Our Zack and Quack Party with Nick Jr and UKMums.tv
12:27 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Customise a Scooter with Handlebar Heroes
23:30 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
As soon as I saw the horses, unicorns and dragons adorning the Handlebar Heroes stand I knew I had found a product that Bud would love. He loves animals and horses are amongst his favourites. The dragons are a new product coming soon but horses and unicorns are avaiilable in their website shop.
The lovely Handlebar Heroes people gave me a horse to take home to Bud and find out what he thought of it. We received Fudge, a brown horse, with a white shock of hair. The Handlebar Hero is supplied flat, in a plastic bag, for home assembly. In addition to the main horse's head you also receive the eyes, a shock of white hair for the front of the mane, and three nose bands, with clips, so you can choose your favourite. We were warned during our chat of a few common mistakes that people make when assembling a Handlebar Hero:
- Both eyes go in, the directions might only show one but you repeat for the other, apparently some people didn't work that one out!
- The logo faces outwards at the back of the horse
- Follow the instructions and assembly is quite straightforward!
The Ella's Kitchen Mini Incredible Edible Forest
17:57 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
The edible forest has been created to launch Ella's Kitchen's new range of toddler meals. This will have six recipes which all feature at least five different fruits and vegetables! This video shows off the forest perfectly.
“At Ella’s Kitchen, we think fruit and vegetables are healthy, delicious and most importantly, fun! That’s why we wanted to create an incredible edible experience designed to excite little ones’ senses and encourage them to try a whole host of yummy different tastes and textures.
Our edible forest captures the excitement and adventure of discovering delicious new flavours, and we hope the mini taste explorers who visit the edible forest enjoy their scrummy healthy eating journey."
Sadly it's too late to check out the edible forest at the fantastic Horniman Museum but you can visit the Ella's Kitchen website for more information on their products..
The Andrex Washlets Word Challenge
23:08 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Read With Me Scout from LeapFrog - A Review
16:22 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Read With Me Scout is a toy aimed at children aged two to five. He arrives with five accompanying books and aims to inspire and entertain young readers. He's an interactive toy which 'reads' the chosen book alongside your child. He has two modes, 'Story Time' where Scout reads the book and requires your child to interact with him - by patting his head at the end of each page - and 'Sleepy Time' which will read the story straight through and then play eight minutes of lullaby music. The perfect way to soothe your child off to sleep. You select the mode you require using the sliding switch on Scout's collar, then choose your book using one of the five numbered buttons, Each of these is coloured according to the colour of the title band on the same number book. A great way of promoting number recognition in the younger end of the intended age range.
The five books all promote a particular area of learning, as follows:
Book 1 - Green - Let's Go Camping! - The Pattern Book, with rhymes, refrains and repetitions
Book 2 - Purple - Let's Find Scout's Toy! - The Narrative Book, with sequences, characters and settings
Book 3 - Blue - Let's Have a Party! - The Concept Book, with concepts to classify and label new information
Book 4 - Orange - Let's Cheer Up Eli! - The Rhyming Book, learning about the sounds of language and building phonlogical awareness
Book 5 - Red - Let's Learn About the Weather! - The Learn-About Book, revealing the word through reading and reinforcing that print carries meaning.
The books are really lovely. We have the LeapFrog Tag Junior at home already and Bud is quite familiar with the concept and appearance of LeapFrog books, he took to them straight away and has been asking me to read them to him as well as Scout. The more active Story Time mode is great as he can follow Scout's instructions and really feels like he is reading the book alongside Scout. Scout constantly asks questions of him and it is really funny to listen to him chatting away to the little green dog. Bud has also discovered that he and Scout can 'read' to Little Miss with Scout and 'you sit there and I tell you a story with Scout' has become a regular occurrence in our house.
In addition to the controls on Scout's collar he has five other sensors - the star on his head, a heart on his cheek, a musical note and a bone on his paws and a spot on his back to pat. When in Story Time mode these all generate interactive comments, or music from Scout. I really loved the songs, all of them have some educational content, whether it's learning the colours of the books or talking about feelings, your child can learn while being entertained. In Sleepy Time mode only the paws work, one says goodnight and the other plays lullabies.
If I could find any fault with Read With Me Scout it is that you are limited to the five books that are supplied with the toy, it would be great if he was PC compatible like many of LeapFrog's range, enabling you to download extra content. That said, the five books supplied are great and I think they will keep children, especially those at the younger end of the intended age range, entertained for a long time.
I really like LeapFrog's attention to promoting early literacy and I feel that Read With Me Scout sits really well in their range. It's great for two and three year olds, who might be ready to move on from My Pal Scout, and provides a really effective bridge between those younger toys and the more advanced options like the LeapReader and the LeapPad. Bud is loving this toy at the moment, I was quite surprised by this as I wondered if it might be slightly young for him, at nearly four, but the novelty of being able to go and entertain himself, or his sister, with a book is great. I'm really hoping to foster a passion for reading in my children and I can completely find a place for this toy in promoting those aims. Little Miss, at eighteen months, is already very interested in Read With Me Scout and I'm sure she will enjoy playing with him, and reading with him for a long time to come. Scout enables a child to take ownership of their decision to sit and read a book, and to understand that it is a way to entertain themselves without relying on an adult to make sense of the words, I think that's a very valuable thing for children to learn as they start their literacy journey.
With an RRP of £29:99 I think that Read With Me Scout (or Read With Me Violet, his purple friend) is an excellent toy, especially if you were considering it for a child at the younger end of the age range. We are really enjoying it and I think both of my children will continue to do so.
Disclosure: We received this in exchange for an honest review.
We're Going on a Barny Bear Hunt!
20:02 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Axel Scheffler's Noisy Jungle - Review and Giveaway
22:38 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
We received 'Axel Scheffler's Noisy Jungle' which is described as 'a Counting Sound Book'. Axel Scheffler is immediately familiar as the illustrator of books like 'The Gruffalo' and 'Stick Man' with Julia Donaldson. We're huge fans of his artwork so I was sure that Bud would enjoy it.
This book is essentially a number poem, and rythmically takes you through the jungle talking about each group of animals. I love to read rhyming books aloud and Bud and Little Miss always enjoy the rhythm of the words. I often find that Bud very quickly memorises books like this and can often hear him chanting the numbers to himself when he's playing.
It really is a beautifully illustrated book and each of the ten pages is packed with lively detail. The final double page recaps all of the animals and invites children to use the sound buttons or make their own noises for each one. The sound buttons are great fun, especially the monkey button as it plays a little theme tune for the whole book.
If jungle animals aren't your favourite then there is also a Noisy Farm book to investigate. I'm very impressed with out first experience of Campbell Books and we are looking forward to seeing what else is coming from the imprint this year.
Axel Scheffler's Noisy Jungle is available from all good book sellers, including Amazon.
I've teamed up with them to give away five copies of this terrific book to my readers. To enter simply complete the rafflecopter widget below. The blog post comment is compulsory and will unlock a variety of additional optional entries. Please read the terms and conditions.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com
Win Tickets to the Baby and Toddler Show Manchester or Bluewater
17:59 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Offering everything a new parent needs, the show features over 150 brands, many of whom will be offering special show prices and discounts. The show is bump and baby friendly and features pushchair friendly access and baby changing facilities. There will be free expert advice workshops which will cover every aspect of parenting and aim to answer any concerns.
If you'd like to book tickets you can do so online at the Baby and Toddler Show website, The show have kindly offered me the following discount codes to my readers.
To save 33% on Bluewater tickets quote BWB31 at checkout
To save 25% on Manchester tickets quote NWB31 at chedckout
The Baby and Toddler Show have put together a fab video which shows the Autumn show in Manchester from last year:
Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com
Spin 2 Win with Magazine.co.uk
11:52 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Run through their Facebook page you will get five opportunities to win one of a great range of prizes. You simply spin to win. Prizes available include four Kindle Fires and money off vouchers ranging from £5 to £50 off magazine subscriptions.
Magazine.co.uk have a really broad selection of subscriptions available and I have my eye on the DC Super Friends magazine which we reviewed the launch issue of last year. Bud really enjoyed it but we've struggled to find it in our local shops so a subscription would be the perfect answer to that. Their range included women's, men's, children's and a variety of specific interest magazines. Why not take your opportunity to spin to win now on Facebook now?
Valentine's Fun at Build a Bear
17:27 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
We had a really lovely time at Build a Bear Workshop and the staff looked after us brilliantly. The animals we chose and their clothes and accessories are really excellent quality and I think we may be returning soon to buy additions to our animals' wardrobes. It is expensive compared to buying a pre-made bear but the choice available, and the amazing range of additional items to buy, plus the personalisation of the experience and how well we were looked after, mean that I am sure we will be back to Build a Bear to choose new pets at some point in the future. The clothes and accessories can be bought at pocket money prices so it needn't be an expensive shopping trip each time. I can totally understand why so many children that I know love shopping here so much. Thanks to Build a Bear Workshop Trafford Centre for looking after us so well, we had a lovely time!
Celebrating Chinese New Year with hungryhouse
14:16 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
I really wanted to include Little Miss in the celebration so I ordered a Cheongsam for her. Sadly she has found it a little bit uncomfortable so her dolly is now wearing it. It's a shame as I loved the colours and print on the dress!
It was simple to register with the hungryhouse site and then log in, upon doing so I was presented with a list of takeaways, five of which offered Chinese food. The first on the list was one we have tried before but we decided to go for somewhere new. We ordered a mixed starter and two main course, alongside fried rice and noodles. It was really simple and straightforward to select what we wanted with the menu separated into starters, mains and sides, with the mains further divided by their main ingredient. The only thing I wasn't sure on was whether the main courses were supplied with a side dish or not as the website didn't say, I assumed not. Upon placing our order I received an email saying our order was pending, then a further one a few minutes later saying it was confirmed and our food would arrive at around 18:40, five minutes before that time our food arrived, well packaged and piping hot! The food was really excellent, definitely a cut above our usual Chinese takeaway haunt.
Win with Kaspersky Lab on Safer Internet Day
13:47 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Kaspersky Lab have carried out a study recently and the results are surprising:
- 27% of parents believe their children have been exposed to some kind of online risk (by accessing inappropriate content or experiencing cyber bullying) in the last year
- 22% of those parents admit to taking no action to govern their child's internet usage, on any device.
'Regardless of how their children are accessing the internet, parents must remain vigilant, supervise their internet use and consider parental control technologies. However, as a parent myself, I find these statistics particularly worrying when you consider the increasing number of children using connected smartphones today. After all, when children use mobile devices to access the web, they are using the same internet, with the same risks – yet parents are often not as aware of the dangers.
There is a common misconception that smartphones and tablets don’t need the same level of protection as a PC, but with such a high percentage of parents not having a clear view of their children’s online activity, this way of thinking needs to change. The internet is an incredible resource, both for social use and in an educational capacity. But in the same way as we would teach our children to cross the road safely, we must teach them to be aware of, and respect, the dangers of the internet. Just because a threat is out of sight, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep it front of mind.'To help parents and their children to stay safe online David Emm has come up with the following tips:
- Smartphones feature parental control, if you aren't sure where to find them then ask them to be demonstrated when you purchase the handset. Companies have a duty to ensure parents are aware of these and asking will create demand for the service.
- Ensure that in-app purchasing is protected so your child can't rack up a huge bill with expensive add-ons
- Install security software to ensure inappropriate content is filtered out
- Ensure your children can ask about anything they see or experience online which doesn't feel right to them, if they know they can talk about it without being told off they won't be afraid to share their concerns with you
- Cyber bullying is even more of an issue with smartphones as children tend to have them with them all day long and use them away from parental supervision more. Encourage your children to talk to you if they are feeling threatened, certain apps and websites can be blocked to protect them further.
- Look for sites that help you to use the internet safely - http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/ - is a good example. By reading together you might be able to pre-empt issues before they become a real problem.
I've teamed up with Kaspersky Lab to offer one of my readers the opportunity to win a copy of their multi-device version of Kaspersky Internet Security which allows you to protect all of your family's devices - be they PCs, Macs, Tablets or Smartphones - on one single license.
To enter simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. The blog post comment is compulsory and will unlock a variety of optional, additional entries. Please read the terms and conditions.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com
Celebrate Valentine's Day with Home Bargains
23:30 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
I'm very impressed with the budget range of Valentine's gifts. I think that the teddy bear and chocolates would be great gifts for teenagers to buy for that special someone, just a sweet little way to say they are thinking of them. You could purchase any of these gifts and add them on to your Valentine's gift, or just pop a couple of them in a cute gift bag, perfect if you don't usually buy gifts or don't have much to spend. I've already spotted that there is a wider range in store, along side a selection of cards too. Home Bargains is definitely worth checking out this Valentine's Day!
Kick A Bad Habit and Save Money!
12:26 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
When Leeds Building Society got in touch to tell me about their 'Kick My Habits' campaign I was really intrigued. It invites you to examine how much you spend on eight key areas:
- Fashion & Beauty
- Lunches out
- Evenings out
Mighty Moments with Plum Baby
22:39 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
To celebrate the launch, Plum Baby are planning to make a film showing your toddlers' Mighty Moments. Whether they are displaying their skills - like my girl's tower building - charging around, singing, dancing or doing anything else, from waking up to falling asleep, Plum want to see your toddlers' shine. For full details of how to enter, and to confirm your participation, please see the competition page at Tots 100.The first 50 bloggers to fill out the form there will receive a small gift from Plum for taking part. There are some fantastic prizes to be won, including the chance for your child to be the star of the Plum Baby #MightyMoments campaign film, and £200 of Early Learning Centre/Mothercare vouchers for the best video. You can also 'like' the Plum Baby Facebook Page to keep up to date with all of their news.
Brought to you in collaboration with Tots 100 and Plum Baby.
We are Zack and Quack Party Hosts!
12:27 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
It sounds like Zack & Quack will offer a really unique approach to crafting with children and I'm hoping that it is going to give us lots of new and different ideas for creative play. It should offer some ways to play and make with paper and cardboard that we haven't come across before.
We've received a huge box full of craft supplies to get junk modelling and crafting during the party and have been saving our empty pots and tubes to help us out with this. We're sure we will have lots of fun during the party and I really hope we see you there too!
Find out more here
Dear Matilda Mae
22:14 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
- ► 2016 (60)
- ► 2015 (177)
- Our Carcraft Lego Challenge
- Our Zack and Quack Party with Nick Jr and UKMums.t...
- Customise a Scooter with Handlebar Heroes
- The Ella's Kitchen Mini Incredible Edible Forest
- The Andrex Washlets Word Challenge
- Read With Me Scout from LeapFrog - A Review
- #SilentSunday #MySundayPhoto 23/2/14
- We're Going on a Barny Bear Hunt!
- Axel Scheffler's Noisy Jungle - Review and Giveawa...
- Win Tickets to the Baby and Toddler Show Mancheste...
- Spin 2 Win with Magazine.co.uk
- Valentine's Fun at Build a Bear
- Celebrating Chinese New Year with hungryhouse
- Win with Kaspersky Lab on Safer Internet Day
- Celebrate Valentine's Day with Home Bargains
- Kick A Bad Habit and Save Money!
- Mighty Moments with Plum Baby
- We are Zack and Quack Party Hosts!
- Dear Matilda Mae
- ▼ February (19)
- ► 2013 (391)
- ► 2012 (191)