Friday, 1 July 2016

The Grill Sergeant Barbeque from Paladone Review

There's nothing better in Summer than eating outdoors. Sadly living in Manchester the rain does it's very best to prevent us, but we waited for a drizzle break amid the downpours, and managed a barbeque the other evening - on our back porch. Well, we'd promised the kids...


Paladone distribute all kinds of quirky and fun gadgets, gifts and household products, and they have sent us their 12inch Grill Sergeant Portable Barbeque to review. I thought he'd just have a fancy paintjob, but it turns out he's a well-designed barbeque that works really effectively.


Your Grill Sergeant arrives in a box and you have to assemble it yourself. You only need a screwdriver and a pair of pliers, and about 10 minutes. 25 minutes if you have a 6 year old assistant.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

10 Everyday Household Items That Are Actually Really Dangerous For Kids.

When you have kids you put up stair gates and lock the cupboard under the sink. You move the Paracetamol to the wall cupboard in the bathroom and put all the knives in a high drawer. You do everything you can to protect them, but sometimes the obvious escapes us...


1. Multivitamins and Minerals.
Too much of a good thing is bad for you. Lots of delicious chewy colourful animal-shaped multivitamins can do your child more harm than good. Take in too many vitamins and minerals and your body will try to dispose of the excess, but a few do not simply flush out. Iron is especially dangerous because children can't process iron like adults can, and we aren't very good at it. The excess iron doesn't go anywhere, it stays in their bodies and poisons them. Keep iron tablets and syrup with your dangerous medicines locked away, and not on the bedside cabinet. A 24lb (10.8kg) toddler only needs to swallow 2 iron tablets to have taken too many, and 8 iron tablets is a severely toxic dose.

Instead: Do a simple scientific experiment with your older kids to find out 'how much iron is in their breakfast cereal?'

Letts Wild About Workbooks released today! Review And Giveaway

Letts are incredibly well known for their workbooks and revision guides. They produce educational workbooks suitable right throughout a child's school life, and today have added more titles to their Wild About range of workbooks for children in Key Stage 1 and 2. To celebrate, one of my readers can win a set of five Letts Wild About workbooks tailored to the age of their child.


With 3 teenagers here who have just completed GCSE's, AS levels and A Levels, we are well aware of Letts and have a library full of their revision guides. This is the first time that we've looked at Letts Workbooks for younger children.


The Wild About Workbooks are designed to engage your child and encourage them to work through activities while learning about their natural world. We were sent Wild About English: Grammar & Punctuation, and Wild About Maths: Times Tables for my 6 and 7 year old boys.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

100 Facts: Butterflies And Moths from Miles Kelly Review And Giveaway (2 Winners).

We've reviewed a few books for Miles Kelly before, and they're generally very bright and colourful fact books absolutely crammed with the kind of information that children not only find useful, but also find interesting.  The bestselling 100 Facts series is massive, and the latest addition is Butterflies And Moths by Steve Parker.


These factual books are full of 100 pieces of information grouped into topics, in this case including 'Clever Caterpillars' and 'Growing Up'. The contents page is really clear, and even my 6 year old chose to stop and look at it to see what was ahead.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Paper Aliens and Paper Robots - awesome model books for kids (age 7+)

Paper Aliens by Jennifer Bryan and Paper Robots by Alexander Gwynne are two amazing large format paperback books which are full of press out characters for your child (and you) to make. Suitable for children aged around 8+, once you have made your models, the books also include games to play with the robots and aliens, even having press out cards at the back of the books for extra gameplay.


Although these books have a recommended age of around 8+, both my 6 and 7 year old boys did a fine job of making the models, with only a minimum of help. They weren't the only ones who got excited by the models though...

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Inside Out - an emotional Family Movie - now showing on NOW TV Movies.

I've spent 22 years raising children and I've always particularly loved movie night. Movies tell a whole story. They draw you into a fantasy world and your children can experience events and emotions in a secure and limited way, where you know it'll mostly all turn out okay in the end.


A NOW TV Movie Pass gives you access to 1000 movies at any time you choose. You can even take a look and have a 14 day free trial at the moment. There is something for everyone, including some of the latest blockbusters, and one of the newest films to hit their list is the Oscar-winning Disney Pixar animated tale, Inside Out.

Inside Out is different to the majority of children's films. It does turn out okay in the end, but the journey you travel through the story shows children how the different emotions affect the inner person, and what happens outwardly when our emotions take over. It's actually a very mature theme, and not one you'd usually find in a children's film.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Little Tikes Riga Swing Set From ASDA Review

Some review items are far more exciting than others, and the Little Tikes Riga Swing Set is incredibly exciting! My boys spend a lot of time playing outside, but the only large equipment they've ever had has been passed down from their big siblings, and they have never owned a swing aside from an old baby swing.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Striped Hama Beads Review and Bundle Giveaway!

I've been a parent for the last 22 years and yet have only just had my first personal experience of using Hama. Small beads which you can form into pictures using pegboards, and then iron to keep your creation forever.


We've had Hama creations in our house for years, but my youngest 2 boys hadn't used them until we were sent a bundle of Hama Beads to review...including lots of the new Striped Hama Beads.

Bricktastic - The Manchester Central LEGO Show - Ticket Giveaway!

On 2nd and 3rd July a very special event is coming to Manchester Central. Bricktastic is one of the UK's biggest LEGO events and promises to be pretty awesome! See, Play And Learn With LEGO - and by buying a ticket or spending at the event you'll support Fairy Bricks, providing LEGO for children in hospital in the Northwest UK.


SEE - Over 50 of the UK's top LEGO builders will be displaying their builds, including Bright Bricks, the UK's only certified LEGO Professional, who will be there with some of the models from their touring show 'Bricks In Motion'.

PLAY - Brick pits, a giant mosaic and builds to take home as souvenirs

LEARN - What can you make with LEGO? Find out what other people are making, including some amazing mechanical and motor driven LEGO robots, get hints and tips from some of the best, find out what's new in the world of LEGO, and put those skills into action.

Monday, 20 June 2016

The NINJA Complete Kitchen System with NUTRI NINJA Review (BL682UK)

I was VERY excited when I was asked if I wanted to take a look at a NUTRI NINJA kitchen blender, even more so when it arrived and it was the NINJA Complete Kitchen System with NUTRI NINJA (with Auto IQ). At 1500w and with a swathe of accessories, it is capable of so much more than your average blender.


The system arrives in a huge box containing all of the parts in smaller boxes. It's like Christmas. The metal blades are incredibly sharp, and arrive the same way as they store, safely inside the pitcher, cup and bowl.