A quick trip to London to collect Miss M!!

I’ve missed Miss M dearly over the last week while she’s spent time with her grandparents in Kent – a rare break for me with having no family down in Devon, but a great opportunity for her to experience new and exciting things and spend quality time with family.  And as expected there have been up’s and down’s over the week – the fun days out she’s had but then the teary phone calls to mummy each night declaring how much she misses me.

But the week is over and it was time to pick her up – we thought about driving to a half way point – but Bank Holiday Monday with Mister B in the car – NO!!  So I took the train on my own to meet them in London and pick her up.  Meeting at the V&A museum, Miss M nearly toppled me over with the tightest cuddle ever but we soon set of to peruse the museums offerings and was kindly handed a crafty boat activity pack for Miss M to make inspired by the designs we could see on display.

We then headed through the central courtyard to the V&A restaurant where I enjoyed an Aubergine Parmigianno – yum!!  The chocolate meringues looked amazing but I went for a slice of chocolate cake to share with Miss M.

The architecture of the building was stunning and I couldn’t take my eyes off the gigantic balls of lights dangling down from the intricatly designed ceiling.

We then decided to pop next door to the Natural History Museum as Miss M was keen to see the dinosaurs although the volume of people in there compared to the V&A was considerable and it was a little too claustropobic for poor Miss M who loves the fresh air and outdoors.

So after exploring dinosaurs we headed off on foot to Hyde Park, past the Royal Albert Hall and across to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground.

Miss M loves being free to run around and her face lit up when she saw what awaited her.  Having never visited here before, I was a little unsure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised to see that the gated playground was manned and numbers were controlled to ensure there was no overcrowding.  The playground was very green, bushes and trees everywhere and through every little winding path you followed there was something new to explore.  The main centre attraction is a giant wooden pirate ship surrounded by sand and I have to say Miss M spent most of her time there.

After a long, tiring but fun and enlightening day it was time to go home.  Thinking Miss M would sleep for the three and three quarter hours train journey I was mistaken.  She was full of beans and couldn’t manage to sit still in her seat for the entire journey home.  And finally we were home sweet home. x

Robinsons Fruit Shoot Smencils – Review

I think nearly all children love to draw, write and colour so Smencils – the new gourmet scented pencils from Learning Resources were sure to be a hit with Miss M when we received a pack to try.  The amazing thing with these pencils is not only their scent but the fact that they are made from 100% recycled newspaper!!

We received a pack of the new Robinson’s Fruit Shoot Smencils which contained 5 graphite pencils in the 5 popular Fruit Shoot flavours – Orange, Tropical Fruit, Apple, Summer Fruits and Blackcurrant & Apple.  They each come individually cased in a plastic tube to preserve the scent but this also adds to the appeal for children as they love things in little containers to open and close.

When I gave the Smencils to Miss M to try her eyes lit up.  She carefully opened each tube and had a sniff, then tried to guess the flavour – in fact she found it quite fascinating that each pencil smelt differently.  After opening each tube and sniffing each pencil about three times and getting mummy and daddy to have a sniff she proceeded to do some drawing.  What fascinated me whilst watching her was that although each pencil had the same graphite lead in it, she would draw a little then put the pencil back in the tube, open another tube, have a sniff then draw bit more and so on.

We’ve loved trying Smencils and Miss M loves trying to get people to guess the different scents.  A great novelty pencil idea but eco-friendly being made with 100% recycled newspaper.

If you fancy trying some then why not join the Learning Resources Facebook page where you can enter a competition for your chance to win a pack of Robinson’s Fruit shoot Smencils.  The competition ends on Friday 7th September so get your entries in now!!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

The Sooty Show DVD – Review

With the release of the new “The Sooty Show” DVD this week, it brought back many childhood memories of sitting watching endless episodes of Sooty with my brother.  I didn’t realise until now that The Sooty Show is the longest running children’s programme on tv celebrating 60 years this year!!  Abbey Kids Media kindly sent us a copy of the new DVD to review so I was intrigued to see what my children thought of it and if it stood the test of time along with all the modern style programmes that children love today!

This DVD comes with a free magic wand to help children engage and join in with the spells throughout the shows.  This proved a hit with Miss M who loved to hold it whilst watching and waving it around in the air when repeating “Izzy Wizzy Let’s get busy…” .

There are 5 fun packed episodes including:

The Swimming Lesson
The Runaway Bath
Chocco Chimp – guest starring Matthew Corbett
The Marching Band
The Wedding – guest starring Stacey Solomon

Miss M really enjoyed watching The Sooty Show and getting to know the characters.  I actually caught her laughing out loud at bits of it so she was obviously entertained by the various episodes and it was lovely to see her sense of humour coming out.  She has also watched the DVD over and over again which to me proves that she really is enjoying it and that it appeals to her age.  If she doesn’t want to watch something she won’t but this has won her over.  It’s really great to see your child enjoying something that brought you lots of fun and entertainment in your own childhood.

We recommend The Sooty Show DVD and it was available in most good DVD retailers from last week so why not check out a copy – relive some childhood fun with your little ones!!

For more in check out The Sooty Show website or find Sooty on Facebook and Twitter.

To hear 4 year old Miss M’s views on The Sooty Show DVD, please watch our short video:

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

A lucky Black Cat for Halloween?

One thing all children love to do is dress up – so when I was offered to pick a Halloween costume from the selection at Joker’s Masquerade, I knew 4 year old Miss M would be thrilled.  They have an extensive choice of Halloween outfits to choose from including Skeletons, Vampires, Zombies, Witches and Ghosts.  So what did Miss M choose? – A Halloween black cat.

And she loved it!!!  Miss M has worn this outfit for the last 3 days since we received the parcel, around the house, to the supermarket and riding up and down the street on her scooter which proves one thing – it must be very comfortable!  This is a very important aspect to me as there is nothing worse than an uncomfortable, itchy outfit that your child doesn’t enjoy wearing.

The Halloween Cool Cat outfit that we chose consists of a black shimmery all in one catsuit with a zip up the back, a velcro tail and a headband with ears.  The costume was very soft and smooth to the touch and easy to put on.  This outfit is suitable for 4-6 year olds and with Miss M just over 4 and half I would say this is the perfect fit.

This is a great little dress up outfit which can be used either to be just a cat or a Halloween black cat which we definitely will be this October.  So if you are looking out for a fancy dress outfit this year either for yourself or your little ones be sure to check out the vast range at Joker’s Masquerade.  You’ll be spoilt for choice – I certainly was!!

For more views and Miss M’s thoughts please watch our short video:

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

Wenlock – London 2012 Mascot

With the London 2012 Olympics in full flow, I was keen to ensure my 2 young children watched and learnt a bit about it even if it was just a few new sports that they learned about.  Miss M was keen to watch the gymnastics and trampolining as she currently has lessons in both of these but has also enjoyed the swimming and diving disciplines to name a few (the diving is probably helped by the fact that we pop to see Tom Daley train in the pool across the corridor after her weekly trampolining lesson!!).

So a key part of this is the Olympic mascots – Wenlock and Mandeville.  An ideal souvenir for your child and something to help them engage with the Olympic Games.  We received a 30cm Wenlock plush and a 8 colour Wenlock pen to try out.  I wasn’t sure what Miss M would make of them but as soon as she met Wenlock she was glued to him.  He has remained stuck under her arm, gone shopping and sleeps in her bed with her.  It has been great as whilst watching the Olympics every time we see the Wenlock icon or logo she shouts his name out and it has become an instantly recognisable figure for her.

We took Wenlock on an outing to the park for his own park Olympics with the children which they thoroughly enjoyed:

The 30cm plush is very well made with lots of detail to represent London as well as the Olympics.  The top of the head is shaped like a light to symbolise the London taxis and upon this are three stripes that stand for the 3 medals given out for each sporting event.  Wenlock also wears friendship bracelets in appropriate colours to represent the Olympic rings.

The Wenlock multicoloured pen has 8 colours with Wenlock himself standing tall on top making it clear that it is an Olympic themed pen.  Miss M loved this – the novelty of the 8 colours was sure to win her over but the little Wenlock gives it that added special touch.  She has used it for both colouring small pictures and also practising her handwriting – the different colours definitely an added bonus to encourage and motivate her in this.

We loved Wenlock and he has proved a firm favourite that has sat and watched the olympics with us.  It has really helped Miss M engage with the Olympics and become a firm favourite with her.  I think it’s great for children to have something to remember, not just the Olympics but the London 2012 Olympics!!

For more  thoughts and views about Wenlock from Miss M, please watch the video below:

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

Harry And His Bucket Full Of Dinosaurs DVD – “Schools Out”

When we received the new Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs DVD – “School’s Out” from Abbey Home Media to review I was very pleased.  With a long wet summer ahead, DVD’s were on the agenda and Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs was a programme that we had caught occasional episodes of on television.  Dinosaurs and traditional style cartoons seem to be hitting the mark with 4 and half year old Miss M at the moment.  When I put this DVD on, both my children sat down and proceeded to be rather glued to the tv.

With six episodes included there are 66 minutes of fun to watch:

School’s Out
Hurray for Pizza
Superheroes Don’t Dance
Is that Really a Lamp?
I Want to Help
Somebody’s Moving

The storylines follow the magical journey into Dino World as Harry jumps into his magical blue bucket and his prehistoric toys spring to life.  The Dino’s attend Dino School in which Harry is their teacher getting up to larger than life antics that are sure to entertain any little one.  My two found the stories fun, entertaining and exciting leaving them with big grins on their little faces as the antics unfolded – the bicarbonate of soda volcano being a particular favourite!!

This is a great DVD for entertaining the children that we would recommend and is available from 6th August 2012 from all good stockists – perfect timing for the summer holidays!!

For 4 year old Miss M’s views on Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs DVD, please watch the video below:

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

Where’s my cupcake? game by Orchard Toys – Review

When we were sent Where’s my cupcake? game by Orchard Toys for izziwizzikids.co.uk to review, Miss M’s face lit up immediately.  The girly pink box is covered in cupcakes – she couldn’t wait to play.

The game consists of cupcake shaped cards in 10 different varieties and the object of the game is to match cupcake cards and end up with the biggest pile on your plate!!

Miss M loved the different cupcake cards and when it was her turn always described the cards by the topping whether it be the chocolate one, sprinkles, strawberry, sparkles, lemon etc etc.  This in itself proved a very entertaining part of the game that is different and fun compared to usual card type games.  It also adds a girly element that is hard to find in games for younger players.

An added learning element to the game was “manners”.  During the game if you pick up a card that you are unable to match and keep, you can offer it to other players if they have a matching card on top of their pile.  To do this the player with the card is encouraged to ask “Would you like a cupcake?” to which the recipient replies “Yes please” and “Thank you” once given the card.  Miss M really enjoyed doing this and it reminded her of manners.  Not only did it encourage verbal manners but also the act of sharing and giving the card to someone else – something a lot of young children are reluctant to do.

Also included in the box is a cupcake recipe card which Miss M was really excited by and couldn’t wait to make them so the next day we followed the instructions and had a fun baking session that resulted in some delicious cupcakes.

This is a fun, girly game that we have played over and over again. We’d definitely  recommend it and know it would make a lovely gift for any little girl.

Below is a video of Miss M & I playing Where’s my cupcake? compiled by izziwizzikids.co.uk:

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.