All posts tagged animals

A day at Blackpool zoo

Published April 21, 2017 by Bizzimummy

On Wednesday we took a family day out to Blackpool zoo. We have been before but Izebella was very little then so probably doesn’t remember much from her first trip.

Blackpool zoo is located close to Stanley park and costs about £6.00 by taxi from the centre of Blackpool. I believe there are also a few buses that take you straight there. There are signposts throughout Blackpool directing drivers towards the zoo too.

The first thing we saw when we got into the zoo was a big dinosaur area. Of course these creatures died millions of years ago but they are really big and lifelike. Once past the dinosaurs it’s time to meet some very much alive creatures like this gorgeous guy. 

Many of you may know that I absolutely love tortoises and even have one myself, tho he is much much smaller than this giant species. I would absolutely love one of these in my garden. 

Blackpool zoo has so many animal species including big and little mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and even a few bugs. Here’s just a few I managed to snap.

I found the big cats fascinating, being so close to them and only separated by a wall of glass. 

There are lots of monkey type species including gorillas, these are kept far away for obvious reasons but can still be easily viewed. There is an orang-u-tan enclosure where we could watch them  high up and Amazonia where small monkeys are in the trees all around us and often jump down right in front of us along with tropical birds flying around. 

There are lots of really interesting and unusual animals too such as Tapirs and other animals rarely seen. 

The small farm area is great for kids. It’s located in a barn and contains pigs, sheep, goats, llamas, donkeys, rabbits and a few other more well known farm friends. They even let you hold and touch smaller animals at certain times of the day and feed them.

We spent a good 4 hours at the zoo, walking around, seeing the animals, farm visit, sea lion show and dinner at the restaurant. A family meal deal consists of 2 adult meals and 2 kids with drinks for £18.00. It is similar to McDonalds with choices of burgers and nuggets so not too bad a price. 

There are toilets located all around the zoo, gift shops, and a park area too. 

Adult tickets start from £13.99 depending on date and child tickets are slightly discounted. It is cheaper to book online prior to arriving and discounts are given on family tickets too. 

Find out more at Blackpool zoo.

Mibo board books for kids

Published March 21, 2017 by Bizzimummy

We have three new board books from Button books. Each book is by author Madeline Rogers and the books are designed for very young children 0-3 years but also perfect for both pre and early readers as first books.

All the books are based around animals from three different continents, being Africa, Asia and the polar regions. Each book shows five different animals from each region. 

The books are all made with thicker board rather than paper which prevents tears. There are many bold animal images throughout. The  text is very minimal, 2 lines per two pages it is also bold and just the right size for younger children. 

Each animal book in the mibo series has an rrp of £4.99 and these can be found on Amazon and many book shops.

Zuru robo turtles 

Published June 20, 2016 by Bizzimummy

There’s a new species of turtle in town, straight from the land of Zuru

Known as “robo turtles” these mini robotic type creatures can be spotted in 4 different colours. They can walk on land but seem to prefer the water. They are small enough to fit in the palm of my hand and very brightly coloured. 

My children and I, found one of the little critters hiding amongst our morning post one day. Ours is blue and green and quite a fun friendly little guy.

“Using the latest micro-robotic technology, ROBO Turtle walks on land and swims just like a real turtle in water! The lifelike design and movement is unlike anything you have ever seen before, creating an exciting display in front of your eyes and endless turtle play!”

The turtle was even found with batteries already inside and he came with two spare too. I think he is going to be with us for some time as all of us enjoy him, even the cat. 

We find he works best in the water which he really seems to enjoy. The water seems to activate his best features and he swims and flaps like a real turtle. You can see him here, in the video, tho I do think we need a bigger bowl for him.

Yes the cat was very curious by him!

The turtle loves to play in water and the best features will be seen in water, but it’s important not to leave robo turtle in water all day or his battery juice may drain away. Instead take them out and put them on dry land. To get him to walk on dry land we just tap his belly as he sometimes gets a little lazy when there is no water. 

He stops his self on dry land and is reactivated either by water or gently tapping him. 

A fun and inexpensive toy pet.

You will find the robo turtles at the following places –  ASDA, Argos, B&M, Morrisons, Smyths, Tesco, The Entertainer, Toys R Us. One can be yours for £9.99. And if you want to buy a special home for them, then a Turtle playset can also be purchased for £19.99. 

Sterling publishing: kids book titles.

Published June 17, 2016 by Bizzimummy

Two weeks ago we recieved yet another great collection of kids titles, all of which can be found in the Sterling publishing kids catalogue. We have four new books in total and yes our big book shelf is now quickly resembling a mini library, but at least they won’t be bored on a rainy day. 

Lol: A Keepsake journal of hilarious Q&A 

This is one book I would of loved when younger. It is full of funny and sometimes slightly embarrassing questions asking all sorts of random things. There’s a lot of other stuff too including doodles and jokes and its fun throughout. It includes space to write answers too. 

This book is by author Brandon T Snider who also authored the Dark knight annual. It’s a very new publication and sells for about £10, I have seen a few offers for less on Amazon. 

It’s a great fun book, perfect for boring cold days or before bed boredom.

Flash kids work books 

For those at school, books like these can greatly enhance learning. The Flash kids have produced both reading fundamentals and Summer study for various school grades. The only slight problem I have with these titles is that they are both American and American school grades differ slightly to our school years here. I have Summer study grade 5 which is designed for 10/11 years and reading fundamentals for grade 6 which is 11/12 years unlike our year 6 being 10/11 years. 

Summer study combines maths and reading activities into 180 pages, lots of activities for the summer holidays. The grading I chose may be ever so slightly old for Jordanna but by looking through it, I know that she will beable to complete some of the activities now.

I did spot the odd puzzle involving money, as this is in dollars, the money puzzles may prove tricky for kids who are more used to pounds. The rest of the puzzles seem pretty straightforward though. 

Reading fundamentals is certainly something that is included in SATS exams as Ryan would often bring sheets home to practice. This book gives a page of txt to read on various subjects and then a list of questions to answer on the adjoining page. Rather than just questions and answers it may ask the reader true, false, underline/circle words or other options.

For both the flash kids books, the answers are given at the back of each, tho best not to let kids know that. 

Both books come priced in dollars but reading fundamentals are about £6.00 each and Summer study just over £7.00. Each of the books comes with a choice of school grade or level.

ABC Rainforest 

This final rather picturesque book comes from the American museum of natural history. It is a hard back board picture book designed for the younger ones 2-5 years. 

18 colour board pages goes through the A-Z of a rainforest, many of the animals unheard of and a picture with each one plus a brief description. As well as many animals, children will also spot plants and flowers.

Izebella really enjoys animal pictures and learning about different animals. It is perfect for her age (3), the pages are tough board so they can’t be ripped or damage like normal books, she’s quite gentle anyway luckily. 

Price for this one is approximately £6.99.

All of the above titles can be found on Amazon and most good book stores. 

Sterling books

We was kindle sent these book titles from GMC group.

Ravensburger – My First Pet puzzle

Published March 4, 2016 by Bizzimummy

We do enjoy doing puzzles and jigsaws in our house and so far have quite a collection of Ravensburger puzzles. The majority are the big 1000 piece or more so it’s always nice for the kids when one arrives that they can do too. 

This is the “My First Pet” puzzle with 200 pieces. It shows photographs of various cute animals which could be kept as pets, such as kittens and tortoises which we have, also rabbits, puppy, birds etc. 

The puzzle is aimed at those 8 and over. I was hoping Jordanna would want to do this but sadly no! She said it was too hard. So me and Ryan ended up doing it together instead. 

The pieces are just about right for an older child, not too small or big babyish sizes. 

I think Jordanna was jusr being lazy. It probably took us under an hour to complete. 

This puzzle is available over on Amazon at the current price of £7.99 and many good toy stores.

Great Gizmos Nici animal range

Published June 4, 2015 by Bizzimummy

We were asked to get involved in a blogging project with the new Nici selection. These products include cute little backpacks and kids stationary items and all feature cute animals.  

The varied selection of products we received meant that everyone got something as I would say they are all for different age groups. 

The rather cute Sheep backpack  is of course perfect for Izebella who was only too happy to claim it for herself. It has adjustable straps and the sheets head lifts up to reveal a small pouch for keeping her bits.  


We also have the Nici Kangaroo pencil tin. Inside are 12 coloured pencils but they are all double ended, giving 24 colours in total. This is something all 3 of them can use and share.  

This Sloth pouch roll opens up to reveal a pencil case, it has pen holders as well as a zip pocket and is very soft to touch. However I do think it’s over priced at £13.49 no matter how cute it looks.  


Finally a small pair of child friendly wild friend scissors which fit perfectly in the pencil case. Perfect for giving to a certain young boy who feels left out when little sisters get something. 

There isn’t too much to say about a pair of sciccors really. They cut and they have some cute dinosaur friends on them.

I do like the Nici range with the cute animal friends. However I do think they are slightly over priced for what they are.  

Sticker by numbers Animals from Buster books

Published March 16, 2015 by Bizzimummy

We do love new books in our house and especially when it’s something a little different like the books we often receive from Buster Books

A new book recently arrived at our door which Jordanna has pretty much claimed for herself. 

About this book

Introducing Sticker By Numbers, an innovative new series which takes stickers to a whole new level. Simply match the coloured stickers to the numbers on each page to piece together stunning pictures. With over 3,500 geometric-shaped stickers in ten different colours, there’s endless sticker fun to be had. Children will love creating intricate patterns, completing a colourful fairground, stunning fireworks and embellishing flowers, butterflies and lots more.

There are several book titles in the Sticker by number collection and we have an animal sticker book. The pages contain fine images of animals which are outlined in colour and many spaces each with a number. The numbers all represent coloured stickers which can all be found on pages at the back of the book. If you intend to complete a fair few pictures at once then it may be worthwhile taking all the sticker pages out of the book and having them in front of you (much easier).

The stickers are quite small so maybe a little fiddly for little fingers as they tend to get stuck on hands. It’s quite time consuming too as there’s so many of them.

The end results can be quite beautiful if time is taken. It does make a good rainy day activity.

This activity book is aimed at youngsters aged 6-9 years but I do think adults may also enjoy it too. It comes with an RRP of £6.99 and details of how to buy are all here.

Bobo Buddies

Published March 4, 2015 by Bizzimummy

Bobo Buddies are a cute collection of animal characters which have been made into several products designed for babies and toddlers. Blankies, blanket backpacks and Toddler backpack with reins are all available to buy at the Bobo Buddies online shop.

There is a lion, monkey, giraffe,,dog and rabbit. Each with their own name and personality.

Izebella is now 2 and is starting to hate being pushed about in her buggy. She wants to walk and walk everywhere. She can be a little slow and tends to mess about, stopping to look at everything, and of course crossing roads is very dangerous with a walking toddler. Therefore the perfect Bobo Buddies product for her was the backpack with reins.

Our surprise Bobo Buddies backpack arrived, we had no idea which character we would get, and it turned out to be the lovely Lupo dog. Now this little character looked a little like Izebella's nannas dog who unfortunately died 2 weeks ago so it's quite a strange coincidence that this came around the same time. Izebella won't call her cuddly new pet Lupo but instead calls him Gaffer which was the name of the dog.


From the front it looks just like a cuddly toy and he is very fluffy and huggable. Turn him over to reveal a little bag and the straps and reins.

The bag is not the biggest but it's perfect for a short outing and for a toddler to carry. It will fit a small snack inside and a drinks carton or perhaps a small toy.

There are 2 shoulder straps which are adjustable and then the straps fasten around the chest. It seems to be a good comfortable fit on Izebella with a bit of spare room for growth or a thick coat. As the backpack is made of a lovely soft furry material it means it feels comfortable for Izebella to have it on.


The best bit (for me) about the Bobo buddies backpack is the walking rein strap. This is fully removeable if needed and hooks on and off a metal clasp. It's a simple strap with a loop to go around my wrist, it is quite long and gives the child enough freedom to run in front of parent without going too far.

Yes in a way it is like I'm walking her, I read many reviews and opinions from parents against walking reins, but for me I see it as a temporary solution to know that she is safe next to me when out walking. With the reins on she cannot run off from me and I can keep her away from the road until she is slightly older to understand a liittle better. When Jordanna was 2 years old she let go of my hand on a busy road junction and was hit by a car. Luckily she was okay and only got a broken collar bone. If I had owned walking reins or one of the Bobo buddies backpacks back then, then it's unlikely that the accident would have occurred.

Izebella seems to enjoy having her new cuddly backpack on whilst out and barely even realises that I am holding her on the strap.


The adorable character backpacks with reins cost £19.95 each. Buy directly from the online shop



Hug-Mi huggable backpack & Competition

Published December 12, 2014 by Bizzimummy

Jordanna is a typical little girl who loves her bags and also loves dressing up. Hug-Mi takes care if both of her loves by being the worlds first fully functioning huggable backpack. It combines 3 elements of being a useable bag, a hat and a fun costume. The bags come in lots of fun furry characters which include a panda, bear, ladybird, Dalmatian and pony as well as a few others. Each character bag had its own unique name which all end in “mi” such as pony-mi.

For Jordanna I chose the Leopard character which is called Leo-mi. Jordanna likes her animal prints and spots so I knew she would be happy with this particular one.

Leo-Mi has a very cute face I think with big droopy eyes. He is very soft and furry and so huggable.

The card you see in this photograph is not just a tag but rather his own passport to keep. It has Leo-Mi's details on along with his picture and space for Jordannas picture and info too.

The bag itself opens and closes with the zipper which can be clearly seen on the picture above.
The bag measures 34x18x48cm and on first inspection it didn't look like it would hold that much but it's quite deceptive. Jordanna decided she liked it so much and really wanted to take it school. She managed to fit 3 books inside plus her glasses and a water bottle. She goes to get fathers house at weekends too and easily fits her clothes and bits inside it. The bag even has a hidden plush pocket inside too which is perfect for small toys and secret sweets.

The Leopards face forms the hat/hood and the costume arms are carefully tucked away inside the bag. These are very easily pulled out and pushed back in for costume time. The sleeves have soft plush paws on the end and a strap to slip hands in. Both the arms and the bag strap have Velcro straps for the arms to hug the bag.

Jordanna seemed over the moon with the new backpack, wanting to carry and take it everywhere with her. It's very comfy on she tells me and even keeps her warmer. As well as being a role play costume the animal hood also doubles up as a hat to keep the head warm outside and it seems animal hats are the latest fashion at Jordannas school.

Role play is of course very important to a child’s development. It helps their imaginations to develop and whilst engaging in role play activities a child can become whoever they want to be. In Jordanna’s case this time it’s a Leopard which is more cute and cuddly than fierce..


A lot of Jordannas friends love her Hug-mi too and have asked where she got it from. Of course baby sister also loves it and I think she too wants one herself. She puts it on and makes funny Roar noises.


Charity Work

Hug-Mi is more than just a bag and more than just a fun role play costume. The characters have a little story to them in that they are all endangered species. Ani-Me continues to support these species by adopting the animals to match their character bags. By purchasing a character bag the buyer is supporting the charities and species.

More details on the Hug-Mi bags can be found at Ani-Me and also The Kickstarter project along with a video to watch here.




Ani-Mi are giving away one of their Hug-Mi bags. I am unable to specify which character the winner will receive, it will be a surprise.
The competition is open to UK residents. As it's mid December there is no guarantee that the winners prize will arrive before Christmas.

Enter by ………………………….. RAFFLECOPTER …………………………………….

The competition will end on December 18th. Good Luck.

Win competitions at – See more at:

First fun Flashcards

Published June 20, 2014 by Bizzimummy

Flash Cards are one of the few learning aids that have really stood the test of time. I remember being shown flash cards by my mum to help me with spelling and learning when little and it doesn’t surprise me too much that they are still available for my children now.
Miles Kelly publishing is about to launch a new selection called First fun flashcards. These flashcards come in different themes such as letters, animals, shapes, and numbers.

I was able to choose some packs of flashcards for Izebella and so chose Colours and Shapes:, as I am currently trying to teach her a few of these. I also chose an animal pack as she seems to love looking at pictures of animals.


Each pack contains 27 individual double sides cards. The cards seem very strong and sturdy and fairly unbreakable.
To start with the Animals pack. One side of the card shows a clear picture of the animal, whilst the other side displays the animal name in big letters with a piece of factual information underneath like this.


These animal cards do a whole lot more than just teach children animal names. By using these cards children are recognising animals, learning how to spell the animal name plus learning small facts about each one.
The cards are aimed at children 3 and over so Izebella is perhaps a little young for games. She has however picked up many animal names and recognises many of the animals so cd using the cards, such as tiger, parrot, penguin, shark. She is only one year old so easily gets confused with similar looking animals such as the penguin and puffin. She also calls the Zebra a horse and the dolphin a fish which I think is fairly clever considering her age. I think these cards may well turn her into a mini genius.
A good game for older children would maybe be teaching children about different animal groups like mammals and reptiles and asking children which group each animal belongs to.
The animal cards have different colour frames around them. Another game could be matching the colour frames together.

The Colour and Shape cards do exactly as the title says and help to teach colours and shapes. Half the cards teach shapes and the other half colours. Again they are double sided with one side showing an object and the other a colour or shape.


Some of the objects are much easier to recognise than others such as the rabbit and car. A few are a little difficult for Izebella such as a pine cone but my little genius is really learning fast.
I keep the packs of cards in my living room on a shelf unit and Izebella points and says cards at least 3 times a day. Each time she remembers different objects or animals. I am quite amazed at what she knows for her age and she is a very good talker too.
The colour and shape cards do show many every day objects which young children will relate to. Colours can be hard to teach. A good idea is to show a child a colour card. For instance “blue” which has a picture of a balloon. Then maybe find other blue items around the home, ask the child what else can they see that is the same colour etc. There are many different things that can be done with the flash cards.

The cards are brightly coloured with clear illustrated photographs. Each card measures 145 x 110mm which seems a good size for tiny hands to hold. Instructions come with each pack of cards along with some handy tips for more fun games and other ways to use them. Each pack costs £5.99.

Izebella and big brother and sister are having lots of fun and games with the flash cards. Ryan and Jordanna love to help Izebella learn and this is a safe way for them to join in too. Here are the pictures I took of them using the cards.






Here is a short video I took of Jordanna teaching Izebella with the flashcards. On YouTube.


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