30/10/2017

SmartGlobe Adventure AR - Review

For as long as I can remember big monkey has been interested in World flags and Countries around the globe. I always loved Geography at school, so maybe he takes after me! For a while I've been wondering if he would like a globe and as luck would have it, we have been sent the Oregon Scientific SmartGlobe Adventure AR to review.

The SmartGlobe Adventure AR (Augmented Reality) is an interactive world globe with smartpen attached. It's compatible with the World Traveller App (available on the App Store and on Google Play). Aimed at children aged 5+, it helps children to learn all about the world we live in, geography, history and culture around the world. It has in-built Augmented Reality technology when using the Smart Globe App.
The SmartGlobe Adventure AR is made up of the globe, a user manual, smartpen, base and local map with activity panel on the base. Around the back of the base is the speaker and underneath it, the battery compartment. It comes supplied with 3 x AA batteries and shuts off automatically after a few minutes, when not being used. You can pause it, turn the volume up and down and repeat activities. 

With over 4,000 bits of information, 220+ Countries to explore, 25 games to play, 2 languages built in (English and French) and AR compatible games, we are still very much discovering all that the SmartGlobe Adventure AR has to offer, but so far so good! 
I've downloaded the App via my iPhone (you can also use the QR code on the box). I'm pretty sure I've found the right app but I've yet to 'activate' the smartpen with the app to see how the two work together. The app is interesting without the smartpen to be honest. Obviously we'll use the two together though.
You can find out all about Capital Cities, currency, National Anthems, the size of the population around the globe and so much more, within the various functions that can be found along the front of the base. Just touch an activity with the tip of the smartpen to start exploring.

A loacl map can be found on the base, this only works in English though. There are just 6 French activities compatible with the globe, and not the local UK map.
So far we are enjoying the SmartGlobe Adventure AR. The fact finding activities are really useful and we can see both monkeys learning a lot from them. Some of the activities seem pretty repetitive though. The voice is clear and there's an audible 'x' when the child gets an answer wrong and a 'cheer' when they are correct. 

Some activities are timed, therefore the 'music' that plays gets quicker when time is running out, with a buzzer and voice to say when the time has run out. We think it's a great addition to big monkeys desk and we're sure it will get used over and over by both monkeys. 
This model is £59.99 from Amazon. There are other globes in the range at varying prices. We would highly recommend this for anyone wishing to get their children a globe, but I will say I think we've only just scratched the surface of what it has to offer. 

It's easy to set up, just lift it out of it's box and switch it on. I'm pleased we found the instructions which were very well hidden within the box, as before then we kind of just found our way around, which to be fair was fine, but now we know there is more to see and do! 

We were sent the globe for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.



 







29/10/2017

My Sunday Photo!

Photalife



27/10/2017

Trespass Kids Rockcliff 3 in 1 Jacket - Review

Ever have one of those days when something happens and you know it happens for a reason! Just the other week we were discussing having to buy big monkey a new winter coat, (as he has grown out of his last one) and on the exact same day Trespass asked if we would like to chose something from them to review!

Whoop, of course we decided to chose a coat. The Rockcliff Kids 3 in 1 Jacket.

Features
  • 3 in 1 Jacket
  • Concealed Fold Away Hood in the Collar
  • 2 Zip Pockets
  • Adjustable Cuffs
  • Hem Drawcord
  • Matching Inner Fleece Jacket
  • Reflective Piping
Colours
Available in 3 different colours: Navy, Raspberry and Blue.

Sizes 
From age 2/3 up to 11/12

Techincal Info
TP50
Waterproof 3000mm
Windproof Yes
Taped Seams Yes

Price
Currently available with 45% off at £43.99 but usually £79.99.

Our thoughts
We ordered the blue (with orange contrasting accents for big monkey. He is 9 years old, so we ordered the 9/10. It fits well. A little roomy but that's exactly the fit we wanted. The great thing about this jacket is that he can wear the fleece alone in dry weather, the outer jacket alone when warmer, but wet and both together in the depth of winter to keep both warm and dry. The fleece is secured in place with poppers inside the neck and just inside both sleeves. It zips right up to his chip for extra warmth around the neck and to keep the wind out. The cuffs are adjustable, so we can tighten them to stop them falling past his hands!

The colour really stands out, which to my mind is perfect for wearing at school and walking back during the cooler, darker afternoons. The reflective strips will stand out in the dark too.

The hood is hidden inside the collar and the pockets are zipped. There's even one for your mobile in the sleeve! Not that he has a phone of course!

We're delighted with the jacket which is worth more than we would normally spend. Well made, it will last him well and of course be kept for little monkey when he is older. We're hoping to get a puppy next year, so this jacket will make a perfect dog walking accessory! 


Conclusion
Big monkey thinks this jacket is really cool. He is chuffed with it. We've yet to put it through the wash but I'm confident it will come out as good as new. I think either price is very good value for money and would definitely recommend this jacket to another parent. With free standard delivery on items over £50, you get the jacket delivered free when paying the usual full price. Am yet to find any negatives.

We were sent this jacket for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
We're going on an adventure

 

26/10/2017

Ready for take-off! Tips for flying with young children

Every year 'we' count down until it’s time to go on holiday. Every hour spent at work and doing the school run suddenly seems worth it when you get the suitcases down from the loft and you begin packing the sun cream and flip-flops! But when you have to travel with children, it can evoke a sense of dread…not all children travel well, and even those that do will have “off-days”, which will be inevitably when you’re on a plane no doubt! 
Here we’ve compiled a list of tips to help make travelling in the air easier for everyone – including the children themselves. After all, they’re only small! And we know how much travelling takes it out of us adults! 

Getting there
Plan well in advance. It’s great having all your suitcases packed, but it may be worth having separate things for the journey to the airport. Knowing that your child is safe during the journey will also take a load off your mind. Consider some customisable signs to attach to your vehicle. You can find an amazing range of signage   from the smartsign website


A bag of magic tricks
Not quite a spell to keep them quiet, but not far off. Instead of getting them a large new toy or book for the plane, it’s better to choose small, inexpensive bits and bobs to keep them occupied. We love a trip to the pound shop to collect a bounty of distractions without making a dent in your holiday spends.


Take off and landing
Changes in pressure as you take off and land can cause that funny ear-popping sensation, which may feel a little uncomfortable or even painful to children. Usually the pressure will equalise within a couple of minutes — but yawning, chewing and drinking can help minimise any discomfort.


DVD player/Tablet
In your daily life, you may restrict how much TV your children watch, or how long they spend on your iPad — but digital distractions can be extremely valuable on a flight and can give you a window to take (a much-needed) breather.


Snacks
Rather than relying on in-flight food options to keep tummy grumbles at bay (as well as moods in check!) pack your own menu including some favourite bites and a few treats. Pre pack snacks in clear ziplock bags you can hand out individually so there is no squabbling over the last breadstick! Best to avoid snacks which will get too messy or not last too long without the fridge.


Bedtime routine
Booking flights at a time your children would naturally be sleepy can help enormously in getting from A to B unscathed. One idea is to carry out their normal bedtime routine by changing into pyjamas, having a bedtime story and a cuddle, in the hope that they might sleep the whole way. If it’s a longer flight, a sleep may also help make them more manageable when they wake (after the initial 10-minute grump) as they’ll feel refreshed and calm.


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