Wednesday, 9 August 2017

My daughter doesn't have friends yet, there you go I said it.

I have a confession and now September is quickly approaching I feel the need - the desire to get it off my chest. I feel a huge amount of guilt for this because my daughter doesn't have any real friends yet and with her due to start nursery in September I worry this will affect her ability to make friends when she starts there. She's been at a nursery before but it all went tits up - you can read about that disaster here if you'd like to click here! but because she wasn't there for very long at all, I didn't even meet any of the other parents! She only went 3 mornings a week which she loved and she came out chatting away about the other kids she had been playing with that day. So I guess that shows she can make friends, right?

But I didn't make any effort to find out who these children were. I didn't try to make contact with their parents for play dates. See, the truth is - I'm rubbish at making mum friends!

Which means we don't have that group of friends we see often, she doesn't have a best friend yet and she doesn't get invited to parties, have many play dates or anything like that. She does interact with other children don't get me wrong but we don't have that friendship group we see a lot.

I'm really not very good at making friends anymore, my whole world is in this house, my kids and my husband, so I've really struggled with making mum friends more so since having Isabelle than before. Most of my friends don't have their own children yet so it's not like I've got friends with kids for her to play with.

I feel so guilty that she desperately wants a best friend but she doesn't have one.

Will I have rubbed off on her and she'll struggle to make a best friend or two at nursery in September? I hate the idea of her being the only one without a friendship group as she grows up. Now I can sit here and pretend that I'm going to try my hardest to make friends with the mums at the nursery but I'm not sure I will. Hopefully I will.

I'm going to have a little birthday party for her, it'll probably be something cheap and creative and invite children from her nursery so hopefully that will a) give her an opportunity to build friendships further and b) let me meet the other parents properly to be able to set up play dates c) get rid of the guilt for not having her a birthday party this year, which I recently confessed to in a post about her brothers birthday celebrations, he actually had a 3rd birthday with lots of toddlers invited, oh more mum guilt, you can read about that by clicking here!

I know I'm being silly, she's only 3 - how much can this affect the rest of her life? I also know that I can't be alone in feeling like this, how many mums avoid play groups because they make them feel awkward and like all the other mums are clicky? all those mums probably felt the same at one stage. Sometimes mums are lucky and their friends have babies at the same time but majority of us are in it alone to start with, finding our feet and trying to find new people to have a coffee with... then some parents go back to work, whilst others like me stay at home with the children. It's hard to make new mum friends especially if you've had a traumatic birth, if you're so tired from no sleep or struggling with something like breastfeeding in the early days, then you get into bad habits of avoiding the baby groups you'd probably love but won't give them a proper chance.
And, oh, dear husband, if you read this, don't you dare comment with how I should have gone to more baby groups with her! I went to some... anyway, it's really not too late for me to find a lovely weekend play group for YOU to take her to if you so wish darling? *Nah, I'm sure you understand because you're lovely and you watch me every day with the children hardly ever leaving there side, sometimes there's been tears huh?... moving on.

Surely she will realise how to make friends anyway, she has interacted with other kids, she has her brother and her big family, nursery will help them to learn the friendship if she struggles? Although, I'm 28 years old and not that great at it myself, I'm sure she'll be fine won't she?

Ah. We'll see in September!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

7 fantastic years of your birthdays - birthday party ideas for kids

Children's birthdays always seem to cost a small fortune these days, when I was little, back in the day! we were so happy with a little party at home that consisted of friends round for a play date basically with the added extra of jelly and ice cream plus wearing a pretty dress - one year a friend turned up in the same dress as me BUT in my favourite colour, she had purple and I had blue... blue. Not that I still remember the upset this caused... moving on quickly...

Oliver has begged me this year for a party like what his friends were having but cutting a long and rather boring story short - we just couldn't afford one like that.

So I had to put my thinking cap on about what type of party he could have this year that really wouldn't cost the same as a weekend away.

I thought I'd start by having a little recap on the birthday parties he has had in the past to see if I could get any ideas of what we could do this year, then I thought I need to get back to my roots of this blog, its my diary so I'll write it here ready for next year to look back at to inspire me again, if I'm feeling nice, I may not do him a party hehe.

For his 1st birthday we had a party at my mums house which was meant to be in her nice sized back garden. His birthday is in August, it rained. Bit like this August! So instead we all squeezed into her house, there was a blow up ball pool and lots of food... plenty of little friends crawling about taking up every inch of space. She loved it really....

That was the year my mum forgot that me and Oliver lived with her and she got him a toy drum set! Noisy... oh yeah did I brag already that he was walking a few months before his first birthday? clever little thing.

His 2nd birthday we didn't really do anything.

For his 3rd birthday he had a garden party at my mums house - he loved it, it was a sunny day which is weird for Oliver's birthday and we had a bouncy castle in the back garden. His little friends and cousins came and it was lovely. It was the first birthday of his with Michael, he got him his first bike but Oliver didn't really get on very well with it and still to this day refuses to ride a bike - hey, its not for everyone!

Oliver's 4th birthday party was at Gambado's! Hooray you say, she splashed out on a party.... and boy did I question why. It wasn't cheap and sure, they loved it but did they love it more than little party at home? Who knows.

For Oliver's 5th birthday we had a fairly new Isabelle, so we decided just to have a little family thing at home. We were surviving on very little sleep at the time and I'm not sure any of us were actually in a party mood. It was nice to have family over to celebrate and some cake instead though.
Oliver, your 6th birthday was at Pizza Hut with your school friends, that's right - we paid for a party again! It was really good value actually and all the kids seemed to have a good time. You all got to make your own pizza, add the toppings you wanted and then eat it once it was cooked. There was an awkward what do we do whilst we wait for it to cook stage I must admit but it was good nonetheless.  
Your 7th birthday we cheaped out again, I'm sorry.... but not actually sorry because you had a great time and we had a wedding to pay for in the following March so we were feeling rather tight and you know what, that's ok! goes to show you don't need to spend money to have a fab birthday with your friends. We went to college lake in Tring with some of your school friends and their parents, we walked around and just had a nice day outdoors.
And that leads up to your next birthday which is on Monday........ I can't believe my little man is going to be a whole 8 years old! That seems so big. We've got a lovely birthday planned for you and I'm really looking forward to seeing your face light up. I'll have to blog about it afterwards to show you all the lovely thoughtful things I do for you hehe.

And then there's the mum guilt. My daughter didn't get a birthday party this year because her birthday was the week before our wedding and we were selfish, there you go, I said it. We didn't bother! She still had her birthday, just no celebration with anyone else... we got her presents tho, honest and I'm sure she'll have a party next year once she's made friends at nursery.


Monday, 7 August 2017

What we honestly thought of Whipsnade Zoo

Last week you may have seen that we went to Marwell Zoo for a Lego event - we love LEGO! as you can see from *click* here where they have teamed with National Geographic on jungle sets here for the Batman Summer Lovin Movie event
and even here for our wedding cake! Just you wait for next week when you see Oliver's LEGO themed birthday.

My sister in law is a member at Marwell which made me think that we should join a zoo too, that zoo is too far for us to make it to more often so then I remembered Whipsnade Zoo which is only 30 minutes from where we live = perfect. I thought we would go once to see what we thought of it but when I looked at the price of membership for the year for our family of  4 we decided to just get the membership before even going - eek! We have been about 5 years ago and loved it, how much could it have changed really? So if you're wondering what Whipsnade is like and you're looking at getting a membership or just visiting for the day then continue reading to find out what we thought of our afternoon there. We arrived late so we didn't get to do as much as we wanted to do however we had 3 children - two of which are very small, so they don't walk fast!  

Grandparents decided to get a membership too which means we can have lots of family days out with them too or even go with them if my husband is at work which he usually is, making it easier to manage with kids on a day out.

The cost of the membership for our family - 2 adults and 2 children was £243 for the year, if it will cost you about £70 to go just once then the year membership with the added discount of direct debit is really good value for money. Plenty of free car parking available as well as the option to pay to take your car in - this wouldn't be something we would be interested in but I can see the appeal for lots of people and also the need too if someone couldn't walk far for various reasons.

When we arrived we headed straight for the lemurs - you can get so close to them here which is just lovely. And we managed to get some adorable photos of them really close up being cheeky. The children loved this as they were so close to them.

I wanted to see the Sea Lions Live so we made our way straight towards that area, I was disappointed to be honest with you. So much time was spent focusing on two adult members from the audience who had volunteered to learn some tricks.......... not enough time was spent on the sea lions themselves. Why is this? I feel it must be some sort of kindness to the animals - which obviously you want and expect from somewhere like Whipsnade but I was there to see the Sea Lions - I'd prefer just to watch them swim around if that's what it means, the Sea Lions Live would of been an amazing opportunity for Whipsnade to educate our children a little more about issues such as plastic on beaches in more depth than it was. I'm not insulting the zoo at all when I say this - just the kids were bored, lost their attention and they just wanted to see the sea lions. Not the humans. I hope that next time we sit to watch this that there is more said about the Sea Lions themselves show us a bit more of their feeding or something. I fully expected them to be showing us what tricks the sea lions themselves could do but literally nothing... I thought to myself as I looked at my husbands very concerned face having just signed up for a year, "this day must get better than this!"

A quick picnic lunch - by the way, we sat outside on the grass and there were no where near as many wasps here as there were at Marwell Zoo last week - they were all over the place. Inside there are picnic areas and plenty of benches to sit on too.

Then we went to get tickets for the train which is really cool, the kids loved it and I did too. It meant we got to see parts of the zoo which little legs probably wouldn't get to that day as there's so much to see. I wouldn't go on this train every week but it's a lovely added treat. It cost us £11 with out membership discount. You get 10% off with your membership card on food outlets, gift shop and train which is nice. The train station looks just like a real train station too but nicer with all the flowers.

Birds of the world display was FANTASTIC. This was the best bird display that I've ever seen at a zoo and next time I'd be tempted to watch all of the shows that are on in a day because apparently they have different birds in! They were all flying around beautifully and so close to my head which was amazing. The guy that was talking throughout the bird show was really good and you could tell he had a fantastic relationship with the birds. It's definitely a must see at the zoo.

There's plenty of open space for the children to run around and play too as well as lots of play areas.
The butterfly house was really good, we like to go to RHS Wisley butterflies every year but this was just as good as that if not better. It's smaller than Wisley's glasshouse but in my opinion with children that's better - it gets warm in there quickly and at Wisley, you're there in the winter so you're in your big coats wrapped up warm then bam! into full heat which makes you feel a bit sick, this was lovely, the fact you can go into a butterfly house in the summer and it's perfectly sized for children. We saw butterflies that we have never seen before Isabelle couldn't believe that this pretty butterfly wasn't just a leaf! They were flying around everywhere. They have spotters guides so you can identify what butterfly you're looking at. At the exit there is a mirror so you can make sure you're not taking any with you when you leave too which is something that always worries me.

We never really see otters at zoos let along watch them have their dinner so the children were fascinated by this! They look so cute when they're eating, you sort of imagine them throwing the fish into their mouths not sitting their gently nibbling away on the mackerel as if its a chocolate bar!
Honestly we did see more animals than this including giraffes and my favourite elephants but it's hard to always be taking photos and I like to live in the moment too but I'm sure over the next year I'll be putting a lot of photos from Whipsnade Zoo trips here. It's a lovely zoo, I can't wait to go back again and visit ZSL London Zoo too.

*please note this is not a review, I was not asked to write this post and did not receive anything in return*

Sunday, 6 August 2017

What to buy a new baby - new baby gift box

My sister in law has just had her second child, a little girl! Isabelle already adores her and obviously wanted to buy the 'born baby' a present or two, so I decided to put together a little gift box full of bits and bobs that may be useful. I would have loved a little box like this when either of mine were born.

Isabelle was recently sent a box of goodies with an invite to Paw Patrol live which you can read about Here*clicky click* the box got reused and now is my nieces baby box! In the picture below I have used a few butterflies to edit the photo so you can't see her middle names or second name because these are obviously not mine to share with anyone, the butterflies obviously are not on there really... it looks really cute!

The name is a vinyl sticker which is really easy to put on and looks lovely, it would make an ideal place to keep all her baby bits like name tags, first outfit and the usual memory stuff us mums seem to keep. I know she's a second child so I thought maybe her mum wouldn't get around to doing a baby box just like I haven't for Isabelle, it's on my list of things to do this summer actually, sort out a baby box for her as her brother has one but she doesn't! Mum guilt alert. In fairness to me, she didn't sleep and he did so I was more alert to do such things.

So what did we put inside the box?

Firstly we put a few bits that were Isabelle's but never really got used such as a few of her dribble bibs from Funky Giraffe, a pair of gummee mitts that Isabelle used a few times but they were basically new, a bunny rabbit comforter from Jelly Cat that Isabelle never got around to using we took the tags off to wash it for the baby, a dribble bib from Skibz that we forgot we had so other than being washed before I put it in this box, it was new. And a necklace that I must apologise to my husband for never using... He was really sweet and ordered it because I wanted to wear a necklace that Isabelle could use for teething. oops! Hopefully our new niece will love it!

I love That's Not My... books, Isabelle had almost the whole collection when she was smaller, we still have them on the bookshelf in the loft room and she still loves to look at them but now there's new ones I'm not buying them anymore so we're not almost at a full collection. When I saw that's not my unicorn I just had to buy it, it was a bargain too on Amazon! Isabelle was so sweet and tried to get the babies hands to touch the touchy feely sections of the book. CUTE.

 Isabelle likes to pick random little things for people as gifts, it's usually socks so I'm surprised no socks made their way into this box! This weird little caterpillar is apparently really cute to a 3 year old and it had to be included.
 A present box for a newborn baby wouldn't be complete without some cute clothes would it? Can you tell I've got a soft spot for a unicorn at the moment, this sleepsuit which is ideal as she is a little sister is from Next. We got it in 0-3 months so it's something for her to grow into, is costs £8 and I love it! I wish they did pj's in the same design for Isabelle (they probably do, don't tell me... my purse doesn't need to know!).. The jacket is from M&S and was in their sale for just £4! What a bargain, it's so cute with little ears too and a girly colour but not too girly in your face. I think you need to find a happy medium with girls clothes, whilst you want to make it obvious they're girls to stop people saying what a gorgeous boy - had that so much, it's nice not to always have baby pink or bright pink. Isabelle had a pale blue coat when she was 6 months old, it was polka dots so obviously girly and the colour really suited her.
Oliver was a summer baby, this gift is because one thing I remember needing was a sun hat for him but because I had just had him I really didn't fancy going off shopping - first time for everything I guess. So I thought these from Next would be useful if we do happen to get any sunshine - if I jinxed it by buying these then from the bottom of my sad little heart I am sorry. lets hope for glorious sunshine... or just some sun ideally before September!
Golden Bear Toys recently sent us a few bits for Isabelle to review from the In The Night Garden range, which we'll be posting about soon. They also very kindly sent us this for her to give to her new niece which she was very excited about. "Aww it's so cute for the baby". Makka Pakka Baby soft toy is suitable from birth making it an ideal new baby gift, what child doesn't watch in the night garden at some point? Oliver was obsessed with it when he was a baby. This gift would be ideal for being part of a babies nursery as well as a newborn toy, super soft material and cuddly with embroidered features. Makka Pakka is perfect ofr little ones to cuddle, crinkle in hands and feet as well as a rattle when you shake his body.
Being a mum of two is harder than being a mum of one, it goes without saying that when you have your second child you can't relax as much as you did after your first - you've got another human to entertain aswell and if they're young then they won't 100% understand why you can't just put that baby down, give them your full attention again like you used to. That's why I wanted to put something in for our nephew too, something that could entertain him with mum or dad for a while.

I really enjoyed putting bits and bobs together for this baby gift, I love how Isabelle and Oliver got involved and helped too. My kids love a money box, if they find a coin it goes straight in their money box. We also really like Little Rhymes products so this money box which you can buy in John Lewis for £15 was perfect. Isabelle has got the matching plate/bowl/cup from Grandparents for her baptism.

I hope that this box shows you that you don't have to spend a fortune on a baby gift to get lots of different items. By adding the babies name to the box as well gives it something personal and that can be kept, the simple act of adding a bit of ribbon to any present makes it look much nicer too.

What was the best little gift you got when you had your baby?

*please note that we were sent 1 item from this post (makka pakka from golden bear toys) we were not asked to review it or include it in any post. This post is my own words and views*


Saturday, 5 August 2017

Paw Patrol Live Uk Show

Yesterday went to SSE Wembley Arena to see Paw Patrol Live, we took my nephew with us too as he's down at the moment and along with my two he is a huge Paw Patrol fan!

Isabelle was delighted when her parcel arrived, it was a box full of Paw Patrol goodies with a VIP invite to the show in London. This meant 1) we were going to see paw patrol and 2) we were going on a train – which is always exciting! I've actually reused the box it was sent in for something else - blog post coming soon so make sure you keep your eyes peeled. I love to reuse things!

When we arrived at the arena we were treated to a VIP Paw Patrol themed lunch as well as balloon modelling, colouring in and face painting. The children loved the slush drinks and the paw patrol cups that they came in! Oliver worried he was too old and started acting a little like a brat (I can say that because he is mine...) it was all because I think he was embarrassed, I took him to one side and told him to look around and see that there were older kids there too having fun and it was totally ok to still like paw patrol – I like it and I’m 28 years old. He was ok after that. He is almost 8 now but he still likes Paw Patrol as his sister must be able to pick some of the things they watch on tv so it can’t always be lego, ninjago or batman. He decided to have his face painted with chase on it and loved it! He loves a live show and really enjoyed it after his initial worry he got involved and had lots of fun.
The kids were all given a goody bag, they really were spoilt! Inside was a mask, wrist band, paw patrol drink and fuzzy felt from John Adams. My kids have never had fuzzy felt before and Isabelle is very taken with it now. The days of taking the stroller with us to events like this are over now but I always notice if theres space for pushchairs and there was. The queue looked quite long though which really at an event for young children like this can be expected but it would be a good idea to allow extra time for you to do this and get to your seats before it starts, if you're anything like me then you'll be worrying you'll miss the start and have kids questioning what happened unable to provide answers. We had really good seats which were very close to the front so we all had an excellent view of the stage.

No one can resist to sing along to the theme tune for this show! Every child got excited when the pups arrived. The costumes were very impressive even the eyes opening and closing, they all looked just like they do on the TV show including the little details which was fab. A few other shows we have seen Isabelle has commented that they look different today – eek but not this show, they’ve really got it perfect. This show was the best live show we have seen as a family and we’ve seen a lot of the popular ones over the years. All the sets which are based on spots around Adventure Bay are fantastic, the children loved it when the pups came out on their vehicles, which again were impressive. Down to the little details like snow when actual 'snow' was scooped away by Rubble.

The story was just like an episode of the programme which is nice because the children like the programme so it makes sense to go along those lines and include the same songs, sometimes shows change too much but this one is perfect for Paw Patrol fans. From the beginning of the story to the end all three children were hooked. Major Goodway and Chickaleta can’t run the Great Adventure Bay race because Mayor Goodway has a sprained ankle so guess who comes to the rescue? The pups and Ryder of course. They race against Mayor Humdinger to get the clues hidden around adventure bay to make it to the finish line before the sun sets but with Mayor Humdinger's cheeky ways will they be able to win the race? The children all have a pom pom to get involved with the cheerleading. When the pups win the race they sing their victory song. I was impressed to see children dancing at the front, they loved it so much they just got up to have a little dance.

There's a 15 minute interval in the middle of the show, which is a good time to go for a quick toilet break unless you're my child who decides they need it after the break... my fault, shouldn't have taken no for an answer! There's a great selection of items on sale after the show too including blankets and t'shirts.

Our children were so lucky and got to get up on the stage with Chase, Skye and Ryder which they loved. Isabelle had a cry that she didn't get to stroke skye which was her dream in life apparently. She's asked if we can go again - bless her. I would though because they loved it and it was a lovely afternoon.

If you would like to see Paw Patrol Live then you're not too late - it's amazing and I definitely recommend it!
Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on 9
th August

Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on 12th and 13th August

Echo Arena in Liverpool on August 16th and 17th

Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on 19th August

First Direct Arena in Leeds on 23rd August

Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on 26th and 27th August

*We were gifted tickets to attend the show, all opinions are honest and my own. We loved it.*

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Marwell Zoo - The Great Brick Safari - Lego - Zoo day out

We're huge LEGO fans and we love a Zoo day too so this is our perfect family day out, we were delighted to be invited to have a look around Marwell Zoo at the interactive experience with Lego bricks which is really impressive. Daddy was working so Grandma came with us instead and we met my sister in law, nephew and newborn niece there - oh so cute!

Marwell Wildlife has become the first UK zoo to host a collection of giant LEGO brick animals, there's 81 in total so loads to see and they represent 27 different species. We didn't get to see them all so we definitely need to return before it ends. There's an exciting spotters guide for people to complete and make sure they see them all so you can be organised on your day, we were invited for the evening and shown a selection of them which was lovely.

Bordon-based LEGO building company Bright Bricks used over two million bricks to make the amazing sculptures, they include; an elephant, Bengal tiger, lion with playful cubs, meerkats and gorilla to name just a few. See if you can spot the bats too!

Sean Mannie, director of guest services at Marwell Wildlife said "We are so excited to be hosting this amazing event at Marwell. The LEGO brick trail is an interactive and engaging way of highlighting some of our really important species, as well as welcoming some wonderful new animals to the zoo!"

"To be the first UK zoo to host an interactive LEGO brick experience is a real thrill. LEGO is so iconic and continues to appeal to both adults and children and we are delighted to have the sculptures complementing the 100s of animals that live in our 140 acre park."

LEGO fans of any age can make their own brick creations in The Great Brick Building Zone too, the zone has been set up in a marquee which can be found infront of the Marwell Hall. Inside you'll find not one but three lego activities to join in on. We loved it. For £3 guests can build their own mini LEGO figure to take home - this bit wasn't open for us last night so I can't comment on what that section was like but we would have definitely done it. Grandma wants a penguin too as they're so cute. But we did get to join in the FREE activities - yes I said free, fun by diving into a LEGO brick pit - gone are the day of ball pits... builders can let their imaginations run wild inside here amongst a sea of grey bricks.

Oliver loved building a section of a python to join in a python marathon where they're trying to break a world record of the bigger brick snake.... your child can then they say helped beat a world record! They have tables set up with instructions and boxes of LEGO so that you can make your section, there's someone on hand to help if needed but the instructions were simple enough for my 7 year old to complete, having said that he is really good with building LEGO.

Back outside and next to each sculpture you can find the details for it including how many builders it took to make it, how many hours and how many bricks were used. All interesting learning facts that the children loved. Apart from the elephant, which you have to guess how many bricks were used to make him, he's called Earl Grey - the elephant which was named by public vote.
A free spotters guide available at the zoo entrance will give trail goers the chance to guess the number of bricks it took to build him for a chance to win a family tour of Bright Bricks - this would be Oliver's dream. He was lucky enough to question the experts last night and his main question as "how can I work for you?"... bless him.
The Great Brick Safari is included with general admission to Marwell Zoo and runs from today 1st August 2017 until 1st October. Make sure to follow Marwell Wildlife on facebook, twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest information.

We hope to visit again and really loved the day, thanks so much to Marwell for a fabulous

*please note that we were invited to the event and given free entry to the zoo, all opinions are my own*


Thursday, 27 July 2017

National Geographic Kids and LEGO® City inspire children to explore and learn more about our Jungles

National Geographic Kids and LEGO® City inspire children to explore and learn more about our Jungles

National Geographic Kids and LEGO® City have collaborated on a special partnership to inspire our children to explore, discover and learn about jungles as well as the importance of their preservation. National Geographic Explorer Andres Ruzo, is heading this project and loves to share the importance of jungles with the future explorers. Through LEGO City Jungle bricks, vehicles, and mini-figures Ruzo has created a fun way to highlight what incredible habitats jungles are, helping children learn more about their diversity, incredible plant and animal species, as well the importance of conservation for the future.
Ruzo shares “Of all my expeditions to the Amazon Rainforest this was definitely the one my 9-year-old-self would have not wanted to miss! The mission: To explore the sacred and mysterious Boiling River of the Amazon, deep in the heart of the jungle. The Goal: To inspire kids to care about the jungle and the planet. The Tools: High-tech gear like drones, GPS´s, and thermal cameras - and the new LEGO® City Jungle sets of course! I want kids to love the jungle, and to want to protect and understand it as much as I do. Long before I was ever exploring the jungle, I was dreaming up my own jungle adventures as a boy. This is why I am so excited for the LEGO City Jungle range, I want playtime to inspire the next generation of jungle explorers.”
LEGO City designer Andrew Butler Coghill, who has been part of developing the new Jungle models, comments; “Children are our role models and we believe that inviting children on a LEGO jungle adventure is a great way to inspire them to learn more about the real jungles. It has been very motivating to meet the reactions from the children when testing the products and I am really pleased that National Geographic Kids have partnered with us to use our models to teach children about life in the jungle”.

Oliver was delighted to be sent a LEGO jungle set which he has given a 10/10 for being cool. He loves playing with the set and really enjoyed putting it together. He is a huge lego fan but it's often more ninjago, batman, star wars so it's lovely to get back to something that isn't a 'character' something that is 'real', just like our jungle. It's actually lovely to have a LEGO City set for the first time in a while. The instructions are easy to follow like all lego. Oliver happily built it himself very quickly, it amazes me how quickly he can put them together now!

He's really enjoyed this set and I would 100% be interested in more like this, it's his birthday soon so I'm going to have a little look at LEGO sets I probably otherwise wouldn't have looked at before this. I can't tell you how long he has played with this set without stopping, usually he gets bored of things but once I'd let him have a look around the website his mind was full of ideas for games to play.
This set encourages Oliver to think about the world around us, use his imagination just like LEGO does but use it in a way that is creating a love, a desire to learn more about the world around him and want to keep it safe. All of that from a 'toy' - must be good! Look at the concentration on his fac
As part of the initiative, LEGO® City & National Geographic Kids will launch an exciting new competition to win a National Geographic Family Expedition to the jungles of Costa Rica in Central America! The winning family will explore the treetops and volcanic canyon landscapes of Rio Blanco, go zip lining through tropical forests surrounded by astonishing wildlife, visit a wildcat rescue centre to meet orphaned ocelots and jaguars, dine in a tree house and get to experience the real-life jungle.
The competition is open to children between the ages of 6 and 16, and open to residents of US, UK, Benelux, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Hungary, Czech, Romania & Russia. For a chance to win, candidates must imagine something they might discover deep in the jungle – and then draw it or build it with LEGO bricks. For further details, and to enter, please visit:  - You know that Oliver will definitely be entering this don't you?
Make sure you head to the shops the week of 16th August to pick up a copy of a special jungle-themed issue of National Geographic Kids which is in Oliver's top 3 kids magazines. This issue will include exciting LEGO® content, including a pull-out jungle poster which children can use as a backdrop to their imaginative play.
In this issue you will find a LEGO City and National Geographic Kids ‘Explorer’s Handbook’ – a mini guide to everything you need to know about the jungle. From what to pack, to how to wrestle a caiman in an emergency, the Explorer’s Handbook is filled with fun facts and activities for children to delve into and I know that Oliver as well as his friends are going to love this.

Something else exciting - Let your children join the jungle expedition on and find funny facts, activities and videos and from 24th July, National Geographic Kids’ dedicated Jungle hub ( The jungle hub will be bursting with jungle facts and fun activities for kids. You can also check out the jungle videos following Andrés Ruzo and his LEGO companions through the Amazon on an educational and immersive journey of adventure and discovery.  These can be viewed at from 1st July.
For more information visit live now, and

* please note that we were sent a LEGO set in exchange for an honest review *
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