Saturday, 27 August 2016

Gravity Force trampoline park (Review)

Last week we were invited to try out the very first adaptive jump session at the new Gravity Force park. Both girls were so excited to have a trampoline park like this much closer to home finally, and they couldn't wait to check it out.

Now I'll just say that the trampoline in our garden has definitely been one of our best buys; the girls both love it and have spent many happy hours on there, both apart and together. To be fair it has been the scene of a few spats too... but that's siblings for you, eh?!

However you can't beat the excitement of many trampolines all together (around 60 apparently), especially when they go vertically up the wall too, and at Gravity Force there are a nice couple of extras which the girls really enjoyed.

Long track trampolines and a special wavy one were given a huge thumbs up, as were the dodgeball courts and the basketball runs, but the main event was the foam pits, which you could launch yourself into from various heights and trampolines. Easily the favourite part of the park for my girls!

The park was of course lovely and clean as it's brand new; the cafe area is huge and has some great views over the trampolines (for those lucky adults who are actually allowed to leave their children down there alone). It costs £10 per person for an hour of bouncing but you do need to wear their special bounce socks, which cost £2 to purchase. They are offering Gravity Force parties at £16.95 per head including food, and I'm sure this will be a popular option. Then there are sessions for tots and teenagers (separately!) and some Gravity Fit classes, which I would love to go to but can't (my maximum time on a trampoline before needing the toilet is around 2 minutes...).

I'm pleased that Gravity Force are planning on running adaptive sessions for those with disabilities; initially I believe they are planning daytime sessions but of course I'll be hot on their heels to arrange some after school times. We were lucky that the trampoline park was very quiet when we were allowed in, and that made all the difference to our autistic girl. She had a great time but was very red-faced and totally shattered before our time was up.

Sasha is finding it increasingly difficult to cope in any place which is busy or noisy and we've been struggling to leave the house of late. Of course our house move and the hot weather haven't helped us in this regard but I'm hoping she'll feel more settled soon. I know she'd happily agree to a return visit to Gravity Force, but I'm pretty sure she wouldn't last very long if the noise and heat levels were high or if she had to wait in queues for the foam pits, or if other children were bouncing on her trampoline. Eldest will of course cope with anything and has already decided that's where her next party will be... probably!

Disclosure: we were offered free entry in order to review this new trampoline park, however all opinions in this post are honest and our own.

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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

House Renovation 2016 - Part 6

I seriously couldn't wait any longer to give you the news hot off the press, to bring you bang up to date.... we finally found a builder to do our work - and he started this week! Can I hear a whoop?!

Anyhow the clip below is just me, explaining the whole story so far - all 20 months of it (8 of those actually owning this house).  I'll never claim to be a natural behind the camera, so to deflect from that I'll tell you what Sasha said when I came back to our rented house after filming this short clip at the new house....
'Mummy, why are you dressed all in black? Have you robbed a bank or something?'

Seriously, thanks to the cost of building, the thought has crossed my mind (but if anyone 'official' is reading this post then honest guv, I never would).

What I was actually doing, apart from filming (on the lovely flowery sofa left to us by the previous owners), was wallpaper stripping AGAIN. There's still more of that to be done, but this was the wall I managed in those three hours:

If you've watched the video above, you'll know that I included lots of photos from the garden. It's given us a lot of joy (and raspberries) over the last eight months, and we are very grateful to the previous owners for creating something so wonderful. There's a lot of hours work in it of course, but we really hope that it will give the girls lots of pleasure over the coming years too.

Here's a few more snaps of some of the work done over the first two days - and let's just pretend none of it involved a hole being dug through a water pipe....

Next week we move to our new rental home, just to keep us on our toes, so soon I'm sure I'll be back to playing catch up with my updates...

Hope you've enjoyed this update though; if you'd like to go back to the beginning, here's my other related posts:

House Renovation Part 1

House Renovation Part 2

House Renovation Part 3

House Renovation Part 4

House Renovation Part 5

Life With Munchers
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Learning with Education Quizzes (Review)

I know it's the middle of the summer holidays, but that doesn't mean you can't think ahead a little... we've been asked to review the website Education Quizzes and let you know what it's all about, so here goes!

The Education Quizzes website is full of hundreds of educational questions with multiple choice answers. These are all broken down into sections split by topic and by key stage age (with a very helpful explanation if, like me, you keep forgetting the difference between KS1, KS2, KS3 etc). Other subject areas include 11-plus, English as a second language, and Specialist topics - questions on a variety of subjects, such as Flags of the world, Nature and Art.

The main subject headings are then broken down further, so for example within English quizzes are on Adjectives, Alliteration, Comprehension, Nouns, Spelling.... and the list goes on. Hundreds of areas for your children to delve into - mine found that they wanted to check out those that they felt confident in first, and then try some of the others. There's no time limit, or necessary order, just lots of quizzes for your child to dip in and out of to help underpin their school learning.

Here's an example question from Key Stage 2, English, Adjectives:

It all works fine on an iPhone too, so could be a good way to compromise when you're out!

The quizzes are written by experienced teachers and are a fun way to help your children learn without realising they are doing so - they pose just enough of a challenge that the children don't get bored or tired of them being difficult. Most children love the idea of a bit of screen time and get very quickly absorbed in a website like this, which offers variety in a very easy-to-use format. It also records previous scores, so I'm sure competitive children will like going back and bettering their score in certain areas.

I particularly like the fact that this website doesn't just focus on the core English and Maths subjects; it covers all aspects of the curriculum, from Geography to music, Science and D and T.

A subscription to Education Quizzes costs £9.95 per month, and I personally like the fact that you can cancel at any time, even after just one month. That way you have chance to try it out and see if your children engage with it - I'm pretty sure they'll enjoy it though! There's also a special rate for schools if they sign up for a lot of children, so may be worth considering chatting with your teachers about this. There are also test papers available to download for an extra cost if your children feel they need that extra practise.

Disclosure: we were paid to review this website but all views and opinions are honest and our own.

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Monday, 15 August 2016

Siblings ~ August 2016

What a day for it to be Siblings linky day - and yay, I'm posting on the right day of the month for once!
Steph's Two Girls :)
It's been a struggle to get Sasha to leave the house over the last few days - although she's struggling to express herself at all of late, I think it's the impending house move which is causing a fair bit of anxiety.

So anyway we decided to stay in, but I enticed her into the garden with one of her favourite things - water! Both girls always love a splash around in a pool so this was just the ticket on a hot day like today. I even joined them in my costume, but got as far as putting a toe in the water before I retreated - it was freezing! Didn't stop them slipping and sliding and playing around though, and even if only for a short time, it's always worth it to see the smiles on their faces. Here's some more of the action shots:

Linking up as always with the fabulous Siblings project:

The Me and Mine Project
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House Renovation 2016 - Part 5

So it's been a while... in fact the last House Renovation post I published was from back in February, so this is well overdue!

Reception 2
I'm saving just a little bit back for my next post (which will hopefully bring you bang up to date) but that means I've packed quite a lot into this video, which was all recorded back in March and April.

Good news on the school front, and quite a bit more stripping done. I hope some of you nosey lot enjoy this, but if not, you know I'm documenting it for us and the girls mainly... the next update is worth watching out for though, I promise!

Some photos of how the scenery has been changing along the way, and the girls enjoying the early sun in the garden with a spot of painting:

Bed 2

Bed 2
Bed 2: flowery curtains and plastic wallpaper!
Bed 2

Bed 3


Girls painting in the garden

Click here for the earlier posts if you'd like to see how the house looked when we first got the keys (way back in December, sigh):

House Renovation Part 1

House Renovation Part 2

House Renovation Part 3

House Renovation Part 4

Life With Munchers

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