C3PO aquabeads

Star Wars Aquabeads Set Review

My sister was recently sent a Disney Princess Aquabeads set to review which she loved. I wasn’t so sure if it would be my kind of thing but I kept watching over her shoulder and helping her out with bits and pieces so I was pleased when Aquabeads asked if I would like to review a set myself.

I was happy to have a go but wasn’t sure if they would really have anything for older children- although I would have been happy with just making patterns I wasn’t so keen on princesses! Aquabeads got it just right though by sending me their Star Wars set so I could make C3PO, R2D2, Darth Vader or a Stoorm Trooper.

This set is great, like the others it is all set out in compartments so you can find the right colours quickly and easily and is really easy to set up. I was able to get straight on and decided to make C3PO. My sister gets a lot of craft type gifts and while I like doing this sort of activity there aren’t really many specifically aimed at my age so I really enjoyed having something to make, not only to doing some craft but to make something I was happy to have in my bedroom afterwards.

 

I actually found it quite relaxing to sit and put the beads in the right place and follow the colour patterns, it was a nice activity to do after I had finished my homework. My Mum enjoyed the peace and quiet of my and me sister sitting together doing our Aquabead sets!

I had no problem with getting it to set, I just used plenty of water and left it before removing it from the template ready to make another one.

I was really pleased with how C3PO came out and am going to be making R2D2 next. I thought this was a great set as it appeals to both boys and girls from age 4 right up to my age and it was easy to get on and do it without needing an adult around to help.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I was sent a set of Star Wars Aquabeads to review but all thoughts are my own

 

 

 

C3PO aquabeads

Our Day Out with Summer Saturdays at Newmarket Race Course

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when we were invited to Newmarket Race Course for the first of their Family Fun Summer Saturdays last weekend. I have been horse racing before and enjoyed looking at the horses and watching the racing but had found it was often quite a long day without much for kids to do.

I was excited to hear that Newmarket Race Course had a play area that had recently been renovated and thought that might make the day more interesting for me, my sister and brother but actually it was nothing like the horse racing I had been to before and we all had a brilliant time from start to finish.

The racing was starting at 1:25 and we arrived in good time to have a good look round before things got going. We were hugely spoilt as the people at the Race Course gave us a delicious picnic. We were taken to the Family Enclosure where you are able to enjoy a picnic and there were plenty of places to sit and eat it. We got set up on one of the benches next to the track- there is quite a lot of benches and the are all in good view of the finishing line.

The family enclosure was soon busying up and lots of people were arriving and getting set up for the afternoon. We had a bit of a play in Rowley’s Play Area before settling down to eat. Before long it was time for the first race, I helped my Dad choose a horse and it was very exciting when it won.

 

We then decided to have go exploring- as well as the family enclosure passes we had Premium Passes which meant we could go in the other sections, there was lots of things to see and plenty of places to buy all sorts of things- we even added to our game collection by getting Dad a limited edition Newmarket Race Course Monopoly set for Father’s Day!

We headed round to the parade ring and got to see the horses after they had finished the second race, it was brilliant to see them so close up.

After our walk around we went back to the family enclosure and spent the rest of the afternoon there- there was loads to do. There was the new Rowley’s Play Area with a huge tower with a big slide and a climbing wall, a smaller slide, a sand area, a clubhouse hut and a huge swinging log that lots of children could go on at once. There is plenty for younger children as well as lots for my age.

Along with the play area there was plenty of other things going on too -there was a bouncy castle, people selling those walking animal balloons (my brother was obsessed with them!) and a animal area. The animal people had tarantulas, snails, snakes and a tortoise with them which were awesome. There was also face painting, my sister wanted this and while she had to queue for quite a while it was the best facepainting we had seen before and it was free!

The Family Enclosure tickets for the Family Fun Summer Saturdays events are £11 for adults and children get in free so with so much going on this is a great family day out. There are lots of different ones planned throughout the Summer with different themes including a visit from Paw Patrol and a Great British Summer event .

We really enjoyed our day at the races and are making plans to go again with my cousins in a few weeks. My Mum has been to lots of race courses and she said this was the nicest one she had visited, she also said I should mention that there are plenty of places to buy a drink or ice-cream and there are lots of toilets which were all really clean- apparently this is useful information!

Thanks very much to Newmarket Race Course for inviting us along, we will definitely be back really soon.

 

Disclaimer: Newmarket Race Course generously provided us with tickets and a lovely picnic (with the nicest scotch eggs ever!) but all thoughts are our own.

C3PO aquabeads

It’s My Thing with Fruit Shoot

The people at Fruit Shoot are challenging children to find their ‘thing’. Everyone has a thing that is theirs and they want us all to celebrate our different skills and abilities.

Your thing could be something you are amazingly good at, something that doesn’t come easy but you work at, something you do for a hobby or just something you love. The great thing is when you are a kid and are still finding out what your ‘thing’ is you can try everything.

There are loads of things I love- sport, adventure, travelling, reading, technology and anything that involves learning something new so when I got this amazing hamper of goodies from Fruit Shoot I couldn’t wait to try some new activities and see if any of them could be my thing.

We were sent an awesome microscope so we went out on a nature trail and collected lots of leaves, twigs, grass and blossom to have a look at under it. This is really interesting and things look amazing close up under the microscope, you can see some surprising detail. I really enjoyed this and Sam and Lottie loved exploring the countryside to find things to look at under the microscope.

One of the other activities was a kit to make bouncy balls so after school one night we had an evening of making these. I expected it to be quite complicated but it wasn’t- you just had to put the moulds together and then start layering your pattern of different colours before standing it in water for a short time. Once you had done this then you opened it up and ran it under cold water before leaving it to harden for a while. I really enjoyed this. I liked the fact that I had actually made something all by myself that I could play with. I have never done anything like this before and am really glad I got chance to try it. Lottie loves arts and crafts and this was her very favourite activity, she is planning to take her bouncy ball in to school to show and tell because she is very proud of having made it by herself .

  

We also received a Horrible Science Kit, which was absolutely awesome- there are lots of experiments you can do. Lottie especially liked the lab coat and glasses that we were given to use with this set!

We started with a volcano which was really straightforward to do but very effective as it exploded everywhere! The instructions made it easy to do without any grown up help but we decided to add our own twist with a little red food dye to make our explosion more lava like! There are other experiments I am planning on doing next week including making snot and making a rocket.

 

 

Along with all these great activities Fruit Shoot also had the great idea to send us a selection of their drinks to stop us getting too thirsty between activities. We were already aware of the Fruit Shoot Drinks but there was an apple one I hadn’t tried before and enjoyed, these have all got no added sugar and no artificial colours so are great for kids of all ages.  We hadn’t tried their Hydro range before and we all really liked these, they are great when you are busy because they have a sports cap so you can grab a quick drink and keep going and because they are flavoured spring water and have zero calories and no added sugar my Mum was even happy to let Sam try them- he loved it!

We loved trying these new activities and were really pleased to be part of Fruit Shoot’s campaign to find what our ‘thing’ was. I can definitely say I have added science as one of my things!

We were even sent an arts and crafts set too, which is perfect for my sister who is always making things and let us turn our Fruit Shoot bottles into something fun to represent one of our ‘Things’.

We set ourselves a challenge to see what we could make our bottles into in 15 minutes- Lottie made a twirling baton for ballet and I have made a HYDRO rocket for science and space- not only is it made out of a Hydro bottle but I am also going to use it for an experiment to set off a water rocket… that’s for another post though!

 

 

 

 

 

C3PO aquabeads

Into the Wilderness

I am so excited!!

We have been invited to go on an adventure tomorrow and I can’t wait… I don’t think I will be able to sleep tonight!

We are joining some other bloggers on a day out at Camp Wilderness and it looks amazing.

The people at Camp Wilderness run Summer camps, school trips and all sorts of fun things but they are also having some open days for families to enjoy outdoor adventures and learn more about bush-craft.

My sister and I have been looking at the itinerary all week and we can’t decide what we are most looking forward to- she is very excited to make campfires, I can’t wait to do everything! We are going to be doing exercises with camouflage, learning how to make fires and cooking on them, learning about trapping  and doing camp crafts- it all looks awesome. My Mum says she is looking forward to toasting marshmallows!

I have just finished getting ready to go and have got my walking boots, raincoat and water bottle so I think I am set- just got to try and get some sleep now ready to leave early in the morning!

 

 

C3PO aquabeads

My Top 10 Travel Must Haves with Mark Warner Holidays’ Family Ambassador Programme

My Mum has a theory when we are travelling that as long as we have our passports, tickets and money we have everything we need. These are her absolute travel essentials and the final things she checks when we get into the car whenever we are going away. Her explanation with this is that with the passports and tickets we can get where we are going and then as long as we have some money we can buy anything else we may have forgotten.

In theory this isn’t a bad list of essentials but in practise she actually has a big spreadsheet of what each person needs for the trip and checks it all off carefully. This still didn’t stop her forgetting her hairbrush the other year and not realising until we had embarked on an overnight ferry crossing!

Mark Warner are searching for five bloggers to work with in 2017 as part of their Family Ambassador Programme. This would be so exciting and we have decided we should have a try at entering- although there will be lots of proper full time bloggers I would love to be involved and would really enjoy working with them on a child’s viewpoint.

As part of the process to find their Ambassadors Mark Warner have asked bloggers to write about their travel must haves and create a mood board. My sister Lottie and I had lots of fun with this!

I think children have different priorities to adults when it comes to travelling. I love to visit new places but also feel much more comfortable when I have just a few familiar things around me so my travel must haves are all things that make me feel comfortable and allow me to get stuck in and enjoy new experiences.

Teddies and Toys

My first essential is a favourite teddy or toy- it doesn’t matter how old you are, as long as you have a teddy you love with you wherever you are will feel like home! Lottie and I had a great time using our toys to show you the rest of our travel must haves- we felt sure they would need to have the same!

Drawing Equipment

We decided we would need to have drawing things with us- this would give us something to do on the plane, something to keep us busy if we got delayed anywhere and somewhere to make notes for me to use for my blog.

Spending Money

It’s always nice for children to have their own little bit of money to spend on holiday. I love to buy a few souvenirs and whilst my Mum and Dad treat us when we are away it’s also fun to decide carefully what to spend my own holiday savings on.

Camera

I love to take phots and it’s so nice to have them to look back at after a holiday and remember all the good things you have done. I would definitely take my camera as one of my travel must haves.

Comfortable Shoes

Even Barbie has swapped her heels for comfy trainers on her holiday and comfortable shoes are one of my travel must haves too! I love to visit new places and also enjoy playing sport so these are essential for me. We wouldn’t want Lottie to miss out on an adventure by complaining her feet hurt so we would all make sure we packed suitable footwear.

Sun Protection

Sun hats, glasses and lotion are all travel must haves even if they might seem a little boring to children. Being well covered up means we are allowed to go out and have fun so it is definitely essential. Fortunately my little brother loves wearing sunglasses and sunhats now and so we won’t have too much trouble keeping him from throwing them out of the pushchair this year!

Swimming Costumes

I love swimming and would like to be on a holiday with either a sunny beach or a nice warm swimming pool right now so I would be certain to pack my swimming costume.

Beach Toys

We could spend the whole day on the beach… swimming things and a bucket and spade and we would be set. We would spend the day making The Ultimate Sandcastle, paddling in the sea, examining the rock pools and searching for shells. Buckets and spades are on the must have list.

Bedtime Stories

A good book or a favourite bedtime story will make an unfamiliar bed feel nice and cosy. We would have to choose our favourites carefully not to make the suitcases too heavy but at least a few books would have to come with us.

Snacks

However much you like trying different foods we have found there is always a point in a holiday where you just want to eat a digestive biscuit! Obviously you need to have something tucked away for midnight feasts too!

We hope you have enjoyed our ‘top ten travel must haves’ and our entry into Mark Warner Holidays’ Family Ambassador Programme.

We would love to know what your travel must haves are… and what your children might choose?

 

 

 

 

 

C3PO aquabeads

Building a Bird Nesting Box

We recently took part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch and while looking on there website we found some instructions for building your own nesting box.

My Mum and Dad had given me my own toolbox for my birthday and I thought this looked like a good project to attempt to start with. We printed off the instructions and went to the shop to buy the parts and then I measured up the wood and got going.

My Dad cut the wood for me and drilled the hole but otherwise I was able to do most of it myself with just some supervision. We added some roofing felt to the roof as we thought it would make it better but this was the only change we made as the instructions were really easy to follow. We also attached a hook to the bottom to allow us to add a bird feeder.

If you want to try it yourself this is the link for the instructions we used

I was really pleased with it and gave it to my Grandad for a birthday present. He said it was the best present he had!

I am now going to make a nesting box for our garden and my Mum’s friend has asked me to make her one so I am going to be very busy! I think I might use woodstain on the next one but you don’t have to do that if you use the right type of wood.

 

 

C3PO aquabeads

Cooking for Kids – Caramelised Bananas

Like lots of children I quite like cooking from time to time and love to make cakes and puddings.

I used to love this when I was a toddler and now I make it for my whole family- it’s really easy and my little sister can get involved.

Ingredients (serves 4)


3 large bananas
1 Orange (or a splash of orange juice)
25g unsalted butter
Cinnamon
Ice cream to serve

Method


Heat the butter in a large frying pan.

Chop the bananas into small pieces and add to the pan

Cover with a good squeeze of orange juice

Sprinkle with cinnamon

Allow to bubble until the bananas are soft and squishy and the sauce is thickened

Serve over vanilla ice cream

Delicious!





C3PO aquabeads

Ten things I would like to do during the Summer Holidays!

Well it’s been ages since I have written anything- Sam was poorly at the beginning of the holidays with Scarlet Fever and my Mum didn’t have much chance to help me type anything up and then we have been making up for missed time by being very busy since then!

So somehow we are now half way through the holidays and it is going fast. At the beginning I wrote myself a list of things I would like to do over the Summer but instead of just posting that like I was going to I can now see how I am doing with working through the list.

1) Have some lie-ins. My parents say we all need some rest over the Summer and are trying to get us to sleep in until at least 7:30. I find this really hard as I am always wide awake by 6:45am but have been trying and was even still asleep at nearly 8am the other day… we will probably all let Mum and Dad sleep in but not until the day we are going back to school! -so kind of on this one!

2) Play a new board game- we play lots of games at home but I was wanting to find something new to play. We haven’t managed this at home but Lottie and I went to our friend’s house the other day when Mum was at work and we played a game called Tsuro there which is a strategy game- I really liked this and would like to play it with my Dad. I can tick this off my list!

3) Play with LEGO- I have done this every single day so far so I can definitely check this on my list!

4) Build a den- we have made some epic dens so far this holiday- the Gigi Bloks have been awesome for this and we have also made a pretty impressive one in the garden using a clothes horse, some chairs, a football goal and a load of blankets. Checking this one off too!

5) Go to the beach- we haven’t done this yet. I hope we can manage this when we are on holiday though

6) Have a water fight- we have had the water pistols out but not had a full on water fight yet… I am working on my Mum to invite lots of people around the day before we go back to school for one- wish me luck!

7) Help with some DIY- I asked my Dad if he would let me help with some jobs and he let me have a go at building some new units we had got, it was much easier than I expected and I managed to build all four by myself. I was very pleased with them and we now have all our arts and craft things set out separately.

8) Do the library reading challenge. I am working on this- I have read 8 books so far and we are going to the library later so I hope I will get some more stamps today.

9) Try a new sport- we were lucky enough to go to Sportfest again this year (that’s a whole other post though!) and tried several new sports- I especially liked Rugby.

10) Learn a new skill- I hadn’t decided what I wanted this to be when I added it to my list but I think I can check it off because I did a first aid course and have learnt the recovery position and different bandages as well as some other things- I would like to do another longer course now.

I think I am doing quite well at the things on my list- I hope we will get the other things done, especially the water fight!

What are you or your children hoping to do over the Summer?

C3PO aquabeads

Mini Weekend Box Review

Mini Weekend Box review!


We were really excited to be asked to review the Mini Weekend Box from The Weekend Box Club. Like most kids I love getting post so was really excited to get home from football and find a package waiting for me!


 

These brightly coloured boxes look like fun right from the moment they arrive through your letter box and we enjoyed opening it up and seeing what was in store for us.





The Mini Boxes contain two activities from a selection of four choices-

* Something to make
* Something to bake
* Something to explore
* Something green

The mini Box was perfect for one child to do the activities with a little help but we used a bit of teamwork and did the activities between the two of us and still really enjoyed it. At just £4.95 a box though it wouldn’t be impossible for each of us to have one in the future or we can upgrade to the bumper box which has four different activities for £7.50.


 
The boxes come with a theme that all the activities follow which means they tie in nicely together and that you learn something new whilst still having fun. Our theme for the weekend was ‘The Rainforest’ and the box had something to make and something green as well as facts, stickers and colouring.


We had a parrot mask to make and for this project we had all the materials we needed (and enough left over to make a second mask). The people at The Weekend Box Club had literally thought of everything including the glue! The directions were really easy to follow but there was also space for you to add your own individual arty touches which was great when making more than one mask.






 

We then had the chance to plant our own rainforest which I was really looking forward to (normally we don’t have much luck with things we grow so this was going to be interesting!) Once again they had covered all bases- we just had to find a small drinks bottle to cut but everything else was supplied. The bottle was where I needed a bit of help as it was quite tricky to cut but the rest was again very easy to follow. We had a little disk of compost which we added water to and watched it expand and then there was a little trick of using a piece of string to suck up the water before we added the seeds! We did have a few days of disappointment thinking nothing was happen and then all of a sudden the seeds have started to grow…we can’t wait to see what our rainforest ends up like!
 

 



We really enjoyed trialing the Mini Weekend Box and would definitely look at ordering them again- the great thing is you can choose how often you have them and also stop them if you want a break or if you are going on holiday. I would love to try one with a baking activity next time as I would like to see how that comes delivered and what you can make but I really liked the activities we had and would recommend this for children age 4 upwards with adult help or 6 upwards to do more independently- although part of the fun for us was doing the activities together as a family.

Note from Mum

I was impressed with the boxes and found them to be very well organised, good fun and a really nice way to spend some time with the kids at the weekend- having the activities ready planned encourages you to make sure you set aside the time to enjoy them with the children rather than just vaguely planning to and then realising the weekend has slipped away yet again. Surprisingly -considering the fact that I am being especially frugal at the moment I do feel these are good value for money and will be looking to sign up for our own delivery which I know the kids will love.