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Christmas Book Advent Calendar

Christmas Book Advent Calendar

There are so many different versions of Advent Calendars now, from chocolate to Lego and even wine for adults.

This year Book Advent Calendars are really popular and I think its such a great idea because who does not want to encourage children to read or parents to read to their children?

So The Works have very kindly sent us some books to get us started.

They have the most amazing offer on of 10 books for £10!

They have some of our favourites included such as “Were Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.

We decided to pick mostly Christmas themed books and a few Winter ones with Peppa Pig.

What is a book advent? It’s very simple. Basically you wrap up 24 Christmas books and open one each night until Christmas Eve. After the last book is read, the children know that Santa is on his way!

We have 24 books altogether and we love arts and crafts so decided to wrap each book in brown paper and decorate them using some great stamps we picked up in The Works store.

We used our favourite Little Brian Art paint sticks to apply paint to the stamps and printed them onto the paper. We wrapped the books first!

We also added a bit of glitter using our Brian Clegg PVA Glue and Bio Glitter.

Then we labeled each book with a felt number.


Isabella is so excited to get started and she had lots of fun helping me wrap them.

For the older girls we have just bought them one book each as their books take a long time to read but they will still be a big part of this as they will be helping Isabella open the books and they will read some of them to her.

She adores her big sisters so will love nothing more that cuddling up with them for a story.

I think the Book Advent is a great alternative or addition (whichever you choose) to the traditional chocolate calendar as Isabella is dairy free so its not always easy to find a dairy free chocolate calendar and less sugar is always a bonus!


Happy reading

My Three Little Strawberries






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Learning Resources Christmas Gift Guide 2018


Beaker Creatures Super Lab Set


Beaker Creatures Magnification Chamber

Beakers Creatures Sets

Theses sets are loved by all three girls and their cousins. Its a great introduction to science in a fun way.

All the sets compliment each other but also work great on their own.

The come with some great slime recipes and other experiment ideas.

These are sure to keep children entertained over Christmas and beyond.

You can view our full review on these here

Beakers Creatures Liquid Reactor Super Lab RRP £25.00

Suitable ages 5 years +

Beakers Creatures Magnification Chamber RRP £15.00

Suitable ages 5 years+

Geosafari Jr. My First Microscope

Geosafari Jr. My First Microscope

This is such a cute gift and Isabella gets it off the shelf to use almost everyday to examine all sorts of things.

Its also great for the garden and is the perfect size to take on outings.

You can read our full review here

RRP £20.00

Suitable for ages 3-7 years

Playfoam Pals

Playfoam® Pals™ Wild Friends 2-Pack

Playfoam Pals Snowy Friends

Playfoam® Pals™ Snowy Friends 2-Pack

Playfoam Pals

Theses are the perfect stocking filler!

We are huge Playfoam fans.

I love these just as much as the girls and they love collecting the characters you get inside and Isabella loves to use them for small world play.

You can read our full review here

RRP £6.00 for a pack of two

Suitable for ages 5 years+

Playfoam Shape and Learn Number set

Playfoam® Shape & Learn Numbers Set

Playfoam Shape & Learn Alphabet Set

Playfoam® Shape & Learn Alphabet Set

Playfoam Shape and Learn (numbers and letters sets)

These sets are fantastic.

They come with play foam in a range of colours and high quality cards that have numbers/letters/shapes (depending which set you choose) on them and then you can mould the foam around them to create the letter or number.

Amazing for learning shapes and colours.

Ideal for letter and number recognition.

RRP £13.00

Suitable for ages 3 years+

Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set

Get a grip on fine motor skills!

Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set 

All if you don’t know by now then where have you been?

I think this is an essential set for sensory play and we use these in almost every activity.

I cannot recommend them enough.

Amazing for developing fine motor skills and much more!

RRP £8.00

Suitable for ages 3 years+




This game is the perfect for family games nights but also for parties as its so much fun. We will definitely be taking it to our Christmas Eve party night.

Its not just for kids, adults will enjoy playing it on Child free evenings too!

It comes with a set of cards and play foam. You choose a card and pick something from it then mould it for the other players to guess what it is. (warning.. this can get seriously funny!)

You can also read our full review here

RRP £19.00

Suitable ages 10 years+


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DKL Christmas Gift Guide 2018


Coloured Scented Smencils

Graphite Scented Smencils

Smencils are from the Scento range and include Smencils, Smens, Smarkers, Notepads, Paper Clips, Keychains, Smanimals and many more fun scented products.

They even come with a two year scent guarantee and I can vouch for that as the girls have been collecting them for about three years now and they all still smell!

Another great feature of Scentco products is that they are good for the planet as all Smencils and Smarkers are made from 100% recycled newspaper. So if you are looking for an Eco Friendly gift this year then these are perfect.

They are suitable from 3 years+ and these two featured products are RRP £6.50 and £13.00 (ideal stocking filler and each pencil comes in a separate tube so can be opened the packet to split between children)

Hama Advent Calendar

Hama Maxi Giant Yellow Gift Box

Hama Small Bead Kit

Hama Mini Beads Large Animal Faces

Hama are the original bead brand with the largest range of sets and accessories.

They come in three different sizes; midi, mini and maxi. The mini sets are perfect for adults and teens, the midi is my favourite size and I would say suitable from 5 years, the maxi set has large beads and so suitable from 3 years.

Hama beads create colourful and imaginative designs and have kept our girls entertained for hours on a rainy day. They are also great for developing fine motor skills!

We even used a Disney princess set when I was pregnant with our first daughter to make princesses to decorate her room so they have many memories for us and I am still buying them 14 years later!

The sets come with peg boards and a range of coloured beads to design patterns and then you simply place the ironing sheet over them and iron, to create beautiful creations.

These sets range in RRP from £3.70 – £18.10

Plus Plus Neon Mix Tube

Plus Plus 170 Piece Basic Savannah Kit

Plus Plus Big Piece Tube 

Plus Plus building bricks allow kids of all ages to create fantastic mosaics and 3D designs, only limited by their imagination.

Plus-Plus is an innovative construction system to develop the imagination and creativity of children.

They have two sides. The 20mm pieces are perfect for 5+ years and the 50mm pieces are suitable for ages 1-6 years.

Megan and Sophie, who are 13 & 14 years really enjoyed the 20mm set and Isabella loved the 50 mm set. Its not often I can find something that entertains both age group at once and I will definitely be investing in more sets of these. Isabella especially is interested in construction activities.

These sets range in price from £5.50 – £7.00 (the neon mix tube at £5.50 is a idea stocking filler and would fit in perfectly too)

PlayMais Basic 1000 Piece Tub

PlayMais Mosaic Little Zoo

PlayMais One Dog

PlayMais is one of my favourite creative resources as you all have seen on our Instagram. It provides endless fun and children just love building beautiful creations with it.

Its a natural product made from corn grits and water. The corn is grown close to the processing site and any organic matter left is used as fuel for the company biogas station. How amazing is that!

PlayMais sticks by just getting it a little damp with water and its easy to shape with your fingers.

Children can create 2D mosaic creations for younger children and older children can create more challenging 3D creations.

PlayMais has no limits!

It ranges in RRP from £2.50 up to £13.00 from the massive tub that would almost last a life time! (the smaller box sets £2.50 are another ideal stocking filler)


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Janod Christmas Gift Guide 2018


Happy Day Big Cooker

Ducks Stacker

Sound Telephone

Horses Sand Cards

Sardine Fishing Game


Janod is France’s leading wooden toy brand with a long tradition of designing award-winning learning toys, role play toys and building sets. Founded in 1970, Janod is recognized for developing creativity to craft timeless toys, valuing contemporary design with a graphic edge, and inventing new features.

Janod Happy day Big Cooker

Just looking at this wooden cooker makes you feel happy with its beautiful colours and is sure to brighten up any room.

It has an oven and a cupboard with magnetic doors, a clock, removable metal sink that Isabella loves, an induction hob with glowing lights and when you press the buttons twice it makes a boiling water sound. The tap is so realistic and such a great feature.

It comes with 7 accessories – 1 metal spoon, 1 frying pan, 1 colander, 1 pot holder and 3 food boxes.

One of the things I really love about this kitchen is that its not over sized and so won’t take over the room, like some kitchens do.

Suitable for ages 3+ years


Janod Ducks Stacker

Another high quality product in a lovely box. This duck stacker has 14 numbered rings to stack onto a beech wood base with flexible posts for safety.

I love how this toy develops handing eye co-ordination and colour recognition, not forgetting number recognition from the numbers printed on each cherry wood ring which is painted in beautiful colours with water paint.

There is just so much learning from one toy so this is a big favourite of mine and Isabella can sit and play with it for long periods. Its also amazing for problem solving and counting.

Suitable from 12 months+


Janod Sound Telephone

This is such a cute phone and Isabella absolutely loves it as its just like her big sisters phones.

Its a chunky wooden musical phone with 7 plastic sound keys – home key, email, alarm, camera, messages, and ringing.

It comes in a beautiful box and with batteries in which is always a plus!

Its made from beech wood and has a silicone case around it which I think is isiabellas favourite feature (she thinks its like her sisters phone cases)

Suitable from 18 months+


Janod Horse Sand Cards

This set comes in a beautiful storage box with a handle and inside you will find 6 pre-glued horse and pony cards, 8 tubes of colourful sand, 1 tool and an instruction sheet.

Its perfect for any horse loving crafty child and develops their creative development. I love how easy it is to use, all you need to do is remove the self-adhesive stickers and sprinkle on the colourful sand.

Suitable for ages 4-8 years


Janod Sardine Fishing Game

This game comes in a beautiful metal tin(perfect size to take on outings ) with ten wooden fish and two fishing rods. The rods have wooden handles and at the end of each string is a plastic fish containing a safety magnet.

The detailed fish have lovely patterns with scales and eyes. This high quality game is fantastic for developing hand and eye co-ordination when catching the fish and its also great for mathematical skills when counting the fish and looking at the beautiful patterns.

Suitable for ages 2-5 years



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Disney On Ice 2018

Disney On Ice 2018

We have been taking the girls to Disney On Ice  now for about ten years and I also went when I was a child. I can still remember my first ever show!

So this year we are all so excited as it’s going to be Isabella’s first show and I just can’t wait to see her face. She is Minnie Mouse obsessed and sleeps with all her Minnie teddies every night.

She has her costume all ready and we have been watching Disney movies and doing some Disney activities to get in the magical mood. You can see our activities via our Instagram.

If you have never been to Disney On Ice then I can not recommend it enough. It’s become a family tradition for us and we look forward to it every year. It truly is such a magical experience and each year it just gets better.

We will share more photos after the show and reveal which character Isabella decided to go as, so please check back in a few days for a full show review.

If you would like to see the show too, it will be in Nottingham at the MotorPoint Arena for 5 nights (Wednesday 21st – Sunday 25th 2018) presenting “Dream Big”.

Each year Field Entertainment produce a different themed show. The show for 2018 is Dare to Dream.

Courage leads the way, cutting the icy stage for Disney’s most adventurous dreamers at Disney On Ice presents Dream Big.

For the first time in Europe, join fearless Moana and the greatest demigod that ever lived, Maui, on an action-packed voyage to restore the stolen heart of Te Fiti, live on ice! Get tangled up in Rapunzel’s hair-raising quest to see the floating lights. Travel to mountainous Arendelle with Anna, Elsa and Olaf in a dramatic retelling of the sisterly love that saved a kingdom. And discover the strength, bravery and kindness that inspired generation after generation with Jasmine, Ariel, Aurora, Belle and Cinderella. Plus, arrive early to join a special 90th birthday celebration in honour of Walt Disney’s ‘True Original,’ Mickey Mouse.

High-flying jumps, breath-taking skating and lovable Disney friends make Disney On Ice presents Dream Big an experience your family will never forget.

Opening Times

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big21 Nov 2018 – 25 Nov 2018

* Performance times:
Wednesday 21 November – 6.30pm
Thursday 22 November – 6.30pm
Friday 23 November – 6.30pm
Saturday 24 November – 10.30am, 2.30pm & 6.30pm
Sunday 25 November – 10.30am & 2.30pm

Tickets can be purchased online at MotorPointArena via 0843 373 3000 or in person at the Motorpoint Arena Box Office 

Disney On Ice
Motorpoint Arena
Wednesday 21 – Sunday 25 November 2018
Tickets: £20.16 – £51.52

We hope you enjoy the show and thank you for reading.

My Three Little Strawberries
































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