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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: Kelloggs Cereal For Children

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Foodie, Product Reviews | Posted on 08-04-2013

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We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but finding the right cereal for your children can be a real struggle. Most are full of sugar and not something we want our children eating. To help with our quest Kelloggs are introducing four new cereals which meet the strict OFCOM guidelines for sugar allowing them to be advertised to children, but are also wholegrain and high in fibre. A much better alternative to most children’s cereals out there.
Coco Pops bring you Croc Prints which have less sugar and more fibre than the traditional Coco Pops. The already popular Multi-Grain Shapes now comes in a new strawberry flavoured versions. Honey Loops are now a new healthier recipes whilst still tasting great, and Honey Pops is a brand new cereal which you may have spotted in Europe. All of these cereals taste great – Little Man is especially fond of the Croc Prints and the Honey Loops. He has them for breakfast occasionally but more often than not dry in a bowl as a mid-afternoon snack.

Whilst I wouldn’t give Little Man one of these cereals EVERY day – he is only 2 and a half after all – they are great as a weekend treat or a portion controlled snack. You children are going to love the taste, and you can rest assured that they won’t be rotting their teeth or bouncing off the walls.

If you want to WIN a box of each cereal for your little ones to try out follow these simple instructions:

1. Follow me @SussexMummy on Twitter.
2. Tweet “I want to try the new cereals from @KelloggsUK thanks to @SussexMummy”
3. Leave me a comment on this post below about which you most want to try.

A winner will be chosen from all the entries on Sunday 14th April and they will be announced on Twitter on Monday. The winner will receive one box of each of the four new cereals from Kelloggs. Good luck!

Festive Family Fun: Dear Santa

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas, Competition, Days Out, Product Reviews | Posted on 13-12-2012

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If you are lucky enough to live within reach of Horsham, West Sussex and are looking for something festive to do with your little ones this Christmas I implore you to go to the Capitol and see their production of “Dear Santa”. Its based on the lovely book by Rod Campbell and is ideal for children under 5.


We’ve never been to the Capitol before and Little Man has never seen any kind of stage production so I was a little nervous heading in there on my own. Santa is a new concept to Little Man, but he is beginning to recognise him in shops and on decorations so I was hopeful for some enthusiasm. Upon arrival we collected our tickets from the Box Office and Little Man immediately made himself at home in the foyer.

About ten minutes before the performance was due to begin we began making our way to the “Studio”. It is upstairs at the Capitol but there’s a good sized lift as well as a flight of stairs. Prams can be left downstairs in the bar area. The “Studio” is a compact room with tiered seating which is essential for a performance aimed at little children, and has a small stage area which was set up and ready. It looked magical.

The stage was split into two rooms – the bedroom of Sarah, the little girl who writes to Santa, and Santa’s workshop where he and his Elf wrap and sort presents ready for Christmas Eve. By having both rooms on the same stage at the same time it allowed the production to flow easily and kept it to about 30 minutes. We were sat three rows back and Little Man had a great view from my knee pointing out things he could see on the stage. It took me a while to spot most of them myself!

The length of the production is ideal for even the most fidgety child and the cast of just three characters – Sarah, the Elf, and Santa – are a joy to watch. There is plenty of interaction with the audience and the chance to sing songs, clap along and call out for Santa when he makes his big entrance. The story itself is a simple one but gives a great message to the young and old members of the audience as Christmas nears and the great shopping fest begins. After the production ends there is even a chance to meet Santa himself and get your photo taken with him, and there are small presents for the children too. An amazing and magical family treat.

I would hugely recommend this to anyone who can get to Horsham this winter to see it. The show is on now until Christmas Eve with at least two performances a day, with extra on Saturdays and the days before Christmas. Tickets are £9 for adults and £7.50 for children, and if you book online you can choose your own seats. Full details can be found at the Capitol website.

Competition: I have a copy of the lovely Rod Campbell book “Dear Santa” to give away to one lucky reader. To enter just tweet the following message:

“I Want To Win #DearSanta This Christmas With @SussexMummy!”

The competition ends at 8pm on Tuesday 18th December and the winner will be notified asap. I will also endeavor to get the book to you in time for Christmas!!

Win A Visit From The FA Cup For Your Child’s School

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Information | Posted on 11-12-2012

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This is a great competition for any football mad children out there!

Home Appliance brand Beko has teamed up with schools newspaper First News to offer children the chance to win a visit from the FA Cup to their school. Entering couldn’t be easier – children just need to get a photo of themselves or their team celebrating a victory with a cut out of the famous FA Cup. They should be holding it up with pride to their adoring fans, or maybe just posing with their schools football team. The Top 10 will receive a visit from the real FA Cup, and the overall winner will receive prizes including a coaching session with an FA Legend, tickets for the school football team (boys OR girls) and two teachers to attend an FA Cup semi final, and 11 complete football kits for their school team.

Full details can be found on the Beko Facebook page here where you can also download your entry form and FA Cup to cut out. You’ll have to be quick though as the competition ends on December 20th!!

Foxy Bingo

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 26-09-2012

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As the rain batters down outside pretty much constantly at the moment the idea of going out in the evening might not really appeal. If its not the weather putting you off the issue of child care might be a problem. If you’re looking for a fun social activity that you can do in the warmth and comfort of your own home, check out Foxy Bingo.

Launched in 2005 Foxy Bingo is one of the biggest online bingo communities in the UK, and its also one of the friendliest. With regular promotions and busy online chat rooms not only are you getting a great social activity, but you might just end up winning a tidy some of money too.

When you Join and deposit £10 into your account Foxy Bingo will give you £20 absolutely free to use to buy tickets and join in the games. There are free games and weekly specials, and at the moment you can get a ticket to win £100K free. There are chat rooms to make friends and have a good natter with the other players, regular competitions to win prizes, and even an online magazine featuring celebrity interviews and winners stories.

Foxy Bingo is totally secure so your bank details are never in danger, and they also provide support if you ever think your gambling has got out of control. Whilst Foxy Bingo is meant to be fun there are also dangers when it comes to gambling, but the support and guidance is there if things ever get out of hand.

I’m not a regular gambler – largely because I never remember to buy a Lottery ticket – but I have played a little online bingo in my time. It is great fun. Not just the prospect of winning money – and we can all hope that it’ll be us – but also the excitement of the games and friendly chat at the same time. Its also great because you can play any time. So if the idea of heading out tonight doesn’t appeal, log on to Foxy Bingo – and if you do win, remember who sent you yeah?

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!