Saturday 31 December 2011

Davina for Next

Last year I made a determined effort to start getting fit however as I have never been able to see the attraction of a gym I wasn't sure what I could do to help me get fitter. The main thing that puts me off a gym is the cost, as I can't see myself ever having the time to go enough to ever get value for money out of it! I dug out the Wii Fit and started using that but it was so easy to find something else that needed doing, so I needed to come up with another idea. I love being outside, so walking seemed my best option, it's free and I get to spend plenty of time outdoors. For the last year I have walked with a group of friends one morning every week, rain or shine and to be honest there seem to have been a lot more wet days than dry ones! Added to this, over the summer we started walking up a local hill once or twice a week with my family which has been good fun and brilliant exercise as it is quite a steep hill and really gets your heart going. December was very hectic and I didn't get to walk at all and I really missed it, now Christmas is over I am looking forward to starting again and losing the extra weight that I seem to have put on with all the lovely food and treats that we always have at Christmas. We have a busy year this year with a number of family celebrations and so I really need to put in quite a bit of effort and try and regain the flat tummy that I once had!!!

Up to now I have been wearing old leggings and trainers to walk in but having seen the new range of fitness clothes for Spring 2012 that Davina McCall has designed for Next I am really looking forward to updating my walking clothes. Davina has a really great range of clothes that are suitable for all types of activity. The blue burnout T-shirt will be perfect to put over the long line burnout vest, as you soon get warm walking, and I have found a few thin layers work much better as you can regulate your temperature much better with layers.
The Side Stripe Capri pants look great and they have a useful rear zip pocket which would be perfect for my keys and tissues. There are some fabulous shoes, which not only look good but also exercise your legs too, what a great excuse to buy more shoes!!! I have my eye on the floral pumps and the black and cream wedges.

Monday 5 December 2011

Priddy Books Lets's Go Learning Colouring Fun

Another great book from Priddy Books that has kept Luke occupied now the evenings are dark and he can't play outside.

The Colouring Fun book is a giant activity book aimed at children who are 4 and older and who are at key stages 1 and 2. The book helps with hand-eye co-ordination, inspires creativity and fine motor skills and there is a good mix of activities for children to do.

Whilst there are lots of pictures to colour this is so much more than a colouring book, as on every page there are questions or suggestions for your child to personalise the pictures. I also like the drawing pages as there are clear step by step guides to drawing a picture, along with a picture of what your child should be drawing, to help and guide them.

Like the other books in the series there are two pages of stickers for your child to use and they are all bright and colourful and were certainly a hit with my son. I also think there is a good mix of subjects in the book and I can see it appealing to both boys and girls.

Luke who is 6 really enjoyed colouring the pictures and having a go at drawing, hopefully he will take after his Grandad and we will have a budding artist in our midst!

Priddy Books Lets's Go Learning Number Puzzles

The Number Puzzles book is a giant activity book aimed at children aged 5 and older and who are at key stages 1 and 2. The book helps with writing skills, problem solving and number skills with a variety of different activities that are fun to do.

The giant sized book is brightly coloured and very well illustrated and whilst all the activities are number based they are all fun and best of all Luke was learning without realising. The activities include simple sums, counting and writing numbers, simple Sudoku puzzles and dot to dot pictures. The two pages of stickers always go down well and with over 200 stickers there are plenty to choose from.

This book is a great introduction to Maths and Luke really enjoyed doing the puzzles. The puzzles are just the right level for him and he could do most of them with very little help. I would never have thought of letting him try Sudoku however he really enjoyed working out the puzzles with only a little help.

Priddy Books Let's Go Learning Picture Puzzles

The Picture Puzzles book is a giant activity book aimed at children aged 4 and older and who are at key stages 1 and 2. The book helps with hand-eye co-ordination, problem solving and fine motor skills with a variety of different activities that are fun to do.

Like all Priddy books they are beautifully illustrated and are full of bright colours. The giant sized book is jam-packed full of all sorts of different activities that kept my 6 year old son occupied over a very wet weekend. All the activities have simple instructions that Luke was able to read and understand which meant he was able to work through the book with very little help. I especially liked the additional questions at the foot of each page which gives a great opportunity for parent and child interaction.

The activities cover a wide range of topics including farm animals, flags, dinosaurs and under the sea and there is something to appeal to all children. There are over 200 stickers in the middle of the book which my son loved as he could stick them in the book as well a make his own pictures with them.

I think the books would be great for long journeys and holidays as well as a fun rainy day activity.

Priddy Books Lets's Go Learning Word Fun

Luke was really excited when we received a large parcel of books from Priddy Books to review. Books are such an important part of learning and Priddy Books always have bright, colourful books that are a pleasure to look at.

The Word Fun book is aimed at children who are 5 and older and who are at key stages 1 and 2. The book helps with reading skills, problem solving and writing skills and there is a good mix of activities for children to do. I was very surprised at how quickly Luke (age 6) worked out what to do with the word searches as he had never done one before and he really enjoyed finding all the words. All the activities in the book were just the right level for him and he could read what to do on each page and do the puzzles with very little help from me. The first time he looked at the book he sat quite happily doing the puzzles for a good hour and has kept going back to them since. This is obviously a sign of a good activity book, if they are too easy he soon gets bored but Priddy Books have got the level just right with this book. There were also crosswords, missing letter activities, mixed up word puzzles and plenty of opportunities to write. In the middle of the book there are two huge pages of stickers and I especially liked the star stickers that had comments like "Well Done" and "Superstar" as they could be used for encouragement. Luke liked sticking them on the pages he had finished when he was showing me what he had done.

Overall this is an excellent book and is great for rainy days!

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean Review

We were recently sent a great set of Lego - The Fountain of Youth, which is part of the Pirates of the Caribbean Lego range. This set is aimed at children aged 6 - 12 and it took Luke about 30 minutes to make it. He carefully studied the instructions and managed to make most of it on his own, which meant Dad was a little disappointed! We received the set to review from Izziwizzi kids and the video review is also on their website. Video reviewing is something we haven't really done a lot of yet and Luke was really keen to have a go!