November 21, 2016


Christmas Gift Guides, volume 5

The excitement is nearing with Christmas almost a month away! All around the city you can see the festivities coming to life, and we're here to help meet all your shopping needs. See our next edition of gift guides below - you're sure to find something for all the little ones on your list! Full ranges available to view and shop from our online store.

ACTIVE TOYS: For boys and girls on the move! Details clockwise from top... 

  1. Plan Toys - Happy Puppy
  2. Plan Toys - Pull-Along Duck
  3. Plan Toys - Hopping Rabbit
  4. Eurotrike - Cargo Wagon
  5. Orbit - Beach Soccer Ball
  6. OgoBILD - POD
  7. Quut - Alto
  8. Orbit - Beach Rugby Ball 
  9. Green Toys - Jump Rope, pink (green also available)

LIGHTING: Darling little light-ups and larger LED nightlights. Details clockwise from top...

  1. Light up cloud, pink
  2. Light up cloud, grey
  3. Nightlight - white cloud & light up cloud, pink
  4. Nightlight - grey cloud
  5. Nightlight - pink cloud 
  6. Light up apple, pink
  7. Nightlight - pink pear

Don't forget - we also have a Customer Pickup option, so if you're local to Melbourne there's no need to pay for shipping! 

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