children

Smiggle Advent Calendar: Review + Giveaway

October 13, 2017

If you are a regular to my blog you will know how much I love Christmas time. Every year I run a 25 Days of Christmas Giveaway from 01 December, and I have been busy for months arranging this year which is going to be bigger and better than ever. Christmas has been my favourite time of year since I was a child, and the love has only grown since having my own 5 children. What’s better than the day itself is the excitement in the lead up to Christmas Day – and there is no better way to mark down the days till Santa comes than with an advent calendar.

The world famous Smiggle Advent Calendar is BACK and better than ever! With more of what Smigglers love, it’s the best countdown to Christmas yet. This year’s advent calendar is filled with limited edition Smiggle stationery surprises (no chocolate in sight) worth over $70! Which means 25 days of fan faves that are sure to bring smiles and giggles.

We were sent a Smiggle Advent Calendar to review this week, and I would love to say I let the kids have a look and then put it away for December but it didn’t happen. The four youngest sat down and opened the doors in turn. My first two daughters (9 and 10 years of age) have been Smiggle lovers for years now, and the younger two got their introduction this week. Needless to say it was a huge hit: all four kids came away with a fist full of Smiggle goodies. We were all surprised at the fantastic quality of the gifts behind the doors – advent calendars in the past have either been a small chocolate or a tiny toy that ends up in the bin within a few days. These were all Smiggle gifts any child would love to own. There was more than enough for the four kids to share one calendar – if you were purchasing this for a smaller family they would be getting a whole lot of Smiggle items that’s for sure!

I am not going to spoil the surprises by letting you in on what you’ll find when you open the doors in your Christmas countdown, but I will say I guarantee you will love it.

The Smiggle lucky ticket competition has also returned and the prize is HUGE!! Find one of the lucky tickets and you’ll win a $1,000 Smiggle shopping spree. We all held our breath when we opened our ticket but we weren’t a winner – maybe you will be?

The Smiggle Advent Calendar gets a massive thumbs up from our household: not only on quality but on price: you can grab it now for $39.95! Purchase online here.

I am giving away one Smiggle Advent Calendar to a lucky follower in time for the Christmas countdown. Entry is on the Mum To Five Facebook Page under the Smiggle Advent Calendar Post.

To enter: Like & comment on the post with WHY you want to win.

Terms and Conditions: Australian residents only. Ends: 20.10.2017 9PM AEST. Winner will be advised on the Facebook post and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. Mum To Five will not be held liable for any lost, stolen or misplaced prizes. This giveaway is not associated with or endorsed by Facebook.

Disclosure: We were sent a Smiggle Advent Calendar for the purpose of this review and post with thanks to Smiggle. All opinions are our own and we were not paid for this review.

 

children

Weet-Bix Messy Kids: The Block star Kara Demmrich on renovations, mishaps and getting messy

October 13, 2017

The hugely popular Sanitarium Weet-Bix™ Messy Kids Search is on again, this year promising to be messier than ever! The contest kicks off October 9 and closes November 6.
To enter the competition, simply upload a photograph of your child to www.weetbix.com.au/messykids featuring their messiest food moment. Weet-Bix want to celebrate genuine, tear-your-hair-out parenting experiences, so the messier, the better!

Enter at: weetbix.com.au/messykids

TV personality Kara Demmrich has been quite a busy bee since she and her hubby Kyal burst onto our screens in both The Block and Reno Rumble.

Based on the NSW Central Coast, not only have the pair established their own renovation business Diverse Design and Construct, they’re also first-time parents to their adorable one-year old son Ziya.

Most recently they put their hands up to be the new celebrity ambassadors for this year’s Weet-Bix Messy Kids photo competition which is on now until November 6.

“When Weet-Bix asked us to be involved in their Messy Kids competition, I had to laugh considering Ziya is the epitome of a messy kid at the moment!” Kara says. “Some of the pics we snap of him eating are hilarious. In a similar way, the competition celebrates all of those crazy, classic, messy food moments by asking parents to upload photos of their child’s messiest food moment to be in the running for some great prizes. Last year the competition generated over 3,000 entries and 20,000 votes – and was a huge success.”

Here Kara gives us the low-down on what she’s been up to.

So what are you currently working on?

We’re currently renovating a property we’ve dubbed the “Long Jetty Reno” just 200 metres down the road from where we live. People can check out the progress we’ve made on the home in our online series on kyalandkara.com We then plan to auction it off when it’s finished.

What’s Ziya like when you take him on site?

Well, I visit the site almost every day with Ziya to help project manage and we have to constantly watch what he’s up to. The other day he started climbing up  a ladder, and yesterday he ended up playing peekaboo with my dad amongst a whole lot of boxes!

As you and Kyle are new Weet-Bix Messy Kids ambassadors, what are some of Ziya’s messy eating moments?

Being renovators we’re used to living and working amongst mess, however it’s nothing compared to the kind of mess a baby can make! Whilst Ziya’s a lot of fun, we’ve had to quickly get up to speed with how a one year old approaches meal times. Which often means the spaghetti bolognaise flying everywhere. He’s also figured out that if he throws stuff on the floor our dog Jonah will eat it, so not much of it’s remaining on the table.

What was one memorable thing from your time on The Block?

One time it was 3am in the morning and Kyal and I were painting like mad in time for our room reveal the next day. I was up on a ladder painting and was so tired I dropped the whole paint bucket on the floor! However, it wasn’t a matter of simply mopping it up. We had laid down bluestone tiles which are very porous and hard to clean before they’re sealed. Kyal had to really scrub and clean the paint up for around one hour until it looked ok. That was an extremely messy moment!

A lot of women feel overwhelmed at the thought of having renovations done, but why is it worth putting up with the hassle?

A renovation is a lot of hard work I’m not going to lie, but it’s worth it because of the end result. Property is such a big industry and renovating is a really good way to invest your money and add value to your home. I also feel a house isn’t really a home unless you put your own special touch on it. The items that are chosen are a reflection of you and your personalty.

Why is it a good idea for women to get involved in the actual hands-on renovation tasks?

One big advantage is that it will save you money which you can then invest elsewhere. A lot of women are often put off by getting their hands dirty but once you try it, it’s actually rewarding. Plus, it’s a bit of a good work out! And once you know how to do some simple things, like how to properly paint, or install a screw, then when it comes to home maintenance this are things you’ll then be able to easily do yourself instead of having to call in a tradie all the time.

As a full-time renovator, how has your work schedule changed since having a baby?

It’s changed so much! For a start when I’ve got Ziya with me it’s not possible for me to physically on a site all the time. Then whenever he’s napping I have to prioritise the most urgent things to do and frantically get them all done within an hour or two. I also do quite a bit at night once he’s in bed. I used to really love being out with the trades labouring for a couple of hours here and there because it’s a good work out. However, that’s not really an option now! Still I’m really enjoying being a mum and am luckily I can combine my work with looking after him.

 

children

Thomas & Friends: Journey Beyond Sodor Q&A with Hugh Bonneville aka Merlin!

October 10, 2017

Thomas & Friends: Beyond Sodor is out on Digital HD & DVD now. Below is an exclusive Q&A with Hugh Bonneville who voices Merlin, the new Experimental Engine!

Tell us about Merlin’s character traits, how would you describe him?

Merlin is one of three experimental engines. He describes himself as a stealth engine, and his particular trait is that he has the ability to be invisible. His personality is such that he is extremely keen to be part of a gang, to help others, and he’s extremely confident of his own invisibility – even though, as we discover, he’s slightly misguided.

What aspects of his character make him enjoyable to voice?

I think the most enjoyable thing about Merlin, as a character to play, is that he’s completely confident that he has the ability to become invisible, when in fact, we the audience know that he doesn’t have that power. It’s rather enchanting to watch him sail through life full of confidence, but actually sometimes being a bit silly. The thing to remember about any steam engine is that they need lots of puff. Merlin is full of puff! He’s very confident, and so there’s a sort of breathless energy about him. Whenever he’s knocked down, he bounces back and heads off down the track. So there’s a sort of pulse about his wide-eyed energy that you try and put into the voice as well.

Merlin is a proud and confident engine – how do you inject your voice with these character traits? What tricks do you use?

I put myself entirely in the hands of Sharon, the Voice Director, who reminded me that part of Merlin’s charm is his complete enthusiasm for life. I think with many of the characters in Thomas, you find this. They live in this world of boundless optimism, and certainly in Merlin’s case that’s true.Whenever he’s knocked down he bounces back and is determined to take part in life, and in every activity that’s going on, even if sometimes he’s not very helpful.

How similar to your own every day voice is your Merlin voice?

My own voice, as you can hear, is incredibly tired and laid-back and exhausted, whereas Merlin is eternally forward-looking and optimistic, and bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I wish I had that energy all the time!

What do you think Thomas fans will most enjoy about Merlin?

I think Thomas fans will enjoy Merlin’s boundless enthusiasm, and his desire to be at the centre of things, and to help, even though sometimes his help might be slightly misplaced. I think he’s quite endearing and wants to be part of a gang, and we all know that feeling.

Can you tell us how Merlin appears to make himself invisible?

Merlin is a unique design in that he has three funnels, and he has been part of an experiment. The theory being, that if you have three funnels, it will disperse the smoke coming out of the funnels more quickly and; therefore, make you invisible in effect to the enemy. In fact, this experiment failed, but no one’s told Merlin that. So, he’s convinced that a combination of the three funnels and closing his eyes, squeezing them tight shut, makes him invisible, and no one’s going to contradict him.

Do you think the ability to appear invisible would be a fun skill to have and why?

Ooh, I think having the ability to be invisible is a double-edged sword, because, yes, it could be great, because you could sneak into the cinema,and no one would notice you, and you wouldn’t have to pay. The downside is that you would also hear people talking about you behind your back, and that’s not always a good thing.

Do you have one or two favourite scenes you have voiced with Merlin, tell us about them?

One of my favourite clips is when he first meets Thomas. Thomas is trying to hide down a siding, and this mysterious voice comes out of thedarkness, and it is Merlin who is enjoying another episode of hiding, whichhe’s very good at, and he’s thrilled that Thomas can’t see him. Of course Thomas can’t see him, he’s a master of invisibility. The fact that it is just pitch dark is irrelevant. That was a lot of fun because it’s our first introduction to Merlin, and he’s showing off his great powers of invisibility. Indeed, hereaches out the hand of friendship to Thomas, who’s a bit nervous, and a bit scared.

Are there any challenges you have had to overcome in voicing Merlin?

I think the main challenge I’ve had in voicing Merlin is that I’m not a sort of 40-tonne truck with any number of wheels and three funnels, but I’ve been trying to get round that, and trying to rely entirely on the animation that’s going on behind me, and that’s going to be superb. I think the biggest, not challenge, but the biggest adventure, is to try and inhabit what these drawings are bringing to life, which is a spirit within this world, this beautiful world, of Thomas and his friends. It was created so many years ago but is still so vibrant, and entertaining new audiences. So it’s buying into all that spirit that has been fun.

It looks quite fun in the studio – how important is it to have a good rapport with your voice director and technical team?

You can’t really do something like this unless you have a good rapport with the Voice Director and the technical team. Sharon, who is the VoiceDirector, has been aligned with Thomas for many, many years, so she knows this world and these characters better than most people. That depth of experience that they bring – she and the team bring – you can taste it throughout the recording process. I’ve learnt a lot in a very short space oftime, to plunge into the world of Thomas, and to become one of the gang.

How physical do you get when voicing a character like Merlin? How important is it to use physicality when voicing?

Physicality, actually, strangely, even though you’re talking into a microphone, becomes very important, because you are trying to bring to life nuances of the basic designs that are here, that will be brought to life further in the animation. So you really have to, without appearing too over the top,you do have to demonstrate the words, somehow. Someone like Merlin is quite expansive and expressive. He’s like a sort of old Victorian actor/manager, who’s very grand and thinks he’s rather mysterious andextraordinary, even though he’s rather ordinary, actually. So I’ve been waving my arms around quite a lot and trying not to hit the microphone!

Do you have any anecdotes from your time in the studio voicing Merlin?

Well, it’s a strange process because on cue you have to either cough, orgrunt, or snore, or appear shocked, or laugh, and so it’s like tumbling headover heels with all these different expressions, but that’s a lot of fun. Can you make you’re anxiety about half a second shorter? Can you make your enjoyment about 20 seconds longer? So, being a bit like a performing sealactually, and that’s been a lot of fun.

Have you had to do any singing for the new film? If so how did you find it? Favourite song?

Yes, Merlin takes part in a song with two of the other engines, which basically, sort of, describes his own characteristics and his ability to appear invisible, but how it’s all-important that everyone gets along and has a go together.

You’re known for so many fantastic roles, what is special about voicing a new character in Thomas & Friends new movie?

To be part of the Thomas family has been a lovely thing, because it’s been around all my life and I never thought I’d be one of those puffing engines going along the tracks, so it’s very nice to share some railway lines with Thomas at long last.

Can you put into words any similarities or differences in playing a role like Merlin in Thomas & Friends to a role like the one you are most recently famous for, Robert Crawley in Downton Abbey?

Well, I suppose they both think they’re quite important, that they’re normally right – that they’re definitely right – and that everyone will agree withthem, and that’s entirely wrong.

What do your friends/family make of you being in a Thomas & Friends movie?

I have one nephew, in particular, who is a train nut, and he will be delighted, I know, that his uncle is appearing with Thomas & Friends, so finally I’ve made it in his family.

Thomas the Tank Engine is an enduring character, loved by children for over 70 years, why do you think he’s so special? Did you love him as a child?

I was quite familiar with the Thomas books when I was young. I think the reason they’ve endured is because there is a world that young children, who are just beginning to learn about stories, and indeed begin reading, there’s a world that they can completely inhabit and understand. At the heart of it, there’s a character that they identify with: Thomas. But they recognise the character traits in all the others, particularly James, I think. We’ve all been in the playground with someone like James, who is a real naughty pain, but actually you can’t help adoring him at the same time, and I think that is the great value of all these characters, and all these stories. There is at the heartof it, these simple tales of friendship and loyalty, and the spirit of adventure, but while keeping on the railway tracks.

What positive messages do you think children get from Thomas & Friends?

I think the adventures that Thomas goes on, and particularly this one, for example, when he goes off to the mainland, and he’s being a bit cheeky bytaking the trucks that James thought he was going to be taking, and you know slightly putting James in his place. So, he takes a risk and actually runs into jeopardy, and is then helped out by his friends, and it all ends pretty well in theend. So, I think those simple tales of trying to do right by others, trying to work as a team. In fact, reading this really reminded me of working on a film set. You can’t do it on your own. You need to have a team and you need to listen to others. You need to give everyone their space and not plough your ownfurrow too much; else nothing will ever get done. So, I think those sorts of simple tales are really at the heart of so many of these stories, and they are as true now as they were when first written.

How do you feel about being involved in Thomas and Friends with its 70-year history, and a long list of talented voice actors and contributors?

What can I say? To be one of the engines in one of Thomas’s adventures, it’s a big thrill for a little boy in a grown up body!

children

Excilor Protector Spray 3 in 1: Review + Giveaway

September 14, 2017

With a house full of kids common ailments are a plenty around here, and in the last 12 months it has all been to do with their little feet. Eczema on the toes, tinea and two children with plantar warts. Plantar warts are very common – but painful to get rid of. We opted for professional treatment both times which involved freezing the warts off. A little bit painful, and a lot expensive. The warts were acquired from pool decks whilst on holidays both times – a very common place to get them.

“Wear your thongs” is good in theory, but even if the kids did wear them religiously (which they don’t!) it’s a virus that can be contracted and passed on easily. When we were offered the chance to test out and share a review of a brand new and innovative product that would help protect the kids feet around areas prone to these common problems I was excited.

Excilor Protector Spray 3 in 1 is the first spray of its kind to help prevent three of the most common foot infections: warts, athletes foot and nail fungus. Suitable for ages two and over the invisible and easy to apply spray provides 8 hours prevention protection for your feet during barefoot activities – the pool area, common bathrooms, gymnasiums and more.

Drying instantly, Excilor’s InvisiBlock technology™ creates an ultrathin, non-sticky copolymer film, which acts as an “invisible sock” creating a superficial barrier that physically protects the skin and also creates an unfavorable environment for microbes and fungus. It is easy to use: spray onto the feet, making sure to cover the soles, the nails and in between toes. You can choose to leave the spray on after your barefoot activity OR remove easily using luke-warm water and any skin detergent, gently rubbing the feet.

The best part about this product is that it does not wash off in water – you’re covered once it is applied, it only washes off with soap!

Excilor Protector Spray 3 in 1 was easy to use, non irritable and is now permanently located in our swim bag and will be taken on holidays with us shortly.

You can purchase Excilor Protector Spray 3 in 1 at Chemist Warehouse, and online now here.

I am giving away three prize packs – each pack includes 1 x Excilor Protector Spray 3 in 1 PLUS a $25 Westfield Gift Card! Entry is on the Mum To Five Facebook Page post.

To enter: Like and comment on the Facebook post – where would you use Excilor Protector Spray 3 in 1? Visit the Excilor Protector Spray 3 in 1 Facebook page.

Terms and Conditions: Entry is open to Australian residents only. 3 entries per person per day are permitted. This giveaway ends 21.9.17 at 9PM AEST and winners will be notified on the Facebook post. Delivery to an Australian address is included. Mum To Five will not be liable for any lost, stolen or misplaced prizes. This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook.

Note: We received an Excilor Protector Spray 3 in 1 to trial for the purpose of this review with thanks.

 

children

VTech My Zone Laptop & Kidizoom Smart Watch: Review + Giveaway

June 27, 2017

VTech toys have been in our home for as long as I can remember. Whenever I think of VTech two words spring to mind: quality and educational. VTech toys last the distance long after your child has moved on to their next stage of development, and they teach kids while they play – what’s not to love about that? With something in their range for everyone from birth to 9 years VTech are a world leader in age appropriate learning fun.

We were sent two of the VTech range to try out. The first was for Miss 3 who received the VTech My Zone Laptop. Aimed at ages 3-6 years this kids laptop features 30 interactive activities with progressive learning levels – the different subjects gradually increase in difficulty.

Little learners can explore phonics, letters, spelling, counting, shapes, musical instrument and melodies, animals, fruits and vegetables. Problem solving skills are strengthened through puzzles and logic games.

Miss 3 loved:

Having her own “computer” that was just for her – age appropriate games, puzzles and fun.

Learning: she is at that age where she is like a little sponge and learning, learning all day long. Mastering colours, letters and shapes with some mummy help is fun.

Mum loved: 

The price: with a RRP of $34.95 this is one of the best priced kids toys I have seen. It has provided hours of fun with many more to come. A large recommended age range means Master 5 can use this too in his year before school.

The VTech My Zone Laptop is available instore in Target from June and is coming to Myer and all good independent toy retailers soon.

Next up was the VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch DX. Master 5 has been obsessed with these since his older sister received one last year to review. He constantly tries to steal her one, so it was a very excited little boy who opened this package.

This watch not only tells kids the time, it teaches them. The Fun Time Master Feature uses verbal cues to match the watch display, and there are over 50 clock displays to choose from in 3D, both digital and analogue. Children can customise the clock face themselves, use the alarm, timer and stopwatch features and record important (play!) dates in their own calendar.

Eight built in games mean my phone is my own again when we are out and about, played by using the touch screen. More content and games can be downloaded online via the VTech Learning Lodge.

All children love taking their own photos and videos, often using up their parents precious phone storage space. The Kidizoom Smart Watch DX allows kids to take their own photos and videos, then turn them into masterpieces using the built-in photo effects, filters and frames.

Other features include: Calculator function, three action challenges tracked with the motion sensors, sweat and splash proof design and easy recharge of the lithium-ion battery using the included micro USB cable.

Designed for ages 4-9 years and with  RRP of $79.95 you can get your own at www.toysrus.com.au www.harveynorman.com.au/big-buys www.kogan.com/au and www.catchoftheday.com.au and all good independent toy retailers.

You can learn more about the VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch DX online at www.vtech.com.au.

This was a huge hit with Master 5 – it hasn’t come off his wrist and he is becoming quite the photographer!

I am giving away 1 x VTech My Zone Laptop and 1 x VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch DX! Entry is on the Mum To Five Facebook Page under the pinned VTech Post.

To enter: Like and comment on the Facebook post. Liking and sharing is appreciated.

Terms and Conditions: Entry is open to Australian residents only. 3 entries per person per day are permitted. This giveaway ends 3.7.17 9PM AEST and winners are randomly drawn via random.org. Delivery to an Australian address is included. Mum To Five will not be liable for any lost, stolen or misplaced prizes. This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook.

Note: We received one of each of the VTech products listed in this review in exchange for this review with thanks to VTech Australia.

children

Travelodge Sydney Despicable Me 3 Takeover: Our Visit

June 23, 2017

It is very rare with this blog that I take things for myself. It was started to keep a record of the kids and run giveaways for the followers I have been lucky enough to gain over the last few years. Every now and then something comes up that is too good to say no to, and in this case it involved funny little yellow things – yes Minions!

We were given the chance to go and stay at the Travelodge in the city for the night, but not just any room – a room that had been invaded by Minions to celebrate the release of Despicable Me 3 in cinemas. While all the kids love the Despicable Me films it is my 5 year old Floyd who is completely obsessed by the little yellow creatures – he thinks they are the most hilarious things on the planet. Naughty like him perhaps???

Travelodge went all out with their Minions Takeover. The beddings, complete with Minions doona covers, rugs, pillows, towels and a set of pyjamas for the kids. A little table and chair that Miss 2 claimed quickly as her own. Minions decorated the walls, Minions cereal, plates, bowls, drinks bottles and cutlery were on the table and the bathroom – Minions toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash and shampoo and conditioner. There was Minions everywhere!

We were given an inter-connecting room for our overnight stay. The rooms are a great size, and have your usual amenities – TV, fridge etc. They also had a microwave which I loved – my two youngest still have their milk bottles at night and being able to heat that up without issue was handy. I took the kids to see Despicable Me 3 at Hoyts Entertainment Quarter – this was a short can ride from the hotel. It got the thumbs up from them all. Miss 2 sat through the entire film without moving, and the other kids have said it is the best one yet.

Travelodge Sydney is in a great spot to explore the city and its sights – ours was a quick overnight stay as it was midweek, keep it on your list if you are looking for somewhere well located, comfortable and affordable on your next visit here.

Despicable Me 3 takeover includes:
5-story high projection of a minion on Travelodge Sydney Hotel
Family room at Travelodge Sydney getting a Minion-make-over from 8 June – 22 June, complete with themed bedding, toothbrushes and toiletries (even walls adorned with movie characters!)
Guests at Travelodge Sydney to be treated to a plush Minion to take home plus a hamper, including bespoke Minion macarons from Zumbo
For travellers who book on a Tuesday, they will receive 20% off a night at any Travelodge Hotel (available until the end of June) and will also a receive a minion pack, including a family pass to Despicable Me 3, a sticker sheet, a toy and the famous minion goggles!! People booking on Travelodge Choosedays can also choose from a 2-for-1 breakfast or late check out.
Selected Travelodge Hotels will also host a ‘Find My Minion’ Treasure Hunt where the film’s resident mad scientist, Gru, has instructed the kids to find his lost Minions in their hotel rooms. These recovered Minions can be taken to reception to redeem a Despicable Me 3 prize pack, including a family movie pass and Blu-Ray.

To book your next stay or find out more see www.travelodge.com.au 

Note: We were guests at Travelodge Sydney, our stay was gifted to us in exchange for social media posts and this blog post. We had an amazing time and are grateful for the opportunity.

children

The Kids Coach: Review & Giveaway

May 24, 2017

My four year old Floyd has recently become more obsessed with using his iPad. I don’t restrict screen time in our home, just the content of what the kids are watching, playing and downloading. For his older sisters with extensive dance and gymnastics classes after school they get more than their fair share of exercise. Floyd however only has his three days of kindergarten weekly before he heads off to big school next year. There is no sports for him yet, so when we were given the chance to review a brand new app on the market that would combine his love of the iPad with getting a dose of physical exercise to boot I was excited!

The Kids Coach was created by Perth Occupational Therapist Ms Roisin Sullivan and her husband, Mr Jamie Jones, a Fitness Instructor. It is a series of 15-20 minute interactive fitness videos for children, which can be done anywhere, anytime – turning their screen time into a much more active experience.

Designed for kids aged 4-10 years the videos help develop skills including gross motor skills, core stability, balance, coordination and proprioception all in a fun and interactive way. The Health Department’s Guidelines recommend that children aged 5- 12 years should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day and that it should include a variety of aerobic activities.

The Kid’s Coach is available for download on itunes or google play now. The episodes cost just $1.99US ($2.63AUD) each. For more information visit www.thekidscoach.com.au

So what did we think?

Mum loves: 

The Price: Considering what we have purchased before on devices (games costing up to $10 each) $2.63 for 15-20 minutes of screen time that can be used over and over again and is benefitting my children’s health and wellbeing is a bargain.

The Benefits: The Kids Coach got my son up, moving and exercising while having fun. He easily followed the videos, he was proud of himself for doing them and he was less hyperactive afterwards. He now asks himself to do his “special exercises”

The Ease of Use: Easy to download and use time and time again. He can use it inside, outside, at the park, anywhere the iPad goes and there is a bit of room it can be used. The exercise were easy to follow, age appropriate and most of all fun.

Floyd loves:

It’s Fun: He has fun concentrating while following the exercises. Kids like physical activity and moving their bodies!

It’s Easy: Floyd followed all the videos easily, from the warmup to the end of the videos. Being four if something doesn’t interest him he moves on quickly – he manages the entire videos easily and without distraction.

Having his own activity: The Kids Coach (so far!) is only on his iPad. This is his activity he does daily, and only his. He enjoys feeling like a big boy taking his iPad outside to do his daily workout.

Thanks to The Kids Coach I am giving away two prize packs! Each prize pack includes:

  • The Kids Coach Tshirt (boys or girls colour depending on winning child)
  • The Kids Coach stickers
  • The Kids Coach carry bag
  • A $10 iTunes or GooglePlay voucher to download the episode (depending on winner’s preference)

To enter: Like and comment on The Kids Coach post on my Facebook page. Visit The Kid’s Coach on Facebook. Liking and sharing is appreciated.

Terms and Conditions: Entry is open to Australian residents only. Unlimited entry applies. This giveaway ends 29.5.17 9PM AEST and winners are randomly drawn via random.org. Delivery to an Australian address is included. Mum To Five will not be liable for any lost, stolen or misplaced prizes. This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook.

Note: We received a prize pack as listed above for the purpose of this review thanks to The Kids Coach. 

 

 

children

Globber My FREE Fold Up: Review and Giveaway

April 20, 2017

A few weeks ago my four year old son Floyd had “Wheels Day” at his kindergarten. All the kids got to bring in their ride of choice and like a vast majority of his classmates he wanted a scooter. The problem was his had broken some months before – so he took in Miss 8’s after much negotiation on his part. The pink scooter had to be returned, so it was a very excited little man who opened a large delivery from Globber Scooters this week – to say it has been a hit is putting it mildly.

Globber manufacture a range of scooters that accommodate every little driver. From three wheels to two, ride on convertibles to accessories, Globber is guaranteed to provide the perfect ride for children of all ages. Floyd was sent the Globber My FREE Fold Up with flashing wheels in dark blue. This model is the first on the market to offer an easy to use ellipse folding mechanism which ensures transportation is a breeze. When folded this compact scooter can be stored easily and pulled along by the handlebars.

Ideal for the youngest of riders (recommended for ages 3 and over) the Globber My FREE Fold Up has three height positions, is a comfortable, well balanced ride for beginners and has three height positions so all children can be accommodated – whether they are small or large like my Floyd.

Since it’s arrival, not only has Floyd not stopped riding, he has had to battle his siblings for a turn – because all his sisters keep stealing it when he isn’t looking. We have an ideal driveway for riders – it is big, long and has an incline, the perfect raceway to have put the new Globber to the test.

So what did we think?

Mum Loves:

Ease of setup and use: Dad put the My FREE Fold Up together in minutes and Floyd was riding like a pro immediately. It was no hassle and no fuss: perfect for kids and parents.

Safety features: the height adjustable T-BAR handle means not only does it suit him now, it will suit him as he grows. The scooter’s low deck gives greater stability for him, and greater peace of mind for me. The long and rear covered brake was easy for Floyd to use – which made me feel safer watching his confidence and speed increase. Steering lock button on the front of deck (safe and simple handling) for steering locking system to make learning easier. The performance: X-CROSS deck design, strengthens the deck structure and improves directional turning performance to the T-BAR handlebar.

The size: this scooter fits easily in the boot or in the front of the car without taking up a lot of space – ideal when you have multiple kids or limited boot space.

The steering lock button: located on the front of the deck this locks the steering in place so your rider learns to scooter straight first before becoming a dare-devil on their wheels.

Floyd Loves:

The flashing wheels: without a doubt this was the best thing about this scooter for not only Floyd but all the kids. I don’t blame them – who doesn’t want to stand out and sparkle when driving? A massive hit.

The brakes: easy to manoeuvre and ride he stopped and started with ease and had it down pat in no time.

Easy to use: Floyd can fold the scooter up and down himself and transport with ease – no parental help required.

Every safe driver needs to adhere to the road rules and Floyd was also sent the Globber Helmet RRP $60. These are Australian Bike Standards Approved, have a DFS (Dial Fit System) for a Perfect Fit, a Magnetic Catch Lock and come in Small (48-54cm), Medium (55-58cm), Large (59-61cm)

You can shop the full Globber range on the website at www.globber.com.au You will also find a list of stockists on the website.

Thanks to Globber one of you will be winning a Globber My FREE Fold Up with flashing wheels (RRP $200) Entry is on the Mum To Five Facebook Page under the Globber Scooter post.

To enter: Like and comment on the Globber Scooter post on Facebook. Visit Globber Australia on Facebook. Liking and sharing is appreciated.

Terms and Conditions: Entry is open to Australian residents only. Unlimited entry applies. This giveaway ends 27.4.17 9PM AEST and winner is randomly drawn via random.org. Delivery to an Australian address is included. Mum To Five will not be liable for any lost, stolen or misplaced prizes. This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook. Prize colour is subject to availability and can be requested, but not guaranteed. No exchanges or refunds will be allowed.

children

Luna Park Sydney: Win 1 of 2 Family Passes

April 8, 2017

Luna Park Sydney will become the destination for everything Smurfy over the April school holidays with an action packed program of Smurf-filled adventures set to excite Smurf fans of all ages from 7 – 25 April.

Guests will discover Luna Park’s Smurfs Lost Village, an immersive zone complete with 3D Smurf statues, inflatable mushroom houses, illuminated trees, artificial grass and the chance to get hands-on in an exciting craft workshop. Park guests will have the opportunity to meet and greet their favourite blue movie characters such as Smurfette, Brainy and Papa Smurfs as well as have photos taken with them.

There will be various Smurfs prizes to be won at the Park Carnival Sideshow Games before guests are treated to the sensational daily Smurfs Parade featuring character appearances and dancers. Entry to the Smurfs attraction is available with any rides pass.

With all the action sure to work up an appetite, guests can fill their bellies at one of the Park’s various food establishments or get hold of a sweet treat of Smurf blue Fairy Floss and receive a bonus badge of their favourite Smurfs character.

By uploading their best photo at the Smurfs Lost Village to Instagram using the tags #SmurfsLostVillage @lunaparksydney, guests will have the chance to win prize packs and tickets to the Smurfs’ latest movie installment Smurfs: The Lost Village, set to be released 30 March.

As part of Luna Park’s school holidays activities, from 27 March – 25 April guests will have the opportunity to purchase a FunFest Unlimited Rides Pass for only $38 and experience favourites such as the Tango Train, Wild Mouse rollercoaster, Ferris Wheel, Coney Island and more. This offer is only available online at lunaparksydney.com

Luna Park Sydney’s Rooftop Cinema is set to be a hit these April school holidays, with a variety of classics as well as some of the biggest movies for 2017 on the rooftop for the first time at Luna Park between 7 – 27 April, all movies will be enhanced by Wireless Headphone technology, allowing guests to experience the ultimate noise cancelling system.

Surrounded by the unbeatable view of the Sydney Harbour, visitors can snuggle up under a blanket, put on their headphones and catch an assortment of films spanning a number different genres while indulging on a number of candy-bar classics, providing the perfect accompaniment to any film. From the newest award winning films and timeless classics to the most heartwarming animated films, there will be a blockbuster to please every taste and age.

If cinema favorites are not enough, guests can purchase a movie package including a post- show dinner at The Deck brasserie, with mouthwatering dishes and delicious cocktails, the waterfront venue is open from Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner during the school holidays period.

The Rooftop Cinema’s movie sessions will be held every evening from April 7-27, excluding Sundays with movies starting around 6:30 when the sun sets. A general admission ticket is only $22 and $18 for children under 13 years of age.

Guests can combine a viewing of the new Smurfs installment Smurfs: The Lost Village with a visit to Luna Park’s Smurfs Lost Village attraction, an immersive zone complete with inflatable mushroom houses, a craft workshop and live visits from their favorite blue movie characters Smurfette, Brainy and Papa Smurfs in park daily for a limited time.

An Unlimited Rides Pass will be available at a discounted price when purchased with a cinema ticket, giving guests the opportunity to experience favourites such as the Tango Train, Wild Mouse rollercoaster, Ferris Wheel, Coney Island and more.

Get your tickets online now at www.lunaparksydney.com/buy-tickets

I am giving away two family passes – which includes four unlimited rides passes to spend a day at Luna Park Sydney.

Entry is on the Mum To Five Facebook Page by commenting under the Luna Park Discover the Smurfs post.

Entry is open to Australian residents only. Entry is via comment on the Facebook post, unlimited entry applies.
Entries open 7am 8.4.17 and close 7am 11.4.17 AEST. This competition is a game of chance – winners are drawn using random.org
One entry is permitted per person.
2 winners will each receive a Luna Park Sydney Family Pass valued at $208 per prize.
Luna Park Sydney Unlimited Rides Passes must be used within three (3) months of the Notification Date, or on or before the expiry date stamped on the pass.
An Unlimited Rides Pass to Luna Park Sydney is valid for use on any one day Luna Park Sydney is open to the general public, before the expiry date indicated on the voucher. Luna Park Sydney reserves the right to cancel the Unlimited Rides Pass if any attempts are made to misuse it.
Prizes are not transferable or exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash.
If any prize (or part of any prize) is unavailable, it will be substituted with a prize to the equal value and/or specification.
Winners will be notified on the Facebook Post within 24 hours of competition close and will have 48 hours to make contact to claim or a new winner will be drawn.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook. Mum To Five will not be held liable for any lost, stolen or misplaced prizes.

children

My Two Year Old Owns Me

March 26, 2017

My 5th child is now two and a half and I am often heard quoting an age old sentence my mother used to say about me.

“If she had have been the first, there would have been no more”

That is because she is an asshole. I am not talking terrible twos here, I’ve been through those. I am talking A-Grade punish.

Once upon a time I would see other mothers pussy footing around their small frogs and giving in to their every command and demand with a look of terror on their faces – the “I’m not fulfilling this kids wish fast enough and if I don’t get this right ASAP my life will be over in 3,2,1…..”

I will admit, I used to look at little Gladabelle, all of two or three years of age and think “you little TWERP” Then I would sneak a peak at mumsy and or dadsy and while I like to think I never judge other parents on more than one occasion the desire to run up and grab them by the throat and yell ” Who the hell is running this show – get it together! And let me help you!” was very overwhelming. I never did it though, and thank God for that.

Because now, I am that frantic, hyperventilating mess of a parent.

I am the mother who says to her two year olds siblings “Just give it to her, or she will scream”

“Don’t antagonise her, or we will all pay for it”

“Yes, give Miss 2 the last cookie, I don’t care if you miss out”

And so on. This is due to the fact our lives are not worth living if what she decides she wants to eat/do/wear or go isn’t given to her yesterday.

In short, this kid owns not only me, but the entire house. Even the dog tip toes around her. Because like a bomb she could go off at any second. And none of us want that. Especially me.

Our major issue is her attire. She won’t wear pants of any description. Will only wear certain dresses. Likes $3 KMart shorts but only certain colours on certain days. Don’t ask me how she knows Thursday is yellow shorts day, she just does. Shoes are our biggest issue. Won’t wear enclosed shoes. Won’t wear socks. With all the rain of late practical runners needed to be purchased, and today was the day.

I was ready. I was strong. Today I was going to win. For Christ sake I have birthed 5 kids, and lived to tell the tale. This kid WAS going to wear sneakers – white, pink – I’d even back down on my no – character rule and buy her a set of  hideous My Little Pony light up singing kicks if that’s what it took.

As you can see, only one of us was a winner today……