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Category: Children

Perfecting the Bedtime Routine with Johnson’s Baby

Perfecting the Bedtime Routine with Johnson’s Baby

#ad – this post was written in collaboration with Johnson’s Baby.

Bedtime can be a real challenge when you have kids. During the newborn stage, it’s all about hitting the hay whenever the baby finally falls asleep. Then as the kids get older, you have to try and wrestle them into bed at a reasonable hour. Ever since I began working with Johnson’s Baby, I’ve been thoroughly educated on the scientific wonders of bedtime. I’ve learned so much about how to get bedtime right, meaning less stress for my girls and I.

When our first daughter was born I really wasn’t getting bedtime right. I would often bathe her in the morning instead of the evening, just because I thought it was easier. That meant that at night time, I would try put her to bed and expect her to settle. There would be no relaxing bath time, followed by a little quiet time before sleep. I had things completely upside down and it was a very difficult time.

Learning with Johnson’s Baby –

It wasn’t until I began working with Johnson’s Baby that I finally began to realise the error of my ways. The most important thing that I’ve learned is that the first three years of our children’s lives are absolutely crucial in terms of brain development. Every tiny interaction helps to shape a baby’s brain, it gives them the grounding on which they will build their lives. I also learned that children relate well to smells. Scents bring back memories for us all, good and bad. So if we pair lovely smells, with even lovelier interaction, we’re able to create long lasting happy memories that will follow our children through life.

With this in mind, I realised that I hadn’t taken the opportunity to create those memories with my children. After all, a quick bath in the morning is not relaxing in anyway shape or form. There are so many other benefits of an evening bathtime routine that we were missing out on. It’s proven that bathtime with a scented bath reduces stress in babies and parents and that it can improve maternal anxiety. Like a lot of new mothers, this was something I really struggled with in the early days. For this reason alone, I wish I’d focussed more on creating a relaxing bath time.

Getting bath time right with the Johnson’s Bedtime Routine –

At this stage in my parenting journey and with a lot of thanks to Johnson’s, I’m now getting bedtime absolutely right. These days, bedtime passes without a struggle and both girls benefit immensely from the calming environment we create each evening. To achieve this, all we had to do was implement the Johnson’s Bedtime Routine;

Step 1 –

Run a nice warm bath, using lush smelling products that will calm your senses and your baby’s. I love using Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bath.

Step 2 –

Give your littles a gentle massage, even if it’s just on the arms and the legs. This is another super calming experience that will help prepare your baby for the land of nod. My favourite product to use here is Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Oil, it smells amazing!

Step 3 –

Turn the lights down and enjoy a little quiet time, maybe a calming bedtime book. We love to sit and read our girl’s favourite books, lit by their nightlight. It’s the ideal transition into a good night’s sleep!

We’ve been following this bedtime routine for a little while now and it really has made a difference. Our girls know what’s going to happen and when. They jump into bed ready for their book and they drift off without any trouble at all, which is great to give Hubs and I time to relax in the evening.

I put the question of creating the perfect bedtime to my fellow bloggers, asking them to pass on their tips and tricks for getting the littles to settle down to a good night’s sleep. Here’s what they had to say;

Jaymee from The Mum Diaries: I always found bath, story and bed worked well with my 3 boys.’

Jo from Cup of Toast: ‘ We always have a bath / shower, followed by three picture books or a couple of chapters from a book, then lights out! We do the bath / shower time at the same time for our three boys then go in age order with stories (the youngest has them first) so that the older two both get a little bit of extra quiet time in their respective rooms.’

Gail from Yummy Mommy: ‘Routine!! Bath, chat, beaker of milk and a story and cuddling to sleep. Lights go off in our house at 6 and lamps go on. Make the place as dark as possible. Swear by this!’

Jade from Jade’s Journey: ‘We have just cracked getting our 2 year old to sleep after trying everything and what works for us is, no reading or playing for 20 minutes before bed instead we have a cuddle watch a little something then up she goes snuggles down with a teddy of her choosing and we give a kiss and cuddle close the door and that’s that. With our son who is 6 he has a calming down 30 mins before so he can read a book or watch TV then he goes up and same kiss cuddle and close the door.’

Charlotte from Looking After your Pennies: ‘We do bath, books and cuddles to sleep. But mine have never slept through the night (3.5 and 15 months) so I’m probably not one to talk.’

Pete from Household Money Saving:  ‘We went with story, bath and then teeth. Then an episode is Sean the Sheep if they behaved (usually they did) and straight to bed.’

Emma from Emma Reed: ‘ My 4 year old has a bath then has to come downstairs to chill for a bit, he doesn’t like to think it’s the end of the day straight after bath time for some reason. So we watch a bit of telly, then up to do teeth, he snuggles in bed and we read 2-3 books, sing a song and then say goodnight. He goes off by himself quite nicely after that.’

 

It would seem that we have a lot of advocates for a good bedtime ritual! Do you have any tips and tricks to create the perfect bedtime routine?

 

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L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store Review

L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store Review

*We were gifted the L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

This week our girls were sent the L.O.L Pop-Up Store to review. The biggest has been a big fan of L.O.L Surprise, since we reviewed our first dolls a few weeks ago. Now she’s a super fan and couldn’t wait to put the Pop-Up store through its paces. I was excited for this product too, as it meant we would be able to keep her L.O.L Surprise dolls altogether in one place!

The L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store is available at Smyths, Argos and The Entertainer.

The Review –

Our Pop-Up Store arrived on one the most miserable days of Autumn so far, which was perfect timing. Neither myself nor the girls bode when we’ve been stuck indoors, so to have this product to review was a very welcome distraction! First of all, we got out all of our existing L.O.L Surprise dolls, so that we had them ready to put on show.

Our biggest loves how detailed and intricate the dolls and their accessories are. She uses them to create her own stories, it’s great to see these dolls igniting her imagination so much. Once we opened the Store, we found all of the hidden packages to build up the doll that comes with the product. It was stored away in all of the different compartments, making it exciting for the girls to find them!

This product was full of different areas each with its own theme, including a diner, a beauty salon and a kitchen. The salon was a firm favourite with our girls, they had their dolls in there for hours beautifying them for a special event! Now that we have quite a few dolls, it’s really fun for them to swap and change the outfits on the dolls, making unique outfits for each and every one. Our eldest spent a whole rainy afternoon, making her dolls look like fashionistas!

Not only does the Pop-Up store allow you to display all of your L.O.L Surprise dolls, it also comes with a handle to turn it into a carry case. So wherever you are, it’s easy to take the dolls with you to keep the littles entertained. Our daughter loves that you can display the dolls most and has her proudly on show for everyone to see!

Overall, both the girls and I have been very impressed with the L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store. The girls adore it and it certainly makes it easier to store all of the dolls and accessories in our collection!

 

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Super Cute Collectible Num Noms – Review

Super Cute Collectible Num Noms – Review

*We were sent a selection of Num Noms products for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

I’ve seem Num Noms all over the shops recently and my girls have been so intrigued by them. So when I was asked to review these super cute Collectible Num Noms, I knew it would be something they’d love to do! Num Noms are cute and wonderfully scented really cute characters that are filled with flavoured lip gloss. You can see why my girls have been so intrigued by them!

What’s in the box?

We were sent a Num Noms Glossy Gloss, as well as extra sets of mini Num Noms characters, packed with lovely lip gloss. Num Noms are available to buy at all good toy stores including: Smyths, The Entertainer and Argos!

 

The review –

As we’d never been introduced to Num Noms before, we had a lot of fun exploring what was in each of the product packages. The girls love toys that they can collect and they were so pleased to see that there were many different characters for them to get their hands on. My favourite were the fluffy characters, they have a little light in their tummy and they smell absolutely amazing!

The brilliant thing about the Glossy Gloss Truck, is that the girls were able to make their own lip glosses. It comes with a tub of plain lip gloss that you can add to your preferred Num Nom character, as well as extra glitter that you can add and mix together. This was a lot of fun for both girls, they were making fancy new lip glosses for an entire evening when our truck arrived!

Overall, both girls and I have been impressed with our Num Noms set. It’s been a lot of fun and I think it’s a great product to collect, especially on special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas!

 

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L.O.L Surprise! Eye Spy Under Wraps

L.O.L Surprise! Eye Spy Under Wraps

*This post was written in collaboration with Smyths Toy Superstores. As Always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

 

This last few days has been super exciting for our girls as they were introduced to L.O.L Surprise! These tiny and super sparkly dolls are all the rage and after this week, I’m sure they’ll be a regular feature in our house. They really are under wraps too, it’s like pass the parcel but much more fun as our girls pass the product between them removing layers. In each layer, there’s a small surprise for them to keep them intrigued as to what’s inside!

What does L.O.L Surprise! Eye Spy Under Wraps include?

This set includes a number of codes and a pink eye-glass to decipher them. Once you have worked out the correct code, you have to use the combination locks to open up all of the compartments. When you’ve have managed to get into all of the doors, you can then dress up your L.O.L Surprise doll and add her to your collection! The L.O.L Surprise range, including Eye Spy Under Wraps is available at Smyths, The Entertainer, Argos and all good toy stores. The Eye Spy Under Wraps toy is £14.99, ideal to treat the kids or to put in their stocking at Christmas!

What did we think?

As I mentioned, our girls were very excited to find out what was in their very pink package! I do have two very girly girls. so this kind of toy is ideal for them. The intrigue on their faces was absolutely adorable, they just couldn’t wait to tear away the packaging to find out what was inside! Both girls were mesmerised by the code and eye-glass too. They were completely in awe of the pictures appearing once they held the glass over the code sheet. This was great fun and I loved that it got their minds working.

Once they were into the L.O.L Surprise package, they couldn’t wait to work out which codes opened the compartments. I loved this feature, it made for a fun addition to an already enjoyable toy. They unlocked the codes, we opened all of the packages and found a very funky looking doll, with a great outfit! They loved that you could change the dolls outfit and that you could store different items from her wardrobe in all of the different compartments.

Overall, we think that L.O.L Surprise! Eye Spy Under Wraps is a great product. The girls had so much fun, not only with the doll, but also getting into the packaging and working out the secret codes. I’m pretty sure L.O.L Surprise! will be appearing on both girls’ Christmas lists this year!

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Poopsie Slime Surprise Review

Poopsie Slime Surprise Review

*We were provided with samples of Poopsie Slime Surprise for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

If your children are like mine, then the title of this post is all they will need to hear to love it. As soon as I mention the world ‘slime’ in our house, both girls know there’ll be a gooey, sticky mess for them to enjoy. That’s why I just didn’t have it in me to turn down a review of the new Poopsie Slime Surprise, my littles would never have forgiven me. I must admit, I was a little curious too, unicorns and slime sounds like a very magical combination after all!

Poopsie Slime Surprise is available to buy at Smyths, The Entertainer and Argos and is priced at £9.99. It’s the ideal stocking filler, or birthday gift for the kids. At that price, it’s a go to present for when the kids deserve a little treat too. It comes with all of the ingredients you needs to make sweet-smelling, sparkly unicorn poop that’s sure to keep the kids happy and entertained for many slimy hours!

 

 

What do we think –

As my girls are still a little on the younger side, I decided to make the slime up myself. It comes with all of the slime ingredients attached to the outside of the packet, whilst the mixing and storing equipment is fastened inside. I found the instructions really easy to follow and had the mixture made up in no time. The girls’ could help with some of the shaking up too which they thoroughly enjoyed.

After leaving the slime to set, it was time to add the ‘unicorn magic’, which when kneaded into the mixture changes the colour and adds a little sparkle! The girls could help with this part of the slime creation too, they were soon elbow deep in green slime! The bit I liked most about the creation process is that you are provided with a little bottle of scent, which makes the slime smell really nice. This means your hands don’t get covered with the usual, odd smell that comes with slime making.

 

 

As soon as my two got stuck into the slime, they were absolutely mesmerised. This slime is really sticky and gooey, so they were able to squash it and stretch it until their little hearts were content. They had a lot of fun and were absolutely covered in it by the time they had finished, as was my dining room table!

You’ll be pleased to know though, that this slime cleans up really easily. It came right out of their clothes after a spin through the washer. It wiped off of my table with ease and it also washed off of the girls hands with very little effort. For that reason I give this product a big thumbs up. I’ve had to remove stuck on slime far too often in my parenting career and this was a refreshing clean up in comparison! This set also comes with a mini key ring that you can store the slime in, so when the kids have had enough it doesn’t just get left to dry out.

Overall, the girls and I have been super impressed with Poopsie Slime Surprised. They aren’t words that I’d ever thought would come out of my mouth, but it was easy, fun and the girls had a blast!

 

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Our Generation Awesome Academy School Room – Review

Our Generation Awesome Academy School Room – Review

*We were provided with an Awesome Academy set for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

This week my girls have been very lucky, as they’ve been asked to review the new Our Generation Awesome Academy School Room, from Smyths Toy Superstores! Our eldest daughter has just begun her first full year at preschool and absolutely adores it, so when she found out this play set was a school room, she was so excited. She’s at the ideal age for toys like this, as her imagination has really started to kick in. She and her sister love to play make-believe games and Our Generation offer them the perfect arena to do so.

What’s in the range?

The Our Generation product range isn’t just restricted to the Awesome Academy School Room, there are so many more scenarios to be enjoyed. My favourites are the Horse Stable, the Mane Attraction Horse Trailer Set and the Retro Cruiser. This is by no means an exhaustive list though, to fully appreciate what Our Generation have to offer take look at their new Smyths Catalogue!

The Awesome Academy School Room –

When our school room was delivered, my girls were completely in awe by what they saw. The packaging allowed for them to see everything that was in the box, before we even opened it. As you can imagine I had two very excited little people, who couldn’t wait to get stuck in. As I previously mentioned, our eldest has just begin her school career and she was immediately impressed by the fact that she was able to play schools at home – I’ll remind her of how much she loves education when she’s a teenager!

From a parent’s perspective, this product looks like great value for money. The set comes with the school room with three walls and a floor. It has working lights and ringing bells. A real chalkboard and whiteboard with real chalk and a marker. Altogether the set has a whopping 92 classroom items. The guys at Our Generation really haven’t left any stone unturned. The play set was easy to assemble too, I usually leave this job to Hubs but I managed it perfectly well by myself. It’s good, solid quality, that will withstand hours of play with two very enthusiastic preschoolers!

Our girls and I sat together as we fixed up the classroom and arranged all of the items. I don’t mind admitting that I really enjoyed setting this play set up with them. Their imaginations had kicked in from the outset and they were creating school room scenarios from the word go. Out eldest took the role of teacher and the youngest was happy to play student for the remainder of the evening!

There’s so much in this set that it was impossible for the girls to get bored. As they worked their way through all of the accessories they became more and more impressed with what was included. Their favourites were the mini pencil cases, filled with tiny stationery and the super cute little lunch box. They were very taken with the teacher’s spinning chair and reward cards too!

Adding to our collection –

Like most parents, I often get stuck when I think about what to buy our girls for their birthdays and Christmas. The beauty of the Our Generation range is that there are so many items, you can keep adding to your collection on special occasions. No more racking your brains thinking about what to buy, Our Generation will always get you parenting brownie points!

Overall, we have been super impressed with the Awesome Academy School Room from Our Generation. I’m that impressed, I don’t have a bad word to say about it. Both girls continue to love playing with their set and we will definitely be adding to our collection in the future!

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Why we Love Smyths Toy Stores!

Why we Love Smyths Toy Stores!

*We have been compensated with vouchers for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

It’s at this time of year that my mind turns to the festive season. Ever since becoming a parent, I’ve become more and more organised when it comes to Christmas. I like to get the kids presents wrapped and put away in good time, so that I’m not caught up in the Christmas rush come December. I like to make sure we’re able to get all of the presents we want too and by getting them early, we’ve never had a problem with the popular brands selling out.

Our favourite and go to shop for presents has always been Smyths Toy Stores. We used to travel a little way to our nearest store, which was always worth it. These days though, there’s a huge Smyths in our local town. It’s so accessible and makes present buying for our girls super easy. There are rows and rows of floor to ceiling toys, everything you can think of all under one roof. To be honest, I think I love it in there more than the kids do!

Smyths Toy Stores new catalogue –

One of my favourite parts of preparing for Christmas, is getting the Smyths catalogue and browsing through all of the toys that are available. It makes me feel so Christmassy! The catalogue makes life very simple when you get to the store too, as even though we always like to have a browse, we know exactly what we’re going for and how much it will cost. The new catalogue is out in stores this Friday, I can’t wait to pick mine up to start my shopping!

This year’s gifts –

This Christmas, our girls will be two and 3. Developmentally they aren’t far apart, so I’m going to invest in a whole host of learning toys. These will be ideal for teaching them something, whilst they’re having fun. I’m especially keen on the VTech Innotab products, which I know Smyths have a brilliant range of. I’m also a huge fan of the VTech smart watches, which I know both of our two will have so much fun with!

I do like to buy toys that aren’t as focused on learning too, it’s so important that the girls have fun whilst playing. Both girls have a showed a huge interest in dolls over the past few months. Smyths stock everything from dolls to pushchairs and houses to travel cots. Playing with dolls really gets our girls’ imaginations working, so I think this will also be a great choice of present this year.

I’m so excited for Christmas this year, especially as our girls are now old enough to fully appreciate the magic of it. With a little help from Smyths, it’s definitely going to be a Christmas to remember!

Are you getting organised for Christmas?

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Googly Eyes from University Games – GIVEAWAY!

Googly Eyes from University Games – GIVEAWAY!

We love a good family games here at The Tale of Mummyhoof HQ. That’s why, thanks to University Games, we’re giving away a Googly Eyes game!

Googly Eyes is drawing and guessing game with a twist! You have to put on vision-altering glasses to draw, whilst the other players have to guess what the picture is. It’s not as easy as it looks!

Aimed at ages 7 and up, you’re sure to have lots of family fun with Googly Eyes!

All you have to do to enter is complete the form below. Please do check out the terms and conditions…good luck!

 

 

Win Googly Eyes from University Games

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The Day That A Ran Away – Children’s Book Review & Giveaway

The Day That A Ran Away – Children’s Book Review & Giveaway

This week, our girls have been asked to review the children’s book The Day That A Ran away, written by B. C. R. Fegan. It’s not the first time we’ve worked with this author, earlier on this year we reviewed Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32. Our girls loved this book as did I, so we were excited to add another tale from B. C. R. Fegan to our library!

 

 

Similar to Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32, this book is based on rhyme. I love books like this and our girls really enjoy rhyming stories! I think its great how this book makes learning the alphabet fun too. Education is paramount in our house and anything that makes doing so enjoyable, is a complete winner!

 

 

The illustrations throughout the book are fun and colourful too. They’re eye-catching and really get out girls’ imaginations going. Each of the letters has an adventure of their own, which makes kids giggle each time we read it!

Overall, we are super impressed with this second book from B. C. R. Fegan. It’s enjoyable to read, very well written and offers a super fun way for our girls to learn. If you want to add more books to your library, I couldn’t recommend this tale enough!

 

There’s one copy of The Day That A Ran Away up for grabs for my readers! For your chance to win, all you have to do is enter using the form below. Please don’t forget to check out the terms and conditions…good luck! 

 

 

Win a Copy of The Day That A Ran Away Children’s Book

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Tiny Treasures Realistic Baby Dolls – Review & Giveaway

Tiny Treasures Realistic Baby Dolls – Review & Giveaway

This post was written in collaboration with Kid Kreations and Tiny Treasures.

 

This week our girls have been lucky enough to have had the chance to review the Tiny Treasures realistic baby doll, as well as a selection of accessories from the Tiny Treasures range. Our girls have loved looking after dolls for a while now, so when they found out how much Tiny Treasures are like real babies, they were so excited to take care of them! These dolls are so realistic, that they weigh and smell the same as a real baby. They have super soft hair and closing eyes for added effect too.

 

 

They were sent a package which included a Tiny Treasures doll, a unicorn rocker for the doll and a mermaid sleeping bag with a super cute, matching headband. Both girls were absolutely amazed with the selection they got and I thought the unicorn rocker was a fabulous addition to the Tiny Treasures set.

 

 

The box that our Tiny Treasures doll arrived in, also doubles up as a rocking seat for her. It even has a three-point strap to hold her in, just like the seat we used to use for our girls. I think it’s really great that this company have made use of all aspects of the set. Making the box a seat not only makes it more fun for the girls, it also reduces waste which is incredibly important.

 

 

The Verdict –

The Tiny Treasures collection has been a huge hit in our house. They’ve been so looked after by our girls and have even been out on car journeys with us! From an adult point of view, I’m very impressed with the quality of the doll and all of the accessories. They are well made and can stand the heavy use that is inevitable when you have two toddlers. I’m also a fan of the range of accessories available. They’re novel and fun for the girls which means hours more play time.

 

 

The other good thing about this product, is that it massively encourages our girls to learn through play. If you read my post on reaching EYFS goals, you’ll know how important this is for us as a family. These dolls have succeeded in bringing out the caring and nurturing side in both of our children. They are an excellent way for them to learn how to be around other people, in everyday life. The features of the doll, including the closing eyes are great to get the girls’ imaginations working too. Their doll goes to bed when they do and it’s helpful for her to appear asleep!

 

 

Our girls don’t have a bad word to say about their new doll set. They’ve already had hours of fun and I know they’ll have so much more, especially as the littlest gets older. The only thing that has posed a small issue is the weight of the doll, as our youngest finds it a little to heavy to carry. Having said that, our oldest at three years of age has no trouble at all, so I’m sure the baby of the family won’t find this a problem for long. Overall, we have been very impressed with out Tiny Treasures set. The girls love it and so do I!

The creators of Tiny Treasures are giving my readers the chance to win their very own set which includes the doll, the unicorn rocker and mermaid sleeping bag. For your chance to win, all you have to do is enter using the form below. Please do check out the terms and conditions…good luck!

 

Win a Tiny Treasures Realistic Doll Set

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