Asobi Ambassadors: Vilac Review and Giveaway

Vilac is a French company making traditional, durable, classic toys

Vilac is a toy company that believes in giving trees a second, joyous life with children

I had never heard of Vilac until I became an ambassador for Asobi Toys

asobi_Ambassadors_logo

Now I am honoured and excited to be sharing my discovery with you

Vilac toys are beautiful toys

Timeless toys to be enjoyed for generations

Toys that will grow up with your little ones – and all the other ones who will follow!

TIMELESS CLASSIC

When offered a choice of Vilac toys to review I chose this Evolutive puzzle

CHUNKY WOODEN PIECES

Three puzzles in one box, one set

Three beautiful puzzles that tell a story

That can be pieced together by children from the age of two

Start with four pieces, then five, then six

Though the puzzle is recommended from age two

Esther adored it age four

She unwrapped the pieces of each puzzle

Carefully pieced them together

Then sang songs and made up stories about the characters and the scenes

PICKING THE PIECES

The chunky wooden pieces are perfect for little hands

The creative colourful pictures are perfect for little minds

This is a toy that inspires learning

That stimulates conversation

A toy to be enjoyed over and over again

PRETTY PUZZLE

The pictures can be used to talk about animals, colours, order and size

There is a colourful rainbow rain scene

A road of racing cars

And a woodland filled with animals

The puzzles provide potential for plenty of play

SORTING ORDERING COLOUR

But more than that

The pictures are art

And would be perfect on the wall of a nursery or playroom

A reminder as children grow

Of how they used to play

What they used to enjoy

SINGING AND STORY TELLING

This set of puzzles from Vilac is a wonderful toy

Presented in a sturdy storage box that would look stunning on any shelf

This set of puzzles from Vilac would make a beautiful gift

A beautiful rainbow gift

RAINBOW NURSERY

If you would like one of these puzzles worth £20, you can buy one from Kind Toys who for the month of October are offering 20% off the price if you use the code Vilac at the checkout. The code is valid for all Vilac Toys

For an idea of what other toys are available you can read the reviews written by the other members of the Asobi ambassador team. Each ambassador also has a Vilac toy to giveaway

Susan K Mann
A Mummy Too
Lilinha Angel

Here you can win one of these beautiful picture puzzle sets, by filling in the Rafflecopter form below

Good Luck!

UK Entrants only please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Funny Time of Year

Esther and William were born on 24th July 2010

After I fell ill during the second trimester of my pregnancy with them

I spent 10 days in hospital fighting for my life and theirs

Only because of the skilled surgeon and medical team who cared for me

Are any of us here today

I left hospital after emergency surgery and a blood transfusion

On the 20th July

On the morning of the 24th I went into hospital

Already in active labour

And in just a few hours

Our babies came

27 weeks gestation

13 weeks too soon

Nothing can prepare you for giving birth so early

Having your babies whisked away

Seeing them for the first time in a plastic box

Wires, tubes and machines

Keeping them alive, helping them breathe

Esther

Esther

Nothing can prepare you

For motherhood

Let alone starting your life as a mother in this way

Unable to do what is natural and needed

Relying on medical experts to care for your baby

Knowing that they are doing all that can be done

To keep a heart beating

To allow the tiny newborn bodies to function and grow

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Nothing can prepare you for the waiting

The hoping

The praying

The fear

The pain

Baby Bottom

Baby Bottom

Esther and William spent 59 days in NICU

By the time they were ready to leave

We were terrified of bringing them home

Perhaps like a term in prison

We felt institutionalised

All the parenting we knew

Had been learnt in a special care unit

WIRES004

Now we were taking two tiny 4lb babies home

Prematurity does not end at the Neonatal Unit door

It stays with you and the children born too soon

All their lives

WIRES137

Esther and William were born in July

It was the end of September before we were allowed to take them home

At 36 weeks gestation we took our babies home

grow into your dreams

Just as the cold, flu and RSV season got underway

RSV, not sure you would ever hear of it if you did not have or know a premature babe

We kept them safe and illness free throughout the winter

By not letting many people in our house

By alienating family and friends

By doing what we had to do to ensure that they were not readmitted to hospital

There were no baby groups for us

No parties or classes

Not until the winter was over

And the season of infectious illness had passed

Not until Esther and William

Had the size and strength of an average newborn baby

When they were nearly one year old

First Birthday

Esther and William on their First Birthday

Once we started getting out and about

So the questions began

Parenting premature twins can be a lonely job

Nothing is ever straight forward

Milestones are not reached at usual times

There are always worries about sickness and health

You always wonder what the long term effects might be

Prematurity does not just effect the child

But the family

Relationships change

Can be strained

Even four years on

Decisions are difficult

When to wean

How to wean

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Starting nursery

Starting school

Potty training

What is age and size appropriate for a premature child does not always correlate

Age and ability are not always matched

Prematurity does not end at the NICU door

It is still there when the children are four

It is a part of us, of them

Forever more

Esther and William were born in July

It was the end of September before we were allowed to take them home

It was the end of October when they were due

tough times 3

This is a funny time of year

A limbo time of year

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When you realise just how early our babies were born

How long the weeks are between birth date and due date

A gaping gap of time that will always be there

And I know that we are lucky to have our twins alive

More than most I know

But it does not stop the pain, the guilt, the questioning

During this curious limbo time

Prematurity does not end at the Neonatal Unit Door

This

This is a funny time of year

twins together

Fairy Week: Glass and Mirrors Fairy Village

Some days I am not sure what our activity will be until we do it

We had one of those days on Thursday

Esther and William were so tired

Bea had been unsettled and I had not had chance to set up an Invitation to Play

After a snack and some television

Esther and William were ready for something else

Something more

fairy mirror

I got down the mirrors and the glass beads

And found Esther’s tiny wooden village

Esther was given this by her Uncle at Christmas

We had played with it a couple of times

Mostly alongside train track

But I had an idea

For fairy week

mirrors and glass

I arranged the miniature buildings

On the mirrors

I then used clear glass beads as stepping stones and pavements

Green beads as grass

And blue beads as water

stepping stones

Esther and William were soon joining in

Designing and making their own fairy villages

Using mirrors and glass

William was all about lines and shape and organisation

fairy play

Esther was about fairies dancing and skipping and making friends

At first they played alongside one another

In their own separate imaginary worlds

But it was not long before their lands and minds entwined

And they started telling fairy tales together

telling tales

Esther and William both had a lovely time with this activity

It was a simple to set up, easy to tidy away small world play

lands for fairies

As it was fairy week

We made lands for fairies

But you could adapt this activity to fit any topic

Or no topic at all

We all love our glass and mirrors play

This has definitely been one of our prettiest play activities

And one we will definitely be doing again

fairy week

Win Christmas with Peppa Pig

Win a family ticket to the opening day of Santa’s Christmas Wonderland at Paultons Park, home of Peppa Pig World

Esther and William are really struggling to settle to sleep since starting big school

I think because they share a room, they keep talking to one another about their day

To help their bodies and minds be still for sleep

We have started building guided visualisations into our bedtime routine

They seem to work

A few nights ago I was leading them through a visualisation from Relax Kids

Called The Wishing Star

They were asked to say out loud what they would wish for

Without hesitation, in a loud, clear voice Esther said

‘I wish to go to Peppa Pig World’

I hope that we will have the chance to take her their one day

I think it would make her little heart sing

And her smile shine so so bright

But for now though I am not offering it to my own family

I am able to offer it to yours

I am able to offer you the chance to win the dream

The wish of many four year olds

To go to Peppa Pig World

And meet Father Christmas there

santa pig

With Christmas just around the corner, I have teamed up with family theme park, Paultons Park to giveaway a family ticket to its Santa’s Christmas Wonderland.

PGXmas1

The festive season wouldn’t be complete without a visit to its sparkling winter wonderland, complete with a snowy grotto, where animated characters, including Rudolph and Donner the reindeer, sing and dance.

Alongside all of this, children and parents can wander through the world-famous Peppa Pig World at Christmas with twinkling illuminations, step into Paultons Park state-of-the-art 4D cinema to experience a Christmas adventure film and enjoy the Park’s enchanting new hand-crafted Victorian carousel.

PGXmas3

And to make the journey truly magical; children can meet Santa Claus himself and receive an exciting present.

For more details please visit the Paultons Park Santa’s Christmas Wonderland website.

Christmas wonderland logo plus silhouette

To enter the competition, please answer the question below and complete the Rafflecopter form:

Question:
What is the name of the festive film screening at Paultons Park 4D cinema at this year’s Santa’s Christmas Wonderland?

Answer:
A. Santa and Rudolph’s festive adventure
B. Sleigh Ride
C. Santa is coming to town

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:
The prize consists of one day family ticket for two adults and two children.
Tickets are valid for the opening day of Santa’s Christmas Wonderland on November 15 2014.
Prizes are non-transferable and cannot be exchanged.
A time slot to enter the Wonderland will be allocated in advance of the visit.

One Child Too Few

raising rainbow big

So Esther and William are about to start their third week at big school This week they will stay for lunch They are loving school They are learning and making friends They are utterly exhausted yet weirdly hyperactive when they … Continue reading 

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