A letter to my son on his 9th birthday

Darling boy, it doesn’t seem like five minutes since you turned 8, and here we are a whole 365 days later blowing the candles out on your 9th birthday cake.

In many ways you’ve not changed all that much in the last 12 months. You’re still all about the lego, never too far away from a train set, you’re still kicking ass at martial arts; you love drawing, baking, gardening and you’re really into learning all about nature. You are curious about the world around you, and that’s such a lovely thing to experience with you.

You’re trying hard at school, your teachers tell me that you’re popular and you have lots of friends. You are brilliant at science and art; you love history and geography, as well as reading everything you can get your hands on. You have your challenges and areas where you could try a bit harder, but I know as well as anybody, it’s not always easy to try hard in a subject you don’t enjoy all that much. Keep trying though, because if nothing else, we never give up.

You’re growing tall and strong, you have a smile which really lights up the room and dimples we have to be careful we don’t fall into. You’re utterly charming and chatty, but most of all you are kind and thoughtful. I’ve had a tough few months, but you’ve always been generous with your hugs for me and spending time with you is always a good thing.

Now I’m working again, our time seems even more precious. I love that we have special things we share together; watching Strictly Come Dancing with you on a Saturday night, sharing a bag of popcorn and guessing what scores the judges will award is always a highlight. I like that we still bake together and you still reach for my hand when we are walking to school together in the mornings. I love when you squeeze my hand and let me know in our secret code that you love me, I squeeze it right back to return the love, and then some.

Your room still looks like it’s been ransacked by especially vindictive burglars and the daily shouting sessions we have about putting your shoes on are getting a little wearing. But none of us are perfect and there’s little point in trying to be. You are imperfect and all the more interesting and wonderful for those imperfections.

9th birthday

I look at you, my tall and gorgeous 9 year old boy and I see the man I think you will grow into. I think you will be the kindest person, you will have lots of friends, people will come to you when they need someone understanding to talk to. I think you can be whatever you want to be, but I see you working outdoors, maybe in some kind of conservation job or maybe as a farmer. Whatever you want to be, I will try my hardest to help make that come true for you.

When you were born, people said enjoy the baby years, they slip away all too quickly. Every year with you has been a joy. I’ve loved watching you grow and learn, and in turn I have grown and learned a lot about myself too. You’ve taught me so much about life and love and you’ve made me strong in ways I never thought I could be.

Being your mum has been the best thing I’ve ever done. Watching you grow into the brilliant boy you are has been nothing short of a privilege. This is your last year in single digits, you’re really going to start changing in all kinds of ways over the next few years. Keep being kind and caring, carry on being funny and silly and if you just try your best in all things you won’t go far wrong. I love you and there’s nothing you could do that will stop me being your biggest fan.

Happy 9th birthday my darling boy, blow out those candles, floss along to the birthday singing, have a brilliant time at your party, celebrate with the people who love you best, enjoy life. You only get one go at it, so live it in the best way you can. I love you xxx

AD Student Nannies – Flexible Childcare for Families in Manchester

When I was a student at university, I was lucky enough to get a job working as a nanny in the holidays for a local family. It was a great job, it was really flexible and I’d spend my days doing fun stuff with their kids and getting paid for it. The arrangement suited them too, and it was one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had.

It was an arrangement which I can hand on heart recommend for other people. I was really excited when I heard about Student Nannies, a new service which matches up families needing babysitters with students who have childcare experience and other skills to offer.

AD Student Nannies - Flexible Childcare for Families in Manchester

Student Nannies have already registered over 350 students from Manchester University; Manchester Metropolitan University; the University of Salford and Trafford College. All potential nannies on the books have an interview and a thorough background check; details of which can be found on their profiles.

Registering on the site is really simple to do, and it’s free. You just create a profile outlining your childcare requirements, then it’s up to you to search for someone suitable. You can search for a nanny by course and interest, so you can find students who can share their skills with your children; whether it’s music, art, sports or languages.

Student Nannies simply provide a smart network through which students and parents can discover local matches. Then it’s up to you to contact your potential nanny, meet up and see if you are a good fit for each other. Students and parents negotiate their own rates, and Student Nannies don’t charge commission and there are no hidden fees.

I am returning to work next month and after school childcare is a bit of a worry for me. Finding a suitable student who lives locally and is able to have my son for a couple of afternoons a week is suddenly much easier. Having worked as a Student Nanny, I can see what a great thing it is from both sides.

You can find out more about this brilliant new service on the Student Nannies Manchester website, there is a comprehensive FAQ section as well as testimonies from both students and parents. If you don’t live in Manchester, you can check out the Student Nannies website to see if they’re also available in your area.

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are our own.

Toy Review: Angry Birds Island Challenge Racing Car Set

AD/Gifted. Angry Birds seem to have been around forever, going from video game, to movie and now you can get Angry Birds toys. This week sees the launch of the Angry Birds Island Challenge Racing Car Set just in time for the release of the latest Angry Birds movie!

The Angry Birds Island Challenge Slot Car Set from Maisto is based around the popular Angry Birds game. The set contains everything you need to build a figure of 8 track, plus two Angry Birds figures and cars and radio control handsets.

Toy Review: Angry Birds Island Challenge Racing Car Set

The Angry Birds Island Challenge Slot Car Set is suitable for ages 6+. My nearly 9 year old had no problems setting it up. The track was really easy to slot together and the risers were easy to put together and attach too; though there was a bit of trial and error in getting the height of them all just right.

Toy Review: Angry Birds Island Challenge Racing Car Set

The battery pack was slightly more problematic and needed the help of an adult with a screwdriver. It also took 8 AA batteries, so make sure you’ve got a pack in before you decide to set it up and play.

The box comes with a cut out and use Eagle Mountain printed on the back; which I thought was a great idea, but then realised once I’d cut it out that I wouldn’t be able to use the original box to put all the pieces in again afterwards for storage.

Once the track is set up it’s just a case of choosing your Angry Birds character car, either Red or Leonard and then popping the cars on the track and having a race. The hand controller takes a little bit of getting used to. The cars can race around a bit too quickly and fly off the track, keeping them on the track takes a bit of getting used to.

Toy Review: Angry Birds Island Challenge Racing Car Set

The cars themselves are a little bit tricky. The metal pieces which touch the track and help to power the car are a little bit temperamental so you have to be quite gentle with them.

The Angry Birds Island Challenge Racing Car Set would make a great Christmas present for an Angry Birds fan. It retails for around £34.99 and is available from a wide range of retailers including Amazon (affiliate link).

WIN An Angry Birds Island Challenge Racing Car Set

To be in with a chance to win an Angry Birds Island Challenge Racing Car Set, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will be sent an Angry Birds Island Challenge Racing Car Set.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 1st December 2019.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will not be shared with any external party.
11. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
12. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

We were sent the Angry Birds Island Challenge Racing Car Set for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Giveaway & Review: Geomag NASA Rocket and Rover

AD/Gifted. 2019 is the year that NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 Moon mission. To tie in with this, Geomag have launched their Special Edition NASA range. We were sent their NASA Rover and NASA Rocket to play with. Plus I’m giving away a NASA Rover and NASA Rocket set to one lucky winner!

Geomag NASA Rocket and Rover

Geomag NASA Rocket and Rover

Geomag is a magnetic construction toy which is made in Switzerland. The sets are boxes of metal bars with a magnet on each end and metal spheres which act as corner pieces. Magnetic forces hold the bars and spheres together, creating the possibility for millions of different construction designs. There are basic sets of bars and balls and specially designed sets where you can build specific designs, like these Geomag NASA Rover and NASA Rocket sets.

Geomag NASA Rocket and Rover

The Geomag NASA Rover and NASA Rocket is aimed at children over five. The instructions for building the Rover and Rocket are printed on the back of the box. The instructions are really easy to follow and all the pieces you need are included. In the box, as well as the standard balls and bars, there are plastic panels and card pieces to slot in and make your Rover and Rocket look more realistic.

Geomag NASA Rocket and Rover

My 8 year old really loves construction toys and these Geomag sets were no different. He really enjoyed playing about with the pieces to see what shapes and structures he could make; as well as following the instructions to make both the Rocket and the Rover. They seem like great toys for working on fine motor skills, something my boy needs a little help with.

The sets are aimed at children aged 5+; I think younger children may need a little help with some aspects of the build, but it’s pretty straightforward. Plus the NASA themed sets are a great springboard for discussing space as a topic, something we do quite a lot at home.

Geomag NASA Rocket and Rover

These special edition Geomag sets are available from all good toy shops including The Entertainer. The Geomag NASA Rover (rrp £25) and NASA Rocket (rrp £39.99) both currently have 25% off in their half term sale.

WIN A Geomag NASA Rocket and Rover set

To be in with a chance to win a set each of the Geomag NASA Rocket and Rover, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will be sent a Geomag NASA Rocket and NASA Rover set.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 1st November 2019.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be shared with a representative of Geomag so the prize can be sent to the winner.
11. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
12. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Disclosure: These products were sent to us for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Toy Review: Hatching Dragons Toothless

AD/Gifted. It’s fair to say that we absolutely love How to Train Your Dragon in our house. The boy is pretty darn obsessed and frequently dresses up as our Viking hero, Hiccup. When I mentioned that we were being sent a How to Train Your Dragon Hatching Dragons Egg, he was beyond himself with excitement (as was I).

Toy Review: Hatching Dragons Toothless

The How to Train Your Dragon Hatching Dragons Egg contains one large egg (with a hatching dragon inside), a fish accessory and an instruction book. It is suitable for ages 8+ and comes well packaged to (hopefully) prevent the egg from breaking at any point.

Toy Review: Hatching Dragons Toothless

Together we removed the egg from its packaging and read the instructions. There are two keys at the bottom of the egg which need unscrewing. Once this has been done, you’re encouraged to gently play with the egg to wake the dragon inside up. If you listen carefully, the dragon inside the egg starts to tap and make noises.

Toy Review: Hatching Dragons Toothless

After around an hour, the egg starts to glow a little and then hatches. This was incredibly exciting and there were lots of joyful shouts as we gathered round to watch the dragon emerge from its shell.

We helped baby Toothless out of the shell and very soon we were figuring out how to play with our new dragon. His eyes light up, his wings flap and his ears twitch. He roars, snorts, snarls and he is just brilliant.

Toy Review: Hatching Dragons Toothless

If you hold the fish accessory to his mouth he makes chewing sounds and the burps. Hold your hand over his chest and that activates the plasma blast where his mouth glows blue and he makes the plasma blast noise. If you talk to him, he’ll respond with head and wing movements, and lights and sounds. If you play music to him, he bops along to it. He is ace.

Toothless is really, really cute. I asked the boy what he liked best about him and he said everything and that he was the best thing ever. He’s played with him pretty constantly for the last few days which I always take as a positive sign.

Toy Review: Hatching Dragons Toothless

I think this How to Train Your Dragon Hatching Dragons Egg is brilliant. It’s really well done and Toothless is just a bundle of baby dragon joy. This hatching dragon is available from a wide range of retailers including Amazon for around £59.99.

We were sent this How to Train Your Dragon Hatching Dragons Egg for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Mental Health Update: I’m sorry for neglecting you

Having a blog is a bit like having a dog. You need to feed it regularly, take it out on walks and give it some love on a regular basis. If I forget to do any of those things with my dog, she usually finds a way to remind me. My blog generally doesn’t do that, it sits there looking a bit mournful and neglected and every so often I look up from my fug and feel a bit bad about it all.

My two week break from blogging in April has somehow turned into a summer of more of less not doing very much and now here we are, it’s October and it’s still looking as empty and unloved as the salad compartment of my fridge.

The truth is, I don’t trust myself to write at the moment. For many months I’ve been struggling with the contents of my head. At times I am almost paralysed with anxiety and it’s all I can do to get up and pretend to function within the four walls of my house, let alone type words about my feelings and what’s going on and sharing them with the outside world. Sometimes just thinking and acknowledging those thoughts to myself is about as overwhelming as it gets.

I am overwhelmed. My to do list of life admin is enormous and getting longer each day, each week. I focus on small goals, things I can achieve. It feels like I’m going nowhere and doing nothing each week, but then I step back and look at all the things I’ve done and achieved in that time and sometimes it’s actually quite impressive.

So I carry on, keeping my head down, ploughing through the life admin and ignoring my blog. I started writing this blog in June 2013, it began as a way for me to write down my feelings and work through some of the inner torment I was experiencing at the time. Slowly it turned into a business and the way I earned a living and supported my family, it became less about the contents of my head and more about things, which is fine. Every so often I’d write an update, a personal post. This is one of them I guess.

This is me saying I’m sorry for not being who I was. I’m sorry for not working harder and writing more and doing the crafts, and the recipes and the fun days out stuff. I’m overwhelmed and it’s really hard for me to admit that. We are not meant to be overwhelmed, we are meant to just be able to just cope with everything aren’t we?

I’ve never lived that Instagram perfect life and I wouldn’t want to. I enjoy being flawed because that’s who I am and that’s why my friends love me, because my house is a bit chaotic and because I’m real. It does mean that for now at least I’m a bad blogger. I’m just busy focusing on the big life stuff and the little life stuff and just keeping the threads of my existence together enough for me to pick my boy up from school without falling apart in front of the whole playground. Some days good, some days bad.

I don’t intend to give up my blog, I’ve got about six blog posts I’m quietly working on at the moment and I’ve probably got another 6000 in me. But for now I’m working on the sorting my life out thing and I hope you’ll still be there when I’ve done that and I’m back. I will be back, properly back, I’m just not sure when though. Take care xx

PS. Watch The Motherland on BBC2, you won’t regret it.

Overwhelmed anxiety

 

Review: Hotter Whisper Slouchy Ankle Boots

AD/Gifted. With winter coming, my thoughts have turned from flip flops and sun hats, to cosy scarves and warm winter boots. I feel the cold fairly acutely, so my bundling up for winter always starts a little before everyone else. With Jack Frost nibbling at my nose, I hot footed it down to Hotter Shoes in Bury to get my feet measured for Fit Fortnight (16th and 29th September) and to pick out a new pair of winter boots.

Review: Hotter Whisper Slouchy Ankle Boots for winter

Fit Fortnight is a great event. A few times a year, Hotter invite everyone to visit their stores and get their feet properly measured. I got the tram up to Bury, met some friends for coffee and a chat, then popped in to Hotter to get my feet measured. I usually buy size 7 shoes, but I knew that I was probably buying shoes which were slightly too big. My hunch was correct, both my feet are slightly different sizes, but the best size for me is a 6.5 E fit.

Rachelle, who measured my feet explained why I’d previously struggled with some shoes in my correct size. I have almond shaped toes which are more comfortable in a rounder toe, rather than a pointy one. This simple thing blew my mind.

Review: Hotter Whisper Slouchy Ankle Boots for winter

I tried on several different styles of boot. I really fancied a nice pair of knee high boots, but practicality took over. Once I’d tried on the Whisper slouchy ankle boot, I knew I wouldn’t be leaving with anything else. It’s made with the softest leather and was just so cosy to wear.

Whisper boots are available in a range of different colours (black, dark tan, navy, maroon, forest green suede and urban grey suede). I have quite a few boots in black, so I decided to ring the changes and go for the maroon. The boot has a zip up each side, which makes it easier to put on and take off. They also have a lightweight, flexible sole which make them super comfy straight away and really easy to wear all day long.

Hotter have launched the Hotter App which is free to download. You can use it to create wish-lists, see how other people style their shoes and access exclusive discounts and sales.

Review: Hotter Whisper Slouchy Ankle Boots for winter

The Hotter Fit Fortnight event is happening between the 16th and 29th September 2019. This fortnight is dedicated to finding you your perfect fitting shoes. In their stores across the UK you can have your feet measured to keep up-to-date with your shoe size and width as your feet can change size throughout your life. It’s really well worth getting your feet measured again; I know that finding my perfect Hotter fit means I’ll have comfy, toasty feet this winter.

If your feet like being comfortable in nice shoes, you should check out Hotter Shoes online, or visit your nearest Hotter Store.

Disclosure: I was given a pair of Whisper boots in exchange for this review. All images and opinions are my own.

Dining Out: Capocci’s Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

AD/Complimentary Meal. On Friday night I took my boy for a mother and son date night. We took the tram to Media City (Salford Quays) and went for a meal at Capocci’s Pop Up Restaurant which is located in the piazza near the BBC building.

Capocci’s is in what appears to be a converted shipping container. It’s under cover, but outdoors; so if you’re dining, please do take your big coat as Manchester is beginning to feel pretty autumnal already.

Dining Out: Capocci's Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

From breakfast to dinner, Capocci’s serve a range of traditional Italian recipes and the pop up is proving particularly popular with the locals. Capocci’s was pretty busy when we visited, with lots of people dining in, or ordering takeaway pizzas.

Dining Out: Capocci's Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

When we arrived, the boy was famished after a busy day at school, so we ordered our food straight away. He ordered from the kid’s menu, starting with pane all’aglio – caramelised garlic and mozzarella bread, followed by pollo Milanese – breaded chicken and pappardelle pomodoro. I ordered the burrata which came with a salad of grilled vegetables, followed by the pizza margherita classico.

Dining Out: Capocci's Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

Unfortunately there was a mix up with the order, so all the food came at once, which took a while to come out of the kitchen and my son was a bit beyond himself with hunger by the time it arrived. The waiter apologised for the mix up and offered us a complimentary dessert, more of which later.

Having so many dishes in front of us at once was quite over facing, and as a result the garlic bread mostly got left behind. It was nice bread, but without the cheese it definitely needed some oil or something to dip into.

Dining Out: Capocci's Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

The boy loved his chicken, it was beautifully cooked, with crispy breadcrumbs and lots of lovely fresh pasta. He left the tomatoes, but I snaffled those up. I was impressed to find such a grown up dish on the kid’s menu.

My burrata was absolutely delicious. Beautifully silky mozzarella with some of the loveliest grilled vegetables I’ve ever had. The dish was missing ingredients which were listed on the menu, which was a shame, but it was one of the tastiest things I’ve eaten in a long time.

Dining Out: Capocci's Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

My pizza was good. It had a lovely thin and crispy base and a thick layer of sauce and cheese. It was nicely priced at £7.95 and I can see why the pizzas would be a very popular takeaway option.

As we had been promised compensatory gelato, and gelato was the speciality of the house, we went ahead and ordered some for pudding. He ordered the coppa al cioccolato – chocolate and vanilla ice cream sundae with chocolate and caramel sauce, whipped cream and a chocolate flake. I ordered a scoop each of the raspberry and lemon sorbets. The gelato was very delicious, and well worth stopping by for if you want a sweet treat.

Dining Out: Capocci's Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

As we came to leave, our original waiter had left and not passed on the message about the mix up, so we were billed for our gelato; this rankled a bit as we wouldn’t have ordered it otherwise. I just settled the bill as it was quite late and I needed to get him home to bed.

The service was friendly and attentive; but the mix up over our order meant I had to manage a very grumpy and hungry boy for longer than I would have liked, and the rescinded offer of complimentary gelato wasn’t a great way to end the meal.

The food at Capocci’s was delicious. I would have liked to have seen more proper vegetarian options on the menu; but what I had was excellent and I would eat there again. It’s a really lovely spot to have a pop up restaurant, as the day turns to night, you get to enjoy one of my favourite views of Salford Quays – the lights from The Lowry and the Imperial War Museum glistening on the water. It’s a brilliant spot for a romantic dinner for two, or a family meal with the kids; plus it’s dog friendly!

Capocci’s Pop Up Restaurant is only in Manchester until 22nd September; so if you fancy it, it’s worth getting down to Media City pretty pronto! For more information and to take a look at their menu, visit their website.

We were given a (mostly) complimentary meal in exchange for this review. All images and opinions are our own.

Book Review: Roald Dahl’s Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans

AD/Gifted. One of the things we enjoy most during our quiet times at home is sharing our love of Roald Dahl books. I grew up reading The BFG, Matilda and The Twits and it’s been nothing short of lovely to read them with my son. To add an extra layer of interest, this month we have been dipping in and out of a new book Roald Dahl’s Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans.

Roald Dahl’s Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans was published in August 2019 and is illustrated by Quentin Blake. Written by Roald Dahl and Stella Caldwell, it is a really beautifully presented book, with die-cut pages which mean you can press out around the images and create a parade of heroes and villains. You can press out some of the characters entirely and keep them safe in the envelope which is tucked away on the last page.

Book Review: Roald Dahl's Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans

The book features both heroes and villains from The Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The BFG. The pages are bursting with detail about the characters and their dastardly deeds, or brave heroics. Each section allows you to get closer to the characters; learning more about their lives and giving them the chance to dive into their fantastical worlds and meet new people along the way.

We especially loved the die-cut pages, which mean you can keep your pages intact, or carefully pop out portions of the pages if you prefer. It’s a really tactile and interesting way to enjoy a book.

Roald Dahl’s Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans is a beautiful companion piece for any Roald Dahl fan. We’ve loved pouring over the pages and soaking up all the delicious detail. It’s as beautiful as you would imagine a book illustrated by Quentin Blake would be, but lush with words from Roald Dahl and author Stella Caldwell. It’s suitable for ages 6+ and would make a really lovely gift for fans of any age.

Book Review: Roald Dahl's Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans

Roald Dahl’s Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans costs £14.99 (hardback) and is available from a wide range of book shops and online (affiliate link).

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to read our review of The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl.

Toy Review: So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory

AD/Gifted. The school holidays can take some filling. In the last few days of freedom before school started again I was running on empty and fast running out of ideas. With an afternoon free and two boys to entertain, I pulled out this So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory; sold it to them as a science experiment and accidentally turned two boys into bath bomb entrepreneurs.

Toy Review: So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory

The So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory costs £19.99 and contains everything you need to make 6 bath bombs. The set includes a mixing station, 3 storage tubes and a moulding shape, a pipette and measuring spoon, 12 bags of powder, 2 bags of decorations, 4 surprise figurines and an instruction leaflet.

Despite initial protests that the set was for girls, once I’d unpacked everything and set it up, the boys got very into mixing the ingredients together. To make the bath bombs, you mix a packet of coloured baking soda and one of citric acid together, add a little bit of water and any sprinkles or surprise figures, press it together and leave it to dry out for half an hour in the mould. It’s really easy and really fun to do.

Toy Review: So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory

The boys were as interested in the raw ingredients as they were the final product. I let them have a little taste of the citric acid, it’s pretty much what sherbet is made of, just without the sugar. They learned that citric acid is a key ingredient in all kinds of fizzy sweets. Mixed with the coloured baking soda you get a super-fizzy bath bomb. We did proper science and they really did enjoy it.

The instructions were really clear and easy to follow. I think it’s one of the best sets of this kind we’ve tried. The mixing ball was a little bit tricky to open, so it might need a bit of adult supervision. I used a butter knife to ease it open. You also need to make sure the kids aren’t going mad adding water. My son added far too much and it took an age to dry out.

Toy Review: So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory

The resulting bath bombs were brilliant. I don’t think either boy had ever had a bath with a bath bomb before, and both were thrilled with the fizziness of it all. There’s enough in the kit to make 6 scented bath bombs. I suspect you can probably buy the ingredients elsewhere and once you’ve used up all the powder packets included, you can carry on making your own.

The So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory was a brilliant way to spend an afternoon with the boys. They were both interested and enthusiastic about making the bath bombs and I think they learned a few things too. I would absolutely do this with them again.

Toy Review: So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory

The So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory costs £19.99 and is available from a wide range of retailers including Amazon (affiliate link). It’s a great set, everything you need is included and it’s just a brilliant box of bath bomb making fun.

Disclosure: We were set this bath bomb making kit in exchange for this review. All images and opinions are our own.