Tag Archives: play
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#silentsunday

23 Jun

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Bubble Shooz Review & Competition

23 Jun

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All kids love to pop bubble wrap don’t they?

Come on… I’m pretty sure it is all kids! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid resist the overriding urge to run to their mother as they unwrap a parcel while shouting the words “Bubble Wrap” before grabbing a hold of the stuff and going for it! Place some bubble wrap into the hands of anyone regardless of age and watch how long it takes them to start indulging in some hardcore popping action!

Yes, I was once a child too you know! Coming home from school to discover bubble wrap laying about your house is something of a kids heaven. So, in discovering that ‘Vivid‘ had designed a toy to mimic that of bubble popping came as no surprise to me. When asked if the kids wanted to give “Bubble Shooz” a try and then share their thoughts in a review, we jumped at the chance and I couldn’t wait to check these babies out! Whats more I was offered a pair to give away to readers, so keep reading to find out how you can win a pair!

So… Just what is this toy and how does it work? Basically the product comes in the form of a pair of shoes… “Yes Shoes!” These can be adjusted to fit kids with a shoe size of 12 plus. Kids just strap these shoes on over their regular shows and then simply walk about as they usually would! Only, as they do, the sound of bubble popping can be heard coming from their feet.

Ok, its not really the same as that of the traditional popping of bubble wrap but kids seem to love it all the same. At first I sat asking myself “Whats the point?” Then I realised there isn’t really one and doesn’t really have to be when it comes to kids and toys. I don’t know what it is but this kind of thing has them excited.
For me I’m happy with my traditional bubble wrap popping action which is mainly because I feel like a bit of a tit wearing these (oh yes I did try them on). Seriously, these brightly coloured shoes are better off sticking with the kids.

Sadly as stated the shoes start at a size 12 and my toddler is a 8 so not quite there yet. Admittedly he did throw a bit of a wobbler as he watched big sister put them to the test. Its a shame because at 3 I think he would enjoy these especially given that following the tears he giggled madly as his sister went Pop… Pop… Popping along!

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With cool bubble styling on the base of each shoe, the Bubble Shooz are great for indoor or outdoor use – listen to the sound of popping as you walk around the house or garden for poptastic fun.

Bubble Shooz have a retail price of £19.99 and are available to buy now from all good toy stores.

So… If you basically want to mimic the popping of bubble wrap minus the mess then I guess these are for you!

Want to win a pair of bubble Shooz? Well, here’s how!

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Compulsory Entry…

Tell me what unusual item used to excite you as a child? Was you the child who played with the boxes rather than their toys at Christmas?

The above is a compulsory action that you will need to complete in order to successfully enter the competition.

Here’s some extra chances to win. Do any off the following (all if desired) and leave me a comment for each one completed to gain an automatic extra entry into the random competition draw.

Note… All comments for all actions including the compulsory one need to contain either a valid contactable email address or twitter handle. This is to ensure winners are contactable.

Additional entries (cannot be gained without having first done the compulsory action)…

Follow me on twitter (@clairelouise82)

Pin the competition to one of your Pinterest boards and comment sharing that link with me so I can find it.

Tweet… “I want to win a pair of bubble Shooz with @Clairelouise82 and @Vividtoygroup Adding The URL to this competition!!” Comment with the link to your tweet.

Comment on another Non Competition post and comment telling me which one

Subscribe to this blog using feedburner and let me know which email address u subscribe with (feedburner button located in sidebar).

Visit and subscribe to my sister blog Mummy of Many Talents (featuring crafts, fashion and vintage flare) comment telling me the email addy you subscribe with.

Competition closing date is August 20th 2013 at 11:59 PM. Entries submitted after this time with not be entered into the final draw (even if your comment is showing as submitted).

Competition is open only to those in the UK only normal T&C apply and can be found on the blogs disclaimer page.

Note: Winner has 72 hours to claim their prize once contact has been made.

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#silentsunday

2 Jun

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The Talking Om Nom Review

24 Apr

When we arrived home from a recent holiday I found a little cute green thing waiting to greet us.

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Yes, it’s Om Nom the adorable sweet munching green thing from the very successful game and app ‘Cut The Rope’

It was the boys who instantly feel head over heels in love with him. What with his great big eyes and cute Om Nom sweet munching noises, who wouldn’t?

To be honest the little man didn’t get much of a look in and Alice Sara didn’t get near the thing full stop! Why? Because the toddler has sort of claimed him as his own. We are off to Butlins for the weekend on Friday and I’ve already been informed that Om Nom is coming too! Watch out Bognor Regis… Lock up your yummy sticks of rock as Om Nom is coming to town.

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Children who love the game will love the all new adorable talking Om Nom plush by Vivid Toys! Even those who have never even played the game will have a hard job rejecting the Om Nom.. The toddler is proof of this!

All you have to do to get Om Nom talking is gently push the very top of his head. Note… The batteries are non replaceable, though I’ve been informed they have lasting power so here’s hoping.

Om Nom can be brought from all good toy retailers and has a RRP of £9.99

Oh, and if this isn’t exciting enough kids can also get their hands on cute collectable Nommies! Perfect for pocket money spenders at just £1.99.

Check out the Vivid Toys website to find out more.

Disclaimer: The children were sent the Talking Om Nom free of charge for the purpose of this review. Nonetheless all opinions are honest and that of my own.

Tips – Parenting a Child With Olfactory Dysfunction (Hypersensitivity to Smell)

9 Feb

Children on the autism spectrum often have traits of SPD (sensory processing disorder) which could affect any one, if not all of their seven senses.

In my last blog post I gave some tips on parenting a child with Tactile Defensiveness (Hypersensitivity to touch) today I want to write about Olfactory Dysfunction (Hypersensitivity to smells).

Its important to note that not all children with sensory processing problems will be hypersensitive to sensory stimulus. Some children will experience under sensitivity (under responsive to certain sensory stimulus). Where others, like Little man, can experience both.

Yes, in some areas, our Little man is known as a Sensory Seeking” But though this is true we have found that he is more hypersensitive than under sensitive, especially when it comes down to tactile stimulus.

Although little man does have difficulties with all off his senses, olfactory (smell) fortunately, is one of the least challenging (well, compared to that of his tactile senses). Nonetheless, it does still make things difficult for him. Luckily, Little man is given Occupational therapy as part of his statement and as a result he is learning ways to deal with certain types of hypersensitivity. However, he hasn’t always undergone Occupational therapy and as a parent I’ve had to learn what his triggers are and how to avoid heightening them.

Tip: Change Washing Powders!

If you use a highly Fragrance washing powered, this could well be a tigger for your child’s meltdowns. Try using sensitive washing powders that are fragrance free. I found that the fairy washing powder works well for us.

Tip: Reduce The Amount Of Perfume You Wear When You Are With Your Child.

I used to wear a certain perfume that drove the Little man nuts. It actually gave him headaches so I didn’t have a choice but to stop wearing it in his company. The fact it wasn’t cheap and priced at the higher end of the market made no difference to little man. Seriously… It was, and still is my favourite scent ever! yet I can hardly ever wear it!

Tip: Experiment with foods

Your child may say he/she doesn’t like a certain type of food without even tasting it! Little man could so easy be put off something simply due to the way it smelt. Sometimes its better to use different cooking techniques as some ways of cooking certain foods let of less smells than others. We could never cook scrambled eggs with little man in the house. Even his sister or brother eating a bag of wootsits or other cheesy snack within distance of him would set him off.

I’ve found that certain brands of the same food are less fragrant than others. Sometimes its just better to avoid certain foods altogether, other times I cook them when little man is out of the house.

Tip: Natural Cleaning products

Not only is it cheaper to make your own cleaning products but for a parent who’s child is hypersensitive to certain smells, it can be a way of removing a meltdown trigger. Using lemons and vinegar mixed with borax and bicarbonate of soda makes a great solution to tackle household dirt and grime. Fresh lemons will provide a fresh scent throughout the home, that isn’t too over powering for your child.

Tip: A Good Sensory Diet

Use different scents together to create fun sensory play. A good idea is to gather certain objects together, make the child close their eyes and then guess what the item is your holding simply by smelling it. Of course there will be smells they are hypersensitive too but this way you won’t only discover which smells they cannot tolerate, but those they like too. This means you could then try introducing more of these scents into the home. Maybe you discover that they like the scent of strawberry! You could then replace air freshners with this scent. Plus, by playing such games regularly your child could adapt to certain smells, therefore reacting to them much less in the future. Make sensory games fun, offering certain rewards for correct guesses making children more inclined to want to play.

Tip: Good Social Skills Training

This may seem odd but in fact its very relevant. Children on the autism spectrum can be quite abrupt! They have this tendency to say what it is they are thinking out loud. This is regardless of whether its Inappropriate to do so or regardless of hurting someone’s feelings. Basically if they think you smell funny then nine out of ten times they are gonna inform you you of it, no matter who’s listening! It may be simply because a friend is wearing a perfume they don’t like or maybe the teacher has bad breath. Teaching a child when its OK to say things can help reduce social problems.

Little man got into really big trouble at mainstream school when he told the head teacher that his breath smelt like a dogs… so could he please not talk close to his face. The fact the whole school was gathered in the hall really didn’t help the situation whatsoever.

Social skills training is beneficial for the child on the autism spectrum for countless reasons… This is just one of them.

Look How Happy He Is Now!

24 Dec

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I never thought I’d see the day my son smiled like this… His at school, has a great role in the secondary years Christmas production and I’ve never felt so proud.

When your child is never ALLOWED to take part in the schools yearly Christmas nativity or play it tends to become somewhat disheartening. In mainstream he was either told he wasn’t allowed to be part of it all, coincidently excluded from school that day or just pulled out and told he couldn’t take part at the final rehearsals or worse on the day itself.

Some parents feel a Little disheartened for their child when they Become upset at having to preform as a star, Camel, or even tree year after year. Us… We would have been happy with just that.

Seeing him up there on the stage, contributing, being a part of it all, was amazing. Did I cry? What do you think?

He has been in his Independent special school For around 18 months now. I remember he’s harvest festival assembly Back when he first started. She was excited about doing a reading but he wasn’t used to this type of thing, given he had never been given the opportunity in the past, The poor boy just froze with stage fright.

Now look him up there, With his mass of red hair and great big smile Ironically playing the gingerbread man. He couldn’t have been happier And honestly neither could I!

It was a wonderful day that had followed a school Christmas dinner the day before. This gave me two opportunities to witness my sons happiness within his new school environment.

It feels somewhat weird Being involved in the school community. Watching your son perform in the school play and eating Christmas dinner side by side with fellow parents and your child’s teaching team. Let’s not forget my experiences of school especially when associated with my son, were anything other then awful.

Looking back to how things were, the discrimination, tears and even self harm. I would have never imagined us being here.Things were horrible and I couldn’t see the light past the darkness. We are the perfect example of hope for any parent with a child on the autism spectrum facing the same trying battle when it comes to their child’s educational environment.

There is hope… No matter how dark things may seem right now. Good, understanding schools do truly exist so please don’t give up the fight!

Big thank you to my sons school for a wonderfully festive few days and for giving my son the opportunities he deserves as a 12 year old boy.

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#silentsunday

23 Dec

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Little Man finally Has His Birthday!

2 Oct

Yes, his been driving me mad for months. Anymore birthday talk there was a danger my head would explode. But we got there in the end and god how thankful I am that we finally did.

Yesterday my not so little man turned 12 (god I feel old). He woke up early despite sleeping during the silly hours and was beaming with excitement. He doesn’t like unwrapping so he was given his gifts in a bag and his face lite up with the sight of a Playstation 3.

I also brought him the much awaited (so I’m informed) FIFA 13 which I had to Pre-order at our local supermarket. This along with a few other games, an additional controller and some other accessories made up his birthday list.

I was really surprised that he didn’t kick off when the door knocked and it was time to go to school. But given the fact his favourite teacher had also brought him a game probably explains why.

Once home he had friends over and the roars could be heard coming from his bedroom as they all took it in turns to battle the birthday boy at FIFA or Wrestling.

We then had a special dinner of a fry up (yep, not my idea of special but certainly was the little man’s). We then sang happy birthday before tucking into some delicious birthday cake.

Birthdays in our house are often a little odd when it comes to the little man. He normally requests some pretty odd presents and can normally be found playing with his gifts in the strangest of fashions. Whats more he can often be found doing so alone.

This year the occasion was somewhat more “typical” for the birthday of a 12 year old boy. He invited his cousin and the boy next door over to the house to play. He even encouraged his sister to join in (though this didn’t last, it was a good start).

There was no birthday meltdowns to be seen and I for one was feeling pretty relieved that there wasn’t. On the whole the day was perfect.

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We did experience one little problem mind you. The whole excitement of the day didn’t wear him out as I would of hoped it would. The little man went to asleep at an alarming 6am this morning (and before you ask his Playstation was not in play during the course of the night). As a result the little man didn’t go into school today. I tried desperately to keep him awake once it was gone 4 am but I failed miserably.

His now awake and won’t be playing his game till after tea (I don’t want him to associate time off school with having fun). We have therefore had some tears this afternoon, but given I’m writing this in a reasonably silent house, here’s hoping we’re past that.

So, that’s another year and another birthday. Don’t be surprised if in 6 months time, you read that the Little man has been banging on about his 13th birthday. Seriously, this starts happening around May so you’ve been warned!

Little Man The Secret Agent On A Mission

21 Sep

When little man was asked to review items from the Spy Net range he was more than happy to oblige.

Me, I didn’t mind! Yes, I’d be required to record his thoughts and opinions but a little writing never killed anyone, especially when it means you can sit back and enjoy watching your sons confidence grow as he gains more and more self confidence with each review he does. Growing up he had limited interests but this kind of thing was right up his street. For starters it’s Tech and he relates to this very well. Secondly it involves spying and he quite enjoys this too.

Was I worried… No…. After all it’s just a toy isn’t it!

But as usual I had spoken way to soon, and I mean way to soon!

The Spy Net™ range isn’t just some plastic fantastic toy that lets the child feel like a spy… No, no! It’s the ultimate in cool spy technology, Spy Net™ offers a range of fully-functional gadgets and I’m not talking alarm clocks or fancy sound effects!

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Spy Net™ provides today’s secret agents with everything they need to do the job and do it well.

Little man was sent two products from the range, one being the Spy Net™ Video Watch RRP £49.99. Now I understand this is for today’s spy but again I didn’t think to much about it, after all, as mention, it’s just a kids toy!

Yes, the clever device had me fooled! So well in fact that the Little man and his watch have caught me of guard more than once.

The Spy Net Video Watch looks just like your everyday watch (if anything a tad bulkier, but not obviously different from the norm)! As one would expect, it tells the time like an ordinary watch, but hidden deep within its packed with a whole host of innovative features, the type that only an under cover secret agent would require.

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Amazingly one of these features is a real-working hidden video camera and audio system that allows its owner to record and store over 20 minutes of video (thats a lot of time to collect some pretty incriminating evidence). Whats more the watch has the capability to collect over 4 hours of audio evidence, or even 2000+ still photo! All features are displayable on a built-in, full color 1.4 inch TFT video screen so Mr Secret Agent can sit back, relax and watch the playback!

Once back at their headquarters, agents can upload to SpyNetHQ.com via USB where analysing of evidence commences

If this isn’t enough the watch has even been loaded with lie detector software… Yes, I did just say lie detector software! With this the little agents can check if your telling lies during a conversation or instead analysis the audio produced on that secret video you know nothing about.

When they are finally bored of spying on family members they can move onto something else like having a go at ‘Secret Code Cracking’ or maybe train for missions in way of the preloaded mini games.

To say little man loves this watch is to much of an understatement! His bonkers about it. Again I’ve been proven wrong this versatile Spy Net Video Watch that also downloads video missions from the HQ is far beyond a toy.

Do you know that thing we do as parents! We’re tired, stressed and not in the mood. The kids go on & on about something and we end up saying… “Yer maybe” or “OK, Ok whatever” Those with a child on the autism spectrum will particularly understand as the child with Aspergers has mastered the fine art of obsessiveness. Well, Little man has been doing this about his birthday and the little sneaky devil (that’s a polite term) has been secretly recording me as he bangs on about wanting the entire contents of Amazon. He has some pretty strong evidence of myself saying “OK, OK, we will see” as well as “Yes… Yes” I try not to do this as a child will never let you forget it, especially one with Aspergers but Yesterday I received a little shock. We had a discussion on the subject of birthday lists and he states i’ve agreed to get him something that I’m pretty sure I haven’t! To my complete and utter horror it turns out that I kinda have agreed to something and he holds the proof in that of his little watch. I’m considering suing the boy for entrapment… Seriously! His even got me singing (extremely badly) as I dance with the mop in my PJs… Something I’m not wanting leaked on YouTube! The boy has the potential to make a mint in blackmail money but we won’t tell him that ah!

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Verdict: 9/10 it’s a brilliantly clever piece of kit that I’m considering borrowing when I speak to his father next * Evil Laugh*

Parents be careful your child could be spying on you.
www.SpyNetHQ.com

Little Man also received the Spy Net™ Bionic Ear Stealth Listening Device RRP £19.99
Another devices that allows him to become a top spy and does so by allowing him to hear distant sounds through walls and doors in-order to detect intruders and defend against enemy… AKA the parent.

By Putting on the Bionic Ear a long with his Spy Net Video watch, Little man has all the tools needed to be a super agent. The Bionic Ear has real ultrasound technology and allows him to listen in on all the action (not always appropriate I know)! He can even use it to hear round corners ensuring him a safe distance from his enemy (in our language… Little sister).

Does it work? Just look at the Little mans cheeky chops! Do you really need to ask?

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At £30 cheaper than the Video Watch it’s a good price! However it doesn’t compare in terms of what it is able to do and the many features that come with the watch does put it way up there on a pedestal! I do love the watch and together with the Bionic Ear it’s the perfect set to delight boys and girls alike.

Verdict Bionic Ear 7/10 Great product that kids will love.

Both products are available from all good retailers including Toys R Us & Amazon.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for writing this post! Little man received product samples for the purpose of the review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Aspergers and Control

21 Sep

Control we all like to have it, though some more than others. It’s important to maintain control of our life’s, after all what a pickle we find ourselves in when we lose our grip.

So what’s life like for a person who feels the need to control everything around them. Is this the type of somebody that one classifies as a control freak?

My little man is a child who has this uncontrollable need to control his surroundings. From what I’ve learnt about Asperger’s syndrome and the way the mind works I understand this has a lot to do with predictability ‘Making the world a predictable place to live in’.

I sat and thought about how my own child uses control, Who he uses it with and importantly where and when!

Since little sister came along and taught the little man about the joys of play, I’ve observed him in numerous situations. I’ve watched him during games that require lots of imagination, games like schools and shops. It’s these games in particular that the little man will come across as somewhat bossy as he try’s to control the whole game using his sister as an actual play object. Once they’ve played it one way they have to play it the same way every time.

Thinking about it little mans need to maintain control of absolutely everything is quite extreme. At times it’s like living with a husband! It’s even the most simplest things that he must control. A great example being the television. Yes, sometimes I have to remind myself who’s the patent here! He will just come in switch over the tv regardless that I’m sat watching it. He will then try to argue his case.This does have a lot to do with him just wanting to watch something but its when I say no things go OTT! He goes crazy at the thought of backing down and losing control of the situation.

This is why his very particular when it comes to creating a Birthday and Christmas list! He can’t get to grips with surprises and the few times I’ve done this things have ended badly. I’ve learnt my lessons here and now discuss everything with him first.

Last year it was a case of giving him money in a card then taking him and his money to the shops to buy his own gifts.This felt so impersonal but something I know to be Practical… This I cannot deny!

Mainstream school was Incredibly difficult for him. He spent so long without any help that his need to control his environment become very over powering. Lets be honest here… It’s difficult enough for even a teacher to control an environment that consists of some 30+ kids. Little man therefore didn’t stand a chance in hell did he. As a result Little man found himself excluded on a regular basis, so regular that it was weekly at one point. Visual aids used within the classroom helped a great deal however this was too little to late and the damage had already been done.

I know that Little man wants things to be predictable and that he finds it hard to relate to the feelings of others when his trying to make it happen. I just wish that others would understand this and see that his not just the spoilt child they assume him to be.

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