Kiwi Mummy Blogs Review- Write Size, writing pencils for children.

kmb_grey-pink I was given the great opportunity by Kiwi Mummy Blogs to review Write Size- writing pencils for children.

Write Size are writing pencils for children, with the aim to ‘Deliver results and great handwriting’

I was really impressed with the way they came packaged in a canvas type drawstring bag. The three packs of pencils as well as some information was supplied in the bag.

The pencils originate from the West Midlands in Great Britain. They were developed four years ago by Ross Williams- Managing Directior “Write Size has been developed through personal experince of watching my children struggle to learn to write with tools which are obviously too big for them.” With his knowledge of working in the construction trade he was aware how crucial it is to have the right tool to carry out a job successfully.

The pencils were launched in the UK at the London Stationary Show in March 2015. They have been well recieved with positive comments from teachers and parents. You can read more about the launch via the blog on the Write Size Website.

Now, the important bit about the pencils.

The Write Size pencils come in 3 sizes,

  • 2-6 years- Learn control and grip
  • 6-10 years- Improve confidence and ability
  • 10+ years- Deliver results and great handwriting
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The pencils are different sizes, depending on the age of the child using it. The size will help the child have better control when using the pencil, if the pencil is the wrong size (too small or big), the child will not get the benefit.

 

Review/Experience

I asked a good friend who has two school aged daughters if they would be kind enough to review the 6-10 years and the 10+ years pencils. I felt my children who are aged three and almost two, might not be ready to use a pencil. Although , saying that my daughter who will turn four in June is already writing her name so I should get her to try the 2-6 year old pencils. (Perhaps another review, another time?)

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Gwyneth 11 years old, likes art and crafts, drawing doodling and writing

What did you think of the pencils?
I liked them – they were really good, they were easier than most pencils to use

It improved my writing & made it easier to add fine details when I was drawing. I would recommend them and buy them again.
They were comfortable and didn’t make your hand ache even after writing for awhile.
I used them for maths at school, and a lot of drawing with them.
I was impressed with them.

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Gwyneth using 10+ years

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Great drawing Gwyneth

Felicity 8 years old likes drawing & art and crafts, Felicity used the age 6-10 pencils

What did you think of the pencils?

I liked the pencils, they were nice to use. They didn’t break, and they were easy to use.
They are nice and comfortable, your fingers don’t hurt. I used them for doing my homework and for some drawing.
They helped make my work a bit neater, I like them and would recommend them.

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Felicity using aged 6-10 years

 

Can you buy them?

Sure! As of the beginning of this year, they became avaliable in New Zealand, and are for sale in Warehouse Stationary. Each pack costs $9.99 and contains 5 pencils.

They are also avaliable in the UK through the Write Size Website Shop.

 

Care of the pencils

You are advised to use a jumbo sized pencil sharpener to sharpen your Write Size pencils and they should be sharpened at least once during a school week.

The pencil should be changed when the three coloured lines no longer sit above your child’s hand when they are using it.

 

You can also find Write Size on Facebook Write Size Facebook page

 

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I was kindly sent some Write Size pencils to review. A huge thank you to Gwyneth, Felicity and their Mum for the photos and the assisting me with the review.

 

 

Review for Kiwi Mummy Blogs: Kellogg’s Coco Pops Favourite Family Recipes

A review for Kiwi Mummy Blogs, who sent me a tea towel for Coco Pops as well as a small recipe book Favourite Family Recipes. The book features eight recipes which contain Kellogg’s Coco Pops.

kmb_grey-pinkWe don’t buy Coco Pops usually so receiving the book to review was a great excuse to buy a box of the childhood favourite cereal. With it currently being school holidays here in New Zealand this book is perfect if you want to do some baking that won’t take too longer and taste great. Plus, all the recipes are child friendly, so it’s great to get the kids involved.

I was tempted too make the Chocolate Crackle Balls but my three year old daughter requested the Chocolate Crackles, so we made those instead.

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The recipe said it would make 36 mini chocolate crackles, we didn’t really need that many so I decided to half the recipe. I had all the ingredients I needed in my pantry, except for Kellogg’s Coco Pops and Kremelta (vegetable fat shortening, made from hydrogenated coconut oil. It is popular used in Australia and is used for a lot of children’s foods). I hadn’t cooked with it before so I was quite intrigued as to how it would work out.

Little Miss loves to bake, and is always requesting to do so. After looking through the Favourite Family Recipes book, I thought that Little Miss would be able to make these herself, with a little of my help and supervision.

The recipe was very straightforward and didn’t take Little Miss and I long at all to mix everything together and spoon the mixture into mini paper cases. These are a quick, easy and tasty treat for kids and adults.

image imageEven though I made half the recipe we still had 32 mini paper cups filled with Coco Pops mixture. The recipe suggested adding sprinkles if you wanted something colourful for a kids party, which I thought was a good idea.

 

Along with the Favourite Family Recipes booklet I also received a tea towel. I think it is so nice I don’t want to use it to dry my dishes, don’t think it would look better hanging on a wall in a frame?

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NB: The recipes featured on this blog post can be found  via this link

Review for Kiwi Mummy Blogs: Hairy Maclary and Friends: Cuddle and Play by Lynley Dodd.

Review for Kiwi Mummy Blogs- Hairy Maclary and Friends: Cuddle and Play- A Crinkly Cloth Book. By Lynley Dodd.

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I was sent the soft, cloth book featuring Hairy Maclary by Lynley Dodd to review. It arrived in a beautiful gift box, so I think this would make an ideal gift for a baby. I really pleased to receive a Hairy Maclary book, we have quite a few of these books by Lynley Dodd.  My daughter is aged 3.5 years old and my son 20 months, so I felt they were too old for this book and for me to really do the review justice. I gave it to one of my friends who has a daughter the same age as mine and a baby daughter who was born at the end of July last year and I just knew the book would be perfect for a young baby.

The book is six pages long and features the lovable Hairy Maclary as well as his friends, Slinky Malinky and Zachary Quack. The pages are crinkly, and can be scrunched or shaken. And since the book is soft it would be the perfect toy for baby to cuddle.

Photo Credit: Little Treasure Magazine

Photo Credit: Little Treasure Magazine

 

I asked my friend Claire some questions about what she thought of the book and she also took some photos for me, what a star Her answers are in italics  

What were your first thoughts of the book?

The packaging is appealing in the branded presentation box, I would definitely be pleased if someone bought me that as a gift.

What do you think your girls thought of the book?

As my 3 year old is already a Hairy Maclary fan she was attracted to it straight away and was keen to show it to her baby sister.

Who is it age appropriate for?

It is definitely age appropriate for a baby with the soft material and one page makes a rustle sound when you scrunch it so appealing for their sensory development. I could happily leave my baby with it AND let my 3 year old play with it near her as no hard edges and nothing sharp.

Would you buy it for someone else? Eg- a baby shower gift or new baby gift?

A great gift for someone who may already have all the ‘useful’ baby stuff or someone with a sibling that is already a Hairy Maclary fan. My only hesitation would be the price, I would probably want a bit more to show for my money – but baby safe toys always seem expensive for what they are when your looking at it from an adult perspective.

What are the illustrations and content like?

Illustrations were lovely as usual from Lynley Dodd but it wasn’t a story as such just a few lines from the main books.

Anything else to add?

Over all it isn’t something I would buy myself but often those are the things that make the best gifts.

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I found this Hairy Maclary website which is well worth a visit and there are links so you can find shops, or websites if you wish to purchase this book or any other Hairy Maclary books.

 

The book was published 3rd December 2015,  and retails for $25.00

 

Many thanks to my lovely friend Claire and her lovely daughters for assisting me with this review.

 

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Review for Kiwi Mummy Blogs: Karla Goodwin ‘Bluebells Cakery, Sweet & Savoury’

I was so excited to receive a cookbook to review from Kiwi Mummy Blogs, I love food, I love baking and I love eating, win win!

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This book is by Karla Goodwin and it is her second book. Her first book Bluebells Cakery Volume 1 focused on cakes, sweets and savouries, her new book Bluebells Cakery – Sweet & Savoury still has lots of mouth watering sweet treats to try along with savoury items which are perfect as snacks, finger foods and lunches.

The book was published on November 1st 2015, (wow that’s last year now!). To be honest, I hadn’t actually heard of Karla before, so it has been great to receive a book by someone I wasn’t familiar with. I like the fact that she has a couple of cafe’s,  I would definitely be looking them up next time I head up to Auckland. I have been checking out the Karla Goodwin website and doing my own research.

(The following information was provided with the book and can be found on the Random House website).

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Karla Goodwin is a talented baker behind the boutique Auckland café shop Bluebells Cakery. Karla learned her craft while living in London where she worked in one of the UK’s most prestigious cupcake bakeries, Primrose Bakery.

When she returned to New Zealand in 2011, Karla started selling at La Cigale, Auckland’s French market, but soon opened her own café (in Hillsborough) which quickly grew from opening just two days a week to a seven-day a week business. Due to Bluebell’s growing popularity Karla has recently opened her second store in Eden Terrace, Auckland.

I really enjoy baking and I like recipes that are easy to follow and ones where I can enlist the help of my 3.5 ear old Little Miss. I usually stick to straight forward butter cream icing to decorate birthday cakes and making ganache hasn’t been too challenging. However, this book  has pages with explanations, baking tips and advice, for any budding baker. At the beginning of the ‘Cakes’ chapter there are several ‘How to’ pages, which I really like. The instructions and photos are clear and don’t make fancy cake decorating seem too daunting. In fact, Little Miss has already chosen her next birthday cake several times from the book. There is also a chapter of ‘Condiments’ at the end of the book.

As I looked through the book, I fell in love with the photography, by Tam West. I just wanted to make everything and make it now! In the end I settled for Mini Savoury Scones and the Apple Pies.

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I made the Mini Savoury Scones first and boy were they a hit! They were super easy to make, and the recipe is really easy to follow. The ingredients are mainly things that we usually have in our fridge or in the pantry. The recipe said to include, bacon, and parmesan but there was an option to omit these and add sundried tomato and feta. I decided to add sundried tomato and feta, but I will definitely try the bacon version next time. Since they are mini, you can easily eat a couple, I enjoyed mine with some butter. But you could add some tasty relish or whatever you like really. I also couldn’t wait to sample one so I ate one straight from the oven! I ate one when they had cooled down too and it was just as good.

My parents are currently visiting from England so I had a few more taste testers in the house. My Mum loves them so much she wants to take a copy of the recipe home with her. Even my Dad really enjoyed them, and he is the biggest critic I know. Mr Happy is a fan of these savour scones and he quickly demolished several, and my hubby said he said they were really tasty. I’m thinking these scones will become a go-to snack in our house.

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I love apple pie, especially the homemade variety. The photo in the book looked edible and I thought making mini versions would be a change from making a standard sized pie. Again, the recipe was relatively straight forward and I already had the ingredients at home. I made the sweet short crust pasty myself, easy if you have a food processor! But, if you don’t I’m sure the ready made pastry will be just as good. Whilst I was cooking the apple filling it smelt amazing!!!! Mmmm cinnamon and sugar…… The end result of the mini apple pies looked great, much better than I had anticipated and they tasted delish! I made them earlier in the afternoon so by the time we ate them they had cooled down. Served with some whipped cream, it made a great dessert. The recipe suggested eating them straight from the oven, so at least we know we won’t be disappointed when they have cooled down.

They also proved to be a big hit with my parents, hubby and Mr Happy and Little Miss. I did find however that making the mini pies was quite time consuming and I think you could probably adapt the recipe to make a standard pie, since I had quite a bit of the apple mixture left over. I have put it in the freezer and it wont be there for long as I’ll be making more pies again soon.

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Other treats I want to make soon……

Savoury Muffins, Doughnut Rings, Lemon and Blueberry Scones, White Chocolate and Strawberry Cake and Sprinkle Cake (Little Miss’s current request for her next birthday)

Like the sound of this book???? It retails for $50.00 and you can purchase a copy direct from the website here

You can find Bluebells Cakery on Facebook and Instagram

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NB: I was sent a copy of Bluebells Cakery Sweet & Savoury to review, and all opinions and photos taken are my own.

 

Kiwi Mummy Blogs Review- Sir Mouse to the Rescue

kmb_grey-pinkI was sent two books to review by Kiwi Mummy Blogs. This is the second book I received, ‘Sir Mouse to the Rescue’ by Dirk Nielandt and Marjolein Pottie.

This book is published by Book Island. Book Island is a New Zealand based publishers with a focus on delivering stories for the English and Dutch market. Many of the books have been translated into English.

The author Dirk Nielandt, he is an award winning children’s author from Belgium and Marjolein Pottie is the internationally acclaimed illustrator. Translated by Laura Watkinson.

 

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The story

‘Mouse and Dragon, an unusual friendship’

“Mouse has a sword. She wears a suit of armour. She is a knight. She is bold Sir Mouse.”

Dragon and Mouse are friends, and even though Mouse is a Knight she does not fight dragon. The book discusses their friendship as they work together to rescue a Prince, outsmart a Cat and have a fancy dress party.

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Our thoughts 

My husband was the first of us to read ‘Sir Mouse to the Rescue’, it is quite a bit longer than the books we usually read so he decided to see how it went. The illustrations are lovely, colourful and nice to look at on the pages and really jump out. However, we found this book is a bit too old for our children, as they seemed to find it hard to follow the story. Our daughter is three and our son is 19 months.  I would say this book would be better suited to children aged six and over. This is definitely a book to put away though and bring out as they get older.

I too read this book with my children and I found that they did get distracted, but they did enjoy the pictures. The story is too long for them. I read the book to myself though and I liked it, I think it would be quite good for first readers to read alongside an adult.

I love that the theme running through the book is friendship, I think the message of friendship to young readers is really good.

Retails for $24.99, you can purchase a copy from Book Island

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NB: I was kindly sent this book to review by Kiwi Mummy Blogs all thoughts are my own.

 

 

 

Kiwi Mummy Blog review- Sunshine & Doodlebug Gluten free Play Doh

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I was given the opportunity by Kiwi Mummy Blogs to review Gluten free play doh by Sunshine & Doodlebug.

I received two colours, Canary Yellow and Perfect Pink. They came together in a small ziplock bag, with a nice colourful logo and it was clear to see what we had been sent. I noticed there was a note explaining the storage instructions- ‘we recommend you store your dough in the original bag, then place in an airtight container’. I was going to look after this play doh, as most play doh goes dry after a while.

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Sunshine & Doodlebug

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Canary Yellow & Perfect Pink, plus my son’s hand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunshine & Doodlebug Facebook page has a lot of information about the play doh and photos of the different colours of play doh that are available and it is made with all natural plant-based food colouring.

  • Pistachio Green
  • Racing Red
  • Sunset Orange
  • Perfect Pink
  • Canary Yellow
  • Icy Blue
  • Wicked White

Play Experience

When we discovered we had been sent playdoh, my daughter and son could not wait to play with it, “open it Mummy, open it!” demanded my daughter! They have played with it every day since we received it, hours of entertainment, (ok, slight exaggeration there!) But it has proved to be a good activity to keep them occupied whilst I prepare their dinner in the later afternoon. My daughter chose the Perfect Pink (she’s a pink girl) and that left my son with the Canary Yellow one to play with.

We have collected quite a few cutters, and shapes to use with play doh, so we got those out and the kids got stuck in. They both used the play doh with ease and they love to show me their creations. My daughter is three, and I find play doh is really good for her and it is helping to develop her imagination.

My son is 19 months, I find his attention span is nowhere near as long as my daughters, but he does like to experiment with the texture and rolling it around. He is of course at the age that he likes to ‘taste’ things. So this playdoh has been sampled! I find having the knowledge that the playdoh has been made for kids and as natural as possible, I don’t mind if the odd bit is sampled. Plus, since it’s gluten free this will of course be ideal for children that have a gluten intolerance. And when playing with it they won’t be exposed to any gluten through their skin.

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Our Thoughts

I have noticed it is more firmer than your standard play doh, this is to stop the colours mixing together, I noted on the Sunshine & Doodlebug Facebook page. I like this as I find it really hard to watch when previously my daughter has mixed the colours together and made an horrible brown colour!

This playdoh, if stored correctly should last for several months, which is great as it is proving to be very popular in our household.

The play doh is sold individually and one piece weighs approx 200g and prices start from approx $8. I think this play doh is more than affordable and would be great as stocking fillers for Christmas and for birthday presents.

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