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.

Mysteries in Time History Subscription Box for Kids

Mysteries in Time is a brand new history subscription box aimed at 7-11 year olds, so who better to try it out other than my very own 8yr old, Miss M.  The box is delivered in a time machine style box which looks inviting and we couldn’t wait to step inside!

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This month’s box is all about Ancient Egypt and is packed full of educational facts, activities and fun.  After having sat and completed this box with my daughter I can honestly say she found the whole thing fun and interesting, not really thinking that she was learning at the same time which is really what kids activities should all be about.

The box consists of a booklet full of facts and activities, colouring sheets, a world map, stickers, a book to read, bookmarks,  a bag of craft goodies, a history related gift and instruction guide.

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We had a look through the booklet together, learning lots of facts and pieces of information about the Egyptians.  It is set out in bitesize pieces so there isn’t too much reading and with lots of pictures it keeps children interested.  The back few pages contain activities such as a wordsearch, spot the difference, anagrams, quiz, maze and a rather fun hieroglyphs quiz to work out words using a hieroglyphs chart.

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Miss M was fascinated by it all and without any hesitation got started on the puzzles at the back.  She also enjoyed the colouring sheets and reading the book which she started downstairs and took up to bed with her!

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A world map is included in your first box, which is a high quality poster to put up on the wall.  Underneath the map is a timeline and each box contains a sticker related to the period of time the box covers, that you can place upon the line.  Miss M was really drawn to the map and couldn’t wait to spot Egypt on it.  She then looked for England and started comparing the size of it to other countries.  The size of Russia really surprised her.  It was really lovely listening to her comment on places on the map and show an interest in something on her own accord.

mysteries in time 8Our special gift in this box was a golden canopic jar, which I have to say does look rather  impressive.  Miss M was enthralled with her gift and has had much pleasure in standing the coloured pencils within the jar while she did her colouring sheet and now the pot takes pride of place in her bedroom!

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The favourite activity for Miss M was the clay craft.  Within the craft bag is a sachet of air drying clay, paints and gem stickers, the girl was in art heaven!  She couldn’t wait to get her fingers into the clay and make some egyptian amulets.  She took inspiration from the booklet but also got a bit creative and made her own heart shaped one too.  I have to say the clay went a lot further than we initially thought it would and the paints were generous too, with a good variety of colours meaning we had plenty of materials to get creative with.

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We had to wait a day for the clay to fully dry, but then Miss M happily sat painting her creations.  She is very  pleased with them and I think they look great too!

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Overall we’ve had a lot of fun with our Mysteries in Time box, both learning new things and carrying out the activities.  It was nice to spend quality time with my daughter and great to see her engaged in the activities.  The box is of an excellent quality, all the content is well produced and set out and the craft materials are of a good standard.  It’s always lovely when a child is keen to do something with educational value, although they see it as a box of fun!

Why not pop over to the Mysteries in Time website and find out how to subscribe, a perfect activity to keep the children occupied over the Summer!

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

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Hot Dots® BrainBox® Let’s Learn! About Our World

Hot Dots® BrainBox® Let’s Learn! About Our World is a great way for children to learn about other countries using an interactive pen and books that they can work through independently.
Hot_Dots_Lets_Learn_About_Our_World_SetThe set consists of an interactive Hot Dots pen, which requires two AA batteries, it can then be used with any books from the series.  This set contains three books about countries around the world:
  • Flags
  • Capitals and Currencies
  • Places
hotdotsMiss M who is 7, often asks inquisitive questions about countries, such as “What flag is that?” or “What country is this in?”, so I knew she would enjoy learning from this interactive experience that is both fun and educational and can also be done independently.
The books are of a great quality, having highly laminated thick pages that easily turn and sit flat due to their spiral binding at the edge.  All pages are brightly coloured with plenty to look at and help maintain interest.
I think the books have been well thought out giving children a great insight into other countries.  I particularly like the “Places” book which teaches the children about famous landmarks that belong to each country as well as typical animals, foods and items that come from each one.  It really is a fun little book that will build a good cultural knowledge in children without them realising that they are learning.
hotdots2Although Miss M could sit working through these books herself, it did encourage her to ask me questions about things and gave us talking points which was really nice and showed she was genuinely interested in what she was learning.
Due to the compact size of this set, it is not only ideal to do at home, but great for car journeys and keeping children occupied out and about.
hotdots3Miss M’s really enjoyed the Hot Dots® BrainBox® Let’s Learn! About Our World set and it is something she has done again and again, sometimes remembering facts, and other times having to think what the answer might me.
There is a lot of information to take in, therefore these books will last and can be looked at many times.  A great value learning resource that’s both fun and educational.  We love Hot Dots!

All reviews are my own opinions and I received the products in order to write the review.

Sooty ABC : Learn the Alphabet DVD – Review

Sooty ABC : Learn the Alphabet DVD is the latest release from Sooty and friends but also a little bit different.  Rather than being jam packed full of fun episodes, this DVD introduces the alphabet to viewers in a fun and exciting way.

sootyThe main adventure sees friends, Sooty, Sweep and Soo visit Wookey Hole in Somerset discovering items beginning with each letter of the alphabet.  I love the way the story guides you through the letters looking for objects for each letter.  There is a poster included with the DVD which reiterates the same objects found as on the DVD, a useful guide for little ones to look at and practice their letters and objects.

sooty poster4yr old Mister B loves Sooty, and although knows his letters, is only just learning to read, so associating words with their starting letter is a great game for him.  He has the poster in his bedroom and loves going through the letters and telling me the word that goes with them.

Aside from the main episode on the DVD there are three other episodes and also some extras.  There is a short video through the alphabet showing an object for each letter.  There is also a song about it which little ones love, my boy loves to get up and dance to the music, any excuse for a wiggle and he’s there!

The Sooty ABC DVD has been a hit with us and is a great way for little ones to learn without realising, whilst watching something they enjoy.  This DVD is definitely something different from the usual Sooty DVD’s and one they my 4yr old enjoyed.

All reviews are my own opinions and I received the DVD in order to write the review.

Abney and Teal Magazine – Review

Abney and Teal is one of the hit tv show on Cbeebies.  My two both watch it which kind of surprises me as I’ve never really taken too much notice of it myself although if they like it, then it’s the sort of programme I’m happy for them to watch.  It seems to have a calm nature but one that keeps them intrigued hence why I was happy to review the new Abney and Teal magazine.

abney tealFirst impressions where that it had a winning musical instrument set on the front – something my two loved!  Although I’m sure I’m not the only parent to say that the recorder sounded like a whistle that my little boy decided to repeatedly blow on for days on end – not that I’m complaining – he obviously enjoyed it showing that the magazine was a hit with him.

abney teal 2I next looked inside the magazine and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the  pages.  Either filled with stories or worthwhile activities that kept my just turned 4yrs old Mister B thoroughly entertained and wanting for more.  From adding stickers to practising letters, counting objects or making his way through a maze, Mister B didn’t want to stop.  He knew all the characters and immediately declared his favourite as Toby dog.  He was totally familiar with the neeps and the poc pocs – obviously I haven’t been watching it enough lately!

abney teal 3This magazine totally gripped my newly 4 year old. He was eager to learn through the activities and loved the familiarity of characters he knew.  I’d definitely buy this magazine again based on the amount of interaction my little boy has had with it, to be honest I’ve been pleasantly surprised!

The magazine was released on 23rd October, why not grab a copy now?

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