Swim Academy Pyjama Week

Each term, Puddle Ducks hold a Pyjama Week – and whilst getting in the pool in your PJs is a bit of a giggle and the lessons are all great fun this is also for a much more significant reason.  If you or your child were to accidentally fall in the pool or any other body of water for that matter, the chances are you are not going to be fully prepared – wearing your swimming costume, hat and goggles.  No, it’s far more likely that you will indeed be fully clothed and believe me this is a whole different ball game.  Being fully clothed in water is a strange experience and one which makes swimming very difficult – your clothes weigh you down, they make it harder to move through the water.  By swimming in our pyjamas several times a year, we are normalising this for our children hopefully removing some of the unfamiliarity should they ever find themselves in water unexpectedly.  Teaching them to swim in their clothes as part of a fun and familiar swimming lesson gives them a head start should the worst happen.

Now that Amy is in Swim Academy things have stepped up a gear and in our most recent Pyjama Week she was also taught skills to help her rescue someone else who is in trouble in the water.  Namely don’t get in yourself but go find help.  She was taught how to lie on her tummy and reach a long object (in this case a woggle but in real life more likely a rope or stick) out to the person in distress to give them something to hold on to.

The rest of the lesson focused on vital life saving skills such as being able to float, to jump in and turn immediately to reach for the side (or safety!), treading water and also how to swim normally in clothes without the hat and goggles she is used to her in Swim Academy lessons.

Puddle Ducks Swim Academy Pyjama Week - Swimming on woggles

Puddle Ducks Swim Academy Pyjama Week - swimming in PJs personal survival skills

Puddle Ducks Swim Academy Pyjama Week

Puddle Ducks Swim Academy Pyjama Week jumping in

Puddle Ducks Swim Academy Pyjama Week reaching for the side

Puddle Ducks Swim Academy Pyjama Week - learning to float

As you can see, Amy thought the whole experience was great fun but, sitting on the side, it was clear that everything Amy was being taught might just save her life in an emergency.  Although the focus of Pyjama Week is specifically on teaching personal survival skills, water safety is a significant feature of any Puddle Ducks or Swim Academy lesson and let’s face it, the main reason most of us send our children for swimming lessons.  Amy is constantly being taught things like reaching for the side, how to tread water or to roll onto her back and float – I’m not convinced Ben and Chloe have ever been taught anything like this in their local council lessons where the focus is . . . well actually I don’t know what the focus is but I guess that’s the point.  When I watch Amy in her Swim Academy lessons I can see exactly why she’s being taught everything she does – be it for personal survival or as a next step towards learning a common swimming stroke like breast stroke or even butterfly (Ben couldn’t believe Amy has already started to learn butterfly at 4 having only recently started to do it himself!)

Pyjama Week is just another reason that we flipping love Amy’s Swim Academy lessons with Puddle Ducks!

*Amy swims with Puddle Ducks Greater Manchester free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions and remain our own*

Grass & Air Light Catcher Mac – Review & Giveaway

Now that spring finally seems to have arrived, it’s time to pack away the big bulky winter coats and swap them out for something a bit lighter.  Of course the British weather can never be trusted so we’re still rocking a waterproof over here in Manchester as we face those April showers!

This spring my girls are wearing matching Grass & Air Light Catcher macs.  Now if you’ve not heard of Grass & Air before, they’re a Manchester based brand with a passion for getting kids outdoors whatever the weather . . . this is an ethos I can get on board with.

Grass & Air Light Catcher rain coats

Sisters wearing matching Grass & Air rain macs

The Light Catcher rain macs are a new addition to the Grass & Air range, similar to their “Rainster” but with a super cool twist – as well as being fully waterproof the Light Catcher macs feature a high tech reflective print which means in normal daylight it is barely visible but when the light hits it, it reveals a cool raincloud print!  In addition to the subtle reflective raincloud print the raincoats also feature reflective zip detailing.  This is a far cry from those reflective yellow arm bands we used to get from the road safety people as kids and I know for sure my Grandad would have flipping loved the idea of a reflective coat!  He was so safety conscious and I hated it, I thought it was boring and totally uncool – not words you could associate with the Grass & Air Light Catcher macs that’s for sure!  My kids have no idea that their rainclouds are actually a really clever safety feature, they just think it’s a bit of a novelty!

Grass & Air Light Catcher with reflective coral zip detail

Grass & Air branding

Of course during the spring and summer months the girls are not likely to be wearing their raincoats in the dark, they are long in bed before the sun sets now, however that doesn’t mean we don’t have plenty of grey, wet days ahead of us – this is Manchester after all!

One of the things that both girls really liked about their new raincoats is that aside from all the practical features I’ve just mentioned above, they’re actually really quite pretty.  The gathered waist detail and longer length made the coats feel grown up and almost dress-like and as such made them an instant win with my girls!

Grass & Air raincloud Light Catcher

Grass & Air longer style raincoat

As you can see from the pictures, both girls have plenty of growing room in their Grass & Air rain macs as well as room for a jumper underneath.  Because of the longer style, the nipped in waist and elasticated cuffs they can get away with their coats being a little big (yes, I am one of those Mums but, if I’m investing in outwear, I want to get as much wear as possible out of it and usually aim for two years!) Amy is wearing age 5-6 and Chloe 7-8 and I would say these are very much true to size – both girls are quite tall and as such are generally wearing a size above their actual ages of 4 and 6 anyway.

Grass & Air Light Catcher raincloud print

matching navy Grass & Air macs

I’m thrilled to be able to offer you the chance to win a Grass & Air Light Catcher mac in either the Raincloud print as pictured on Chloe and Amy or the shorter Lightening Bolt style.  Just complete the rafflecopter below, ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*We received the girls Grass & Air Light Catcher macs free of charge for the purpose of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*

Planning an Italian Escape

*Commissioned post*

Dave and I have been lucky enough to travel to Italy fairly recently when we surprised my Mum in Venice for her birthday in November of last year.  We fell in love.  Not with each other (that happened many years ago!) but with Italy itself and we are both keen to return and explore more of what this beautiful country has to offer.  From the food and wine to the relaxed atmosphere, beautiful buildings and gorgeous shops there was just so much to love about Venice and I’m sure that the rest of the country wouldn’t disappoint.

My parents are big fans of Italy having been on more Italian holidays than I can count and they keep threatening to move there in their retirement (though I think they would prefer to refer to it as an “extended holiday” being as how neither of them actually wants to retire!). I think the idea of finding homes to rent in Italy for a few months of the year is extremely appealing to them – do you think they’d want us to visit or do you think they’re actually trying to escape us?!

Family weekend in Venice

Although we already have a family holiday in France planned for May half term and our summer holidays are starting to look pretty busy, I must admit that whilst sitting enjoying a delicious meal of antipasto, pasta and pizza with the kids in Zizzi during the Easter holidays I found myself pining for an Italian break.  That’s not to say we’re not looking forward to our holiday in France, we really are, it’s just more that I was thinking ahead to what we might do next.  Dave and I both agreed we’d like to try and go to Italy with the kids next year.  Previously an annual foreign holiday hasn’t been a thing for us but if we want to make it happen then I guess we need to start thinking about it now!

Although we loved Venice and I’d definitely like to go back, I don’t think it’s somewhere we’d rush to take the kids – aside from the general fear of them falling in a canal, it just didn’t seem the most child friendly of places.  Knowing what a reputation Italy has for being a family friendly country, I was surprised at how few children we saw in Venice however on reflection I think this was mainly to do with the high level of tourism and the fact that people are more likely to be there on romantic city breaks than a family holiday.  (If nothing else all the steps and bridges would be a terrible place to have to take a pushchair!)  And of course, being as how we were there without the kids ourselves, I was far more interested in exploring the city and long leisurely lunches than I was in finding out what was on offer for children.  We had a wonderful time in Venice pottering around the shops, getting ourselves a bit lost and of course taking a ride on a gondola, however the things which we took the most pleasure in would probably have been thoroughly boring to our little team of three!  (That said, nobody is going to turn their nose up at freshly made pizzas and daily gelato are they . . . )

Waterways in Venice

Dave and I would definitely like to return to Italy on a city break (or three) to explore Rome (ticking off key sights such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain or the Vatican), Florence, Milan or Naples, but for a family holiday with the children I think I’d be more inclined to check out the beautiful Italian Lakes or coastal towns such as Puglia and Amalfi – I mean is it really a holiday without hot sunny days on the beach and eating your own body weight in gelato?  Of course it’s entirely possible that we would forgo flying in favour of a bit of an extended road trip allowing us to explore more of Italy along the way, before eventually meeting up with my parents in a villa for a week or two!  (Can you tell I’m already there in my mind’s eye?!)

City break in Venice

Although there are obviously a variety of options for holidaying in Italy including a cruise or perhaps an all inclusive hotel break these wouldn’t be my first choice.  Aside from the fact that I think I personally would find them restrictive for this sort of trip, increasingly we are finding that self-catering holiday homes are the best solution for our larger family.  Hotel rooms rarely cater for five and so the additional expense of another room can be quite limiting and also makes it tricky in terms of spending time together if Dave and I have to sleep in separate rooms with the kids!  Renting a villa in Italy for our next family holiday really appeals to me at the moment – it would give us a base from which to explore whilst providing us with the space to spread out and relax without feeling like we are on top of one another.  Of course it also makes it much easier to put the children to bed at a reasonable hour whilst we stay up enjoying a glass of wine or two (for Dave anyway – I’m not really a wine drinker!).  I’m definitely going to start researching our options for an Italian break next summer, and I’m rather hoping we can convince Granny, Grandad and Aunty Nic to come with us too!

Does Italy feature highly on your travel wish list or is it somewhere you’ve already been?  I’d love to know if you have any recommendations for us!

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 15 – 2018)

#TriedTested badge

Good morning and welcome to another Tried & Tested Tuesday.  It’s back to school for us this week and I must admit that I’m enjoying the chance to catch up on some work as well as looking forward to this sunshine we have been promised over the coming week!

In case you are new here – let us tell you what Tried & Tested is all about. We all know how useful reviews can be. Most bloggers do them – be it things they have bought themselves or have been asked to review. They are a useful tool for people looking for honest and thorough reviews of products they need, things they are considering buying, or even to introduce people to exciting new products they have never even heard of. You can find out more about how to join in here.

If you have linked up with us before – welcome back! We love having you. Please have a quick read through the points below to remind yourself 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 a Twitter reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop Kate a tweet and she’ll add you to the list.

* 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!

That’s about it – it’s super simple to join in, so crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

Last week, we loved:

#TriedTested Featured Blogger - Mrs Shilts

We were super impressed by the rubbish clearance service provided by Clearabee and can’t wait to see how Emma gets on with creating her new home office space!

#TriedTested Featured Blogger - Reading Residence

We’ve been hearing lots of great things about Treads recently, particularly their 12 month guarantee so weren’t at all surprised to read that Jocelyn is loving them too!

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.)

* 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.)

We're going on an adventure



Siblings – April 2018

As I write this month’s Siblings post, we are nearing the end of what has felt like the longest Easter holiday ever.  I think with Easter weekend itself being right at the start of the holidays and the fact we had Dave off with us for a week, the holidays have lingered on beautifully, it really does feel like we’ve been off for such a long time.  I’d like to tell you that we’re all well rested and ready to go back but after a lot of late nights this week and some lazy lie ins, I fear Monday morning might be something of a challenge for us all.

For the most part my little team have got on pretty well over the last month – we’ve had some lovely family time, both adventures and more lazy days at home.  The three of them have invented more imaginary games and scenarios than you can shake a stick at – and mostly I love them but I must admit that the voices that go along with this pretend play grate on me after a while and I have to send them upstairs to carry on their game!  There has been a little bickering and some frayed tempers but mainly just love – I caught Chloe and Amy snuggled up on the sofa together watching tv yesterday morning, mirror images of one another and my heart melted.

I think we’re all ready for the break that school will bring – Chloe and Amy have both said they are looking forward to seeing their friends again and I think they need a break from one another really.Siblings April 2018 Siblings April 2018

Siblings April 2018Siblings April 2018Siblings April 2018Siblings April 2018

The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Disney on Ice – Worlds of Enchantment at Echo Arena Liverpool

Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment

I can’t tell you how glad I was to get everyone into bed this evening – the levels of bickering and generally over-tired, over-emotional behaviour were reaching fever pitch and breakdown was imminent (I’m not sure which would have come first – mine or Amy’s).  However, it was all worth it.  You see my girls didn’t get to bed till after 10pm last night having travelled over to Liverpool to watch the latest Disney on Ice show – Worlds of Enchantment.

This was Chloe’s 4th Disney on Ice show and Amy’s 2nd – previously Amy had just been too little to manage the late night and whilst she’s still pretty small to be driving home from Liverpool at 9pm, she’s now more than capable of sitting and enjoying the show.  And enjoy the show she did.

This time, Ben decided to forgo his ticket in favour of a “lad’s night” with his best friend meaning that we were able to taking my goddaughter, Erin (who regular readers will be familiar with as she features fairly frequently on my blog!).  Previously when I’ve taken the kids to watch Disney on Ice, they haven’t known about it before hand but this time they’d been counting down for days with the excitement building.  In the past it hasn’t really occurred to me to dress them up, and I’ve tended to concentrate more on making sure they’re comfortable for the journey and the show itself but this time round we decided to let the girls wear their princess dresses which if I’m honest just seemed to add to the magic for them!

Meet Woody & Jessie at Disney on Ice

Meet Mickey Mouse at Disney on Ice

The Worlds of Enchantment show starts with a quick “Fit to Dance” performance which encourages the audience to get up and get moving – I was impressed to see Chloe leap up and bust out some moves, she normally takes a little while to warm up to these things!

The main show was split into four sections featuring Toy Story 3, Little Mermaid, Cars and Frozen with a short interval in the middle.

Having seen several Disney on Ice shows now I was super excited to see something different on the ice – Toy Story 3 and Cars haven’t featured before in the Disney on Ice shows that we’ve seen and if I’m honest I have more than a bit of a soft spot for the Toy Story trilogy so was thrilled to see some of my favourite characters performing.  As ever I found myself marvelling at how it’s even possible to skate as the back end of a donkey or dressed as a pig.  The Toy Story performance gave a whistle-stop tour of Toy Story 3 outlining the story from Andy packing up his toys to them arriving at Sunnyside, Lotso and eventually their escape – it’s amazing how much of the story can be condensed into a few songs and some skating!

Toy Story 3 Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment

Lotso, Toy Story Disney on Ice

The Little Mermaid always plays out well on the ice featuring your favourite songs and, possibly one of my favourite costumes of the entire show – Ursuala.  The enormous inflatable Ursula which we’ve seen previously didn’t make an appearance last night but I think the Little Mermaid section was shorter than the Toy Story one – it certainly felt that way at any rate.

Little Mermaid - Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment

Mother and daughter watching Disney on Ice, Worlds of Enchantment

After the interval (where poor Amy panicked that the show was over and she hadn’t seen Elsa) we were treated to Cars – which was a bit of an odd one as it didn’t involve any skaters just cars whizzing around expertly on the ice!  I’m fairly sure this was some fancy remote control trickery as I couldn’t see anyone inside the vehicles!!  Amy was super excited as one of her friends at Nursery loves Cars and she couldn’t stop telling me how much Noah would love this bit of the show and whilst it wasn’t my personal favourite I could see how exciting it would be for a Cars fan!

Cars at Disney on Ice

And then of course it was time for the grand finale, I’ve said it before but Frozen was made for the ice.  Every Disney on Ice show we’ve seen has featured Frozen and each time it is a spectacular of beautiful costumes, fake snow and amazing ice dancing.  Amy was beside herself – I think she actually enjoyed it more this time than she had the first time we took her!

Elsa from Frozen - Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment

Olaf at Disney on Ice

Proving you really are never too old for Disney, my friend Sarah from Extraordinary Chaos watched the show with her teenage son and friend!

You can catch Disney on Ice, Worlds of Enchantment at Echo Area Liverpool until this Sunday before moving on to Nottingham, Cardiff and Aberdeen.

*We received complimentary tickets to Disney on Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 14 – 2108)

#TriedTested badge

Welcome to another Tried & Tested Tuesday! It’s been full on April showers here this week, have you managed to see any sunshine where you are?

In case you are new here – let us tell you what Tried & Tested is all about. We all know how useful reviews can be. Most bloggers do them – be it things they have bought themselves or have been asked to review. They are a useful tool for people looking for honest and thorough reviews of products they need, things they are considering buying, or even to introduce people to exciting new products they have never even heard of. You can find out more about how to join in here.

If you have linked up with us before – welcome back! We love having you. Please have a quick read through the points below to remind yourself 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 a Twitter reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop Kate a tweet and she’ll add you to the list.

* 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!

That’s about it – it’s super simple to join in, so crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

Last week, we loved:

#TriedTested featured blogger

Top 10 spring cleaning tips from I wasn’t expecting that. There really is something about this time of year that makes me want to declutter and spruce the place up.

#TriedTested featured blogger

Beach hut planter with mint seeds review from Coombe Mill. Such a fun activity to do with the kids, and I love the funky beach hut planter.

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.)

* 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.)

We're going on an adventure



Tile Style Bluetooth Tracker – Review & Giveaway

Tile bluetooth tracker - find lost keys

“Col, where are your keys?”

“I don’t know love? On the side? In my bag? On the table?”

“Why can’t you just put them in the same place every time?”

Welcome to a typical conversation in our house . . . Dave keeps his keys in the pot, where they should be . . . he always knows where his keys are.  Mine on the other hand?  Well I put them down wherever I happen to let go of them after coming in the house – they could be dropped back into my handbag, popped on the dining table, the kitchen side, in the door or, very occasionally, in the pot where they actually belong.  It drives Dave insane and if I’m honest wastes precious minutes of my time when I’m trying to leave the house and can’t find the damn things.

Tile bluetooth tracker - find lost keys

See that little white and gold square on my keys? That’s my new Tile Style – part of the pro range of Tile Bluetooth trackers.

Weighing just 11g and less than 4cm x 4cm, this little beauty is a discreet, stylish addition to your key-ring.  And yet, it’s a complete game changer.  The Tile Bluetooth trackers are the modern day equivalent of those key-rings you used to whistle at in the 80s except this time you use your phone to ring your keys.  Such a simple idea but insanely successful.   Whilst whistling for your keys was never all that effective, your Tile Bluetooth tracker can be reached up to 100ft away and, if it’s too far for that, your Tile app will record it’s last known location.  Oh and the Tile Style is waterproof up to 1.5m deep for up to half an hour, just in case you drop your keys in a puddle or the swimming pool!

And, if you can’t find your phone?  Well then you double tap the button in the middle of your Tile and it will ring your phone for you, even if it is on silent.  This has already proved ridiculously useful as I’m notorious for leaving my phone on silent after a day at work and then not being able to find it – just another thing that drives Dave crackers!

Of course I’ve used my Tile Style on my keys but there’s a whole range of Tile Bluetooth trackers from super slim ones to tuck inside your purse or wallet to tough ones for your sports gear.  Personally I’m tempted to invest in a number of Tile Mates to attach to the kids’ special cuddly toys and I’ve suggested to my Dad that he might want to the get the sport one for his keys too!

The one downside that I’ve come across thus far is that the battery life of your Tile is guaranteed at a year and after that you need to be prepared replace your Tile.  However, this is where the “reTile” program comes in and gives you the opportunity to upgrade to the latest Tile technology at up to 40% discount – you can’t really say fairer than that can you! (Oh, and your Tile is made of 99% recyclable materials too so that’s one less thing to worry about!)

If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning a Tile Style worth £29.99 (and a whole lot of peace of mind) then just enter using the rafflecopter below – ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* I received my Tile Style free of charge for the purposes of review however all enthusiastic thoughts and opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links*

Reddish Vale Farm – Perfect for Under 5s!

It’s been years since we last visited Reddish Vale Farm, so long in fact that I was pregnant with Amy.  On the basis that it isn’t too far away from home, not too expensive and had cows (a key factor in any farm visit!) we decided to pay a visit this Easter rather than travelling to a much larger but more expensive farm.

With it being the first actually nice day of the Easter holidays, Reddish Vale Farm was understandably busy and we struggled to park onsite, having to drive back up the hill and park on of the nearby residential streets.  Luckily we found a spot not too far away and were able to make our way back down to the farm without a problem.

The farm had only been open about half an hour when we arrived and as such there was a bit of queue to get in but this moved reasonably quickly.  Of course this fed through into the first part of the farm being pretty crowded too and in hindsight perhaps we should have started in the play area and worked backwards.  The farm area was much quieter later in the day meaning there was plenty of room to mooch about and spend time at each animal pen.

Reddish Vale Farm - calves

Having been before, I knew that Reddish Vale Farm wasn’t very big but I think I’d forgotten just how small it actually is and I quickly worried that we were going to have wasted our money – it cost us somewhere in the region of £32 to get in (including a couple of buckets of carrots to feed the animals) which for a full day out would be great value but in reality turned out to be pretty expensive.

Because it was so busy we found ourselves moving on quite quickly from each animal pen to allow other people a chance to see and feed the animals and as such within an hour we had finished in the farm area itself.  I was quite disappointed as seeing the animals at our other favourite farms is the main focus of our day.  (Amy has been known to spend 45 minutes just watching the cows being milked at Smithills Farm!)

We made our way out to the new adventure play area – I say “new”, I don’t know how long it has been there but it’s certainly not something I’ve seen before and all the equipment looks pretty new so I wouldn’t think it has been more than a summer or two.  The playground equipment was spot on for Amy and Chloe, and whilst I would say it probably lacked the challenge Ben would like, it still kept him occupied for a good while – particularly the zip wire.

Reddish Vale Farm adventure playground

Zip wire at Reddish Vale Farm

We took ourselves off to the Tea Room for a drink and to share a cake before the kids tried out the soft play and bouncy castle – which if I’m honest I thought was an odd choice on their part considering the weather was so lovely but hey, who am I to argue.  There was a lengthy queue for the toilets at lunch time which was frustrating – especially as the majority of customers are small children who might not be able to hold it in!

All in we actually managed to spend about 4 hours at Reddish Vale by virtue of the weather – had it been cold or miserable I think we’d have been done within a couple of hours.  It was lovely to get out in the fresh air and see some calves but in all honesty I think our children are now too big for Reddish Vale Farm.

Here’s eleven reasons why we think Reddish Vale is great for Under 5s

It’s not huge – there isn’t too much walking for little legs

There’s a nice variety of typical farm animals in easy to see pens

There’s only one or two pens of each type of animal so it doesn’t get boring

The animals are used to being fed and petted

The soft play and bouncy castles are undercover for days when the weather is below par

The majority of the outdoor play area is easily accessible for little children – at 4.5yo Amy could go on everything independently

You can hand feed the animals with buckets of carrots purchased on entry (£1 a bucket)

There’s a small indoor petting area with chicks and rabbits to hold under staff supervision

There’s plenty of places to sit down to enjoy a drink and snack if you’ve brought them with you

The adjoining Tea Room offers a great variety of options for a snack or meal and isn’t too expensive.

Under 2s are free.

(I did film our day out which I will hopefully add in here later but for now by video editing software isn’t playing ball!!)

Epic Adventures with Bobux – Giveaway

Regular readers will know we are big fans of Bobux and have been working with them now for over three years! (In fact just this week I took delivery of three new pairs of shoes for the girls – they’ll be featuring on my instagram soon so keep an eye out!)

Bobux have been making children’s shoes since 1991 and their key focus is on healthy foot development without compromising on style.  I’ve grown up on a strict diet of “proper shoes” and “looking after your feet” so wouldn’t dream of putting my children in anything less than super comfortable, well fitting shoes.  I often find buying new shoes for my kids really stressful – the weight of responsibility of looking after their precious little toes weighs heavy on my shoulders!  (I also have a real thing about avoiding pink shoes which thankfully has got easier as they’ve got older.  Bobux are superstars on this front offering every style in a range of colours from the sensible navy or brown to the more exciting gold or even daring patterns!)

Last week Bobux launched their “Epic Adventures” campaign showcasing the power of our kids’ imaginations – “One small step, epic adventures every day”.  They have created three beautiful cinematic videos showing how the simplest of things can be come the biggest of adventures with a little imagination.

To celebrate this, Bobux are also running a free gift with purchase promotion which means that every Bobux purchase will receive an interactive kids’ “Playbook” full of activities and things to entertain your little ones.  (You can also download this to print at home on the Bobux website)

EpicAdventures - GWP - Playbooks Bobux

Over the course of the next month (ending 4th May) Bobux are running weekly #BobuxPlaybook competitions across their social media channels and, even better, I’ve got a chance for you to win here too!

To celebrate the Bobux “Epic Advenures” campaign I’m able to offer you the chance to win your choice of Bobux shoes ready for your own Epic Adventures!  Just complete the Rafflecopter below, ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway