Fancy £200 to invest in your child’s future? (Sponsored giveaway)

As parents we’re preparing our kids for adulthood on a daily basis. Whether it’s reading, travel, galleries, or even film & tv – we’re looking ahead to the adults they’ll become. Taking the time to educate them about the world around them is part of our investment in their future.

The other aspect of investment, is taking something small and watch it grow much bigger, whether it’s a trip to a museum sparking an interest in science, or showing them Star Wars at the right age so they grow up into a science fiction geek.

With the focus on developing their personalities, it’s easy to forget about investing in them financially as well. We need to remember there are numerous costs and challenges ahead when from when they turn 18. There are plenty of ways to do this, but my daughter’s piggy bank probably won’t cover any higher education tuition fees when the time comes.

One way is to invest is a Junior ISA. This investment account – which will hopefully grow over time – cannot be touched until they are 18, and it is a tax free way to save and invest for your child’s future.

If this sounds of interest, Orbis Access are offering one lucky reader the chance to have £200 added to their Orbis Access Stocks & Shares Junior ISA – please see the giveaway below.

On top of that, they are also offering a Christmas gift to anyone who opens a new Junior ISA with them, of matching your first investment by up to £100. Please see here for more info.

So now is as good a time as any to invest in your child’s future. But please do remember that the value of your investments may go down as well as up!

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The £200 Orbis Access Junior ISA Giveaway

Orbis Access

Competition terms and conditions

• There is one prize of an investment to the value of £200 made into a Junior ISA Account opened with Orbis Access (UK) Limited. The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered and as a result and accordingly an account must be opened in the name of a child who is eligible for an Orbis Access Junior ISA Account in order to receive the prize.

• The prize draw is open to all UK residents aged 18 years or over, except employees of the Promoters, their families, agents or any third party directly associated with administration of the prize draw.

• The prize draw is free to enter and no purchase is necessary.

• The opening date for entries is 8 December 2016 and the closing date is the 31st December 2016. Entries received after this time will not be considered.

• To enter the prize draw an entrant must follow the instructions provided by Gleam.

• Anyone using multiple Twitter accounts to enter will be ineligible.

• This prize draw is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

• The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries by Gleam.

• The winner will be informed within 14 days of the closing date and will need to respond with their email address within 14 days or a new winner will be chosen.

• The winner’s name will be available on request.

• The Promoters reserve the right to replace the prize with an alternative prize of equal or higher value if circumstances beyond the Promoter’s control make it necessary to do so.

• The decision of the Promoters regarding any aspect of the prize draw is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into about it.

• Participants are deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by these terms and conditions upon entry.

• The Promoters reserve the right to refuse entry, or refuse to award the prize to anyone in breach of these terms and conditions.

• The Promoters reserve the right to hold void, cancel, suspend, or amend the promotion where it becomes necessary to do so.

• Winners may be required to participate in publicity related to the prize draw which may include the publication of their name and photograph in any media.

• Personal data supplied during the course of this promotion may be passed on to third party suppliers only insofar as required for fulfilment/delivery/arrangement of the prize.

• The prize draw will be governed by English law and entrants to the prize draw submit to the jurisdiction of the English courts.

• The Promoters are Hillcrest PR Limited of 58 Croydon Road, Caterham, Surrey CR3 6QB (Registered in England, company number 8044861) and Orbis Access (UK) Limited of 28 Dorset Square, London NW1 6QG (Registered in England, company number 8138002). This is a joint promotion.

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This is a sponsored giveaway in collaboration with Orbis Access.

PHOTO CREDIT: 401kcalculator.org

Mens Jeans – Win a £30 House of Fraser Gift Voucher

If there’s one item of clothing that gets regular usage in the wardrobe of a stay-at-home dad it has to be the pair of jeans.

Yes, I know mums wear them too – but the iconic blue denim apparel is de rigour if you’re a dad with the kids, whether you’re at the park,  in a cafe, or on the floor playing LEGO – jeans are ubiquitous.

As summer approaches, many will ditch their jeans to give their legs an airing, but not me. I can be seen in jeans all year round. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

To promote their range of Mens Jeans, House of Fraser are offering you the chance to win a £30 gift voucher.

They’re even keen to make sure that men are wearing the right type of jeans for their body shape – why not check out the video on their site before you enter the giveaway. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

This is a sponsored post.

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Are jeans a vital part of your wardrobe? Let me know in the comments below.

Get Your Cape On! The DC Super Hero Girls Are Here

As a superhero loving geek-dad of a daughter, I couldn’t be happier about the launch of DC Super Hero Girls.

The lack of content and merchandise featuring female superheroes has been obvious to me ever since I became a dad 4 years ago, and have written about it regularly.

My daughter, while enjoying the likes of Batman and Superman craves content with female heroes such as Wonder Woman and Batgirl, and even villains like Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy – all of whom are part of the DC Super Hero Girls.

The set up is this – the girls (they are all school age characters) attend the exclusive Super Hero High, and we follow their teenage misadventures – with the added complication of super powers.

As well as the aforementioned Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy – there is also  Supergirl, Katana, Bumblebee, Cheetah, Hawkgirl, and Catwoman! There is a character for everyone from the honourable Wonder Woman, studious Batgirl, to the mischievous Harley Quinn.

My daughter doesn’t only want to engage with superheroes fighting each other either – some of her favourite stories involve the relationships between the characters. This is an important aspect of the DC Super Hero Girls cartoon.

I’ve written about this line before. I wasn’t sure about it then, and perhaps my concerns remain just a little. But that is now overshadowed by my enthusiasm for what this. It is a major progression in the kind of content and merchandise created for girls, and specifically the idea that superheroes can be for them too.

For many girls I also believe it will be a gateway into the wider world of superheroes and comic books, as well as an inspiring and empowering line in its own right.

The toys are coming to the UK soon, but in the meantime you can check out the cartoon on the DC Super Hero Girls dedicated YouTube channel:

You can also head over to the website to find out more about the specific characters, play games, download free printables, and more!

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DC Super Hero Girls animated series giveaway!

To celebrate the launch of DC Super Hero Girls in the UK, DC Entertainment are offering you the chance to win a £100 VISA Gift Card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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This is a sponsored post. However, I am genuinely excited about DC Super Hero Girls!

 

Check Out the New ‘Be Cool Scooby-Doo!’ TV Show

Scooby-Doo! is one of those iconic cartoons that I enjoyed as a child and have now shared with my daughter. We especially like the ones where Batman & Robin guest star!

However, the show is probably more fondly remembered than rewatched much –  the quality of seventies TV animation was far below that of modern cartoons.

With that in mind, there is now a brand new version – the Be Cool Scooby-Doo! TV show.

While it has many familiar elements, most notably the recognisable character designs, the animation appears to be more flowing/less stiff than the seventies original.

As with most children’s media these days, it’s not just the cartoon – kids can now watch additional videos, play games and download/print activities from ScoobyDoo.com. The Warner Bros Youtube Channel is another place to catch up on the gang’s adventures.

To celebrate the new cartoon, Scooby-Doo! is giving away a £100 gift card for Amazon.

Watch the video above, and then enter for your chance to win this great prize.

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The Be Cool Scooby Doo! TV show giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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This is a sponsored post.

4 Great Star Wars Books For Kids

There are so many great Star Wars books for kids out there that it’s tricky to choose which ones your children will enjoy the most. Well here’s a selection from Egmont Publishing that have  gone down well with my 3-year-old daughter (as well as me).

They are a mixture of craft, early readers, and a new retelling of the original movie trilogy – and they’re perfect for keeping us engaged in all things Star Wars until the release of the new movie and beyond.

First up we had a couple of early reading Star wars children’s books – Escape From Darth Vader and Use the Force!Star wars children's books, Young readers Use the Force, Escape from Darth Vader,

Escape From Darth Vader: A Star Wars Saga Reader (Young Readers Level 1)

Escape From Darth Vader is an illustrated and simply written retelling of the opening scenes of the original Star Wars movie.

This book begins with the Darth Vader’s forces boarding Princess Leia’s ship, and ends with the droids’ escape to Tatooine.

This is rated as Young Readers level 1, so the prose is very basic. For example, even the classic opening line of every Star Wars movie ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…’ becomes ‘Long ago and far, far away…’.

This pared down text allows children to recognise words easily. While my 3-year-old Star Wars fangirl is at the very beginning of her literacy journey, she can read many of the words in this simply written book – and the likes of R2-D2 and C-3P0 offer another opportunity to connect letters to their sounds.

This Star Wars children’s book also features some really cute art by Stephane Roux. I am especially fond of the illustrations featuring Princess Leia.

Princess Leia, Stephane Roux, Escape From Darth Vader
Princess Leia in ‘Escape From Darth Vader’. Illustration by Stephane Roux.

Like the other books, it offers a great way for my daughter to engage with Star Wars.

Use the Force!: A Star Wars Saga Reader (Young Readers Level 2)

Use the force, star wars for kids, early reader Use the Force! is a reading level 2 book, so the prose is more advanced and flows better.

This book is a vignette from The Empire Strikes Back, about Luke’s time training to be Jedi with Yoda on Dagobah.

One of the things I really like about this story is that it features – in book form – some of the great lessons the saga has to offer. Yoda’s proclamations of “Size matters not” and “Do or do not. There is no try.” have been important messages I’ve already referenced with my daughter many times, and it’s great to have another format to reinforce them.

Luke’s training is a key part of the wider saga, and it works well as a standalone story. It’s an often requested favourite of my daughter’s.

The Star Wars Treasury: The Original Trilogy

Star Wars books for Kids, Star Wars Treasury Original Trilogy One of the downsides of getting your kid into Star Wars is how often they want to watch the movies.

No really, this is a downside! While I love the fact that she loves the saga like I do, it also means that she wants to rewatch the movies all the time. While this is a) awesome, it would also be b) irresponsible for me to let her watch them as much as she’s like to.

The Star Wars Treasury: The Original Trilogy is a great way for her to engage with these stories that have captivated her. We all know reading to children is vitally important, and she happily sits there for the 1-2 hours it takes to read this 200+ page retelling of episodes IV-VI (believe me, we’ve done it).

Of course it’s easy to break this up into smaller reading sessions. While the stories of each film are here, the narrative has been pared down and has omitted some subplots. The text is more advanced again, but the still fairly simple and full of famous lines. I dare you to read the likes of “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further” without attempting your best Darth Vader voice.

The art is a curious hybrid of illustrated versions of iconic stills and/or publicity photos from the three movies – so the imagery is both familiar and fresh.

Star Wars Treasury: The Original Trilogy, Luke and Leia swing across chasm in death star, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, star wars kids book, Star Wars digital art
A famous scene from Star Wars (1977) recreated for the ‘Star Wars Treasury: The Original Trilogy’ book

I’m hoping to take my then 4-year-old daughter to see The Force Awakens at the cinema (after I have vetted it of course). This Star Wars kid’s book is a great way to revisit the saga of episodes IV-VI in the lead up to the eagerly awaited episode VII.

Star Wars Starfighter Workshop

Star Wars Starfighter workshop, star wars activities for kids

The final Star Wars books for kids in this collection is a different than the others, as it is actually a construction set masquerading as a book. The Star Wars Starfighter Workshop allows you to construct your very own card models of the iconic Star Wars vehicles the X-Wing and Tie Fighter.

This is a fun joint activity for a Star Wars loving dad & daughter. Construction projects like this are also great for many skills that we’re trying to encourage such as fine and gross motor skills, following printed instructions, understanding how things are put together, and simple patience.

This particular Star Wars books for kids really took me back to my childhood. I’m old enough to remember when the first movie coming out, and prior to seeing it Star Wars Weekly came out – the first two issues had free gifts of a cardboard X-Wing and Tie Fighter. The ones contained in this book are a vast improvement!

This book also has an activity section, with Star Wars themed puzzles, mazes, and the like, so it still has a lot to offer once the models have been made. The construction material is a fairly sturdy carded foam, and the finished models are solid enough to withstand play that isn’t too vigorous.

While aimed at ages 7+, it was a fine activity to share with my 3-year-old.

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4 Great Star Wars Books For Kids – the Star Wars kid’s opinion

While I can write about the best Star Wars books, it’s really the kid’s opinion that counts 😉

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All of these Star Wars books for kids are available from Amazon (as well as other retailers).

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Or if you’re feeling lucky, why not enter our giveaway for your chance to win a copies of the Star Wars Starfighter Workshop and The Star Wars Treasury: The Original Trilogy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Star Wars books for kids

Which one of these 4 Egmont Star Wars books is your favourite and why?

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This is a sponsored post.