Admiral Young Driver – Review

Admiral Young Driver program is a safe way to teach children aged as young as 5 to control a car and start the enjoyment of driving. The boy was a little nervous to try out the Admiral Young drivers programme. He needn’t have been as he had a great time.

The boy want’s to be a policeman when he is older and learning to drive will be a big part of the job if he does eventually choose this as a career. I have always wanted thought its good to learn things early so driving lessons was on my list of things to get the boy to try. We booked a 1/2 hour lesson with the Admiral young drivers at Southampton WestQuay car park.

The boy was worried he might drive over the edge of the car park. The booking in lady quickly put his mind at rest, as apparently this is a question she is asked often! There are some height restrictions for the drivers and they should be over 10 and a minimum of 1.42m tall. The boy was soon seated in the car and there are proper cushions to bring the seat height up to the correct height. I was allowed to join in as a passenger for the lesson, while dad stood at a safe distance and took pictures.

The top-level of the WestQuay car park was set out with junctions and obstacles and with other Admiral young drivers there is plenty to be aware of while learning to drive. The boy was put at ease by his instructor Barry, and within 5 minutes they had completed the pre drive checks and we were moving.

Each new Admiral young driver is given a diary which is completed after each lesson. This is a great record of what you learned as well as being something to record the steps and progress. As a first lesson the boy learnt to make pre drive checks of mirrors, seat and starting the vehicle. He then went on to control the vehicle and completed junctions and a slalom.

I was very impressed by the teaching, and the instructor moved the lesson on at the speed that each student needs. The boy was clearly in control and loving every minute. There was time to ask lots of questions and the instructor had lots of knowledge of the Skoda citigo that we were driving.

The half hour Admiral young drivers lesson was a good length for a first lesson as the boy said his legs felt a little wobbly after all the clutch control. The boy has also asked when he can have his next lesson, as he enjoyed it far more than he thought he would and I think maybe a few lessons a year at his age certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Visit the Admiral Young Driver website for all the different options from lessons to Birthday parties and even the chance to drive a Bentley.

Disclaimer we were asked to try out the young driver programme in return for a review, the words remain ours and have not been altered.

 

GoFest – A Family Day Out

Over the summer we had some great family days out including attending the GoFest event at the University of Surrey venue. GoFest is in its second year and is the brainchild of founder Paul Farris. His idea is to inspire families to spend more time together, get healthy and find new activities.

We were invited to attend the weekend long event and being an active family already we were up for a challenge. We were able to book up to 4 activities in advance, with more available on the day. Activities started from 9am on the Saturday and included well-loved sports as well as some I had never heard of.

gofest

Our first stop was some family relays and obstacle fun, followed by an athletics masterclass with Olympian Roger Black. This was my highlight of the day as the boy learnt how to improve his running style, and set up for a sprint start. Roger was great with all the kids, and even stopped for a quick picture afterwards with the boy.

gofest-running

My next booked activity was Wall Ball, it sounded fun, and turned out to be a very energetic sport. We were treated to a one to one lesson followed by practice and a demonstration from the current UK champion. The boy bought his own wall ball, and we have since had a few family matches while on our family holiday.

gofest-wallball

Time for Mum and Dad Dragon to take a breather as the boy took part in a Free Running session with a Flair Gymnastics club. He had a great time and took part for a full hour. He learned some new moves, and was the only person to finish the class as the others dropped out. It was great for the boy to try out Free Running as he has wanted to try this for some time. Now I’m on a hunt for a local club.

gofest-freerunning

We finished our GoFest day with a game of Dodgeball against another very competitive family. Girls verses Boys, and the Girls won. GoFest had plenty for us to take part in, as well as stalls, charity’s, and local clubs to chat too. A huge TV screen with coverage of the Olympics and we didn’t miss out on any of the medals during the day. GoFest ended with demonstrations of sport and dance, with live music and continued into the Sunday with more opportunities to try something new.

GoFest takes place in the summer at the Surrey Sports Park, part of the University of Surrey. With use of the Surrey University sports venue and grounds there were watersports, in the pool. You could use the university’s amazing climbing wall or join in with local clubs with the more recognised sports of football and tennis. There was far more than we could fit into the day, and we will defiantly have to come back next year for some more #GoFestUK fun.

Disclaimer, we were invited to attend the event in return for a review of our day.

 

Hotter Shoes at Chelsea

I was recently invited to a Hotter shoe party in Horsham by BakesBooksandMyBoys which got me very excited as I never treat myself to anything! This was going to be my first experience of Hotter shoes, and after a warm welcome and a few nibbles I set about browsing the store.

I decided to have my feet measured, as I can’t remember the last time I did this, and after some trying on and great advice from the staff discovered that I have strange feet. Although I am a standard six, due to a low ankle bone and narrow heels a five and a half or narrow fitting was a much better fit. I was very impressed with the patience and of the Hotter store staff as I spent an hour trying to find the right shoes. Only slightly disappointed that they didn’t have the chosen ones in stock, they offered to have the shoes ordered and delivered to my home.

hotter shoes

Leaving with an empty bag, was a little strange, but I was assured they would arrive shortly. I was excited that I would no longer be a hotter shoe virgin. Sure enough after about 10 days my shoes arrived, I had chosen Quake in Mauve Nubuck (although I think they look more of a soft pink). They fitted perfectly and had arrived just in time for me to set them the ultimate test a day out at Chelsea Flower show.

hotter shoes at chelsea

Chelsea flower show was the perfect test of all the Hotter shoe claims, comfort, style and adventure! There was no slipping about on the tube as the touch fastening kept them in place. They certainly had style and looked so much nicer than my trainers. I saw so many people as they left changing out of their shoes into something more comfy. I didn’t have too, as the Hotter shoes have millions of little bubbles in the soles to keep your feet comfy. It certainly was a long day on my feet, and with plenty of walking I made it home with happy feet, and a camera full of fantastic flower pictures.

hotter shoes london

I have been impressed with my Hotter shoes, and the fact that 80% of the shoes from Hotter are British made means that I will be back for more very soon. If you would like to try hotter shoes for yourself I have an offer to share with you, use the code PPATEN to receive £10 off plus free delivery for your first order, then you too will no longer be a Hotter shoes virgin!

Terms and conditions are £10 off plus FREE delivery is for first orders only. You are entitled to £10 off the total order value of any full priced items in the Hotter range (excluding shoe care products and accessories) plus FREE delivery. Minimum order value £25. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or on Sale or Factory Clearance items and gift vouchers. Expires 30/6/16

Disclaimer I was given a pair of hotter shoes in return for being asked to write about the event. The words remain my own and have not been altered.

 

Fencing Competition

We may have only been home from our holiday for three days but already the boy is taking part in much-loved Fencing competitions. This weekend was the Sussex County.  After some confusion on whether he could take part because of a mix up of ages, we set off for East Grinstead.

The boy was having mixed feeling about this one as it would mean he was at the bottom age of the up to 12 years age group. But on arrival it soon became clear that although some of the boys were much bigger than him, he was not by any means out-of-place. He fought beautifully, and his coach said he did a great job. He came 12 out of the 18 competing and even got a bye into the next round.

magic moments

I love watching the boy fence, and so does Dad M. But one of the best parts for all the parents, is how supportive the kids are of each other. They all watched and cheered each others fights, some even lent the boy kit as he was having problems with some of his wires. So it wont matter if he ever wins a competition as I know the friends he is making will be ones he keeps for a long time.

We were all worn out by the end of a long day, thankfully it wasn’t far home and time for hot drinks all round. I am sure this wont be the last competition, infact the boy has another in two weeks time. I foresee many a Sunday sports hall trip, but I don’t mind as I think it is great he has a sport he loves, and think he is incredibly brave to go up against boys 4 years older than him!

Actimel for Kids -Healthy Lunches

Actimel for Kids is a great new yoghurt drink perfect for kids lunch boxes or simply used as a healthy snack, with three flavours, and a space theme, we were interested to see what the boy thought.

We were invited to a cookery school in London to get inspiration for school lunches, and the boy was excited to see what he could create. We arrived in plenty of time to see the Actimel team setting up our cooking stations before being treated to some fun space themed snacks. Eating planets made from Melon, and star-shaped tortillas was fun. The kids certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves and with plenty of the New Actimel for kids to wash the snacks down, plates were soon empty.

actimel for kids header Actimel for kids

Soon it was time for us to have a go at making some Funky Lunch creations with Mark Northeast creator of the book with the same name. Our first challenge was to make some flying saucers. With crackers, cheese, tomatoes, olives, and cucumber all foods I would keep in my fridge at home. With basic instructions covered, we were free to make our individual creations.

funky lunch actimel

I was amazed at the boys creativity, and he really did enjoy the challenge of balancing crackers on cucumber legs. He also loved carving cheese with a knife. Soon we had an assortment of cheese carvings with a slight Minecraft theme. Our next challenge was a space monster sandwich. This simple sandwich would be perfect for a lunch box or treat, and the boy was enjoying himself so much he was still constructing his creation even while the other family’s had moved on.

monster sandwich actimel for kids

We say plenty of the children enjoying not only creating fun food, but the enjoyment of eating their creations. Even the boy who can be a little fussy at times, cleared all the food, and even offcuts from his plate. Inspired by his creations for Actimel for kids, he has been making sandwich cut outs at home. Even going as far as wanting to make his own lunch box creations.

actimel for kids day

Actimel for Kids is a great little yoghurt drink, and something the boy has enjoyed with his breakfasts this week. The boy enjoyed all three flavours, Strawberry, Raspberry and Vanilla with Strawberry being his favourite.

Each little bottle of Actimel for Kids is packed with yummy yogurt, billions of L.casei live cultures, delicious fruit purée* and essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and protein. Actimel for Kids is also free from artificial flavours, preservatives and colours.

 

Why not have a look at the Actimel for kids website for inspiration for your little ones, find out about A.C, Ti, and Mel, and add some funk to your kids lunches! For some lunch inspiration have a look at this video of Mark, and Sophie as they give you some great healthy lunch ideas.

Actimel great kids Lunch ideas

Disclaimer: We were invited to this event to try out new Actimel for Kids, and our travel was compensated. The opinions and photos from the day remain our own, and have not been altered.

 

Summer Cycle Ride

It has been the perfect weather for a summer cycle ride, and something we love to do as a family. While the weather was still good we thought we would go out and try out my new cycle helmet. Yes I realised its time I followed the rest of the family and wore one. The boy chose the inland cycle route, which is a great track out towards the nearby town of Barnham. The place we catch our trains to London! It’s a great route and one I like as it has no traffic.

summer cycle ride

The track was busy, with dog walkers, and other cyclists, and we soon arrived at the other end, where I knew there was a new play park area. The boy and Dad enjoyed playing a game of football, and basketball. The boy enjoyed playing and climbing in the new playground and I enjoyed the sunshine and quiet.

outdoor fun summer bike ride

I was trying to get the fit right on my new bike helmet. TMart.co.uk are a great website for all sorts of outdoor gear, and the Adult Cycle Helmet I was sent to review was perfect. The only problem was my head was too small. I am aware that it is important to have a well-fitting helmet, so after a couple of attempts, I decided the helmet is better fitted to Dad! I think the yellow colour rather suits him, and he found it a very easy helmet to adjust and wear.

summer cycle ride tmart

While I now use the more subdued grey helmet, I am very impressed with the range of TMart helmets that they offer on their website. The price for this yellow cycle helmet was less than £17 which is a competitive price, and with all the safety certificates. The helmet was easily adjustable and very lightweight. The delivery was well packed and speedy, so great service all round.

summer bike ride

 

The cycle ride home was beautiful as we watched the diggers finishing off the new road, and there were hundred’s of butterfly’s in the hedgerow. I kept having to stop to take photos, but the boy was gone. He loves the freedom of this cycle path, and we think they should build a few more. Cycling in one of the activities that will join our Summer Holiday activities list, and I think the boy would rate it in his top five things to do!

park fun

Disclaimer I was sent the cycle helmet in return for an honest review.

#Country Kids

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Sky Studios at the O2 London

This summer we found ourselves in London looking for something to do and decided to try out the new FREE Sky Studios experience in the O2.

sky studios

The Sky Studios experience is easy to find at the main entrance to the venue, and is open for anyone visiting to enjoy. This one is not just for little kids, but the BIG ones can join in too! It didn’t take long before the boy and Dad were having a go at football skills. I must say there was no chance of me kicking a football that high, but both the boys had a good try. There are fun prizes if you do score a goal, or even three.

Football at sky studios

Next we tried out the basketball, and to our surprise (but not his) the boy scored three baskets in a row. The boy was rewarded with a Sky Water bottle, which he was very proud of, and plans to take to school with him. Both Dad and I managed one basket, not bad, it was great fun trying, but no plans of becoming sporting stars for us!

basketball at the Sky studios

Next we headed into the Sky Studios, where you can get involved in some other sporting activities. You have the chance to voice your very own news article,  pose for a winning photo, all which you can download from the website when you get home.

sky studios experience

We all enjoyed having a go at Golf, none of us could get near the green. Racing Formula one cars was fun, and playing football was ok. Our only disappointment was that the boy couldn’t race on the bikes as they were for over 16’s only. We did all love seeing how quick our reaction times were. It looks easy simply hitting buttons as they light up, but this was more of a challenge than we expected.

sport at the sky studios

We had a great time at the Sky Studios experience, and the boy would only have enjoyed it more if there had been some fencing for everyone to try out!

reading the news at sky studios

This is a Netmum’s sponsored review. To find out more click the button:

I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to review products and brands on their behalf. I have been paid expenses and supplied with a product sample for this review but retain all editorial control. All my Netmums Reviews will display the Netmums logo within the post.

 

Jungle Paradise Adventure Golf #Country Kids

The summer holidays are disappearing fast, and we have been having great fun getting out and about as a family. This last week, we were out every day either on the beach, on our bikes, one of our favourite days had to be at the new adventure golf course.

Situated at Chichester Golf course, I was excited to find out if this New Jungle Paradise Adventure Golf was anything like any of the American style crazy golf courses. I have to say we weren’t disappointed, I had looked at the website, and seen that they had wild animals, and a full-sized airplane on top of a water fall. With 18 holes and lots of watery obstacles the boy was excited too.

jungle paradise adventure golf

This is where I have a small confession, I love crazy golf, I don’t know why, it is my favourite thing to do. It makes me smile and giggle, and I usually get a hole in one. My family think it is quite sad how excited I get over crazy golf, and how I have a weird dream of one day owning my own little golf course, by the sea of course!

hole two jungle paradise adventure golfThis course didn’t disappoint, we couldn’t believe how many people were there on a cloudy Tuesday morning. You can’t miss the course as you turn into the entrance of the Chichester Golf Club. You start your tropical experience at the Kiosk, which is a fun looking jungle hut, choosing coloured balls is a nice touch, and means no arguments over who is who. There are 6 colours to choose from so perfect for big family’s. We set off for the first hole, which looked super easy, just a straight forward put through the trees. Then we realised that there are no sides in places which mean you fall of the green and drop a shot!

jungle facts

We soon decided that the boy should have two try’s at each hole and took the lowest of his two scores. There was some waiting around, as each of the 18 holes had a family on it, this proved a good solution to keep the boy’s interest. Now I may get holes in one, but the format usually follows that Dad M wins, and I come last. with a maximum score on each hole of 6 things did not start well for me.

jungle paradise animals

The holes are very clearly marked, everything is clean and with sound effects, and the summer sun it felt very tropical. There are some great information trivia boards with a quiz on your score card. These also give you a little insight into the theming behind the Jungle Paradise Adventure Golf. We enjoyed the holes round the lake and waterfall, before curving round the back and discovering the boys favourite thing. The raft! Yes the boy decided this was wicked and spent ages pulling everyone willing to let him across to the next hole. (there is an alternative route round the raft)

the raft at jungle paradise adventure golf

Each hole is a good mixture of easy, hard, and fun. Snaking through and even under the waterfall, with a cheeky little surprise. Looking for the animals hiding round the course, the boy was aiming for the crocodiles, just so he could use the net to scoop the ball out of the water. It came as a bit of a surprise to everyone when it was the boy who scored the hole in one! I even managed to capture the moment on video. So here is our mini video of our day out.

We had a great time at the Jungle Paradise Adventure Golf, and will certainly be back. The cost for one round, for a family of 4 is £25, which did seem a little expensive, but we were on site for 2 hours, the second round if you fancy it is half price. You can also go to the club house for a spot of lunch where they have a new kids jungle menu. We notice a traditional crazy golf course, as well as the usual driving ranges, so you could spend a day with something for everyone.

And here is our final winner, by one point, and yes, I came last!

the winner jungle paradise adventure golf

The New Jungle Paradise Adventure Golf gets a big thumbs up from us, and if you live locally is certainly worth a go, why not keep up to date with them on their Facebook page. Where you can see the monthly draw winners, and hopefully spot some special offers.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Disclaimer: we were given entry to the New Jungle Paradise adventure golf in return for our review, our opinions have not been altered.

Medieval Tournament week at Arundel Castle

Medieval Tournament week at Arundel Castle took place this year from 22nd to 27th July and is just one of the many special events run by Arundel Castle through their visiting season which runs from 1st April to 2nd November 2014.

I had heard good things about the Jousting tournament week, from one of the boys fencing  Mum’s who said that they go every year, and I will confess to being more than a little excited to be going. When Mary from Over 40 and a Mum to One said that she was coming to Bognor for an event, a plan was formed and we picked Friday to go and find out more.

arundel castle

Mary and Monkey had told us all about the Jousting they have seen at Blenheim Palace, and the boy and I were even more excited to see what all the fuss was about. We were not disappointed, after the very short drive, we parked in The Mill car park. (Arundel can get very busy in the summer, so parking can be a real problem. Arrive early and the Mill Car Park opposite the castle is a reasonable £5 for the whole day). A quick walk across the road, we headed to the gate to collect our tickets and on into the castle grounds.

Arundel Castle is set high above the surrounding countryside, and the views as you drive in towards the town are beautiful, but as you enter the grounds of Arundel Castle, you are still taken aback with the size and splendour of the 11th Century castle. We didn’t have to walk far before we realised that we were on the lower lawn where the jousting takes place, with the first joust of the day, we picked our spot lay out a rug and waited.

arundel castle jousting

The jousting itself takes place three times each day, with a slightly different format each time. There are four teams to cheer on, with some very different characters, and magnificent horses. While the commentary was given clearly through a pa system, nothing was missed. Of course the boy chose to cheer on England while I just chose to cheer whenever I could. Both boys were transfixed and despite the day starting to heat up as well as the battles, we enjoyed the demonstrations of skill and horsemanship. I just kept wondering how on earth they were still riding in full armour in the heat with 70lb of armour, as I was melting sitting on a rug!

jousting starts at arundel castle

We were treated to amazing displays of skill, all demonstrating beautifully just what was expected of a medieval knight, resusatating the poor dummy who had a nasty blow to the head made us all chuckle. With a whole camp to walk round, tents to admire we didn’t leave the lower lawn till lunchtime. Heading into the Encampment area, you are taken back completely in every way to a medieval camp. With so many people all in costume, it is like the whole castle has been transported back in time.

jousting at arundel castle

While Mary and I were seeking shade, Monkey and the Boy were keen to watch the weapons demonstration, with swords and more costumes, we were all encouraged to cheer on our favourites. We all needed some lunch and after a quick picnic, and some strange tree climbing from the boy. We headed towards the castle entrance this time distracted by the story-teller, with his tale of George and the Dragon. Members of the public form the cast, and the peasant hat game fun was a giggle to watch. I think the mums enjoyed the shady story as much as the boys did.

story tellers at arundel castle

Before we knew it was time for the next joust, and the boys didn’t want to miss it, so back the way we came this time we had a different viewing angle. With all four teams, England, Poland, France and the Burgundian Alliance competing to win not just that days matches, but score and win the weeks tournament, there was plenty to get excited about. If like the boy and me you have never seen jousting, you are in for a treat as it was full on, fast and had plenty of thrills. I didn’t think anything to rival watching the boy fencing, but jousting is now up there on my list of exciting new sports!

knights of arundel joust

By the end of another very hot jousting session, and England clinging onto their lead in the competition, we were all keen for something cool. Ice cream was the answer, and the Castle has a very nice restaurant and coffee shop. After a quick regroup, Mary and Monkey decided to explore different parts of the castle, while the boy wanted to have a go at archery (ages 8+) so we agreed to meet for the last joust of the day a bit later.

Walking through the grounds you get a feel for the size of Arundel Castle, and the archery tucked up near the Fitzalan Chapel was the perfect activity for the sporty boy. I decided that if I had to queue up as well I had better give it a try. It was great fun, and while some people made it look easy, I found that only one arrow hit my target. The boy after a change of hands, as he cant shut one eye at a time? was a little wobbly. He did still enjoy the archery and if there hadn’t been a long queue would have liked a second go. As the wind had picked up and black clouds were looking ominous over the castle keep, we headed back past the entrance, for the last jousting match of the day.

archery at arundel castle

The boy had bumped into his fencing friend B and the two of them were mock fighting their way down the hill. Mary and Monkey were waiting for us, and as we took up our spot under a tree the rain set in. Despite the cold rain, we stayed till the last fight had been won by France, before saying our goodbyes and heading home.

When I look for days out, I find myself looking to other counties, Arundel Castle has given us the most fantastic day out on our doorstep. I think I loved the jousting more than the boy, and the elegant and amazing horses, costumes and even smells coming from the encampment transported me back 100’s of years in time. It made the whole day something I know I will remember for a long time. We didn’t get time to see inside the castle, so will have to make sure we come back another day, and I will definitely be putting the jousting week in my diary for next year.

Arundel Castle prices vary so it is best to visit their website, but start from £9.00 upwards to £19.80 for an adult depending on which parts of the castle you want to see. We were given a family gold+ pass to visit the castle during jousting week and this would cost a family £49.50 which covers up to 2 adults and 3 children (children under 5 are free). I think that Arundel Castle was a much better day out than I had expected, there was certainly plenty for all ages. Even thought the boy has been to Arundel Castle recently with school, he still learnt something new and there are some great special events coming up including Pirates and Smugglers days.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Disclaimer, we were given press passes to attend the medieval jousting in return for a review, the opinions remain our own and have not been changed.

Beechdean Scooby-Doo Ice creams

We started our list of 42 Summer Holiday Activities with the new Beechdean Scooby-Doo Ice Creams, and a preview of the new Live Scooby-Doo show at Butlins, Bognor. Butlins was the perfect choice of venue to celebrate the launch of the three new Scooby-Doo ice creams with Chocolate, Honeycomb and White Chocolate and Strawberry flavours.

the new scooby doo icecreams

We started our trip to Butlins, meeting up with Mary and Monkey from Over 40 and a Mum to One, and a quick visit to the fairground. Butlins has a great little fun fair on site, and we couldn’t resist a go on the Dodgems before heading off for lunch.

Beechdean had put on a fab spread of nibbles, before the kids tucked into the new ice creams. On such a hot day ice cream was going to be the perfect treat. The boy has to be in the mood for ice cream and today was going to be one of his off days! so I was forced to sample the new flavours on his behalf. I was very impressed with the Honeycomb flavour, with plenty of crunchy chocolate coating and a great flavour ice cream. Finding out that the Scooby-Doo Ice Creams have a RRP of 90p was even better, and these will be available in ToysRus stores and independent shops in the UK.beechdean scooby-doo ice creams

Beechdean, had chosen to hold their event at Butlins so that we could be the first to see the exciting new Butlins live Scooby-Doo show, and this was a great end to our afternoon. The boy loved the live show, and the story was what you would expect from Scooby-Doo, with music, slapstick comedy, monsters, and dancing. The boys were soon shouting and joining in. The show is lively, great fun, and the characters were very funny, and the boy said he enjoyed it, even if the centre stage was a little warm!

beechdean selfie competition

Not everyone will be lucky enough to catch the New Live Scooby-Doo show at Butlins, but perhaps you will be lucky enough to catch the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine Ice Cream Van, and enter your #Scooby-DooSelfie for your chance to win a holiday. For more information on how you can enter, pop over to the Beechdean website. You will also find details on how your entry will entitle you to a £20 Butlins online discount code.

Treating yourself to ice cream, is something we like to do, whether it is at home, or on a day out it somehow has the taste of summer whichever flavour you choose!

Disclaimer we were invited to the event to sample the new ice creams, the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.