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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!

Product Review: Ministry Of Letters

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Book Review, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 16-04-2012

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You’ll know by now how books are a big part of our lives in my house, and you’ll have some idea of the small libraries’ worth that my Little Man has, despite being just 18 months old. We hope that by having books in his life from an early age that he’ll continue to enjoy them throughout his life, and that he won’t be put off by the idea of words and reading. For a lot of children though reading, letters and the alphabet can be a hugely confusing and intimidating thing. “The Ministry Of Letters” has come up with a fun and interesting way for children to get to grips with this sometimes scary world with the help of a brilliantly entertaining book and website.

“Operation Alphabet” is the tale of Charlie Foxtrot, a little boy who starts school and finds letters and the alphabet totally confusing – he has a bad case of the ‘alphabetaheebeegeebees’. The SAS is called in – “Special Alphabet Services” – and with the help of some rhymes, songs and a whole heap of adventure Charlie finds that letters are so much fun.

This book is a brilliant tool for any young children who are about to start school, or have perhaps started and found themselves in a similar situation to Charlie. You also get a special poster of the alphabet to stick on your bedroom wall to remind your children of how the letters look and the order they come in. I think Little Man will adore this book and the Charlie Foxtrot story when he’s a bit older, and the poster will be a brilliant tool in helping him learn the shapes that make up the alphabet.

A brand new phonic app is landing on the website soon – The Orchestra Game – but for now why not take a look at the letters in action:

You can learn all about the Ministry Of Letters at their website, where you can order your copy of Operation Alphabet too!

 

 

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!