One of the things I am always asked is what I am reading at the moment, everybody knows I normally have several books on the go at once! I enjoy reading all sorts of different authors and like both fiction and non-fiction.
Lottie is starting to work her way through our Roald Dahl collection at the moment and I am thinking about re-reading them myself soon as they are so good. She likes The BFG but her favourite is the Rhymes- she likes the Little Red Riding Hood one and the The Three Little Pigs one.
I still have a nice big pile of other books from Christmas to read that I haven’t got around to yet. I got a mix of fiction and non-fiction which is good because I like both and prefer to switch and change depending on what I feel like. Lottie and I got the new Tim Peake book which is really interesting and I have also picked up Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone with my birthday money so have plenty of books to keep me busy.
At the moment I am reading Bad Dad by David Walliams, which is quite funny and Hamish and the Never People which is now getting really good and hard to put down! I am also looking forward to a few book reviews that we have coming up on the blog- our next one is for ‘Hopeless Heroes- Here comes Hercules’ which was funny- look out for the review if you have children around my age looking for something good to read.
We would love to know what books other people have found popular with their children and we have a reading prize bundle for one of our followers to enjoy with the new David Walliams book; Bad Dad, two Roald Dahl books; James and The Giant Peach and The BFG and Ratburger Audiobook. I hope you will share your ideas of great books for children so I can add them to my wish list in plenty of time for the Easter holidays.
One of the things I have really liked about blogging is seeing how much I have changed over the last few years and what I used to like when I was younger compared to what I like now. So here are some of my favourite things at the moment, just after my 10th birthday, I wonder which of them will still be the same next year!
My favourite film-
Star Wars The Last Jedi
My Favourite Food–
My favourite food is spaghetti bolognaise or homemade chocolate mousse
My Favourite Television Programme–
The Grand Tour
My Favourite Board Game–
Abi Elphinstone and JK Rowling
My Favourite book-
The Night Spinner by Abi Elphinstone or anything by Roald Dahl
When we arrived at Wyevale we felt very festive because they had a brilliant wintery display of polar bears in the entrance and lots of decorations around and about. We weren’t sure where we needed to go but within a couple of seconds of looking at the signs an elf came over and asked if he could help us and took us straight through to the right place. There were lots of other families having afternoon tea at the same time but it was a big room and it didn’t feel too full. The decorations made it seem very Christmassy and each child’s place had a ginger man with some treats to decorate it with and everyone had a Christmas cracker to pull.
Once we had pulled our Christmas crackers and explained to my little brother that he didn’t need to put the cracker on his head and actually the hat was inside it our food soon arrived.
We had requested our choices beforehand so these were all ready with hardly any waiting but they were still nice and hot and freshly cooked. Lottie and our brother had both chosen sausages, chips and peas and I had chicken nuggets, chips and peas. Mine was really nice but I wished I had chosen the sausages because I had a piece of Lottie’s and it was LOVELY!
My Mum and Dad had the Afternoon Tea and that looked really nice. They had little sandwiches, lemon mousse, scones with jam and cream, macaroons and some yummy cakes- we helped them eat some of it as there was plenty to go round!
Once we had eaten our meals there was some time to decorate our ginger men and the ‘Elves’ came round and chatted to us- they were really good as Lottie and Sam found them very funny when they were playing around and joking with us.
All the children then got up and sang some songs and did actions which my little brother absolutely loved, especially because there were bells to ring as well.
It was soon time for Santa to arrive and each family got to go up to the grotto in turn and chat to him. We were the last ones but it wasn’t too long a wait, my brother is two and he had only just started to get impatient when it was our turn so that can’t have been too bad- we think it helped there was colouring and plenty to look at in the room.
We had our chat with Santa and he was very jolly- Lottie is convinced he was the ‘real’ Santa because he looked so good and had proper glasses! We thought that my brother might be scared but he was very happy and asked ‘Father Christmas Nee Naw please’ which was very sweet.
After we had seen Father Christmas we were allowed to go and choose one of the toys to take home. The Elves told us they were testing some toys they were making at the North Pole and we could try one- Lottie loved that idea and she was very happy to choose a pony toy. Sam picked a racing car and he wanted me to have one of those too so we have one in blue and one in red! There was a great selection of toys to choose from.
We had a really nice time at the Wyevale Garden CentreTea with Santa, it was a good afternoon for all the family and we all enjoyed ourselves. We think this is one of the nicest ways to visit Santa and make a fun outing out of it- perfect if you have children of different ages as there was lots the younger ones enjoyed and nice treats for the older children too.
I am not really that keen on clothes shopping and normally try and just get my Mum to buy me things I know I will like but when Outfit at MK1 in Milton Keynes asked us to come and check out their kids range I thought I would give clothes shopping another try!
We went over to the MK 1 Shopping Park on Saturday and headed across to Outfit. I hadn’t realised they did kids clothes until now but their range is really good. Lottie and I both found plenty of things we liked and had fun deciding what we thought was best for each other. We finally narrowed it down to the things we wanted to try on and headed for the changing rooms.
Normally this is the bit I really hate about having to try on clothes but the changing rooms at Outfit were good, there was plenty of them and they big with proper doors that locked so you could try things on in peace.
I tried on quite a few things and liked them all, including a pair of jeans that were different to the ones I normally buy- they were skinny jeans and they were actually really comfortable which I was surprised at. I didn’t need any jeans at the moment but when I do my Mum is going to take me back there.
In the end I decided to go for a brilliant Christmas jumper- it’s perfect for me as it isn’t too fussy and it is a hoody so I liked the style, a pack of two t-shirts that I liked and that my Mum agreed were a bargain and a shirt that is really soft and comfortable but smart enough to keep my parents happy over Christmas.
I might still not be the biggest fan of clothes shopping but I know I will be happy to go back to Outfit next time I need to get new clothes as there was plenty I liked and they all fit really well…. Lottie on the other hand will probably be asking to go back tomorrow!
Lottie’s Shopping Trip…
I love shopping for clothes and trying them on to see what I like. I found lots of things in Outfit that I really liked and got to try on lots and lots of things!
I think I tried on four dresses, two pairs of trousers, two jumpers and three tops! I loved everything but we decided to choose the things I liked the most. I was stuck on the dresses because I really liked a lot of them but choose a black velvet-feel sparkly long sleeve one because I haven’t got any other like it and it will be really pretty for our school disco- I think it will be very sparkly when I dance!
I picked a pair of sparkly leggings too because they were so nice and the t-shirt that I liked best of all.
I also wanted a Christmas jumper like Luke and I couldn’t decide which one but in the end I picked a polar bear one because it was so warm and soft- I love it and made Luke wear his with me when we went shopping for Christmas decorations the other day!
I would like to go back to Outfit soon as there was a flowery dress that I really liked and there was some accessories that I would like to get too.
We also got a cute robot T-shirt for our little brother (he loves robots!) and they had lots of other things for little toddlers that were really sweet.
A note from our Mum
We were really impressed with the Kids range at Outfit, it was fashionable and appealing to children but still practical, age appropriate, well fitting and comfortable for them- what more can you ask for?!
At the time of shopping several of the items also had 30% discount on them making our shopping a real bargain but even without this the clothes were well priced and competitive to other children’s clothing retailers.
I have only washed everything once but it has all come out fine and I have high hopes that the clothes will wash well as they seem to be good quality.
We will be heading back to Outfit at MK1 Shopping Park soon- there was a good selection for all three of the age brackets of our children, toddler through to ten, as well a great selection of hair accessories and bags, making it quite straightforward to get everything we need quickly and easily in one go.
They even have a Costa in store at MK1 so you can treat yourself to a well earned coffee once you have kitted the kids out!
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post with Outfit and MK1 Shopping Park but all thoughts and opinions are our own and Lottie is counting down to when she can next wear her new Christmas jumper again!
Now we have written our recommendations for Christmas ideas for children our own age we started thinking about things we thought my little brother might like from Father Christmas (and that we wouldn’t mind helping him play with!)
Teach and Tag Movi – This toy gets toddlers moving and following instructions and as our little brother loves to dance and play games then we think he would love this.
Sea Patroller– We have a huge Paw Patrol fan in our house and think this would go well with the Paw Patroller he already has.
My First Drone– Another toy that I think looks quite cool and I wouldn’t mind teaching my brother how to use! He might be a little bit young for this but I am sure he would learn quickly.
My First Scalextric– My brother loves watching my BTCC Scalextric and really wants to be allowed to join in so I think he would love playing this!
Waffle Blocks– We have an old set of these that were my Mum’s when she was small and my brother loves those so we think he would enjoy the new version with the Steam Train set.
Playmobil– we have got lots of Playmobil already as we have all enjoyed it but everytime an advert comes on the television for any of the sets my brother says ‘Please, Please, me!’ so we are sure he would like almost anything from the range. While he is only little we think the vehicles are better for him rather than the sets with lots of little pieces, he really likes playing with our police car and fire engine at the moment as he likes anything which has sirens and flashing lights.
Toddlebike2- Sam has been testing one of these out and loves it- he is currently whizzing around our dinner room on it! We will be doing a review on it soon (and maybe even a competition to win one!) but we would already recommend this for anyone looking for a toddler gift. If you were looking to order one in time for Christmas you could use code BLOG17 to enjoy 10% discount at http://www.toddlebike.co.uk/shop/
We hope that’s given you some great ideas for 2 and 3 year olds, if you are stuck for ideas for older children then make sure you check out my suggestions for 9 year olds and Lottie’s for 6 year olds. Keep an eye out as we will soon be sharing our stocking filler recommendations!
Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links which if you use when making a purchase would mean we would receive a small amount of commission
Luke and I have been writing down ideas of things we think children our age will love. These are my ideas for 6 year olds, I think they all look brilliant and I hope Father Christmas might bring me one of them!
Like most children at this time of year I am starting to get excited about Christmas (and my birthday!) and I have been looking at the toys to see what I would love to get this year. I have seen tons of great things and decided I would make a list of the my top toy recommendations for 9 year olds this Christmas. I would love to receive one of these things from this list- they all look awesome!
BTCC Touring Car Battle Scalextric– I am actually lucky enough to already have this set and it is amazing, I am going to be reviewing it in full soon but I can definitely say it is a top present for any BTCC fan old or young this Christmas!
LEGO Ninjago Lightning Jet– This looks awesome, it comes with 6 mini figures as well which is loads and means you can set up a really good game even if you don’t have lots of other Ninjago LEGO
BB-9E App Controlled Droid– This is really expensive but I think it would be great for any huge Star Wars fan, it looks awesome. It is controlled by smart technology and I think you could have loads of fun with it.
LEGO Boost Coding Robot- I have started going to coding club and I really like it and I love LEGO so this is a brilliant toy to combine both, I think this would be a great present for children my age, it gives them something to learn and something to play with.
Base Ace- I love my Base Ace 3D play platform and have been slowly adding expansion kits and other accessories. It can be played with either way round depending on what you want to use the platform for. It is compatible with LEGO mini figures and bricks and I have often had LEGO Star Wars battles with my friends with it, I would definitely recommend this as a more unusual present for kids who love LEGO.
Battleships Game– I taught my Mum to play Battleships when we were on holiday the other week, I couldn’t believe she had never played it before! I would really like my own game of this so I will be putting it on my Christmas list!
Nintendo Switch- My friend has one of these and I really like playing on it. They are very expensive but I can still hope!
l hope that’s given you some good ideas for gifts for children around my age. My sister and brother will be doing a list of recommendations for younger children and we will also have another post with ideas for smaller presents and stocking fillers so if you are struggling to know what to buy then make sure you watch out for those!
Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links which if you use when making a purchase would mean we would receive a small amount of commission
We are going on holiday over half term so the ‘I Can Spot’ books are going to come in useful for the journey. They have lovely pictures in them for children to spot. They are good because you can do them with someone else or on your own so they can keep you busy in the car. Some of the things are easy like animals and some are more difficult because they are very specific like ‘a lady carrying a brown handbag’ so whilst they are suitable for my toddler brother because they have nice clear pictures they are also still interesting enough for children Lottie’s age. Hopefully these will keep them busy during our long journey!
We also received Volume One of the Children’s Coffee Table Book This is amazing, I really like it. The pictures are so nice- they are all different things from around the world and are so interesting to look at. On the opposite side to the photos is a page with some information about each for the pictures, I have really enjoyed reading these pieces and have learnt some new things. I never would have thought to buy a coffee table book and I was surprised by how much I liked it. I think I will go back to it time and time again. This would make a lovely present for children age 8 plus.
We have loved everything we have seen from Two Little Boys, they do some great things for children and lots of nice stationary and gifts for adults, we would all recommend the things we have had from them and will definitely be using them for presents for other people.
My Mum is feeling quite happy at the moment, she has already sorted out one of the jobs she hates the most for the school holidays and can tick it off her list! She has got our school shoes already and she didn’t even have to leave our house!
A while ago my sister tested Term Footwear’s wellies and loved them, she still wears them all the time and gets a bit cross when our little brother takes to try and walk in so I was pleased to try their school shoes for myself and see what she was making a fuss about!
I was able to choose a pair of Term’s school shoes a few week’s before the school holidays. We printed off the size guide and were able to measure my feet easily at home. Obviously then my brother and sister had to have a go too! Then we went on the website and choose the shoes we liked the best. There was a really good choice for children of all ages, with lots of styles, all which would have been ok for our school uniform rules. We ordered a pair in the size I had measured and they arrived two days later. My Mum was a bit wary about measuring me herself but they came in exactly the size we had checked and fitted perfectly.
I expected to have to wear them around the house a bit to get them comfy enough for school but actually they were comfortable enough straight away. My Mum said I should wear them before the holiday for a couple of weeks in case I grew again and didn’t get to try them (I am currently outgrowing all my clothes and think I am going to be taller than her soon!) but to try not to ruin them straight away! I think she was amazed that they still look as good as new two weeks later as that never happens. I have played football in them, run around the playground and even been to the park in them and they still look really good.
We would definitely recommend Term footwear for school shoes- I loved how comfortable they were and my Mum loved how much choice there was, how easy it was to order and how well they fitted. I am so happy not to have to be dragged out school shoe shopping next week!
We are lucky to have some great walks on our doorstep and Salcey Forest is one of the nicest place to spend an afternoon. Until 30th October 2017 you can go on a Gruffalo trail there, we popped over the other week and decided to see what it was all about.
My little brother LOVES the Gruffalo and we all know the story off by heart having heard it since we were tiny. To take part you either just download the app and get going or you can buy an activity pack for £3- this was quite good because it had some fact cards with information in about animals and activities of things you can find in the woods, some things to spot and some stickers and some drawing things so we got one of these to share.
We weren’t sure what you would have to do but it soon became quite obvious. The younger children would peek through binocular cut outs and spy a picture of the creature they were looking for and then you used the app to register the image and all of a sudden it would appear through the phone as it if it was actually there. We also worked out that you could take a picture as if you were next to them which was quite good.
We had fun running through the woods and splashing in the puddles and found all the creatures before arriving at the Gruffalo. At some point we did have a few issues because the mobile signal wasn’t great- we never did manage to get the snake but that didn’t matter too much and Lottie and Sam had lots of fun spotting all the other animals- the Gruffalo was enormous.
This is a nice way for children under 6 to spend an afternoon and quite fun for older kids to help with.
We then went and had a huge piece of cake, two pieces between five of us was more than enough! Once we were all full again we headed off to the tree top trail which is amazing- you can see a really long way across the forest.
If you are in the Northamptonshire area then it is well worth a visit. It costs £1.50 to park for an hour or £4 for the whole day and there are lots of picnic benches as well as a café.