Saturday, 21 April 2018

The Jungle Book At The Lowry Theatre Ticket Giveaway

Next month the Children’s Touring Partnership and Royal & Derngate will be bringing their adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's 1894 classic children's tale The Jungle Book to The Lowry Theatre in Manchester. The performance will be showing from Wednesday 2nd until Sunday 6th May.

We'll be attending the press night for review and I'm really excited. Even better, I have a family ticket to give away to one of my readers at the end of this post.

i-SPY books review for Collins & Michelin - the classic children's boredom buster

i-SPY books have been around for a long time. I remember diligently filling in my copy of i-SPY Butterflies as a child, although I mainly used it for reference as these fact-filled pocket-sized books have big, clear illustrations and concise descriptions. They also have a completist, competitive aspect as you try to tick off as many of the objects or animals as you can, score 1000 points and become a Super-Spotter, earning a badge and certificate.

We've been sent a bundle of 4 of the new i-SPY books  to review - At The Shops, Garden Birds, In The City and with plenty of nostalgia for me, Butterflies And Moths. They're very much the same as they were 40 years ago, with a wealth of information packed into a tiny book.

Friday, 20 April 2018

How To Speak Emoji, Cat & Dog Children's Books Review for National Geographic Kids

National Geographic and their younger publications from Nat Geo Kids are renowned for being reliable, sensible and educational, and their series of How To Speak books really does back that up. How To Speak Emoji, How To Speak Dog and How To Speak Cat are fabulous books which have really taken me by surprise and captured the attention of everyone here.

We've been sent all 3 of the books to review and I didn't realise just what gems they were going to be. These aren't simply lists with definitions, they're full of facts and really fascinating.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Pal App. review - Find the people you need to fill your life.

The people behind Pal have asked me to take a look and write about their app. Pal is a free app which enables you to meet people, make new friends and join in with or create activities and events. A tool for locating like-minded people within your local area, it can be useful to anyone.

Pal isn't like other apps for meeting people. You can use Pal to find new friends, discover what's happening near to you, gather teammates or exercise partners, fill your coffee morning with new faces, the list really is endless.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Facing The Consequences Of Getting Older...

So the other day I was walking along the street and I saw an older man who I often say 'hello' to. We've never really ever commented on any more than the weather and then carried on our way. Unusually, he stopped, grinned, put his hand on my shoulder and said "He'll let you know when your time is up. He'll tap you on the shoulder and tell you to 'come on'. He won't forget you". Then he grinned and said "when it's your time".

I didn't really have an answer, you wouldn't really would you? I said something like "sure. He will" smiled and carried on. I was a bit rattled because it was a weird thing to happen, but it was even more weird because there was no way he could have known I was on my way home from the Doctor, where I'd just been given a series of unfavourable test results. I was already contemplating my own mortality, but I at least took it as a positive. Apparently my time is not up just yet.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Star Wars Mighty Muggs Review for Hasbro (age 6+)

Star Wars Mighty Muggs are not something we knew existed before we were sent a couple to review, but I'm glad we found them. Heavy little plastic figures who have overly-large heads which switch facial expression, and in fact their entire face, when you press down on their heads.

We've been sent Finn and Chewie Star Wars Mighty Muggs and there were no shortages of offers from my family to take them off my hands. You can see why though. These might be toys, but they are very cool toys that will look just as good on a collectors shelf as a young child's desk.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Potty Training - The Little Budgie way... Children's Book Review

Little Budgie is the star of the first children's book by journalist and ex-teacher Simon Harris. While going through the joys of potty training with his son, he created the Budgie family and found it really helped encourage his little boy, so he turned his tale into a book.

Little Budgie's Done A Fudgie is colour 30 page story book with a soft wipe-clean cover. It does give away the ending in it's own title, but that doesn't spoil the tale, or the message of the book. Written in simple rhyme and with full page illustrations throughout, the storyline is not War And Peace, but it has the same level of anticipation and a little more success.

Little Budgie wants to throw away the nappies and move on to pants - he has a setback or two, but nothing too major and by the end of the book he's ready for the toilet itself. It'll be very familiar to anyone with children over the age of 3. I have never in my life previously referred to a poo as a 'fudgie', but I admit I laughed at the title. The more I thought about this book, the more I realised it actually captures the real spirit of toilet training and the advice I would always give any parent - keep it light-hearted.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

#TBCSmiles 44 Months.

This last month feels like a disruptive one all around. We've had Easter and seemingly the longest break (my own children are not yet back at school) and we went from snow to glorious sunshine as Spring arrived with a thump after very late frosts.

The blogging world saw two families lose a member this week, so right now my social media world is a quiet and reflective one, and we are all counting our blessings and hugging our family a little tighter. My best wishes and more importantly strength to anyone who has lost someone precious.

I have personal reasons to be reflective, after sneezing myself a hernia last month and some blood tests revealing that my physical health all round didn't fare well with the last 5 years of stress and aging. I'm now taking masses of iron to try and bring that back to a more normal level - and it's working because already I'm noticing my breathing is a bit better and I'm less tired. I'm having more tests on other bits and pieces, nothing too serious, but it's time to look after myself a bit better now. As a Mum you dedicate your entire life to looking after your family, it can be hard to turn that focus on yourself. I have obviously failed at it.

One thing I haven't failed at is making my family smile, and we've had absolutely tons this month - as have you guys! I'll start with our smiles and a proper good old-fashioned day off in Blackpool, an 8th birthday, belated world book day and a long 2 weeks off school, college and uni have helped make some excellent memories...

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Shaperise, BrainBox & Re,Cycle,Me Reviews - The Green Board Game Company

The Green Board Game Company make inclusive games that you can play together, whatever your ability or age. They encourage brain power and build skills such as memory and vocabulary, but don't ask for hours of commitment and concentration. Most of all though, they're fun.

Green Board Games sent us 3 of their most popular games to review: Visual-memory game Shaperise, one of the original BrainBox games - BrainBox Roald Dahl and the very different and creative Re,Cycle,Me.

The first game we tried was Shaperise, rrp £15. This was the winning game in the Young Games Inventor Of The Year Competition 2016 and was designed by 11 year old Sebastian Fleming-Smith. Suitable for age 8+ and 2 players, younger children can join in non-competitively and it's great for hand-eye co-ordination, concentration and even learning colours.

Everything comes in a neat cardboard box which can be used for storage afterwards. There are 40 coloured blocks, a timer, instructions and 60 different Shaperise Cards. The cards are in 3 levels of difficulty and each show a design that you have to copy using the blocks.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Beyblade Burst Evolution Star Storm Battle Set Review for Hasbro (8+)

The Beyblade Burst Evolution Star Storm Battle Set is a heck of a mouthful to say, but it deserves the title as this star shaped Beystadium battle arena is definitely quite special. Also included are 2 Beyblade Burst SwitchStrike launchers and 2 Beyblade Burst SwitchStrike tops.

Packaging is brilliant. A no-frills cardboard box and very little plastic. Earth and Christmas-morning friendly. Not bedroom-friendly in the same way as the as the Epic Rivals Beystadium, because it doesn't fit back in the box once assembled.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

BlogOnX Introduce Yourself Linky

It's only a month until BlogOnX - the 10th BlogOn Conference. I'm delighted to still be part of the team helping make it happen, and it looks like being a really special event with some fantastic sessions on everything from photo backdrops to GDPR compliance for bloggers, loads of on-the-day prizes from brands, and of course, the infamous goodie bags...

Traditionally we have a 'get to know you', so here are my answers to the BlogOnX Introduce Yourself Linky...

1. Share a recent photo of yourself.

I'm holding a pot of keyrings I won on the 2p machines - I am easily pleased.
PS. I do love Foo - Dave Grohl is genius.
For once and probably only once a genuine recent photo of me, taken on Tuesday on our day out in Blackpool. I'm so proud my partner actually took this photo - for once I have proof I left the house...

Treads Boys School Shoes Review: 1 Year Guarantee Against Destruction

When I spotted Treads school shoes have a '1 year Guarantee Against Destruction', I had to question if it was real. It is, and they're confident that their specially designed moulded soles and reinforced shoes can withstand all the punishment your little angels can put them through.

Treads asked if I wanted to review, and as my youngest is on his 3rd pair of shoes already this school year, I was utterly delighted to put them to the challenge. Obviously this post is our initial reaction, but I will revisit our shoes once my children grow out of them to see how well they did!

Friday, 6 April 2018

Coral Island Blackpool Family Attraction And Restaurant Review

We might love books and theatre and kitchen science, but we also love a good traditional day off. Last Tuesday we had an awesome stress-free fun day off in Blackpool courtesy of Coral Island. Right by the pier, the tower and the best parking spots behind SeaLife, Coral Island is Blackpool's largest indoor free-admission family-friendly attraction.

I had no idea just how much Coral Island had to offer until this week, but the claw prize machines are just the start. They have a huge selection of arcade machines from brand new through to those which bring back memories from my SEGA days, 3 rides and 4 restaurants with freshly cooked food and staff who really care about their guests. We spent almost 6 hours there - by sheer fluke getting back to the van 3 minutes before the parking ran out!

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Friends For All Family Theatre Review at Z-Arts, Manchester

A couple of weeks ago we were guests of Z-arts and Half Moon to watch the interactive spoken word play Friends For All. Suitable for children aged around 5-11, it was a really excellent performance with a clear aim to empower youngsters and help them realise they are already special, and they already have the ability to create change. I think we all took something away from it.

I visited with my partner and 8 and 9 year old boys. We love Z-Arts because it's so warm and welcoming, and you feel like you are back with friends. The cafe is excellent and on this visit had children's milkshake cartons for something fabulous like 25p! You can't ask for more than that.

The stage set was sparse, with the only scenery several white rectangular blocks. Once the performance started they became populated with the projected characters from the story. The lighting and projection were virtually spot on, timed to perfection. It was really well executed, with the supporting cast remaining almost still except for subtle movements - just enough to remind you they were there.

Friday, 30 March 2018

My Fairy Garden Easter Basket Giveaway

My Fairy Garden might seem an unusual product for my boys and I to promote, but pretty much all children love miniature gardening. Indoors or outside, it's an excellent way to celebrate the arrival of Spring at last!

Getting closer to nature through plants teaches children about life cycles and gives them a better understanding of where a lot of their food comes from. It helps them learn about taking care for living things and loads of other skills that will be useful forever. Growing plants is science!

This Easter My Fairy Garden had the idea to create a beautiful Easter Basket and one of my readers can win all the sets they need to fill one for themselves. The prize includes a Fairy Picnic Basket, Fairy Watering Can, Fairy Flower Pot and Magic Bean Pot (basket, cellophane, ribbon, flowers and chicks not included in prize)...

Stealth Untamed Raptor from Fingerlings: Animated Dinosaur review! (5+)

Fingerlings are awesome, but Fingerlings have evolved and Untamed Raptors have an extra, more ferocious dimension. They caught my attention and will appeal to a huge range of children - they're dinosaurs! We've been sent Stealth to review and he doesn't disappoint.

Your Velociraptor takes a couple of minutes to open, and you may benefit from scissors because he's held in place by a plastic band around his body. Batteries are included, so once unleashed he's ready to go - just switch him on!

My Little Sous-Chef Parent And Child Tandem Cookery Books Review & Giveaway

Today I'm delighted to be taking part in the My Little Sous-Chef Blog Book Tour. I'm the second blog in the tour, check out the list towards the bottom to find the rest. As it's Easter, we took one of the recipes and added a little Easter twist....

My Little Sous-Chef is a brand new cookery book release from Caterina Falqui, Francesca Grassi and Laura Pantaleone. Completely unlike other cookery books, My Little Sous-Chef is actually two books.

One book is for children and the other is for their grown ups. Both books have exactly the same recipes, but one has all the boring stuff like oven temperatures, and the other focuses more on those tasks that children can take charge of.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Molang Soft Toy Review and Bundle Giveaway for Tomy (age 3+)

Molang is an incredibly popular TV series and this Easter Tomy have released a range of incredibly soft and cuddly toys based on the two characters on the show - Molang himself and Piu Piu. What ciould be more perfect? Prices start at £5.99rrp and these Easter bunnies and chicks last so much longer than chocolate...

We've been sent some of the soft toys for review, and one of my readers can win this entire bundle for themselves too!

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

When I Dream by Chris Darsarkalis Family Game Review (age 8+)

When I Dream is an interesting and unique take on an old tried and tested favourite, and it works very well. A family game for 4 to 10 players aged around 8+, players guess the words that are being described, but then must also weave them into a dream and try to remember as many as possible to score more points.

When I Dream is a beautifully illustrated game with characters and pictures which remind me of the original Grimm fairy stories. Played mainly with a large deck of cards, it's almost a shame that you don't see them for longer! As well as the 110 double-ended and double-sided Dream Cards (4 items per card), there are 11 Dream Spirit Cards, 104 point tokens, bed and headboard, game board, sleep mask, sand timer and rulebook.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Easter Holiday Family Activities in the NorthWest UK

Covering Manchester, Liverpool, Chester, St Helens and the Northwest UK. There are some great events and activities for families in the Northwest this Easter holiday, here are just a few of the museum and theatre productions that you can go to see. Manchester and other Northwest schools mainly break up on Maundy Thursday, so most events take place in the first 2 weeks of April.

Don't forget your local library and museum - most have special events or storytime and very often it is free.  As ever, if you want me to add your event, send me an email!

The Lowry, Salford Quays: Coming Of Age Festival

Until Monday 28 May
The Lowry arts centre in Salford celebrates its 18th birthday in 2018 and will mark the milestone through its biennial Week 53 festival, which will have a ‘Coming of Age’ theme and includes 66 contemporary art, dance, drama and spoken word performances by more than 130 artists from seven countries.
Some elements of the programme are free of change and those that are ticketed are set-priced at £10 or £20. For all ticketed performances there will be an allocation of ‘Pay What You Decide’ seats available both in advance and on the door – to encourage audiences to ‘try something new’.
Find out more on the website:
Tickets: Free, £10, £20 and ‘Pay What You Decide’

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Tech Deck is back! (age 6+) Review For Spin Master

Tech Deck are a long-standing toy in my house. 96mm Fingerboards that look as good as the full sized skateboards, with designs from genuine brands and which you can customise in a variety of ways. You can also use them to perform tricks just like a real board - but in miniature and with fewer grazed elbows.

It was around 15 years ago that my eldest boys started playing with Tech Deck and they may have been away for a while, but over that time these tiny replica skateboards have barely changed in construction, although the design is very different.

We've been sent 3 of the new Tech Deck sets to review - the Sk8shop Bonus Pack, Single Board Pack and a Classic Series pack. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

A Mutant Plasma Orb Christmas by Nick Patrice Book Review (age 7+)

A Mutant Plasma Orb Christmas is a recent release from author Nick Patrice. A funny and mainly light-hearted story for independent readers aged around 7+, It does have a slightly deeper side and doesn't tread heavily over children's emotions and fears.

The story centres on Freddie - big brother to 4 year old twins and living in an old, draughty house with his long-suffering Mum and his Dad. Life is hard and relationships are tense. In contrast his best friend Clive lives in a sparkling new house with all of the modern gadgets and a seemingly blessed life.

Toy of the moment are Mutant Plasma Orbs, small rechargable balls which contain little characters. Freddie's are left out in the rain, fixed by Clive's Dad the Professor, only to then suffer an accident involving Nectar Pop. Freddie's world suddenly becomes a lot more interesting...

Monday, 19 March 2018

Sophie La Girafe MSF Award Teething Gift Set Giveaway (2 Winners)

I don't usually cover products for babies, but for Sophie La Girafe I'll make an exception. She's been around since 1961 and has soothed over 50 million babies.  This year for every special Sophie MSF Award Set sold, they are collaborating with Medecins San Frontieres to provide 3 Measles vaccines to children who wouldn't otherwise have access to immunisation.

I'm a huge advocate for vaccinations, there is no doubt that they have saved many thousands of lives and are the safest option for your child. Measles is a particularly nasty disease which can cause pneumonia, brain damage, deafness and even death. Around 1/4 of children under 5 who catch Measles will need to be treated in hospital*. Sophie's collaboration with Medecins San Frontieres will take vaccinations to children who very often would not be able to access medical care if they did catch Measles.

Hopeless Heroes Blog Book Tour - Independent Readers aged 7+

I'm delighted today to be taking part in the Hopeless Heroes Blog Tour with Sweet Cherry Piublishing and answer some Hopeless Heroes themed questions!

Written by Stella Tarakson, the Hopeless Heroes series of fiction books are ideal for newer independent readers aged around 7+. Lively and funny stories with witty, monochrome illustrations, they are modern with a huge twist of history...

The Hopeless Heroes series star a young boy named Tim. Tim lives with his Mum in a regular house in a regular street, and then one day he breaks a vase. This is no ordinary vase however, it's from Ancient Greece, and when it breaks it releases Hercules!

Having Hercules around certainly livens up Tim's world, as well as giving him company when his Mum is at work. It's actually a lot of fun and Hercules turns out to be very useful - although he is not the only Ancient Greek to make it to our modern world, and some of them aren't here just to hang out peacefully with Tim.

We've already read the first 2 books in the series, Here Comes Hercules! and Hera's Terrible Trap! and I gave my readers a sneak peek in a previous Hopeless Heroes post.

Without any more rambling, here are my answers to the Hopeless Heroes related questions...

Saturday, 17 March 2018

How to solve a smelly washing machine with Dr Beckmann.

I have been a regular user of Dr Beckmann's cleaning products for almost 30 years now. Reliable and easy to use laundry and appliance cleaners that have stood the test of time, and cost very little.

Dr Beckmann also have an excellent database of washing and cleaning information on their website, including answers to the questions they are most commonly asked, and a fantastic Stain Clinic which should be able to advise you on anything you can possibly spill down your shirt.

I've been asked to share one of the questions that Dr Beckmann are asked very often, and it's one that I think everyone who owns a washing machine has definitely wondered at some point...:

Q. “My washing machine is beginning to smell, what can I do?”

Friday, 16 March 2018

Celtic Herbal Natural Handmade Skin Care Review and Spring Giveaway

Celtic Herbal are a Welsh company who hand create luxury skincare and other products using carefully extracted botanical oils and natural ingredients. They don't test on animals and their products don't contain sulphates, parabens, chemical preservatives or petroleum or palm oil. Good for you and good for the environment. Perfect pampering for your skin as we approach Spring and start stripping off the layers...

Celtic Herbal sent me some of their gorgeously indulgent products to try out, and they have also offered a giveaway prize for one of my readers.

I was sent the Wellness Gift Box and it's gorgeously presented in a very smart box. An excellent present that makes you feel spoilt before you even undo the ribbon. Inside the box doesn't disappoint, 4 beautiful products - the Exotic Wood & Ylang Ylang Soap, Bath Salts, Bath Oil and a Travel Candle.

Scholastic Books Spring Bundle Giveaway & #KeepReading Competition!

World Book Day may have been delayed all over the country due to snow, but Scholastic were on time in releasing their special World Book Day Book Club catalogue. Including over 400 carefully chosen books from more than 70 different publishers and a host of amazing authors, the price of  everything in the World Book Day Club catalogue is also heavily discounted by as much as 70%.

To help promote the Spring catalogue and celebrate World Book Day, Scholastic have a fabulous #KeepReading competition with a chance to win £30 of books for your child AND their school or nursery. Scholastic are inviting children to send in a video or written review of a book that they have recently enjoyed. There are three different age categories, 0-6, 7-11 and 11+, with one prize for each category. It doesn't have to be professional, and it doesn't have to be a particular book - but it does have to be the child's review, not yours!

To enter the review competition, share your child's book review with Scholastic on social media. State which age category you are in, use the hashtag #KeepReading and tag @ScholasticUK and @WorldBookDayUK 

The three winners will be able to choose £30 worth of books for themselves and nominate their chosen school or nursery to receive a £30 credit to their Scholastic account, which can be exchanged for free books. Entries need to be received by midnight on Thursday 29th March 2018.

Scholastic have also offered one of my readers an awesome bundle of books from the World Book Day Book Club, and it seems only appropriate that I got my 8 and 9 year old boys to give their thoughts...

Thursday, 15 March 2018

43 Months #TBCSmiles

It's the 15th and time for this month's smiles. As usual you guys shared some belters. I think the snow was exhilarating for everyone and we all blew away a few cobwebs. I've never had so many outdoor photos - not even in mid Summer, and your snow photos made me miss it already and  hope we get it more often. Nice one to everyone who got a snowday, boo humbug to all the bosses and schools who didn't let some of you have a day to play too...

I was tempted to do a special Mother's Day 9 Smiles this month because there were so many family shots. It was lovely to see. Mother's Day is hard for so many people, for so many reasons. For every mother without a child, every child without a mother, every single parent doing 2 jobs and yet getting no card or day off, absent family and missing relations. It's one of the most bitter-sweet of annual events, a reminder as much of what we have, as what we have lost. I hope your day was a good one.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Badger And Crab's Adventure - Children's Book Review (age 7-9)

Badger And Crab's Adventure is the latest release from author Catherine Trimby. Recommended for independent readers aged around 7-9, it tells the story of an unlikely friendship and has a message about preserving and looking after our UK wildlife, rather than feeling we have a right to control it for our own amusement or gain.

The story is centred on a badger and a crab, who meet one night on the beach. It isn't Badger's usual haunt, but he answers a cry for help and finds himself in a whole new world of sand and wetness. They have a common enemy, humans, and when both face imminent danger, they have to come to each other's rescue to survive.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Fletter Game Review - Fast-Paced Tabletop Card Word Game For Age 8+

Our latest game review is the tabletop card game, Fletter. A quick fire word game for 2-4 players , using 110 specially designed cards. Fletter is easily portable and a great game for taking away with you. Recommended for age 8+, although the letter cards are also brilliant for younger family members to practise their spellings or even learn their letters.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

9 Great Books For 9 Year Olds - chosen by my 9 year old.

I'm often asked which books are good for children of various ages and I give my answers, but what does an actual 9 year old think? My own 9 year old is a voracious reader and it took him precisely 23 seconds to choose 9 of his favourite books - and here they are...

1.Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling
Everyone has heard of J.K.Rowling's student wizard and all of our children worked their way through the series of books with gusto. They are a fantastic natural progression with your child, as the books get longer, stories more complex and subject matter slightly more mature gradually from book 1 to 7.
My son says his favourite of the whole series is the 7th and final book, and he's read them all twice.

2. Nelly The Monster Sitter series by Kes Gray
There are several books featuring Nelly, a girl who has a part time job offering her services as a monster sitter. As you can imagine, looking after monsters isn't always the easiest job, but it's usually the funniest.

Nerf Nitro AeroFury Ramp Rage Review for Hasbro (age 5+)

We really like the Nerf Nitro car launchers and the AeroFury Ramp Rage is a very neat set with a compact battery-operated launcher, 2 beautiful foam cars and the all important ramp for launching your vehicles as high and as fast as possible.

Packaging is almost entirely card and recyclable. It's best to cut the straps with scissors and unboxing only takes a couple of minutes. You will need 4 x AA batteries which aren't included, so don't forget them if giving as a gift. Inside the box you have the launcher itself, 2 awesome camouflage cars and one big yellow ramp.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

100 years of the 4th Electoral Reform Act / International Women's Day 2018

100 years ago women were allowed to vote in UK elections legally for the first time. Only women over 30 with property worth at least £5 (or a husband with property worth £5) were allowed to vote, but it added over 8 million to the electoral roll (more than 5 million men aged over 21 were also allowed to vote for the first time).

Allowing another 13 million of the population to express their opinion was a giant leap and it was only another 10 years before voting rights were extended to the entire UK population over the age of 21. There are many flaws in our electoral system, but it's the best one we've got and the closest to democratic that will probably ever happen in our lifetime.

Women's Rights were fought and died for, and although I was born over 40 years later, we've come a long way. Manchester was the key location during the reformation of elections and the Suffragette movement, and there are masses of special events planned.

Here is a rundown of some of the things you can watch, talk about and get involved with in Manchester this week.

Manchester Museum Of Science And Industry

Contact Young Company celebrates the 100 year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act (1918) with She Bangs the Drums. Based on research at the People’s History Museum and will take place in the Museum of Science and Industry’s characteristic 1830 Warehouse as part of the city’s Wonder Women 2018 festival.
She Bangs the Drums will explore voices and stories from Manchester’s rich and radical past as a centre of protest, from the Suffragettes to the Chartists.
She Bangs the Drums takes place at the Museum of Science of Industry, Thu 8 Mar – Sun 11 Mar, at 12pm, 2pm and 7pm (Thursday & Friday) and 2pm and 7pm (Saturday & Sunday). Tickets are on sale now priced £13/£7 concessions via or by phone on 0161 274 600. Please note this show is for over 14s only.

Manchester, Pankhurst Centre

The heritage centre has information about the Pankhursts and the Suffragette movement and is open to the general public on Thursdays from 10-4 and on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month, 1-4pm.  Entry is free. For more information call on  0161 273 5673 or visit the website (Best to ring, the website is a touch out of date).

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Sphero Mini - the awesome App-Enabled Robotic Ball review

I'd seen Sphero Mini before, so I jumped at the opportunity to review. Sphero Mini App Enabled Robotic Ball is an amazing little table-tennis sized ball which is actually a very nippy little robot. You charge it, then control it and programme it, play games and guide it through obstacle courses or just drive around your table or room. It is tons of fun and we think it's awesome!

Sphero Mini is presented in a really smart plastic box which is great for storage and safekeeping afterwards. Inside you have your Sphero ball, USB charging cable, paper guide and a selection of gorgeous, brightly coloured obstacles. The Sphero Mini comes in a selection of 5 different, bright colours - great for knowing which is which if you have more than one!