My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 8 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Making Disney dreams come true ... on the ice!

Skating with Royalty at the Tower of London!

I could certainly think of less attractive locations to spend a Monday evening!

Yesterday evening, Munch and I made a mad dash from school at 3pm and made our way straight to London for a very special evening. Munch was literally bouncing off the carriage walls on the train all the way there, as we were on our way to the Tower of London to their festive, outdoor ice rink.

The rink is absolutely magical, situated within the tower walls with moving projections of huge glowing snowflakes floating around. With the light bouncing off the ice and the mesmerising surroundings of London's famous landmarks, it truly is the most perfect setting for an outdoor ice rink.

But that wasn't all!
We weren't there for any regular skating session.
We were there for the most magical skating session you could imagine!
The kind of stuff a little girl's dreams are made of!

Munch was about to skate alongside and holding hands with the stars of the famous Disney on Ice presents Frozen!

Munch could not get her skates on quick enough! She was so excited and suddenly totally fearless about stepping onto the ice. Our usually nervous, hesitant little girl was about to let go of every inhibition she has ever had and throw herself into this amazing experience with the most carefree attitude. That alone was magical to watch! She hadn't skated for about three years, but when she took the hand of Princess Ariel from the show, none of this mattered!

"Don't leave me, mummy ...!"
"Hold my hand the whole time, mummy ...!"
"You won't let me fall over, will you, mummy ...?"

These were all things she was repeating to me over and over on the way to London. Within minutes of her having those skates on, mummy was left behind, completely redundant for a while and replaced by a real life Disney princess! Mummy was cool with this!

The skating professionals were really wonderful with the children, making sure that each of them received all the help they wanted and that every one of them felt special as they were taken around the rink by the most enchanting characters to ever step foot on the ice.

And let's face it ... what little girl doesn't dream of being spun around on the ice by a Disney Prince ...?!
Watching the stars twirling and leaping across the ice and being given the chance to join them in their grace has made Munch even more excited about the Disney on Ice craze. I don't think she ever really appreciated just how amazing their skills really were ... and this was watching them rule the ice without their costumes on! 

She may have a little way to go before she is on the ice performing with the cast as a Disney Princess herself, but with this determination ... one day ...!

Disney on Ice (Frozen) is about to perform at their latest venue tomorrow (30th November, 2016) which is Liverpool's Echo Arena. From there, the team will move on to Aberdeen and Sheffield before hitting the O2 in London for the Christmas period! Families from all around will flock to these venues to inhale the magic the stars create. 

I remember attending a Disney on Ice show when I was a young child, back when it was known as Walt Disney's World on Ice, and I can promise you, I remember it so well! An experience like this does not fade without leaving some amazing, lasting memories! So to experience the magic for yourself and to treat your children, grandchildren, even yourselves and your grown up children to a piece of the magic, get your tickets soon, because unlike the memories they will create, the tickets won't hang around for long!

For more information and to check ticket availability for your chosen venue, visit the Disney on Ice website.
Also, be sure to watch for updates on Social media by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

We were invited to the skating experience at the Tower of London but were not offered any payment for this post.All words and opinions are 100% our own.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Take a Holiday on Ice with Masha and the Bear *Giveaway*

Will Masha ever stop getting into mischief ...?
Are your children fans of the lovable characters Masha and Bear? 
I believe any child that watches their antics would struggle not to fall in love with them! They're funny, they're full of adventure and they have the kind of relationship you can't help smiling at! 

Masha and her cuddly friend Bear first graced TV screens back in 2009, when their very first episode 'How They Met' aired. The setting of this animated series is Moscow, Russia,which is from where the characters originate. Each episode focuses on the mischievous little girl, Masha, and her fatherly figure friend, Bear, who spends his time trying to save her from trouble! Since its first episode, the show has been translated into 25 different languages, broadcast in 100 different countries and become a feature on the much loved Netflix and a regular on children's channel Cartoonito.

This is Masha.
Masha has been based on a real person. The show's artistic director, Oleg Kuzovkov, noticed a confident, friendly little girl when he was on holiday. This little girl would quite happily approach complete strangers on the beach to join in their games, and she inspired the creation of Masha because of her outgoing and intelligent nature.

This is Bear. Bear is big, cuddly and brave, always running here and there to extinguish whatever disaster Masha has managed to ignite. However, he loves Masha very much, even if she is forever putting him in the line of danger with her crazy antics. He is a retired circus performer which can often come in handy with the stunts he needs to execute in a bid to keep Masha safe! Although Bear has no verbal dialogue, it is very easy to understand what he is trying to say through his dramatic actions!

Masha is a Russian girl who lives in the forest with her pig, goat and dog. All the animals in the forest are afraid of her as she forces them to play with her. One morning, Masha sees a butterfly and inadvertently follows it inside the home of a bear who has gone fishing. While playing there, she makes a big mess. When the Bear returns, he sees the disaster caused by Masha. The Bear tries to get rid of Masha, but he is unsuccessful, and he and Masha become friends.

 The latest DVD offering from the favourite duo, their third collection, is called Holiday on Ice and it is absolutely delightful! 70 minutes of magical madness and mayhem, we are treated to a special seasonal collection of lovely episodes. Eager to learn how to skate like a pro, Masha persuades Bear to teach her. With a bit of effort, Masha entices Bear down to the frozen lake where they meet with Lady Bear. Hopeefully Bear and Lady Bear can help Masha learn the steps ... but at what cost?!

This collection includes a number of feel good episodes, including;

Holiday on Ice 
One, Two, Three! 
Light the Christmas Tree 
Picture Perfect 
Tracks of Unknown Animals 
Watch Out!
First Day of School 
No Tresspassing 
The Snow Maiden 
The Wolf and the Fox

This would make the perfect stocking filler for any child on Christmas morning, and we have a copy to give away! All you have to do is complete the Rafflecopter steps below and you could be enjoying episode after episode of cute, cuddly and slightly chaotic family fun with Masha and the Bear!

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition Terms & Conditions:
This is a Rafflecopter Giveaway and all mandatory entries must be completed to make your entry valid and to unlock the bonus entry methods.
The Giveaway ends at 12am on the 11th December, 2016.
The competition is open to UK residents aged 18 and over only with no exception.
A winner will be randomly selected and will be contacted by email and announced on the blog.
The winner must make contact with me within 48 hours to claim their prize. Failure to do so will result in a redraw.
We are not responsible for non-delivery of prizes.
The prize is 1 copy of Masha and the Bear, Holiday on Ice on DVD, which will be supplied by Abbey Home Media, and no cash alternative is available.

We were sent a copy of Masha and the Bear, Holiday on Ice on DVD in return for writing this post and running the competition. No other payment was offered or received.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Mirrors ... Signal ... Drive Like A Parent!

Baby on board vs Driving solo ...

In conjunction with Road Safety Week, 2016, we were delighted to have been invited to join Maxi Cosi in their social experiment in which they worked to determine the different driving styles of both parents and those without children, and we are excited to announce that their finding have just been released!

Recent research has shown that, based on a survey of 18.6 million families in the UK, 1.9 million Brits only start checking their driving speed once they become parents. This is quite a shocking statistic when you consider the number of vehicles on the roads every day. So when Maxi Cosi invited us to participate in their experimental research, I thought that, as a family with three children, it would be a perfect opportunity to see where we place in such a calculation.

Road Safety Week is the UK's biggest road safety event, coordinated annually by Brake and involving thousands of schools, organisations and communities each year.
Brake is a road safety charity that works to prevent road death and injury, make streets and communities safer, and supports the victims of road crashes. Brake founded Road Safety Week in 1997 as an annual event to raise awareness about road safety and promote steps that everyone can take to stop these needless deaths and injuries year-round.

Personally, I don't drive. I am well aware that, as a mum to three children, driving would make life much easier for me and would allow for so much more freedoml However, the thought of driving has always terrified me! Put me in the driving seat of a car and I suddenly turn into a nervous wreck. I've not been so bad recently, and I have started to get myself into the mindset that driving would be a positive step, but it's taking some time. It's not so much my own driving ability that fills me with fear, but that of the few drivers out there on our roads that drive with little or no regard for others. Those that drive as though they are the only ones on the road and those that think their destination needs to be reached in half the estimated time. They are the ones that keep me from driving! And my reluctance to work towards my licence has increased even more since having children. How could I possibly put my three precious children in the back of the car and venture out onto the dangerous road where the 'each man for himself' attitude is so strong ...?

In a survey of 1000 parents, most admitted to adopting much safer driving habits when they had a young child on board. Over a third (36%) follow safety precautions more closely, almost half (45%) pay more attention to other vehicles on the road and 34% are more aware of the road signs they pass.

To put this to the test, Maxi-Cosi, manufacturers of child car seats for over 30 years, conducted a social experiment with the British School of Motoring  to put non-parents and parents against each other. The experiment backed up the research, with the parent-drivers being more aware of the road and watching their speed.

We were really happy as a family to be a part of this experiment. We were invited to a controlled environment in which The Man would be exposed to some every day situations whilst driving to see how they might affect his driving style. 

So, The Man was fitted with monitoring equipment to track his heart rate ...

... And Beastie & Plumlet were secured into their Maxi Cosi car seats, ready to really put their daddy through his paces! The Man was taken around the true to life test track, as he encountered other vehicles, road signs, everyday hazards and performed a number of manoeuvres,all of which drivers face each time they travel on the road. And it was almost as though Beastie had been pre-briefed by experts too, as she exposed him to one of the most difficult situations a parent faces when driving as she spent 50% of the experiment in floods of tears as she apparently was no longer happy leaving me standing on the sidelines watching! Hysterical cargo has to be one of the most distracting and distressing situations for a parent as you are torn between concentrating on a road that requires your full attention and comforting your child whom you cannot safely reach out to and who refuses to or is unable to listen to verbal reasoning.

According to the monitoring equipment, The Man was greatly affected by Beastie's distress and his driving style changed during the time that she was crying. His speed decreased as he struggled to concentrate on both at the same time, but thankfully, his attention to safety remained strong. He claims that, since becoming a parent, the safety of the children is always the most important thing to him and he would rather be late arriving at his destination if it meant ensuring that their well-being was unscathed!

Family psychologist, Dr Rachel Andrew, who oversaw the experiment said:

 “When we have children we try to keep safe in a more conscious way. When a child becomes agitated you might expect the parent to be distracted. But the parents that took part in this social experiment described the ability to consciously shift their focus from what was happening in the car to really concentrate on their driving. This makes them pay more attention to their surroundings and stops them from going onto auto-pilot. If everyone thought like this, the roads would be a much safer place.

During the experiment, which involved us and a number of other parents and non-parents and different points throughout the day, cameras were running throughout to capture every moment as it happened! Take a look at our experience ...

As part of Road Safety Week, Maxi-Cosi is sharing top tips on how to ‘drive like a parent’, making every day journeys less dangerous for all road users.

Allow more time. You can’t always predict traffic jams or road works; so to ensure you’re not worrying about being late and tempted to reach for your phone to let others know, plan in advance. Leave plenty of time to reach your destination stress-free
Keep calm. While parents are used to dealing with a crying baby or an attention-seeking child in the car, non-parents may be distracted by another driver or experience road rage which can cause a lapse in concentration. Don’t sweat the small stuff, listening to relaxing music can help drivers focus on the road
Belt up. Mums and Dads spend a lot of time making sure their precious passenger is clipped in properly – and leading by example. Do the same for yourself and anyone else travelling with you – you never know when you may be forced to make an emergency stop 
Remember the kids on the road, not just in the car. Parents may drive more safely because of who they’re driving around in their car, but there is also a consciousness around who may be on the path. Realising that your speed can kill should stop you from putting your foot down in a hurry 
Plan ahead. Parents are used to planning their days with precision and this includes knowing their optimum route, as well as where they can safely stop to attend to their children if they need to. While non-parents won’t need to pack a nappy bag, having decided on a route before they set off and carrying some water in the car could come in handy if you’re caught in a jam 

Andrew Ratcliffe, Maxi-Cosi UK Managing Director said: 
It’s interesting to see the differences between parent drivers and non-parent drivers and how those results were reflected in our research. As a parent myself, I know the importance behind car safety, your little one’s life is literally in your hands. Non-parents can really learn from the habits parents develop and should treat every journey as if there is a precious cargo on board. Maxi-Cosi’s aim is to make travelling as a family an enjoyable voyage, eliminating the stress and encouraging every driver to ‘drive like a parent’.”

So, on the back of this thorough study, how has it made you feel about your own driving style? Were you a driver prior to becoming a parent,and if so, do you feel that your habits on the road have changed as a result? And are you like The Man in feeling that now, even when the children aren't in the car, you still Drive Like A Parent ...? If you do, you're doing things right!

We were invited to take part in this social experiment by Maxi Cosi and were gifted the car seats used by the children during the test in a bid to make their everyday car journeys even safer! No other payment was offered or received for sharing the study and its results.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Creating the perfect work space

When trying to make working from home a productive exercise ...! 

Blogging has, over the years, presented me with a lifestyle I had never actually considered before having children. I always believed that, once the kids were of a certain age, I would return to the conventional work place and revisit the 9-5 routine I had pre-family life. However, since discovering and starting the blog a little over five years ago, I have come to realise that this isn't necessarily how things need to be. With a little work and a slight change in direction, I have learnt that my future can actually and realistically be one built upon my writing.

At present, I blog for the love of writing. I have only just 'lost' Beastie to full time school which leaves me with only Plumlet at home with me every day. You will usually find me sat on the sofa with the laptop on my knees, trying to string legible sentences together whilst reading Stick Man, complete with voices, or perched on a chair at the dining table trying to edit photos for a post whilst apparently partaking in a teddy bear's picnic, sipping tea from a miniature plastic teacup and eating plastic cake!

For many obvious reasons, it can be tricky to work around the children. It's difficult to stay focused, it's hard to stay motivated and it's usually the case that, just as I am starting to get into a flow, I need to stop to tend to some duty of a parental nature. Right now, I am typing words in between bandaging the arm of a stuffed bear (he fell over, apparently) and lining up toy cars because they're in the car park at the supermarket! True story!

There are more ideal working environments, but this is mine for now.

Once the children are a little older and I have all three of them at school, I would love nothing more than a proper 'work space'. A place where I can sit and engage my mind in an appropriate way. A place away from distraction but a place that will keep my mind on the task at hand. I feel my work life will benefit in a more productive way as a result. Below is a video which explains a concept called Attention Restoration Theory which is incredibly helpful when trying to decide on the ideal set up for keeping a work focus. Simple things can affect motivation and productivity in such a huge way, and I will certainly be looking further into this theory when I am in a position to create my perfect little work space ... when the day comes for me to replace plastic tea cups for an actual desk!

So how about you? Do you have your own special place where you like to work? Do you think it is ideal? Is your work space a little like mine or somewhere more productive?

This is a collaborative post. All words are my own, but the video link has been provided for me to use.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

WIN a copy of Milkshake! Fabulous Friends


We were recently sent a copy of Milkshake! Fabulous Friends on DVD to see what Plumlet thought of it. He absolutely loves having such a big selection of his most favourite TV characters on one DVD.

Take a look at our earlier post for more information about the DVD itself.

Abbey Home Media have asked if we would like to give a copy away to one of our lovely readers, and as I think that this DVD would make a wonderful stocking filler for Christmas, I couldn't say no!

The DVD comes highly recommended by Plumlet, so please feel free to enter via the Gleam entry form below for a chance to win a copy for yourself!

Please Note: The 1st entry step is mandatory and must be completed to validate your entry! 

Any entries not including the blog comment will be disqualified.

Milkshake! Fabulous Friends DVD Giveaway!
Competition Terms & Conditions:
This is a Gleam Giveaway and all mandatory entries must be completed to make your entry valid and to unlock the bonus entry methods.
The Giveaway ends at 11.59pm on the 3rd December, 2016.
The competition is open to UK residents aged 18 and over only with no exception.
A winner will be randomly selected by 5th December and will be contacted by email and announced on the blog.
The winner must make contact with me by 7th December, 2016 to claim their prize. Failure to do so will result in a redraw.
We are not responsible for non-delivery of prizes.
The prize is 1 copy of Milkshake! Fabulous Friends on DVD, which will be supplied by Abbey Home Media, and no cash alternative is available.

Having fun with Fabulous Friends! Milkshake's new DVD!

Thomas, Ben & Holly, Bob the Builder and more!

As Christmas draws closer, parents all over are being handed the annually anticipated sheet of paper containing comprehensive lists of eagerly wished for toys, games, cuddly toys, and anything else their children have clapped their eyes on during the months recently passed that they just have to have! 

Having three children here between the ages of 2 and 7 years, I am regularly bombarded with cries of "I want one of those" and "I need to add that to my list!" The Christmas tradition here, as with many families, is the children get a stocking of small presents that Santa leaves at the end of their beds for when they wake up on Christmas morning. This stocking usually contains a new pair of slippers, a book or two, an activity pack of some description (normally a colouring book and pencils or a sticker book) and a DVD. This is usually enough to keep them amused in their bedroom until we reach a socially acceptable hour and such a time that they can venture downstairs to discover what delights await under the Christmas tree!

This year will be no exception to that tradition, and we have the perfect stocking addition if you are looking for a great DVD to add to those little stockings!

At the beginning of this month, Abbey Home Media released their latest Milkshake offering, featuring a whole host of much loved favourites, all of whom will be recognised from Channel 5 and their daily morning fun.

My lot love Milkshake. They're fun and adventure filled episodes, telling appealing stories as we follow a bunch of favourite characters in each of their own unique settings. 

Milkshake's Fabulous Friends promises over two hours of fun and friendship for your little ones as they follow the much loved characters they enjoy following every morning. And this is a promise they have most certainly honoured!

Included in the DVD are:

Peppa Pig – In ‘The New Car’, Peppa's family car breaks down. While it is being mended, they borrow a shiny new one from Grandad Dog's garage.

Thomas & Friends – In ‘The Thomas Way’, Harold the Helicopter breaks down, so Thomas and Duck take him to Sodor Search and Rescue for repair. Thomas wants to show them the sights but Duck isn’t keen. They need to learn to work together.

Pip Ahoy! – In ‘Alan Loses His Bounce’, Alan starts the day full of music and bounce, until Norman the Snail tells him that bouncing is silly. Pip and Alba organise a surprise to cheer him up and get his bounce back.

Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom – In ‘Books’, Queen Thistle reads the children a story which inspires a question. They can't find the answer in the magic books in the castle, so go to the Wise Old Elf in the Great Elf Library.

Fireman Sam – In ‘Jupiter on the Loose’, the Pontypandy Pioneers visit the fire station, and Norman ends up accidentally driving Jupiter through Pontypandy. Sam races to the rescue!

Lily’s Driftwood Bay – In ‘Stop That Pudding’, Lily puts her newly discovered set of measuring spoons to good use when Nonna takes a tumble and needs a rest, leaving Salty to step in and cook an important pudding.

Bananas In Pyjamas – In ‘Power Cut’, Morgan accidentally causes mayhem in Cuddlestown when he plugs in too many lights and speakers in preparation for Camembert's birthday party.

Little Princess – In ‘I Want My Treehouse’, Little Princess builds a treehouse, then discovers Algie and Maid are also building one in the tree next door! Soon they are in competition to see who can build the best one.

Bob the Builder – In ‘Lofty Lets Loose’, Bob and his team are building a new giraffe enclosure at the zoo, but Lofty's excitement about meeting his favourite animal gets the better of him.

Wanda and the Alien – In ‘Starfish’, Wanda and friends help a hermit crab to find his starfish friend who was swept out to sea, aided by a giant whale and some important fish.

Toot the Tiny Tugboat – In ‘Toot's Funny Side’, Toot arranges a funny No Talent Show to help Paula the Trawler overcome her embarrassment when she makes a mistake.

Toby’s Travelling Circus – In ‘Ribbons and Strings’, Toby is inspired to create a ribbon-and-strings act in the show after witnessing the havoc caused by Momo and Freddo earlier with a yo-yo.

Wissper – In ‘The Slow Slow Loris’, Sonia the slow loris asks Wissper to help her speed up as the chattering monkeys keep taking all the best fruit first. Wissper decides to enlist the help of Monty the meercat.

Paw Patrol – In ‘Pup Pup Boogie’, Ryder, Chase and Rubble use their dance moves to help repair the tracks before the next train arrives.

I don't know about you, but I know one little boy in particular that absolutely loves this DVD, and it may even be the only one that keeps him sitting still for more than two minutes! It has some of his biggest favourites - Peppa, Paw Patrol, Thomas and Toot, to name just a few, all in one place, so I think this is one that will be watched many many many times! With a squeal of excitement at the beginning of every episode, he loves the uninterrupted variety and the anticipation of what is coming next!

Would you like a chance of winning a copy of Milkshake! Fabulous Friends ...?

Take a look at our competition where you can win your own treasury of favourites just in time for the big man in red to leave it in a special stocking of your choosing!

If your child would love a daily dose of all the favourites mentioned above, and more, make sure you tune in to Channel 5 every weekday morning from 6am until 9.15am and on weekend mornings until 10am.

Also, check in to their official website regularly for some of their other popular features, including their Picture Gallery in which they feature the wonderful masterpieces sent in to them, and recent news and events. Keep up to date with news as it happens by following Milkshake on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We were sent a copy of Milkshake! Fabulous Friends on DVD for the purpose of this post as well as being promised a copy of the same DVD for our competition winner. No other payment has been received.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Playtime is brighter with Brightlings!

"When Brightlings shine ... you shine!"

As Christmas is fast approaching, parents around the world are preparing themselves for an increase in noise levels as new, toys find their way into toy boxes. New toys often bring new sounds, and Brightlings from Spin Master are no exception to this rule. If you are a parent looking for a peaceful Christmas season, then this may not be the toy for you!

However, if you want a toy that will interact with your child and make them smile with every word they say, then read on!

Beastie was over the moon to receive her pink Brightling, and before she was even out of the box, she was squeezing her hand to activate a selection of her many phrases. Luckily, Brightlings come loaded with the required batteries (3xAAA), so as long as the shop assistants have been able to resist the urge to repeatedly squeeze them in the shop, there should be ample battery power for your child to enjoy their new toy.

She was delighted to see that the face lights up and gives the impression of the mouth moving as she speaks.

With a huge variety of phrases, a record and repeat function and the ability to join in with a singalong, this truly is a dream toy for Beastie. She absolutely loves a toy that she can control and manipulate into doing lots of different things! And Brightlings do so much, and what they do all depends on how they are held.

Designed for children aged 4+, Brightlings are fun, cuddly and lively little companions which are guaranteed to bring a smile and plenty of entertainment to children. They boast that they are able to speak over 100 different phrases, and that doesn't include the endless possibilities your child can create by getting  them to repeat what they say. In addition to their intelligent chatting, Brightlings can also make a number of music genres, all controlled with a gentle squeeze! And the animated mouth makes it look as though the Brightling really is interacting. The look of amazement and joy on Beastie's face as she started to realise the extent of what she could make her Brightling do was a picture!

Brightlings come in three different colours, pink, purple or teal, each sporting a different pattern on their tummies. And with their three different modes, it would be hard to get bored!

Hold the Brightling in different ways whilst in Play Mode and your child will be entertained with all the different things the Brightling has to say. Beastie sits for ages, having conversations with her Brightling, tilting her forwards, back and side to side. 

 In Repeat Mode, your child can enjoy hours of fun recording their own voice, then having their Brightling repeat them, word-for-word, with the simple squeeze of the tummy.

Finally, the third interactive offering from the Brightlings is their Musical Mode. With the ability to choose between pop, opera, jazz, yodel, rock and beat boxing, a round of karaoke is never out of the question! Allow it to sing in the style that you choose, whilst your child controls the speed of the music with a simple tilt of the toy and eventually has a go at creating their own music by moving the Brightling around in a certain manner.

Encouraging the recognition and expression of feelings with phrases like "I'm sleepy", and "I love you", and instigating questioning with "What day is it?", Brightlings will make your child want to communicate and will make it fun and exciting, inspiring children to explore different language uses and to use them in an engaging way. 

With an RRP of £29.99, I am certain that this recent offer from Spin Master Toys will find their way onto a few Santa Lists this year! 

For more information about the wonderful products offered by Spin Master and to keep up with their exciting updates, make sure you follow them on their social media channels:

Beastie thinks that every child should have a Brightling in their lives!

We were sent a Brightling by Spin Master Toys for the purpose of this review. No other form of payment was offered nor received and all thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. 

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Every day is an adventure with Peeka Puffs!

When you're little, every day holds a big adventure of some sort. From visiting a new location to trying a new food ... from meeting new people to having a new bedtime story that you've never heard before ... from learning a new skill to finding a toy at the bottom of the toybox that you haven't played with for about 3 weeks (that counts as a new toy, right?!)

In recent months, Beastie's life has been full of exciting adventures. She reached the end of her time at her amazing nursery school which she had been attending since she was two years old, she danced the night away at her special nursery prom in which she celebrated her graduation with her closest friends, and possibly most exciting of all, she started her huge new journey to big school. Unlike Munch, Beastie was simply bubbling at the thought of going to school. For months, she had watched her big sister partake in the classroom routine and listened to her as she came home with stories of the new things she had learnt and the fun activities she had joined in with, and she couldn't wait to be a part of that herself. She was very familiar with the classroom setting and with the teachers at the school and seemed very comfortable with the idea of starting on the path of formal education herself.

This excitement was, however, slightly tainted with a sense of nervousness, as whilst she had adapted well to the idea of this big transition, she hadn't quite got her head around leaving one setting for the other, and didn't quite have full understanding of the fact that starting school would mean never attending nursery again. This was a subject that we knew would have to be dealt with in a very gentle and sensitive manner, as nursery had been the norm ... a comfortable safety net if you like.

However, she's not called Beastie for nothing, and she does like to grab the bull by the horns when presented with new opportunities, so we went with her flow and hoped for the best. 

We soon discovered that, one of the ways in which she helped herself adjust was to take something from home with her each day. Thankfully, her new teachers were happy for her to do so as she settled herself into her new surroundings, and they would allow her to talk about what she had brought in and would make that object a feature of the classroom for the day. This seemed to make her forget about what she had left behind and focus on what was ahead of her each day.

So, when we were asked if Beastie had a special adventure on which a new friend could join her, this was obviously a perfect opportunity! During her first half term holiday, a new companion came to stay. A companion that was as thirsty for exciting things as she was, and who wanted to learn about the new things that were happening in her life!

Meet Daisy Puff! 

Daisy Puff (affectionately named so by Beastie) is a Peeka Puff.
Peeka Puffs are a fun, cuddly, fluffy toy from Mookie Toys, and Beastie fell in love with her the moment she set eyes on her! The name 'Peeka' Puff refers to the fact that they can be turned inside out to hide their face, then push on the firm section inside and they pop to reveal their happy, friendly face again! 

Covered in crazy, bright pink hair, which can be groomed with her very own hairbrush and decorated with her pretty little turquoise bow (which attaches gently with Velcro to her soft fur), she came to Beastie ready to join her on the fun adventures that she was desperate to share.

(Passport not included!) 

She spent the rest of her holiday getting well acquainted with Daisy Puff, taking her to bed each night, placing her near the dinner table and involving her in her daily routines. As her two week holiday went on, she told Daisy Puff stories of her classroom, her teachers and her best friends, as she looked forward to introducing her properly to her new classroom and showing her around the things that she has been doing. 

This made her feel very grown up and reinforced to her how special her fresh journey was. After all, someone special wanted to learn all about it ... from her!

So, off she skipped to school on the morning of her first day back, seriously pumped about all the things she had to share!

So she showed Daisy Puff around her new classroom, chatting to her the whole time, making sure she understood exactly what she was being shown!

First Stop: The Home Corner

Next Stop: The Writing Corner

Moving on to: The Reading Corner

Enjoying some fun: The Free Play Area

Number Time: The Maths Table

Teacher Time: The Class Carpet

Beastie had so much fun showing Daisy Puff around her new surroundings, introducing her to her friends and to her new routine. Apparently, Daisy Puff loved it too and wants to go in every day. She is now, allegedly, an honorary member of her class, and, according to Beastie, there is a spare chair for her!

So now, Beastie's new journey is nothing but exciting. Yes, she misses nursery and the people she has left behind, but she is now looking forward to what this new beginning holds for her. There is one thing she is still quite sad about leaving behind, and that's Plumlet. The two of them have grown very close over the past year or so, and starting a new daily routine of being apart is going to be tough at times for the both of them. 

However, something tells me Plumlet will be just fine ...

... as he and Peeka George have their own adventures to have!

We were sent a Peeka Puff for Beastie and Plumlet to help them along in their new life adventures. All words and thoughts are 100% our own.