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Back To School With Books2Door

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Disclosure - This is a collaborative post. Books2Door referral scheme gives us both £5 off our orders by buying through this link

I’ve said it before but September really is my favourite month. September reminds me that my favourite time of year is on the way. Autumn is just around the corner, we will soon be visiting Alton Towers for Oktoberfest, then before we know it we will be pumpkin picking, setting off fireworks and then Christmas will soon be here. Working in an Education setting also means that September is the beginning of a new school year for me. I really enjoy meeting the new children, getting to know them and preparing for our school year together.

A selection of books on a book shelf



However I haven’t always liked September, when I was a child September meant back to school with the uncertainty of a new teacher, new classroom and possibly even new friends. So September can be a nervous and anxious time for some and whilst teachers and carers will do all they can to settle children into their new routine, as a parent we can also help them before September arrives.

Whether our little ones are starting nursery, reception, going into a new school year in primary school, starting secondary school, sixth form, college or even university we can help them and prepare them for their new adventure ahead.

If our little ones are nervous or anxious about what lies ahead we can talk to them but also reading stories can be a huge help. Books2Door have a lovely range of books and resources that can help children prepare for the new school year. These are a few of my favourites.

Lucy and Tom at School


Lucy and Tom at School by Shirley Hughes
Lucy has her school things ready. She has a new grey skirt, a pair of brown shoes, a pencil case and a satchel. Tom wishes that he had a satchel too. Full of warmth and good humour, the happy simplicity of childhood is captured in this richly illustrated, classic picture book about two young children’s first experience of school.

starting school book


Starting School by Allan Ahlberg
Following a number of children's first experiences, this picture book takes children right from their very first day to the end of the school year. This reassuring read will support even the most nervous school-starter, exploring each emotion, from fear to excitement, with care. The perfect read to start a conversation about any pre-school nerves, packed with playful illustrations and easy to understand explanations. This is a book that you'll want to read again and again - far beyond the last day of the school year.

No Worries : Your Guide To Starting Secondary Schoo


No Worries : Your Guide To Starting Secondary School by Jenny Alexander
No Worries is the ultimate secondary school survival guide, with tips, quizzes and jokes to help children prepare. What if I've got the wrong stuff? What if I don't fit in? What if the older kids are horrible to me? Starting secondary school can be an exciting time - it's a great adventure but sometimes, before you go, you can get a touch of the 'what ifs'. You may be feeling anxious or stressed about leaving primary school. No Worries is full of information about going up from primary to secondary school and covers all of the big worries and anxieties. With practical hints and tips, jokes and quizzes for finding your way around, making new friends, social media and staying on top of homework, this fully-revised edition of Going Up! is the essential no-worries guide to starting secondary school.

These are just a few of my personal favourites however you can browse a whole range of books by searching Back to School

Why Choose Books2Door?
- A huge range of books from best selling authors and offering bestselling titles 
- Deals and discounts all year round with up to 80% off.
- A loyalty scheme earning book points every time you shop
- 18,000 customers giving a 5* rating
- A new delivery service 

Books2Door referral scheme gives us both £5 off our orders by buying through this link

Books2Door PLUS+
Books2Door PLUS+ is a unique delivery service offering you free delivery for 12 months, on every order.

With two options, Silver or Gold, customers can pay an annual fee, starting from only £6.95. It’s easy to get started, simply add the ‘PLUS+ Silver’ or ‘PLUS+ Gold’ delivery to your cart and your membership will be activated.

PLUS+ SILVER = Pay a £6.95 one-off fee and get all orders delivered for the next 12 months (standard shipping, 3-5 working days)

PLUS+ GOLD = Pay a £9.95 one-off fee and get all orders delivered for the next 12 months (express shipping, 1-2 working days)

Have you started to prepare your little ones for September?  Leave us a comment below and let us know.

 You can always keep up to date with us on our socials, give us a like on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or if this post has helped you you can Buy Us A Virtual Coffee to say thanks.

Michelle
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What To Expect At Ninja Warrior UK, Liverpool

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Disclosure - We received press tickets to attend the opening of Ninja Warrior UK, Liverpool. 

We are big fans of Ninja Warrior UK and have sat and watched as contestants take on the obstacles and challenges, cheering them on from the sofa. We have said many a time that we would love to give them a go ourselves and now we can as Ninja Warrior UK has 16 adventure parks across the UK with it's latest arriving in Liverpool.

boy at Ninja Warrior


What To Expect At Ninja Warrior UK, New Mersey Retail Park, Liverpool, L24 8QB

Inspired by the hit tv show Ninja Warrior UK a new adventure park has arrived in Liverpool. The adventure park is a supervised fitness and activity venue that has something for all ages and abilities. We were lucky to join in with the opening celebrations and we were amongst the first to try out the inflatables, the obstacle courses and we tried to beat the wall. 

inflatables at Ninja Warrior














obstacle course at Ninja Warrior


The obstacle courses are a must if you want to test your strength and complete the course with family, friends or just on your own. There are a variety of balance beams and climbing obstacles that are all surrounded by padded flooring to soften your landing if you fall. 

inflatables at Ninja Warrior

The inflatable obstacle course is lots of fun with racing challenges, slides and obstacles. 

boy walking up mount sasuke

mount sasuke at Ninja Warrior


Mount Sasuke was a personal favourite of ours. Each side of Mount Sasuke had a different way of climbing to the top. It was lots of fun and once at the top you get to slide down to the bottom. 

The Wall is also lots of fun with three to choose from depending on your fitness level and ability. Little J and John managed all three.

mini Ninja's at Ninja Warrior


Mini Ninja's is perfect for 0-3 year olds and can be bought separately. It's a play area with obstacles and slides. 

Anything Else?

Ninja Warrior UK is suitable for all ages and abilities. You can purchase a Mini Ninja's ticket for those 0-3 years and a Ninja Warrior ticket for those aged 4+ to Adult of all ages.

Ninja Warrior UK costs £12 for 1 hr session or 2hrs from £16.50

Ninja Socks must be worn on the inflatables. These can be purchased for £2 at online checkout or at the venue. 

Clean sensible footwear is to be worn on the obstacles. 

Complimentary lockers are available. 

All under 12's must have an adult on site. 

Normal opening hours are Mon-Thurs 9am-8pm and Fri-Sun 9am-9pm

Booking online will avoid disappointment.

If visiting Ninja Warrior UK, Liverpool there are lots of free car parking spaces at the retail park. 

Party Packages are available to book at Ninja Warrior UK and specific details can be found on the Ninja Warrior UK website. 

Ninja Warrior UK Merchandise is available to purchase online or at the venue and includes, sweatbands, headbands and grip gloves.

There is also a seating area over two levels and a wide range of hot and cold snacks and drinks to purchase. 

We will definitely be visiting Ninja Warrior UK again, we already have another booking made for later in the Summer holidays with friends. It's fun, energetic and the perfect way to burn some energy. You can view some of our highlights over on instagram and check out the Ninja Warrior UK website for latest news, offers, deals and FAQ's.

Will you be heading to Ninja Warrior? Leave us a comment below and let us know.  

If you enjoyed this post you can check out more by clicking our  'you may also like' posts below. 

Also you can always keep up to date with us on our socials, give us a like on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or if this post has helped you, you can Buy Us A Virtual Coffee to say thanks.


Michelle
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Reasons To Stay In A Villa With The Kids

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For people who love to travel these past few years have been a nightmare as due to the restrictions we have not been able to travel as much. We were hoping to maybe get away on a two week Summer holiday this year however that didn't happen although we did enjoy 4 nights in Disneyland Paris instead.  I have been thinking about next year and trying to get some ideas for where and when we would like to get away. As there is still a lot of uncertainty in the world I have been swaying more towards a villa holiday rather than a hotel or apartments and have jotted down a few ideas for planning a villa holiday with the kids. One of our favourite places we have ever visited is Cyprus. We stayed in a holiday village in Cyprus and it was a lovely country to visit. It was very clean, lots to explore and the locals were so friendly. I've been looking at a private villa in Cyprus in a similar area to where we stayed and it looks like an option for us next year. 

view of the pool



Why We Want To Stay At A Villa With The Kids

It's A Home From Home
A villa has all the facilities you need when travelling with younger children. We don't travel light, and last time we went abroad we took so many clothes to last us the fortnight. Having a washing machine in the villa means we can take half the amount and just wash while we are there. Having a fridge too is a must especially keeping the drinks cold throughout the day.

No Distractions
We have been on many holidays over the years where the entertainment staff have literally dragged us off our sun loungers to join in with the daytime activities. I love daytime entertainment but sometimes you just want to chill out and not be pestered by reps to join in with activities happening around the pool or grounds.

No Kids Clubs. 
Little J has never shown any interest in attending kids clubs. He would rather play in the pool and spend time with his older brother.  

No Restrictions.
The last few times we have been abroad on holiday we stayed have stayed in an all inclusive resort. This always sounds like a great idea for us especially when it come to being able to get drinks, snacks and ice cream whenever we want however it becomes very restrictive at meal times. We  have felt that we couldn't venture too far as we would miss lunch or dinner time. Also it meant we didn't visit local restaurants either. 

Chill time. 
We all love our chill time. Whether it's reading, watching some TV, playing games on iPads or just watching the world go by. It will be nice to have some chill time of an evening on our own private balcony.

Free Wifi
Even though we are on holiday, free wifi is a must. I like to stay connected to the outside world and the boys would be lost with their daily dose of you tube or games on their devices. 

Full UK TV, Sky Channels and DVD/CD Player
We are not ones for staying out late drinking and partying. After a lovely day by the pool or exploring the resort I can't think of anything better than a DVD and a cup of tea.

Private Pool
The boys love the water and knowing we would have our own private pool is a definite plus for us. There is nothing worse than having to get up every day at dawn to place your towels on the sun loungers so you can enjoy a day by the pool. 

We have always found choosing a holiday really hard. In fact it takes us weeks and weeks just to decide on where to go then another few weeks looking at accommodation. Although after thinking about it we are almost certain a villa is for us next year.


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Michelle


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Cheatwell Games Topix and Family Quiz Night Review and Giveaway

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Disclosure - We were sent the products below for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own unless stated. This post contains affiliate links. 

family quiz night and topix games


Last weekend our plans were cancelled and we ended up staying at home. It's very rare that we have a whole weekend at home but it was a a good opportunity to try out two new board games we had been sent from Cheatwell Games

family quiz night


Family Quiz Night 
Family Quiz Night from Cheatwell Games is a quiz game that is suitable for all the family. Family Quiz Night is easy to set up with just a board, counters, die and quiz questions which are already set up in the box. 

Each player rolls the die and moves around the board answering questions on the topic they land on. There’s a wide range of categories such as People, History, Geography, TV, Movies and Pot Luck. 

quiz questions


When you roll the dice you move the number of spaces that is shown on the die. The die allows you to move 1,2 or 3 spaces. Another player reads out your quiz question and you have no time limit to answer. There are two questions per card, the top question is aimed at younger players as it gives a multi choice option of 3 possible answers and the bottom question is aimed at adults.

We played as a family of 4, 3 adults and 1 child. Family Quiz Night is easy to understand and Little J enjoyed trying to figure out the answer to the children’s questions. The option of multi choice really helped him and he actually ended up winning the game.

family quiz night board game


As you move around the board you’re competing to get to the finish square. If you answer your question correctly you get to roll the die again. You continue on your turn until you get a quiz question wrong. Once you reach the finish that’s if the game is over and you’ve won.

Playing time was approx 30-40 minutes. We found some of the adult questions really hard however you can use the children's questions if you wish using the multi choice option.

topix board game


Topix
Topix is another game that is lots of fun and gets you to use your brain. It is easy to set up with just a board, counters, blue and red topic cards and answer sheets.

The idea of the game is that you have a topic, a letter of the alphabet and you have to write down as many answers as possible relating to your topic beginning with your letter. For example your letter may be S and your topic may be 'things you find in the Ocean' You then write as many things as you can beginning with S such as Seaweed, Ship Wreck, Starfish, Shark... You have to do this before the egg timer runs out. You move around the board you would on a normal board game however your move is determined by how many you answered correctly. Each time you land on a circle this will determine what colour topic card you need to choose and what letter you need to begin with.

category questions

category questions


We played a made up version of the game that suited our family. As we were playing with a younger player we decided that each correct answer was worth two points and therefore if someone scored five correct answers they could move ten spaces. 

topix game


The first player to reach the end is the winner and our playing time was again around 30-40 minutes. 

Little J found this game particularly hard and didn't enjoy it as much as Family Quiz Night. He really struggled to think of answers in the allotted time. We will definitely play it again with him and I’m hoping as we continue to play this over the next couple of months his brain will start working a bit quicker and he will start to enjoy it more.

Both games are really good fun and we do love board games so they will definitely be ones to play with our family and friends. 

I have teamed up with Cheatwell Games to give Family Quiz Night and Topix away to two winners. The first winner drawn will will Family Quiz Night and the second winner will win a copy fo Topix.

If you would like to enter all you need to do is enter the giveaway below and remember to pop back for bonus chances to win each day. 


Michelle
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What To Expect At The Nickelodeon Experience Summer 2022

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You may have read my post recently advertising this years Nickelodeon Experience. The experience is visiting Heaton Park, Manchester until the 5th August and then onto Knebworth House from 14th Aug - 27th August. The Nickelodeon Experience promised lots of fun and activities for all ages and we were excited to visit Heaton Park on it's opening weekend. 

slime at the Nickelodeon experience
When arriving at the park The Nickelodeon Experience was clearly signposted and we were guided to the car park which was less than a minutes walk to the entrance of the experience. Tickets are timed and ours was 12pm but a queue started to form about 20 minutes before. Once we were at the front of the queue the tickets on our phones where scanned, we were given wristbands and then the children were given a free Nickelodeon branded popper which was a nice surprise. We later found these in the shop and they were priced £6.

Once you are inside you are free to roam the experience and take part in the activities. They are clearly signposted around the outskirts of the sectioned area of the park. We tried all the experiences before the great British weather took a turn and started to pour down. Luckily most of the activities are undercover so a bit of rain shouldn't spoil your day. 

henry dangers maze at the Nickelodeon experience


HENRY DANGER'S MAZE
Push your superpowers to the limit as you brave your way through the Henry Danger Maze! But be careful, this cave is full of twists and turns, puzzles and passages and you’ll need to get through the cave unscathed - or face transportation to another dimension!

But don’t worry, Jace Norman will be on screen to give you the low down and tips on getting through! 

(For 7 - 14 years old.)

henry dangers maze at the Nickelodeon experience


This was a bit of a disappointment and as it was our first activity I was a little worried the rest would be like this. It had so much potential but it was basically just a lot of mirrors and you could clearly see the 'push bar for exit' way out as soon as you walked in. There were three buttons to find and press once inside but because it was small and open we found them in 30 seconds. However when we had finished little J instantly wanted to go in again so sometimes a grown up's perspective is so much different than the kids. 

Thundermans at the Nickelodeon experience


THUNDERMANS' SCHOOL FOR SUPERHEROES
Be a superhero at The Thundermans' School for Superheroes!

Are you ready to save the day? The Z-Force needs you! Kira Kosarin is dialling into The Thundermans' School for Superheroes to set you the ultimate superhero challenge…to win back your superpowers that have been taken by the Dark Orb!

But hurry, you’ll need to work together in your teams and be FAST to win! 

(For 7 - 14 years old.)

Thundermans at the Nickelodeon experience


Next we did the Thunderman's School for Superheroes. We walked in to the tent and it was designed really well as a superhero camp. There were hula hoops, space hoppers and exercise bikes all positioned around the Dark Orb. The host for this activity had so much energy and was really great with the kids. She encouraged them to work out puzzles before finding a piece of equipment which they needed to use to try and become superheroes. All the children were engaged and played along and it was definitely an improvement on the previous activity.

Hunter street escape room at the Nickelodeon experience


HUNTER STREET ESCAPE ROOM
Can you unlock the mysteries of the missing painting at Hunter Street’s very own museum?
As soon as the door locks – the countdown begins! Work together with your super-star friends to solve the clues and see if your team can unlock our escape room... 

( For 7 - 14 years old.)

Hunter street escape room at the Nickelodeon experience


This was brilliant! As big fans of Escape Rooms I was hoping this activity would be good and it really was. Only 7 families can enter the escape room at a time and it takes about 20 minutes in total so this activity did have a constant queue but it was worth it. Each family was given a clue sheet and a wipe clean board to write on. We were taken in to the Escape Room and the two hosts explained what we had to do. No spoilers here but if you are a fan of Escape Rooms and puzzles you will enjoy it. 

Turtles lair at the Nickelodeon experience


CRAWL THROUGH THE TURTLES' LAIR
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live underground?

There's a subterranean adventure to be had in The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ lair! Head underground, crawl through the maze and play the interactive TMNT based games.

(Suitable for all ages.)

This was a set of tunnels which the children could crawl through at their own pace. Little J did go in however was out after a minute or two and ready to try another activity. 


digging for treasure


SANTIAGO OF THE SEAS' TREASURE COVE
Set sail on an adventure aboard a giant pirate ship with Santiago of the Seas!

Your little ones can play around in this interactive world and uncover hidden treasure in a sandy paradise! 

(Recommended for 2-6 years old.)

Just before we headed to this activity the rain started so lots of people gathered under this tent including us. There were lots of treasure chests filled with sand and posters dotted around that encouraged the children to look for hidden treasure. 

barrels of slime


SLIME TIME PARTY!
It’s time to get SLIMED… The ultimate Nickelodeon honour!
Join other privileged VIPs and experience real-life Nickelodeon slime just like the superstars before you. Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, David Beckham and Sir Andy Murray are all part of this elite club – and now it’s your turn!

Kids 7 and under will also be able to take part in the fun with our slime confetti simulator. 

(Suitable for all ages.)

Both John and Little J had a go at the Slime Time Party. They were given a poncho before they entered the Slime zone. 

LOVE PAW PATROL?
Then you need to come on down to Adventure Bay!

There’s lots of fun to be had, as well as an opportunity to meet everyone’s favourite PAW Patrol Pups, Chase & Marshall.

PAW Patrol is on a roll... 

(Recommended for 2-6 years old.)

Little J didn't want to see the characters however there were lots of little ones very excited to meet the Paw Patrol pups. 

bikini bottom


BIKINI BOTTOM BEACH
Completing The Nickelodeon Experience is hungry work! With plenty of delicious street food options to choose from you’ll be spoilt for choice…

During your visit, make sure you join us at Bikini Bottom Beach, a central zone for the whole family to spend time, relax and grab a bite.

There will be plenty of hot and cold food and drink on offer, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. 

(Suitable for all ages, even the grown ups!)

We didn't use this area as the rain was just so bad at the time and we couldn't sit in the deckchairs however on a sunny day this would have been great. The deckchairs were all facing a huge TV screen showing Nickelodeon shows. 

The event is on grass so I would recommend sensible shoes and be prepared for all weathers. There were plenty of toilets, seating area both underneath a canopy tent and also the deckchairs. There were queues for food but you would expect that at this type of event. There is no hard sell to buy toys, light ups etc, there is just one shop by the exit although I think it can be avoided if you didn't want to visit.

Overall we all enjoyed The Nickelodeon Experience. The activities little J enjoyed most were Henry Dangers Maze, The Thunderman's Superhero Camp and The Hunter Street Escape Room. He did every activity once except for the maze which he did twice. After a look in the shop at the exit we left after being there for about 90 minutes. I think the rain did shorten our visit however we did everything and it was a really good experience. 

The Nickelodeon Experience will provide lots of fun for the kids this Summer. You can head over to The Nickelodeon Experience for more details and to book tickets.

Will you be heading to The Nickelodeon Experience during the Summer holidays? Leave us a comment below and let us know.  

You can always keep up to date with us on our socials, give us a like on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or if this post has helped you, you can Buy Us A Virtual Coffee to say thanks.

Michelle
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Tips For A Stress Free Airport Experience

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Disclosure - This is a collaborative post however the idea for this post is my own. 

There is no better feeling than clicking 'complete' when booking a holiday. The build up to 'travel day' is so exciting however it can be quite stressful with 101 things on your 'to do' or 'to pack' list. I like to try and stay as stress free as possible especially if travelling abroad. I like to be organised and prepared for every possibility and over the years I have gathered some tips to have a stress free airport experience. 

woman walking through airport
Arrange Travel To and From The Airport
We have tried lots of different ways to get to and from the airport over the years. Firstly we would rely on family or friends to take us and pick us up however we found this really stressful especially if we had a late flight or we were delayed. We didn't like the idea of someone having to wait around for us. We now pre book car parking at the airport and it's really made a difference to the start of our holiday. Knowing we can leave when we are ready and then park the car for our return is so much easier. We have used a variety of airport parking, there is usually parking available close to your terminal or other parking were you have to get a mini bus to your terminal after you've parked. We have felt safe leaving our car in both types of parking and will usually just come down to whatever is cheapest at the time. 

Arrive Early and Check In Online
Depending on where we are flying from and to we would usually head to the airport 90 minutes before our flight however the situation in the airports is completely different now and most will advise you to arrive between 2hrs30 and 3hrs before your flight. Staffing is a problem at the moment in most UK airports so arriving early allows you the time if you have to wait in queues to either check in or pass security. Checking in online can help save you some time however arriving early is definitely a stress free tip especially at the moment. The last thing you want is to be running to the gate or even worse missing your flight. 

Travel Hand Luggage Only
This can be difficult if you are heading off on a two week holiday however if you are just away for a few days or a city break I would definitely recommend trying to squeeze as much as possible in to your hand luggage. Most airlines now allow you to carry a bag that will fit under your seat free of charge but you can also pay to upgrade to a cabin bag which fits in the overhead locker. Travelling with just hand luggage allows you to skip check in and also as soon as you land there is no need to head to baggage claim you can just leave. 

Have All Your Documents In One Place
Having all your travel documents  in one place can make it so much easier for you when you need to show boarding passes, vaccination status or passports. making your way through the airport can be crazy sometimes as you have to show your boarding passes and passports at various points throughout. Knowing they are all together in one place can make it so much easier to find in your bag. 

If Things Go Wrong Know Who To Contact
Like I mentioned earlier unfortunately staffing situations are not good in our airports at the moment which has lead to travel disruption and delays. We would always locate the nearest information point or service desk for our airline just in case anything went wrong however there is now lots of ways that you can speak to representatives. More so than ever customer service within the airport or airlines is so important as there is so much chaos. Having someone you can to via email, live chat or telephone has always been important to us especially based on our past experiences when we have been delayed and we needed information. Make sure you have this information on who to contact handy in the event that you do need to speak to customer service. 

Also..

Once through security allow enough time to visit the duty free and toilets before heading to the gate. 

If you are a nervous flyer consider making a calming playlist to listen to on the plane. 

If travelling with children ensure you have their essentials, activities and snacks in the event of a delay.

Are you travelling this Summer? Leave us a comment below and let us know where you are going. 

You can always keep up to date with us on our socials, give us a like on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or if this post has helped you you can Buy Us A Virtual Coffee to say thanks.


Michelle
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