Rail Safety With Network Rail And Thomas The Tank Engine

[AD] ‘Stop, look, listen, think before you cross the road.’

This is a road safely saying that was drummed into me as a child and I have passed this down to my own children over the years. Road safety of course is something of upmost importance and is taught to our children at home and in schools…but how many of you teach rail safety to your children?

As regular train users I am embarrassed to say that the limits of my teaching to the children have been to stand behind the yellow line on the platform and to move away from closing doors. I naively thought that this was all they really needed to know and never considered this of any great importance; and it looks like I’m not alone – a Mumsnet survey shows that only half of parents that were asked had spoken to their children about rail safety, compared to a wapping 94% that had spoken about road safety. 3 in 1 parents have never discussed rail safety with their children, even though 4 out of 5 of them think it should be spoken about and this seems to stem from parents not knowing how to start the conversation which resonated with a third of those asked.

If you really take time to think about this the dangers of the railway are just as great as those on the road and even if you do not live near a railway station or use a train regularly, teaching our little ones about rail safety is of upmost importance and the need for it to be taught at a very young age is so great as their learning can then be carried through into their teenage years.

As I said earlier a third of parents didn’t really know how to broach this subject and this is why Network Rail have got together with the lovable and familiar characters – Thomas And Friends to teach children how to stay safe.

For those of you familiar with Thomas And Friends he is a pretty cheeky character who is always up to mischief and my youngest two certainly have many of the same characteristics. Looking for fun rather than considering dangers that can be involved is something I always need to keep an eye on with them and I’m sure many of you have the same issues with your children.

‘Stay Safe With Thomas’ allows parents to approach the subject gently with their children, allowing them to learn in a fun an interactive way with their special book.

I turn to books to aid me in a whole host of subjects I find difficult to navigate, so having Thomas And Friends there showing children the dangers of not stopping at level crossing, standing to close to the platform and much more allowed me to broach these subjects where the children could put their self into Thomas and his friend’s shoes.

There is also a super handy checklist at the end of the book that can be referred back to time and time again to reinforce all those dangers they need to be keeping an eye out for.

As well as being able to purchase a paperback copy there is an easy to download electronic version which would be great to refer to when you are out and about and using the railway.

I would love to know how many of you already speak to your children about this or if it is something you will now consider engaging in.

Three Destinations To Plan To Visit Outside Of Europe

[AD] Do you have a bucket list of destinations you’d like to travel to in your lifetime? Although our travel plans may be on hold for a little while, there is nothing to stop you from planning your next getaway as soon as you’re allowed to hop on that plan again! If you’ve seen and done Europe why not take a look at venturing further afield?

There are countless locations that could be on your must-see list, so to help to choose where to go next, here are a few of my favourite destinations.

Get Dazzled In Dubai

Home to the worlds largest mall, tallest building and biggest flower arrangement, there is nothing dull about Dubai.

With so much on offer – glorious weather, beautiful beaches and stunning skyscrapers to name just a few – there is no doubt that the glitzy UAE emirates will enable you to make memories to last a lifetime.

Experience The Hustle And Bustle In Bangkok

If you’re looking for a lively location, Bangkok if the place to be. Thailand’s capital is bustling, so be prepared to get involved in the chaos immediately!

From awe-inspiring temples to vibrant street food markets, there is something to keep everyone occupied here. If you’d like a little bit more peace and quiet there is always the option to hop on a boat to get to the idyllic islands such as Ko Samui or Ko Tao.

Search For Different Animals In Sri Lanka

From surfing to so worshiping there is not much you can do in Sri Lanka. If you have a particular interest in animals we know that you will love nothing more than being able to visit the elephants in Pinnawala, or volunteer with the sea turtle sanctuaries in Kosgoda. When you’re there you can climb sacred mountains, enjoy a cup of tea on a picturesque plantation or simply relax on the beach on the south-east coast when its time to unwind.

Once you’ve planned all the day trips you’d love to go on, sights you’d like to see and restaurants you can’t wait to experience, there’s still one thing you need to tick off your holiday checklist – the mode of transport to get you to and from the airport comfortably.

If you are departing from an airport such as Gatwick, opt to travel during less busy times and pic up and off-peak return ticket. Not only will you benefit from a quieter carriage, but your fare may be cheaper too!

Which destination would you like to travel first?

Festive Fun At The London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum is always top of the list of the places my youngest two want to visit. The museum gives the children the chance to explore the history of the London transport system in a fun and hands-on way and is the only museum I have ever visited that I have to literally drag them out of kicking and screaming!

This weekend we had a very early start to experience their festive fun event before it opened to the public.

We walked into the museum and were hit with the sound of Christmas tunes that lead us to the beautiful Santa’s grotto tucked behind a huge London bus.

Snow covered branches were delicately drapped with pretty fairy lights and the little snow covered path lead you into the scandinavian inspired grotto full of sheepskin throws, cosy cushions and plenty of toys play with.

Inside the grotto we enjoyed a story time session with one of Santa’s super friendly elves whilst outside there was a crafting session taking place where we tried our hand at making some origami tree decorations they weren’t as easy as they looked!

After doing a little exploring of the museum and learning some interesting facts about bus tickets from the very knowledgeable staff we had worked up a bit of an appetite and made our way to have a scrumptious hot chocolate and some absolutey delicious waffles they I was extremely impressed with.

It was time to get our craft on again, this time by creating a candle light holder that Frankie really went to town with the decor on!

The highlight of the morning though was just about to happen when Santa made his way into the museum to greet the children.

He had a good chat with each and every child and asked my terrors if they thought they were on the ‘good list’. I admired the confidence in their answers but a few sideways looks were thrown my way in fear of me interrupting!

After all the christmassy excitement we spent a good while enjoying the museum and as usual had a pretty hard time getting the boys to leave, especially as we passed through the gift shop that was hugely tempting…even for me.

From beautiful train sets to london buses in many different guises to pretty snow globes and the most amazing tree decorations there is something for everyone and is a far cry from your usual museum gift shop.

The whole morning was the perfect mix of festive cheer, good food and automotive fun. I loved that it wasn’t your usual structured visit to Santa and instead he was wandering around and the children were free to go and say hi whenenver they were ready.

If you are still looking for somewhere for a Santa visit this year then this comes highly recommended from us.

*We were asked along to this event for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Monkey On A Plane Launch With Emirates 

Ever since the Emirates airline went up all those years ago I have promised myself a trip on them.

Time passes quickly and as with so many things in London, I push them to the back of the list due to my complacency of being lucky enough to live here.

With this in mind when I was asked along to the Emirates Aviation Experience for the launch of their exciting new book I was excited by the book launch and the chance to experience the airline in equal measures.

After a quick ride we arrived at North  Greenwich and made the short walk to the Aviation Experience where we were going to hear all about the fantastic new book launch of Monkey On The Plane.

Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre the dynamic duo behind this book have cleverly taken the ideas of a four year competition winner who’s brilliant ideas were picked to be turned into a real life  book that is perfect to spark the love of travel in any child.

The children got themselves super cosy on a selection of beanbags and listened intently to the adventures of Enrico the the monkey who was fed up with his boring life in the forest and was ready to take of on all kinds of exciting adventures.

Sarah and Philip kept the children engaged throughout with their brilliant storytelling and interactive activities that allowed them to try their hand at their own illustrations.

They were then able to get their own books signed by the authors whilst sitting inside a super cool replica A380.

The Aviation Experience is the perfect place to experience the trill of flying whist on terra firma.

As well as being able to sit onboard a plane the can climb inside the cockpit and try their hand at being a pilot, get up close to the Rolls-Royce engine, take in all the information in the interactive displays or climb on board on of the simulators that get you as close to flying a plane as possible.


Next up we were ready to take to the sky onboard the airline.

I have to say that although I really wanted to experience this I’m not the best with heights!

Sweating palms and shouting at the children to sit still and not even dare to stand up we slowly climbed to the top and made our way across the river.


Once I hit the top my nerves settled and I was able to enjoy the trip and point out all the famous landmarks to the children with the help of the onboard guide.

With thoughts of travel firmly in the little ones heads our journey home was spend reading their books and planning all the places they would like to visit themselves.

If you have a trip abroad planned soon or you just want your little one to have a little more knowledge of the wonderful world of travel then Monkey On The Plane is available to download ‘here’ .

I would love to know what you think.

Free Travel For 5-10’s With Oyster Photocard



I love to get out and about with my lot over the holidays and although letting them experience different things is wonderful they can come with a hefty price tag! 
I try my best to save money where I can so when I found out the children aged 5-10 can get free travel on the bus, tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services I was really pleased.

You simply need to fill out the online form and pay an initial £10 for the card which arrived for us in less than a week.

With a number of trips into London planned for us over the next few weeks this is going to be a real money saver and I’m sure it will be a bonus to many of you too.

Road Testing The UME One Pushchair

After five children and around eight pushchairs I would say I am a bit of buggy connoisseur.

I love the excitement of going into the store and picking out a sparkly new pram to transport your precious new cargo around in. 

The problem I always find is the big bulky prams are wonderful for your newborn but what you really need is something light weight and easy to put up and down when you are out and about.

When I was asked to try out the UME One pushchair I jumped at the chance as it was it seemed just perfect for number five.

This light weight buggy weighs a mere 6.5kg and is super easy to put down with its one hand fold mechanism.

  
There is a shoulder strap which is something I’ve never seen on a buggy before which makes it even easier to carry.

There is a more than spacious shopping basket and an additional zip pocket on the hood which is great for safely storing things you need easily to hand.

  
The extra large canopy is perfect for sun protection and coverage for a sleeping baby and the little spy hole in the top is perfect for keeping an eye on your precious cargo.

  
One of my favorite extras is the cup holder which always comes in handy for our much needed coffees!

The multi position recline allows for a comfortable sleep whist on your travels.

I always feel the best way to really get the feel for a buggy is to road test it – and what better way than a trip to Brighton.

  
Number four was more than happy to try it out and the Houdini in him couldn’t even try to escape due to the clever covering over the buckle.

  
The steering was a lot smoother than I expected for a stroller and it even made it through the dreaded pebbly beach challange!

  
I would highly recommend this if you are looking for a light weight, comfortable, stylish buggy as this has ticked all my boxes.

I was given this pushchair for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions.