Sunday, 17 July 2016

Becky Adlington encourages families in Manchester to ‘just keep moving’ this summer

Finding Dory swim sessions in Manchester

On Monday 18th July, double Olympic gold medal winning swimmer, mum and Stockport resident Becky Adlington will be at the Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre swimming pool in Manchester to encourage local families to ‘just keep moving’ this summer. Becky is teaming up with Disney, Change4Life and the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) to launch nationwide interactive family swim sessions and a brand new 10 Minute Shake Up campaign – all inspired by the new Disney·Pixar blockbuster, Finding Dory.

The event will marks the upcoming launch of Finding Dory swim sessions.

The joint campaign launches family swim sessions at hundreds of pools across the UK, including a number in Manchester and the local area, as well as new 10 Minute Shake Up activities, in a bid to make exercise fun and help children get the 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity they need each day. 

Becky Adlington encourages families in Manchester to ‘just keep moving’ this summer

Double Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer and mum Becky Adlington is teaming up with Disney, Change4Life and the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) to encourage families in Manchester to ‘just keep moving’ this summer, with the launch of nationwide interactive family swim sessions and a brand new 10 Minute Shake Up campaign – all inspired by the new Disney·Pixar blockbuster, Finding Dory.

The joint campaign launches family swim sessions at hundreds of pools across the UK, as well as new 10 Minute Shake Up activities, in a bid to make exercise fun and help  children get the 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity they need each day.
Becky Adlington is taking part in a Finding Dory inspired swim session at the Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre in Manchester on Monday 18 July, showing local children how keeping active this summer can be fun and easy.

Campaign ambassador Becky Adlington, comments:

Since I stopped competitive swimming a few years ago, I understand how tricky it can be to fit exercise into a busy routine – and also make it fun. As a mum, it’s even harder. But I’m passionate about inspiring the future generation to get active and that’s why I’m in Manchester today supporting this summer’s campaign from Disney, Change4Life and the ASA. The summer holidays can seem really long but there are loads of great ideas to get kids up and about with new 10 Minute Shake Ups, and what better way to spend time together than enjoying a family swim session where you’re learning key skills.”
just keep moving change4life

The swim sessions, which are co-created with the ASA and run from 22nd July until 4th September, will provide an hour of in-water storytelling for the whole family, teaching children key swimming skills as they are taken on a journey with Dory and friends, led by trained instructors. They will be taking place nationwide, including 30 pools in the North West region. Booking for the swimming sessions is now available at the following locations:

·       Active Copley, Manchester
·       Active Hyde, Manchester
·       All Seasons Leisure Centre, Chorley
·       Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre, Manchester
·       Ashton Leisure Centre, Wigan
·       Bootle Leisure Centre, Bootle
·       Broughton Leisure Centre, Salford
·       Castle Leisure Centre, Bury
·       Clarendon Leisure Centre, Salford
·       Cockermouth Sports Centre, Cockermouth
·       Dunes Splashworld, Southport
·       Eccles Leisure Centre, Salford
·       Fleetwood Leisure Centre, Fleetwood
·       Hetton Community Pool, Sunderland
·       Howe Bridge Leisure Centre, Atherton
·       Irlam and Cadishead Leisure Centre, Salford
·       Leigh Leisure Centre, Wigan
·       Manchester Aquatics Centre, Manchester
·       Meadows Leisure Centre, Liverpool
·       Moor Park Health & Leisure Centre, Blackpool
·       Palatine Leisure Centre, Blackpool
·       Pendle Wavelengths & Inside Spa, Lancashire
·       Raich Carter Sports Centre, Sunderland
·       Ramsbottom Pool, Ramsbottom
·       Silksworth Community Pool, Sunderland
·       St Peters, Burnley
·       Swinton and Pendlebury Leisure Centre, Salford
·       The Neptune, Middlesborough
·       The Pools, Carlisle
·       Wigan Life Centre, Manchester
·       Worsley Leisure Centre, Salford

Search Change4Life online for Disney and Finding Dory inspired 10 Minute Shake Ups and don’t forget to book your swim session today at

Monday, 11 July 2016

Confessions of a Summer Parent...

So the summer holidays are almost upon us and the frantic google searches of how to entertain our children for six weeks have started...

We want something fun, but educational...

Exciting, but inexpensive...

Active, but not too tiring...

Then we have to fit it all in with the playdates, the summer camps, our work, cooking, cleaning and oh yes actually sleeping at some point over the next month and a half!

If it's any consolation, we know that it'll all be over in a flash and September will be here before we know it. Although, actually I know that thought won't help when we're in the middle of what feels like a thirty hour day, we have a todo list as long as our arm and two children whining, 'Muuuuum, we're bored.....', because every single toy in the house has been played with, screen time has been used  up (and some!) and they are fed up of playing outside in the rain...

So here are my top tips (confessions!) of a Summer Parent...

Daddy Jumping in a muddy puddle

1. If you can't beat them, join them! 

They're in their best clothes with no wellies, but they've been eyeing up that giant muddy puddle for the last ten minutes. You may not have any spare clothes with you, and you know that you're going to get the car covered in mud on the way home, but really who can resist a Muddy Puddle? I know my husband can't!

Photo courtesy of Jenny at The Brick Castle

2. Get the kids to do the cooking!

'I'm huuuuuuungry......' Two words every parent will hear about three thousand times each day of the summer holidays. Well why not get them to sort out lunch for a change? Get a ready made Pizza base, pop sweetcorn, peppers, tomatoes and Anchor cheese in to some bowls and let them go crazy! I guarantee you'll get half an hour of peace while they make funny (or rude!) faces, treasure maps or pretty patterns with their lunch! All you'll need to do it pop it in the oven for ten minutes!

little girl washing car

3. Get the kids to earn their keep!

The list of chores will no doubt be getting longer over the summer holidays so why cross a few off while keeping the children busy? Washing the car is a good way of them helping out and is great fun in warm weather too (just don't let yourself get involved in a water fight, well unless you want to!)

Photo courtesy of Jenny at the Brick Castle 

4. If all else fails... Chocolate!!

I'm not one for bribing children as a rule but if helps to keep your sanity then why not reserve treat for negotiation once in a while? Chocolate is so versatile, they'll likely take it in the packet but again if you want to keep them distracted for longer melting it for them to 'bake' something with is usually a good idea. (And don't forget Mum's emergency chocolate hidden in the ironing of course!

What are your tips (or confessions!)  for keeping the kids occupied during the summer holidays?

“This post is an entry for BritMums Confessions of a Summer Parent Challenge, sponsored by Anchor”.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Go Jetters Magazine from Cbeebies ‪#‎GoJettersGo‬

child Reading Go Jetters magazine

Elizabeth is coming to the end of her first year in school and she has developed a real love of reading during her time in reception. As well as enjoying the vast and varied library of children's books we have collected over the last few years, she loves being able to choose a magazine as a treat when we go to the supermarket, and I love that she no longer makes her choice purely based on the plastic toy that is taped to the front!

As most parents of young children will know, there are multiple shelves full of colourful magazines to catch the eye of little ones in most supermarkets and newsagents, but not all of them are offering the same value. Some I find have pages upon pages filled with adverts for the latest toys or TV shows and not a lot to hold a child's attention. An exception to this is the growing range of kid's magazines from Cbeebies magazines, including Swashbuckle, The Furchester Hotel and more...

Today another fabulous Cbeebies show has it's own magazine out in the shops an I can already tell it's going to be a firm favourite!

Go Jetters magazine - issue one with free toy

The new Go Jetters magazine follows on from the popular Cbeebies show that takes viewers on a fun but educational adventure around the world. If you've not seen it yet you'll soon have Last night a GJ saved my life stuck in your head on repeat! (Sorry!)  

In the magazine you can meet the Go Jetters gang an find out all about Xuli, the pilot, Kyan, the gymnast, Lars who can fix anything, Foz, the problem solver and of course Ubercorn who guides the Go Jetters and shares lots of interesting facts! There is even a Blippar app that parents can download to their phone so little ones can get even more  fun out of the magazine!

meet the Go Jetters

The magazine, like the show, is aimed at both boys and girls aged three to five, and is an ideal way for little ones to learn about geography and famous landmarks as it introduces children to places they may not have experienced before.

colouring in with the Go Jetters

Go Jetters Fun

girl reading a magazine

spot the changes with Go Jetters

Issue one is out today (Wednesay 28th June) priced at just £2.99 and is packed full of fun, including an exciting free Vroomster launcher toy plus Xuli figurine, a funky Ubercorn workbook, a colourful Go Jetters poster and sticker reward chart and much more!

playing with Xuli  - GO JETTERS

Editors Quote

With Go Jetters magazine readers can travel anywhere in the world and be part of the amazing Go
Jetter Academy. The exciting editorial encourages children to problem solve and to find out about
famous landmarks all over the world.
Whether it’s Niagra Falls, the Sahara Desert or the Eiffel Tower, Go Jetters engages children’s
imaginations so they can learn about geography in a way that is gripping and meaningful to them.
The editorial sparks children’s curiosity and encourages them to ask questions and have conversations about places. It provides opportunities for them to discover more about where they live as well as places far away.
There’s plenty of humour with Grandmaster Glitch, plus incredible facts to learn from disco-dancing Ubercorn along with thrilling Go Jetter adventures for our readers to enjoy. The gifts include the most amazing vehicles, awesome gadgets as well as fun toy figurines to play with!
Go Jetters magazine really is a global adventure for little learners!

Make your own Eiffel Tower simple craft

  Elizabeth enjoyed colouring, stickering, spotting the difference, reading, problem solving and of course leaning lots of interesting facts about landmarks around the world, but her favourite part was definitely making her very own Eiffel Tower to fly her Vroomster around! It was a simple but engaging craft activity that kept her focus for at least fifteen minutes, she then used the free Vroomster and Xuli toys along with her paper cut outs to become involved in imaginative play, chatting to herself all about Niagara Falls and the Eiffel Tower! I'd love to know all about the adventures she was having!

imaginative play with Go Jetters

As if that isn't enough value packed in to one magazine, there is a final treat in store! Inside the magazine is an exclusive voucher for one free child admission to Alton Towers, Sealife, Madame Tussauds, Coca Cola London eye and other Merlin attractions. See voucher on page 16 for more details and full terms and conditions!

Kids go free at Alton Towers, Cbeebies Land, Sealife and other Merlin attractions

We were sent the magazine for the purposes of this review.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Air Hogs Zero Gravity Batmobile - Review

Air Hogs Zero Gravity Batmobile in packaging

Like many other eight year olds, my son is a huge Batman fan, so when the Air Hogs Zero Gravity Batmobile arrived for us to review, he was thrilled!

He couldn't wait to get it out of the box and have a play. Inside the box we discovered the zero gravity Batmobile and the remote control that projects the bat symbol. The vehicle itself was a lot lighter than we'd expected, but I guess it has to be to drive on walls and ceilings!

air hogs zero gravity batmobile and remote

At first it was a little confusing as the instructions weren't clear, however we soon figured out that the remote required 6 AA batteries (and a small Philips screwdriver to open the compartment). Once these were installed the Batmobile required charging by plugging in to a small wire that was stored away in the handle of the remote.

how to charge the air hogs zero gravity batmobile

After a little while it was ready to go! Ben was in disbelief when I told him that that the car could climb walls so of course that was the first thing he wanted to do! The walls in the kitchen are the smoothest so we tried it in there, as the walls are painte a light colour, at first the the projected batsymbol was difficult to see, but after closing the curtains, this was resolved and to Ben's amazement, the Batmobile whizzed around the walls to follow wherever he pointed the light! (To watch it in action, see our short video below).

It also worked really well on the wooden floor of the kitchen and Ben loved to send it in a frenzy around the light, not unlike a cat chasing it's tail!

air hogs batmobile climbing up walls

Just like Batman himself, the Air Hogs Zero Gravity Batmobile can speed through the alleys of Gotham, then scale up the walls really to help those in danger! Equipped with the award-winning Wall Climber technology, the Batmobile can race up the walls and even onto the ceiling, driving completely upside down. Five directions of control and infrared sensors allow children to respond to the Bat Symbol when it lights up over the dark streets of Gotham!  

air hogs zero gravity batmobile toy review

Ben loves the Air Hogs Batmobile and has spent hours playing with it, however that is interspersed with charging time and he is limited to rooms with wooden floors and smooth walls such as the kitchen. Big kids seem very impressed by it too as both his uncle joined him for a play at a recent family gathering!

air hogs logo

The AIR HOGS zero gravity Batmobile is available from Amazon and other toy shops and has an RRP of £44.99, however if you shop around, you can take advantage of offers and I've found it for as little as £30, which makes it much better value for money. Ben is 8 which is the lower end of the age range this is aimed at and i'd say that was correct, although a younger child could operate it, quite a lot of patience is needed to get the most out of the toy and younger children may get frustrated with charging time or struggle to aim it correctly.

Check out our quick video below to see the Zero Gravity Batmobile in action:

 We were sent the Air Hogs Zero Gravity Batmobile  for the purpose of this review.