My First BIG Concert with the Children

Last year I went along with a friend and her daughter to watch Ed Sheeran at the 02. It was my first real concert; by real I mean big. The first concert I ever went to was when I was 15 years old, my Dad dropped myself and a friend off at Crystal Palace to watch a selection of acts on stage, which included Take That, East 17 and Right Said Fred. I think it was a Capital FM Roadshow at Crystal Palace. I remember the car journey there and being really excited that I was off to watch the bands that I loved to sing along to. I remember screaming along with the rest of the crowd when the acts entered the stage. I remember dancing away to their songs and not being able to sleep for days after with the sheer sense of euphoria.

I wanted my children to have that special memory, I wanted their first concert experience to be a memorable one. I wanted my boys to experience being in an arena filled with thousands of people screaming their heads off while a musician ran around a lit-up stage, belting out hit after hit. But above all, I wanted to be their with them whilst they had this experience.

After watching Ed at the 02 in 2017, I decided that when he next went on tour I would try to get tickets for myself and the boys to go. We all really enjoy listening to his songs, so I thought that it would be a brilliant choice as a first concert to attend for the children. I managed to grab 3 tickets to see him at Wembley, it wasn’t a choice venue as I would have preferred the 02. Not only is the 02 nearer to us but it is also a smaller venue than Wembley, But nevertheless we got tickets and that’s all that matters.

So last week, the boys and I jumped on the train straight from school and headed on over to Wembley Stadium. We were all very excited and the boys couldn’t wait to get into the Stadium. As soon as they saw Wembley Stadium, there mouths dropped agape. It is huge!

We had bought seating tickets as the youngest is only 10 and children have to 12 to be standing in the arena. Unfortunately, our tickets were not amazing ones. We were quite high up but we were to the side of stage so we had a good view. It helped that the stage was massive and Ed and his supporting artists stood at the front which meant you could see them.

We had made our way to our seats and got comfortable ready to see the supporting acts; Jamie Lawson and Anne Marie. I must say they were both great but Anne Marie was brilliant. It helps if you know the songs of the artists to really enjoy the experience. My boys were singing along and really getting into the mood. The artists were warming up the, now very crowded, stadium.

We were having a lovely evening and I wouldn’t have wanted to be there with no one else.

We laughed, we smiled,we danced, we sang, we screamed, we bounced, we held hands and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I had never seen my younger son dance so much, he jumping about to the music and singing at the top of his lungs.

I will never forget the sheer excitement on my boys faces as Ed Sheeran came onto stage, I didn’t think their smiles could get any bigger

I knew that this night would be a night that they wouldn’t forget, etched in their memories, the night that they went to their first concert with their Mum.

We finished the evening with sore throats and tired feet.

We left before Ed finished his set as I knew just looking at the amount of people in that stadium that there was no way we were going to get out of their in a hurry. It was late already and we were getting very tired. We was very lucky, even though the crowds were gathering at the exits, that we managed to get out without any stalling and actually got a seat on the train.

The boys had a little nap on the train as we had many stops to get home. It was a very late night for them but worth it.

We now all have the concert bug and are looking for our next one to attend. Although, I think we will make sure that its at the 02 next time as Wembley is just too huge a little too far for us to go to.

 

 

 

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BBC ANNOUNCE MORE TOP NAMES FOR ITS FIRST EVER FAMILY FESTIVAL

Taking place on August 3 to 5 at Croxteth Country Park in Liverpool, CBBC Summer Social is the biggest ever kids event, and the only festival to give 6-12year old’s and their families a unique lineup of CBBC favourites, alongside a host of international music acts including Union J, Johnny Orlando, Matt Terry and Mackenzie Ziegler.

CBBC Summer Social is being organised in partnership with Liverpool City Council and forms part of Liverpool 2018 – a year of projects marking a decade since Liverpool was European Capital of Culture.

Max and Harvey, Sophia Grace, KIDZ BOP and more were recently added to the line up.  Having previously announced a range of international music acts including Union J, Johnny Orlando, Mackenzie Ziegler and Matt Terry alongside CBBC favourites Mr Tumble, Swashbuckle’s Cook and Line, Andy Day, and Sam and Mark, to name a few, brand new festival CBBC Summer Social has added a second wave of incredible artists to an already jam-packed line-up.

Needing no introduction, teen music sensations Max and Harvey, who’s refreshingly fun and authentic sound has connected with listeners across the globe racking up over four million followers on social media, have been announced for the festival. Having previously been nominated for “Muser of the Year” at the 2017 Shorty Awards which garnered over 6million total views, the singer songwriter duo’s performance is guaranteed to be a festival highlight.

Speaking about their appearance at the event, Max and Harvey said: “We are so excited to announce we’ll be heading to Liverpool this summer with CBBC!! The line-up this year is crazy; Johnny Orlando, Sophia Grace, plus so many more, and we can’t wait to see our fans. It’s going to be a legendary weekend!”

Other acts announced include online star, Sophia Grace who has three million followers on YouTube, kids’ music phenomena, KIDZ BOP, and popular Britain’s Got Talent dance act, Merseygirls, who’s energetic stage show will certainly not be one to miss.

Also joining the bill is the world famous BBC Philharmonic who will be bringing a full orchestra to the event, introducing a young audience to classical pieces in a family friendly setting.

West End and Broadway hit, Shrek the Musical, has also been added to the bill.  The theatre adaption with a feisty Princess, a lovestruck Dragon and all the charm of an Ogre. Preformances are sure to bring the magic of the big screen.

Set against the historic backdrop of the Grade II listed Croxteth Country Park, revelers can expect the very best of CBBC programming including immersive activity zones, theatre shows, interactive and inspiring art workshops, top class musical experiences, cool outdoor and sporting activates, junior discos, themed treasure hunts, gaming areas, character walkabouts, vlogger meet and greets, live appearances from the most popular children’s authors and much, much more.

Early Bird Tickets are on sale priced from £28*. To purchase tickets and for more information visit bbc.co.uk/cbbcsummersocial

*Please note, all ticket prices are per day. Booking & Transaction fees apply.

Line-up

Friday 3rd August

Featuring: Andy Day, Art Ninja, Bars & Melody, BBC Music Introducing in BBC Merseyside, Ben Shires, Clangers, Everton in the Community, Go Jetters Disco, Got What It Takes, Hacker T Dog, Johnny Orlando, Liverpool Football Club Foundation, Liverpool LIMF, Mackenzie Ziegler, Mr Tumble, Naomi Wilkinson, Opera North, The Pets Factor, Sam & Mark, Saturday Mash-Up!, The Next Step, Worst Witch. Yolanda Brown and more to be announced.

Saturday 4th August

Featuring: Andy Day, Art Ninja, Bars & Melody, BBC Music Introducing in BBC Merseyside, Ben Shires, Clangers, Everton in the Community, Go Jetters Disco, Got What It Takes, Hacker T Dog, Johnny Orlando, Liverpool Football Club Foundation, Liverpool LIMF, Mackenzie Ziegler, Mr Tumble, Naomi Wilkinson, Opera North, The Pets Factor, Royal Albert Hall, Sam & Mark, Saturday Mash-Up!, Swashbuckle, The Next Step, Union J, Worst Witch, Yolanda Brown and more to be announced.

Sunday 5th August

Featuring: Andy Day, Art Ninja, Bars & Melody, BBC Music Introducing in BBC Merseyside, Ben Shires, Clangers, Everton in the Community, Go Jetters Disco, Got What It Takes, Hacker T Dog, Johnny Orlando, Liverpool Football Club Foundation, Liverpool LIMF, Mackenzie Ziegler, Matt Terry, Mr Tumble, Naomi Wilkinson, Opera North, The Pets Factor, Sam & Mark, Saturday Mash-Up!, Swashbuckle, The Next Step, Worst Witch, Yolanda Brown and more to be ann

 

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Motivating Test Treat Bags for Children

I don’t know about you but my son has spent the last 9 months being anxious in taking his year 6 SATs. It doesnt matter how many times I had sat down with him and tried to reassure him about the tests he still felt inadequate and kept saying that he just wasnt ready for them. We expressed this worry to his teacher, back in September, at the start of him starting year 6. His teacher was lovely and reassured him that there really wasn’t anything to worry about and that he would do fine.

Over the past few months he had become more confident in himself. With the help from his teacher and support staff, his school levels improved and he began to feel happier about taking the tests.

But this didn’t stop him from having a few moments prior to the test starting, where he began to question himself and his abilities.

His teacher was always there giving him encouragement , motivating him and instaling a sense of self belief in him.

I know, from talking to other parents and his teacher, that he was not the only one who feeling anxious about sitting the tests. Children, of such young age, shouldn’t be feeling the pressure of tests and stress. They should just be children and enjoy their time at being young and care free. They have plenty to face when they are older.

I wanted to do something for my son and all of his class friends. So I made them little treat bags with an inspirational quote attached to the back. They didn’t cost much, mostly it was time more than money.

  1. I gathered together some coloured card and small cellophane treat bags.
  2. Found an inspiration sweet quote on line. Wrote it up on word
  3. Printed off some inspirational quotes from relaxkids and laminated them
  4. Bought 6 treat bags of Starbursts
  5. Stuck on the sweet quotes onto the card and cut them out 
  6. Shared out the sweets equally and then placed them into the treat bags, folded over the edge and then stapled the card on the top
  7. Lastly, I placed the laminated quote on the back 

We handed them out to the children on the first day of their SATs. The children kept the little quote cards in their pockets and in their pencil case for the rest of the week.

I am hoping that they took that a little bit of their concern away just for a moment and showed that we care about them and beleive in them.

 

 

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The Most Love-a-Bull Animation: Ferdinand Review

Blue Sky Studios and director Carlos Sadanha (Rio, Ice Age) brings you FERDINAND.

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A charming tale of a giant – lover not a fighter – bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies together a misfit team for the ultimate adventure and proves you can’t judge a bull by its cover.

Inspired by the beloved book “The Story of Ferdinand,” FERDINAND (Voice of John Cena) is a heartwarming family comedy adventure with an all-star cast that includes John Cena, Kate McKinnon, David Tennant, Sally Philips, Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Anderson and many more.

We was sent the DVD to coincide with the Digital Download, Blu-ray and DVD release on 16th April.

The boys were really excited to watch this new animation. I must say it was the quietest my boys had been all Easter holidays. From the moment the film started to the end, I didn’t hear a peep from them-apart from giggles.

“My brother and I watched ‘Ferdinand’ and we thought it was hilarious, but also upsetting at times. Ferdinand is a great film and I would recommend it to all ages, young and old. Our favourite bits were the ‘Last Battle’ and ‘The bull in a China Shop’ because they were both funny and dramatic. My favourite character was ‘Paco’ who makes a great comedy duo with Ferdinand, his ‘brother’.”

Ferdinand really is a love-a-bull rogue who inspires the world by just being himself. He is unlike his stable mates whose ultimate goal is to face a matador in an arena, Ferdinand just wants to smell flowers. He has an unlikely bond with a young girl (Nina)

The movie is delightful with cute animation. A story of love and friendship that makes a great family movie.

SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE:

  • Ferdinand’s Guide to Healthy Living with John Cena
  • A Goat’s Guide to Life
  • Ferdinand’s Team Supreme
  • Spain Through Ferdinand’s Eyes
  • Confessions of a Bull-loving Horse
  • Creating the Land of Ferdinand
  • Anatomy of a Scene: The Bull Run
  • Learn to Dance with Ferdinand
  • Ferdinand’s Do-It-Yourself Flower Garden
  • Creating a Remarka-Bull Song
  • “Home” Music Video
  • Art of Ferdinand Gallery

Get set for a belly full of laughs!

FERDINAND charges onto Digital Download on 10th April and on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD on 16th April

We was sent a copy of the DVD for the purpose of this review

 

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Mum, Are You Proud Of Me?

There is nothing more that makes me proud of any of my three children than just being themselves.

I have three boys aged from 6 to 15 and they are all individuals, exceeding in different areas with talents and interests that are not the same as each other. That’s what makes them individuals.

There are no words that can describe how much each of them mean to me, I was blessed with three amazing young boys, who, without a doubt, I know will grow into three incredible young men. Being a Mum to these boys has given me a purpose in life and has shown me a new sense of being. They are why my heart beats and why blood runs through my veins. They give me energy like no other.

I am proud of all three of them and even though I tell them how much they all make me proud, the other day my middle boy (I actually hate calling him my middle boy, because they say that it’s always the middle child that gets left out and I am always conscious of that) asked me if he made me proud of him.

These 5 words stung my eyes.

There is nothing more that makes me proud of my boys than who they are. But, obviously my son was feeling a little left out.

We had had a couple of hours together doing something that he absolutely enjoys with a passion, we had gone cycling around the country park. He loves nature and the outdoors. So we spent some time, just him and I, cycling through the park looking at tress, listening to the birds and looking out across the lake at the birds swooping down to catch the fish.

He is such a sensitive soul and the most caring boy I know, he may not be outstanding academically but he is full of knowledge.

He can tell you so much about animals and their habitats. He can talk about them for hours.

He knows all about countries, there flags and where about they are in the world.

He can read a book of 600 pages, re-telling the story with passion, remembering every part of it.

He has his own fashion style, he always likes to look smart and likes to wear quirky clothes. He enjoys being different.

He is adventurous, courageous, intuitive, sensitive and loving.

I could go on describing how perfect he is to me, but like I said there really are not enough words.

I told him all this, all of the above and more.

I told him how much he means to me and that it makes me sad that he even had to ask me if he makes me proud.

I tell him and his brothers often how proud I am of them. Even for the little things. Like offering to hold the door open for someone, carrying my bag when they can see me struggling or for their caring nature.

Being proud of them doesn’t mean that they have to achieve something that is extra-ordinary or special. It’s seeing them grow. It’s watching them achieve personal goals. It’s those small moments that are giant steps of success. I give them praise when it matters and talk about the obstacles that they have overcome.

I held my son so tight and looked him in the eye and told him just look at me, with no words. Because no words could describe how proud of him I was, only the look of love and pride in my eyes could. That’s how we stood. In the middle of a country park, faces cupped into each others hands. Staring into each others eyes. (this in itself was an achievement for my son, as he finds it hard to keep eye contact) After a few moments we let go of our contact and cuddled each other. He just smiled at me and said that he saw the love nd adoration I had for him.

I myself, saw a little boy who was struggling to find a place for himself amongst the world around him. I saw a boy who needed Love. I told him whenever he needs that whenever he is feeling sad and alone to just remember the look in my eyes

I hope now he realises that words are not needed to show how proud I am of him.

 

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Funny things children say and do – Just deflating

There are times when my boys have me in fits of giggles with the things that they say and do. I am not sure where they get it from, and even though sometimes I am horrified with what they come out with I can not help myself holding back the laughter (although, sometimes I have to refrain from it, especially when they say things beyond their years)

The other day we were all sitting around the dining table, talking about the day that we had had and eating our dinner. There was silence and we all heard, what I can only describe as a high pitch noise, a bit like a balloon that has just been let off to fly around the room. We all just stared at each other wondering where the sound came from, when my son said “Sorry, I was just deflating!” His face was so serious, that we all just burst into fits of giggles.

 

My eldest was talking about his running training and why his coach had cancelled the weekends training session. My youngest misheard completely what he was saying

“Gary is taking his wife to a football match” What the eldest said

“What’s a Call the Midwife game?” Is what the youngest thought he said

 

My mum fractured her ankle and we have just got back from spending a few days with her. She has got it in cast and is struggling using the crutches that the hospital gave to her. My eldest -who is 15- decided to spend the whole time whilst we were there, on a crutch as well. He said it was to make his Nan feel better about herself. He even put on a limp when he didn’t have the crutch with him.

But, this one tops them all. It was about 9.30 in the evening and I had just gone into the boy bedroom to give them a kiss goodnight. They were sleeping soundly, but it’s something that I always do before I go to bed. My middle boy sleeps in a high bunker, so I climbed the ladder and crawled into his bed for a quick cuddle and a kiss. He stirred a little so I softly whispered to him that it’s ok and Mummy was just kissing him goodnight. I got myself ready for bed and as I turned my bedroom light and just snuggled into my duvet, I felt someone creep into my bed beside me. My son, then said that he wasn’t feeling very well and felt very tired. I gave him a hug and said he will be ok and to go back to bed. He got up out of the bed and turned the light on. It was then that I noticed he had his school uniform on. He thought that I had woke him up for school! That’s not all of it though, before coming in to me, he had gone downstairs to the bathroom and as he passed the dining room he saw his older brother sitting at the table in there. He asked him to make him some cereal and that he would be back soon for it. He then went back up to his bedroom and got dressed and then came into me. He had only been asleep for an hour and a half, no wonder he still felt very tired lol

What have your little scallywags been up to lately?

 

 

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Marathon of bedtime

Bedtime is chaotic in this household

It’s a constant battle to get the children to sleep.

You just about think your winning. They’re in their beds all tucked up and looking like little angels and just as you take a foot over the threshold of the bedroom door, thinking of how you are going to spend the last couple of quiet hours of your evening, when you hear…

“I need a wee”

“I’m thirsty”

“I’m not tired”

“Just one more story”

“I’ve got a belly ache”

Anything to stay awake for those extra few minutes of the evening

The longer they stay awake the more tired and irritable I become. I was so close to the finish line of relaxation.

For a moment there I could see it, but yet I was so far away.

Our bedtime routine can sometimes be a fast one, with  no arguments but most of the time it can take up to over an hour to get the little rascals into bed. So I set myself a goal of reducing it to half an hour by setting up a routine.

We have always had a bedtime routine but it seemed to have lapsed the older they got. Before we moved home, the boys all shared a room. They now have a room to them selves which makes it easier to stagger their bedtime. It is always hard to keep to a routine when the children get older as they attend after school clubs that normally finish near to their bedtime.

Our newest routine consists of

  • Wind down time, removing any electrical equipment from them about an hour before bedtime. I sometimes have to hide them in my bedroom away from their sneaking hands
  • An hour before bed they can have a small glass of water. Any more than that and they will be up in the night going to the toilet
  • Half hour before bedtime they are told to have a shower/wash and to brush their teeth, I give constant count down reminders about what they are doing next.
  • They get there clothes ready for the next day, placed neatly into a pile near to their bed
  • They can choose a book to read to themselves for 10 minutes
  • Once in bed I then sit down and read a book to them. This is a book that both boys have chosen. We are currently reading Harry Potter together. I normally read them a chapter a night. The two younger boys have a connecting room, so this is easy to do whilst both boys are in bed
  • I always end the day with a cuddle and a kiss and give them a praise about their day. Falling asleep on a positive note relaxes them and encourages a good nights sleep
  • Tuck them up in bed and turn off the lights

I try to keep the landing light off too, as this seems to keep them awake. Also talking a calm voice and not rushing them along helps them to the routine running smoothly.

I must admit this doesn’t always go to plan and I still get the odd shout from the boys bedroom about them not being tired enough for sleep. We’re not all perfect after all!

 

 

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Mind The Gap – Travelling on the tube with children

Travelling on the underground in London can be daunting for any adult who has never done it before. It can also be very stressful, especially during the busy rush hour, but it needn’t be if you prepare your self.

Living on the outskirts of London means that we travel into London a lot of times. Sometimes we go after school during the week to get to auditions and other times we travel on a weekend just for a day out. We are so used to travelling during the rush hour that it just seems natural to us. There are some stations and routes that we will avoid at the busy times, which may mean walking through the streets to get to the next station  but they are never that far away from each other.

Travelling with a baby or young children across London can be every adults nightmare, It can also be very challenging but it is definitely possible and enjoyable.

Here are some of our tips on travelling with children on the underground

  • Grab your self and Oyster card or if you can use your phone or bank card if cantactless is set up on it.

-Children under 11 travel free on the tube, overground, DLR , TFL rail and buses if they have a 5-10 Zip or travelling with an adult (under 5 travel free)

-Children aged 11-15 can travel with a Zip oyster photocard. They travel for free on buses and trams and get a reduced rate on all other TFL service

-If you’re visiting London and travelling with children aged 11-15 who haven’t got a Zip Oyster photo card, you can still benefit from reduced rate travel for them. You can get a discount set on an Oyster or Visitor Oyster card that will allow them to pay as you go at half adult-rate for up to 14 days.

Apply for these cards online prior to visiting

  • Remember always to tap in and out at the stations on the yellow card reader with your card. If you manage to walk through a barrier without tapping out after your journey, you will be charged the maximum fare
  • Plan your route. Take a look at the underground map online or download an app. We find the app to be very useful, not only does it tell you if there are any delays on any of the routes but it also plans your route for you and tells you how long each journey will be.
  • Grab a map at the station and give to your child to look at and study. When on the train tell them your destination and see if they can work out the route.
  • Try to avoid travelling during rush hour. With commuters moving around the city, expect the trains and stations to be overcrowded between 07:30 and09:30 in the morning and between 17:00 and 19:00 in the evening. This said, I have also found some stations on particular routes in zone 1 to start getting busy at 4.30.
  • When travelling with babies, try taking a light fold away buggy/stroller or use a sling. It will make your trip a lot more easier
  • Be prepared to walk up lots of stairs. There are also lots of escalators to use.
  • When using the escalator stand on the right as people walk up on them on the left. Keep young children in front of you.
  • Take a look on the map for step free access stations. Sometimes its easier to travel to your destination by using the nearest step free station and walking the rest
  • If you are travelling with more than one child, tell them that as soon as you get off of the train and on to the platform to wait against the wall. Platforms can become extremely busy. You don’t want to be dragged along with the crowd not knowing what direction you actually want to go. We always wait against the wall and then look for the way out sign or where to go for the next line.
  • I know it’s scary but I have always told my children that IF they ever get left on the train to get off at the next station and wait on the platform against the wall for me to get them. I also tell them that if they get off of the train without me to wait on that platform and I will come back for them. This has never happened to us, but the trains do get very busy and sometimes a small child could become disoriented within a crowd of people.
  • Tell your children to always wait behind the yellow line until the train has stopped.
  • If there are two adults when travelling, always have one at the front and one at the back when walking through the stations and even through London streets. Think of a sandwich, keeping the children in the middle. I travel with my three children, who are now 15, 10 and 6. It is always me first and my eldest last.
  • Walk around London from one station to the next, instead of going by tube. For example; although travelling from Oxford Circus to Piccardilly Circus can take a few minutes on the train, it does only take 11 minutes by foot. Think of all those lovely shops and building that you will see.
  • Carry water with you. The trains can become stuffy and hot, especially in the summer. Also have a snack in your bag.
  • If you are going to be on the train for a while, play some games with them to keep them occupied. We like to play the station alphabet game or I-Spy
  • When standing on the platform waiting for the train to approach, wave to the driver. they always wave back and the children love it.
  • Use the wider ticket barriers, they will have much more room for the family to get through. They are marked with a blue wheelchair symbol and normally have an attendant close by.

Remember where ever you go in London; on bus, tram, tube or river boat to enjoy your self. Have a great trip and Mind the Gap!

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Do You Want To Build A Snowman? – A Cute Little Food Gift For The Children This Christmas

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I was searching through the internet trying to find a fun food gift to give to the children in school. I didn’t just want to give them chocolate, I wanted to give them something that they could do by themselves.

I found this fun marshmallow snowman on google images. What a great idea to give to the children at Christmas, which would also be ideal for birthday party treat too.

You will need:

  • Three marshmallows (I found Halal ones for the children that was Halal)
  • Two iced eyes
  • Three mini coloured chocolate Smarties for the buttons
  • A Matchmaker stick for the twig arms broke into to two pieces
  • An Iced carrot for the nose
  • A strawberry lace for the scarf
  • A couple of white chocolate buttons to use to glue it all together

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Now all you have to do is construct it and build your snowman!

To present the snowman I bought some cellophane treat bags from Hobbycraft and made up a little label on word and then stuck it onto some card. Finally I stapled the label to the bag. As an added little gift I sellotaped a packet of fake snow on the back (I did emphasise to the children that the packet of snow wasn’t food and that they must show their adult first)

These fun little treats would be a cute little gift to find inside a stocking. I handed them out to the children in school and they loved them. Our elf on a shelf brought them to the boys and they immediately wanted to build their own snowman. It kept them occupied for a few minutes and they got to eat their little creation after

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Fancy trying one yourself? Download the lable below

The snowman was not my idea, I found a picture online and adapted it to my own version. 

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Thomas and Friends MINIS Motorised Raceway review

Calling all Thomas and Friends little engineers… Thomas and James need help to choose which track to take down the from the mountain.
My little boy loves Thomas and Friends and loves to set up his vast amount of track in the garden and play away for hours at an end, sending trains around the track and helping them on their way. So you could imagine his excitement when he notices A Thomas and Friends toy had been delivered for him to play and test out.
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He has quite a few MINIS in his collection as he went through a stage of buying the little collectible bags, which he normally carries around in his little rucksack or put into his pockets when we are going out somewhere. Because of their size, they are ideal for children to collect and carry about with them.
He couldn’t wait to test it out and was soon begging me to open it for him.
We found the instructions easy to follow, although assembling it was a little tricky for him to do.
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He followed the step by step colourful picture instructions and found the parts with no problems.
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I then helped him to put it together, some parts had to be pushed in until they clicked and needed a bit of a firm push. To be fair they was pointed out on the instructions sheet by marking it with a little yellow star, these parts can not be taken apart once fitted together. The whole process of labeling the stickers, fixing the track together and placing the batteries in took us about 15 minutes.
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The set comes with two Mini trains; Thomas and James and as we quickly worked out that the other Minis all fit on too.
The raceway is great fun. The adventure starts when you send the trains up the steep vertical lift, which the minis climb up automatically. The bottom of the train attaches to a small little black hook on the motorised track.
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Once they reach the top, you then need to choose which track to send them back down on, using the hand switch at the top.
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The minis can go in three directions.
The first track is the waterfall, as the mini travels down it heads straight into a 360 degree loop
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The next track is a free-fall, it seems that the track is broken, but have no fear as the minis jump the gap and land safely on the bottom track.
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Use Cranky the crane to safe the minis by swiveling him around and swooping him down to catch them before they fall
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The trains have hooks and eyes on either end so they can hook together or on to Cranky
The last track seems to be heading no where, as soon as the minis arrive at the top of the lift they roll off of the edge, defying gravity and rolling upside down along the track. The track is  T-shaped which, when aligns with the bottom of the mini, keeps the mini securely on so it doesn’t fall off.
I’m not sure that my son has a favourite track to send the minis down on as they are all fast and thrilling. 20171109_195231
He certainly enjoys being the engineer and changing the choice of track each time a mini arrives at the top, but you have to be fast as they travel along them tracks as fast as lightening. It definitely is full steam ahead with these minis.
At the bottom of the raceway are two sheds where you can store two minis when not playing with it.
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The only downside to this toy is that when switched on it can be a little noisy and the track direction changer is a little stiff to turn, but that could be a good thing as then it doesn’t slip around when you don’t want it to. Also, it doesn’t pack away back into the box -it has to stay erected.
The raceway requires 3AA batteries, we used rechargeable ones and have been playing with it for just over a  week now and they have showed no signs of running out yet. The first day my son played with it for hours and has kept on playing with it daily.
The raceway is bright and colourful to attract the eye of a young child. It is sturdy and easy to move around from room to room. We found the Minis raceway to be fun and entertaining.
The raceway is suitable for ages 3+
RRP £44.99
We was sent this toy for the purpose of this review. 
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