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Please rate reviews, even if you do not leave a comment. I have noticed several of my reviews get a read total but no rates !!!

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since 23/09/2002


Gowi Toys 559-46 Turtle Sand and Water Mill 29/08/2016

The sand or water turns the turtle water mill.

Gowi Toys 559-46 Turtle Sand and Water Mill Gowi Toys 559-46 Turtle Sand and Water Mill This turtle sand and water mill is one we played with in the water tray at the special needs school where I worked till last year. ~Age suitability Suitable for a child aged 1 and over. Suitable for home or school/ child care situations. ~composition Plastic .A good durable strong firm plastic smooth, no sharp edges. ~Description This toy has a circular base moulded with a four small semi circular blobs on the outside. These representing turtle feet. It has a larger semi circular blob on the outside of the base with eyes nose and mouth moulded into it, to represent the turtle head. The circle (turtle) has a concave bowl shape it is depressed in the centre. The turtle is not really very obvios. Two struts come out of the base. Half way up there is a bar which enables the fitting of 2 cogs is if one cog turns it makes the other turn too. The struts continue up to the top where there is a funnel fitted. ~Size Height: 260mm, Width: 190mm, Depth: 150mm ~ Colour. Red and orange .A bright attractive colour. This colour has faded over time so it's a dull colour. .The base and funnel at the top are red the side struts orange the toothed cog wheels red with orange swirls and a few white dots. If one cog turns it makes the other turn too. ~Use Ours gets used in the water or sand tray. This it best if the water not too deep ideal on a tuff spot (large heavy duty plastic tray 6 cm deep) This water mil good for using many sensory items ...

Gowi Toys 558-59 Sandmould 29/08/2016

Make a little sand mould with Gowi

Gowi Toys 558-59 Sandmould Today I shall be reviewing a pack of 3 sand moulds by Gowi. These are toys which I played with at work with special needs children. ~Age These sand toys are suitable for children of 18 months and older. Sand play is suitable for children of 1 year old and over. Just watch your tiny tot that they do not eat the sand. ~Description These look very much like some individual jelly moulds which I have at home!! They are like a small spiral bowl like a Bundt Pan, a flan dish mould with a hollow tube in the centre. ~Size Diameter about 12c. ~Material Made from 10 percent plastic, thick, strong, durable ~Price and availability I could not find these sand moulds in many places on the internet. I noted are selling them for £4.99 also has them for £4.99 These sand moulds usually come as a set of 3 but occasionally I have seen one pop up in a set of other shaped sand moulds. ~Colours. Red, blue, yellow ~Use In the sand tray/pit with sand, oats, pasta, flour, gravel any sensory play material. These sand moulds filled with wet sand make a cute little castle. I have seen children use them as a castle topper on top of basic bucket sand castles, that was a good well thought out design Tom very creative. These little sand moulds are good for filling activities, can be used for sorting activities. Can be used in a language activity using the words full, empty. But mostly for ...

Tesco Everyday Value Sponge Pan Cleaners 27/08/2016

Everyday value sponge pan cleaners not for non stick pans.

Tesco Everyday Value Sponge Pan Cleaners Tesco Everyday Value Sponge Pan Cleaners 8 Pack £0.40 I have a variety of cleaning cloth's sponges and scourers that I use. These everyday value sponges are ones I buy and occasionally use. I used to buy them when they were just called value, and then Tesco renamed its value range to Everyday value. #Packaging Just packaged al together in a cheap see through plastic. #Description These sponge cleaners are a thick sponge with one scouring edge. They look a bit like a trifle sponge with a green sugary edge. :-) #Size About 5. cm x 8. cm x 3cm including the scouring strip of about 1/2 a cm #Shape These are basic rectangular shape no grip or shaped sides. #colour They are made of a green scratchy abrasive scouring side and a soft foam yellow sponge side. #Use These scouring pads do not have a non scratch scouring edge so will scratch non stick pans and make them stick pans. They are good when cleaning my camping pans which are not non stick. Also my BBQ grill. I have used this green scratchy edge on other non stick items. If BBQ needs a good clean I will use a wire/steel wool as these are more abrasive. The sponge side is suitable for mopping up spills, and for another general cleaning. ~Alternate use. Working in a special needs school; I have used these in a feely sensory bag. I have also used this in the water play tray/bowl. I have used these for art children painting pictures with the sponge and the scouring side. I have given children chopped up pieces to ...

Gowi Toys 559-20 Sand and Snow Shovel 25/08/2016

Its not a spade its a shovel from Gowi

Gowi Toys 559-20 Sand and Snow Shovel The toy that I am reviewing today is the Gowi sand/snow shovel. Working in a school till recently (just retired) I have had much experience of toys. This Gowi sand/snow shovel is one I would truly recommend it is well designed durable and well used by the children in the outdoor sand pit and on a couple of occasions used to clear some snow. ~Difference between a shovel and a spade. Often a shovel gets called a spade but its not there is a difference. A spade is designed for digging it has a narrower blade than a shovel. A spade can be used to shovel Soil, leaves etc but it is not as effective as a shovel. A shovel with its wider blade and raised edges is more suitable for scooping. ~Age On line this is described as being suitable for children of 12 months + although safe (I think that was the criteria used here) I think a 1 year old would struggle to use it. One of the smaller sand scoops more suitable for a 1 year old. I personally think more suitable for a 2 year old and over's sand play. ~Size This is quite long at about 65-70cm long and the shovel part about 25-30cm wide. ~Material 100 percent Plastic. A strong thick durable plastic ~Design & colour This shovel is made from 2 pieces which are firmly fitted together. The long orange shaft .The shaft has a moulded D shape handle. The handle has some finger grip ridges. The orange shaft is fitted into the blue shovel blade. The blade is wider than a spade blade and is slightly rounded. The blade (not a sharp ...

Spontex Supreme All Purpose Cloths 24/08/2016

Supreme Spontex cloths for washing my dishes.

Spontex Supreme All Purpose Cloths Spontex supreme all purpose cloths I usually buy supermarkets own all purpose j type cloth not sure why I bought these Spontex supreme all purpose cloths. People often call this type of cloth a J cloth regardless of who makes it, a bit like people say Hover for vacuum cleaner. The proper j cloth is from Johnson & Johnson they have been making this type of cloth since the 60's These Spontex cloths come in a clear plastic wrap bag containing 6 .I just looked on line can not find pack's with more or less Spontex supreme cloths in. ~Price At Tesco these Spontex cloths cost me £2.00 that's 30p each. I usually buy a 25 pack of Tesco All Purpose Cloths for £2.50 that's 10p for each cloth. Morrison's All Purpose Cloths are £1.28 for a10 that's 12.5p each. ~Composition Viscose, open textured cloth. ~Size The Spontex supreme cloths are 30 x 50 cm that's a bit smaller than the Morrison's ones 30 x 60cm ~ Colour, design Like nearly all other multi purpose j cloth type these cloths are a pale blue and white. The difference is in the pattern most other cloths come in a check type pattern. These Spontex ones have swirls, Spiralling blue and white circles about 4cm wide. ~Use These Spontex clothes like other multi purpose cloths can be used for many cleaning tasks dusting, washing up, and cleaning surfaces, in the kitchen, in the bathroom or in the garage. They are an absorbent ands I have used them for mopping up spills cleaning surfaces, washing up, wiping down and dusting, ...

Gowi Toys 559-25 Hand Scoops 23/08/2016

Scoop it up with Gowi scoop

Gowi Toys 559-25 Hand Scoops Today I shall be reviewing the Gowi hand scoops. No these are not a dog pooper scooper but a child's toy a tool for scooping in the sand and other sensory items. I have supervised many children playing with these scoops at work (special needs school). ~Packaging These two tools came in a disposable net bag. ~Age These are suitable for a child aged 1 and over. ~Material These scoops are made of plastic, a very strong plastic. They do not bend not brittle so do not brake. ~Colour These scoops are brightly coloured can be yellow, green or blue. These scoops are usually sold in a set of 2 I think colours may be random when ordered. ~Size These tools are not very big about 15 cm long by 10cm wide (my measurements may be a couple of cm out) ~Design There are 2 scoops one is a fork design one a shovel. Each tool is a single piece of moulded plastic. These have both a slightly curved shape. All the sides are rounded no pointy sharp or scratchy edges. Each one has two holes at the top for gripping and holding the tool. One of these holes, the one at the top is a bit larger than the other. The fork design has 3 short stubby thick tines/prongs, at the other end to the hand holes. The scoop has just a rounded end opposite the hand holes. This curved scoop end has 3 ridges going down it. The scoop end a bit thinner than to hand whole end but not much. ~Use My experience of these scoops is with special needs children at a school. I think they would be suitable for a baby ...

Gowi Toys 559-31 Watering Can 22/08/2016

Gowi watering can holds 0.5 litre of water

Gowi Toys 559-31 Watering Can Yes I shall be reviewing more water and sand toys from Gowi.. The school where I worked for 30 years had lots of them. This review will be about the Gowi 0.5 Litre Watering Can. Yes I know 0.5 L s not much water maybe a mug full. It's just as well as this means there was less mopping up for me. >Age. These little watering cans are suitable for a child of 1 year old or more. I think that a child of 5 would find it too small unless purely using it in the water tray. >Size Capacity 0.5litre, Height: 170mm, Width: 250mm, Depth: 120mm >Material. This toy is made of strong durable plastic. >Colour Bright. There are 2 different coloured watering cans. One with a red, handle at the top and a red rose. Yellow lid, Blue body with a snail design on it and a blue handle on the side. The other one has a yellow handle at the top and a yellow rose. A red lid and green body with a flower design on it. A green handle at the side of the body we had both at work. ~Use. We had lots of fun with these at school. They were used in the water tray in the classroom and in the summer outside too. We also had these watering cans for fun playing in the swimming pool I have been watered many a time by children with these. We also used these not just for playing with but also to water the seeds we were growing. I think one of these would be ideal for your child if you are a gardener as your child will be able to water the plants for you. Children's imaginations will be ignited by this watering ...

Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery, Bristol 22/08/2016

Bristol's Edwardian Baroque art gallery and museum.

Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery, Bristol Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery. I had never been to Bristol before but recently I spent a few days there. One of the places that I visited was the Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery. ~Opening times: Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm Sat, Sun & Bank Holiday Mondays: 10am-6pm ~ Location This museum is about 0.8 km from the city centre on Queens's road just off Park Street. I walked there from my hotel. I believe there are a couple of car parks within 5-10 minutes walk away. Its about half an hour walk from the train station at least.To find out where the museum and other places of interest in Bristol are I used this map ~ Building This building is a grand building it is an Edwardian Baroque architecture grade II English Heritage listed building. A magnificent building. There are 2 ways into the museum the obvious one up the step-s at the front of the building. Then there is another entry at the side which has no steps it has automatic doors and a platform lift into the museum so entry fine for disabled or pushchairs, Entry to the museum is free. Donation box is on the ground floor. The front hall Winterstone and the rear hall Wills hall are the area where there are cafes. These with the vaulted ceilings, chandeliers, balconies of each floor visible and grand staircases make a perfect situation for a wedding reception and for the many events that the museum ...

Cushelle Toilet Tissue 21/08/2016

Soft to wipe my bot.

Cushelle Toilet Tissue I recently bought a pack of 16 White rolls of Cushelle toilet paper. ~Packaging According to the packet this is a new look pack. I expect the toilet rolls themselves are the same. The packaging is a white plastic with light purple labelling. On the packaging it has a picture of that ohh so cute and soft looking Koala bear' the labelling says these toilet rolls are made with micro air pockets. ~Size. The width of these rolls is fairly standard at 10 cm. The length of a sheet of this toilet roll is about 12cm long. There are 180 sheets of paper on this roll, not that I am going to count them. The size of a single sheet is Sheet size 120 x 104.5 mm ~Opening and fitting. I was the person who used the last sheet of toilet paper in our down stairs loo, so I have just replaced it with one of these cushelle rolls. (Wish everyone would do this.) The packaging was easy to open, I just ripped it open I took out one of the toilet rolls it felt soft in my hands. Recycle the plastic with carrier bags . Or I shall use the plastic bag for lining the bin by the side of my toilet. I fitted it easily onto my toilet roll holder. The first sheet is sort of fixed down to the others to prevent the rolls from unravelling; Unlike some other toilet rolls I have used it did not rip and destroy any other sheets. it's easy to peel the first sheet away. there are perforations to make tearing individual sheets of the roll easy. ~Colour I have never seen and can not find advertising for ...

Calendular flowers 19/08/2016

Calendula flowering in my garden

Calendular  flowers The plant/flower which I am talking about today are the Calendula officinalis, sometimes known as pot marigold. Do not confuse with their French or African Marigolds, Tagetes. Both are in the Asteraceae family Do not confuse with their French or African Marigolds, Tagetees. Both are in the Asteraceae family. My garden has several Calendula plants bearing pretty yellow and orange flowers. The calendula flowers in my garden are the ones with single row of petals there are plants varieties with double rows of petals. So lets start at the beginning (Which came first? the chicken or the egg!) I shall start with the seed. My plants all come from self set seed. The flower forms many seeds. The seeds are quite large 1/2 -1cm. They have a curved shape, almost comma- or apostrophe-like shape to them. Calendular seeds are easy to buy from garden centres on and off line. Prices vary from £1.50- £2.50 this will depend on the seeds merchant. When my Calendula flowers I let some self set and some I save by storing the dry seed heads in a paper envelope. :: Time to sow. These can be sown March to May for flowering in May to July. Or sown August to September for flowering in May to July. My self sets flower May to July. The ones I save I shall sow March April time. .The seeds need to be about 6 mm / 1/4 inch deep The seeds only take a couple of weeks to germinate. Calendulas are an annual. :: Plants. Calendula plants can be bought at the garden centre if you have not grown your ...

Cookingtime Stainless Steel Extending Toasting Fork 18/08/2016

No burnt fingers with Cookingtime extended toasting fork.

Cookingtime Stainless Steel Extending Toasting Fork Cooking time Stainless Steel Extending Toasting Fork. A couple of years ago we had an open fire opened up again in our sitting room and bought some accessories, one was this Cooking time Stainless Steel Extending Toasting Fork. Buying this toasting fork I had fond memories of toasting crumpets at my parents open fire (only form of heating in the cottage back in the late 50's and 60's). Also of toasting items around the campfire. Burning my fingers while toasting bread. Yes I was a bit of a pyromaniac. In those days I used a brass toasting fork or a long stick with the bark removed at the toasting end. So with a new open fire I just had to have a toasting fork. :: Design 3 pointed prongs on a single 24 cm long shaft. Slides into a double shafted 25 cm shafts which is bent into a loop at the top. Simple design not fussy no wooden handle or embellishments. :: Size One or the reasons why I bought this Cooking time Stainless Steel Extending Toasting Fork was because of its length. It is 41 cm before it's extended to 64 cm. This length keeps my fingers a good distance from the flames. . Width across the prongs 6 cm. prongs 10 cm long. :: Made of This Cooking time Extending Toasting Fork is made of Stainless steel. :: Use I have toasted crumpets on this toasting fork and bread. I found that the prongs a good space apart and a good length for them they toasted well. I have toasted marshmallows each one on an individual prong.Not so successful the prongs are a bit ...

Gowi Toys 558-25 Clear Waterpump 16/08/2016

Water pump for water play

Gowi Toys 558-25 Clear Waterpump Gowi Water pump Working at a special needs school I have had a lot of experience with sand and water toys. This clear water pump from Gowi is one of the toys that I have used. Gowi is an Australian brand ~Age This toy is suitable for children over 3 years old. ~Material This is made of a thick plastic. ~Colour Clear with yellow handle. ~Size Height: 300mm, Width: 140mm, Depth: 60mm. ~Design A tall plastic cylinder wider top with spout. A yellow handle and inner pump. ~Use/play This toy can be used in the water tray, paddling pool or just a bowl of water. Your child might think they are playing in the water but in fact they are doing a science lesson. This water pump should be helping them learn about Water Flow. As well as the actual learning of water flow they are practicing those motor skills. Learning how to grasp and hold. Learning eye hand coordination, spatial awareness. My special needs pupils usually need extra practice to perfect these skills. So let's fill the water pump up . Put the base of the pump in the water and use the yellow pump lever to pump the water into the shaft , gosh its hard work the valve mechanism at the bottom is not very good lets out a lot of water as its pumped into the pump. It's easier to get a jug of water and fill the pump from the top. Remember to push the yellow lever down so the valve /hole is covered at the base otherwise water will run straight out of it. A good thing is this pump is transparent so you can see the water ...

Gowi Toys 559-03 Hand Rake 15/08/2016

3 year old rakes that sand with a Gowi hand rake.

Gowi Toys 559-03 Hand Rake Gowi Toys 559-03 Hand Rake We seem to have many Gowi sand and water toys at school. I expect they were probably all bought at the same time. Gowi toys Gowi toys are a Big Jig's brand. They are designed in Australia, not sure where they are produced. Gowi has been making toys since 1958. > The Hand rake. :: Ages suitability This hand rake is suitable for a child aged 1 year and over. I think a 1 year old will be a bit young to use this effectively. I do think it will be safe enough for a 1 year old, but it really is a bit big. A child should be able to use this up to the age of about 6 or 7 yrs old. :: Materials This rake is made of a strong thick plastic it is very durable. :: Colour Each hand rake is made of two colours, the prongs and the main part of the shaft one colour and a grip area on the shaft a different colour. I have seen the Red and yellow one and a Green and yellow one. Children seen to like the brighter red and yellow one best. :: Size 18.8 long x 10.4 wide x 3 cm deep. A child's hand will be able to grip the shaft to use this toy. The shaft long enough for a child aged up to 6 or 7 yrs old. :: Design A shaft with a small hole at the top so the rake can be hung. The shaft has an area for gripping, a different colour to the rest of the rake. :: Tines/prongs These 5 Tines are moulded out of the same plastic as the rake head and shaft. They are quite thick but separated from each other. They are not very long. I do not think there's any risk ...

Salvia Nemorosa 15/08/2016

Salvia Nemorosa Cardonna to give my plant its proper name

Salvia Nemorosa I have some Salvia nemorosa Caradonna plants by my front door that I shall be reviewing today. This plant sometimes called Balkan clary 'Caradonna' This plant is a native of Europe. >Salvia nemorosa relatives and varieties. Salvia nemorosa Carrdonna is in the Lamiaceae a Sage a relative of the Common sage which we use in our sage and onion stuffing to stuff the Christmas turkey. Also the White dead nettle (you know the one where I remember plucking the little white flowers ] and sucking the sweet honey nectar from the narrow end) I have searched the internet fairly thoroughly and can not find out if the Salvia nemorosa Caradonna is edible so will not use the leaves for stuffing or any other cooking unless I find out differently. The Salvia nemorosa has several varieties the variety that I shall be talking about today is the Salvia nemorosa Caradonna. The other Salvia nemorosa varieties include Amethyst', Blauhügel, Lubecca, Mainach, 'Ostfriesland, Porzellan, 'Tänzerin The difference between these species is mainly the flower colour. The colour of these varieties range from white to violet, violet-blue, and pinks, > Salvia nemorosa Caradonna Description. The leaves a grey green are about 3cm long 1.5 cm wide. The leaf has a small toothed edge The leaves grow in a mound under the flower spikes with a spread of about 45-60 cm / 18-23 inches. A few leaves grow up the base of the flower spikes before the flower whorls. The flowers are a rich violet-blue. The stems upright ...

Gowi Toys 559-43 Sand and Water Mill 12/08/2016

Turn this mill with water and sand ?

Gowi Toys 559-43 Sand and Water Mill Gowi Toys Sand and Water Mill At work we have several different sand and water mill's including this Gowi sand and water mill. ~Suitable for children over 18months old. ~Material This is made of a thick durable plastic. With moving parts ~Size This water sand mill is Height: 430mm, high, and 220mm wide. ~Colour. Stand is red, and has yellow, green or blue attachments. ~What is it? A red stand with a large yellow funnel at the top. A green and yellow cog which will spin, then a blue slide tipper. Under the blue slide 2 yellow and green cogs which spin. ~ Use Pour either dry sand or water into the funnel and watch as it will turn the cog and tilt the tipper, then turn the next cogs before falling on to the surface below the toy. ~My experiences We use ours in the sand or water tray children will pour sand or water into the funnel , The sand has to be dry does not work with wet sand.. Dry sand will make the slide tip and pours the sand onto the cogs which do turn then the sand falls back into the sand tray. Water really goes through the funnel without enough force and does not tip or turn the gogs but shoots straight past it. I have used better water/sand mills However the children do play with this toy, not for long but they do play with it. ~Educational Children love sand and water play a few added toys do add educational benefit. This toy promotes the use of children's motor skills, their hand eye coordination and eye tracking, (watching the sand fall ...
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