Chalkola Chalk Markers: Review, Discount and Giveaway

Chalkola kindly offered us some of their brilliant chalk markers to review. We were sent their newly launched pack of 21 markers,  which includes 15 colour chalk pens and 6 metallic markers in the set, and also a pack of their chunky 15mm platinum series markers too. 

chalk markers, chalk pens, Chalkboard pens, Chalkboard markers, dry erase markers, chalk artists, kids, parents, teachers, creative, art, education, review, giveaway, discount

These funky chalk pens can be used on any non-porous surface; such as glass, mirrors, whiteboards, chalkboards or plastic. You simply wipe them off again when you are done. They are non-toxic and child-friendly so are therefore great for a range of purposes. Lots of fun! 

chalk markers, chalk pens, Chalkboard pens, Chalkboard markers, dry erase markers, chalk artists, kids, parents, teachers, creative, art, education, review, giveaway, discount

Squiggle and I decided to get creative doodling on our patio doors! When you use the pens for the first time it takes a bit of shaking and pressing down to get the flow started. However, once they get going, they then work very well.

chalk markers, chalk pens, Chalkboard pens, Chalkboard markers, dry erase markers, chalk artists, kids, parents, teachers, creative, art, education, review, giveaway, discount, Living Life Our Way

The colours come out nice and bright, and there is good variety within the set. We really enjoyed using these chalk markers, and even our cat got involved in the fun! Squiggle loves any opportunity to get creative and is a big fan of these. (Oh and using the patio door is great for doing lovely big gross motor movements too by the way!) 

Living Life Our Way, chalk markers, chalk pens, Chalkboard pens, Chalkboard markers, dry erase markers, chalk artists, kids, parents, teachers, creative, art, education, review, giveaway, discount

The Chalkola chalk markers then rub off with a damp cloth, although I am sure my landlord will be very pleased to know that I did test this out before letting Squiggle loose on our patio doors just to be sure! I made a little video clip to show how easily it wipes off… 

One lucky reader can win a set of these 21 markers by Chalkola. To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, enter the competition via rafflecopter below. T&Cs apply. Competition ends on 20th March 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

chalk markers, chalk pens, Chalkboard pens, Chalkboard markers, dry erase markers, chalk artists, kids, parents, teachers, creative, art, education, review, giveaway, discount

And if you don’t win, or simply cannot wait that long, don’t worry! My readers get 15% off any Chalkola products using the voucher code 15OFFSTR at checkout. Enjoy!!!

*Chalkola sent me free markers for the purpose of this review, thoughts and opinions are my own. 

*Post contains Amazon affiliate links.

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 20 (Squiggle’s List of Maths Resources/ Activities) 

Today for #100daysofhomeed  Squiggle has written a list of 10 maths activities/ resources we use at home. Of course this is not an exhaustive list but it does give some good examples…

  • Pop to the shops 🏦

#100daysofhomeed, #LoveHomeEd, 100 days of home ed, freedom to learn, Home Education, maths, activities at home, educational resources, Orchard Toys, Pop To The Shops

  • 3d shapes 🔺
  • Valontines day math 💗💚💐🌹💌 (Note: She is referring to themed subject resources from Twinkl website) 
  • Fraction fourmula game (sp: formula) 

#100daysofhomeed, #LoveHomeEd, 100 days of home ed, freedom to learn, Home Education, maths, activities at home, educational resources, Fraction Formula Game

  • Shape snap 🌟🌟🌟🌟⬜🔶🔴🔺
  • Make  3d shapes ⬜⬛⬜
  • Sports bar graph 🎾⚽🏀🏉(or) Eny tipe of talliey chart or graph⚽🎾🐈🐶🐰🐯🐆🐧😹😻😽 (sp: any type of tally chart)
  • Four fraction snap (Note: Function not fraction!) 

#100daysofhomeed, #LoveHomeEd, 100 days of home ed, freedom to learn, Home Education, maths, activities at home, educational resources, four fraction snap

  • Shut the box 📦📦📦📦📦
  • Scails (sp: scales. ie to teach weights, comparison, measurements etc…)


Here are links to purchase some of the activities Squiggle has mentioned:(Please note these are Amazon affiliate links. This means I get a small amount of money if you make a purchase via my site. This does not cost you anything. Thank you for the support!)

Pop To The Shops (Orchard Toys) £8 approx. Aimed at ages 5- 9. Teaches about handling money, coins etc…

Geometric Solids (Learning Resources) £13 approx. 3D shapes. Aimed at ages 8+

Fraction Formula (Learning Resources) £26 approx. Aimed at ages 8+

Shape Snap (Orchard Toys) £6 approx. Aimed at ages 3-6 but we still enjoy it!

Four Function Snap £5 approx. Teaches addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. Including practising mental arithmetic. Aimed at ages 7+ 

Shut the Box £4.50 approx. See my previous review here for more details.

We often use Twinkl for our printed resources. This is where we sourced several of the activities mentioned, including our themed maths printed-off worksheets/ activities (such as the Valentines Day ones Squiggle listed), nets to make our own 3D shapes and various tally charts/ graphs etc…


Children’s Art Galleries

Squiggle has been busy getting creative this week with an art box kindly sent to us by Children’s Art Galleries.​

Childrens Art Galleries, art box, online art gallery, art and craft, creative, Home Education, activities at home

Children’s Art Galleries is an online space where parents (or carers, educators etc…) can upload photos of their children’s art work to share publicly. This is a brilliant solution if you are looking to save space by recycling the original version, yet still want to ‘keep’ the art available to look at somewhere. And better still, it is a place that is easily accessible. 

It is also great if, like Squiggle, your child wants to exhibit their artwork for all to see! It is a useful alternative to facebook or other social media for this because it is specifically designed for this purpose so is more child-friendly. It is also a good source of inspiration too, by browsing other mini artists!

Children’s Art Galleries costs £3 per child per year. However, it works out cheaper than this per child if you purchase a bulk package for siblings/ groups. (Note this is the cost for an annual subscription to the online art gallery, art box not included).

activities at home, art and craft, creative, Home Education

Squiggle was excited to receive her art box and was keen to get started right away! She is still very much feeling the love of Valentines Day last week so she went for this theme when creating her art. She is all about the hearts and flowers at the moment! 

First she made a simple heart collage, which I uploaded onto her personal (public) gallery. It is quick and easy to use, although there is a delay before it appears because all photos have to be approved first – which is, of course, a good thing!

Childrens Art Galleries, art box, online art gallery, art and craft, creative, Home Education, activities at home

She then designed her own funky pair of heart glasses – so cute!

Childrens Art Galleries, art box, online art gallery, art and craft, creative, Home Education, activities at home, Valentines Day

You can find out more about Children’s Art Galleries here:

Website: www.childrensartgalleries.com

Facebook: childrensartgalleries

Instagram: childrensartgalleries

Twitter: @childrensAG


*I received the art box and one year subscription to Children’s Art Galleries in exchange for this blog post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Emmy and the Whale by Julian Burrett and Chris Clor: Book Review

They say to never judge a book by its cover, but as soon as I saw the title of this story I was very keen to get my hands on it! We adore whales – in fact we adore anything to do with nature, wildlife and our natural environment – so I figured this would be perfect for us to review.

Emmy and the Whale, Julian Burrett, Chris Clor, childrens book, book review, whale, oceans, adventure, Living Life Our Way

Emmy and the Whale is written by Julian Burrett with imagery by Chris Clor. The story follows the adventure of Emmy and a lost whale as they discover wonderfully mysterious places on their journey to find his way back home.

Emmy and the Whale, Julian Burrett, Chris Clor, book review, childrens book, oceans, whale, resources, Living Life Our Way

The wording and the storyline itself is quite simple. However, in contrast, the pictures in this book are very detailed and advanced. This means that the book would suit a variety of ages and children can get even more out of the story by using the pictures as talking point for discussion. And of course it is also great for even non-readers to look through independently too.

The imagery is somewhat unique; it is a result of days of photography in two different countries and hundreds of hours of CGI and photoshop. It is both surreal and captivating. With each turn of the page, it is almost impossible not to get drawn in by the style and quirkiness of the pictures, and become absorbed in the world that has been created.

Emmy and the Whale, Julian Burrett, Chris Clor, book review, childrens book, oceans, whale, resources, Living Life Our Way

This beautiful book is available to buy via their website at www.emmyandthewhale.com
I was sent this book for free to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Sylvanian Families Photo Captions

Squiggle has been taking it easy today because her energy levels are very low at the moment. But that didn’t stop her from getting the inspiration to create some simple Sylvanian Families scenes, then take photos of them and write captions. I love how Sylvanian Families continue to inspire her in such a variety of ways! Oh and she has just discovered emojis and hashtags, as you can see from the captions lol… 😬;)😂💗

Sylvanian Families, photo caption, sports, rounders

Sylvanians love playing rounders with chacklat labrordoors #sylvaniansport #rounders!.🐶

Sylvanian Families, photo captions, Christmas

Snowy day 
In sylvania i can see santa in his slay ! #christmas eve! #sylvanians 🎅😻💟🐰🍭⛄❄🎄

Sylvanian Families, photo captions, Christmas

Christmas eve night in sylvania #santashere #christmas night #sylvanians. 🎅🎄🎁🎅🐰💗💚💟💘💟⛄❄👍💗⛄❄👍🍪👍💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💟💟💚💚💚💗💗👍👍🎅👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

Sylvanian Families, photo captions, Christmas, home education

Christmas day in sylvania hire is one of meney of my presents #ChristmasDay #merrychristmas #sylvanianfamiles .         🌹🎁🎄🐰🐱🍭💟🎅🎄🎁❄⛄💟💟💘💗💚💚👍

Sylvanian Families, photo caption, Christmas, winter, snow

Look at the snow bunny i made, ive put my hat on it #sylvanians #snow.🐰🐇⛄❄💗💚👍🎅👍

Isn’t she just adorable?! I wonder what she will come up with next! 

Shut The Box (Game Review)

Squiggle was given Shut The Box game for Christmas as a stocking filler. We hadn’t heard of this particular game before, until very recently when I spotted it on a gift guide and thought it looked fun. I was right!

Shut the box, review, wooden game, educational game, dice game, travel game, family fun, maths, number bonds, calculating, living life our way

Shut The Box is a lovely wooden dice game that also has good educational value. The aim of the game is to successfully get all the numbers down from 1-9 so you can ‘shut the box’. The simple version is to roll both of the dice and then flip down one or two numbers to match the total on the dice. If you are unable to put down one or two numbers then it moves to the next player’s turn. There are different versions too, I found other instructions by searching online. 

The game can be single player or played with any number of people and is suitable for all ages from approx 6+ years. This means it is great for some family fun together, but it is also handy that it can be played alone, as it is great for those moments when someone needs to occupy themselves for a few moments! The version we have is pocket size, which also makes it useful to take when travelling too. 

I like that it is a simple game, nothing fancy about it, but yet is still both fun and educational. It is fab for practising maths skills, such as calculating and number bonds. I also love wooden toys and games, so that’s a bonus too! 

Our verdict: big thumbs up!

You can be in with a chance of winning your own Shut The Box game by entering my prize giveaway via rafflecopter below. 

Competition ends at midnight on 31st January 2017. T&Cs apply.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This post contains an affiliate link.

BritMums and Penguin Random House Children’s Books Christmas Present Challenge #StoriesForLife

We were delighted to be selected to receive three lovely books from Britmums and Penguin Random House Children’s Books as part of their Christmas Present Challenge. Stories are such an important part of childhood, and really do last a lifetime! Squiggle has the most wonderful imagination and expresses her creativity in so many ways, this includes spending alot of time making her own books and writing her own stories. I can actually picture her stories in print one day! 

#storiesforlife, britmums, penguin random house children's books, Christmas present challenge, stories for life, home education

Girl Online: Going Solo  Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella) This is the third book in this bestselling series about the adventures of a 15 year old blogger. I think this novel would be great for pre-teens and teens, especially those who are interested in the world of online celebrities. In this story, Penny is busy helping others and making new friends, while tackling some boy dramas too. I will gift this to one of Squiggle’s slightly older home ed friends, who I know loves these types of stories. 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down Jeff Kinney This is book number 11 in this whopping and hugely popular series, that continues the adventures of Greg Heffley. Can he get his mom off his back by making a film or will he be in yet more trouble? I will gift this book to the awesome Chloe (child YouTuber) because I know she is a big fan of this series and is hoping to read this one soon!

The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t GallopClare Balding This is described as a heartwarming story with a girl-power message. This book sounds like it would be well-received by any animal or horse lover and I’d be tempted to keep it for ourselves (as is the case for any of them!) but I am going to give it to a fantastic local charity where donations such as this are gifted directly to someone suitable who is less fortunate this Christmas. I chose this one in particular because of its uplifting and inspiring message. 

As a younger child, I absolutely loved classics such as The Hungry Caterpillar and other Eric Carle stories, We’re Going on a Bearhunt and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, which I have since passed down to Squiggle. At her age now, or perhaps abit older, I was into The Secret Garden, The Famous Five and anything by Roald Dahl. My favourite pre-teen/ teen stories were anything about pets, Judy Blume books and the Point Horror series. There are so many fabulous stories, I had better stop now though before this turns into a very long post! #StoriesForLife

Disclosure: I was kindly gifted three books in exchange for this post. Opinions my own. 

The Curiosity Box Review, Giveaway & Discount Code (STEM Science Educational Activities)

When The Curiosity Box tweeted that they were looking for bloggers to review one of their science boxes, we jumped at the chance! As home educators, we are always on the look out for new educational activities, and this one is perfect for us. It is a fun and fascinating science box aimed at 7-11 year olds that can either be purchased as a one-off or via subscription. There are also two size options; nano or mega. Prices for the larger box start at £18 based on one year subscription paid upfront, or £25 per box on a no-commitment basis. The smaller box is £9.95. (Costs include postage and packaging). Gift vouchers are available too, so it would also make a nice Christmas present!

The Curiosity Box, STEM, science activities, educational resources, home education, review
The Curiosity Box – Mega Box – Electricity Theme

I received a mega box to review, which includes everything needed to complete three separate science activities. Each box has a different theme, for example this box is described as ‘Putting the POW! in Power’ and is all about exploring electricity. It came well packaged and clearly labelled with simple, easy to follow instructions. I really like the tone of the writing; everything is well explained and engaging without being patronising. It also includes some very interesting and inspirational information cards about the history of science and women scientists. 

The Curiosity Box, STEM, science activities, educational resources, home education, review
Contents of Sparky Sculptures Activity

The three activities are varied and each one teaches the concept using a playful, hands-on approach. Scientific explanations are provided and I feel the information is pitched at a level to make it a truly educational experience for children within the targeted age range. They last a varying amount of time, depending on the activity itself, how quickly the child works and how much discussion occurs. We personally spent a couple of hours in total doing two of the activities. We had a lovely time together, with lots of laughter and of course plenty of learning too!

The Curiosity Box, STEM, science activities, educational resources, home education, static electricity, review
Squiggle learning about static electricity

One example of the electricity activities the box contains is exploring circuits. The idea of this activity is simple but effective; design a creature with light-up eyes by creating a circuit using copper foil tape and two LED bulbs.

The Curiosity Box, STEM, science activities, educational resources, circuits, electricity, home education, review
Circuits Activity

Squiggle really enjoyed following the instructions to make the circuit and only needed a minimal amount of help to work out what to do. (Obviously all children have different needs so the amount of support required would depend on the child). 

The Curiosity Box, STEM, science activities, educational resources, home education, review

She decided she would rather make the circuit before designing her character. She spent quite sometime carefully making her circuit.

The Curiosity Box, STEM, science activities, educational resources, home education, review

Initially the light bulbs didn’t light up. Not to be disheartened, we used our knowledge of circuits to test each of the components separately. We used some of the resources from one of the other activities to do this, but I realised afterwards we didn’t need to and had actually made it more complicated than necessary; all part of the learning process though! However, it was useful that the boxes are generous with the resources that they provide anyway. 

After checking the battery pack, bulbs and leads, it was evident that the issue was with the copper foil tape. More specifically, it was on the corner joints that the circuits stopped working. Testing it all out deepened her learning experience and investigation skills, and became part of the fun. Plus it was a good reminder that the learning is in the doing, not just in the results (as it quite rightly says in the guide too, a valuable point!) But it was most satisfying to figure it out and get it working nonetheless! 

The Curiosity Box, STEM, science activities, educational resources, home education, review

We really enjoyed The Curiosity Box and would definitely love to use them again in future. I think we would particularly enjoy The Cool Crystals Box and The Super Seeds Box personally! On that note, I am hosting a giveaway for one very lucky reader to win a Nano Crystals Box! To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize, simply enter via the rafflecopter widget below. (T&Cs apply).

Last but not least, my readers can enjoy 10% discount on orders using the code LIVECURIOUS10. Visit their website www.curiosity-box.com to shop or subscribe.

You can also follow them on social media for more ideas and inspiration too!

The Curiosity Box, STEM, science activities, educational resources, home education, social media details, review
The Curiosity Box – Social Media/ Contact Details

Disclosure: I was sent The Curiosity Box free in order to provide an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. 

Sylvanian Families Gift Ideas (with Exclusive Discount Code)

It’s certainly no secret that Squiggle adores Sylvanian Families. They are a timeless collection with wholesome values and are well loved by a wide range of ages. And they are so cute. What’s not to love?! There are so many different families, buildings, accessories and sets, plus new additions added regularly too, so even the most avid Sylvanian collector will be able to find plenty of things for their wish list!

As a little thank you and Merry Christmas gift to my readers, I have teamed up with Sylvanian Storekeepers to offer a 10% discount on your first order. Simply visit the Sylvanian Storekeepers online store via my link and enter the exclusive discount code CS10 at the checkout. (For the coupon to work, you need to create an account, and be logged in. Code is valid for one use per customer). You’re welcome!

And to get you started, here are some gift ideas for the Sylvanian Families fans in your life…

Sylvanian Families, Sylvanian Storekeepers, stocking fillers, wish list, gift ideas, exclusive discount code

Stocking Fillers (items under a tenner)

Baby Carry Case – These little carry cases each come with a baby and accessories. At £5.99 each they make lovely stocking fillers.

Housekeeping Set – This is new to 2016 and is great addition to any collection, regardless of whether or not they own the Grand Hotel. After all, houses need cleaning too! R.R.P £9.99

Vegetable Garden Set – We can grow our own vegetables in Sylvania as well as our real-life garden with this fun veg garden set. Retails at just £7.99.

Canoe Set – This canoe set (£7.99) is great for anyone wanting to practise their imaginary water sports!

Individual Figures – Collectors will love these vintage/ special edition (often rare!) individual figures. Cost approx £5.99 upwards.

 

For your chance to win a Berry Grove Cheerleader Rabbit figure, enter my Rafflecopter competition at the bottom of this post! (Please note this giveaway is not affiliated with Sylvanian Storekeepers and the prize item is not currently sold in store)


Sylvanian Families, Sylvanian Storekeepers, stocking fillers, wish list, gift ideas, exclusive discount code

Gifts Under £20

Sylvanian Families – With so many to choose from, chances are there will be plenty of new families to add to even the biggest collection. This Robinson Red Panda Family (£16.99) is on Squiggle’s wish list, amongst others!

Starter Home Collection – This would make a particularly great gift for anyone just starting out. R.R.P £19.99

Saloon Car – The family car also includes a picnic set, tray tables and a baby seat. Retails at £19.99

Seaside Treasure Set – An exciting treasure set that is great for little ocean lovers or those with an adventurous mind. Costs £13.99

Chocolate Rabbit Sister with Study – I love the little accessories that come with this cute educational set, especially the globe! Usual price £14.99

Juice Bar – Squiggle has her eye on this healthy juice bar (£14.99) so that her Sylvanian Families can be like mummy!

Sports Day – This sports day set comes with lots of fun accessories to do various races and games. R.R.P £16.99

Winter Sports Accessories – Sylvanian Families can go skiing or do some ice skating with this winter set. Retails at £12.99

Sylvanian Families, Sylvanian Storekeepers, gift sets, wish list, gift ideas, exclusive discount code

Gift Sets – If you are looking for ‘larger’ present ideas that are great value for money, it is well worth looking at the bundle deals on offer. For example, the Beechwood Hall Gift Set comes with two working lights, desk, table with four chairs, piano, oven, kitchen sink unit and two squirrel figures. Or check out the Supermarket Gift Set (£49.99) that comes with over 100 items, including a toy wagon and crepe shop, plus two figures. Many of the gift sets are limited edition so check the website for the latest offers.

Sylvanian Families, competition, giveaway, prize draw, win, exclusive discount code

Competition Time
For your chance to win a super cute Berry Grove Cheerleader Rabbit figure, simply enter my rafflecopter giveaway here…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition ends 13th December 2016. 

Terms & Conditions:

• All information detailing how to enter the giveaway forms part of these terms and conditions.

• This prize sweepstake begins at midnight on 5th December 2016 and closes at 11.59pm on 13th December 2016.

• Enter via Rafflecopter widget embedded in this blog post. This is the only way to enter into the sweepstake.

• One prize winner will be drawn at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries received when competition ends.

• The winner will be contacted using details provided within 48hrs of the competition closing. If the winner does not respond within 5 days the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be drawn.

• The winner will receive one individual Sylvanian Families Berry Grove Cheerleader Rabbit figure (unboxed). 

• The prize will be posted within 10 days of receiving the address. Please bare in mind delivery times may vary, especially over the Christmas period.

• Prize is strictly non-transferable and cash alternative will be offered.

• Open to UK residents only.

• This promotion, and the prize offered, is organised by Living Life Our Way and is not affiliated with Sylvanian Families, Sylvanian Storekeepers, Epoch, Facebook or twitter. They are in no way responsible or accountable for this giveaway.

• Living Life Our Way may vary or amend the promotion if absolutely needed, for reasons beyond their control. The entrant agrees to absolve any liability to the Promoter in such circumstances.

• Whilst the Promoter will take every due care to ensure the prize is delivered as expected and do their upmost to resolve any issue in the unlikely event it should occur, the Promoter will not be held responsibility for anything beyond reasonable control.

• English law applies and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts shall prevail.

• Entry into the giveaway will be deemed as acceptance of T&Cs.

 

GOOD LUCK!

Christmas Craft Ideas For Festive Family Fun

Squiggle loves creative activities and asked me to find some Christmas themed ones for her to do. There are so many lovely ideas from fellow bloggers that I thought it would be nice to share a few here. These are some of our favourite festive craft ideas to try out this Christmas…

Check out the gorgeous handprint Christmas tree idea by Mum in the Mad House. Plus it’s also great for sensory seekers too! We also love this Christmas tree craft idea that we decided to try as part of our crafty playdate last Monday. It’s such a cool idea and works really well! For full instructions see Real Mum Review website.

creative, Christmas, crafts, festive fun

Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs blog has some great crafty ideas for lolly sticks, so if you have some lolly sticks then I suggest you pop over to their site and take a peek! We are going to get some then try out the activities soon, can’t wait!

We also had lots of fun doing this lovely snowman pom pom printing craft by Monkey and Mouse. It worked well with a range of ages at our little art group. As an alternative to waiting for the paint dry then drawing on snowman parts, we chose to cut out some of the bits from coloured paper and stick them on. Either approach looks adorable!

Creative, Christmas, crafts, festive fun

Also on the snowman theme is a cute cotton wool snowman card design by Dear Bear and Beany. This one would be particularly great for younger children, simple but effective, check it out. 

As always, I also had a look through Twinkl and found some beautiful mindfulness colouring pictures, as well as various fun educational activities too.

Squiggle is pleased that she now has a brilliant selection of Christmas printables to do over the festive season, as well as all these other wonderful crafts too!