Sunday, 19 October 2014

Read With Biff, Chip And Kipper App

Now Thomas is at school full time, he has been reading with the school and learning phonics to help his knowledge grow. One thing the school use is the Biff, Chip and Kipper range of reading books. Thomas absolutely loves these and regularly brings them home to practice reading with. 

To help him at home more though, I was offered to review the new Biff, Chip And Kipper app from Gazoob, which I have downloaded to my phone for Thomas to use.

Gazoob is a developer and publisher of children’s interactive and educational digital apps and games and recently launched ‘Read with Biff, Chip and Kipper’ as a range of interactive reading apps.

Created in association with Oxford University Press and starring the much loved characters from Oxford Reading Tree, the ‘Read with Biff, Chip and Kipper’ range features six levels of reading and phonics books, complementing the learning children are undertaking at school and giving parents the opportunity to support their child’s reading at home.

The app is created to be educational but not boring and so has fun stories that have a lot of repetitive words to help children learn them and also includes games and puzzles too. I love the fact that Thomas can now use my phone for learning without him constantly playing on my games instead. 

When you get to the menu, it is fairly easy to use. You start off on level one and can swipe right to get to the higher levels, Once you've decided on your book, it will come up with a list of common words that are used within that story and that the child will be practising when reading it. You can also choose whether you want to use the auto play feature whereby the whole book will be read to them, or they can select to read it by themselves and scroll through the pages as they read. 

Each page only has a minimal amount of words and the picture depicts what is happening in the story. Children can read the words as they go, or if they get a little stuck, they can simply press on the word and the app will read it out to them. This is a great way for a child to learn to read whilst parents can be happy about the fact that their child can check a word they are unsure of.

What's more, whilst reading the book, your child can enjoy finding things in the picture that are associated with the story. This might be rhyming words 'dog, log, frog' or words that begin with.. type games. And, at the end of some of the books are a little treat with a game to play. Thomas enjoyed the mazes which he got to work out and help the characters get to the other side. 

Overall, I think that this app is a great learning tool for children to help them learn along with the Biff, Chip and Kipper books which they get from school. As well as teaching children how to pronounce words and make sentences, the app also teaches children how to use technology too as they need to know how to swipes, click and move around the screen whilst enjoying the books. 

I also love the fact that it's not just about reading the books but also, it keep children interested by asking and teaching about rhyming words, the alphabet and games too. 

The Read With Biff, Chip And Kipper App is available on iPhone and iPad from the App Store , Android from Google Play and the Windows Store.

ChattyFeet Review and Giveaway

We are a family of childish people. There is nowt better than playing outside and having a ride on scooters, and that's just me and the hubby. Dressing up at Halloween and getting the house all scary too and even going mad at Christmas and doing up the whole house. 

So, as you can imagine, when I find out that a company do funky socks, for adults as well as children, I couldn't wait to give them a try out.

ChattyFeet are all about the fun-factor. For that moment when you slip off your shoes and just want to slide across the kitchen floor. You can do it with the help of your friends on your feet. The funky characters are so quirky and each has their own name.

We were sent 3 pairs each, a matching set of Mr. Zukkato socks that we can all wear at the same time. Mr. Zukkato is our friendly resident vampire that sits on our toes. Be careful though as he has a lot of bite and you don't want to wake up with a missing toe!

It's great that you can purchase matching socks in all the different sizes. The boys had 2-4 years (shoe size 7-9) for Charlie and 4-7 years (shoe size 9-12) for Thomas. 
I had size medium which come in at a shoe size of between 4-8 and my husband had large which are 8 1/2 to 11 1/2 in shoe size. 

The rest were a mixture of different styles...

The hubby was sent a pair of Don Cottone and a pair of Kloss The Clown socks. Don Cottone is the sockfather of socks. A bit of a gangster man who keep all your other socks in check. No longer will you have socks going missing in the dryer when Don Cottone is around to patrol his patch. Kloss The Clown is one funny character, perfect for a novelty birthday gift, to spread a cheery smile.

I was sent La Diva and Loli. La Diva is a music lover, an opera singer and the perfect pair to wear whilst you're practising your X-Factor audition, as if it's bad, you can simply pin the blame on her. Loli has her finger on the pulse of pop culture and will keep you company whilst you're watching your favourite fan fiction or reading a good book. For me, she looks a little like a Russian doll. 

The boys both received a pair of Commander Awesome Jr Kids socks. Commander Awesome is the perfect socks to wear when you are out on an adventure. He can't wait to leap in to action and show you his bright ideas to get you in to some funky situations.

Thomas then received a pair of Gelly Jr socks and Charlie received a pair of Meggy Jr socks. Gelly Jr loves expeditions and will no doubt help in finding all those treasures that are hiding out there whereas Meggy Jr is the perfect playmate as she has a love of games.  

And now down to the nitty gritty. The sizings are great and each pair fit us perfectly. the boys pairs have a lot of room and will fit them for ages yet. The bold, bright colours stand out and there is a great eye for details put in to making these socks. I like that you can look at the socks you are wearing and create your own little world of imagination just by looking at their facial expressions.

I love the socks designs and that they all come with their own little story. For me, these would be the perfect little gift for a child or adult, whether it be for a birthday or a stocking filler and at £7 for an adult pair and £5 for a children's pair, they are an affordable range of funky socks. 

You can find out more information about the brand and purchase the socks from the ChattyFeet website.

And now, how would you like to try them out for yourself? Well you are in with a chance as one reader will be the winner of 2 pairs of your choice (subject to stock), one adult pair and one child's pair. All you have to do to win is to fill in the Rafflecopter form below and let me know which 2 pairs you would pick if you won. Would you go matching or go different?

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends Midnight 9th November

Saturday, 18 October 2014

That One Big Call

Have you ever been waiting for something to happen in your life. Just watching everything pass you by until, one day, you get that one big call that changes it all. It can be from anyone, a friend, family member or someone you work with, but you once you've received it, that something has to change.

That's what happened with Jo Malone...

As I'm sure you know, Jo Malone is mostly known for her fragrance ranges, probably mostly for her candles. She does a range of bath and body products and fragrances for the home that are all absolutely stunning. 

The video below "The Big Call" is about how Jo Malone started out, all the troubles she went through and how, in the end, she accomplished her beautiful fragrance range. 

As you listen to her story, we get to learn a lot about what she has been through. Starting her first job at 16 which was in a flower shop and loving how the fragrance of the flowers surrounded life. The flower shop gave her a creative library of fragrances and this ended up forming her business which she opened by buying plastic tubs and worked in a tiny kitchen to get creative.

Unfortunately, Jo sold her business when she was diagnosed with cancer which eventually she beat after fighting it for year. After this time, she wanted to get back in to making her own fragrances but everything that had happened, left her a little disheartened, to the point where she nearly gave up, until, one day, her friend gave her a call...

Have you ever had that one call which changed everything for you?

Friday, 17 October 2014

Aldi Halloween Challenge

As I've said in previous posts, I absolutely love Halloween and I try to show that to my kids. We bake scary cakes and biscuits, collect loads of sweets for trick or treaters and dress up the house and garden top to bottom as well as dressing up ourselves. 

So, when Aldi sent us out the new Halloween Play Doh set and set us the challenge of using this to create scary creatures and whatever we could think of. I couldn't wait to give this a try as the boys love Play Doh. 

It was a nice day outside when we got the kit and so decided to do some crafting outside (that way I didn't have to worry about the Play Doh getting squished in my carpets either). Setting out a tea towel to place our creations on, we got to work.

The bag shows a few ideas on the bag such as ghosts, bats and cats etc and so we did try a few of them but also used some cookie cutters to make our own creations too, although some aren't really that scary.

Each pack comes with 5 different colours but 3 pots of each, this way you don't need to open them all and can just use what you need. The mini pots are fab and each is the perfect size for creating a monster. 

We got rolling, cutting, piecing together and come up with some designs...

The pumpkin was super cute and Thomas enjoyed making it, as well as the ghost too, Using cookie cutters, we made some faces too, using green as the face and purple and white for features which did kind of look a bit scary in the end. 

We made a gingerbread man with purple eyes and then my hubster joined in to create some monsters. A green snake and, what was supposed to start out like a bat, but ended up looking a bit like a stingray. 

It was a fun days activity and we created a lot of creatures and, because we didn't use all the pots, still have some more to do some more activities with too.

The Play Doh Halloween Bag is in store at Aldi now as part of their Halloween Special Buys where you can also find spooky masks, costumes and much, much more.