Friday, 30 March 2012

Sea Bands Review

Living in a rural area, with poor public transport, a car is a must for us, and living in Wales I have come to the conclusion that the Welsh cannot build straight roads!!! We are over 2hrs away from our nearest hospital with long and windy roads inbetween.

Now whilst this isn't usually a problem, for poor DD1 it is a nightmare!

DD1 suffers from severe travel sickness. She cannot go even 10 miles down the road before she starts being sick, which can be very upsetting for her and a problem for us. In the past we've only found one over the counter medication that will work, which is a sedative, but I don't like dosing her up all the time. 

At one point her speech therapists were talking about sending her to a specialist school to help with her SLI (speech and Language Impairment) and whilst I agreed with her going if it would help her, I was concerned because the school is over 30 miles away and she would be going every morning and returning to her own school for the afternoon and with her severe travel sickness it would have been very challenging for her and I didn't want to have to give her a sedative every night. I was so relived when she wasn't offered a placement, not just because it meant her SLI wasn't as severe as thought, but because I wouldn't have to worry about her travel sickness. 

So when I was offered the chance to review Sea Bands anti nausea travel sickness bands I jumped at the chance to try them.

At first I must admit I was a little bit skeptical. How could these small knitted elasticated wristbands help? How could wearing something on her wrist help when it's her stomach that becomes upset? If they have no medication in them how could they settle her stomach?

So I decided to give them a go, just a short drive I decided at first, but apart from her moaning at first that they were uncomfortable (she soon forgot about that though) they worked, and then I took a big risk and took her shopping with a car journey of over 3hrs without her usual travel sickness medicine and she didn't complain once of feeling sick!!!

Sea Bands work by applying continuous pressure by means of a plastic stud on the P6 acupressure point between the two central tendons near the wrist, which is known to prevent or relieve feelings of nausea. Because they have no medication in them, you can use them whenever and as often as you like. Even pregnant women can use them to help them deal with morning sickness or patients in hospital who are feeling nausea's because of their treatment. They have no side effects and they work immediately. 

But what is travel sickness and what causes it? It's the nausea, dizziness and vomiting caused by traveling in any sort of vehicle and is triggered by your brain receiving confusing messages that whilst you are sitting still in a seat, your senses are telling your brain that you are moving. I even suffer from it whilst playing computer games although thankfully the distraction of driving a car stops me suffering whilst I'm driving. 

But Sea Bands can also be used by pregnant women who are suffering from morning sickness, and because they don't rely on any drugs, then there is no risk to the unborn baby! 

Not only that, but Sea Bands can also be used by patients in hospital who are feeling ill after operation. In fact I remember being violently ill whilst giving birth to my eldest and finding it very hard to push because I just wanted to throw up, I wish I had known about these then to help me because towards the end of a very long and tiring labour with projectile vomiting of my stomach lining! Another use is for cancer patients who's treatment can make them very nausea's and sick. 

There are three different colours available in their child sizes; Pink, Blue or Camo Green and are suitable for the ages of 2+
Adult sizes are only available in Grey.
They're also washable and reusable.

I would definitely recommend these to anyone who suffers from travel sickness, morning sickness or needs an operation or cancer treatment. If they can stop my daughter from being sick in the car, then they can help everyone!!!

Sea Bands are available in Chemists or direct from their website where you can read their FAQ for more information.
You can also find Sea Bands on Facebook and Twitter

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Huggle Buddies Review

Much to DD1's delight... we were offered the opportunity to review a Unicorn Huggle Buddy.

Now for those of you who haven't seen the adverts on the TV, Huggle Buddies are cute and extremely soft and cuddly stuffed toys, but just by undoing the Velcro under their tummy, they transform into a super soft and comfy pillow. They can even carry their pyjamas safely inside for a sleep over or as a little extra comfort whilst out in the car. 

Huggle Buddies are so soft and cuddly, that even I enjoyed cuddling it and didn't want to put it down and neither does she as it's now her favourite teddy, she takes it everywhere with her and uses it as a pillow every night.

There are several similar pillows on the market nowadays, but the Huggle Buddy is the original one and is available from Pitch. There are lots of different designs, giving you and your little one plenty of choice and helping ensure that if you have more than one child they won’t end up fighting over the same one! You can choose from a;

* Dragon
* Dinosaur
* Orange or Pink Butterfly
* Poodle
* Red or Pink Ladybird
* Zebra
* Elephant
* Horse 
* Moose
* Hippo
* Tiger
* Dolphin
* Dalmatian
* Penguin
* Duck
* Pig
* Turtle
* Frog
* Polar Bear
* Bumble Bee
* Puppy
* Lamb
* Rabbit
* Unicorn
* Monkey

Each Huggle Buddy has durable stitching and is machine washable, ensuring that your Huggle Buddy will last a long time and it doesn't matter how dirty your little one gets it carrying it around everywhere and sleeping with it, you can just throw it in the machine and it will come out looking as good as new. Especially useful as we all know, and have suffered with, a vomiting child during the night! 

There is a Velcro tab which is used to close the Huggle Buddy to become a teddy and what I really liked was the cover that goes over the Velcro whilst the Huggle Buddy is open and being used as a pillow, because everyone knows how annoying Velcro can be when it tries to stick to everything!!!

What makes these even more special is what DD1 said to me the other night as she went to bed. "I'm not scared of bad dreams anymore now mummy, I have Uni and I know she'll make them go away!" 

Huggle Buddies are available direct through and cost £19.99 but as an added bonus you can save 10% when you buy a second one or buy 3 and get a fourth for just £10. Especially useful for me as my other children, especially DD2, are now asking for one of their own and with so much choice available, you don't have to worry about them fighting over the same one!

Now DD2 just has to get Pupil of the Month because I’ve promised she can have one now because she feels left out that DD1 has such a cool teddy!

#R2BC Bragging Mummy

Well, Thursday is here again, which means it's time to join in with the weekly Reason's to be Cheerful (R2BC) hosted by Mich over at Mummy From The Heart.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

1. I had a wonderful birthday on Tuesday and I lost 2 and a half pounds at Slimming World despite DS having his birthday last week! (See Sunshine Skies Happy Heart)

2. The weather has been beautiful meaning walks in the sun and playing out with the kids and some beautiful sunsets.

3. Parents Evening yesterday and all 3 did me proud. DD1 (5) & DD2 (7 next week) still have IEP's (Individual Learning Plans) because of their speech and also because they need to learn to socialise better with their friends. DD2's teacher was full of praise and said that in the past few months, and especially since her operation (See Happy Patient and What A Difference A Year Can Make) she has become a different child. She is now a lot more outgoing and confident, her speech is still poor and she tends to like being with the teachers and helpers rather than playing with her peers, so she needs to work on those two things. DD1 needs to learn not to be such a tattle tail (snitch) and again to socialise with her peers more. Her teacher was full of praise for her work, she is doing really well with her reading, both in English and in Welsh, her maths are very good as is her writing and spelling and her drawing. She doesn't like P.E (takes after her mum then LOL). DS (9) had lots of praise as well, he is one of the best readers in the class and can always be counted on for reading aloud in Welsh or English and has participating in Assembly. His work is very neat and very good, although he is easily distracted. She did say she couldn't tell him off too much because he does do the work in the end, but he needs a lot of encouragement to do so. She did say his behaviour can be a problem sometimes because he doesn't like being told what to do and can rebel and sometimes for no reason at all he can seem to be against the whole class, but I mentioned that he has been complaining about the other children teasing him about his surname and calling him a Tank Engine. But all in all very good reports for all of them and I'm very proud of them!!!

4. Friday night I'm going out with my best buds for a meal to celebrate my birthday and I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends!!!

So now it's your turn. Take a moment and think of what things are making you cheerful this week. Too often we are stuck feeling down and it's nice to sit back and actually think of the positives for a change, the silver lining in the clouds, and then when you've done that join in with the linky and have a look to see what is making everyone else feel cheery as well. 

Goosebumps and Scares

So the lovely and another newbie blogger From Slummy to Yummy Mummy wrote a post today about Fears and what frightens you the most, whether it's the dark or the big bad wolf or everyone's favourite spiders!

My biggest fear is also my phobia. I suffer from Selacaphobia. Never heard of it I hear you say... it means, I am afraid of Sharks!!!

For as long as I can remember I've had a fear of them. One of my earliest memories is from when I was 4 or 5. I was definatly under 6 as we moved to Wales just after my 6th birthday. Somehow I'd seen a little bit of the movie Jaws, maybe it was only a clip of it, maybe just an advert, but enough to realise that Sharks eat people! The following day I had a swimming lesson and because I had just learnt to swim without any help the teacher thought it would be a good idea to have us swim around the diving pool, which was deeper than a regular pool and had a spring board high above me. I remember holding on to the side with all my might as I slowly went around the pool using my hands... terrified that at any moment a shark would come and grab me!!! Then when I was 11, I started Secondary school and after school I would have an hour wait for my train home and being one of only a few children to attend that school from my town and no one else from my year, and too new to have made friends, I decided to go swimming. I was the only one there which didn't bother me at first and I calmly walked to the deep end and dove in. That is when the panic hit and I suddenly had this horrible feeling that I was being chased by a shark and I swam the quickest length I have ever swum in my life, convinced that there was a shark behind me with his mouth wide open ready to gobble me up! I then sat on the side of the pool, too scared to even dangle my feet in the water, until someone else came to swim as well. 

What makes this worse is we live opposite the sea, but I don't like going in the water and sometimes I panic when the kids are in the water. I'm forever scanning the sea, looking for a tell tale triangular fin poking out of the water. When I was younger and I did swim in the sea I was too terrified to open my eyes underwater in case the last thing I saw was a mouth full of serrated teeth just waiting to tear into my delicate flesh! I remember one day when I was swimming in the sea with my brother and his friends and my brother tried to tip me off the innotube I was sitting on. I quickly swam out of his reach and he soon gave up and shouted "Any sharks near by and they'll eat you first with all your splashing!" I froze, terrified, too scared to move in case there was a shark nearby. After a few minutes, realising I was slowly drifting out to sea, I carefully and slowly began to swim back to shore, trying to make as little splashing as I could. 

My other fears are a lot more mundane and ordinary. I don't like spiders, but I will bite down on my fears as I deal with spiders in front of the children as I don't want to pass my fears onto them. Heights seem to bother me a lot more than they used to do, I used to walk happily on a wall by the beach, but when I tried recently I was too scared of falling off and quickly got down. And of course I worry about my children, just like every parent does. I worry about all the bad things that can happen to them and I just want to keep them safe and protected.

Now I tag;
Missing Sleep
Being Mum
To list their fears and phobia's

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Sunshine Skies Happy Heart

The weather recently has been beautiful and there's nothing better than seeing that elusive UFO known as the Sun in the sky to gladden your heart and make everything seem better!!!

Yesterday was my birthday and I turned 35. Sadly this means that every day that passes is another day that takes me closer to 40 and away from 30 and I am now nearer to 40 than I am 30.

I was supposed to be going to my Welsh lesson but my mum (bad influence that she is) encouraged me to play hooky and go for a spot of retail shopping instead! I also went to Slimming World as I started last week to try and lose weight to help with my diabetes and I had lost 2 and a half pound, which isn't bad considering I had my son's birthday last week with lots of food I shouldn't be eating. Of course with my birthday yesterday and DD1's birthday next week as well as Easter I do wonder how I will cope with my chocolate addiction and temptation LOL

With the wonderful weather we've had over the past few days we've had some wonderful sunsets. The picture below was taken from my lounge window and shows a dumper truck on the beach passing in front of the sun. The dumper trucks are moving sand that has blown onto the road and promenade during the winter ready for the summer. 

This next picture was taken today when I went for a walk with the baby through the fairy glen. It was so peaceful with the sun shinning and the birds singing in the trees!!!

I hope you're all enjoying the sunshine and making the most of it!!!

Monday, 26 March 2012

The Weekend That Was


Well it's that time of the week again... when you have to say Hello Monday!!!

How was your weekend? 

Ours was ok. Friday night DS had 2 friends over for a sleepover, which got a bit boisterous and of course the girls were annoyed that they couldn't join the boys!!! Eventually we managed to get them all settled before we could sit and catch some of the 2012 Sports Relief.

Saturday, everyone was up really early. Hubby took the two older girls to an Easter Craft session that had been arranged, which sadly for them clashed with the 2nd round of Eisteddfod competitions (thankfully none of mine were entered into the Eisteddfod this year, although DS entered last year he only got as far as the first round. DD1 was a little upset that she wasn't asked to represent her class, she knows the song and recital they had to do off by heart so I'm going to ask in her parent's evening this week why she wasn't offered the chance as I think it would have been a big boost for her confidence, especially with her speech issues). I had to get ready for work whilst DS and one of his friends (the other had gone home) played on the PS3 and the baby just pottered around the house. Just after hubby arrived home, my dad called and invited DD2 for a sleepover at their house for the night as it was her turn and she hadn't been for ages and had been asking for it. DS and DD1 were also invited to DS friends house (the one who had slept over) to play in their paddling pool. I took DD2 on the train to nanny's house whilst on my way to work, leaving hubby home with the baby. Busy day at work with lots of tourists arriving (and moaning about bags, so here's a tip... if you are going on holiday in Wales please be aware that by law every single shop in Wales now has to charge 5p per bag!!!). Came home and watched BGT (Britain's Got Talent) which hubby had recorded. I really enjoyed Only Boys Aloud (especially as they sang my favourite Welsh song which brought back memories of singing it in assembly in secondary school). Calon Lan means A Pure Heart and if you're interested in the translation then click here

Sunday, we were going to go to church but no one wanted to get dressed! Finally after lunch we forced them as the weather was too nice to be in the house and hubby was pestering to go out in my car. He was a silly boy just over 5yrs ago when I was heavily pregnant with DD2 and although his ban ended in 2008 we hadn't gotten around to getting him his licence back. However his boss asked him to get it back because they want him to be their new delivery driver. We thought it would take a few weeks to sort out his licence but the DVLA have sent him a letter telling him he can drive whilst his licence and medical are being sorted out, which made his day! So I had him put on the insurance to drive my car and I took him out. I must admit I was very impressed at how quickly it all came back to him, especially as he's never driven this car before and being a people carrier it's a lot bigger than our old car that he used to drive. I took him somewhere quiet to begin with and then we drove to the garage a few miles away so I could wash all the bird poop off the car and then check the tyre pressure as I haven't used the car for a few weeks. Then we ended up going to the pub where we held our wedding reception almost 8yrs ago and the kids played in the garden whilst we both had a soft drink, I could have had something stronger since hubby was the designated driver, but I didn't feel like one, I'm not much of a drinker. Then we took the kids to the beach where they played on the sand and enjoyed an ice cream before taking them home for bath, tea, homework and bed.

All in all an enjoyable weekend!!!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Dalani Home & Living - Twin Competition


SHHHHHH  Would you like me to let you in on a little secret?
How would you like to be a member of an exclusive club? One which allows you to save up to 70% off the RRP on exclusive home decor accessories and furniture?
French Garden
Dalani is the UK's #1 online shopping club for home & living featuring brands from both established premium labels and the best up-and-coming designers, but it’s an exclusive club. Only members have access to their exclusive brand sales, which are personally selected by their founder, Delia Fischer, but the only way to become a member is to accept an invitation from an already registered user.
Urban Carpets
Members will also be offered new brands and products several times a week. Sales start at 10am and are only valid until the date provided, or while stocks last. All upcoming sales will be featured in thier email newsletter. You also recieve an exclusive Dalani online magazine which is your number one source of inspiration and guidance on home decoration and features inspirational home stories and simple decoration tips.
Bombay Duck
But not only am I offering you the chance to be a member of the exclusive Dalani club, I am also hosted an exclusive competition, for my readers only, where one lucky reader has the chance to win an exlusive £50 voucher as well as a £15 voucher for everyone who takes part.
Modern Pop
To enter the competition all you need to do is sign up to Dalani for free using this link (you must use this exclusive link to recieve your £15 voucher) and email me the correct answer to the question below and then using I will choose one winner at random to win this lovely prize.

Competition 1 Question: What is the name of the brand in the sale at the top of the Dalani homepage?

Competition 1 Closing Date: 02.04.2012 at 9AM

But that's not all!!!!

Dalani are also giving two lucky readers across all 36 participating blogs the chance to win a £250 voucher.

To take part in this competition, all you need to do is visit the Dalani website and select a number of items of your choice to the value of £250 that you would like to use to revamp a room in your house.

Once you have selected your item, just comment on this blog post what the items are and why you have chosen them.

Competition 2 Closing Date: 02.04.2012 at 9AM

If I was to enter the competition to win the £250 voucher I would choose the antibacterial knives (utility knife, carving knife, bread knife, kitchen knife, chef’s knife) and the Dinner for 12 event cutlery and serving set. A Calgary bath sheet and the large silver embossed wall mirror.

**This is a Sponsored Post**
Viral video by ebuzzing

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Birthday Celebrations - Win £10 Next Voucher

Today is my son's 9th birthday and also the 9th anniversary of my becoming a mum for the first time. But that's not all... Tuesday is my birthday and two weeks today DD1 turns 7. So all in all a very busy few days for the Really Rachel household.

To celebrate all these birthdays and the fact that I have almost 500 followers on my Facebook page, I thought I would run another giveaway where one lucky winner will win a £10 Next voucher. 
This competition starts today, my son's birthday, and ends on Tuesday, my birthday.

All you need to do is follow the instructions below.

Don't forget that I also have another competition which is still running where one lucky fan will win a Wooden Toy Sailing Boat Kit here and check out Competitions for a list of all the competitions I'm currently running.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

R2BC - Today I became a mum!

Today I celebrate my son's 9th birthday which means I also celebrate becoming a mum for the very first time!

It doesn't seem possible 9 years have passed since I gave birth to him, and I look at him and wonder where my baby has gone. Before I know it he'll be too cool to be seen with his mum, be too big for hugs and kisses and climbing on my knee for a cuddle and be off at big school where puberty and teenage attitude and angst will begin (although we already have some of the attitude!)

I still remember finding out I was pregnant. Hubby, or DP as he was then, and I had been together a year, living together and engaged most of that time. When I saw the two lines appear on the pregnancy test I was thrilled, I'd always wanted to be a mum and I knew hubby would be pleased as well as he wanted to be a dad.  

The first person I told was my SIL as we were taking her son and my nephew to the beach that day to play and she knew by my face that something was different! I then went to a card shop and bought a Congratulations card and asked the shop assistant to write our address on the envelope. When hubby came home from work he found the card in the letter box and wondered aloud who it was from because he didn't recognise the handwriting whilst I tried to keep a straight face. When he opened it and read Congratulations Daddy... See you in 9 months he ran over and gave me a hug, he was thrilled and couldn't wait to be a dad!

At first my family weren't too pleased as they have traditional views that we should have been married before having a baby but they soon came around and began to look forward to the new baby as well.

We were given the due date of the 17th March 2003, and I remember hoping he would come early and have the really cool birthdate of 03/03/03 but nothing would work to get him out that day, he proved to be as stubborn as his dad! We didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl and we looked forward to finding out when he finally made an appearance. The pregnancy sailed by and I didn't suffer any morning sickness or cravings and apart from being tired, I felt happy and healthy.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, my consultant decided to induce me as he was worried about how big he would be, so the day after my due date I was taken into hospital. Mum often tells me how she was in floods of tears when she left me, I was her baby having a baby, and she didn't want to leave me.

Unfortunatly he was still very stubborn and didn't want to come out at all. I spent 2 days having pitocin to try and get my labour started but he didn't want to move and then I was told the 3rd day would be my rest day and they wouldn't give me anything. On the 3rd day I felt very sad and neglected and felt like I would never have the baby!!! When hubby arrived with his SIL (the one who was the first to know about the baby) I remember complaining about backache and having had 3 kids already SIL went to tell the midwife's she thought I was in labour. One came over and examining me my waters broke and I was taken down to the labour ward with hubby whilst SIL and FIL went to phone my parents.

The labour seemed to last a long-time (although it wasn't as long as some I've heard about). I was given gas and air to begin with but I didn't like it so I was then given pethodine which make me violently sick (or projectile vomiting) so I was then given an epidural as well as some medication to speed up the labour. Finally it was time and I began pushing but I was struggling to get him out, the decision was then made to take me to theatre ready for a section but before they gave me the section they decided to try once more with forceps and out he came!

He was beautiful, blue eyes with a little bit of blonde hair and was born at 5am exactly on the 22nd March 2003 weighing 8lb 130z (and he was also my smallest). I couldn't believe he was mine and kept waiting for someone to come and take him off me saying that I was only borrowing him. I tried breastfeeding him and he nursed fine whilst we were in hospital but the first night home he screamed and refused to latch on at all, even the midwife couldn't get him to latch on the following day so from then on he was bottlefed and he was so greedy that he was soon on the hungry baby food!

Now my baby has turned 9. He still has his blue eyes although his hair has darkened to a light brown (even since daddy scalped him with the hair clippers). He loves his sisters, although has often said he wishes he had a brother, and he loves cuddles and watching Doctor Who, Ben 10, Horrid Henry, Total Wipeout, and playing on the computer or PS3. He was thrilled with his presents of Lego Harry Potter years 5-7 for the PS3, Horrid Henry and Junior Mysteries on the DS, a pair of Sketchers and a wooden helicopter from DD1.

This is a blog hop but feel free to join in. Tell us why you're feeling cheerful today and visit other blogs to share the love!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

5 Reason's I know I'm a Supermarket Cashier

So the lovely Kate at Kate Takes 5 has started a wonderful topic.

5 Reason's I know I'm a...

Basically it's yours to do what you wish with, you can choose what you like... slob, dentist, teacher, parent, childminder, foster mother... the possibilities are endless!

For my 5 reason's I'm going to go with 

5 Reason's I know I'm a Supermarket Cashier!

1. You never expect to find a £5 note in your till (they're like gold dust) and if you get a customer that annoys you for whatever reason and need over £5 in change you give it to them in coins just to show them who's boss and if you only have one £5 note you guard it and are reluctant to give it away!

2. You hate asking people so many questions!!! You feel like the Spanish Inquisition just firing off question after question (and to make it worse, I know how to ask those questions in Welsh!!!)

3. You end up writing a shopping list of things you want to buy during your break or when you finish based on the special offers you see going through your till

4. Even when people give you their loyalty card at the beginning, you still ask for it at the end... but stop mid-sentence as you realise they've already given it you, leaving the customer with a bewildered look on their face. 

5. If there are lots of the same items on the belt, you alternate the items you scan just so you don't have to wait for the delay on the scanner or because you're too lazy to enter the quantity

6. When removing all your notes from the till, you've considered on more than one occasion making a dash for the exit! Especially on busy days!

7. If you're over 18 you hate having to turn around every 5 minutes to authorise alcohol sales when someone behind you is under 18 (or vice versa if you're under 18). You also hate asking for I.D since you're guaranteed to get someone who will moan and claim to be over 18 and demand to see the manager because they have no I.D and look under 25! (wish someone would ask me, I'd take it as a compliment but I never get asked for I.D these days)

8. You play around with anything you can find on your till whilst waiting for customer, including (but not limited to) the hand scanner, the belt-dividers, the lights above the till, till roll etc.

Yes, I know that is more than 5 but I got carried away LOL

Now it's your turn, simply make your list on your own site and pop over to Kate Takes 5 to link up and then take a look around at some of the other entries.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Win A Wooden Toy Sailing Boat Kit

How would you like to win your very own Wooden Toy Sailing Boat Kit that I reviewed here 

This little wooden sailing boat can give your little one hours of fun sailing it as well as the pride of knowing they built it themselves. 

A wonderful gift for everyone and now you can win your very own boat. (UK entries only I'm afraid)

Just enter below and enter the simple question, and the answer is in the review here 

The competition ends midnight on the 25th March 2012

Good luck everyone and check out Competitions for a list of all the competitions I'm currently running.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 16 March 2012

Toy Sailing Boat Kit by Review

Much to my 8yr old DS' excitement and delight Not on the High sent him a gorgeous wooden sailing boat kit to try. I also have a competition here to win your own boat

This beautiful craft kit comes with everything you need to build your very own wooden sailing boat that actually floats. Measuring 25cms long by 25cms high it's small enough to fit in a Childs palm and be easily carried, but large enough to be played with and it also comes with a lovely cardboard suitcase to keep it safe and everything you need to build it. 

Inside the suitcase you will find;
* Full, easy to understand, instructions
* Small and large cotton sails
* Wooden boat parts
* Pulling string
* Varnish
* Glue
* Paint
* Pallet
* Small paintbrush
And even a plastic sheet for working on!

 The instructions were easy to use and my son was able to build the boat himself, although I was on hand to help and to tie the knots. As I used to do a lot of sailing as a child and was a member of the local sailing cadets and also the main crew on my dad's yacht, I took the opportunity to teach my son the proper names of all the parts. I also made sure that the string on the main sail was long enough that (hopefully) when he took it out the wind would catch the sail like in a real yacht allowing his to sail across the water.

I was very impressed to see that the kit also contained a plastic sheet for working on as usually you never see anything like that. My son enjoyed painting the boat the colours he wanted to use and designing it the way he wanted it to look.

The paint dried quickly and so did the varnish meaning he was able to build the boat in one day.... so if we built it so quickly, then why the delay in the review???

Easy... we were waiting for it to RAIN!!! Every time we have some rain a wonderful puddle forms near our house which is great for playing and splashing in (see here) but typically, because we want it to rain it hasn't and no puddle has formed.

So in the end we gave in and tested it floating in the sink which it did really well and when DS gave it a blow it sailed across the water quite happily.

DS loves his sailing boat and can't wait to try it out on the puddle as soon as it forms again and it takes pride of place on his shelf as he waits. He also enjoyed building the boat himself and took pride in being able to do this himself. 

It's a wonderful gift and I would recommend this to everyone as it is a unique gift that can give hours of fun and pleasure, from the pride and enjoyment of building it yourself, to the fun of playing and sailing it in water. 

Not on the High Street is a wonderful site full of unique gifts but what makes even more unique is that it brings together over 2,000 British independent designers and manufacturers as their selling partners. In fact when you buy from notonthehighstreet your order comes directly from one of these businesses which mean you are supporting British creative talent and buying British products as well as buying a wonderful and unique gift.

The Toy Sailing Boat kit costs £20 and is created by Crafts4kids which was set up in 2005 by two working mothers who frustrated by the high street toys decided to set up their own line of toys and now have a thriving business offering high quality, design-led contemporary and traditionally influenced children's creative gift, hobby kits and activity toys.

You can find on Facebook and Twitter
You can find Crafts4kids on Facebook

Thursday, 15 March 2012

PAIRSinPEARS from Bananagrams Review

We were sent PAIRSinPEARS by Bananagrams for the children to play. It's a Word Construction game for 2-4 players aged 5+ (although you could change the game slightly or help a younger child).

PAIRSinPears helps children with their reading, spelling and writing, letter recognition, pattern recognition, memory and cognitive skills, the alphabet, vowels, vocabulary, rhyming and more. 

PAIRSinPEARS is a cool twist on the name as you have 4 sets of full alphabet letters in 4 beautiful and distinct designs (similar to Scrabble letters but without the scores) inside a Pear-shaped cloth pouch. Brought to you by the people who brought you.

* Bananagrams
* Appletters
* Zip-It
* Fruitominoes

The game is a word construction game for age 6+, where players race to make pairs of connecting words in matching patterns, but there are several different ways to play the game and you also have the freedom to create your own games using the letters.

The instructions also have 5 Educational Exercises for you to try with your child;
1. Names: Make a pair of the same word (ie Child's name) with letters in the same pattern. 
2. Vowels and Consonants: All the tiles are placed face down and the child turns over letters one at a time and tries to make matching pairs of vowels as possible and then does the same with consonants. 
3. Alphabetical Order: Create pairs of 3 letter runs, where the patterns in each run are the same. 
4. Rhyming: Make pairs of rhyming words of matching patterns. 
5. Homonymns: Make a pair of homonymns like TWO/TOO. Homonymns are 2 words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings.

The you have the actual game of PAIRSinPEARS with 2 different ways to play (scoring or not scoring) which 2-4 players can play.

My older two really enjoyed playing this game and it helped them with their spelling and they enjoyed working out if they had enough letters to make the word they wanted to make (I was close at hand to help with spelling).

Even my 5yr enjoyed playing with the Educational Exercises as I had her create the alphabet and she played the matching game with her 6yr old sister. 

All in all a wonderful game that grows with the child and can be adapted to fit the child's needs and level of understanding, which will help them with their reading, spelling and writing, letter recognition, pattern recognition, memory and cognitive skills, the alphabet, vowels, vocabulary, rhyming and more.

PAIRSinPEARS is available from Amazon or on their website. To find out more about Bananagrams visit their website or you can find them on Facebook or Twitter