Review: Jaques of London educational toys

I adore wooden toys. There’s just something so lovely and magical about them. They’re also durable, sturdy and have a wonderful texture compared to plastic toys.

I just can’t believe how fast this year has gone by. It’s almost Christmas already! Three lockdowns later and we can finally get the chance to have a proper Christmas dinner with the rest of our family. We’ve just ordered a new dining table so we’re definitely going all out this December.

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Review: Sing My Name Personalised Kids’ Alarm Clock

Waking up in the mornings – especially during the winter season – can be really challenging for both adults and children. Those cold, dark mornings make you just want to lie in bed for a few minutes longer, don’t they? If you have little ones that struggle with morning wakeups, it might be a good idea to look into getting an alarm clock if you don’t already have one. In our household, I would usually wake up the kids around 30mins after I get up. This is so I can get things like their uniforms, backpacks and breakfast prepared first. It helps to save a little bit of time but some days, I’m there standing at their bedside trying to physically drag them out of bed.

We were lucky enough to be sent two Sing My Name personalised kids’ alarm clocks. The kids were so excited that they had one each and couldn’t wait to give it a try the next morning…

The Wandering Mother - Family Lifestyle Blog
Let your child wake up to the sound of their own name sung back to them with Sing My Name’s personalised alarm clock

Sing My Name Personalised Alarm Clock Review

The Sing My Name Personalised Kids’ Alarm Clock comes in four colours but a few of the colours have two designs so there’s a good variety to choose from. They are analog clocks which can encourage children to learn how to tell the time, something my Little Man still struggles with as everything we have to tell the time with is digital so for us, this is warmly welcomed. The clock requires three AA batteries – we buy our multipacks from Poundland which saves us money. There’s a snooze button by the alarm bells and an off-off switch at the back of the clock allowing you to turn it off easily when needed.

Key Features:

  • Personalised name sang to them when the alarm rings
  • Snooze button (which also functions as a demo button – so handy!)
  • On-off switch button at the back of the clock
  • Volume button so you can adjust how loud or quiet you want the alarm to be
  • Battery operated
  • Soundless seconds hand, no loud tick-tocking thanks to the silent ‘sweep’ mechanism
  • Glow in the dark minutes/hours hand
  • Reprogramming the sound of the alarm with your own music as many times as you want

These popular personalised kids’ clocks are sold at the infamous Hamleys toy store but due to current lockdown restrictions, the best way to get your hands on one of these is to order online. When ordering on the Sing My Name website, you’ll need to enter in the child’s name and there’s a sample play button so you can hear how the name will sound when the alarm rings. It’s inserted into a fun and lively wake-up song which is sweet however if the alarm music starts to get on your nerves you can easily change it to their favourite song by reprogramming it (MP3 format) as many times as you want.

When entering your child’s name, if the name is not recognised, don’t worry as they team will record it especially for you. There’s also an entry box for pronunciation which is great if your child’s name could be mis-pronounced. Talk about excellent service!

The Wandering Mother | UK Family Lifestyle Blog
We are loving these cool and quirky kids alarm clocks!

Little Miss loves her pink clock and Little Man loves his blue clock – they really do make lovely personalised gifts for kids. These clocks could also make great Christmas gifts for kids if you’re stuck on ideas on what to buy. If you prefer gender-neutral colours instead of ones that are associated as ‘girls alarm clocks’ or ‘boys alarm clocks’ there’s orange and purple options to choose from too.

I wasn’t really sure of where to put the kids’ alarm clocks because my little ones don’t have a beside table. The clocks are compact enough to be placed on a shelf or window ledge so that helps. The glow in the dark clock hands might come in handy at night for you if you have older children – not so much for me right now as mine are still learning the time but it’s definitely a a helpful feature for time-training. Also the clock’s seconds hand runs so smoothly (thanks to the clever sweeping mechanism), you can’t hear it ticking at all. You might even decide to use the clock as a sleep trainer which would be really effective for waking up during darker mornings.

These clocks have really put a smile on my little ones’ faces and I’m so glad they’ve enjoyed them. Next step will be to add their own music to the alarm as my little monsters don’t seem to always wake up to the sound of their own name! LOL

For the full collection and more about Sing My Name alarm clocks, hit the ‘find out more’ button below:

The Wandering Mother Blog - GlowArt LED Drawing Board Review

Review: GlowArt Kids’ LED Light Up Drawing Board

Christmas is coming! 

I am counting down the weeks already! It’s the only time of the year that I really plan for – the Christmas dinner, the tree, the colour scheme for the tree decorations… everything! There’s something really magical about the festive season and I love it. We need all the magic, hope and feel-good feeling we can get after the year we’ve had. 🙂 I’ve also been lucky enough to review a view products this month, starting off with festive duvet sets to this, a super fun light-up drawing board for kids.

Review: GlowArt LED drawing board

Looking through a Smyth catalogue for Christmas presents has started to take its toll on me with the endless toys in there. Most days, the kids sit down after school, flicking through the catalogue and saying “I want that one” for at least 15 minutes or until they’re halfway through the thing… and it’s not a small booklet either!

I was kindly sent this GlowArt Light Up Kids’ Drawing Board last week to try out and review on the blog. It’s taken me a while to get round to posting this as I didn’t realise the thing needed a set of batteries and kept forgetting to buy them each time I went out to the store. Then with lockdown closing most shops but not essentials, I was able to still pop into Poundland and pick up a good amount of batteries. Once I’d put them into the GlowArt board, the kids were having a field day playing around with the LED lights.

It also got them off my back for a few hours each day so a win-win so far!

I would describe the GlowArt Light Up Drawing Board for kids as an educational toy. It helps to stimulate their brains and encourage creativity through drawing and mark-making. The board also helps improve hand/eye co-ordination and focus, as the children are concentrating on what they’re creating. It can also be a great tool for tracing (use it as a tracing board) or for sensory play as you can change the colours and make them rapidly flash, slowly pulse or stay fixed… it’s a pretty cool gadget.

The Wandering Mother Blog - GLOWART drawing board review

The Wandering Mother Blog - GLOWART drawing board review
GlowArt board glows red
The Wandering Mother Blog - Review: GlowArt kids light up drawing board
Little Miss enjoys tracing her LOL doll using her light up board
The Wandering Mother Blog - GLOWART drawing board review

What’s included with the GlowArt Kids’ Drawing Board?

This neat little gadget will provide your little ones with hours of fun. The LED drawing board for comes with the following:

  • LED light-up drawing board in your colour choice (black or pink)
  • Four fluorescent coloured marker pens
  • Built-in stand for displaying your drawing board artwork
  • Instructions on how to use and look after the drawing board

Batteries are not included – you’ll need x3 AA batteries to power this baby up but it can still be used as a great tracing board without batteres.

We used it as a night-light once, which was fun, but it drained the battery quite a bit so we won’t be doing that again LOL. However, if you can get your hands on rechargeable batteries then it’s not a bad idea. It lit up their bedroom really well and the LED really show off their artwork in a colourful way thanks to the fluorescent markers.

This kids drawing board would make a great Christmas gift so if you’re shopping around, take a look at it. It’s perfect for children who are creative or love mark-making but the parents are not keen on the mess. Or for parents who are looking for sensory toys, the GlowArt drawing board for kids would make a great present. The GlowArt Light Up Kids’ Drawing Board is available to buy on their website as well as Amazon however, as they’re a small business I’d recommend buying early on the official website. Amazon can take a big commission cut for sellers and suppliers who list on their site which is really cheeky as they are making loads of money. One can argue that things are cheaper on Amazon than official sites however think about saving the small businesses this Christmas. With the ongoing pandemic, we should try to buy local as much as possible to keep the companies open and operating.

 


NB. We were kindly sent the Glow Art LED drawing boards in exchange for this unbiased product review. All opinions, photos and content are my own and should not be used without my permission.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Lifestyle & Travel

Pretend Play: Boys, Tea Sets And Teddy Bear Picnics

LO loves playing and there is nothing that he loves more than pretend/imaginative play.

He’s been learning about cooking at nursery and I had a light-bulb moment and thought “why not buy him a tea set?” – I knew he would love it and when we had our first teddy bear picnic at Toddler Sensory (read about it here) he loved it so much I wanted to give him that experience again but at home.

So when I was shopping, I came across this cute little tea set from Tesco (£3) in red and blue and thought it would be great for him. I know there shouldn’t be any gender discrimination when buying children’s toys however I just didn’t want him to be teased for having a ‘girly’ tea set.

The Greenwich Mummy | Role Play: Boys & Teddy Bear Picnics

As soon as I showed him the tea set his eyes lit up. I asked him if he wanted to have a teddy bear picnic with mummy and he happily said “yes” so I got out his bedroom bears (mr. monkey, bear, and moose) and we had a lovely teddy bear picnic and I showed LO how to make the tea and how to use the kettle properly. He even made all of the sound effects from the water pouring and the tea slurping. Super cute! 🙂

Pretend play is very important for any child’s social development and it has also been said to improve their cognitive development. This journal I found online takes a deeper look at high-quality pretend play and children’s cognitive development and shows that there is a positive link between the two. Problem-solving, negotiating, and social/linguistic skills can all be improved through pretend play.

So what does that mean for us mummies (or daddies)? It means it’s time we start purchasing tea sets, play food sets, dressing up costumes, and toy cash registers for our kids to play with whether they are a little boy or little girl because it’s good for them. Plus, grab a friend to bring their child along and the kids will be so immersed in playing with each other you’ll have a chance to relax and have a cup of tea (that’s actually hot for once!). 🙂

Manny | The Greenwich Mummy Signature

Learning Through Play Is A Wonderous Thing!

It’s simply fascinating how quickly children learn new things! LO is 19m and is already starting to know his colours, alphabet letters, numbers and shapes. He can’t put together a full sentence but if he knows what the thing is he’ll say it, he will point to the tiny plane in the sky among the clouds and will say “pane” or “air-pane” and occasionally make the sounds of the plane engine. (so cute!)

Daddy got him this toy from VTech called ‘Push & Ride Alphabet Train‘ a couple months back and LO was just riding on it, pressing all the colourful buttons and flipping the pages of the plastic built-in alphabet book. Only now he has been able to recognise what some of those pictures are and can tell me what they are. He still has trouble with putting the little alphabet blocks in their slots because they only go in a certain way and gets really frustrated when he can’t do it.

IMG_1727
LO trying to place the alphabet block into its rightful place

Sometimes it’s almost painful to watch as his tantrums can include throwing himself backwards onto the floor and banging his head on the laminate flooring which doesn’t look (or sound) good. I battle with myself all the time with thinking “should I run over to him and help him?” or should I just leave him to calm himself down from his tantrum? Most times, I just leave him to it… I hope that doesn’t sound like bad parenting! (It’s more like exhausted, drained-out parenting.)

I am very glad that we have this little train though, LO just does so much with it! He sits on it and rides it like a train. The train can be separated into two parts so LO can just push around the first part so it’s like a baby walker but we don’t do this because he’s over walkers now, he prefers trains and cars. 🙂 When his cousin is around they try to play with the blocks together, and there is a button that enables sound so you can switch it off when you want which is ideal when you have heap loads of work to do and need a bit of time to concentrate.

Loads of stores will stock this train including Tescos, probably Asda and Argos and of course all major toy stores. we got ours from our local Smyths store on sale for under £30.

NB. This post contains affiliate links

Build-a-Bear UK