I always love it when I have a nice photograph to show you for mummy and me. This months is one of my new favourites. It was taken just before a family party when we were dressed up all nice. I think this one may end up as my new welcome picture on my sidebar. Can't believe we are heading into september already. Not many plans this month so we shall have to see what mummy and me pictures I end up getting. Hope you like this months mummy and me picture.
We are heading to the end of the summer holidays now, but Lily being off Nursery has meant for lots of days out and trips to the park. Orchard toys have available lots of travel games perfect to keep your little ones entertained for when you are out and about and so we were sent some games to review during the summer holidays. I could not wait to get lily out in the sunshine to try some of these games. But unfortunately, the sunshine seemed to disappear a few weeks ago and so we didn't get much outdoor use with the games. But the first sunny opportunity we got, we headed to out local park to sit outside in the sunshine and play some games.
Orchard toys let us choose two games and we chose Animal Families and Build a Beetle.
Both of the games are aimed at children 4+ and Lily is still only 3. But she will be 4 in a few months so I felt that these games may be more appropriate for her age.
The first game we played was Animal Families.
The game comes with 30 animal cards which make up 10 families. It also has 2 wild cards. I was really excited about playing this game with Lily as I used to play something simular as a child myself.
One side of the cards has the animal on and the other side of the cards has the orchard toys writing on it.
To set up the game you need to shuffle all the cards and then lay them animal side down onto the ground. Its a great game for travel seen as it is so easy to set up.
Playing the game is really easy. You take it in turns to pick up 2 cards. If the animals on the cards match then you may keep them, if they don't you place them back down.
When you have 2 animals matching, and you pick up another one of those animals, you also may keep it and add it to make an animal family.
If you pick up a wild card, then this means that you can take a complete family from another player. The wild cards don't need to be used in the game though and can be taken out before playing. After the wild card has been used it needs to be placed to the side not to be used again.
You continue to pick up cards until all the families have been collected. The winner is the player with the most animal families collected.
Lily really enjoyed this game. She really liked all the animal families, which were all doing something different in the pictures and wearing something different. It was also really nice to see that they had one member of the monkey family in a wheelchair.
The second game that we played was the Build a Beetle.
The game comes with 4 nine piece beetles and a spinner board.
To start you need to attach the spinner to the board and pop all the beetles pieces out of the boards they come in. The beetle pieces have numbers on one side and a picture of the other side and are all different colours. To set up the game you place all the beetle pieces picture side down on the table.
The first player spins the spinner. They must spin a 6 to be able to start the game. As Lily is quite young I skipped this part and let her choose a colour 6 she wanted. She would of got frustrated with not spinning a number 6.
You then place that number 6 the picture way round which shows the stomach of the beetle. Players then take turns to spin the spinner and collect the numbers which make up their beetle. The winner is the first to build their beetle.
Lily did really well with this game and she enjoyed the jigsaw element to this game.
Each game is only £5 to buy and there is lots of games to collect.
A few weeks ago we went to a Nature day at Gawthorpe Hall, you can read all about that day here. While we were there we spotted that there was going to be a Princess and Knight event on and so I popped the date in my diary to attend. The day arrived and unfortunately it was a rainy day. But we was told that the event would be happening rain or shine. So we popped our raincoats on and set off out. The event was only £2.50 to join in with and they had 3 activities going on. The first activity was making a dream jar. First Lily got to choose her own jar from a box of them, we then took it over to a special decorating tent. The first thing lily did was cut up tissue paper to stick around her jar. She then had to write her dreams down on a piece of paper to put inside. Lily did mostly squiggles but this was her way of writing. We rolled that up and put it inside, lily could then choose some items to put inside. She put some stars, some flowers, and some gold inside her jar. We then attached the handle, with a little name label on that she made and the jar was finished. She was very impressed with the jar.
The second activity we did was hunting for crowns. They had hidden 10 crowns around the gardens and we had to go and try and find them all. Lily found the first straight away and then she knew exactly what she was looking for. She was super confident and went running around looking for crowns. In the end we only found 7 out of 10 and because it was so wet we gave up at that amount and went to go get a sticker for her efforts.
The next activity was sword training. This was an activity that I didn't think Lily would do as it had a man showing children different sword moves and they had to copy. Lily was a little shy of the man dressed as a knight but she soon got used to him and started to join in. I was really impressed at how well she copied the man and the other children joining in. She got most the sword moves pretty near correct. Each move she had to start with the sword on her shoulder and then she would either push it out forward or into the air. She really enjoyed this activity, although didn't want to go near the man when he was pretending to knight them.
We ended up having a really good day and managed to stay quite dry, although didn't stay as long because of the weather still being drizzly and damp.
We will definetly be keeping out eye out for more fun events at Gawthorpe Hall.
Who else has not bothered about the rain and still gone out for the day?
As you may know, last month I went away to weymouth for my holiday. Of corse that meant my camera came along with me and as well as getting some great family photographs, I headed out a few early evenings when the light was nice and I spent some quality time taking photographs. Weymouth is such a beautiful place to photograph. Though I must admit, I have been so many times that I think I have photographed everything now. I have chosen out a few of my favourite photographs from the week. I would love to know which one is your favourite?
We are always so excited when a new series of Num Noms comes out! We have been collecting them ever since series 1 and so always eager to try out the new Num Noms and smell the new scents. We were sent 2 starter packs by Num Noms.
We got sent a Croissants pack and a Jelly Rolls pack.
Each pack comes with 3 Num Noms and a lipgloss. It also comes with some accessories.
I opened up the Jelly Rolls pack for Lily first. This pack had a little blue table and a serving spoon.
The Num Noms were cute as usual and one was even wearing a little silver crown. The cool thing about Num Noms are that you can stack them on top of each other. These 3 were a perfect addition to Lily's collection.
The lipgloss was Blueberry flavour. When you open the lipgloss up, it looks purple but when applied it is a clear colour with glitter. But it smells of blueberries which is lovely.
Next we opened the croissants Num Noms. This came with a serving tray and some little grabbing spoons. One of the Num noms had a real cute little french barrett on which was great to see on a croissant themed Num nom.
Inside this one was a strawberry lipgloss. Lily is really into her lip glosses now and so was super excited to have some Num Nom ones.
Lily really enjoys playing with her Num noms, she loves ticking them off her lists when looking at the little collectors guide that they come with.
She loves using the little utensils that come with the packs and picking up the Num Noms and placing them on the tray and table.
But her favourite thing to do is smell them! There was some amazing sweet scents in these 2 packs such as berry scent and cookie cake.
Lily cant wait to add more Num Noms to her collection.
You can find out more about the Num Noms and the different packs that are available on the Num Noms website.
Lily and I love trying out new toys! So as soon as we were offered to review the brand new crate creatures I jumped at the chance to see what the new toy was all about. The title of Crate Creatures says "Free The Beast" and thats exactly what you have to do with this toy. The creature comes inside a crate which is brilliantly designed. It has all the features you would want to see on a crate with a monster inside including bars and a hole for the monster to peep out of. It also has signs on saying Caution!! which really gives it that feel of there is something scary inside. The bottom and top of the crate is made of a hard plastic. I think it is great that the packaging of the toy is actually part of the toy. Also meaning it can be stored away neatly when not being played with. As well as that, it has a lock and chain on the top, and a crow bar at the side that you can use to open up your creatures crate. Lily was super excited to get open her crate creature.
Lily quickly understood what she had to do with the crowbar to open her crate creature. You firstly jam the crowbar into the lock and it clicks undone and you can take the chain off. After that, there are 2 holes at the front that you place for crowbar into, and this pops up the lid and out pops out for creature. This can be done over and over again which makes it really fun for kids to do.
There is a mechanism inside the crate that makes your creature pop up out of the box. For us out popped Blizz!
Blizz is an snowman looking creature who is white with a blue face and yellow horns. He has a long sticky out red tongue. The red tongue isn't just there for decoration though. If you pull it, it will make your creature very angry and he makes all sorts of noises and shake. His eyes will also light up and it will even start to growl at you.
But that isn't the only thing you can do with your crate creature. If you push down his tail, his arms will start to thrash about. Your creature loves to be chucked around and so if you turn his upside down, he will make lots of different monster sounds. If you leave your monster for a little while, you should hear him snore and this then means he will go into sleep mode.
To wake him back up, simply pull his tongue or push his tail. Lily found all of these actions really easy to do and she loved doing them.
Your monster should also come with something to eat. Blizz comes with an ice lolly. To make him eat it, you press it agains't his mouth above his tongue and he will make eating noises. You do have to apply a little bit of pressure for him to do this.
There is then one more feature to your crate creature and this is to record your own voice and sounds. Simply press on his stomach and hold. You hear a grunting sound, this means he is ready for you to make your noise or speak. White it is recording his eyes will glow yellow, when you are finished, let go of the stomach. Once done, it will reply to you in a monster voice. To keep playing it just press the stomach, but be careful you don't hold to long as it will end up deleting your recording to make a new one.
The only thing we did not find easy with the recording was getting it to say your recording with a stutter or in reverse. It says in the instructions that you press the stomach and turn upside down or shake, but many times we ended up making it record something new. I think it really must be a quick press of the button on the stomach to make this work.
Everyone who has been around has been super impressed with the creature. Lily has got it out a quite few times and has loved showing her friends, but then when it is out, I must admit she has gotten bored of it quickly.
Blizz is just one character out of 4 that can be bought. You also have Sizzle, Snort and Pudge. They are all £39.99 to buy and can be bought from stores such as Smiths Toy Store.
Each month I write about which books we have been reading during the month. I usually introduce Lily to 4 or 5 new books each month while at the same time reading some of our favourites. We have story time each night and always read 2-4 stories, depending on how tired she is. You can read all the other book roundups from the last 2 years here. Last month I didn't get much chance to introduce Lily to any new books. Mostly because we were away for 2 weeks on holiday. So I only have 2 books to tell you about this month.
The 2 new books I decided to read to Lily would be something a little more summer themed. As we were going to the seaside I thought that one story about a sunny day and one about a shark were appropriate.
1. Kiki and Bobo's Sunny Day by Yasmeen Ismail
I really like the Kiki and Bobo series of books and this one is lovely for the summer time. The story is all about Kiki and Bobo who take a trip to the seaside. Kiki really wants to go swimming but Bobo is a little scared to go swimming and so keeps distracting Kiki with other seaside activities. In the end Kiki encourages Bobo to come into the water and shows him that it isn't to bad and he doesn't need to be scared. The other great thing about this book is that it is a lift flap book which doesn't just have one or two flaps but has loads to be opened. This book can be bought online.
2. Smiley Shark by Ruth Galloway
The title of this story shows all about what this book is about. A smiley shark. The shark is super friendly and when it meets other fish, he gives them a really big smile. Only problem is that his big smile with lots of teeth is very scary to the other fish and they all run away. This makes him really sad but one day he is swimming a long and he see's all the fish in danger as they have been caught by a fisherman, and he decides he is going to try and help them. So he jumps out the water and gives the fisherman a big smile and the fisherman lets go of his net and the fish are all saved. After that the fish are never scared of him again. I really enjoyed reading this one to Lily as it had a great storyline. This book can be bought online.
One great thing about the school holidays is that there is always lots going on for kids. So I am always on the look out for fun things to do and events happening. Recently I spotted that Gawthorpe Hall in Burnley was having events on every Wednesday in August and the first sounded like great fun. They were having a Nature day and had put on lots of activities to do. So I decided that I would take Lily and see what activities there would be to do. As we got there we had some lunch, there is a really nice Cafe at Gawthorpe Hall and the events wern't starting until 1. So it seemed like a nice way to start out day. After we had lunch we headed to the gardens where the events were happening. There was a desk handing out activities and it was only £2.50 per child to join in. The first activity was a special nature hunt. You had to go around the garden and look for things that you wouldn't normally find in the garden and then write them down on the paper provided. There was 10 things to find. It wasn't long before we found the first one. A toy Turtle. Lily was super impressed that she had found it and was really enthusiastic to want to find some more. She got me to write down the answer on the sheet, but also tried to write it herself, which ended up as a squiggle. She really loved walking around with the clip board and pencil and eventually we found some more items. A lampshade in a tree, a cup, a coat hanger, and loads more.
The next activity was Pond Dipping. I was really excited to see that they had this activity for them to do. I love any activity that has a learning aspect to it also, and this is a great way to learn about nature while having fun. Lily was super excited about it and when we got to the pond wanted to join in straight away. there was a big group of parents and kids but Lily was super confident and put her hand up for a net shouting me me I would like one.
As soon as we got the net and tub, we found a little spot to try and catch some pond critters. We were really hoping to catch a frog or some fish too. I put some water into the tub and Lily started to move her net around in the water. We didn't really manage to catch anything by our selfs but soon enough the park ranger came around to help us. He straight away started to catch something for us. In our tray we had all sorts of little things swimming around, Lily was super impressed at seeing some of the little pond bugs. Not long after the little bugs were caught, he managed to catch us a little fish which lily was super happy to see.
It was really nice seeing Lily getting involved in this Activity and also being really enthusiastic about it. The pond is always there for us to do pond dipping so I think it will be an activity I will do again in the future.
The next activity there was for us to do was snail racing. But by the time we got to this event, the snails had all gone to sleep. We waited quite a while before one decided to come out of its shell and move to eat a leaf. We are always looking at snails in our garden, so this is another activity we could always do ourself.
The last activity was welly throwing. The idea was to stay behind the white line and try and throw the welly into the bucket. Great fun game which Lily really enjoyed but she did get frustrated because she didn't manage to get a welly into the bucket. But then, neither did I. Haha
It really did make a great day out and we was lucky as we had some nice sunshine but it also wasn't to hot. We aren't going to be able to attend the next 2 wednesday events but will be attending a knights and princesses one at the end of the month.
Have you attended anything fun so far in the school holidays?
It is competition time and I have 2 games to give away from one of my favourite game brands, University Games. Googly Eyes
The hilarious drawing game that challenges your vision and leaves you googling for more! Put on the zany, vision-altering google eye glasses and start to draw while your team tries to guess what you’re drawing. Is that an igloo or a turtle? A birthday cake or a fortress? Take turns drawing and guessing, so everyone gets a chance to wear the glasses. A fun game that lets players of different ages and skill levels compete on equal terms, since the goggles make it fun and challenging for everyone.
Age: 7+ yrs
Number of players: 4+
Not only can you recreate the top BBC 1 quiz in your living room, you can experience the tension of revealing the points scored, with the free to download, scoreboard app that also keeps a record of your scores.