Do You Need Childcare?

Childcare is such a huge part of family life and something we all need at some point whether long term, short term, temporarily or as an emergency. It can be such a stressor trying to figure childcare out and you worry about choosing the right one. It’s a hard task, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be…

Childcare.co.uk is a platform which allows parents to search for and connect with babysitters, childminders, nannies, nurseries, private tutors and schools. It also allows childcare providers to advertise their services. The site has more than 2 million users nationwide and is the largest online community for parents in the UK having launched in 2009. 

The Childcare.co.uk website is so easy to navigate your way around and has a really simple free registration process; you can even sign up via your Facebook account for an even quicker route!

The menu on the site is very easy to use. You simply choose which type of childcare you’re interested in and then enter your postcode. The site does the searching for you! Then you’re free to peruse at your leisure! You are then able to use the private messaging system to contact the provider and discuss details all in a safe and secure way. Direct contact details, such as telephone numbers, are also listed for the majority of providers if you prefer this method of contact instead.

The postcode search tool is a really handy feature and lets you input your preferred radius. I home educate my children so I searched for private tutors within a five mile radius and six different options popped up all with great descriptions. It’s definitely something I’ll be using.

A lot of childcare options have been very limited lately due to Covid19 and rightly so but everybody has different needs and some people still require emergency childcare. This site has a whole area on their menu dedicated to the childcare needs of keyworkers, which is really needed right now. So if you or somebody you know require emergency childcare in these crazy times then definitely check out childcare.co.uk. They provide a very safe and very secure service and they come highly recommended. Their site is full of fab reviews for you to check out too!

Whether you’re looking for child care, private tutors, a doula or emergency childcare during the pandemic then this site will definitely help put your mind at ease and make the task ahead a little less stressful. After all, our children are so very precious to us.

Schwartz Shepherds Pie Recipe Mix

We love baking and cooking here! I think sweet treats may be a big favourite but savoury recipes are welcomed by my two boys too!

As home educators cooking and baking are a huge part of our lives, the kids love getting involved! It’s a life skill they’re definitely going to need unless of course they become millionaires and hire a chef, but a back up plan is good right?!

Schwartz kindly sent us a Shepherds Pie Recipe Mix recently for us to try out and review. It was SO easy to follow and the tastiest Shepherds pie I’ve eaten! Even my fussy 7yo enjoyed it!

The recipe mix was so simple to use with easy instructions and very few ingredients.

We set the oven to preheat on gas mark 6 and boiled potatoes for 15 minutes to get 675g of mash. We used 4 large potatoes but this will vary. You can never have too much mash though!

We added the recipe mix to 200ml of cold water, mixed well then set aside for later. We browned the minced lamb with 2 diced carrots and one onion.

After browning we drained away the excess liquid and added 100g of frozen peas and our 200ml of water and recipe mix, stirred well and bought it back to boil.

It smelt delicious! We transferred it to an ovenproof dish and added the mash on top. We smoothed it out with a spatula and then created a line pattern using a fork. This is not the tidiest part of the recipe!

We baked in the oven for 25 minutes. It came out golden with a crispy top! The meat had bubbled over creating a real homemade look.

I served it for dinner with brocolli and everybody thoroughly enjoyed it! I’ll definitely be trying our the other recipe mixes that Schwartz has on sale. I really enjoyed how simple yet tasty the recipe was! A big thumbs up from us!

Have you tried any of the recipe mixes? Which ones are your favourite?

Bright Minds Gift Guide

Are you looking for a perfect gift for a child? Then Bright Minds is the company for you! You can even shop by ages! The age sections go form 0 to 12+.

One of my boys is very into engineering and STEM type activities. Bright Minds did not fail to impress! This Tin Can Robot would be right up his street! And for only £14.99!

My 9yo also loves drawing and anything arty. After browsing the site I came across Supergraph! It is so cool! A real asset to any little artists life! You can carry it anywhere and it doesn’t require batteries!

My 7yo is a massive fan of science and anything messy! There are some great science sets to choose from too! Have a look!

We are also big fans of robots here too! Tobbie Robot is available at Bright Minds and looks wonderful! He is a big must-have this christmas! You even build it yourself!

Whatever gift you need to get then Bright Minds will help you find it! You can even order right up until midday on Thursday 19th December to guarantee pre-christmas delivery!

Go take a look, you won’t be disappointed!

Scleich Horse Stable

We are huge fans of Scleich as you’ve probably gathered over the years. Their quality and attention to detail is next to none! So we were very excited when they kindly sent us their Large Horse Stable to test out! My 7yo loves horses and he was ecstatic!

My 8yo was eager to get building. There were a lot of pieces but the instructions were so good that he only required help for strength purposes. It took about 15 minutes for him to put together.

The horse stable has 7 animals, 2 horse boxes, 2 farmers, saddles, hay bales, buckets, a hoist, a hayloft and loads more accessories. There is also a feeding chute and transport rollers. It’s very authentic! It even comes with labels for the kids to personalise the horse boxes. It retails at £79.99 and is available at Smyths Toys.

The horse stable is a really great addition to our house. We love imaginative play here, my kids thrive on it! My boys set up a little farm scene and sensory tray with theirs!

There are lots of additional playsets and animal figures to collect to grow your very own farm world. The only limit is your imagination!

Tiosebon Footwear

Tiosebon recently sent us some of their footwear and we are SO impressed! They have been so comfortable! These knitted walking shoes are like walking on air!

KONHILL Lightweight Casual Walking Knitted Shoes
About sneakers These walking shoes are perfect for indoor or outdoor any casual leisure assemble. Ultra-light upper vamp with Synthetic design provides maximum breathability and durability. Let these comfortable fashion sneakers be your new favorite casual shoes! They also make the perfect holiday gift.Your feet can breathe easy in the latest iteration of fabric upperHigh elastic MD outsole, slip-resistant, easy to manage any areaFit for various occasions, perfect for casual, walking, running, sportsPerfect accord with human body engineering, green, healthy concept design. Selection of good material, breathable, lightweight, comfortable shoes. Fashion unique durable, safe environmental protection material. 10 
colours to choose from.

These shoes have been such a good wear. They have been on the beach, to the mall, in the town, in the countryside and at home in the garden. I can honestly say I’ve never worn a pair of shoes so comfy yet they look great too!

We would definitely recommend them!

Schleich Dino Cave Review

As you know by now my boys love dinosaur play, whether it’s making fossils or creating their own small world play. The fun is endless with dinosaurs and a vivid imagination!

My boys were thrilled to receive a parcel from Schleich a few weeks ago; a Dino Cave Playset! An actual cave! They were super impressed.

The set contains a Herrerasaurus, a Psittacosaurus, a Microraptor, a cave, a column, a stone and a stone slab.

The Dino Cave set comes with loads of great features; the front part of the cave can be transformed into a catapult when the stone column is moved, which we loved, the stone slab buries everything under it, and the Herrerasaurus has a moveable lower jaw!

The set is so well made, sturdy, and factual. It opens up a whole world of play. We made it into a sensory activity too. We added water, cereal, and pasta. My boys played for hours. And the beauty? The Dino Cave set and dinosaurs are ALL waterproof!

The Dino Cave set is available online and retails at £44.99. We highly recommend it!

The dinosaurs also make great diy fossil templates to for some saltdough creations!

Sleigh gets another BIG thumbs up from Swords and Snoodles!

Schleich Bayala Unicorns Review

In our house we have a thing for unicorns. When I say ‘we’ I mean my 6yo and I! I have loved unicorns for a very long time, and it appears my 6yo shares that love. We have mugs, pens, notebooks, jewellery, cuddly toys, lights, statues but strangely no figures. Until now! Schleich very kindly sent us two unicorns from their new Bayala unicorn range. And they are divine!

These figures are beautiful and full of detail, which is a major strength of the Schleich brand. The figures are part of the Bayala Elves range which allows your kiddies to explore the fairy-tale world and let their imagination run free by playing with the magical creatures which now includes these beautiful new Unicorns. This magical world is right up my 6yo’s street! (And mine!)

We recieved the decorated Unicorn mare and the decorated Pegasus stallion.These figures are available from Scleich and retail at £14.99.

These Scleich Bayala figures get a big thumbs up from us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney Vampirina Bootastic Backpack & Spooky Scooter Set Review

My youngest is a big fan of one of Disney’s newest shows called Vampirina! Vampirina is based upon the Vampirina Ballerina book series; celebrating friendships and differences. The animated series features a young vampire named Vampirina Hauntley who’s recently moved with her family from Transylvania to Pennsylvania to run the Scare B&B, a guest house for ghouls.

Can you imagine his little face when he recieved a Vampirina Bootastic Backpack set to review?! He was SO excited!

And to add a cherry onto the cake he also recieved a Spooky Scooter set too!

The backpack is ace! It’s like the backpack Vampirina wears in the show! The set includes glasses, accessories, stickers, a keyring and a light up, talking necklace.

The backpack is hard plastic with an adjustable strap. It has an easy to use clasp and is ideal for travelling or taking to school.

Even my eldest joined in on the action!

It’s such a fun backpack and would also make a great ‘back to school’ gift for those little cherubs of yours! We thoroughly loved it. It’s so well made too! It retails at £24.99 and is available at all good retailers and online stores.

We were also sent a Spooky Scooter set to review! There are two to collect in this series so far. We were sent Poppy and Wolfie. Poppy has a scooter that she slots onto and Wolfie has a skateboard he attatches to. They also both hook together. They’re a great little duo set and also promote health and safety by wearing the right scooter gear which is a big plus!

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Schleich Dinosaurs Review

We have shared various toys with you from Schleich over the years, we love their products so much, and these Schleich dinosaurs we received did not disappoint! They are fab!

My boys love dinosaur play, they enjoy setting up little scenes with rocks and leaves and dinosaurs of all kinds. It keeps them entertained for a long time, especially if we add a little swamp to the equation.

We received a lovely little package with three dinosaurs in; T-Rex (rrp £15.99), Dinogorgan (£7.99) and a Psittacosaurus (rrp £7.99). The figures are amazing quality, and very factually accurate. The T-Rex also has a moving jaw which adds to the enjoyment.

These figures will guarantee hours of imaginative play, which I am a very big advocate of. Imagination is the key to success, and Schleich really promotes imaginative play. They are recommended at age 5 and above.

We’ve really enjoyed these dinosaurs and can’t wait to add to our collection!

 

Brio Cargo Transport Helicopter Review

We love Brio here, and have many of their train and track products, some which have been passed down from older generations yet are still in immaculate condition. That’s the good thing about Brio, it ages well, so well that it’s timeless.

We were recently sent the Brio Cargo Transport Helicopter, and boy were my boys excited! They loved it. It retails at £34.99 and is well worth the price. It’s made so well and really helps with fine motor skills too. The helicopter is from age 3+.

The Brio sets are made to fit in with previous models and sets, so it fitted in well with our train tracks and trains very well. It comes with a helicopter, a pilot figure, two 2-wheeled transporters and four sets of cargo. The rotary blade also spins. The helicopter is able to carry all of the cargo and makes for a fun time of imaginary play, even for my 6 and 7 year old.

We love Brio and will definitely be adding to our collection again this year!