The Most Beneficial Children’s Toys

The Most Beneficial Children’s Toys

Children can learn through play without even realising it. As far as they are concerned they are just having fun, but you may be surprised just how much some toys and games can help with their development.

Up To 12 Months

For their first year, bright colours and toys that make noises, such as rattles, will best amuse your child. Toys that promote using their senses and encourage interaction are the best things at this age, Unbreakable mirrors, floor gyms, activity boards and soft colourful stuffed animals are a good start for babies first playthings.

Age 1 to 2

As they get a bit older they like toys where a cause has an effect. Sets where they can hammer pegs or balls through holes are good and stacking toys will help develop their motor skills. Shape sorters and puzzles with just four or five pieces are a great way for them to start solving problems.

Age 2 to 4

At this age, children need toys that are more purposeful. Their motor skills will have improved and they will be stacking blocks and doing simple puzzles by themselves. They will like toys that make sounds, such as a pretend telephone or toys that talk. It is at this age that they first start to play with different things. Usually, it is dolls for girls and trucks for boys. There is nothing wrong with this at 3 years of age, just as it is fine if boys want to play with dolls, or vice versa.

The Most Beneficial Children’s Toys

Age 4 To 5

Their learning ability by the time they reach 4 has grown a great deal. It is a good time to start to introduce toys that really are educational, such as art and crafts supplies, electronic phonic toys, harder puzzles, action figures and a Melody Jane dolls house, as they are brilliant for encouraging imaginative play. Most 4/5 year olds love things such as dressing up, starting to play sports and simple board games.

Age 5 To 7

Now they will start to develop interests of their own. This could be a particular sport, cooking or playing with a favourite toy. A lot of them will become interested in digital devices and the games they can play on those. It’s also the age when they start wanting to have friends round to play some of their games with them. Some of the best toys for this age group include strategy games such as chess or draughts, computer and video games, basic science kits, building sets such as Lego, and bikes as they are good for their balance.

Over 7

Your child will continue to develop past 7 years old, but now they will probably know what toys they want. There will always be one they will tell you everyone has except them. You will hear then chat to their friends about the highest score they achieved on their latest computer game, and they will carry on trying to beat that.

Their interests will become more adult-like and they may well take up a hobby. If they are going to be a collector of something, it is not unusual for the collection to be started at this sort of age.

My Beautiful Girl turns 10

Here she is, my daughter. The most perfect human being on the planet as far as I’m concerned!

And last Saturday we celebrated her 10th birthday.

I’m in shock actually that she’s 10. TEN! Double figures! How the hell did THAT happen?

It seems like a big milestone.

But I’m not going to say ‘she’s growing up fast’, because really, at the moment, she isn’t!

Yes, she’s getting bigger. A lot bigger. Especially in recent months. Her body is slowly starting to change. She suddenly feels heavier in my arms and on my lap!

But she’s still my little girl. She’s still very much a child in the way she thinks and acts, and I’m holding on to that as long as I possibly can!

I’ve realistically got another year or two before things will no doubt change forever. But I’m not going to dwell on that right now. I really do try and savour my time with her. I feel completely blessed to have her, she’s truly the loveliest person.

And now she’s 10!

So back to her birthday!

To celebrate my girl turning ten, she invited 7 friends out to the cinema to watch new Disney film, Tomorrowland.

The girls!

The girls enjoyed the film. I did have concerns about it though after someone very kindly told me it was really boring the day before, but luckily the girls didn’t think so! It’s a more ‘grown up’ Disney offering so possibly not suitable for small kids, but it does have George Clooney in which was a bonus for me!

After eating popcorn and candy floss in the cinema, instead of having food somewhere like everyone does after the party, we headed off to a Dessert Parlour, Kaspas, that’s just opened up in our area, for some more sugar overload! Oh yes! Kaspas is a relatively new chain of yummyness and is definitely the place to be right now around here! We’ve already tried it but some of the girls hadn’t, so they were very excited about going!

Kaspas Desserts

My girl had an absolutely fantastic time. She and her friends laughed non stop and stuffed themselves with waffles, ice cream, chocolate, cookie dough, sundaes… it was dessert heaven!

She had a perfect day.

A perfect birthday for a perfect girl 🙂


Let's Talk Mommy

Mermaids and Pirates

This is my daughter dressed up as Ariel from The Little Mermaid!

Ah bless her! Ha! She used to love Ariel and was obsessed with mermaids in general back then!

Ariel costumeMy beautiful girl dressed up as her favourite mermaid, Ariel

This photo was taken on the day of her 6th birthday party (nearly 4 years ago) where the theme was Mermaids and Pirates. She was in year 1 at school and I’d decided to hire a function room so we could invite her whole class, something I thought we’d probably only do one year because for her subsequent parties she pretty much only invited girls!

pirates partyMy gorgeous twins in their pirates costumes – how cute?

mermaid and pirate partyJust a few snaps from the party!

mermaid birthday cakeHer gorgeous cake.

mermaid partyAriel the mermaid on a rock!

It was a great party. I hired an entertainer who was amazing, the kids loved her AND she brought an inflatable pirate ship too! I’d also hired a caterer to do the food so I didn’t have to worry about feeding so many kids… seems extravagant but it was actually very good value and I don’t think I would’ve spent much less buying everything myself! Plus it was a one off it and was worth it, saved me a lot of time and stress!

My little girl will be 10 this year… she doesn’t actually seem that much different than she did when these photo’s were taken! She’s definitely not grown very much 😉

I’m linking up this post with What’s The Story again over at PodCastDove with another trip down memory lane.  And also with Magic Moments at The Olivers Madhouse.
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My Girl turns 9

This week I am busy organising my daughters birthday. She will be nine.


I cannot believe my baby is going to be that old! I realise everyone says it, but really, where the hell has that time gone?

I don’t want my Princess to grow up, I want her to stay young for a little bit longer, she’s perfect just the way she is right now, and nine seems so much older than eight for some reason. God knows what I’m going to be like next year when she’ll be double figures!!

She is my only girl out of four children so she is very special. But not just because she’s a girl, it’s because of her and who she is; her sunny, delightful personality; her kind and caring ways and how she makes me feel like I’m the best thing since sliced bread!!

She’s a real Mummy’s girl. She absolutely worships me and wants to be near me at all times! Even when I’m making dinner sometimes, she wraps her arms around my waist and tags along whilst I move from one worktop to the other lol! She loves to cuddle up to me and often asks me to sleep in her bed at night with her so she can snuggle… of course I try to oblige because I’m all to aware that one day, probably soon, she won’t ask again.

Our bond has always been strong right from the start. I breastfed her, co-slept with her and was with her 24/7. She literally would NOT go to anyone else and as a stay at home mum at that time, and having a six year age gap between her and my son, I wanted and relished our close relationship.

My girl is everything I could’ve hoped for. If someone had asked me before I’d had children to describe what my perfect daughter would look and be like, I would’ve described her. She was perfectly girlie when she was little and has grown to be such a little character, so very funny and quirky.

So this week I’m making sure she has everything she wants for her birthday on Friday (she hasn’t asked for much at all bless her so this isn’t difficult, hehe), for her main present she wants a practice gymnastics beam, which we’ve bought… not exactly sure where it’s going to go but we’ll find somewhere! Other than that I’ve had fun shopping for some lovely gifts that I know she’ll love. I’m also making sure that everything is in place for her party, which this year is an ice skating party on Sunday! I’m looking forward to this one, as is the rest of the family because we’re ALL going to join in and get our skates on!! I’ve told her friends Mums that they too have to get on the ice!

Should be lots of fun, I can’t wait!

White Rabbit

I am joining in with a game this week over at The Reading Residence called ‘The Theme Game’ whereby the rules are, each week there is a prompt and we have to interpret it and write a post about it. And as it’s a game there is a winner, and a second and third place up for grabs which I have to say sounds fun!

This weeks prompt was ‘White’. I’ve only just thought about joining in this week so I haven’t had any time at all to really think about it and come up with something inspired so I’m not expecting to win but I want to join in regardless!

The first thing that came into my mind when I saw that it was ‘white’ was our lovely little pet white rabbit, probably spurred on by the mention of a quote by Jocelyn from Alice in Wonderland that the White Rabbit makes 🙂

Our rabbit is such a cutie, this is him in the pet shop where we bought him from. I was looking for a present for my daughter’s birthday and originally we wanted guinea pigs, but as soon as I clapped eyes on this little darling I knew my girl would fall in love with him.

He was the only white rabbit in the shop. In fact we go there regularly and very rarely see white ones so I’m assuming they’re not as common as the brown and black ones. In the wild they’re not believed to survive as long because their white coat makes them highly visible and easy prey. Poor little loves.

This is the moment my girl met her beloved white rabbit.

pet rabbit

cute white baby rabbit

Just look at him! He was so tiny.

White rabbits usually have red eyes, these are albino and I think they look a bit freaky to be honest, I don’t like them, but his are blue. To have a bright white rabbit with blue eyes is special 🙂

He’s a lot bigger now. This was him in the garden the other day, he lives in our home with us but we let him out to play sometimes.

I love the way his gorgeous pure white fur contrasts against the dark green grass.


There’s something magical about white rabbits too, literally, as they’re the rabbit of choice for magicians at kids party’s – the ones that get pulled out of a hat! Couldn’t imagine ours sitting still long enough for something like that, he’s much too lively!!

So there you have it. My post about WHITE!

The Reading Residence

Champneys Dahling

I don’t get out much these days, not without the kids anyway.

My partying days are well and truly over – or at least on the back burner for the time being! 🙂

But being as it’s been my big birthday this week (shh.. don’t tell anyone) I’m being treated to a weekend spa with the girls and to say I’m behaving like an excited child at the thought of it would be an understatement!


I so need the break. I devote my life and time to my children and as much as they deserve it, they’re amazing, I deserve this break.

So I’m off to the ultimate spa resort – CHAMPNEYS in Tring.

When we first decided to book a spa weekend I knew it had to be somewhere special. I wanted luxury for my birthday treat.

Champneys Tring is not too far from me and is renowned for being grand and luxurious. It is described as ‘This isn’t just a place, it’s a vision’.

spa breaks hertfordshire

Can’t wait to be chauffeured along this magnificant driveway…

I am leaving this afternoon with my two best friends who I can’t wait to share a relaxing but fun celebratory weekend with.

But what am I looking forward to the most?

Firstly, just leaving the family behind. Terrible as that sounds, I want that little bit of freedom that seems to elude me, even if it is for only 24 hours. I want to be able to forget the every day and be completely captivated by the beautiful surroundings and total relaxation that Champneys promises.

My Girl last night burst into tears because I’m going away overnight – just gives you an idea how often I leave her, which is NEVER!!!!!!! It did pull at the heartstrings but she’ll have a fun time with her siblings and Daddy, he’s sure to ply them with sweets and chocolate the whole weekend!

Once I get there I won’t be able to wait to don the swimming cozzie and obligatory bathrobe and head on down to this….

I shall be swimming then sitting in here letting the bubbles wash away all my stresses…..

I may go to the gym or join in with a class… maybe yoga, or something a bit different, I haven’t made up my mind yet! I have a couple of treatments booked… the massage will be heaven but my anti ageing facial is really what I’m looking forward to the most, I feel as though my skin is changing now that I’m getting old *coughs*, it seems dull and lifeless so it could do with a major pick me up.

Pressure Therapy Facial 600x 300

Ooh yes please! Hope to look at least 10 year younger 🙂

I’m looking forward to quaffing champagne with my closest friends whilst getting dressed up for some fine dining in the resort restaurant.


And I anticipate settling into my bed in one of the beautiful rooms at Champneys and waking up at my own, leisurely pace, with another day of pampering to look forward to…. utter bliss.

Or maybe I’ll just stay in bed all morning, I can if I want to…

Did I mention how excited I am?!!

I better go now then and get ready. I’ll be back next week to tell you all about it.


Approaching 40

I suppose I should get it out of the way and write a post about the fact that I’m approaching 40 soon. VERY soon.

It’s crept up on me rather rudely, poised to snatch away my 30’s and with it, announce to the world that I’m no longer a young woman. I will be a middle aged woman! God, that sounds so weird – am I actually talking about ME?

I don’t feel as though I’m getting older, or wiser for that matter. I don’t really feel any different than I did twenty years ago. I’ve always been rather excitable and childlike so saying I’m 40 just doesn’t sound right – it’s not fair, almost makes me feel like I’ve got to grow up!

It’s a strange feeling knowing that I’m actually getting old. Ok, I know it’s not THAT old but it’s getting there, a reminder that time is passing rather quickly and if I’m lucky enough to reach the age of, say 80, then I’m already half way there!!! Slightly terrifying.

Having kids really seems to exaggerate the passing of time, in the sense that it’s so much more noticeable when we see how bloody fast our kids grow up. It’s way too quick, which unfortunately means that the very same time that’s flying by is making US older too! I console myself on this matter by looking around at my friends and being safe in the knowledge that they’re all getting older too…. ah yes, that’s alright then!!

But I don’t want to get old. Well, what I mean is, I obviously want to get old because at this point in scientific time there is no alternative, apart from not getting old, if you know what I mean, which I don’t want – but we can’t stop the clock or rewind it. More’s the pity. I want to stay young, I’m alright as I am now thank you. Or maybe even rewind the clock back to, hmm, lets see…. my early thirties maybe? I still want to have all my kids with me though of course, but early 30’s would be good, when my body was still pert, I had no wrinkles or jowls (what the eff are they all about?? How disgusting), and, more importantly, when I still felt relatively carefree!

I’m desperately holding on to an (almost) youthful appearance by the skin of my teeth. I’ve been lucky I guess so far, the years have been kind to me (I think. It’s subjective), but time is catching up at an alarming rate now and I’m clinging on for dear life!!!!

Aargh!!!! Go away old age!! How very dare you?!

Not that I do anything to slow down the ageing process you understand. I’m far too lazy. Can’t be bothered with cleanse, tone and moisturise… who has time for all that anyway? Does it even work? I think you’ll find it probably doesn’t. And going to the gym? Pfft – I’d rather have a cup of tea!

Seriously though, I do try and buy a good moisturiser as my skin is dry but I often use those all in one wipes to take my make up off, so much quicker. I even use baby wipes when I run out….. we all do that don’t we? I hardly ever floss my teeth because I hate it – makes me cringe, and I have done the gym/fitness thing too many times to mention, always give up – I get bored, plus I can’t justify it financially.

I have always been slim, I’m still a size 8(just) -10. I like clothes and fashion and I don’t have any grey hair which is surprising considering my stress levels at times, so I think I could get away with saying I’m a bit younger…. hell, people have even asked if my Teen is my brother lol – admittedly they were OLD and probably had bad eyesight but I don’t care, I’m taking that and running with it!

However, I think I’m unfit and I can really feel it now if I’ve eaten a lot – my older female relatives all say they were slim like me when they were young and they’re all quite big now so I’m guessing that’s the way I’m heading, probably going to wake up huge one day!

I need to take action.

And not because I’m worried about getting fat, but because I need to start looking after myself more. Over the next few weeks and months I’m going to feature on my blog my attempts to improve my health and well being, hopefully giving you some hints and tips too!

Healthier Eating

This means cooking from scratch more healthy meals. I need to cut down on stodge – I love comfort food and bread, I’m not a snacker but I do binge on chocolate and biscuits at times! I need to drink more water, I don’t drink enough even though I’m fully aware of the benefits. I’ve got a tea addiction. Love drinking tea and I’ve usually always got one on the go! I hardly ever drink alcohol so that must be a real plus.

Beauty Regime

This means selecting some good products, not mega expensive ones, and using them regularly. I need to start taking my makeup off at night more often too! I’m already seeing the dentist about teeth whitening methods (all that tea is taking it’s toll) and I may even look into some of the non invasive cosmetic procedures that promise to stave off the onset of ageing skin – cheeky botox anyone?!


I plan to get fit and toned as I enter my forties. If Melanie Sykes can do it then so can I….. I’m not exactly sure what route I’m going to take in terms or where and how but I’ll keep you informed! I shall be disciplined!

It’s not all about appearance though, I’m sounding a bit shallow right now but I know I’m not the kind of person who wants to grow old gracefully, sod that! I don’t however want to look like I’ve stepped off the set of Towie but I want to ‘maintain’ what I have if that’s possible.

I honestly don’t know exactly how I feel about this big milestone, it’s just another year older after all, and I’m so busy that I haven’t given it an awful lot of thought until now.

But it does feel significant.

The nearer the birthday is getting, the more it’s becoming a time for reflection, a look back at my journey through life so far.

Decisions I’ve made. Paths I have chosen. How things have turned out.

It’s been eventful at times and so much has been packed into the last forty years!

So I guess it should be a time for celebrations (any excuse), to look back and look forward, but I’m not planning anything outrageous, I don’t want a party! There are a few different things happening with friends and family that I’ll share with all of you too, as I throw myself into a whole new era of my life!

A new chapter.

They do say life begins at forty!

Let’s hope so……… 🙂

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