PlayStation Family Showcase

Gaming is something that has never really grabbed my attention for any length of time and aside from playing Packman and Tetris when I was younger I have never really given it a lot of thought.

This however is the complete opposite for my eldest son who is an avid gamer and in fact has been trying to convince me for the last two years that gaming is a viable career and a path that he really wants to follow.

With this in mind when I got the invitation to Playstation’s Family Showcase I was hoping that they would open my eyes to something I know very little about.

Walking into the event at the cool and quirky Perseverance Works in East London the boys eyes lit up and neither of them new where to start first.

The whole area was set out into different sections with a huge variety of games to try your hand at, plenty of refreshments to keep you refulled and if you fancied a bit of a break from the screen time then there were lots of crafts to keep you busy and some yummy cupcakes to decorate with lovely Cookie Girl.

The boys quickly found the NBA 2K17 basketball game and sat together playing whist I grabbed a coffee and chatted to the hilarious Ellie from ‘Scummy Mummies’ who was there to host the event.

Archie seemed to quickly find his favourite games FIFA17 and the super cool Gran Truismo and settled down to challenge the experts that were walking round to help out with any tech questions…there were more than a few from me!

Frankie however was overwhelmed with the choice and flitted backwards and forwards between games such a the fabulous new Lego Ninago Movie game that really bought one of his favourite movies alive in front of his eyes, Marvel Superheroes that went down a treat as he got to play some of his favourite superheroes and Crash Bandicoot which was in fact one of the first games I ever bought Archie.

There were even two fantastic games – That’s You and Knowledge Of Powergames that allow the whole family play together with the use your smart phones or tablets to answer questions and really interact together that would make the perfect alternative to the usual board games this christmas!

Watching the boys play together and make new friends by joining up and using the two player option on the games really made me see gaming in a different light. I had always seen it as a solitary pastime that kept them very isolated when in fact games can help team building skills, make healthy competition and create social skills. All of these things I had never really considered before.

I think the boys christmas lists have certainly grown since this event and I would definitely advise any of you to check out some of the games I’ve mentioned as they would make super gifts for any gamers out there.

My First Scalextric:Review

Scalextric tracks are something that I remember fondly from my youth, in fact the first one was bought out in 1957…my memories don’t go that far back.

I never had one of my own but loved going to my cousins to challenge them to a race and spent hours watching the cars speeding round the track.

My eldest son still has a set that he is keeping well out of reach from his destructive little brothers, much to their annoyance.

When I was asked to review the My First Scalextric I had high hope for what the boys were going to think.

Their eyes lit up as soon as they saw they saw the brightly coloured packaging and they couldn’t wait to get inside.

Once opened the figure of eight style track was super easy to assemble which was very pleasing as the boys were itching to get started.

It didn’t take them long to pick up what they had to do and the adjustable hand controllers allow you to use variable speeds depending on the ability of the child. They are also colour matching with the track so they can easily know which car they are racing.

One of my less fond memories of Scalextric is the moment the cars come flying from the track just as you were in the lead. Thankfully they now use magnatration which has a strong magnetic force allowing the cars to keep better traction.

As well as being heaps of fun My First Scalextric helps to improve fine motor skills, manual dexterity, hand eye coordination and give them great practice in playing well as a pair which is much needed in this house!

With Christmas not to far away this would be a very welcomed gift under any tree.

*collaborated post

Baby Annabel Learns To Swim Doll Giveaway

I have always seen swimming as one of the most important skills for children to learn, it is a life skill as well as being great for exercise and obviously lots of fun.

This said taking those first steps into the pool can be a pretty daunting time and I know that for two of mine it took a lot of hard work and dedication to get them happy and relaxed with the water.

This is where the new Baby Annabel Learns To Swim Doll can come into play to help ease the transition from dry land to water.

Baby Annabel have teamed up with Olympic swimming champion Rebecca Adlington to create this brilliant doll that splashes, moves her arms and legs in water and floats on her back.

Here are a few of Rebecca’s top tips on how to get your little ones confident in the water:

Rebecca Adlington says: “Learning to swim is an important milestone, helping to instil confidence from an early age as well as being a really fun bonding experience between a parent and child. If your little one is nervous it can be a challenging process – expect plenty of tears and tantrums, however initial fears can be overcome by slowly building confidence and trust.”

Whether your child is an anxious swimmer or an excited water baby, Rebecca Adlington’s top tips will help turn your child into a little Olympian in no time –

• Children can be initially nervous of the water, baby steps and lots of praise will help them overcome a lack of confidence. Try taking them alone to just watch for the first time, then toes in next time and so on, along with lots of positive praise to help encourage them to take that first dip.

• Toys are a brilliant tool, they are such a good distraction for anyone who doesn’t normally like putting their face in the water or splashing. Toys such as the new Baby Annabell Learns to Swim doll are a great way to give children (and parents!) the courage to take those first steps towards swimming.

• Swimming is huge bonding experience. The learning process is a lot to do with trust and really builds a closer relationship between and parent and child. For this reason, try not to use your phone during lessons to avoid distractions.

• The younger you start swimming lessons the better. I took Summer from 3 weeks old. It is all about building confidence and awareness of the water from a young age. Swimming also helps with a child’s muscular development and is fantastic for understanding their physical abilities.

• Make good use of the equipment that’s there. Whether it’s armbands, noodles, or vests, use whatever your child is more comfortable with. I tend to do five minutes with floatation equipment and five without, this helps when they’re really young and still building confidence.

• Mix up who takes the child swimming. Whether its Mum, Dad, Grandparents etc. It’s good to go with someone they trust whilst getting used to swimming with different people.

If this sounds something your little ones would like them simply tell me in the comments below when Rebecca first took her daughter Summer swimming for your chance to WIN a doll of your very own.

Competition T’s and C’s –

The winner will be announced on 5th November 2017.

The prize is non refundable and is no cash alternative.

Ain’t No Party Like A Num Noms Party

Last Sunday we were up bright and early to catch the train into Shoreditch to celebrate the launch of Num Noms Series 4 at All Stars Lanes in Brick Lane.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Num Noms, they are basically a collection of super cool collectables that come in the shape of scented characters, lip glosses, nail varnishes and light up characters that can be stacked, raced and traded to your hearts content.

After trying out a collection of Series 3 Num Noms my guys were super excited to see what the new collection would have to offer!

We walked into the most spectacular party where there were literally Num Noms galore, from a whole play area dedicated to them, images of them all over the big screens and a creative area where the boys loved trying out the new nail polish maker.

This fab new toy allows you to make your own individual nail polish with scents such as strawberry and banana with a sprinkling of glitter if you fancy.

Im sure this is going to be on the top of many Christmas lists this year!

The fun didn’t stop there and we had after a game of bowling that was made pretty competitive by Izzy they tried their hand at icing some Num Nom inspired biscuits with the lovely people from Biscuitiers.

I was more than impressed with the level of concentration that was kept by my extremely active children and the results were pretty tasty too.

They then all headed off to get their faces painted while I got treated to a much needed manicure at the nail bar.

Suitabaly worn to from all the fun it was time for some lunch and a chat about what they had thought of the day.

They were on an absolute high from such a fantastic afternoon…probably a little to do with the pic’n’mix and yummy milkshakes too.

What I really love about Num Noms is the fact that even though they are branded more towards girls, my boys absolutely love playing with them alongside their sister who even after hitting high school this year is still very much a fan and has loved building her collection at home.

Do you have any Num Noms fans at home?

Bob The Builder Switch & Fix Bob:Review

Bob The Builder has graced our screens for many years now and all of my children have love to watch his adventures.

My youngest is a huge fan at the moment so when we were asked to try out the new Switch & Fix Bob I know that he would be the perfect tester.

I love a toy that allows children to use their imagination to its full potential and Switch and Fix Bob did just this.

The cheery looking Bob comes kitted out with everything he needs to do what he does best.

He is suitable for children aged 3+ and is available for RRP £19.99.

His trusty tool belt holds a jackhammer, saw and auger drill bit that rotates until you come across the bit that you need for the job simply by pressing down on Bob’s safety helmet.

 Once the bit is selected another press on this hat will release the bit so he is ready to get on with the job at hand. it also activates flashing lights and familiar phrases from the show that made Oscar’s face light up as soon as he heard them.

Each bit is translucent so once it is attached to Bob’s drill and pressed against a firm surface it lights up and makes construction sounds just like the real thing.

Oscar had a brilliant time selecting the right tool for the job and moving around the house and garden pretending to sort all those little jobs that Daddy hasn’t got around to doing!

As I said earlier this toy is great for imaginative play, helps with the development of fine motor skills by switching around the drill bits and allows you to have a talk though the importance of safety around real tools with the clever addition of a safety visor for Bob to wear.


Bob kept Oscar engaged for a good while and the set up is simple so its a toy he can easy go to for independent play whenever he feels like it.

He was a real hit in our house and I would love to know if this is a toy your little ones would enjoy?

*We were given this toy for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions.

 

 

Bratz Instapets Review

As with everything toys have to move with the times and Bratz dolls have always been at the top of the trends.

Over the past year we have been lucky enough to try out the Bratz Remix Doll and the Festival Vibes Doll.

Both of these dolls have kept their quirky design with the addition of fun, current themes.

We were asked to try out Jade from the new Instapets range and I knew my social media loving daughter would love everything about this doll.

Jade and the other girls from the range have a kawaii theme behind them which is something that originates from Japanese popular culture and in simple terms means ‘cute’.

Jade comes with her cute purple fluffy jumper to match her cat, a funky leather skirt and spiked boots.

She also has plenty of accessories to change up her outfit such as cat shaped earnings and cat eye sunglasses that are perfect to get her ‘insta ready’.

They encourage you to get some snaps with your own pet and upload them to Instagram which was the favourite part for number three.

We spent ages styling her hair and changing around her accessories to get her ready for the camera.


I think there will be another doll firmly on the Christmas list this year!  

*we were given this doll for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions. 

Num Noms #UnBoxingDay

Boxing Day is here and what better way to celebrate than by unboxing the brand new third series of the super cute Num Noms.

These super cute characters are interchangeable characters that you can have fun mixing and matching as you please to create your own flavour combination.

The ‘Nums’ are the squishy outer shell and the ‘Noms’ are the harder ones that are filled with lipgloss or light up.

I wasn’t to sure who they would be most aimed for in this house but number three had to fight with the boys over them as the cute creatures were loved by everyone.

In the new series it was hard to chose a favourite from the huge range.

One of our favourites was the Peyton Peppermint which was very Christmassy!

The boys favourites were the light up Noms with the cherry coming out on top.

Number three spent ages stacking, mixing and of course trying out each and every lipgloss.

Straw-Nana was a hit but the Cucumber Melon not so!
The series came in a great reusable package that makes keeping them together a lot easier.

These little cuties have been a huge hit in this house and I would love to find out what your favourites are.

*we were given these toys for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions 

Mr Tumble Spotty Bag And Interactive Toy Review


There is not a child I know that hasn’t at some point had a love for Mr Tumble.

His bright, engaging character has had all of mine glued to the TV screen and is currently number five’s absolute favourite.

When we were asked to try out a couple of toys from the new collection I knew he would be more than happy to give them a try.

One of the things that Mr Tumble is notorious for is his spotty bag.

This scaled down bag with adjustable straps is perfect to sit on little shoulders and with its bright colours and different textured materials it works perfectly to stimulate their senses.

Inside there are five cards with Makaton signs that he has loved to try and create himself.


The next toy we tried out was the Mr Tumble with fun tumble tap.


This cuddly, soft Mr Tumble has the tumble tap to hand at all times which comes with five different icons that show some of his favourite phrases.

Number five’s face lit up each time he came across a new phrase and soon started to mimick the familiar words.


As well as this he sings two songs which we all ended up joining in with whilst he cute red nose lit up.


Both of these toys were a real hit and I love that as well as being a familiar face from the TV they help with building his knowledge of touch, sound recognition and dexterity.

We are now looking to see what else we can add from the range.

Are your little ones fans of Mr Tumble?

Baby Born:Not Just For Girls

Our house has been full of dolls for years now and they have by no means been just for the girls.

All of the boys at some point have loved looking after a dolly and I actively encourage this.

For me a toy that encourages a child to nurture, love and show empathy is a huge winner in my books and hope that it can help my boys grow into kind and caring fathers themselves in the future.

When I was asked to review the Baby Born Interactive Happy Birthday Doll I knew that number five would be more than happy to help me try her out.


I was actually shocked to find out that Baby Born was celebrating her 25th birthday, and I have to say she’s looking pretty good for her age!

This doll comes complete with a pretty party dress, party hat and plates and cups to help her celebrate.

Number five didn’t know where to start and after giving her a cuddle he set to pacifying her with the dummy.


All settled he decided it was time for some food and drink. Yes this clever baby can be fed with the little porridge sachet provided and given a drink of water from her special bottle.


He was complete amazed at the fact he was allowed to feed his baby real food but even more taken when from the push of a belly button he could see it all coming out the other end!


After a long time of feeding and changing I decided to see how the real tears worked.

After a few presses of her right arm the tears came flowing from her eyes and number five was way more upset than I was expecting.


To say this doll was a hit would be an understatement. He has randomly named her ‘Sue’ and she has not left his side since he first opened her.

This would make a wonderful present for girls and boys alike and this birthday edition offers that something a little bit different.
*we were given this doll for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions.

Big Thank You To Buggies And Bikes

  

As some of you know blogging is a new thing to me.  I have only been doing it for the past couple of months and I am falling I love with my blog and all the fantastic things that come with being a blogger more than I ever thought I would.

I have had a love for social media for many years and was always putting up posts of my family and everything we get up to.  I was getting several emails a day from friends asking advice on days out and things to do with little ones; so with a push from my lovely sister my journey has begun and I’m loving every minute of it.

One of the most refreshing things I have found about blogging is the fantastic people you meet online.  I have been chatting on Twitter to the lovely Buggiesandbikes.net about my larger than life family and her experiences as a shop owner and childminder for the past fourteen years.  We can relate to the struggles of mealtimes and clearing up!!

Their fabulously different toy shop in East London offers a diverse range of toys, clothes and toiletries to name but a few.  I am planning a trip there in next few weeks whilst visiting the Museum Of Childhood.  I can then take everything in first hand and say a big thank you for the lovely handcream gift that popped through my front door the other day.

  

I was so happy when the little brown parcel hit the doormat.  I felt like a little kid on their birthday!  The joy of opening it was handed over to number four as he was tugging at my top pleading to open it.  Once open the wonderful lavender smell hit me and once applied to my hands the fragrance lasted for hours.  

We live nearby some beautiful lavender fields and when my daugher came in from school the scent caught her and she asked if I had been there that day!

I was so impressed with the handcream I had a look on soothe-me.com and found they had an extensive range of fabulous products that would be great for all the family.  They have a section dedicated to eczema suffers; so with my husband and two youngest boys being suffers I will most certainly be purchasing some products to try out on them.

  

I’m at the start of this exciting journey and have already made some lovely online friends and tried some beautiful products.  I’m looking forward to each day and what it brings.