Our Kindness Challenge Advent Calendar to Countdown to ChristmasWe’ve never done chocolate advent calendars here, and our elf on the shelf experience was an absolute nightmare. Seriously, it was so bad that she got sold on eBay last week. This year we’re giving something completely different a go, and the children will have kindness challenges to complete each day.   

I’ve already decided that my word for 2017 is going to be kindness. For a multitude of reasons, but ultimately because we need more of it in the world, and especially so in my little family.

It will be great for the kids to consciously think about doing nice things for other people. I’m hoping that all the extra kindness will lead to gratitude, happiness and a jollier family in general going into the new year. We’ve wasted far too much time of late being stressed out, and life’s too short to be living like this.

Our kindness challenge list

1st: I’ve signed us up for the Met Police Christmas Tree Project, which means buying a gift for a local child who might not receive one otherwise. We have been assigned two girls aged 12 and 16, and a boy aged 14. Our first challenge will be sourcing their presents, which need to be wrapped and taken to our local police station by the 9th.

2nd: Make cards for faraway friends, and take to the post office.

Our Kindness Challenge Advent Calendar to Countdown to Christmas3rd: Be super quiet first thing, to make sure Daddy gets some extra sleep.

4th: Be super quiet first thing, to make sure Mummy gets some extra sleep.

5th: Make salt dough tree decorations, and extras for friends we are seeing before Xmas for their trees.

6th: Make a nice card and some drawings to send to Nana in her care home.

7th: Have a clear out and donate all the stuff that doesn’t get worn or played with anymore.

8th: Sit for ten minutes in a circle, and tell each other the things we are grateful for.

9th: Make cards and wrapping paper for gifts for friends that we’re seeing for lunch on Saturday.

10th: Be super quiet first thing, to make sure Daddy gets some extra sleep.  

11th: Be super quiet first thing, to make sure Mummy gets some extra sleep. 

12th: Help mummy put the photos she’s had printed into albums.

13th: Think of three reasons why we love each member of the family.  

14th: Freddy gets to choose a Xmas movie to watch, without any fuss from his sisters. 

Our Kindness Challenge Advent Calendar to Countdown to Christmas15th: Clara gets to choose a Xmas movie to watch.

16th: Polly gets to choose a Xmas movie to watch.

17th: Be super quiet first thing, to make sure Mummy gets some extra sleep.  

18th: Be super quiet first thing, to make sure Daddy gets some extra sleep. 

19th: Write a story or draw a picture of a happy memory from the year, and give it to another member of the family.

20th: Make cards and gifts for Clara’s teachers at school. 

21st: Make a video to send to Grandad George. 

22nd: Make gingerbread cookies for our neighbours.  

23rd: Wrap gifts for the family to give to them on Boxing Day.

24th: Go through the 2016 memory jar, and relive our happiest experiences from the year.

kindness challenge advent calendar

go-jetters-collageThere was silly amounts of joy here this week when we discovered that the new series of Go Jetters is being shown. From my perspective, as a parent and home educator, Go Jetters encompasses everything that’s good about kids TV.

Not only are the characters fun, engaging and un-annoying, the best thing (for me) is that my children are stealth learning about the world while they watch. You really can’t ask for more as far as I’m concerned.

My littlest two Clara (4) and Freddy (2), will absolutely adore the brand new range of Go Jetters toys that came out recently. They are well made, sturdy toys, which would make perfect pressies for all the Go Jetters-mad kids out there. I can’t wait to see C & F’s faces on Christmas Day when they open their presents. Which also happen to be…

My top picks from the Go Jetters range!

Go Jetters Jet Pad

go-jetters-jet-padA must for all Go Jetters fans, this is The Jet Pad (aka Go Jetters HQ), as seen on the show. The toy comes fully equipped with action figure Kyan, a fab projection feature and rolling wheels. It’s a musical toy with lots of fun sounds, phrases and the theme tune, so your little ones can sing along when they go on their next geographical adventure! Once opened, the projector flips to reveal eight landmark images on the control panel, which your child has to ensure haven’t been glitched. They can use the ladder to climb up to the second floor, and slide Kyan along to see the bay doors open, which reveal a secret room. Inside they will find two click ons, and they can place Kyan in his G.O. boots, and manually extend his G.O. grab arm. For the full spec, please click here.

Action Grimbler

go-jetters-grimblerAs all Go Jetters fans will know, the team have to work together to save the world’s most famous landmarks from their naughty nemesis, Grandmaster Glitch, who travels around the world inside his Grimbler. Is it a rocket, is it a spacecraft or is it a submarine? From what I can gather, it’s a combination of all three, and he never travels alone. The Action Grimbler comes complete with Grandmaster Glitch and a sidekick Grimbot. Your child can pretend to glitch landmarks, so that the Go Jetters can unglitch them. The Grimbler has rolling wheels and Glitch’s moustache pops in and out as you roll it along, which is very cool indeed. For the full spec, please click here.

Plush Talking Ubercorn

Nina.Feng

Ubercorn is our favourite character from the series, and I knew I had to get two of these, otherwise I’d have world war three on my hands between Clara and Freddy come Christmas Day! This super soft and fluffy talking Ubercorn has got some seriously funky songs that he sings when you squeeze his belly. Ubercorn is part mentor, part disco dancer and part geography guide to the Go Jetters, and this gorgeous, fun toy does not disappoint. For the full spec, please click here.

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a Go Jetters Jet Pad, and Action Grimbler worth £55

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition rules
– winner will be notified by email, to ensure delivery before Christmas, please ensure you promptly reply with your delivery address   
– over 18’s only
– UK residents only
– no cash alternative given
– prize will be sent directly by the Go Jetters PR Team

Listing this competition on: U, Me & The Kids, Super Lucky, Competition Database, Tots100 and The Prize Finder

**Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post, for my full disclosure policy, please click here.**

Merry Christmas

Xmas Cookies 081215These little beauts are the perfect pick me up with a cuppa, and are sweetened with just one tablespoon of honey per batch (of 12). 

Using ground almonds and spices, these moreish treats are so easy to make that my 6yo daughter can pretty much knock them up all by herself.

There really is no excuse to not get yourself in the kitchen, and whip up some healthier indulgences over the holidays. Even if it’s just to have a change from celebrations and quality street!

Ingredients for 12 cookies

150g ground almonds 
2 tbsp coconut oil 
1 tbsp honey 
1-2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon  
1 tsp vanilla
small free range egg

GF, DF, RSF gingerbread cookies ready for the ovenMethod

– whisk together the coconut oil, honey, egg and vanilla in a bowl 

– add the ground almonds and spices, and combine well with a spoon 

– once a dough starts to form bring it together into a ball with your hands

– wrap it in greaseproof paper, and refrigerate for 30 mins

GF, DF, RSF gingerbread man Christmas cookies – when you are ready to take the dough out of the fridge, preheat your oven to 170C

– carefully roll out the dough on a baking sheet or the greaseproof paper, and make your shapes with cookie cutters

– once they are all cut out bake in the oven for 10 mins

– serve immediately or store in a biscuit tin

Enjoy!      

Incredible Value for Money at The WorksFor those of you unfamiliar with The Works Stores, they are like stepping inside an Aladdin’s cave of bargains. Be it books, CDs, DVDs, toys, games, calendars, diaries, stationery or arts and crafts supplies, The Works is a one stop shop for gifts that won’t break the bank.

I pride myself on my thrift radar, and have picked up many a great value present from The Works in the past. Far from being pound shop junk, they always have a fab selection of unique items, as well as being well stocked with whatever the latest kids craze is.

For the (still) Frozen mad they have a vast array of Elsa & Anna themed bits and bobs. My eldest spied a chapter book of the film, and is very excited about reading it (wonder what will happen!) They also have tons of Minion goodies, which is fantastic news for our 5yo nephew who is crazy about the little yellow dudes. Whatever your kids are into, I can almost guarantee they will have something suitable for them. 

They currently have 2 for £10 on a huge range of children’s sets and games, and books starting from just £1. In one shopping trip I managed to cross six people off the Christmas pressie list, and added an extra token gift to another four. In addition to this I stocked up on our card making supplies, and bought a 500ml bottle of pva glue for the same price that a 150ml bottle cost last time.

The Works Haul CollageMy Haul (all this for £50!)

  • Pretty ladies sudoku book
  • The Top Ten of Everything 2015, some absolutely fascinating stuff in here
  • 50 Magic Tricks set x2
  • Stencil Art set x2
  • Gorgeous art deco playing cards in a beautiful tin
  • Minions clay moulding set
  • Frozen chapter book
  • Wooden game balancing dinosaurs
    • Usborne colour your own party invitations
  • Bumper pack of 50 plain cards and envelopes
  • 500ml PVA glue
  • Pack of polka dot tissue paper
  • Butterfly shaped paint palate x3

Amazing value I’m sure you’ll agree! Why not head down to a Works Store near you, or check out their website, and grab some bargains of your own 😉

**Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post. See here for my full disclosure policy**