29 August 2011

Review: Penwizard Personalised Peppa Pig Book

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The very nice people over at Penwizard have kindly sent Logan one of their personalised Peppa Pig Books to review for them. I've yet to encounter the Peppa Pig phenomenon with Logan as he's a little young for that but my little cousin quite liked Peppa Pig when she was younger, infact I think she might have been obsessed like most kids!

Here is what Penwizard have to say about the book: "Peppa Pig is a hugely popular pre-school brand with many children adoring the loveable but slightly bossy little pig and this book is your child’s opportunity to star alongside their favourite Peppa characters in their own personalised Peppa Pig Birthday Party book. On their birthday your child gets to share their day with Peppa Pig and George, starring in the words and pictures of their own personalised birthday book. The three of them deliver party invitations with Mr. Zebra in his van before being joined by Suzy Sheep, Danny Dog, Rebecca Rabbit, Pedro Pony, Emily Elephant and Candy Cat at the child’s very own party."


First impressions are great, it's a nice big A4 paperback book and it's very clear to see it belongs to the Peppa Pig family. Very bright and colourful. As your child gets to star in the book it's very easy to make your selections via the penwizard online shop. You get to choose the colour of hair and the style, colour of eyes and also skin tone so you really can make it look as much like your child as possible. I think I managed a pretty good attempt and it does look sort of like Logan in the book.

As the book in question is a Birthday book in which your child invites Peppa Pig and friends to their birthday party you can put their age into the balloon your child is holding on the front cover. You can also put a little personalised message inside the front cover on the first page. I put "Happy Birthday Logan! Love from Mummy & Daddy xxx" which is lovely and personal and an extra little surprise for the child. You get to choose from two Peppa Pig books, one for boys which is blue and one for girls which is pink.

Logan was quite interested in this book mostly for the colours and the size however he is still a bit young to fully appreciate his name being in the story and his picture on the front, he just didn't understand unfortunately but I'm sure as he develops he'll begin to enjoy it in a different way altogether.


Personalised books are a perfect gift and a great way of getting your kids involved and excited about reading as they hear and read their name and see themselves on the pages of the book in the Peppa Pig illustrations.

Books cost £14.99 and are now available from www.penwizard.co.uk.

As well as the Peppa Pig birthday book Penwizard also have Peppa Pig and your child go to the playground and Peppa Pig and your child go to the playground christmas edition.

Overall a brilliant book and one which will be treasured forever. A bit pricey but well worth it and the quality of the printing is well done so price reflects this. Great to give as a unique gift too!

Mummies rating - 8/10
Logan's rating - 6.5/10

Please visit www.penwizard.co.uk for more products and information.
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28 August 2011

New Hallmark Cards Range Bellissima & Vintage

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Leading greetings card company Hallmark Cards has launched some brand new card ranges - the Bellissima and Vintage collection.

As its name suggests, Bellissima is a beautiful collection of exquisitely handcrafted cards perfect for those looking to express simple yet meaningful messages to loved ones. Consisting of 39 sophisticated designs, cards in the range feature elegant typography and are based on either pearlised ivory or white linen embossed boards. Cards are adorned with intricate, unique and delicately applied attachments and are complemented by pearl envelopes for the perfect finishing touch.


I have to say that when I was sent some samples I was totally blown away by the Bellissima card range, they are just stunning and totally different to any cards I've laid eyes on. They are more in the old fashion style but still hip and funky at the same time. They are very beautiful and are excellent quality so it definitely shows you've put time and effort thinking about the card presented to your loved one.

The Bellissima range is available now, priced from £2.99 (RRP), from selected Hallmark branded stores, high street card shops and selected supermarkets.

For the vintage cards Hallmark teamed up with renowned designer and vintage champion, Wayne Hemingway, which was inspired by Britain's rich design history.

This new range follows the current trend for all things vintage in fashion and design, and features an eclectic mix of imagery inspired by the Museum Collection that HemingwayDesign co ownes, The Land of Lost Content.


The Hallmark cards and HemingwayDesign collaboration has resulted in a range of twelve card designs, paying homage to glamorous past eras. Ranging from the fifties to the seventies, the cards are designed to please any fashion conscious recipient.

I wasn't so struck on these cards as I was for the Bellissima range, probably because I'm not much of a fashion girl but they are still nice and I could see a big market out there for them with all the crazy fashion stuff going on at the moment!

The new range is now available from £1.69 (RRP), from selected Tesco stores nationwide.

Established in the UK in 1958, Hallmark Cards is the UK's leading greeting card company. As well as greeting cards, Hallmark also produces related products such as wrapping paper, gift bags, social stationery, and gift products. Producing a wide range of cards for every occasion, Hallmark has a number of licencees including Disney, Warner Brothers, Purple Ronnie, LEGO and Forever Friends.

For more products and information please visit www.hallmark.co.uk. You can also see what Hallmark get up to on Facebook and Twitter so why not pop over and tell them The Breastest News sent you!

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27 August 2011

Review: National Geographic Kids Magazine

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The lovely people from National Geographic have sent me their kids magazine to review for them and I really think it's a winner!

You're instantly struck by the big bold photo on the front of these magazines, usually a photo of an animal. In my case I have issue 62 which has a great big tiger on the front! As with most kids magazines these days National Geographic have a free toy included with the issue which is a magic worm. Ah... magic worms, I remember them well when I was a child. There was always one lurking around in my toy chest somewhere.

Inside, this magazine is jam packed with fun facts, animals, nature, technology, travel, puzzles, competitions and even up to date stuff such as Harry Potter! Every page you turn to has tons of eye catching images and short sharp snippets of information, just enough to keep a childs attention in order.

This magazine would be ideal to give to kids on planes, car journeys in a hotel or just every day use to keep them away from the computer and video games, after all it's only going to benefit their reading and with a magazine as fun as this why wouldn't they want to read it!

I loved reading animal magazines when I was young so this would have been right up my street, they have a section where you can write into the magazine and have your letter published as well as asking the resident vet about your pets. Another good feature is the Fun Stuff Make It section where kids are given a crafty activity to do. Brilliant for getting hands on and involved with your childs development, the more time spent away from the tv the better!

A lot of time, effort and thought has really been put into this magazine and it definitely shows, they even have a website for extra entertainment www.ngkids.co.uk.

This magazine normally costs £3.20 but National Geographic are doing a special offer at the moment of 12 issues for £28 which is a brilliant saving of £10.40. You can even get a gift subscription for that young persons birthday or christmas, a unique and fun gift if you ask me. Kids get so much toys these days that something different would really be appreciated. I would have loved to get this for my birthday as a child and getting mail in the post would have been just as exciting as receiving the magazine. These magazine are aimed at 7-12 year olds with a key audience of 9-10 year olds.

So there you have it, a great magazine one which is packed with intelligent facts and information and also a fair price compared to other kids magazine out there.

Mummies rating - 10/10

For more information please visit www.ngkids.co.uk
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Organix Savoury Meal Pouch GIVEAWAY

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Organix is launching four savoury meal pouches, perfect for introducing your baby to his first taste of protein.  A choice of deliciously smooth cheese and chicken meals, it’s the real taste of protein for your little one.

The new Stage 1 Meal Pouches come in four yummy organic recipes: Sweet Potato, Cheddar & Courgette; Sweetcorn, Chicken & Broccoli; Pumpkin, Cheddar & Lentils; Parsnip, Chicken & Leek. They’re tasty eaten alone or mixed with rice, pasta or mashed potato to create your own recipe.
Introducing protein is the natural next step in your little one’s adventure into real food once he’s explored the taste of simple vegetable purées - such as the Organix 100% Vegetable Pouches. 

Weaning is your chance to help teach your baby to love different tastes and textures.  Try these top tips from the experts: 
*Dr Frankie Phillips, Nutritional Advisor to Organix, advises, “It’s best to avoid masking or disguising tastes - you’ll want your baby to recognise the real food being offered, so choose real-tasting foods for your baby”.
*Consultant Paediatric Psychologist Dr Gillian Harris says, “Offer your baby a wide variety of flavours early on.  In early infancy it takes very few exposures to learn to like new tastes, whereas in toddlers it may take up to 14 exposures to learn to like a food”.
*Paediatric Dietician Judy More says, “If your baby is refusing a food, offer something else next time, and on another day offer small tastes of the refused food, so your baby is given plenty of chances to learn to like it”.

For more advice on how to introduce your baby to real foods and lots of practical tips on how to help your baby love different tastes and textures download a free copy of TASTE at www.organix.com/taste


These four new savoury recipes have been lovingly made in the Organix kitchen and are packed with nothing but real ingredients - all 100% organic.  Organix guarantees there’s nothing added that you wouldn’t use in your own kitchen.  That’s nothing artificial, they’re just full of goodness so they taste as they should - of their real ingredients. In fact so tasty you’ll want to try them yourself!

Chicken and cheese recipes are the top selling recipes amongst mums.  For the first time you can buy your favourite dishes in a variety of yummy combos in a pouch. They’re ideal when you’re just too busy to cook yourself, or when you’re out and about and just want the convenience of squeezing straight onto the spoon.

Each 100g Organix Stage 1 Savoury Meal Pouch costs £1.09.  You’ll find them in Asda, Boots and Waitrose from summer 2011. For more on Organix baby and toddler foods visit: www.organix.com.

So the lovely people from Organix are going to give away 8 of these fantastic pouches to one of my lucky readers!
Follow the short steps below to be in with a chance of winning these very scrummy meals.

To be in with a chance of winning:
(You do not have to complete all 4 steps but if you would like to enter please leave a comment and an email address/ twitter ID so that I can contact you if you win, thank you)

1. Follow this blog (or tell me you already are).
2. Follow @BreatestNews and @OrganixBrands on Twitter (or tell me you already are) and tweet ' I want to win organix savoury pouches with @BreastestNews & @OrganixBrands '
3. Follow The Breastest News Blog on Facebook (or tell me you already are) and Follow Organix on Facebook telling them 'The Breastest News Blog sent me'
4. Then leave a separate comment here for each step you complete telling me which methods of entry you have chosen. Extra entries will be given to those who complete all 4 steps.

 
This is a UK only giveaway, closing date is 10th September 2011 at 12 noon.

Winner will be chosen using Random.org

Good Luck everyone!!


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26 August 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful

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Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy From the Heart


I know I haven't done this for a while but I thought best to start again so that I can remind myself of the happy things in life and it's also nice to look back on and see what I was thinking about. So here goes.

#1 Flexible Working
As I mentioned before in my Where Have I Been? post, I now get to do some flexible working in my full time job which has been a god send. I can now take Logan to classes and spend more time with him which is what I really wanted. We have a music class in the morning followed by some time at the play park then in the afternoon we try to do soft play or go swimming, so it's always a fun packed day and Logan gets a brilliant sleep at night when he goes to bed - lovely.

#2 LadyBoys!
I'm off to see the LadyBoys of Bangkok on Monday and I can't wait. The better half and I saw them a few years ago before we had Logan and it'll be nice to have a wee night out to ourselves and enjoy the show. I'm definitely going to glam myself up and make the most of it, not often I get out these days…

#3 Baby Loves Disco
With the festival on in Edinburgh we took Logan along to the Baby Loves Disco show which was really fun. He loved bouncing around to the music and even won a medal for his dancing which was lovely so we've kept it in his keepsake box for when he's older. The show was on for 2 hours but needless to say Logan only lasted one and then it was time to dash for the exit before the tears started! The venue was a bit cramped so I think Baby Loves Disco should pick a bigger venue next time and one with super powered air conditioning - boy was it hot in there! But we enjoyed it all the same and Logan, the little monster, had a blast.


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25 August 2011

Review: Rainbow Chunkies Series 2

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The new Rainbow Chunkies books are here, Series 2 of these lovely little books have been released and Logan has been lucky enough to receive a few from Award Publications to review.

As the name suggests these delightful little books are very colourful and a great chunky size for small hands. They are actually Foam Broad Books so light in weight which is easy for your child to hold and manoeuvre and are approximately 105x105mm, so handy for carrying in a change bag to keep your child occupied whilst out and about.


The suggested age for these books are from 0-3 years and there are 4 different books in the Series 2 collection to choose from. There are; things that go, animal babies, playtime fun and my clothes. Logan received the things that go and animal babies chunkies to review so what did he think? Well he really liked the colours and loved it when I made choo choo train noises as I read the things that go book to him. He was fascinated by the foam in the books and he is known for having a good chew on a book or two so I was a little worried he would destroy them. I let him play with the books and I read them to him but I didn't leave him for long enough to decide to chew on the book so they've managed to survive thus far! Logan also likes the bright vivid pictures and these books are something you can get quite involved in especially with the things that go and animal babies as you have to act out the noises each machine and animal makes.

I really think these books would make a great gift for a 1st Birthday or even for a newborn baby as they're very bright and colourful and with just one picture and one word on each page they are a perfect way to introduce your children to books.

Kim Hartley, Scotland Officer at the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists say "Speech and language is central to the way parents and children make a connection with one another. By talking to your child and responding to what they say and do, you are creating a bond with them that will last your whole life." I feel the best way to do this is by reading and discussing books with your children, it gives them something interesting to look at as well as listening to what you are reading them. I know some children will not sit still long enough for you to read them a book properly as Logan can be like that sometimes but every little does help!

So what are you waiting for? Get out and buy your child some of these great little books!


You can purchase your child some of these brilliant books for around RRP £4.99(each) from Amazon. You can also purchase the Series 1 books on Amazon and have the whole collection.

Overall a fantastic collection of books, lots of amazing bold colours, light weight and easy to hold and they will definitely hold your child's attention for a while. Logan really liked them and I like them too. Be careful that your child doesn't chew them though as I think they would get easily damaged if chewed. The price is ok and in line with most children's books and there's always a bargain to be had at some point so keep your eyes peeled on amazon.

Mummies rating - 8/10
Logan's rating - 9/10

Please visit www.awardpublications.co.uk for more products and information.
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23 August 2011

Born Free Silicone Teether WINNERS

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Born Free Silicone Teether WINNERS

First of all massive apologies for taking soooo long to announce the winner of this Giveaway. I'll try not to let it happen again! You can read my post; Where Have I Been? to see why I haven't been posting lately. Anyway, on to the winners!!


 
Drum roll please............

The winners of the lovely Born Free Silicone Teether Giveaway chosen by random.org are...

tinkerbelldani (Danielle) - blue teether
@pandcands - pink teether

Congratulations!

Please email me with the following details and I will have your prizes sent out:

Name:
Home Address:


 
Thanks to everyone who entered, it is very much appreciated.
Please keep an eye out for lots more giveaways coming soon!


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22 August 2011

Review: Pure Beginnings

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The lovely people from John Lewis now stock the amazing Pure Beginnings range and I have been lucky enough to receive a few samples of children's personal care products to test and review with Logan.

Pure Beginnings are a South African company who produce Personal Care products for adults and children, here is what they have to say about themselves: "Our mission is to produce effective, safe and where possible organic personal care products for the whole family. Our intention is to produce products that adhere to the strict standards of organic certification bodies from around the world, this way our customers can be confident in the fact that they will be using products of unrivalled purity and effectiveness. We are committed to education and transparency, and therefore providing our customers with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions about the products that they use on themselves and their families."

So what did we think of the products? Well we received the Pure Beginnings Baby Bum Cream which is awesome! Logan always seems to get nappy rash and his skin can become quite dry so we have been through numerous bum creams trying to find one that works and whilst a few have been good this cream is great. First of all it smells amazing which is lovely to apply after having changing a very stinky nappy. It also applies easily to the skin and you don't need a lot to cover quite a large area. It cleared up Logan's nappy rashes quite quickly and the consistency of the cream is just right. Not too hard so that you struggle to get any on your finger but not too soft so that you end up using more than you should.


All in all a brilliant cream and you get a massive 125ml tub for £10.15 from John Lewis which will last for ages. We've hardly even scratched the surface of ours.

I'll let Pure Beginnings tell you a bit about their baby bum cream, they do it so much better than I could ever hope to: "This gentle Baby Bum Cream, from one of South Africa’s most trusted brands of organic personal care products, combines native fair trade African ingredients with traditional herb botanicals. It contains baobab extract as well as olive, lavender and tea tree oil. Baobab extract is high in vitamin C and anti-oxidants, as well as vitamins A and B. This bum cream is an effective barrier cream, and with its natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, can be used to treat nappy rash as well as little insect bites and stings. This product does not contain any petrochemicals, parabens, synthetic fragrances or colourants. It contains certified organic ingredients, is fair trade accredited through Phytotrade Africa, and is Beauty Without Cruelty South Africa endorsed."

We were also lucky enough to be sent the Pure Beginnings Berry Toothpaste. Logan has been used to mild mint toothpaste from a very young age so I was shocked when he took to the Berry flavour so quickly. I was expecting him to spit out his toothbrush but was pleasantly surprised when he happily brushed away at his teeth (when I say brush I mean chomp on the tooth brush, he'll get the hang of it eventually!) and seemed to enjoy the new taste. The toothpaste is easy to apply to a small toothbrush with a pop up lid so no fiddling around with a screw cap when you have a heavy toddler on your hip squealing for their toothbrush (yes Logan loves getting his teeth brushed!).


I think this toothpaste would be great for young babies when they get their first teeth, it's fluoride free so you don't have to worry about them swallowing it and because it's Berry flavour which is mild it won't put them off unlike some mint flavoured toothpastes.

You can purchase this toothpaste for your little one for £3.60 which is a 75ml tube from John Lewis.

Again I'll let Pure Beginnings inform you of their lovely Berry Toothpaste: "This fluoride-free toothpaste, from one of South Africa’s most trusted brands of organic personal care products, is designed for children of all ages and is suitable for babies. It is safe to swallow, and has a fantastic natural raspberry flavour. It will help kids get into the routine of brushing their teeth regularly as they won’t be put off by strong minty toothpastes designed for adults. It contains xylitol, which has been endorsed by many dental associations worldwide for its ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay. This product does not contain any petrochemicals, parabens, synthetic fragrances, colourants or sulphated surfactants. It contains certified organic ingredients, and is Beauty Without Cruelty South Africa endorsed."

Overall both these products are fantastic and ones which I would really recommend to other parents. They're natural and really work well. The baby bum cream has a fair price although I think the toothpaste is a little on the more expensive side for the size but you definitely pay for what you get here, really lovely products.

Mummies rating - 9/10
Logan's rating - 9/10

Please visit www.purebeginnings.co.za and www.johnlewis.com for more products and information. You can also visit John Lewis on facebook and twitter and Pure Beginning on twitter so pop on over and remember to tell them The Breastest News sent you.
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Review: Minene Layla Changing Bag

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There are so many different changing bags on the market at the moment and it's always hard to choose the right one for your baby as well as yourself so when the lovely people from Minene kindly sent me one of their Black Layla Changing Bags to test and review for them I snapped up the offer with both hands. Here is what I thought.

First of all I bet you would like to know how Minene was conceived and what it's all about: "MINENE "my child" was established in 2005 by three mothers with a vision to create innovative, well designed, practical yet stylish products for parents, babies and toddlers. MINENE designs and manufactures high-end innovative quality textile products. "Our goal is to bring both comfort and joy to parents and children alike. Our range of products include: changing bags, baby cot bedding, towels, muslins, activity mats, bibs, pushchair accessories, baby clothing & more..We at MINENE see each product as our baby."


What the Minene mothers have to say about the layla changing bag: "The Layla Bag has to be our most stylish bag to date. Without looking like your conventional changing bag, this attractive bag accommodates all your baby essentials whilst providing you with both style and comfort."
I have to agree with the Minene mothers here and say that this bag really is very stylish and it doesn't even look like a changing bag to be honest - it looks more like a large handbag. Even luckier for you the bag comes in 6 different designs from the more conventional black which I received, to the funky floral retro.
 
This bag contains 2 large compartments divided by a large zipped pocket in addition to a generous sized detachable pouch which can be used to store all personal belongings. The pouch can also be used separately by attaching it straight to your pushchair for those days when you choose to travel light. There are 3 external thermal pockets, a stylish matching padded changing mat and insulated thermal bottle holder. The innovative design of the bag enables it to be worn in 3 different styles to suit your needs; it can be carried as a backpack, a shoulder bag or attached to any pushchair using the straps provided.
As you can see there has been so much time and effort put into this bag however after having used this changing bag for a few weeks I felt that all of the extra stuff over complicated it a little. Although it is a big bag I struggled to fit most of Logan's things into it as the pouch which can be taken out if needed took up too much room so in the end I never really used it. It also frustrated me that the outside thermal pockets couldn't be used for a drinks bottle as they were just too small and when the bag was full it was a nightmare even to get my fingers into the pockets.

I did like the fact that the bag handle could be changed to 3 different positions however I did find this a bit fiddly with all the metal hoops and clips to navigate! I really liked the co-ordinated changing mat for your baby though. I felt it was in good proportion and nicely padded but still easy enough to fold and store in the changing bag.

You can purchase your very own Minene Layla Changing bag from www.minene.co.uk for RRP £70.00.

Overall a great looking stylish changing bag with tons of different features however I found it a little too fiddly for me and the price could put a lot of people off due to restrictions on their budgets which is a shame.

Mummies rating - 6.5/10


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20 August 2011

Where Have I Been?

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Firstly apologies to everyone for not announcing the winners of the Born Free Silicone Teethers. Life has been getting on top of me recently, with a full time job, a young child, a partner to look after and day to day crap we all have to deal with I've been a bit stressed and as you can see my poor blog has been neglected! I promise to announce the winners of the Born Free Silicone Teethers ASAP and I'm hoping that this weekend I'll be able to get back into blogging! (wish me luck…)

So what's been happening with us recently? Well as some of you may have seen from twitter a little while ago myself and the better half were concerned about Logan's speech development i.e. he wasn't talking at all although he was making sounds and noises. As well as the speech a few other things didn't seem right so we took him to the doctors and spoke with out health visitor incase something was seriously wrong however we're glad to say all seems to be ok for just now and we're working to help Logan develop. I know he's only 20 months old and some toddlers don't speak until after 2 years old however sometimes you just get that feeling, you'll all know what I'm talking about. The feeling of worry and dread which you just can't quite put your finger on. It's scary and sometimes unjustified but this feeling will sit in your gut until you take some action to resolve the issue.


To help Logan develop a bit our doctor suggested we try taking Logan to some classes to help him interact with other children his own age so luckily for me my very understanding boss has allowed me to do some flexible working so I can take Logan to a Musical Steps class during the week. Our first class didn't go so well with Logan taking major tantrums because he didn't want to sit still but instead run around the room like a loony whilst all the other children sat happily on their mothers/ grandmothers knees. It was embarrassing to say the least but after speaking to Inga who runs the classes she assured me that some children just like to run around. Her son was the same so that's why she stopped taking him to classes as she was embarrassed which was a shame so I'm definitely sticking to the music classes and even if Logan runs around like mad I'm keeping my fingers crossed he'll get some benefits from it. I have to say he did like the bubbles at the end of the class though. Infact he liked them so much he planted himself directly in the middle of the rug infront of Inga and opened his mouth wide to catch the bubbles. Needless to say he definitely hogged the bubbles and there was no way I was taking him away from them or another tantrum would have erupted.

We've also discovered that our local Library run BookBugs sessions twice a month for children where they sing songs, read stories, interact with toys and games and it's all Free so we are taking Logan along to these as well. Not only will reading him books help him with his speak but the interaction with other children should be good for him. As well as all that we'll continue to take him to soft play and our local swimming pool, the more stimulation the better really!

Please tell me if you know of any other good classes in Fife, Scotland to take toddlers too or any suggestions for great fun games or activities to do at home. The more the merrier.
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