Shape kids review

We were recently asked to test and review The Shape Kids toys and books for the Rainbow toy awards. Both the boys were excited to get the package and tore it open immediately. Even though they are aimed at my youngest age group, that didn’t seem to stop the eldest from joining in.the shape kids

You will probably know that personally I love wooden toys and often buy them for other kids as I like their feel and they remind me of my childhood toys. The Shape Kids were lovely and smooth, with brightly coloured finishes and magnetic spots where you can take the pieces apart and rearrange them. A great way to introduce shapes and colour to your children.the shape kids

Initially the youngest was very excited to play with them, however it didn’t last long. Once he had made them up, swapped their body parts and then tried to launch various blocks at the eldest head. The novelty had worn off.

Now they have become part of the mix of toys in the playroom and are used in different creative ways. For example in small world play as platforms for fire rescues and as barns and walls in the farmyard.the shape kids

The eldest has also enjoyed the magnets and spends ages collecting objects to hang from the blocks magnetic spots.

We will however come back to again and again, the story books. As I have said before we love books and reading in our house and these are lovely stories to enjoy before bedtime.the shape kids

Final thoughts on The Shape Kids

Overall I think the toys were of a very high quality and would last a long time. They were easy to fit together and are well suited to being played with by little fingers. With the age setting, I think three year old’s will enjoy playing with the toys as they come. As the children get older they will probably be used in more creative and imaginative ways. Which is all part of the fun, right?the shape kids

 

Accidental Hipster Mum
Home and Horizon Snapped Up Linky

The Alphabet train book review

I love reading and I have done everything I can to grow the love of books in my children. I find it such a shame when I meet children in Secondary school who have never found the joy of reading. The earlier you can introduce and share books with your children the better. If you are yet to find a book that your kids love. You might find they love one that is personalised with their name. The Alphabet train could be the perfect book for them.the alphabet train

So a few weeks back I responded to a tweet from Dr. Niamh looking for parent bloggers to review the book she had written. You have the opportunity to personalise the book. You choose your child’s name, their sex and what they look like. Then you can also add a special message for the last page. We chose ‘Keep on reading’.the alphabet train

All aboard The Alphabet Train

Then the story takes you through the alphabet, looking at the letters and the sounds they make. Which fits in perfectly with early years curriculum for phonics.

They then explore if those letters are in their name. It is perfect for my youngest who is four and is just learning to sound out words and write his name.the alphabet train book review

The book is easy to read, fun and captivating for young readers. With great rhymes which all children love and remember! It is perhaps a little longer than the books we read at bedtime. So it’s worthwhile finding the time to set aside and enjoy the book together. Why not make a book corner and have a dedicated area to encourage the love of books.the alphabet train book corner

The Alphabet train is beautifully illustrated. It makes a great keepsake and will be a book my youngest will treasure.the alphabet train

Many thanks to Dr. Niamh for sending us the book for free in exchange for our review. If you want to find out more you can read my advertising and disclosure policy.

Home and Horizon Snapped Up Linky

Wannabees – I want to be a Doctor review

You will have to forgive me for this parenting crime, but I would really love it if one of my kids pursued my early career dream and went to study to be a Doctor! I really wish I had trained to be one and is it really wrong of me to encourage my kids to think of this career path? I’ve been subtle in my influences so far, with carefully chosen toys and dressing up outfits! Now I’ve got the perfect book to go with the medical themed play scene. Wannabees, I want to be a doctor book. wannabees

What is Wannabees?

Wannabees produce imaginative roles play packs for children on different careers. Teacher, Cafe owner and Doctor. All great gender neutral roles. Naturally I wanted us to look at, I want to be a doctor.

It is so comprehensive and really brings to life role playing this profession.

Included in the pack were:

  • Name badge and patient stickers
  • Bed layout plans for doing hospital rounds
  • Patient health records
  • Eyesight tests
  • Growth charts
  • Patient examination forms
  • End of bed notes
  • Injection records
  • Appointment cards
  • Prescriptions.

It was perfect for my two to play together with. At four my youngest loves the stickers and setting up the ward with his cuddly toys and at eight my eldest loves form filling and statistics. So it’s something then can happily divide up the roles and play nicely along side each other.wannabees

You never know I might just convince both of them to be doctors sometime in the future! If not, I know they’ll have had a happy childhood playing with each other and using their imaginations to inspire creative play.wannabees

Many thanks for Wanabees for sending us the book to review in exchange for my honest opinion. You can find out more in my advertising and disclosure policy. 

wannabees

 

Home and Horizon Snapped Up Linky

Magic Santa letter review and discount code

How do you celebrate Christmas? Is Father Christmas an important part of your children’s celebrations? We are a little different to most families in this country as we celebrate on Christmas Eve. This is a tradition that has come from my side of the family and when my husband and I married we had to combine both of your traditions. So how can Santa letter fit in to our traditions?santa letter

For us Father Christmas isn’t the be all and end all of Christmas, he is a part of our celebrations but not everything. So we emphasis to the boys that Christmas and the gifts we receive are about family. I don’t want all  the credit for the toys taken by Santa! Most of the gift giving is done on Christmas eve under a candle lit tree.

Then Santa delivers a few special gifts for Christmas morning. This was the best way to combine both our family traditions and still keeps the magic of Christmas.santa letter

I know my youngest will be delighted when he receives this letter from Santa. It comes so beautifully presented and to have a letter addressed to him is something special.

Inside is a personalised letter to him, in which it describes how he has behaved this year and comments on how big he’s getting now he’s four. I’ve also adding in what he has asked for Christmas.

The certificate for good behaviour I know will be pinned to the fridge and the colouring pages should keep him occupied for a good afternoon. santa letter

We can’t wait to sprinkle the reindeer food outside and feel the magic on Christmas eve. As we all wait for Santa to deliver that extra special gift.santa letter

I am very lucky to be able to offer my readers an exclusive discount code that will give you 30% discount off every type of Santa letter at Magic Santa letter.

Use X25OFF and order an extra special keepsake for your little ones this Christmas.santa letter

I was very kindly sent this Magic Santa letter to review in exchange for my honest opinion. You can find out more by looking at my advertising and disclosure policy. 

Run Jump Scrap
Accidental Hipster Mum

Bricklive 2017

Are you a Lego Fan? It has to be said we are BIG Lego fans in this house. My eldest has loved Lego since he got his first set at four and the youngest has followed his passion for the genius toy. Which is why we are all so very excited to be going to BRICKLIVE. Which is being hailed as the ultimate day out for all LEGO® fans.bricklive

Local to us at the Birmingham NEC. Which is a massive bonus as I can remember the very long car journey to Windsor. It’s on from 26th – 29th October so it’s the perfect day out for what’s set to be a rather wet October half term.bricklive

We have already watch the promo video for the event a few times and the eldest is in the process of deciding what’s on his must see list.

The beauty of BRICKLIVE is that is has a great range of interactive experiences and features some of the most popular themes from the wider LEGO universe. So it’s going to be hard to choose what to do first.

New features for Birmingham BRICKLIVE

· Megabot arena – An adrenalin filled treat that allows visitors to take control of brick-built robots and battle it out for victory.

· Safari zone – Wonder at over 80 animal sculptures and interactive features built by LEGO professional builders Bright Bricks

· Galactic adventure – Future builders can pour through LEGO pieces and create their dream spaceship while also exploring a wide collection of official Star Wars models on display.

· Technic race challenge – Take control of Technic pull-back racers and steer them down the track into the points zone.bricklive

· Populate Ninjago® city – Enter the new Ninjago® zone and fill the map with your own oriental creations.

· Pumpkin patch – Get all spooky and design your own brick-built pumpkin.

· Ultimate City – Create you vision of the city of the future on the new architectural cityscape.bricklive

Ninjago city will be high on our must visit list, but I’m also looking forward to playing in the brick pits with the youngest.bricklive

It’s also the chance to see some of the best adult fan builders. Which is great inspiration for anyone who want’s to be a lego designer.

Our final stop will undoubtedly the Brick Lane trader zone. Where we will be looking to pick up some great pre-Christmas gifts.bricklive

Tickets are available now at www.BRICKLIVE.co.uk, hope to see you there. (I’m the one with the purple jumper!)bricklive

Many thanks to BRICKLIVE for providing us with the tickets. You can find out more in my advertising and disclosure policy.

 

Weekend box review

Well it’s happened Autumn has arrived and now the leaves are falling and I can feel the temperature dropping. There is a lot I love about the changing of the seasons and the arrival of the colder months. But what I can’t stand is when the weather turns really nasty and we are stuck inside trying to entertain the kids. This weekend box might be the solution or at least for an afternoon!weekend box craftwithcartwright

So we were sent this weekend box to review and it arrived address to my youngest which he loved! (and my eldest hated!).

Inside was two sets of face paints. One to make a tiger face with full instructions and one set of party face paints with stampers. There was also a certificate to colour.

weekend box craftwithcartwrightOf course the contents were all scattered across the floor before I could even at a look at it, thanks to the youngest parcel opening skills.

My thoughts on the weekend box

The box was cute and it was nice it was addressed to my youngest. Priced at £2.99 I thought it was reasonable value. Also I’ve used Snazaroo face paints before and I’ve found they don’t irritate my kids skin which can be quite sensitive. Plus they wash off easily and don’t stain their skin.

The kids thoughts.

weekend box craftwithcartwrightThey thought that actually painting my face was much more enjoyable than having theirs done. Not sure what sort of a party I would be attending made up like this. Maybe a guerrilla warfare one? weekend box craftwithcartwright

I was sent the weekend box to review in exchange for my honest opinion. You can find out more in my advertising and disclosure policy.

Accidental Hipster Mum

Party bags and supplies giveaway

It’s seems that as soon as the kids are back at school the party invitations start flying out of the book bags. With each party I feel there is a ever growing sense of competitiveness between the mums on who can throw the best party. Bring with it, comes the daunting task of getting the best party bags.party bags craft with cartwright

I couldn’t believe what my boys have been bringing back from parties. All we used to come home with was a slice of cake. As of yet I haven’t given in and thrown a big class party for either of my boys but I know the pressure is building.

party bags craft with cartwright

So I know that winning £30 to spend on party bag and supplies would come in really handy for many parents. You could spend it on decorations, themed stuff or just great goodies to send the kids home with.

party bags craft with cartwright

For your chance to win £30 to spend at Party bags and supplies, enter the rafflecopter competition below.

You can enter multiple times using the entry options shown.

Please note if you have previously won a competition for party bags and supplies you are not eligible for the prize.

The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter. The Winner will be contacted by Party bags and supplies to send them the prize. Full terms and conditions can be found in the widget.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

£30 to spend with Party bags and supplies  –  no monetary exchange available

The contest will close Midnight Friday 6th October

Distribution of  prizes is the responsibility of Party bags and Supplies

Craft with Cartwright cannot be held responsible for lost prizes and all winner decisions are final. The winner has 48 hours to claim or a new winner will be drawn

UK Entrants Only

Competition in collaboration with Party bags and supplies.party bags craftwithcartwright

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Mummy in a Tutu

 

Great days out Worcestershire with kids – Eastnor Castle

What’s not to love about a castle? Especially one that is practically on my doorstep. It’s been a good few years since I’d visited Eastnor Castle and we have never been with the kids. So a sunny day was the perfect time to pack a picnic and visit.  Eastnor Castle

Small castle big adventures.

Eastnor castle isn’t really a castle but a fortified grand stately home. It really is quite stunning to look at but we hadn’t even made it up the path to see it before the boys were off on the adventure assault course. This is a new addition and it’s a great one if you have boys like mine who need lots to tire them out.
Eastnor Castle
Once we’d finished on the assault course we took a trip round the maze another new addition. Unfortunately youngest needed a wee halfway round so only the eldest and me made it to the mini castle in the middle.Eastnor Castle

Inside Eastnor Castle.

This was all before we had made it to the castle. The boys were suitably impressed as we approached through the well maintained, tree lined grounds and in the main gate.
 Eastnor Castle
Once we got in the house though, they were less interested and tore through it at a breakneck speed. A fast pace was acquired as were went from room to room with only the occasional break to look at armour or stuffed animals which seemed to be the only things of interest to our boys.
 Eastnor Castle
Once we were back outside the pace slowed a little and they boys enjoyed the lakeside walk to the woodland playground. They loved the chance to be inventive with the materials. Soon den building and and imaginary knight scenes were being enacted.
After this we stopped by the ice cream parlour and had a well deserved dairy ice cream. Well worth a stop with a great range of flavours. Before our final visit to the third play area, which was by far our favourite. Although tired from the long day and lots of walking. We all threw ourselves into the equipment and loved the rope bridges, zip wire and play vehicles.
 Eastnor Castle

Worth a visit?

We loved our day at Eastnor and will definitely be making a return visit. Probably with the boys and our nephews so they can all wear themselves out again.

Eastnor castle

With thanks to Eastnor Castle for providing the tickets.

Diary of an Imperfect Mum

Motherhood The Real Deal

Back to school shoes review

It’s that time of year again. Parent’s suddenly realise their children’f feet have grown from the freedom of sandals all summer. Now it’s a mad rush to buy school shoes before term starts. This year I’ve had not one but two lots of school shoes to buy, therefore I was thankful when my eldest was sent a pair of dobell school shoes to review.school shoes

School rules

I can’t comment on everyone’s school policies, but from my experience of teaching and the five years my eldest has been at school. I do not know of any schools that allow trainers to be worn. So why on earth do we see so many of them in the shops? It’s very easy for parents to fall into the trap and buy something that does not fit the uniform rule.school shoes

School shoes

I was so pleased when the eldest’s shoes arrived. They are what I would call ‘smart shoes’ and exactly what all the boys wore when I was at school. They look tough enough to withstand the hard wearing my eldest will give them. A big plus point for my was they are laced and at eight I think he should move on from velcro. He learnt to tie his shoes a couple of years ago but kept opting for velcro out of laziness.

My sons thoughts.

Surprisingly he thought they were really nice. No complaints that they didn’t have a toy in them or lights or velcro. He thought they were very comfortable and at the end of the day that’s the most important thing.

Now we have less thing to tick off the list before it’s back to school. Where did the summer go!school shoes

I was sent the shoes by dobell to review in exchange for my honest opinion. To find out more you can read my advertising and disclosure policy.

Accidental Hipster Mum

Super Wings summer review

We are delighted to be Super Wings brand ambassadors this summer. If you don’t already know Super wings  it’s a new pre-school animation series aimed at children aged 3-5 years. It’s all about problem solving skills and learning about the world. The main character is Jett the Red jet plane, who travels the world delivering packages to children. Jett and the Super Wings team have the unique abilities to transform from planes into amazing heroes who can run, climb, lift, dig and even dive deep under the sea. So you can see why my youngest loves it. super wings

The aims of Super Wings

One of the reasons I like this series is the aims of the cartoon which are to promote;

‘Friendship: The Super Wings count on their friends to help them through their every day problems and help build an awareness of what friendship means to preschoolers.
Education: The story line helps preschoolers develop creative problem solving skills and teaches them perseverance. It also provides an early lesson in cultural diversity with exposure to different traditions, languages and landscapes during their trips to countries around the globe.
High-Energy Action: Each episode is filled with high-energy action whilst delivering a positive “non-violent” storytelling experience.’super wings

Our initial thoughts

When the Super Wings toys arrived both my lads were excited, despite my eldest at eight being technically too old for the cartoon. They both loved setting up the air port, transforming the planes and playing with the remote controlled Jett.super wings

Our Super summer

We have loved been brand ambassadors for Super Wings this summer and the smallest Jett and Donny have been every where with us. They are perfect size to have in my handbag for when the youngest is bored. They’ve loved playing in the garden, going to the woods and even shopping in Aldi. The little planes have even managed to make the boring bits of the summer fun.

Don’t forget there is still chance to win the Airport play-set in my giveaway.

super wingsI am brand ambassador for Super Wings this summer. To find our more please read my advertising and disclosure policy.