Scooter tips and tricks – Don’t be vain protect your brain

micro sprite scooter

Back in March we were sent through two Micro Scooters to review and I can honestly say we wouldn’t be without them. We take them in the car, the girls use them when they accompany us when walking Baxter and they have become a vital piece of the girl’s lives. Seriously. Thank goodness the Flytes turned into scooters too so they could scoot all the way around the airports earlier this year in Lanzarote.

Scooters are ageless too, from the moment they can walk up into teendom and beyond, plenty of grown ups have been spotted scooting around airports recently.

micro scooter

One certain lady who has been in my thoughts recently is Georgia on my mind, a beautiful teen who scooted without a helmet and fell, hitting her head. She was rushed into hospital and underwent brain surgery which, thank goodness, has been successful but this is a huge reminder to all scooters and parents out there to WEAR A HELMET.

I am a bit lazy about helmets thinking, they won’t go  fast, or I am with them but Georgia proves that the silliest of falls can be bad and even fatal. So I resolve to force the girls into their helmets now. Just watch Georgia’s mum’s video when she first explained to the world what had happened, you’ll soon be shoving helmets on your kids as they walk out the door.

Please take look at Emma (Georgia’s mum) page Don’t be vain protect your brain and help spread the word.

Halfords have a fabulous range of scooters and accessories that you can browse online or instore and helmets are all prices so there really is no excuse.

Scooter tips and tricks

Of course now the girls are able scooter-ers (is that even a word?), dad has been teaching them bunny hops, a move he remembers from his own scooting days. However we need to have more skills these days and I just love these infographics that Halfords have come up with. There are three levels of tricks to learn which should see the kids through to the end of the holidays for sure.

I know my two are going to have a lot of fun trying them out and it will give them something else to do on a lazy summer day when they declare ‘Im bored!’

Click on them and print them off for easy access to them, or save as an image on your phone.

Easy scooter tricks

Halfords_Scooter_Infographic-1

Medium scooter tricks

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Hard scooter tricks

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Staying Safe on a scooter

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Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with Halfords

45 years of the Mr Men – which one are you?

Little Miss Sunshine Mr men

‘Dad, what does a tickle look like?’

Dad, sat at his desk and drew a round, orange figure with long, bendy arms and planted a big smile on the face, Mr Tickle was born. That was back in the 1970’s when the first six Mr Men books were published.

I was five then and I can still remember our family collection of the Mr Men books. I read them all and so did my brothers, we couldn’t get enough of these simple but fabulous books each of which carried a clear message referring to personal traits and characters that go into making us who we are.

How Mr Bump made us laugh. Who doesn’t remember the phrase – For instance?

I enjoyed these books so much that I bought them a second time around for Thomas and Megan to enjoy on my trips back to the UK. They helped enormously with teaching them English as they were so easy to read. And when the twins came along I started up the collection again and read them of an evening before they fell asleep, a smile on their lips at the light hearted story we had shared, sometimes a question would be sparked which created a great conversation based on the characters.

Now it is time to create my 4th collection for the grandkids, Evan and Sophie who are the perfect age to enjoy them.

I still find it uncanny how Roger Hargreaves has captured these common traits so well in each of his characters, how each story is just right and how the illustrations work so well. In fact there is nothing to change or criticise with this world of little people.

If you were a Mr Man or a Little Miss which one would you be? I think I’m a Little Miss Sunshine, a smiler, a happy go lucky peace maker.

mr men products

The Mr Men are celebrating 45 years this year and you will find lots of wonderful merchandise in the shops. We were sent through a lovely box and as I opened the package my 8 year old twins shied away, we are too old for that mummy! They declared.

‘Not a problem,’ I replied, ‘The Mr Men are one of my favourite characters, I’ll have it!’ I pulled out a beautiful yellow Little Miss Sunshine pillow, ‘This will look perfect on my bed!’ I said. I continued pulling out cups, smaller cuddly toys, magazines, lunch bags and all sorts of wonderful goodies, oohing and aahing over them all, delighted at becoming the owner to so many wonderful Mr Men products as the twins looked at each other quizzically.

If you, like me, are a huge fan of the Mr Men and you are in London during the last week of August then pop down to the South Bank and feast your eyes on a showcase of rare and unusual memorabilia that will take you down memory lane. Mr Men will be putting on a “mini museum” where all plinths are at child height for kids to enjoy. It will be held in the OXO tower on London’s South Bank over the August bank holiday. 

Also keep an eye out for the Virtual Archive that is being built for fans to show off their collections online, the rarest 45th items will be rewarded with a limited edition Mr Men poster

little miss hug

Inside my Mr Men Box of Delights I also found some new Little Miss books that I have missed, like Little Miss Hug (adorable), Little Miss Somersault (funny), Little Miss Brainy (clever), Little Miss Curious (intriguing) they are all wonderful and remind me just how much I love this collection.

As I walked up to bed that night and visited the twins room to tuck them in and plant a kiss on their foreheads, who did I find on the bed? Little Miss Sunshine of course! They are taking it in turns to have her and it looks like I’m going to miss out again!

Things to do in the summer holidays

 

painting pottery twitchen house

Our summer holidays are running along fine at the moment, a two week break in Devon (which still needs writing up – ahem) and a week back to work already under my belt with the help of some lovely friends who have looked after the twins for me.

This week my mum is doing her bit and taking the girls down to our static caravan at Birchington Vale for the week where they can swim, go to the beach and discover hundreds of things to do on the Isle of Thanet. I’m going to try and record what we do on my new blog and hopefully it will come in handy for others too when visiting the area.

It’s quite a chore keeping the kids entertained all the time isn’t it? If you feel you’re running out of ideas take a look at the great list below. I had a chat with some of my favourite blogging friends to see what great ideas they are coming up with and I’m amazed at the response. This is your summer holiday inspiration in one click, bookmark for future reference and keep the kids happy with all these great activities.

Things to do in the summer holidays

Days Out

Kirsty over at the Mummysphere has a great activity for Peter Rabbit fans, at Willows Activity Farm

Rebecca from Here Comes The Girls has taken her children to the Warner Bros Studios and tells us all about it

Michelle from Mummy from the Heart suggests cliff walking as a great outdoors activity

Crafts/Activities

Hopefully there won’t be too many rainy days with the remainder of the holidays but just in case here are some brilliant ideas to consider

Try your hand at gorgeous mosaics like Liz over at Me and My Shadow

Carolin from Mummy Alarm has top tips for camping

And Emma and 3 talks about the ABTA swim safety campaign

Recipes

Another fabulous way to keep kids entertained is getting them into the kitchen and making some delicious ice cream like my Snozzcumber recipe

Becky at Simple Parenting has a scrumptious recipe for Banana Muffins

Jenny at Mummy Mishaps has ice cream cones with sprinkles

Bucket List

Cass at Frugal Family has 100 Frugal Fun summer activities to keep you entertained all summer and light on the pocket too!

Top tips to make the most of summer play

top tips for summer play

Our children are part of Generation Z; they spend approximately 7 hours a day at school, a lot compared to our European neighbours, and some children will attend Breakfast club and have after school clubs to attend. The summer holidays are the perfect time to put pens down and play.

Nintendo recently commissioned research that reveals 70% of parents worry that their youngsters are growing up too fast and may lack the ability to bounce back from adversity.

Leading child development and play expert, Dr Amanda Gummer advocates the introduction of play to areas outside of the playground, thanks to its proven impact on cognitive development. Working on the proven theory that when children play and have fun, they learn as well, they become more open to talking about what they think and how they feel.

Dr Gummer advises that parents who feel nervous about approaching difficult topics with children can easily apply playful tactics at home, helping to build on their child’s emotional resilience over the summer and enabling them to think more critically.

Dr Amanda Gummer’s top tips for summer play

1. Spark an enthusiasm for learning with fun educational activities

The summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to really get children enthusiastic about learning with fun, hands-on activities. For instance, they can practice maths by helping out at a car boot sale with the money, have a go at some amazing experiments with science kits or tell stories by creating their own characters.

2. Engage with videogames

It’s helpful to meet children where they are, in order to take them where you want them to be. Videogames are very popular with kids and the right ones can encourage critical thinking and discussion around an array of topics. For instance, the characters and their stories in the popular Nintendo 3DS game based on Japanese Folklore, YO-KAI WATCH® offers an imaginative platform to talk about real-life issues, such as falling out with friends or bullying – issues which often crop up during long school holidays.

Bess Nintendo car

3. Encourage playing together

Group games are brilliant for getting family and friends to play together, while helping children learn to think strategically, plan ahead, and work with others. There are many board and card games that also support key educational topics like maths so you can be confident that kids are learning whilst enjoying themselves.

4. Mix and match playmates

A good mix between playing with friends and family gives children the chance to expand their social skills, build relationships, and share knowledge. An older sibling can sometimes explain a topic to a younger sibling in a better way than a parent or teacher, it feels more playful, and at the same time this is reinforcing their own understanding.

play date

5. Don’t forbid screen time

There’s no reason why children can’t enjoy some screen time, it’s just important to select videogames that captivate them as well as support learning and development. This will help them to think imaginatively and creatively. Brands such as Nintendo offer a variety of games that will make your kids think and apply their brains, such as Disney Art Academy which helps teach children how to create their own art or Teddy Together which teaches them about friendship through the guide of a cuddly teddy bear and encourages chidren to practise their reading, spelling and interpersonal skills. They will feel like they are being given a treat but will be learning at the same time.

6. Allow time for unstructured play

It’s important for children to be in control of at least some of their play, so remember to schedule in time where they can play freely. This allows them to explore their own ideas and build on things they have learned, at their own pace. Building a den, for example, is an exciting way for children to explore the outdoors, harness their imagination and learn to solve problems.

7. Use children’s interests to grab their attention

These few weeks will give children a chance to explore their own interests. Parents can use something a child is big on right now, such as a particular cartoon or game character, to make all sorts of subjects more appealing and really tailor the learning to the child’s individual interests. For example, if a child likes superheroes, parents might get them to write a story about the character to encourage writing skills.

micro sprite scooter

8. Take them out for a breath of fresh air

Rain or shine, outdoor play has many advantages to a child’s development. It’s a great source of exercise, a chance for children to master physical skills, and offers a fascinating world for exploring and imaginative play. Going down the park can be a pain for parents, who end up standing around cold and bored while their children play; we suggest arranging play dates so that parents have someone to talk to and children get the added benefits of mixing with other children.

9. Boredom is good

Parents needn’t feel that children need entertaining every minute of the holidays, because children are perfectly capable of coming up with their own activities and this is actually really good for their development. It encourages children to think for themselves, supporting decision-making and independence, and can stimulate their creativity.

10. Use this opportunity to practice life skills

Life skills are vital, but unfortunately they aren’t always covered in school. So now is the ideal time for parents to get children to help plan and cook meals, clean the house, and generally get their heads around all the chores they will need to survive as adults. Of course they will still need plenty of time to play, but a good work ethic is a valuable thing to instill into a child, just make it fun, for example by bringing in songs and rhymes.

Nintendo blogger

Disclosure: We are part of the Nintendo UK Family Blogger scheme and review products for them on a regular basis plus bring articles that we consider will be of interest to you.

Newbie Netflix | What to watch on Netflix?

Netflix strem team

When the Netflix #StreamTeam got in touch and offered me a 12 month subscription in return for my thoughts over the year I was quite embarrassed … I had never watched anything on Netflix and didn’t even know how to set it up. *gulp*

Having said that I knew, via my Facebook page that there were a lot of my friends engrossed in all sorts of binge watching, Breaking Bad, Orange Is The New Black, Suits and many more. I had read the status updates and scrolled on, ‘What on earth could be so good about them?’ I wondered.

However when presented with the option, curiosity got the cat.

I wonder? I asked myself. Could Netflix be for us?

I accepted knowing I was moving into an entirely new area of entertainment, after all if I didn’t like it I could just say so and move on, right? Funnily enough Netflix allow all Newbies a month’s time free of charge to decide whether it is for you or not. So go dive in and see for yourself.

How do I watch Netflix?

I know, it’s a dumb question but if you haven’t done it before it’s a valid one. The beauty of Netflix is you can watch it on all sorts of different mediums. A laptop or computer for example, streamed live over internet. Another very common way of watching Netflix is on a tablet like an iPad. A great medium for us is our Apple TV which plugs into out television and allows us all to watch films together. Other ways of watching include Playstation and Wii which we haven’t tried yet.

What to watch on Netflix

The second big question is what should I watch, where on earth do I start with their massive library?

what to watch on netflix

For me the natural way to find the answer to that question is put it to my lovely Facebook friends, they are the ones placed up and down the country and abroad. Both male and female, all different ages and loving different genres, let’s see what they come up with…

I had a fantastic response to my call out, there are some really keen Netflix watchers out there and in order of top votes this is what came up.

7   Orange is the New Black – I’m almost finished season 1 and I agree, I am loving this

6   Sons of Anarchy

6   The Good Wife

5   House of Cards – watching with husband

4   Suits

4   Making of a Murderer

4   Gossip Girl

4   Breaking Bad – tried this for a couple of seasons, I liked it, husband didn’t.

3   Once Upon a Time

3   Pretty Little Liars

3   Grace and Frankie

Of course some people named more than one program in their comment and the other suggestions that came up with 1 vote each are

Bloodline

Blackfish

Zombie

Falling Skies

Friday Night Lights

Scandal

Kimmy Schmidt

Community LOLZ

The Blacklist

The West Wing

As you can see, I’m going to be busy for a while! But I had to start somewhere and I went for the number one spot, Orange is the New Black. I had seen a lot of banter about it and the new season was about to start too, what could possibly be so good about it?

Orange is the New Black

Well, it’s amazing! I think I’ve watched the first 6 now, sometimes binge watching them clicking on next, straight after one has finished. Think girls in prison, some lesbian annotations and clever writing. I am gripped and am a bit gutted I started this one on my own as I think husband would enjoy it too but I don’t want to go back to the start so hey ho, he’ll have to watch it on his own channel.

Which is another point. We have been given the platinum account which means I have been able to set all four of us up and we can each select and tailor Netflix to our own preferences which is a great move.

what to watch on netflix

Husband, for example, has been a bit anti Netflix, turning his nose up at the thought of something he had no idea what it was so I decided to find something for us both to watch and went for House of Cards. We’ve watched about 4 episodes now. I love Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and they do a spectacular job of portraying top American politics and the ruthlessness needed to succeed in such a tight environment. Husband is coming round although I think he needs to find a different series to truly fall in love yet. I’m going to try The Good Wife on him next.

Children on Netflix

my little pony

This was my most unexpected surprise with regards to Netflix as the twins have their favourite programs on a tv channel, who could convince them to move?

Silly question. The minute they found their own channels set up, they scoffed at Peppa Pig which was being offered but went straight in for Mako Mermaids and binge watched God only knows how many episodes. They have also watched LoLi Rock, Barbie, Mia and Me, Odd Squad, Rainbow Rocks and My Little Pony. They have really made this subscription work for them.

As I write they are watching a family film, The Unbeatables, and we have watched other family films together which is such a lovely moment.

Yes, Netflix is working for us and excuse me if I go but husband is out tonight and I can get another few episodes of OITNB in ;)

Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix #StreamTeam for 1 year but all of the above are my own opinions.