Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Christmas Stocking Haul

Did you know it is only 155 days until Christmas? Since January I have been busy buying presents and I have to admit that I have nearly completed my Christmas shopping for Maxwell. Maxwell will be 3 years old this Christmas and will be celebrating his 3rd birthday 13 days before Christmas. Last year Ben and I managed to buy Maxwell so much, he still has 2 toy boxfuls of new toys to use. This year we will not be going so mad and we will be spending more money on bigger presents instead of lots of smaller things. This month I have bought plenty of bargains to fill Maxwell's stocking up.


At the present moment Maxwell and I do not really play games however I am keen to encourage him to play games more. Priced at just £2.50 I thought this game would be perfect to get Maxwell's game collection started. The game looks fairly simple and I hope he enjoys it.
 
We are huge fans of Orchard Toy games. We always find that Maxwell understands them well and they create hours of fun. We managed to bag this game for just £4.50 and we then managed to get a extra 30% off. I am looking forward to see Maxwell learn shopping lists as well as names of foods.
 
Maxwell has always been keen to dress up so I thought this mask would be perfect. I paid just £4.50 for this and I thought it would keep him not only entertained but would be cool for his dressing up box. I am looking forward to playing with it at Christmas. Hopefully it doesn't scare Maxwell.
 
Maxwell and I have started to do a lot more crafts so I thought these would be perfect for Maxwell's stocking. I paid just £1 for this set so I figured if they are not great to make then I have not lost much.
 
I bought these for Maxwell as I thought they would be perfect to help him to learn and spell. I also thought they would be perfect to teach him new words. Priced at just £3 I thought they were a real bargain and since receiving them it is clear to see that they are good quality.
 
As a child I adored my marble run and I thought Maxwell would also enjoy one. This marble run is fairly small which I thought would be perfect to set Maxwell off. I paid just £4 for this and I am looking forward to seeing Maxwell's face when he opens it this Christmas.
 
Although I am unsure if this will really be suitable for Maxwell to play with at Christmas, I figured not only is it a fun game but also a learning tool. If Maxwell does not understand how to play the game, he could easily sit and count the wooden blocks and also balance them. I paid just £4 for this.
 
I hope you have enjoyed looking at what I have bought Maxwell so far for Christmas. At the present moment I am looking for a main present for him.  I have had ideas of a wooden kitchen, scooter or perhaps a doll house. Have you started your Christmas shopping yet and what will your children be getting this Christmas?

Monday, 21 July 2014

Fisher-Price Octonaut Bath Toy Review

Maxwell is a huge fan of the programme Octonauts and often watches it over on the CBeebies channel. The show is about a crew of underwater heroes who rescue sea animals and help protect the ocean. Every episode teaches children about animals, friendship and morals. Recently Fisher Price emailed us to ask us would Maxwell like to review a set of the Octonaut Bath Squirters and the Octonauts Spin and Suds Squid.


Maxwell adores having baths, especially in this hot weather so the toys which we were sent were perfect for Maxwell to use straight away. Maxwell first set about using the bath squirters. The bath squirters were presented in bright, colourful packaging and they were easy to get out of the packaging. Once open we were presented with two 4 inch tall Barnacles and Peso bath squirters and a small Narwhal the sea animal. 

Upon using the bath squirters Maxwell and I found that they were made out of thick material which meant we were set to get hours of fun out of them. The bath squirters sucked up the water well and squirted the water in the right direction that we wanted them to squirt. We found the water holes were the perfect size not only to squirt water but to allow the water to go in. The squirters looked like the characters they were meant to and it was clear to see that Fisher Price had paid a lot of attention to detail when creating the squirters.


Maxwell then switched over to the Octonauts Spin and Suds Squid. I was extremely pleased to see that Fisher Price had again packaged the toy well. They had made it easy for the parent to get the toy out of the box. Instead of plastic ties in the box the box featured string ties which held the toy into place. The string ties made it easy for me to get the toy out of the box which meant there was very little fuss at bath time.

At first I was a little scared about letting Maxwell use the toy due to the fact that I thought it may be to hard for Maxwell to operate. I felt the toy may leave him frustrated however Maxwell got used to the toy straight away and ended up having a fun, frothy, whirlpool bath.

The Octonauts Spin and Suds Squid features Peso, Barnacles and Kwazii. The characters are a little less real life like on this toy however it is clear to see that they are the main characters and that the toy is based around the programme Octonauts.

The toy is easy to operate, all your child simply needs to do is rotate the tentacle on the side of the squid to make the other tentacles spin. The faster you rotate the tentacle the more frothy bubbles you make!


Overall Maxwell had a lot of fun using the bath toys and as a parent I was extremely impressed with their quality. Maxwell is looking forward to using them in his paddling pool in the next few days and is excited to make a whirlpool. The squirters also look fun for Maxwell to use in the garden as well as using them as role play characters.

At the present moment you are able to pick up the Fisher-Price Octonauts Spin and Suds Squid for just £9.45 over on Amazon and the Fisher-Price Octonaut Bath Squirters can be found for just £12.99. The price seems reasonable to me as the toys will create hours of fun.

I did not receive any financial reward for writing this review.
However we did receive the product for review purposes. Everything written in this post is my own, honest opinion.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

A Week Of Learning And New Experiences

  1. Maxwell, Ben and I enjoyed a nice meal out this week
  2. Maxwell has helping around the garden
  3. Maxwell has been on a hunger strike
  4. Maxwell was bought his first ever magazine
  5. Maxwell loved seeing A.Rachel and U.Rob
A while back I was given some vouchers for Giraffe. Our nearest Giraffe restaurant is in Portsmouth so on Monday we decided to visit there to go shopping and have a bite to eat. Unfortunately we ended up buying very little as there was not a lot in the shops which caught our eye, however we had a beautiful meal. The staff were extremely friendly and the food was delicious. I was impressed with their childs menu and Maxwell was excited by the plastic giraffe which came with his meal. We will 100% be visiting there again.

Yesterday was a beautiful day so I spent some time in the garden. The weather is now getting hotter which means I am keen to get Maxwell's paddling pool out however before getting it out I like to make sure the garden is tidy and presentable. Yesterday saw me go round the edges of the lawn, clear the paths and tidy around the fencing. It took me around 2 hours and Maxwell enjoyed helping. Maxwell had a lot of fun mainly playing in the garden however he also enjoyed pulling grass, throwing mud in my hair and cleaning his toys with water.

Due to the hot weather, Maxwell has not eaten a lot. He has been off his meals and has been snacking on food. Maxwell has been enjoying juicy fruit as well as salad however has also developed a love for crunchy foods such as breadsticks and crisps. I hope he will start enjoying his meals again soon.

A few weeks ago I looked into getting Maxwell a magazine subscription however I could not believe how much they cost these days. For a annual subscription for Cbeebies magazine I was looking at £180 which is something which we can not afford so Ben and I decided that we would purchase Maxwell a magazine fortnightly/monthly.  We took Maxwell to the shop earlier this week and allowed Maxwell to choose his own magazine, as a huge Peppa Pig fan he decided he would choose the Peppa Pig magazine and it has kept him entertained all week. I was surprised at how much there was actually to do and the magazine was priced at just £1.99 which I think is a affordable treat. 

Tomorrow is U.Rob's birthday so we popped over to see my sister and give U.Rob his birthday present. Maxwell was extremely excited to see them and spent over a hour playing. Maxwell enjoyed raisins whilst we were there and enjoyed showing A.Rachel his new Peppa Pig magazine. He loved seeing Ronnie rabbit and enjoyed playing in the garden.