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My Son is building up quite a collection of the Thomas he Tank Engine Take n Play items including play sets and various vehicles. One of the more recent trains he received as part of his Easter Present from my Parents was the Take n Play Ferdinand, a train that he had been asking for for quite a while. Ferdinand is one of the logging loco engines (with Bash and Dash) from Misty Island, he runs on wood and oil and is described as a bit of a gentle giant, he also comes across as simpler minded and quieter compared to the other 2 engines and when the 3 of them are taking he is know for saying the phrase 'that's right' at the end of the conversation.
The Thomas the Tank Engine Take n Play Ferdinand is a die cast metal engine which makes it tough and durable. The appearance of Ferdinand is a little different to the other steam engines as he runs on logs and oil, he seems to have a slightly smaller boiler with a larger cab and buffers. He's is a sort of teal green colour with a black section surrounding his face and funnel. On the side of him is what looks like a crest which is actually 2 axes crossed, this appears on both his cab and tender. His tender is the same teal green colour and is designed to look like it is full of logs. He has 8 small wheels which are in teal green and a further 4 wheels in the same colour on his tender, both him and his tender have a small magnetic connector both front and back allowing him to be connected to other Take n Play vehicles and making him compatible with the various play sets.
Ferdinand is one of the larger engines and measures 9.3 x 4 x 3.3cm, he is aimed at children aged 3 years and above however I feel this is down to parental discretion. I'm not actually sure where my Parents purchased Ferdinand from, however I know he is available from Amazon and is sold on there for £8.95. Personally I think this is a fair price for this engine and is pretty standard and within keeping for trains of s similar size.
The Take n Play Ferdinand is a lovely addition to the collection and is one of the slightly different engines compared to he regular more traditional ones. My Son has Bash and Dash so we needed to Ferdinand to complete the set really. He is ideal for imaginative play and as with the other vehicles is versatile, he can be played with along side the play sets or without, my Son often plays with his trains on his road mat he has aswell as the various play sets. Definitely worth the money in my opinion.
Thomas the Tank Engine Take n Play Diesel 10 is one of my Sons current favourite engines although he has had him quite a while. He has recently been watching the Thomas the Tank a Engine film Day of the Diesels which features this engine as one of the main characters and ever since he has played with Diesel 10 on a daily basis.
Diesel 10 is like the other Take n Play vehicles a die cast metal engine making him tough and durable even when played with by a toddler. Diesel 10 is a karki green colour with a slight,y different coloured green stripes down his sides, he also has red buffers and the main defining feature of Diesel 10 is his claw arm that is positioned on his roof, this can be moved up and down and turned around, this is made from plastic and is a bit stiff to move to start with, however it has loosened the more it has been played with. Diesel 10 also has 2 sets of 4 black wheels, on set towards the back and the other towards the front. Whilst he does have a smiling face so he does not look too scary and mean (which is how he sometimes comes across on the tv) he also has a bit of a mischievous look to him. He has a magnetic connector both front and back allowing him to be connected to other Take n Play vehicle.
Diesel 10 as with the other Take n Play engines is aimed at children aged 3 years and above. He is of a reasonable size and measures 4.5 x 2.7 x 10.3cm, all of the Take n Play engines are smaller but he is still a good size and easy for little hands to handle and move around.
I cannot remember where I originally bought Diesel 10 from, however he is a available in a range of shops and toy shops aswell as online. He can be bought from Amazon for around £7.99, however the price does vary a little depending on where you purchase it from. Personally I think this is a fair and reasonable price for this item.
I would definitely recommend the Take n Play Diesel 10 engine, he is versatile in that he can be connected to other Take n Play vehicles and is compatible with the Take n Play play sets. Diesel 10 as with the other vehicles in this range is ideal for imaginative play. My Son would recommend also recommend this engine, especially at the moment.
For Christmas me and my Husband and a few other Family members bought Jayden some new Thomas the Tank Engine Take n Play Engines to add to his collection. We wanted to get him some of the traditional/ original engines that were in the programme when we were young and that are still in it now. One of these that we bought him was Percy.
Percy is a little green tank engine and is Thomas best Friend, he comes across as a bit of a nervous characters, but is happy and friendly. Percy is a die cast metal engine like the other Take n Play engine, he is bright green with red buffers, red boiler bands and a little black funnel, he also had 4 green wheels. The engine has a smiling friendly face which matches Percy's personality in the tv programme. The train has a little magnetic connector both front and back which allows it to be connected to the other Take n Play vehicles and compatible with the Take n Play play sets. He also has his engine number on the side which is a number 6 and is in gold.
Percy is one of the smaller Take n Play engines and measures 13.6 x 5.1 x 14cm. We purchased our Sons Percy online from Amazon where he is sold for £5.99. Being one of the smaller engines Percy is a bit cheaper than some of the others and this price is pretty standard for this size engine.
Being made from metal Percy is tough and durable and not easily damaged, there are also no small parts which could easily be broken off. This engine is recommended for children aged 3 years and above.I would recommend the Thomas Take n Play Percy, he is a lovely addition to the Take n Play collection socially as he is one of the original engines. This engine is tough, durable, versatile and ideal for imaginative play, he can be used along side the Take n Play play sets or alone. Definitely worth considering.
My 2 year old Son is very into Thomas the Tank Engine, most things he has have a Thomas theme to them. He is particularly into Thomas the Tank Engine Take n Play, he has over 20 of the engines already and the small case come play set he had just wasn't big enough to fit them all in. While I was doing some Christmas shopping I spotted the Thomas the Tank Engine Take Along Carry Case, it was perfect for keeping his engines in.
The case is made from bright blue and black plastic and the whole of the front of the case is designed to look like Thomas. The case has a little black plastic handle on the top of it so it can be carried, this is really handy as my Son does like to take his engines with him when he goes to my Parents house in the mornings, so this makes carrying them easier. To open the case you release the 2 little black clips on top of the case and the back flips down, it is worth remembering to lay the case down before opening it otherwise you will tip the trains out. The case can also be stood up on end making storage easy.
In passenger case are little compartments where you sit the trains, the compartments are quite deep meaning you can fit the trains on top of each other so you can get more in there. We can fit about 15 trains in ours, obviously this varies depending on the size of the trains you have, several of Jayden's have 2 parts to them so these take up a bit more room compared to the smaller trains. Once in the case with it closed the trains are held securely in place and do not rattle around so they do not become damaged. The plastic that the case is made of is a,so pretty tough, so again protects the trains inside it.
When you open the case the back also doubles up as a little train track so it's a carry case and play set in one, the track is just a basic one but it does also connect up to the other Take n Play sets. We purchased our carry case from Toys R Us and it cost £15.00, this product is also available from other places such as Amazon, the price does vary a bit depending on where you purchase it from.
Jayden has had his carry case for over a month now and he loves it. It's so handy for keep all his trains together in and it also makes taking them with us if we go round anyone's much easier. It's definitely worth the money and I would recommend it, I would like to get another one in the future so we can keep all of the trains in it.
My 2 year old Son loves anything to do with Thomas the Tank Engine and he already has a large collection of the Take n Play engines and play sets. For some reason one of his favourite engines is Spencer, he's not in a lot of the books or programmes but for some reason Jayden has taken a shine to him, so we just had to get him a Take n Play Spencer to go with his collection,
Spencer comes in 2 parts, there is the actual train and then his tender. Spencer is a strong and fast engine and has a streamline appearance which is captured well in the Take n Play Version, he is silver and black in colour, has his name written on the side and has 3 large wheels and 2 smaller ones. The Take n Play Spencer has a small magnetic connector at the front and back which allows him to connect to other engines and also his tender. The tender is also silver to match Spencer's paintwork, it has 3 small wheels and is made to look like it is carrying coal (I think) The tender also has a magnetic connector front and back allowing it to be connected to Spencer and other engines.
Spencer, like the other Take n Play engines is a small die cast metal engine, being made from metal makes it tough and durable which is ideal as it does sometimes get a bit of rough treatment when being played with by my Son. The recommended age for this toy is 3 years old, my Son is 2 and a half and he has no problems playing with this, he is obviously supervised but he never puts it in his mouth, I think partly age should be down to the Parents discretion.
My Parents bought our Son this train when they were on holiday so I have no idea what they paid for it, however it is available from various department stores and online from sites like Amazon and the price ranges from £10 to £15 depending on where you purchase it from. Personally I think this is well worth the money.
I would definitely recommend the Take n Play Spencer to anyone looking to add to their child's engine collection, I particually like the fact that it is comparable with any of the other engines and the Take n Play sets, definitely worth purchasing in my opinion.
My Son Jayden loves his Mega Bloks so for Christmas he received a few new additions to his collection. One of these was the Mega Bloks First Builders Farm Pals, this was something I hadn't planned on buying Jayden but spotted it whilst out shopping and decided to get them for him as I was sure he would enjoy them.
The Mega Bloks First Builders Farm Pals are basically Mega Bloks which are shaped to look like various animals, these include a horse, a sheep, a cow, a duck and a chicken, there are also some plain green regular Mega Bloks in the box positioned to look like grass.
All of the farm animals are described as being builder friendly, they have chunky prongs on the top of them allowing you to stack the farm animals both on each other and also with other Mega Blok bricks, I was pleased that these animals were compatible with all of Jaydens other Mega Bloks allowing him to have hours of fun building and stacking them. The farm animals have cute friendly faces so they will be appealing to young children, to a certain extent the colours of these are realistic apart from the horse which for some reason is bright red, however the bright colours will attract a child's attention.
All of the Mega Bloks First Builders Farm Pals are made from a tough durable plastic, this makes them strong and very difficult to damage. Jayden does get a bit over excited sometimes and will throw or bang his farm animals on something, however they still look as good as new and there is no damage to them at all. The faces are printed directly onto the bricks and do not rub off at all when being played with, so all in all these are extremely durable.
The Mega Bloks First Builders Farm Pals are available from a range of places, we purchased our from Toys R Us but I have also seen them available online from Amazon and they are sold for around £10.00, this does vary a little depending on where you purchase them from. Personally I think these are excellent value for money especially with how much fun Jayden has with them.
Since Jayden got his Mega Blok First Builders Farm Pals he has had a lot of fun with them, he loves playing with his Mega Bloks and these are just a little bit different to the regular plain bricks that he has. These are ideal for imaginative play and stacking the bricks will help to develop your child's motor skills, the farm animals will also help with the recognition of different animals and the noises that they make, I will sometimes hold the animals up to Jayden and ask what noise they make and he is able to do all of them, so as well as being fun your child will also learn whilst they are playing. I would definitely recommend the Mega BlokS First Builders Farm Pals to anyone, they are suitable for both girls and boys and are well worth the money.
One of Jaydens favourite toys at the moment along with his toy cars is his Lego, he mainly has different sets of Mega Bloks which he loves, but he does also have one set of Lego Duplo, although he cannot use this along side his Mega Bloks he does really enjoy playing with it, mainly breaking up anything I try and build, but he does have fun with it.
The set Jayden has is the Lego Duplo Starter Set, it is quite a small set of the Duplo building blocks and is what the name suggests, it is a starter kit. In this kit you get a large thinner Duplo block on wheels with a string attached to form a trolley, you also get 7 cube shaped bricks, 2 bricks to form legs, and 2 bricks designed to look like an animal head with eyes on, there are also about 3 other shaped bricks. All of the Duplo bricks are bright colours to attract your child s attention and some of them have patterns on one side.
With these bricks you can make different animal type shapes and fix them onto the trolley and then pull them around, you do not have to make these shapes with the bricks you can make whatever you like, this is just what is suggested on the box, however you cannot make anything too big as you are a little limited with the amount of bricks in the set, however this does not bother Jayden at all.
All of the Lego Duplo bricks are made from a tough durable plastic so they will not easily be damaged, they are also nice and chunky so that little hands can easily pick them up, fit them together and pull them apart again.
Although the Lego Duplo Starter Kit is a nice simple toy it can also help with your child's development, for example it will help with their hand eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. The brightly coloured bricks could also help with developing your child's colour recognition, so whilst your child is playing they will also be learning at the same time.
Jayden received his Lego Duplo Starter Kit as a present, however I have seen these starter kit available from places such as Amazon, it is sold for just over £16.00 although this may vary a little depending on where you purchase it from. This is a reasonable price for this item, however it is not the best value Lego style set I have seen, in some of Jaydens Mega Bloks sets you do get a lot more for your money, however I do still think this is of an excellent quality making it worth the money.
Since Jayden received his Lego Duplo Starter Kit he has really enjoyed playing with it and loves pulling the little trailer along with him, he does try to build a few things with the blocks and the shape and size makes them easy for him to handle, although I do think he prefers to break up anything I build.
This set is aimed for children ages between 18 months and 3 years old which I would say is pretty accurate, it is ideal for young children to handle, however older children would get a bit board with this after a while as there are not a huge amount of bricks to build with. Although this set is a little expensive for the amount of bricks you get it is of an excellent quality which makes it worth the money. I would definitely recommend this set to anyone especially as an introduction to this sort of toy.
My Son Jayden will be 2 in a few months time and personally I feel he is never too young to start learning, whilst he has a lot of toys that are just for fun I have also bought him a few educational toys as well, one of these is the Carousel Magnetic Board and Letters, this is probably aimed at children slightly older than Jayden, however personally I do not think it is too early to start helping him to recognise different letters and their sounds and this board is ideal for this.
The Carousel Magnetic Board and Letters is quite a simple toy, it consists of a dark blue board with three white lines going across it and the Carousel logo in the bottom corner in white, the board is quite plain but this is ideal as it does not detract from the letters that are placed on it. The magnetic board comes with the alphabet in the form of small plastic letters with little magnets on the back of them so that they will easily stick to the board. All of the letters are lower case letters and are made from a tough durable plastic, they are also brightly coloured so that they capture your child's attention and also stand out easily against the dark blue background of the board. The set comes with a little blue fabric bag with a draw string on the top and the Carousel logo on the front of it, this is designed to keep the letter in when it is not being played with and prevents some of the getting lost.
The carousel Magnetic Board measures 23cm (H) 29cm (W) and 2cm (D) this makes it a good size for your child to handle and plenty big enough to fit all of the letters on, the only issue is the board is quite thin so your child could bend it, however this is not too much of an issue as Jayden is not left alone with it. The plastic that the letters are made from is strong and durable and can withstand the tough time they can have with a young child.
This item is available from Tesco and is sold for just £5.00, personally I think this is excellent value for money and is well worth the money as it is of an excellent quality and well made.
Although I think the Carousel Magnetic Board and Letters is aimed at children older than Jayden he still enjoys playing with it, he likes sticking the letters on the board and taking them off again, me and my Husband will sit with him when he plays with this and show him all the letters and the sounds they make, we also spell out simple works and his name to show him, obviously he is a bit young to read and spell I feel it is important for him to start to learn simple aspects involving letters from an early age, he seems to enjoy these activities although it is best to do it with him when he is calm and not overly tired. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, it is ideal for girls and boys and is even suitable for older children who are starting to learn how to spell and read, it is definitely worth the money.
A while ago I bought Jayden a large set of Lucy Cousins books through The Book people that come around the office I work in. I thought these books were very cute and was sure that Jayden would enjoy reading them. One book that came in the set was What Can Rabbit Hear? by Lucy Cousins.
The book What Can Rabbit Hear? is a paperback book, it has a glossy front cover with the title of the book written at the top and the rest of the front cover is taken up with a picture of Rabbit listening to the telephone which is ringing. Along the bottom of the front cover is a bright orange strip which tells you the authors name and the fact that this is a lift the flap book. The front cover is bright and colourful and certainly eye catching. The back cover of the book is quite plain but bright, it tells you a little bit about the book as well as the story inside. The pages in this book are paper which means that very young children may struggle with this and may need a bit of help with the thin pages.
The story What Can Rabbit Hear? is basically about a little pink bunny who is called Rabbit, the story follows him to different places such as in the garden, in the field and at the pond, in each situation the question What Can Rabbit Hear is asked, for example "What can Rabbit hear on the pond?" The answer is hidden behind a flap on each page, for example on the pond are some reeds, these can be flapped back to reveal some quacking ducks. The story is quite repetitive in that the same question is asked on each page, however young children like this aspect and it also helps them to learn. The story is written in very big black writing in different positions on each page, this makes it ideal for children just starting to learn to read, the writing is big and bold making it easy to see/ read and there is not a lot of writing on each page so children will not be overwhelmed with too much to try and read at once.
The pictures in this book are designed to look like they are drawn by hand, the lines are not sharp and crisp and all of the features in the pictures are outlined with a bold black line making them stand out. The pictures are very bright and colourful, they are not too complicated but at the same time there is plenty for your to talk about with your child.
As I have mentioned I purchased the book What Can Rabbit Hear? with several other books through The Book people at work, however I have also seen this same book available from places such as Amazon and it is sold for as little as 99p, it is definitely worth shopping around before you buy this book.
Jayden has had this book for a while now and I have been pleased with it, he also seems to really enjoy it, he loves lifting the flaps to see what pictures will be behind them. The story and the pictures are nice and simple for him but at the same time there is plenty of us to talk about. I will often sit and read this book to Jayden but he will also happily sit and look at the pictures on his own as well. This book is probably aimed at children just starting to learn to read, however there is no reason why younger children cannot have the story read to them. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, it is a lovely simple story that your child will enjoy.
I have always enjoyed cooking and like to do a bit every now and then when I have time to, however one thing that would really annoy me was my scales, they were the type where you put a dish on the top of the and they had a dial on the front, however they were never overly accurate and they went up in 40g stages which made measuring out ingredients a bit difficult. I decided I wanted some digital scales that would be a lot more accurate than the ones I had, however I didn't want to spend a huge amount of money. After having a look around I found the Salter ARC Electronic Kitchen Scales, these were ideal for what I wanted.
The Salter ARC Electronic Kitchen Scales are basically a square flat set of scales, they have quite a simple design to them which was just what I was looking for. They are made of a black plastic and at the front on the left hand side is the digital screen where the weight will appear when you are weighing, next to this are 2 buttons, one allows you to turn the scales on and off and also zero the scales, the other allows you to change the weight between grams and ounces, the name Salter also is on the front of the scales.
On the back of the scales is a small battery compartment should it need changing, I have used my scales on a regular basis for several months now and have not had to change the battery once. The scales are an ideal size, they are not big and bulky and do not take up a lot of room whilst you are trying to cook, they measure 5cm (H) x 20cm (W) x 20cm (D), this also makes them easy to store, the scales are also very light weighing just 7lbs making them transportable and easy to move around should you require.
The Salter scales do not contain a large amount of features, they really are quite simple scales, however you do have the choice to measure in either ounces or grams which I find very useful as some recipes I have are in grams and then others will be in ounces, this saves me having to try and convert it myself which always results in me ringing my Mum so she can look on her scales which have a dial and convert it for me. The other feature that I really like on these scales is that when they are turned on you can put a bowl or saucepan or something on top of the scales and then simply press a button to zero the scales meaning it doesn't matter what you use to measure your ingredients it, it also allows you to weigh multiple ingredients as well, I find this feature extremely useful.
The Salter ARC Electronic Kitchen Scales are available from places such as Tesco, Asda and Amazon. I bought my scales from my local Tesco and they cost me just £10.00, personally I thought this was excellent value for money, the scales are of a very good quality and in my opinion are well worth the money.
I have been using these scales for several months now and I have been extremely pleased with them, they are so much better than my old scales and they are a lot more accurate, I like the fact that I can weigh all my ingredients at once quickly and conveniently. In my opinion the scales are of an excellent quality and are definitely worth the money. For someone looking for a simple yet effective set of Kitchen scales I would highly recommend these.
My Son Jayden has quite a few Peppa Pig books as he loves anything to do with Peppa Pig. One book which I recently bought him was the Peppa Pig Marvellous Magnet Book, it was something totally different to all of the other books he has which is what drew my attention to it.
The Peppa Pig Marvellous Magnet Book is basically a board book, the front cover has the Peppa Pig logo in the top left hand corner with the name of the book written in large white writing across half of the cover. The majority of the front cover is taken up with a picture of Peppa Pig feeding strawberry cake to some ducks. At the bottom of the front cover is a cut out section which allows you to see the plastic covered section which holds the magnets that go with this book.
The back cover of the book has the title of the book again with a picture of George Pig and a small piece of writing about the story, it also advertises two other books as well. All of the pages are made from a reasonably thick tough card making them easy for little hands to handle and turn. Each page is only half the size of the front cover, there is a small plastic covered section on the back cover which holds all of the magnets, the half pages means that this covered section appears at the bottom of each page.
The Peppa Pig Marvellous Magnet Book consists of 5 different scenarios for example Peppa Pig and her family at the museum, Peppa Pig and her family at the beach or having a picnic, the writing tells you what is going on in each scene and then asks you to position another few characters in the scene using the magnets, for example in the beach scene you are asked to put Daddy Pig on the beach. The story is written in large black bold writing in white shapes in various places on each page. There is not actually a story as such to this book as each scene is different and does not necessarily follow on from the previous.
The pictures correspond perfectly to the writing and are bright and colourful, each scene is detailed giving your child plenty to talk about. There is plenty of room in each picture for you to position the magnets and put the characters in each scene. The magnets that come with the book are made from quite a thick card with a magnetic back making them easy for young children to pick up and move around the pictures, they will stick anywhere on all of the pages.
The magnets have the following characters on them Peppa Pig, George Pig, Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig, Candy Cat, Danny Dog, Mr Dinosaur and Peppa's Teddy, at some point all of these characters are used in the different scenes. Whilst the writing in the book does prompt you as to what character magnet to use your child can make up different scenes using whatever magnet they want helping to develop their imagination, also the moving around of the magnets will help they motor skills develop.
We purchased Jaydens Peppa Pig Marvellous Magnet Book from a little local store, however I have also seen this book available from places such as Amazon ad it is sold for just over £5.00. Personally I think this is an excellent price for this item, it is of an excellent quality and definitely worth the money.
Jaydens has had this book fro several weeks now and he really enjoys it, he loves sitting and readying the book with someone but he also enjoys positioning the moving the magnets around himself. Although this book helps your child to lean to read it will also help with imaginative play and motor skills, so you child is learning whilst they are playing. The book is well worth the money and definitely one I would recommend.
A few months ago I received a book in the post, it was a freebie that my Dad had sent for for me, it was DK The Ultimate Book of Organising Hints and Tips. I wasn't really sure whether this was something I would ever use, but I decided to have a look through it and there are some quite good ideas in it.
The book is a paperback book, it has a thick card front and back cover, the title of the book is written at the top of the front cover with the rest of it being taken up with some pictures of some of the ideas that can be found inside the book, there is also a sentence about the book at the bottom of the front cover. The back cover of the book again has the title of the book at the top and again a range of pictures of some of the ideas found inside of the book, it also has the names of some other similar books that are available.
Inside the book is split up into 8 sections, these are all colour coded with a coloured strip down the side of each page, the contents page at the beginning of the book lists these sections along with the coloured strip to help cross reference.
The sections include
* Introduction - This section basically shows you how this book works and the sort of thing that you can expect to find inside of it.
* Utilising Space - In this section you will be shown how to plan your rooms (room by room) how to use storage space effectively, storing special items and also sorting out your storage space.
* Setting up Routines - This section helps you to set up routines for anything from cleaning your home, organising laundry, decorating, maintenance and security.
* Preparing Food - In here you will be show anything from properly storing kitchen utensils, organising your food storage, buying food, cooking economically and entertaining guests.
* Structuring Work - This is all about working from home for example setting up an office at home, managing your work time and keeping records.
* Running a Household - A lot of this section is about children and your family, for example organising personal care, child care, pet care, family transport, planning for events, dealing with a crisis and even caring for special needs.
* Planning Travel - In this section you will find tips on packing, planning your journey and coping with any situation.
* Moving House - This is the last main section in the book and it helps to advise you on how to prepare for your move, packing,actually moving and moving in.
* Right at the end of the book there is also some conversion charts, these include weights, measurements, clothing sizes and shoe sizes.
In each section all of the different aspects covered appear under their own separate heading so that everything is clearly laid out helping you to find exactly what you are looking for, the index at the back of the book is also very detailed and will help you to get to where you need. All of the hints and tips are clearly laid out, you will find several on each page but they are clearly labelled, some include pictures and diagrams to show exactly what is being explained, the pictures are clear and and detailed making them easy to follow, especially the diagrams of how to carry out particular tasks.
As I have mentioned I got this book as a freebie, however I have seen it being sold on Amazon, and the prices seems to range between £7.00 and £10.00 so it is worth shopping around for the best price. I would say that this is a fair price for this book as there is a lot of information in it so it is worth the money.
I have had this book a few months now and I haven't sat and read it from cover to cover as it is not that sort of book, however I have had a scan through at some of the ideas in it and have found the information to be helpful, there really is a large amount of information in this book and it covers a large range of situation so most things you are looking for are likely to be in this book. All of the ideas and hints are do-able, they include everyday products and do not involve you going out and having to spend a large amount of money of equipment before you can carry out any of the ideas. I would definitely recommend this book as it is useful to have, and it certainly will give you some ideas if you are struggling on how to approach or organise something, it is a handy book to have around the house.
For Christmas my Son Jayden received a few new books, one he received was the Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse The Great Balloon Chase book, this isn't just a regular book it does have other features which makes it a bit different from the other books that he has.
The Great Balloon Chase book is a large board book, the top half is the actual book with the bottom half being designed to look like a car dashboard. The front cover of the book part has the Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse logo at the top with the title of the book written just below in large writing. There is a picture of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse driving along a road in an open top car. The picture is bright and colourful and will capture your child's attention. The back cover of the book basically shows you how the books features work, this is demonstrated in writing as well as pictures.
As I have said the book pages are half sized, however the pages are made from a thick board making it easy for young children to turn the pages. The bottom part of the book is made to look like a car dashboard, there is a large blue plastic steering wheel in the centre which has a button in the middle that is the horn, around the steering wheel there are various other buttons designed to look like the speed of the car, the radio and various others, all make different noises when pressed that correspond with a different part of the story as you are reading it.
The Great Balloon Chase starts with Goofy getting himself caught in the rope of a hot air balloon and him and Pluto are lifted into the air and float off. Mickey Mouse sees this happens and chases after them to rescue them, he meets some of his friends on the way who also go along with him to help. They are driving a car which has a lot of different gadgets on it allowing the rescue to take place. The buttons that operate these gadgets also appear on the dashboard at the bottom of the book, the story itself is written in different places on each page and within each paragraph there are various pictures which indicates which button you need to press.
The writing is quite small so probably aimed at children that have already started to read, my Son Jayden is not quite 2 yet so has not even started to learn to read, however there is no reason why he cannot have this book read to him and he can also join in my pressing the various button when needed, he loves to turn the steering wheel and press the horn in the middle. The story is fun for your children to read, and with the buttons it is also interactive allowing them to do something else other than just reading the story.
The pictures in the book are very detailed, the pictures follow the story perfectly and there is a lot going on in each picture giving you plenty to talk about with your child. Each picture is on a double page, the left hand side of the page shows what is going on in the story and the right hand side shows what is happen as if you were looking through the windsceen of the car giving your child different perspectives of what is happening. The pictures are very bright and colourful and will definitely capture and keep your child's attention, they will love looking at the bright colours and all of the action going on in each picture as Mickey Mouses chases after Goofy and Pluto floating away in the hot air balloon.
Price and Availability
The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse The Great Balloon Chase book is available from various online sites and bookshops, prices vary quite a lot from just under £3.00 up to £9.99 so it is worth shopping around. The book is good value for money as your child can have hours of fun with this book. It will help your child to read and learn word recognition, but also pressing the buttons will help to develop their motor skills.
Jayden loves this book and we have read it so many times since he received it as a present. He loves sitting and listening to the story and pressing the buttons, we indicate which button he needs to press and when and he will sit and press the correct button. This is a lovely book that your child and enjoy alone or with someone else. Children of all ages would enjoy this book and it is definitely one I would recommend.
Recently my Mum gave a pot of Carmex Lip Balm that she didn't want, its a brand that I have heard of but not one that I have ever tried. Lip balm is something that I tend to use more in the winter months during the cold weather so I was keen to give this one a try and see if it lives up to my expectations.
Carmex Lip Balm is basically a yellowy coloured lip balm, it comes in a small round pot and has a standard consistency for a lip balm, basically the same as Vaseline. The lip balm has a lovely vanilla fragrance to it and you can even taste this slightly when applied, some lip balms that taste can be horrible, however the mild vanilla of Carmex is quite pleasant. When the lip balm is applied to your lips it is easy to spread and creates a film over your lip to help protect them, one thing I was not expecting when I applied this lip balm is that a few seconds afterwards you get a slight cooling/ tingling sensation on your lips, almost as though you have applied a minty lip balm which there is no hint of in Carmex.
Carmex Lip Balm is described as a moisturising lip balm, it is long lasting relief for for dry and chapped lips. I have definitely found this to be the case, after applying a small amount of the lip balm my lips feel soft and moisturised especially if it is particularly cold and my lips are feeling dry. Once applied the lip balm does not feel overly greasy and is certainly long lasting, I can feel the lip balm on my lips for several hours after first applying it.
When it comes to applying Carmex Lip Balm the directions are simple, you just apply a liberal amount, although I find you do not need a huge amount of this product at a time, it can be applied as often as you like. The lip balm comes in a small pot with no applicator, I just apply my with my fingers, this works perfectly well.
The 7.5g of Carmex Lip Balm is available from online beauty retailers as well as Amazon, it is sold for just over £2.00 which personally I think is excellent value for money. You only need a small amount of the product at a time so it is very long lasting and economical.
I have been using Carmex Lip Balm regularly for a little while now and I have been extremely pleased with it, when wearing the lip balm it really feels like my lips are being protected and they feel extremely well moisturised without leaving them feeling too greasy. The reason my Mum gave me this lip balm was that after using it a few times she started to get a really sore dry patch of skin next to her lips, as soon as she stopped using this product it healed up very quickly, so if you do suffer with sensitive skin this may not be the best lip balm for you, however personally I haven't had any problems with it. Overall I would recommend this lip balm as it is of an excellent quality and does exactly what it says it will.
My Lip Balm is in a small pot rather than the tube shown in the picture.
When me and my Husband moved into our new house a couple of months ago we bought a few new bits that we needed one of which was a new dishwasher, we waited until we had moved so we knew exactly what size we would need. We didn't want anything too fancy and complicated, just something that was going to the basics and what we needed. After doing a bit of research we decided to go for the Hotpoint FDYB11011P Dishwasher, it had enough programmes to cover what we needed without being too complicated and having loads of features that would never get used.
Appearance wise the Hotpoint Dishwasher looks pretty standard, it is plain white, at the top in the centre is a dial which when turned changes the programme, the names of which are written around the dial. On one side of the dial is the on off button and 3 lights which show you when the dishwasher is washing, drying or ended, the washing and drying lights are green with the ended one being orange. The other side of the dial is the start/ pause button, this is slightly larger than the power button and once you have turned the power on this lights up, if you pause it the lights on the button fade in and out to remind you to restart it. The only other details on the front of the dishwasher is the name Hotpoint which is written in grey writing just beneath the handle, the handle consists of a gap in the door which when squeezed and pulled opens and releases the door which then in turn folds down.
The dishwasher measure 85cm (H) x 60cm (W) x 60cm (D) this is described as a full size dishwasher and was ideal for the space we had for it. When opened inside the dishwasher has 2 basket trays these contain flat areas and also prongs of differing heights designed to hold plates, in the bottom basket there is a separate holder which is designed for cutlery, this can be removed should you wish, on the top tray there is a smaller flat tray which can be slid backwards and forwards to alter the position, I tend to use this for smaller items like containers I freeze my Sons food in or his dummies, the gaps in the main baskets are reasonably small but little items may through the gaps so the slideable tray is ideal for these items.
In the door of the dishwasher is a compartment that is for the dishwasher tablet and on the floor inside of the dishwasher is a screw cap which when removed can be filled with salt, next to this is a small filter that catches any bits that may have been washed off of the dishes, this can be removed and emptied easily.
With the Hotpoint dishwasher there are 5 settings, these include
We tend to just use the Normal programme for our everyday washing as this seems suitable to effectively clean anything from glasses to saucepans.
We chose this dishwasher as it is described as a high performing dishwasher with an energy efficiency rating of A, a cleaning class rating of A and drying performance grade of A. We also liked the fact that it uses ultra silent technology for a quieter operation, this is ideal for us as we have our washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher all in one room so if they are all going off at once it could be quite noisy, but with this dishwasher you can hardly hear it, when sitting in the lounge you cant hear the dishwasher at all in the next room, the only time I hear it is when it beeps to say that it has finished. Another feature of this dishwasher is the 3 stage filtration system making it clean more effectively and more energy efficient. I don't know all the technical details of the dishwasher but these were the main features that we looked at before purchasing it.
We purchased the Hotpoint FDYB11011P Dishwasher from Very.co.uk, however it is also available from places such as Tesco, it is sold for around £280.00, this varies a little depending on where you purchase it from but this price is pretty standard. I would say that this is a fair price for this dishwasher as it is of an excellent quality.
We have been using our Hotpoint dishwasher for a couple of months now and have been extremely pleased with it, it cleans the dishes effectively and dries them well as well, there are a couple of items that might need a bit of drying when they come out but on the whole they are mainly dried for you. The dishwasher is well made and appears to be tough and durable, it is well worth the money. I would definitely recommend this dishwasher, it is ideal if you just want a simple dishwasher that does the most commonly used programmes without anything too fancy.