Parent Direct. For educational toys and gifts direct to parents.

Oct 27, 2014

Finding good quality, affordable educational toys and materials is not always easy from home. That's why when I'm introduced to places that have these things available, I love to share them with you. This post is sponsored by Parent Direct and Nuffnang.

As a school teacher, one of the many jobs I loved doing was the ordering for the classroom. We usually did the bulk of our ordering at the end of the year so that the supplies would arrive before the new school year started. I would love pouring over the catalogues from educational suppliers and checking out all the fabulous educational resources available.

When I had my own children and was on family leave from teaching, like many parents, I was excited about buying toys and materials for my children. That's the really fun stuff! (Especially if you love to play too.) I was already aware of the awesome resources available for children to play and learn, and these were the sort of toys I wanted for my children. I discovered though, that finding these toys and resources was actually more difficult than I'd thought. I knew the names of a number of educational distributors and attempted to find places to buy or order their goods. I often found the sites and the ordering to be overwhelming though. Many are not really set up for individual purchasers (more for schools or bulk orders) and require you to print out large forms and fax them off. Often with freight costs, the items would end up too expensive.

It wasn't until my daughter was attending 3 year-old kinder that we started getting the fundraising catalogues sent home. I couldn't wait for the book club ones (yay, love book club!) but I was even more delighted when we were sent the ones for educational toys! Finally I had a way to not only easily purchase the educational toys I wanted, but to also help our school or centre. What a great idea!

We loved ordering through the Parent Direct catalogue that was sent home from our kinder but it wasn't until recently that I was made aware that I didn't need to be given a fundraising catalogue to order. They have a website that you can order from any time you want AND you still get to nominate a school or centre to receive fundraising points. YAY!

Why I enjoyed ordering from the Parent Direct website:

  • They stock a large range of good quality education toys/materials that are often unavailable in mainstream shops
  • The prices are very reasonable
  • 20c from every dollar I spend on the site (not including shipping) goes to my nominated school or centre. As a teacher, I love this! Schools have to manage their budgets very tightly so every little bit extra that can be spent on getting new resources for the children outside of the budget is so appreciated! I nominated my daughter's school with my order.
  • The site is user friendly, easy to use and well set-out
  • I like the big pictures and descriptions of each items. You can click into them for even more pictures
  • I like that I can add to my cart without leaving the window. A pop up box opens so it's easy to continue shopping
  • You can see the catalogue in full in an online flip-through version or just browse by the category or brand
  • If like me you often get distracted half-way through making an order online, I found that you could leave it for a little while without the cart emptying and needing to start again 
  • You don't have to go anywhere. Shop from the convenience of home
  • A set postage rate for all your items. $7.90 Aus wide.

You can pay easily via your credit card and I was happy to learn that Paypal will be available soon. My order took 7 days to arrive and was securely packaged.

When browsing the website, the first item that I really wanted for my house was the above SES - Carpentry Building Playset. My children love building in all sorts of different ways, and this was a great set to introduce them to simple carpentry and a different way of building and connecting items together.

Both of my children (aged 2 and 5) love working with this set. I love that there are so many possibilities for creating with this set and that my children experience working on their fine-motor skills, problem solving, creative thinking, imagination, designing etc.

These are the other items I ordered off the site. There were many more items I could have ordered, in fact, there were a number of items on there that I already owned or had very similar items to. As you can see, we are really into building and dinosaurs here! As it's my son's birthday soon, I have popped these other items (minus the book) aside for him.

The seek and find book was for my daughter. She is quite a good reader these days but I wanted to get her a book that she could use for some quiet time after school that didn't just focus on reading words. This book focuses more on some key words and numbers as children seek to find varying amount of objects hidden in the pages.

Overall, I found browsing and ordering on the Parent Direct website an easy and enjoyable experience. I have no doubt I'll be ordering from them again, as there always seems to be another present giving occasion just around the corner.

Giveaway *closed

Thanks to Parent Direct, we have 5 x $50 vouchers to giveaway.

To enter pop over to the Parent Direct website and then leave a comment here telling us what you'd buy with your $50 voucher and why.

This giveaway is open to Australian residents. It is open until 5pm AEST Friday 31st Oct and you can see full terms and conditions here. If commenting under an anonymous profile, please leave a name and email so we can contact you if you win.

**This giveaway is now over. Congratulations to the winners, Meagan, Katey, Kylie, Emily and Jen.

Happy playing,
Debs :)

{Disclosure: this is a paid post for Parent Direct sponsored by Nuffnang.  We were given a voucher to experience the online shop. As always, opinions expressed in this post are my own and my children's.}

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