old trampoline

When we moved into our current home we inherited a trampoline from the previous owners. It was barely used and I have no idea why they left it behind but after a quick bounce from Dad and a thorough check we decided to hang on to it. Great decision because the girls have used it so much! It’s a perfect excuse to get them out of the house all year round and from tiny bounces they have evolved into ‘bum drops’ scissor jumps, star jumps, and 360s.

I am amazed at how long it has lasted. We have had to replace various parts over the years like the padding that goes around the bottom and the net too, but it was a photo I took earlier this year and posted on Facebook which drew some comments in from our friends.

Deathtrap!

I think that was the one that really opened my eyes and made me start searching ‘parts for trampolines ‘ online.

The photo was of the children bouncing away merrily with no safety net. The net had deteriorated over the winter and I hadn’t got around to replacing it. Plus every time I made a mental note to do so, it would immediately be covered by another trillion mental notes.

Deathtrap!

It might seem a bit harsh but all it takes is a nasty landing and you could potentially be looking at life changing injuries and even fatality.

parts for trampolines

As my trampoline is an odd size and shape (just different to the standard size) I couldn’t find the right net for the right amount of poles, all of my regular searches showed plenty of items but none that fitted our trampoline.

Would I have to throw it away? Where does one start with disposing of an old trampoline? the thought of dismantling it is enough to make me want to sit down and open a bottle of gin!

Time to get my finger out, I sat down in front of an empty browser began my search – parts for trampolines.

People of the internet, I came up trumps!

I found the perfect net and springs from the website – Parts for Trampolines, as all of ours were rusty. I was able to order online and the products arrived swiftly plus, they were easy to assemble thank lawd! No swearing from Dad.

parts for trampolines

Top tips for looking after a trampoline

Keep it clean – That might sound odd but dirt and debris left on the mat can eventually damage it or get caught in the springs. To clean it all you need is a bucket of soapy water and a soft brush, if you’re clever you could even convince the kids to do it for you. Surely it would be fun? Make sure they also check for spider webs, bugs, insects and build up of leaves and dirt. If you store your trampoline in the winter, make sure it is completely dry before packing away.

Placement – I discovered this one on my searches. A well placed trampoline can extend the life for years. Look for a shady spot but make sure there are no overhanging branches or other objects nearby that avid jumpers might bang into! Plus, if it’s directly under a tree, that’s going to be a lot of leaves to clean throughout the year! Do we have to say – don’t place it near the barbecue or the fire pit? Possibly yes, let’s cover all bases.

If you are going to place it next to your fence, make sure it’s not by your neighbour’s fire area as embers caught in the wind can travel and land on your rubber mat singing burn holes into it.

parts for trampolines

Parts for trampolines

Are all of the springs connected? Are they damaged?

Are there any holes in the net?

Are any of the poles broken or bent?

Is the netting ripped?

Is the trampoline standing on a flat surface?

Look out for wear and tear on the mat or any sagging or tension issues. Excessive stretching of or damage to the springs.

Is the mat excessively stretched? Is it frayed, ripped or has the stitching come undone?

Check the frame connections. Is it bent? Are the welds broken?

parts for trampolines

Weatherproof your trampoline

Look for a rust resistant frame and a rugged mat. If you have bad winters remove the mat, leaving the frame where it is. The springs can be stored in a box and oiled before reusing. If you can’t store away, turn the frame on its side to prevent leaves or snow collecting on the mat and weakening it. Just make sure there is nothing sharp close by that could rip the mat.

A weakened mat won’t hold a jumper and they could find themselves jumping straight through! So keep an eye out for any accumulation during the winter months and remove it as and when. If it’s snow – it’s the perfect spot for making snowballs, just don’t tell the kids ;)

You can also invest in trampoline covers which protect the mats from frost and make the cleaning of debris easier.

If you have high winds you’ll need to think carefully about the trampoline, we found ours shunted and bent one year after a strong storm. You could look at getting an anchor kit if you didn’t want to dismantle it. over the windiest months. Trampolines have been known to travel quite far, next door’s garden, onto a parked car …

Rules for the trampoline!

To keep your trampoline in the very best shape there are a few rules to put in place that EVERYONE has to adhere to, no excuses for anyone.

No shoes

Only one jumper at a time – we need to be more rigid on this rule.

No climbing up the safety net.

 

Above all have fun! Look after your trampoline and you’ll have years of bouncy fun!

giant pass the pigs

I am organising a family barbecue soon; my daughter is coming over from Italy with her family, my grandmother is going to be 97 and it’s the perfect excuse to get everyone together and enjoy some family time. On family days like this we often play a few games and this year, I have a brand new game up my sleeve which I think is going to be an enormous hit…

Giant Pass The Pigs

Let me tell you more.

Paul introduced the game to me during our first Christmas together and I have been thrashing him playing the game ever since. It’s a really simple and fun idea; you hold two plastic pigs in your hands, shake and drop on the table. The two pigs can land in many different ways, razorback, trotter, snouter, even a leaning jowler and if both pigs land in the same position it’s likely to double your points! Take a look at the scores below for an idea.

Pass the pigs points

This version is perfect for playing at home, pulling out after a meal one evening. Christmas and family get togethers are always a great occasion to play and being in a handy case, they are great for taking on holiday too.

Back to the Giant Pass The Pigs, they are really cool, they are easy and quick to blow up – the twins did ours! They also have a string bag to keep them in once deflated along with the score pad, pencils and other bits and pieces that you need for the game.

We had our first game one weekend whilst staying at our caravan in Thanet, it was a really fun moment playing in the garden. Although Bessie’s face might not say it – I think she was concentrating on a win ;)

playing giant pass the pigs

 

This game can be played anywhere, indoors and outdoors, it’s easy enough to take to the park, beach or even on holiday as it packs away neatly and is quick to assemble. Like I said, it’s a family favourite.

Just look at them … they’re adorable, aren’t they?

Treat yourself to some family fun!

giant pass the pigs

Disclosure: Pass the Pigs and it is suitable for all ages, the younger players might need some help adding up the scores but that’s it. We were set a set of each game for the purpose of this review.

Summer Activities for kids and families

Okay, so we are on week 3 of the summer holidays, hands up if you have already heard ‘I’m bored!’ in that whining sound that grates every parent’s nerves.

Kids of today eh? There’s just no pleasing them. They are tired and fed up when it’s school time and they are bored at home with all the free time they could wish for! Mind you, if I look back to when I was a child, I said the same. My guess is some things will never change and this is one of them.

Sun-Pat Fuelling Families downloadable guide

SunPat fuelling families guide

Click to download a guide with 42 activities to keep busy this summer.

sun-pat football

I have come to the conclusion that with just a little thought and minimal planning you can actually keep them occupied and know that they’ll have loads of fun too. Sun-Pat have known this for a long time too and decided to come to all parent’s rescue this summer. They have put together an excellent sports kit held in a strong and handy holdall containing a football (which dad says is a very good one), a cricket set and a skipping rope.

With just these few items (which Sun-Pat sent us to review), we had an entire afternoon of fun and guess who was best at the skipping challenge? #JustSayin

Sun-Pat are convinced that all kids need to get outdoors is a little inspiration and some good company and on that note, they are giving away 420 special sports kits this summer and you can easily get one too.

In the photos, you can see us playing with our kit at the caravan but we shall be taking it to the beach and to parks, it’s such a handy bag with a carrying handle too. With the equipment included, you don’t have to stick to the traditional games but you can create your own like obstacle courses, or bouncing the ball as many times as you can, dribbling the ball around obstacles laid out and skipping forwards, backwards all sorts!

Summer Activities for kids and families

Research discovered that 85% of kids wish they spent more time outside over the summer so now they have no excuse. A bag full of goodies and the local park (plus a few peanut butter sandwiches for a half time snack) is all you need for an afternoon of fun.

Get your Sun-Pat summer sports kit

It’s very simple, just head over to the Sun-Pat Fuelling Families giveaway and click enter, with 10 being given away every day your chances of winning are high or, visit Sun-Pat on Facebook to enter.

Sun-Pat Peanut Butter is a perfect natural source of protein and fibre and helps maintain energy levels, and the guide also includes recipes for simple and delicious snacks to fuel your whole family this summer.

Disclaimer: Post in collaboration with Sun-Pat Peanut Butter

Learning to sew

 

It started back at Christmas, ‘Mum can I have a sewing machine please?’ but with one thing and another we just couldn’t add it to the already bursting gift list so, it rolled over to her birthday and for a very long time now Alice has been quietly reminding me, ‘I’d really love a sewing machine mum for my birthday.’ So I thought, why not?

When a child expresses such a deep desire, and we all know they can fizzle out from one moment to the next, maybe we should jump on that train and see where it takes them?

A recent trip to Hobbycraft sealed the request because as we walked into the store we were greeted by a wall of colourful sewing machines, from incy wincy ones right through to professional models. Alice spotted one and fell in love.

Pink. That was all it took.

For once, I was really excited about giving the girls their birthday gifts this year. They have never been huge on lists or knowing what they wanted (unless it is a mobile phone which is still a no) but this year Alice had requested and we had listened.

Watching her open her gift and seeing the joy on her face was a moment I shall remember forever. How could my little girl want a sewing machine?

Along with her sewing machine for kids, I had also wrapped up a Sewing for Beginners book and some fat quarters to get her started.

sewing machine for kids

 

She was itching to begin but life, being what it is, got in the way. It wasn’t until almost a week after her birthday that we finally got the box open and Alice started to sew.

I started her off with some pieces of felt and guided her to use the machine, running different sized stitches up and down, getting used to how the machine works, threading the needle, catching the bobbin underneath and sewing backwards and forwards.

I could see she wanted to move on to making something so we worked out how to make a bag and off she went again. We saw our mistakes and learnt from them and I have a feeling everyone in the family may be receiving handmade gifts this Christmas.

This is an ongoing project and one I know I will have to find the time to be hands on with to help her but I shall find the time, as I know how much this means to her and when your child finds a passion I think you should do everything to make sure it stays alive – move over Coco Chanel, there’s a new lady on the block…

Disclosure: I approached Hobbycraft asking them if they would like to work with me on Alice’s wish list. They sent the beautiful PINK sewing machine pictured in return for this review. All words and thoughts are my own and I want to thank them for making Alice’s dream come true. You can buy one too from around £50

Boss baby review

You can tell it’s the summer holidays as the weather has turned! Typical isn’t it, months of glorious sunshine and hot sunny days and now the kids are home it gets cold and starts to rain.

No fear here guys, we were sent a copy of The Boss Baby DVD to review and it’s perfect family viewing. This is just what you need to pull out of the bag on a bad day (or even a good one for that matter!)

The Boss Baby Review

Boss-Baby-Maze

Well, it’s a comedy. It’s about the new arrival of a baby in the home and Tim Templeton, the older brother who is now 7 and should be in charge, starts to lose his temper when the new baby brother – who wears a suit and carries a briefcase – starts making it very clear he is in charge.

Tim goes on to discover his baby brother is on a secret mission and ends up teaming up with him. together they go on an awesome adventure that might change the world…

Who’s in it?

The baby is Alec Baldwin and other famous voices you are likely to hear are from Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Miles Bakshi and Tobey Maguire.

If you are interested, keep your eyes peeled for the THE BOSS BABY SPECIAL EDITION out on Blu-ray™ and DVD on July 31 which includes some great special features like the new Mini Adventure; a 3-minute action-packed journey through time featuring Boss Baby and Tim. Join the fun as Boss Baby and Tim battle pirates, travel through outer space, swim deep into the sea, and go toe-to-toe with some ferocious dinosaurs! Other special features include “Cookies are for Closers: Inside BabyCorp,”  Deleted Scenes and more!

DreamWorks Animation’s THE BOSS BABY is available now on Digital DownloadBlu-ray and DVD, from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. 

Download the fun attachments below to stretch the fun even further.

 

Boss baby review