Tags: Build and Read, Lego Duplo, Story and construction toys
As Lego Duplo Ambassadors (someone had to do it, tough job), we regularly review toys from their range you can find those here.
This month we’ve been reviewing the Build and Read range, brand new to the shops this August. Book based toys are fantastic because it adds so much more value to them as far as I’m concerned – it takes them from self-play construction toys into wind down and bedtime toys as well.
We started off with the Busy Farm which comes with a book and 15 pieces to make various farm animals from. I love their simplicity and the iconic styling is gorgeous – as a parent there is value in toys looking great as well as being entertaining if I’m honest!
The range is suitable for children aged 1.5 t0 4 and beyond (RRP £9.99) – Bear played happily with his 8 and 10 year old cousins with the sets. And at the age of 4 he happily constructed each of the animals by himself following the pictures. Stacking them in a tower provided a lot of entertainment.
The book actually comes out less than the figures because they can be used with the other sets we have, however the book is by the bed and provide an easy read in the evening too.
As a Lego Duplo Blogger, we were sent the Read and Build sets to review. I stick to the bloggers with integrity code to post honest open reviews.
Tags: educational toys, Lego Duplo, letter and number toys, role play toys, Winnie the Pooh
As Lego Duplo brand ambassadors we’re are very lucky and receive regular parcels of new products to test, try out and give feedback on.
The last batch was the new Winnie the Pooh and letters and numbers collections and we decided that because it was around Christmas and bear was going to be spoiled rotten anyway, and with the learning theme, that the after school club that he attends and his pre-school would absolutely love to receive some new toys.
And they were delighted – they cater for 3-11 year olds and I can report back and say that the sets have entertained not just the younger ones but the old children too. And with a classic Disney theme, the sets are classics and maybe have more longevity than some of the newer licenses.
We put the following sets to the test and combined made up some great adventures and learning games.
I’m sure these sets will last for years and years to come and it will be interesting to see how they are used each week when we go and collect our soon from after school club! What’s great is that they’ll be able to use other Duplo sets in conjunction with them and keep adding to the different games they play.
This is a sponsored post. We were sent these products to review. I stick to the bloggers with integrity code to post honest and open reviews. I am only an ambassador for Lego Duplo because I believe in their products and my son enjoys them.
Tags: Cars 2, Disney, Lego Duplo, Lightening McQueen, Tow Mater
What are you talking about Cars 2 came out in July?! Ok so I’m a total waste of space and should have posted about this in the summer, one thousand apologies – as a Lego Duplo Expert I should be taking my role more seriously, tsk.
However, the review is worth the wait. Promise.
We took bear to see Cars 2 by Disney Pixar at the cinema when it came out and he sat transfixed for the entire duration with heart warming oohs and aahs in all the right places. Bearing in he was just three at the time and there was no pick and mix involved on this occasion to keep him seated, we were amazed. Tow Mater came out as the ultimate favourite, so the Lightening McQueen from the Duplo set which had come along for the ride was quickly exchanged for his brown plastic buddy on our return home.
The best thing about the Lego Duplo Cars 2 sets is that they really promote imaginative play. And not just for the kids, for the parents too. Sometimes on a Sunday morning when your child demands entertaining floor based play, your brain can let you down, preferring to daydream of poached eggs on toast instead. I sat and played happily with these for ages with bear; admittedly part of it was my OCD compelling me to recreate the scenes as per the box images.
But we had great fun; boys and girls a like love hero based play scenarios, and Lego Duplo offers plenty of opportunities for that. We had races, rescued vehicles from crashes and brought in our Duplo fire engine for a bit of flame extinguishing action. We have a zoo and tractor set too so when animals venture onto the race track, it gets totally more interesting.
The other thing that’s great is that you can use the cars on their own in isolation of the building blocks for little make believe games. The Agent Mater set with the canon is a great change bag/handbag size toy to take if you’re eating out and need table top entertainment (clear the glasses first).
The key to happy parents when it comes to the Lego generation; lots of plastic storage boxes, so it can all go back into one place when you’re done (don’t call me a party pooper please). Ditch the cardboard boxes, they take up too much space. Keep the instructions and put everything Lego related that you own into one big plastic box.
The Lego Duplo Cars 2 sets are definitely worth adding to the top Christmas toys list for this year.
Reviews coming soon – great gifts for him this Christmas
- Jabra in car hands free kit
- Hitachi Touro portable hard drive
As a Lego Duplo Expert, we were kindly sent the Lego Duplo Cars 2 sets to review by Lego Duplo. I stick to the Bloggers with Integrity code to post honest, open reviews.
Tags: Birthday party, Lego Duplo, party in the park, planning a children's party, Tesco
Two weeks ago, our little bear turned three. Three. I know – that old cliché; where does the time go? A blur of magic, milestones, tears and momentary (mummy) meltdowns, that’s where.
We wanted a big bash this year, and being an August baby we crossed everything for a sunny day and planned a party at the nearby park and invited 28 children and 36 adults. Madness you might think, but with my new ‘enjoy life to the full’ philosophy, I was determined to not only pull it off, but enjoy it – see it and remember it too.
And I am smugly proud to report back – I damn well succeeded.
It might have been a big get together but it was simple, outdoor, childhood fun – like we used to have as kids.
We invited people with paper invites and on Faceb00k and provided a map to a nearby car park which was a short woodland walk along the river away. To keep children moving we placed 10 clues along the walk with a secret party password at the end which went down a storm.
We called in a little help from Tesco and their picnic food expertise – we were catering for the masses so a trestle table, card table and huge table-cloth hosted the ultimate in party food.
We feasted on veggie sticks with dips, crisps, assorted sarnies, savoury treats, strawberries and chocolate cakes.
Everything was gorgeous, fresh and there was barely a crumb left. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I’ll be damned if you can go wrong with Tesco party food. The mini pizzas seemed to be the overwhelming favourite; we could have got through enough to put them out of stock for a month.
Lego Duplo came into their own with a giant building block birthday cake and invites, as well as balloons, cups, plates and party bags (which we filled with sweets, tiaras and jewels for the girls and parachute men and motorbike toys for the boys). The hugely coveted ‘winner stickers’ had the children’s eyes as big as saucers and willing to do anything to get their hands on one.
The sun shone, we played football, a hugely successful game of ‘what’s the time Mr Wolf’ – and then the highlight of the day, throwing water bombs at daddy.
The reason it was a success was the simplicity – green grass, plenty of food and drink and 20-something kids ready to paaaarteeeeee.
My tips for hosting a third birthday and enjoying it…
1. Get someone else to take photos. And get some with you in.
2. Accept help – one mum can only get so many sausage rolls out onto platters so fast.
3. Keep it simple – make games spontaneous and don’t try to include everyone if they’re having fun elsewhere
4. Give everyone a winner sticker or tiny prize to avoid tears
5. Get the parents playing games too. It’s the most fun I’ve had in ages.
6. Stand back and take it all in like it’s your wedding day. They only turn three once.
This is a sponsored post. We were lucky enough to receive the majority of the food and drinks from the fantastic Tesco picnic range and Lego Duplo supplied all of the party accessories.. I stick to the Bloggers with Integrity Code to post honest open reviews.
Tags: birthday, children's parties, Lego Duplo, picnic food, Tesco
I’m sure all parents say this and cringe at the sound of it as they do say it – but they do grow up so flipping fast.
My little baby is three on Monday and tomorrow we are hosting the mother of all parties (I am starting to wonder if the power of my Anthea Turner mantras can get me through this) – from midday the chaos of a picnic party for 27 children and 39 adults (please, no rain) will begin.
By my front door currently sit several bags – party signs for the river walk with clues to keep the kids walking, outdoor toys, party bags, copious amounts of baby wipes and prizes for the games husband says he has planned…. we shall see. In the garage, numerous scooters, trikes, hoppers and bouncers.
Our inlaws arrived earlier and despite a delay in Tesco when every single till failed, I’m about to cook lamb chops, spuds and salad before I roll out the sandwich making conveyor belt for tomorrow. I feel excited like tomorrow is Christmas. By boy is having a big party. I feel really proud.
We have two fridges full of food and you cannot see an inch of worktop in the kitchen for squash, crisps and cake.
None of this would have been possible without a little help from friends – and the friends in this instance are Tesco and Lego Duplo. Tesco are my everyday supermarket saviours (yes this is a sponsored post but actually I’m quite a devoted Tesco shopper). Their picnic selection is great, from carrot sticks to fruit bags, multi packs of crisps, dips, mini sausage rolls and of course the party essential, chocolate mini rolls.
Lego Duplo have sent us a brilliant selection of party bags ready for us to fill, with stickers for them as well as winner stickers for husband’s party games. And excitingly they’ve provided a cake in the shape of a giant Lego brick!
So, my boy is turning three – I admit I still really baby him – I don’t want him to grow up. But equally, he’s turning into my best friend – he’s the best companion any mum could want – funny, supportive, sensitive, kind and generous. God I love him.
Tesco kindly provided us with lots of picnic food and Lego Duplo with party extras and a great cake. I stick to the Bloggers with Integrity code to post honest and open reviews.
Tags: blogger event, Boden, Cybermummy, huggies, Lego Duplo, mum blogger, Mummy Bloggers, Sarah Brown
Finally, my round up of the incredible day that was CyberMummy – does this capture the craziness?!
All characters in this film share no physical resemblance to the people they depict. This film is designed to document my day at CyberMummy and alongside the chaos demonstrate what a fantastic, jam packed full of great stuff day it was. The 450 bloggers that attended were very lucky to be a part of it. And by the way, I didn’t pick up one single goody bag – it was all about learning new things and meeting friends old and new…
…oh apart from the Disney one because that looked good…oh and the big pink one at the end, who could resist?!
A huge thank you once again to Lego Duplo for my ticket, train fare and hotel overnight, to Huggies for treating us to breakfast and Boden for dressing me. You can see the outfit here (it’s a bargain now in the sale) using the Boden Outfit-maker.
Tags: Boden, Cybermummy, huggies, Lego Duplo, Mummy Tips, Sarah Brown, Susan K Mann
With only five more sleeps to go, the butterflies have started to set in, I’m wishing I’d toned up, booked an eyebrow shape and manicure…..but, tsk, less of the vanity, more of the important stuff – on this coming Saturday I’ll have to chance to squeal and hug old friends, squeal, hug and maybe take by surprise some new friends and squeal and run around a little as the madness of CyberMummy II begins.
This event is a huge accomplishment – the bringing together of 400 bloggers after the hugely successful launch event last year. This year is twice as big; the workshops will be twice as good, the crowdsourced keynote speakers will be twice as good at making us cry – and the keynote of the day will be by none other than Sarah Brown. Whether you have political alliances or not, Sarah has done a huge amount for mothers and family related causes, and I feel utterly privileged to listen to her speak. It’s the first thing I tell people when I tell them about CyberMummy.
So, who am I? Because I’ll be running round like a loon with the rest of you, overwhelmed by the prospect that so many Twitter friends are actually real people with accents, dress sense and a great ability to drink, here’s a little about me.
Important CyberMummy stuff first.
I am delighted to be a Lego Duplo Expert this year. Lego Duplo have very kindly sponsored me to attend CyberMummy. I shant be trying to make you a Duplo hat or sneaking bricks into your pockets while you’re not looking don’t worry – they have a stand all to themselves and will have lots of great stuff going on.
I’m also a Huggies Mum and although not sponsored by at CyberMummy, I would say, do go and chat to the girls, they are absolutely lovely and when it comes to advice they have some great experts they can connect you with.
Finally and very excitingly, Boden have been extremely good to me and are dressing me for the day. I know!!!! No more dilemmas as to what to wear – as who can deny, it’s been a hot topic and despite suggestions to go comfy and practical, most of us are on a free pass – no children for a whole day and it’s not even a school night! So no need to wear the old scruffs in case a banana gets squashed into your trouser leg.
I should also mention that I am one of the lucky 11 crowdsourced keynote speakers. Last year this was my favourite part of the day so I feel very, very important and special – and nervous and unsure and a little terrified. But above all I really hope that the post I’ll be reading resonates with people and offers a little light at the end of the tunnel.
I’m Catherine for those I don’t know – I write here, obviously. I’m 32 – I only found this out yesterday when my mum corrected me, I thought I was still 31. Such a shock.
I live in Oxford with my husband (a holiday romance that stuck) and our son, bear who will turn three in August. He was a month early. I was in shock for a little while. I wasn’t quite done nesting.
Away from blogging and a social media habit that gets me into trouble with my other half (his gym habit gets him into trouble with me); I run a small but flourishing consumer PR agency called Publicity Oxford. Basically what that means is that when I get PR pitches for Baby Genie and don’t read past the first line, it’s a good reminder that my staff and I are good at what we do, because we get great coverage and people generally like us. It also makes me laugh when I get the ‘I loved reading your website and your daughter is adorable’.
I also like to do a few creative bits but time rarely allows – I used to make cards and jewellery. I love to cook – 6-7pm is my hour off, in the kitchen creating something nice. I am very partial to a nice glass of Malbec with dinner too.
I also little to potter in the garden, watch action films, go running (this is quite rare but it sounds good), read fashion magazines and eat out at nice places. I love to shop as well. Cleaning is a tricky subject for me – I like the house just so but there are far more exciting things in life to be doing other than hoovering. It took me years to tear myself away from the duster.
I have a lovely group of friends who I always need to make more time to see.
My parents are just down the road and they are hugely supportive and helpful with bear and generally just have good listening ears.
So, that’s me in a bite sized chunk.
So, see you all on Saturday, I promise not to have a tipple on the train on the way up to calm myself…
Oh and finally if you haven’t been before, my top three tips:
1. Wear a bright colour – we spent a lot of time saying ‘which one is so and so?’ so it really helps people to find you if you can be pointed out easily. Ridiculous shoes, outrageous head wear or being very drunk can also achieve this.
2. Don’t get too hung up on getting to every workshop you want to – the day goes by as fast as your wedding day so take some time to sit and chat with other bloggers too. And sit with people you don’t know for lunch.
3. Write yourself some little notes – people to find on Twitter, blogs to read, tips to improve your blog and so on – and try not to spend the day behind your iPhone – it’s great to live blog and tweet but don’t miss out on the day because of it.
Write, am really signing off now.
Tags: Cybermummy, Goko, huggies, Kiddicare, Lego Duplo, Mummy Bloggers, Plum Baby, Sarah Brown
I am super excited about CyberMummy. If this post doesn’t convey that, I apologise. It’s Friday. I’ve spent the day naughty-stepping, poo coaxing, bedtime wrangling and toddler negotiating.
But still, I’m goddamn excited.
If you are going for this first time this year read my post about CyberMummy 2010 (titled ‘sorry I shoved a cupcake in your face’ for a reason) and get a taster of the madness – and this year is set to be even bigger and better.
Aside from the ultimate dilemma of what to wear, there’s lots to look forward too including Sarah Brown the keynote speaker, sessions on working with Facebook, marketing your blog, making money, photography and keeping it all legal. And on top of that lot they’ll be the usual running about, hugging, live blogging and tweeting, quizzes, prizes and utter madness.
I don’t like the label swag hag but last year there was a whole lotta great loot on offer so my advice, bring a bag – a big one. It’s fantastic to have so many amazing brands like Huggies, Goko, Plum Baby and Kiddicare supporting us and it their generosity was totally appreciated last year.
This year I’m lucky enough to be sponsored by Lego Duplo along with a whole delicious spread of other mummy bloggers:
Today we were sent a very cool fire engine to review which the bear has been happy pottering with, extinguishing fires and rescuing dinosaurs.
So, back to that all important debate, what to wear?! Leave a comment and let me know what you have in mind – some have mentioned jeans and t-shirts, others full on party gear and well, Lego Duplo have been talking all in one jumpsuits so you won’t miss me!