Competition: £100 VISA Gift Card Giveaway

It’s been a while since we last had a DC Comics competition around here, so here’s a great competition for £100 VISA Gift Card with DC Super Hero Girls.

For kids who love an action-packed girl power show, look no further than DC Super Hero Girls.

DC Entertainment’s latest animated series features a dynamic group of Super Heros on their journey of discovering the power of their unique abilities and friendships.

What I love is how dynamic the characters are, from strong and fearless to edgy and fun; there is a character for everyone, and as a mum of girls, I love the bolder characters. My girls asked me just last week who the super hero girls were, and I could only think of cat woman and supergirl!

The DC Super Hero Girls YouTube channel makes it easy for my girls to watch their favorite characters, on-demand, and from any device. For more fun, there is an extended online experience on the website where kids can play games, download free printable activities, and so on.

You can watch some of the DC Super Hero Girls here:

And enter the competition here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*I have been compensated for sharing this competition. Views are my own. Competition is only shared by Diary of a First Child. This competition, selecting winners and sending out prizes is not managed by Diary of a First Child

Nothing Beats A Bike Competition #NothingBeatsABike

Halfords are running a Nothing Beats A Bike competition where the winner can win a bike for your child, just in time for Christmas.  There’s also a competition below where you can win a lovely 16″ Carrera Star worth £199 too.Carrera Star Kids' Bike - 16"

In order to participate in this campaign we were given a bike for Ameli for Christmas, so obviously we haven’t tried it out yet – it’s still poorly hidden in the boot of the car!

I must say I was really impressed with my experience at Halfords. I arrived with my order confirmation, and the bike mechanic I had to speak to was busy bleeding the breaks on someone else’s something but they didn’t keep me waiting long at all. Kevin arrived with the Carrera Star 16″ bike and I was thrilled. It just looks like a serious bike, but diddy. I loved it immediately.

Since I also now need a bike for Aviya, Kevin walked round with me showing me the other bikes available at Halfords and talking through the pros and cons of the specific styles and designs. He was so incredibly knowledgeable I was very impressed. There wasn’t a question I had that he couldn’t answer.

Before I could take ownership of our Carrera bicycle, we went through a checklist of bike safety. Kevin made sure I knew where to twist and what to tighten (we had to leave the handlebars skew so that it would fit into the boot of the car) and he talked me through Halford’s service plans, where for £10 a year I could bring them any punctures and flat tyres, among other things.

The whole experience was lovely and I felt really confident in our choice of bicycle and in any needs we might have for after sales service. Halfords have a standard 6 week check-up service where you can bring the bike in six weeks later to make sure everything is still as it should be (the break cables specifically), but since that would be a week after Christmas, Halfords have allowed a six month grace period for people buying bicycles for Christmas.

Carrera Star Kids' Bike - 16"Oh, and another service Halfords are offering that I think is fantastically insightful is their Christmas storage offer – reserve the bike for £10 and pay it off immediately or in instalments,  and they’ll keep it for you till a few days before Christmas, build it for free, and you can collect it and only need to hide it for a day or two. I love that and wish I’d thought of doing it that way earlier!

I would highly recommend Halford’s bicycle service, and think their Nothing Beats A Bike Campaign is well worth supporting.

Doesn’t this advert just take you back to the freedom of our childhood days?


YouTube Direkt

To win a Carerra Star 16″ bike for your own child, leave a comment below with your favourite style from the Halfords website.

T&Cs: The competition runs for one week, ending 23:59 4 December 2015. The winner will be selected by Diary of a First Child using Random.org, based on the position in the comments. Winner will be notified by email, so please make sure you add your email in the required space. Winners will have one week to respond before a new winner will be selected.  The prize cannot be exchanged for money. The Prize will be sent out directly by Halfords.

Winner

{Competition} Win A Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Play Set

One of the perks of blogging sometimes, is when the post arrives with goodies for the kids. I don’t spend a lot of money on new toys for them, so when they get something brand new out of the box, it’s always a nice treat. This week my youngest was the happy recipient of a Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Bag Play Set. She is such a Doc McStuffins fan that she already has a little outfit she received for her birthday this year. When we opened the box she ran off to fetch her outfit from the fancy dress box, and soon Doc McStuffins was running around the house giving us all check ups!

Doc McStuffins Vet Set

The kit is really lovely. It’s all glittery and girly and pretty without being nauseatingly pink, but rather purples and greens. It has soft colours and is quite lovely.

The kit contains a vet bag, a brush, a comb, scissors, otoscope, magnifying glass, tongue depressor, stickers and a light up pet tag, which we thought was a light up plaster – I don’t know why you would need that though 😉

I kind of wish they’d put the light in the otoscope, rather than the tag, as that would have been a bit more authentic, and it’s unfortunate that neither the otoscope or the magnifying glass actually magnify – it’s just clear plastic. It would have been great if those things were more realistic. Doc McStuffins

I was quite surprised how Aviya was able to pick up the various bits and just ‘know’ what to do with them. I guess watching the show has made some of it sink in. Doc McStuffins Vet Kit
Win

You can win a Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Play Set by naming your favourite character from this video.

To Enter – watch the video below and in the comments leave the name of your favourite character


YouTube Direkt

The winner is:

Doc Winner

T&Cs:  Diary of a First Child is the sole promoter of this competition. The competition runs for one week ending Sunday 4 October at 23:59. The winner will be selected using Random.org, based on the position in the comments. Winner will be notified by email, so please make sure you add your email in the required space. Winners will have one week to respond before a new winner will be selected.  The prize cannot be exchanged for money. Promoter’s decision is final.

To pick up a set for Christmas, you can find it at Amazon*

Disney Magical Bedtime Competition

I know it’s just too early to think about Christmas, really, but if you’d like to save yourself a packet, enter this competition to win a range of Disney goodies and stand a chance to put 4 presents and a Disney Magical Bedtime under the tree without spending a penny.

Bedtimes can sometimes be fraught for families, so to help encourage kids into bed with a little bit of magic, parents can now text the new Disney Magical Bedtime service to arrange for their children to receive a special goodnight call from four much-loved Disney characters including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Cinderella and Jake (the Never Land Pirate). To receive a Disney Magical Bedtime call text your chosen character name to 78000 or visit www.disney.co.uk/bedtime. Hurry, the service is only live until the end of september!

To celebrate the launch of the new ‘time for bed’ service,  I am giving  one lucky winner the chance to get their hands on the ultimate bedtime bundle, valued at £100.

The prize includes everything you need to give your little one a good night’s sleep including a Disney night light, duvet cover, soothing lullaby music CD, and Mickey Mouse soft toy.

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  • Mickey Mouse soft toy (£20)
  • Philips SoftPal Mickey Night Light (£24.99)
  • Oral-B Stages Power Toothbrush (£25.75)
  • Mickey Mouse Single Duvet (£24.99)
  • Disney Magical Bedtime Collection Of Soothing Instrumental Lullabies – not available for purchase

To enter to win this competition, leave a comment below sharing your best bed time tip.

T&Cs:  Diary of a First Child is the sole promoter of this competition. The competition runs for one week, ending Tuesday 30th September at 23:59. The winner will be selected using Random.org, based on the position in the comments. Winner will be notified by email, so please make sure you add your email in the required space. Winners will have one week to respond before a new winner will be selected.  The prize cannot be exchanged for money. Promoter’s decision is final.

Untitled

 

Oliver Jeffers How To Catch A Star 10th Anniversary Edition Competition

Once there was a boy and the boy loved stars very much. Every night he watched the stars from his window and wished he had one of his very own…

How To Catch A Star

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of world-renowned illustrator Oliver Jeffers’ debut picture book, the much-loved How to Catch a Star.  The publication of How to Catch a Star in 2004 heralded the arrival of a captivating new talent on the picture book scene. Now beloved by children all over the world, the book has achieved huge critical and commercial success. Oliver and HarperCollins are proud to mark the anniversary in style with this exquisite gift edition, including a letter from the author and previously unpublished drawings.

How to Catch a Star was first published 10 years ago. It was adored immediately, launching the now celebrated author and illustrator, Oliver Jeffers, who has gone on to win a number of awards.

Ten years on, How to Catch a Star’s beautiful illustrations and enchanting story have won the hearts of children all over the world. Perfect for children aged 2-7, it is a warm, poignant and humorous celebration of joyful ingenuity and the belief that anything is possible.

Out on the 27 March, How to Catch a Star is available from Amazon for £12.99 on pre-order (and at the time of writing it’s listed at £10.27)

Get involved in the celebrations

We have a copy of the How to Catch a Star 10th Anniversary Edition to give away. To enter simply answer the following question:

Which Oliver Jeffers book is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year?

a)      The Day the Crayons Quit

b)      The Incredible Book Eating Boy

c)       How to Catch a Star

To enter this competition, leave a comment below with your answer.

For an additional entry, follow me on Pinterest and leave a SECOND comment with the Pinterest name you followed with.

T&Cs: The competition runs for one week, ending Sunday 23rd March. The winner will be selected using Random.org, based on the position in the comments. Winner will be notified by email, so please make sure you add your email in the required space. Winners will have one week to respond before a new winner will be selected.  The prize cannot be exchanged for money.

See our recent book reviews

AND THE WINNER IS:

capture

Sian Avery

Disclaimer for reviews

Competition: Win Family Tickets To Nozstock Festival

Remember last year when my family and I went to Nozstock Festival? Well, it’s that time again, and we can’t wait!

Nozstock is  a festival in Bromyard, Herefordshire that caters to all ages with activities that little ones can enjoy as well as entertainment for teens, students, seasoned festivalites and grandparents.  It has 8 stages of entertainment with surprising sights and intimate, secluded areas of theatre and discovery to be unearthed.

Here are a few of the comments from my review last year:

“Nozstock was so incredibly child friendly that it was easy to forget you were at an adult festival. But at the same time, there were so many options for everyone that I am doubtful anyone walked away feeling uncatered for.”

“There was a specific area dedicated to children – The Enchanted Glade – that offered Marble painting, face painting, hair braiding, puppet making, story telling, kids yoga, arts and crafts, a bubbleologist, a magician, hula hooping, craft hedgehogs, gaffer tape roses, a UV Disco and so on. And those were just the things listed in the program.

“Something that really ‘made’ the festival for me was all the attention to small, attention grabbing details: a large mermaid in the dried up creek, a huge carved cat at the entrance, crafted octopuses hanging from the trees, witches on brooms flying over the crowd at the Garden stage, wind chimes dotting the area, ‘street names’ in the camping grounds.”

“My (2yo) daughter loved the stilt walkers and was amused that her daddy wasn’t the tallest person in the room anymore! At one stage we walked through a dark area and she looked around concernedly before turning to me and saying “Mama, where’s all the fun stuff gone?””

As you can tell we loved it, and we’re very excited to be going again this year. Feel free to read the rest of the review of Nozstock Festival.

So, if you join us, what can you expect to find?

For a start, after feedback last year, they’ve changed the family sleeping arrangements, so families are better catered for in a quiet field. Just because you’re at a festival does not mean you don’t want to sleep!

This small family-run event is now in its 15th year and has a limit of 5000 people. The property is large though, so the festival feels like an intimate gathering. It’s lovely.

There is a warm, inclusive welcome, synonymous with the small festival experience, an ethos of fun and participation, and an incredible array of entertainments. With over six stages and many nooks, crannies and secret wooded glades to discover Nozstockers are invited on a journey of discovery through the dingles and the dells of this magical site.

The Hidden Valley is landscaped around a ramshackle Tudor farmhouse. It sits behind the main ORCHARD STAGE and
is set at the foot of a natural arena on the side of the gently sloping valley. Alongside the farmhouse is the GARDEN STAGE, which provides a more eclectic line up, turning electronic by sundown whilst converted cowshed the CUBICLES pushes out sub-thumping bass, this year hosted on Saturday by the legendary drum ‘n bass label RAM Records. With further music (including a new electro-swing stage), theatre, comedy stages and tents dotted around the site Nozstock offers a cornucopia of wonders to explore.

This year’s theme is ‘Wild Wild West,’ so dust off your cowboy hats, fringed moccasins, saloon skirts and ropey John Wayne impressions for what promises to be the best Nozstock yet.

While this is totally an adults festival, what we’re looking forward to again this year is the Enchanted Glade Kids’ Area. There’s a plethora of events for children, and for adults, comfy sofas offer a cosy retreat while the youngsters enjoy themselves and it’s near enough to the café to treat yourself to a quick caramel slice before storytime….

Some of the line up for kids are:

  • sock wrestling
  • story-telling
  • water pistol dueling
  • mini tipi-making
  • giant sandpits
  • treasure hunts
  • puppet workshops
  • pasta jewelry-making
  • hula-hooping fun and much much more…

At the end of the weekend, you’ll be able to leave all your usable but no longer wanted items – from tents to tinned food – in special boxes to be donated to charity. Nozstock is also big on recycling and there are stations all around the site.

If you’re feeling adventurous, The Nozstock Cycle challenge may be right up your street. Leave the car at home! A team of 8 people cycling to Nozstock from over 15 miles away can get 2 free tickets and a hamper of drinks and Nozstock goodies. Pack all the tents in one car with a designated driver, and the rest of you? Cycle! Awesome!

A percentage of the car park charges will also go to planting Celebritree Avenue – A percentage of money generated from the car parking charges will be spent on tree planting trees on the festival site. There will be a tree planting workshop on Sunday in the craft area, including a planting by one of the headlining bands. The Proclaimers planted the first tree in Nozstock’s star studded Celebritree Avenue at Noz 2012.

And if camping’s not your thing? You can even hire a yurt!

Competition

I am really excited to be able to offer 2 adult and 2 child tickets to Nozstock Festival. To enter to win you need to click over to Nozstock’ s website and check out the lineup for the ADULT events (no copying from above! 😉 ). Tell me in the comments below what you would love to see, and remember to click the +1 on the Rafflecopter to log your entry. You can earn additional entries by becoming a liker on Facebook and tweeting too!

The competition ends Sunday 23 @ 12AM.  Please read the T&C’s

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition: Win a £30 Voucher At Casabu

We know we all want to save the pennies, but still have good quality goodies, right? Well, Casabu is exactly the type of online shop you should take a look at if that’s you.

Casabu is a members only business that runs daily sales on great brands. Sign up is free and pretty quick. Casabu launched in April 2012, and were nominated for Start-up of the Year in 2012 in the category Online Business of the Year.

They sell clothing, toys, nursery equipment, maternity gear, and treats especially for mums. All sales at Casabu take 40 – 90% off RRPs.

Some of the brands you’ll see if you sign up for Casabu’s daily email are K’s Kids, Free Time 4 Kidz, Little Helper, Clarins, Lego and Galt and hundreds of local UK and European brands.

The way it works is pretty simple: They add new products to their site every day. When the offer is finished, everything the public has bought is shipped to Casabu’s warehouse, from where it is combined into our orders, and then shipped on to the buyers. By doing this it takes a little longer than if you bought it directly from the supplier, but you’re getting it at a reduced price, which should make it worth the wait.

Some of the items available on Casabu while writing this post that I absolutely love and would love to buy are:

Jelly The Pug Magical Sail Ruffle Dress RRP 34.50 selling for £14.50 – can’t find it elsewhere in the UK right now
Blue Maple 4-in-1 Art Station RRP £80, on sale for £55 currently on sale at Amazon for £69.97
Pop Up Cool Camp RRP£15.99, on sale for £13 – currently £14 on Amazon
Animal Magic Puzzle Mat RRP £85, on sale for £45 – can’t find it elsewhere in the UK right now

And this is just a sampling of what’s available. As the days change, the offers end, so don’t lose out if there’s something you really like!

Competition:

To win a £30 voucher to spend at Casabu, you will have to sign up to Casabu*, browse what is currently on offer, select at least one item you would spend your voucher on, return here, leave a comment WITHOUT A LINK telling me what you would purchase. Please use the same email to sign up as you do in your comment. This will ONLY be used to verify that you have signed up. Diary of a First Child does not keep your email and will not use it for anything else.

You can also follow on Facebook and Twitter for additional, optional entries. Competition closes at 12am on 23 June 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Should you buy anything from Casabu, I will receive £10 referral fee as payment for running this competition.

 

Learning Together – What Montessori Can Offer Your Family (Review & Competition)

I’ve always been interested in the Montessori way of schooling, but never fully understood it. I have to admit that it’s something I’ve seen as something I’d do if I was rich, lived in a massive house and didn’t have to work. So when I was invited to the launch of the new Montessori book, Learning Together, I was really excited, not only to meet the people at the top of the Montessori network in the UK, but to actually get to understand more of it. Unfortunately, Aviya, at just a few weeks old, chose that as her first night to cry and fuss a lot, so I missed the speech, but it’s okay – I got to have interesting conversations, and came away with the Learning Together book.Read more: Learning Together – What Montessori Can Offer Your Family (Review & Competition)

Galt Toys Playnest Review And Competition

I am such a fan of Galt Toys, that I could, quite frankly, feature their products every month and not run out of things Iove for both Ameli and Aviya. This week, however, it’s an Aviya toy that we’re raving about: The Galt Playnest

At only 12 weeks old, we’ve no where near gone through the full potential of  uses of the Galt Playnest, and we’ll have plenty of use out of it still, but I’ll tell you what we love so far.

The Farm Playnest is an inflatable donut covered with bold, bright and colourful washable nylon cover. Galt says that it’s suitable from birth, and depending on your use of it, tend to agree.

With Aviya, I’ve put a thin pillow in the hollow of the ring and put her on her side to sleep during the day while we’re in the living room. I’ve also been using (and in fact recommending in baby massage class!) the playnest for tummy time from birth. Because you can put the baby at an angle, they can have gentle pressure on the belly while still having somewhere to rest their heads*.

Aviya’s been holding her head up pretty much since birth, so it’s been easy for us to do. Also, since the ring is inflatable, it is soft against the belly which I think would be ideal for babies who ‘don’t like’ being on their tummies* (they don’t like it because they’re not used to it. If put on their tummies from birth, most babies will prefer it as a sleep position as it continues their natural womb like positioning.)

I’ve also used it without the pillow for her to lean back on so that she can look around and be part of what’s going on in the room. I particularly like that if Aviya slides over to the side, she can’t fall off anything, like the sofa. It’s a nice, contained, safe space, and because she’s not flat on her back or in the same position for too long, I don’t have to worry about flat head syndrome either*.

I was a bit concerned initially that it would pop if Ameli tried to get on it with her sister, but after a few weeks of both of them in the playnest, and her bouncing in, out and on it, I no longer have that fear. It’s pretty sturdy and stands up to toddlerhood.

As for activities, we’ve not had to pay too much attention to what it offers yet, as Aviya’s not there yet, but it does have things like a squeaker in the duck bill, crinkly ‘flaps’, a squishy pig’s nose and fluffy sheep’s head. I think for a younger baby, I’d prefer it to have arches as at the moment there’s not much on it to entertain her, but then, she is 12 weeks old! As she gets older, sits up and becomes more engaged in her environment, I think she’ll love the playnest and I’ll love the security it offers.

On a slightly different note – I was concerned this would have a playpen feeling, like she’d be trapped in it, which I wouldn’t like. Having it inflated and in use, however, I don’t think that will be the case at all. It’s not something that could be used to ‘contain’ a crawler, so it should definitely be used with adult supervision, especially if you have a cuddly toddler and a baby and especially if baby is sleeping in it.

Overall, though, we love this Galt Farm Playnest.

*These are my thoughts, not Galt claims.

Competition

If you’d like to win a Galt Farm Playnest, visit the Galt website, then come back here and let me know what other Galt product you like.

For an additional entry, (which is not compulsory, and is not sponsored by Facebook and which has nothing to do with Facebook or its employees) you can like Galt Toys on Facebook, and leave a second comment below saying you have. Also, leave a message on their wall telling them I sent you!

This competition finishes at 23:59 on 18 June and the winner will be randomly drawn. Winners will be announced here and on the Diary of a First Child Facebook Page. Please check these to find out who won.

AND THE WINNER IS

Please read the competition rules.

You do not have to tweet or share this competition to enter, and doing so does not give you additional entries unless otherwise stated, but doing so helps ensure that I can keep bringing you competitions! You can subscribe to Diary of a First Child by RSS  or to our competitions only RSS feed or email. You can also follow us on Facebook or on Twitter. We hope to see you back again soon!

Nozstock Festival Tickets Competition

I have a slightly different competition for you today and it’s one I’m totally excited about! We simply can’t afford a holiday this year, so when we were invited to Nozstock, The Hidden Valley, well, let’s just say I almost fell over myself to say yes.

Nozstock is a family festival that caters to all ages with activities that little ones can enjoy as well as entertainment for teens, students, seasoned festivalites and grandparents.  It has 8 stages of entertainment with surprising sights and intimate, secluded areas of theatre and discovery to be unearthed.

The musical line-up for Nozstock 2012, 27 – 29 July, includes bands such as The Proclaimers, The Correspondents and Juan Zelada, among many others. In the Enchanted Glade you’ll find creative workshops and performances specially presented for children.  Little ones muck in for messy play time in the sandpit and they can join in on storytelling, craft workshops, a circus and a UV light disco.

Other activities include:

Tent of Temporary Thought – a new tent to the festival dedicated to storytelling, poetry and spoken word

The Slapstick Workshop – Olly Crick the famous comedian, performer and director, will run an exciting workshop using all the best skills of slapstick comedy, such as those used by Laurelled and Harvey, and clowning worldwide.

Willow Sculptures – Carnival Arts group who ran the amazing children’s area at last year’s Big Chill Festival, will be atNozstock all day Saturday, making a huge giant Dragon and mini fantasy shapes.

The Circus Workshop – Circus performers will be giving the children a taste of circus life through demonstration and participation.

Face Painting – Throughout the weekend face painting will be available, with a variety of myth and legends designs. After all why shouldn’t the kids get their party face on too?

The Craft Workshop – A craft workshop for mini Nozstockers to design and create pieces of UV sculpture and art work that they can take away with them and show off at the UV Disco!

UV Disco – On Saturday Night The Enchanted Glade hosts a UV disco for kids and teenagers to get their groove on. Little ones will be able to bring UV craft they have made earlier in the day to dance and play with.


Gaffer Tape Roses –
The little ones loved this workshop so much in 2011 we have bought it back again! Learning to make gaffer tape roses will keep both young and old entertained for hours!Hula Hooping – Revisit your youth! This workshop is designed for both children and adults, so there is no excuse not to have a go at hula hooping! A fantastic exercise that will get everyone moving and grooving.

Bubbles – Our famous bubble lady will be back at The Enchanted Glade, filling the Nozstock skies with her bubble creations.

Storytelling – Everyday there will be story telling workshops for all ages at bedtime and early in the morning.

The Clowning Workshop – Zaz the Clown loved Nozstock 2011 so much, he is coming back for more, giving us all an opportunity to make fools of ourselves!

Magician and Balloon Maker – Mr Bamboozle the Magician will be showing us the secrets of his magical ways and creating some unusual shapes.

As for accommodation, there’s an exclusive Family Camping Area, set away in a quiet area so children can get to sleep. (This was a selling point to my husband too. After burning tents and rampaging teens at a festival a few years ago, he’s refused to go to any again – till this one!)

Please note that children under age 12 get in FREE.

Competition

If you’d like to join us at Nozstock on July 27 – 29, then leave a comment below letting me know what element of the festival you think you’d enjoy most?

I don’t normally give you a million different entry options to enter competitions, but I’m making an exception for this one.

If you have problems with Rafflecopter, please let me know! (I’d also love to know what you think of Rafflecopter.) HOW IT WORKS: Once you’ve left a comment below, click on the +1 on Rafflecopter, which will open a bunch of different ways for you to enter easily and with minimal effort!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be announced here and on the Diary of a First Child Facebook Page. Please check these to find out who won.

Please read the competition rules.

You do not have to tweet or share this competition to enter, and doing so does not give you additional entries unless otherwise stated, but doing so helps ensure that I can keep bringing you competitions! You can subscribe to Diary of a First Child by RSS  or to our competitions only RSS feed or email. You can also follow us on Facebook or on Twitter. We hope to see you back again soon!