Wednesday, 25 January 2012

iPad, more than just games?

After much deliberation we decided to buy an iPad. Instead of letting the children use our work laptops (and risk my cries as they delete years of work files) we decided on an iPad, complete with covers (back and front) and insurance!

I was keen to give Mia (5) access to technology but I wasn't keen on her just using the tech as an excuse to play games.

I set about trying to find educational games that would still be fun and would support the work she was doing in school. So far these are our top tips...

1. We're a bit of science loving household so Google Earth, Science VL (scientific terminology) and Sky ORB (looking at constellations and planets) are all a hit.
2. Mia loves pocketphonics (and it's in UK English) and Squeebles (for fun maths games).
3. For creativity we all love Finger Sketch, easy to use for even the youngest child.
4. And not forgetting books, the Peter Rabbit app is lovely, it has both books and games and gives your child the option to either read or be read to (great for younger children).

Next on our list to download is 'Spelling test' and we'll report back on that. You can find more ipad app reviews for children on Geek Mummy's blog.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

A shower curtain? Mum insight

Everything we do at MumPanel is about mum insight. From asking our mums what they think about a new product or service to surveying mums to help with product development - we know the views and opinions of mums matter to the companies we work with.

This week we took to our facebook group to ask our mums about the one item they couldn't live without. The answers were varied (and yes wine and chocolate were on the list) but the one stand out was a £2 shower curtain!

As our MumPanel mum went onto explain "I use it in [the] garden under a blanket when the ground's still damp, on the table as a table cloth for painting, under the high chair for messy eaters and weaning stage, over the mattress for wee accidents when just out of nappies, for on the bed when sickness bugs strike, under the chair when dying my hair."

Who knew a shower curtain could be so versatile?

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Tangle Teezer - mum insight

There are certain products as a mum I couldn't live without. And we hear the same thing from our inner circle of mums. They tend to be different things for different mums but sometimes you stumble across a product which you just want to shout about.

Imagine the scene. It's 8.25 and school run time fast approaches. You have a screaming toddler covered in weetabix hanging from one leg and a very grumpy 5 year old refusing to have her hair brushed. Said hair is sticking up in 47 directions. As soon as you approach with a brush lovely sedate child runs screaming from the room. You give chase and manage to get the brush on those messy locks. Then you spend the next 10 minutes dealing with a sobbing, annoyed child as you try and comb their hair into some kind of order. They will wiggle and moan it hurts. Erm and now you are late for school. Familiar anyone?

This was is what happened in my house every morning until a piece of plastic literally changed my life.

On the hunt for something to calm Mia's wild locks I spotted a Tangle Teezer. I vaguely remembered the product from Dragon's Den but had no idea whether they would work on children's hair. The Tangle Teezer is a brush designed to sit in the palm of your hand. It has soft plastic bristles which flex enough to smooth the hair but don't get caught up in it. It's perfect for combing children's hair and was the end of hair-related screaming fits in our house.

Tangle Teezer video

Did you know about the Tangle Teezer? Do you love it too?