Head Over Heels Gymnastics – Books & DVD Review

Head over Heels Gymnastics is a fantastic new way to learn, practice and perfect your gymnastics skills in your own home.  Whether you are a beginner, a bit more advanced, have lessons already or just want to learn alone from home, then these guides for children are incredibly user friendly, simple to follow and progress at a good rate to see your child learn, improve and be challenged!

We received Head over Heels Gymnastics Volume 1: Boys & Girls Floor Skills book which really does incorporate all the moves a young gymnast will encounter in there first few years.  My daughter has been attending weekly gymnastics lessons for the last couple of years and loves it so much that she practices at home (notably with headstands on her bed, and feet up against the painted wall) when she is able.  The book is extremely well thought out and has been designed perfectly for someone to follow step by step to ensure they get the move/position correct.

The first major bonus of this book is the spiral binding of the book along with the fact that it has a 3D element that allows it to stand up so you can view it as you perform the moves – this is a fantastic feature and really enables the book to be used as you practice.

The book is very clearly laid out with a contents page so you can go directly to the skill you wish to practice or if you start from the beginning it takes you through a warm up then gradually guides you from simple moves to those more challenging and even helps you with mini routines at the end.  What I like about this book is that it comes with full colour photographic pictures guiding you through each move so you can see exactly how to perform and accomplish them to your best ability.  The step by step guides are brilliant and I can’t fault them, you can see every move, there are arrows to guide you and in some cases crosses to show you if you are doing the wrong thing. I also love the ‘post it’ style notes that give you all the hints and tips you need to perfect the move.

As much as my daughter is ultra sporty and partakes in all sports be it rugby, football, swimming, athletics etc. her elegance has never been her strongest point but I love the fact that she enjoys gymnastics as it gains her a lot of strength and flexibility skills. So here is her interpretation of some of the gymnastic skills from the Head over Heels Gymnastics book.

She loved doing this in the garden as she had more room and could run around doing things like cartwheels as well which I usually dread when she does indoors as I fear her feet hitting the light fittings!  She was able to see the book and flip over the page as she wished.

We also received a dvd Volume 3: The Floor Beam which is equally as fanatastic as the book. Even if you don’t have any sort of floor beam at home, you can simply use your floor.  We just put two gym mats down leaving a gap in between which represented the beam and my daughter tried to stay in the gap. What I liked about the dvd are that there are various age children showing you the moves and you can literally just copy and follow them as they do things.  It’s really broken down step by step and moves at a slow pace guiding you as you go.  Miss M has had a few tries at this and enjoys following it.  I was surprised by how much content is on it and think for anyone child who really wants to gain experience then this is a great dvd to have to practice at home with.

Overall I have to say I’m impressed with the Head over heels about… Gymnastics! set of books and dvds.  There’s very little in the way of books to guide you in this sport so this really a unique range and across the set there really is something for every little budding gymnast out there – so go check them out!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Treads Boys Leather School Shoes – Review

Treads are a brand that believe they have created the ultimate school shoe, one that is indestructible during playground play, where the stitching will not come undone and the soles will not wear out.  In fact they stand by this claim and offer a 12 month guarantee by which if any part of the shoe does fall apart during normal wear then they will replace the shoe free of charge. 

With a selection of 8 boys shoes available at them moment I think the styles cover all tastes and likes so there is something for everyone. There is also a line of girls shoes due to come out next year so keep you eye out for those – I certainly am!

We decided to try out the Madrid shoe from Treads, a very sturdy looking shoe with velcro fastening, just what my little boy prefers. I was particularly attracted to the extra strengthened toe area which looks like it will stand up to a lot of wear and avoid that dreadful scuffed toe look.

The shoes also have dual fit technology meaning that by simply removing the orange mid layer inside will make the shoe wider, giving a more comfortable fit for those with wider feet.

As you can see in the pictures below the shoes look very smart on my boy and I just love how incredibly sturdy and durable they look.  They are comfortable and stylish for the school day, but also suitable for all those playground games, running around and football that take place at break times when we see the majority of damage occur to school shoes. 

We are really happy and impressed with the Treads school shoes so far and are keen to see how well these will fare over the next few months. If we can get anywhere near 12 months from them before his feet grow I’ll be very happy to say the least, normally at the end of each term his shoes look wrecked, so I’m hoping these live up to their indestructible claims.  All I can say so far is they certainly look incredibly durable, well built and tough so I have high hopes!

Head over to Treads now for a look at their school shoes range and let me know what you think?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Meccano 10 in 1 Rally Racer – Review

Meccano 10 in 1 Rally Racer is a fabulous kit with ten different variants on the build along with a Meccablock motor inside so your vehicles can travel along once built.  With a suggested age of 8+ this is great for those keen to build and improve on their S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills.

With 159 parts to the Rally Racer from Meccano, some of them quite small, it’s a good idea to have some small pots or a tray to tip the bits onto, which not only helps you find what you need but prevents them from rolling off the table.

My 10yr old built this model herself completely unaided and was perfectly able to do so.  There are a few tricky parts to tighten up but if you use the tools provided then it makes it so much easier (as I had to remind her several times when she was trying to put bolt on in a place that was hard to reach!).

The build is fairly straight forward for someone used to this kind of construction but is also satisfying once built.  Not only does this set produce a model, but it’s a working model and if you put batteries inside of the motor you can actually allow your vehicle to move along by itself!

My daughter was thrilled with her first build and is delighted to find that when she breaks it apart she doesn’t have to build the same one again as there are nine other different variations on the model to try.

This Meccano set is great in all aspects, it’s quality pieces, it’s fun to build, you can build multiple variants of the model and it’s packed with loads of S.T.E.M. skills for your child to think about and use during the creation.

My daughter loves these Meccano sets and finds they hold her interest and she’s always keen to see the end design.  With an rrp of £19.99 this can be found at most good retailers so keep your eye out for a great value product and toy that mid range kids will love!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Union Jack Sneaker 3D Puzzle from Ravensburger

Union Jack Sneaker 3D Puzzle from Ravensburger is a fantastic creation that doubles up as a pen pot once built.  The 108 piece puzzle is made from plastic pieces and also has a few plastic templates to help hold the shoe in place.

As soon as I showed the 10yr old, she was straight onto building this.  The style and theme appealed to her and she loved the idea she could keep it on her desk afterward full of her pens and pencils.

The pieces slotted together with ease and she was able to assemble this without any assistance.  In fact it didn’t take long at all,  I left her to it whilst I did some housework, came back to take some photos and she was just putting the final pieces in.

We are really impressed with the look of this and it stands really well and sturdily.  We’ve had admiring comments from those that have visited too.  As with other Ravensburger products we have tried, the standard is great and it looks good.  I really love the fact that it is useable too.  My boy tried some other puzzles from Ravensburger previously that have turned into useful storage items to so if you know any minion fans, then check out these 3D Minion puzzles too.

Back to the Union Jack sneaker puzzle and I’ll finish off by saying that we love it and would recommend it to anyone that loves their puzzles, loves the Union Jack image and loves a sneaker (my girl lives in them!).

This is a puzzle that can if you want to take apart and build again but for us, it’s found a new home on my daughters desk and is now crammed full of her favourite pens!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Organic Shop Haircare from Tesco

Organic Shop haircare is available exclusively in Tesco and also online at Organic Shop online.  With a demand for natural beauty higher than ever this range of fruity haircare has been exclusively developed for Tesco stores with each item retailing at just £2.50

There are five different ingredient combinations to try out depending on your preferences and hair needs:

Coconut and Shea – moisturising, softness and revival

Argan and Amia – nourishing strength and striking lustre

Honey and Avocado – repairing, softness and vitality

Raspberry and Acai – volumising, strength and thickness

Pomegranate and Patchouli – invigorating, smoothness and perfection

I tried out Pomegranate and Patchouli to see what I thought. With a shampoo, conditioner and hair mask in the range it covers all aspects of hair cleanliness and moisturising.  The products all smelt really fresh and natural due them being packed with essential oils giving hair extra strength and vitality which is what I need with long hair that I regularly blow dry and straighten.  The pomegranate adds shine whilst the patchouli oil gives an intense boost of hydration which leaves hair soft.

I’ve been really happy using this bargain priced organic range which leaves my hair perfect for everyday, be it on the school run, at work or out at the weekend.  The Organic Shop products are simple to use – I love the pump bottles for ease of use in the shower – smell great and leave hair clean and fresh.

Knowing that there’s no harmful microbeads, no parabens, no SLS, no mineral oils and no GMO’s is a great bonus and of course completely free of testing on animals.  The packaging is recyclable and the price is great value for money – what more could you want?

Overall the Organic Shop range of haircare fits perfectly in with supermarket shop at Tesco and is something I’ll happily grab whilst I’m there.

An added bonus is that Organic Shop are running a fantastic competition at the moment to win an amazing 7 night holiday to Aruba in the Caribbean – check HERE to find out how to enter!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

 

Tech Deck Finger Skateboards – Review

Tech Deck is back and celebrating its 20th anniversary as a champion of the Skateboarding community featuring a miniature replica line of action sports toys and collectibles, featuring real graphics from the world’s biggest and most coveted skateboarding brands including: Primitive, Element, Plan B, Enjoi, Toy Machine, Baker, and many more!

The 96mm Tech Deck fingerboards are great to collect with an eye catching array of designs from real companies.  They are fully customisable with various colour wheels and trucks but note that some pieces are tiny so it’s best to find a little box to store your accessories away in.  My 7yr old did require some assistance in changing these at first although fortunately had his older sister at hand to adapt them for him.

With the enclosed poster showing many of the available designs my children enjoyed ticking off the ones they have so far and were delighted to find they had an ultra rare one in their collection.

They were also pleased to see different shaped boards available reflecting the styles of real boards.  My 7yr old also liked the trainer guards that can be put on any of the boards to keep your fingers in place when practicing new tricks.

Aimed at ages 6+, Tech Deck certainly had my 7yr old interested.  He’s always had a thing for skateboards owning two real life ones of his own although he only uses them on the driveway outside the house at the moment.  With the fingerboards he’s been busy learning his technique of holding two fingers on the board and depending where they are, determines the tricks you can perform.  The ollie is a good one to get started with as it can be used as part of many others.

As much as my boy loved admiring the designs on the 96mm fingerboards it was the Tech Deck Transforming Container Ramp that really allowed him to put his finger tricks into action and set the scene for hours of play.  At £29.99 it is a great place to allow all elements of play with your fingerboards whether you are alone or with friends.  Looking like a simple shipping container from the outside, the sides and top literally unfold to create the ultimate skatepark and you can create numerous different configurations from it.  There is also an extending rail that can be added into play to do boardslides along.  There’s also a little board rack to store boards that aren’t currently being used.  The container is well made and sturdy and I love that it has little rubber feet on the bottom to stop it sliding along a hard floor during play.

If you are looking for a smaller ramp set, then the Starter Kit is ideal and retails at just £14.99 and features an assortment of slopes and a staircase that can be configured in various ways.  Together with the Container Ramp, you really in skateboard heaven and it’s time to get your friends over to play.

With both YouTube and Instagram channels alonside the Teck Deck website, there are videos aplenty to view and learn how to perfect your fingerboard techniques and pick up new tricks.  I’m sure in a few weeks my kids will be performing a full on skate show to demonstrate to me what they’ve learnt!

 

The Tech Deck range by Spinmaster toys is available at all good retailers

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

 

Manuka Doctor Facial Oils – Review

Manuka Doctor has a new range of facial oils containing a complex blend to suit all skin types containing a vast array of essential oils in their ingredients list to combat anti ageing amongst other skin concerns.  Manuka oil is an ingredient native to New Zealand and is extracted from the leaves and branches of the Manuka tree.  Having recently been confirmed as being up to 20-30 times stronger than tea tree oil for protecting against bacteria (such as those associated with acne and eczema) I was keen to try some of this for myself and see what all the fuss is about.

With three different blends of facial oils in the Manuka Doctor’s range, I decided to try the Replenishing Facial Oil (£19.99, 30ml) due to it’s strong anti ageing formula – just what I need for my 40+ years skin!  Also in the range is a Normalising Facial Oil and a Brightening Facial Oil.

The Replenishing Oil is designed to revitalise and restore radiance, using omega rich oils to regain suppleness and elasticity.  Being an oil, it helps to protect the moisture levels of you skin so they don’t dry out thus helping to prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Upon application I can honestly say the oil felt totally nourishing and rich on my face without being greasy.  I did have a sheen on my face but that soon soaked away leaving my skin feeling supple and really luminous.  You can then apply moisturiser on top before make up.  This can be used day and night, so I like to add a rich layer at bedtime and let it soak in whilst I sleep.

My thoughts on the Manuka Doctor facial oil are that I really enjoy using it and it feels like the total nourishment that my skin needs.  It feels like it’s packed full of benefits and with the rich hydration it adds to my skin will hopefully keep those fine line at bay for a little longer!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Happy Days at Work – The Hairdresser 500 Piece Ravensburger Puzzle

The Hairdresser 500 piece puzzle from Ravensburger is part of the Happy Days at Work series with each puzzle featuring a different career.  With a retro vibe this scene at the hairdresser was fun to do and had lots of key items in to pick out as you go along to aid completion and help you achieve the finished puzzle.

I always like to start with the edges and corners although my 10yr old daughter was eager to complete this alongside me so was picking out bits she found on the inside such as the hair spray cans and the red car outside the window.  The pieces are a good size with and with a shiny upper surface they were easy to sift through and find what you needed.

I really enjoyed completing this and with 500 pieces it’s not too challenging and you feel like you are achieving pieces in place fairly quickly. It wasn’t long before my 7yr old son joined in too and the three of us eagerly worked together to find the pieces.  At first we were busy finding different parts but it soon got competitive as to who was going to put the final piece into place.  It turned out they both put one of the last two pieces in each as they had secretly hidden one piece each under their legs!!! Cheeky!  But it was great seeing their determination at completing the puzzle and we all had a lot of fun doing it.

In the Happy Days At Work series from Ravensburger there is something for everyone, so if you don’t fancy The Hairdresser, then maybe try The Teacher, The Coalman, The Farmer, The Mechanic or The Baker – these just being a small selection that is available.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

UNTAMED Raptors by Fingerlings

UNTAMED Raptors are the latest toy creation from the makers of Fingerlings.  Coming in four different characters each with it’s own unique name and personality, they have snapping jaws and gripping claws.  With Stealth, Blaze, Fury and Razor we were lucky to get Blaze to try out and see what we thought of him.

Just like Fingerlings, these UNTAMED Raptor creatures simply wrap their claws around your finger, and are the perfect size for little hands which my 7yr old was delighted about.  There’s a simple on of switch on the back and with batteries included, your character is ready to play straightaway.

With a sturdy structure, the creature has moveable head, neck, mouth, eyes and tail although depending where you touch it, depends on how he reacts.  Using various strokes, taps, sounds, cradling or even hanging them upside down, they’ll roar, hiss, snore or make whatever noise they fancy but treat them with care and they’ll be your friend, be unkind and they’ll display their anger with ferocious roars!!

With an impressive 40 plus sounds achievable, we are just learning the possibilities, but my 7yr old is definitely having fun exploring how Blaze works.

Not too loud and a toy that’s portable for out and about, these are great for keeping kids entertained although of course all your friends what a go when they see them!  UNTAMED will definitely be a hit after the success of Fingerlings and one my boy is certainly interested in.

Available for £16.99, these UNTAMED Raptors are available from all leading toy retailers now and are sure to be popular with their young fans.  Which one will you choose or will you collect them all?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

The Tale Of The Great Easter Bunny with Frankie Bridges & Cadbury

Frankie Bridge (former member of The Saturdays) has collaborated with Cadbury to release her debut book, a fun Easter tale perfect for little ones at this time of year.  The re-adaptation of The Tale of the Great Bunny created by Cadbury 20 years ago follows siblings Jack and Molly as they discover a series of mysterious clues and embark on an enchanting Easter Egg Hunt alongside their parents, Tom and Sarah.  It takes place within the family home but what the family don’t know, is that there is a secret, hidden rabbit-hole at the bottom of their garden… where The Easter Bunny lives.

The book is downloadable now from the Cadbury website which would make a perfect read for Easter Sunday.  My little boy has been enjoying it already and loves the concept of the Easter Bunny bringing the children all the chocolate goodies.

Cadbury’s also sponsor lots of egg hunts at National Trust sites so be sure that once you’ve downloaded the book, to do a search for your local egg hunt.  We participate in one every year and can’t wait to do one this year (just fingers crossed for a dry day!).  What I can confirm is that you always walk away with a delicious Cadbury’s chocolate treat so it’s definitely one not to miss.

Do you have any plans this Easter?  We’ll be joining a Cadbury’s hunt as well as doing our own mini hunt in the garden, then spending the rest of the day at home consuming chocolate and reading Frankie Bridges fun storybook to help bring the Easter magic alive!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.