Halloween Craft Projects with Baker Ross

Its that time of year again when I dig around in my craft box to try and find something to make to decorate the house for Halloween. Especially as we have a little get together planned with both our new and old NCT groups. However with a new baby and a blog sometimes I lack a little bit of inspiration which is why the craft kits from Baker Ross are so good as you have everything you need in the kit. Plus for older kids they are ideal entertainment during a get together. Baker Ross sent us three kits to try out.

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The first was Halloween Dotty Art, I knew this would be a hit as soon as I saw it. Plus it ticks that fine motor skill box for me, something which I am trying to work on whenever possible. The fact that the finished projects ended up on our tapestry system – which is a communication app between the school and the parents covering off what the children are learning, is testament to the skills that the kit can help Monkey develop.

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The kit contains the eight dot pictures above and sixteen sets of dots. I like how they have included an extra sheet of orange and green ideal Halloween colours! The dots are in three sizes, so not only does it help with hand eye coordination but also teaches the difference between small, medium and large. The pictures are A4 in size so we are intending to use them to decorate the doors for our Halloween get together.

img_4562Monkey opted to start with the spider which is probably the one with the most dots. I did wonder if he may loose interest, yet he did manage to do the whole picture in one sitting and it took just under an hour. Probably because we were joking and laughing around as we did our pictures. I found that if you take the outline of the stickers off so its just the dots it made it easier for him to take off the dots which sped the process up. The level of concentration was immense. I love how he pokes his tongue out while he is focusing on something. However he did really enjoy the activity and from a value for money perspective its a great as we have eight sittings in one kit. A single kit costs £3.99. If you were looking at this for a classroom you can buy a larger pack of 32 for £14.72.

Baker Ross also have a number of these kits outside of the Halloween theme. I am definitely considering getting some of the Christmas ones, but they have more general ones as well.

Our second kit was the Haunted House Photo Frame Magnet Kit I was hoping we could use these as little gifts for the grandparents. There are five in a kit. As you can see from the photo below you get a lot of foam pieces included in the kit, all with sticky backing apart from the house part itself. As I have come to expect from the Baker Ross kits the instructions are clear and easy to follow.

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Once I showed Monkey how to compile the first one he happily did the others himself all in one go. Although initially he did try to put all of the Halloween figures on his first house, so there was a little bit of direction needed. The kit is the same good quality which I have come to expect from Baker Ross. The foam is thick with strong colours, there is quite a bit of detail in the figures and the sticky element secures well. But there is also room for movement if it ended up in the wrong place initially. The magnets are strong enough to hold the frames to the fridge even with all the foam. Each measures 12cm wide.

I like the fact that you don’t need anything in addition to make the frames other than a photo. Which means they are ideal for a Halloween party activity as there is no messy glue fingers in sight. The kit retails at £3.49 for a set of five or £19.80 for a set of 30, however they do not come in the separate cellophane packets like some of the other put together crafts that Baker Ross supply.

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Baker Ross also sent us some Day of the Dead Colour-in Mini Gift Bags, there are six in a kit (RRP £2.50), two each of three designs. The bags measure 12cm x 8.5cm. I decided to keep these as a mummy craft, colouring them in with some fibre tip pens. The pens are lovely bright colours and are a complete bargain at £1.98 for three packets, an ideal party bag filler/gift.

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We had great fun with these craft kits and I would happily recommend them to friends, you can find their full range in the Baker Ross Halloween Shop. Have you got any craft activities planned on the run up to Halloween? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.

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We were given these craft kits by Baker Ross for the purpose of this review, all words and opinions are my own.

Blogger Club UK #39

Welcome back to #BloggerClubUK

I don’t know about anyone else but I’m struggling with the juggling act this week. I have loads of things rushing around in my head that I want to do and don’t seem to be accomplishing any of it! Both with the blog and outside of the blog. I have decided to take the leap though and will be going self hosted as soon as they can fit me in. So just a little word of warning as I may not be here next week if they are still moving me. I am sure it will all be fine and everything will go swimmingly, but just incase. And with regards to all you lovely self hosted bloggers, any words of advice will be gratefully received.

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My favourite photo this week has got to be this one of the boys from our weekend visit to Scotney Castle which we all really enjoyed. Unfortunately I only had one pumpkin outfit and I am now regretting not getting one for Monkey. The bond between these two is really starting to grow, Monkey now holds Kippers hand on car journeys. The cuddles have now become cuddles and not the over zealous squeezes they were initially. Saying that its still difficult to get a picture of both of them looking at the camera!

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Back to the linky…

Last week we had 88 posts link up, thank you everyone that continues to join us week after week. The linky runs from 6am Wednesday – 12pm Friday GMT where all bloggers are welcome to add any type of post they like. The Blogger Club UK community & linky are not limited to the UK – we’d love to have bloggers from all over the world join us read more about it on my Blogger Club UK Page.

#BloggerClubUK is back after the Summer break…

We have been adjusting our priorities over the last few weeks and I for one have realised that my maternity leave will soon be coming to an end and so I need to enjoy Kipper as much as possible during this precious time. The linky is still continuing as we have built such a great community thanks to you our readers and linkers. These are our new rules I hope you all understand. I will be commenting on posts as I can, as I love reading them all.

  • Add our badge to the HTML / Text portion of your post you can find the badge in my sidebar opposite. Or, add a back link to this post using #bloggerclubuk. If you need any help linking up, read Becky’s Linky Guide or tweet us, we are happy to help!
  • Please comment on one of each of the hosts post and any one other. Please do 4 as a minimum
  • Tweet any post you enjoy to share the #BloggerClubUK love.
  • Link a maximum of 2 posts per week.
  • The linky will close at midnight Friday GMT, we have removed the 150 post limit
  • Tag myself, Becky & Debbie on Twitter for a RT @MudpieFridays @Cuddlefairy @randommusings29 with #BloggerClubUK – let’s get trending again!
  • Tweet me if you would like to be added to the reminder list
  • Join by clicking the link below:

Have a great week everyone, hopefully I will be here next week all going well xx

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Kippers Five Month Update

Oh my baby is almost at his half Birthday! He’s coming on leaps and bounds and I think he must have hit a developmental milestone this month, as just looking back on his Four Month Update the difference in a month is huge.

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Weight – 17lbs exactly he is now just above 50% line in the red book. Monkey was the same dropping from the 90th percentile to around 50th and then tracking so I was expecting Kipper to do the same.

Height – 26.5 inches

Clothing Size – as I write this he is laying next to me dozing and is wearing a t-shirt which is 6-9 months. A number of his 3-6 months bits are getting too small, mainly the all-in-ones. Separates seem to be doing better and anything without feet work well, although that means I then have to deal with socks (sigh). For some reason I think Monkey must have fitted into 3-6 months for longer as we have a bit of a glut of clothes for this age group. But not much in the 6-9 month mark. I have discovered things such as the pram suit which I was hoping to reuse will not last through the Winter, but then its nice to buy the new odd bit. I’ve finally manned up and divided the smaller clothes into throw, keep and gift. I probably kept more than Hubby would like but since he doesn’t read my blog he has no idea! The other bits are going to my step sister who is due with her first little boy in December. As for not having another… well theres probably a post coming on that at some-point (sob).

Teeth – no update, he’s starting to suffer though, but still with a smile bless him. Everything goes in his mouth and he likes nothing more than a knuckle to chew on!

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Health – he’s had his last set of jabs last week, poor mite. He really was grumpy the following day but at least they are done now. I’m keeping his dry skin under control with Child’s Farm cream which seems to be doing the trick and he’s much better with wind and hardly bringing up any milk at all now. Although I have removed diet fizzy soft drinks from my diet while I am breast feeding and I am wondering if this may have an effect

Loves – playtime we have been visiting the local sensory room and he is fascinated by light movement. Kipper loves rolling over and holding himself up to see whats going on, he’s never still. He’s enjoying Nursery rhymes more and more one of his firm favourites is The Grand Old Duke of York with actions! Kipper loves to interact and talk, gurgle and answer your words with his. He’s still fond of mummy time and would much prefer to come into our bed in the early hours.

Hates – being hungry and teething which sometimes wakes him in pain. He’s such a happy baby we are truly blessed with him. He wasn’t too keen on the door bouncer which he went in for the first time the other day, but I am hoping as he gets bigger he will change his mind!

Habits – everything goes into the mouth partly because of teeth and partly because he is looking to explore. He will no longer stay on his back rolling all over the place and then getting grumpy as he hasn’t figured out how to roll back again. He’s found his thumb! But thankfully the dummy is still his pacifier of choice which I am hoping to continue with.  Muslins are still used to play peekaboo with and he has started to make a very specific sound when he wants food, its hard to explain but it almost sounds like ‘hungry’ to me!

Milestones & Firsts – we are not weaning yet wanting to wait until the six month mark, yet he did steal a bit of cucumber off of my plate the other day! Kipper often watches us as we eat with great interest.

Still in his moses basket in our bedroom he will be moving into his own room and cot in the next couple of weeks, as he has almost out grown his basket. He’s had his first swimming lesson and I am planning an under water photo shoot with him and Monkey during the half term holidays. Kipper has also enjoyed his first baby sensory class and is growing very fond of our sensory room outings.

Development – he’s rolling around all over the place and tonight as I write this he found his feet, taking great delight is sucking on the feet of his babygrow. He has started to raise his bottom and attempt to crawl but thankfully at the moment is no where near close. Kipper can sit up straight against me and is starting to show signs of sitting unaided although this is a little way off. He’s tried out Monkey’s highchair for size as well.

He likes to put his hands in my mouth and my hands in his mouth, he’s also partial to the odd sucking of the nose. Kipper has also started to study items closely including toys and his hands. Not only is does he know his name but he will often respond with a gurgle when we speak it.  His personality is starting to shine through and although he appears to be placid I get the impression that he will have a feisty streak.

Eating – to think on the next update we will have likely started weaning! Its coming round so quickly. He is still predominately breastfed although I have been guilty of the odd bottle to see if we can get him to go through the night, with no success I hasten to add!

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Sleeping – during the day he is now in definite morning and afternoon naps but sleeping at night is all over the place and he often wakes in the early hours. For some reason nearly always around 3am, although he has woken at 2am and 4am! Its a little bit a shock since Monkey was such a good sleeper, but I think it could be partly because he loves to come into our bed. I do love our snuggles (an realise they will be over before I know it) but I am keen to break the habit once he moves into his own room. Sigh.

Toys – mainly anything he can chew. Lamaze toys continue to be a big hit. I have written about our play habits in 10 play ideas for your 4 month old and I have also been making our own sensory toys at home, Black & White Sensory Toys & Box. He’s also enjoying a starry nightlight which we received from Wicked Uncle. Not to mention our trips to the local sensory rooms.

Favourite Outfit – too many again! Although I am rather partial to his ghostbusters t-shirt from Next. I’ve also got some lovely new outfits from Jojos which are adorable, more on these to come soon.

Things I don’t want to forget – the way he looks at me sometimes, when he’s in my arms and we are having a quiet moment. I keep trying to catch it on film but it distracts him and I loose the picture. Its true unconditional love. The way that Monkey holds his hand in the car. The smiles, oh the smiles especially in the morning when he wakes up.

Looking forward to … starting our weaning journey and not going back to work as planned in November. Instead I have three more months to spend with this lovely little man.

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Wicked Uncle Review

We’ve all been there, its present time be it a Birthday or Christmas and despite having children of our own we have no idea what to buy… If you are anything like me I am constantly asking friends what their little ones would like and quite often the answer I get back is ‘I don’t know!‘ So when I heard about Wicked Uncle I was interested to try it out and see if it lives up to its claims of providing an easy to navigate website. Focused around fun, unusual and different presents for children. So how did we get on?

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I have not seen another website which is so easy to navigate. Instead of just pages and pages of toys you can search by gender and age. Its easy to switch between ages too as the previous and next age bracket link is at the top of the page. Failing that you can search via category such as Adventurer, Outdoorsy or Role Play

screen-shot-2016-10-08-at-22-32-34Each age range or category is has the most popular toys at the top, which are based on the toys people are buying through the website. Ideal if you are actually a ‘wicked uncle’ and have no idea where to start. I really struggled to choose a toy for Monkey and Kipper purely because there is so much choice. There was genuinely toys which I had not seen before, something that surprised me as I like to think I have a pretty good handle on the toys available in the market place!

The whole check out process is very straight forward. You even have the opportunity to wrap your present for an additional £2.95 for the first present and £1.50 for each additional present. Unlike another well known online retailer there’s lots of different designs to choose from. You can also add a gift message for free or a card (handwritten) for £1.95.

Standard delivery is £2.95 and I was super impressed with it. I could leave a comment on the website where I wanted my parcel to be left should I be out. I received a confirmation email immediately and the following day a link to how I can track my parcel. I also received text messages on the day of the delivery to tell me they were going to attempt delivery. I placed the order on Wednesday before 4pm and I had the parcel by Friday lunchtime. I’m really not surprised that at the time of writing this they are rated 99 out of 100 for Customer Service based on 9344 reviews, pretty impressive figures.

Things I loved (besides the toys):

  • The delivery process was well oiled, I like websites that make it easy for me.
  • There is a phone number on their website so if you need to pick up the phone and speak to them you can and its not hidden away. Failing that they have an online chat facility
  • They are part of the goggle certified shops programme designed to give you more confidence about buying online.
  • The range of toys is great with some really different things that I have not seen elsewhere
  • You can set up reminders for Birthdays
  • There is a good range of toys in each price bracket, up to £10, up to £20 and then over £20, so you should find something that fits your budget.

The only thing I would like to see is a price match promise or simialr

So what did I choose?

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Since Monkey has just started school the questions are coming thick and fast. So when I saw a range of different science kits I opted for The Human Body Science Kit – Little Labs. Monkey was very excited as soon as we opened it and wanted to start the experiments straight away. In the booklet there are 26 different experiments around the five senses. We started with the first which was all about looking at fingerprints:

He was fascinated with the different patterns and we compared both mine and his which lead to a conversation about catching robbers!! The contents are reasonably basic but the booklet which comes with it brings it all to live. Other experiments include making  a stethoscope, testing lung capacity and constructing a magic telescope. I am sure we will have hours of fun with it.

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img_4696Wanting to treat the boys the same I wanted to find something for Kipper too. However being our second child he doesn’t really need anything. So far all his toys to date are hand me downs or DIY Sensory Boxes. So I was sceptical about finding anything ‘new’, yet  to my surprise there was loads of choice for baby boys. As Kipper is in the process of moving into his own room (sob!) I opted for the Twilight Turtle Starry Nightlight and he’s been quite taken with it. So am I which is just as well as it  is temporally in our room while he gets use to it before moving. There are three different light colour options blue, amber or green and turns off automatically after 45 minutes. There are actual star consolations within them too which we have been pointing out to Monkey. We are all really taken with it and the fact it came with batteries is a real positive too!

Both boys are really happy with their toys and I am extremely impressed with the whole process. The website is easy to navigate and I am going to definitely point people in their direction if we get asked for Christmas presents.

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Wicked Uncle gave us these toys for the basis of this review, all words and opinions are my own.

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#RememberingTheseDays Week 13

Welcome back to week thirteenth of #RememberingTheseDays Instagram community. The place to share your precious family memories. I host this community with the lovely Laura over at Life with Baby Kicks.

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Whatever the memory, or life event you want to record, joining in is simple, just tag your favourite photos #RememberingTheseDays over on Instagram. Each Sunday Laura and I will choose our four favourites. Please follow Mudpie Fridays here and Life with Baby Kicks here on Instagram to see if you have been featured.

Each Saturday when I go in to choose my favourites and make sure I have liked every photo with the tag, I always try to guess how many we will be up to. I was excited this week to see that we are now over 5300! In thirteen short weeks which is fantastic. When we started we had no idea if people would use it and it was a little nerve racking! I saw other hashtags announcing they had reached over 10,000 and couldn’t see how we would ever reach it. Now I know we are still a way off but since we have had over 600 tags this week alone it doesn’t seem entirely impossible any more. So a big thank you to all of you who continue to use #RememberingTheseDays.

On to this weeks favourites, its great to see the Autumnal theme starting to appear in people’s feeds. I am very jealous of the pumpkin pictures and wondering when we can fit in a trip to a picking field soon! I wanted to reflect this theme in my favourites this week.

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From top left to bottom right:

  • Love these shinny conkers, Monkey is completely obsessed by them requesting that we go via a tree every day on the way to school. This great capture was taken by @becomingasahm
  • This is such a happy mural that @oneyummymummy1 walks past every day and makes a great back drop
  • Hee hee the cat does not look impressed and it really made me chuckle, a great pumpkin photo with a slightly different take by @playathometeacher
  • Leaves!! What little person doesn’t like leaves? From @thismumslife feed.

Please pop over and visit their feeds by clicking on the names above.

My favourite from my feed is this one of Kipper dressed up as a pumpkin. What you don’t know is that this is not done up at the back, it turns out he is quite a bit bigger than Monkey was at the same age and so we will need to get a new outfit for the end of the month. Looking forward to celebrating Halloween with this little one and Monkey!

My favourite from Laura’s feed this week is this lovely one of the three  of them Summer holidaying. Holidays are a great place to make memories which stay with you all for a lifetime.

Come and join in by using the hashtag #RememberingTheseDays, and please pass this tag to your Instagram buddies. I would be over the moon if we reached 6,000 by this time next week!! Please share the tag with your buddies, they do not need to be bloggers to join in, everyone is welcome.

Which one is your favourite? I would love to hear in the comments below.

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Furby Connect Review

When we were offered a Furby to review by the lovely people at Hasbro I was secretly very excited. You see I was a little too old to have had one when they were popular in the 90s. Despite the fact that deep down I would have quite liked one. I wasn’t sure if Monkey would be taken with it or not, something in the back of my head made me worry that it maybe a huge flop. After all can the must have Christmas toy of 1998 be remodelled for todays kids?

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I need not have doubted the toy makers genius. As soon as he saw the box he was excited and once out and fired up he quickly learnt if you pulled its tail it farted! Needless to say after fits of giggles it has become his new best friend! I must admit there is something rather endearing to the blue ball of fluff which is very, very soft. I think it must be the eyes which are LCD screens and have 150 different animations! So far we have seen various eye movements such as opening and closing, blinking, going crooked….as well as graphics such as hearts, rainbows and music notes. It really is fascinating and I can see why children are drawn to them.

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Before we go into its features and how much Monkey loves it, and he really does, Furby has slept with him every night since we received it. Lets get the elephant in the room out – that annoying lack of an off button with the previous versions. I know one of my friends only put batteries in her daughters once because it use to scare her when she walked past her bedroom! You will be please to know this has now all been fixed. Furby comes with a little eye mask which when attached to Furby’s crest will make him sleep. To wake him up all you need to do is remove the mask and pull his tail or move his antenna.

I was impressed that ‘Furbish’ is actually quite easy to understand, in the instructions there are some translations such as wee-tee meaning to sing. However we have found he speaks just as much in English if not more. He’s also very ticklish, enjoys being shaken and turned upside down, he’s even been thrown in the air (and caught) a couple of times. His ears move up and down as he talks and you can move his antenna like a joystick. I am not sure if we have had the same reaction more than once yet!

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To bring Furby up to date there is a Furby Connect app, which is compatible with both Android and Apple devices. Monkey has a kindle and it worked fine. You will also be pleased to know it doesn’t take long to download. However I would probably download it prior to Christmas morning if you are considering this as a Christmas gift.

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The app is the way which he is updated on a weekly basis he will learn new phases and songs by being connected. When Furby’s antenna glows blue there is something new to discover in Furby World.  Furby communicates with the app via bluetooth so you need to remember to connect it when you open the app up. Because he is bluetooth enabled he has an internal year round clock, meaning he knows when it is Christmas Day, Easter or Valentines Day.

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The app allows you feed your Furby and to Monkey’s amusement its also how he goes to the toilet! Yep you read right, once he’s fed he will need the loo, so you hold him over the device and he produces a poo! Also within the app you have the chance to collect food and other useful bits and bobs. After you have completed a task you are given a present. These presents will also including Egglings and fur. Meaning you can hatch your very own Furblings. Another source of excitement!! Its good that you don’t have to do too much to start to collect them, I think we have about six so far!  It holds Monkey’s interest for quite sometime. He does need me to sit with him when he plays to help him move around the app and read the instructions. However at 4.5 years old he is younger than the intended age range which is 6+. I suspect as we play it more he will get use to the graphics and tasks.

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Things we love:

  • Its great that its interactive physically and digitally. You can play the app without the Furby and play with Furby without the app which makes it very flexible
  • Its so soft and ascetically pleasing even to an adult (can you tell I love it as much as Monkey does?)
  • You can turn it off!
  • The game is engaging and teaches Monkey how to look after a little pet – through feeding, cleaning, loving and caring for the Furby and the digital furblings
  • Helps to teach children emotions, as his mood changes from happy to sad, to scared, to excited.

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Available in pink, purple, blue and teal his RRP is £99.99, available at all good toy retailers including Amazon. You can find out more on the Hasbro website

Monkey loves his Furby and we still have a lot to discover on the app! It does say that there are in-app purchases which will enhance the game. To date we have not needed to buy anything. I can see this version of Furby being another must have toy of the Christmas season.

Did you have one as a child? I would love to know your thoughts?

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The Snowdogs of Brighton

Last week I saw a picture on instagram of a Snowdog – although it wasn’t the white fluffy variety we are use it. It was a technicolour large fibre glass model with kids hanging off of it. Instantly I was interested but I had no idea where the picture of was taken. So when my little family was in Brighton at the weekend on a trip to one of our favourite haunts imagine my surprise when I see said snowdog on Brighton seafront. Monkey was fascinated as he loves the snowdog (I don’t know  child that doesn’t). So although we were in Brighton to visit the Sealife Centre we did also pick up on the Snowdog trail too.

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img_7602Its a great way to get the kids out doors as the weather is starting to change, to do the whole trail in one day would probably be okay for older kids but for a four year old it would have been too much. However the dogs are placed at key locations around the centre of Brighton and the surrounding areas which means if you are in the city you are bound to come across a few without trying too hard. Naturally we now have the bug and want to find them all. Which I am sure in time we will after all its running from the 24th September to 27th November which gives us plenty of time. There are 45 snowdogs in total to find, plus their puppies which have been decorated by the local schools and being displayed in museums and galleries in the city.

img_7590The range from the centre of the city, the Marina, to the station and in some of the larger parks. The trail has been designed to raise money for and promote the charity – Martlets. Which is a charity that cares for people living with terminal illness in and around the Brighton area. There are a number of events being held to promote the trail including sponsored walks, 5k run, open top bus tour and of course the snowdon auction where you can bag yourself one of the dogs on the 6th December. More details can be found the Snowdogs by the Sea website.

img_7604You will need a map which we picked up at the Sealife Centre itself as they have kindly sponsored one of the dogs. Failing that you can download the free app. I wish I had realised this, if you take a picture of each of the dogs and ‘collect’ them all you will be entered into a prize draw to win a weekend in Brighton including an over night stay. I didn’t realise this straight away so we will be needing to revisit some of our dogs!

If you can’t make it to see of the snowdogs in situ there will be a ‘farewell’ on the weekend of 3rd-4th December when all of the dogs will be brought together for a special family weekend. There will be lots of themed activities too – something we will hopefully be attending.

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So if like me you come across these four legged friends on your instagram feed, now you know all about it. Have fun collecting them all I am sure we will!

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10 play ideas for your 4 month old

I can not believe that this week Kipper turns five months! He’s coming on leap and bounds and as his routine is starting to settle down . This has given us the opportunity to enjoy some play time recently. These are some of the things which we have been getting up to.

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  • img_4217Peg Box – Really simple idea as Kipper is using his hands more and more so putting some pegs on a box and allowing him to pull them off and explore are the first steps to helping his fine motor skills. I chose to use wooden dolly pegs as they inevitably will end up in his mouth.
  • Black and White Sensory Box  – I made a few black and white toys for Kipper, as babies can focus a lot better on black and white than they colour. The contents included his first discovery bottle, ribbon rings, geometric cards and pipe cleaner bundles
  • Light Play – So far our light play has been limited to flashing toy balls. You can normally pick up spiky ones in shops such as Wilkinsons or The Works. However don’t forget about your local toy libraries. I had a look through and found some larger balls with different textures. Ours has a policy that you can keep the toys for three weeks which gives us the opportunity to swap things around too. Just remember to turn the lights off or close the curtains to get the most out of them!

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  • Physical Play – Monkey loved to be swung in a blanket and I did think that Kipper was maybe a little young, but when we tried it out he loved a gentle swing. He also enjoys being thrown in the air now his head is strong enough.
  • Ballon’s on Feet – Sometimes I can not be involved in playtime as there are chores I am trying to squeeze in before getting Monkey from school. Babies love to kick around so I tied a couple of helium balloons onto his ankles and it will keep him entertained long enough for me to put a wash out. The foil balloons means that he can see himself if they are down low. They also keep their helium for longer.

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  • Mirror Mirror on the wall – Kipper loves looking at himself in a mirror and I have an acrylic A3 one which is safe enough for him to lay on. This is ideal at tummy time
  • Tickle Time – either with songs (round and round a garden) or just because, I love hearing his belly laugh. I have definitely identified his ticklish spot.
  • Sensory Rooms – we are lucky enough to have a number of sensory rooms locally all with mirrors, bubble pipes and disco balls. Kipper loves them and will spend a whole session (half an hour) watching the lights go across the room. I would definitely recommend speaking to your health visitors to see if you have anything available locally. Ours cost £2 for half an hour so its a great cheap activity.
  • img_4037Mouthing – hes a little young for a treasure basket but I have been giving him different things to explore with his mouth. Being careful that they are soft and not going to damage his little gums – such as a silicone pastry brush, teething rings and jewellery, cooking utensils (silicone) cup cake cases etc. Once he can sit unaided i will be focusing on heuristic play.
  • Singing and Talking – obvious – all this about a second child being more placid and happy with their own company more than the first is not playing out with us at all. Probably because I have already spolit him and with Monkey being that bit older and just starting school Kipper is essentially an only child for elements of the day. However I still have to do the jobs of a two child house hold so I often will talk and sing to Kipper while doing chores. He loves to be sung to his little face lighting up and he will often try and join in. Perhaps because my signing is just so bad!

If you are looking for ideas for a slightly younger baby then please check out my posting on Playing with your 2 month old. I would love to hear your ideas too in the comments below as I am always on the look out for new ones.

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Blogger Club UK #38

Welcome back to #BloggerClubUK

Its been a busy week, now Monkey is at school time just seems to be flying by. We are getting books to read each night which I record in a learning log, each weekend he needs to draw a picture of his favourite book. Ive been introduced to word houses which include four words that Monkey must recognise, say and spell on sight. I think the math challenges are starting next week, numicon at the ready everyone!! He seems to  be enjoying himself and little snippets of video we get to see are lovely. Although he does come home wishing he was better at drawing his letters and colouring within the lines. At least his competitive spirit is pushing him to do better!

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As we adjust to school I am trying to have at least one day of the weekend where we go out an enjoy ourselves. My favourite photo this week is from our little trip to Brighton on Sunday where we managed to spot some Snowdogs! Blog post will be live on Friday telling you all about it, needless to say we will be revising until we have found all 45 of them!

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Back to the linky…

I am so amazed by all the lovely posts we have that link up each week over 80 last week. Thank you for making this community so great xx

The linky runs from 6am Wednesday – 12pm Friday GMT where all bloggers are welcome to add any type of post they like. The Blogger Club UK community & linky are not limited to the UK – we’d love to have bloggers from all over the world join us read more about it on my Blogger Club UK Page.

#BloggerClubUK is back after the Summer break…

We have been adjusting our priorities over the last few weeks and I for one have realised that my maternity leave will soon be coming to an end and so I need to enjoy Kipper as much as possible during this precious time. The linky is still continuing as we have built such a great community thanks to you our readers and linkers. These are our new rules I hope you all understand. I will be commenting on posts as I can, as I love reading them all.

  • Add our badge to the HTML / Text portion of your post you can find the badge in my sidebar opposite. Or, add a back link to this post using #bloggerclubuk. If you need any help linking up, read Becky’s Linky Guide or tweet us, we are happy to help!
  • Please comment on one of each of the hosts post and any one other. Please do 4 as a minimum
  • Tweet any post you enjoy to share the #BloggerClubUK love.
  • Link a maximum of 2 posts per week.
  • The linky will close at midnight Friday GMT, we have removed the 150 post limit
  • Tag myself, Becky & Debbie on Twitter for a RT @MudpieFridays @Cuddlefairy @randommusings29 with #BloggerClubUK – let’s get trending again!
  • Tweet me if you would like to be added to the reminder list
  • Join by clicking the link below:

 

Have a great week everyone xx

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Black & White Sensory Toys & Box

My problem? We have loads of baby toys, but they are still in the loft. Hubby can’t find them as its piled sky high. Kipper is now getting to an age where he needs some stimulation and I love playing with my babies. Who wouldn’t? So I have decided to put together simple DIY black and white toys for babies. They are all super easy to make and can be done during nap time, oh and for this one there is not a sewing machine in sight!

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Why Black & White?

Babies can see black and white images easier than coloured images and if they are geometric in design it is likely they will focus for longer on them. Visual stimulation will aid a babies development so its a great idea to give them lots of opportunity to engage with  items that are black and white. There are also claims that it helps with their concentration skills, builds a longer attentions span, enhances curiosity and helps brain cells to form connections. Plus its fun!

img_4403Black & White Discover Bottle

I used Discovery Bottles a lot with Monkey, well before I started Mudpie Fridays. I love them so much I have pinterest board dedicated to them. As they get older you can get more creative but for this one I kept it simple and just added black and white pom poms of different sizes. I chose to use a VOSS plastic water bottle, the labels are easy enough to remove and I love the cylinder shape. I really struggled to find them here in the UK but you can buy them off of Ocado individually and in a multi pack. Its a good size even for Kippers small hands.I find these bottles do up really tight so you don’t need to glue them either which means they can be reused again and again. I have even kept a sloppy mud one for our Going on a Bear Hunt Story Sack without gluing.

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Black & White Ribbon Rings

Ribbon rings are another firm favourite with Monkey, although I have adapted it this time and just used back and white ribbon. I choose a natural wooden ring from Craft Shapes so that if it ends up in his mouth its safe. I used satin ribbon and sealed the ends of it so it doesn’t fray by using a candle. By holding it close enough to the heat the fibres will melt. I am careful how I attach the ribbon as I want to be able to use both the ring and ribbon for other projects. I fold the ribbon in half and then loop it round underneath the ring before passing the ends though the loop. This makes it secure I then tie a knot, it means you can slip the ribbon off easily if required

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To add more interest you may want to vary the lengths, use different textures or add patterned ribbon

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Pipe Cleaner Bundles

I used six white and six black pipe cleaners and tied them together in the middle with black wool. Make sure you turn the ends over so that the wire part does not cause scratches. I think Kipper likes them as they are easy to grab although they do end up in the mouth, so can end up a little soggy!

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Black & White Sensory Bin

Each of these will keep Kipper amused of a short while, but I have also put them together with some additional bits into a sensory bin. At almost five months he is not sitting unaided, plus everything goes into his mouth so this is very much a supervisory activity. I also needed to make sure the things we used are not choking hazards. As well as the toys mentioned above I printed off the internet some black and white images from Baby Astrology. If you don’t have a printer then you could make your own with a black felt tip. I also printed off some black and white photos of babies faces with different expressions such as happy, sad, angry and laminated both these and the geometric shapes.

I used shredded white paper and some off cuts of black wool to form the basis of the bin and added in a couple of black and white toys and books we had when Monkey was little.

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This is the first step towards a Treasure Basket for Kipper. I think treasure baskets are probably the best toy for developing babies around and the good news is that you already have everything you need in your home. Other things you may have lying around which you may want to include in this sensory bin are

  • Black and white kitchen ware
  • Black velvet fabric
  • Plastic cows… and other black and white toys
  • Chunky bangles
  • Literally anything which is black and white and not a choking hazard

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If you are interested in making these toys yourself please see the shopping list below, we got all of our craft supplies from a well know chain for under £10.

Shopping List

  • Clear plastic bottle with label removed
  • Black and white pom poms in different sizes
  • Various lengths of black and white ribbon
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • White pipe cleaners
  • Black wool
  • Shredded white paper

I hope your little ones have as much fun playing with theirs as Kipper did with his.

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