Friday, September 23, 2016

|KIDS MAKE AND BAKE CLUB|Thomas's fruity flapjacks

This week over at the kids make and bake club, we are having a little challenge! We have each made a snack perfect for after school, pop by to the channel to see them all!

For Thomas's Fruity flapjacks

225g porridge oats
60g mixed fruit (we used a berry and raisin mix)
60g mixed seeds (we used a pumpkin, sunflower and pinenut mix)
60g honey
60g golden syrup
110g sugar
120g butter

1. Gently heat the honey, golden syrup, sugar and butter in a pan until the sugar and butter have melted.

2. Remove from heat and add in the oats, fruit and seed and mix well.

3. Pour into a lined dish and bake at 180oC for 30 mins.

4. Leave to cool then cut into bars.

And here's the video:-

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*Disclaimer!  Thomas didn't touch or cut up the flapjacks after holding his feet ;) ;)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

|FUN|learning fun with bananagrams


We love a good game and are always on the lookout for games that we can all play for family games nights, I have to admit to never hearing about Bananagrams though, although when I posted a photo on Instagram, so many people commented on how good it was, I couldn't believe it had passed us by.

The best way I can describe bananagrams is like a simple version of scrabble, linking words but without using the board!

This version is aimed at children aged 4+ basically from school age when they are just starting to read and write, and is called 'My First Bananagrams'.


We weren't able to follow the full game with T as he's just starting on his reading journey, although we were still able to use the game to aide his learning whilst having fun at the same time, we've used it in the following ways:-

1. Letter recognition, playing the 'traditional' game but by jointly deciding a word and me spelling it out or writing it down for T to find the letters and make the word.
2. To spell words he already knows, like, Thomas, Mummy, Daddy, Bramham.
3. To talk about the difference between vowels and consonants.
4. Used the linked tiles and discussing letters which go together.
5. Making the alphabet.
6. Me using them to write a word and T sounding it out to read it
7. T making the words from his reading book


You could even use them for our letter recognition with game tiles activity.


Even without playing the full version of the game, they are so versatile and so convenient to pop in your handbag, I love how the game's rules differ depending on the ability of the child and that there are alternative mini-games to  play for each ability, the mini games are fantastic and really handy as a prompt for parents.


We are going to be taking ours away with us camping and have been using them in a restaurant, before school instead of TV and to unwind before bed.


Bananagrams retails at £14.99 and can be purchased from Amazon.

*Disclaimer, we were sent this game in exchange for our honest review.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

|FUN|Cleaning chores for little ones and Henry Cleaning Set review


Do you have a budding domestic Goddess or God in your household?  What is it about kids that they absolutely love to clean!  Give T a cloth and sprayer full of water and he's happy as Larry!  And I often saw the children at nursery in the role play kitchen doing their chores.

I've seen a lot of social media posts recently about chores for small children and I'm not quite sure where I fit with them.  Some I've seen are complely crazy, like asking a 5 year old to clean a toilet or getting an 8 year old to do the washing!! Whilst I'm all for kids being given responsibilities I think there are some things that children just shouldn't be expected to do.  I also struggle with the concept of being rewarded for doing chores.

T isn't really given rewards for the chores that he's done, it's kind of expected of him, so we haven't really had the need to use rewards to get him to get the work done.   Ever since he was small, he's wanted to clean. At home. At nursery, heck, I'm sure he's probably asked at school by now! 

If he's not cleaning the sofa with baby wipes he can often be found with his sprayer and a cloth, cleaning something.  Or even when we are out, he'll get out the baby wipes and clean the table after he's used it!!

So when I was asked if I'd like to review a Henry Hoover cleaning set from Casdon of course, we were very happy to.


The set is of high quality and contains some really great components, including a dustpan and brush, broom, mop, sponge and role play cleansing products.

Whilst most of the products actually work, they are perfect for role play too, copying mummy - or daddy(!) whilst cleaning or just enhancing their every day play.


The set is aimed at children 3-6, and although T loved it, in my opinion, the mop and broom, were way too small to be practical, T is your average sized 4 year old and has to really bend over to use them, there's no way he would use something of this size in 2 years time.


T was thrilled to get his own sponge and cloth and has used them lots of times to pretend to clean, mostly his bike and scooter!  Again, personal opinion, but I do think that the makers missed a trick in making the spray bottle only a 'play' toy, I think a real working water spray would have really improved this product and transitioned it more from a role play toy into a more useful set. 


Priced at £10.00. I think this kits is reasonable value for money, I think you are paying for the name over the actual product, but it got huge thumbs up from T.  I love how there are 2 versions and that the makers haven't been sexist in just producing the Hetty, pink version.

You can find out more about Casdon on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

How do you feel about kids chores?  What chore do your children like doing the most?

*Disclaimer, we were sent this toy in exchange for our honest review.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

|FAMILY|Autumn bucket list 2016


After December, I think September is my favourite month, the month that doesn't really know if it's Summer or Autumn, today we hit the highest recorded temperature in September for 150 years so it's difficult to start thinking about Autumn and the chill that it brings.  Most of the leaves ares till firmly attached to their branches and we are still harvesting outdoor tomatoes.  The pool has been put away for another year though, although I'm regretting this today! 

We are still working on our Summer Bucket List so for the next few weeks we'll continue to work on that but also tick off some of our Autumn items as the evenings draw in after the hazy days of Summer and we find ourselves experiencing both seasons in a day.

The Hubs has just ordered a Gas BBQ so we're hoping to still cook in the garden when we can and the firepit arrived last week which means that we can still sit out and enjoy the evenings.

We are hoping to head off camping next weekend if the weather is kind to us, apparently our tent wouldn't be too good in wind and rain so we need a nice dry weekend for that to happen.

I've not yet decided if we'll have a Halloween one for this year so I have included a couple of Halloween activities on here.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

|FUN|Sealife centre, Great Yarmouth


For as long as I can remember I've loved anything to do with the sea, fascinated by sea life, charmed with mermaids, obsessed with collecting seashells and enchanted with tales from the high seas. Ironic really considering I have an irrational fear of the sea but there you go, it doesn't stop me from still wanting to learn all I can about the sea. 

Every opportunity we get to visit an aquarium I'm there, so when we were given the chance to review the SeaLife centre in Great Yarmouth, I jumped at the chance. 

At the moment Sea Life are working in conjunction with Finding Dory until 11 September there's a trail throughout the exhibit where you can find out more about Blue Tangs and Clownfish, complete the trail and you will earn yourself a Finding Dory reward.  We actually didn't follow the trail when we visited as it was completely packed! 

Although the Sea Life centre at Great Yarmouth is quite 'compact' there's lots to see and do, I'll show you some of our favourite exhibits 😊


The Hubs spent lots of time watching and filming the Rays in Ray Bay, he really loved them and I can see why, they really are so cute. 


The jellyfish exhibit is lovely, with beautiful colour changing lights which really show how stunning jellyfish are. 

T loved being able to let a shrimp climb onto his hand and stroke a starfish in the rock pool area, I think he could have stayed there for a very long time given half the chance!


He was thrilled to receive a medal for his bravery too! Such a lovely touch and something for his school 'summer memory box'.


Great Yarmouth Sea Life centre are very lucky to have some penguins, who are very cute, we managed to watch them being fed which was a bit stinky! 



My favourite exhibit was the Tropical ocean display and ocean tunnel , I literally could sit there all day just watching the fish swimming about. 


The conger was massive and happily sat right at the front of the glass for photos! 


During our visit the beautiful big turtle spent all his (or her!) time at the top so although we got some good views, we didn't actually manage to get any decent photos of him. 


T was very impressed with the black-tipped sharks and couldn't understand why they weren't eating all the other fish! 


We enjoyed seeing the beautiful blue tangs which had a lovely aquarium which showed their beautiful colour off perfectly. 


And we spent lots of time watching the cute clown fish going about their business. 



T liked seeing the turtles in the turtle shelter and was very excited when he realised that's how the Ninja turtles started life 😉

We really enjoyed our trip and can't wait to go back, open every day except Christmas and Boxing Day and priced from as little as £5.79 per person (if purchased in advance) the Sea Life centre is such a fantastic place to visit before going back to school! 

Disclaimer: we were given complimentary entry fees in return for our honest review. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

|FUN|Paw Patrol after school mat and Weebles Pull & Play Seal Island Playset Review


T loves Paw Patrol, the cute characters and the rescue stories have kept him captivated since he was quite small, so it seemed appropriate that when we were offered to review the new Weeble Seal Island playset, I'd create an after school mat too.

This mat was super simple, just Paw Patrol colouring, the playset and a DVD, yes I know I'm breaking my own rule and my own reason for using the after school mat but he had a particularly energetic day at nursery and was very tired, in reality he didn't watch any of the DVD because he started a craft project too, but sometimes I'm happy to use screentime if it's balanced with him being very active in the day.


The Paw Patrol Weebles Pull & Play Seal Island Playset is a lovely play set, with very cute Weeble characters based on the characters in the cartoons.  


The set is for ages 18m - 5yrs, T will be 5 at Christmas and to be honest I think this was a little young for him, although he really liked it, I just don't think it would have kept him occupied for very long.  I think when he was 18-24m he would have absolutely loved it.


T loved how there's a a pull and retract boat, and that Wally the Sesl operated it!


A younger child would have had more fun with it in my opinion as their just wasn't enough happening to have captivated his imagination.

Durable and long lasting th play set would be perfect to keep younger kids occupied.

The seal islands play set retails at RRP £29.99, which I think is a little pricey! THe individual weebles are RRP £4.99 each and both can be purchased from Toys R Us

Overall we think this is a great toy, I just would have said its for a younger child than recommend and a little pricey at £29.99.

Disclosure:we were sent seal island to play with, in exchange for our honest review,