augmented reality 3D book

I love the idea of being the best at something

augmented reality 3D bookIt’s not that I’m ambitious; or maybe I am.  But I love the idea of being the best at something.

I was always a ‘generalist’ at school.  A bit of a geek, good at everything, but not ‘the best’ at anything, so that’s probably where it comes from.

I think this is why I love the fun behind the Guinness World Records and the idea that anyone could be a record holder.

The lovely people at GWR (and they are amazingly lovely, full of enthusiasm for what they say is ‘the best job in the world’) invited the kids and me to a party to celebrate their new 2013 book.

Curly Headed Boy adores this book and got loads of brownie points at school for taking it in for show and tell.  It’s really clever, not only does it have the typical loads of records, but it BRINGS THEM TO LIFE literally using an app you can put on your phone so that the images appear in 3D or ‘augmented reality‘ as they call it.  It’s seriously weird, it’s like beneath your phone is a great big dinosaur, scary shark or little dwarf.

With Curly Headed Boy’s reading really beginning to take off (he’s nearly 7), this is the perfect book to encourage him to take on more complicated pages with more information in them.

Plus it has the added bonus of encouraging him to think that there is always something that we can be the best at.  In fact the gorgeous Liz from Violet Posy‘s hubby actually made a record on the day balancing cups!

Little Dimples is addicted to their cup balancing game and spookily good at it, despite being only 2.5yrs old.  I just need to explain to her that she must stop pouring her apple juice into the cups though.  You can nearly see her in the picture above, not daunted at all by the idea that a big shark was swimming over her head; bet she would scare a shark in real life!

Did you know that there are about 30-40,000 records in total?  They only manage to put about 4000 in the book, so each year there is a different theme, so it’s always worth looking at the new book each year.

So if you are looking for christmas or birthday presents for kids that don’t involve loads of plastic tat, and broaden their horizons about what they might achieve in their lives, then I can really recommend this book.


Disclosure: I was given a book a few months ago, and my expenses to go to the event were paid for, along with lunch and a voucher to spend at the Westfield Stratford Shopping Centre afterwards.  This in no way affects my opinions, although I have to say that they are really lovely people!


Thomson the dog

What do Thomson, Guinness World Records, Whipsnade and Luton A&E have in common?

Thomson the dogWhat do Thomson Family holidays, the Guiness Book of Records and Whipsnade zoo have in common?

And how come did we end up in A&E  in Luton with Little Dimples?

Well we got invited to a blogging event at Whipsnade Zoo hosted by Thomsons and Guinness Book of World Records during half-term.

The timing was perfect as I’ve been feeling mega ‘second child loses out guilt’ as we used to have a Whipsnade membership and I suddenly realised with horror that we’ve never taken Little Dimples to a zoo, so she’s never seen an elephant or lion in real life.

I was a little bemused about the connection to the Guinness Book of Records though, but all was explained when we got there.  It seems that Thomson have understood the current market and that families need lots of value in their holidays.  So one of the extra fun features at their family resorts is the possibility to break a Guinness World Record; for example ‘how many linos can you make a tower of’ or ‘how quickly can you put Mr Potatoe head together blindfolded’.

I like the idea as it’s silly and simple; I like anything that gets kids using their initiative and imagination; i.e. the ‘simple things in life‘.

Some parents might be worried about the competitive aspect to it, and I do agree that some kids will be upset if they don’t win.  However, competition is a fact of life, and this is potentially an easy way of introducing the fact that we win and lose throughout life to our kids.

We actually had TWO World Record Breakers on the day: A Mothers Ramblings’s daughter TopEnder won the blindfolded assembly of Mr Potatoe head and The vegetarian experience won the most hats on her head record.  Big congrats to them!

Curly headed boy was a little disappointed that he and the hairy northern one didn’t win anything.  But it was such a lovely relaxed event with so many children that his mind was quickly taken off the loss.  The other ‘loser’ bloggers with us were: Being a Mummy, Being Mrs C, When Two become Four, Mummy From the Heart, Seasider claire, All Baby Advice.

Companies can’t get away with pretending that they know about kids or care about them, because it becomes really obvious when they don’t have a clue.  All three of Thomson, Guinness World Records and Whipsnade showed that they really cared and knew how to deal with families, as the event was absolutely lovely.  It wasn’t too noisy, there was plenty of helpers for the kids, so us bloggers got to chat every now and again, and it had a chilled fun atmosphere.

Funnily enough last year we actually went to a Thomson connected hotel in Cyprus called the Kephalos Beach Hotel for our first family holiday, so I can easily say that I like them.  Whilst we were there Curly headed boy and the big hairy northern one set a record for the resorts canoeing across the swimming pool competition, so I can definitely vouch for the fact that if you break a record your little ones are going to be chuffed for MONTHS!  This year I’m not going back to Thomson, mainly because I’ve been offered a holiday at Siblu to review (I know, don’t spit, I’m a very lucky person!).  But I would go back.  Here’s some more information on Thomson Family Resorts incase you’d like to know more.


So with all that organisation and lovely cheery helpers around, what could possibly go wrong?


You know how we are told not to swing young children around by their arms, especially one arm? Yeh that is what happened.

Little Girl Dancing In Her First Ballet shoesI haven’t told off the big hairy northern one, as I think that four days of Little Dimples crying and saying ‘Owwwuuuuu’ and then telling him ‘Naughty Daddy, you hurt my arm’ is punishment enough.

Whipsnade, Thomson and GWR were lovely and kept coming over to see if they could help.  But eventually it was very clear that it was going to have to be a hospital trip for us.  I was gutted; no elephants or Lions for Little Dimples after all.  However, the very kind first aider and manager from Whipsnade has taken pity on us and offered for us to go back for free, which is really sweet of them.

Luton A& E were great; they have a special children’s area and a doctor who popped her dislocated elbow back in really quickly.  But it’s taken her days to get better poor little mite, and it showed how left handed she really is, as it’s been very tricky for her.

Her grandparents popped down for a visit to help distract her and try to get her to use the arm, which really helped.

Finally, little ballet shoes bought by her still guilty feeling Dad did the trick yesterday to get her pirouetting around the kitchen (and thus lifting her arm above her head).


So Mums, please tell the Dads;





p.s. Thomson provided my family with a little box of toys, fun & lunch and access to the zoo for the afternoon in return for attending the event and writing up what I thought about it.