Category Archives: review

Powerpuff Girls Story Makers, a review

Many children don’t get to do much imaginative play, trying to fit it in between school, homework and other activities. One of the many things I love about home education is that we have lots of time for imaginative play, creating stories and acting them out with toys. So when R was asked to review the Powerpuff Girls Dine&Dash Story Maker we jumped at the chance.

She was very excited when a big parcel arrived for her to open full of new toys. She loves watching the Powerpuff girls on TV. The ultimate crime fighting sisters Bubbles, Buttercup and Blossom made of sugar, spice and everything nice, plus some chemical X! The Dine&Dash set comes with a Buttercup action figure plus movable crime figures than you can knock down by shooting a burger at them.  R also got Bubbles and Donny the Unicorn in a separate pack.

You can create any story you like, even adding to it with other story maker sets. There is endless fun to be made with the Dine&Dash set. We’ve enjoyed playing with the Powerpuff Girls set, Bubbles wins as the favourite character. We recommend the Powerpuff Girls story maker sets to any fan who wants to create the ultimate crime fighting tale.

Pottery Cool

A is for Activities!

As a mum of 4 children and a home educator, I am always on the look out for new and exciting activities to do with the children. I was recently asked if I would review Pottery Cool Studio Set. My girls in particular love doing all things crafty, so this was great for them.

When the parcel arrived in the post they couldn’t wait to get their hands on it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get started straight away as it needed batteries. After much nagging we walked down to the corner shop to buy some.

Pottery Cool

The girls decided which of the projects from the instruction booklet they wanted to try first. R chose a little jewelry holder, which was nice and simple to make. S chose a dog shaped photo holder, that was a little trickier and more fiddly. The instructions would have been easier to follow with better pictures, but we got there in the end.

Little S loved the sensory element of playing with the wet clay as it spun round on the potters wheel. As she was a little young at 3 to follow the instructions, she used some leftover clay to make a little pen holder/vase.

clay

The clay was left to dry overnight as per the instructions, but the following day it still felt quite damp so we left it for another day before painting. While S was painting her dog, one of its ears did fall off which was a little disappointing but we have managed to stick it back on.

painting

We enjoyed painting our clay creations, and particularly loved the metallic paints. R (aged 8) says “It’s a great way to get creative and stop you getting bored” We are looking forward to see what else we can make and buying some extra Pottery Cool clay disks in the future.

 

**We were sent the Pottery Cool Studio Set for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own.**

Me Becoming Mum

Hotter and Hattie

Having lived in the Bournemouth area my whole life, (I was born on the old Bournemouth Hospital) I thought I knew the area rather well. When I was invited by Hotter shoes to try out some of their footwear on a tour of Bournemouth I didn’t expect to actually learn anything.

I was sent a pair of GORE-TEX® shoes from Hotter to wear on the walk. There were a few other bloggers there, including Hattie of Hattie’s Walking Talks. The tour was fascinating, with History from all era’s discussed. Hattie talked about the founding of Bournemouth by Lewis Tregonwell in 1812, and how it grew into the bustling town it is today.

Tregonwell

I was surprised to see that some shops have been in the town since 1876, and are still trading today (some with the original sign!). There is some captivating architecture in Bournemouth high street that I’d never even noticed before because I hadn’t thought to look up. Some of my old haunts from my teen years had a great tale to tell, and an interesting history.

window

We visited Giggi’s the Italian Gelateria, owned by Luigi ‘Giggi’ Bray who was brought up in Alezio in Southern Italy. We tried some of his outstanding ice cream, all made on site. He offers a fantastic range of flavours, including vegan ice creams and assorted sorbets.

Giggis

The tour took around an hour and a half, and throughout the walk my feet were very comfortable and did not ache at all at the end. I have worn my Hotter “Ramble” shoes a good few times now, and still love them. I chose the Ramble shoes as being a country girl I walk a lot on uneven, wet and muddy ground with the dog and with the children.

hotter

My feet are always well supported, warm and dry during my walks. My only regret with my choice of shoe, is that I should have gone for the purple ones!!

Ramble

If ever you’re in Bournemouth and fancy an educational tour, I would highly recommend Hattie’s Walking Talks. Make sure of course that you equip your feet with a great pair of shoes from Hotter too. To help you with your choice here is a voucher code for £10 off your shoes plus FREE delivery*.

 

 

*T&C’s – £10 off plus FREE delivery is for first orders only. You are entitled to £10 off the total order value of any full priced items in the Hotter range (excluding shoe care products) plus FREE delivery.  This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or on Sale or Factory Clearance items and gift vouchers. Expires 29/1/17

 

**I was sent the Ramble shoes for the purpose of review, all opinions in this post are my own.**

 

 

New Shoes

Buying new shoes for your child can be stressful. Finding something they like, that are comfortable, durable and within budget sometimes feels impossible. Add in a child that dislikes any change can be very challenging. E had his last pair of shoes for over 18 months, by the end there was barely any sole left, there were holes in the fabric on top and the Velcro fastening was falling apart. If you had seen my son walking around in these tatty, too small, and falling apart shoes you’d probably have thought me a bad mother!

But all was not lost, I was given the opportunity to try out Brantano’s website. Browsing online took the stress out and we were able to find that perfect pair of shoes. I was impressed by the great selection of boys sandals online as often boys designs can be a bit limited.  (They have a lovely range of girls sandals online too.)

He chose these gorgeous Mountain Peak sandals. I love the bright orange.

New shoes

They arrived quickly and we were both really impressed with the shoes. What’s most important for me is that he finds them really comfortable and he is happy wearing them. After almost 3 weeks we’ve no complaints about them, an active boy using them as brakes on his bike, climbing, running, jumping and they’ve not worn at all.

Although we didn’t need his feet measuring this time as they had been done recently its worth noting that Brantano do run a free fitting service.  We have used this service in the past and always found staff very friendly and accommodating especially with E’s needs.

 

Ant World

We love all things creepy, crawly and wild. Bug hunting is often a big part of how we learn about the world. To be given the opportunity to learn about ants, see how they build their underground house and live their lives, when normally it is unseen, is amazing.
The Ant World arrived in the post for the children to unpack and assemble. The set included everything we needed, I particularly liked that it came with a little magnifier so we could a good look at the ants. Putting the world together was nice and simple, adding the sand, though, was very messy! We ended up with sand all over the kitchen. Releasing the ants into their new home was even more tricky, no matter which way we tried.ant world messAnts, it would seem, are great escape artists. No matter how many we put into the world more seemed to appear, scurrying about the table. We had them running up our arms, down the outside of the ant world, in every direction possible.
After many attempts and lots of giggling we managed to get all, or at least, most of the ants into their new home. (I have a feeling that one or two may still be roaming around my house!)
We are feeding them a small piece of fruit once a week, as per the instructions, we have found that even the smallest bit of fruit goes mouldy very quickly and can look unsightly. Watching the ants slowly build their little tunnels is really interesting, we expected the tunnels to appear quickly, but after 2 weeks there are still only a couple of small ones.

ant world tunnelWe are enjoying watching the ants working, they are never still, always scampering about, busy. If ever your children (or you) want a few new pets that are low maintenance, then Ant World could be the way to go.

 

*I was sent Ant World free to review, all thoughts are my own*