I expect you’ll read this about a thousand times over the next week or so but (I never promised to not be a cliche!) I cannot believe that it’s almost the end of the summer holidays. Whilst they’ve felt long and tiring on the more difficult days it, equally, feels as though I’ve barely taken a breath since Ethan was saying goodbye to his infants school and I watched him perform in his leavers assembly ready to begin in Juniors this September.

I have tried incredibly hard to be prepared for him going back but despite all my hard work there’s still that normal mad rush when I have realised the things I’ve forgotten, last minute of course.

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We have discovered wooden toys, in a big way. If you’ve followed our blog, especially the family stuff, for any length of time then you’ll know that wooden train track is no new discovery for us but, with our new love of everything wooden, some interesting new train track was a seriously welcome addition – Especially in rainbow colours, we love rainbow colours. When we were asked to try out this amazing track from Hape it was an instantaneous yes.

Before you start, a warning, this is a very photo intensive post – But cute toddlers and rainbow colours just ask to be photographed.

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When I wrote about the Schleich ‘Farm World Starter Set’ a few weeks ago I mentioned that I’d really like to get Oliver some of their dinosaurs to add to his, and Ethan’s, collection so when I was offered the chance to try out some of the newest additions to the range I just had to say yes. Oliver really loves dinosaurs!

As I said in the previous post I am aware that these are  recommended for 5+ but we only let Oliver play with these supervised, never on his own. Just as a little disclaimer – It’d be very hard to not let him play with them, the child is absolutely obsessed with anything dinosaur.

Firstly we were sent this ‘Feathered Raptor’ set which contains a Velociraptor, a Utahraptor and a Microraptor and costs £13.99. The set is really nicely presented and, whilst I don’t have anything against the fact that the Schleich figures normally come without packaging, it’s nice to get a set that is displayed as nicely as this one.

We were, also, sent two individual dinosaurs from the range of minis – On the left we have the Mini T-Rex and on the right the Mini Utahraptor. These are both £2.99 which make them a lovely little gift for birthdays, Christmas or even a party bag filler. I’m quite sure that the T-Rex isn’t supposed to look cute, but it certainly looks it to me haha.

All five of the dinosaurs are beautifully detailed but, especially, the larger ones. I have to admit that the level of detail in all Schleich figures is something that I really love. Equally I love how well the company has tried to make them as realistic as possible, the feathered detailing is amazing and is something you don’t see on other brands of dinosaur toy as often.

When it comes to the children they don’t notice the detail as much, they just love the figures, I do hope, though, that the attempt at realism will be a learning tool over time. I think that it’ll certainly make them question the style of dinosaur that they see in cartoons and films and I really like that.

The biggest of all of the dinosaurs we sent is the Utahraptor and it is slightly different from the others too, where they’re all solid models, this larger one has a hinged jaw and movable arms – This isn’t something I’ve experienced with Schleich figures before but is certainly a nice added bonus.

Both of the boys have really enjoyed playing with the dinosaurs – At, almost, 7, Ethan is much more in the correct age group for these and where he used to not be as enthusiastic about dinosaurs, Oliver’s love for them has encouraged Ethan to become interested too. As always it’s easier to capture photos of Oliver, though, as Ethan is far too fast and erratic haha.

As you can see Oliver has his ‘Raaaaa’ down to a tee and when he has toy dinosaurs out that’s all you’ll hear, the only variant being whether or not they make a loud ‘RAAA’ or a quiet ‘raaaa’. It’s really very sweet to see him playing with them, though, as he really does make them interact with each other which is something that he’s picked up from his big brother.

Ethan really appreciates them, too, and he’s played with them really nicely. Oliver got some wooden building blocks for his birthday and Ethan really enjoys building structures with them and then letting the dinosaurs knock them down. They’re fantastic for role play and imaginative play, something which Ethan enjoys and, already, Oliver is learning too.

Since Oliver has re-awakened Ethan’s interest in dinosaurs he’s started reading a couple of dinosaur books that he has and I think that I’ll use the more realistic models that we have to have a conversation with him about why they have feathers and what people, now, think this means in relation to their evolution. Ethan loves to learn new things and I think being able to relate a toy something new will be great for him.

Always impressed with the Schleich figures and this is no exception. I certainly think we still need to add to our collection some more, when you get this brand you feel like they’re going to last and grow with your children and that’s something that often seems lacking with toys now.

This post contains press samples – Please see disclaimer here

I will, very rarely, run a giveaway for a product that I’ve not tried out, or experienced, myself but when I was offered the chance to give away a copy of Disney’s ‘Moana’ on DVD I felt like I’d be letting you all down if I said no.

I’ve not seen Moana but I have heard so, so much about it. Ever since the film has come out I’ve seen and heard friends talking about how much their children, and they, enjoyed it. I’ve had people say that they’ve had the soundtrack on repeat for weeks and that it’s one of the best Disney they’ve ever seen. As such I can’t wait to watch it, myself, but for now I will have to make myself feel better by knowing I’m going to give one of you the chance to watch it instead.

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Lice. It’s one of those words that fills any parent (or teacher) with dread. It makes you uncomfortable and a bit squirmy because no one likes to think of the little critters, or deal with them. But they are, unfortunately, a fact of life, especially when you have little ones.

We’ve been using tea tree on Ethan’s, for a while, and I can’t say if it’s a coincidence or if it’s worked, but we’ve not had a occurrence of head lice in over a year so when Vosene offered to send us some of their lice repellent range I was intrigued to see if having the products all in one would be equally as successful, and much more convenient.
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