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Category: Children

Reinforcing the Bedtime Routine with the Baby Born Bath Wash Basin

Reinforcing the Bedtime Routine with the Baby Born Bath Wash Basin

*We were gifted Baby Born products for the purpose of this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

 

Every parent knows how important it is to get their kids into a good bedtime routine. When you’ve had a busy day, getting the offspring settled down and ready for bed easily is essential. A bedtime that doesn’t go to plan is stressful for everyone involved and will probably mean the quality of sleep everyone’s about to get will be poor. So this week, we’ve teamed up with Baby Born, to help teach our littles the importance of a good bedtime routine.

To help reinforce a good bedtime routine in our home, Baby Born sent over their Bath Wash Basin. It’s a lovely product that comes with a basin and tap that pumps real water, a rubber duck, toothbrush, cup and light up mirror. The mirror also plays fun sound effects. The basin has allowed our girls to ‘teach‘ their Baby Born dolls how they get themselves ready for bed. It makes the bedtime routine fun and it takes the kids minds off of the fact that it’s nearing the end of the day!

Our bedtime routine –

Our girls know when it’s time to begin getting ready for bed, as we head off upstairs for a bath. They get their teeth brushed whilst we’re up there too and since they got their basin, that’s their favourite thing to do with their dolls. The mini tooth-brush and mug are great for their imaginations. You can hear them telling their dolls just how important it to keep their teeth nice and clean!

They both love that the sink has real running water too. Their faces lit up when they realised they could actually wash their dolls, just like they do before bed. All of this is accompanied by the brushing and washing sound effects and the fabulous light up vanity mirror. The littlest is a huge fan of the lights and does a little jig to the Baby Born music!

Baby Born leading the way –

I think that this product is a great way to get the littles to understand their bedtime routine better. Allowing them to look after and go through their own bedtime routine with their dolls, helps to reinforce the positive aspects of a healthy regime and a good nights rest. When the girls’ get their pyjamas on after getting themselves clean and ready, so does their little doll. There’s no better way to get the kids so involved in creating the ideal bedtime routine!

 

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Baby Annabell RC Baby Walker – Review

Baby Annabell RC Baby Walker – Review

*We were gifted the Baby Annabell Walker for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

 

Not so long ago we were asked to celebrate friendship with Baby Annabell, a project that both of our girls loved taking part in. So when we were asked to review the Baby Annabell RC, I immediately thought it would be a great addition to our Baby Annabell collection. I wasn’t wrong! Our girls and myself have had a lot of fun with this product, it’s brought many hours of fun and laughter to our house.

What’s in the box?

The Baby Annabell RC Baby Walker is a remote-controlled walker that lets you take your Baby Annabell doll on an extra special adventure. The remote allows you to move the walker forwards, backwards and to the left and right. It fits Baby Annabell dolls up to 43cm and is super sturdy, so that your Baby Annabell doesn’t fall out en route!

The walker does need to be assembled, but this takes less than five minutes and is easy to do. Pop in the batteries and you’re away. The design is a cute lamb, with a beaded toy on the front to make it even more realistic. There are sound effects and there’s even a horn that toots to let people know you’re coming through!

What did we think?

As will all Baby Annabell products, this walker is of really good build quality. With two mini drivers, our walker has had numerous crashes and it has stood up to each one exceptionally well! Having said that, the controls are very simple to use and our three year old has mastered manoeuvring the walker with ease.

When the walker hasn’t been in use for a while, it also conserves battery life by timing out. As you can imagine, we get through a lot of batteries with all of the kids toys in this house. So anything that save a few pennies on more batteries is a bonus.

Overall, we are very impressed with the Baby Annabell RC Walker. It’s fun for the girls to drive Baby Annabell around and it’s lovely to hear their laughs as they move her from one room to another. It’s an excellent addition to any Baby Annabell collection. Presenting your littles with this product will leave you in their good books for plenty of time to come!

 

 

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Crate Creatures Surprise & Bashers – Review

Crate Creatures Surprise & Bashers – Review

*We were gifted our Crate Creatures Surprise products for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

 

Recently we were sent a Crate Creatures Surprise and Crate Creatures Basher for our girls to test out. They love a toy review, so they were very excited to find out what was in the box. Both Crate Creatures are bright, colourful and a little bit gruesome. They make an array of noises and had our girls suitably amused!

Crate Creatures Surprise – What does it do?

We were sent BLIZZ, the ice monster from the land of blizzards. He arrived inside a crate, secured by a chain and a padlock, just to make sure he couldn’t escape! There’s a crowbar attached to the side of the crate to help you break your creature out.

The girls loved this element of the product, it’s great that you can put your creature back into the crate and break him out as many times a you like.

BLIZZ makes 45 sounds, including chomping noises when you feed him his ice lolly and when you pull his tongue. You can even record you own voice and have BLIZZ repeat your words in his monster tones. When you press his tail, he flaps his arms and makes a super noisy scene!

Crate Creatures Bashers – What does it do?

Bashers are mini versions of the Crate Creatures Surprise. They are robust and you can turn their crate into a target, just to test this out! They crash into the goal and make an lots of monster noises, just like BLIZZ. Bashers are great for taking out and about too, as they fit perfectly into your pocket.

Overall, our Crate Creatures Surprise and Basher went down a treat with the girls. The best thing about them is that they’re not a one trick pony. They have a lot of fun features that keep the littles entertained for ages. Their favourite feature? That has to be the voice recorder in BLIZZ, they’ve had so much fun making their monster rattle!

 

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Num Noms Mystery Make Up Surprise – What’s in the Box?

Num Noms Mystery Make Up Surprise – What’s in the Box?

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

 

Num Noms are fast becoming a favourite in this house. Our eldest daughter especially loves the colourful, sweet-smelling boxes of fun. Our latest Num Noms review products were the Mystery Make Up Surprise bottles. On unwrapping the bottle, inside you’ll find a mini make up product that aren’t just cute but smell amazing. Each bottle has its own mini lip gloss too.

Our girls have their own dressing tables and so products like this go down a storm. Once they realised that there was make up inside each bottle, they were very excited.  They keep them on their dressing tables and love to play dress up with their very own make up products. Our bottles included perfume, body lotion and nail polish – each one a massive hit!

Mystery Make Up Surprise –

For a while now our big girl has taken a huge amount of interest in my make up bag. She wants to know what I’m using, why I’m using it and if she can use it herself! Needless to say, I don’t send my child out with a face full of make up. I do however think that giving them their own, toned down make up products is a good way to introduce them to the world of beauty.

The perfume is a very subtle and sweet smell. It isn’t at all over powering, and so it’s perfect for the littles to wear when they’re getting themselves ready. It gives them the freedom to feel grown up and independent, without their childhood getting left by the wayside. They love the colourful little characters too!

The body lotion is very similar, in that it has a soft, fresh scent. As a parent I’m completely happy with our girls using these products, as they have found the perfect way to make the emphasis on beauty fun, without enforcing expectations on how we should look on the kids.

Again, the nail polish in this range is ideal for the ages it is aimed at. It is a very light pink, with a shimmer of glitter to add a bit of sparkle. The girls get to have fun applying polish to their nails and wearing it, but it doesn’t stand out too much. The ideal balance has been reached for both parent and child!

Num Noms make up surprise has been and will continue to be a huge hit over here. I want our girls to explore every aspect of their personality and these products allow them to do so. What I love most about them is how subtle the colours and scents are. This is a big positive and is the reason I will continue to buy Mystery Make Up Surprise for our girls. Anything that keeps both the kids and parents happy has to championed!

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The Wonders of Millenial Parenting with Johnson’s Baby

The Wonders of Millenial Parenting with Johnson’s Baby

I’m a Millennial. My Parents are Boomers, born to parents who advocated freedom, this makes me a Millennial. A Millennial childhood is encompassed by protection, an analogue existence and fewer rules than the next generation. According to research completed by The Pineapple Lounge Millenials value the happiness of their family above everything else.  So how does being a Millenial shape my parenting style?

An analogue childhood –

I’m one of the lucky people who has experienced an analogue childhood, that is a childhood free from technology. No Facebook, no tablets and no smartphones! When I was growing up we really did make our own entertainment, we spent a lot of time outdoors and we enjoyed much more time involved in creative play than generations that continue to follow. This way of living will always be available, but technology has succeeded in taking over. Technology plays a huge part in children’s upbringing now, more than ever before.

Living through such a technology free childhood has given me valuable insight into the benefits of switching off. I firmly believe that children should remain unplugged for a large proportion of their upbringing. Valuable skills can be learned from technology, but there’s nothing more valuable than taking in the world first hand. I agree wholeheartedly with the research collected by The Pineapple Lounge, as a Millenial I do put my children’s happiness above all else. As such, I know from my own experience that an analogue childhood breeds happiness. Therefore finding the right balance of switched on and switched off for my own children is essential.

A digital upbringing versus an analogue upbringing. 

Digital adulthood –

Even though I firmly believe that experiencing an analogue childhood has shaped my parenting style for the better, I know that living a digital adulthood has opened my world up to an immense amount of opportunity. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for technology and for this reason, I know our girls need to get to grips with technology at some point. Sheltering them from the online world for too long could have detrimental effects on their success in the long run. After all, we are now living in a digital age.

More research from The Pineapple Lounge has found that Millennials are incredibly motivated to develop themselves personally. It’s about doing things to the best of our ability and that includes being a parent. Often we treat parenting like a career, progressing up the ranks as we learn from our successes and mistakes. I know from personal experience that I’m constantly questioning my parenting style and ability. I strive to make our girls’ upbringing as perfect as possible, even though I know there is no such thing.

The wonders of Millennial parenting –

Parenting as a Millennial isn’t an easy task. Having had an analogue childhood, I can see the benefits of providing our girls with a similar upbringing. As an adult living in the digital age though, I have been introduced to a world of connections, opportunities and friendships that wouldn’t exist without technology. What I can take from both scenarios is the need for balance. As a parent I believe it’s my responsibility to provide the next generation with the best bits from an analogue and a digital world.

As a parent all I want is the best for our children. My life revolves around enriching their’s as much as I possibly can. I also know that our girls have to make their own way in life, you never know they might gain more from living in a digital age than I ever thought possible!

A Millennial parent.

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Pre-School Parent’s Evening – What to Expect

Pre-School Parent’s Evening – What to Expect

Our eldest daughter is in a state pre-school and has been there for a couple of terms, so they know her well and have a good idea of where she is in terms of development. We like to keep track of where she is as parents, so that we know what we need to be working on at home, in order to help her progress. That’s why when it came around to our first pre-school parents evening, I was looking forward to finding out how she was doing and where we should be going from here.

What to expect at your first pre-school parent’s evening –

I don’t believe that these kinds of parent’s evenings are serious business, in fact I know a few mums and dads who didn’t feel the need to attend at this stage. I do think it’s good to show willing though and even if you are pushed for time, it will only take around ten minutes out of your day. Even if pre-school doesn’t seem that crucial to you, it’s massive in your child’s world and that’s always worth remembering.

Children at this age have early years targets to meet and your child’s teacher should give you a good idea of where your child is at with respect to reaching them. It’s good to discuss this with their teacher as you may be aware of a milestone that has been reached at home, that their teacher hasn’t witnessed. So you can put your thoughts together to get a very clear picture of where your child is at developmentally.

Your child’s teacher will also discuss the social aspects of school life. How well they are settling in. If they’re making friends and if they’re having positive conversations with their peers. All of this information gives you a good idea of how your child is behaving when you aren’t around. Again, this is a good way to gauge what your child is doing well and what you may need to be working on at home. My favourite part of parent’s evening was a look at our daughters file and reading through her learning journey so far. It’s amazing to read and see what your child has been achieving at school.

It will make your heart melt and you’ll probably shed a tear, but pre-school parent’s evening is a must in terms of attendance!

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Our Smoothie Movie Night with Num Noms

Our Smoothie Movie Night with Num Noms

*We were gifted a Num Noms product package for the purpose of this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

Over the past few months our girls have developed a deep set love for Num Noms. The biggest especially, adores everything about them. She loves that they smell so amazing, that they have intricate pieces and all of the glitter – she just can’t get enough! This week they were asked to give the Num Noms Snackables Silly Shakes Maker Station a whirl. With the cold days and dark nights setting in, a #NumNomsSmoothieMovieNight sounded like an offer I couldn’t refuse!

We were sent an amazing set of goodies including a movie voucher to get the perfect film, the Num Noms Snackables Station and a whole host of Num Noms goodies. As well as the snuggest pom-pom blanket I’ve ever laid eyes on. The girls were so ready for a special night in and this little lot succeeded in putting smiles on their faces!

Movie selection: It had to be Disney, so we went for the classic Snow White! 

The Num Noms Snackables Maker Set –

This set is everything our girls love and more; glitter, slime and amazing scents! When it arrived their eyes were immediately drawn to the sea of pink and they couldn’t wait to get into it. Our youngest is a big fan of the Surprise in a Jar products, she loves to cuddle them and smell them. As it happens, this one smells pretty amazing!

The biggest however is all for the intricacies of play sets. She can spend hours putting them together, organising them and making the what they have inside. This time she was very excited to make her own slimy smoothies, when she found out there was glitter involved she was very impressed!

The girls were also sent a set of Num Noms mystery boxes. These are mini boxes that have a ring of a surprise character inside, ideal for little treats for the kids. The mystery boxes are a lot of fun as the girls get so excited to find out which Num Nom is in the box. The rings are squishy and light up when pressed, these boxes made both girls very happy!

Overall, our #NumNomsSmoothieMovieNight was a complete success. These products never fail to impress our girls and as a parent, a product that makes them so happy is a winner! We had the cosiest night with two very content girls, thankyou Num Noms – we loved it!

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Ready2Robot Collectable Toy Review

Ready2Robot Collectable Toy Review

I’ve seen collectable toys popping up left, right and centre this year! My girls are loving them and to be honest, so am I. They keep them entertained for hours and it means that I always have an idea of what to buy them for special occasions. This week they were asked to try out Ready2Robot, collectable and slimy warriors that they can do battle with!

Ready2Robot are available at Smyths and all good toy stores and there are a few different items available:

  • Single packs are £9.99
  • Bot Blasters are £14.99
  • Battle Packs are £19.99

The Review –

Some might see these as boys toys, but in our house anything goes. If the girls enjoy playing with something, then that’s all that matters! Much like the L.O.L Surprise Dolls, Ready2Robot are small figures that you have to build once all of the pieces have been found. What my girls love most about this product is that the warrior in hidden in slime, they have to dig through the goo to find them!

Our eldest can spend hours playing with toys like this, she loves how intricate they are and has a lot of fun building them up. She also likes to swap and change the parts to make her own unique robots. These robots are great for encouraging fine motor skills in kids too, by letting them build, swap parts and add warriors you can see them learning whilst playing. The ideal combination!

Overall, we are impressed with this product. If you have younger children you do have to keep an eye on the small pieces, but apart from that they are fun and have the added educational benefit. Ready2Robot have definitely been a hit!

 

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Kids VS. Parents Games Night Challenge with Little Tikes

Kids VS. Parents Games Night Challenge with Little Tikes

*This post was written in collaboration with Little Tikes. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

Now that our girls are well and truly growing up, we have a lot of family fun with board games. Hubs and I love to play all of the traditional board games with the girls, so when we were asked by Little Tikes  if we wanted to take part in a games night challenge, we couldn’t wait!

Little Tikes have a new range of super fun games out, ideal for kids aged 5 plus. They’re the kind of games that are that so much fun to play, the girls have no idea how much they’re learning whilst playing. So to kick of our Kids VS. Parents Games Night Challenge, Little Tikes sent us their Crazy Toaster and Hot Hoops games. As well, a music voucher and a Just Eat voucher to keep up the energy of the competitors!

Crazy Toaster – This is a pop up toaster game that will have you and your littles giggling all night! Slices of toast pop high out the toaster and you have to try to catch the flying pieces in your pans. If you catch them and they match the toast on your plate, they’re yours to keep. This game is fun, energetic and can be played for hours, but be warned – it’s not as easy as it looks!

Hot Hoops – This is a head to head challenge game and it’s perfect if you needs deciding points on your games nights! It’s fast paced and is bound to bring out the competitive streak in the whole family. The best thing about this games is that it’s compact and east to take on your travels.

 

Our family games night –

 

We had so much fun on our family games night, but unfortunately the parents did not come out on top! The kids of the house had scores well above ours and it was our eldest who was victorious and took the medal! We had such a great evening thanks to Little Tikes, their new games range is a lot of fun for both adults and children. Now all we need is a rematch to knock the kids off of their winning spot!

 

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Five Things being a School Run Mum has Taught Me

Five Things being a School Run Mum has Taught Me

I’ve had the joy of being a school run mum for a few months now. The novelty is wearing off and I’ve begun to countdown each term, eager for the holidays to start. It’s not because I don’t like school, we are very pro-education over here. It’s that the school run can become a bit of a bind! It’s a rat race, with everyone believing that they’re in more of a rush than the next person.

The good thing about the school run is meeting people on your wavelength. There will be at least one other mum, or dad, that you really get on with. You’ll laugh and cry with them as your children go through school and they will be your school run ally. Other than that, the school run is a real eye opener. So much so that if you did stand-up comedy for a living, you’d have fresh material for life!

Here are five things that being a school run mum has taught me;

Parents will KILL for a parking space –

Yes I drive to school, but in my defence we do live a couple of miles away. With a two and three year old to transport, walking each and every day is not an option. I’ve learnt though, that if you’re going to be driving to school then you need to be prepared to stand your ground.

People park their cars anywhere and everywhere and they get really shirty if you get in their way. The working parents are the worst, they want the space closest to school, so they can run in and run out in double-quick time. I understand they have to turn into work, but being a few minutes late is probably something they ought to have made their peace with when they had kids.

Kids are all sweetness and light until you get them out of the school gates. Then they turn into ‘hangry‘ monsters –

My kid is always happy at school. She’ll walk out with her friends talking and behaving like an angel. As soon as she gets into the car the ‘hangry’ monster appears. She wants food NOW and will be grumpy until she gets it. Why do parents always get cracked with the ‘hangry’ stick?

You’ll come across so may different types of parents. Remember though, you’re all knackered and you’re all stressed –

You’ll meet parents you like and parents you don’t. You’ll meet the ones whose kids you don’t mind your kids mixing with and you’ll meet ones you’d prefer they didn’t. What you shouldn’t over look though is that all of these parents are most likely knackered and completely stressed out, just like you are. Don’t judge a book by its cover and all that.

Hold back on the smug when your kids goes into school meltdown free. Your time will come. Believe me –

When our eldest started her school placement she went in like a dream. I would see the parents with screamy kids looking fraught as they tried to get their little one to go and play. I’ll be honest I felt a little smug, mine was doing so well, we had no trouble. Oh the naivety! Of course once she’d settle in and got her feet well and truly under the table, our angel daughter felt comfortable enough to wail at the top of her lungs one morning as I tried to leave. Not so smug now hey?!

Play dates are a thing. Deal with it –

I was so inexperienced at school mum life until recently, that I honestly never realised that I would have to schedule play dates into my already brimming diary. It wouldn’t be so intrusive if I dropped the kids off and picked them up tired and ready for sleep, but at their tender ages I have to stay with them. Now I’m all for being sociable, but I find squeezing work into my day hard enough as is it, never mind when I have to leave my own four walls for hours. Yes the kids love it and yes it’s good for them, but I won’t half been pleased when they can head off and see their friends without me!

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