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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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Review: Wipe Easy Oil Cloth

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 16-08-2013

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Oilcloth is one of those materials that has a hundred and one uses. We were recently sent a huge roll of it by Wipe Easy who primarily sell it as tablecloths. This is a perfect use for it if you have children as it cleans up really fast and protects your table from messy eaters. What I was asked to do was show other uses for it. We came up with one or two fairly traditional uses for it as you can see here.

uses for oil cloth collage / high chair / potty / desk

 

Under high chairs to protect the carpet, beneath Little Man’s desk where he tends to draw, crayon and snack, and beneath his potty. We’ve been potty training for the last few weeks and sometimes Little Man’s wee’s go sideways instead of down!

My super talented friend Katherine – of Katherine’s Cosy Creations – make this gorgeous shoulder bag for me using oilcloth and a really pretty lining. She even made it that the bag was reversible so I can have the oilcloth on the inside which is great if I’m carrying Little Man’s drink or snacks around. Please do let Katherine know what you think of this bag – she’s more than willing to make more of them!

Finally I set up a Pinterest board for Oilcloth Ideas. I’ve put a few of my favourites on there but I’m sure you can all suggest many more ways to use oilcloth. I particularly like the Picnic Place Mats with Cutlery Pockets on them – a great idea when you’re out and about and so easy to roll and store. I’m sure if I ask Katherine nicely she can whip a few up for me!

Wipe Easy sell their oilcloth in a wide range of patterns and in a variety of sizes. You’re bound to find something which fits in with your home decor or that you could make into something for yourself or your children. I’d love to know what you get up to!

Review: PlayFoam from Learning Resources

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 31-05-2013

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We were recently sent some Playfoam to review by the team at Learning Resources, in association with Blog Match. I must admit that the main thing that appealed to me with this was the claim that it wouldn’t stick to anything but itself. We don’t do a great deal of messy play in our house – Little Man isn’t very keen on being dirty – but we do play with Playdoh and do a bit of painting. He’s also played with homemade moon sand. My main objections to these items are the mess they make. I am cursed with cream carpets in every room of the house, so before any messy play can begin floors and surfaces have to be covered with old newspaper and mats to protect everything. More often than not I spend more time setting up messy play then Little Man actually spends participating in it! Playfoam claims to be “…completely mess free, it does not stick to hands, clothes or carpet” so to me, and to Little Man, it seemed the ideal product.

Little Man was immediately drawn to it because of the bright colours. He started poking the packaging and wanted the foam out pretty much as soon as I’d opened it. I handed him one of the coloured lumps of Playfoam and he sat down on the floor and started prodding it. Its like lots of little polystyrene balls and stuck together. Within minutes balls were falling off – or being “helped” by Little Man – and landing on the floor which was a bit disappointing BUT it wasn’t sticking to the carpet. Even when Little Man dropped the whole thing on the floor and squashed it flat it didn’t stick, and when I picked it up again the foam wasn’t covered in fluff. My main problem with the Playfoam is that the tiny balls do come apart a bit when its being used and tend to scatter. Moulding and playing with the foam seems to make it more stable so the balls don’t scatter as much, but there is definitely going to be some clean up involved.

What I do love about the Playfoam is that it doesn’t dry out. Playdoh tends to crust over pretty quickly if its left out of the pot, but we left some Playfoam on the side for ages and it never got any drier or crusty. It genuinely can be used again and again and again. It moulds really easily and Little Man seems to enjoy squashing it in his hands and shaping it.

Learning Resources is running a competition over on their Facebook page to win a combo pack of Playfoam, just like the one above. Get over there and enter before June 7th to be in with a chance.

 

Guest Post: 5 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Weekend With Your Kids

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Guest Post, Home & Lifestyle | Posted on 29-05-2013

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For many parents, the pressures of working life during the week means that the days seem to fly by without having enough time to really enjoy being with the kids. This is why it is essential to make the most of free time at the weekends and to have as much shared time as you can.

Of course, it can be tempting to get other things done that you need to do and let’s face it – there’s never enough time to strike everything off of that list. But it really is essential to make sure that the real joys of family life don’t get lost in the rush to fit everything else in.

Juggling simple things like doing the weekly shopping and trying to have a few moments to yourself can be difficult to fit into the time you have but the really important thing is to enjoy family life for all it has to offer.

So here are five ways to make the most of your weekend with your kids:

1. Make time

The best thing to do is just to make time to be together. This means you need to put other things on the back burner and actually give your full attention to spending time as a family. So turn off the smartphone, stop checking emails and enjoy the offline world.

2. Plan ahead

A little planning is a good thing and living in the UK it’s a good idea to have a back up that doesn’t rely on the weather playing ball! This is where spending time in your own home can be the best idea of all.

3. Make a mess

Kids love nothing more than making a mess, whether intentionally or accidentally! Messy play is LOTS of fun but accidents do happen. This is where having hardwearing and easily cleaned furniture such as a leather sofa comes in really handy – beautiful and practical at the same time. Just remember to relax – I got a biro stain out of my leather sofa this week using a baby wipe!

4. Try something new

You don’t always have to stick with the same old tried-and-tested methods of entertainment. Break out and try something new. You never know, you and the kids might discover a new love.

5. Have fun

Ultimately, the way to make the most of a weekend spent together is just to have fun in whatever way you can so relax, smile and let the good times roll.

This is a guest post submitted on behalf of Sainsbury’s. If you want to make the most of your weekend family time with your kids a leather sofa can be a great idea to help stop worrying about spills and stains. Check out the full range on the website.