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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: Peppa Pig Alphaphonics Campervan

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Educational Play | Posted on 13-09-2016

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When your child reaches two, there is a basic inevitability that Peppa Pig and her friends are going to take over your lives. There is clearly some magical hypnosis coming from the TV whenever it is on that just draws children in, and from then on anything Peppa Pig themed – and to be fair there’s a lot out there – becomes fascinating to them.

We watch Peppa Pig, obviously. Little Dude is 2 and a definite fan. He took his first trip to Peppa Pig World recently and loved it. We already have a few themed toys in the house, but when I was asked if I wanted to review the brand new Alphaphonics Campervan I was very interested.

campervan

Styled to look like the campervan used in their holiday episodes, this electronic toy features the letters of the alphabet next to a recognisable image. There are eight games to play which can be selected using a sliding button at the top. You can learn about the phonic sounds, spelling, matching and the alphabet. It comes with volume control – YAY! – but I’m afraid it has NO OFF SWITCH. Aimed at the over 3’s I could see this appealing to both my children. Little Dude loves the show, recognises the characters, and loves pressing buttons. Little Man, at almost 6, doesn’t really watch it anymore but loves learning and practising his phonics.

Little Dude has obviously played with it most. He likes going through the letters one at a time, pressing the buttons and either saying the word or mimicking the item in the image. His favourite is invariably the ‘D’ key and there is usually a lot of dinosaur roars to be heard. With Little Man its more about copying the phonics sounds and practising spelling some of the words. He’s like a sponge at the moment with information and learning, so I’m very pleased to let him “play” with this as he is good at listening to the instructions.

It’s a great educational fun toy. Lots of potential for learning for both Little Dude and Little Man, who both think they’re just having fun which is ideal. The sliding button at the top feels a little cheap to me and I do wonder how long it will survive with my boisterous boys. Apart from that I love it, though I do wonder who thought no off switch was a good idea. It automatically shuts off after two minutes of none usage, but surely a simple off switch would be easier? Thankfully there is volume control so you don’t have to endure the pig too loud. It is a great toy for young fans of the show, and a good starter for the phonics learning. Oink oink!

Days Out: Drusillas Park, East Sussex

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Information | Posted on 31-03-2014

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Daddy and I had been talking for a while about talking Little Man out for the day somewhere special before his brother arrives. We wanted to do a last day out as a family of three somewhere that he’d love whilst I still had the energy. We considered a few options, but our ultimate decision was always going to be Drusillas. We haven’t been for a couple of years and we knew that at three he would find it much more fascinating than he had on our first trip there for his first birthday. Daddy planned to take a day off work so we could go mid-week when the crowds would be less and we hoped for some good weather. By some generally creepy coincidence I received an email just a few days later from the Press Team at Drusillas asking if I’d be interested in coming down to review the place. Clearly a sign we’d picked the right day out!

We visited a couple of weeks ago, lucky enough to choose a day where the sun was glorious. As you can see there were lots of cheeky characters to see, not least my Little Man who had a whale of a time. He loved spotting all the animals and pointing them out to Daddy and I. Every enclosure at Drusillas has special viewing windows for small children, or little steps for them to use. It makes the day much easier for parents and keeps the children feeling independent. Every so often there’s a learning area for the children to use as well, where they can lift flaps or open boxes or press buttons to learn more about each animal. Now obviously Little Man is a little young to be reading this information, but he had a lot of fun looking at the pictures and doing his best impressions of each animal.

I think the monkeys were his favourite – plenty opportunities to do his monkey impression at Drusillas – but as you can see above the lorikeets were a big hit too. At Drusillas you can walk into the lorikeet enclosure and buy a small cup of nectar. Daddy held the cup out and within seconds he was acting as a perch for several birds. Little Man thought this was brilliant and enjoyed watching them have their “little drink” as well as settling on his Daddy. I loved the meerkats who are such great little characters, and the lemurs were very funny too. I’m fairly sure they were all enjoying topping up their tans in the sunshine of their enclosure.

As well as a wealth of animals to see and discover, Drusillas has a rather popular train ride courtesy of Thomas The Tank Engine and a huge play area. There’s also a number of food vendors and gift shops to visit on your way out. One thing to bear in mind though is the seasonal openings. Last time we visited it was Easter weekend and everything was open. We went mid week during term time this time around and there was only one sit down restaurant open, none of the small vendors were open, and Thomas was only running once an hour as opposed to his usual “as and when required” scheduling at peak times. This was a little disappointing I must admit, but thankfully we’d taken a picnic with us which we enjoyed in the gorgeous sunshine, and we managed to get Little Man an ice cream as a treat before he dragged Daddy all around the play area whilst I put my feet up for a while.

There’s a bit of building work going on at Drusillas at the moment whilst they create their newest attraction which is opening this summer. The “Hello Kitty Secret Garden Experience” is due to open mid May and will include rides, a Hello Kitty House, and plenty opportunities to meet the star herself. No doubt this will be hugely popular when it opens – we spotted several excited children trying to sneak a peek around the fences surrounding the work area trying to catch a glimpse of the famous cat.


Drusillas continues to be one of our favourite family days out, and one that we hope to visit again once Little Dude has arrived. Online is the best way to buy tickets as thanks to their “Online Price Squeezer” you can save money compared to on-the-gate prices. There’s also always lots going on with famous characters visiting throughout the year. A certain Peppa Pig is there next week in fact, just in time for Easter. Definitely a day out to remember.

We were provided with complimentary entry to the zoo for the purposes of this review, but all opinions and comments are my own.

Review: Peppa Pig Weebles Wobbly Car

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 07-02-2014

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Friends with children that were older than Little Man warned us for ages that one day, Peppa Pig would take over. We laughed it off, thought they were crazy, and thought no more of it. I think it took one, maybe two episodes of the show for it to happen. Little Man is a big fan of Peppa, particularly liking George and his dinosaur. We’ve visited Peppa Pig World several times, we have numerous DVD’s, and a selection of toys which we cleverly keep at Nana and Pops’ house. When UK Mums TV contacted us however asking if we’d like to review the new Weebles Toys range we thought we’d give it a go, after all, they were bound to be silent toys.
Weebles are a great toy for little ones – they wobble about like mad but never fall down, always popping back up again. This Peppa Pig Car comes with one Peppa Weeble – others are available to buy separately – and the familiar red car from the TV show which has seats for two Weebles.
Whilst the toy is aimed at children aged 18 months plus and Little Man is almost 3 and a half, he still gets lots of enjoyment out of this. He loves all cars anyway, so this was an ideal review for us, and he likes pushing Peppa around the lounge, often with a guest or two in the back seat. Happyland figures fit nicely in there too, and Peppa can often be found taking a couple of pirates for a trip around. Whilst he’s not overly thrilled by the weebly nature of Peppa, it is a feature which I’m sure Little Dude will enjoy when he joins us in May.
From my point of view its a great little car. It looks just like Daddy Pigs car from the show – I am a little concerned as to how Peppa got hold of the key… – and it is ideally sized for toddler and preschooler hands. It drives around beautifully, though it is just the right size to whizz under our sofas which it does frequently.
The Peppa Pig Weebles Wobbly Car is from Character Options and is retailing at £14.99. The car comes with one Peppa Pig Weeble, but you can buy George, Susie, Pedro and all their friends separately for £4.99 each.

 

Win Tickets To Peppa Pig’s Big Splash LIVE!!

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Information | Posted on 07-10-2013

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Come and join in the fun with Peppa, George and their friends as they tour the UK with the new theatre show Peppa Pig’s Big Splash. I have a Family Ticket – four people with a minimum of 1 adult – for you to win! We are big Peppa Pig fans in this house – we’re off to Peppa Pig World next week in fact for Little Man’s third birthday!

The nursery roof is leaking and Peppa and her friends need to fix it quickly. They set up a fete to raise the money for Mr Bull to do the repairs. There’s plenty of fun to be had as Peppa, George, Mummy and Daddy Pig, as well as Danny Dog, Pedro Pony and Suzy Sheep put up bunting, run stalls and organise a great day out.

There’s also a Champion Puddle Jumping competition judged by Mr Potato where everyone gets wet and Peppa needs to find her Golden Boots. Another all-singing, all-dancing adventure full of songs, games and muddy puddles is guaranteed for all the family.

Peppa Pig’s Big Splash will be heading down to Sussex next February, and I have a family ticket to giveaway to one of just four performances that will be taking place at the Theatre Royal, Brighton. I have a Family Ticket for Wednesday 19th February at 1pm – remember that’s four people, with a minimum of one adult – to giveaway to one very lucky reader. Your children are bound to love the show!! We can’t wait to go along and see it. Ready to enter? Just follow the instructions below – and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join the #PeppaThemeParkParty

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Information | Posted on 22-03-2013

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The afternoon of Tuesday 26th March will see Twitter come alive as parents join in with a Peppa Pig Party. The party is going to be promoting the new Theme Park toy range, which features all the rides and attractions you’d find at Peppa Pig World in Paultons Park. There’ll be prizes and goodies to be won and lots of fun throughout the afternoon, so make sure you are following @UKMUMSTV and following the hashtag #PeppasThemeParkParty for all the latest news, and to take part on the day.

I’m going to be tweeting from Peppa Pig World itself where I’ll be taking part in a party with fellow bloggers, friends, and of course the children. I’m sure Little Man will have a great time and I’m really looking forward to playing with all the new toys with him. Its sounding like a really fun day with a great party atmosphere. I’m so looking forward to joining the party, and I hope to see some of you there too. Get tweeting!!

Brit Mums Live: Introducing My Sponsor…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Blogger Event, Brit Mums Live, Information, Product Launch | Posted on 15-03-2012

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It is with great excitement and much enthusiasm that I can officially announce my Brit Mums Live 2012 sponsor is… InspirationWorks!!!

How many people just said “Who?”

Whilst you might not have heard of InspirationWorks specifically, if you have children there is a reasonably high chance that you own a product which they have played a major part in.  Launched in 2005 InspirationWorks develop and distribute licensed electronic learning products in the UK. They have a huge range of laptops and phonics learning toys aimed at children from 12 months and upwards. Their licensed products feature popular characters including Peppa Pig, Bob The Builder, Waybuloo, Ben & Holly and the newest star of CBeebies Mike The Knight.

2012 will see InspirationWorks become more known as a brand as they release the Kurio – an Android tablet for children and families. The Kurio is a multimedia and entertainment device for children which has the benefit of full parental control and internet content filtering making the Kurio is THE safest tablet around to let your children use. You can even set timers for how long they play on it. What they are really going to love is the ability to personalise their own interface with their favourite licensed character. What you will love is that you don’t have to have Peppa Pig on your interface! Profiles are available so that it can be used by the children for fun and games, but can also be used by parents as a work device. Skins and cases will also be available for both children and adults for even more personalisation. Being Android it also means you can download any App you want from the same Android Market you’d find on your SmartPhone or other tablet.

The Kurio will be available to buy in July 2012 and comes in three sizes:

  • 7 Inch 800 x 480 capacitive multi-touch screen priced at £149.99 – Available from July
  • 9.7 Inch 1024 x 600 capacitive multi-touch screen priced at £199.99 – Available from Autumn
I’m sure you’ll agree that for something of this quality those are not-to-be-missed prices.
If you want a sneaky preview of the Kurio you’d better come and find me at Brit Mums because I will have a pre-release 7 Inch Kurio with me! The Kurio has advanced multimedia capabilities with a USB key and a SD card portal – it also comes with HDMI connection so can be used as a mobile HD video player.  A dedicated car mount system will be available to purchase to mount this in cars as a mobile DVD player – perfect for the children on car journeys. The Kurio has 4GB integrated memory, extendable up to 36GB using the micro SD card slot. The Kurio 7 Inch comes with a front and rear side camera so you little one can take photos of the world around them, or portraits of themselves!
I will be using it throughout the event for taking notes during the breakout sessions and tweeting, but I will also be demonstrating it to anyone who wants a look. The Kurio is guaranteed to be on your child’s Wish-List this summer so this is the ideal chance to get a first hand look at exactly what it can do. Bearing in mind that the Gadget Show Live named Kurio “Best of Show Gadget” at Toy Fair 2012 there is no doubting that this tablet is going to be huge.
I am so excited to be going to Brit Mums Live and so proud to be representing such a great company, and such a fantastic product. If you have any questions about InspirationWorks or the Kurio specifically don’t hesitate to tweet or email me and I’ll do my best to help!