#EnjoyMoreWater with Robinsons
22:26 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
We've always used the litre sized bottles of Robinsons in the past and they have some really great flavours (mine is Pink Grapefruit) and you'll usually find a bottle or two in the cupboard in our kitchen. I had spotted that they had expanded the range to include their super-concentrated Squash'd which comes in convenient, flip-top squeezy bottles that make it perfect for juice on the go.
In a recent survey it emerged that 64% of parents don't know how much water their children should be drinking each day, with 42% saying that their children, like mine, find water boring, Robinsons have launched their 'Enjoy More Water' campaign to help everyone to drink more water. To help with this I've been asked to share my tips to help keep your kids hydrated this Summer.
1. Use Squash - this is an obvious one given that Robinsons are behind this campaign but it really works for us. We all drink squash in our house and I always choose the 'no added sugar' varieties to help to limit sugar intake. There are some fantastic flavours in the range, including the new additions - Orange and Peach, and Lemon and Pink Grapefruit.
2. Choice of cup or bottle - my children will always fight for their particular special cup or bottle. Colour and design is very important when you're 3 and 6 so we've got a small collection of drinking vessels that Bud and LM have chosen for themselves, this makes pouring a drink, and keeping it nearby is less of a battle from the very start.
3. Bottles of Water and Robinsons Squash's - the convenient packaging for Robinson's Squash'd means that it's really easy to pop them into my changing bag, handbag or picnic basket ready to be used on the go. We sometimes buy a big bottle of water and pop in a couple of bottles of Squash'd when we're out for the day so everyone can have their favourite flavour on our picnic.
4. Lollies! - on hot days every one loves an ice lolly. Make up some Robinsons squash and pour into lolly moulds and place them in the freezer. In a couple of hours you'll have homemade ice lollies, perfect to cool down and rehydrate.
5. Fruit - add sliced fruit to a jug of squash and chill. The fruit will infuse and add to the flavour of the drink and your kids will feel really grown up drinking a tall glass of squash with pretty fruit floating in it.
6. Rewards - if you are really struggling to encourage your children to drink enough then you could consider a reward chart. Give them a sticker for every drink they have with an agreed reward if they drink a certain number of drinks every day for a week.
7. Lead by example -we all have those days where we know we haven't drunk enough. I sometiimes end up with a bit of a headache which can be cured by a couple of glasses of water. I try to always have a glass or bottle of water on the go now, my children will often help themselves to mine or it will prompt them to ask me to get them a drink of their own.
How do you encourage your children to drink more water?
This post is an entry for Britmums #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge, sponsored by Robinson.
Kinetic Sand Crash 'Em Cars - Review
10:04 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
We've had the basic Kinetic Sand playset for a while so Bud was delighted to see that they had added new sets to the range recently, and even more delighted when we were sent the Kinetic Sand Crash 'Em Cars for review.
When you open the box you find two bags of kinetic sand (one blue, one red) and the moulds to create two different cars to race and crash. The box itself opens up to find a raceway and there are also two ramps and a scoreboard to decorate it.
Making the cars is quite simple, especially if you're familiar with Kinetic Sand already. Simply choose base, car body, spoiler, engine and driver, fill them with the sand, tip them out with a gentle tap and put your car together. There is lots of detail on the mould, you can even fill in the wheels on the car's body. You can also build sand cones to provide some obstacles.
Once complete your cars are ready to race and then the only limit is your imagination. You can race them, smash them into each other, the box or the cones, LM got involved and the children have returned to this set again and again since it arrived. It's a really fun way to combine the creativity of building and moulding with a toy that you can properly play with, rather than just showing people what you have made. You will find the blue and red start to mix colours but, luckily, when well mixed this gives a deep purple instead of the sludge brown you get with other craft substances. I hate mixing colours like this but the purple really is fine and didn't put me off too much!
If you're anything like me you may well find yourself playing with the Kinetic Sand after the children in bed, just as they love it, I find it's tactile nature quite relaxing to play with too. I can see the expanded range of Kinetic Sand being incredibly popular this year. This set is available from all good toy shops at around £14:99. For more information visit Spinmaster Toys.
We were provided with the toy for review purposes.
Get Festival Ready with Bratz Festival Vibes
17:31 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
LM and I got to work creating her very own festival accessory using the flowers we were sent and LM chose the roses. I created the floral circlet by twisting each rose stem around the other to create the circle shape. Once this was done I fastened the loop together and we decided to cover it in blue ribbon to finish it off nicely. Three trailing blue and gold ribbons added a bit more boho style. The headband was a huge success with LM who has barely taken it off since I completed it. She's definitely festival ready!
For more information and to check out the rest of the Bratz range visit www.bratz.com
Toy supplied for review purposes.
Summer Wedding Style
12:35 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
I've been doing some searching online prior to a shopping trip with friends so I know exactly which shops I want to visit, that should leave more time for coffee and cake.
I'm loving this gorgeous Tobago print shift dress from Coast at Debenhams. I've been a fan of Coast for so many years and I know I can always rely on their clothes to make me look and feel great. I think the bold print on this dress will make it perfect for a Summer wedding.
I think I'm going to go for a classic neutral for shoes and bag. I've been a fan of Hotter shoes for a couple of years ago and they have the perfect pair to match. Weddings can be tough on the feet so I always prefer a low heel, a great option when you're on your feet for most of the day. I've spotted some pretty T-bar shoes with a bag that should go very well. The bag has a handle but I'll probably use it as a clutch.
Watching New Teletubbies With LM and Little E
15:45 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
LM is my big Teletubbies fan. It's a show that she asks for regularly and, while he TV doesn't go on in the morning in our house as we'd never get to school on time, we often catch up with recent episodes on our post-nursery wind down, using the BBC iPlayer. Her favourite is Laa Laa (because she's a girl, of course) but she also has a soft spot for Po because she loves his scooter).
The new Teletubbies series features a mix of the characters playing and a real life segment. I found that LM really enjoyed this part but Little E just got very excited whenever he saw the baby in the sun, The mixture works really well and there's a real educational element to the video segment which got LM chatting about taking photos, she's never been in a photo booth before so had lots of questions to ask about how it worked. She loved the Teletubbies taking photos with the Tubby Phone as she's always asking for a selfie! I think she'd love it to be as easy as the Tubby Phone makes it.
This is clearly Teletubbies for the new generation, The use of the Tubby Phone is something that's familiar for today's pre-schoolers who can often navigate a tablet better than a lot of adults, but it's still very true to the original show. The characters are still people dressed up and I'm so pleased that's the case rather than choosing a CGI route. The values which appeal to young children, of friendship, kindness, music, movement and discovery are clearly represented.
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have been paid to bring you this review. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.
HiPP Organic Porridge Pouches - Review
13:27 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
The new range includes three different flavours of fruity, organic porridge, suitable for children aged 6 months and over. They are presented in a convenient pouch,, which makes them just as perfect for travel as for serving at home. The three flavours are Fruity, Apple & Pears and Pear, Apple & Apricot. Little E has loved every flavour and polished them off in no time. We recently discovered that he can eat a pouch by squeezing it into his own mouth, nothing stands between my little boy and food! Generally I feed it to him by squeezing it into a bowl and then using a spoon though!
HiPP select special varieties of fruits and vegetables which are naturally low in acidity whilst high in nutrients. Then to ensure their optimum flavour they are given time to ripen naturally and harvested when at their plumpest and sweetest. This means that the fruit contained in the porridge is really tasty and perfect for a healthy breakfast.
Play-Doh Town Fire Truck - Review
23:08 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Play-Doh Town is a new range from the iconic Hasbro brand which has a range of sets which can be used individually or together to create a world of imaginative play for children age 3 and upwards. Lots of the concepts will be familiar to children as there are sets like this fire truck and fire station a doctor, ice cream truck and hairdresser.
The Fire Truck set arrives complete with firefighter (with helmet and axe), the fire truck itself, and three pots of Play-Doh, one of these has a fire stamper on top of the lid. The three colours of Play-Doh supplied are orange and red (for the fire) and blue (for the water) and the tubs can be stacked so that they can be used to resemble a building on fire. The firefighter's helmet can be removed and he can hold the axe in his hand.
The set is packed with detail and ways to play with the set. The firefighter's helmet can be used to mould a bell, then his head can be filled with Play-Doh and the helmet used as a plunger to squeeze out a beard on him. His feet can be used to make a badge and moustache too. The flame stamper can be used to create a fire for your firefighter and truck to extinguish.
The fire truck is the focus of the set and rolls well. Great to play with before you even get the Play-Doh out. It's an open air truck with a friendly, smiley face and has a fully rotating water cannon on the back. Your firefighter can 'drive' the truck or stand on the platform at the rear. The truck is packed with detail and there are lots of different spaces to fill in or use to stamp detail into your Play-Doh. The water cannon is the perfect way to fight fires and this works well, place the Play-Doh into it and use the plunger to send out streams of water.
LM loved this set, and Bud even played with it for a while (even though he says he's too big for Play-Doh now!) She spent a couple of hours playing with it outside in the sunshine on the afternoon it arrived and then she was out with it again straight away the next morning too. She has loved exploring each element of the set and the intricacies of the Play-Doh modelling are great for encouraging creative play and fine motor skills.
We've loved this set and I definitely think we will add to the collection on her forthcoming birthday. Play-Doh Town is a big hit here!
The Play-Doh Fire Truck Playset can be purchased in all usual stockists including Argos, with an RRP of £14:99.
We received the toy for review purposes.
Messy play with JOHNSON'S® Baby Wipes
10:01 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Educational Play the Schleich Way
17:33 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
The brochure is packed with different tips to help encourage your children to play. Schleich figures lend themselves so well to imaginative and small world play and there are games to use the animals in this way. Games like Zoo Keeper (make a habitat for one of the animal figures and talk about their lifestyle, what they eat etc) and Animal Restaurant (think of the type of restaurant that each animal would like, what they would serve, what would it be called) were great entertainment, the second of which would be perfect on car journeys especially as Bud usually has an animal figure in his pocket or bag! What's the animal was super fun and the children found it hilarious when their Daddy and I pretended to be various animals, for their entertainment!
Included in the booklet are other games to play with your children. These include parachute play, group songs and the idea to construct a box maze. We already do the first two but the maze was an interesting idea, especially as Bud and LM both enjoy maze puzzles. Taking the concept into 3D then trying to solve the maze with a marble or toy is definitely going to be a future rainy day activity here.
Two pages address developing language skills through play and this is of particular interest for me following LM's speech delay. She is rapidly improving but I'm still on the look out for ways to help her with this. The importance of talking to your children about what they are doing and being present in their play, rather than distracted by phones or TVs is crucial.
I think it's really easy for parents to dismiss play as quite meaningless and to 'let the children play' while they get on with different things. This booklet is an excellent reminder of just how important it is in helping young children to develop physically, emotionally and intellectually. While it didn't really tell me anything I didn't know already some of the suggestions were very good, and we especially loved the maze idea. It's always useful to get new ideas for those 'I'm bored' moments and I'm certain we will be putting them to good use.
I know that our Schleich animals will continue to be played with by all three of my children for many years to come. Their reassuring quality means that they stay in excellent condition and can withstand play whether outdoors, water, messy or indoors.
To find out more about the Schleich range visit www.schleich-s.co.uk
We were sent a selection of animals for review purposes
7 Ways to Watch a Summer of TV Sport with the Kids
23:47 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
1. Make it a learning opportunity
If your children are anything like Bud then they're sponges with a million questions to ask everyday so I know that I'll be facing lots of these about the various events ahead. Obviously international competition has all of the flags, national anthems, coloured kits and personalities which, hopefully, will be of interest to Bud and his interest will be piqued. I'm fully prepared to need Google to answer some of his questions, but that's an almost daily occurrence in our house! We've stuck a Euro 2016 wallchart on the wall in the kitchen and it's going to be Bud's job to write the scores in after each game.
2. Get them cheering
One of my biggest sporting loves is Track and Field and I've been known to get a little... animated... when watching it. LM knows that when people are running we shout 'come on' quite a bit and then we cheer when our favourite wins. Bud has been studying Great Britain in school this year so I know he'll be really keen to follow them on TV. I'll be stressing the 'Team GB' angle and getting him to watch out for the familiar flag. I think they'll both love getting involved in the excitement.
3. Dress them up
Whether it''s a football shirt for Euro 2016 or just wearing red, white and blue to support Team GB during the Olympics, my children love dressing up. LM is rather keen on having her face painted at the moment so I think that those will be making an appearance in support too.
4. Get out and try the sports
We're looking for a sports activity for Bud at the moment but neither he nor us know what so I'm hoping that the Olympics, especially, might inspire him to give one or two a go. If he's interested we'll book a few taster sessions for him to try them out in the hope that he might find an activity he loves. I have a feeling LM will be entranced by the gymnastics and will want to try that too. Alternatively we'll be getting the balls, bats and out on the trampoline for a mini Olympics in our garden.
5. Adopt a country
As mentioned in the first point, a tournament like Euro 2016 or the Olympic Games can inspire real learning opportunities so why not pick a country and theme a day around them? You can eat food, look at videos or photos from their and find out a few facts about your chosen land, it's only fair to support their sportsmen and women in their endeavours that day too!
6. Divide and conquer
I'm a bigger Olympics fan than Ian but I know he'll want to have a couple of nights out watching the football in the pub with his friends. If he takes the kids while I watch the All Around Women's Gymnastics final, he's more than welcome to a couple of matches with the lads!
7. If all else fails, TV On Demand and highlights programmes
All of the main TV channels will be covering at least some of the sport this Summer and they all have effective highlights packages in the evenings and sometimes in the morning too. Record them for post-bedtime viewing if you're out for the day or the kids really can't stand anymore. Rio de Janeiro is four hours behind us so late evenings will be prime time for some of the blue riband events there, perfect for when the kids are in bed.
I'm not suggesting that we'll be watching sport all day, every day over the Summer but I'm really looking forward to seeing the action. I'm hoping that, ultimately, our children will become active participants and fans of a wide range of sports and being exposed to them at an early age may well help with this. If you would like a calendar of forthcoming events check out the BBC Sport 2016 Calendar.
Will you be watching this Summer, which event are you most excited about?
- Limited Edition Carousel Pony Zelf
- #EnjoyMoreWater with Robinsons
- Kinetic Sand Crash 'Em Cars - Review
- Get Festival Ready with Bratz Festival Vibes
- Summer Wedding Style
- Watching New Teletubbies With LM and Little E
- HiPP Organic Porridge Pouches - Review
- Play-Doh Town Fire Truck - Review
- Messy play with JOHNSON'S® Baby Wipes
- Educational Play the Schleich Way
- 7 Ways to Watch a Summer of TV Sport with the Kids...
- Something Special Magazine - Interactive Special -...
- Papa John's BBQ Beef Brisket Pizza - Review
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