Have you seen Ricky Zoom?

This is a collaborative post. We received payment and products for the purpose of this post.

Moose, just like most 5 yr olds, loves cartoons. He especially likes anything with ninjas, battles, vehicles or problem solving. As well as cartoons he loves drawing pictures and colouring in. Imagine his delight then when we were recently sent a bag of goodies to celebrate the Ricky Zoom series from Nick jnr currently being shown on Saturday and Sunday morning.

I’ll be honest, I am not usually a fan of talking vehicles. Cars is my least favourite Disney movie. Moose however is a different kettle of fish. I sat him in front of one of the episodes we were sent to watch and within 2 minutes (and I mean this literally) he was absolutely hooked.

What is it about?

Ricky Zoom is a little red bike whose parents are rescue bikes. He lives in Wheelford, a small town with a tight knit community who all help Ricky to be the best he can be and make sure he can stand on his own two wheels.

Ricky’s friends are Loop, Scootio and DJ. They call themselves the Bike Buddies and they go around trying to help as much as they can.

The show opens with the theme song which is a nice little introduction to the characters of Wheelford. Each episode features brightly coloured characters and lots of stunts and action but at its heart the show is about friendship. There are of course morals and a certain amount of sending a message about having good values and caring for others. 

What did we think?

Moose was quickly drawn into the show. He loved the theme and the bright colours. The characters really appealed to him and he watching a couple of episodes from start to finish and was really engaged with Ricky Zoom. 

After he had watched the episodes he wanted to colour his Ricky Zoom pictures from his backpack and make up new adventures for Ricky and his friends. 

I liked that the show was vibrant and fun but even though the little bikes did get support from the rest of their community they were able to solve problems by themselves. Perfect for its 3-5yr old audience who themselves are just finding their feet! 

I will definitely encourage Moose to watch Ricky Zoom in future. He found it inspiring and I thought the messages it laid out were positive.

Check out the Ricky Zoom website for fun activities and to find out more!

Half term crafts for rainy days with Milly&Flynn

We were sent these products for the purpose of this post

I find October half term a bit of a challenge. The wedding season is over, so work is hardly flooding in, and, when you are self employed, no work = no money.

No money at half term is not so great when you have little ones to entertain and it’s tipping it down every day.

Luckily we were asked to have a go at some Milly & Flynn crafts – just in time for the school hols. We were sent a Panda 3D foam puzzle, a Lion 3D foam puzzle, a Puzzle & Grow build your own treehouse and garden set, and a ‘Cake in a Mug’ mug.

3D Foam Puzzle

As a parent who hates cleaning may I first of all extend my thanks to whoever designed these puzzles. Clean crafts that you can just let your child get on with without fear of them sharpie-ing your sofa are to be applauded.

Inside the box you will find

  • Foam puzzle pieces.
  • 1 x Double connector.
  • 2 x Single connector.
  • 2 x Pupil inserts.

The first job for Moose was to push out all of the foam shapes, which are pre cut and come on foam boards. There are a lot of pieces. The foam is pretty thick and sturdy though and he managed to press out every single piece all by himself. It took quite a while, which I feel is an excellent plus point as it allowed me to drink a cuppa in peace. A rare occurrence!

Moose didn’t get bored. 3D puzzle was just challenging enough. I think he liked being able to get on with it by himself. On the back of the box, you will find instructions. Milly & Flynn have printed them in picture form. An easy to follow step by step so great for non readers. It says on the box that 3D puzzles are suitable for 5+ and I think this is spot on.

I really liked that Moose was able to put the 3D puzzle together without help. As well as this though there is plenty of play value after the puzzle has been completed. Moose quite happily played for ages. If you every wondered who would win in a Lion Vs Panda battle, we have you covered..

Priced from £7.99, the 3D foam puzzle would make an excellent stocking filler or party gift for any boy or girl. We will definitely be buying a few this Christmas!

Our stay at the Peninsula Hotel Guernsey

We were gifted our accomodation for the weekend in exchange for our review. All opinions are honest and our own. 

After crossing the channel on the Condor Liberation we found our home for the weekend on the North side of Guernsey at the Peninsula Hotel.

The Peninsula Hotel

With Moose leading the way, room key in hand, we soon found our room. Our generous family room had plenty of space. As well as 2 single beds for the children, there was a comfy double bed for MrG and I. It didn’t take long for us to settle in.

The Peninsula Hotel has plenty of facilities. As well as a laundry service, there is a self serve laundry room – useful if your children are as grubby as mine. Outside is a mini golf course and there is the option to hire bicycles, a great way to explore the island.

We absolutely loved the Peninsula Hotels outdoor swimming pool.

Moose and Bess are both total water babies so they were overjoyed to have the opportunity to take a dip. The pool isn’t massive but there is a shallow children’s section which was great for Moose.

The area around the pool is decked out with some tables and chairs and plenty of sun loungers. There is also a changing area which was useful and we found to be very clean.

The Peninsula Hotel has plenty of parking but is also really accessible by bus from St Peter Port. Set within 5 acres of gardens, the Peninsula hotel overlooks Grand Havre Bay on the north-west coast of the island.  The bay is just a short stroll over the sandy dunes and is well worth a visit for rock pooling or sandcastle building fun.

As well as the bay, the Peninsula Hotel is also a short walk from Rousse Tower.  One of 15 loophole towers built on Guernsey in the 1700’s, Rousse Tower 11 makes for an interesting point of interest close to the Peninsula Hotel. Both Moose and Bess enjoyed looking at the tower and the cannons on display. It made for an interesting after dinner adventure!

rousse tower

Eating at The Peninsula Hotel

We thought that the dining and bar areas of the hotel were beautifully styled. They were really relaxed environments and although I was a bit anxious about whether it would be child friendly. I needn’t have worried. All of the staff were excellent -especially with the children.

I won’t list everything we consumed during our stay at the Peninsula Hotel, I think that with food a photo is worth a thousand words (and with the amount of pics I take of my meals, that’s a truckload of words)

We were very kindly treated to half board dining during our stay. It was great to see that families were well catered for here.

The breakfast was a buffet. As well as a lovely selection of cereals, fresh fruit and pastries, there was also a delicious range of hot food available. It’s rare that such a breakfast comes with great coffee but the coffee at the Peninsula is spot on!

As we were half board we had a restricted menu to choose from. I say restricted but we were very happy with what we had to choose from. As you can see, both adults and children’s menus were varied.

Here is a selection of the adults dishes we tucked into during our stay

The children’s meals were great portion sizes and even the fussy 4 yr old enjoyed them!

Would we come back?

I would definitely stay at the Peninsula Hotel again. With spacious rooms for families, a great location being practically on the beach and plenty to do it’s a great choice for those travelling with or without little ones.

 

 

 

Our trip to Guernsey with Condor Ferries -No passports required

We were given ferry crossing and accomodation in return for writing this post. All opinions are honest and our own

Guernsey is somewhere that up until this year lived in my childhood memories. My maternal Grandad took me on holidays to the channel island every year until he sadly passed away when I was 8. This photo is one of the only ones I have from those Channel Island holidays.

Guernsey

It’s a photo of my Grandad and it was taken by me when I was about 5 years old. 1 photo and a million memories. We usually used to stay in the St Martin area of Guernsey at a hotel called Greenwoods which, I believe, is now a residential care home.

The hotel was white with green shutters.

It had a bar area with a cockatoo which occasionally spoke and a sitting room with board games. It was at Greenwoods that I learned to listen to my Grandads advice (there was an incident with a créme caramel).

Every holiday we would drive to the ferry port or the airport in his blue vauxhall cavalier called Vicky. The Everly Brothers would be playing loudly while we sang along. My Grandad would pack a box of sugarcubes which was a treat for me and any horses we would encounter. We would spend the week having cake and milkshakes in the cafes of St Peter Port and playing on the beautiful beaches. I would write postcards and always visit a nursery so I could send carnations home to my Mum.

I have a lot of wonderful memories of Guernsey

So, when I was asked if I would like to return to the island with my own family, I jumped at the chance. It was really easy to organise because you don’t even need a passport to travel to the Channel Islands from the Uk.

On our way

We were all really excited about sailing to Guernsey on the Condor Liberation. So excited in fact that it didn’t even cross my mind that we might not be great on boats. We were assigned what must have been the best seats onboard. Right at the front with stunning panoramic views.

 

Of course when it came to it we were all (except MrG) really quite seasick. It was such a rookie mistake not to have picked up sickness tablets – especially on such a rough crossing. Luckily because the crossing was so rough it appeared that most of the other passengers on the Liberation had the same sea sickness problem so we all chucked up together. Nothing much bonds a group of strangers as well as an experience such as this.

What an ice breaker..

Our seats were generous and as you can see we had lots of space to stretch our legs. We were seated in the Horizon Lounge section of the Liberation, right at the front of the vessel. The Horizon Lounge has a secure key code entry and lovely recliner seats. Each seat has a power supply and high speed wifi is available to purchase. The Horizon Lounge has superb views and it’s own bar. There was a great selection of food available on the Liberation but to be honest none of us could face it!

The crossing from Poole to Guernsey was around 3 and a half hours long and I had worried about how I would keep a 4 year old entertained for such a long time. I needn’t have stressed though, the children have a little area just for them with a television showing children’s movies. Moose made good use of this area as did many of the little ones onboard! As well as the children’s area we also explored the 2 outdoor decks and of course the duty free shop.

Back on dry land

Once we arrived at St Peter Port it was nice and easy to get off the liberation. We were all impressed with how quiet the Liberation was during the crossing and even more so with the staff. They looked after us all really well and made the whole journey an enjoyable (if not wobbly) experience.

We later learned that there was an issue with the stabilisers and one of the engines on the Liberation so I am sure that usually the crossing is a lot smoother.

During our stay we were being hosted at The Peninsula Hotel which had everything we could need for our 2 day stay including a fabulous dining room and bar and an outdoor swimming pool.

There is so much to do on Guernsey. We were pleased then that Visit Guernsey had provided us with a pass for some of the local attractions.

A weekend is not long but I knew I wanted us to visit the Little Chapel and to explore St Peter Port during our stay. We were lucky to be able to visit Fort Gray as well as a couple of the beautiful beaches over the course of our weekend too!

Would we do it again?

The answer here is an easy yes. Guernsey and the rest of the Channel Islands have tons to offer families. It was so lovely to be able to revisit places I had only seen as a child and experience them as a parent this time. It was nice to see my children getting so much enjoyment from simple pleasures. Over the 29 years since I last visited I was expecting a lot to have changed. Some has, of course. But much is just as it was when I was there with my Grandad. Except of course that now I have a LOT more photos.

Slap Ninja!

We were sent this game in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are our own

Moose is heavily into all things ninja at the moment. He was therefore overjoyed to arrive home from school to find a brand new ninja focused game ready and waiting for him! 

What’s in the box?

Well, not a lot to be honest. There is no box. Just minimal cardboard packaging – which was great from a parental point of view. 

The Slap Ninja controller is modelled after a karate bench. On top there are 3 led lights at either end. One of the “bench legs” is plain, the other has a small button on it and a trigger. Above this “bench leg” is a red coin and a giant ninja hand. The Slap Ninja game is aimed at children aged 4 and up. I think that this is pretty accurate. Not least because the trigger to control the giant hand takes some effort to squeeze. 

How to play

This part is simple. The packaging of Slap Ninja boasts that this game will take seconds to learn. They aren’t kidding! We have all played the game in the school playground where you each put your hands out in front of you while your opponent tries to slap you – this is effectively that game. Ninja style! Check out the ad to see for yourself. 

The Aim of the game is for the student to hit the coin button without receiving a slap from the master! Do this 3 times and you win – and the master must feel the buzz of shame (don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt at all. Unlike the ache from your dented ego when a small child beats you at Slap Ninja…) 

A second to learn and a lifetime to master.

What did we think?

I really liked the lack of useless packaging around Slap Ninja as well as the game arriving with the batteries already installed. It meant that the fun could begin straight away – excellent for Mums like me who despite knowing better, often runs out. 

Moose adored playing this game. It takes no set up, it’s small enough to take in the car and there are no small parts to lose. He has challenged every member of the household and has so far held his position as ninja master. 

Slap Ninja is by Jakks Pacific and is available from all good toy shops!