Sunday, 23 September 2018

What to Remember When You're Expecting Twins

When you’re expecting twins, you probably have a lot on your mind. It’s overwhelming enough to be expecting just one baby - but two at the same time is a whole other story. Luckily, there are a lot of resources out there for parents who are waiting for their twins to arrive, and it’s a lot you can do beforehand to make everything just a little bit easier.



Here is a quick guide for parents who are expecting twins so that you can feel a bit more relaxed about the future.

First: Remember the Baby Shower

While some parents are happy when they hear that they are having twins, others feel worried. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed about it all and especially when everything needs to be doubled. Make it easy for yourself a let others take care of some of it for you.

Baby showers are the best way to do exactly this. As long as your guests know that you are expecting twins, they’ll be sure to buy you some stuff that will make it easier to handle. A ZOE stroller for twins, for example, will definitely come in handy.

Let those who love and care about you lend you a hand in stocking up on the important stuff so that you can put your feet up and look forward to the big day.

Next: Stock up on Diapers

You might as well make this a part of your wishlist for the baby shower as you’re going to need a lot of it. If you already have children, you probably know that you’re going to go through diapers faster than anything else, but having twins is really quite different.

Whether you choose cloth or disposable diapers for your babies, now is the time to make sure you have a lot of them. Remember to buy a few in different sizes as well so that when your newborns seemingly grow to a new size overnight, you have a diaper ready that will fit.

Last: Prepare the Older Siblings

If you already have kids, you should help them to prepare for the big change in their lives. Make sure that their needs are met as well while you’re preparing for the twins’ arrival, and go through what kind of changes they can expect.

 There will probably be some new rules around the house, for example, and your kid needs to be aware of this before it happens so that it’s not one big surprise.

 Having twins is definitely a big deal but reading up on what you can expect and preparing yourself as well as the rest of the family can make it a lot easier. Keep in mind that you can ask your friends are family for some support as well, though, and they’ll be happy to help.

* Disclaimer: This is a contributed post and may contain affiliate links.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Roly-Poly fun with the Thumbs Up Roller Wheel

Do you ever wish you could join in and play with your children's toys? I do quite a lot and certainly did when the Thumbs Up Roller Wheel arrived for review. For research purposes, I may have given it a go and can confirm 5ft 5" is a bit too tall (thankfully no videos or pictures were taken of my attempt to use it). 


Roly-Poly Roller Wheel-tastic Fun

The Roller Wheel is an inflatable wheel, think kid-sized hamster wheel. It is awesome fun with the added bonus of giving your little ones an acrobatic workout which helps enhance their physical strength and coordination. It comes with a foot pump, however, we have an electric one which we used instead and it was inflated in seconds. 



It is an understatement to say that the kids were excited to give it a go. They got the hang of it super quick and were rolling their way up and down our lounge in seconds. Just watch this video of their crazy antics. 



The Roller Wheel is made of durable vinyl and is filled with bright colourful balls that bounce and jingle as it rotates. It can be used indoors or outside on grass, we kept it inside as I didn't want to risk the kids rolling down the stone steps leading to our patio. 

Our Verdict

The Thumbs Up Roller Wheel was a huge hit with my three children and their friends and the laughter it generated was brilliant. The only problem was deciding who got to go next but we quickly worked out a rota and the value of taking turns. The kids weren't the only ones who got lots of exercise out of using the Roller Wheel, as Tuco the chihuahua spent a lot of time whizzing out of its way so you may want to watch out if you have small pets. 

As a result of playing with the Roller Wheel, I have noticed the twins' forward rolls have massively improved so this is a great toy for little budding gymnasts as it helps develop core strength and coordination. 


Where to Buy

The Thumbs Up Roller Wheel is available to buy online from Amazon with an RRP of  £39.99. It is recommended for ages 8+ and can hold up to 80 pounds (approx 5 stone 7 pounds or 35kg). We definitely give it a huge thumbs up!

*Disclaimer: I was sent the Thumbs Up Roller Wheel to review. All views and opinions are my own and unbiased. 

Friday, 14 September 2018

Can Toys Really Help Your Child’s Development?

Many parents misunderstand the power of toys and what they can do for your child’s growth. Some parents are adamant that their children don’t need toys, and that they should learn to get enjoyment from learning new things. This includes reading books, watching educational shows and learning to be productive. However, the reality is that a bit of fun needs to be mixed into your child’s development, and toys provide the perfect balance of enjoyment and education–as long as you pick the right ones.

In this article, we’re going to be talking about how toys can help with your child’s development. Be it playing with different infant blocks, puzzles or creative toys, we’ve got a couple of fantastic choices that you shouldn’t overlook.

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

Lego

Lego is fantastic for kids of all ages thanks to the wide selection of toys available. As your kids grow older, there are some fantastic options such as Lego Boost Robotics that allow your kids to program robots by using simple sensors and electronics such as a tablet or smartphone. It’s a brilliant introduction to computer science and can provide hours of fun and education for your kids.

Art

Be it simple pens and pencils, paints or even classic crayons, art is a fantastic way for your kids to express themselves and draw things that they see from life. It helps them with colours, it helps nurture their creativity and it’s a brilliant way to learn unique art skills that could become a passion for your kids later on in life. There is plenty of art related toys such as stencils and colourful rainbow pens that can stimulate their art.

Twin painting project, creative kids

Cubes

Classic cubes are fantastic for younger children. You can get softer fabric cubes as opposed to wooden ones for more safety. They come with lots of unique textures and patterns on them which are sure to entertain your kids and younger babies as well.

Music

Music toys are a great way for your kids to recognize different tones and also understand a little about music itself. This is great if you notice that your kids have an interest in music from an early age, such as if music calms them or if they’re drawn to certain types of music. These can always be replaced and upgraded with something more modern in the future if your kids really do love using their musical toys.

Puzzles

Be it seasonal Christmas puzzles or puzzles of their favourite cartoon characters, puzzles are fantastic for development. They teach your kids how to solve problems, it improves motor skills and helps with their hand-eye coordination as well.

Puzzle time fun

Hopefully, this article has shown just how important toys are to our child’s growth and development, and also how it can stimulate them to try new things as they grow older. It’s not all about fun and games–toys can also be educational when used correctly, but you need to think hard about the type of toys you offer your kids and also pick toys based on their preferences and what they seem to enjoy.

* Disclaimer: This is a contributed post and may contain affiliate links.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

My Baby is N I N E!

Rewind to the Beginning

Last Monday, the 10th of September, my oldest son officially reached the halfway point to being considered an adult. Scarily, it only seems like yesterday he was born so I'm hoping the next nine years rapidly slow down. My first memory of Ben is of a tiny, sparkly-eyed, bubble-blowing, perfect little bundle. I'll never forget that rush of overwhelming love when I set eyes on him for the first time. This little boy changed my world forever the day he made me a Mummy.


N I N E

Here we are, nine years on, and my baby is now a handsome little boy who I could not be prouder of. He is caring, clever, determined and full of fun and mischief. He loves whizzing about on his bike, playing video games, is an awesome singer and has a fascination with technology, space, and science. 




Some days he needs a little extra encouragement and a push to get him focused but wow, once he is in the zone, he amazes and impresses. He's a witty little guy who can have us all in stitches and when he laughs you can't help but laugh too. His brother and sister adore him. Zachary definitely hero-worships his big bro and races to keep up with him when it comes to riding his bike and playing games. 


Birthday Wish

My birthday wish for Ben is another year of awesomeness, even better than the one before. I hope he has fun and achieves everything he sets out to do while getting the much-deserved recognition for it along the way. So here is to a year of seeing lots of smiles on Ben's face. 



Now to help him start compiling his list of 10 things before he is 10... 

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Expanding the GraviTrax Fun

This summer we have been busy exploring magnetic forces, gravity and kinetic energy with the GraviTrax from Ravensburger. The GraviTrax track system is a brilliant way to teach kids STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) concepts and bring them to life in a fun way. The good thing about the GraviTrax system is the availability of expansion sets which add to the fun and learning.


GraviTrax Expansion

GraviTrax takes marble runs to the next level, allowing little engineers to design and build structures using STEM concepts. It is a good idea to start off with the Starter Set and play around with designs and configurations, it really impressed me to watch the kids ideas grow and develop as they played and experimented. When I introduced three expansion sets there was a flurry of ideas for how they could be used, the loop and catapult were instantly in high demand.



Expansion Building

The GraviTrax Expansion Pack allows you to extend your GraviTrax Starter Set with over twenty-five components including 2 card bases, a transparent level, 8 large vertical tiles, 4 small vertical tiles, 2 'Y' bases, a 3 way base, a vortex base, an end target, 4 bases for inserts, 2 catcher inserts, a free fall insert, a 3 way Starter base insert and a target insert. It is perfect for kids like mine who want to build bigger and more complicated structures.


Expansion Looping

The kids saw the Expansion Looping addition and couldn't wait to test it out. They said it reminded them of having a little mini rollercoaster and wanted to see it in action straight away. The interesting part was figuring out how much power they would need to get the gravity sphere to actually loop-the-loop. We did a lot of experimenting with this one and the kids definitely learned about the dynamic forces of nature.


Expansion Catapult

There is no denying catapults are pretty awesome but it takes a bit of experimentation to overcome the force of gravity and get the gravity spheres to actually fly through the air. The Expansion Catapult brought a new dimension of fun and skill to our GraviTrax building and racing fun.


Our Verdict

We have loved expanding the GraviTrax fun with these three Expansion sets. The kids have learned so much from building and experimenting with GraviTrax that I, as a parent, can see real value in the products. The availability of expansion sets is brilliant as it adds more dimensions and challenges to keep STEM learning fun while continuing to engage your child. 

Where to Buy

The GraviTrax track system is available to buy online from Amazon, the Expansion Pack is currently priced at £19.99, the Expansion Looping add-on is £15.10 and the Expansion Catapult is £9.99.