19 December 2020

24 great Christmas books for kids I recommend

Looking for things to read with the kids this Christmas? Here are some of my favourite Christmas books for kids. I love kids books - they are great little gifts, they are fantastic learning tools and they are fun, and in the best books, the stories and illustrations are a delight to adults too. I love children's Christmas books, they always get me in a Christmas mood and I love reading them to my kids over December. So if you are looking for some Christmas book ideas for kids - here is some inspiration for a book advent calendar, or a Christmas gift, or just a special Christmas-time bedtime story. 

I've started with picture books and books for slightly older kids, and at the bottom included my favourite baby and toddler Christmas books. I've added links to the book recommendations as well. These are affiliate links, which means if you buy through these links I get a few pennies at no extra cost to you. 

If you need a fast delivery... I've got Amazon Prime, and you can get a free 30-day trial through this link if you live in UK and this link if you live in US! I've had it two years now and love it for quick free deliveries, and the added benefit of streaming films, TV shows and music. 

kids christmas books on wrapping paper

1. How Winston delivered Christmas: A Christmas Story in Twenty-Four-and-a-Half Chapters. (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

This is a really sweet story of a mouse who finds a letter to Santa and sets out to deliver it. The book is meant to be read one chapter at a time, and there is on chapter until Christmas. Every chapter includes a Christmassy craft/bake/task, so gives you ideas for Christmas activities too. Cute illustrations. 

I'd recommend this to kids aged 5-9, especially craft-loving kids. Great book to include as the 1st book in a book advent due to the format. 

2. Peter Rabbit: Christmas is Coming: A Christmas Countdown Book (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

The stories are inspired by Beatrix Potter's original stories. Similar format as the Winston book - so 24 short stories to be read each day, and an activity to do, so perfect to have from the beginning of December. Adorable stories and illustrations, and the activities are simple to do with kids, so shouldn't take long to set up. 

3. Aliens love Panta Claus (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

This is such a funny book - it is about panty-obsessed aliens who foil Santa's delivery of gifts and insist on giving pants as gifts and decorating everything with kids. It is surreal and silly, definitely kiddy-type of humour. I think it appeals well to kids potty-training and upwards, up to the age of 7. 

4. The Dinosaur that Pooped Christmas (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

Again, this is a type of book that appeal to kids because they are just so silly. And talk about poop which is even sillier. 

5. Mog's Christmas (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

Mog is such a Christmas classic - the illustrations are beautiful and it has that old-fashioned feel many of us parents remember from our own childhoods. The book I have is the 2015 charity version made for Sainsburys, and difficult to find now, but you can buy the original Mog's Christmas (to which I've provided links to) in any major bookstore and it is just as charming a story. My kids love it, and it does have a great appeal to young kids who love animals. I'd recommend this for kids 2-6 years of age. 

6. Pick a Pine Tree (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

I like that this isn't about Santa or elves, but about picking a Christmas tree and decorating it. Perfect book to introduce before you are going to get a tree! Illustrations are gorgeous and very detailed. There is also a beautiful glittering pop-up of a decorated Christmas tree on the last page. It is American English so may grate some British readers - although I doubt kids would notice. The rhyming for the most part is snappy and well done, but a couple of rhymes are a bit odd - like bow with robes. Overall I would recommend this for ages 3-8. 

7. Santa's Sleigh is on its way to my house (Hometown / Eric James )

It is a cute story and illustrations. We have the London-specific book and Santa flies across London and all the major landmarks are shown - really nice when you love here. The story includes the Santa delivering the presents and then hiding in the house as the kid wakes up at night and goes downstairs - it is quite funny! You can get this book as a generic copy or specifying some cities - surprisingly many actually! Up to 120, in US, Canada, and UK. Well worth a short Google session or check the links I provided. 

8. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

Such a classic. What more can I say? I love the illustrations and the story is such a great narrative about finding your Christmas spirit. 

children's christmas books

christmas books for kids

9. The Crayon's Christmas (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

Oliver Jeffers' books are just delightful. If you have read his previous Crayon books, this one continues the same stories, which is a nice touch. This books stands alone, but if you are a fan of his work, this is a nice little connection between books. There are lots of activities, pop-up Christmas tree and it is a very fun and exciting book. 

10. Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

Supersweet story about one of the reindeers. We all know about Rudolph, but how about the others? This is about Dasher and how he came to be with Santa. 

11. The Empty Stocking (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

Richard Curtis's story, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb - love both. The story is about twins, one is naughty and the other nice, and what happens when Santa leaves one an empty stocking... Great story, and perfect for siblings!

12. Last Stop on the Reindeer Express (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

The illustrations are stunning and the story magical with pages with doors that open - and the story would be helpful for any child that doesn't get to spend the Christmas together with loved ones. 

13. The Polar Express (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

Another classic story, of a boy whisked to Christmas magic on Christmas Eve. It has also been made into an animated film. 

14. One Snowy Night (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

I really like this book and my kids love it too. It is about a hedgehog who gets a Christmas gift, but it doesn't quite fit him so he tries to give it to his friends - a lovely story about friendship and kindness. Kids also love to feel the felted hat on each page. 

15. The Jolly Christmas Postman (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

Fantastic and a classic activity book, with folder letters and games. You would probably have to supervise your kids with this so they don't lose the letters, as those are the ones that really make this. Adorable illustrations. 

16. One Christmas Wish (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

I love anything by Katherine Rundell, one of my favourite children's authors. This book has somewhat Nutcracker vibes, and gorgeous illustrations. More of a bigger book to read, so would work well for young readers starting with chapter books. 

17. Little Robin Red Vest (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

Adorable illustrations, of a robin that gives his vests away. A great story about kindness and gift giving. 

18. The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

Another classic classic book of Christmas. There are so many versions of this book, I prefer the slightly old-fashioned illustrations as I think they add to the character of the book. Perfect one to read on Christmas Eve, as it is about Santa arriving to your house... 

kids books for christmas

Babies and toddlers

19. Spot's First Christmas (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

I find for toddlers and babies, they get really into some characters and love them more than others. Spot seems to be one of the ones that all kids love - it is a cute little puppy dog. This is a short flap book that toddlers will love. 

20. That's Not My Reindeer (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

Who doesn't love these touchy feely books That's Not My... by Usborne for the little ones! We have the reindeer one but I know there are ones with a Santa, a snowman and a penguin too if you would prefer one of those. The final page reveals 'your' reindeer, after many others with touchy-feely fuzzy coats or shiny noses and so on. 

21. Peppa' Christmas Jumper Day (Amazon UK)

I am not sure if Christmas Jumper Day is a specifically English tradition - but this book is a great introduction to the idea for little ones, and how your jumper can be home-crafted as well. Peppa's old jumper fits George, but since she hasn't got one and they don't have time to go to the shop, Daddy Pig fashions Peppa a Christmas jumper himself. 

22. Peppa's Christmas (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

Cute story and great for little Peppa Pig fans! Peppa and George spot Santa on Christmas Night - great one to read on Christmas Eve to get kids excited!

23. Dear Santa (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

A traditional flap book from the creator of Dear Zoo - it is exactly the same format but with Santa! My toddler loves this one, just as much as she loves Dear Zoo. 

24. Peep Inside a Fairy Tale: The Nutcracker (Amazon UK / Amazon US)

I love Usborne books - they are always really well made with plenty of areas of interest for kids. This is a board book and includes plenty of peep holes showing the next page scenes, there is also one flap. The Nutcraker is such a great Christmas classic as well and great to see at ballet with kids. As it's a board book great for babies and toddlers, but the story and illustrations are suitable for pre-schoolers too. 

So plenty of books to choose from - I hope these gave you some ideas! Most of the links are for Amazon so if you need a fast delivery, Amazon Prime is great.  You can get a free 30-day trial through this link if you live in UK and this link if you live in US! 

I'd love to hear if you have any Christmas book recommendations for kids too! What is your favourite one?

You might also like: How to do a Christmas book advent calendar

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23 November 2020

Why the mountains are so special for our family...

Mountains hold a special significance to our family in many ways. In fact, without mountains our family would not exist, so let me tell you a little story... 

There once was a girl who dreamed of a gap year by the sea on a surf board. Alas, she didn't manage to gather a travel fund until November, thus decided snowboarding would work just as well. So she went, enjoyed the snow and the mountains, and kissed many frogs along the way, before returning home. 

There once was a boy who found his dream job working in a music shop, but then found an even dreamier job of playing in a band in a ski town. So he went, enjoyed the snow and the beer and the music and the mountains. 

la rosiere

me at slopes

husband at slopes

And the girl felt the itch to go back to the mountains once more, met up with many old friends and made some new friends and went up the slopes again with them all. It was freezing cold, and snowing, so when a boy with a funny hat next to her in the ski lift tried to engage her in conversation, she burrowed her nose deeper inside her jacket and said... not much. "Rude", he thought, and started chatting up a much more agreeable Scottish girl sitting on the other side. 

As it happens, beer and music are a winning combination so all the friends alike found their way to the apres ski, and sat down to eat some chips. It was cozy and warm, and the boy and the girl got chatting, and chatting and chatting, and chatted some more the next day, and went up the slopes together then next day, until... they shared a kiss!

And skip a few more years, a wedding, couple of holidays in the mountains and a couple of babies, and here we are!

ski in snow

sipping coffee at slope cafe

reading a ski slope map

me and david at la rosiere

Mountains hold a special significance for us as a family - without them we would never have met and had a family together! I loved my ski seasons, and a summer season in Chamonix, France. I snowboarded, and learning to ride in deep powder snow was fun and took many many nose dives. I bought myself an off-piste guidebook and set out to explore some places with friends. I snowboarded down the Vallee Blance all the major routes at least once, and a fair few other off-piste areas. 

In the summer I learned to rock climb, and enjoyed long hikes and the stunning scenery. I had always dreamt of a dip in one of those incredibly clear and blue mountain pools, but every time I hiked to one of them, the reality and the cold hit me, alas I never did. But I did see many spectacular sights and marmots and chamoises, and touched the glacier tongues and I did dip my feet at least in those ice cold mountain pools.   

You get used to having stunning scenery everytime you look outside of your window - I used to see Mount Blanc from my bedroom. When I finally left, the strangeness of everything being so flat and being able to see miles out was surprising. I missed it dearly, but life moves on, and there are new places to explore... Yet still, I still often long to go back to the mountains. It is a great life, outdoorsy and fun. 

After those ski seasons in Chamonix, we went to La Rosiere on our late honeymoon (where the pictures in this post are from!), and have been to Levi, in Finland as a family of three.  There are so many great things kids can do when at the mountains. In winter it is skiing, walks in the snowy forest, making snow angels and snowmen, enjoying warm drinks outdoors, and tobogganing. In the summer it is little hikes in stunning scenery, biking, climbing, picnics in the valley, and enjoying the nature trails. There are so many special things children can do - it is not a holiday destination for just adults. 

Since having our youngest one, we haven't been to the mountains with her yet, so hopefully we soon get to introduce her to mountains as well, and that they too become very special for her. 

You might also like: How to have a fun family holiday in Levi, Finland

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26 October 2020

Need a full and honest review of Butlin's Bognor Regis?

It has been a while since we were to Butlin's. Last time we visited was in 2017, and we went to Butlin's Minehead for a press visit. I wanted to share a quick review of Butlin's Bognor Regis in 2020, and some helpful tips for anyone visiting the resort. If you are looking for information specifically about the coronavirus safety measures at Butlin's and how to book shows and entertainment check my post about Butlin's new measures in 2020 - this post right here is however Bognor Regis resort specifically. 

butlins bognor regis skyline

Overall impression

It was nice! Clean and well maintained, with lots of activities. A real kids dream place with plenty of easy to access entertainment, and an amazing waterpark (of which more in the next section). There were crafts, fairground rides, shows, swimming and different sports activities and an animal experience.  Unlike Minehead the arcade game area and the penny pusher area were small and tucked away, which is my preference anyway. The kids loved Bognor Regis, us adults thought it was quite hectic as it always is with kids. Our accommodation was OK, although there were a couple of issues. 

Splash Waterpark

This was the real highlight of our trip. Splash Waterpark has been recently remodelled and it was looking really spick and span. There were all kinds of slides and pools suitable for a variety of ages. A deeper pool for swimming, bubbly ones, wave pool and two splash pools with a variety of very small slides and water play areas suitable for the littlest ones. It was really fantastic for little ones, and for the bigger kids there were cool slides too and of course the wave pool. The wave pool was operational when we went, although the website currently states the wave machine is off. The Helter Skelter slide was closed.  

We had two sessions in the pools. Because of a reduced capacity for the most part the queuing was very quick and we managed to try all the slides. We went for the morning sessions which are likely to be most popular with families, so I found the splash pools were busy but the most slides had hardly any in them. You could pretty much just walk to some of them which was great and we ended up doing so many slides. The longest queues were in the Seaside Garden Rapids and Family Raft Ride, so I'd recommend doing them as the first thing before queue builds up. Seaside Garden Rapids was a very slow ride, but my daughter enjoyed it a lot and the Family Raft Ride was a ring slide, fun but a bit scary when your back was facing down the slide. 

The family changing rooms were great and finally big enough for a whole family! The session was organised quite well, and only some rows of the changing rooms were open to use. When the next session was due to come, they are directed to the closed off sections, and the previously used changing rooms are deep-cleaned. It was very clean when we went. The only issue was at the lockers area where people congregated as there was so few available - for the lockers bring a pound by the way!  

Despite the reduced capacity, at times it was difficult to comply with social distancing, especially at the toddler splash pools. These were very popular and kids of course run all over the place. Other than that it was great. 

bognor regis cut out

family on a merry go around

girl on a merry go around

flying on a fairground ride


We stayed in New Style Silver apartments. These are mid-range in Butlin's accommodation range, so not the most basic but not the fanciest either. It was a two bed apartment, so a room for parents, a room for the kids, and a living room with a small kitchen. My kids loved it, thought it was the most luxurious place ever ha ha, us parents less so, but it was nice to have the extra room. 

If you are self-catering, you will be pleased to know the kitchen was perfectly adequate, with a toaster, an oven fridge-freezer, utensils, cups, glasses, plates, chopping board, knives, pots and pans and an oven pan. You also got a small dishwasher soap, sponge, a reusable wipe, and a small tea towel. What I would say though, is that bring an oven glove, cling film, some additional tea towels, kitchen spray, and also a pan and an oven pan. Our oven pan was fine, but the frying pan was very worn down. 

There were a couple of issues with the accommodation though. Minor issues were the safety lock at the door was yanked so nearly fell off the frame, and the fridge which had a broken section so milk bottles kept on falling out. Major issues were that the sink was nearly blocked when we arrived, and eventually did block. Second major issue was the very serious mold issue in the bathroom shower enclosure silicone. Never have I ever seen such aggressive growth of mold - it spored within an hour of wiping it off.

To Butlin's credit, when I raised the issues with housekeeping they were dealt with very quickly. They did offer to replace the fridge, but since we were leaving soon we said it's OK. The other things were fixed and/or cleaned, although I have to say the mold grew back soon, the sink became poorly draining soon again and the safety lock was again yanked nearly off by my toddler.  

So I'd say good on effort, execution hampered by having to do quick fixes, and the accommodation was passable for the short amount of time we spent there. 


We were mostly self-catering, so had breakfast, lunch and some dinners at the apartment. There are big supermarkets in town and a 5 minute drive away, so best thing is probably to come in to the resort, get your bags unpacked and then go do a big shop if you are self-catering. There is a small shop at the resort, which is very convenient but a bit more expensive, and personally, I didn't think the ready-made lunch options were appealing at all. We did get little snacks and drinks from the resort shop though. 

In the resort there are Burger King, Beachcomber Inn (pub grub), fish and chips, Papa Johns for pizza and The Diner for American type meals. You could also get Costa coffee in the Skyline Pavillion and of course drinks from the bars. We did take advantage of the 2 cocktails for £10 deal a fair bit - they weren't that amazing if I'm honest, so eventually we moved to draft beers and cider bottles. We had breakfast at Beachcomber Inn, which was nice, a very typical English breakfast, and dinner at The Diner. The Diner milkshakes and freakshakes were amazing. The food was OK - my husband wasn't keen on it but I thought it was pretty typical of these types of restaurants. 

There is of course the premium dining and food court dining too, but we didn't use them this time.  

I've seen recommendations for some restaurants outside the resort in and around Bognor Regis. Some places that have been recommended are Oystercatcher, Lobsterpot, Clock House cafe, Syrup cafeBrewers Fayre and The Hatters Inn (Whetherspoons). We did plan to go to Lobsterpot originally as the menu looked nice, but kids eh... Easier to stay on resort. 

green teletubby with family

kids crafting at butlins

toddler crafting

girl holding a snake

snake slithering on the floor butlins

snake at butlins

skyline gang show

Shows and entertainment

The shows and other entertainment options of course change regularly. When we went there we saw the Little Mermaid panto, Paddington, Paul Zerdin ventriloquist, Blues Brothers, and of course Skyline Gang, twice. The kids liked everything of course. 

My opinion is that the Little Mermaid was great - lots of effort in the costumes, great drag performance, actually funny acting, and Skyline Gang are of course one to see always - energetic and fun, although I have no idea what their shows were as I was concentrating on my coffee I for once got to drink hot! Paddington seemed nice for the younger kids. I'd skip Blues Brothers though - it was a bit of a tired performance of two blokes in black suites... The back up singers were great talent though, shame they were just back up.  

The fairground was great, although due to cleaning the queues could build up a fair bit. The queues were very long especially at the indoor fairground where there were lots of little ones but very few seats available. Outdoors fairground also has a late nigh on Thursdays and Sundays, which was fun with light and smoke effects!

There were workshops like craft workshops and different sports, like climbing. I found that the sports (except toddler football) were very quickly fully booked and I would have hoped more session would be run, particularly as the attendance numbers per session are so limited. We went to a free craft session for 5 to 8 year olds, which was fun and suitable for any age really. Our seven year old joined with the crafting and our toddler free-styled with the material.   

One highlight of the trip was the Animal experience. This was not the Animal FX show, which is animal puppets I believe, but actual real animals. As far as I'm aware the animal experience is available at Bognor Regis only. There were snakes, creepy crawlies, hedgehogs and so on. We got to pet and hold a python and it even slithered on my feet while I was standing around, which was great fun, and we got to see several other small animals. Definitely worth keeping an eye out for. 

toddler at bognor regis beach

bognor regis beach

family at bognor regis beach

Top tips

So my tips for people coming to Butlin's Bognor Regis would be:
  • For details on booking experiences and the new safety measures check this post
  • If self-catering, bring an oven glove, cling film, some additional tea towels, kitchen spray, and also a pan and an oven pan.
  • If self-catering get a big shop in from a local supermarket
  • If you can't get tickets to shows, any of the shows in Skyline Pavilion you can see from the sides fairly easily. Skyline Gang was one of the shows there!
  • Splash Waterpark is great, but do the Family Raft and the Garden Rapids first as they gather the longest queues
  • Animal experience was wonderful, definitely worth keeping an eye out for as there are very limited sessions
  • There is a lovely beach right in front so worth having a little walk - you can even find London clay fossils if you are lucky! (I found one small one, which I then accidentally broke ha ha)
  • If you have issues in your accommodation texting the number at the back of your key card gets you in contact with the housekeeping team. I found waiting on the phone was really difficult with kids so this helped. 

I hope you have fun - overall we had a great experience. 

What tips would you give for coming to Bognor Regis Butlin's?

20 October 2020

How I found the Jump-In trampoline park!

Last week I took my daughter to Jump-In trampoline park in Enfield for a review visit and to check out their new coronavirus safety measures - I was given a gift card to cover the ticket cost. I have been to this trampoline park a couple of times before, but never did do any jumping myself - but this time I was determined I'd join in. I booked us a Toddler Time ticket, where your kid (5 years old or under) and you can jump to your hearts delight. Later in the week I also attended a trampoline fitness class. 

There are several of Jump-In trampoline parks across UK - Aberdeen, Camberley, Edinburgh, Elstree, Enfield, Ipswich, Shrewsbury, Slough and Warwick. They are huge halls filled with different type trampolines and obstacles, and a wide variety of other things, such as a soft play, climbing (Aberdeen and Enfield only) and soft mats and trapezes, foam pits and so on, although not all features may be available due to current hygiene measures. There is also a cafe with drinks and food served. 

We visited Enfield and here is what I thought about the trampoline park, and how the coronavirus safety measures worked. They will be similar across the locations, so even if you visit another location this review will help you. Overall we had a great time, and both me and my daughter loved our Jump-In experience, and I had fun on my fitness class too. 

jump in trampoline area

side trampolines

Booking tickets

This was incredibly easy. You have to book tickets before visiting, and then you sign all the waivers and watch an introduction and safety video online before arriving. This is really handy and makes the arrival a lot quicker and smoother - and allows you a bit more jumping time too! If you visit the venue often, your waiver is valid for six months so no need to sign it each time. 

After booking and paying for the tickets you get an email with the QR code, and show this to staff at the entrance, and they will give you jump socks and your allocated table for changing / sitting / cafe. 

New hygiene measures and coronavirus safety

You get new socks each time you jump. Previously you had to pay for the socks, and regular jumpers would usually bring their own socks. However, now due to hygiene you don't pay anything for the socks and they are included in the ticket price. 

There is regular cleaning, and I found the venue to be very tidy and clean. Bathrooms were very tidy and overall cleaning seemed top notch.

Mask wearing is encouraged when moving around the area, although you don't have to wear them while jumping. All the staff were wearing them, and clients mostly. There is also a one way system for the entering and exiting, and for the bathrooms, and the side doors were kept open for fresh air. 

There are allocated seats for changing. As I mentioned you get an allocated area for yourself for changing and sitting down. Mind you, our allocated "table" was just two chairs, so I'm not sure if this is different during weekends when there are more jumpers. This was perfectly adequate to change socks and leave jackets and things over, but if I had wanted to eat or snack it would have been tricky. 

Drinking fountains are closed off due to hygiene reasons so remember to bring a bottle, or get a drink from the cafe!

safety bubble trampoline park

enfield trampoline park cafe

reserved seating arrangement with two chairs

dodge ball area of trampoline park

toddler about to jump on a trampoline

toddler running to a trampoline

Eating and drinking

It was very handy to have a table service, and to be able to order food and drinks on my smartphone. I was surprised to see that there was hot food (pizza and hot dogs) and also a variety of snacks available. I bought us drinks and was pleased to see the order process went smoothly and the table service was very quick. 

What was the jumping like?

We had a great time! As I took my daughter on a weekday Toddler Time, we had unlimited jumping from 10AM to 1.30PM on the main court. Weekends Toddler Time is limited to the first one hour session of the day. We got to jump together for £9.95. This was a fantastic deal and one that I'd love to go for again. 

My 2.5 year old daughter, who is quite a physical child, loved jumping and got really into it, whooping and hollering away. I really enjoyed it too, and there were different trampolines to try, from normal trampolines to slightly curved and really long ones you could run on, and a balance bar. It was fairly quiet, especially early on, although got busier as the day progressed and older kids starting coming in too for the Open Jump - Open Jump is for any ages and is on the main court.

Jump-In Enfield has a big softplay for 5's and under as well, and a dedicated jump area for the little ones - you as an adult can't jump there though. It looked great, and I am sure we will try this too in the future. To get to the softplay you have to buy the Jump&Play ticket.  

Due to space limitations some slots may be fully booked so you have to pre-plan! I found especially Jump&Play (this is a soft play and dedicated jump area for 5 year olds and under) to be very popular during weekends and early sessions on weekdays. Open Jump sessions (for over 5 year olds, on the main court) were also very popular during weekend afternoons. 

I also attended the evening time fitness class and it was great fun. Very intensive bouncing for the first 20-25 minutes, after which we started to wind down a bit with other exercises and stretches. It was a very good work-out, and I definitely want to try this again. 

jump in trampoline park climbing area

The new thing at Enfield Jump-In - climbing!

I've promised to take my other daughter to Jump-In soon, and I am very keen to take her for the climbing session. A new feature in the Enfield Jump-In is the climbing wall. There were a variety of fun features, like a speed climbing wall, and pillars, alongside more regular climbing, and it looked like it would be awesome to do. You can book tickets for climbing only, or a combined jumping and climbing deal - we are sure to visit this wall soon!

So in summary - we had a great time. I felt the coronavirus measures worked really well, although some clients skipped mask wearing outside the jumping areas too. I'm keen to go back and try climbing next time, that should be fun! 

You might also like: One of the best kept secrets of North London - Forty Hall Estate! and London with kids: Best kept "secrets" locals recommend

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16 October 2020

Did my toddler like the Peppa Pig electronic learning toy range?

Who loves Peppa Pig? Well, my two year old certainly does - anything Peppa Pig is guaranteed to be a firm favourite of hers. Thus, she was very excited to be my blogging assistant and help me review two new toys (PR samples) from the Peppa Pig electronic learning toys range - Peppa Pig Count with Peppa and Peppa Pig Laugh & Learn Laptop. These are available at various retailers, such as Argos to which I've linked. 

And by the way - you can win the Count with Peppa on my Facebook page, so pop over there if you want to try your luck. But now, let's see what the toys were all about...

girl playing with peppa pig laptop
Add caption

two peppa pig toys in a box

girl playing with peppa pig laptop

Peppa Pig Laugh & Learn Laptop 

Peppa Pig Laptop is a brightly coloured and easy to use toy laptop. This toy retails at at £17.  It has a portable handle and a light-up screen, and so far, seems to withstand fairly robust use by a two year old. There are four different activities (these can be selected with a sliding sorter on the right hand side) that help kids learn about letters, numbers, objects, colours and musical instruments. 

In the quiz mode Peppa asks you to find something, such as a colour, or the character. So far she finds this tricky - I don't think she quite understands the concept yet. She much prefers the music mode, where she can press the buttons and make her own music with the piano notes, and listen to the six fun tunes and other funny sounds. 

My two year old enjoys playing with the laptop, and pretending to work just like mummy. In fact, she is very proud to show everyone her own laptop. 

close up of peppa pig laptop

toddler smiling with a peppa pig laptop

Peppa Pig Count with Peppa

Peppa Pig Count with Peppa helps the child develop counting skills and colour and picture recognition.  This toy retails at £20. The toy comes with ten interactive play coins. These coins are numbered from one to ten (on the opposite side of the coin the same number of items to count), have different colours, and have a different character on each. The toy also includes a Peppa shaped money box. 

There are eight different activities that encourage the child to learn about different numbers, colours and pictures. Peppa asks the child to find, for example the colour purple or the number two, asks you to insert it into her purse, and recognises when the said coin is inserted and responds accordingly. It also plays three songs from the TV series.  

I found that it could be tricky for my two year old to push the coins in - they were a bit stiff - so the toy encouraged motor skills development too. I also found that when Peppa asks her to find a certain coin, it was far too quick for her to follow and insert the coins in before Peppa would start again, and needed a fair bit of help from me to manage this. That said, she enjoys just pushing the coins in and taking them out again, and just playing with the Peppa Pig as a doll. She will probably get more out of it when she is a bit bigger and faster in her reactions. 

toddler playing with peppa pig counting toy

count with peppa toy close up

toddler playing with peppa pig counting toy


Another toy in the range you might also like the look of is the Peppa Pigs Phonic Alphabet. this retails at £19.99 and helps develop basic knowledge of letters, numbers and colours, and provides an early introduction to phonics and spelling. The idea is somewhat similar to the Count with Peppa - Peppa asks the child to find the correct answer, except instead of coins you have cubes, and you insert them to the front of Peppas dress. 

So definitely - if you have a Peppa mad child (like so many of us do) pop by Argos to have a look at these, and if you fancy it, try your luck in my Facebook giveaway!

You might also like: Should you go see Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience?

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