Category Archives: Fun

Should you ban video games for your kids?

Gameban

It seems like almost every child has a device to play games.

Games have replaced physical toys and books as must-have Christmas and birthday presents.

But with so many scare stories about the effects of games on children’s development, especially those that contain violence, should you ban them in your household? What are the consequences of the digital entertainment take-over?

So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of games for kids, check out fun, educational alternatives to violent games and offers tips to help integrate game-playing into your kids’ lives in a sensible way.

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Review: Dino Tales

dinotalescollage

At the age of 2 and a half, Brodie discovered dinosaurs.

All of a sudden, his toy trains didn’t matter any more. His imagination was sparked by Triceratops and Spinosaurus, by T-Rex and Diplodocus.

We themed his birthday parties on them, we booked tickets to see shows about them, we visited attractions which had them.

They’ve taught him a lot. These prehistoric creatures have widened his vocabulary, improved his spelling, and sparked his imagination.

So when the lovely folks at Netmums invited us to review the Dino Tales game, promising it would be educational, I had no doubt.

But now that he’s 8, Brodie is fairly knowledgable about dinosaurs, so I wondered if there was anything new this game could teach him about his favourite creatures.

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What Parenting Really Looks Like (and it ain’t pretty)

perfectfamily

I clearly remember the rose-tinted spectacles of optimism I wore when pregnant with my eldest boy.

Of course, I knew parenting would be nothing like the white-picket fence images of the TV commercials – where the mum is radiant in her pure white dress, smiling down at her cherubic infant who gurgles adorably as she changes his nappy (which no doubt smells of raindrops and roses).

But ignorance is bliss, and I still managed to kid myself that becoming a parent would somehow turn me into Mary Poppins, so filled with joy by the arrival of my little miracle that I’d laugh away his tears, wipe up his mess cheerfully, and brush off the sleep deprivation with a strong coffee and a smile.

But that’s because we rarely capture images of what parenting really looks like.

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Where’s Wally? At the Team Honk Danceathon

Wally

 

The lovely blogger Helen, of The Princess and The Pickle, is my guest on the blog today, to share a little info with you on a very special fundraising event……

 

As I write this, I am recovering from an hour’s Zumba session dressed as Wally, complete with woolly hat and legwarmers. Why, you ask?

Well, I needed a little dress rehearsal for the imminent Comic Relief Danceathon, just to make sure the costume was comfy enough for 6 hours of dancing!  This wasn’t a public exercise class by the way, I’m not quite that brave yet and I’ve got well over a week to pluck up enough courage to leave the house dressed like this!

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Win £200 of Sainsbury’s Vouchers with Active Kids

ActiveKids1

 

If your kids are sports crazy, you’re pretty much sorted when it comes to keeping them active.

In our town the majority of the local lads are either part of the junior football squad, or else they’re constantly kicking a ball around the local park or the school playground.

But what do you do when your boys aren’t at all interested in football – in fact, they’re not particularly sporty at all?

This is my quandary. When being active isn’t something which naturally occurs for your children in the school playground, or as part of a sports team, you’ve got to create opportunities for them to stay fit and healthy. Especially in this day and age when, left to their own devices, children like mine would happily sit staring all day at a computer screen.

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The Last Nativity

nativity

“They won’t stay babies for long” people said. “Don’t wish the years away.”

And I nodded, peering at them through sleep-deprived eyes, stinking of poo and wondering when nappy rash cream became the only skincare I had time to apply.

There’s so much about the early years I’m really glad is over now, if I’m honest.

But the nativity is something I’m going to miss.

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A Festive Carnival

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Are you feeling festive yet?

I have to admit, I’m one of those annoying people who starts looking forward to Christmas around October-time.

And now we’re in full-on countdown to the big day, I couldn’t be more thrilled.

There’s just so much magic around at this time of year. And blogland is no different.

Which is why I jumped at the chance to host this week’s Britmums carnival of festive posts.

Whether you’re a festive fairy or a grumpy little elf, there’s bound to be something in this little bag of tricks to thrill you.

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Competition: Win a festive kids costume

JokersMasquerade

 

Dressing up is one of my boys’ favourite pastimes – although I’ll admit the last time Brodie donned a Christmas costume he looked like this…

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Review: Nintendo 2DS

2DSreview

The trouble with games consoles is that no sooner do you buy one, the company brings out a new, upgraded version.

Before you know it, you can’t get games for your old-fashioned console any more. And all the newest, latest games your kids are nagging you to get are only accessible to them if you fork out another £100-200 for version 2.0 of the player.

It annoys me. And with this in mind, a couple of Christmases ago, when we were buying the boys their very first Nintendo DS consoles, we got second hand reconditioned ones from a store.

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Walking back to happiness

A long time ago, in a country not so far away

We’re lucky in Scotland to live within a short distance of some breathtaking walks and scenery.

From the Pentlands in Edinburgh, to the Ochils in Stirlingshire, there’s many a hill that’s just as stunning as the ones Julie Andrews used to run through, warbling about the Sound of Music!

Back when Mr G and I were a young, carefree couple (oh so many years ago) we often went munro-bagging.

Granted he was more into it than I was. But I joined him on a few weekend jaunts up hills I could barely pronounce – like Buachaille Etive Mor and Beinn a Bhuird.

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