Friday, 11 November 2016

Top 10 non-chocolate advent calendars for children

Last year I bought Ava a Play-Doh advent calendar. We wanted to limit the morning chocolate intake and also wanted to get her something a bit different. It was a huge hit and I even found myself looking forward to seeing what would be behind each window every day.

Granted the non-chocolate advent calendars are more expensive than your run of the mill choccie ones but I think they're a great concept and there is such a huge variety on the market nowadays so there is something for everyone. I've done a round up of my top 10 so you have the best at your fingertips. I hope that it helps!



1-Naughty Advent Calendar Kit, £15.95-NOTHS: I love Not on the Highstreet for it's collection of quirky items and this is such a fun idea. You receive your kit complete with black & white balloons, number stickers and an activity sheet for you to cut out. Every day your child gets to pop a balloon to uncover a fun activity, something "naughty" from jumping on the bus to making crazy sandwiches. This is a definite contender for Ava's advent calendar this year.

2-Play-Doh Doh Vinci advent calendar, £12.99-John Lewis: We've not used Doh Vinci before but if it's messy I know Ava would enjoy it. Every day you get a new piece for your kit and on the last day you can make a festive picture with your new set.

3-Hama Bead advent calendar, £15.90- Hamabead.com: An advent calendar for the slightly older, creative, child in your life. Such a lovely idea and perfect for a bit of quiet time during the mad Christmas rush. The calendar comes with 5,000 assorted Hama beads, 5 peg boards of various shapes and 24 Christmas themed design sheets. Guaranteed to keep them busy!

4- Smiggle advent calendar, £28- Smiggle: As an avid stationary lover this advent calendar excites me greatly. I'm quite tempted to buy it for myself. Yes it is on the pricey side but you do get £38 worth of Smiggle products inside and a 1 in 25 chance to win a £250 Smiggle shopping spree. I've heard great things about this shop but am yet to venture inside. I'll definitely take Ava when we next go on a shopping trip.

5- Playmobil advent calendar, £19.95-Tesco: The Playmobil advent calendar seems to be one of the most popular non-chocolate advent calendars and the first one I ever saw. They now do various themed calendars, Christmas, pirates or dress up party. It's a lovely way to collect a set.

6- Vtech Toot Toot Drivers advent calendar, £16.45-Tesco: A great advent calendar for little ones, the box even folds down to create a road. The main gift, a truck, contains 3 Christmas songs and 6 festive melodies and sound effects.

7- Bath bomb and soap advent calendar, £30- NOTHS: A lovely idea for a teenager, saying that one of Ava's favourite shops is Lush so she's be thrilled with this calendar, as would I. It contains 12 mini soap slices and bath bombs, all handmade. You'll smell good enough to eat by Christmas morning!

8- Barbie advent calendar, £19.99- John Lewis: Ava is a big Barbie fan and I'm thinking of getting her this one. You receive 24 fashion items for Barbie, including a party dress, shoes, purses and jewellery.

9- Star Wars Lego advent calendar, £19.97-ASDA: A great one for fans of Star Wars. You can create a fantastic battle with the 24 collectible gifts which includes figures, vehicles and starships.

10- 24 Sleeps advent book, £15-NOTHS- A fun, creative book jam packed with festive activities. Another great one to keep them busy and quiet during the festive period. One that the family can get involved with too!

What do you think of my selection? Will you be buying any of these advent calendars for your children?





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Monday, 7 November 2016

Our secret adventure garden challenge with Energizer & Secret Life of Pets*

We recently received a very exciting parcel from Energizer who have teamed up with Secret Life of Pets to celebrate the film's recent release to DVD.



The parcel was full to the brim with everything we needed to have a fun, night time adventure in our garden. Energizer is powering family time with a range of head lamps & batteries ready for adventures- and they certainly stocked us up! Even Gidget, one of the pets from the film, came with her own headtorch, ready for her adventure with us!



We were sent our very own, personalised map with 4 mini adventures to help Ava and I explore our garden at night.



Ava was so excited and wrapped up warm in her new "Secret Life of Pets" fluffy Pyjama set from Asda & fuzzy socks she was good to go!


Armed with hot chocolates we set about undertaking the first challenge which was to turn off our head torches and lantern and Ava was to draw what she could see in the sky. Unfortunately we didn't pick the clearest of nights but she could just about make out some stars.


Other challenges included hopping like a bunny across the lawn


Searching for night time creatures, we found lots of creepy crawlies hiding in our garden


And listening out for night time animals.




After many hot chocolate treats we retreated back into the warmth.


This was such a fun activity to do with Ava and something that I would never have thought to do before.

We really enjoyed getting out in our garden at night to explore, with the help of Energizer.

You can also be in with a chance of winning your own Secret Life of Pets soft toy by picking up a promo pack from participating retailers, you too would be able to have your own secret adventures at home.


Have you ever thought about having a night time adventure with your child? I would definitely recommend it!

*We were sent the items free of charge in exchange for an honest review
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