Friday, December 02, 2016

|BLOGMAS|15 amazing advent activities for kids - Day 2

Day 2 of blogmas for here and there's still time to make some of these amazing advent calendars.

1. We do advent books, but this fun advent snowman from Adventures of Adam takes the concept to a whole new level!

2. This is a great idea for advent, I love the idea of the little presents each day through advent contained in the Countdown to Christmas Box from Teach me Mommy.

3. If you are looking to use Advent to spend more time with your family, My Joy Filled Life have a fab printable with ideas for daily family activities.

4. This is such a lovely idea from Crafty Kids at Home get your children to make their siblings advent calendars.

5. Create a super cute elf small world like Sun Hats & Wellie Boots did with their Advent elf houses

6. Why buy a lego advent calendar when you can make your own, this is such a great idea from Little Bins for Little Hands the models are fantastic and it's such an original idea.

7. Download your own advent boxes to fill with goodies with this free printable from Powerful Mothering

8. OK, so you may not have 24 loo rolls hanging about the house, but in case you do, this is a fantastic loo roll advent calendar from Danya Banya

9. Lovely free printable advent calendar printables from A Little Pinch of Perfect, great for a cosy after school activity.

10. Sing your way through advent with this original Christmas Carol Advent Calendar from Mama smiles.

11. Here's a fun advent from Rainy Day Mum fill your own envelopes and bring this Snowman advent calendar out each year!

12. A different take on the Christmas countdown from Tot Schooling this clever Christmas countdown printable is a great idea.

13. There are lots of ideas for teaching your children the true meaning of Christmas in this post from The Awe Filled Homemaker.

14. Want to bring more faith into your advent?  How about reading the Nativity story from the bible verses using this handy 25 Days of Christmas Bible verses free printable from Encouraging Mom's at Home

15. For some great ideas for fun but thoughtful Christmas family activities, this 25 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar from What's up Fagans is perfect!

And if you are still looking for more, Clare's Tot's have a further 24 ideas!

Are you strictly a chocolate advent calendar fan or do you have a more interesting way of celebrating Advent?  I'd love to hear what you do!StumbleUpon

Thursday, December 01, 2016

|BLOGMAS|Our Christmas 2016... - Day 1


Our Christmas...

Twinkly lights glowing against bright, shiny baubles, the glow of Christmas has already started here. 

Mulled wine in front of the fire and piles of gifts ready for wrapping. 

The excitement of a school performance at a stately home and practicing carols for Church Christmas services.  

Time to consider what Christmas means to us, nice food and drink with close family, daytime naps and long winter walks after a big meal. 

Crafty keepsakes and handmade cards, spending time cooking recipes old and new that we don't usually have the time for. 

Appreciation of what we have and helping others less fortunate than ourselves. 

Drinks with friends, a special tea with Santa and a yearly visit from a Buddy the Elf.

Reading the nativity story as a family and Christmas movie nights with treats. 

Laying back, relaxing, switching off the alarm and avoiding looking at the clock! 

All of our Christmas celebrations have one thing in common: FAMILY 💙💗💙

In the next 25 days I'll be taking you on our Christmas journey, showing you our festive makes, sharing our favourite Christmas traditions and telling you about our Yuletide activities.   

Ooooh, I cannot wait! I hope you are looking forward to it too. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

|REVIEW|kinetic sand review


Ok, I hold my hands up!  I'd heard of Kinetic sand but had never seen it and in all honesty I thought it was a bit of a gimmick!  T had put it on his Christmas list so when we were given the chance to review, I didn't even ask him, I knew he'd want to.


We were sent the kinetic sand sandcastle set which contains, 3 moulds, a double ended tool, a play tray and a bag of kinetic sand.  Let me just add here that the photo on the box suggests that there's enough sand to fill the tray and to have enough left to use the moulds, in reality, you'd need another 454g bag of kinetic sand to do this - not really a proble, just something I think is worth pointing out. 

The texture of this sand is amazing, it just doesn't feel anything like sand, it's absolutely amazing, T delighted in showing me how you can create a ball that 'can actually bounce'.   He has quite literally spent hours playing with this set, I'm amazed by how occupied he was with it, adding his play doh tools to extend his play.


I've made sure that Father Christmas gets the message to get some more as I know he had his eye on the glow in the dark sand!


T found it easy to press the kinetic sand into the moulds and create the castle etc.  Although it was very clean, I was paranoid it would get everywhere so I put it on the tuff spot, im glad I did as it soon came out of the tray provided 😊


T made a 'castle' with all of the kinetic sand and then...

Decided to 'smooch' it with his feet!  'This feels so funny, Mummy' he kept saying trying to encourage me to have a go (I didn't!)  overall kinetic sand got the big thumbs up from us, I cannot believe we've not tried it before.

It can be purchased at all the toy stores and on Amazon, this kit retails for £19.99 and is from age 3+.

Disclaimer: we were sent this product in return for our honest review, all opinions are our own.

Monday, November 21, 2016

|FUN|Carol-oke giveaway and Nick Jr. Kids competition

Do your little ones like singing? Any budding karaoke stars out there?   Nick Jr. are currently running a competition for your child to star on TV?  Upload a video of your little ones singing Deck the Halls and fill out the entry form for a chance to appear on Nick Jr. Plus tune into Nick Jr. for snowy adventures every day from 8am.  Competition open now until 9 December 2016, with 5 winners selected every week.

The winning entries will then be shown throughout November and December. The first Carol-oke will broadcast on Monday 28 November on Nick Jr.  There will be one Carol-oke per week, featuring five kids.

A bit of information on the competition:

·         Videos must be more than 10 seconds and under 30 seconds.  
·         No branding – including toys and clothes
·         Only one child per video
·         No background music

We are also offering you the chance to win a fab Nick Jr. goody bag containing:
1.   My Nick Jr. Crayon set
2.   My Nick Jr. Colouring Book
3.   Nick Jr. Umbrella
4.   Nick Jr. Ready steady dough set
5.   Nick Jr. Bag

Enter below, but make sure that you have ticked all the boxes as incomplete entries will be disqualified.  Ends Friday 2 December 2016 23.59.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post.
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

|FUN|spy kits for kids, Great Gizmos review

Who doesn't love spy gadgets for kids?  I'm not sure if I or T were more excited about this review 😂. T is really into spy's at the moment, so when we were asked to choose a couple of spy kits for kids to review we had no hesitation! 
I chose the KidzLabs Intruder Alarm and KidsLabs Spy science spy messages kits both available from Great Gizmos.
Both kits are for age 8+ but T had no problem putting together the intruder alarm with a little help. And was able to do most of the message kit himself. 
The intruder alarm kit is basically a fab, simple circuit board, which your child creates and T had lots of fun doing. 
A small screwdriver is required to put it together and ideally the components need to be screwed to the wall and door, although double sided pads were included to attach. 
The alarm lets off quite a high pitched noise!  I don't fancy T activating it before bed and forgetting when he gets up in the night! 
The secret message kit contained so many activities, T is still working his way through them! 
The kit comes in multiple parts for the child to put together themselves. T did need help doing this but an 8 year old would have no trouble at all. The parts come together to form a 'secret message journal' complete with decoders, special pens and a morse code tool. 
T had lots of fun asking me to write him words on the special secret message paper and he used the decoder to read the words I'd written. He felt very grown up with his journal and has carried it around with him since making it. Especially the secret agent card! 
He's also really been enjoying learning about morse code, which was a lovely traditional addition to the kit. 

We really enjoyed reviewing these kits, which would make fantastic gifts for any budding sleuth this Christmas. 
Disclaimer: we were sent these products in return for our honest review. All words and opinions are our own. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

|FUN|native American small world sensory play

T loved this Native American small world sensory play tuff spot. He had so much fun playing with it. 

For a long time T has really enjoyed the Western videos on the Playmobil YouTube channel. I thought it would be nice to create a small world for him to introduce him to Native Americans.  Whilst this is not our history or culture, I think small worlds are a great way to teach the very basics of other cultures so when T learns about them at school, he already has a basic awareness.  

I managed to get this fab Native American Playmobil set secondhand and knew that T would love it. 


I started off by putting a sheet of A2 blue paper on the tuff spot. 


Next I added the teepee base and put some chick pea and brown lentil pebbles and boulders along the 'river'. I would actually have covered the whole tuff spot if I'd have had enough. 


I also added some hay to try and suggest a barren landscape! 

T really liked having the boulders to fill up the canoe and running his hands through them, sorting the hay from the pulses and making the horse walk through or over them!  He really enjoyed the sensory aspect almost as much as playing with his characters. 


As you can see, he was super-excited when he came down and saw this. 

We talked about how Native Americans were living in the US long before the early settlers, that teepee's were made from animal skins. We looked at lots of totem pole photo's online and talked about the carvings and what they could symbolise. 

We kept it out for about a week and T spent lots of time playing with it. 


Visit some of the other blogs below for a more accurate and historical look at Native American heritage.  Perfect for older children. 
I'm joining in with the Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop for this post.  I'm afraid that their giveaway is only for US viewers.
Native American Heritage Month | Multicultural Kid Blogs
Welcome to our third annual celebration of Native American Heritage Month! All month long we'll be sharing posts about sharing these rich cultures with kids. Find our full schedule of posts below, and don't forget to link up your own as well! We're also having a giveaway (see below for details and to enter!) You can find even more ideas on our Native/Indigenous Cultures Pinterest board: Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs's board Native/Indigenous Cultures on Pinterest.


Grand Prize Native American Heritage Month Giveaway 2016 | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Grand Prize

From MotherTongues: Himdag Walk in Balance T-Shirt (women’s or unisex, S-XL) US & Canada shipping only From Quarto Knows: Native North Americans by Joe Fullman & History of Indian Tribes of North America, 3 Volume Set by McKenney and Hall US shipping only From Abrams Books: Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People by S.D. Nelson, In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III, & Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson & illustrated by David Shannon US shipping only
1st Prize Native American Heritage Month Giveaway | Multicultural Kid Blogs

1st Prize

From Firefly Books: Ojibwa: People of Forests and Prairies, Iroquois: People of the Longhouse, & Encyclopedia of Native Tribes of North America all by Michael G. Johnson US & Canada shipping only From Daria Music: Set of 2 Dance Whistle Kits from Crazy Crow Trading Post US shipping only From Wisdom Tales Press: Red Cloud's War: Brave Eagle's Account of the Fetterman Fight by Paul Goble & Indian Boyhood: The True Story of a Sioux Upbringing by Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa) US shipping only
2nd Prize Native American Heritage Month Giveaway | Multicultural Kid Blogs

2nd Prize

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Monday, November 14, 2016

|FUN|Kazoops, Just Imagine CD

Do your kids watch monty and Jimmy Jones the pig on Kazoops?   Do you find yourself singing along to the songs?  Well now you can buy the album! 

The brilliant songs featured in the series from writer and singer Scott Langley have now been turned into a 20 song album for your children - and you to enjoy! 

Kazoops is all about Monty, a six-year-old boy who challenges life’s questions both big and small with the help of his limitless imagination and his best friend, Jimmy Jones, the family pet pig. In each episode, the duo enters make-believe worlds to challenge everyday preconceptions such as ‘do things have to be the same all the time?’ or ‘do all games really need rules?’

The album was released on 28 October and is available on the following digital service providers; iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Pandora and Youtube. 

The full album or individual songs can be purchased digitally.

The album is launched first in English and will be released in other languages in 2017.

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post.