Tuesday 28 May 2019

Learning Resources STEMS Review

Lily has been playing with Learning Resources since she was one year old and they have always been the best toys in providing her with learning opportunities. 

Nearly 3 years on and we have moved up some education levels but are still really enjoying using Learning Resources toys. 

Learning Resources recently sent us some STEMS to try out and to review.

They arrived in one of Learning Resources sturdy tubs which are always perfect for storing the toys in. Plus comes with a handle so then Lily can easily carry them around. Toy storage has always been a plus with a lot of the learning resource toys. 

So what are STEMS? 

Well STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. These special little stems are all about encouraging making 3D structures there for using all the above. 

This construction toy consists of lots of pieces of bendy wobbly shapes pieces that click and zip toggether into shapes. The possible things you can make are endless. You could make robots, balls, crowns, animals, what ever your imagination can think up, you should be able to make. 

We was sent a tub of 60 stems. Inside the tub there are 12 of each vibrant colour, pink, orange, yellow, green and blue. 

They are brilliant for learning early geometry and perfecting fine motor skills and hand and eye co-ordination. 

Lily was pleased to get stuck into the tub and get making things with the STEMS. I am not the best at constructing so I showed Lily how to use them and she set to making things. She wanted to make a robot and so started sticking them together to make a head and arms until it started to make shape. 

Lily did struggle at times to push the pieces together but she isn't quite at the age range for this toy which is meant to be for 5+. She also didn't get the fact that they bend. But I imagine this toy she will get better with over time and as her imagination grows so will her ability to understand she can bend things to make a shape 3D. For now the shapes she made was flat. 

She did really enjoy making these and got them back out to play with her daddy, who I must say was much better at construction than I was. 

Inside the tub there is also a instruction booklet which shows you some of the things you can make. I found the instructions hard to follow myself as they were mostly picture instructions but Lily's daddy managed and he made a frog, a man, a ball and a helix. 

These did keep Lily quiet for quite a while but then I can see in the future when she gets better at them it will keep her amused for much longer. 

A tub of 60 is £25.00 and there is a tub of 20 available for the price of £9.00. 

If you would like to find out more about STEMS then head to the learning resource website

Thursday 23 May 2019

My Recent Photography - May

I haven't done a photography post for a little while. Mostly because I have been so busy lately. But this weekend just gone I managed to head out with my camera finally and take some photographs. 

It has been a whole year since I went to the 1940's Weekend at Haworth and so a whole year since I posted last years photographs. You can see them here.

I just had to go and visit again and of corse again take photographs. I don't think the event was quite as good for photographs this year as it was last. not as many people dressed up. But there are definetly some I am really happy with and these are my favourites. 

1. Military Boy 

2. Solider On 

3. Me and the Mrs 

4. Home Guard 

5. Mr Moustache 

6. Winston Churchill and his Cigar

7. Resting Solider 

8. Churchill 

9. Fox Lady 

10. Fox Lady and her Man 

Which of the 10 photographs from the 1940's Weekend do you like the most? 

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Splishies Review and Giveaway

What things do kids like? Soft toys? Cute things? balls? Sparkles? Colour?

Well Splishies have all that but in one. 

We were sent 2 Splishies from Vivid Toys to try out. We were sent a normal small sized Splishies and a super Splishies. 

Splishies are soft toys with a jelly like squishy ball inside filled with water and sparkles. You can squeeze them, shake them and splish them.

My first impressions of them was that they remind me of something you would use as an adult for stress. They are really squishy and I could see it keeping an adult nice and calm squishing it. I definetly enjoyed looking at all the sparkles fly around while squeezing it. BUT I really didn't see the same happening with Lily as I knew she would be super excited about them. 

And I was right, when I did give them to her she was super excited and straight away knew what to do with them. She was so amazed to see all the sparkles inside flying around. 

Lily loves to squeeze them though and see the belly pop out. she thought this was very amusing. She also found it really easy to squeeze them which is always a bonus as they can be given to her to play alone and she can entertain herself with them. 

Lily also thought that they were really cute. The lining of the toy which makes up the soft toy element is really soft to stroke. Lily also loved giving them a big cuddle. Our super Splishies was a blue bear and our smaller one was a pink whale with a horn on its head.

The only thing Im not keen on this toy for is the fact that the squishy part of it gets things like dust and hair stuck to it easily and I kept having to give it a wipe with wet wipes. I have 2 cats so you can image how tricky it is to keep these toys hair free. 

They are recommended for children aged 4+ and the small Splishies are £7.99 and the super ones are £11.99.

They great thing about these are they are collectable. With 6 smaller Splishies to collect and 4 super Splishies. 

Want to know more? Head to the Vivid Toys and Games website. 

Who would like to win themselves a Splishies and a Super Splishies? Enter on my Gleam app now and you could win both!
Win a Splishie Bundle

Tuesday 14 May 2019

Baby Born Surprise Review

As soon as I found out that Baby Born were doing little surprise packs I was very excited and intrigued. Lily loves babies and she also loves opening the surprise packages. So I was excited to be able to review them and find out all about them. 

We was sent 3 baby born surprise packages from Zapf Creation. 

The first thing I noticed was that they were encased in a hard plastic round shaped tub. I advise that you try and open this part and not your child. The plastic is quite hard and when cut is also sharp. 

The next layer there is some material wrapped around a oval shape and tied at the top. It is decorated really cute with baby pictures on it. When you undo this it reveals the baby inside. 

Each baby comes wrapped in a cute little swaddle and each swaddle is different. Our first one we got was wrapped in a Unicorn Swaddle. We also got a mermaid and a bunny. You can also get a Bee, Duck, Ice Cream, blue or pink Butterfly, Blue Bear, Green Peapod, or a Pink Poodle. 

As well as your baby it contains a surprise plastic packet which has a bottle inside, it also has instructions and birth certificate with lots of information about you baby plus a collectors guide. 

On the Birth Certificate you can write babies name, birthday, city of birth, and star sign. To figure out these you need look on the bottom of the collectors guide and it will give you hints to what they are. For example, our unicorn swaddle means that that baby was born in October. 

Each baby also comes with a different hair style and you can tick off which hair styles you get on the collectors guide. 

Your babies will come with their eyes closed. You can either leave it so your babies eyes are closed or you can magically make them open. But note that if they are made to open, they cannot close again. To make your babies eyes open just get a wet cloth and wipe the eyes. It wipes away a little like paint, so I suggest using a wet wipe as these can be thrown afterwards. When your babies eyes are open you can then see what colour they are. The colours of the eyes will help you name your baby and you can refer to the collectors guide to find this out. Our babies had purple eyes, brown eyes and blue eyes. 

Another thing you can do with your baby is feed it a drink. The bottle fills with water and then the bottle fits into the babies mouth. After it has had a drink it will then wet its nappy. Another surprise is that the nappy turns into a patterned nappy when wet. This then means you can look at the collectors guide to find out your babies favourite food. I did find that the babies wet their nappy slowly rather than instantly. One baby had carrots as the pattern for the nappy, which means her favourite food is carrots. 

Lily loved caring for her babies but her favourite thing was giving them a drink and making them wet their nappies. We then used the little plastic tubs they came in as beds and the material they were wrapped in as blankets. Always good when you can make use of the packaging of any surprise related toy. 

Each surprise toy is RRP £11.99 and is available in toy stores such as Smyths Toy Store. 

Does your child like Surprise toys? Would they enjoy a baby born surprise? 

Thursday 9 May 2019

Monthly Book Roundup - What we have been reading in April

Lily is a lot fussier with the stories I read her now, and she does go back to her old favourites a lot of the time, but I do get chance to introduce her to new books each month. Just don't get to read them as often as I would like. I think it is because she is getting older and the repetition of the same books doesn't interest her as much as it did when she was little. 

You can read all my other book reviews Here

So last month I let Lily select which ones she wanted to read. She chose 2 new books for me to read this month. Her stories are getting longer and so we aren't always getting through as many new books each month but I will still be letting you know about the ones we do read. 

Here is what we read in April - 

1. A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson 
We love Juila Donaldson and have such a collection of them to read. This one we hadn't read before for bedtime but Lily told me she has been read it in nursery. The story is about an old lady who thinks her house is too small. She asks an old man how she can make her house feel bigger. Strangely he tells her that to make her house bigger she needs to bring in her animals. One by one she does and the house starts to feel smaller not bigger. So the old man tells her to remove the animals out the house and as she does she then realises her house was big after all. The story has loads of silly rhymes in it and flows really nicely to read. Lily thought this story was fantastic and she really enjoyed me reading it to her. Definitely one of the top Julia Donaldson books to read. You can buy this book in stores such as Waterstones. 

2. Alan's Big Scary Teeth by Jarvis
I do love stories that are based on animals that are normally scary animals but aren't in the story and this one is a great example of that. Alan has big scary teeth and one of the things he loves to do the most is scare the jungle animals. But what the animals don't know is that alan's teeth are fake and he removes them every night when he sleeps. One day the animals find out that they aren't real and see where he hides them at night. They decide to steal the teeth. Poor Alan wakes up and can't find them and is ever so upset and cries and cries. Soon the jungle animals feel bad for him and offer him his teeth back as long as he doesn't scare them anymore. He agree's and they then become friends and play lots of jungle games together. It is a really nice story about friendship and I enjoyed reading it to Lily. You can buy this book online.

Which of the 2 stories do you like the sound of and why?