NHM Reader Recommendations: Toddlers on an Aeroplane Journey

Louise recently posted on “Louise nhm Smith”: “Good Evening Everyone! I can’t help myself but I saw on a friends fb that she’s looking for ideas for keeping a toddler quiet on a long aeroplane journey. My initial suggestions were the Playmobil 123 motorbike and “pip squeak” crayolas with any of the Usborne activity books. I’ve also wrapped toys up as that was a nice distraction for at least half a minute! What would your suggestions be?”

Members of the NHM community responded with the below, many thanks for your contributions!

Thank you very much also to Juliet for putting this post together!

NHM Reader Recommendations: Toddlers on an Aeroplane Journey

Fiona says “CBeebies app with games and stories on.”

Sarah says “Aqua draw”

Beckie says “I have taken colouring, plasticine, stories, iPad, snacks, duplo etc. I have just bought some travel activity books on amazon for our holiday. That might be worth a look.”

Lisa says “We had Julia Donaldson activity sticker books”

Abigail says “A new book that has lots to look at such as Richard Scarry books, Where’s Wally or Just Imagine and You Choose by Nick Sharrat and Pippa Goodhart.”

Becky says “My friend wrapped little presents up for her son to unwrap every hour”

Skye says “iPad and don’t worry about a child making noise. It’s a flight not a day spa.”

Lucy says “Def sticker books, keeps mine entertained for hours… and snacks that take forever to eat.”

Wendy says “Wallpaper border is very good to use as drawing paper on planes. My friend also has tips on his travel blog. https://www.lifeofreilly.tv/how-to-survive-a-long-haul…/

Caroline says “Cbeebies app works really well for our daughter”

Marie says “Does she have a tablet? Mr Maker has a good app and there is a peppa pig paint and draw one that my little boy used to love. If she’s into watching movies maybe there will be a kids movie on the flight?”

Colleen says “Tablet, headphones, battery pack.”

Bridget says “We travelled over 10 hours to the US with our 19 month old on Feb and I brought her some toddler headphones because the airlines often have the buds and I thought they would be bad for her ears. Also if you are travelling from Heathrow Terminal 3 they have an excellent family lounge which is free. It has a quiet room, soft play areas and loads of toys. Was so good for tiring our toddler out before the flight. Also make a pack lunch because if your baby is under 2 and travelling on your lap they won’t get any food on board so think ahead. Snack attack things are great, raisins, cheesy ritz etc”

Karen says “When we went on a long car journey I bought various new toys to buy us time… Aqua doodles, toy car, cheap baby doll (which had odd bits with it), new book, fuzzy felt books, craft pack from Baker Ross, basically a variety of different things to buy a bit of time”

Jeni says “Shape sorter eggs. I have two sets of them for each car and they entertain mine for a good while”

Rachel says “We’ve flown abroad twice recently (2 & 4 first trip, 3 & 4 the second)….they have their own tablets which were great as could download films/cartoons in advance. Colouring books and crayons (small) were appreciated by my daughter on both trips, along with some crafty bits. My son (younger) played with a selection of vehicles the first time (free with a magazine we bought for the plane), the second time he just wanted to watch the on board entertainment. Pack some snacks too, things you know they love. I packed too many bits the first time….I followed all the advice I could get and packed EVERYTHING. Completely forgetting to take into account the fact that my children are individuals, and my daughter enjoys sitting and colouring/drawing/making but my son gets bored of those easily.”

Rachel says “I’ve heard tablets can’t be used on all flights but phones can so make sure you have some apps on your phone too!”

Lauren says “Crayola colour wonder packs are great as the pens don’t have ink in them! Keep snacks handy!!”

Kelly says “I’ve been known to take small pots of playdough for the lap tray and a couple of cutters. Small puzzles. Mini Etch a sketch type thing. New books that they haven’t seen before. Daughter had a baby and little blanket. Def snacks. Lollys! Don’t normally like them but for take off and landing they’re great if ears are an issue. Made sure we had a pillow and blanket as soon as we got on too.”

Bridget says “If you have a lap baby (under 2) call up the airline and ask for a bassinet set, these are on the bulk heads so you get extra leg room which is helpful. They can’t 100% guarantee and they will tell you to ask again at check in to confirm but it’s always worked for me. The bassinets are great for letting babies lay down and sleep comfortably. They can take up to 25lbs which is about 19 months ish”

Sarah says “Usborne sticker activity books helped us on flights when the girls were little. Good distraction for take off and landing.”

Marie says “I’ve recently done a 13hour flight with a 6 week old and a 3 year old. My biggest tip is to travel over night. Our flight left at around 9pm. The baby was easy. Slept most of the way and only woke to be fed.  The 3 year old was my biggest fear. But with his own tv and kindle. It kept him occupied for the first couple of hours. Then he slept for 7 1/2 hours. The remainder of the journey he was mesmerised with the games and cartoons on the entertainment system provided. We had cars/books/toys etc in a bag but he barely touched these. Sticker books were a life saver when he started to get fed up. (Don’t forget pull ups or nappies, saves any accidents). Of course snacks are a given. We are planning the same flight (returning to England) for Christmas and again plan to come overnight. My son I’m not worried about but my daughter will be 15 months old this time and I’m dreading it. Easier when she was a baby!”

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Spotlight Christmas Toy Appeal

Please donate toys for 8-11 year old’s to bring a little happiness to local children!

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Sponsored by NHM: Basingstoke Track Party – Saturday 26th November 2016!!!

 14711136_10157676282985707_4146462441898372885_o

I am so excited to have been asked to sponsor this event again!!!!

The event is selling out fast, so be sure to book your tickets quickly to guarantee your childrens places!

!!Trains, cars and dinosaurs!!

Come and experience epic playtime at our Basingtoke Track Party
Saturday 26th November. Old Basing Village Hall
Book here ***http://bit.ly/2ewIzHp***

15027710_1881643555397061_2487677979515059443_n

Event details

When: November 26th, 10am till 5pm

Where: Old Basing Village Hall,The Street, Basingstoke, RG24 7DA

How Much: 6 per play session, Adults are free (free tea and coffee for all adults)

Play Sessions available: 6 hourly sessions, starting from 10am (see below for sessions:

  • Session 1 (10am till 11am) Trains, cars and dinosaurs!– A great big train track, car ramps and dinosaurs!
  • Session 2 (11.10am till 12.10pm) Trains, cars and dinosaurs!– A great big train track, car ramps and dinosaurs!
  • Session 3 ( 12.20pm till 1.20pm) Trains, cars and dinosaurs!– A great big train track, car ramps and dinosaurs!
  • Session 4 (1.30pm till 2.30pm) Trains, cars and dinosaurs!– A great big train track, car ramps and dinosaurs!
  • Session 5 (2.40pm till 3.40pm) Trains, cars and dinosaurs!– A great big train track, car ramps and dinosaurs!
  • Session Hire (4pm till 5pm) Trains, cars and dinosaurs!– Hire a whole session all for your party! More information HERE

15078630_10154253881834102_5725830727939950466_nweb: www.trackparty.co.uk

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST HERE
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Stocking Fillers Ideas and 14 things you don’t want to forget for Christmas!

Today’s “Sunday re-post” is just for you if you are struggling with ideas of what to put in your little ones stockings:

Stocking Filler Ideas! (It seems that this post isn’t working, so I’ve updated this post with the original post below. Hope it helps!

and if you can’t think of all of those things you need to remember for Christmas, this is the post for you!:

14 things you don’t want to forget for Christmas

Stocking Filler Ideas 2014

I’ve mentioned before that I do my VERY best to avoid things that are going to end up in landfill.

  • Bubbles
  • Satsuma
  • crayons
  • modeling clay or play dough
  • a Slinky
  • miniature Lego kits
  • travel games
  • decks of cards
  • mini jigsaw puzzles
  • wind-up toys
  • squirt guns
  • balloons
  • beach balls
  • high bounce balls
  • small stuffed animals
  • toy cars
  • fancy shoelaces.
  • Gift vouchers (clothing, restaurants, groceries, music download cards, new experiences).
  • Pocket or desktop calendars.
  • Pens
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • highlighters
  • color pens
  • notepads
  • Wristwatches or small alarm clocks
  • Torch
  • kitchen utensils
  • Try a favorite candy, jam, mustard, or ice cream sauce
  • Orange
  • Candy canes
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste (travel sized)
  • Pretty stones or minerals
  • Music CDs.
  • New hairbrush
  • jewellry
  • hair clips, hair bands, hair toggles
  • hot chocolate
  • bar of chocolate
  • Christmas chocolate
  • Novelty chocolate
  • key rings
  • fun showergels
  • Bubble Bath
  • Colouring or Activity Books/Pencils
  • Post It Notes
  • Bubble Wands
  • Socks
  • Large Chocolate Coin
  • Travel Bag
  • Cookies in Christmas shapes, such as Santa or Reindeer.
  • Mince pies
  • Toy cars
  • Silly putty
  • Army Men or small action figures or dolls
  • Clothing for Barbie dolls or other dolls
  • School supplies
  • Books
  • Art supplies
  • a note promising a special activity that day
  • permission to download a new app to their ipads

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum on TwitterGoogle+Facebook PageFacebook Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!

Toy Safety

Snuggly Sockimals

It always amazes me how little people seem to know about the safety aspect of the toys their children play with.

Do you look for the CE mark on toys? Do you know what it means? Can you tell if something will be safe or not?

2015-01-07 10.29.43

I make soft toys, mostly from socks but also from plush fabrics. Before I began making anything back in 2011, I researched the rules about selling, the trading standards I would need to comply with and what terms and conditions I would need to follow. Those rules have changed over the years and so keeping up to date has become as much a part of my business as making the toys.

ATT_1434403189736_20150316_144209

The European Toy Safety Standards set out a number of guidelines that should be followed when making soft toys by hand. Yet I continually see toys for sale at craft fairs and markets that do not comply. It’s not just toys as you may consider them either, anything with play value should also follow the guidelines. A cushion shaped like a cloud, a doorstop like a duck or a taggie blanket.

20150330_092944

So before I make a toy what do I need to have done? Firstly, I need a certificate from the supplier of any materials used to show that they have been tested for toxicity etc. This means certificates for the main fabrics, stuffing, threads, felt, ribbons, buttons, tags and any other embellishments.

2014-10-03 16.46.58

Whilst making the toy I need to count in and out any pins and needles I use.

Once the toy has been completed it needs to be tested as a completed piece as the materials may react differently to when they were individual pieces.

ATT_1434402994007_2015-03-19 19.28.55

Tests include washing, strength of sewn joins and burning. Yes burning. A burn test is needed to ensure that any flame either extinguishes itself or burns slow enough to enable a child to be removed from harm.

A record of compliance is kept for each model of toy which can then be cross referenced to any new make of the same design. All these tests and gathering of certificates goes towards being able to add the CE mark to a toy or item which is appealing to a child.

ATT_1434402974533_2015-05-03 10.54.57

A label showing the CE symbol, washing instructions, a contact address and a unique batch number must also be attached. Even this label needs all the above testing.

A new design can mean repeating all the certificate gathering and testing.

2015-06-11 12.20.16

So next time you see a handmade toy for sale check if it conforms to the EU toy safety standards and carries the CE mark. Also, understand why that toy may cost a little more than you had expected. Crafters rarely get paid for the time they spend preparing and making their items but we appreciate it when people understand why our items cost a little more than those that could end up harming a child.

Elaine Thorpe

Snuggly Sockimals

www.snugglysockimals.co.uk

FB_IMG_1434403420938

 

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum on Twitter, Google+,Facebook PageFacebook Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Top Tip 27: Playmobil spare parts

NHM: Most of you know that I LOVE Playmobil, and I share this love of Playmobil with Mr NHM too. 

I’m very excited about this post as it’s the very FIRST post Mr NHM has ever written on NHM.

The first of many if I have my way 😉

Playmobil spare parts

I recently bought some second hand Playmobil for Miss NHM for Christmas (got some big stuff and very cheap), however, there were some parts missing. Key parts I might add.

So I did a quick search on the interweb and found that Playmobil have a page for spare parts: http://www.playmobil.co.uk/on/demandware.store/Sites-GB-Site/en_GB/Home-Show

The system I used to find out the part numbers was:

1. Look on Google Images for the Product Number or if you have the original box it’s the 4 digit number on the front.

2. Download the Build instructions from Playmobil, found at the bottom of the home page.

Build Instuctions

3. Fill in the online form and sit back: http://download.playmobil.com/contact/ersatzteile/index_uk.php

Quote Form

The whole process took 30 minutes to sort out.  I had parts from 3 different sets to find.

I received an email with the cost for my quote, £5, and a Playmobil phone number, to call if I wanted to place an order.  It was a local number and took less than 2 minutes.

Eleven days later and the parts arrived from Germany, a breakdown of the costs was included and postage was £2.25, which I think was a bargain.

Playmobil Invoice

I’ve now placed the parts on the toys and have a feeling of completion and they look AMAZING.

So now everyone knows where to get your spare parts from.

Enjoy.

Related Posts

Mum Top Tip’s (all of the Mum top tips on NHM on one page!)

Stocking Filler Ideas 2014

I’ve been adding to my Stocking Filler suggestion list throughout 2014.

It’s getting quite comprehensive now! lol.

I’ve mentioned before that I do my VERY best to avoid things that are going to end up in landfill.

Stocking Filler Ideas 2014

  • Bubbles
  • Satsuma
  • crayons
  • modeling clay or play dough
  • a Slinky
  • miniature Lego kits
  • travel games
  • decks of cards
  • mini jigsaw puzzles
  • wind-up toys
  • squirt guns
  • balloons
  • beach balls
  • high bounce balls
  • small stuffed animals
  • toy cars
  • fancy shoelaces.
  • Gift vouchers (clothing, restaurants, groceries, music download cards, new experiences).
  • Pocket or desktop calendars.
  • Pens
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • highlighters
  • color pens
  • notepads
  • Wristwatches or small alarm clocks
  • Torch
  • kitchen utensils
  • Try a favorite candy, jam, mustard, or ice cream sauce
  • Orange
  • Candy canes
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste (travel sized)
  • Pretty stones or minerals
  • Music CDs.
  • New hairbrush
  • jewellry
  • hair clips, hair bands, hair toggles
  • hot chocolate
  • bar of chocolate
  • Christmas chocolate
  • Novelty chocolate
  • key rings
  • fun showergels
  • Bubble Bath
  • Colouring or Activity Books/Pencils
  • Post It Notes
  • Bubble Wands
  • Socks
  • Large Chocolate Coin
  • Travel Bag
  • Cookies in Christmas shapes, such as Santa or Reindeer.
  • Mince pies
  • Toy cars
  • Silly putty
  • Army Men or small action figures or dolls
  • Clothing for Barbie dolls or other dolls
  • School supplies
  • Books
  • Art supplies
  • a note promising a special activity that day
  • permission to download a new app to their ipads

Related Posts

Stocking Filler Ideas 2012 & Posting Dates

Mum Top tip 24: Six weeks before Christmas!

(I know, I know, you don’t want to be reminded, but I was a Brownie and Guide so the motto “be prepared” is drummed in to me :-D.) 

In an effort to try to get organised for Christmas early this year, I thought I would put together a quick post about what to prepare roughly 6 weeks in advance of Christmas.

I have a Trello Christmas Reference board which I use every year and this really helps ease the pain.

I spent some time two years ago putting it together and now I don’t need to think about what needs to be done, I just refer to this board!

6 weeks before Christmas!

Do you know who you are buying for?

If not, time to make a list.

Once you know who you are buying for you can then start to think about what to buy them.

Look out for my Top Tip about CamelCamelCamel for saving money via Amazon.

I also keep a record against each person as to what I bought them in previous years.

This is especially important if you have friends with two or more children, so you don’t get a sibling the same gift.

Cheat: if you have to buy presents for several children of roughly the same age, buy them all the same thing! Then you don’t have to think about it! lol.

Are you doing stockings for people?

If yes, check out my 2012 post on stocking filler ideas that don’t end up as landfill. (This post also has a link to the post office with a list of mailing dates).

Are you hosting Christmas dinner?

If yes, what food do you need to buy?

I have a Trello list for food for Christmas day and then a Trello list entertaining food for when people come to visit.

I start buying the long lasting items off this list from the middle of November.

It helps spread the cost of Christmas. I think! lol.

What traditions are you planning to hold for your family?

There are key people that we always catch up with over Christmas and it’s important to us that this happens.

I think at Christmas time you have to be intentional about the things that you do and the people that you see.

One of our traditions is to hand deliver Christmas cards to our friends who live in Reading.

This isn’t particularly environmentally friendly but it gives Miss NHM a great opportunity to go “oooh, ahhhh” at all of the Christmas lights near where I friends live.

We also have another tradition where we go for afternoon tea at a hotel in the New Forest, with friends who live in Dorset.

Do you have a December bucket list?

I can’t remember where I first saw this, but it’s a great idea.

Are there certain things that are important for you all to do as a family during Christmas?

Write them down and add them into the December schedule to ensure they happen!

This year I am going to try to add several of our December bucket list things into our advent calendar.

Do you want to give out handmade gifts?

Time to start cracking on these, if you haven’t already!

This year I am toying with making handmade Christmas crackers, but you can guarantee it won’t happen, even if I do buy all the kits from Baker Ross!!! lol.

Are you doing a personalised advent calendar?

If yes, time to get cracking now! You can get some ideas about advent calendars via a post I wrote in 2014.

Are you posting parcels abroad?

Time to start thinking about the parcels you need to put together and the delivery times as they are sooner than for cards abroad.

Are you posting cards abroad?

Also check out the delivery times for cards abroad to ensure they arrive in time.

Are you putting together a Christmas Eve parcel?

If yes, time to start buying those Christmas Eve pyjamas!

Are you making Christmas cookies in a jar?

I’m probably going to regret sharing this post, but we made Cookies in a jar  last year and it went down a storm.

They took MUCH longer to make than expected though, so schedule at least 3 hours to make 12 jars!!!

Please, to all my friends who read NHM, don’t give us all “Cookies in a jar” as I’m trying to watch my waist line! haha.

Are you putting together a Christmas newsletter for your Christmas cards?

I’ve never done this but I’m toying with it this year.

So much has happened to our little family this year and I know our extended families that we don’t see very often would probably like to know what is actually happening, rather than the version that my Mum and my in-laws tell them! lol.

I probably won’t get round to it though!

Things to check

Do you have enough:

  • Sellotape
  • Christmas wrapping paper
  • Christmas tags
  • Christmas cards
  • Christmas table decorations
  • Christmas movies
  • Booze 😉

and check this post out for 14 things you don’t want to forget for Christmas!

In a perfect world, I would do all of the above.

I never do though! lol.

What have I missed?

Related Page

Mum Top Tip’s (all of the Mum top tips on NHM on one page!)

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Top Tip 4: LeapReader

LeapReader

I did a lot of research for what to buy Miss NHM for her 3rd Birthday in March. We only wanted to buy her one present for her birthday as she gets spoiled by friends and family. I’m also trying to adopt the philosophy that “more is less”.

Since we got Miss NHM the LeapReader she hasn’t put the pen down! It’s been fantastic!

It keeps her busy and quite for up to an hour at a time. We asked friends and family to get her vouchers for her birthday, so we also bought some more books and the map from Toys R Us (the map is cheaper on Amazon).

She loves using the books and we’ve had a lot of fun with the map already. You can also download story books to the pen and Miss NHM will happily just sit and listen to the pen when she doesn’t want to “read” the books anymore.

I totally recommend this product!

Related Page

Mum Top Tip’s (all of the Mum top tips on NHM on one page!)

Related Links

LeapReader Review

LeapFrog Tag (the old version of LeapReader)