The Spoonie Mummy Reviews – Zimpli Kids

Good morning and happy Wednesday! Today I have an exciting post to share with you – my review of the Zimpli Kids bath products. We have previously purchased these products but were kindly sent a box of goodies from them to try out just before Christmas. The boys were super excited and grateful to say the least!

Zimpli Kids

Zimpli Kids is a relatively new company which designs and supplies innovative, fun kids toy products. Their products include a play range, outside range and a bath time range.

Bath Tine!

We have previously used the Gelli Baff and Crackle Baff products. Riley is a bit funny with the textures of certain things so I thought he my not enjoy the feeling of the Gelli Bff, but after a nervous start, he actually really loved it! Even I ended up with my hands in there, playing with them! It is available in different colours so the kids can choose their favourite.

The Crackle Bath effect is good, but short. However, there are multiple packets in the box so you can do this more often. Riley really enjoys this one and it is the least messy option!

We got to try the Slime Baff just before Christmas and if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen how much fun the boys had! It also featured in the weekly vlog over on my YouTube channel. I found the Slime Baff needed a little more cleaning power to remove from the boys, particularly the hair, but it washed out of the bath really easily.

Cleaning

To clean these products from the bath, you just have to add more water and it rinses down the plughole. There is barely any residue left and I just rinsed the bath with the shower head and you couldn’t tell what had been in there just five minutes before!

We are really looking out to trying out the Snoball play next We will be sure to share our fun on the social media pages. I couldn’t recommend these products more, they are really great and so different to other things available. They are 100% safe and boron free which is reassuring. They are also well priced, and perfect for stocking fillers and little treats. They would be great for kids to save up pocket money for too. I think we will get the glitter one next as you cannot beat a bit of sparkle and the Smelli Baff too! We are also looking forward to the new Baff Bombs which should be out soon.

Where To Buy

You can purchase these products in The Entertainer, Smyths Toy Superstore, Ryman, Asda/Walmart and Claire’s. You can find the links to these places here

Have you tried any of these yet? Which was your kids favourites? Let me know in the comments below,

Children’s Book Reviews

Good morning! Today I wanted to share with you a selection of children’s books we have recently read. I absolutely love reading with my children and encouraging them to enjoy books. Both my boys have inherited my passion for reading which I am so happy to see!

The Cow Said Neigh! by Rory Feek

The Blurb

From New York Times bestseller Rory Feek, one half of the singing duo Joey+Rory, comes The Cow Said Neigh!, a fun and humorous tale of farm animals who wish they were like the other animals . . . which leads to a farm-full of confusion! This delightful book will be a family favorite for years to come.

The Cow Said Neigh! is the story of some peculiar farm animals who wish they were like other animals on the farm. The cow wants to run free like a horse, the sheep wants a snout like a pig, the dog wants to be inside like the cat. Soon the entire farm is in chaos!

With silly farm animal sounds, clever rhymes, and adorable art, The Cow Said Neigh! will have kids of all ages laughing out loud as they celebrate the unique strengths in each of us.

This delightful picture book is sure to be read time and time again.

What I Thought

A great book that young children will love. I really enjoy books for this age that rhyme and this one has some really lovely illustrations to go with it. Perfect for little ones who are learning farm animals names and sounds. Perfect bedtime reading!

Where To Buy

Faithgateway Store

Clean Up, Up, Up! by Ellen Mayer

The Blurb

It is cleanup time, and Daddy and his little one are putting away books, blocks, teddy bears, and train cars, washing hands, and preparing for dinner—all while having fun with math! As Daddy talks with his toddler, he uses spatial-relationship math words and phrases like up, down, inside, outside, next to, and under to reinforce his young learner’s understanding. When it is dinnertime, the little one proudly demonstrates an understanding of down when helping to set the table and up while enjoying the first delicious bite!

A playful story that models engaging conversations between parent and child, Clean Up, Up, Up! includes a note by early childhood education expert Susan C. Levine that shows parents and caregivers how everyday activities offer rich opportunities to teach early spatial math concepts.

What I Thought

This is great for learning about positional language (up, down, under etc) and will help encourage and give ideas for tidy up time. The interaction between the parent and child in the story is lovely. The text is in both Spanish and English which I love to see. It also has notes for parents about reading the book and how to extend your child’s learning from it.

Where To Buy

Ellen Mayer website with links to buy

Spacekid iLK by Andrew Hammond

The Blurb

iLK is a Glubwark from the planet Glub and his dad has just invaded Earth.

iLK isn’t keen on being involved in the invasion, but his dad, BiLK, quickly decides that Earth is useless and hands the mantle of ‘Emperor of the World’, down to his son.

iLK becomes responsible for ruling Earth and soon grows to love it. So when he discovers his father isn’t interested in caring for the planet he is confronted with a difficult choice. How will iLK save Earth whilst also trying to fulfil the responsibilities assigned by his father?

Spacekid iLK: Invasion 101 is an illustrated novel for ages 8–12. At an age where children are learning about different points of views and about taking responsibility, this book aims to not just extol the virtues of doing the right thing, but also asks why one would and what that choice involves.

Using entries from iLK’s journal and comic pages throughout, Spacekid iLK: Invasion 101 is likely to engage even reluctant readers.

What I Thought

I loved this and I am sure the boys will too. Although it is aimed at 8-12 year old I think good readers aged 6 -8 years would get on well with this too. It could also be read to this age group by the parents and enjoyed. I liked the diary style layout of the story and the illustrations were good. The book is funny but also teaches children about choices and different points of view. Highly recommended!

Where To Buy

Amazon UK – paperback

Amazon US – paperback

Change The World Before Bedtime by Mark Kimball Moulton, Josh Chalmers, and Karen Good

The Blurb

Written in simple, engaging rhyme, this story takes an inspirational look at how the little things in life—a smile, a kind word, a simple deed—can help change the world in a big way. Through 21 stunning illustrations featuring a diverse group of young dreamers, children will read about eating right, cleaning up the Earth by recycling and conserving, helping the sick and those less fortunate, and working in a group to make bigger miracles. Even an ordinary kid can be a superhero before bedtime!

What I Thought

I really loved the gorgeous illustrations in this book. Full of ideas to make the world a better place that can be done in our every day lives. Perfect bedtime reading for 5-8 year olds it provides a lot of further discussion prompts for parent when reading. The rhyming text doesn’t flow as well as in most books but I think with the lively conversation starting points this does not really matter.

Where To Buy

Amazon – hardback

Buzzing Bees by Melissa Higgins

The Blurb

For ages 4-8 years

What makes a bee a bee? What are the buzziest bees from around the world? Carefully leveled, engaging text supports life science curriculum related to classification, behavior, life cycles, and more. Smithsonian Little Entomologist feeds kids’ natural curiousity about the little critters in their world to meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Fans of augmented reality will love to buzz beyond the printed page with up-close bee videos, accessible via the Capstone 4D app or on your web browser. 

What I Thought

A great little non-fiction offering for kids and perfectly set for the recommended age group. This book is informative and full of great, bright and clear photos to illustrate the information. I love that they offer extra content online and check out the website for other great non-fiction books about other insects

Where To Buy

Capstone website

The Not-So-Brave Penguin by Steve Smallman

The Blurb

Posy the penguin is scared of many things – snowstorms, loud noises, the dark – but when her adventurous friend Percy is missing, Posy plucks up the courage to overcome her fears and goes on an excursion to find him. After an intrepid journey, Posy finds an injured Percy in a dark cave. She rescues him and brings him home, realising in the end just how brave she can really be. A heartwarming story about friendship, being brave, and overcoming fears when it really matters, this picture book is sure to delight and entertain.

What I Thought

A really charming story, perfect for bedtime reading. Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, the story shows you can overcome your fears and be a great friend. Leo (aged 10) is a huge penguin fan and even at his age enjoyed this little story! Gorgeous illustrations compliment the story well and there are ideas for further discussion for parents/teachers at the end of the book.

Where To Buy

Amazon – kindle, paperback and hardback versions available

I hope you enjoyed this selection of kids books I would recommend this month. A huge thankyou to NetGalley for my ARC of these books in return for an honest review. I hope you and your little ones enjoy them as much as me and mine did. Happy reading!

The Spoonie Mummy Reviews – Clever Tykes Books

Good morning and happy end of the week!  Today I want to share some great new books we were kindly sent by Clever Tykes.


The Clever Tykes Books series contains four books – Walk It Willow, Code It Cody,  Change It Cho and Write It Ryan.

The books have been designed to encourage positive behavioural changes.  They help inspire positivity, innovation, independence, resilience and resourcefulness and are aimed at children aged 6 to 9.  

“Did you know that only 25% of our professional success is determined by our IQ?  The majority is determined by our positivity, social support and being able to see stress as a challenge rather than a threat” (Clever Tykes Website)

What Did We Think?

The books are really well made and the illustrations are fab.  Both of my boys (aged 7 and 10) were able to read them themselves but also enjoyed it when I read them as their bedtime story.  We split the book over two nights, it would have probably been better over three or four nights but they were desperate to know what happened so we kept reading for longer than usual!

We read three of the books and enjoyed every one.  My personal favourite was the one about healthy eating (I am a bit of a stickler for it) but the boys picked Code It Cody as theirs.  They both love computers and Leo has recently started learning about coding.  I loved the fact that Clever Tykes use characters from the diverse world we live in – Cody has a hearing aid.  Living with a disabled mum, the boys never see this as a big deal but for some children who haven’t come across disability, this will be a great introduction to it.

I think these books have given the boys a real boost with their confidence.  Riley doesn’t struggle as much but Leo can become quite easily defeated by things and tends to give up when challenged.  The way the characters in the books tackle the problems they face is fantastic and helps children to understand they can find different ways of doing things and to keep trying.  

I do cross stitch and Leo asked recently if I could teach him.  It was lovely sat sewing together and just chatting as we did so, but he became frustrated when the pattern he was doing didn’t come out right.  He handed over his sewing stuff and got up to leave the room and I thought he was giving up.  Then he told me he was just going to the toilet and when he got back he was going to just attempt his own pattern to practice instead of following one from the book.  I was really proud of him!

Both boys were full of their own ideas when reading the books too – giving me things that they thought they could do, ideas on computer games they would like to invent and Riley enjoyed telling me about his current topic at school which was healthy eating when we read Change It Cho.

These books will make a great addition to any child’s bookshelf, and would be an ideal Christmas gift.  The stories are well written and engaging for kids and the message behind them is a really good one – and different from so mnay others out there.  I would highly recommend for all children in the 6-9 age group and so would the boys!

The books are available to buy from the Clever Tykes websiteYou are also able to purchase colouring and activity packs to go alongside each book which is a great idea to keep the lesson going, as well as certificates for when your child has completed them.  Teachers are also able to purchase teacher guides for use in the classroom.  In the back of each book there is an email address to which children can email the characters in the book to tell them what they thought of the story which is a really nice touch!

Hope everyone has a great weekend.  Please let me know if you decide to purchase these and what you think of them, it would be good to hear of other children enjoining and benefiting from them.

I received these books from Clever Tykes as a gift.  All opinions in this review are my own

Autumn Activities For Kids

Thought I was all clever and organised getting this scheduled didn’t I?  Not realising that I would wake up poorly after a lay and realise it had already been sent out to my email subscribers unfinished!  Urgh!  Life with chronic illness is unpredictable to say the least!

Today I wanted to share some of our favourite Autumn activities with you.  Not being able to get out and about as much can be really difficult.  Children have so much energy they still need to use up, but the weather, particularly here in the UK, can be unpredictable to say the least.

Autumn Walk

This is definitely one of our favourite things to do in the Autumn and the kids love being able to get outside.  It really is one of the most beautiful seasons isn’t it?

We were lucky enough to be sent this amazing Nature Exploring Kit from the lovely people at Anthisan.  They had seen that we like to get out and about, especially with the dogs and after both Ste and Leo getting wasps stings within a week of one another this was a perfect collaboration for us!

 

They have been running a fun campaign celebrating the great outdoors and encouraging people to enjoy insects in the outside world and not be fearful of them.  Although Leo was a little cautious after his sting, the boys really enjoyed getting out and about looking for bugs.  I don ‘t know about where you live but we saw LOADS of ladybirds here, they seem to be everywhere at the moment!

anthisan

Anthisan can be used on insect bites, stings and also on nettle rash so is brilliant, especially for nature lovers and dog walkers like us!  It can be used on adults, the elderly and children over the age of two.

Find out more about Anthisan on their website including where to buy/buy online options
Nature Explorer Set available in Marks & Spencers

Leaf kicking and collecting, photographing, conker and acorn collecting are some of the other activities we love to do in the Autumn.  Autumn treasure hunts are also great fun and kids love them, especially if you tell them they can have a treat if they can spot everything on their list!

Crafting

After a walk why not turn the leaves you have collected into an amazing piece of artwork?  You could use them to collage with, do leaf rubbings of and lots more.  Pinterest is great for inspiration and you can follow me over there by clicking here.

We also had a fun afternoon painting some rocks that we had collected.  Spray them with yacht varnish to seal (you can buy this for £1 in Poundland and similar stores) and hide them while out and about for others to find.  I am a member of the Derbyshire Rocks Facebook group and there are ones for all different regions on there!

I recently did a Halloween craft post – 10 Halloween Paper Plate Craft Activities For Kids

Puddle Jump

Sometimes (especially in England) it just does not stop raining so just embrace it!  Get your coat and wellies on and go for a walk, letting your kids jump and splash to their hearts content!

Home, clothes in the washing machine, hot shower/bath and a hot chocolate for after!

Burning energy – Play Centres and Trampoline Parks

Yes I know, I know!  I hate them too BUT in the winter they can be a godsend.  When you have spent a couple of days stuck inside because of the weather and everyone is getting cabin fever these places can be brilliant.  And the joy of your kids being that little bit older means you can go sip on a nice cuppa while they play!  If you have younger ones, yeah you might be OK skipping the gym that day!

Cinema

We all love going to the cinema.  The last film we went to see with the boys was Smallfoot and we all loved it!  We can’t wait for The Crimes of Grindelwald (huge HP fans in our house) and also The Nutcracker film.  Think we will also go and see The Grinch in December – Riley is a massive Dr Seuss fan!

Board and Card Games / Jigsaws

We all love a board game and have got quite a few!  Firm favourites include Frustration (we have the Minion version), Game Of Life, any Top Trumps (Leo got a footballer version and Riley a Horrible Histories version for their birthdays) and Uno.

I am a bit rubbish at jigsaws but the boys are great and we do enjoy a challenge.  Our current one that we are doing is a 1500 piece London one.

We also have a JigRoll which means the jigsaw does not have to be left out on the side, they can be rolled up and put away and then taken out again when we want to carry on!

Toasting Marshmallows.

Marshmallows – tasty treat, great for ostomates for thickening their output and even better when toasted.  We love sitting by the fire outside, chatting, snuggling and enjoying a sweet treat.

Baking

Leo especially loves helping out in the kitchen – whether its helping with breakfast or the Sunday Roast or conjuring up something sweet for us to enjoy.  Again, Pinterest is great for ideas and to make it even simpler you can get the box kits from the supermarket (usually around £2 or £3) in loads of different varieties.

I hope you have enjoyed reading through my ideas and they have inspired you a bit!  Let me know in the comments what your favourite things to do in Autumn are!

nat

10 Halloween Paper Plate Craft Activities For Kids

So half term is upon us!  My boys were off last week but I think the majority of children have this week off.  I thought I would share some cheap and easy activities for you to do.  These are all activities you can do with a paper plate – I picked u[p a pack of 30 for just £1 so it really is something you can do even when you have little money.

1 – Spiderweb Threading

The boys loved getting a go with the hole punch for this one!  Punch holes around the outside of the plate and then cut out the middle.  Take some wool and thread it to make the spider web pattern in the middle of the plate.  I picked this awesome black/purple wool from Poundstretcher and you can also get wool in Poundland.

2 – Witches Hat

Kids can let loose and decorate their hats any way they would like – paint, glue, colours – let their creativity roam free!

witch hat

Photo by Cutesy Crafts

3 – Spider

I picked up these awesome googly eyes from Wilkos and they are perfect for Halloween crafts!  Add some pipe cleaner legs and you are all set!

4 – Night Scene

This is one for older kids.  They look fantastic displayed on a window for the light to shine through.  Cut out the skyline, add in some tissue paper and then a few shiny stars.  Ta da!

(photo)

5 – Design A Pumpkin

The paper plate is a perfect shape for practising your pumpkin design on!  Leo did a fantastic drawing of a Fortnite character on his – probably a little bit to detailed for me to cut but he did an amazing job so it is now displayed on the kitchen door!

pumpkin

Picture by Clare’s Little Tots

6 – Halloween Mask

Another simple idea as kids can use whatever they have at home to create a super scary mask ready for Halloween.  Colour, paint or glue, the choices are up to you!

mask

Photo by Housing A Forest

7 – Halloween Wreath

A great activity to do after an Autumn walk – collect leaves on the way and then make a pretty Autumnal wreath.

wreath

8 – Toilet Roll Bat with Paper Plate Wings

Another great thing for crafting with kids – the toilet roll tube.  Paint it black and cut out two wings from your paper plate.

bat

Photo by Crafty Morning

9 – Paper Plate Ghosts

These are great to hang outside and see blowing in the wind!

ghosts

Picture by Odd Socks and Lollipops

10 – Paper Plate Skulls

Another really simple make for those that aren’t crafty by nature!  Children can have some good practise with their cutting skills on this one too

skull

Photo by Glued To My Craft

Hope these ideas will give you some inspiration and help you keep the little ones busy for a few hours!  Let me know what other kid craft ideas you would like to see in the comments below and I will do some more of these type posts in the future

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy