Tag Archives: Early years

Orchard Toys New Monster Catcher Review and Competition

29 Aug

We love Orchard toys, they are a brand who symbolise the importance of learning but also the importance of having fun! They have this talent when it comes to designing games and puzzles that are both educational yet fun to play.

Earlier this year little man along with some of his classmates at his special school for children on the autism spectrum, reviewed a couple of games from the Orchard toys range.This review did a fab job at highlighting the importance of learning through play and all the children involved had a great time testing the games.

So, I was delighted when the guys at Orchard Toys sent us one of their newest game releases, ‘Monster Catcher‘.

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The game is targeted at children aged 3 to 8 years, and although Harley is not 3 in-till the beginning of December I figured his big sister Alice-Sara could show him the ropes of play, which she was more than happy to do.

Packaging:
This game comes in a nice strong but compact box for good easy storage.

Game contents:
20 monster head cards
20 monster feet cards
6 full net cards
4 empty net cards
Six monster Cachar cards

There is a total of 56 cards altogether. Cards are strong and durable so will last the test of time I’m sure.

As mentioned monster Catcher is one of Orchard Toys newest releases, so I had no idea what others thought of the game and knew very little about it up In-till it arrived. Believe it or not, I also like to read reviews before purchasing products as well as reviewing products myself.

Setting up the game proved a bit of a mission as the toddler insisted on constantly grabbing a hold of the cards and doing a runner.

Finally, once the initial excitement had settled down a little we were then ready to go catch some monsters.

The Object of the game is for each player to match the coloured monsters feet to that of the correct monsters head all while avoiding the monster catcher who will swipe all the players cards leaving them with none. The player with the most complete monsters at the time the monster catcher is completed, wins!

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It’s a simple enough concept, though smaller children may need some help along the way.

What’s more this is a game that is so easily adapted. Kids seem to do this without even thinking about it! Harley asked to play with the game yesterday but he didn’t want anyone else disturbing him, preferring to play alone. This is actually a game for 2-4 players, So, play alone is impossible right? Not for Harley it seems. This little clever clogs placed all the cards facing upwards and one by one he matched up all the monsters, placing the catcher cards etc to one side.

I love how he adapted it to work for him, treating it as a puzzle as opposed to a game.

Monster Catcher has done well to help harley develop his colour recognition as-well as his matching and pairing skills. He used a lot of logic when trying to place the pieces together correctly (not only match the colours but ensuring he had placed them the correct way around, etc).

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£7.50 is fabulous value and a really reasonable price to pay for this game.
Monster Catcher will be sure to provide children with years of fun while teaching them a thing or two. The educational benefits to this game make it seem a very little price to pay.

Educational information
• Develops matching and counting skills
• Encourages social interaction
• Develops instruction following and turn taking
• Links to National Curriculum and Early Learning Goals.

Orchard toys have been great and offered me another Monster Catcher for one of my readers to win right here on the blog. Here’s how….

Compulsory action: Leave a blog comment below telling me your child’s favourite board game.

All comments should be left with a means of contact (twitter or email).

You can earn additional entries by doing any of the following….

Tweet: “I want to win Monster Catcher with @clairelouise82 and @OrchardToys” comment to let me know who you are on twitter.

Subscribe via my rss reader (top of the sidebar) comment to tell me the name or email u are subscribed under.

Follow my sister blog Mummy of many talents then comment below to tell me the name you follow as.

Follow me on pinterest then comment to say who you are below.

Use any of the share buttons below commenting to tell me which ones (email exempt)

Competition will close on the 25th September 2012 at midnight.

Terms and conditions: UK only please, all comments should be left with twitter or email contact. Prize drawn a random, winner has 72 hours following winning notification to claim prize. Prize will be sent directly from PR/Brand. Winners name maybe published on blog with winning notification if author decides.

Win Peppa pigs brand new DVD title

16 Oct

This week’s been all about the pig…

At the start of the week we received a copy of Peppa pig international day to carry out a review. Harley is a massive Bob the builder fan and his been watching Bob pretty much every day, so it was nice when he agreed to watch a little Peppa. 

On the very next day I received an email from the very lovely Romanian mum offering me a lovely little gift… Well, Little is the wrong word, It wasn’t a little gift at all, it was actually a family ticket for four for the Peppa pig live treasure hunt  show at the Gi in Guilford this pass Friday.

Romanian mum had won the tickets from another lovely blogger but wasn’t able to attend due to work comitments. I felt quite humbled that she had thought of me and wish to publicly thank her for here kindness here on my blog!

THANK YOU ROMANIAN MUM  YOU’RE AWESOME.

I took Harley my 22 month old along with my sister and her daughter who is just ten weeks younger than Harley. Wow, They loved it and Harley danced to all songs and bless him, he even copied the actions.

So by the time I left the Gi and traveled on the train back to southeast London I was all Peppa-ed  Out.

I, however could only speak for myself as Harley had only just began! He disappeared upstairs only to appear with a Peppa DVD along with the statement,

“Peppa on… mummy”…

As lovely as Peppa is, I actually fell asleep while it was playing only to wake the next morning with an elbow wedged in my side. 

Since Friday I’ve heard Peppa as background noise as its been spinning in the DVD player non stop so my guess is Harley thinks its great DVD.

(and so did I the first, second and maybe even third time! A tad bored by the fifth I think, :))

Nevertheless regardless of the toddler wearing the hell out off it, the new “Peppa pig international day” DVD is a fab collection of episodes that are sure to put a smile on the faces of all little Peppa fans.

Here’s a bit of info on the latest title added to the Peppa DVD collection.

Peppa Pig International Day and Other Stories

 AVAILABLE TO OWN ON DVD FROM MONDAY 24th OCTOBER 2011

 Peppa Pig, the UK’s No. 1 pre-school character, returns to entertain your little ones this autumn in a brand new DVD Peppa Pig International Day and Other Stories.

 Available from Monday 24th October 2011 (£12.99 RRP, Cert U, Entertainment One) just in time for the school and nursery half term break, the DVD is packed with 11 fun-filled tales about Peppa Pig and her family with all the joy and laughter we’ve come to expect from this adorable character.

 Peppa Pig is a loveable, cheeky piggy who lives with her little brother George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig. Peppa’s favourite things include playing games, dressing up, days out and jumping in muddy puddles. Her adventures always end happily with loud snorts of laughter.

 Join Peppa Pig and her little brother George for the lead International Day episode, where Peppa and all her friends at playgroup dress up as different countries from all over the world, and 10 other adventures that will have the whole family singing Peppa Pig – Oink Oink!

 EPISODE LISTING

International Day – Grampy Rabbit’s Boatyard – Shake Rattle and Bang – Pottery — Mr Fox’s Van – Biggest Puddle in the World – Chatterbox – Chloe’s Big Friends – Edmond Elephant’s Birthday –  Gym Class

BONUS EPISODE – Paper Aeroplane

 PEPPA PIG – INTERNATIONAL DAY AND OTHER STORIES

Release date:  Monday 24th October 2011

RRP – £12.99

Entertainment One

www.peppapig.com


Entertainment One have been kind enough to offer me an extra copy of ‘Peppa Pig International day’ for my fabulous readers and followers.

COMPULSORY ENTRY IS BELOW…

Its simple Really … just leave a comment stating the one children’s tv show that really grinds your gears.

Why? Because I’m sick to death of that same old rules of play! Just trying to jazz it up a bit here parents, encouraging you to get it all out your systems. 

YOU MUST LEAVE A WAY FOR ME TO CONTACT YOU! WHETHER THIS BE A TWITTER ID, EMAIL OR OTHER THAT’S COMPLETELY DOWN TO YOU!

Below you will find a list of ways to gain additional entries. You can do however many you wish but…

ALL MUST BE COMMENTED ON SEPARATELY IN ORDER FOR THEM TO BE VALID!

Subscribe to my blog via email (top right in sidebar)

 follow my blog on network blogs

Like the A boy with Aspergers page (Image link in sidebar on right). Note: Remember it’s an addition to this blog but also a support source for parents with children on the autism spectrum and even a supportive network for adults with the condition)

Follow me on twitter by clicking the follow me cute “twitter button” on the right, located in the side bar!

Tweet by clicking the “twitter share button” attached to this post below, adding “@clairelouise82” before posting.

Click the facebook share button below and share on your facebook wall or page.

Rate this post by clicking on the stars above to gain a final entry.

Remember separate comments are required for each action taken, remembering to include a contact (twitter, email add or other)!

Competition is open to UK residents only. All steps will be checked before an entry is validated. The competition is open from the date and time of publishing, closing on the 31st October 2011 at midnight. The winner has five days to claim the prize from the date of the official winner announcement post that will be published on this blog soon after the draw has been completed. Winners must be prepared to supply a UK postal address which will be passed on to the PR in-order for your prize to be dispatched.

Good luck people 

We all have a right to life

31 Jul

     We all have the right to life!

 As I sat reading through some old post on the blog (as you do) I was drawn to a post I had published in March this year, “With the rise in Measles it’s decision time”

 It was clear from reading the post that the issues I had raised were ones other mothers had felt the need to contemplate at a stage in their children(s) earlier years. It was of an issue full of controversy and remains to be this very day. I wrote it because I needed to express my fears, yet I knew the possibility of a debate could be raised, it was clear I didn’t need nor want one! I was lucky the post didn’t become overloaded with anti vaccine debate, (Shame the same can’t be said for Facebook).

 However, given some of the more recent events that have occurred in my life, I felt the need to write this now and have done so without fear of a verbal battering from overbearing “Anti vaccine campaigners” At this moment in time I’m ready for you, So bring it on!

 So, what is there to say now that couldn’t be said in March?

 OK, here it goes! 

 Dear Anti Vaccine Campaigners  (Yes, those whom have chosen to campaign against the use of vaccine as a way to immunise our children)

 I do ask you ever so politely to please reframe from sending me emails requesting my signature on your anti vaccine petition! Please do not try to add me to your anti vaccine groups on Facebook! I do not want to Re-tweet your anti vaccine tweets when on twitter, nor do I wish to hound those who have chosen to vaccinate their children preaching to them what it is that you believe! 

 Why?

 Because It’s not my belief , nor do I intend to make it mine!

 So, here’s why

 On the very first day of October some ten, almost eleven years ago, I gave birth to the beautiful baby you all know as, “Little Man” It was the year off a new Millennium it was the year 2000. “Me”,  I was just a teen, a very young eighteen (Yes, mum I know that now)

 As the months passed quickly Little man grew and before I blinked he was a toddler. I grew a great deal too! Yes, of course I grew older, “Don’t we all” the growing I’m referring to, is that of the person I was becoming. Little man was a blessing a baby that never cried,(Except for when he had horrid colic) he was a baby that my mother referred to as a, “Little angel” He was easily fixated to the colours that flashed from the telly, the trains at the station and the wheels on his toy car. I weaned him with little problems (apart from his particulars  for finely mashed food). He was a baby and toddler that met all his developmental milestones, even exceeding a few! Yet looking back it was there! The clues, yet so little… What first time mother would notice? My Little man did certain little special things (Yer, they were different, different but oh so bloody amazing all the same)! Admires would glance at him cooing about how clever he was. He walked at a reasonable age through never crawled. He spoke, he spoke too well at times. I considered him a cheeky little monkey as he took my hand using it as a tool to point and pick things up for him. Lazy I had thought! But how wrong, how lazy he was not! Fully potty trained throughout the day and night before the age of two isn’t what most would describe as “LAZY!” 

 My Little man had all his required vaccinations at all the required times! Of course this included that of the MMR and although he almost broke that nurses nose when he delivered an almighty head-butt right on the shaft of her hooter, when attempting his getaway plan. There were no complications at that moment or during the days, months even years that followed. 

Age 4 years was the age in which I began to notice significant differences between that of Little man and his pre schooling peers (Differences that his then nursery had noted too)! Yes, I knew he was somewhat different prior to this age, but in all honesty I didn’t have much to compare his behaviours to. It was the arrival of baby number two, “My little girl, Little mans sister and rival” as he all to often treats her, who was born when Little man was 2 and 6 months old that many issue were raised. 

 Sadly we moved, “Good bye nursery that was so willing to help” Instead we started the long four year battle with the primary school his now escaped. It was only after much upheaval, tiresome and challenging battles that Little man finally got the diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome just as he turned nine. This was a diagnosis that we had first been told about at our very first CAMHS appointment back when he was just 7 years old. Oh yes, we were told way back then that, “Our little man was very likely to be on the autism spectrum, with Aspergers being the most fitting diagnosis! Gosh what happened in them two years between them words and that final diagnosis is scattered all over this very blog! 

 As for his educational needs, It wasn’t till this year January that we final got the LEA to agree to statement and after the mother of all fights, he was placed in a special school for children with autism! This was just one month ago! 

Back when Little man first attend CAMHS age 7, when I first heard the words Autism My world changed for ever (for one it lead me to this blog back in 2008) I knew that there was a massive controversy surrounding the possible links between vaccines and that of autism. Though this was mainly targeted at the MMR due to it’s administrating of three vaccines within the same time deterioration. I would be lying if I said I didn’t wonder or question the MMR at this point in time, “Of course I bloody did!” but I had a healthy daughter who received that same vaccination, besides, it wouldn’t change the fact he was on the spectrum… I decided to bury it somewhere in my head. I didn’t need answers, I needed to concentrate on the now, for all our sakes! 

 But that changed when my third child was born, my now 20 m old son “Harley” When that time came, I had to dig the question back out and ask my self… Do I want my child to contract a virus such as measles and quite possibly die? Hell NO

Do I want my child to develop autism? Again NO 

Then I asked myself, Do I want my son to catch measles and maybe DIE or do I want to take the chance of my child possibly developing autism therefore avoiding the risk of measles allowing him to LIVE?

 I instantly had my answer! God I called the doctors receptionist within minutes! Two weeks later he was vaccinated.

  I don’t regret my decision, there is NO proven link between that of autism and the MMR! But it’s a known fact that measles can be fatal! Yet despite the, “No Link” being proven you anti vaccine campaigners argue it as being wrong or somehow fixed….I think some just want something, someone to blame! Without that link you have no answers and that hurts! But isn’t it time you focused on what’s important here,”The child” You’re not going to change who they are by embanking on your mission… Its time to embrace your child and deal with the diagnosis.

I will be outspoken and now share my opinion by stating that, “Those that leave their child totally unprotected, opting not to vaccinate a child in fear of autism, are playing Russian Roulette with their own children’s life, as well as that of the life of those at risk like new-born babies to young for vaccination. (I am sorry if I’m offending supporters of the blog, fellow followers on twitter & friends on Facebook, but it’s a view I feel so strongly about.)

 How would you feel if your child passed on rubella to a pregnant woman who ended up giving birth to a baby who was severely disabled including the loss of sight due to the mothers contamination of Rubella during her pregnancy? Would you feel guilty? 

 Last month I received the news that a friend who sadly I had lost contact with 3 years back had lost her daughter to Meningitis (another vaccine that is avoided) her daughter was not yet old enough for that first Jab. This was contracted on her 8th day off life! God this saddens me! 

 I hold no guilt! I can hold my head high as I walk the streets with my children by my side. I know that when a life is lost or a baby is born disabled due to the mother contracting Rubella, It didn’t come from me or my children. 

I told myself, “If the MMR or any other Jab causes my youngest to develop autism then so be it” I’d rather that then risk him never having the opportunity to experience life! 

 There are children in disadvantaged countries that are dyeing every single day. They don’t have that choice, the choice to be vaccinated. Why? Because there is no vaccine, there is no choice, its all about luck, an unwanted gamble, one you all so knowing have no choice in taking. Please Ask them if they had the choice what would they chose! I think we all know the answer. 

 Your child was brought into this world by you, its mother!!!!

Do you want to risk the life of that beautiful child you created, being crawly taken away? Or do you want to do what a mother is there to do, protect!  

raise their child, giving them every chance off a full and happy life (with or without autism) 

 Anti Vaccine Campaigners, I do not apologise for my outspokenness nor do I apologise for giving my children the right to life

Amen  

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