Double the Monkey Business

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#SMB – Google+ Week – Grow Your Community!

  There are so many pieces and parts to running a great blog, it’s hard to keep up with it…

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Never miss a birthday again with My Parcel Delivery

Never miss a birthday again with My Parcel Delivery

Living abroad is certainly more the norm for my generation, even more so for the boys.

We currently live in Germany, have family that live in Scotland, England and America.  We have friends that live all over the world, New Zealand, America, Mexico, Signapore, Hong Kong…  You get the idea.  It feels to me like more people are exploring further afield, a bit different to years gone by when some families never left their home town.

Anyway, how on earth can you stay connected with all these people when you are living at opposite sides of the world?

It is hard I have to say.  We have found things like Skype and Facetime to be a lifeline to us over the years. You can see people and speak to them in real time which is such a lifesaver.

*This is a collaborative post*

Sending presents abroad can also be tricky.

Which is why a good courier company can come in handy.  Someone like My Parcel Delivery makes life so much easier.  It is basically a search engine, which trawls the internet for the best deals.  All you need to do is enter your parcels measurements and weight.  It then offers you different delivery options, so gives you plenty to choose from.  It is really clever and take the pressure off with deliveries.

My Parcel Delivery

It also has a rating system so you can see what customers think of each individual company and make an informed decision:

Through the system you can print the label for your package and pay for the service. Then you can either wait for it to be collected, or you drop it off at nearest drop off point.

The best thing about using a courier like this is that you can track your parcel, which is perfect for anything that is sentimental or for that special birthday that you just dont want to miss!

Clever, isn’t it?

So, now you have no excuse to ever miss a birthday again!

 

 

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6 fun Ways to make your Kids more active

6 fun Ways to make your Kids more active

I really love this time of year, lighter evenings make such a difference to my mood!  I love that when I pick the kids up in the afternoon it is light right up until they go to bed.  It means we can get out and about more.

My two love being outdoors.  I think it helps that in their German Kindergarten they are outside as much as possible. It is so good for them to be outdoors.

I thought it would be fun to show some of the things we love doing in the summer to get the kids more active.

*This is a collaborative post*

6 fun Ways to make your Kids more active

Buy a Trampoline

When we first bought our trampoline I wasn’t sure how much the boys would use it.  I now realise that the answer to that is All. The. Time!  It is a great way to burn off extra energy.  If you are a big kid like me then you will probably enjoy the odd shot of the trampoline too, while shouting “Get out of the way kids…”  Just me?

Go on a Nature Hunt

Last year I created a Nature Hunt for the boys and they loved every minute of it. We had a lot of fun and I have been meaning to do a new one, with a Spring focus.  If you don’t have time to pull one together, then you can find a downloadable one here: https://doublemonkeybusiness.co.uk/2016/10/10/going-nature-hunt/

Get the family some Heely’s

Many years ago my cousin came to meet me at the airport and I always remember wondering how he was gliding across the floor.  He was having so much fun and I later found out that he was wearing Heely’s.  So basically cool trainers with wheels on the soles.  For the big kid among us, Skate Hut also do adult sizes.  So, everyone can join in!  I have to say though my favourites are the comic book ones (see above photo).

Visit the Frisbee Park

Near the lake where we live they have just built one of these frisbee parks.  The boys have had so much fun trying – and mostly failing – to get the frisbee in the net.  Hours of entertainment for everyone.  Disclaimer: I say the boys mostly fail, in the interest of being fair I should admit I am not much better!

Challenge them to Mini Golf

We went to play crazy golf / mini golf a few weeks ago.  The boys had never been before and we assumed they would be bored after the first couple of rounds.  How wrong were we.  They stuck it out to the end and then didn’t want to leave.  They now ask every weekend to go back and do it all again.

Go on a Cycle Ride

I have always loved cycling.  I still cycle to work – although these days I tend to be more of a fairweather cyclist and only do it when I know there is no chance of rain. We are getting the bikes an upgrade for their birthday. Bye bye balance bike.  Hello big grown up bikes. I cannot wait for them to learn to ride properly so we can do family bike rides in the summer.

So there you have it, my guide to getting your kids more active.  If you have any other fun ideas, I would love to hear them.  Leave a message in the comments or on my social media.  I always love to hear from you!

 

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Get Crafty with Octonauts Face Masks

Get Crafty with Octonauts Face Masks
We are making Octonauts face masks over on the blog! Come and join us and I will talk you through how we did it.

For anyone that knows my love of crafts, it will not surprise you to know that I have a VERY long lists of crafts that I want to do with the boys.  Most of these crafts are educational.  So things along the lines of learning letters, numbers, days of the weeks etc!

When we sat down to do crafts on Friday afternoon I had grand plans of doing crafts with the letter C.  I also thought we could do some weather crafts.  However, the boys were not so keen.  They had just watched an episode of Octonauts and they ganged up on me.  They do this a lot.  I guess I should be used to it by now.

So after cries of “lets do Octonauts crafts mummy!”, I had to get my thinking cap on.  We had plenty of the right coloured card so I thought lets make some Octonauts face masks, how hard can it be?

Octonauts to the launch bay….

Actually in answer to that question, not hard.  Fiddly… yes.  But not hard…

The thing with crafts in our house, is that I try to get the boys to do as much as possible.  However, these masks were a little bit tricky.  If I am honest, they are probably best suited to children a little older.  Anyway, with help from me we worked it out.

What you need to make Octonauts Face Masks:

  • Coloured Card
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • String or ribbon

Making Kwazii

It was brought to my attention that apparently Kwazii is D’s favourite character EVER.  This was news to me but for should not be a surprise seeing as their favourite characters and TV shows change hourly.

Making Kwazzi was not that hard, as luck would have it we had the exact shade of orange card needed to make his face which was a stroke of luck.  We used a plate to draw around, and cut out a circle.

We then used black card to cut out his pirates eye patch and eye.  These were glued in place.

We had a black marker pen to draw the whiskers and nose and a little bit of light card for the mouth.

Then we cut out a hat with blue card.

So basically, it was very much a cut and glue job!  So it is a good job both the boys love using the glue stick.

I would say the hardest part was then cutting out holes for the eyes.  I am yet to perfect this art form! Whenever I cut out the eyes they look strange and squint.  So any tips on making this easier gratefully received.

I then cut along the bottom of the mask, to make it fit better around the face and mouth.

I then used some ribbon to attach to the sides of the mask, so it holds the mask in place when the boys are wearing them.

Making Peso

**For anyone wondering, yes I did have to google the names to make sure I had them right, don’t tell the boys they would be horrified that my Octonauts knowledge is not up to scratch!**

For Peso, we started the same way. Although we used black card.  We then used white paper, to cut out the inner area of his face.  I just used a couple of coasters to make sure they were equal.

We used some black card to cut out and glue on for eyes.  Blue card for that hat and then cut out a little yellow nose.

We then finished it off the same way, with thread to attach it and trimming the bottom of the mask so it would fit properly.

Verdict

For someone who loves to plan ahead, making these last minute craft worked out well I think.  Even the hubby complimented us on a job well done, usually he just complains about the mess we make !

I would love to know if you have tried these at home and how you got on.  If you have made any other characters then I would love to see them!

Octonauts Face Masks

If you liked these Octonauts face masks and you want to see what other crafts we have done, check out our activities page here.

 

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Little People, Big Dreams – Book Reviews

Little People, Big Dreams – Book Reviews
We have the pleasure of reviewing the Little People, Big Dreams books on the blog today. If you are looking for inspiring books, check this out.

We read so many books with the kids, some are funny, some help with numbers or letters and some have a moral message.

However, this week we have been reviewing something a little different from the team over at Room to Grow.  The Little People, Big Dreams range – and they are inspirational!

Little People, Big Dreams

Premise – Little People, Big Dreams

We reviewed three books in the series; Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart and Maya Angelou.  They are based on inspirational women from history. Written in a way that is perfect for little ones to grasp.

Marie Curie

The first book we read followed the life of Marie Curie.  When she was younger Marie was unable to attend university as she was a women.  However, when she grew up, her scientific work was respected around the world.  This book follows her journey as she helped with the fight against Cancer and received a Nobel Prize for Physics.

Amelia Earhart

Amela was an inspirational women who set a new world record for flying up to 14,000 feet.  This story follows her journey as she flies across the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, then attempts to fly all the way around the world!

Maya Angelou

Spending much of her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas, Maya discovered her voice through books and went onto become one of the worlds most beloved writers and speakers.

My Thoughts

These books were a really interesting read with my boys.  They asked a lot of questions that have never come up before.

In my mind that is a brilliant thing.

In the book about Maya Angelou’s life, it says:

“Maya was treated unfairly because of the colour of her skin and because she was a girl”

We actually had to stop reading the book as the boys asked “why mummy?”  Which led us onto a conversation about equality and treating people with kindness.  This is something that I personally feel strongly about. I have never understood why someone would judge another person due to the colour of their skin, sexuality or gender.  It baffles my mind that people can feel like that.  I am determined to bring my boys up treating people equally and I welcomed the conversation that this prompted with the boys.

All of these books are accompanied by beautiful illustrations.  Also at the back of the book, you can read a little bit more about the characters and real photos of these inspirational women.

We all very much enjoyed reading these books and I would recommend these to any parent.

*I was provided these products for free in return for an honest and fair review.  All opinions are my own*

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