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I purchased the Fisher Price Deluxe Rainforest Bouncer for my eldest son when he was a few weeks old. I saw some reviews on the Bouncer and it looked great but I did struggle to get hold of one and I think I ended up paying around £70 on Amazon. After a quick Google search, I notice that it still seems quite difficult to track this Bouncer down, it is currently unavailable on Amazon but can be bought at Argos for £59.99.
The Bouncer is suitable from birth and can be used until baby can sit unaided, up to a recommended weight of 9kg. The Bouncer requires 4 x D batteries (which are not included).
Upon delivery the Bouncer required some assembly, which I very easily carried out alone. The Bouncer consists of a metal frame, seat cover and a detachable toy arch.
The metal frame: the frame is the standard bouncy chair shape, with a wide base for stability and plenty of space to place your feet for bouncing baby. There are rubber non-slip feet on the base of the frame to stop the Bouncer sliding around while being bounced, these work well and hold the chair firmly in place. The frame is good quality and sturdy but also flexible and bounces well. There is a plastic box attached to the frame, which holds the batteries, you have to pull the seat cover up to access the battery compartment and you need a screwdriver to remove a couple of screws. The box also has a vibrating feature that gently vibrates the whole chair, there is an on/off switch for this feature on the front of the box. The vibrating feature is great, it definitely seems to sooth baby but does seem to be a big drain on the batteries.
The seat cover: the seat cover is brightly coloured in the standard bright blues and greens of the Fisher Price Rainforest range and has several images of animals, including a frog, tiger, parrot and giraffe. The seat is slightly padded and soft and comfortable for baby. The material is easy to keep clean by wiping down but the seat can also be removed to be washed if required. There is a harness attached to the seat to keep baby in securely, the straps are easily adjustable.
The toy arch: the toy arch is easily fitted on to the frame by just clicking it into place, one leg has a square fitting and the other a circle to stop you from fitting the arch the wrong way round. The arch can then be removed again by slightly pulling up on the clips at the sides, this is also very easy to do, even one handed. The toy arch is completely made of plastic and is therefore easy to keep clean. There are two plastic animals, a monkey and a bird, which hang down from the arch. The animals swing and twist around when hit by baby. There is a see-through blue plastic waterfall, which has spinning bits inside and lights up. There is a small plastic monkey and frog either side of he waterfall that move automatically and a little bird on a spring above the waterfall that moves when hit. There are three switches on the toy arch. One to control the three stage volume (off, quite, loud), the volume levels are good, not too quiet and not annoyingly loud either. Another switch gives you a choice between music or rainforest sounds and the third lets you choose between continuous music or movement activated sounds (the sounds are activated when baby hits the swinging animals). This third switch an also be set to off.
We have owned the Fisher Price Rainforest Deluxe Bouncer for two years now and have used it with both of our sons. It has lasted very well, it's great quality and still looks brand new. Both of my sons have enjoyed using the chair, especially my youngest who is currently 7 weeks old and settles very well in the chair, even when all else fails!
The only downside I can point out is that the battery life is quite short, we do seem to have to change the batteries every few weeks and this can get expensive, we do use the vibrate feature a lot at the moment as our son is so young and this does drain the batteries much quicker than when just the toy arch is in use.
Personally I think a Bouncer of some sort is a must buy (although I didn't realise this until my eldest son was a few weeks old), although we all love to cuddle our babies there are times when you need somewhere safe to put them down, especially when you also have a toddler stamping around the house! The Fisher Price Rainforest Bouncer is not just a safe place for baby but also an entertaining and stimulating one, I would definitely recommend this Bouncer to anyone with or expecting a baby.
The Happyland Martian Moon House is sold by the Early Learning Centre, it costs £40 (plus £4.95 delivery if ordering online) and can be bought from Amazon for the same price but with the added bonus of free delivery. The Moon House is recommended as suitable for age 18 months plus and requires 2 x AA batteries.
The Moon House is made entirely of bright chunky plastic, as you will see from the image it is very colourful, including colours such as yellow, orange, blue and green. The Moon House is very good quality, it's very sturdy due to it's chunkiness and it has a wide base making it difficult for a child to accidentally knock over while playing.
The Moon House consists of several compartments, including a garage, dog kennel, kitchen type area, bedroom, landing pad (with shute down to garage) and a twisting slide leading from the bedroom to base of the Moon House. There is a red kind of satellite on top of the house which makes alien noises when pressed and a radio and three small alien type blobby buttons in the kitchen which all do the same (hence the need for batteries).
Included with the Moon House are also a red space ship (which fits nicely on the landing pad), a moon buggy (fits in the garage), a small, blue, three-eyed dog (whose home is the dog kennel of course) and three chunky plastic figures which make up the alien family, Daddy (green), Mommy (pink) and Child (orange). The figures fit nicely into the spaceship and moon buggy.
My son really enjoys playing with the Moon House, he uses all parts of the house and likes to put the family to bed, put them on the slide and in the vehicles. It definitely seems a good toy for toddlers starting out with imaginative play. It's very child friendly and also seems very safe. The Moon Houses's bright colours and interesting alien noises help catch a toddlers attention. Safety wise I think this toy would be fine for a child younger than 18 months to play with and it would depend more on their developmental stage as to whether it's appropriate, 18 months is probably about right.
We have had this toy for over 6 months now and it still looks brand new, and my son has played with it a lot! As it's all plastic it's very easy to wipe over to clean. The battery life seems good as we have not had to change the batteries as of yet.
I only paid £20 for the Moon House as it was on half price offer, at the time I probably wouldn't have paid the full price of £40 but knowing now how good quality the Moon House is, and how much my son loves playing with it, I would definitely recommend it even at the full £40, in my opinion it's worth every penny.
The Lights and Sounds Musical Buggy Bar is made and sold by The Early Learning Centre. It can be purchased in Early Learning Centre / Mothercare stores or online (£12), it can also be purchased on Amazon (£24, so not recommended).
The Buggy Bar is recommended for ages 3 months + and requires 3 x AA batteries.
The Buggy Bar consists of a toy piano and two arms to attach the toy to a pushchair. The whole thing is made from plastic. The piano is red and purple with four big white keys and three smaller black ones (as you see on a normal piano). There are also two purple buttons, a spinning transparent centre piece, a drum, symbol and green lever. All of these gadgets make various sound affects when used. The white keys light up various colours when pressed, each playing a singular note, where as the black keys play one of three tunes when pressed. The piano plays a further two tunes using the spinning centre part. There is a on/off switch on the piano but no volume control. The green arms that attach the toy to a pushchair have hinges making them flexible, with claw like grips that tighten by turning big plastic screws. The arms can be removed from the toy by pinching two clasps together that are found underneath the piano.
My son was given the Lights and Sounds Musical Buggy Bar as a Christmas present from my Auntie (I had mentioned this buggy bar when she asked what she could buy him). My son was 6 months old at the time.
When my son first received the Buggy Bar we were still using a "from birth" travel system (Hauck) pushchair. I immediately found I could not attach the buggy bar to the pushchair, everytime I tightened the grips it would just fall off, after several attempts on various occasions I gave up. A few months later we purchased a lightweight stroller (Redkite) so with hope, I tried again to use the buggy bar, irritatingly I still seemed to be having the same problem! The arms just don't seem stable enough to support the weight of the piano and the grips that hold onto the pushchair just seem to slide off. Therefore, we have never actually used the Buggy Bar as a Buggy Bar!
The only saving grace was that I could remove the arms and give the buggy bar to my son to play with as a standard toy piano. My son did seem to enjoy playing with the piano up until quite recently, however at 22 months he has now moved onto playing with trains and little figures and barely gives the piano a glance. The battery life is good on this product, I don't ever remember having to change them.
As the Buggy Bar does not work for us in it's intended way I really can't recommend it, if you want a toy piano there are probably better ones out there that aren't limited on size etc due to being a Buggy Bar. Maybe we were just very unlucky with the pushchairs we have and maybe it attaches well to others, it's such a shame that it we couldn't get it to work as it would have been a great toy to help keep my son entertained in the earlier months while we were out and about.
As this product did not fulfil it's purpose I will only be giving it two stars, I don't doubt that it would have otherwise been at least 4 stars as my son did enjoy playing with the toy indoors.
I bought the Vtech Pop Up Surprise Ball from Argos, where it normally retails for £9.99 but is often included in their 2 for £15 offer, as it was when I purchased it and currently is now (April 2012). The ball requires 2 x AA batteries and is recommended for age 3 months+.
The ball is available in two colour options, one in various shades of pink and the one that I purchased, which is mostly yellow with some blue, red and green detail. The Ball mostly consists of plastic parts but also has three velvety type strips in various colours along the sides of the ball to help stimulate baby's sense of touch. There are three big buttons on the Ball, each showing a different animal, including a bird, a cat and a rabbit. These buttons make various sounds when pressed, including animal noises, phrases about the colour of the animals etc and some music. There is also a star on top of the ball which lights up and flashes, if this star is pressed it pops up to show a blue plastic dog and plays an old McDonald tune. The ball occasionally asks where the blue dog is while the star is pushed down, encouraging baby to search for it. The ball is round, however the are three small "feet" on the bottom of the ball to keep it upright while baby is playing with the buttons. This toy also has a volume control with two settings.
My son has had this toy since he was a few months old (now 22 months) and has always enjoyed playing with it. He has progressed from enjoying feeling the textures and listening to the sounds, to being able to press the buttons himself, giggle at the dog popping up and rolling the ball around, to naming the animals and colours on the ball. My son has gotten a lot of use out of this ball and it is still in very good condition, almost like new. It is easy to keep clean with a damp cloth and has good battery life.
I think this is a good stimulating, learning toy that also manages to catch baby's attention. I would definitely recommend.
The Blossom Farm Bounce Back Donkey is sold by the Early Learning Centre. My son was bought this as a gift so I'm not sure how much was paid for it but I have seen it retail at around £10.
My son received the Bounce Back Donkey as a present for his first Christmas, he was 6 months old at the time, which is the recommended age for this toy. The Donkey was packaged in a cardboard box and had to be inflated upon opening. My husband inflated the toy quite quickly and easily by mouth using the two points, one for the head, one for the body.
The Donkey, (to be honest it took us a while to realise it was a donkey) is mostly blue, with some green and pink detail and the ELC logo is clearly displayed on the front. It is made entirely of plastic, same as the usual inflatable toys. The plastic seems very sturdy and quite thick and the seems have held up well, my son is now 22 months old and we have never experienced a puncture with this toy, although as you will see below, the toy has not been used much.
The Donkey has a round base, which is weighed down, allowing the Donkey to bounce back when pushed. There are also bells inside the base that jingle when the Donkey wobbles. The Donkey is easy to clean with just a wipe from a damp cloth.
Although we have never had any issues with this toy my son has never seemed too impressed by it, at 6 months he was too little to be able to push it and didn't pay it much attention and as he has gotten older he has rarely played with it, it's only had the occasional push.
Due to my son's lack of interest in this toy I will only be giving it 3 stars, if he enjoyed playing with it I would have gone with 5 as there is nothing else wrong with the toy, but obviously a child's opinion counts when reviewing a toy!
I will be keeping this toy to find out if our next child pays any more attention to it!
There's a House Inside My Mummy is written by Giles Andreae (Giraffe's Can't Dance) and the wonderful text is accompanied with beautiful illustrations by Vanessa Cabban. The standard retail price stated on the back of the book is £5.99 but the book can be bought for slightly cheaper on amazon. I paid the full price when purchasing this book from Waterstones.
As I am currently 7 months pregnant with my second child I have been searching for a good book to help explain the pregnancy to my 22 month old son. After visiting the library I found only books addressing what happens after the baby is born, these weren't quite what I was looking of as I wanted something to help show my son what is happening right now. I decided to give Waterstone's a visit, where the friendly staff showed me several "new baby" books. After quickly deciding that "Mummy Laid An Egg" went into way too much graphic detail for our almost 2 year old son, my husband and I were pleasantly surprised with "There's a House Inside My Mummy".
The language used in this book seems very appropriate for a young child and the simple rhyming helps the words flow and gives the book a great rhythm to help keep the attention of a toddler. The book is written from the perspective of the child (My Daddy says...etc), which I think is a great touch and will help your toddler relate to the situation. Throughout most of the book the baby is referred to as he, but the opening paragraph does state "where my little brother grows, or maybe it's my little sister, no one really knows".
The story covers many aspects of Mummy being pregnant, comparing (as you have probably guessed from the title) Mummy's ever growing tummy to a house, where the baby lives. The story also points out that the toddler used to live in Mummy's tummy too (although he can't remember it), and there are many other nice little touches such as describing the scan as the "hospital tv" and saying the baby doesn't have a bed inside Mummy's tummy house so has to sleep in a "sort of giant bathtub". The story also explains the affect that having a house in her tummy has on Mummy, pointing out that Mummy eats "crazy food", sometimes gets sick and falls asleep even "before she's got undressed".
Personally my favourite pages of this book are the ones nearer the end that concentrate more on the relationship between the toddler and the baby, they even bought a tear to my eye (and to my husband's but don't tell him I told you that). In these pages the toddler talks about cuddles with Mummy where he tells the baby that he loves him through Mummy's 'tummy telephone" and expresses his impatience in waiting to meet the baby and looking forward to all the things he can teach him.
The illustrations are really beautiful and go very well with the feel of the story, displaying a loving family giving the toddler lots of attention. The toddler in the illustrations seems boyish but I do think it could also pass as a girl.
This book is perfect for our current situation, the language and explanation are ideal for our son's level of understanding and give him just the right amount of information. It was also a bonus that the toddler in the illustrations seems boyish and that they don't know whether the baby is a boy or a girl, as we also don't know whether our own little toddler is getting a little brother or a little sister. My son also enjoys looking at he illustrations, I do think he relates to many of the images, such as lying his head on Mummy's bump and lifting a top up for a closer look!
I really love this book but do have to point out that it doesn't cover anything after the baby is born, and also doesn't mention that Mummy may have to stay in hospital for a while to get the baby out. I won't be marking the book down for either of these points though, as I was looking for a book focussing on the "before" it's exactly what we wanted, there are plenty of other books out there that focus on the "after" but we will just be using video footage and photo's of our son as a baby to show him the "after", along with visiting friend's babies.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who is expecting a sibling for their child!
As you will be able to see from my pervious review on The Very Hungry Caterpillar my son and I are great fans of the book, I was therefore pleased when my son received the Finger Puppet Book version as a gift.
The retail price on the back of the book quotes £7.99 but I have seen the book on Amazon for a little over £5. As it was a gift I am not sure where my son's copy was purchased.
The book is a good size for toddler's hands (8.5 x 5.5 inches) and is made of thick, sturdy board so survives those hands well! The closed book shows the Hungry Caterpillar's head sticking through a circular hole and if you turn the book over, you can see another circular hole where you place your finger to use the puppet. As you open the book and turn each page you see the Hungry Caterpillar puppet sticking through holes in the middle of the various fruit featured in the standard version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
This version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar focuses mainly on counting, the first page displaying a picture of an apple and the text stating "1 delicious apple", the second page "2 crisp pears" and so on. Obviously alongside teaching counting you can also discuss the types and colours of the fruit with your child whilst reading. There is one thing that I find odd about the content of the book and that is the last page, each page leading up to the last has been about counting one to five but then the last page just says "many colours, a beautiful butterfly", which just seems a bit random to me as colours are never previously mentioned!
My son (22 months old) is happy to look at this book alone or have it read to him but he definitely seems to favour the standard version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Overall I think this is a great book for practising counting with a toddler, the finger puppet is a nice touch to add extra entertainment and that feature of the book is easy to use. The text is simple and bold and the numbers stand out well and the illustrations are as beautiful as they always are in an Eric Carle book.
I would recommend this book to anyone wanting an extra aid in teaching their children counting, but if you're looking for a story (that can also aid with counting) then go for the standard version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar!
For those of you who aren't already aware, Quorn is a meat free product and approved by the Vegetarian society. In the words of the Quorn company, Quorn is a Mycoprotein, which is a naturally occurring, high quality, healthy form of protein.
Personally I choose to purchase Quorn as I am a vegetarian but many meat eaters also choose Quorn over the less healthy red meat. Quorn is high in protein and fibre but low in fat (less than 3% fat) so a brilliant healthy option.
I have been a vegetarian since the age of 6 (now 27) and have been eating Quorn products for quite a few years and purchase them every week with my grocery shopping.
I usually shop at Sainsburys, where a packet of Quorn mince will set you back £2.19 for 300g frozen, £3.35 for 500g frozen or £3 for 350g chilled. They do sometimes run offers such as buy 2 for £5 etc. You will also find Quorn products in most other supermarkets and I haven't noticed the standard price differ by much, although Asda have run offers of £1 a pack on Quorn products in the past.
Quorn products stand out quite well with their simple but eye catching packaging, which usually contains a picture of the product alongside a bold orange strip containing their logo. Quorn mince is no different and is packaged in a thick plastic bag. The quality of the plastic is good and tough and usually requires scissors to cut. The only downside to the packaging of Quorn mince is that it's not recyclable.
Quorn mince is easy and quick to cook, 12 minutes on the hob, stirred into a sauce or around 9 minutes in the microwave. The instructions on the packaging, which are clear and easy to follow, recommend cooking on the hob, and that is the way I have always cooked the mince.
I find the texture of the Quorn mince to be nice and quite chewy and I do enjoy the taste but this is obviously affected by the type of sauce used. As previously mentioned I have been a vegetarian since the age of 6 (stubborn child, and adult for that matter!) so I can't personally compare Quorn mince to the usual mince meat. However, my husband is a meat eater and he actually prefers Quorn mince to standard mince, he says he finds normal mince to gristly and he also likes that Quorn is a healthier option. I have several friends who have said the same and have also seen family members eating a meal made from Quorn take a while to realise it's not meat! On the other hand, one family member has commented that he doesn't like Quorn mince as it doesn't soak up sauce as well as meat does.
You can use Quorn as a substitute to standard mince in any meals requiring mince. I really enjoy Quorn mince in a spaghetti bolognese or lasagne but it can also be used in chilli or cottage pie etc. You can visit www.quorn.co.uk for recipe ideas and further nutritional information.
I would and do recommend Quorn mince and all other Quorn products to anyone. They are great for vegetarians but just as good for meat eaters! A brilliant much healthier alternative to red meat!
Pampers Sensitive Wipes come in a pack of 56 wipes, I have bought them from Sainsbury's, where a single pack costs £2.34 and from Asda, £2 for a single pack. More often that not I buy them in bulk from Asda, paying £11 for a box of 12 packs.
Pampers claim that these wipes contain a Pure Care lotion, are hypoallergenic and perfume free and clinically proven mild for your baby's skin. They also state that using the wipes will return your baby's skin to it's natural Ph level.
I used Pampers Sensitive Wipes from when my son was a newborn. Most other brands of baby wipes that I used at this stage caused redness on his skin, this included standard Pampers wipes. I tried other types of wipes again when my son was over one year old but still had the same problem, it has only been very recently (he's now 22 months) that I have been able to use standard Pampers wipes. This convinces me that these wipes are indeed suitable for more sensitive skin as they say!
The wipes come in a standard pack that you will see for most baby wipes. The oval sticker section which you pull back to gain access to the wipes has always retained it's stickiness and reseals well, keeping all of the wipes moist and fresh. The wipes are a good size and thickness, one is enough just to freshen a baby's bum after a wet nappy but 3 or 4 will be needed for those extra messy nappies! I haven't got the best sense of smell so others may disagree but these wipes don't smell strongly to me, just a nice subtle fresh scent.
The only negative I can state is that I never seem to pull just one wipe from the pack! However, it's very easy to stuff any un-needed wipes back in the pack and I have had the same problem with all brands that I have tried so I can't mark these wipes down for that too much!
I often use the wipes for other purposes besides nappy changing, such as cleaning my son's hands and face (and my own hands if they are feeling a bit sticky!) and also for cleaning lovely scribbles of crayon off wooden furniture (they seem to do the job very well)!
I would definitely recommend these wipes for newborns and older babies with sensitive skin, but would switch to the slightly better value for money standard Pampers baby wipes once you no longer need the extra sensitivity.
My mom purchased the Asda Stacking Rings for my son as a stocking filler for his first Christmas at a price of £2.
The stacking rings consist of a red base which is attached to a middle pole and five rings of varying colours (orange, blue, purple, green and yellow). Three of the rings have a textured pattern and the remaining two are smooth, once stacked, the order of rings alternates between textured and plain. The whole toy is made from plastic. The pole unscrews from the base but I think this is just for manufacturing purposes as I can't see any other reason for it to do so.
My son was 6 months old when he was first given this toy, at that age he would just chew on the rings. More recently(since around 18 months) he has started playing with the toy in its intended way by removing and re-stacking the rings. He also enjoys putting all of the rings on his arm like bracelets! He doesn't play with the stacking rings every day but does seem to enjoy playing with it when it catches his attention.
The toy seems to be good quality, the plastic is quite sturdy, it could be dented if pressed forcibly by an adult but I don't think a toddler could cause much damage to it, it's certainly surviving our toddler well so far and he has owned the toy for over a year now! Safe and child friendly!
I would recommend the stacking rings, they are a good price, good quality and most importantly a good learning toy to help teach about size, order and colours.
The Bentwood kids chair can be purchased in a choice of three colours, natural (cream), blue or pink. It can be bought from Argos, Homebase or Amazon for £24.99. I originally ordered mine from Argos but following several problems with stock being supplied to Argos I cancelled my order and purchased the chair from Amazon. I purchased the natural colour chair.
I decided to buy the chair for my son when he was just over one year old, he loved sitting in my gliding nursing chair and had started climbing onto it and then on to the arms of the chair so we decided it was time to get him a safer, smaller version of his own! After looking at several toddler sized chairs we decided to go with the Bentwood chair, it had good reviews, was a good price and still looked like an adult chair (we thought this would attract our son's attention more).
The chair arrived flat packed. I easily followed the instructions and assembled the chair myself in no time at all. However I did tighten one of he screws a bit too tightly and the wood cracked slightly but this has caused no problems since.
The frame of the chair is made from rubberwood and has a cotton cover. The cover can be removed and cleaned, however you would need to remove some of the screws before being able to remove the cover. There is a Velcro strip under the chair seat to remove the cover once you have unscrewed the seat from the frame. So far I have just wiped the chair cover down to clean it. There is also a Velcro strip on the top of the back of the chair, which holds down the "head rest", I'm really not sure why this is not just sewn on instead of velcro, as this section can't be detached and my son just plays with the Velcro.
I wasn't able to find any age recommendations for the chair but my son was able to climb onto the chair easily at just over one year and I would say a seven year old would still be able to comfortably fit into the chair.
My son loves this chair, he sits in it quite a lot to read his books etc. We have had the chair for almost a year now and it is lasting really well, it still looks new and is surviving occasionally being tipped upside down and climbed all over very well. It certainly seems sturdy and child friendly!
I would definitely recommend this chair, I think it would look great in any child's bedroom and I think our son likes the fact it looks like an adults chair, he seems to use it more than his Thomas chair!
Dimensions as supplied by Argos:
Size H66, W44, D50cm.
Floor to seat height: 30cm.
Depth of seat: 50cm.
Width of seating area between arms: 33cm.
Hatton Farm Village / Country World is based in the beautiful Warwickshire county. We used a Satnav to travel there are found it very easily, and I'm sure it would be almost as easy to find using map directions.
As my husband is on holiday from work we have been taking our almost 2 year old son out on day trips and yesterday decided to visit Hatton Farm Village. There are plenty of parking spaces, even though it was very busy we didn't struggle to find a space.
Tickets cost £12.95 for adults, £13.95 for children and under 2's are free. I found a buy one get one free voucher on vouchercloud.com and our son is still under 2 so it only cost us £12.95 for admission.
Hatton Farm Villiage has so much to do, there was plenty for our son but even more for slightly older children. There are plenty of toilets, with baby changing facilities and restaurants and cafe's or picnic benches if you prefer to take your own food. There is a section of lovely little shops, that sell crafty things like candles and cards etc and the usual souvenir shop.
For children there are the farm animals to look at and feed and Guniea Pig Village, where they can hold a Guniea Pig. My son loved holding and stroking the Guinea Pigs, he had a massive smile on his face! A lot of the animals can't be fed directly and you have to put the feed that you buy into a tube and it slides down to the animals, at least it stops little fingers getting bitten! The animals we saw included sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks, turkeys and baby chicks, not sure if we missed any out.
Upon arrival at the farm we were given a timetable of the events throughout the day, these included a children's show (which I can't comment on as we missed it), Daft Duck Trials, where ducks are herded around by a sheep dog, and as it was Easter there were Easter egg hunts and other Easter activities. There was also a bird of prey display, you could also walk around this area at any time of the day to look at the birds. My son enjoyed watching the owl fly around but we didn't stay for the entire bird display as he didn't want to sit still for too long!
There were also a handful of little fair ground rides, two of which parents are allowed on with younger children and one other that is for over 4's. There were also bouncy castles (one for under 5's and one for over 5's) and trampolines, frisbee golf, giant snakes and ladders and checkers, a big inflatable slide and a plastic twisty slide. My husband took our son on the twisty slide, you have to sit in a sack to come down and my husband said they just got stuck and he had to keep pushing with his hands.
There is an indoor soft play area, which was great as it had separate sections for different age groups, including under 2's, 2 - 4's and a bit for the older kids. The cafe was also in the same building and it was very busy but we managed to find somewhere to sit.
We ate in the cafe, which as in all places like this, seemed to be quite expensive. Next time we go we will definitely be taking a picnic. There is also a refreshment stall near the fair ground rides for drinks and snacks and a restraurant near the shops.
We had a great day out, the activities are almost all included in the price of your ticket so the only extra we spent was in the cafe and souvenir shop.
We are definitely planning on going again in the future and I would recommend Hatton Farm Village to anyone with young children.
Tommee Tippee Food Pots with Lids come in packs of 3 and a pack costs £1.99, you can buy them from most supermarkets or online at place like Amazon. There are three options of colour as with most of the Tommee Tippee range, blue, pink of green. I purchased the blue variety from sainsburys. The pots are made from plastic, BPA free, and they are dishwasher and microwave safe.
I bought these pots when my son very first started weaning, I puréed fruit and vegetables to make home made baby food and found these pots very useful. I would freeze the baby food in ice cube trays and then I put a cube or two of frozen food into the Tommee Tippee food pots to either defrost in the fridge over night or defrost in the microwave. I would then use the food pot as a bowl and feed my son directly from it. The pots are the perfect size to hold a meal for a young baby.
The pots were also very useful if we would be eating somewhere other than home, the lids seal very well so the pots are great to store food for when you're out and about. I found that I could easily fit a couple of pots into a bottle bag to keep them cool or warm if needed.
We have been using these pots since my son was 5 months old and now that he is almost 2 years we still find uses for them. The pots are great for storing snacks, such as natural yogurt mixed with puréed fruit, or some cereal mixed with raisins. The pots are just the right size for a toddlers little hand to fit inside and retrieve the contents and as I said before, the lids seal really well so great for snacking on the go and will keep the contents fresh.
The pots don't take up much storage space as they are stackable and the lids easily balance on top.
I really can't fault these pots, they have kept their shape perfectly, as have the lids, after many, many, many washes in the dishwasher and spins in the microwave. They are so useful and so cheap, I can't think of any reason not to buy them!
I puchased the Tomy Forget Me Not Photo Album from Amazon at a price of £14.99 just over a year ago. It can currently be bought for just over £11 at either Amazon or Tesco Direct.
The photo album is recommended as being suitable from 6 months. It requires 4 AAA batteries, which have lasted very well as we have not yet had to change them. The photo album is in the design on a butterfly, the butterfly's orange body is the centre of the album, with the pages representing wings. The album is made of plastic, with a rustling fabric tab attached to each page. The front cover is blue with a small mirror, the pages inside are blue, green, pink and yellow. Each of the eight pages has a large space for a photo and a message can be recorded on each page. The messages play automatically when you open a page, first the left side will play and then the right. There are left and right side buttons, which light up independently to show which persons message is being played, the buttons can be pressed to repeat the message. The album also plays a "tinkling" sound affect when it is closed.
We bought the Forget Me Not Album for our son's first Christmas, he was 6 months old at the time. Before we wrapped it up for Christmas we added the photo's, which are very easy to slot into place and are coverd by a plastic sheet, which keeps them nice and clean. We asked each person in the photo's to record their own message, this is done easily by holding down the small button on the butterfly's body and then pressing the button above the person's photograph. You have a maximum of 8 seconds per message, which in my opinion is plenty of time. You can re-record the messages at any time in the same way, and because two buttons have to be pressed at the same time it's unlikely for messages to be accidently deleted.
The album is a nice size for a toddler to hold and easy for them to turn the pages but a little too big and heavy for most 6 month olds. However, this is not a toy that I would have let my son use alone until more recently (he's now 21 months) as I liked to sit with him and talk about the people on the pages as the recordings did actually seem to frighten him the first few times. Once he got used to the album and seemed to understand it better he started to love it, he now points to the photo's, says the name of the person and laughs at the messages. He can easily turn the pages to who he wants to see and presses the buttons to repeat the messages he chooses. The album can also be opened to a desired page and stood up to be used as a photo frame.
The only thing missing from this album is a choice to turn off the recordings, I think that option would have helped to familiarise my son with the pictures at first, without scaring him with the recordings. A volume control could have also been a benefit.
This is definitely a purchase I would recommend, I think it makes a great gift for any young child but I do suggest sitting with your child for the first few uses!
My son received Tickle, Tickle along with a couple of other books from the Health Visitor at his 9 month check. The books are given as part of the Bookstart scheme in order to encourage parents to read to their young children. I had already been reading to my son from birth but Tickle, Tickle was a welcome addition to his always expanding collection of books. If you receive this book via Bookstart it is free but it can also be purchased from Amazon for £3.69, with free super saver delivery.
Tickle, Tickle is written by a Helen Oxenbury, and with just eight pages it is a very short and simple book, telling the story of the babies activities throughout the day, from playing in the mud, to getting clean in the bath, brushing their hair after the bath and lastly, being tickled! It's ideal for babies short attention spans in the early months and something that most toddlers would be able to relate to! The story is comprised of just four short sentences and the big, bold illustrations take up most of the space within the pages. The text flows well and is lovely to read, with it's repetion and alliteration helping to keep the attention of the little ones being read to.
As my son has gotten older (now 21 months) he still enjoys this book, we read through it, (with tickles included when we get to the last page of course!) and we then go through the book again, taking about what is happening on each page and counting the babies as we go.
A nice simple book to enjoy with your child!