Friday, 20 July 2012

Series 3 - Olly the Little White Van!

With the very wet weather we've been experiencing so far this summer, I've been looking for things to keep the boys occupied while I get the washing up done! Olly the Little White Van is a huge hit with both boys, and we were delighted to be sent Series 3 to review! 

Getting straight into adventure, Boo loved the Treasure Hunt episode and sat quietly watching it while giggling as they tried to solve the clues! My favourite episode would have to be the dance off in 'Get up and Dance! Jethro the tractor had me laughing as he put his back out while Bazza shows off his moves and Olly slickly rules the dance floor! I was impressed with all the episodes featuring new stories and ideas, but still teaching lessons such as it is more important to spend time with people who are important to you than get a gift at the end.

All the episodes are full of adventure, and are short enough to keep even the most lively little person enthralled! Justin Fletcher's dulcet tone captivate the children and Boo certainly asks questions and talks about what he has seen!

If your child is about to start Reception year or year one in September, you might be interested to know about Olly's Little Helper Club, it's free to join and contains lots of useful resources for parents and teachers to encourage children to enjoy school!

You can keep up to date with Olly by visiting his Facebook page!

Disclaimer: I was sent a DVD for the purposes of the review.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Teething, biting, tantrums and tears...mostly mine.

E is teething again, it's those awkward canines at the top and all he wants to do is chew his hand or indeed anyone else's hand, arm or foot he comes into contact with. In addition to this Boo has started to have tantrums of epic proportions, mostly I assume as a result of him feeling that he's getting less attention than he deserves. In truth I am funding it hard to divide my time as they are refusing to be content with time with us altogether, it feels like they want one to one attention all the time and short of finding a way to cut myself in half..

Last week I was bitten by E and slapped by Boo. I sat down and cried hysterically while they looked on in horror. Boo walked up to me and swung his arms around me, clambering up onto my lap with a kiss on my cheek he tearfully said he was sorry. I felt like a failure as a parent, how have I got to this stage where the children are making me cry?! I had visions of needing to call in Super Nanny, and have her gasp at my inability to control my children, sitting me down and peering over her glasses with one eyebrow raised..(yes I have thought about it far too much).

After a run in the torrential rain, which ended abruptly after I almost slipped faced down into a muddy puddle (possibly a cow pat filled one) I realised that I needed to get a grip! I took a deep breath and approached home realising that I am only human. So Boo lost his temper resulting in a major tantrum and flayed his arms? It wasn't exactly the intentional slap I have made it out to be. E is teething so the bite which reduced me to tears is a reminder to chill his teething toys and be armed with one at all times! Since last week, E's teething is causing him to wake in the night and I'm desperately tired, but as he sits playing happily with Boo trying to repeat words like 'arstle' (castle). I can't help but feel I must be doing something right, and even though I'm sat here wishing I could have a little nap, I'm smiling! Being a parent is undoubtedly the toughest job in the world, but one cheeky giggle later all the exhaustion is forgotten.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!

We were lucky enough to be sent a fabulous game to review from Orchard toys, with all the wet days we've been having we've enjoyed playing board games. Often it is quite frustrating trying to play a board game with Boo when E is playing to, as at 18months he doesn't really grasp that he mustn't sit on the board or run off with major pieces! Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes provided a fabulous opportunity for us to introduce E to participating in a game while still being a challenging game for Boo!

The game is based on the well known children's song of the same name, and you do actually get to sing it if you find a 'wild card'! There are two ways to play, the first is the easy way which we're teaching E. Simply spin the wheel and pick up a card with the corresponding colour spot. Then match the action shown on the card to the action on your game board, the winner is the first person to complete their board! The proper way to play involves guessing what the card has on it before picking it up, and you only get to keep it if you've guessed correctly! It soon becomes a memory game as Boo tries to remember each card he'd not guessed so he could pick it up the next time to keep it! 

I like the game as it teaches Boo not only about taking turns, but also encourages him to use his memory! It isn't just a sit down quietly game, and gets quite lively but that is all part of the fun! Boo loved singing the song at the top of his voice complete with all actions and kept trying to locate the wild cards! 

Orchard Toys have kindly offered a copy of 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!' as a prize for the following give away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of the game for the purposes of the review, all opinions are my own.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Art Attack is back and with Disney makes!

I used to love watching Art Attack as a child, it gave me great ideas which I'd pester my family to help me with! I started to watch old episodes a little while ago, to give me ideas for makes with Boo, but I'll be honest they're not quite as cool as they once were! Luckily for Boo, there is an up to date Art Attack with an enthusiastic new presenter - Lloyd Warbey, now into it's second series thanks to Disney!

Lloyd comes from an acting background, and is very enthusiastic about art and Disney! He claims his favourite Disney Character is Abu the monkey (who hangs around Aladdin) as he's cheeky and a bit like him!

There are three parts to the show, a main make, art technique and a simple make. The main make will take a little time but hopefully produce something your child will want to keep to show or play with! The art technique section aims to teach things like how best apply paint or how to use shadow to best effect. The simple makes are ideally for getting a quick result - ideal for younger children! The show aims to theme some makes to tie in with children's favourite shows and below is a fabulous example of how to make a pirate sword which would make Jake or Captain Hook envious:

Boo and I are still in the process of waiting for ours to dry before we can paint in brown! But hopefully we can show it to you soon!

Catch up with the Art Attack every weekend at 10.35am!

Disclaimer: We were asked to feature this as Disney fans, but we did not receive remuneration. All opinions are my own.