Baba Reviews

Paw Patrol Jumbling Tower Game Review

You probably have seen from previous posts how much we love board games in the Mamma Fairy house.  A couple of weeks back we were sent the Paw Patrol Jumbling Towers game to review.  Knowing how much the boys love their board games I decided to keep it hidden for that rainy day which was happened to be a family event. I wanted something to keep both boys (ages almost 5 and 2) amused and I had a feeling this would and it did.

Its a simple concept similar to the old school Jenga game where you stack the blocks, roll the dice and pull out the relvant block. The block are coloured with little paw patrol motifs on them.  The power of TV/ adveritsing my two year old was able to tell me which symbol was which member of the paw patrol!

While the game is advertised for ages 4 up (i suspect due to the small dice) my2 year old had so much fun with this.  They actually had more fun competing to build towers and knock each others down.

There really are lots of pieces to this set and endless possibilties of what to do with it, we had towers, bridges, castles. You cant beat the old school toys, toys that let kids let their imaginations run wild. I can happily report this game is has become a play date favourite.

The Verdict

Its very reasoanably prices at around €10,  and a big thumbs up from the Mamma Fairy house.  My only criticim would be storing it after you take it out of the box that it doesnt easily fit back in! Not a big issue really and im just ott about tidying every evening!

 

Note: We were sent this game to review however this in no way influences mine or the boys in the case opinion.
Mamma Musings

Kids Afraid Of Flying? Try These Tips!

When it comes to holiday time, and you want to travel abroad, the chances are that you will need to take a plane. The trouble is, many children – perhaps including your own – have an entirely rational fear of boarding a plane, flying thousands of feet up in the air, and landing on a hard surface at tremendous speeds.

Let’s be honest – can you blame them? Flying is an entirely unnatural thing for a human being to do, and even though most of us have flown dozens – maybe hundreds – of times, it can be easy to forget what a scary experience it might be. If your child suffers from anxiety about getting on a plane, read on. These tips might help – and maybe even help you calm your flying nerves, too.

 

Talk about it

Most children are afraid of the great unknown – it’s only natural. So the more you can introduce them to the concept of planes and flying, the better. Discuss planes, and point them out on the TV whenever you see them. Pick up a custom model aircraft or two and build them with your kids, helping them learn what all the different parts are called. And have a look around for any science museums in your local area that might have planes in them – perhaps one that you could go into the cockpit, for example.

Sounds and feelings

Part of the big issue with flying is that the noise and roar of the engines can be incredibly scary for young ears. It’s a good idea to get them familiar with the sort of sounds a plane makes, so try to get them making the whooshing and roaring while playing. Car washes are another good option – the noises the brushes and engines make are quite similar to a plane, and although scary a first for your child can often be a good starting point.

Tell the airline

Airlines tend to be pretty good with fearful children. They might offer your kids a chance to go and look at the cockpit and meet the captain or copilot, which can be incredibly reassuring. The stewarding team will also help your kids by giving them sweets – perfect for when the air pressure starts to affect their ears.

Bring entertainment

The more you can distract your kids, the less fearful they will be – it’s as simple as that. In-flight entertainment helps for longer flights, but for short hops bring along plenty of games and colouring in books to keep them busy, too. And snacks actually – all the snacks!!! 

Note: This is a collaborative post with Pic credit  – Pexels

 

 

Mamma Musings

Off the Scales Tips for Keeping Fish with Kids

A child’s first pet is an exciting thing. For some, it’s a puppy or kitten, but for others, it’s something a little more manageable. Fish can be an excellent choice for a first pet because they don’t require as much dedication as other, larger animals. While they can still require daily attention, they don’t need walking or playing with several times a day. Looking after fish can be a great way to teach your kids responsibility and empathy. However, there are some things you need to think about before you decide if you should get fish.

Deciding If Fish Are the Right Choice

People often think of fish as being an easy option when it comes to pets, but they aren’t necessarily as easy to care for as you might think. For one thing, it depends on the species of fish. Many fish are much more high maintenance than others and can be more expensive to keep. Plus, just because fish are small and often live in a tank, it doesn’t mean they don’t come with some of the same responsibilities as other pets. You’ll still need someone to feed them while you’re on holiday, and you still need to keep them clean and fed. You also need the space to keep them.

Keeping Fish Outdoors

While keeping fish in a tank or aquarium is one option, another possibility is having fish outside. It’s a fun choice if you already have a garden pond or you’ve been thinking of having one. It gives you the option to have much bigger fish, but you need to make sure they have enough space. If you want to keep something like koi carp, you need to make sure your pond is suitable. You’ll need to get a pond filter from Swell or a similar brand, or perhaps carefully choose the plants you put into the pond. Safety is essential to think about too. You need to cover your pond if you have kids.

Giving the Kids Responsibilities

Fish will help your kids to learn how to take care of their responsibilities. There are some tasks they should do regularly, but that don’t require too much effort. Feeding the fish should be simple, although watching how much they’re fed might be necessary. If the tank gets cloudy, you could be overfeeding them. Having something the kids can use to measure out the right amount of food can be useful. Children can also help with other tasks, like cleaning the tank.

Things You’ll Need to Do

If you’re going to get fish, you have to be prepared to do some work too. Some tasks are a bit much for kids to handle on their own. You will probably need to help with things like cleaning out the tank or pond, and it might be completely up to you with some setups. If you decide to keep tropical or marine fish, they can be a bit more work, and there are some jobs like testing the water that kids can’t do. And, of course, you’ll be responsible for paying for everything.

Keeping fish is one way of getting kids interested in animals and teaching them responsibility. However, make sure that getting them is the right choice.

 

#Note this is a collaborative post

Fairy Travels

4 items I wouldnt fly long haul with kids without!

We are not long back from the trip of a lifetime to Canada.  We spent time in both Toronto and Niagara Falls and it was incredible.  Niagara Falls had been on my bucket list and it did not disappoint.  The kids absolutely loved it.  To be honest I wasn’t sure how the long haul flight would be with kids ages 4 and 1 (almost 2). I shouldn’t have spent so many sleepless nights over it.  It was totally fine.  However there are a number of things that without a doubt made the trip a lot (an awful lot!!) more manageable with my busy boys.

1 Keep Em Quiet Packs

Such a simple concept but oh so effective.  We received two boys long haul pack to try out for the trip.  I didnt let the boys see them until were were 30+ thousand feet in the air. About 2 hours into the flight when the novelty of being on an aeroplane had worn off Mamma produced these.  There was great excitment about the cool bag which was used for the entire trip actually.  We received a pack for the relevant age groups for each of the boys.  They were really well received by the boys and contained a lovely selection of age appropriate items.  The big hits were the little tubs of play doh and for the oldest was a kit with which you could make cardboard models which he thoroughly enjoyed.  The littlest loved the Peppa stickers.  Im sure Aer Lingus are still peeling them off the seats! (sorry!!).

Check out Keep Em Quiet for more information.  Boys thoroughly enjoyed and the packs contained a selection of items which were age appropriate and also appropriate for the confined space on the aircraft.  Im always running around at the last minute so these are ideal, the work is done and you are ready to go and all for a very reaonable price.

2 Jet Kids Bed Box 

I bought this literally days before the flight praying that it would arrive on time and it did thankfully. I had seen it on Twitter and loved the concept.  Its a ride on suitcase that opens out on the flight to transform the seat into a bed. Its really easy to use and very comfortable according to the 4 year old.  We got most use out of the ride on ability of it as my 4 year old (can be lazy) isnt so keen on walking!!! Despite the fact it contains the matress it holds quite a bit of stuff or in my little mans case, his teddy, his collection of transformers and his treats.  It is a little pricey at €159 however given how much we like travel and with the pair of them I really think I will get my moneys worth on this one.  For more information see Jetkids.

(Image Credit Jet Kids)

3 Netflix

The Dada Fairy and I were frantically searching to see what films were listed on Aer Lingus for transatlantic to see if they would keep our pair suitably entertained for 7.5 hours.  It was then the revelation came!!! I recalled an email about downloadable Netflix, queue frantic searching and yes….it was not a dream you can infact download Netflix. 15 mins later and we were fully equiped with Team Umizoomi, Peppa Pig, Horrid Henry and The Smurfs.  When it comes to travel I am in the school of thought whatever works and makes the joruney easier for the kids, and me and the other 200 odd passengers. If 7 hours of Peppa Pig was going to be the thing well then I wasnt going to object! See 1 and 4 it thankfully didnt happen!

4 Food/ Snacks

Back to when boys were teeny, everywhere we went I was armed with packets of raisins, ligas etc.  The flight was no different.  I was laden down with snacks of every description from the healthy to the not so healthy.  There were no kids meals available on the flight and the boys had zero interest in a mushy looking mushroom and rice meal so the snacks were invaluable.  Also very handy when waiting around before and after the flight.  I always take lollipops for take off and landing to help the ears. They seem to work as we have had no complaints from the little men about sore ears, ears popping etc.

 

Next up we will be sharing our trip report.  Spoiler – we loved it and really hope to return some day.

 

Mamma Musings

Fixing Up the Family Home: Never-Ending Headache or a Fantastic Opportunity?

How far should you go when fixing up your home? Should you just get the basics done and leave it at that? Or should you take a more long-term approach and try to add as much value to your home as possible? These are questions most homeowners ask themselves, and there are arguments to be made for each of the options open to you.

If you let your home improvement plans drag on for too long, it can become a never-ending headache. But it can also be seen as a big opportunity, so you need to weigh up your options carefully. Let the information below help you out as you decide how to approach your home improvement plans.

 

There is Always Room for Improvement

The fact of the matter is, there’s always room for improvement. No matter how great your home is, there will always be things that you can or even will want to improve. This can be a good thing and a bad thing, though. On the one hand, it means that there will always be new ways in which you can add value to your home and make it more appealing to future buyers. On the other hand, it might mean that you keep doing more and more, and the task eventually overwhelms you. You don’t want to spend all your time and money on home upgrades.

Your Home Should be Unique to You

On a basic level, you want your home to be unique to you. No one wants to live in a dull drab home that they don’t feel suits them and their personal preferences. And that’s the main reason why people spend money on improving their home. If this is the mentality that you’re bringing to the table, you will probably not be thinking about the value that can be added to the home or what future buyers might want. This applies to the vast majority of people who fix up their homes and make changes.

 

However, a Unique Style Might Put Off Future Buyers

On the other hand, making your home unique to you can be risky. When you create a home design that is specific to your own preferences, you could put off other people. You might be wondering why this matters. You don’t want to sell your home, so why does it matter what other people think of it? Well, you might not want to sell your home now, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t want to at some point in the future. When that time comes, you don’t want people to be put off by design choices that are a little out of the box.

It’s Going to Cost You Money

If you want to make changes to your home, you’re going to have to spend money on it. This is just the way it is, and you should try to make sure that you improve your home in an affordable way. Remember, if you can make positive changes, the value of the home will rise. But that will be less useful if you spend so much money on upgrades that end up taking out high risk personal loans or dipping into your savings a lot. Just try to do it in a sustainable way, and a way that works for you.

But Your Investment Might Pay Off

The investment you make in your home might pay off if you make the right decisions and do the right things. This will help you to get the most from your home when it comes to selling because you will have made the most of your asset. You should definitely try to make sure that the upgrades you make to the home are all things that add overall value to your property. Not all changes you can make allow that, but many do. Think about what matters to real estate agents and buyers.

Some Homes Have More Room for Value Growth Than Others

It’s also important to point out that all homes are different, and that means that the room for growth differs depending on your property. If your property is currently valued lower than the market average for similar properties in your area, that suggests that there is plenty of potential for value growth. So, if you then decided to make big changes to your home and improve it in a variety of ways, you could find that the value of the home increases quite dramatically. But if your home is already one the most expensive around, even big changes might not push the value up by much.

 

Baba Reviews

YippieYo Cross buggy review

We spend so much of our time as a family being outdoors. By splitting our time between Dublin and Donegal means the incredible Wild Atlantic Way is quite literally on our doorstop. We grab every chance to spend time exploring it. The boys are kind of at that awkard age where they want to want walk but  still get tired (lazy) after a while.

I received an email a number of months back wondering if we would be interested in giving the YippieYo a go.  I had just given our Phil & Teds to my sister in law so it was perfect timing!

There was great excitment when the postman delivered a massive box to the front door.  Following a very easy assembly we were good to go.  My husband (and rightly so) is a total safety obssesive.  The YippieYo got a thorough going over and once it passed his inpection out we went.

The YippieYo isnt a stroller or double buggy like id ever come across before. It fits two children side by side with 5 point safety harness that my little houdini can’t even escpae from! I understand the YippieY0 complies with all safety and quality standards in accordance with the European Standard for Pushchairs and Prams (EN 1888) and is GS certified in Germany. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

So what did the Mamma Fairy house think:

Pros

  • See above – how safe it is, safety when it comes to my kids safety is paramount so this for me is a key consideration
  • It is so easy to use and pull along.  Both my husband and I are in total agreement about this.
  • The brake – we tested it (minus kids) on the steep hill outside our house and it didnt budge!
  • It comes in a range of colour options and accessories, speaking of accessories you can get clip on LED lights which I think ever buggy should have.
  • No issues with the rough terrain in Donegal! And zero complaints from the kids when out about about in it.

Cons

 

  • This is Ireland! Id love some kind of clip on rain hood.  Not a deal breaker but a definite nice to have for me
  • It is big for transporting, not an issue for us but might be it you had a smaller car

 

Mamma Fairy Verdict:

Overall the YippieYo gets a big thumbs up from the Mamma Fairy house, it delivers exactly what it promises, its safe, its comfortable and suitable for all terrains. We received this before Christmas and it gets very regular use in this house.

 

Note: We were sent the YippieYo for review however the views expressed by myself and the boys are in no way influenced by this.

 

Mamma Musings

Make Your Home Safer and Healthy For the Tiny Humans In Your Home

One thing that you learn when becoming a parent is just how much your home is a potential accident waiting to happen. Things you wouldn’t have even thought of before having children can now be the biggest thing ever and can be a real problem when raising some tiny humans. The reality of them being able to pull something over on themselves or fall off things can be very real. Especially as they grow and can suddenly reach things that they couldn’t before. So what are some things to look out for to make sure that your home is a safe and healthy place for them to be? Here are a few of my thoughts.

Door Locks and Latches

There are so many things that you wouldn’t have thought were a problem around the home pre-children. A lock on the fridge might have just been something that you joked about to keep you from snacking. But with kids, it can be a reality. They could get their fingers trapped if they manage to open it, and worse, could get themselves stuck in there if you have a large American style fridge-freezer. The same goes for securing away cleaning products. Things like laundry tabs or dishwasher tablets can look like sweets to a toddler, so they need to be kept out of reach (and out of sight).

Keep Pests Under Control

They say that we are never too far away from a mouse or a rat, especially if you live in a city. So we need to think about this kind of thing with children too. If pests around the home aren’t kept under control, then it can be bad for our children’s health. They test out a lot of things with their mouth, so if there are droppings around the house, then it can be quite dangerous. So looking into something like Terminix and keeping the house cleaned regularly are the best ideas. Then you can have some peace of mind that your home is more safe and healthy, at least.

 

Wires and Cords

If you have things like window blinds, then before children, you might have just left the cord for them dangling down. But this can be rather dangerous for children. If you haven’t already, then get some ties for them, to wind them up when they are pulled down to their longest length. Babies, and toddlers especially, can get themselves into all sorts of spaces when they are on the move, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Secure Furniture

There was a video going around on social media not too long ago about twins in a room, and they were climbing up a bookshelf that then fell on one of them. This can easily be a reality in the home. You can’t just get rid of all of your furniture. But you can make it safer by securing it to the wall, for example. It takes a couple of minutes but can mean a much safer environment for your little ones to be on, especially if it is in their room.

 

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Features

Renovations roll on……its all about the kitchen

Don’t get my wrong im not complaining (much) but for the last two years we have been undertaking a mega renovation job on an old house that we purchased while on maternity leave with my second little man.  The Dada Fairy is doing most of the work which is combined with his full time job is taking time! This weekend was spent picking the finishing touches to the kitchen.  As this is the room which I will be spending quite a bit of time I am taking my time in choosing the various finishes.

Due to how dark our space is we have decided on a cream kitchen to help the light into the room.  The wall tiles are also a cream colour therefore we wanted to introduce a pop of colour which is how we came across coloured acrylic splasbacks  see here here from Simply Plastics for example.  I think they are a brillant idea, durable, easy to wipe clean and most of all very reasonably priced.

I understand too that they are very easy to assemble and can be delivered ready to fix to the wall with the cut outs done for the plug sockets, switch etc.  I love the one picutered opposite (Pic credit Pinterest).

However for the braver there a huge range of funky colours to choose from see left (pic credit Simplyplastics). The great thing about splashback v tiles is that as they are reasonably priced you change it up every so often.

I think im hooked! This time next month should see the space liveable.  Cannot wait.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post.
Baba Reviews

Interplay UK – Bug Safari Review

I am (irrationally!!) terrified of all sorts of creepy crawlies, therefore the Dada Fairy was dispatched to try out Inter Play UK Bug Safari with the kids.

The set itself contains:

  • Field lens (magnifying lens)
  • Bug tongs
  • Magnifying Pot
  • Tweezers
  • Paint brush (kids assumed this was to paint pictures of their findings – apparently not its for sweeping the bugs in the pot rather than touching them!)
  • Handy little guide about the tools and bugs that you might find on your hunt.

The kids took their Bug Safari kit off to the local park to for their bug hunt! I sent them off with the warning that they weren’t to take any bugs home!! I had a quiet couple of hours while the boys hunted! I can happily report that I didn’t see any of the finding of the bug hunt as all were returned to their environment following investigation by my little explorers.

The Verdict

The boys would spend every waking minute outdoors so I had a feeling this would be a hit and it was.  They loved the magnifying pot which stored their loot for closer inspection. The bug tongs was apparently very handy for getting them into the pot!  I think this is a great product, contains all the tools you would need including the useful little book that comes with it.  Particular thumbs up from the Mamma Fairy house for the magnifying pot.

I can foresee this getting lots of play in our house especially over the Summer months. However do return the creepies back to their homes after inspection!

Note: We were sent the Bug Safari to review however this in no way influenced mine (or the kids in this case) review of the product.
Features

Those tricky subjects!!!

Who doesnt remember those cringe worthy episodes where the nude scene comes on the TV and your parents in the room! Yep we have all been there and those couple of minutes felt like an eterntiy while you tried not to look inteterested in the TV in front of the parents.

Which? Wills has commissioned new research that reveals the ‘unmentionable’ topics in life that we often feel uncomfortable discussing with family and friends.

The survey and infographic reveals the trickiest subject matters are sex, finances, death and relationships.  I can agree with all except perhaps the finances one. I suppose being an Accountant means that talking about finances for me can’t really be taboo!

Not surprisingly our perception of taboo subjects depends largely on our relationship with the person we talk to. For example, conversations with kids will differ to those with parents; siblings; grandparents or friends. I still remember being totally morto telling my parents I was pregnant and im the wrong side of 30!!

While the top three opposite we can in reality escape ever having to talk about them, however the topic of creating a Will really shouldnt be taboo. Whats is wrong with future proofing and protecting those around us when we are gone?

I am mid (coughs**) 30 and I have mine done.  Not because I think im heading 6 feet under anytime soon but because when the time comes, I dont want stress, drama or arguments about what I do or don’t have.

Which? Wills has simplified the process of learning how to make a will with its easy to use online tool to create a will in 30 minutes. It really is well worth taking the time to at least think about it.

With my Accountant hat on, its also a very useful tool to consider the tax planning nature of same however that is a whole other days conversation.

As the quote opposite says and never a truer word spoken…….therefore its no harm planning in as best we can for both.

 

 

 

 

 

Take Care

~Mamma F

 

Note: This is a collaborative post