Friday, 23 March 2012

Dinosaur Train

We don't have Sky TV, so we seem to miss out on a lot of children's programmes. So I was delighted when we were asked to review a new show on Nick Jr, called Dinosaur Train.

The blurb:
Dinosaur Train is produced by the Jim Henson company. It's a cartoon about a whimsically realistic, prehistoric world of jungles, swamps, active volcanoes and oceans. The show stars Buddy, a curious, funny and intelligent T-Rex, in a family of Pteranodons.

In each episode, while on the Dinosaur Train, Buddy makes a hypothesis and begins searching for the answers to his queries with the help of his mum, the Conductor and the new dinosaurs that he meets on the train.

Dinosaur Train will help children ages three to six to apply scientific thinking as they discover new types of dinosaur species, compare and contrast dinosaurs to today's creatures and embrace the living sciences of paleontology and natural science.

Each 22 minute show features two animated episodes. Based on input from paleontologists, science teachers and early childhood education experts, Dinosaur Train promotes critical thinking skills for preschoolers based on an engaging and creative curriculum.

Our verdict:
Presley, 4, and Cash, 3, absolutely love Dinosaur Train. They are glued to the screen and have watched the episodes on the DVD we were sent over and over again. The science bit is sticking. They know an awful lot about a couple of dinosaurs now. They are also engaging in imaginative play and using role play to pretend to be dinosaurs on their own train.

Dinosaur Train is currently on the Nick Jr channel every afternoon.

Disclosure: We were sent a promotional DVD, a Nick Jr goody bag and some Easter chocolate courtesy of Nick Jr. I have already hidden the chocolate!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Not on the High Street

I was asked whether I would like to review the online gift shop Not on the High Street is a collection of smaller shops under one banner. You order via the main website and each individual shop then fulfills your order.

There are gorgeous gifts galore. I spent a very happy couple of hours looking at beautiful things. The search options and categories make finding what you are looking for very easy. Whether you (or the person you are buying for) are into gardening or baking or accessories you will find hundreds of lovely ideas here to suit all budgets.

It was almost impossible to narrow down my choices. I loved the LEGO cutlery and the oil cloth table cloths, but in the end I ordered this fabulous regency cake stand by Lavender Room (£29.99 plus P&P).

It arrived very well packaged and was simple to put together. It is so pretty and I can't wait to invite someone round for afternoon tea.

I also chose this stunning beaded glass ring set by The Ruby Lounge (£25).

My rings arrived very quickly and were beautifully packaged. I love them!

LEGO DUPLO Creative Sorter Set 6784

We were delighted to be asked to be LEGO DUPLO ambassadors again this year. As ambassadors we are sent items for review. As always the boys love new LEGO DUPLO sets. We particularly love the way any new set you get fits with your existing LEGO and LEGO DUPLO.

The Creative Sorter 6784 set (£17.99) is a storage tub with enough standard and shaped bricks to make a bird, a giraffe and an elephant. There are also sorting plates for each animal that double as lids.

My children, aged 4 and 3, both loved finding the correct bricks and placing them in the sorting plate before making the animals. They both did this without assistance.

They then used their imagination and construction skills to build trees for the animals to eat, from their LEGO DUPLO stash. They then played beautifully with their creations. They made up stories and did a little role-play based on Tinga Tinga Tales from CBeebies.

As usual this is a quality toy and this lovely set and would make a great gift.

Josef Seibel

When I was asked if I would like to try a pair of Josef Seibel shoes I thought the name rang a bell. I was sure I'd seen them advertised in the Sunday supplements. I suppose I had the impression that these shoes were for the more mature customer.

I had a look at the website and saw that Josef Seibel sell shoes and accessories for men and women. I have to admit I found some of the women's styles a little 'grannified', but there were plenty of fashionable styles in some lovely colours as well as classics mules and sandals. I chose these blue shoes, called Faith.

I have been wearing these shoes for several weeks now, almost continuously. They are so unbelievably comfortable that you hardly know you're wearing shoes. I have walked miles and miles in these shoes. They look great and I love wearing them.

I just can't see the point in putting up with uncomfortable shoes when these are available. They are cushioned and fit beautifully. Yes, they cost a little more than, say Clarks, but it's worth it to feel like you're walking on air.

The press release that arrived with the shoes highlights the benefits of comfortable shoes for mums-to-be and  I would have to agree. With all the changes in your body during pregnancy I can see the advantage in wearing comfy shoes.

I'm a convert!

The shoes I tried are available from Josef Seibel and retail at £65.