Melissa & Doug Shopping Trolley

Cute, study and long lasting

Recently I was so excited to go out an buy a shopping trolley for M that matched a trolley that I had at the same sort of age. I have wanted to buy one for her for ages as she loves putting things in boxes at home or putting things in the trolley when we go shopping. I bought one that was identical, or so I thought, of the one I had as a child but sadly I was so disappointed in the quality of the item that it ended up being binned almost as soon as we got home. The plastic was thin, the wheels warped and M just could not push it as it was so badly made. I will admit I was gutted.
  We then started to google shopping trolleys for kids and found the Melissa & Doug Shopping Trolley but with prices ranging from £50 – £60 we just could not justify getting one. Luckily I saw one for sale on Gumtree for £15 and jumped at the chance to buy it, even though it was a wee drive away we had wanted a trip down that way for a while so killed two birds with one stone.

On collecting the items we thought it looked pristine, though not knowing what one looked like new we were not sure. As soon as we got home M instantly loved it and I will say that the price tag of £50-£60 suddenly became understandable. The trolley is of such great quality, Imagine a supermarket trolley but shrunk. It has a good weight and is made, from what I can see, the same materials as a supermarket trolley and having worked in a supermarket I know they are not cheap.

I was worried it might actually be too heavy for M to push but she can manage it across carpet with a bit of effort but manages fine when it is on the wooden decking outside or when we took it for a trip round Tesco. Although not needed the trolley has three stoppers that help prevent it tumbling if being pulled up on.

We then saw a brand new one for same in a garden centre near here and I can honestly say the trolley we have is in good as new condition but had we not managed to grab ourselves a bargain I would be happy enough to buy at full price for a Christmas or birthday present. In fact I would buy one in a heartbeat for a gift.

I can see this being used for years and not a mark being made on it.

I have found it reduced to £45.69 in Amazon and would highly recommend this to anyone with a child from 1+ (although it says 3+).

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Blair Drummond Safari Park

A fun day out to see the animals

Sometimes I am taken by surprise about how fast M is growing up and I did just that when we went on a family trip to Blair Drummond Safari Park recently.

The first time we visited the safari park with M was when she was around 4 months old but fast forward 14 months and her experience of the park was so, so different.

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Last time I don’t think she was overly aware of there being animals around her, this time she proudly sat on my knee as we drove round the animal reserve and pointed at the animals with such delight (until a deer came right up to the passenger window and gave her a bit of a start).

One thing I love is that she constantly waved and said tata to the animals as we left them behind, so cute! I love seeing her grow up.

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Of course no trip to any safari park would be the same without getting overly excited about playing in the park which is something that she was far too young for last time. This time she wanted to have a go on every chute, dig in the sand and just generally have such a great time. The park is worthy of a day out in itself and I can see it being the main attraction of our visits here when M and Button grow up.

For someone who only really found the joy of chutes at the beginning of the summer I am amazed at how brave she is now and how the bigger the slide the better.IMGP2297

One of the best parts of the park was the petting farm which allowed M to get up close with the animals and she loved it. Of course she wanted to push her pram and monkey round but she was so keen to say hi and bye to every animal that she encountered even though she was exhausted and could really have done with having a sleep.IMGP2254

Included in the price of entry are a number of different attractions including a boat trip to monkey island and the sea lion show. As it was summer we ended up being in a huge queue to get into the sea lion show and then had to sit and wait for 20 minutes whilst everyone got seated and the show began. All the while the pool area was boiling and I think it all became a bit too much for M. She was fine to start with and excited to see the sea lion but when it went onto the diving board and dove off she thought it had fallen off and got upset so we left as we thought the show had just begun and didn’t want to annoy other people round us. Turns out that the show only lasted 10 minutes so we only missed a couple of minutes of the show.
IMGP2223Overall the day was fantastic and M loved it so much. We spent four or 5 hours there and could quite easily have stayed longer had M not been so tired. I can see us becoming frequent visitors to the park over the coming years and M will certainly enjoy seeing the animals. We also did not realise that we could have used the onsite kennels and so been able to take the dogs with us which is another reason we set off when we did.

You know that you have children when you go to the safari park and your camera has next to no pictures of animals and 100s of your child on it!

 

Play and learn colours (Priddy Books)

Fun ways to teach colours

Play and learn colours – Roger Priddy

Learning has to be fun for a child to pay attention and pick things up and one way M loves to learn is to spend time talking with a book. Play and learn colours is a great board book that allows her to do all the things she loves the most – talk, play and read.

The front cover really took M’s interest when we got this book as it features an indented circle in the middle of the page that provided her with 3D fun (the circle is cut out on each page within the book so indents inwards).

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We have a few first 100 word books but I really don’t think you can have too many. This one is slightly different than the others that we have as this has some fun things to do on each page, from sliding tabs, to touch and feely parts,  or a wonderful colour wheel that spins!

Each page features a different colour with photographs and words to go with a number of different images within that colour – green broccoli, red rose, blue shoes etc.

M loves this book because it has things for her little hands to play with and she especially loves the colour wheel at the back which she spins round and round for ages!

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She loves pointing at each image for me to tell her what they are and constantly moves from one page to another before going back to the beginning again.

I have had a few tears when I have put this book away so we can go out, or have tea, which I think goes to show how loved it is by M and I can see us using this book a lot over the years to help with her vocabulary and colour recognition.

 

Toddler’s togs – 5

How grown up does she look

So it has been a while since I did a fashion feature for M as we have been just so busy or I have been too tired to post anything but when I put M in this outfit today I just had to take a few pictures as she looks so very cute and grown up in it.

topTop:

The top is an old one that we bought from Tesco months ago, probably around Christmas time and despite it being a 6-9 months top it still fits M well enough.

When this top was out the had some lovely colours in store, lilacs and mint greens which was a welcome change from all the pink that they always stock. Don’t get me wrong, I love pink, but sometimes a change from pink is good and I love seeing M in colours other thank bright or pastel pinks.

I love the flower on this top, it just adds lovely wee touch to it (even if it is pink and I was just saying I liked a change from pink lol).

skirtSkirt:

£7.50 – £8.50 – from Next (for a dark denim version)

An item that can be found in a lot of female’s wardrobes is a denim skirt. No matter what the weather is a denim skirt if a welcome addition to any little girl’s (or big kid’s) wardrobe as it can be worn with tights in the winter or with bare legs in the summer (or what you get of summer when you are in Scotland).

We bought this skirt a while back and what I love about it (and is much needed for M) is the elasticated waistband which can be adjusted. This is great as this is a size 6-9 month skirt from Next and it is still on one of the smallest waistband settings.

Although you can’t buy this skirt from Next anymore they have a dark denim skirt available which look very similar.

Socks:

I have no idea where these socks came from but they would most probably have been from ASDA or Tesco.

shoesShoes:

Sketchers: £28.99 from Amazon

Okay I will admit this now. The reason I wanted pictures of this outfit was because of the shoes that we got today. At there moment M is in an in-between size of shoes at 3.5 so it is hard to find many shoes for her that are not Clarks. I thought I would order these as they were a size 4 and yes they are too big for M but that didn’t stop her wanting to wear them all day.

I love bright colours and so I just had to order these, one side is blue and purple and the other side of the shoe is yellow and orange. The toes of the shoes have three lights on them which light up whilst M walks (or stomps her feet because she realises that activates the lights too).

When I opened the box all I got was an excited “ooooooooooooooo” from M who just couldn’t wait for me to take then out and put them on her feet.

They are wide shoes so I have to velcro (which is pink glitter with a sparkly bow) them closed tightly as M has narrow feet but she found no problem in walking round the house all day in them.

I was just disappointed that the size 4 I ordered was a toddler 4 and not an adult 4!


The Knott Bump & Us

One, two, baa, moo – Little Tiger Kids

Great first book of counting

one two baa mooOne, Two, Baa, Moo – Little Tiger Kids

Having books that help to educate Molly whilst still being fun is something that we love to have at the moment, especially if they have something that keeps M’s attention as well so when we were offered a copy of One, Two, Baa, Moo – A pop-up book of counting – we just couldn’t say no.

This is a 12 page book which has incredible pop up sections on each double page spread, featuring a different farm animal to count on each page. As well as having such great pop-up sections there is also a lovely and catchy poem that takes you through the counting of each animal on the page – so lovely that I find myself singing the story rather than just reading it.

As with all Little Tiger Kids books the book is illustrated well and used nice and bright illustrations that really keep M’s attention.

It is a great book that allows M and I to talk about things on each page, from the animals features, to what noise they make or what they like to eat.

M loves to open and close the pages so that the animals move, especially the Three chirpy chicks whose beaks open and close when she does this.

This is a great book to use when first introducing numbers but is equally as good a book if all you want is a lovely wee story to read at bed time.


 

We were sent this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are ours and ours alone.


 

Learning British sign language with Flashsticks

A quick and easy way to learn British Sign Language

  
When I was in Primary 4 or 5 we learnt to sign the alphabet at school and to this day I can remember how to do it but until now, despite being hugely interested in British Sign Language, I have never looked any further into learning the language so when I was given the opportunity to become a FlashStick Blogger I jumped at the chance.

To help me learn British Sign Language I was sent a Starter Pack containing 100 unique words printed on individual Post-It notes which you can stick around your home or office to help you learn different signs for different situations.

As well as the Post-It notes you also get access to a free app which has a video tutor on it so you can make sure you are doing the actions correct (or pronunciations if you have chosen a vocal language).

I am working my way though the beginner level of British Sign Language which is suitable for adult and child learners and fits into key stage 1-2.

What I particularly love about this program is that you don’t have to sit down and study for hours, with books and pens. Instead you have sticky post-it notes that you can put around the home to help you learn one or two words at a time.

  
Another bonus is that this is helpful for teaching M another language too. Actions and gestures are some of the first ways that children communicate and I definitely realise that M picks up signs so much faster than words – which of course means we sign wind the bobbin up all day long (no I am not complaining AT ALL). This means that she can join in to and make communicating so much easier than before.

Part of me regrets not doing this sooner, from birth with M, as she would be so much more fluent that now but you are never too late to learn and it will mean I can use it with Button when he or she is born in September time.

The beginner pack covers 100 words and each post-it note has the word, an image and a written description on how to sign the word you want to learn.

The iPhone app works wonders (although the first time I tried it would not load which is ost probably down to my internet than the app). It is reassuring to watch each word being signed at least once so you can get a real idea on whether you are doing it right or not.

We were sent this packet of Flashsticks for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine and mine alone. 

 

Toddler’s togs – 4

Cheeky little mouse!

IMGP1957Top:

Next – We got this in the January sales so it is no longer for sale.

This is a nice thin jumper that is great for this time of the year then it is not quite warm enough for a t-shirt but too warm for a wooly jumper.

I love this top as the mouse design has embroidered sections over it which add to the overall design. Also there is a tail embroidered at the back of the jumper which I think is dead cute.

The head as a couple of button to help make it easier to put on, although at the moment it is unnecessary for us to have to undo these.

I just think this is cute as I love pink and red combined I think it makes for a lovely top that I can see M wearing a lot over the coming months, until the top is too small for her!

Her first pair of jeans make her look so grown up!

IMGP1946Trousers:
Primark – This was part of a birthday gift for M.

This is the first pair of jeans that M has ever worn and realistically they are still far too big for her (12-18 months). Thankfully they come with an elasticated waist band that is adjustable so we pulled it onto the tightest setting which fit over her cloth nappy well enough and we turned up the bottom of the trousers so she wouldn’t trip on them.

I have to say that I think M looks so grown up with jeans on but can’t believe I waited this long to get her into a pair.

Both the front and back pockets have heart sticking to add a little something extra to the design of the jeans and takes a plain pair of jeans and makes them just a little bit more girly. IMGP1962

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Overall the jeans, I would say, would be suited more to a skinny toddler, which M is, and I am not so sure how they would fit with chunkier legs.

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The Knott Bump & Us