Thursday, 27 July 2017

Jack And The Worry Wizard Children's Wellbeing Book Review

The Worry Wizard is a concept created by Counsellor and Psychotherapist Amy Smythe. Worry Wizard products aim to help children and young people to develop tools to deal with worries before they become something more serious and affect day-to-day wellbeing.


Jack And The Worry Wizard is designed especially for young people of all ages and is far more than 'a book'. This is access to support from a genuine counsellor and the book is really a launching point which you and your child build on. I read it together with my 7 1/2 and almost 9 year old boys.


Our situation is very different to most people's. My young boys have added worries that a lot of children fortunately don't have. They have lost their sister and their day-to-day is not what we ever anticipated. They live in a house where unfortunately mental health concerns have been fairly normal now for 3 years.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Lucky Gecko Discovery Box (age 9-12) Review, Discount Code and Giveaway

Lucky Gecko make discovery subscription boxes for children aged around 9-12. At this age children are more mature and need something a bit different as well as with a challenge. Let's face it, it can be difficult to occupy them without them returning to their screens.


I love this box. Lucky Gecko is the most expensive subscription box we've reviewed, but that's because it's got the most in. This is a week's entertainment and your child will learn loads, while really enjoying themselves and making something they can be proud of.


There are 3 Lucky Gecko discovery boxes to choose from - Wisdom, Imagination and Curiosity - each of which supports what your child is learning in the classroom, in a way which is more accessible and fun! My almost 9 year old chose Imagination.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Family London - a London Days Out Guidebook for Families review.

Family London is a new release from Frances Lincoln. Written by Jimi Famurewa, with photographs by Camille Mack, it is a compilation of 100 fun places to visit in London with children. There are ideas for any age from tots to teens - perfect for a family like mine...


I admit I expected it to be bigger, but actually this is perfect. Family London is ideal for taking with you and fits in your hand or a large pocket. The days out are split into 7 sections, with maps at the end.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Stretch Armstrong is back - Vac Man Review (age 5+) for Character

Character have brought back one of the best-known toy characters from my youth - Stretch Armstrong - and he's not alone. Not only do we have Stretch Armstrong, Fetch Armstrong and Octopus, but also arch-enemy and all-round bad guy Vac Man.


Vac Man's box is a bit battered and I think you'll find that's a common theme because he's really heavy! Because of the nature of Vac Man it is a bit like carrying a box part full of sand - it caught me out and I nearly dropped it. He's 14" (35cm) tall and a big guy.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Was Chester Bennington A Coward?

Over the past few days suicide has barely been out of the headlines. Chester Bennington has been discussed a lot in our house and always with the same end to the conversation. Suicide isn't harmless, it has a massive, rippling negative effect, and anyone who treats it with purely sympathy is sweeping a lot under the carpet.

There's been a real backlash condemning Brian Welch for his outburst against his friend, and I don't agree with it at all. I think he's allowed to call his friend a coward. He will think that. He'll also spend time thinking his friend was selfish, nasty, foolish, wasteful, hurtful. When you end your own life, the people left behind will without a shadow of a doubt spend time thinking that all the pain they are feeling, and the hurt and sadness that they and your loved ones, your friends and everyone else is going through, is due to you.

As those who are left try to make sense of the shock, as they scramble to rearrange what is left of their life into some sort of workable order, and struggle to see why they are bothering, they will find it almost impossible not to think of the person who died as a coward.

Blaming the person who died isn't an option because we know full well it's not their fault. As Brian Welch found out, you'll be pilloried for suggesting it. Everyone will wave their fists and say that 'you don't understand'. You do. You know that actually the person who died was the one unable to understand. Right there and at that second, they forgot why they shouldn't. They couldn't see the right path ahead and you weren't there to save them. So you can't blame them, you have to try to lay blame somewhere else. Probably at least partly with yourself.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Lottie Dolls (age 3+) Prize Bundle Giveaway

My boys don't play with dolls any more sadly, generally they prefer more wheeled or construction toys - cars and LEGO. I am however still a big fan of Lottie Dolls - dolls that look like children, with the healthy body shape of your average 9 year old.


There are loads of different dolls and doll sets, as well as outfits and accessories. Because Lottie Dolls are like 9 year old children, they do things that 9 year old children like doing. A couple of years ago we reviewed a boy doll from the range, Finn the Kite-Flyer and the 'Gone Fishing' accessory pack.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

What's On for Families in Manchester, Liverpool and NorthWest UK this Summer

Summer is nearly here! Yeeeay! Here are loads of events and activities to keep the family amused rain or shine over the Summer holidays in Manchester Central, Wider Manchester, Liverpool or the North West UK. I try to collect as many cheaper ideas as possible, never overlook your local library and museum as they often have special events and a lot of them are free!


Manchester Central



THE LOWRY

Silentnight Pure Cotton Pillow Pair Giveaway

Everyone has heard of Silentnight, they are the UK's biggest bed manufacturer and you probably have some of their bedding in your house. Voted the UK's Most Trusted Bedding Brand in independent survey, their products are reliable, they have a range to suit all pockets and the prices are good.


This month Silentnight are teaming up with the online store and TV shoppping channel QVC to promote their Silentnight Pure Cotton Pillows. Exclusive to QVC, they have a 100% cotton percale cover and are filled with anti-allergy, silk-like hollowfibre, offering excellent comfort and softness for your money.


Silentnight Pure Cotton Pillows are also washable up to a temperature of 40°C and come with a 2-year guarantee, so you can expect them to last as well as more expensive brands.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Joie Trillo LX Group 2/3 High-Back Booster Car Seat Review For Kiddies Kingdom

On Sunday 30th July Kiddies Kingdom will have a grand opening for their new and humongous showroom in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire - for opening week they have amazing offers including up to 75% off and free gifts for customers.


At 9000 square feet, Kiddies Kingdom will have the biggest showroom in the North. Already one of the UK's leading online baby and toddler retailers, you'll now be able to take a proper look and feel, and often even a quick try before you buy.
The Kiddies Kingdom store will offer everything you could hope for from a larger retailer, including a Price Match Guarantee and Baby Wish List service, but they also offer extras including an Embroidery Service to personalise any suitable purchases and a full-sized car where parents can practice their car seat fitting skills.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Future Ratboy and the Invasion of the Nom Noms Children's Book Review

The shortlist for the 2017 Scholastic Books Laugh Out Loud Awards - or the 'Lollies' - has been selected by Michael Rosen and a panel of expert judges, and my 7 and 8 year old boys are reviewing a couple of the nominees, starting with Future Ratboy and the Invasion of the Nom Noms by Jim Smith.


Before you even open this 240 page book, you know it's going to be quite different. It has a comic book style which is really accessible to the 6-8 year old intended age group. Perfect for newer independent or reluctant readers, with short paragraphs of text and plenty of illustrations.