Sunday, 31 August 2014

BRITA Coach Class + discount code


IntroductionBRITA is the headline sponsor of the Wasps Community Foundation. Together they aim to educate and inspire children through the power of sport. The Wasps Community Foundation runs coachclasses throughout school holidays, where children can learn the key skills of rugby in a fun environment and the child will be given a BRITA Fill&Go bottle with an exclusive Wasps sleeve. 

We also got to meet BRITA and Wasps new mascot, Hydro, which Hydro attend matches and coachclasses to make sure every player and fan is staying hydrated with filtered water.



Hydro, the new mascot

Experience:  We headed down to Bicester rugby club last week to join in on the Wasps coachclass two day session. Lewis my 11 year old son, and Taylor my 11 year old niece - both are best buddies.

There were approximately 80 children of varying ages, from 6 up to 14 years old and each child was put in a group and a coach within their age range. What is good about coachclass is you don't need to be able to play to any particular standard and even if you have never played rugby before the coaches will help you to pick up the skills.



Lewis and Taylor with their coach for the two days
Day one 
There were about 10 kids in their groups, all boys accept Taylor, though her team mates treated her as an equal player and once she built her confidence (with a lot of encouragement from their coach) she got involved with tackles etc. and was part of the team.  So much so Taylor won 'coaches player of the day'.  Lewis also done really well, getting involved with everything, and learning lots along the way.

During lunch hour all the kids went to the rugby club hall and watched a movie, chatted and just relaxed, then the two mascots made an appearance, and competed in an assault course- Hydro and the Wasp - the Wasp won.  Back to training and learning a few more skills their group then played a match against the next age group.

Both Lewis and Taylor at the end of the day were exhausted, but excited - looking forward to day 2 on the coachclass.  All the way to the hotel they chatted about much fun they had.
 
Day two 
Lots more training again, with different skills being taught and the coach brought the kids some gum guards, as they trained with the contact pads.  During beak time, they again watched a bit of a movie, and then the assault course - this time it was done with each of the kids, in which they were timed - the winner who got round the fastest won a signed London Wasps rugby top.

During the afternoon a London Wasp's player, Ed Jackson made an appearance, and he took his time going around each group talking to the children and answering their questions. There were many excited children asking him lots of questions and asking him to sign anything and everything they could.  Lewis and Taylor got him to sign their BRITA Fill&Go bottles.



Lewis and Taylor with Ed Jackson - Back row player for London Wasps.

At the end of each day everyone convened in the rugby club where the coaches then gave a prize/award to recognise most improved player, best team player, coach player etc..  An array of prizes were given from sweat-arm bands, to signed rugby tops. Lewis won most improved player of the coachclass and he won a complimentary day at a coachclass event and two tickets to a Wasps home European Rugby Champions Cup - we had one very happy boy. 

Conclusion: Both Lewis and Taylor had a fantastic time, they were buzzing after each session full of great things to say about the day. As soon as we got back home he asked his Dad to sign him up to our local rugby club and he is now ready to join the training in mid-September.

What was so good about the coachclass? It was well organised, well structured, and fun! They learnt lots of different skills throughout both days, and this was down to the great coach they had; he was great with the kids, considering many of the other kids had much more experience playing rugby, where both Lewis and Taylor had none. Their coach was engaging with all the kids, they all listened to him, respected him and wanted to please him; little things how he would encouraged them to each learn each other's names and how they would often have team talks - he connected them positively as a team.  You couldn't have asked for a better coach, he made the whole experience a fantastic one for them, one that they will remember for years to come.

To book your child's place on a Wasps coachclass visit www.bitly.com/BRITAWasps or call 01494 531 122 and quote BRITA14 for 10% off all one, two and three day sessions.

 

Silent Sunday




Thursday, 28 August 2014

Review: K'NEX 35 Model Building Set




Introduction: K'NEX are an integrated construction toy system for children, that offer hours of fun by opening up their imagination and creative side. The K'NEX family have building toys specially designed for every age group and skill level. In addition to the available mixed building sets, K'NEX also offer an array of different sets, with many famous different brands; the most recognised one for me is the Amusement Park Ferris Wheel.

Experience: K'NEX are a toy brand that we have seen advertised over the years, but a brand we have never brought for ourselves, so when we were offered to review a box we jumped at the chance. It is an alternative construction toy that we couldn't wait to get stuck into.

The ideal age for this particular set is 6 to 14 year old, though Jacob my 4 year loves it, and has built many different things (that is what best to call them, things, as he just puts bits together being creative, but not actually creating a model). However, Lewis being 11 has had a little more success, he sat down and followed the picture instructions on the included booklet and was happy to build constructions. Also hubby got involved and together they built a few things (see the pictures below).

Features for the K'NEX 35 model building set:
  • Includes 35 Model Building Ideas booklet 
  • 475 pieces to build anything you like. 
  • A storage treasure chest box to store built figures and odd K'NEX bits 

Conclusion: The K'NEX 35 model build set is a perfect starter kit, to introduce you into the creative word of K'NEX.  It also comes in a box (chest) so that you can add more pieces to your collection and store it altogether.  

K'NEX allows and encourages the kids to be innovative, creative and teaches them to use their concentration and imagination.   The kids were quite happy to build bits and to create what they wanted, be it from the instructions booklet, or simply something they wanted to create using their own imagination.

K'NEXPERT is an annual competition run on the K'NEX website and it is in its 14th year now, giving you the chance be creative and show off your creations.  For a chance to win £150 of K'NEX prizes, and an iPad mini you can submit your entry here.





This was one of Jacob's creations, which he was super pleased with.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Summer is 2

We celebrated Summer's birthday the weekend, our little princess is now 2.

Summer woke-up with her normal big gorgeous smile and 'hello, love you' followed with a big cuddle and kiss.


 She wakes up earlier than the boys, so we had to wake the boys up, and she started off her birthday by opening a couple of cards, and then once the boys were up and ready, we started with the fun of Summer opening her presents up.




Summer is a massive Doc McStuffins fan and she was super pleased with all her Doc McStuffins toys - we were her patients all morning as she enjoyed role play with her new tools; she checked our eyes and ears with the otoscope and gave us pretend injections (though she thought it was a Calpol syringe at first).


The party started at 2pm, a family get together with a BBQ.

Everyone started coming around, which meant more presents, and more excitement for Summer - and she kept telling everyone 'my Birthday'.



With her great Aunt and dressed in her new Princess Sofia dress.
It was a nice day (no rain yay) so they kids played out in the garden, jumped on the trampoline, ran around chasing each other and just had a fantastic fun time.  

After food, next came the cake - she blew her candle out, and then everyone enjoyed a slice of cake - the whole cake went.





She had a fantastic day, with all the family around - lots of love, fun and laughter - just perfect.

Roof Window in a Child's Bedroom

Finding the right blind for a roof window in the boys room.

Lewis and Jacob's bedroom is on top of and the length of the garage, which is a large sized room; with a bay window one end of the room, and a roof window at the other end of the room. It also is the coldest room in the house in winter, or the warmest room in the summer.

For the boys roof window we currently have a basic VELUX blind, in the colour of orange (they definitely want a different colour this time). The biggest issue for Lewis is the sunlight that peaks through the blind, which he exclaims "wakes him up too early in the morning". So we've started to search the internet to see if there are blackout blinds available for a roof window, and I was pleasantly surprised to find VELUX offered an array of products; VELUX being the most iconic brand, which are available in either Roller blinds or Venetian style.  They also offer an array of different types to suit all needs.


VELUX Energy Blinds - Not only blocks out the sun light, but also it will contribute to energy efficiency within your home. This is done with the honeycomb structure and an aluminium coating inside which improves the insulation effect of the window.  The aluminium coating improves the pleated blinds insulation effect by up to 21%.

VELUX Duo Blinds - A flexible blind, that offers you the feature to either use the pleated blind, and/or the black-out blind - giving you the added control to diffuse any extra light.

VELUX Insect Screens - Keeping out any unwanted little pests for when you want to open your roof window to let some fresh air in.

VELUX Awning Blinds - Reducing the heat from the sun and also controlling the daylight coming through, which is made with transparent cloth.

VELUX Disney Dream Collection - Available in 12 designs, a great option for a Disney fan's room.

And for me the most important accessory to have on a roof window within a child's room, has to be the VELUX security lock which enables you to lock your roof window, giving you an enhanced safety feature to stop any potential accidents and not forgetting it gives you peace of mind.

From previous experience VELUX blinds are easy to fit with the Pick & Click system:  all you do is connect it in and it clips on - securely.

For my choice on the new blind, it would have to be the VELUX Energy blind, it not only offers the boys the blackout they desire, but it also has some control over the energy efficiency within their room; with the potential to save on heating costs, and hopefully giving them a more comfortable environment within their bedroom.

Now we've just got to get the boys to agree on a colour for their new VELUX blind.



This is a paid sponsored post, written by myself.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Review: My NameTags




Introduction: My NameTags - a website that strive to make the best name tags in the world! There name tags are different to any others I have seen before, they are stickers - yes you read that right, stickers, that also have a 10 year wash guarantee.

My NameTags website allows you to design your very own name tag, just the way you want it. First you enter the name (first and second), you get to choose the colour and pattern you want, pick the font and also you can add a picture. 

Experience: Coming up to the new school year soon, with all new uniform and equipment it is that time to name tag everything and it really is worth the time and effort to name tag your child's school items. For example my middle boy is forever loosing his school jumper, or leaving his lunch box or his coat, no matter how many times I drill it in him to pay more attention to his stuff. But with name tagging everything I appreciate the advantage it gives us, as we are less likely to loose his jumper to the bottomless lost property box. 

The sticker pack arrives with clear instructions on how to label your clothing and/or equipment, and you get the sheet of all your name tags.  Very simple to do, you peel one off, and place it on the item you need, and that is it.

Features:

  • 10 year guarantee
  • They can be used on both clothing and equipment
  • You get to choose the design and colour of your name tag

Conclusion: These are so simple but very effective. The cost is reasonable and you get enough stickers to place them on all and every item you need, and they really do stay secure! They are fun and you get to be in control as you can design what you want your name tag to look like, you can even get the kids involved when designing it.

Costing just £11.95 for 56 stickers, postage is just £1.

They do also sell colour iron on labels, for people that would prefer the more traditional name tag.





Lollibop Festival 2014


Last weekend we went to the Lollibop festival.

On Friday morning we got early and headed down to Hatfield House. Arriving there was no queue to get in, which was nice, after debating which way to start (left or right) we walked down to the Discovery Zone, first visiting the science learning museum tent and watching some of the experiments going on, we then went on to the Nintendo area. The kids were given each a activity sheet where they had to collect stickers, and once they had collected the stickers, they would receive a prize.  So the Jacob and Ruby (my niece) went around completing each activity - a ball crawl to find the Pokemon ball, to playing on the DS - the prize was a hat, booklet and some Pokemon cards. Whilst Summer was quite happy playing on the slide within the Nintendo area.



Jacob spotted the big letters B E A N O and was quick to get over to them, and climb on each letter.  After which we stumbled on the Bear Grylls survival academy, both Jacob and Ruby thoroughly enjoyed the mini assault course (crawling under a net, rope walking, through tunnels etc..), even Summer got involved and shot through the tunnel. Jacob loved it so much he made us promise we would return later for another turn.



Time for lunch! After choosing what food from the fantastic array of food stalls available, we found a lovely spot under some trees, where we laid our picnic blanket and ate.  We were right next to the Pom-Bear tent so that is where we header after we had finished our lunch.  They had these giant teddies on display on either side, and inside the tent they welcomed children in with little tables for them to either sit down and draw with the supplied colouring-in paper and pens, or plenty of soft teddies where around for you to play with.  The kids were given a crown and a flag and of course a free pack of Pom-Bear crisp (yummy)



We caught the end of Michaela Strachan Really Wild Adventures Show (she was great as ever, I found her fascinating to listen to) - at this stage, remembering from our last year visit Jacob wanted to buy a bubble gun, so as promised we headed to the tent and he purchased his bubble gun. Jacob and Ruby spotted the Wizard School tent, which we went in to make a wand each, finishing just in time for the magic show to start - Harry Potter really looked like the real thing, it was great.


After picking some free Bear cereal and Bear fruit nibbles (Which Summer loves) Jacob was dying to see the Skylanders area where they got to play the new Skylanders game which is due to be released this October, and where they had a superimposed photo each done.


We had fun with Squeaky Hill dancing and playing games, we meet Haribo bear which Summer had a cuddle with, we watched chick eggs hatching, met Postman pat, popped over to play with dolls in the Baby Annabell zone, until we finally headed to the stage to watch the Mister Maker live show - kids loved it! They sang along, cheered along and clapped along.  

Finally we headed back to the Discovery Zone - River Island Kids Design Den. Both Jacob and Ruby designed their very own t-shirt, walked out on the cat walk and had some photos taken.  They both really loved the whole experience, and kept their t-shirts on all day until we got home and took them off for bed.


The day was coming to an end, so we spent the final hour visiting the Thomas the Tank engine zone and played some carnival type games and won some Thomas & Friends crayons and stickers.  We walked over to the Tottenham Hotspur area and kicked some balls, and finally we see Titan the robot.  

What a fun packed day!  There was loads to do and see, the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the atmosphere around the whole park was amazing.  We couldn't possibly do everything, you would need two days for that. The Lollibop festival does caters for a wide range of children, and all three of the kids got to do some amazing stuff.  We are looking forward to Lollibop 2015.