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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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Product Review: Shelta UV Protector Beach Mini Tent

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 09-07-2011

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With the recent heat wave that came – and went! – with a bit of a flourish in recent weeks I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of the sun safety products that are available to protect your little ones. Using the brilliance of Twitter I found myself in contact with KoolSun who sell a variety of sun safety products including clothing, sunglasses, wet suits and lotions. The product I was donated to review was their Shelta UV Protector Beach Mini Tent, which originates in the much sunnier Australia. 

The tent is made using durable fibreglass framing covered by a fabric which provides UPF 50+ sun protection for your little one. The flooring is water resistant – always a bonus with babies – and pegs are included to ensure it’s anchored securely. There are also sand pockets around the sides for added security. The tent measures 120cm square and at its peak is 90cm high. Weighing in at 1.4kg and packed in a handy storage bag it can easily be carried around with the rest of your beach items.

The website and the packaging of the tent tells me it has “Quick and Easy Operation (Opens and Closes in seconds)”. Now I’ve never been particularly good with tents so I thought I’d see just how “easy” it was to put up. I did this in my parents back garden with no help from my husband or my parents – they were all too busy fussing over the little man!

Unpacking the tent was hardly difficult. I will admit that I didn’t find the instructions until after I’d put it up – they are sewn into the storage bag so you don’t lose them, or in my case so you can’t find them!!

Here are the included pegs should I have needed them, which I did. Good old windy British summer weather!!

Looks a bit like an umbrella doesn’t it? Now there were a few labels on the frame telling me to “Pull” and “Push” so I gave it a go.

 
 

Phenomenally easy to put up even without reading the instructions. All that was needed was a small mallet to secure the pegs into the ground. This was the point when I went to find my little volunteer to show just how big this tent is. 

 

My little man is a rather tall nine month old and as you can see he could fit several of his mates in there with him. As you can see the doors roll back and can be fixed to allow ventilation, which is essential should we ever get a hot day again!

 
 

On either side of the tent are roll up windows to allow views but to maintain protection from the elements. The eagle eyed amongst you will be able to see my little man peering out the window at me!! Putting it down was even easier. I literally had to push down where it told me too and the tent collapsed before my eyes.

Sun protection for babies is vital, and this tent provides that perfectly. As you can see it works just as well in a garden as it would on a beach or in a park. I have even put it up in my lounge and given my little man a fun den that I’m sure he’ll enjoy for many years to come. I hope to get a photo of the tent full of some of his NCT baby friends, and I will post that at a future date.

The featured tent is available from the KoolSun website and retails at £40.85

Website: http://www.koolsun.co.uk
Twitter: @KoolSunKidz
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KoolSun

Apologies… and Nearly New Sales

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 21-03-2011

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Firstly I’m sorry for the massive gap between blog posts. I keep wondering where all my time goes, and then I remember – that baby you had! I’m also sorry for the twitter feed spamage. Not what I was expecting when I linked my twitter account. I’m deleting them a.s.a.p 🙂

Now, Nearly New Sales. Ever been to one? I attended two this weekend – yes I am mad – with varying success. Saturday saw me joining the hordes at an NCT Nearly New Sale in Steyning. NCT sales are hugely advertised and infamous for being marvellous events. Apparently they weren’t talking about this sale. If you disregard the fact that the venue was far too small and parking a joke, the sale itself was chaotic, cluttered and impossible to negotiate. A sparse few clothes were hung neatly on rails, the rest piled mountainously high on nearby tables for a brave parent to begin foraging through. Toys were in similarly precarious piles, with numerous being knocked over in the scrum and no doubt broken and made unsellable. The queue to pay for what few items you could salvage was immense, and there seemed to be far to many volunteers floating around with an air of superiority about them, and not so many actually helping. A hideously disappointing trip that I will not be repeating.

The Sunday sale was a much smaller and less publicised event in Southwater. This sale was held in a sports hall and was basically parents selling off their old and unwanted baby stuff whilst trying to make a few quid. So more a jumble sale than a typical nearly new sale. Much prefered to the NCT incident, but still not really what I was after.

I went to a sale in Pulborough a few weeks ago, totally last minute after friends cancelled plans to visit. Held in the local village hall and raising money for a local childrens hospital it was my first venture into the world of the Nearly New. Well organised, well laid out, and bargains a plenty. It was far from calm – I don’t think these sales ever will be – but I think, based on this weekend anyway, that I was somewhat spoiled by it.  Needless to say I wont be risking an NCT massacre again. Think I’ll be sticking to small, local, and little less pretentious thank you.

The NCT

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 25-02-2011

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Over recent weeks the NCT, its opinions and its teachings have come under much debate in the media, and via Twitter. As one half of the estimated 100,000 couples who do an NCT course each year, I felt vaguely qualified to comment.

One of the best things we did. Ever.

Now I didn’t always agree with what we were being “taught” and following my labour and early weeks as a Mummy I thought there were issues they could have touched upon which they didn’t, but to be fair they can’t cover absolutely every eventuality. Yes natural birth and exclusive breastfeeding were pushed above all other options, but I think in an ideal world we’d all like a natural, and simple, birth and to provide a veritable supply of milk for our babies. But its not always possible. I had every intervention in the book just stopping short of a caesarean, and I had to stop breastfeeding after two weeks (try not to get appendicitis that soon after giving birth!).
My NCT experience opened my eyes to a lot of ideas and options which I probably would never have considered otherwise. It also highlighted how little I knew about what I was letting myself in for! But the best thing about the NCT? Even now, almost six months after the classes finished, I meet up once a fortnight with the other eight Mummies and their gorgeous babies from my class to compare comedy stories of what our little ones are doing, to provide a fantastic support group for one another, and most importantly, to eat cake.

Posted via LjBeetle