So the summer holidays are upon us and it is time to try as best we can to find something to occupy our children and to avoid cries of “I’m bored” every ten minutes. So far, the weather is looking good and this is great news for parents everywhere as it means that we can look to the great outdoors for inspiration. My children love being outside and whenever we can, we take to the local parks, but they also love being able to play in the garden. The trusty football net takes a daily battering and the much loved paddling pool is always a favourite.
This summer, I have chosen to review a few new outdoor toys and games to add to the collection and I am really pleased with them all as they all add something different to the children’s outdoor play experience and particularly for the boys, they will give them many happy hours of fun over the next few weeks.
Handpicked Collection is a lovely site and if you have never seen it before, I recommend you go and take a look. They have an expert panel made up of people who are experts in their field and they choose the unique collection of products according to their style, the wow factor and current shopping trends. You can buy gifts, things for inside and outside your home, a range of products for babies and children and there is even an impressive range in their food store.
As I was on the look out for summer holiday inspiration, I headed for the outdoor games and found an amazing selection of toys and games that would be perfect for family summer fun. There are lots of traditional looking wooden games which all looked perfect but eventually decided on the Traditional Rounders set.
The boys in particular love rounders and we often try and create a rounders pitch with a variety of sticks and cricket wickets, so I knew that they would love this set. It is perfect. All made out of wood, there are four posts, a bat and ball and it comes with a handy drawstring bag to store and carry it in. Perfect for the garden, the park or the beach, this handy set is easy and light enough to carry around with you and I know that it will get a lot of use this summer.
Sky Ripperz from Air Storm and simply brilliant. Described as supersonic bungee-launched rockets, the boys had an amazing time with these rockets. We were sent two sets from re:creation and in each set you get three rockets and a launcher.
You attach the rockets to the launcher and pull back and let it go. These rockets travel so far and so fast, it is amazing. It is better if you have a big space as we quickly discovered that the rockets have a habit of going a lot further than you think they will.
We started off in the garden and the boys quickly discovered that they could fire the rockets right over the top of our (three storey) house. One went so high that it landed in the top of one of the trees on the other side. We did manage to get it down eventually.
We all loved the Sky Ripperz and the boys have found that the field near our house has enough space to practise launching them and they have enjoyed seeing how far and high they can fire them and then try to catch them again when they fall back down. At around £10, these are a brilliant toy and great fun for the summer.
Qwerkity is a great name for a website and our final summer fun product was chosen from their great gift range. Qwerkity specialises in gifts and there is something for everyone whatever your budget.
Qwerkity have a great range of outdoor toys, from badminton to quoits, snow scooters to balance bikes. As we are still in full football mode after the World Cup, I like the look of Popitball which I had never seen before, but I knew the boys would love.
Popitball comes with a ball, a pump, a stop watch and 13 popits that easily stick to the outside of the football. There are a number of challenges that you can do but the idea is that you try and dislodge the popits as quickly as you can whilst doing ‘keepie uppies’. Not only is it great fun, but it also helps improve football skills at the same time.
Popitball can be played individually or as a team and the boys have both enjoyed playing this and A likes running around and picking up the popits as they come off the ball. At £19.99 this would be a great gift for any football loving child (or even an adult as I have caught Daddy having a play too).
So there you have it, three great websites to explore and three fun toys to keep the children and adults entertained this summer.
We were sent all of these products for the purpose of a review. All images and opinions are our own.
These kids have a way of always squeezing a little bit more out of you, don’t they? If I had received a pound for each time that I had heard the words; “in a minute” or their distant cousins; “hang on” or “just let me …”, I would be richer than the Queen.
Do these sound familiar to you?
“Can I have a little bit more ice cream?”
“I will get up in a few minutes.”
“I just want to watch the end of this program.”
“I will get dressed in a minute.”
“I will come in in in five minutes.”
“Just five more pushes on the swing” and then “Just five more pushes.”
“I just need to finish this chapter.” (Not a bad one but always comes when you need them to be doing something else)
“Can I have one more story and then I promise I will go to sleep.”
“Can’t I have a shower tomorrow?”
“I’ll do my homework later/tomorrow.”
“Hang on.. hang on… in a sec…”
“I just need to finish this level.”
“I’m not tired.”
It is amazing how important these insignificant things can become when you want your children to do something else, with them suddenly ‘needing’ and ‘having to do these things at that time and it is the end of the world if you say no. I bet that if you added up all of those extra minutes that they use up at times like this, they would add up to quite a lot over a few weeks or months. In fact, if a child spent an extra five minutes doing something every day for a year, that would be over thirty hours of procrastination. Thirty hours!
Yet these excesses of parental kindness and never-ending stretching of time never seem to be remembered by our loving offspring do they? How often do you hear the following?
“Can I have a few more vegetables?”
“I have to tidy up first.”
“Can I help you mum/dad?
“No I don’t want any pudding/sweets/chocolate, thank you.”
” I would love to go to bed early.”
“Yes I will come off my game straight away.” (or even better to come off without being cajoled, nagged, shouted at or threatened with a lifelong ban)
“I am doing extra homework.”
Or even better, them simply getting up and doing things without being asked. That would be nice.
Out to play
Which do I love more; daddy or playdough?
Last day of primary school
This paddling pool play is serious business
You know when you see the opportunity for the perfect photo, but it just isn’t possible?
Being online a lot means that I often spend far too long looking at websites for things for the children. Icklebutton was one of those sites that jumped out at me and made me want to buy something straight away. Icklebutton specialise in great quality, personalised baby gifts that are either handmade or have a hand-crafted element to them, to make them really unique and special.
Now I realise that I don’t have any babies any more, but honestly a lot of the gifts could be suitable for older children too and I know that all of mine really love things with their names on; it makes it theirs and something that they don’t have to share. There are appliqué letters in a frame. personalised baby sets, gorgeous personalised hanging hearts, personalised clothing teddies and more. I could have chosen so many things, but when I saw the personalised patchwork cushions, I knew that was the thing. My daughter loves cushions and I knew that one with her name on would be really special. It arrived really quickly and when I opened the box, I found this;
How lovely is that? I really didn’t want to open it. My daughter was almost overwhelmed with excitement at seeing the box and was so happy that she could keep the pretty pink ribbon.
The ribbon was soon forgotten when she had ripped the pink tissue paper off the cushion. She was thrilled and recognised her name straight away.
The cushion is absolutely beautiful and I would quite like one too. With the name embroidered in the middle, it has different patchwork squares on the the front embellished with four heart buttons. On the back are the two smiley faces of the icklebutton logo; Sophie and Jack, also embroidered.
The cushion is incredibly well made and would make a wonderful gift for a baby, a child or even me. It costs £29.
A has taken it everywhere with her since it arrived and I can see why. I was lucky enough to have been sent this cushion for the review, but I would have bought one of these and I will definitely be returning to icklbutton again soon, when there are gifts to be bought. If you visit the icklebutton website and sign up for their promotional emails, you can also get a rather nice 20% discount off your first order.
Thank you to icklebutton for the beautiful cushion that we were sent to review. All images and opinions are our own.