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The Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy is lovely soft teddy type toy who plays games, sings, and educated children. It is suitable from 6 months and can be bought from Argos, Toys'R'Us and many other toy outlets. It is priced at around £20.00 but can be found cheaper as it is often on promotion.
The Laugh and Learn Puppy was given to my son when he was born by his Aunite. It is a lovely toy that sits about 33cm high, and is bright and colourful. It has a sandy coloured body, with coloured paws and ears. On it's chest there is also a little red heart. Each paw has a different function which, when pressed states what it is, i.e foot, hand, and also can state the colour. You can also press the puppy's tummy, ear and heart to get a response.
The puppy has 2 play modes which are learning, which as mentioned states what you are pressing, and the colour to teach children about parts of the body, colours and abc's. And secondly a musical mode that plays musical games such as singing pat-a-cake when you press the hand, and sings This Little piggy when you press the foot. There are a total of 10 songs the puppy will play and sing along too.
The puppy has 2 volume settings meaning you can control how loud the puppy plays with your child, and the quieter setting is quiet, unlike some other children's toys whose volume setting can make little difference! To access this you simply open up the puppy's Velcro at the back. This is also where you change the batteries, of which it takes 3 AAA. On the note of batteries these also last very well. Our son has played with the Laugh and Learn since around 6 months and it shows no sign of wearing down.
The Puppy is lovely to look at, nice and cuddly and very appealing to little kids. It's a good interactive toy that offers plenty to entertain children and keep them laughing. It is also educational whilst still being fun, so they will have no idea they are learning.
The fact that the Laugh and Learn is also from Fisher Price means you know you will get a good well made toy, that is safe for little hands, fun and educational. I wold highly recommend this as it is good value for money and a nice toy!
The Vtech Sort and Soar Rocket is an interactive shape sorter toy. It is reasonably priced at around £20.00 and can be purchased from Mothercare, Argos, Smyths and as well as many more toy shops. In the box you get the Shape Sorter Rocket, and 5 different coloured shapes. The Rocket takes 4 AA batteries, but these are supplied when purchased.
The rocket sorter itself stands at around 30cm tall and it blue and yellow in colour. At the top is 5 windows, each framed with a different colour and shaped as a square, triangle, circle, moon and a star. These correspond with the 5 shapes provided and each coloured shapes matched the colour on the shaped window.
The shapes themselves are chunky and easy to hold for little hands and very tactile. The rocket is durable strong plastic which has lights that go off as you sort the shapes. On its base is a variety of options allowing you to change the settings. For instance, you can pick for the rocket to produce different sounds every time a shape is pushed through, or it can say the colours, numbers, and shapes amongst others. It also has a free play option. Once all 5 shapes are entered the rocket then 'blasts off' and releases the shapes from the bottom.
The Rocket is designed for 9 months up and I feel this is about right though I think most children will get over 1 before they will play with this without help. Our 11 month old son is fascinated by this toy, and loves the colours, lights and sounds. At this age he can't quite manage the shape sorting himself but understands the idea. We tend to pop the shape onto the edge of the window and he will happily push them through. The Sort and Soar therefore helps them understand shapes, colours, and learn cause and effect. The toy also helps improve dexterity and concentration.
The Vtech Sort and Soar is a great educational toy that helps teach toddlers many skills whilst they have fun. A great design, excellent price and well worth buying.
The Tomy Octopals Bath Toy is a colourful, floating bath toy, featuring 10 items. There is the floating island in a green colour, and on top of this sits an orange mummy octopus (who is also a pouring cup) and 8 little baby Octopus in a variety of colours.
The baby Octopus are numbered 1-8 to help little ones learn numbers, as a matching number appears on the floating green base to allow them to be matched up. These Octopus are squidgy and will fill up with and squirt water and stick with suction to the sides of the bath.
Although this toy is designed for ages 12 months and over our son loves playing with the baby Octopus and squirting water out of them so although he won't be matching up the numbers yet it still provides him with a lot of fun at bath time. The bright colours and tactile material are very appealing and great for sensory development.
At just £9.99 for the Octopals this is a great bargain toy that children will enjoy and make bath time fun! Tomy is also a name you know you can trust for toys, they provide good quality products that educate and provide fun!
Our son received the Fisher Price Choo-Choo Train as another Christmas present from his granddad, and I have to say it is one of my favourite toys he has had ha ha.
The Choo Choo Train is a musical moving train with a train and carriage. It plays 4 different tunes, nine animal noises has a setting where the train will move along while the songs are playing.
Included with the Choo-Choo Train is the train carriage, a trailing carriage, one giraffe, one elephant and a monkey. The train carriage is bright red and very robust. It has a compartment for an animal to fit in which when you place the animal in it depresses a level and plays a tune. This is also the part of the train that can move, and if you have 2 settings on the front, one to keep the train stationary and one that allows it to move. To activate the songs and movement you then hit the green smoke stack. This smoke stack also lights up with internal led's when pressed. The train carriage also has 2 volume settings and an on/off button at the rear.
Also at the rear is a hook to attach the trailing carriage to. The carriage is yellow in colour and holds two other animals. The carriage has a bar for the money to hang off, and various movable parts and rattles to keep baby entertained.
The train carriage will easily pull the rear carriage behind it using the power of 3 size C batteries and these seem to be lasting well!
The Amazing Animals Choo-Choo Train is great for young children as it is fun and educational. Each animals and carriages are full of rewarding activities such as movable, clicking joints, textured feet, chewable ears, rattles and more. These help encourage fine motor skills and the moving train promotes crawling and movement.
The toy is suitable from 6 months to 36 months and really is a lovely item. Colourful, robust, lots to do and educational! We have found no issues with it at all. It moves well even on thick carpet, the batteries appear to be lasting well, each animal has lots of moving parts and textures to amuse and the songs are educational. It retails at around £30 from shops such as Argos, Smyths and Amazon and is well worth the price tag.
I purchased the ELC Shape Sorter bus as a little present for my son for his first Christmas this year. We had brought him a Smart Trike as his main present but wanted just a few little things as well for him to open. As he hadn't got any kind of shape sorter toy I started looking around and found this one on the ELC website in November with 25% off at the time. At full price it is £16.00 so we had it for just £12.00, and as it was an ELC product we knew we could trust it for safety and quality.
The shape sorting bus is bright red and measures around 16 x 27 x 13 cm. It is a nice strong but light plastic material so is quite light and easy to push round the floor which in turn encourages crawling. On the roof of the bus is 6 colour coded different shapes slots which coordinate with the 6 shapes. Each of the size shapes is colour coordinated to the matching slot on top of the bus, and has a variety or rattles, mirrors etc in each one.
The Shape Sorter Bus is great for developing a number of skills on your youngster. As it is suitable from 6 months plus it helps develop hand-eye coordination and problem solving when shape sorting, encourages crawling by pushing the bus along and helps with thinking skills by allowing them to think for themselves. Children can sort the shapes, empty and fill up the bus using the rear door and stack up the shapes.
For £16 the ELC shape sorter bus is a nice chunky toy, with plenty to keep kids entertained and help them learn and develop. Although suitable from 6 months it is a toy that I am sure they will still play with through the toddler stage. It's fun for them to sort through the shapes, each shape is a different design, and the bus itself is great to push along and chase after. Our son loves playing with it and has already figured out that the shapes go in the top - despite getting them all wrong at the moment, and he does love to push the bus and go crawling after it!
Well Christmas is over :( and ours was the best ever. Our little son's first Christmas was a success. He had that many presents we were still opening on Boxing day ha ha.
One of his favourites so far is the Playskool Poppin Elefun brought to him off his Grandad. The Poppin Elefun is a bright and colourful toy that basically fires various coloured plastic balls up into the air. It is priced at around £30 from Argos and Smyths. It is designed for children 9 months and over and promotes skills such as developing a child's hand eye coordination, and helps them understand cause and effect.
The Elefun stands at 38 cm tall, and is a solid strong plastic material in a deep sky blue colour. It has a yellow hole in the tummy where the balls drop into and a green and orange paw each side. The Green paw catches the falling balls and sends them into the tummy, and the orange paw has a red button which activates the elephant. On the head is two purple ears and a blue trunk. The Blue trunk fires the plastic balls up using air once activated. The balls then fire up and fall into the ears depending on where you position the trunk. The trunk does pivot all the way round and will fire the balls in any direction.
The Elefun takes 4 D Batteries so takes abit of power, but these are powering the air to fire the balls up, and plays 10 different songs when started. With the Elefun you get 5 plastic balls in various colours.
The Elefun is a great toy, it is bright and colourful and attractive to young children with its playful design and appearance. The design makes it easy for children to use on their own and they can easily press the start button to set the elephant off. The plastic balls are light but strong, and not to small for little mouths. As children develop they can learnt to pop the balls back in the top to send them flying back out the trunk. Our 10 month old has already learned how to start the toy and where the balls go at the top so is learning already.
The music the toy plays is not too irritating and not too loud. The air that comes out to fire the balls also doesnt make too much of a noise but can sometimes be a little to weak and some balls hover in the trunk. To be fair though this is only on the odd occasion and isn't really a fault. Our son loves this toy and it is a clear favourite this Christmas
I bought the Tresemme Cleanse and Replensish 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner as it was on offer in the local Tesco and I had run out of my usual brands. I had tried Tresemme products before and not been overly keen, but I hadn't actually tried the 2 in 1 range.
The shampoo cost just £3 at the time from Tesco and for that you get a huge 500 ml bottle for that. I understand it is normally priced at around £4 when not on offer.
The 2 in 1 comes in a large black plastic bottle, with white writing and a green band at the bottom. It states the shampoo is a cleansing and hydrating shampoo and conditioner that will give you the 'just left the salon' feeling. At the top of the bottle is a pour valve with a clipped lid. The bottle is a great size and you get a lot for your money. I don't mind the simple packaging, even if it is a tad boring, but the bottle isn't half heavy to pick up!
The 2 in 1 has a fresh fragrance, that although isn't overpoweringly strong, is a lot stronger than most other shampoo's I've used. But the fragrance is a clean scent and is very appealing. This fragrance stays on your hair for a few hours even after blowdrying and straightening.
The 2 in 1 lathers up on wet hair quickly and gives a creamy bubbly lather that really feels like it cleaning your hair. The creaminess also makes it feel like you are getting a good conditioner, which sometimes does lack in 2 in 1 products. The shampoo/conditioner then does take a lot of rinsing out. I have long hair so whatever the shampoo/conditioner I do always rinse well, but this shampoo takes ages. More often than not after a good while of rinsing it out of my hair I go to put a towel around my wet hair and find more shampoo left. It seems to stick to your hair and not want to let go! This means that often despite my effort I find sections of hair slightly sticky from it being left on which is not what you want!
However, results wise the Tresemme is ok. Once your hair is dry it does feel clean and conditioned, smell nice and is manageable. I can't say I feel as though I have just stepped out of the salon, but it does a decent job!
I have just been reviewing some other Bright Start's products and love them all so far. They seem to be good quality items, well made and well designed and cheaper than other brands such a Lamaze, Vtech etc. We have been buying them from Asda, Mothercare, and Amazon.
We were actually given the Monkey Tug Tunes as a present for our son, and hung it on his baby carrier/car seat from its first use. the little monkey would dangle in front of him helping develop his eyesight, and as he got older improve his fine motor skills. We had been using the Monkey Tug Toy for 8 months before the poor thing gave up! :)
The Tug Toy is a Monkey teddy design with a blue plastic hook at the top, and a green plastic pull handle at the bottom. The toy is colourful, well made, and nice to look at. It is robust, tactile, colourful, and has no sharp edges or corners.
It fixes to anything the hook can go round easily, the plastic hook is very strong on that note too. Then if you tug the pull handle at the bottom it plays around 5 different melodies. We found this great for when we popped our son in his seat (which he wasnt keen on being in), so one quick pull and the monkey would start up a tune and take his mind off it. As he got older he would then bat at the monkey and keep himself entertained, and later would pull the handle to set the tunes off himself.
The monkey got a hell of a lot of use in those 8 months, when the battery finally gave up. Unfortunately you cannot replace this so once it runs out, the tug toy simply becomes just a hanging toy! However, even now it still entertains our son without playing its tune
After loving some of the other Bright Starts products we saw the Bright Starts Flexi Ball at Asda one day when we were shopping for £5. So we picked it up for our son.
The Flexi Ball is bright coloured rattle ball. The flexible cage frame is a dark blue colour and is designed to be easy to hold and manipulate. Around the centre is a caterpillar in different colours to help stimulate babies eyesight and be attractive to them. Inside the cage ball is a rattle ball which makes a noise when its moved, or thrown. The flexi ball has a variety of textures and colours to help baby develop as well.
The ball is a nice size at 10 x 10 x 10 cm, as is suitable for babies from birth, though our son didn't really start enjoying it till he was a couple of month old. Even now at 9 months he loves playing with the Flexi Ball and thows it around, shakes it and rolls it to us. Although the framework is flexible it is very strong and no amount of throwing it about has damaged ours as yet
Brightly-coloured, noisy ball toy, easy for babies to hold and great for stimulating vision in very young infants. The Flexi Ball will continue to entertain your baby once they are mobile and can throw or roll the ball away
At a compact size, and as a great source of entertainment the flexi ball is great to pop in your change bag etc to take with you, or play with at home! For just £5 you can't complain!
As I was returning to work and the grandparents were going to be looking after our little boy for us, not long after he was born we began buying duplicates of certain things which would stay at their house for him to save us loading the car up three times a week when we dropped him off.
We already had a Bright Starts Bouncer in the Zoo theme, and loved the chair so much...as did our son, we decided to get another form the same brand. We decided on the 'Fun on Safari' chair.
This chair is a standard bouncy chair with a flexible metal frame, with rubber bungs on the corners. The chair is a hammock style design with a stretchy turquoise fabric that stretches over the metal frame and uses plastic clips to hold in place. The fabric fits to make a cosy snug seat for baby with a triangular lap belt to hold them in, that fixes with the same plastic clips. This lap belt can also be moved to accommodate your baby as he grows.
The seat also takes 1 large battery which then gives it the option of a vibrate function if you want it. Across the front you can then attach the bar which is colourful padded material and suspends three hanging toys in front of you baby to entertain them. These toys are a Yellow plastic lion in the centre, a red and clear plastic rattle to the left, and a green teether type toy on the right.
As our son loved sitting up, these chairs were ideal as they meant he could see more of what was going on, and it was a change from sitting on our laps or lying down. It was also great to pop him in as we ate our dinner or had chores to do as you knew he was safe. The seat is comfortable, washable and well fitting. The frame is flexible enough to give a nice bounce but stays strong, and the toy bar has enough to keep young babies entertained. The toys help encourage fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.
We used the bouncers from birth, until our son could sit up which was about 6 months. Once your child can sit up, the chairs don't seem as safe as the lap belt isn't enough. But they do recommend only using them to around 6 months so we can't complain.
The bouncer is priced at around £40, depending on offers or promotions, this is a decent price for the quality of the product and how long it lasts.
I have recently had a couple of cold sores, after having a good few years of freedom from them. Unfortunately I don't get that 'tingle' before one appears, and with the last two I have woken up with the blister starting to form already. So the anti-viral creams like Zovirax don't tend to be as effective as I miss the stage they excel at!
However, with my last cold sore I found the Compeed Cold Sore patches in my local Tesco and thought it was worth giving them a go to help me feeling like a leper for 10 days with Mount Vesuvius on my lip! At nearly £7 a packed these we're far from cheap, but then Zovirax is a good £5 per tube if you look at it that way. Anyway, I parted with my £7 and decided to experiment.
The Compeed Cold Sore Patches come in a white plastic holder which inside holds 15 patches. The white plastic holder opens up like a compact mirror and has a mirror fixed to the inside of the lid. The holder also contains directions of use for the patches.
The patches themselves a small circular clear adhesive patches, around the size of a 5p coin. They are supplied in a sterile plastic sleeve which also shows how to apply them. To apply you, peel off one side plastic coating off, place the patch over the cold sore, then slowly pull the other plastic coating off. Then simply press the patch down lightly.
The patches aim to treat the cold sore like a wound, rather than fighting the virus like cold sore creams, which once blisters have formed is redundant. By covering the cold sore it is also giving continuous treatment for as long as the patch remains. By being covered it reduces soreness, weeping and scabbing as the air cannot get to it, and also reduces the risk of contaminating the cold sores or other people. A Patch is said to last up to 12 hours. I found that they tended to come off if I had eaten a meal, but still lasted a good 6-8 hours. But if I popped one on before I went to bed, the patch would easily last the 12 hours, which is then 12 hours of continuous treatment while you sleep. This is much better than reapplying cream every few hours and leaving the cold sore all night with no treatment. I found that on average the 15 patches lasted me about 6 days, which by then the cold sore was nearly gone.
The patch although clear, forms a slightly milky shade over the sore when applied also meaning it is less obvious. Although the patch is meant to be invisible, this isn't entirely true. Yes it helps hide the cold sore, and isn't obvious from a distance but you can still see the patch. However, in my eyes, a light clear plaster on your lip is 100% preferable to a huge weeping or scabbing cold sore! You can also apply makeup and lipstick over it to help hide the patch which did work for a few hours but soon rubs off.
After using the patches through my first cold sore this year, I did see a vast improvement in my symptoms. The cold sore was pain free and I often forgot I had one as the patches stop soreness as soon as they are applied. It also speeded up the whole process. The blisters broke within a day, pain free, and the scabbing came straight afterwards but was minimal and I didn't end up with a big cracked sore scab as I normally did. In total the compeed patches reduced my normal 10 day horror to just 6! With just a red mark being left for a day or two after that!
I would highly recommend the Compeed patches to anyone who suffers with Cold Sores, they really are great and really help reduce a cold sores lifetime! Ok, so they aren't invisible but a clear plaster on your lip is much better than the sore! They are also expensive but I feel the help they gave me they are worth every penny!
The Tommie Tippee Roll and Go plastic bib is designed to be a reusable, wipe-clean bib with a food catcher at the bottom. It can be purchased in a variety of colours including green, yellow, pink and orange and is priced between £2 & £4 in most supermarkets.
The Roll and Go is made from strong flexible plastic which is also BPA Free. It attached around a child's neck in three varying sizes. The plastic means the Roll & Go is reusable and wipe clean, meaning less washing of fabric bibs and easy cleaning. The food catcher at the bottom is a deep lip meaning it holds a lot of crumb and food, which as any parent weaning their child can be a lot! The material, although strong, is light and flexible. So flexible in fact, as the name suggests, the big rolls up tightly into the crumb catcher for easy storage and if you are travelling.
The bib is designed for babies 6 months plus, but I did find that is buried my son at 6months and was far too big for him so he has only recently started using it again at 9 months. I also found my son, didn't really like it and would try and pull it off as it must have been uncomfortable to wear, or he be too busy playing with it to eat. Even now it's still a little too big for him and awkward to wear.
The bib is good though as it is so easy to clean, it's also dishwasher safe which is an added bonus, but most food just wipes off it. It means you only have to take one bib with you if you are out and it rolls into a small size! We tend to use ours mainly for eating out, or day trips when we know we can just take that and no other bibs, but its size and the fact its uncomfortable for our son to wear does limit its use a little
The Philips Avent Microwave Steriliser is a lifesaver. We didn't want to buy a great big steriliser that needed the tablets or one which boiled the bottles for hours so read a few reviews on the microwave versions. We couldn't decide between the Tommie tippee one (of which we had the bottles) or the avent one. In the end we opted for the Philips avent as this was half price at the time at Argos. Costing £12.99 as opposed to £25.99.
We checked and found out that this steriliser would adequately for the Tommie Tippee bottles we had. We purchased the avent steriliser and took it home. With the pack came the steriliser, a free avent bottle, a pair of tongs and a measuring jug.
The steriliser says it will easily fit 4 bottles but we have found it easily hold 5 of our TT bottles. To use you simply pop the washed up bottles into the steriliser facing down and taken apart so the teat and lid are settles separately. Then simply add 200mm of cold clean water, clip the two plastic clips at either side to hold the lid secure and pop in the microwave. Depending on your microwave wattage the bottles will sterilise from 2 minutes. It is 2 minutes at 1100-1850 Watt, 4 minutes at 850-1000 Watt, 6 minutes at 500-850 Watt. If the steriliser is kept shut then the contents stay sterile for 24 hours.
The two side clips also work well as handles to lift the steriliser out once it's done its cycle as these remain cool.
The design of the steriliser is simple. It has a white plastic base, into which the water goes into. A blue rack that slots into the base, above the water line to hold the bottles. This also has slots to exactly fit the avent bottles. The steriliser fits easily into our small microwave and is compact enough to be great for taking on holiday.
The fact it also only using natural steam also means no chemicals are being used and the sterilisation is 100% natural
The steriliser easily fits our larger Tommie tippee bottles and sippy cups so you don't have to use the matching avent bottles.
This really is a great steriliser and takes such a lot off hassle out of the making up of babies bottles!
The Tommie Tippee Wobby Bug Teether is another great item form Tommie Tippee.
We bought this as a spare teether/toy for the grandparent's house and it went down a treat with our little boy. The Wobby Bug is a little ladybug type design surrounded by a soft plastic circle. The plastic circle is designed to act as a teething ring and help relieve pain when they bite down. You do not need to put this in the fridge like other teether's however. The lady bug design in the centre, has a colourful appearance and has some rattles in the top. There is also a little button you can fit to make the bug squeak.
The Wobble Bug is around £5 and is a bargain at that price. Our son will play with it for ages and it seems to help when his gums are playing up. It probably would be a little better if the teething ring had the liquid in that you could then pop in the fridge to help even more with the teething.
The Wobble Bug is also nice and compact and doesn't take up much room if you wanted to take it out and about with you.
My young son was bought the Tommie Tippee Teether as a present when he was a couple of months old and was just starting to play, or should I say mess with things. The Teether is priced at around £4.99 and can be purchased from most supermarkets etc. Although a teether the item is also a moving puzzle that twists and turns creating shapes for little minds.
The teether puzzle is made of strong plastic in a variety of colours including orange, blue, and clear plastic. Inside some of the sections are small balls that causes the item to rattle when moved. The curves also have a range of different textures, which include, smooth areas, curves with ridges and bumps.
The teether is very tactile and colourful so great for little ones to play with. The different textures help develop children's sensory abilities and the movement of the the item helps develop fine motor skills. As a teether in itself the Tommie Tippee is great for little hands to hold and little gums to gnash on with the different textures helping relieve pain on teething gums.
At the bargain price of £4.99 you can't go wrong for this item as a entertaining toy and teether. Its nice and small so easy to chuck in your change bag if you are going out and will keep them happy in their pushchair, at home or out and about.