Showing posts with label #mummybloggers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #mummybloggers. Show all posts

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Fun Education For Kids: The History Around You

A day out with the kids that is also educational; it’s pretty much the dream, isn’t it? 
You get to hit two birds with one stone, earning you a huge number of extra Mum points in the bargain.

As wonderful as the idea of combining these two childhood essentials is, it’s not always feasible. That’s a shame, especially when you live in a country like the UK.

Why Is It A Particular Shame In The UK?

The UK is full of history. It could be argued this is the country where Western civilisation as we know it was born. That history is incorporated all around us. 
Americans, for example, celebrate when their home town turns 200 years old. That’s nothing for us in the UK; some of us live in cities that date back to the Roman Age.

With all this history around us, there are plenty of ways to combine education with a lot of fun. In fact, let’s compile all the ways you can introduce your children to living history - and let them have all kinds of fun in the process.

1. Visit A Castle

warwick-castle-2484196_640.jpg

There are castles everywhere in the UK, most of which are now in public hands. To ensure their survival, entertaining and exciting families has become a huge part of their business model - so there’s plenty of fun to be had in the midst of learning.

Here are a few to consider:

  • The Tower Of London is perfectly for young kids who can’t get enough of gory stories. Tours are led by the Yeoman Warders, who are well versed in delighting the crowd with stories of the grisly tales from history. You can also visit the crown jewels, or meet the Ravenmaster and his flock.
  • Warwick Castle is one of the best castles for family fun; they hold jousts, Tudor banquets, and battle re-enactments throughout the year. Located in Warwickshire, the castle is beautiful and huge - perfect for an absorbing family-friendly day out.
  • Ludlow Castle in Wales was the traditional seat of the Prince of Wales; where they would learn Kingship before taking on the entire country. The castle is beautifully preserved, and set in a quaint market town that the whole family will love to explore.

These three options truly are just the tip of the iceberg - there’s so much to explore, so why not dive right on in?

2. Metal Detecting

There’s nothing quite like stumbling over a coin in a field and seeing that it dates back to Roman times. It’s one of the most obvious ways of connecting the present with the past, and can enthral children with a sense of the history that’s gone before them.

Grab yourself a metal detector from BestSpy and head out onto any open land. Always ensure you have permission to be there. There are plenty of groups which can help identify sites where metal detecting is welcome. Who knows, your family might be the next one to discover a hoard of gold.

3. The Trail of Battles


England has been the host of many wars over the centuries. 
The Wars of the Roses in the 15th century have captured imaginations for centuries, while everyone knows something about the English Civil War.

These wars were a collection of pitched battles, often spread all over the country. Many were fought hundreds of years ago, but most sites of major conflicts are still found to this day. Some even have full-blown visitor centres on the sites of the battlefield itself, making great locations for metal detecting too. It’s more than possible to turn up spurs or other metal used in warfare, giving another exciting glimpse into the world of the past.

To take advantage of this, you could start a project where you try and visit the sites of all the major battles in a particular conflict. The Wars of the Roses, for example, would take you from Gloucestershire for the Battle of Tewkesbury, to north London for the Battle of Barnet
Following the trails of these wars not only gives an insight into the history of the time, but also makes for a lovely way to see more of the country.

The UK has got so much to offer when it comes to history. Learning history is vital for a child’s education; as the saying goes, those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. 
By introducing historical learning outside of a classroom setting - and where it’s a whole lot more fun - you’re setting your kids up for an exciting, enlightened life.


*Collaborative Post*

Friday, 8 September 2017

Worrying About Your Child's Development Now They're At School?

Lots of parents have gone through the ‘trauma’ of taking their babies to school for the first time. When you walk away from the school gate having just handed them over to the teacher, it’s difficult to tell which one of you was more teary, but before you left, you were observing. 
All mums discreetly check out the other kids while they’re waiting in line. 
They’re comparing what the other children can do, how well they speak, and how well behaved they are. 
How did your child compare to them?

Ultimately, we’re all worried that our kids aren’t where they should be by this age. It’s natural for any parent to fear that their child might not cope. 
The truth is that school is a steep learning curve. That doesn’t mean your child won’t make the climb and come out every bit as capable as the next child. 
On the contrary, it could be just the challenge they need to succeed.


Soon all of the children will be reading and writing and bringing home words to spell. They’ll be physically more adventurous, and socially more outgoing
Your child will change so much over the coming months! That won’t stop you worrying though. You’ll still wonder if they’re making enough progress - it’s natural! You should definitely speak to your child’s teacher if you are concerned. 
Of course, they are on the ball and will be chatting with you if there are any problems.

So what can you do to give your child an edge with their learning? There are plenty of great educational tools you can use at home like Reading Eggs and maths apps for kids. 
There are dozens of great books aimed at young school age children too. Practice a little each day. Physically, your child is being challenged in PE. You can help too, by playing football, catch, and jumping around. 
But what if you’re still worried?


One of the biggest worries people have when children start school is their speech. Poor speech means your child won’t be understood by the teacher. 
And it may mean they are socially excluded by the other kids if they can’t contribute to conversations. Fortunately, there is speech therapy for children that can be accessed at any age. If you’re worried, ask the teacher. You might also want to speak to your school nurse or GP too.


*Collaborative post*

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Gruffalo Hunting With The Gruffalo Spotters App!


If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that we headed off to Thetford Forest at the end of last week to go on a Gruffalo hunt using the new Gruffalo Spotters App for us only to get their and realise you don't get a lot of wifi in the middle of a forest and that I was unable to download the app.
So we let the boys play on the awesome play equipment they have their and decided we would come back before the end of the holiday and make sure we downloaded the app before hand!

So on Monday I headed back to Thetford Forest with Jon's mum Helen, the twins and Ru.

Special Gruffalo Spotter Activity Bags £3

A Gruffalo Spotters kit will be available to buy on site and includes animal facts and tips for tracking wildlife, an evidence collection bag, a magnifying glass and a pencil to make a note of your forest finds!

The boys were very excited about trying to spot a Gruffalo and were constantly running ahead every time they spotted another clue.



First to be found was Mouse.
The boys didn't quite understand where to stand at first so I had to show them on my phone what was going on for them to understand that what I was seeing was totally different to what they were seeing.
I do think for little kids like the boys that it takes a while for the character to appear on the screen specially with them standing their waiting for me to take a picture.
Thinking about it now I probably should have got them to watch before running over to have their photo taken.

A Mouse found a nut and the nut was good!


The trail at High Lodge Thetford Forest was beautiful and I loved finding all the hidden play areas.
They boys have already said they want to go back and take their bikes.



Ru who isn't one for walking much did most of the trail without wanting to be picked up and even though the twins ran off without him didn't really moan, as long as he got to look at all the clues himself he was a happy Chappy.



I didn't click the button that suggested allow access to phone as it popped up in the middle of a photo and I clicked it off straight away without thinking, so non of my Gruffalo Spotter photo's downloaded to my phone, but luckily I noticed my stupid mistake early on and managed to screen shot a few of them.
I was hoping to be able to find a way to get them on the phone in the end but I still haven't figured it out.

Hello Fox
It's Snake.


I love all the photo's that we took with the characters and all the funny faces that the boys pulled when I shouted cheese.
I can see us headed back in a few weeks to do it again before it finishes.




The app really helped bring the trail to life and the smiles that resulted in seeing their picture next to one of their favourite book characters was priceless.

Always a sign of a good day out..

There are 26 Forestry Commission Trails around the UK. 
Why not head over to www.forestry.gov.uk to find your nearest one.

You can download the app for free and you have until the end of September to use it.


I would like to say a big Thank You to LittleLife for the gorgeous Gruffalo back pack, TU for the Gruffalo Wellies and John Lewis for the Aurora World Gruffalo Keyring. 
All of which were supplied for us to make our adventure even more special!





Monday, 4 September 2017

Reading Eggs Review

Over the summer holidays I have been making sure the twins and Noah keep up with their reading with the help of Reading Eggs


What is Reading Eggs?
.
Reading Eggs was created by expert educators with over 30 years of experience.
The multi-award winning early learning resource supports your child’s learn to read journey with carefully designed online reading games and activities that are easy to follow, self-paced, and highly engaging for young children.
By incorporating Reading Eggs into your child’s daily routine, you will be helping to prepare them for the same structured learning they will need to succeed and feel confident at school.


How Reading Eggs teaches your child to read

  • The lessons use colourful animation, fun characters, songs, and rewards to keep children motivated.
  • The programme is completely interactive to keep children on task.
  • When children start the programme, they can complete a placement quiz to ensure they are starting at the correct reading level.
  • Parents can access detailed progress reports as well as hundreds of full-colour downloadable activity sheets that correspond with the lessons in the programme.
  • The programme includes over 2000 online books for kids – each ending with a comprehension quiz that assesses your child’s understanding.



I had heard about Reading Eggs but wasn't 100% sure whether to boys would take to it, but after seeing how much the twins enjoyed reading in Reception and given that Noah needed that little bit of encouragement when it comes to reading an actual book I was more than happy to give it ago.

Once you sign up you can create an account your child and there you will be able to see how they are getting on and their reading level and all the books that they have read.

Before the twins could start they had to take a simps test to see what level they are at.
Alex was bang on age 5 and knew 100 phonic skills and 18 sight words
Where Oscar is reading at age 5.25 and knows 137 phonic skills and 45 sight words.

This impressed us as Alex has always shown more of an interest in reading and Oscar has just been more laid back about it all.
So both Jon and I were expecting Alex to be scoring higher than Oscar.


Reading Eggspress is aimed at 7 - 13 year olds, Noah is 9 so this is what he logs on to when he wants to read and play games.
(He hasn't yet figured out that the games he plays when he's on Reading Eggspress he's actually learning!)

Before Noah could do anything he also needed to take a little test of 20 questions and once he was finished it was suggested he start on lesson 61.

He used to love reading but then with all the constant school changes (due to moving houses) and upheavals he soon started to back off and take more of an interest in his Playstation.

It's been much easier to get Noah to read a book off the laptop than it has been to read an actual paper book.
So every night once the twins have gone to bed he'll ask if he can pick a new book and have a go on the games.
It's been lovely to see his spark come back and him enjoying something other than Minecraft or Zelda.


Along with reading the boys have really loved playing all the games on their app.
Their favourite at the moment seems to be Driving Tests.

Every right question you answer moves your car around the track.
You have three choices,
Red Car -Sight Words,
Green Car -Letters and Sound Words,
and Blue Car -Content Words.

Both boys loved racing the Green Car, as they have never got a question wrong....yet!


The books which are suggested for each child are all down to their progress and they refresh once you've picked one.
Oscar & Alex love deciding which books to read and get rather excited at the massive choice they have.
Once they finished the books they would have to answer a quiz.


To start with they thought they could just blag it but they figured out they actually needed to read the whole book to be able to answer the quiz. 

Once the quiz is answered correctly you will receive egg points.
You can use your egg points in the store to buy all sorts of things from heads for your avatar to games!



It's been lovely to see how much fun the boys have had using Reading Eggs and I highly recommend to anyone who hasn't tried it yet.
It's perfect for little ones who are just starting out with reading and even those like Noah who are past the phonic stage but still learning.

There is a Reading Eggs Junior which is aimed at children aged 2-4years old.
If I thought Ru would actually sit still I would have tried with him but I think this will be something I do with him next summer before he starts Reception.
He did show an interest in watching the twins, so thats a good start!!


Have you tried Reading Eggs?
If not why not use this Special Link to get 5 Weeks for Free!?

The cost to get a 12 month subscription is £39.95 which is less than £3.40 pre month!

Awesome Little Green Men

A new collectible has arrived in the UK.
 Awesome Little Green Men, they may be small but their characters are larger than life and serious about the mission ahead. 


The fresh new take on little green army men raises the bar by infusing battle and game play with 100 unique characters to collect in Series 1, including four super rare figures in the green army and the blue army.
Each with their own expression, you can find the likes of Sgt. Juliett and Major Zoomie to collect, each boasting different stats – who can build the strongest troops to win the battle?


Awesome Little Green Men come in Blind Boxes, Starter Packs and Deluxe Battle Packs, with Battle Packs containing everything you need to start your mission. 
Fans can even join the troop too with their very own dog-tag for each character and a new recuits collector’s sheet to track your collection.


We were sent;


Awesome Little Green Battle Deluxe Pack – RRP £24.99
Each Battle Deluxe Pack comes with eight soldiers (three in a vehicle), eight dog-tags, a new recruits poster and game guide. 
and

Two Awesome Little Green Men Blind Box – RRP £3.99
Each blind box comes with one soldier, one dog-tag, a new recruits poster and game guide. 


All the beasties were impressed with these and when they discovered that not only are they fun collectables but you can have a battle with them they were all over it.

On our Green Army we had -
General Pain ~ Super rare 
Corporal Charles ~ Common (Ranger Unit)
Corporal Delta ~ Common (Eagle Eye Unit)
Colonel Dogfight ~ Rare (Eagle Eye Unit)
Sgt. Bravo ~ Common (Special Task Team)
Major Boo-Boo ~ Rare (Special Forces)

On our Blue Army we had -
Private Porkchop ~  Common (Seal Unit)
Colonel Scrapes ~ Rare (Secret Task Force)
Sgt.Smell-It ~ Common (Close Combat Team)
Capt. Quiver ~ Rare (Special Forces)


Rules of Play
  1. On your turn you get four actions.
  2. For an action, flick a "March" Slider to move a solider down the field or flick an "Attack" Slider at an enemy to start knocking them out.
  3. Be the first player to flick your "March" Slider and hit the enemy's goal without hitting another solider in the process.
For more on the Rules click here.



The boys split into teams of two, 
The Green Army - Oscar & Ru and then 
The Blue Army - Noah & Alex.

It took them a little while to get the hang of it but once they understood they played for well over half an hour.
After they had finished the battle they took their men out into the garden and made them have a secret mission!

They have all said they want to collect all the Awesome Little Green Men as they love them and are now their most favourite collectables!!


Recommended age 6+

Available to buy in Tesco, Smtyhs and Toys R Us soon.
To find out more information about Awesome Little Green Men and The Battle Game, visit https://awesomelittlegreenmen.mgae.com

Sunday, 3 September 2017

L.O.L Surprise! Series 2 Review.

Rupert has a bit of a love affair going on with L.O.L Surprise! Dolls so he was delighted to be sent a brand new one from Series 2.


Not you average doll, these fashion forward characters are packed with personality. From Rockers to Merbabies, each L.OL Surprise! comes complete with bathtub, doll stand and hangout, all doubling up as a purse.

 each has 7 layers reveal a different surprise, including emoji stickers, accessory, and finally their hero - a L.O.L Surprise doll.

The surprise doesn't end there, once the final layer has been unwrapped, feed the adorable tot water with its baby bottle and reveal its feature - with special dolls changing colour when placed in cold water!


Ru really enjoys unwrapping each layer and finding all the little surprises.
This time he unwrapped 'Shorty'
She's very cute and as soon as Ru saw her he said he liked her.

She comes with short dungaree outfit, a gold chain, some sweet little pumps and high socks, a red bandana hairband and a drinks bottle.


Ru loves feeding his L.O.L Surprise! Dolls their bottles and putting them in their bath.
Shorty didn't change colour but Ru didn't really mind.



Features

  • Over 45 dolls to collect in Series 2 (Each sold separately)
  • 7 layers of surprises inside
  • Ball can be used in 4 ways: 
  • A purse carrying case, a doll display, a bath play set and a hangout play set


You can check out our other reviews of L.O.L Surprise dolls here and here.


Pre-Order Now.
Expected in stock: 15 Sept to 22 Sept.


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Aquabeads Cars 3 Playset

The boys have all been Cars crazy at some point or another and Ru bear is still completely obsessed.
So when we were sent the Aquabeads - Cars 3 Playset they were all very impressed and couldn't wait to get started.

Amazingly they each picked a character without fighting.
We all thought Ru would want his favourite Lightening McQueen but he actually went for Jackson Storm.
Noah picked Mack, Alex picked Lightening and Oscar went for Cruz Ramirez.


Inside the box you have everything you need to make all four characters,

1 Table Tray,
1 Bead Palette,
2 Template Sheets which are printed on both sides,
1 Sprayer,
1 Bead Peeler,
Over 1000 Polygon Beads,  Jewelled Beads,
And A Set of Instructions.

Key Features;
Helps to develop hand-eye coordination and memory skills.
Just spray water and the beads stick together! 
No ironing required.



Once you've picked your character just slot the template on the underside of the table tray and get placing your beads.
Ru couldn't quite do it himself, so I gave him a helping hand and let him spray the beads at the end.
He loved watching the beads eventually turn into Jackson Storm.


The beads only take 10 minutes to dry before you can peel them away from the tray and then up 60 minutes to dry completely.
We left ours a little longer just to be on the safe side.

The twins decided to have a race doing theres.
Because Alex is left handed it was easy for them to sit together and place their beads down with out really knocking into each other.
I think Oscar was the winner in the end but I'm sure if you ask Alex he'd say he was the winner!


I thought Noah wouldn't want to have a go at making one but he really enjoyed putting together Mack and made sure he took his time to make sure it was right.
He was very happy with the end result and now wants to get more Aquabeads play-sets!


  • Not suitable for children under 3 years old. 
  • To be used under the direct supervision of an adult.
Can be found in Argos for £13.99

The Mini Beasts with their creations!