Explora Snack N Go Review

Do you have children that eat on the go?

The Tommee Tippee Explora Snack N Go allows your child to dip into their snacks whenever they want but also stops the food from spilling out all over the place. The design of the pot makes it a classic travel pot, excellent for children that are on the go, picnics, buggy’s and car journeys (no more mess)

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The snack pot is perfect for little hands with an easy access soft lid, which is especially designed for little hands to slip through yet stopping the snack from falling out. The pot has a little angled handle which is ideal for children to hold onto whilst snacking.

Key features:

  • Clever snack pot with easy-access soft lid
  • Mess free snacking
  • Ideal for travel
  • Available in two colours
  • Suitable for babies 12 months +
  • BPA-free

My son is 3 years old and I have found this snack pot perfect for him, we filled it up with strawberries and grapes and it managed to hold quite a lot. It fits perfectly into his pack lunch box, with the added bonus of knowing, because of the lid, that the contents will not be found squashed all over the rest of his lunch after it has been swung around a few times on the short walking journey that we make every day to the childminders house.

He had no problem finding room inside the pot to move his hand around to search for the biggest grape nor did he say that it felt too tight or uncomfortable for him to remove his hand from the lid.

The Snack N Go is available in two colours: blue and yellow or orange and purple.

Available to but in shops now.

We was provided with a snack pot for the purpose of this review, no payment has been received.

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Chocolate Munchies Brownie Recipe

Everybody loves a bit of chocolate right!!! Even more so when it’s a chocolate fudge brownie that melts in your mouth with its smooth taste and texture, adding munchies gives them a little crunch from the biscuit. This recipe is easy and tastes divine.

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Ingredients:

  • 125g Plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 125g granulated sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g Munchies, chop each munchie into quarters (or any type of chocolate if preferred)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 115g melted butter

Method:

  • Preheat oven 170*, gas mark 4. Grease a square tin/silicone
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl
  • In a separate bowl combine the eggs, vanilla extract and milk.
  • Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well, add in the melted butter
  • Pour into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

The brownie are rich in taste but very moreish and after one little bite your mouth will be watering for more of the luscious chocolatey taste (if there is such a word).

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If you try the recipe why not leave a comment below and let me know what you think :-)

Our visit to Popeye Village, Malta

Pass me my spinach Olive……..

Last week we flew to the beautiful Island of Malta, home to gorgeous scenic coves, tasty mediterranean food and of course the Popeye Movie set. Popeye village is a popular tourist attraction in Malta and you can understand why, as soon as you look down at the bay below you, you are hit with such beauty and breathtaking scenes. It was built-in the 1980’s for the purpose of the Walt Disney production; live action, Musical feature film Popeye, starring the late Robin Williams.

Popeye village is in the most beautiful location of Anchor Bay, North west of the Island. It is easily reached by car or bus.

As soon as you feast your eyes on the village below, you will be captivated by its beauty. Popeye Village also known as Sweethaven Village is made up of wooden, rustic buildings.

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Cove below

Cove below

There is so much to do at Popeye village; not only do you get to walk around the old movie set but you can explore the houses, go swimming in the sea, swim in the lido, take a boat ride around the bay, watch the film in an old movie theatre, watch a documentary about how the film was filmed and even take part in live scenes with the actors out in the street.

Screenshot (34)As soon as we walked down the steep hill approaching Popeye’s house, we was greeted by Popeye himself along with Bluto and Olive Oyl.

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The actors were friendly and very funny, they were a big hit with the children and really brought the whole experience alive. We watched Popeye and Bluto fight over Olive Oyl. Poor Oliver couldn’t believe his eyes when Bluto was knocked out and fell to the floor, he wasn’t moving and believed that he was dead.

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As well as wandering around the old village the children had fun in the splash pool, although the water was a little cold, it didn’t stop them from jumping in and having a blast.

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I can just imagine it being a little sweet haven in the heat of the summer months, being able to relax and cool off around the lido and splash pool. Also in the summer there are water trampolines and slides set up in the sea down in the bay for visitors to use.

The boys loved walking through the old wooden buildings, exploring and reading all the information. We even sat and watched some of the old film in the Popeye comic museum, whilst taking cover from the rain outside (we visited during October half term) The museum was full of memorabilia and over 200 comics on display.

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Our day was nearly over but not before jumping on board the Boat for a trip around Anchor Bay, this is a must on a visit to the Village as you get to see some beautiful scenery of the village set among the cliffs and coves from the Sea.

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Waiting for the boat to depart

Just next to where the boat departs, on Captain Bluto’s Platform there is a small set up of miniature golf

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The very last thing that had to be done, and I can only imagine in the summer months that this would be a 100 % must, would be to swim in the bay. During the summer the bay comes alive with inflatable fun for all the family, but as it was October Jak had it all to himself.

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The water was shallow but deep enough for him to swim in.

We had a fabulous day out and even though it was out of season, there was still lots for us to do and see.

If you have a holiday booked to Malta, I would strongly recommend a visit to Popeye Village to meet the Big Man himself.

First flight abroard: family time

Are you experienced Family fliers?

Do you dread flying for the first time with your children?

Well we are the latter! Last week was our first time flying to another country as a family.

I had flown before with my eldest boy when he was 4 and last summer he flew out to Amsterdam with his agency to do some acting on stage but my two youngest have never flown before. I booked the holiday during the half term to Malta, a country that I have many contacts with and have visited a few times myself prior to having children. We were going to be travelling with Nanny and staying at my brothers apartment over there, we had an early morning flight all booked and the boys were very excited in travelling to another country via an Aeroplane.

The week prior to our departure I couldn’t sleep, I kept having nightmares and thinking if the worst outcomes that could happen to us whilst travelling

  • Being turned away because our passports had the wrong information on
  • Our names weren’t down on the roster for flying
  • Losing one of the children at the airport
  • The plane coming into bother whilst in transit
  • Not having a smooth flight and experiencing some turbulence

With hardly any sleep and over tired the day arrived for us to travel to Luton airport to depart for our first holiday abroad. I was so worried that an accident that may happen, I just had to keep telling myself that people fly all over the world every second of the day and the possibility of our plane come into some difficulties were very slim.

I had packed all the luggage with our clothes but I also had to think about what would keep the children entertained on the flight there

  • All phones and tablets fully charged with chargers in the suit case
  • Magazines and books to read
  • Colouring and drawing pencils
  • Favourite teddy bear or toy
  • Bottle of water
  • Any school homework that was given out
  • A pack of playing cards
Reading his magazine

Reading his magazine

I had also ensured that they was dressed in comfortable clothing like track suits, trainers and t-shirts. I didn’t want the children to be uncomfortable for the three hours that we was travelling, sitting down in a small tight space in clothing that would make them fidget and make them irritable.

We had all discussed prior to our flight about what to expect during flying and how they thought an aeroplane works. Joseph said that they he was a bit scared the aeroplane would drop from the sky as he doesn’t understand how it could fly with all the people in it. Oliver wanted the plane to do a loop de loop and Jak said he didn’t like it when his went pop.

As our flight was at 7:00 Am, we left our house at 4 aiming to arrive at the Airport for 5:00. I ridiculously thought that the boys would sleep in the car on the way to the airport but how wrong was I? They were overly excited and hyped up with adrenaline, looking forward to their little adventure they were about to embark on. By the time we had checked in and in the queue ready to board the plane the boys were going mental with excitement, I could just about control them from flying up in the air by themselves. They were winding other passengers up by being slightly too loud and running around their legs, I was really not looking forward to the flight. We found our seats and made our selves comfortable, as the seatbelt light went on and the plane began to move into position, the picture on my boys faces were priceless, they were ecstatic! Their eyes were lit up and alive with excitement, their facial expression with a constant smiled etched on and their little bodies shaking with anticipation.

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about to move

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At the window seat

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Getting bumpy

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about to board the plane

They took plenty of photos of their first experience, not of each other but of the view from the window seat

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Their excitement didn’t wear off until probably on the flight home, where none of the boys were too interested in sitting by the window and all they wanted to do was sleep.

 

Their first flight will always be a very special memory for all of us.

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Our first pose in Malta, still very excited!

Here’s to our next flight abroad, It wasn’t too bad after all! :-)

Three things to do in Autumn

We love Autumn! The crispness of the leaves under our feet, the Autumn sun beaming down on through the undraped trees. Nothing is better than a walk in a country park or a forest on a cool crisp afternoon.

We have teamed up with 9 other bloggers and Forest Holidays to bring you our top three things to do in Autumn, 30 Days of Autumn project. There are lots of fun things to do in Autumn, take a read of our 30 days of Autumn checklist  you may find something new and exciting to do yourselves.

Here are three of our top ideas on what to do in Autumn:

1. Leaf fun

Why not take a walk in a country park and search for the biggest pile of leaves for some leaf crunching fun.

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My boys love to jump in the leaves and listen to the crunching sound that they make, even better is to have an Autumn leaf fight

Just watching the boys run around, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying some outside fun is priceless, although be careful as to where you are picking up the leaves as some animals like to mark their territory!

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leaf fight

Why not collect some of the leaves and take them home to recreate an Autumn picture.

2. Leaf rubbing

This activity is ideal if the weather is slightly wet outside, my boys love to do leaf rubbing/etching.

All you will need is some leaves that you have collected, try and select a different range of sizes and shapes and some crayons/colouring pencils and of coarse some paper.

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Leaves with texture and features are best.
We like to pick a similar colour to the leaf to use for the rubbing. Place the leaf under the paper (veins upwards) and holing the crayon at an angle (close to the paper) using a little pressure rub the crayon over the paper. You will see the leaf print start to appear, just like a drawing.

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rubbingTry not to use a leaf that is crunchy/old as it will make it more difficult to do the leaf rubbing as you will need the leaf to lay flat under the paper.
Why not do a leaf rubbing with autumn colours, red orange and yellow.

3. Autumn Art – Pine Cone Frame

Children love to hunt and what better way to do it is to visit the park and search for some Autumn items.

After a lovely day playing in the park the boys went off in search of some sticks and some pine cones to take home with them so we could make some Autumn art. We had seen a picture somewhere on the internet of a frame made out of sticks. The boys thought that this would be a great Autumn craft to make.

You will need:

  • Some sticks of similar sizes
  • string
  • pine cones of different sizes
  • Strong glue
  • nylon clear invisible sewing thread
  • scissors

Instructions:

Gather the sticks together, cut down any to make similar sizes

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Tie the corners together with the string and reinforce  with some glue. Trim down any string that is hanging loose.

Tie corners with string

Tie corners with string

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Leave to dry for about an hour.

Carefully tie some of the invisible string around the top of the pine cones, once secure measure how long you want the pine cone to hang and then tie the other end of the thread on to the top sticks

attaching the pine cones

attaching the pine cones

Once finished hang up on the wall for everyone to see

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finished frame

Why not try and do a frame with different artefacts found from your autumn walk, like leaves or helicopters from Maple trees. You could also spray your frame or paint it a different colour but we like it the natural way.

Take a look at Forest Holidays 30 Days of Autumn project web page, where you will find all of the fun ideas and suggestions that other bloggers have shared about what you can get up to in Autumn.

Thank you for reading. This post is our entry into the 30 days of autumn competition

N.B please excuse our photos of the leaf rubbing we have done this activity whilst abroad on holiday

Let Me Learn football maths games review

Times Tables Games

Help your child with their maths with Let Me Learn downloadable Football maths games.

Joseph is in year 3 at school and although it is at a national level for maths he struggles with learning his times tables. He gets there in the end but it does take him time, he still uses his fingers to count and he sometimes misses out one when recalling his times tables which results in him getting the rest wrong. In year 3 at school they are learning their 3,4 and 8 times tables, he is ok with times up to 5 but anything beyond that and he struggles. We have tried learning from memory and are always recalling them so that he can try to remember but Joseph is quite an active boy and he has low attention so his mind will then wonder and he loses interest pretty quickly.

Let Me Learn is an online learning resources website for teachers and parents. Sue Kerrigan the founder of Let Me Learn believes that for a child to ‘learn effectively is when they’re having fun. Education is essential for a fulfilled life and the process of gaining that education must be fun and enjoyable because that is the best and easiest way for anyone to learn.’ Repetition is so important for children with learning differences – they need to over learn essential skills for reading, writing and maths.  This is why are own products are all about ‘fun learning and repetition without boredom’.

We was sent a CD of Football maths games to review, The CD has 58 games in total, covering basic maths skills and facts:

Number Bonds, Odds & Evens, Doubling, Halving, Addition, Subtraction, Teen & Ty, Place Value, Bridge 10, Rounding, Times Tables, Division Tables, Fractions and Comparing Fractions, Decimals & Percentages.

You will need 10 counters, 1 playing piece per player and 1 dice (these are not included with the disc) Print on paper for instant play or print on card and laminate for durability if desired.

Who are these games for?

Avid football fans 7-14 years who are struggling with basic maths skills and facts and need lots of fun repetition to secure this knowledge.  Learn with the extra support provided with most of the games or practice without the support.

  • Motivational football gamesRepeated fun practice
  • Practice basic maths skills
  • Easy to learn – games follow similar rules
  • Follows curriculum learning objectives
  • Learn a memory technique
  • Supporting resources for learning
  • Ink saving low colour printing options

We first read through the memory technique, which is a way of remembering what you are learning. I asked Joseph a series of questions about what we had done the day before, whilst thinking he looked up to the sky to try to remember our day. When we practised the 3 and 4 times table, I told him to the look to the sky where his memory cloud is. This seemed to help to visualise the times table as he only got stuck once. It takes Joseph a while to remember things but given time he does answer and is normally correct.

We printed out a couple of board games to play in colour but you are given the option to print out in low colour so that your child can colour it in by themselves, this is so that if the game is personalised it will motivate the children to take ownership of the game. Each game comes along with a set of rules and visual prompts.

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Nearly a winner

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Board game with rules

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Board game with visual x table prompt

 

As Joseph is learning his 3 and 4 times table, I thought that this would be an ideal game to start with. The disc is easy to find your way around with everything clearly labeled to find. We practised his times table first and then started to play. he chose to be on the blue team which was the 3 x table side, which left me to be on the red team, the 4 x table side. Joseph was quick to point out that he would be Chelsea and I would be Manchester United, noting the colours of the teams. He rolled the dice and landed on 0x3 “easy” he said and placed a counter on the correct football. After an interesting 10 minute game, we had a very happy winner….Joseph. We did have moments where Joseph got stuck with persistence, encouragement and time he managed to remember the correct answer. I am sure with time and practise he will be able resite his times tables as quickly as I or his big brother can.

 

Before we played the game he was moaning about playing and saying that he didn’t enjoy maths, by the end of the game he was smiling and asking to play again. The games are simple but fun, Children don’t realise that whilst they are playing they are also learning aswell.

The football maths disc cost £14.99 and can be ordered online here Other games available are Hockey, Basketball, Rugby and Sports.

We was sent the disc for the purpose of this review

 

30 days of Autumn checklist

Do you like Autumn?

We’re just over halfway through our third season of the year, Autumn. The weather is changing, turning cooler and becoming wet and windy. Mornings are often misty and the days are becoming shorter. The trees are losing their leaves and falling to the ground.

There are many reasons to love Autumn, without the obvious of snuggling under a duvet on wet days and drinking hot chocolate but we get to wear our wooly jumpers and warm boots. In fact i have just bought a lovely pair of Ugg shoes that are lined with fur, perfect for Autumn. The children love to put on their rain coats and Wellington boots and go out into the rain to splash in puddles, Autumn rain is ideal for this as it’s not too cold and they enjoy all the splashing.

Here is our 30 days of Autumn checklist

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As you can see we have already managed to tick a few off all ready. Last week we went hunting for caches locally, you can read about it here and the other weekend we went on a bicycle ride along the seafront with the boys and they climbed a tree.

 

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If you want to join in with us on our Autumn bucket list, download your checklist here autumn checklist

Forest Holidays want to compile a list for there customers 30 different forest experiences to enjoy at this time of year. To make the list as fun and diverse as possible they have asked ten bloggers from different specialisms to provide three different autumnal ideas of things to do in the forest and outdoors that relate to their niche. We have been invites along to share our three top froest ideas. They will be compiling our suggestions into a ‘30 Days of Autumn’ inspiration list that will be hosted on the Forest Holidays blog Forestipedia,

Keep an eye out next week when we will be sharing our 3 ideas :-)