Review: Shrek's Adventure! London

By 7/10/2016 , , ,


I'm 23, I am a mum and on paper I'm definitely supposed to be classed as an adult... and I have to confess- I absolutely love Shrek.

Really?

Really really.

With that confession out there- phew, off my chest- I am sure you can understand how excited I was when the lovely people over at Merlin Entertainments offered me, Jack and Isla the chance to head down to London to experience the attraction for ourselves!

Before I get into the tour itself, I have to commend that staff that man the doors and ticket office. Our first train was cancelled. Now thankfully we had planned for this and with another train we still should have arrived with a good 30 minutes to spare for a cheeky sausage and egg muffin.,, But then we found out all the trains on the exact underground line we needed were being cancelled or delayed due to lack of drivers!

Being stuck underground- sweaty, bored, and annoyed, there was of course no phone signal or wifi. We couldn't call to confirm we'd still be able to get in despite missing our booked time slot. We arrived around 20 minutes late and scampered up to the desk sheepishly, praying we'd be allowed in.

The staff were so polite and understanding and reassured us that we'd get to go in- they allow for this. Now as a parent I know- and you may well know if you have children or dogs or husbands who take extra long to do up their shoes (sorry Jack) that booking in a timed slot for something that needs travelling to is risky. Rest assured that with this type of attraction, at worst they said you would have to wait for a different slot and maybe queue if it is busier.



Once inside, you are immersed in the story straight away. Donkey and Fiona have invited you on a bus ride to Far Far Away! After travelling through the departures section, and having a proper pep talk from the hostess you're whisked in to meet Princess Fiona herself who, with a little karaoke help from the group, gets your magical bus ready and then it's all aboard!

Now obviously, this sort of 4D attraction will involve flashing lights, smells, smoke and water effects- we were apprehensive about how Isla would react as at times she can be quite delicate. The recommended audience is between 6-12 year olds.

She loved it.

I managed to get her to wear the glasses for 70% of the ride and with each splash and crash and burst of air she was giggling and bouncing. We were supposed to be frightened when the witches attempted to hijack our bus but she was waving manically at them, cackling along with them and clapping with glee as more water sprayed our faces.

After the bus ride, you are taken on a walk-through live action story where you are considered just as much a character as the actors and actresses. Think London Dungeons style but perfect for families and children!

There are witches, princesses, forests and mazes- and of course one very smelly toilet owned by the protagonist of our story- Shrek!

They did ask that no-one take photos during the story tour itself, so you'll have to believe me when I say how much effort they put into the costumes and sets! It also means no spoilers- if you want to see it you'll have to head down there yourselves!

At the end of your tour, there is a huge section for you to see other featured Dreamworks characters and take your photos with all your favourites.

 Having a go at some Kung-Fu in the Jade Palace!

Isla stealing Po's noodles! (Kung Fu Panda)

Of course, to sum up- the gift shop. I never knew their was so much amazing merchandise! I've got a few photos to wet your appetites if you or your children are as big a fan as me.





I'll say again that I cannot praise all of the staff in this attraction enough. There are so many little touches that make it the perfect family activity for children of all ages (if they're as brave as my little Isla was!). There is a buggy park where they'll happily store your pram for you free of charge, spotless toilets, and chances for each and every person in the group to get involved and interact with the story.

You should definitely try it out. I'm sure you'll have a Shrek-cellent day!

Disclaimer: We received two tickets for the attraction in exchange for this honest review. All of the photos are my own, and all words and opinions are my own.

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Kidloland Nursery Rhyme App- Review & Giveaway

By 7/08/2016 , ,


There comes a point in every parents life when their child becomes infatuated with singing, dancing and nursery rhymes. Isla has had a "Wheels on the bus" noisy musical nightmare book for the past 4 months and she's really started to master the actions- wipers, crying baby, and bye bye! 

Why can't she master mummy says shush shush shush for once....

Now I'll be honest- we have never been keen on letting Isla play with our phones. There are far too many children glued ot their technology these days and it's painful to see a 4 year old working an iPad with more mastery than Steve Jobs himself.

But then there are the days when mummy really needs to do laundry, or drink tea, or take a shower without a needy bored toddler hanging onto her ankles. We usually resort to cbeebies at these moments- but what if we're out? Or in the car? 

I've been using the Kidloland nursery rhyme app for around 2 weeks now and I really do recommend it to any parent whose child loves songs, actions and cheery music. For the older kiddies it also has ABC and phonic learning sections, numbers, colours... it's educational! 




Almost all the games and songs are interactive with lots of things to press- it's been two weeks and I still don't think I've got the whole way through exploring the app!

Like I said, we've never been keen on phones or TV raising our child but with moderated use I do believe that for a child less interested in practical play and learning, this could boost their knowledge and interest in different topics. They do use tablets and computers a lot more in schools- so if you're going to let your child use technology keep it fun and educational with an app like Kidloland.

Isla has learnt so many sweet actions and now with or without the app, she can "twinkle twinkle" her hands, and when she rows her boat and see's a crocodile she screams!

The Kidloland app can be found at the following stores;

Apple App Store: KidloLand

Google Play Store: Nursery Rhymes For Kids

Amazon Appstore: KidloLand

I do have a giveaway for your lovely readers!

Enter below for a chance of winning one of FIVE 3-month subscriptions to the Kidloland app.




Disclaimer: I received a free subscription to Kidloand in exchange for a review. All photos are my own and all screenshots were taken by myself. All opinions are honest and written by myself. 

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When Your Kid Wont Craft!

By 7/01/2016 , , , , , ,


Pinterest. It's so inspirational! I love looking at the kiddy crafting boards and seeing all the wonderful creations those mini Picasso's have produced..


Play dough footprints, painted hands pressed delicately onto a Christmas Bauble, or a well interpreted splat of paint on paper- "It's a cat I'm sure! My child is a genius!"

It really gets my creative juices flowing, so for fathers day last month, I decided we were going to craft a wonderful present for daddy- something beautiful he could treasure forever!

Now, my little girl Isla... She likes what she likes. Just like any other one year old right? But I figured this would be just the type of messy interactive sensory play (parenting book writers, give me an A+!) suitable for her age and would save me some money gift wise.

I scoured the shops for some non toxic baby friendly paint that wouldn't stain her, or make her vomit on the gift should she choose to eat it. I found a lovely pack of brushes in Poundland that included chunky sponges on sticks for her to dab away and make some lovely cloudy affects. Adorable!

Next, i made the decision to buy a cheap wipe clean mat to go on the floor (we were planning on using the highchair to avoid her crawling off with paint fingers!)- not that i'd need it though, minimal paint on the tray would mean minimal splashing and she is so over throwing things off the highchair at dinner, so this shouldn't be any different? Right?

Finally, I bought a nice wooden photo frame with a heart cut out, perfect for a nice photo of Daddy and Isla.

I'm a bloody amazing parent. Do they do parenting Oscars? Sign her up for the National Gallery.

But what if your kid won't craft.

It all started well. Isla dabbed her sponge in the paint and I gently guided her hand to the frame to show her what to do. 

"Look Isla! So Pretty!" I exclaimed proudly. Enthusiastically. All the books say positive reinforcement is the way to go.

She grinned and blinked those pretty blue eyes up at me. What an angel. Then she dipped her fingers in the paint. This was the sensory part! 

"This activity is going to make her brain  SUPER smart!" I thought as she put her hands delicately on the frame- she'd obviously already got the hang of it!

Then she smeared. She smeared her hands all over the frame in one colour- I grabbed one of her wrists and encouraged her to use all the colours. She smeared more. The idea of tiny fingerprints went out the window, but you can't hold back a creative genius right?

I snapped a quick photo. For proof. 

She picked up the frame. She threw the frame. She threw the brushes. She threw the paper I had laid on her highchair try ease the clean up. 

The high chair is for food. It is where mummy brings food. paint is not food.

Tantrum.

It took me 30 minutes of careful undressing, avoiding new carpets and forcing her to let me wipe her face with the evil-face-wiper flannel in the bath to change her from smurf to baby again.

Snot and tears ran tracks in her new green face mask. The water turned cloudy. I wondered if her ears would be blue forever.

My kid hates crafting. Piss of Pinterest.

All jokes aside, with a lot of guidance from mummy it turned out lovely!

This post was written for comedy purposes, all events are true, no babies or carpets were harmed in the making of this post. 

Have you had any crafting disasters? Let me know!

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