For Christmas last year, i got D a Kindle. One of the main reasons was because I wanted her to use it as a educational tool. As much as Darcy would protest, she really can't spend all her time watching Sparkle Spice and the like unwrapping and playing with toys.
There are so many apps on the market at the moment, making it is really hard to ascertain which one ticks all the boxes. Luckily I was contacted by Kidloland to see if we would like to review their nursery ryhmes app. After doing some research, we accepted.
Aimed at babies and children aged 0-5, it has everything you want need in educational app (shapes, colours, numbers, letters, nursery rhymes).
I'll start with a recommendation - definitely invest in a extra big memory card!
Each section of the app has a different theme with videos to go along with it. Kidloland is completely interactive, anything your child touches on the screen will do something whether it moves or makes a noise.
It is easy to navigate, well illustrated and very engaging (I may have spent a little Darcy free time myself playing this app)
One negative aspect of the app is that the instructions seem to be demonstrated once at the beginning of the task, so if you haven't paid attention you won't know what to do. However this is easily resolved by exiting the task and going back into it again.
We have been on a few road trips lately and the App has kept D very entertained, I also like that once it is downloaded you do not need to remain connected to WIFI like other apps. Another thing which I liked about the app is there are no adverts which means she can play without being interrupted/giving her ideas for her Christmas 2017 list!
The app is available for both IOS , Google Play Store and Amazon App Store subscriptions range from £3.99 for 1 month, £18.99 for 6 months, £29.99 for 12 months. If you would like to try KidloLand, I am giving away not one but three 3 months subscriptions. To enter, simply complete one or more of the entries on the Rafflecoopter below.
What was your favourite nursery rhyme growing up?
Recently D and I accepted an exciting invitation to not only experience the brand new Buffalo River Ride Adventure before it opened it doors to the public, but to also spend the night in the Azteca Hotel.
We travelled to Chessington World of Adventures by public transport. From central London it is only a short 35minutes train ride away. Once you arrive at Chessington South, it's a 10 - 15 minute walk, you can also get a taxi or do what we did and got the 71 bus which stops right outside the park.
I have to say we were really impressed with the theme of the hotel. As soon as you step foot in the hotel you are transported into a different world. As you walk into the room you are met by the first of two areas. The childrens area has a bunk bed and a pull out and their own TV which also had interactive games on and a safe for their treasures.
The second area hosts a double bed and a TV, all rooms also have complimentary WI FI, which was rather fast compared to some hotels that I have stayed in.
The bathroom is also a good size and had not one but two shower heads with amazing water pressure, plenty of towels and some toiletries. The room sleeps up to 5 people (2 adults, 3 children) and there is plenty of space for everyone.
Before heading down for the evenings we par took in a treasure hunt in our room, thanks to the activity card which was left for us. Once we cracked the code we opened the safe to find our reward.
We had a yummy dinner at the Steakhouse BBQ restaurant, which is located in the park itself. The brisket was to die for and there was a great childrens menu. We listenedd to a live band, a magican was mesmerising people with his tricks, lots of arts and craft for the children and The Gruffalo was playing on a big screen.
After our bellies were full of Gruffalo theme food and drinks, we headed back up to our room for a bedtime story.
Breakfast was a pleasant experience, with a variety of foods including a hot buffet and a smoothie bar which setted us up for the day. We then headed off to the park to experience the ride.
The Gruffalo River Ride Adventures takes you through the book. From the mouse meeting the Fox, Owl and Snake and then of course the Gruffalo. I don't want to spoil the experience for you but expect a sensory experiences with smoke effects, smells and of course water!!.
After the ride there was an extra special treat, we lucky to get our books signed by the authorJulia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler who also took time to draw a little illustration in every child's book.
It was then time for some frozen yoghurt, from the new Gruffalo Bite stall which is located right next to the ride and has Gruffalo themed flavours. D opted for scrambled snake and I had roasted fox.
We spent some time exploring the park, which also has Sea Life Centre and a Zoo with over 1000 animals including tigers, lions and giraffes before heading home. We had a lovely, stress free time at Chessington and will be visiting again very soon.
* we were invited to the launch of the new Gruffalo River Ride Adventures for free however all views are my own.
With Mother's Day just around the corner (it's this Sunday!!) I teamed up with Lewisham Shopping to share a few ideas to help you buy a last minute gift.
Though called Mother's Day, so many important women in our lives can also benefit from being reminded how much they mean to us this Sunday with a gift.
So what have i found?
For the woman who loves to travel TK Maxx have a wash bag set which sport a really eye catching pattern. Stylist yet functional, i think I may have to go back and get one for myself.
The Works has been one of my favourite shops for a while now with it's vast arts and crafts supplies, cute storage boxes and books at discounted prices. I never leave the store without something. I love this Grandma You're the Best book. It is full of funny and inspirational quotes and would make a lovely present from a grandchild.
The Perfume Shop have lots of gifts and a wide choice of fragrances. I picked up a refillable bottle of Thierry Mugler Alien which comes in a cute presentation box.
M &S has everything covered from Mother's Day cakes, flowers, jewellery and beauty treats. You will be spoiled for choice on every budget. I picked up this treat box which is perfect for a foodie which contains fruit jellies, sea salt caramel, Assam teabags, Viennese creams and a little cheeky bottle of prosecco.
If you are looking for the Perfect Mother's Day card or gift head to the Card Factory. They have everything from cute personalised wine glasses, candles, balloons and gift wrap.
Lewisham Shopping have also come up with some gift inspiration of their own...
1. Hand Cream Gift Set From The Body shop -
2. Alphabet Make Up Bag From Next -
3. The Collection Prosecco & Chocolates From Marks and Spencer -
4. Chamilia Sterling Silver Mother's Day Gift Set From Ernest Jones -
5. Rose & Lily Flowers from Marks and Spencer -
6. White and Red Made With Love Teapot From TKMaxx -
7. Esteé Lauder Modern Muse Nuit Parfum From The Perfume Shop -
8. Paddywax Hygge Ceramic Candle Vetiver and Cardamom From Boots -
Lewisham Shopping Centre is open 9am - 5pm on Saturday and 11am - 5pm on Sunday. With lots of transport route, parking and a wide selection of top high street stores such as BHS, H&M, M&S, The Body Shop, TK MAXX, Evans and Tiger. You will not sturggle to find your perfect Mother's Day gift to give.
*This is a collaborative post with Lewisham Shopping, however all opinions are my own
As I have spoken about on the blog before, Wednesdays are "Mummy and Darcy Days". When the lovely people at Brent Cross got in contact and asked if we would like to come down for a girlie day of manicures, lunch and shopping, of course we snapped up the offer.
Brent Cross is really easy to get to. We got on a bus which stopped right in front of the main entrance. It is easy to get to by tube and there are numerous buses you can get there. There is LOTS of parking if you are coming by car and most importantly the parking is free.
First stop was Sia Hair and Beauty, which is based on the ground floor. I opted for the express manicure as time is of the essence when you have a toddler and lots of shops to visit. They have a great selection of OPI gel polishes. The staff were very welcoming and helpful with Darcy, who ended up getting a little manicure for herself with some cute nail art. Sia Hair and Beauty offer a range of treatments including threading, waxing, manicures, pedicures, facials, tinting, lash extensions, massage, microdermabrasion and much more.If you are in a hurry they have a express bar on the first floor for manicures and threading.
One thing about Brent Cross is you will never ever be hungry. They have a food court on the top floor. Whether you fancy a coffee or a sit down meal they have it covered. From Nandos to Leon's, there are lots of places to choose from to meet all types of diets and culinary tastes. I decided on Wagamama's as I was craving a Pad Thai. I was a little nervous as I have never taken Darcy before and I didn't know what she could and would be willing to eat. However, they have a great kid's menu from freshly squeezed juices to yummy noddles they had everything covered. Darcy had lots of fun trying to work out how to use the chop sticks, the service is fast and the staff are very friendly. If you are worried about using chopsticks, forks and spoons are readily available onthe tables!
Brent Cross is very family friendly, there are signage everywhere which is perfect when you are trying to navigate yourself around with a lively toddler. There are spacious toilets on every floor with great changing room facilities. If you need a five minute break they have plenty of seating on each floor and on the top floor there have a kid zone where the little angels can let off some steam!!!.
Fenwick is like an Aladdins cave, literally everything you need is under one roof. From make up and skin care to designer handbags. Their Womens selection has everything you would need. Up to the trend denim with trimmings and embroidery which is big this season. Stylist sportswear which can be worn outside of the gym, and for when you have a special occasion to go to, they have some amazing evening dresses and accessories.
The Children selection has a totally different feel. Straight away you notice how bright is as, with plenty of room to move a buggy around. They have a great selection of baby items and lots of gift sets which will be perfect to give to a newborn and their parents. Darcy is already a shopaholic and had great fun showing me what clothes and accessories she liked.
They also have their toy selection on the same floor. From Lego to Barbie, there are lots of selections of toys for all ages and most importantly lots of displays to not only look at but also to play with. They are up to date with all the new releases.
We found ourselves in the Build A Bear department which is on the same floor. I loved the whole experience. Your child gets to pick their own bear, not only do they stuff it to the fullness they want, they also do a heart ceremony where they get a red heart rub it in between their hands to keep it warm, rub it on their tummy so they never get hungry, rub it on their forehead so they are really smart and rub it on their back so they always got their teddy bears back. I really think its a lovely bonding experience. Darcy named her bear Ariel after her favourite Disney Princess and they have been inseparable every since. We have been back since to buy Ariel some new clothes and accessories, never would I had thought I would be buying clothes for a teddy bear, but they are reasonable priced.
Whilst we were there they were hosting a birthday party, which the kids were loving. I think it's a great idea and when Darcy is older she will definitely be having a party there.
No trip to Brent Cross is not complete without a visit into Lush. As you know I love Lush, from the products to the staff, shopping there is such a lovely experience it. It is also fun for the kids, they get to touch the products, give the shower jellies a womble and there are always bath bomb and bubble bar demonstrations which the kids can get involved with.
Shopping can be very thirsty work, so we headed down to Fuel Juice Bar which is located on the ground floor. Fuel Juice Bars offer a healthy range of deliciously fresh fruit smoothies and juice made from natural ingredients. They have a specialist kids menu with four smoothies to pick from which are both nut and gluten free.
We had a great day at Brent Cross and of course we will be back every soon. A massive thank you for inviting us down.
You can find out more about Brent Cross and their regular theme events here.
*This is a collaborative post with Brent Cross, however all opinions are my own