It’s not just cricket!!

My husband John is a huge cricket fan and since we got engaged 7 years ago, he has been trying to teach me the finer rules of the game. When Mumsnet  were looking for bloggers that have an interest in cricket I jumped at the chance.

Mumsnet were asked by The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to invite bloggers along that have an interest in sport or cricket for kids to their launch of All Stars Cricket. Jack loves his sports (running and gymnastics especially) and John is keen for him to become a spin bowler for Middlesex (no pressure Jack!) so we were keen to hear all about this great new programme.

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Jack last summer

We arrived early at the launch and got to watch a group of children having a lesson, which showed all the structured activities which would form a typical session. We were also lucky enough to interview Michael Vaughan (top Yorkshire and England batsman …. and Strictly contestant!!).

All Starts Cricket is aimed at girls and boys aged 5-8 as a fun, first-time experience of cricket. Starting in May, children will be able to attend at over 1,500 centres across the country. They can learn catching, throwing, hitting a moving ball and (top of my list) teamwork while making friends. We watched the kids that had been brought along to have a go and they were definitely having lots of fun while learning new skills.

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All Stars Cricket is an 8 week course, each lasting an hour. The sessions are run by trained and accredited coaches and Mum and Dad are encouraged to take part which I really like. Jack is only 3 1/2 but my husband and I think he would be ready to attend next May. I asked Michael Vaughan if they would be flexible on age and he said they could be but they would have to be able to listen to instruction and focus.

Listen to John chatting to Michael about the initiative here:

Most courses are £40 but this can increase slightly depending on your local facility holding the course. My blog is mainly about saving parents money and informing readers of great deals. I think this is a great price for a children’s activity. I’ve been looking for something for Jack and some of them have been £9-10 per hour session. Once the children are signed up they also receive a personalised pack which includes a backpack, cricket bat, water bottle, cap and shirt with their name on so very good value for money.

I was really impressed with what the ECB have put together. It’s not just about learning movement skills, but also promoting teamwork, fun time with parents and making new friends. John and I will definitely be signing up Jack next year to attend!!!

Have a look and see where your nearest All Stars Cricket centre is!

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. (I have received a voucher in return for writing this post).

www.mumsnet.com/bloggers-network

Review: PUKACA paper toys

I was asked to pick a couple of my favourite PUKACA paper toys to review, sold at Loubilou.

I chose the Jungle Animals Finger Puppets (£4) and the Alphabet Paper Blocks (£5) as I thought these were more age appropriate for Jack (now 2 1/2 yrs old).

We were sent ours in the post as they were samples to review.  When you order and payment is confirmed you will be sent a link to print yours at home. It gives you a guide on what paper to use, etc. You will definitely need a thicker paper or card that will go through your printer to make these stable enough to play with.

The first think I noticed were the bright, engaging colours – they definitely caught Jack’s eye.

Cutting out the finger puppets was a bit tricky. I cut out the monkey first and made the error of cutting the bit off that wraps around your finger !!! I got a little carried away but I just cut a strip of card and stuck the monkey to that. Sticking was easy and I used pegs to hold together while it was drying.

Cutting the blocks out was easier but sticking together a little more tricky – I left that to Jack’s Daddy 🙂

Cutting and sticking would be OK for an older child to do but I recommend a parent gives a hand as some cutting/sticking can get tricky.

Jack loved the finger puppets and went into his house in the garden to play with. Jack loves stacking blocks and these were no exception – he was a very impatient little boy as Mummy wasn’t making them quick enough!

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I think these are a great little idea. Great for story telling with bright colours. They are a good price, especially as you have to factor in printing on your own colour printer.

* Discount Code *

If you are interested in ordering these or any other product on Loubilou, receive 10% discount with the code ‘mummymarket‘ at the checkout.

Review: Carddies Farm Craft Kit

I was asked by Loubilou to review a craft set they sell online. Carddies are fun sets of Card People who live in a box. You colour them in, give them names and make up stories.

There is a collection of 12 sets: Carddies London, Sports, School, Fairies, Cavemen, Football, Ballet, Knights, Family One and Two, Farm and Nativity.

Carddies are great for both girls and boys aged 3 to 10.  Each set includes 12 colouring pencils, 12 figures with stands and a backdrop, all included in a sliding box. The toy is self-contained, highly portable, made from premium card and perfect for keeping children amused on any journey or outing.

Life had been hectic with me returning to work so we decided to take away with us when John, Jack and I went away for the bank holiday weekend.

Jack is below the age that they recommend (2 1/2yrs old) but I felt, with supervision, that Jack would still enjoy. I also picked the farm as Jack knows all his animals and loves tractors!!

The box was packaged well and arrived safely in the post.

Jack was very excited when we opened the box and immediately picked up the animals and stands, putting them together once John showed him what to do.

Jack had a go at colouring but John and I gave him a helping hand, especially with the backdrop. Once everything was coloured in he then played with the animals and did all the noises. I think when he is a bit older he will definitely play farms 🙂

The card is lovely and white, thick and good quality and the small pencils were very good too. The animals and family were double sided so lots colouring opportunities. I think it would be played with often, even when all the colouring has been completed. It packs away easily and the box is sturdy and not too large, making it a great little activity to take out with you.

I love that The Carddies are 100% British designed. The British sourced colouring pencils are made in Indonesia using FSC certified wood. Eco-friendly, The Carddies also have very strong environmental credentials and FSC certified materials have been used throughout.

I think the suggested age bracket is appropriate.  Jack has started to role play with his cuddly toys and tea set already, when he reaches 3 onwards, I’ll be purchasing these to keep in the bag or even as a spare in the car or Granny’s house.

Review: Japanese Pull-Up Nappies

I was asked to review Japanese Nappies. They have been selling these nappies in Europe for a while but recently included the UK and were sent to me via Amazon.

I asked for the pull-ups for boys, Moony Boy. Jack has been wearing the Pampers baby-dry pull-ups for a while as he is a bit of a wriggler when it comes to changing his bum!

The packet had 38 nappies in the pack. Jack is a size 5 – the Pampers size 5 essential pack has 36 nappies in it and the large has 44.

This pack size retails at £22.50 on Amazon with free delivery. The Pampers essential pack, without any promotions is around £8 and the large pack around £9.50.

The pack is brightly coloured and was easy to open and remove the nappies (easier than Pampers).

 

The nappy was a snug fit on Jack, which I liked with nice wide stretchy sides. If buying, check the size as some of the reviews say that they found them a little small. They look bigger in this photo but the Pampers do open out more when you put them on.

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They also have a stretchy bit across the back on the inside, I presume to stop the rise of those mega poo’s out of the top of the nappy – a good idea and it seemed to work!

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They also have the same blue tab on the back of the nappy as Pampers that helps you roll up and seal the nappy before putting in the bin or nappy sack.

 

I have to say, I really liked these nappies.

The absorbency was great and I don’t think I needed to change a wet nappy quite so much as I do the Pampers. They fitted Jack really well and I didn’t have any leaks or problems like nappy rash.

If I had to choose between Pampers and these, I think I would choose these nappies. My only issue is with the price.  At more than double the price of Pampers at the supermarket, I will continue to buy Pampers. If the Japanese nappies prices were reduced in line with UK branded nappies then I would certainly consider purchasing them.

I was sent these nappies to review but all views are my own.

Free tickets to Surrey’s best Baby & Toddler Show

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I’ve been given two free tickets to give away for the Baby & Toddler Show at Sandown Park.

The Baby & Toddler show is the largest event of it’s kind in the south east. Taking place on 15-17 April, it offers shopping and expert advice new and expectant parents need to give their baby the best start in life.

At the show you’ll be able to :

  • Save money with unbeatable deals on top brands and baby essentials – 100s of unique and useful products which you won’t find on the high street.
  • Guaranteed best prices on car seats, prams, buggies and furniture – find all the big name brands in one place including Bugaboo, Britax, Mamas & Papas, Maxi-Cosi,
  • Quinny, Silver Cross, Cosatto, Bloom, Cybex, Joolz and many more…
  • Over 150+ top brands and products to test, try, compare and buy – meet knowledgeable experts and have hands-on demos to find the right products for you
  • Hear from expert speakers giving new parents everything they need to know on sleeping, feeding, budgeting, first aid and more.

Plus, all mums-to-be and new mums will receive a goody bag which includes lots of branded products such as nappies, cream, wipes, cosmetics and more!

Visit the website www.babyandtoddlershow.co.uk to find out more information and to see the full exhibitor list.

* How to Win *

To be in with a chance to win two tickets, like my Facebook page, then like and share the promoted post here: https://www.facebook.com/mummymarketuk/posts/980119818689816 and in the comments box, tell me who you would like to take to the show 🙂

The competition ends Sunday 13th March 2016 and the winner will be notified the next day by Tuesday 15th March.

* Save 1/3 on tickets *

If you are unsuccessful, you can still save 1/3 on the £13 full price tickets, quote SBT23 when booking.