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Just in case we wake up tomorrow and find Ciao no longer here may I say So long and thanks for all the fish

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since 23/09/2002


Learning Resources Pretend and Play Doctor Set 04/02/2016

Pretend to be Doctor with this set from Learning resources

Learning Resources Pretend and Play Doctor Set I am reviewing the Learning Resources Pretend & Play Doctor Set today. ~My experiences I have worked with children for getting on for 50 years now in many situations including caring for them in their own homes, working in a nursery school a first/primary school, a children's home, play school, brownies and many more situation as well as caring for my own children and grandchildren. I have studied child development and play one of the pretend imaginative play games children have always played is some kind of DR, Nurses, being ill type of game. By playing the child is copying or practising for real life experiences it helps them cope with when they are ill or see other members of the family ill. I think this type of play helps them cope with life. I have had experience of many play medical sets. I think the two of the best ones are the fisher price one and this Learning recourses one. Many years ago I reviewed the Fisher price one, ~ Now I shall review the Learning Resources Pretend & Play Doctor Set. ~Age This toy is suitable for a child over 3 years old. ~Bag This medical set comes in a strong opaque Vinyl bag with a moulded handle it measures 17x 13 cm. There are two fairly strong clips at the top to help keep the bag closed. Stuck on the case is a paper picture of a boy dressed up as a Dr Holding a stethoscope. I have a bit of an issue with this. I think the picture should just be one of the medical instruments as both boys and girls will play being the medical ...

Learning Resources Snap 'N' Learn Counting Elephants 03/02/2016

Count the Elephants from Learning resources

Learning Resources Snap 'N' Learn Counting Elephants Once again I am reviewing a toy/ learning aid from work. This plastic tub of elephants is one that we have in the special needs classroom where I have worked. ~ Age Suitability These elephants are suitable for over 2's. Ours are used with older special needs pupils. Just be careful with the small elephants and those children who still mouth everything. These elephants are suitable either for school or for home. ~Container The tub which these elephant come in is good it is strong and durable .It has a blue twist lid which has a handle. The plastic tub is clear so I can see at a glance what is inside, that's good so I do not have to open everything and look inside to check contents when I am searching for this in the cupboard. ~Elephants These elephants are made out of plastic. There are 10 elephants in this tub. 5 large about 5.5cm tall and 5 small, sorry did not measure the small ones but they are about 1cm smaller than the large ones, The elephants all have a trunk in a downwards hook. Their tails a little loop. These elephants are not grey they are red, yellow, green, blue and purple 1 large and 1 small elephant of each colour. These elephants have black dot eyes, the black dot eyes have rubbed /washed off most of our set of ten now, but they are quite old Each elephant has a coloured blanket with a number on it 1-10. >>Now let the lesson begin. ~ Sorting. Can you sort the big elephants, and the small elephants? Put the big elephants in the pot over here and the ...

Fisher Price Bright Beginnings Pop-Up Farm 01/02/2016

Up pops the farmer the chick.a cow and a sheep

Fisher Price Bright Beginnings Pop-Up Farm I have a feeling that this Fisher Price Pop up farm tractor toy is not available any longer as I can not find anywhere it is for sale except on second hand sites. However since I know this toy and the category here I will review it for you. This toy suitable for a 1 year old. This toy has a base shape of a farm building about 8cm thick you can see the roof shape and a silo. There is a hole in the roof which acts as a handle. In front of the farm building there is a tractor shape moulded onto the farm building. This toy comes either in red or white. In the farm building there are 3 flaps a purple one, a yellow one and a blue one. In the tractor cab space there is a green one. Below the flaps are a big wheel (under the tractor), a small wheel, a Barrel with a lever, a gate with a latch Now turn the big wheel and up pops a farmer, Push the little wheel and a little chick pops up and cheeps, pull the barrel down and a cow pops up lastly flip the latch on the gate and there is a sheep. Makes a child aware that by doing something they make something else happen. There now your child practices and helped perfect their fine motor skills learning how to turn and open the catches. They are rewarded by seeing the animals and farmer pop up when they turn the switches. You can practice some language skills with your chid tell them the name of the animal as it pops up. Praise your child when they are successful. You could always sing an appropriate song. E.g. Old Macdonald had a ...

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy 31/01/2016

Soft and cuddly, talks and sings

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy This laugh and learn puppy is a soft toy that we have at work (special needs school). It is also one which I have bought for a new baby. A laugh and learn puppy has been available from Fisher Price for quite a few years now The design and size has changed a little. ~Price availability Looking on line I discover you can still buy the older version from for £27.99. The newer version at Amazon from £16.99. The newer one also available at Tesco for £20 or Argos for £16.99 this one is sold as the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy. Although I have seen both versions I am more familiar with the older version having that one at work the other a gift for a nephew I have not played with as much. So first I shall describe the older version then add a little about the newer version. ~Age This puppy suitable for a child aged over 6 months old. If you supervise your baby with this toy then they will be amused by it earlier. ~Older version ~Size This puppy's size is 24.4 x 17.8 x 33 cm the newer one smaller. ~Description ''Fabric The puppy is a soft stuffed animal. It is a light brown tan colour made of a soft fleecy furry fabric. His ears are blue. I have a feeling this puppy comes in a pink fleece as well '' Cleaning, I have never put this toy in the washing machine but have sponge Cleaned, wiped it clean with a wet ...

Members advice on Prostate cancer 31/01/2016

#my experience of prostate cancer.

Members advice on Prostate cancer #my experience of prostate cancer. I am reviewing this cancer because my husband had it. And I thought it might help someone if I talk of my experiences supporting him and coping with the knowledge that he might die. Warning I may use the word sex in this review and talk about sexual functions. #what is the prostate? The prostate is a gland in the male a bit bigger than a walnut. It is situated just attached below the bladder. The Prostate gland is only in males why? Because its function is to secrete milky white fluid, the prostate has muscles which expel this fluid and semen when the male ejaculates. The Prostate is quite a common gland to get cancer in. I read that 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer. This cancer although it can occur in younger men usually found in those over 50 the greater number in men over 60. #Symptoms. As in my husbands case there are often no symptoms. Sometimes men might experience symptoms . Having to rush to the toilet to pass urine • Passing urine more often than usual, especially at night • Difficulty passing urine, including straining to pass it or stopping and starting • A sense of not being able to completely empty the bladder • Pain when passing urine • Blood in the urine or semen These may not mean you have prostate cancer, but worth checking out. As I said my 60 year old husband had no signs or symptoms. He went to the DR to get a cholesterol test he has high cholesterol in his immediate family. #Testing/Diagnosis When he ...

Lego Duplo 10603 My First Bus 30/01/2016

This Duplo yellow school bus does not go beep beep beep

Lego Duplo 10603 My First Bus But the wheels do go round and round ) Introducing Duplo I hardly think I need to tell you what a Duplo brick is but I shall anyway. Duplo are coloured plastic cojoining bricks. Duplo brick are a type of large Lego bricks (Lego founded 1932 in Denmark) The Duplo brick first available in 1969 are twice the size of Lego bricks. They are still compatible and Duplo and Lego can be conjoined. Duplo bricks suitable for over 1 year old children. Having worked with children since I was a teenager, I have now just retired from working with special needs children I have played with many Duplo bricks including this bus set alongside children (I was too old to play with the first Duplo bricks in 69) ~The first bus Duplo have called this bus The first bus , however it is not the first school bus that Duplo have made there is The LEGO® DUPLO® School Bus The earlier bus is slightly different it is a less sophisticated look, more rounded , a little less realistic. I think this older bus is like me just retired or retiring. Hopefully I shall be as durable as this old Duplo bus. This Duplo bus is yellow. A lot of our and other countries school busses are now yellow copying the North Americans who first introduced the yellow school bus in the 1930's ~LEGO 10603 Duplo My First Bus : Age This newer bus is suitable for a child aged 18 months. But as we all know children develop at different rates. :: Pieces There are 17 pieces in this Duplo set. These pieces make a blackboard as well ...

Pukka Pad A7 Notebook 27/01/2016

Petitte Pukka Pad

Pukka Pad A7 Notebook Pukka Pad Navy Stripe A7 Notebook While I was in WHSmiths last week looking for a new diary I bought this A7 sized pukka pad note book. I like to have a mini notepad in my hand bag and my previous one was nearly full and tatty ~Price and availability It is possible to buy Pukks Pads at many shops on or off line Yes it was in the sales at WH Smiths £I.99 instead of £2.49. At its only 99p. At Morrison's inMorrisons. It costs £1.50 ~ Size This is a small A7 pad is by my ruler 7.4cm x 12.5 cm x 0.5 of a cm thick that's including the ring binder at the top. I just checked to see what the official A7 paper size is and its A7 measures 7.4cm × 10.5 cm / 2.91 × 4.13 inches. I remeasured mine and I note from the top line of the paper it is 10.5 cm the very top 2 cm is where the binder goes through, So if you need an accurate A7 piece of paper Write below the top line then cut it off for your folder or display ~Looks Mine has a navy and blue stripe cover page made out of a thin card/thick paper,.inside on the reverse of the blue striped cover is a white section lined off and titled notes (good for making an index of contents maybe) .. The blue wire spiral binding holding the note pad together is at the top. It is possible to get pukka top ring bound books in different colours and design. I have seen pink and blue striped ones. Ones with bright ...

Geevor tin mine , Pendeen, Penzance 25/01/2016

Deep down in Cornwall mining for tin .

Geevor tin mine , Pendeen, Penzance In the week between Christmas and the New Year we took my Mine craft mad grandson to Cornwall. So an obvious place to visit was a mine. Cornwall has many tin mines. Some were not open that week but we found Geevor tin mine, Pendeen, not too far away from where we were staying was open. This is a Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. We had a sat nav in the car so finding this museum was easy. The OS Grid reference is SW378340 (Easting 137842/Northing 34094. Not that many people use OS paper maps these days most people would just use Google map. The web page . has good directions and info about busses from St Ives and Penzance This Tin mine is not a working mine (used to be) it is a museum. The Geevor tin mine working from 1911 and 1990 .The shafts are not open to public access they are flooded .It is hoped they will open one day. However some of the tunnels and workings of Wheal Mexico is open Wheal Mexico an older 18th century mine was rediscovered in 1995. This is a shallow mine and does not go below sea level. Wheal means mine or work in Cornish language. When you are in Cornwall you will find many places called Wheal This mine is open from 10 am till 4 pm last entry 3pm. (summer opening might be different) it is open 6 days a week closed on Saturdays. I imagine it's the sort of place holiday makers visit and Saturday the day most holiday makers arrive or depart from their holidays that they did not get many visitors on a Saturday. ...

Melissa & Doug Pound & Roll Tower 24/01/2016

Hammer the balls and watch them roll down through the tower

Melissa & Doug Pound & Roll Tower Melissa & Doug Pound & Roll Tow First I shall apologise I have no personal photo of this toy. The reason why is because I have just retired, (Hurrah) and this is a toy that I had at work. (A special needs school) This toy is suitable for a child aged 2 years old depending on their development. This pound and roll tower by Melissa and Doug is a good easy one. This Pound and roll tower is a cuboids shape about 25.4 cm high x 15cm x 15 cm. At one end the natural wood block is solid, at the other end it has 4 circular holes cut out of it. Each of the sides of this toy has half of it covered by a coloured panel; red, yellow, green, blue from top to bottom the other half of the side is open. Through these open sides you can see natural coloured wooden ramps. 4 coloured balls red, green, blue, and yellow come with this toy. A red handled hammer with a natural coloured head comes with it too. Now let's set this up on the table for play. Put a coloured ball on each hole they fit in snugly and do not fall through the hole easily. Now hold the hammer and bang one of the balls now watch the ball as it rolls quite slowly down the ramps and out at the bottom. For a young child or one that is not able to use the hammer to pound the ball through the hole you could bang it through for them so they can watch the ball rolling through the different levels. This activity of watching the brightly coloured ball will aid their eye tracking skills. As the ball tracks down the ramp it ...

B&Q Conwey Pleated Light Shade 23/01/2016

Shading my light with B&Q Conwey light shade

B&Q Conwey Pleated Light Shade I told you about the lamp stand that I bought at B&Q now let me tell you about the light shade we bought to go with it. This light shade is suitable for a ceiling pendant light or a table lamp. It is suitable for a bedroom a hall or lounge; I do not think it would be so go to cover a kitchen light There are many lamp shades at B &Q ranging from £3.00 to £20.00 the Conway Ivory Pleated Light Shade is £12.00. The size of this lightshade is 17cm high 25cm in diameter; it is a square shape not circular. I chose this shape because I thought it would suit the position I was going to place the light in. The Conway pleated lightshades are available in this 17 cm high size and a 21 cm high size the larger one costs £17. This lightshade is made of fabric which is pleated, I think this gives a good simple quite elegant effect; I did not want anything fussy. I am told this can be cleaned with a damp cloth, have not needed to clean mine yet. I chose an ivory colour but this lightshade is also available in duck egg, or Heather. Because I wanted this light to be by the bed as a reading aid me chose a light coloured one. I find that it lets the light out well, the light white not tinted by a colour of a light shade and I can see to read easily. Fitting the light shade to my lamp was easy. It is a standard fitting for a light socket a circular ring that fits over the fitting. After I fitted the shade I fitted the light bulb, there is a warning not to use higher than 42 watts. After ...

Winter sales 2016: Which products are you going to buy during winter sales? 23/01/2016

Did I save some money in the winter sales? What did I buy ?

Winter sales 2016: Which products are you going to buy during winter sales? Winter sales 2016: Which products am I going to buy during winter sales? The winter sales are nearly all over as I sit writing this review on the 19th of January 2016. I have, I think bought all the items that I shall buy during the winter sales Everyone including me likes a bargain. Last year 2015 saw many sales, black Friday and then pre Christmas sales. Then the post Christmas sales started on Boxing Day. Sale items were available on and of line. Some retailer's websites were offering the opportunity to order item on line on Christmas day. Generally I prefer to shop in the high street not on line (I think it's an age thing) If I am buying clothes I at least like to feel before I buy if not try on in the shop I have never been one for rushing to the sales and buying items just because they are in The Sale. Winter January sales traditionally are way that shops can get rid of the items they could not sell at Christmas and with winter usually on its way out winter clothes. A few years ago there were never sales before Christmas, and it was so annoying when that Christmas gift or new dress was reduced in the sale a week after Christmas. When I am buying a larger non clothes item I tend to look on line and compare prices before I buy. So let's get down to what I bought this winter sales. #Black Friday On black Friday I actually went into my local small market town (I was going through town anyway so called in for a short while) I found the local town was not ...

Portland Natural Polished Table Lamp Base , B&Q 21/01/2016

B&Q Portland lamp stands assists my night time reading

Portland Natural Polished Table Lamp Base , B&Q Portland Natural Polished Table Lamp Base I bought this Portland Natural Polished Table Lamp Base from B&Q in the winter sales in January this year. The price was £21.00 I got it reduced at £15.00. I did in fact buy 2 of these one for my bedside reading light one for his. This lamp stand although ideal for my bedroom use would be suitable for other rooms in the house where you need a lamp on the table. > I immediately liked the lamp stand when I saw it in the shop. It is traditionally shaped like a candlestick. This is a wooden lamp base a natural colour, pine I think It is polished and smooth no rough wood. > This lamp stands on a circular base is about 10.5 cm in diameter. >Out of the bottom of the lamp comes a black electric lead with a 3 pin plug attached. This cable is 1.65m long, only just long enough to plug into the nearest socket after I had positioned lamp on a Pine chest of draws socket. The lead has a switch on it fairly near the top, so I do not have to hump out of bed to switch it off at the plug in the wall. > The stem of the lamp is 39cm tall. It's a good height I chose a lamp that was fairly tall as I find the light shines from it at a better height so I can read my bedtime book easily. Its narrow stem is not straight sided it has been turned and has curves and disks... It looks very much a traditional candle stick shape. > At the top of the lamp stand there is a black plastic fitting for a light bulb. A Small Edison Screw Cap (E14) Golf ball ...

Melissa&Doug Abby & Emma Magnetic Dress-Up 20/01/2016

Dress up Amy Abby and Emma

Melissa&Doug Abby & Emma Magnetic Dress-Up I have recently retired from work with special needs pupils and realised I have not reviewed many of the toys that I have used/played with in the classrooms. I am about to remedy that before I forget about them. I apologise for lack of pictures >Mellissa and Doug A lot of the toys which we had at school were Mellissa and Doug ones this brand produces a well thought out and designed toy. They are usually Very durable. Suitable for both home and school use The company was founded in 1988 and is based in Wilton, Connecticut. >Melissa & Doug Abby and Emma Magnetic Dress up Dolls This magnetic dress up toy is one we have had at work for several years. There are some other similar dress up toys from Melissa and Doug. This toy is suitable for those over 3 years old. Some of the pieces like the hats and shoes are quite small are aware of the danger in swallowing these. >Presentation These dress up dolls come in a substantial wooden tray which has divisions for the doll and the different type of clothes this is great for keeping them in, unfortunately the see through lid is not if I remember correctly robust. I have noted this fault with several other Melissa and Doug toys >What's in this Dressing up doll set > Two wooden dolls. These are flat children doll not teenager fashion type doll's. They are about 1cm thick. Each doll is about 20cm tall. To stand them up the base of the dolls fit into a wooden slotted stand. These dolls are painted in what I imagine is a magnetic ...

Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks And Boards 18/01/2016

Shapes make pictures on these Melissa an Doug's pattern boards

Melissa & Doug Pattern Blocks And Boards Melissa and Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards. The Melissa and Doug Pattern Blocks and Boards are a toy that I have often played with alongside children ay work. I work in a special needs school. This toy is suitable for children over the age of 3. >Packaging This set does come in a good sturdy wooden box which unfortunately does not have a good lid so when ours is put away we put it an old recycled box with a lid. >Product/toy This is a wooden toy. There are 5 pattern double sided boards (10 pictures). 120 brightly coloured, wooden geometric shapes. Red, green, orange, yellow, blue. Diamonds squares, rectangles, triangles, hexagons, trapezoid. The pattern boards are flat. They have no raised border or insets. The pattern pictures include a butterfly, a flower, a rabbit and a geometric pattern, a snail, a bird, dog, boat, a train, and a fish. These pictures are all made up of coloured shapes; each one has a black outline. The picture shapes correspond to the shape pieces provided they are the same size and colours. The pictures are attractive and bright. >Play. There are many ways these boards and shapes can be used in play The very youngest age that Melissa and Doug say these boards are suitable for may not have the skills ready to complete these pictures , The boards are quite slippery and as there is no guiding edge the pieces slip around out of place easily. However as a child gets older and more able they cope with this. The child gets a sense of satisfaction ...

Baylis & Harding Black Pepper and Ginseng Handwash 16/01/2016

Black pepper to wash your hands

Baylis & Harding Black Pepper and Ginseng Handwash My husband was given a Baylis &Harding Black pepper and ginseng hand wash for Christmas; this was a sort of joke present from the grandkids. Hubby does like is black pepper and it has become a sort of standing joke when the family visit us for lunch most Sundays. Hubby always makes a fuss about finding the pepper grinder, (it sometimes gets hidden) then he grinds the pepper onto his meal with vigour. > Price and availability. I expect The Baylis and Harding black pepper and ginseng hand wash was bought with the weekly supermarket order. The price seems to be £2.00 at all the leading supermarkets at the moment. >Packaging. This hand wash packaged the same as other Baylis and Harding hand washes. It's in a clear plastic cylindrical bottle with a silver twist cap which has a black pump action nozzle >Looks, This hand wash looks quite attractive it is a very dark red colour which you can see through the container >Consistency The hand wash liquid is gel like not too thin, but not thick and creamy. You do not need much to wash hands with. ''Lather I get quite a good lather from this hand wash but not a rich creamy one >Smell. This hand wash has a masculine smell it's not flowery, nor especially spicy. I personally do not like this smell, nor does my husband. The smell reminds me more of a floor cleaner a bit soapy bit disinfectanty. After washing hands with this the smell does not linger very long. > Ingredients I find that this hand wash does not irritate my ...
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