Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Book Review: The Misper By Bea Davenport

It's no secret that I love a good thriller, so when author Bea Davenport got in touch asking if I would be interested on reviewing one of her YA thrillers The Misper i definitely said a big yes. 

Title: The Misper
Author: Bea Davenport 
I knew this girl, you see. A sort of a friend. No one thought she really mattered much, but that turned out to be a mistake. Because she blew a hole through my life - and the lives of everyone I knew.' Anna's found the perfect friend in Zoe: she's cool, she's smart, she's goth, she's gorgeous, If only geeky Kerry would stop hanging around and cramping their style. They'd like to get rid of her. But they should be careful what they wish for...


If you are unaware the term Misper is slang used by the police for missing person. On starting this book you will learn that someone has disappeared but not who. The book goes through what happened up until the point until that someone disappeared.  This is where you fill in the gaps around what has happened in the lead up to the disappearance with each of the 3 main characters.

Anna starts a new school and instantly makes friends with goth Zoe . Kerry constantly wants to hang around with them however the friends are fed up of her and want her gone. Zoe then starts dabbling into witchcraft where things then start taking a sinister turn. There are definitely some tense parts in the story and I can in ways relate to the character Anna. 

Definitely don't  be put off that it's aimed at YA though as it's definitely a thrilling and enjoyable read.

I'm looking forward to reading more from Bea Davenport in the future.


Tuesday, 19 February 2019

The Benefits and Risks of Shooting Games for Children

Children have enjoyed shooting games for decades. Beginning with traditional "cowboys and Indians" before moving on to 1980's Laser Tag and more modern electronic marvels, these games are exciting and engaging. Still, it is important for parents to learn about the major benefits associated with shooting-related activities as well as any possible drawbacks. Let's take a closer look so that you can make an informed and unbiased decision when the time is right. 

The Advantages of Children's Shooting Games 

Many parents have been looking for ways to teach their children basic strategy. Unfortunately, most kids are not likely to enjoy a game of checkers or chess. This is not the case with shooting platforms (such as those associated with mobile phone applications). Children will be passively learning important techniques such as patience, visual perception and deductive reasoning. The good news is that these skills can be picked up within a fun and interactive environment. 

Many shooting games are based upon teamwork between two or more players. These very same skills can be applied to the real world later in life. Individuals can be chosen as a result of their specific talents and in many cases, virtual friendships may be formed. The interactive nature of these modern games cannot be denied. Let's also not forget to mention that many games are equipped with chat rooms so that competitors can speak with one another. 

We have only mentioned electronic and virtual games up until this point. Still, it is important to remember that there are many shooting games which can be played within a real-world environment (such as the back garden of your home). As a parent myself, I found it very important to ensure that my children remained active throughout the day as opposed to staring into a smartphone display screen. Shooting games were great ways to get them out of the house and to help them burn off excess calories. In a world partially defined by a growing obesity epidemic, such opportunities should never be overlooked. 

Possible Drawbacks of Shooting Games 

In order to be completely objective, it is a good idea to highlight some potential downsides to this gaming genre. Some individuals believe that shooting games will instill a perception that can lead to more violent behaviour later in life. It should be mentioned that this will primarily depend upon the game in question as well as the type of supervision that a parent provides. As a parent of two young boys, I always make it a point to closely examine any game before I allow it to be downloaded. Even then, I still might adjust the parental controls accordingly. 

The second possible issue was mentioned in the last section. Children who remain glued to their computer screens for hours at a time are not likely to receive the exercise required to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, it could be difficult to develop real-world relationships as they age; some lack the social skills that would have otherwise been naturally acquired. 

Putting it All Together 

As we can see, there are many benefits associated with children's shooting games while a few drawbacks may be present. I believe that it is the responsibility of the parents to determine which platforms are most suitable for their little ones. The good news is that there are a wealth of websites which can aid in deciding the best option. 

Here is where I went to discover some of the latest games on the market as well as to obtain great gift ideas. You will be surprised to learn how many options are available.

*This is a collaborative post 

Monday, 18 February 2019

Fun Lego Science Projects for Children to Learn

In the ’40s Ole Kirk Anderson designed the Lego construction toys as a series of blocks that could be stacked on top of each other. The name Lego originated from the Danish language phrase “leg godt” which means “play well” and the Latin meaning “I put together”. The blocks were patented in 1958 and to date, about 4 billion blocks have been manufactured. 

The blocks are excellent toys to stimulate creativity and is suitable for learning children of all ages, while they play with it. The value of using Lego to teach children STEM subjects can never be underestimated and must be utilised to kindle interest in the subjects. The great benefit lies in the fun part of learning the different science subjects while using different Lego building sets and here you can find ones especially for girls

The different science projects for children are only limited by the creativity and innovation of their parents or educators. A search on the internet will provide excellent ideas and there are many “YouTube” videos available with full instructions. The following ideas can be used to teach children science using Lego products. 

Explaining Volcanos 

Use Lego blocks to build a base and a pyramid shape around a central tower of blocks, placed in a flat dish to contain the mess. Pour baking soda inside the central tower mixed with a few drops of red cake colouring and pour vinegar over the baking soda which will start the reaction. Bubbles and foam will overflow and the red cake colouring will resemble lava. Explain the forming of volcanoes and the chemistry involved when you mix baking soda and vinegar. 

Build cars powered by chemical reactions, wind or electric motor. 

Use Lego blocks and sets to construct cars that can be powered by different sources like chemical reactions using certain tablets, wind when releasing the air from a balloon or using an electric motor build from Lego blocks and parts in combination with magnets and wire. This can illustrate the different power sources and how they work. 

Building construction. 

Construction of different buildings like skyscrapers to illustrate the effect of wind, shaking during an earthquake and heavy rain on their stability and different foundations used. 

Civil engineering constructions like bridges, zip lines and cranes. 

Design and Build a bridge that can carry the weight of the children, a parent or teacher. Design and build constructions like cable cars, Zip lines using Lego blocks and sets with pulleys and gears. Use the Lego Engineering plans and different Lego sets to build cranes, to which you can add on as the skills level of the children increases. This can range from a manual crane to a motor-driven crane with advanced features. 

Town planning and construction. 

Construct a Lego town to teach children spatial planning, traffic planning and the needs of a community like traffic, etc. Incorporate LED lighting that gets their power from alternatives like solar. 

Lego Digital Designer program 

The great advantage offered by using the program is that it allows children to design their own project and build it with Lego blocks and sets. This program ensures that children learn the engineering design process at a young stage in a fun way.  

*This is a collaborative post