Reading Eggs – A Reading Tool for Children

Reading Eggs is a website that endeavours to help children to read quickly, in a fun and engaging way.

I’m sure that most parents, of a primary school aged child, will appreciate the pressure that is on children to learn to read.  My son, J, started reception in September, unable to read and barely able to write. However, by July, he will be expected to read well and be able to write a sentence or two. Frankly, to me anyway, this is scary stuff.

Now I am a complete bookworm and very keen for my boys to discover how fantastic reading can be. As a result, I had been curious about Reading Eggs but had never gone as far as to try it. I was excited to be given a years free access to the site and the Mega Book Pack to really explore and see what it was all about.

I will be completely honest. J is knackered, and still getting to grips with his full days at school. I will admit to being a little hesitant at giving him more school type things to do in the evening. However, in the name of research, I was willing to give it a go, as long as he wasn’t too tired or resistant.

On browsing the Reading Eggs site, I was very keen to get J on there to see his first impressions. The site itself is very engaging, bright and friendly. As his computer skills are just emerging, it was nice to see that everything is very user friendly and self explanatory. He only needed a little adult guidance in the beginning. Each of the initial levels concentrate on one letter at a time. These letters, and the sounds they make, are studied thoroughly, but not to the point of tedium, before moving onto the next level.

Reading Eggs J1Reading Eggs J2

J really enjoyed his time on the Reading Eggs site. He was giggling when the marshmallow mouse came out,  at the end of the first level, and at various other things. In the end, we spent a lot longer than we had planned to spend on there. J was very put out when I insisted it was very much time for bed!

After bed time, I came down to find an email from Reading Eggs with suggested homework. The homework focuses on the most recent lessons learnt, and easy ways that this can be supplemented at home.

Two weeks on and he is still hooked. I love the fact that J also has his own personal Avatar for the site. This is something that he really enjoyed making, and he gets excited to see, every time he switches on. J loves Reading Eggs, most days asking ‘can I do my eggs Mummy’ whilst his little brother goes to bed. It’s really nice to spend this time together, knowing that he is learning in a way that is fun to him.

Reading eggs are currently offering a four week free trial to the online subscription. Please click here if you would like to register. Offer is available until the 31st March 2017.

I Promise by Zanib Mian

H is seven now. She has to deal with disappointment and takes it more to heart than she used to. We were sent the book I Promise by Zanib Mian. If someone makes you a promise but fails to act on it, you can still do something about it yourself.

I Promise by Zanib Mian

I Promise by Zanib Mian is a short sweet book with a positive message.

Sometimes in life you’re promised things which then never happen. I’m guilty of that, I know. H will sometimes say “But you promised!” and I kick myself at having said the word and not acted on it. It’s usually because we’re so busy, and I’ve forgotten and I try to make it better. I Promise by Zanib Mian makes this turn of phrase a positive thing.

H has had many things promised to her from family and friends, and often they don’t happen. Generally she’s disappointed when it does. I usually try to do it with her instead wherever possible.

This is what I Promise is about.

If someone promises you the world, but try as they might, they cannot deliver, what do you do? You get the world for yourself…

I Promise by Zanib Mian is a book of few words, but has a positive message throughout. People will let you down, but grab that opportunity and make it happen yourself, is the general gist. It’s empowering.

I Promise by Zanib Mian

When a young girl comes across many broken promises in her life, a young man promises her the world. He fails. The only thing the young girl can do is take matters into her own hands. Can she really give herself the world? You’ll need to buy I Promise by Zanib Mian to find out.

It has lovely illustrations and is suitable for age 3 and up. You can order it now from Amazon, RRP £6.99

I Promise by Zanib Mian is published by Sweet Apple Books and is available now.

We were sent a copy of the book to review.

Stampin’ Up! for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is two weeks today (21st June) – another one of those days which just creeps up on you without you realising! Luckily this year we are well prepared thanks to Stampin’ Up! – who kindly sent us their Guy Greetings Stamp Set to try out.

Stampin Up Stamp Pads

Stampin’ Up! make a variety of crafty things, but for us it was all about the stamps – and for H it was all about making Daddy a Father’s Day card. We were sent the ‘Guy Greetings Stamp Set‘ which has a variety of options for cards for boys and men – and it’s something I know we’ll get a lot of use from.

From the Stampin’ Up! website – Our clear-mount stamps are made of the same high-quality red rubber as our wood-mount stamps, but they’re repositionable. They’re precut and ready to go. Temporarily mount these stamps on clear blocks for stamping, then remove them for space-saving storage. You’ll only need one set of blocks for all your clear-mount stamps (blocks sold separately). Our premium red rubber will last for years and give a superior stamped impression each time. The stamps come packaged in cases with images on the spine for easy storage and quick reference.

The 22 stamps are packaged in DVD style cases, so really easy to store. There’s a separate sheet which you can stick on each stamp so you know which one you’re using, and I found the stamps were nice and clear too.

Stampin Up Guy Greetings Stamps

So what do you get in the Guy Greetings set? Father’s Day, a Happy Birthday stamp along with Brother, Father, Uncle, Grandpa, Dad, Husband – so it covers quite a wide variety of male options. Alongside this are some picture stamps, all of which add a nice touch to a card, and some logos.

Stampin Up Stamp pads practice

So I left the card making to H. She decided to keep it really simple and just use the Father’s Day stamp twice, as well as a picture. We did a few practice stamps just so she could work out how hard she needed to press before the card creation – and then there was no stopping her.

Stampin Up Fathers Day CardThe card is now living in a Very Safe Place for two more weeks until the big day comes – and what I like the most about it is H being in control of it – sure, it got a bit messy but the ink washed off her hands quickly and easily – and she’s really proud of her creation. In addition to this, we now have an instant solution when it comes to any other male members in the family’s birthdays or celebrations! We’re really impressed – if you’re on the lookout for something like this, then do consider Stampin’ Up!’s Guy Greetings set. It retails for £32 and Stampin’ Up! offer delivery to the UK, Austria, Netherlands, Germany and France. Shipping costs are additional.

We were sent the stamps for the purpose of review. All opinons are our own.

Introducing Glitterbelle!

Glitterbelle is a princess, and she has a set of books that Parragon have just made available. We’ve been sent two of them, and H took to them immediately.

glitterbelle books

Glitterbelle is a sparkly glittery princess, and H loved the books straight away – while Glitterbelle isn’t too girly and has some attitude, she does a lot of normal stuff. We were sent ‘Glitterbelle Me and You’ which for a five year old is possibly the best thing ever – it’s a diary with fields that need to be filled in. For H there are all kinds of things, wishes, dreams, what you want to be when you grow up, secrets, best friends, loves, favourites and more. Every night when we get in from school she sneaks into a corner with a pencil and fills in things in her Glitterbelle book – which is top secret! We’ve been told we may be allowed to see what she’s written, but it’s a diary and I’m being very good and respecting her privacy.

glitterbelle diary

In turn, she’s been writing things down in each section. Okay, I had to have a little peep just to make sure she had, but also to see exactly what is asked in there. She loves that it’s ‘her’ little book of secrets where she can write what she wants, and I love how it’s adding to her creative side.

The other book we received was Glitterbelle Dazzling Dress Up, which is lots of stickers you can decorate and dress up Glitterbelle and her friends with – again, perfect for H when she wants to get creative. There are also 30 nail stickers included which are saved for half term.

Glitterbelle sticker book

Parragon has a Glitterbelle mini-site, as well as a free e-book you can download when you enter a code from the main story books. While I’m not a fan of girly princess things, this sits nicely in between – normal things that appeal to young girls without being too princessy.

The Glitterbelle books are targeted at 5-8 year olds. The mini site can be found here.

We received both copies for the purpose of review. All opinions are our own.