Jun 27

Keeping the kids refreshed – #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge

I have to hold my had up and say I am one of the parents that don’t know how much water the kids should be drinking a day, and although I am lucky and the Monkey and Mouse don’t moan about the taste of water – we all consider it a bit boring.  When I heard about the #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge sponsored by Robinsons, I thought it would be fun to join in!

I started by asking the kids what they thought would make them drink more water. They drew their ideas down and then ‘presented’ them to me. Mouse decided that she would drink more water if it was a sunny hot day and she was playing outside. She drew down her idea and told me that if I could turn the Sun on she would drink more water!13552771_10153538667531780_1674249030_n

Monkey on the other hand had a  more elaborate plan, he said that is he was outside with his dog, sunbathing under a tree with his light sabre he would more than likely drink more water. When I pointed out he didn’t have a dog, he said I would have to buy him one. At 8 years old my son decided that bribery was the way forward and that if I buy him a dog of his very own he would drink more water.13536004_10153538667346780_1293403196_n

A little perplexed at these suggestions, I asked hubby what he thought. Being an artist he wanted to doodle his idea……..Fruit flavoured rain, that way the kids would just step outside and be happy to drink the rain water.13522535_10153538667466780_1503240711_nAs much as these ideas are fantastic, I am not sure how much control I have of when the sun is out or what flavour the rain is, and I am sue that buying a dog as a bribe isn’t the best option!! So what else can we do?

Well, you could use Robinson’s Squash’d. Now I will be honest, I have seen these before and not bought them because I thought they were a bit of a novelty. Now having tried them I think they are fab. Perfect size for hand bags, glove boxes, pockets and picnic boxes! Just grab so water, add one squirt and off you go. We six delicious flavours there is an option for everyone. 13553290_10153538547106780_167256834_n

Join them! After a run around, a game of football or generally something tuna dn active outdoors, all sit down together and enjoy a drink of water! If they see you doing it, they are more likely too – leading by example!

Bribe I mean Reward them, use a reward chart with some cool stickers, so they can see how much they are drinking and they will feel like they are doing something good, or tell then for every 2 glasses of water they drink they can have a glass with a ‘super duper shot’ of Robinsons Squash’d in it!!

Serve Water in a ‘special’ glass or cup. Monkey and Mouse love drinking from anything they are not usually ‘allowed’ to drink out of – a Wine Glass, Mummy’s favourite cup or a mason jar with lid and straw – Not that I have banned them from these I hasten to add, but they just don’t normally have these.13563607_10153538667136780_446204283_n

Tell them the truth!! Tell your kids why you want them to drink more, tell them it is good for them, that they will feel fresher, that their skin will be better and it will help keep their insides fresh. My two love facts and often if they know why they are doing something, they will do it. When school did a session on eating your five a day – we were counting portions for months!

“This post is an entry for BritMums #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge, sponsored by Robinsons

Jun 25

A (non Britmums live) Saturday in the Life of me

I was unable to go to Britmums Live this year and I was reading all the tweets about how great it was I decided to think about how I would be spending my day, so here is a ‘day in the life of MoolBoots (that’s me)’!

 

5:50 am – I’m awake, why am I awake?! No-one else is awake, it’s Saturday and I have no reason to be up – Go Back To Sleep!!

7:38 am – I am awake again, slowly open one eye – just one – and check the time. Phew it is 7:38, a much better time…….and I can hear the kids coming this way!

7:55 am – I get up and head downstairs with the children in the attempt to give Hubby a lie in.

lego8:05 am – Arguing ensues over the one piece of Lego they both must have out of the 362,938 (Approx) pieces we own!

8:30 am – Daddy is up, breakfast is served and peace is restored.

cup9:30 am – Cup of tea in hand, Lego building resumed, TV on…..this could be a relaxing day after all.

10:15 – ‘Discuss with Hubby about who has a shower first (loosely translated to who gets 10 minutes to themselves first).  I lose and have to wait.

11:00 – Monkey and Mouse are desperate to get to the school fair that starts at 11 o’clock and they mustn’t miss a single second, yet neither of them are washed or dressed yet!

11:38 am – Finally we are leaving for the fair armed with pennies to play some games and have a go on the tombola. There is a massive black cloud above as we drive there and we are hoping not to get caught in the rain.

umbrella11:50 pm – We got caught in the rain and are now all soaked to the skin

12:30 pm – Kids are eating hot dogs and hubby is going for his second Cuppa Tea, we have played Hooplah, pin the flag on the map, throw the superhero through the hole and had multiple goes on the tombola and now we are watching two ten-year olds singing Uptown Funk – Hot Damn!!!

1:00 pm – Been roped into manning a stall thanks to the kids, to be honest I love that they want to help and that they wanted to give the teacher a break. It was kinda fun too!

foot2:30 pm – Home with our swag; the bottle of wine I won on the raffle, the smellies from the tombola and the teddies the kids won (because we needed more of them!). Football is on the TV and the kids have become Indiana Jones and a Chef and are playing upstairs. The plan is for a relaxing afternoon!

kel5:30pm – Had a little nap, felt a bit rubbish. Not sure why but at times I feel completely weary and have to sleep. Feel much better now though!

8:00pm – Kids are in bed, takeaway ordered, glass of wine poured and film on the TV.

A bit different to what I would have been doing in London if I had gone to Britmums, but a great day and a lovely evening to spend with Hubby. I love my family and find that the simple things are the things I enjoy the most!

Jun 25

Great Gizmos – Dinosaur DNA Set review

We have two very big Dinosaur fans in the house, they are also very big fans of exploring, digging, mess and fun – so when the 4M Tyrannosaurus T-Rex Dinosaur DNA Set arrived they could not wait to dig in!! 13492903_10157127066500445_821541739_nThis set has so much to offer, your children can become palaeontologists in the safety of their own home. It is for children 8 years and over but Monkey didn’t want to play without Mouse though (who is 6) so they played together, Mouse had no trouble with the set at all and as a mum I would be happy for her to have a set like this too.

The set contains a plaster block (which contains Dinosaur bones), hammer and chisel, map Mats and instructions!13522508_10157127061030445_1070413488_n

You will need to download the Dinocodes app to use alongside the set, but this is easy to do and is a free app.  I was really impressed with how much this set offers; you get to dig up dinosaur bones, construct a dinosaur (that becomes a great glow in the dark toy) and then using the latest AR (Augmented Reality) technology, you can watch the dinosaurs come to life using your phone or tablet.13530592_10153534089366780_2081402086_n

Monkey and Mouse got to work on the plaster block; using the hammer and chisel to start off getting rid of the plaster and then the brush to sweep away excess near the bones. I was worried it may take too long to keep their attention but I definitely didn’t need to worry, they loved every second. It is designed to show them what it would be like in real life; that is would take time and is delicate work. It was so good, even Grampsy loved getting involved too!IMG_2425

They dug up the bones and a small test tube with DNA in it. Once all the bones were dug up, they constructed the T-rex – they loved him straight away and kept running of to dark places to see him glow!

The DNA completes the map mats and enable you to bring your dinosaur to life using the app. Lay the mat on the floor, start-up the app, scan and hey presto, you have your own pet dinosaur!

It is fantastic, one mat has a dinosaur, one has a scene and you can use them together. We actually had a volcano in the room, it looks brilliant and with the dinosaur it looks even better.thumbnail_DinoCodes

For an added bonus you can take photos or make a video within the app so you can keep the memory. You can also share it with your friends through email or over your social media.

We love this Gizmo and will be keeping our eyes out for the others too. It is full of fun, the kids love it and it has been a brilliant bonding activity for them and Grampsy too! Monkey says it is the best thing ever and no longer wants to be a builder, he nows wants to be a ‘dinosaur discoverer’!!

Jun 16

Transformers: Robots in Disguise – Rumble in the Jungle Competition

Transformers are back! On the 23rd May Transformers: Robots in Disguise – Rumble in the Jungle was released on DVD and Digital Download. We are very happy to have some new Transformer viewing to add to our collection! image001Join in the fun once more as these six new episodes continue on from the out of this world first installment of Robots in Disguise: A New Mission. When we return to Earth, Bumblebee and the Autobots are still rounding up the escaped Decepticons, but not all of them will come quietly.

 The team comes face to face with a wild Decepticon, Grimlock, who is on the rampage and out of control; however that is not their only problem to overcome this time round! The rivalry is brewing between Denny and Fixit, but Bumblebee takes the most hits as he is exposed to toxins that make him hyperactive and is being tracked down by a pair of bounty hunters determined to ensnare him once and for all.

The team also has their work cut out with a Decepticon fugitive trying to attack the Bot’s most precious commodity. When it seems their adventure cannot get any worse, Optimus learns of a threat made against Earth and Cybertron! It seems there is evil on the horizon, but can the Autobots stop it in time? Earth and Cybertron are doomed if Optimus cannot prepare himself to make the right move.

It is chaos on Earth but will teamwork save the day in this exciting new volume? 

The transformer team have really done it again with another fantastic DVD, both Monkey and Mouse love the characters and the story and they opt to watch it when given the choice. The DVD runs for slightly over 2 hours and it certainly keeps them children entertained. This latest DVD features six great episodes full of the quality fun you expect from the series; colours, characters, animation – it is all great!!

The great people of Hasbro are offering the chance for one of you to win your own copy of Rumble in the Jungle, just follow the widget below and Good Luck!!

<a class=“e-widget no-button” href=“https://gleam.io/W7KCF/transformers-robots-in-disguise-rumble-in-the-jungle” rel=“nofollow”>Transformers: Robots in Disguise – Rumble in the Jungle</a> <script type=“text/javascript” src=“https://js.gleam.io/e.js” async=“true”></script>

Jun 06

Triop World Competition

Yesterday you saw me publish a review of the fantastic Triop World (My Living World) from Interplay. The perfect set for any nature lover, history lover or pet lover! The Monkey and the Mouse found it easy to use and they are so excited at how they are going to see their ‘pets’ grow.triop world

Some of the things we have found out about Triops is fascinating.

Triops are crustaceans and they have the scientific name of Triops Longicaudatus.  The Triops in this set come from the USA but they can be found in many continents.

They live in small ponds that exist only for short periods after it has rained.  Triops have to go through their life cycle very quickly so their eggs are ready for when the pool goes dry.

Most exciting is they can double in size every day and can grow up to 4cm in length.

This set gives the children an amazing chance to explore nature indoors, they can see the birth and life-cycle of the Triops and they can learn history!

Have a read of the review and if you fancy a chance to win your own set, please follow the options on the widget below! Good Luck, one of you will be enjoying your own ‘Living World’ as much as we are soon!

 Triop World from Interplay

Jun 05

Interplay Triop World Review

This week we are mostly trying to grow pond monsters with ‘Nick Baker’s Triop World’ from Interplay UK; this set is great and gives you the chance to explore the world of nature in your own home. triop world

Triops (which are also known as Tadpole or Shield Shrimps) are creatures that biologists often call living fossils. They are amazing things that have survived a very many years by becoming masters of a habitat that is too tough for many  – they have seen the dinosaurs come and go! Their eggs can lay dormant for years and with a little bit of water they can be born again – springing to life.

triop setIn the set there is – instructions (always handy), the tank, detritus (dirt and eggs), sand, Triop food, spoon and pipette! The only thing extra you have to get is water, this needs to be either rain water or bottled spring water and should NOT be tap water. instructionThe kids were beyond excited to get going and see their own pets develop; the set is for 7 years old plus. Monkey is the perfect age at 8 and Mouse at 6 was happy to watch over the preparations and is very excited to see what the ‘things look like’!

We used bottled spring water from the shop, you top up the tank and then sprinkle the detritus in to the water, give it a stir and that is it – job done. finishNext comes the hardest part – we have to wait! Anyone who knows us will know that this is a small challenge for us, we are ok at waiting but for exciting things we want to see the magic…….now!!

However, saying that Monkey went to bed excited to see what will have happened tomorrow, we will have to wait a bit longer to see the Triops come to life but the journey is going to be exciting!

So far we are really impressed with the set; it is nicely boxed up (perfect box for contents, no excessive packaging that doesn’t need to be there), the instructions are clear and well explained and the kit is easy to use.

I am extra impressed at the history and information it gives you about the Triops and what they are, so much to learn for the children. It also mentions that there may be extra free pets in your set. Triops are not the only creatures that live in temporary pools and this means that the bag of eggs may contain surprises – fingers crossed here.

Keep your eye out for the follow-up posts with some picture of our guys when they hatch and tomorrow you will have the chance to win your own living world!

May 31

Half-Shell Heroes: Blast To The Past Competition

On the 16th May 2016 something great happened – the Half-Shell Heroes: Blast To The Past DVD was released and young children were able to join in the fun of the Turtles Franchise that we all have come to love over the years, Blast from the past is a perfectly age appropriate film for the little ones! image001-1

The film is a one-off short film (44mins) that is aimed at a pre-school audience and is younger child-friendly; I knew it would be perfect for Mouse (6 years) but wasn’t sure about Monkey (8 years). As it turns out, they both loved it and actually wanted more! The fact that it is 44 minutes is great too as it is long enough to be jam packed with adventure but not too long that the children loose their concentration!

The story is great and simple to follow, the animation is fantastic with brilliant colours and it is enough to keep the little ones stuck to the screen for 44 minutes! The adventure sees the turtles heading back in time to the prehistoric days to battle with the

Mouse said “the best bit was when the Dinosaurs and Turtles were in a team”

Monkey stuck to one word “Epic”.  

We would definitely recommend this for those younger fans of the turtles who are a little too young for the versions that all already out there. If you want fun, vibrancy and a great story then this is for you! Luckily for us this arrived just in time for half term, so I have had 44 minutes of the kids being quiet…and happy! Bliss.

Half-Shell Heroes: Blast To The Past DVD

May 25

Capture The Flag – Review

We love a good family film to settle down to on a weekend and Capture the Flag came at the perfect time for a family film afternoon with the grandparents!  Capture the flag is an entertaining adventure that takes you on an exciting journey into space, with a boy, his father and grandfather who come together to protect the legacy of the original moon landing.thumbnail_IMG_0510

Finding a film that we can watch with Monkey and Mouse (8 and 6 years old) and Granny and Grampsy (in their 60s) and that they will all enjoy is sometimes difficult; with different interests and the age difference they don’t always like the same thing.  Capture the Flag actually fits the bill – Grampsy loves Space (as do the kids) and with reimagined animated scenes of the famed Apollo 11 mission, this film really does offer fun for all ages – it is a great take on NASA and space exploration.

Space travel runs in Mike Goldwing’s family: both his father and grandfather were astronauts. But the plucky 12-year-old’s estranged grandfather, Frank, has lived a life isolated from his family after missing out on the chance to make history as a member of the Apollo 11 crew.

However, when Mike discovers that an eccentric billionaire plans to fly to the moon, claim its vast, valuable mineral resources, and destroy the American flag planted by the Apollo 11 astronauts, the countdown to a spectacular adventure begins! Mike, teamed with his grandfather, best friends Amy and Marty, and a clever chameleon, blasts off on an incredible moon-bound mission, determined to thwart the billionaire’s evil plan!

I loved it because it is good clean, safe fun – it is well written and is lovely to look at! It is nice to have a film on the shelf that can be watched over and over and it maintains the fun, the excitement and the adventure. I am a little worried we will wear out the disc! The Digital download is already available as it was released on 23rd May, if like me you would prefer the Blu-Ray or DVD you can get it on 30th May!

There is extra fun to be had by downloading this colouring sheet too! CapturetheFlag_ColouringSheet_A4_R1.1

Have a look at this clip from ZeroDegreesWest on Vimeo.

May 22

My Little Pony: Princess Twilight Sparkle Review and competition

My Little Pony is back on our TV with the latest DVD “My Little Pony: Princess Twilight Sparkle”.  The first volume of the fourth season of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. This time Twilight Sparkle has fully transformed from student to princess, from library to castle, and is learning to lend a helping hoof to friends old and new.image011

We put this straight on when it arrived and it became a permanent fixture in the house! Monkey and Mouse couldn’t wait to se what adventures the Pony’s got up too and they were not disappointed!

The pony pals are travelling across Equestria encountering all kinds of exciting events including fantastical performances at the Summer Sun Celebration, mysterious royal disappearances and even more wild adventures. Every colt and filly in Ponyville is getting involved as these episodes debut on DVD.

Princess Twilight Sparkle has set out on an adventure to learn what it means to have true friendship. She looks to save Equestria from the attacks of a deadly plant, visits an abandoned castle with Rainbow Dash, Applejack and Rarity, and enjoys a whole host of escapades with the gang. Although Princess Twilight Sparkle is a natural born leader, when a bat infestation threatens Equestria, it is Fluttershy that is called in to save the day.image010Full of the adventure, fun and happiness you would expect from My Little Pony; this DVD is fantastic and certainly a must for any My Little Pony Fan! I can’t believe that My Little Pony is still going so strong, but I am so pleased it is – Mouse and I share a real love for it! She knows I loved them as a girl and it is something we bond over. The DVD is great for our ‘mummy and mouse’ time and we love watching it together, to be honest Monkey loves it too!

Do you want a chance to win a copy? Then just follow the widget below to be in with a chance. Good Luck!

My Little Pony: Princess Twilight Sparkle DVD

Apr 29

Art Therapy Colouring Books from Parragon

Colouring books for grown ups are becoming more and more popular; I have one – in fact I have more than one and I love it. I know it is not for everyone but I find it so relaxing to sit and colour, it also massages your creative juices which is brilliant.

The biggest problem I have with my colouring books is that the Mouse always wants to share them! Well I think Parragon may have the answer to that. 13084049_10156908633305445_13283951_nThese Art Therapy Books are fantastic, we have a Disney Princess one and a Frozen one. They are perfect for Mouse and perfect for me! They are designed perfectly to suit an adult, the patterns are lovely and provide plenty of room for creativity.

Of course the topics of princesses and Frozen are very popular with Mouse so they are perfectly designed for her too!

Some of the pages feature the characters and some are filled with patterns that are relevant to the topic (lots of snowflakes and icy looking ones in the Frozen one).

They are good quality with a cardboard front and back covers; the paper for the colouring pages is relatively thick – not too flimsy and perfect to be used with pencils or felt tips!

It really is relaxing to sit and colour, satisfying to see what you create and fun to sit down with the children and do the same activity! So, get out your colouring pencils and find some calm!

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