Classic Wooden Games from Jaques Of London - Review

AD - This is a PR collaboration.

As a parent, in this fast, ever-growing digital world I'm always striving to take things back to basics - back to the way that I remember it. My childhood revolved around me using my imagination, making my own fun, and playing classic games with my parents and siblings - these are the childhood memories that I truly treasure. They are also experiences that I want my own children to appreciate and enjoy so we often have screen-free days where we dig out our favourite board games, books, and toys and just enjoy one another's company.

With this in mind, when Jaques of London got in touch to collaborate with us I think I emailed back within 2.5 seconds. Their website offers a plethora of incredible wooden toys and games suitable for all ages - at affordable prices. We chose the Tumble Tower and Four in a Row game to review as I knew they were games that my children were familiar with and would enjoy playing with together.

Four in a Row was the first game on the agenda. It came packaged in an eco-friendly way - in a reusable cardboard storage box, and paper. It was very easy to set up, simply open up the box by sliding out the wooden frame, separate the wooden discs and voila - ready to play! It's made to the utmost quality and I appreciate how each wooden disc is thick and sturdy - they won't go missing easily and will stand the test of time.

The instructions for this game are pretty self-explanatory and I think most people have played it. Taking turns, the first person to connect four discs in a row wins. Don't forget that you can go vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. I forgot the latter and then lost my first game, whoops! 
Four in a Row - Home Edition costs just £16.99 and would make the most wonderful Christmas gift.

Next, we have the Tumble Tower - which retails at just £13.99. Just like Four in a Row, it was packaged in an eco-friendly reusable storage box. It was so refreshing to open two games and have zero plastic to contend with - thank you for that. You can get large versions of this game, however, we opted for the smaller, indoor version to keep us busy when indoors during the winter. It contains plenty of sturdy wooden blocks, some printed with the Jaques of London logo, and others not. I had the task of setting up the tower ready for play and let me tell you, the kids were buzzing with excitement for this one. What is it with children and knocking down towers?

This was by far Ava's favourite out of the two - she's spent so much time over the past few weeks, stacking with extreme precision and exhibits such pride and confidence once she's completed the tower. She has also, somehow, become with family champion - much to Noah's frustration. I keep telling him that practice makes perfect and let me tell you, he's been practising hard ever since! It's been a joy to watch their faces when they are studying which block to remove next and it makes us all laugh every time the tower takes a tumble. This game is so much fun.

I cannot recommend Jaques of London enough - so much choice when it comes to games, and toys and the website is so easy to use. I'm already looking at what to buy next and will be reusing all the games at our wedding next year. These traditional family games are both such bargains and are available to buy on their website now. Please use this link for 15% off for you and your purchase

Which game would you play first?

5 Things I'm Loving Lately - November 2021

AD - This is a PR collaboration.

I've been meaning to update the blog with a post like this for a while now - life has been so busy lately that I'm only just getting around to it. It's been a crazy time for us all, hasn't it? I'm still coming to terms with what has actually been happening the past (almost) two years. If COVID has taught me one thing it is to appreciate what you have and celebrate the things you love. Here are 5 things I'm loving lately.

1. Wedding Planning
After a 12 year engagement, myself and Nick have finally set a date and are getting married next May! We are both quite low-key people and don't like being the center of attention but we are setting that to one side. It's a day to celebrate our love for one another and to bring our families together after the rough time we've all had lately.

2. Routine
Don't get me wrong, I can't say we are a very routine-based family - however, I'm just so appreciative to have some sense of normality back. Both Noah and Ava are at school and are thriving. It's wonderful to see them back with their peers and with smiles on their faces at school pick up. 

3. Stardew Valley
I'm going to sound like such a nerd but one of my favourite ways to relax in the evening is to dig out my Switch and play Stardew Valley. If you've not heard of it yet then you are totally missing out. It's more than just a farming sim and has become a cult classic. The sole creator Eric Barrone has also just announced a new game, The Haunted Chocolatier.

4. My Dogs
I don't mention my pups enough as I should - they are fabulous and a never-ending supply of entertainment, support, and love! With the kids being back at school we love wrapping up and going on long walks together. It's a great way for me to get my steps in too and wonderful for mental health.

5. Making Time For Me
With the kids back at school and having more time to myself I've been making sure that I treat myself every now and again. It's easy to lose yourself when you are a parent and to put your own needs on the backburner. Every month I go and get my nails done, my eyebrows threaded, and my hair done. It might not sound like much but it does me the world of good. For those of you who really want to spoil yourselves, you can go a step further and pamper yourself with laser hair removal - saving you time and money in the long run, and leaving you feeling permanent, pleasantly smooth. New York Laser Clinic offers advanced, medical-grade laser hair removal in London, and their gold-standard lasers provide effective, pain-free hair removal for every skin type. Book a free consultation today and, for November only, enjoy 55% off laser hair removal.

What are you loving lately? 

How to Raise a Respectful Child

 - This is a PR collaboration

Great relationships are built on the principle of respect and while we know what that is, how do we teach it to our children? A girls prep school in London shares a few ways that you can do this.

Tackling Disagreements
Knowing how to deal with disagreements is a key skill for being respectful that can help your child to socialise and work with others diplomatically. Teaching your child that it's okay to be faced with disagreements and the value that differing opinions hold can help you to do this. You can do this by having healthy debates at home which get your child to think about their standpoints and respectfully take differing views on board.

Being Considerate
Having an appreciation for the feelings of others can help your child to be more respectful and considerate. This is something that you can teach them by being kinder to those around you and making them aware of how they treat others. Tools such as a feelings dictionary may be useful for this or character books such as those on the MR Men series.

Communication Skills
Having the patience to listen to others is important when demonstrating respect. This is known as active listening, and it can help your child to improve on their comprehension too. Questions are a great way to demonstrate interest and can help your child to gauge situations better.

Using Manners
Manners cost nothing and can help your child to appear courteous and respectful when talking to others. Reminding your child to use their manners from an early age can help them to become accustomed to using them and become a respectful child.

Keeping an Open-Mind
Teaching your child to keep an open mind is important when raising your child with respect. This is the ability to be receptive to new ideas that are different to your own by agreeing to disagree and being open to understanding.