Thursday, 30 June 2011

What to do today?

What to do today? isn't that what everyone asks most mornings?
There's a whole host of things I know I should be doing, I should be making sure the house is in tip top condition, I should be sorting out the washing, hanging it on the line to dry as its lovely and sunny, I should be spending good quality time with my youngest, maybe sitting with him teaching him to read or write, I should be planning the evening meal and have it all ready and prepared for when the hungry older two come home from school, I should be taking the dog for a nice run in the fields and catch a moment of twos breath between the domestic duties.

But really some days you just don't want to be doing any of them things, some days you just want to do not a lot.

Is it really wrong to sit and do none of the above? to let youngest amuse himself to some extent and potter from the Tv to the games console, leave him be when he spreads lego all over the floor, is it ok to have left the breakfast bowls in the sink until tea time and leave the dog slounging on the sofa giving you sad looking eyes?

Well today I'm having one of those do nothing much sort of days, well it is Friday after all and I promise tomorrow I will do all of those things I should have done today, and more.

when times stands still

When I was younger I hated making decisions, everything seemed to be so much easier if you just sort of followed along. Now I'm a parent and that isn't possible anymore every decision I now make will have a consequence.
much to often I say 'I remember when I was that age' and there's a tang of sadness in that statement, its not only the reality I am indeed now a lot older than 8 or 9, but that I am old enough to have 8 and 9 year old children. But theres a firm sense of desperation to that statement too. I do indeed remember many things about being 9 years old, I remember things clearly I almost still feel that age in some ways, and its that which scares me, if I have such memories of that period of my life, then it is this period in my childrens lives that will be the contents of their memories in years to come.
Obviously I don't remember day by day what happened when I was 8 years old, but I do remember certain events, certain snippets, maybe its the photographs, where in these moments time stands still, maybe they are not real memories at all, but learnt memories, you remember things because they are repeated to yourself, but even still I know its the times that happen now, the photographs I take that will become the memories of my children, and that is a scary prospect yet a wonderful one at the same time, and that is why I take to many photos!

I think these are beautiful quotes:

'Take to many pictures, laugh a lot, and love like you've never been hurt' author unknown

'Which one of my photographs is my favourite? the one I'm going to take tomorrow' Imogen Cunningham

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Power Rangers Samuri Megazord Review

We were lucky enough to receive a Power Ranger Samuri Megazord in our Toys R us toyology box
The Release date for the Power Ranger Samuri Toys in the UK is around July 1st, so we were one of the first to get our hands on these.

Power Rangers are a favourite Action hero for children and collectors. I remember watching power rangers as a child and it is still a hugely popular action hero series. I think its the fact these are 'normal' teenagers who morph into super heros it really does catch the imagination of children.

In 2009 the production of power rangers ceased, and the last show was broadcast towards the end of 2009.
However Saban have brought back the rights to the franchise and early this year (Feb 2011) a new series was aired on nickelodeon Childrens TV channel

I was unaware of this new series as we do not have Sky TV, and to be honest have never really seen any recent series of Power rangers, but this has never hindered my childrens enjoyment of the toys. The fact the figures are obviously super heros in their colourful costumes and their weapons, it wasn't really ever a necessity to have seen the actual show they relate to, my eldest has several power ranger figures, and an older megazord, and they are very much loved and continue to be well played with.

The power rangers morph into 5 individual animal zords and then together they can join to become a megazord, it is this megazord we were sent to review.

The box is brightly coloured with a clear front where you can see the Megazord clearly displayed, on the back it shows you the individual zords, and also has a few pictures of other toys in the samuri range which can all clip together.

The age range is 4+ My eldest and youngest were both equally interested in this toy, and eager to get it out the box, they both instantly took the megazord apart into the individual zords then built the megazord back up again, and have since continued to play with it many many times.

I think this will be a much appreciated toy by any power ranger fan, or any super hero fan it is easy to build up and take apart into its different elements so no frustrating moments running to mum or dad for help.

check out my video review here where my youngest son whos 4, shows how to build the megazord up.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Cycocycle - CrAzY FuN

Toys r us sent us a cycocycle to review as part of the toyologist program, what an amazing product!

Setting up!

The box arrived, just a bland cardboard box, we opened it up and were greated with an odd looking bike, or is it described as a trike? or maybe a scooter... well whatever you want to describe it as its very well made, its got one 20" tyre at the front, and two smaller ones at the back, the tyres are BMX style pneumatics tyres with Multi tread design for secure traction on pavements, grass and dirt, it has a unicycle style bike seat with a handle at the front and back, its in a rather fetching yellow and has 'Cycocycle Crazy fun' as its moto'

Dad quickly and easily put it together, with the tools supplied, you just need a pump to pump the tyres up.

The cycocycle folds up for easy transport and storage, which is a great feature, it's easy to fold and un fold with a quick release lock in mechanism the front wheel folds up towards the back wheels

As shown in the video here:


I have never seen or tried anything quite like the Cycocycle, it really is a bizzar combination between a unicycle, trike and bike, with scooter features thrown in for good measures.

It states on the Toys R us website that its age range is 13+ my eldest is 9, and managed it well, my daughter is 8 and also managed it well, but they are quite tall, the steering takes a little bit of practise, and it is quite difficult to get to grips with the balance on slopes, but it is lots of fun and definitely worth the effort.

There are so many possibilities with this, as your confidence grows then you can practise tricks, there is a step bar at the back, with a grip strip which can be used to scoot along or to take a passenger, the 360 degree spin factor to the front wheel means you can ride this any way round you choose!

you can pedal both forwards and back, we found that changing direction with the pedals acts like brakes, as obviously there are no traditional breaks.

Be prepared to have a few falls before you grasp exactly how to ride this but every time my two children had a fall they were laughing and jumped straight back on.

Take a look at my video below This was the first time out on the Cycocycle and both children had grasped steering well after the first 10 minutes or so. (Watch to the end to see the outakes and falls!)

When I asked Chloe what she thought of the cycocycle she said 'its amazing, a bit hard to ride at first but its lots of fun!'

And the winner is.....

Thanks to everyone who entered, I put all the names in a hat and my youngest picked out the winner..

Lucy Robinson

I will be contacting you soon

thanks again and please remember to look out for next months competition and keep check on the Toys R us UK facebook page for great reviews and updates from all the toyologists!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

A real winner

My Eldest, is 9 years old, he has never been overly kean on reading, writing or anything on that side of the education, he struggles with it alot and it just seems no matter how hard he tries it is not easy for him. He does however love mathematical puzzles and visual learning. Many children learn at different rates and in different ways, my daughter who's 8, is the opposite to my eldest son, she loves reading and writing, and spends her days with a pad of paper and pens in her hands, constantly writing out notes and stories, her weakness is maths and logic puzzles, where her brain seems to have easily found its way of working language it struggles with more mathematical problems.

With them being so close in age the main problem to their different approach to learning has always been finding things which encourage their individual strengths and things that they individually enjoy and can be good at, without comparing them. It has always been a concern for me that as Chloe is great at reading and writing she seems to get lots of praise and encouragement as she is always producing a story or such like, she excels at a lot of typical games as her reading skills are higher she can easily pick up any game and read through the rules and get to grips with it, Jake struggles and would rather not read instructions and stumbles along. I find his confidence is knocked a lot when his younger sister out performs him.

So when Toys r us sent us Cannibal Monsters by Smart games, I was kean to give this a try.

 Jake instantly picked it up, it was exactly his type of game, it has no long winded instructions the concept is easily grasped, and as it is a visual learning game Jake excelled at it, he quickly progressed through the first levels and thoroughly enjoyed the praise, it is a game which promotes all the skills he loves which was great to see and gave him a tremendously self confidence boost.

Chloe who struggles with everything this game promotes was eager to give it a try with the bright colourful monsters it is an appealing game. Jake was very enthusiastic about it which encouraged Chloe to give it ago.
Where she struggled alot more than her brother, she did manage to grasp the concept after a few minutes and started to be able to get through a couple of levels.
Where I feel Chloe ultimately will benefit educationally by this game as it really does help with all her weakness, I feel Jake benefits tremendously by it also as it is something enjoyable for him and promotes his strengths.

That aside this is an amazing game by Jumbo games, it is very well made, the game board doubles as a storage case, which is very sturdy this is a timeless game too, something that can be got out quickly and take up them boredom moments, it would be a great game to pack for holidays and trips away to dispel them rainy afternoons, where very young children will not grasp the concept of this game it is a great game to engage everyone else in the family, you'll find mum and dad eager to give the next level a try and Grandad will want to make sure he's the first to finish! If you love puzzle games which really help to get the brain clogs moving, then this is a sure fire hit!

Be sure to take a look at the Toys R us Facebook page where any updates on the availability will be sure to be mentioned! Priced at £14.99 I feel that it is great value for money, it really is a well made game which is sure to last for years!

heres my video review

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Competitions - get your hands on some fab toys!

Toys R us, UK have given the toyologist team of 2011 some lovely toys to offer as fab competition prizes

I have put together a list here of the competitions running right now, get in on them quick as deadlines this Monday!

Share with your friends and keep an eye on the Toys R us Facebook page for future competitions! - fyrflyz with Inside the Wendy house - Crazy Cheifs game  
Alphabet Lotto!/photo.php?fbid=220371177997562&set=a.142297219138292.20100.123821574319190&type=1&theater My first flash cards

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Toyologist Competition

I'm sorry some of you seem to be having a little trouble leaving comments on my blog :(
I'm not sure how to resolve this right now, it may be something to do with your cookies (can be accessed in the Internet options under privacy) or it may be gremlins in my blog, either way this is obviously not fair for those who wish to take part but can't find a way to comment, so I have just edited the entry terms which now involve taking a look at the Toys R us facebook page, then leaving me a comment or emailing me

To pick a winner I will write out each persons name pop them in a hat and my lovely children can pick the winner

Hope this works better!

Thanks for the interest and Good luck!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Want to be a Toyologist?

Being chosen as a 2011 Toys R Us toyologist has been an amazing experience, upto last year I had never entered a competition at all, online or otherwise, always thinking I'd never be lucky enough to win anything, then last year I stumbled across the Toys R us amazing facebook page and noticed they were offering a chance to be a toyologist, now who wouldn't love to test toys for the biggest toy shop?! so I entered back then, and to my surprise and delight I came runner up, just before Christmas and I was thrilled. I really enjoyed waiting to see which toys I'd get to test and thoroughly enjoyed putting them through their paces and making my reviews, it gave me a sniff at things to come. So when toys R us started their search again for Toyologists I entered and held my breath when the results were announced, and that's where we are today, on an amazing journey of toys and testing, the first box has just arrived and its been so much fun looking at the toys as a family and making the reviews, seeing the latest toys just as soon as they are released (or many times before their release date) is a real one of a kind opportunity.

So nows your chance to join in the fun, there has been a great interest in the Toyology program and so many people who would love to give it a try, so each month, myself and some of the other toyologists will be looking for a guest reviewer which means you could join the fun.

To enter all you need to do is pop over to the Toys R us UK Facebook page and then leave me a comment below or email me, I will pick a winner at random to receive the amazing FyrFlyz spinning light show. Which is set to become one of 2011 newest must haves!

If you want to see what the other toyologists have on offer to guest review please make sure you pop on over to the toys R us facebook page here: and keep your eyes open for updates.
Also make sure you follow my blog here, or on facebook here :!/pages/This-is-me-Sarahmumof3/131489553594939 (or both if you'd like!) to make sure you don't miss the next 6 month guest review slots!

Look forward to seeing the winning review of this amazing product!

(Quick Recap: To enter this months Guest review competition, simply go take a look at the Toys R us facebook page then post a comment below, I will pick the lucky winner at random on Monday 27th June, I will contact the winner directly and will require a response within 2 days otherwise a second winner will be drawn, each month around the 15th I will release the product up for the guest review slot so come back often and join the other toyologists over at the toys R us facebook page to see what products they have in their guest spot. Reviews can take any form you wish should you win, written, video or photos all fine
UK entrants only please

first day nerves

So today was the day, my littlest off to his new school, a real big school with proper uniform.

When he woke up this morning he said he didn't want to go, but soon changed his mind when reminded about the lego we saw on the induction day, and the binoculars which he loved.
So dinner time came and he put on his little uniform and we trundled off to school. He surprised me by being smiley and happy and not at all nervous, everyone always said to me with the older too that I spent too much time with them and they would be clingy, and the same has been said to me about Mikes, but it always seemed the opposite and again Mikey is no exception, he asked if I was staying, I said I could for a little while, we walked around the classroom he went to the binoculars and found the bugs again and I looked at them with him for a couple of minutes, Then I asked him if he wanted to take off his jumper, as it was really warm in the classroom, he said yes, so I took it off n we went to hang it on the pegs, near the door, then said that maybe I should go now and he could then tell about everything he's done when I picked him up, he said he wanted to paint me a picture, (then changed his mind and said he wanted to paint himself a picture!) and asked if he could go on the computer. The teacher who was right near us said she'd put the computer on for him in a little while, I said oh that'll be great why don't you go and play with the stickle bricks whilst you wait, he said ok, I said bye gave him a kiss, n he tootled off to happily play. I turned and left, as simple as that, no dragging him from my hip screaming, no hiding behind my legs nervously nothing, just a very sweet smiley confident little boy who looked like he'd been at the school for months. I walked out n returned home now I'm sitting clock watching till I can go fetch him!

First day nerves... pah not for him but me, well us mums always suffer the most don't we.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Pig goes Pop Toyology Review

Pig goes Pop Review

In our toyology toy testing box we received Pig goes pop, its described as an action game for children aged 4+ Priced at £16.99 from Toys R us

Chloe (8) and Mikey (4) instantly wanted to give this a try. The box is brightly coloured.

Inside the box you get a friendly looking pig , 16 colourful burger counters and a dice, the game is simple to set up, no batteries are needed (always a bonus!) and nothing needs assembling you just have to make sure pigs arms are down and his coat is fastened.

then you take it in turns to roll the dice 4 side's have a solid colour and one side has a cross symbolising miss a turn, and one a multicoloured section, whatever colour you roll you pick a burger from the pile, each burger has a number underneath 1 to 4, you pop the burger into pigs mouth and then press down his head the corresponding times.
Once pig is full he 'pops' open his jacket and this signals the end of the game.

Each round of the game takes about 5 minutes so its not a time consuming game, but it's one that they can play with themselves and have as many rounds as they like.

the age range is 4+ I feel that it would be better aimed at younger children (I guess the age range is due to the burger counters being swallowed) but with adult supervision this would be a lovely game for 2-4 year olds who are just learning their colours and numbers, my son turned 4 a few weeks ago so he is exactly the age this is aimed at, and to be honest I feel it is a bit 'young' for him, he already knows all this numbers and colours so he won't learn from this game, but that aside he still found it lots of fun and has played it several times since we have had it, it is a game at 4 years old he could play by himself he understand the concept and can do every part of the game which means its a pleasurable activity with no frustrated tantrums.

The finial 'pop' is not overly dramatic, but is enough to make the children laugh, his tummy is made of latex, and as you push down his head his tummy slightly blows up, not really noticeably like some adverts portray, and once hes popped open you turn his tail to release the air before play can resume

Overall this is a fun game, in my opinion it would be great for younger children where it can help teach them colours and numbers, it is simple to use and definitely a plus that it needs no batteries or assembling.

here's a video review for you all

Remember to follow Toys R us on facebook for more great reviews and competitions.

new school..

Tomorrow afternoon my littlest boy, my baby, is going to start his new school!

I am in slight denial about this, since we moved he hasn't been attending a preschool, because we moved after the admission deadline, we had to submit a late application, so I wasn't sure which school he'd get a place at for September, and I didn't want to start him in a preschool where he wouldn't be going come September, I had kinda put this to the back of my mind, liking both school options locally, so not worrying about which one he would get a place at, but more so because hes my baby and is in my eyes too young to be going to school!

Anyway I did receive a letter back to tell me what school he has a place at, Its a different school to the juniors Jake and Chloe attend but a real lovely school, so for the past few weeks I've been meaning to ring the school and ask about induction days, with a nudge from a friend I finally rang the school, they were so lovely and said they had places in their preschool for afternoon sessions should I like to have a place. Although I would love to keep my littlest at home forever more, I know I would be stupid to pass up this opportunity, it will enable him to meet his friends and teachers and get used to the school ready for September when he'll be gone all day.

So on Thursday last week I took the plunge and went to see the school, took Mikey along with me, and they again were lovely, they invited us in for a real good look around, and Mikey LOVED it, that afternoon I scooted off into town to kit him out with little school shoes, trousers and polo shirts, he was as proud as punch and wore them that afternoon when we went to collect Jake and Chloe.

So Tomorrow afternoon my little boy will be going to school... how crazy is that!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Our Toyology Adventure starts here..

The past few weeks have been full of excitement and anticipation for us, we've been eagerly watching for Geoffrey Giraffes updates on his facebook page, to see when we should be expecting our first delivery of toys to review. Then yesterday we got a message saying that box number one had left the warehouse and was on route to us!

So today when the children came home from school and found this box waiting for them they were very happy!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

The Gallery - I'm gatetful for

I have been meaning to join in with sticky fingers gallery posts for some time, seems as I love taking photos so here I am joining in for the first time, and will make sure I try and keep going with this :)

' This post is for Week 60 of The Gallery: I'm Grateful For and is in recognition of the lovely Chris who set off on a journey with Save the Children on Monday.
You can follow her progress on her blog Thinly Spread.
So what are you grateful for?'

I am grateful for so many things, I pondered on posting a picture of us eating, so grateful to have food when we want it, or maybe a picture of us snug in our beds at night, grateful for the comforts we all have... but in the end I opted for what I am as equally grateful for - the funny moments everyday that make you remember to smile...

Friday, 3 June 2011

Round up of the week.

It's Friday again, end of another week, half term nearly over.

Had some hit and miss weather as the week started off dismil with a very wet bank holiday, but isn't that always the way, thankfully tho the sun has made an appearance these last few days and its been sooo hot.

We have enjoyed lots of walks, discovered new fields of daisies and made a few new friends.

Whilst attending a homestart celebrating our volunteers meet, on Thursday, (an amazing charity homestart, definitely worth a look up if you've never heard of them!) I was as proud as could be at my three lil people who all behaved so well, came home and they decided to show me that was only one side of their personalities and continued to squabble and bicker, bit like the rainy bank holidays seems that is always the way, but I always said I wouldn't mind their bad behaviour as long as I knew they could behave if they had to, and they certainly behaved well whilst there :D After as a treat we went for a lovely walk and a picnic they spent the afternoon burning off their energy.

next week looks set to be a great week to, with news from the ever famous Geoffrey giraffe, that he has sorted his list of toyologist toys, hes giving nothing away and it will be a surprise to see what we get to review can't wait! Great talk of a fab facebook application too where all the toyologist reviews will go :) so exciting, so if you haven't already get over to TOYS R US UK facebook page and keep upto date with the news :D
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