Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Fleet Air Arm Museum Visit

My boys really enjoyed their recent visit to the Fleet Air Arm Museum there was so much to see and do.  It was a very interactive exhibition with lots for them to engage with and all the while very educational.

Museums can be tricky with children they can get bored and lose interest, but here they got to venture onboard a Concorde (the cockpit is something to see with all the buttons!), sit inside a life raft, watch a Royal Navy helicopter take off from one of the viewing galleries and wonder around the realistic aircraft carrier experience after arriving on it by a rather convincing “helicopter flight” (you could feel all the vibrations and sounds!).  Yes I can confidently say the boys had a memorable time, which would have been well worth the entrance cost.  I would recommend booking in advance online to save 20% on your visit just to make it even more affordable.

Leave plenty of time for your visit as it does take a good few hours to get round everything (the museum is vast!), I think we stayed about three and a half hours but could have managed longer if we had read all the displays and information available.  

My boys tended to stand in awe of the various aircraft and soak up the atmosphere of the place, but they still learnt lots of new things.  The collection of aircraft is very impressive.  Aside from the Concorde they also could go on-board a Search and Rescue Sea King Helicopter, which pleased them no end.

There are lots of screens dotted around with games to play all helping them learn more about aviation history.  A definite highlight was listening to a short and entertaining presentation about the role of pigeons in the military.  It was interesting and the volunteer who did the talk really captured the boys attention.  Pigeons played a fundamental part in the war and it was fascinating learning more.

The volunteers as a whole were knowledgeable and friendly, my boys were allowed to wear dapper outfits and we could take pictures in front of a rather fancy Aston Martin (the owner kindly brings it to the museum and was lovely, showing us the engine and even letting the boys have a go in the driving seat!).

A photo posted by Karen (@missingsleep) on

Its worth a return visit too as the museum regularly rotates the aircraft they have on display some of which you cannot see anywhere else in the world!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Nocto Bat for Halloween

My nine year old is a bit more discerning these days when it comes to toys.  It’s got to offer something quite exciting for him to bother.  Otherwise he is straight back on his bike or off to his room to read another book (he is a complete bookworm my boy!).  

Yet somehow Nocto Bat caught his attention; he likes anything that seems quite engaging and this is literally all singing and dancing.  The bat’s coloured lights (his eyes, wings and body illuminate) and sound effects add to the fun and if you play music to Nocto he will dance!

This interactive bat can do plenty for its retail price of £49.99, it looks great, let’s you play four different games (“Rock, Paper, Scissors”, “Fruit Bat Machine”, “Snap!” and “Ask Nocto?” and has 6 different moods (with accompanying sounds, lights and movements to match).  Seriously this bat can be as grumpy as eldest when it puts its mind to it!  But I can’t blame him, as I would be exactly the same if I were woken from a peaceful sleep with a poke to the head!

If your hoping to cut down your child’s sugar intake this Halloween perhaps gifting them one of these “swag” toys (in the words of my eldest!) might be adequate incentive instead.  Halloween seems to be celebrated on a bigger scale every year and Nocto Bat can quite happily be included in the build up.  This little fellow could also make the most perfect companion for your late night Trick a Treating.  Nocto Bat lights up and makes some interesting sounds giving you a bit of comfort when your out amongst the other creepy characters this Halloween. 

Then when you get home you can hang Nocto Bat from your bedroom door to deter unwanted guests (which in the case of my eldest would be myself no doubt or his younger brother coming to bother him when he’s midway through a book and doesn’t want to be disturbed!).  If he spots an intruder he will flap his wings and alert you with an alarm.

So for Halloween or just all year round Nocto is handy to keep you entertained and protected!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Vauxhall Carwash Franchise starter-pack Competition

My boys are quite industrious in their own ways; eldest is an avid watcher of The Apprentice and likes seeing how you develop a business plan.  It’s all about BIG ideas and thinking outside the box for him.  Youngest on the other hand is always on the look out for ways to make a quick buck – including selling price labels on his school uniform claiming they were bookmarks before now! 

We didn’t want to dampen his enthusiasm so his brother, his grandparents and myself bought some – it’s a tricky balance between helping with his confidence and making sure his business ideas are realistic!  Outside of the family (or close friends) he would have struggled to shift them even with his optimistic little face and his “bargain” price of 5p each!!!

Vauxhall are all for encouraging children to embrace this wonderful initiative they have and are offering carwash franchise starter packs.  Children can then get cracking earning a few pounds and learning all about starting up a business in the process - it shows them with dedication, hard work and perseverance they can be successful.

They will gain lots of beneficial knowledge with such a venture; it’s the perfect way to help them understand the marketing mix.  The importance of picking the right location to get enough traffic (but not too much you can’t keep up with demand!), promoting your business to generate enough interest and using the right pricing strategy not to put off potential customers.

It also helps to pick the right friends to help you (ones that are willing to pitch in with the hard work!).  Plus it’s a good idea to have someone with you and always tell your parents where you will be or even better bring them along to help!

The whole concept is ideal to keep your children entertained and might save you spending quite so much on pocket money.  There is always something my two are after whether its sweets, football cards or a new computer game.

The pack includes the essential car washing equipment (bucket, sponge and squeegee), a sign to help you advertise your business, business cards to make it easier to get the word out there, a guide on car washing (you want to do a decent job – repeat business is very valuable!) and the all important fold up money box to keep your earnings safe.

I have eight packs to giveaway here if you would like a chance of winning one and help your child set up their own business please fill out the form below by the 4th of November.

Win a Vauxhall Carwash Franchise starter-pack