Tech-Free Tables with Dolmio

Is this a familiar sight at your dinner table?
DSC_5834

A recent survey carried out by Dolmio discovered that over half of us say that technology at meal times has a negative impact – and it’s easy to see why.  Just look at the picture above, every one of us is staring at a screen, even Amy is trying to check out what’s going on on Chloe’s screen.  There’s no conversation, no laughter, no interaction full stop.  What sort of a family meal time is that?!

As a family, we’ve always been really strict about the kids’ tablets – they always ask before they use them, they’re not allowed them upstairs, they’re not allowed them after tea time etc.  Not having their tech at the table has always been something of an unwritten rule, they’ve never asked and we’ve never had to say “no” – the expectation is just there.  That said, Mummy and Daddy don’t always follow the same rules.  My own mobile phone (which is basically an extension of my right arm at times) is often found on the dinner table, albeit usually face down.  Sometimes it’s there because I’m using it to control the music we’re listening to over dinner, which is fine in itself but if it’s there, I’m afraid the temptation to quickly check it if it pings a notification is just too great.

Family on their phones at dinner

Of course the nature of my job is that I’m almost always connected to the internet, interacting on social media or checking my emails for information about deadlines and briefs or chasing invoices but actually I need to get a grip of that.  I need to put my phone down at mealtimes and just be with my family.  I can just imagine what my Grandma would have to say if she saw that picture of us all sat staring at screens instead of chatting to each other!  Nobody in the world is more important than the people sat around my dinner table so everyone else can wait right?

One in three households have tried to ban tech during meal times and almost half say they feel like they have no way of stopping it!  Even celebrity mum, Louise Redknapp admits that “There are times when we say “Right, no devices over dinner” but they gradually creep back in”.

Louise’s top tips for a tech-free table include:

  1. We all put our devices face down in the middle of the table during dinner – if anyone picks theirs up before we are all finished then they have to do the washing up!
  2. In the summer it’s great because the Wi-Fi isn’t as strong in the garden so we always make sure we eat outside when the sun is shining which helps avoids any tech interruptions.
  3. I find that involving the boys in the cooking of their favourite meal (Spaghetti Bolognese) and giving them jobs such as laying the table etc really helps to distract them and get them away from the TV and off their devices.
  4. Another tip is to put all of the devices in a ‘tech stash drawer’ – if I’m really struggling to stop the boys from picking up their devices from the table during dinner, we all have to put the phones, tablets and laptops in the drawer until mealtime is over.
  5. It sounds very simple to say but leading by example is key – myself and my husband don’t use our devices during dinner, half an hour of not replying to a message or an email isn’t going to do any harm, so the boys see that and follow our lead.

I would suggest, that if tech is encroaching on your family meal times to such an extent, that a blanket ban might feel too much to start with and perhaps just one meal a week would be a great first step.  Tech free Tuesdays or Facebook Free Fridays . . . one meal a week where your tablet, your phone, your tech in general is left in another room – on silent or even switched off – while you all enjoy a family meal together.  One meal doesn’t sound so hard does it?

Family meal

Pleasingly, 82 per cent of parents surveyed by Dolmio said that tech-free mealtimes are happier and 56 per cent said they saw a vast improvement with everyone around the table talking – if that’s not encouragement enough to instigate “tech-free tables” then I don’t know what is!

We don’t sit down to eat at the table together as often as I would like, our mid week evenings are crazy busy with clubs etc and the kids are usually too hungry to wait for Daddy to get home from work and cook.  (Regular readers will know that Dave is a proper “man about the kitchen” and does the lion’s share of the cooking in our house!)  What we do try to do is make sure we have our weekend meals together, sat around the table.  I must admit there are times when I really don’t want to do this as I want to just eat my dinner in peace and not have to discuss whether it’s ok to leave the peas or what the difference is between bacon and ham whilst debating if the food is too “spiky” or not.  (Chloe’s term for spicy!)  Thank goodness for pasta!

Dolmio Pasta meal

Over the school holidays we’ve been really lax about meal times with lots of living room picnics in front of the tv . . . Come September this will have to stop.  I’m conscious that we need to set the precedent of family meal times now though as it will get harder as the children are older and have “better things to do” than sit down with us and eat!  Hopefully we can maintain the expectation that we sit together for our meals and that we eat at the dining table, not in our bedrooms or in front of the telly!

Family eating pasta

Dolmio are keen to bring families together for tech-free dinner times and are offering you the chance to win an exciting hamper of Dolmio goodies to give you a head start on your next tech-free mealtime!  To enter just complete the Rafflecopter below choosing as many options as you’d like – please ensure you do this accurately to avoid disqualification.  (Prize may differ slightly from image)

Dolmio Hamper

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Collaborative post*

Preparing for Back to School with Learning Resources

Making repeating patterns with Learning Resources

I’ve long been a fan of Learning Resources as a brand – both at home and in my classroom. I was first introduced to them during my time as Nursery teacher some 12 years ago and have used them in school ever since.

At home they are one of the first brands I look to when I’m searching for educational resources. I invested in a set of Learning Resources sorting animals when I was first trying to teach Ben his colours knowing we’d be able to use them for sorting, making patterns, learning about size and colour, counting… The list goes on.

All About Me Family Counters and All About Me Family Counters Activity Cards

Now straight up I’m going to say that the All About Me Family Counters aren’t just about maths – they’re also great for social development.  With family counters to represent people and pets, they’re great for initial discussions around who is in your family and developing personal identity.  That said, we went very much down the maths route when we started to play with them.

At first, I just tipped all 72 counters out onto the table and asked Amy if she could sort them by colour which she did confidently, naming the colours as she went along and also discussing the sizes of the counters or who they represented and counting some of them.  For not quite three years old, she has a fairly impressive grasp of her colours and her sorting ability is top-notch.  Had we wanted to extend the sorting activity we could have sorted them by type or grouping them into families with one of each type of counter.

Learning Resources Family Counters

Learning Resources sorting people

Once she’d finished sorting the counters, we decided to take a look at the All About Me Family Counters Activity Cards, starting off really simply with a matching activity before moving onto simple repeating patterns.  I was impressed that with a little help Amy was about to complete the most simple of the repeating patterns – this certainly wasn’t something we’d worked on before.  The fact that the Activity Cards are “language free” means that your ability to read (or not) has no impact on you being able to complete the tasks – the focus is solely on your maths skills.

Learning resources activity cards

Learning Resources Repeating patterns with Mummy

DSC_5896

Ben & Amy with learning resources

Making repeating patterns with Learning Resources

As the levels of the cards increases they begin to address simple addition, subtraction or multiplication calculations and even start to work on introducing some basic algebra with missing number calculations (something which children often find very difficult in the early days so it’s worth practising!)  Ben came and had a look at some of those cards and whilst the foxed him initially he soon had it sorted and knew what was expected of him.  (I love that this proves the value of the cards as they can be used from Amy being two right through to Ben being ready to move into the juniors next month!  All three of my children can benefit from counters and activity cards)

This one box of easy to handle, brightly coloured counters (and the associated sturdy cards) offers up so many possibilities for learning and reinforcing early maths skills both at home and in the classroom and we flipping love them!

Figuro Mental Maths Card Games (Multiplication and Division) 
Ben’s school report (like most kids of his age) said he would benefit from working on his multiplication & division facts. We often practice his timetables if we’re on our own in the car & I’ve downloaded apps from him to practice with (though he’d rather spend his time watching rubbish on YouTube).  I know from experience that your times table and associated division facts really do need to be known by heart.  I’m not sure I ever really learned mine properly and now at 36, I till find myself relying on “known facts” – which basically means that I know bits of my times tables  (eg 6 x 6 = 36) and can quickly work out the rest from there.  Which is fine, it works.  But really I do wish I knew them better, that I could be quicker with them – I think I’ve just got a mental block now.  I want Ben to know his times tables inside out so that he doesn’t even really have to think about them anymore.

Of course a great way of getting his multiplication and division facts really secure is to play around with them and the Figuro Mental Maths Card Games give him the opportunity to do just that.  Designed for 2 or more players, each pack offers up four clear games to be played along with suggestions for more activities.

Learning Resources Figuro cards

The cards are great quality and are clearly made to withstand being played with over and over again.  The cards are organised into difficulty levels so you can play with one level or all at once.  They also feature a unique “self-check code” along the sides of the card which allows players to quickly check their answers whilst playing – the teacher in me loves this as it means the game could be played independently.

Although the cards are targeted at ages 6 and up, and Ben is more than capable of understanding and playing the games themselves, we found that as yet his knowledge of multiplication facts just isn’t good enough.  The games focus on finding equivalent answers – eg if your card says 10 x 10 then you can find a matching card of 20 x 5  . . . so you have to work out the answers to both calculations to check that they match.  I think this is great for children who are more confident in their times tables already but for Ben it was a step too far at the moment.

I can see the cards being really handy in a classroom as a starter activity or in small groups as part of a main lesson on multiplication or division.  I know that Ben is going to really enjoy using them further down the line once he has a more secure knowledge base to work from!

So, if you’d like to win a set of Learning Resources All About Me Family Counters and Activity Cards, just complete as many of the Rafflecopter options below as you’d like.  (Please do ensure you do this accurately to avoid disqualification).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

*We were sent these Learning Resources products free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week #34 – 2016)

Tuesday again? Really? What have you all been up to over the last week?

Welcome to another week of #TriedTested! Of course we wouldn’t be able to say that without you lovely lot returning each and every week to link up your favourite reviews and taking time to read and comment on others. We have always been really proud of the fact that the bloggers joining in with #TriedTested are keen commenters; let’s face it there’s no point in linking up if you’re not going to get lots of lovely people reading your post is there – so gold stars all round. You’re ace, keep it up!

Please have a quick read through the points below to make sure you know how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you

* If you’d like Colette to tweet you a reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop her a tweet (@Lollinski) and she’ll add you to the list (Reminders have been temporarily suspended but will be back soon!)

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

So if this is your first time here then welcome along, where have you been? You can find out more about #TriedTested and how to join in here. If you’re a regular then welcome to you too, it’s lovely to have you back! Crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

This week we have loved:

#TriedTested featured blogger

YippieYo review from Jack’s Paper Moon. Gorgeous photos and a lovely context for the YippieYo review, which we are now heavily lusting after!

#TriedTested featured blogger

Maps International pin board review from Finding our Feet. We loved this bedroom theme, and how easy it would be to customise to suit any style.

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important:
* Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up
* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people really appreciate the feedback!
* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)
* Please don’t link up a linky or comment on other people’s posts asking them to join your linky too as it’s really not good etiquette!

We do our best to visit each post to leave a comment but we can’t promise to get round everyone every week – especially over the summer holidays!! We would love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too so other people know where to find the linky.
We're going on an adventure



Lighthouse “Fayda” Waterproof Parka – Review

Green coat with hood

As soon as I clicked onto the Lighthouse website – this beautiful parka was staring me in the face. Being tall I often find coats and jackets come up a bit short so the longer style really appealed to me. Aside from just looking better, it’s also means I won’t suffer from a wet bum when I get caught in a typically British downpour!

Lighthouse Parka

I must admit that I was tempted to go with the fail-safe navy but after some encouragement from Anna I braved the green! I’ve been trying (and mostly failing) to add more colour to my wardrobe for quite some time!  I know what colours I’m looking for thanks to a fantastic style consultation with Anna Mewes – unfortunately I’m struggling to find those colours in the shops!

Green coat with hood

When the coat arrived I was surprised at just how light-weight it was, it feels as if there’s nothing too it. Of course this makes it perfect for the summer when you don’t want to be wearing a heavy coat but have no desire to be soaked to the skin either.  This was tested perfectly at Just So Festival over the weekend when it was really warm but just wouldn’t stop raining!

The bright green is fairly true to the website and I love that it stands out, making it easy for the kids to spot me when we’re out and about.  It has also picked up lots of compliments on instagram over the weekend which just shows that it really is “my colour”.

The casual styling of the coat makes it ideal for chucking on over my standard festival attire – leggings, Joules stripe wellies etc. And for being folded up into my bag if the sun comes out!  But it’s also smart enough for the school run or a quick dash into town – it’s a gorgeous, stylish waterproof that doesn’t look like I’m about to climb a mountain or go hiking across the moors!  Waterproofs are rarely so nice to look at!

Lighthouse Parka with Joules wellies

The stripe lining is a cute detail especially as you can see it in the hood and also looks great if you fold the sleeves up!  I also found that the drawstring waist is great for my shape – coats are so often unflattering and boxy on me so this just nips everything in a bit.

Lighthouse parka details

I can be a right old fuss pot when it comes to coats and jackets and have been known to get through whole winters with a big cardigan and an umberella rather than have to wear a bulky or restrictive coat – however this one is super comfy, looks great and does the job of keeping me warm and dry too!  It’s an all round win and I know I’m going to loads of wear out of it through the warmer months!

Thanks to Lighthouse for sending me the coat free of charge for the purposes of review.  All thoughts and opinions remain my own.

Diet regimes for puppies. Does this affect training?

*Collaborative Guest Post*

Today, our “puppy” Thomas is seven years old.  It seems like no time at all since he was all of three months old and coming to live with us.  With that in mind, I’m sharing a post on how best to feed your puppy for good health and to meet his full training potential!

ten week old boxer puppy

When you have a new puppy, it’s important to offer him a healthy eating schedule and to make sure that he is following it strictly to ensure the best possible health and training results. By getting your dog on a good diet schedule, you’ll enhance your dog training while also boosting his health in the process.

Feed During Set Time Periods

For the best results you should set a couple different times throughout the day for your dog to eat his food. These are the times that you will put down the bowl of food, and if the food isn’t eaten during these times your dog must go without. This helps assert that you are in control of the food and that you say when it can be consumed and when it cannot. It’s an important step to help you train your canine to behave.

Choose High Quality Food

The type and quality of food that you give your dog can really affect the house breaking process. That’s because low quality food will cause your dog to poop much more often than high quality food will. That makes it difficult for your companion to make it outside in time without having accidents around your home. Simply switching to a good quality food will make it much easier for your pet to go outside, which is great for your carpet, and for training progress overall.

Restrict Nighttime Water

It’s never a good idea to fully restrict the water that your puppy has access to, because this can lead to dehydration and other problems, but that doesn’t mean you need to provide water all throughout the day either. When house training your puppy, it’s a good idea to stop giving him water a few hours before bed, and to make sure that he’s been outside during that time period as well. This makes it easier to make it through the night without accidents and is an excellent training tool for owners to use.

The way that you feed your dog, and the quality of food that you give to him really can affect training as well as his health. That’s why you have to do your best to offer high quality food at all times, and to keep good control over the food that you are giving your dog for his health and to make training simpler for you. Talk with a good puppy trainer to help you figure out just what food to feed your dog and how to handle giving it out every day. Learning proper food handling will lead to better training results overall.

For the best services in Los Angeles dog boarding and training, visit TheLovedDog.com.http://theloveddog.com/

Back to School with Letts – Giveaway

Much as I don’t really want to admit it to myself, we are well and truly in the throes of August, which means that September and “Back to School” is on the horizon.  Although we’ve been off school for five weeks now, it feels like it’s gone so quickly and I can hardly believe we only have a couple of weeks of summer left.

I picked up a pen yesterday to fill in a form and felt like I’d forgotten how to write properly as it had been that long – a feeling I have had every September – both as a child and now as a teacher myself!  Any teacher will tell you that there is often noticeable “summer learning loss”, that at the start of a new school year children will take a little while to remember things they had learned and to get going again.

Letts Back to School prize

Letts have some fabulous engaging and motivating learning books available to help your child to get their brain back on track and ready to learn again!  All of the books are designed to support the national curriculum so that you know they are reinforcing what your child is being taught at school.

The website is easy to navigate and you can browse their range of books by age group.  What’s more they are offering a 30% discount on all books until 30 September 2016 when you use code BACK30 at www.lettsrevision.co.uk.

To help get your child ready for Back to School, I’m giving away a bundle of Letts books tailored to your child age worth £50!  Just complete as many of the Rafflecopter options as you would like, ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Sponsored Post*

Outdoor Play Is Crucial To Your Child’s Development

*Collaborative Guest Post*

During a busy week, it can be hard to find the time to get outdoors.  But, while we may be content as adults to stay inside, it is imperative that children are given the opportunity to spend time outside.  Outdoor play is a fundamental part of growing up; without it, children miss out on the vital skills needed to become healthy and happy adults.  Although we may label it as “child’s play”, there is actually a lot of effort and learning that goes into the process.

boys doing sack race

Unfortunately, in today’s society, a quarter of children are only getting around 30 minutes of outdoor play a week.  That’s less than some prison inmates get!  While parents are concerned about the lack of time their children spend outside, not enough is being done to increase it. On average, children spend around 6 hours a day playing on tablets, watching TV and gaming on their laptops.

Outdoor play equipment is no longer top of the Christmas shopping list, as children receive more and more entertainment opportunities indoors. But, if this trend continues, what exactly are our children missing out on?

Outdoor Play Builds A Healthy Body And Mind

We are all aware of the benefits of exercise from a young age. However, outdoor play is not only about keeping children active. It also builds important emotional, social and cognitive skills.

As your child plays, they learn to self-regulate, problem-solve independently and get to grips with the idea of empathy and cooperation. These are the attributes that will help them transition into healthy, self-sufficient individuals. Although some of these lessons may be taught through other mediums like computer games, these don’t offer the same level of interaction. You can’t form an emotional bond with an iPhone, no matter how attached to it you get.

It’s become far too easy to demote the importance of outdoor play.  Sixty-six percent of us are worried we don’t spend enough time playing with our children. But outdoor play doesn’t always need to be adult-led.  Unstructured play is just as critical for early stage development. Children should be allowed their independence even as infants, with free play proven to be a powerful tool for learning. As parents, all we need to do is provide them with the opportunities to exercise this autonomy.

Just to put it into perspective, here’s a list of all the benefits regular outdoor play has to offer:

* Physical fitness – outdoor play reduces the chances of obesity, boosts the immune system, increases vitamin D levels and strengthens core motor skills.

* Mental Health – outdoor play can relieve stress and help children with attention deficit disorders or social anxiety burn off some of that nervous energy

* Cognitive Development – outdoor play focuses children, encourages independent learning and promotes creativity

* Social Development – outdoor play encourages children to share and collaborate, work together as a team and negotiate and resolve their own conflicts.

* Emotional Development – outdoor play enables children to understand tricky concepts such as empathy, come to terms with their fears and regulate their own emotions.

Opportunities For Outdoor Play Are Everywhere

Bearing in mind that outdoor play needn’t be rigorously structured, the chances for your child to get hands-on with nature are limitless. From simple activities in the garden to climbing frames and sand and water pits in the playground, outdoor play is an abundant resource. Wherever a child’s imagination can be sparked, the opportunity for useful play exists.

Cartwheels on beach

We should never underestimate a child’s capacity for pretend play, especially since it is such an effective form of learning. Children can turn logs into animals, play equipment into fortresses and woodland into entire kingdoms. They don’t need us to dictate their games for them, just so long as we are enthusiastic about taking part.

Far too many of us feel pressurised into providing constant entertainment for our children, when the right opportunities are already out there. While trips to the cinema or the arcade are stimulating in their own right, they don’t hold the same natural, priceless values as the great outdoors. Children need time to explore and investigate the natural world for themselves. Even if the walk to school is the only time you’re able to encourage your child to play up, it can make all the difference.

For happy and healthy children, green-time over screen-time is always the way forward.

Author Bio: Sam Flatman is an outdoor learning specialist and an Educational Consultant for Pentagon Play. Sam has been designing school playground equipment for the past ten years and has a passion for outdoor education. He believes that outdoor learning is an essential part of child development, which should be integrated into the school curriculum at every opportunity.

Website: http://www.pentagonplay.co.uk/

Pentagon’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PentagonPlayUK

Pentagon’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/PentagonPlayUK

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week #33 – 2016)

Wow these weeks are slipping by so quickly! I’m sure we’re going to have a whole raft of Back to School prodcuts hitting our #TriedTested linky over the coming weeks!

Welcome to another week of #TriedTested! Of course we wouldn’t be able to say that without you lovely lot returning each and every week to link up your favourite reviews and taking time to read and comment on others. We have always been really proud of the fact that the bloggers joining in with #TriedTested are keen commenters; let’s face it there’s no point in linking up if you’re not going to get lots of lovely people reading your post is there – so gold stars all round. You’re ace, keep it up!

Please have a quick read through the points below to make sure you know how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you

* If you’d like Colette to tweet you a reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop her a tweet (@Lollinski) and she’ll add you to the list (Reminders have been temporarily suspended but will be back soon!)

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

So if this is your first time here then welcome along, where have you been? You can find out more about #TriedTested and how to join in here. If you’re a regular then welcome to you too, it’s lovely to have you back! Crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

This week we have loved:

Dear Mummy Blog Featured Blogger

Camp Bestival review from Dear Mummy Blog – This write up is full of fabulous photos and gives a real taste for the festival.  I’m sorely tempted to take my own family next year!

Featured Blogger Diary of a Mum of 3

Summer Fun with Teva Sandals  from Diary of a Mum of 3 – These sandals look like a great alternative to flip flops and perfect for sunny adventures!

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important:
* Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up
* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people really appreciate the feedback!
* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)
* Please don’t link up a linky or comment on other people’s posts asking them to join your linky too as it’s really not good etiquette!

We do our best to visit each post to leave a comment but we can’t promise to get round everyone every week – especially over the summer holidays!! We would love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too so other people know where to find the linky.
We're going on an adventure




Siblings – August 2016

Another month has passed.  A month of sunshine, sand, ice cream and adventures.  Although it has been a month were we have been very much in each other’s pockets, I’ve taken less photos than usual as we have been concentrating on our #SevenWeeksofSummer vlogs.  For this month’s Siblings post I’m sharing just a handful of my favourite photos of my little gang together over the last month.
Siblings in York
DSC_3584
Siblings Cuddle
Siblings Manchester street art
Siblings on slide at York Maze
Siblings August
Siblings Aug
The three of them are having such a fantastic summer together and I’m loving watching them enjoying some quality time together be it snuggled up on the sofa, playing games in the playroom or exploring the world together on one of our many summer adventures.  They are so lucky to have one another.
The Siblings Project

Shopkins Topps Trading Cards – Giveaway

A couple of months ago I introduced Ben and his best mate Finley to the new Force Attax Extra Topps Trading Cards.   Although Finley was already a keen collector of Match Attax cards, Ben hadn’t collected anything like this before and we spent some time taking about how the collection would work and swapping duplicate cards.

Both boys were immediately excited by the special shiny cards or the ones which stand up – getting a special card in your pack is always a great moment!

The boys have worked hard over the last two months to earn extra packs and complete their collections and have both done really well.  What they do need to do however is spend a little time going through their duplicate cards and swapping them to fill the gaps – that said I think Ben quite likes having multiples of the same card, especially if’it’s a character he particularly likes!

Boys showing off Force Attax

f course with the boys building their Force Attax Extra collections, the girls want to get in on the game as well!  Conveniently Topps have a great range of Shopkins Trading Cards products which meant Chloe and Erin could also start to collect and swap cards together.

Now neither Erin or Chloe know a lot about Shopkins (and in fact neither do their mums!) but that doesn’t stop them being super excited about their collections, particularly the shiny, sparkly cards – who wouldn’t be excited by those!  The cards feature the adorable, collectable characters from Shopville and can be used to play a game with the mat included in the starter park.  At the moment, the girls aren’t bothered by playing the game and just want to collect and compare their cards!

Shopkins Trading Cards

At just £1 for a packet of cards (available in Martins, McColls, One Stop, Asda, WHSmith, Tesco and Sainsburys) they make for a great treat or incentive which won’t break the bank!  (They promise of more Force Attax Extra or Shopkins cards is certainly getting me lots of jobs done around the house)

For your chance to win a selection of goodies to get your Shopkins collection off on the right foot, just complete the Rafflecopter below.  Please ensure you complete your entries accurately to avoid disqualification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



*Disclaimer – We have been sent our Shopkins sets free of charge as part of our Topps Ambassador role.  All thoughts and opinions remain our own*