Cadbury's Chunk Mug With Free Bar Of Dairy Milk £6.99 plus p&p @ Applause Store

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 11 April, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Cadbury's Chunk Mug With Free Bar Of Dairy Milk £6.99 plus p&p @ Applause Store

This has nothing to do with babies, kids or parenting but I'm still going to tell you about it. And chocolate does play a big part in my parenting strategy - for me, not my children. It's a Cadbury's Chunk Mug and I want one.

It's £6.99 plus delivery from The Applause Store, meaning in total it will set you back around £9.98, but I think it's worth it. I didn't say it was a bargain, but it would make a great gift.

Not convinced? This will swing it - you get a free bar of Dairy Milk with every mug, so you can settle back with a brew and some chocolate as soon as your parcel arrives (children willing).

I remember there being one of these mugs in our house when I was a kid, but whose it was my memory won't say. I don't recall if it was acquired on our infamous family trip to Cadbury World (remember that Dad?), but hubby seems to think that you got them from the milkman (?).

Either way, I think that every house needs one of these, whether it's for a birthday, Father's Day or just because you love chocolate. Thank you for indulging me. Now where are those Easter eggs...

Hunger Games Theme Park To Be Built In Dubai

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 11 April, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Hunger Games Theme Park To Be Built In Dubai

If you are a fan, or know someone who is then this may come as welcome news... or make you fear for your bank balance. There is going to be an official Hunger Games Theme Park opening next year as part of a huge new complex to be built in Dubai.

Lionsgate who make the Hunger Games films have announce that they will be partnering with Dubai Parks and Resorts, and as well as sections of the park dedicated to the hugely popular film franchise there will a stage show based on Step Up, as well as a Dreamworks Animation area. Apart from the announcement that it's going to built for opening in October 2016 there is not a lot of other information available.

We also know that there will another two parks on the same complex - a Legoland Dubai and a Bollywood Parks Dubai, but there has been no further information released about either as yet.

So, as this is the first public attraction to be based on the Hunger Games, do you have any ideas about what they should include? Apart from archery of course...

Are you having a Boy or a Girl? Find out by cake at your "Gender Party"!

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 10 April, 2015 at 8:35 pm

Are you having a Boy or a Girl? Find out by cake at your "Gender Party"!

This is something I had never heard of, but I think cake makers in the UK had better brace themselves for a flurry of orders!

In the US some parents let the hospital staff write down the sex of the baby, seal it in an envelope, then they give it to a baker. They make a cake with a blue or pink centre to reveal whether you will have a son or a daughter, and you find out by cutting into the cake which you then share with your family! It's apparently called a Gender Party, and is becoming a popular event in America.

The mother pictured above is the star of a viral video that has us all talking about this new way of finding out the sex of your baby. She has 6 boys, and is expecting her 7th child .... look at the colour of that cake! Watch her amazing reaction on the video on our Facebook page.

So what do you think? Is this an "only in America" phenomenon, or is it something that could catch on over here as well?

Heads Up: Asda Baby & Toddler Event Coming Soon!

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 9 April, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Heads Up: Asda Baby & Toddler Event Coming Soon!

We heard a rumour that the next Asda Baby & Toddler Event is on it's way later this month, and now it has been confirmed!

The dates we have are 18th April online, and the 20th April in stores, so this a heads up for stocking up on Asda Baby goodies.

As usual the leaflets have started hitting peoples door mats before the Asda website gets updated, but we'll be keeping an eye out for more news in all the usual places so we can tell you more about what's on offer.

As soon as we have any more information we will let you know. Watch this space!

Thanks to Mands on twitter and Jody on Facebook for the info.

Heads Up: Asda Baby & Toddler Event Coming Soon!

LEGO Dimensions Toys To Life Game Announced! Pre-Order @ Amazon / Smyths Toys NOW

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 9 April, 2015 at 2:54 pm

LEGO Dimensions Toys To Life Game Announced! Pre-Order @ Amazon / Smyths Toys NOW

This is news that has caused a LOT of excitement in my house this afternoon, and will be having the same effect wherever there are LEGO fans... the LEGO toys-to -life game has officially been announced!

It will be called LEGO Dimensions and Amazon and Smyths Toys are taking pre-orders NOW!

If I've got over excited and not explained, this game will be a brand new type of game for LEGO, in the same style as Skylanders and Disney Infinity. You will have a starter pack with a 'dimensional portal' and three characters, and will be able to add more characters into the game play with figures that can be bought and collected separately.

Although details are only just coming in, you can learn a fair bit from the Extended Trailer which is over on our Facebook Page. We spotted characters and game play from Back To The Future, Lord Of The Rings, and The Wizard Of Oz! That's as well as the characters from The Lego Movie taking the main roles on the trailer.

LEGO Dimensions will be available for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and WiiU, so that's all the main consoles. The trailer has a September 2015 release date, though we don't know whether that's worldwide it's likely to be the case.

There's also an official website, that we've already bookmarked ready for more info when it emerges.

It's the first mention we have had so far in our house of the Christmas list, and it's only April! Let us know what you think.

Big thanks to Dealspwn for the info.

 

Teletubbies To Return!

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 7 April, 2015 at 6:27 pm

Teletubbies To Return!

The children's BBC series Teletubbies was hugely popular when it ran from 1997 to 2001, and is still repeated now, but CBeebies are making a new version. The "reboot" of the toddler favourite will be shown later this year, and the BBC have today revealed who will be taking on the voices of the characters.

Jane Horrocks will be providing voice on the Tubby Phone, and Jim Broadbent and Fearne Cotton will have their voices projecting through voice trumpets popping out of the ground. There are also voice roles for actors Daniel Rigby and Antonia Thomas.

Details of the show are still to be revealed, but of there are to be voice trumpets and tubby phones it does sound like it's staying true to the original and just updating it for a new audience. When you watch it with your children today it's only the live action segments that you see on their telly tummies that seem dated, and more because of the fashions and hairstyles than anything - the rest of the show seems timeless.

The original creator Anne Wood, who is also responsible for In The Night Garden and the new  Twirlywoos, has said that it makes her sad when an old show gets updated and she is not involved in this new version. If you know the Teletubbies from the first time round how do you think a new generation of toddlers will react to it, and does it really need updating?

Latest Safety Product Recalls : April 2015

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 7 April, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Latest Safety Product Recalls : April 2015

There have been two new recalls for products from Smyths and Wilkinsons listed on the Trading Standards website, so here are the details of those and the others we have been made aware of recently just as a reminder for those who may have missed them:

Click here to read more...

Fun Experiment To Do With The Kids: Inflating A Balloon With Bicarbonate Of Soda And White Vinegar

by Nada in Misc on 6 April, 2015 at 11:39 am

Fun Experiment To Do With The Kids: Inflating A Balloon With Bicarbonate Of Soda And White Vinegar

I don't know about you but I end up about bankrupt when the kids are off school. They want to be entertained every minute of the day and sometimes I am left scratching my head for things to do. Sometimes my Science loving side comes out and we do little experiments in the kitchen. Later today, behaviour permitting, I plan on showing my boys how to inflate a balloon using two ingredients out of our kitchen cupboards; White Vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda.

You may have seen fake 'How to' posts on Facebook stating that this is an alternative to Helium, it's not and your balloons will not float into the air. They will inflate quickly with the gas produced (Carbon Dioxide). Not scary, burst in your face quickly, so don't worry.

Here's how to Inflate a Balloon using Bicarbonate of Soda and White Vinegar:

  1. You will need a Plastic Bottle like and old Coke 500ml size, a Funnel, a Balloon (just a regular Latex one), a level teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda and some White Vinegar.
  2. Pop some gloves on if you like, and use the funnel to pour the Bicarbonate of Soda into the balloon.
  3. Pour some vinegar into the bottle, about a quarter to a third of a way up the bottle.
  4. Flip your balloon over the bottle and stretch the balloon rim over it, thus spilling the Bicarb into the vinegar.
  5. Providing you have a tight seal, which you will if you pulled the balloon right over the bottle top, the balloon will inflate.
  6. Pinch the balloon off the bottle and tie.
  7. Voila! You have inflated a balloon using Bicarbonate of Soda and Vinegar!

It's best for the children to be spectators and for an adult to carry out the experiment as it can be messy and also no one want vinegar in their eyes now do they?

Let us know how you get on!

Thanks to Jordan B!

Three Things To Do When You Have Too Many Easter Eggs

by Nada in Misc on 5 April, 2015 at 9:38 am

 Three Things To Do When You Have Too Many Easter Eggs

I don't know about you, but in this house my children received an obscene amount of Easter Eggs. This wasn't on purpose, my other half and I bought them ONE each, so did Granny, Great-Granny, Aunty Bla Bla and so on. So, the bottom line is they have ended up with SEVEN each! I will be honest and say I don't have the cupboard space for 28 Easter Eggs in my Kitchen Cupboards.

So, what do you do in this predicament? Here's my THREE Ways to do with that glut of Easter Eggs (apart from just scoffing them fresh out the box, of course):

  1. Melt them down and use moulds to make Chocolate Lollypops for the kids to take to school for a play piece. Like this Easter Egg Lolly Mould* that is reduced to £2.99 at Lakeland.
  2. Make a Traybake. Whether it's Malteser Cake, Tiffin or Mars BAr Cake, it'll get eaten and is great for when visitors come over. Allrecipes have a great selection of recipesThree Things To Do When You Have Too Many Easter Eggs, here.
  3. Use them to make Hot Chocolate.... Bring milk to the boil in a saucepan, remove from heat and stir in some broken up Easter Egg, squirt some cream on top and sprinkle with Marshmallows. My boys go nuts for this!

Why The Names We Give Our Children Can Affect Their Adult Lives

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 4 April, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Why The Names We Give Our Children Can Affect Their Adult Lives

How did you choose your baby's name? Family connection, inspired by a character in a film or book, or a name that mattered because of its meaning?

Whatever compelled you to pick the name you chose for your child, it might interest you to know that new research reveals that the names we give our children can have a lasting effect on everything from the career path they choose to where they live as adults.

The Daily Mail reports:

"According to studies compiled for the latest edition of PBS Digital Studios' BrainCraft series, the act of writing our names over and over again throughout our lives can result in something called implicit egotism – a kind of obsession with the letters and sounds involved in our own names." 

Apparently the more we write the letters in our names, the more we like them, which results in us being drawn to "places, careers and even people" that "have a link to the letters used in our names".

It's called the name-letter effect and if can even affect what we choose to call our children.

So what do you make of this research? And do you think your name has had any bearing on the choices you've made as adult, or even on what names you chose for your child?

 

Want To Try The Creme Egg Manicure?

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 3 April, 2015 at 8:49 pm

Want To Try The Creme Egg Manicure?

This is the best thing I think I have seen this Easter. Yep, even more impressive than the Chocolate Egg Sarnies. Beauty blogger Rochelle Al Ahmed has created this masterpiece that recreates the Cadbury's Creme Egg design on your fingernails. It does look a little tricky to me, but then I'm not exactly used to painting mine. If you want to do it, here's her guide on how to create the look:

Click here to read more...

"I Hate My Thighs" Baby Girl's Bodysuit Withdrawn From Sale

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 3 April, 2015 at 7:33 pm

"I Hate My Thighs" Baby Girl's Bodysuit Withdrawn From Sale

This baby girl's body suit has caused an awful lot of anger, and if I'm perfectly honest I can see why. Sold in the US by a company called Wry Baby, the slogan "I Hate My Thighs" was meant to be humorous, but for those concerned about body image issues in young girls the projection of these worries onto infants was seen as no joking matter.

There were many complaints, and the company withdrew the item from sale, replacing it with the slogan "Love Me For My Leg Rolls". I'm not sure how they thought that was any improvement.

Even after the offending item was supposedly withdrawn from stores, a customer spotted it still for sale, and placed next to a boys bodysuit with the slogan "I'm Super".

Is this really a message that it is acceptable? Little baby boys are super heroes and little baby girls have fat legs?

I hope you know that I have a sense of humour, but some jokes are just cruel rather than funny. Slogans on baby clothing can be really funny, but it seems that those who were offended by it are in the majority here.

What do you think? Is this completely inappropriate or just a bit of fun? Tell us what you think.

Picture credit Jason Y Evans / Facebook

Poundland Withdraws Easter Decorations That Look Like Cadbury's Mini Eggs Over Safety Fears

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 2 April, 2015 at 8:58 pm

Poundland Withdraws Easter Decorations That Look Like Cadbury's Mini Eggs Over Safety Fears

Poundland have withdrawn packets of decorative eggs from all their stores because of concerns that they could be mistaken for sweets by children.

There was an investigation by trading standards officers following a complaint by a customer about the packets of small Easter eggs made of polystyrene that look like Cadbury's Mini Eggs.

In fact they look so much like Mini Eggs that the pictures being used in online reports have been frequently mislabelled, including by major newspapers. The picture above shows two Cadbury's Mini Eggs alongside two of the decorative ones.

A spokesperson for Poundland has said:

Poundland is the first retailer to recognise these concerns and has taken every step to ensure this product could not be bought as food by mistake. The packs have been removed as an extra safety precaution.

Although there have been no reports of children choking on these decorations the decision to remove them from shelves as a precautionary measure has been welcomed by Trading Standards. Parents are advised to keep them away from small children.

Picture credit Bucks Trading Standards

Teachers Face Abuse From Parents - And Kids

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 2 April, 2015 at 7:01 pm

Teachers Face Abuse From Parents - And Kids

Sixty percent of teachers say they have been abused by parents of the children they teach - and even by the kids themselves - within the past 12 months, according to Sky News.

Now I have to warn you that the details are pretty sweary - I might be easily shocked but my mind is boggling at the idea of kids or parents directing nasty comments towards teachers, but the examples cited in the Sky report take 'nasty' to a w-h-o-l-e new level.

Sky reports:

"School staff are facing sexist, racist and homophobic comments, as well as offensive remarks about their appearance and competence, according to the NASUWT union."

One of the examples references a teacher who was called um, the equivalent of a female dog, by a parent for making her child do PE without her inhaler. And that's just one of the ones that I can repeat.

Good grief, I'm wondering whatever the heck happened to good old fashioned manners? And what about the idea that we should respect those in a position of authority, even if we disagree with their actions?

I actually find teaching my kids respect a pretty challenging aspect of parenthood. They're always respectful towards their teachers, obviously, but I'm regularly surprised by some of the things they repeat at home, which I presume they pick up from other kids whose parents might not be such sticklers for the R-word.

And while I get that this is part of parenting and that it's pretty routine for kids to test the boundaries and try breaking the rules within the safe confines of their own family, I wonder if this is some small reflection of how little respect we give to the notion of respect as society these days?

It also drives home, for me, that teachers are pretty much gold-plated saints. I wonder if teachers of the future will be trained in how to cope with abuse from kids and their parents, and whether stats like this put people off becoming teachers?

What's your view? And if you're a teacher, have you ever experienced anything like this?

Stillbirth Charity Count The Kicks Criticises Coronation Street

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 2 April, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Stillbirth Charity Count The Kicks Criticises Coronation Street

If you're a Corrie fan, you might have seen yesterday's episode in which pregnant teen mum Faye Windass went into labour.

During the episode, another character commented that babies tend to move less towards the end of labour.

Consequently, stillbirth charity Count the Kicks took to Twitter to voice concerns that the soap is sharing misinformation about fetal movement towards the end of pregnancy.

The charity's CEO, Elizabeth Hutton, tweeted:

"Babies' movements DO NOT slow down at the end of pregnancy. A change in movement can be a key warning sign the baby is in distress. Any change in fetal movement should be reported to your maternity unit for further assessment. #kickscount.”

Twitter users have retweeted the charity's comments over 550 times, with many mothers sharing their own experiences of stillbirth following a slow-down in fatal movement. A message posted on the charity's Facebook page has been shared more than 10,000 times.

A representative for Coronation Street has yet to respond to the criticism.

Visit countthekicks.org.uk for information about fetal movement during pregnancy.

Smart Gadgets For Babies: Love Em Or Loathe Em?

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 1 April, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Smart Gadgets For Babies: Love Em Or Loathe Em?

My mum pointed out something weird the other day when I was obsessing over the fact that my baby monitor was running out of batteries.

"We never had those in my day," she said, eyeing me with an accusatory look.

But she's right, I think. Our parents' generation simply didn't fuss over their babies half as much as my generation seems to - yes, digital video baby monitors with movement sensors, I'm talking about you.

Which got me wondering...

For all the clever technology that we we have at the tips of our fingertips these days, are we actually just more anxious than we would otherwise be? Instead of giving parents peace of mind, have all the gadgets and gizmos that literally help us monitor a baby's every breath only served to make us more uptight?

Take Mimo as an example. I'd never heard of it until now, but the Wareable gang tell me it's a 'smart' sleepsuit with a turtle-shaped sensor incorporated into the fabric, which monitors your baby's sleep activity, movement and breathing, and streams all that data back to your Android or iOS device - wherever you are in the world.

Which is all very clever if you're a million miles from home and want to keep tabs on your baby's breaths per minute, but whatever happened to just peeking into your baby's room to keep an eye on them at night?

Apparently it can even be used to help identify patterns or problems in your baby's sleeping habits, potentially saving you the trouble of experimenting with sleep training or crying-it-out techniques in a bid to get more kip.

But is monitoring a baby's every move like this a good thing? Does it ease or exacerbate the parental anxieties that lead us to buy such things for our babies?

And how long will it be until we're outsourcing every element of parenting to technology? Can someone send me a robot to tackle nasty nappy changes? Or how about a digital disciplinarian to deal with toddler tantrums while I lie on the sofa and ease my pain with actual gin?

Have we gone gadget mad? Or do you swear by wearable technology for babies and children, and feel it's eased your anxieties as a parent? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Free 50p Donation To Prostate Cancer UK

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 1 April, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Free 50p Donation To Prostate Cancer UK

Prostate Cancer UK have just launched a new campaign to raise both awareness and funds, and to help cancer research. With this campaign you can get 50p donated to Prostate Cancer UK by Keyline, just by signing up to the newsletter.

It costs you nothing, and all it takes is a few clicks and your email address. If everyone who reads PlayPennies managed to do this there would be huge amounts raised for the charity.

Of course if you want to donate yourself you can do, but the 50p donation will come from Keyline anyway.

If you want to know more about Prostate Cancer UK then there is lots of information on their website.

Thanks to dabbit @ HUKD

30 Activities Every Child Should Experience: How Many Can You Tick Off?

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 1 April, 2015 at 9:05 am

30 Activities Every Child Should Experience: How Many Can You Tick Off?

A generation of children are growing up without experiencing simple outdoor pleasures such as splashing in puddles or mud, building a sandcastle – or even making daisy chains, a study has revealed.

Researchers reckon a whole range of traditional outdoor activities - including building sandcastles on the beach, climbing trees, and having a picnic beyond the back garden - could soon become a thing of the past as children "spend their spare time playing computer games, watching TV or just hanging out with friends" instead.

The study of 2,000 parents was commissioned by the Eco Attractions Group, and revealed that 35 per cent of modern children haven’t splashed in puddles to the point where they end up socked, while another 44 per cent haven’t had the experience of walking through squelchy mud.

Click here to read more...

Baby Bed Hogger Pillowcases @ Twisted Twee

by Lisa Hayes in Misc on 31 March, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Baby Bed Hogger Pillowcases @ Twisted Twee

The picture says it all doesn't it really? Whether you have decided that co-sleeping is right for your family, or you are a reluctant co-sleeper there aren't many of us who haven't found ourselves in this situation. How is it that someone so little takes up so much room in the bed?

The Baby Bed Hogger Pillowcases* are made and sold by Twisted Twee, and this is what they say about them:

These Pillowcases divide the bed into the customary and inevitable sections allocated to each family member. It is a sorry but universal truth of parenthood that those in need of most sleep are allotted the least space!

You can get two different sets, depending on which side of the bed the parents get, and each set of two is £26 and made of strong Egyptian Cotton. Maybe not the cheapest, but very funny.

Survey Reveals Top Ten Things Parents Argue About

by Heidi Scrimgeour in Misc on 31 March, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Survey Reveals Top Ten Things Parents Argue About

Parenting isn't easy (understatement of the century...) and it's definitely the case that my partner and I argue more now than we ever did before we had kids.

But it seems we're not alone, according to a study commissioned by Care.com, which found that the average parent will argue with their other half EIGHT TIMES A MONTH over the kids.

The topic most likely to cause couples to argue? Can you guess? How to discipline their child.

Giving in to tantrums and one parent saying 'yes' to a child when the other just said 'no' are also among the top things parents are most likely to disagree over. Other common disagreements between parents stem from not following through on a threat of punishment, and one parent being too strict or shouting.  (Oh, these sound woefully familiar).

What really surprised me was that more than three quarters of parents admit to disagreeing or rowing with each other over the upbringing of their child - I've always been inclined to assume that everyone else's families were just sort of sailing along harmoniously, so it's weirdly reassuring to know that that's not necessarily the case.

TOP 10 THINGS PARENTS ARE MOST LIKELY TO DISAGREE ON:

  1. How to discipline their child
  2. Giving in to tantrums
  3. One parent saying yes to a child when the other had just said no
  4. One not following through on a threat of punishment
  5. One parent shouting or being too strict
  6. Whether to let a baby cry or self-settle
  7. How much to spend on children at birthdays and Christmas
  8. Immediately seeing to a crying baby
  9. Letting a child sleep in parents’ bed
  10. How to reward children

How much to spend on kids for birthdays or Christmas and how to reward children for good behaviour or work also made the list of row-worthy issues for mums and dads.

And on the topic of how such domestic disputes get resolved, would it surprise you to learn that 51 per cent of parents say they are willing to compromise, while 38 per cent of respondents say Mum is most likely to have the last word?

Interestingly, more than half of the parents polled say their own upbringing is a factor in why they argue with their other half.

“Don’t sweat every battle," advises Liz Fraser from Care.com. "Let some stuff go. But stick to the things you really believe in, and try to find a way to work together on them, not apart.”

Easier said than done, in the heat of the moment. Does any of this ring true for you? What's the number one kid-related issue you're likely to end up having words with your other half over?