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Category: Children

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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Celebrating Friendship with Baby Annabell

Celebrating Friendship with Baby Annabell

*This post was written in collaboration with Baby Annabell.

 

Ever since our eldest daughter started pre-school earlier on this year, I’ve noticed an incredible increase in her social skills. She loves playing with all of the other children in her class and she’s learnt so much from them, in such a short time. That’s why when we were asked to celebrate friendship with Baby Annabell, I knew our grown up girl would love to spend even more time with her little buddies!

Ever since both of our girls were tiny, hubs and I have taken them to baby and toddler groups. I think socialisation from a young age is so important. Learning how to develop healthy relationships sets them up for life. They learn how to conduct themselves around other people. They are thrown into situations where they have to share and they experience many different personalities and how to be around all different kinds of people.

 

 

The best of friends –

When our Baby Annabell arrived our eldest was so excited to look after her new doll and to show her friends! The doll arrived with two friendship bracelets and a friendship card too. It’s the first time our daughter has given friendship bracelets and she loved the idea of being able to give something so cute to her best bud!

 

 

This Baby Annabell set also comes with some super cute accessories, including a dummy, nappies, a bottle and a teether. The girls had so much fun looking after their new baby together, I think this set really did encourage the girls to work together!

 

 

As a parent, I loved seeing how the girls communicated as they sat playing together. They chatted about the best ways to look after Baby Annabell, they took turns to feed her and they even worked out how to change her nappy.

 

 

The importance of making friends from a young age –

I asked a few of my fellow bloggers what they thought about their children making friends from a young age, specifically related to their development. Here’s what they had to say;

Lyndsey from Me, Him, the Dog and a Baby:  ‘We put our daughter in nursery as soon as she was 2 because she wasn’t having any interaction with children her own age. I think having friends is so important as it helps develop behaviour such as kindness, sharing and respecting others early on.’

Lianne from Anklebiter’s Adventures: ‘Very important for social development and to learn how to care and love others my two have friends they have had since a few months old and love seeing them – they are like family.’

Terri from The Strawberry Fountain: ‘I think socialisation is hugely important from a young age. It teaches them various skills such as compassion, empathy, turn taking, sharing, and social queues. I also think that having friends they are familiar with helps them develop their speech as they want to communicate with them as well as their imaginations as they feed of each others ideas in role. I think that nurseries are an important part of development and would encourage parents to use them even once a week even if they don’t need the child care.’

Rebecca from Becca Blogs it Out: ‘My twins obviously have each other, which is lovely, but I think it’s really important for them to spend time with other children to help them develop their social skills. They’re very different when playing with friends, compared to when they’re just playing together.’

Care Johnson: ‘My son attended a different playgroup each day from the age of 2 weeks old. He loved the different vibes each playgroup offered and the different age groups he got to play with. On a Wednesday I used to attend a playgroup with children who were age 3-4 whilst he had only just gone 2. The difference I saw in him was massive! He played and interacted much more with the older children than the younger ones, his speech came on in leaps and bounds and since then has always played with older children. He’s such a loving child with younger ones but comes out of his shell when around slightly older children and he completely shocks me at how much he actually absorbs’

Jessica from Beauties and the Bibs: ‘I think it’s so important children learn so much from having friends . You can talk and talk to them about being kind and sharing . Unless they put it into practise in real life they won’t actually understand.’

Laura from Five Little Doves: ‘I think it is so important that our children forge friendships from a young age. Although my four all have each other, it’s important to have their own friendship groups and to learn how to build on those friendships as they grow.’

Leigh from Dad Geek: ‘ Socialisation is massively important from pre-school onwards. It teaches children how to interact with each other, how to respect each others boundaries and how to communicate. It also teaches them about sharing and working together.’

Jo from Miracle Max: ‘My 2 year old has come on leaps and bounds since starting nursery a few months ago. He had no interaction with children his own age before then really and he’s like a totally different boy. His speech has come on brilliantly, he’s learnt how to share, how to play alongside others his age. He used to ignore other children when we were out but he now actively tries to play with them.’

 

A huge thankyou to everyone who contributed to this post! 

 

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Bunny Jump from University Games – Review

Bunny Jump from University Games – Review

*We were gifted a Bunny Jump board game for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

 

This week we’ve been testing out the new Bunny Jump board game from University Games! I’ve always been a fan of board games, but up until recently our girls have been too young to grasp them. So I was very excited when this opportunity came up and with a game that is perfect for their age group!

 

 

The aim of the game –

Bunny Jump is a really fun game, one that had us all in fits of giggles! You spin the arrow, which tells you how many carrots you are allowed to pull from the rabbit hole, if any at all! Once you do manage to pull a few carrots, you have to be ready to catch the bunny if jumps up from its den! I’ve never seen my girls so engrossed in a game and for so long! We’ve played it every day since it arrived and they still can’t get enough of Bunny Jump!

Fun for all of the family –

Now that our eldest daughter has started nursery, we are always looking for ways to spend quality time together as a family. So when Hubs comes in from work of an evening, we’ve really enjoyed playing Bunny Jump together. I’m especially looking forward to breaking out the games during the winter months, when it isn’t as easy to head outdoors to make fun.

Overall, I’m super impressed with Bunny Jump from University Games. The girls love it and we love it. I know that this will be a firm favourite in our house and now that I know our girls have so much fun playing board games, I can’t wait until we get to add even more to our collection!

 

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The Ease of One Child Parenting

The Ease of One Child Parenting

Ok, so the title to this post is probably a little misleading. Parenting and easy don’t really go well in the same sentence. I suppose what I mean is that when you’ve been bringing up two children for the last three years, then when that number drops to one for part of the week, I do believe that parenting gets easier. The logistics of having only one child to care for, are much simpler than having multiples. I love having two children, but I have to admit that I can see the positives of a little one child parenting.

The biggest was so young when we had baby number two, so I really do find it hard to remember only having one child to look after. For the best part of two years I’ve been permanently attached to two kids. For half of that time I had two kids that couldn’t walk, then for the rest of the time I’ve had two who think it’s hilarious to run in opposite directions. With me stood in the middle wondering which one to retrieve first!

 

Altering the dynamics –

Since the biggest started nursery, our family dynamics have completely shifted. It’s been a really difficult time for me, I certainly wasn’t ready to let her go. So for the first week, we filled every minute away from her with some sort of activity, anything that meant I didn’t have to think about leaving her with what felt like a stranger. I thought that if I didn’t think about it, then one day I’d wake up and be used to it.

The trouble is, I can’t fill every single hour of nursery with super fun stuff for the littlest to do. For a start, the house would start to look like a complete tip as I’d get nothing done and work would just pile up. So now, when the biggest is at nursery we spend some time at home too. I have regular periods where I only have to parent one child and do you know what? It’s not all bad. All of a sudden life with kids has become simpler then ever before.

There’s less bickering, no chasing each other around shops or disagreeing on what they’d like for lunch. I only have on child to keep safe on the playground and only one hand to hold as we walk down the side of the road. I only have one child to wrestle into their car seat and I only have one child to entertain whilst trying to do a million and one other things at the same time.

 

Getting used to our new way of life –

Even though there are many positives to only having to parent one child, I’m still not completely sold on the idea of one child parenting. I’d much rather have both of my girls by my side, but I know things have to change. Slowly but surely I’m getting used to our new way of life and soon enough I’ll have a few hours of completely child free time to contend with. For now though, I’m going to relish the ease of one child parenting. Who knows, I might even start to enjoy it!

 

 

 

 

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HomeDNA at Home Genetic Testing Review – GPS Origins Ancestry

HomeDNA at Home Genetic Testing Review – GPS Origins Ancestry

*This post was written in collaboration with HomeDNA.

 

Recently I reviewed the healthy weight at home genetic testing from HomeDNA. I was so  impressed with the in-depth results I got, that when I was asked to review their ancestry test it was a total no-brainer for me. History has always been my thing and so the chance to find out more about my own ancestors and ancient family history, was something I just couldn’t pass up.

As with the first test I did with HomeDNA, they sent out a test kit to complete at home and send back to them. The test kit came with four swabs that I used to collect cells from the inside of both cheeks. It’s so easy to complete the swabs and all I had to do was seal them in the envelope provided, fill in all of my details and send them over to the lab for testing. The process is super simple, then all I had to do was sit back and wait for my results to arrive in my inbox! Once my test had been analysed, I received a report with detailed explanations into each area of my genetic origins.

GPS Origins genetic test –

This test is designed to uncover your ancestral lines, including the journey of your DNA. Once you get your results, you’ll learn about so much including; genetic communities that share your origins and you’ll discover why your ancestors settled in particular places. All of this information is gathered from a unique algorithm that has been developed by a team at Sheffield university, headed by Dr Dr Eran Elhaik.

Gene pool percentages –

The results that I found particularly interesting were my gene pool percentages. These are the percentages of different gene types that make me who I am!

My top three were;

  1. Basque Country – from my ancestors based in Europe.
  2. Fennoscandia – from my ancestors based in Norway, Sweden, Finland, a part of Russia known as Kola Peninsula and Denmark during the Viking Age.
  3. Orkney Islands – from a small group of Islands located off the North Coast of Scotland.

Before I took this test, I had no idea that my ancestors were located so far and wide! It’s so interesting to know how vast our gene pools really are.

 

 

DNA migration routes –

Once you’ve learnt all about what makes up your gene pool, you can then use the interactive map provided to find out more about the migrations routes of your ancestors. You can explore what was happening to them at specific times and places in history. Through this tool, I found out that my ancestors lived alongside the Swedish Vikings and that they lived through the 1349 Black Death in Sweden. There’s still so much more I have to read through, but I’m already so amazed at everything I’ve learned so far!

Theses reports from HomeDNA contain so much information, that initially it can all seem a little overwhelming. What’s great though, is that every report includes a guide to understanding your results. This really helps you to enjoy reading through your report, enabling you to gain a full understanding of who you are and where you came from! 

 

 

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