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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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Celebrate World Book Day With Autumn Publishing’s New Range

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Book Review, Competition, Product Reviews | Posted on 01-03-2012

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For an almost 17 month old Little Boy my son owns an alarming number of books. We are keen for books to pay a big part in his life, as well as the inevitable geeky toys and gadgetry. I’m always on the look out for good quality board books for him, or books for the future which I store in a box in the office. This World Book Day I would like to point you all in the direction of Autumn Publishing, and their new range of books where you’ll find something for children from 12months to 8years.

12 months +
Ideal first books are buggy books – board books which come with an elasticated strap and loop which can be fixed to a pram, a car seat or even the side of a cot. In association with Fisher Price, Autumn Publishing have two great buggy books which are beautifully sized for little hands. “My 123 Buggy Book” explores the world of animals with each of the pages showing a different number of animals. “My Animal Friends Book” contains more brightly coloured animal pictures from the usual birds and elephants to the less commonly used iguana. I love these buggy books because it means we can continue my Little Man’s love of books on the go!

If you’re looking for something a bit bigger for your little one to read whilst at home there is also a range of bigger Fisher Price books available, all containing the same characters from the board books. Four titles are available in this mini-series. “Roar” – which explores the noises animals make, “Where Do You Live?” – which as the title suggests looks at animals natural habitats, “4 Fluffy Ducks” – which looks at counting again, and “My First Colours” – which encourages counting and colour recognition. Unlike normal books this series has a shaped top which I think makes them more appealing and holdable to young children. As soon as this range left the box my Little Man was sat on the floor flipping through the pages – a bookworm in the making!

3 years +
For slightly older children Fisher Price returns once more with an amazing series of educational books that look great fun. The idea is to make learning fun, and I personally can’t wait until my Little Man is old enough to use these. A series of six titles are available and each contains progress charts, stickers and fun brightly coloured activities to encourage your child to learn, but also to enjoy themselves at the same time. Each book contains the same 5 characters – Maggie, Eddie, Sarah-Lynn, Sonya-Lee and Michael as they join your child in the world of learning. Titles include “Colours & Shapes”, “Numbers”, “Letters”, “Phonics”,  “Writing” and “Tell The Time”. These titles would make a great gift to set your little one on the road to learning.

For fun activities the “Fluffy Friends” range provides colouring in, puzzles and each book comes with over 100 stickers. Each book in the series follows the same pattern and design centred around a different animal – Kittens, Bunnies, Puppies and Ponies.

I have a complete set of these books to give away to one lucky reader!! For a chance to win all you need to do is tweet the following:

“I Want To #WinFluffyFriends With @AutPublishing and @SussexMummy”

The competition will close at 8pm on Friday March 9th and the lucky winner will be notified as soon as possible after that.

6 years +
These two books are perfect for your little one who has just started school.

“My First Atlas” helps them explore the countries of the world by telling them fascinating facts and providing brightly coloured detailed pictures. You learn about animals, industry, history, geography, weather and population in a fun and easy to read form. Each page also has a small globe at the top to show you where in world that country is!

“My First Encyclopaedia” introduces them to the the world around them. There are sections on history, the human body, space, the weather and so much more. The information is laid out in a clean and interesting manner to ensure your child’s attention is kept, and it will give them a great head start on topics they’ll cover in much greater detail later on.

Both titles include a special eight page section on the UK so they can learn more about the country in which they live, its history, its residents and its geography.

All the books featured above are available direct from the Autumn Publishing website and range in price from £2.99 to £6.99

Have a great World Book Day!!

Christmas Gift Guide: Innovative Products… and a competition!

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas Gift Guide, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 07-12-2011

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I love finding new products for my Little Man, or for me. Its great to discover products that make you say “Why didn’t I think of that?” and wonder how you ever coped before. Here is a selection of my recent finds, all of which deserve a place under your Christmas tree this year.

Bundle Bean
I’ve never been particularly impressed with cosy toes. The idea is great but they become a bit of a faff to put on to your buggy, and I find if I just leave them on all the time you can’t fold your pram properly. Suddenly the day warms up and your little one is left sweltering in a fleece-lined pocket and it all gets a bit much. Bring in the Bundle Bean!! Dubbed the “5-in-1 waterproof fleece blanket” I know for a fact that the genius designer of this product thinks this is closer to 105-in-1. There is so much you can do with this clever, yet fairly simple, item.

A short zip along either side at the bottom cause the blanket to gather up meaning it fits snuggly to the base of your pram, and then the top corners are secured using two elasticated straps and velcro. I like to secure mine fairly high up on my pushchair so my Little Man is all cosy and warm. It takes seconds to fit, and should the weather suddenly become hot (fat chance!) or you go inside a warm shop (more likely) you can whip it off again without any effort. Just today my Little Man dozed off under his cosy blanket as we went Christmas shopping – and who can blame him?

As well as fitting pushchairs, the Bundle Bean also fits (using the same zip method) to children’s seats on adult bikes, car seats, forward facing carriers (note the pockets on the front for your hands!) and can be used as a picnic blanket when fully unzipped. We’ve also tested it out on our framed back carrier and it fit that too – I’ll try and remember to take a photo of it next time we use it (oops!)

Bundle Beans are available direct from their website and comes in three colours – blue, black and pink. Look out for new colours being added to the range next year.

 

Buggy Guard Pram Lock
Do you ever go out with your little one in their buggy and decide to go into a cafe for lunch, only to discover the cafe isn’t big enough for your buggy aswell? How about when you go on the school run, or take your little one to nursery? What about when you’re at a theme park and you want to go on a ride, but you can’t take your buggy on? Or at the zoo? Wouldn’t it be great if you could leave your buggy unattended for half an hour or so and know for a fact that it will still be there when you get back? The Buggy Guard Pram Lock gives you security and peace of mind, and it looks rather cute too!

Yes this cute little chap – also available in other great animal designs – will stand guard and protect your buggy from would-be thieves. No really! The buggy guard comes with a four feet long cable that you can loop around your buggy and then to a railing, a row of other buggies, or any stationary object. To unlock your buggy guard just use the number code which you can set very easily yourself. You can even write your little ones name on the bow tie of the animal so they know which one is there’s.

We used the buggy guard recently at Drusillas Park. There is a buggy park for when you go and ride on the Thomas The Tank Engine Steam Train, but its not very secure. We attached our buggy to the railings using our buggy guard and it meant that we could all ride the train, instead of one parent being left behind.

Details of where to buy Buggy Guards are available on their website.

 

Sleep Tight Genius Soother Holder
Now I must admit when I first saw this I was a little sceptical but I am thrilled to have been proved wrong. This soother holder fits through a hole in the specially designed cot sheet and is secured there with a short strap, fixed to a longer strap which loops around the mattress. You attach your little ones dummy to the holder and they can always find it, and there won’t be a permanent pile of dummies underneath the cot or randomly around the floor! My Little Man was dreadful for throwing his dummy around at night. We moved his cot out of his room once and found six beneath it – I didn’t even realise we owned that many dummies! The soother holder doesn’t come with a dummy meaning that parents can use whichever brand baby is familiar with.

We’ve been using the Sleep Tight Genius Soother Holder now for a couple of months. To start with it was just used to keep the dummy securely in the cot, but now when you put Little Man to bed he wriggles up the cot, pops his dummy in himself, settles down and goes to sleep. Every night. Now I wish I could provide you with a video of him doing this as its so cute, but I’m sure you’ll appreciate that distracting him when he’s going to be isn’t something I’m keen to do. I am going to try and get a photo of the holder in action during one of his daytime naps but again there’s the distraction factor. If you go to the website – linked below – you can see adorable YouTube footage of the soother holder in action. I highly recommend you take a look.

The Sleep Tight Genius Soother Holder is one of my favourite finds. Dummies are only used in our house at nap and bed time but Hubby and I grew weary of constantly scrabbling around on the floor trying to find them all and often having none clean to use. The holder has ensured that this doesn’t happen any more, but has also give Little Man a bit of independence at bed time. It is funny when we check on him before we go to bed and find him in a selection of bizarre sleep positions, but with his dummy firmly in his mouth. I’m not sure if its helping him sleep – he’s pretty much always been a good sleeper – but it certainly makes all our lives a little bit easier, and that’s all we can really ask for!

Sleep TIght Genius Soother Holder’s are available direct from their website in a range of colours and sizes to fit all cots.

You can WIN your very own Sleep Tight Genius Soother Holder by entering my competition – click HERE for more!