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since 23/09/2002


Worlds Apart Pop-Up Tunnel 26/06/2016

Pop into this tunnel

Worlds Apart Pop-Up Tunnel Today I shall be reviewing a play tunnel from Worlds apart. I have Supervised children playing in this tunnel at work (special needs school) as it is the beginning of summer and at home the children can get outside to play thought you might be interested in this. ~Age suitability 2 years and over ~Availability and price. This worlds apart play tunnel is available from it costs £12.99 FREE UK delivery. At one available for £9.99 ~Design The tunnel on the ciao category picture is a picture of an old one we have the same design but a newer one is now available it has a few deliberate circular holes in the tunnel wall useful for putting soft play balls through or BOO, looking in to see where your child is . There is also a pink one available. ~Fabric Its is a Waterproof Strong Rip stop Nylon type Fabric and has 4 or 5 plastic hoops sewn into it at intervals along the tube. ~Folding and storage The hoops are what enable this tube to be folded up and stored flat there are tapes at the ends of the tunnel which when tied flatten the tunnel. It's not always easy to squash the tunnel flat and tie the ends as it wants to pop back out again. ~Assembly That's easy just undo the ties and it pops out ~Size Size 42cm h x 42cm w x 120cm L. Note I have just managed to crawl and squirm my way through this tunnel but only just, had to encourage a child out. I think a younger slimmer fitter adult would have ...

Peas 25/06/2016

The Jumbo peas in my garden

Peas Peas. . I am having problems suggesting new categories in the plant/seed section of ciao so am reviewing some Mr Fothergill's jumbo peas in the general pea category. I have grown and eaten many peas. This year I sowed some Mr Fothergill's jumbo peas. I set my first Mr Fothergill's jumbo peas in a seed tray in the green house at the end of March beginning of April. I start tem off in the green house It keeps them warmer , so they grow quicker, it protects them from slugs and snails and I think less seed are getting dug up and eaten by mice. Also the birds who love the tender new shoots of peas are causing less damage. I regularly watered my peas and the germination rate was good. These are a main crop seed not an early one. I have grown pea seeds in those card egg boxes before when I did not have seed tray they were successful as I just planted the pea in the egg s compartment straight into the soul causing less root damage. When my jumbo pea plants got to a good size and were crowding the seed tray I planted them in the garden. I planted them with support. Through out April and May they grew and grew, twining and attaching themselves to some sticks with their tendrils. These peas grow quite high 75cm (30in) a little bit taller than some other varieties; I usually grow a shorter variety get less wind damage. I was pleased to see pea flowers forming and pea pods evolving from the flowers, I watched eager as the pods fattened. I did eat a couple of the pea pods with minute ...

Learning Resources Double-sided Tabletop Easel 23/06/2016

Table top easel, easier for students who sit in wheelchairs

Learning Resources Double-sided Tabletop Easel I am now retired but worked with children in a special needs school setting many years. Art activities were on offer in this school as they would be in any school. Acessability would be a problem for some of my students. A lot of activities would be done flat on the table but an easel would get used too. This table top easel was one we had. I liked this easel found it very useful. Some of my students were in a wheel chair and unable to get up close to a standard easel some found it difficult to stand up long. This table top easel could be stood on a child's wheelchair table admittedly at 44.5 cm L x 49 cm h it was a bit big for some wheelchairs and their tables. So this table top easel also got used on a table with the child's wheel chair pushed in under the table as much as it could be. This easel is made of wood some sort of chip board. There are 3 large squares; one has raised sides to make it like a tray. The other 2 are slightly smaller and are connected to each other; these fold up and neatly fit in the tray board. There is fastening strap with a hook-and-loop fastening which when the easel neatly folder away can be strapped round the easel and the easel easy to store, better than a traditional easel. ~Setting the easel up is easy, (don't drop it, it is quire heavy) Once set up on the table it is quite stable. With some children they are likely to try and throw , push this easel on the floor with the younger children they can not lift it or do this its too ...

Seleukeia (Lybre), Manavgat 22/06/2016

Ruined ancient city in the Taurus mountain foothills of Turkey

Seleukeia (Lybre), Manavgat In May this year we went to stay in Side Turkey. We have been before, in fact to the same hotel and have previously visited a lot of the ancient sites locally. However we had never been to Lybre, known also as Seleucia. Sometimes spelt Seleukeia .This is an ancient Greek city. This city is in quite a remote place really and although locals would have known about it until the mid 1970's not excavated and I am sure there are yet treasures to be uncovered in this area. I believe a mosaic and a bronze Apollo statuette are now exhibited in a museum locally. The buildings at Lybra are in better condition than the ones in Side, I suspect because more remote the bricks/stones were not plundered for more modern building use. ~Location Lybra is in the Anatalya province in the the Taurus mountains foothills ,about 15 km northeast of Side 12 km northeast of Manavgat about 1k north of the village of Bucakseyhle .This city is on a hillside We have a road map of this area of Turkey and found it . We had a hire car, but I suspect trips are available to here from hotels, tourist info centres e.t. c. :-Map's'26.4%22N+31%C2%B028'33.6%22E/@36.8612098,31.4578038,13z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d36.874!4d31.476?hl=en. has a good map We drove down the road from Bucakeyhler past the DOGA KIR KAHVALTI cafe then slowly on wards for about a mile with trees either side of the road, not sure if we ...

Gelert Knife Fork and Spoon Set 21/06/2016

I use these at the campfire to eat my food.

Gelert Knife Fork and Spoon Set I have been camping many, many times and have used many tents and pieces of equipment. I was surprised to see a category for the Gelert Knife Fork and Spoon Set that I have owned for too many years to remember. I must have had it since the late 70's or 80's. I checked on line to see if it is still available and I did find the same one at for £3.00 usually £4.00 . I am finding on the web its difficult to find the same Gelert Knife Fork and Spoon Set , I can find a different set which I also own but not this one suspect it may no longer be available. ~Contents There are in fact 4 pieces top this set a knife, a fork, a spoon and a sheath which they all fit nicely into which has a bottle opener at the end. Sadly there is no corkscrew. I usually take a pen knife which has other opening tools on it. Note remember to pack penknife in hold luggage if camping abroad as hubby often forgets and has had several taken away from him when going through security checks at airport . ~Made of These pieces of cutlery are made from stainless steel, The steel is good it is hard not bendy like another camping cutlery set I once had. ~Size This size of the knife, fork and spoon is about this set when put together is about 20cm long. The utensils are quite wide at 1.3/4 cm. They do all fit together neatly ~Use I must have used this cutlery many times it all fits neatly and well into the tin opener sheath. I ...

Stewart Company Premium Seed Tray 19/06/2016

She successfully sow's seeds in a Stewart's seed tray .

Stewart Company Premium Seed Tray Stewart Company Premium Seed Tray This seed tray is one I bought earlier this year to replace some cheaper thinner plastic ones which were split. I thought I would go for a thicker more durable plastic seed tray. I bought a pack of 3 at a local hardware shop for around £4.00 I note on line these are £1.49 each or a pack of 3 for £4.20 at Amazon. Stewarts who make many garden products make several different seed trays extra deep ones deluxe ones and my premium ones, they are available in green or black. Mine are black. ~Size These are a standard seed tray size L34 x W24 x H6.5cm. A good size for my green house but too big for window sill, half size seed trays are made these are more suitable for windowsill propagation. They are a good size to put enough of one type of seed in for me. I recently sowed some lettuce in one and French beans in another When empty the Standard sized premium Stewarts seed tray are stackable, I will stack and store mine under my greenhouse staging when not in use. They are a good size to put enough of one type of seed in for me. I recently sowed some lettuce in one and French beans in another. I start my vegetables off in seed trays in the green house we get so many slugs snails in garden I like to give plants a good start. I rarely get snail slug in my greenhouse. : They are quite a thick rigid plastic but lightweight. The plastic seed tray does not bend easily, it's not as thick as some plastic planters or flower tubs but much thicker than ...

Tesco Value Grater 19/06/2016

This grater grates but is not great.

Tesco Value Grater Tesco Value Grater I have this Tesco value silver coloured ,stainless steel grater with a black plastic handle, I am sure I had one with a white plastic handle many years ago. This handle has a very small hole in it where the price tag was attached I guess if you wanted to hang this grater you could thread a thin , very thin cord/string through it. This grater is a flat grater it measures H25xW12xD1cm It has 3 different cutting/grating areas. The one I use most often the standard grater for grating cheese. I rarely use this. Then there's a long single cutting edge for slicing cheese. Then a small grade grating grid good for grating parmesan. Other foodstuffs can be grated to I have grated chocolate, oranges, lemons and carrots too. This grater is much as you might expect from a value product it's basic. I tend not to hold it by the handle to grate things the handle is adequate but I seem to remember breaking the white one when grating hard. I tend to lay the grater over a bowl and hold it down and grate collecting the grated food in the bowl. I do not use much force when grating I think if I did the product might break. I find this grater ok but only just, the metal grating is quite thin. I find that this grater is easy to wash, easier than my conical grater and a box grater that I once had. Tesco sell this grater for £1.00 which I think a fair price. I do not expect this to last me many years. So would I recommend? Well not sure I really would its ok but there are ...

Vileda 3 Action Broom & Handle 19/06/2016

Sweeping with a new Vileda broom

Vileda 3 Action Broom & Handle To be honest I can not remember where I bought this Vileda 3 Action Broom it was somewhere in town. ~Price at Wilko its £6,50 at Tesco it is £5.06 At its £14.51, ok so if you buy at Amazon you do not have to walk it all through town, (maybe I should have put it together and rode it witch like.) For price comparison with other brooms a Tesco Basic Soft Indoor Broom cost £2.00 A Tesco Soft Indoor Broom. £3.50 A Wilko soft broom also. £3.50. ~Size The broom stick is 135cm long which is a bit longer than the Morrison's broom that I am replacing. Although at 5ft.6in I am not especially tall I do like this longer length. A long broom stick can be useful for attaching a duster to reach a cobweb on a high ceiling. Also we have been known to attach paint roller to a broom stick to reach a ceiling. The brush is about 30cm wide ~What it looks like The broom stick is made of a plastic bright red ( no losing this broom in the back of the cupboard) It has a rounded grey end with a hole in it so you can hang it on a hook. There is a grey twist thread at the other end where you attach the brush. The brush attaches easily to the twist end of the broom stick. When I bought the broom the brush came attached vertically to the side of the broom stick with some tape. So before I could sweep with my new broom I have to attach it. The brush is red it has grey shaped rubber ends to prevent paintwork chipping. It has black, grey and red bristles. ...

Gardman Grow It Standard Seed Tray 17/06/2016

A strong seed tray is better than the standard

Gardman Grow It Standard Seed Tray Just recently I was tidying up my green house sorting the plant pots and seeds trays I threw away several seed trays as they had split and were no longer fit for purpose. The seed trays which I disposed of were these just grow standard seed trays. These Gardman standard seed trays are made of thin plastic, they are black. They measure about 33 cm x 20 cm which is about standard size for a seed tray they are about 5 cm deep. These seed trays have slightly ridged sides and bottom I owned these seed trays for 2 or 3 years before having to throw away. They are made of very thin plastic which breaks and splits. This last year I made them do , with putting two seed trays together one inside the other with the ripped parts by a good piece of the other tray thus making one tray from two . Then I filled the seed trays with seed compost and sowed my seeds. I grew cabbages and lettuce. I found moving the seed trays with soil and plants difficult to do so without making more splits as the soil was too heavy for them. I think these are made of a plastic which is too thin and flimsy. These seed trays are fine for 1 season; I have a slightly more expensive but much thicker plastic seed tray which I prefer. Price is only £4.24 for a pack of 8 at are selling a pack of 5 for £3.99 Would I recommend? Well not really I would rather pay more ...

Gardman Heavy Duty Seed Tray 17/06/2016

These seed trays are for heavy duty

Gardman Heavy Duty Seed Tray I needed some new seed trays this growing season as the ones I had were very, very cheap thin ones and they had cracked and split. When I went into my local hardware shop I saw these grow it Gardman heavy duty seed trays I think I paid £2.00 per tray in a local garden centre. have some for £1.69 per tray. These seed trays are rectangular a standard size 37 cm x 23 cm x 5 cm deep. These seed trays are made of thick rigid black plastic these seed trays should last many years. There are drainage holes in the bottom of the tray. I filled my seed trays up with seed compost (peat free) and sowed my seeds and watered them. The seed tray kept its shape and was easy to move the plastic sides did not flop or crack. This tray is a standard size so I found the depth in for the roots of my seeds When my seedlings had grown they were easy to remove and position in the garden. The seed tray retaining its shape. Once empty I stored my seed tray to use next time on the shelf under my growing stage in the green house. These seed trays are suitable for sowing and growing seeds in. They are deep enough for cuttings. Yes I would recommend these seed trays you may get cheaper ones but unless they are a rigid plastic and only using for one or two seasons then these heavy duty ones are much better and although initially cost more will eventually be more cost effective. ...

Calla Lily 15/06/2016

My Lily in the porch is named Calla

Calla Lily A week or two ago the potted plant which I display in my front porch widow started to look tatty. When in Morrison's I bought myself a Calla Lilly/Zantedeschia also called trumpet lilies or Lily of the Nile or Alum Lilly. I have not often had this lily before but since this was in my opinion the best option for price and how it looked I bought it. My Calla Lilly was a fully grown plant with flowers in a pot. Actually the Calla Lily family is Araceae is not a true lily family Lilium ~~Cost £5 which I thought very good. I looked on line and found they are generally priced at £8.00. Growing Calla lily A Calla Lilly is grown from a bulb well a Rhizome really; a Rhizome is a thick plant stem that grows underground. It is a perennial and with a bit of luck and care should last several years. This plant will grow either inside or outside in the garden. There are two varieties a hardy one and a tender one. The Arum Lilly is a hardy one. If grown in the garden the tender Calla lily will not like the cold winter weather so best to Dig up the rhizomes in autumn, let them to dry out for a few days before then store the rhizomes for winter in peat moss and in a cool, dry, dark dry place , then replant when its warmer . I shall leave mine in the conservatory after flowering and see how they cope. ~Size Can grow to a height between 30 and 90cm, I shall repot mine which is about 35cm tall and see if it gets taller. ~Looks. : The leaf is a dark green and described as arrow-shaped ...

Baco Tub-Its 13/06/2016

Tub its to store nibbles , or freeze left overs,

Baco Tub-Its Baco Tub -its When I was writing another Bacofoil product review I was reminded that I did at one time have some Bacofoil Tub-its. I emptied my plastic tub containers cupboard and looked to see if I still owned one but no I do not. (Unless my daughter has it as plastic pots full of cakes and other bits go between us often) One or two children at work often bought a snack in a Tub-its tub However I remember enough about them to write this review. ~First about Bacofoil Baco foil makes products that I remember mum using in my childhood, they were established when I was 8 in 1962. They make many rolls of foil, cling film, foil cooking trays, and other cooking, bakeing and storing products. In 209 they were acquired by Wrap Film Systems. Their manufacturing and warehousing facility is in Telford, UK. ~What is a Tub-it? A Tub- it is a translucent plastic tub with a lid for food storage. There are several different sizes available. They are suitable for storing many food or non food items. They are microwave safe, freezer safe, dishwasher safe Some have blue lids some a clear lid I find these lids very tight although they have a small lip to help open it in one corner I DO Sometimes find this difficult and have had to open many children's snack/storage pots at the school lunch table. ~Durability Yes these are quite durable, I know mine were used often (wonder what became of them 9) shall have to tidy my daughters plastic box storage cupboard I might find them there. ...

Baco Bacofoil Turkey Foil Wrap 11/06/2016

Its a foil wrap for the turkey

Baco Bacofoil Turkey Foil Wrap I sorted my kitchen drawer where I keep cooking foils, greaseproof paper e.t.c last week and threw away the empty box which had contained Baco Turkey Foil. I suppose that I had used the foil at Christmas and not thrown the box away, I know lazy me... ~The box The box which I threw away was red and made of card. Along one edge there is a fairly sharp serrated cutting edge so being careful. This edge makes it easy to cut a straight edge unroll the foil evenly and tear it along the cutting edge To make sure it cuts smoothly with no tears I lightly press my finger down along the foil over the cutting edge (do mind fingers here) I have used Baco turkey foil several times as well as other foils. And find it good I choose to use this foil if I am going to cook a large item where a standard foil width is not enough. ~Size This foil is 3 metres long by 60 cms wide. ~Quality I also use this foil if I want a foil which I know is thick and good quality. I know other cheaper cooking foils can be ok but when buying a cheap foils l before sometimes the quality is not so good. ~Use Baking I used this Baco Turkey Foil for a large Chicken at Christmas. I placed the chicken in a roasting pan added some oil and some herbs then I cut of a strip of foil and put the foil over the chicken tenting it.. I remove the foil for the last 20minutes. I do not always use foil if cooking roast chicken but it does save me basting. I will also use this large foil for lining baking trays if for ...

Little Tikes Cozy Cab Ride-On 09/06/2016

A yellow little Tikes cab goes riding by

Little Tikes Cozy Cab Ride-On Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Yellow Cab. Let's hope that it does not rain at playtime to day then the children can get out playing on this Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Yellow Cab. We have actually had this inside in the large school hall for children to ride in on occasions. ~Little Tikes Little Tikes are a well known maker of children's toys. They were founded in 1970, in the United States now a multi-national manufacturer and marketer of toys. ~Cozy Coupe's A lot of early year's schools and play facilities have the basic Red Cozy Coupe. I imagine that if you are aged 40 or under you will have ridden on one at sometime at playgroup or nursery school. The first Cozy Coupe from Little Tikes was produced in 1979. Millions of Little Tikes Cozy Coupes have been made and sold. Since then it has changed little with new variations coming out amongst them a police car, a truck, a pink cozy coupe and this yellow taxi cab which was first available in 2011. A black taxi cab is also available. ~ Age suitability months - 5 years This Little Tikes vehicle is the same in build as the Red coupe. It is just yellow and has Taxi details on it. Stick on's come supplied with the cab so you can stick them on if you wish in any position. Don't stick them on and toy just has a yellow car. A taxi sign comes with this toy it can be attached to the top of the coupe. The car is yellow with black upright surrounds to the windows, these support the yellow roof. On the front of the car are two big eyes ...

Learning Resources Under the Sea Ocean Counters 07/06/2016

Under the Sea with Learning resources counters

Learning Resources Under the Sea Ocean Counters Learning Resources Under the Sea Ocean Counters These learning resources, Under the Sea Ocean counters are ones which I had in my class at a special needs school. I recently retired. I thought that since it was now the summer season (ha, ha thunderstorms here today) ~Suitability These Under the sea Oceon counters are suitable for children from the age of 3. ~Made of These are made from soft, rubberised PVC. ~Design There are 6 under the sea creatures Whale, Shark, Seal, Octopus, Stingray and Turtle equal numbers of each in a set. Each creature is a simple design with head body, fins, tentacles, legs appropriate to the creature. They are realistic enough in shape to be able to identify the m , but not realistic like Schleich small model animals, ~Colours These Under the Sea Counters are bright strong colours Blue, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green and Purple. In the 72 pot there are 12 of each creature in each colour ~Size Yes you are right size isn't every thing but these are a good size. Yes I have seen children mouthing them and supervise groups where I know the child will try and stuff the whole sea animal in their mouth These are a good size for grasping and holding. The sea creatures are not to scale but are about the same size as each other. ~Uses I have used these with many children and the children all seem to like these creatures These are good for the really basic skills with a lot of my children needed practice with, like grasping, hand eye control, manual ...
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