On Saturday I took Aaron and his cousin to a Talk To Mums event #t2mFamilyPlayTime.
Despite blogging for over 5 years, I have never ever been to an event like it.
Normally events are on week days and even though we don't all have pre-schoolers, somehow we are expected to attend. I used to, even when he was in reception, until of course he turned 5, which being statutory school age is no longer an option. When events are at weekends, we're expected to miss family time and head off solo, with the promise of cake and coffee with blogging girlfriends being the draw.
This is the first time I've been to an event where the whole family could attend AND not on a school day.
From the minute I arrived to the second I left I was utterly impressed. The kids had SO much to do, they only troubled me once all day, to ask for my raffle ticket as we'd won a prize (Aaron picked Ssshhh! Don't Wake Dad!). Apart from that, we were either together having fun or they were in various play areas, while I went to the talks laid on. So family friendly was it, all of us had kids that would wander into the talk (to give us something, get something or ask a question) and then just tip-toe back out to the fun they were having elsewhere. One time I thought "there couldn't STILL be enough for them to do out there" and when I went to look for them they were simultaneously having their faces painted, like two little pampered divas ;-)
The event was just the best from the second we walked in the door. When you are offered a manicure on arrival, you know it's going to be a good day:
My nails were painted by Return To Glory. Loved them as they dried immediatly, were high gloss/shine and they painted right to the cuticles and shaped them just the way I like them. The kids faces were painted by iindigo World bes I have ever seen to be honest and suited them so very well. They later went back and got their arms done.
Anyone who knows me will know I never write about craft or baking here on the blog as I am just not very good at either of them. So imagine my delight when we got to make Halloween Paper Lanterns (they're holding them below) with Lloyd Warbey from ART ATTACK as our Tutor. He was there for Craft Shop Work Shop. We were down the same end of the table as him so got lots of one-to-one tuition and even got a pic and autograph on the way out:
It was such a chilled, exciting, fun, but relaxed, day that it was brilliant for me and bump too:
The kids were able to eat their body weight in chocolate during the day as there were chocolate lollipops aplenty from Kinnerton. They've each now got their Advent Calendars sorted too as there were plenty of those to choose from and take away. Even a large one to pose with:
They have a license with pretty much all the leading brands you can think of. Aaron chose the Star Wars one.
I have never had the desire or interest to do Pinterest, so my account, although existing, is very dusty and unloved. It was with that in mind that I went to the session. It was hosted very adeptly by Helen Neale from Kiddy Charts but the slides were compiled by In The Playroom, who is a Pinterest whizzkid. I did learn a lot from this session, whether I put any of it into practice is another story - I'm being honest with myself here, baby on the way and Christmas round the corner....!
I was so busy having a great time I didn't stand at the @HomeSenseUK stand for nearly long enough, but being that I adore angels I was captivated by the elements of their Christmas range that they brought with them. They're part of the TK Maxx family so their interiors are up to 60% off the RRP.
No wonder the kids were so well entertained there was even a dedicated play room:
Just when I thought the day couldn't possibly get any better, they cleared all the chairs and tables away in the main room and we were all treated to some dance and drama from Perform UK. Basically Matt enthralled and entertained all of our children while we sat in captivated silence:
I can't go without mentioning Mini Nom Noms, definitely the tastiest kids' food I have ever had the delight of tasting:
We also spent a great deal of time over at the Tractor Ted stand as Aaron just adored throwing soft toys into a milk can, again and again and again and again. We took away a DVD and colouring book so I will review them for you soon and Aaron keeps noticing the adverts on TV now, as it is now also a TV show.
I've just collected Aaron from after school club and whilst doing so realised I have failed to mention the fab Horn It.
Whilst we didn't spend any time at the stand (it was always very busy) Aaron did insist on having one, after everyone had left meaning I didn't know whether to stand and talk about Horn It or run to grab a goodie bag before they were all gone (at the exit); decisions, decisions :-) The exhibitor was so so lovely he gave me a black one that Aaron had had his eye on all day and quickly took me through how to use it. Aaron's played with it before and after school today. It's a mini hornit and fabulous. Can't wait to attach it to his bicycle. And I will 100% be including it in my Christmas Gift Guide as it'd make the perfect gift for a girl or boy, for a scooter or bike! I just told Aaron that I was writing about it and he said "tell them I dropped it in the loo" - he quite literally did last night and we spent some time drying it out but thanks be to God it still works. Click the mini hornit link and you'll see a fab little video on their site which gives you a brief idea as to what it is capable of.
Actually I have a confession to make, there was one point in the day, when I got flustered. I was carrying two advent calendars, which were too big to slide into my rucksack and I was using them as trays, so all my loose odds and ends were piled on top. Each time I caught up with the kids and meticulously put everything down, they'd be on the move again, which is how I came to let them have their own fun (be a bit more free range) whilst I went to a few talks. It was at the Crystal Ski Holidays room that I let out my first sigh of "gosh I can't carry this pile around anymore". The fact that the room was filled with blissful SNOW went right over my head. Someone should have put some right over my head to chill me out - ha ha. As all of the exhibitors had their stuff arrive in boxes, nobody had a carrier they could lend me, so thus it was, Mini Nom Noms later gave me a black bin bag (he he) and my advent calendars and loose bits lived in there for the remainder of the day. If I could turn back time, I would do exactly what Matt from Perform UK did:
I had such a blast today at the : #t2mfamilyplaytime events. @PerformUK thank you for letting me be there. #snow pic.twitter.com/ehk9jU3buG— MattBPerform (@MattBPerform) October 10, 2015
I know though that the kids DID spend a lot of time enjoying that room as Aaron's hair on the way home was FULL of snow, with his curls holding onto it tight. And if you watch my video of the Perform dance and drama slot, you'll see the floor covered in snow where the kids had brought it in with them. Lots of kids had a blast doing snow angels in that snow. Such a good idea; I ought to have chilled out and dived in too.
Thanks Talk to Mums for what is easily the best event I have ever been to.