Thursday, 14 April 2016

Teepees on TV

In a blink and you might miss it kind of way, our lovely Evie Rose teepee will make its TV debut on Tuesday 19th April at 8pm during the Channel Four documentary “The Tiny Tots Talent Agency” 

Our teepees were spotted by one of their researchers, who thought the teepees would be perfect for a new series they were about to shoot following Bizzikidz modelling agency in London.  

Generally we don’t hire models, our models are our children and other family members who we just plonk into our tents and tell to smile!  However, I thought this would be a really good opportunity for us as a company to book a child with special needs, something that is very close to my heart and an area that I feel is often underrepresented in advertising.  

Unbeknown to me, they were already following a little girl Mia, who has Down syndrome.  So when it was suggested to me that Mia might join our shoot, we were all delighted.  

Mia came along on the day with another lovely girl from bizzikidz called Millie and they joined my daughter and my neice on set.  They were both so fun and as a mother to a special needs child myself, Mia made me so proud showing that her extra chromosome does not mean she cannot strike a pose and be a great model too. 

Mia was great fun in the test shots and put all the girls at ease!

We got some fantastic shots which we have been able to use across our website and promotional material and I am delighted how even as a small company we are pushing the boundaries regarding models with special needs and let’s hope the bigger companies all follow soon.  Being unique is so beautiful and should be celebrated and shown where possible. 

Unfortunately when the footage went to edit, the direction of the series changed and our feature was not shown apart from some lovely shots at the end of the girls having a Myweeteepee tea party.  Considering they shot over 700 hours of footage, we are pretty impressed we made it that far!

It was such a great day though and we had so much fun with the crew from two four and our fantastic models and their families.  It was great to work with Bizzikidz agency too, they are super-efficient and professional and I think this will definitely come across during the programme.  The fact they had many modelling cards of children with additional needs for us to consider really showed how as a booking agency they are really supportive of our very special children getting work in the industry too.
Here are a few snap shots from the day with the crew.

This is our local high street in Wincanton where before we moved to our new bigger premises, I used to have my cute little teepee shop.  Here is Fay and Demi from two four trying to shield the sun from their eyes whilst filming the outside of the shop.  

We are so lucky that we have such a fantastic studio for our photoshoots.  It is a light airy studio in rural Dorset and the sunlight just streams in creating a great light for our images.  The children usually run around burning off steam and then happily pose in the teepees when we call them on set.

We also did a Christmas shoot which felt very strange on a sunny September day, but the children really enjoyed dressing up in their Christmas jumpers and ripping all the paper off the empty shoe boxes that I had painstakingly wrapped for the shoot!  Mia was not impressed with the empty shoe box that was for sure!

All in all it was a great day and a great shoot which showed how children who had never met each other before instinctively played and became friends over a teepee.  It would have been lovely if this had been featured in more depth but overall it was a fantastic experience, we made some lovely friends and got some amazing photos in the teepees.  

I personally am delighted just to be able to see Mia flying the flag for all those amazing children out there proving that their ability is often far bigger than their disability.


Saturday, 19 December 2015

Some Magical tips for setting your Teepee up this Christmas Eve

With not long to go now until the most magical night of the year, we have compiled a little list for you to share with Santa so he can set the teepee up with ease and create the most beautiful sight for your children to behold on Christmas morning.

If you can, set the teepee up before unpacking any other presents as you will need a bit of space to move around.  The teepee makes a great focal point and is ideal for hiding other presents inside too. So once the teepee is in place, you can create a beautiful scene all around it.  Always make sure it is not set up near a fire or any other heat source.
Previous customers have used the teepee to hide the Christmas stockings inside, leaving only a note at the end of the children’s bed to say that your presents are hidden downstairs!  So exciting.

You could take some wonderful photos of your children opening their santa sacks sitting inside their new teepee too.  Perfect for snap chatting straight over to friends and relatives.

You could also decorate the top of the teepee poles with tinsel for an extra festive look too and even hang your stocking over one of the poles!  A teddy sat on the top of the teepee is also a great source of amusement for little ones so are naughty elves abseiling down the side of the teepee on lights and tinsel!  Some of the most special memories are made at Christmas and these small little touches go a long way.

Lights on the teepee do look really beautiful, but of course for safety reasons, we do suggest that after Santa has decorated the teepee with them, he turns them off until the morning when an adult can turn them on and supervise.
Battery operated lights are great as no cables are required to the mains keeping a nice clear space all around.


Once the teepee is up, we suggest that the carry bag and instructions are stored away in the box and retained for future storage and reference.

If you are a Santa setting up a pet teepee, you can also decorate with lights and tinsel as well as put some yummy pet treats inside to make the new little shelter all the more inviting!


As with every year, Myweeteepee will be available online to answer any questions you may have and we always look forward to receiving your photos of your teepees set up in all their Christmas glory.  Thank you for choosing Myweeteepee and we wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

FOOTNOTE Although its customary to leave Santa a little shot of something strong, we do suggest that Santa does not consume too much of this before attempting to erect the teepee, however he can have a well earned sit down and 2 extra shots after!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

October already!!

Oh dear me, what can I say?!!  So I promised to write more frequent blogs, but once again, I kind of got a little behind, as in 6 months behind!!  However, I am delighted to say that it’s all with good reason because we have had lots of new and exciting things going on here at planet Myweeteepee!
First of all, I am going to talk pet tents!  For a long time now, we have been inundated with requests for teepees and dens for our four legged friends.  So many of you lovely customers send us pictures of your pets squatting in your children’s teepees that we decided it was proper time we launched our furry friends their very own range, we are after all a family company:)
They have been so well received and most recently you tube sensations Zoella and Alfie have featured our super gorgeous Ritzy pet tent in their Vlog after we sent their gorgeous pug Nala one for her 1st birthday. 
My youngest daughter is a huge fan of Zalfie and when she was poorly in hospital last year, it was their YouTube channel (along with the saccone joly’s!) that kept my daughter smiling.  It was a real pleasure to send a return smile to Zoe and Alfie with the gift of the teepee for their own furry baby Nala.
We are now working on new designs and a range of pet tents to suit all sizes and breeds, so watch this space for that!
Our current range of kids tents are now also available online and have been proving really popular too.  The Up Up and away teepee is currently our best seller and I am not surprised with its gorgeous little interactive pocket that a favourite toy can sit in and fly away in the balloon inspired window. 
When I was little, there was a local family who had their own hot air balloon (as you do!) During the summer months, the first thing I would often see when I opened my curtains was this giant floating balloon in front of my eyes.  I thought it was truly magical so I decided to bring my own something special from my childhood into the design of this teepee to make other children’s childhood memories magical too.
Anyway, talking of all things magic, there has been a few magic changes to Myweeteepee recently, more of that soon!!!!!
Last weekend was so much fun when we did a photoshoot for our next range of kid’s teepees, the whole day was filmed by a TV production company and we should be on your screens later this year!
The new range however will be on our website in a couple of weeks and you will be able to see the brilliant pictures from the shoot too so watch this space……………
Wish you all a wonderful October and remember, you have the whole of this month to sign up to the take two payment plan for guaranteed Christmas delivery J

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Creating a world of imagination with your very own DIY tactile toys.

School holidays can be immensely stressful with finding things to occupy the children, but throw a child with additional needs into the mix and the word stress can take on a whole new meaning!  Finding toys that appeal to and stimulate our incredible special needs children has certainly been made far easier with the use of the internet and mail order shopping.  With one click of the mouse, it is possible to source several online companies that have a whole array of bright and appealing toys, games and sensory equipment.
Whilst these toys are immensely valuable, especially in the special needs setting, most families would struggle to find the budget since the price tag is often not as appealing as the item itself!
Well, the good news is that you do not need to break the bank to access such equipment.  With a bit of imagination, some empty containers and in some cases shaving foam (yes!), it is possible to make the most wonderful sensory toys and games that will keep your special child amused for hours and your pocket intact.

Tactile play
So we will address the subject of shaving foam first off!  Children with special needs can love and benefit greatly from water, and whilst a hydrotherapy pool might also be out of the budget, making the whole bathing experience can be great fun with a can of shaving foam.  If you spray it on the tiles of the bathroom, your child will no doubt enjoy the sensations of running their fingers through the foam and finger painting it.
Bubble blowing is immense fun too and this can be done in or out the bath.  If you try and keep a mini bottle of bubbles in your bag, you have an infallible way to entertain your child in a queue of traffic or as a good way to avert a potential tantrum.  This is something older siblings can join in with, and can be great way to get them all interacting together. We once filled an airport departure lounge with bubbles and everyone else seemed to quite like it too!
Fill a bucket with grains of pulses or rice and let your child delve in and enjoy the sensations.  You can also hide toys and little measuring cups which will add to the fun.
Laying your child on a blanket or carpet and rolling them up in it can be an enjoyable full body experience. You can put as much or as little pressure as your child wants, and the giggles and screams of delight should tell you if it’s too much, or not enough!

Jiggle Toys
These can be found all over any occupational therapy catalogue, but in addition can be found in your household cupboards with a much nicer price tag.
Bubble wrap usually lands on your doormat completely free of charge.  Once you have unwrapped the item that you have paid for, you can set about giving it to your child (supervised of course!) and letting them pop away!
An old set of keys are a great jingle jangle option, but make sure they are old or spare!
Balloons are tremendous and can be filled with sand, tied securely in a knot and given to busy little hands for lots of squeezing and fine motor strengthening.
When you have exhausted the cupboards, check out your local pet store.  You would be amazed at the amount of toys there that double as excellent sensory toys.

A homemade sensory room for the price of one bubble tube!
 How about a lava lamp instead of bubble tube, check out second hand shops.
Glow in the dark stars can be purchased from most good toy shops.
Cloud b lights are great value and are multi sensory too.
 Luminous paint - make worn out old toys glow in the dark!!
 Rope lights, bubble machines and revolving disco lights/ night lights all from electrical shops.
Tinsel or kitchen foils high up on walls to reflect.
My son’s favourite ever item is one of those help for heroes’ wrist bands!  He loves flicking things close to his eyes and the momentum he can drum up with one of these is remarkable.  Instant sensory feedback!!!

The possibilities in creating your own box of sensory toys are endless and the benefits everlasting.  Most of all, you can have great fun with it, involve all the family in the production of the toys and keep thinking outside the box.  After all, that annoying little flash light you found in your Christmas cracker, might just keep your special child amused for hours!

Finally, at the end of the day when some down time is needed, the perfect place to chill out and relax can be found right inside your very own myweeteepee, and if (like me!) you are patiently awaiting our new range of  teepees to arrive in stock, a home made den can be mustered up in no time with a few upturned dining chairs and a nice big sheet ENJOY!!