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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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Child Safety Week

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews, Summer Holiday Essentials | Posted on 30-06-2014

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Last week was Child Safety Week, a week which I’m sure we all count as one of the most important. Keeping our children safe is our top priority as parents. We’ve had an array of safety products come through our front door recently, thanks in most part to our new role as ambassadors for Munckin Lindam. Here are our top picks from them, and other brands.

Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Bath: Bath times are great fun, but they do present a number of hazards, especially for babies. One of my biggest concerns at bath time is making sure Little Dude’s bath is the right temperature. This bath from Munchkin is perfect for ensuring that he always gets a safe comfortable bath. On the bottom of this super cute bath is a White Hot Safety Disc which changes colour depending on the temperature of the water. If its too hot it glows white so you know to add more cold water. The “tail” of the bath also makes a comfortable support to rest Little Dude against whilst we are holding him in the water. He loves this bath and splashes his little legs around whenever he’s in there. We keep it at Nana and Pops’ house as its ideal for use at grandparents and for holidays. My only complaint is that the bath taps don’t reach over the duck’s sides to fill it, so we had to use a jug which was a bit time consuming. I’m sure if you had a shower head on your bath taps you could use that for a faster filling. Overall a great fun safety product.

Lindam Adjustable Back Seat Mirror: I’ve found we go out and about much more with Little Dude than we did at this stage with Little Man. Packing them both into the car for trips to the grandparents, the shops, or the local National Trust doesn’t seem as hard as I expected it to and its a great way to keep Little Man entertained. For me its important that I can keep an eye on both children when they are in the back seat. Little Man is in a forward facing car seat behind the passenger seat so he’s pretty easy to watch. A quick look in the rear view mirror and I can generally spot what he’s up to. Little Dude is in his rear facing car seat behind the drivers seat so he’s altogether more difficult to watch. Lindam’s back seat mirror stops this being a problem however. The mirror is really easy to fit to the headrest of the seat and can be adjusted to ensure its angled correctly. From my seat I can now see Little Dude – generally sleeping to be honest – clearly. I love the size of this mirror – far bigger than others I’ve seen and the one we used with Little Man without being obtrusive.

NSA Travel Centre: What a beautiful summer we’re having so far. Who’d have thought it after all that rain and flooding earlier in the year. Glorious sunny days seem to be here for the long haul and we’re certainly making the most of them in the local park and running about in Nana and Pops’ garden. We’ll hopefully get to do the same in our own garden soon but it currently a building site! Little Man is clearly the one doing the running around in the garden, whilst Little Dude is invariably asleep or just chilling out. Keeping him cool and protected from the sun is of upmost importance, and the NSA Travel Centre does this job perfectly. Its a brilliant pop up tent – you can literally throw it and watch it pop up if you wish to – which provides UV protection as well as a comfortable place to sleep as it doubles as an approved travel cot. Super compact when not in use it can also be easily packed into a car for day trips and is light enough to carry with you to the local park as well. I love the included self inflating mattress which makes sure Little Dude is comfortable, and knowing that when the sides are zipped up he’s perfectly safe and protected from the sun, heat and any wildlife in the garden. I also plan to use this inside too, as a ball pit and somewhere to pop Little Dude safely when he starts moving about.

NSA Travel Centre

Review: Flexi Robots from Hawkins Bazaar

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews, Summer Holiday Essentials | Posted on 07-05-2013

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You may have noticed a new badge on my sidebar recently. Well I have become an “Official Hawkins Bazaar Blogger” which is really exciting for me. They have lots of great products in-store and online, and a lot of them are things you won’t find anywhere else. A great selling point for me. My first post for Hawkins Bazaar is a review of their Flexi Robots, who you may recognise from last years TV ads.

Available in six colours – pot luck which you get if ordered online however – these cute little wooden robots are perfect for small toddler hands. A simple design of wood and elastic, these figures can be moved into a range of positions by pushing their head, arms and legs into gaps in the wood. So simple, but so effective, these little figures kept my Little Man entertained for ages. At 12 cm tall they are a great compact toy. We received three from Hawkins Bazaar, and gave him one to play with. The other two are going to be put in the car for our journey to West Wales next week for our holiday amongst a selection of other travel toys and games. They are a great size to pop into your bag to keep kids amused when out and about, and they can even slip them into their own pockets or bags to carry themselves. I was really impressed with them, especially how they kept Little Man’s attention, but also their quality. A great pocket money wooden toy.

You can find Flexi Robots, Flexi Animals and the complete Hawkins Bazaar range online and at stores nationwide.

Travel: Cuties And Pals Luggage

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Holiday, Information, Product Reviews, Summer Holiday Essentials | Posted on 15-04-2013

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After a lovely burst of sun and warm weather this weekend summer is definitely on our minds, and we’re looking forward to a week away in May with my parents. We’re off to West Wales and we’re starting to think about what to take and how we’re going to fit it all in the car. The first thing we’ve been thinking about is luggage. We’re going to try not to take too much with us, but Little Man invariably needs all the clothes that fit him just in case. This year he’ll be using this luggage set from Cuties and Pals.

This is Peko The Penguin. Peko is one of the original members of the Cuties and Pals suitcase range. On the left you have a two wheel suitcase with an extendable handle so you, or your little one, can easily wheel it along after yourself. The suitcase has a 26.5 litre capacity making it plenty big enough for all your little ones things, and inside you’ll find one side has elasticated straps to hold things down, whilst the other has a large zip up section. This will be perfect for keeping clean and dirty items separate for the journey home again. The case is made from an ABS / Polycarbonated mix which gives them a hard glossy shell to protect your things but also to look pretty stylish too. On the right you have a small rucksack.  This is made from the same hard shell, but has a soft back so its comfortable for your little one to wear. It also has a grab handle for quick picking up, or for gentle steering from parents! Inside there are a selection of pockets and pouches to keep bits and pieces in.

Little Man was fascinated by Peko when this set came to our door. I’d barely got them out of the box when he was waving and saying “Hi” to them both, and proceeded to give them each a cuddle. We’ve tried to get him to wear numerous rucksacks before but he’s always resisted or taken it off within moments. He actually requested that Peko be put on his back and spent ages wandering about the house wearing it, as if he were giving it a guided tour.

I love the bags. They are compact in size yet have a great capacity, and the hard shell means there’s no danger of anything inside getting damaged. The suitcase is easy to wheel around, so easy in fact that Little Man has taken that too on several laps of the house. Mostly I love the design. There are a range of Cuties and Pals available – Dogs, Chicks, Ladybirds, Dinosaurs to name but a few –  but I think Peko is one of the cutest. The bags are just the right shape for a penguin, and despite the design being fairly simple its obvious what it is. I like how bold it looks too.

Of course if you can’t choose which little friend to get for your child you could always pre-order a London Sticker Bus. Due out later this year the bus has four wheels and is a more traditional square shaped case. It comes with stickers of all the characters making this a case which can be completely customised. The case also has an optional shoulder strap if you want to carry it, and it is hand luggage sized so is just the thing for a plane journey.

Make your way over to the Cuties and Pals website to find your little ones new friend and follow them on Twitter @CutiesAndPals for all the latest information.

Get Karting this Christmas

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas, Christmas Gift Guide, Days Out, Sponsored Posts, Summer Holiday Essentials | Posted on 07-12-2012

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As parents we’re always looking for things to keep our children entertained that doesn’t involve a TV, computer or games console. Getting them outside in the fresh air can be a mission, especially the older they get. Little Man is 2 and is fascinated by going outside for walks, or “Looking for cats” as we call it, and finds parks and woods a real treat. As he gets older though, I’m sure this will change and he’ll prefer to be attached to the latest games console. (Though I must admit that he does play a little too much Angry Birds now…)

If you are on the look out for a great gift this Christmas to get your children back outside and want something a little different to the usual bike, take a look at this Kids All Terrain Kart.

I only wish my Little Man was old enough to ride one!

The All Terrain Kart is designed for children aged 7-12 and is great for whizzing down hills on, using the rope to steer and hold on to – this rope is also very handy for dragging the kart back up the hill!!

Your children can also push themselves along on the level using their feet on either side of the kart. It comes with a handbrake and the back rest is adjustable depending on the size of your child and the position they want to ride in.

The kart arrives ready to be assembled, but this is a quick process using the tools and fixings provided. I imagine any child would love to help build this before taking it out for a spin. The kart comes with 12″ pneumatic wheels, just like you’d find on a mountain bike, so it really is suitable to use on all surfaces, including tarmac, grass and mud.

British made, the Kart’s low size means it will fit easily into most car boots so you can take it with you on days out or family holidays. You can also purchase a storage hook from the online store for hanging in a shed or garage when not in use. The store also sells a range of spare parts and stickers for the ultimate in customisation.

As you can see this is by no means a boys only item. It was tested out recently by the children you can see in the photos here, and the girl was a massive fan. The wearing of safety gear is of course essential when using the kart, but once your child is padded up its a great kart which will be used all year round. And whilst it does say that its aimed at children aged 7-12 no doubt you’ll have to pry Daddy off it too!

You can discover more on the All Terrain Kart at their website, where you’ll also find their well stocked online store.

 

Summer Holiday Essentials: Trunki Accessories

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Holiday, Product Reviews, Summer Holiday Essentials | Posted on 05-07-2012

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Every parent knows that Trunki’s are the ultimate suitcase for children when they go on holiday. Available in a range of colour, designs and characters the Trunki is the only choice when buying luggage for your children, but before you head off on holiday this summer check out their range of accessories too.

The Extras Pack is the perfect addition to any Trunki. It comes with:

A Tote Bag – this fits neatly inside your Trunki to keep toys or books separate. It comes with a carry handle and a shoulder strap, and there are two clips on the back which allow it to be attached to the pocket on the back of car seats or plane seats. We used this Tote Bag a lot on holiday as it was permanently fixed on the car seat in front of Little Man and loaded up with his favourite books. This made them easily accessible by us as we travelled to Devon, and when he’s a little bigger he’ll be able to reach them himself too.

A Purse – this cute purse is ideal for pocket money or spending money when on holiday. It can also be clipped onto belts, Trunki’s or other bags and rucksacks.

A Saddlebag – this bag fits over your Trunki allowing for a more comfortable ride for your little one, and has a handy squeaker inside so they can alert any passing pedestrians to their presence. It also makes a great bag for your little one to carry around, with lots of little pockets to stash their bits and pieces in.

Stickers – all children love stickers – Little Man certainly does – and the included stickers here allow you to decorate your Trunki if yours is a bit bare, and will no doubt find their way all over the place soon enough!

The Extra’s Pack is available in Pink or Blue and can be found at the Trunki online store.

Summer Holiday Essentials: Waterproofs

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews, Summer Holiday Essentials | Posted on 15-06-2012

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Sad isn’t it, that in a series on holiday essentials the need for waterproofs is there? Well I think we’ll all agree that after recent inclement weather that we could all do with a pair of these:
These Rain Trousers from Polarn O Pyret are perfect for when your little one decides they want to go out and about in all the puddles. They come with adjustable braces and elasticated straps for underneath their feet. They also have reflectors on the front and back in case you’re out walking in gloomy weather.

We got a pair of these in size 2-4 years for Little Man – he’s just 20 months – but we thought he can grow into them, and he’s really going to have to. If he wears them now he can’t see where he’s going as they are so long they cover his face – its quite a sight, believe me – but this winter these are going to be great for him, and they will go on to fit him for years to come, making them a great investment. They are so well made that even the most boisterous of boys – and to be honest its IS always the boys – won’t be able to damage them.

These trousers are available in Navy Blue or Poppy Red and are machine washable at 40. You can find them in store or online.

Summer Holiday Essentials: Travel Cutlery from Tum Tum Tots

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Holiday, Product Reviews, Summer Holiday Essentials | Posted on 14-06-2012

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When you’re out and about this summer – either on holiday or day trips – you would be advised to slip a set of Tum Tum Tots Travel Cutlery into your bag. Designed to make eating easier for little ones the cutlery is shaped to allow maximum food on them, and less falling off – even pesky peas! The knife is also a safe sharpness to make sure they don’t cut themselves but can still chop soft foods. Each set comes with a case to carry them around in so they don’t get lost, and also so you can transport them after use without messing up other things in your bag. Two designs are available – Ponies and Sheep – and each contains characters which can be mixed and matched by turning over the double-sided handles. You’ll also be pleased to hear that they are dishwasher safe!

Little Man loved using these when we were on holiday recently and they are perfectly sized for him. He enjoys independent eating and no longer wants any help at meal times – despite the mess! I keep a set of these in our changing bag now at all times so they are ready to use when we’re out in restaurants or at friends houses.

Tum Tum Tots Travel Sets are available now from their online store.

Summer Holiday Essentials: Protection

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews, Summer Holiday Essentials | Posted on 06-06-2012

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Good quality sun cream that is quick and easy to apply to wriggling children is what we all dream of isn’t it? When the sun is out protecting our children’s delicate skin is essential, but getting it on them is often tricky and they are generally left covered in a sticky cream which rubs off on clothes and furniture. I was looking for something easy to apply which dried quickly and provided great protection for my Little Man. Getting sun cream on him has become increasingly difficult as he’s gotten older, but I have found a great product that does the trick – Sudocrem Sunscreen Mousse.
Being a mousse its really easy to apply and it dries almost instantly. As well as providing SPF 50 sun protection it is also water proof and resistant to towel drying, and offers protection from irritation caused by salt, chlorine and wind burn, making it perfect for use on the beach or by the pool. Being Sudocrem you can also rely on it leaving your child’s skin in the best possible condition – soft and smooth, and able to breath as the mousse doesn’t block pores like cream.

We took this with us on holiday to Devon recently and it was great. I kept it in my bag when we went out and I was able to apply it really quickly. Little Man thought the mousse squirting out the pump was fascinating so was happy for me to cover him in it. We also used it at home during the recent heat wave and sunny fortnight. My Little Man’s skin has remained safe in the sun and has never had that greasy feel you tend to get with creams.

Sudocrem Sunscreen Mousse is available from all good Pharmacies.

Summer Holiday Essentials: Milk & Cereal Tshirt

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews, Summer Holiday Essentials | Posted on 31-05-2012

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If you after some fun and funky clothes for your children to take on their holidays this summer head over to Milk & Cereal and check out their range of bright and bold tshirts. Each design is hand printed on organic cotton so is gentle against your little ones skin and was designed by a team of graffiti artists in association with a Mum who was seeking something a “fresh and fun” for her children. Here’s some of my favourite designs:

I am a big fan of bright coloured clothes for my Little Man and he is a big fan of this tshirt. There’s always a smile on his face when I take it out of the drawer and he likes to give the cow a little wave before putting it on. The quality is excellent and it washes really well. I can see this being a part of Little Man’s wardrobe all summer long.

Check out the full Milk & Cereal range online.

 

Summer Holiday Essentials: Picos Pack Pacapod

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews, Summer Holiday Essentials | Posted on 23-05-2012

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Summer has FINALLY arrived and no doubt you’re all thinking about your holidays. Whether you’re staying at home, taking a UK break, or jetting off somewhere further afield it is essential to pack the right things for your little ones. This is the first in a series of “Summer Holiday Essentials” which I think will make your holidays that little bit easier.

A good changing bag is one of the most important purchases for any parent. I’ve featured a couple on my blog in the past year, but I was looking for something that was practical and would fit in with an outdoors lifestyle. Country walks, trips to National Trust Gardens, a day at the beach, visiting a theme park or farm – these are all activities you might be undertaking this summer. You still need to make sure you’ve got everything you need for your little one though, and that probably includes nappies, wipes, snacks, drinks, toys, books, and a hundred and one other items too. You need a bag that can hold all these things, and you need to be able to put your hands on them at a moments notice, ideally a few seconds before your little one requests them!

Our first ever changing bag was a black Pacapod, and it remains a favourite to this day – especially with my husband who isn’t a fan of my somewhat feminine Mia Tui bag.  We have found a new favourite in the Picos Pack from Pacapod.

This rucksack style changing bag is ideal for trips out where you are doing a lot of walking, or perhaps can’t take the pram in to attach your bag to, and are instead using a sling or carrier for your child.  We have used it a lot in recent months and it was indispensable on our recent holiday to Devon. As is a feature of all Pacapod changing bags, the Picos Pack comes with two internal “pods” – a feeder pod which is insulated and a changer pod with pockets and spaces for all your nappy changing needs.  There are also two external pockets to carry drinks bottles in, and a front zip pocket which can hold keys, wallets and other items. With the two pods inside the main bag there is still room for other bits to be slipped in – we took this bag to the Eden Project with us recently and packed it full of picnic food for four adults and a toddler, and there was just about room! It really is a tardis! Even better is that it survived a rather epic downpour whilst we were outside the Bio-domes, and came home unscathed.

What I love about Pacapods is that you can always go straight to whatever you need because everything has its own place, and your know that as long as your pods are full, that you’ve got everything you need. Toy Pods are available separately and can be used in exchange for one of the other pods, depending on your needs that day.

The full Pacapod range, including the brilliant Picos Pack, is available now from the Pacapod website.