Tuesday 22 May 2018

In the Night Garden Stacking Blocks - Review

We are big fans of CBeebies and it was inevitable that Erin would follow in this fashion too. Currently one of her favourites is In The Night Garden which I think is perfect for her age group (16 months). She's too young to know what's going on - and to be honest, none of us know what's going on there so it's perfect! She loves all the bright colours and the characters - she will sit through an episode clapping her hands and giggling to herself.

We were recently sent a set of gorgeous In the Night Garden stacking blocks from Hacche. When they arrived Erin couldn't wait to get them open and start playing!

Suitable from 12 months +, the five stacking blocks are made of sturdy cardboard and are lovely and colourful. Featuring bright and eye catching images of numbers and letters, the blocks are a fab introduction to counting and colours. One of the sides features the famous characters from the show and if you line the blocks up carefully they will create a larger image.

Erin really enjoyed playing with these - her favourite thing is to let someone stack them up for her, and then she takes great pleasure in knocking them down! The blocks also fit nicely inside each other so she spends a great deal of time putting them in and taking them out again.

Elliot has also had lots of fun with these - although sometimes he can't get them built up quick enough with demolition Erin around!

The only negative thing I'd say about the blocks is that they are made of cardboard and not plastic. Although the cardboard is nice and sturdy, Erin has had a chew on some of the corners and they are starting to look a little ragged. At this age, everything goes in the mouth so it would have been easier to have them made from something a)wipe clean and b)not chewable!

Aside from the material, I love the colours and patterns on these and they would make a lovely gift for a toddler. We have had ours a few weeks now and Erin has had lots of play out of them. I'm sure they will continue to be a favourite!

*Disclaimer: We received this product in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own

Thursday 3 May 2018

The Importance of Learning to Swim

When I was at middle school, we were really lucky to have a swimming pool and so we had weekly lessons. Everyone could pretty much swim, some better than others but we all had that skill from an early age. At the time the lessons felt like a bit of a chore, especially as our swimming teacher was a bit of a dragon! But looking back now I'm so pleased we were given the chance to learn.

When Elliot was born I signed him up to swimming lessons with Turtle Tots who do brilliant baby swimming classes. I remember his first lesson and he looked so cute in his little neoprene nappy!

We swam with Turtle Tots until Elliot was around 3 years old and then switched to a different lesson at our local sports centre. He was put in a class with children a couple of years older than him (I think by accident, I think they thought he was older than he was as he was really big!). This did him the world of good and his swimming came on in leaps and bounds as he was constantly swimming at an older level. He might have been the youngest but he certainly kept up!

It was at this point that we had a holiday in Florida. We stayed in a villa which had a private pool and Elliot swam every day at every opportunity! It was great for him to be able to jump in as many times as he liked and we saw a massive difference just after these two weeks. He loved it - even if the water was so cold at first!

I think that having swimming lessons from an early age really helped his confidence in the water. Obviously the skills are vital but the confidence is just as important. Even when Elliot was a toddler he had no fear in the water and very confident - something that was commented on alot when we were on holiday in Cyprus and Elliot was hurtling down the water slides!!

Erin seems to be taking after her brother and has morphed into a bit of a water baby! Just like Elliot, she began swimming with Turtle Tots when she was around 3 months old and absolutely loves her lessons. She has recently started jumping in from the side and she loves doing this!

Erin Elliot underwater swim
I LOVE the underwater shoot we did with Turtle Tots Dorset! 
Elliot wears goggles in his swimming lessons now as a lot of the time is spent swimming under water. He wasn't a fan of goggles at first but we've recently found the perfect pair, what 5 year wouldn't want a Superman pair?! The Simply Swim website features a whole host of goggles, from childrens, beginners and right through to those serious about swimming. I have my eye on the Vorgee goggles - the rainbow mirror ones are very cool!

loves the goggles...not so keen on the hat!
Here in Dorset we live a few miles from the beach so dips in the sea make up a big part of our Summer. We usually just paddle (it's never quite warm enough to swim!) but I know that should he ever get in trouble in the water he has the skills and the confidence to get himself out of trouble.

We have a couple of holidays booked for this year and I know that the swimming pool will be the number one draw for the children!

Do your children do swimming lessons? What age did they start?

*Disclaimer - this is a sponsored post

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