kids, teenage reviews

The Penny Board 27″ skateboard vs the 22″ board

The Penny Board 27″ skateboard vs the 22″ board

PennyBoard-Po-Zu-sneakers Spike age 15:

As the weather is getting warmer, we are all coming out of hibernation and looking forward to spending more time outdoors – on my Christmas list this year, a Penny Board 27″.

I loved how it was packaged, (and will be using the big box to keep some treasures in!)

Ronnie age 13: I have had the smaller penny board for a couple of years, which I bought with my own money, and I love it – it’s still works really well, and I enjoy taking it out on our street after school.

Having tried a friend’s longer Penny Board, I found that the larger of the boards was easier to navigate around corners and I really think the big one is a lot better, because I would definitely recommend getting the larger board as you get taller (My brother agrees and he’s 15 and 175cm, and I’m 162cm)

As I skate on the road (which is a quiet London backstreet) you don’t feel the bumps as much as you would on a normal skateboard – and I would definitely say that it’s worth saving up to buy the REAL Penny Board, rather than cheaper copies as the quality is absolutely excellent, the wheel mechanism smoother and just looks so cool!

Spike age 15: We also found that the bigger size cruises easier and turning is smoother. The 27″ board is a bit longer and wider than the smaller 22″ size, offering a bit more surface area under your feet, and hey my feet are getting bigger every week now!

The Design on the board

The Gunmetal Red Metallic Fade 27″ is the perfect board if you want to shine with a little more stability.  the Metallic Fade is a unique look you can’t find anywhere else in the cheaper market. It is made with the same high quality formula Penny is known for, with a distinctive faded finish.

Perfect for riders of any skill level, the Penny Board itself is quite flexible so that balance is easier and the colours are really great, I like that and the bearings inside the wheels are  very smooth so that you can travel for quite a time without having to boost yourself again!

Thanks to the @incredibusy for help with the photos, and Po-Zu for the RESISTANCE sneakers – and if you’d like to see more cool shots, check out their instagram feed. #PennyAdventures 


kids, travel

Futuroscope review

Summer family fun, and Futuroscope review

We’ve had a fab time this summer, with trips up to Lancashire, Swansea, and Hastings – and two weeks camping in France – at the end of our camping trip, we spent some time at a couple of theme parks, and I’ll let 11yo take over the story from here. This is his review in his own words:

Futuroscope review – age 11

This summer, after leaving the campsite at Dune du Pyla in Southern France, which we had stayed at for two weeks, my brother and I and family stopped off at an F1 Hotel near Poitiers, and slept there for the night to break up the journey back home.

Dune du PylaAs we woke up, my Mum and Dad declared that we were going for a surprise visit somewhere.

And so we set off, in our car, my brother and I stared out of the window hoping for signs of where we were going.
Not too long after, we spotted a big crystal shard building sticking out of the ground, in the distance.

We then started noticing signs marked Futuroscope, and there was then a turning on the motorway with a big sign directing us down a slip road, the sign was also marked ‘Futuroscope’!­

Futuroscope road signAs we pulled into the car park we started asking our Dad about Futuroscope and he explained that it is an amazing theme park which we have been driving passed every year and this year we were lucky enough to get free entry as my Mum writes a blog.

My first thoughts about Futuroscope was the fantastic large buildings: a city of cylinders, the great shard building, and we couldn’t wait to check out the rides.

As we walked through the theme park, I kept my eye out for rides and when I couldn’t see any I asked Dad and he said that the rides were all inside rides, so the first ride we went on was in the Shard building, which was a 4D movie with moving seats, wind, and on a moving conveyor belt so that it felt as if you were inside the screen – Rayman Rabbids Time Travel.

It explained all of the odd things about history and how they had been caused by the Rabbids. I really enjoyed this ride, as it was my first indoor theme park ride experience.

Futuroscope shardOur second ride experience was a driving experience. Were it seem like you were in a formula one car racing through the sharp cornered streets of a French city and nearly running people over. They made this experience work by using: moving seats, air fans and water jets; which sprayed at us.

Our next ride experience was my favourite because the staff strapped you into the hand of a robotic arm and asked you what level you wanted 1, 2 or 3. I chose number 3 and the arm span into action. Twisting and spinning, tipping upside down, all in the time of the beat. (there was music playing.)

The ride was called Dances with Robots. . . I’ve only included my very favourite rides as I would be here all day otherwise!

Ali: I would like to add a thanks to Futuroscope for their Premium passes – I can highly recommend, saves so much queuing time! The PREMIUM Pass gives:

• One-off priority access for 1 person to 5 attractions: “The Time Machine”, “Virus Attack”, “Dynamic Vienne”, “Dances with Robots” and “Arthur, the 4D Adventure” – we went on them ALL (although, the Virus Attack made me feel VERY ill!)

Follow Ali on twitter as @incredibusymum and for more posts like this one… Erm, and funnily enough on Google+Facebook and Pinterest! Pop over to say hello x Like it? Pin it! and come say hello at too x
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charity, kids, life, theatre reviews

Moomins Review 2014 – Polka Theatre

We do love Wimbledon’s Polka Theatre, and as the boys get bigger, I fear I may be toddling up there on my own to watch shows without them! We took them to see The Moomins ‘Moominssummer Madness’ at the weekend, and we are all in agreement that it was a most delightful show. We were enchanted by the characterisation of Snorkmaiden and Moomintroll, of Moomimmamma, Snufkin and Little My (the youngest boys’ favourite character by far – see handwritten review below!) of course, Misabelle was absolutely fabulous too. KidsChaos-Polka-Theatre-Moomins-Puppets

The show is based on Tove Jansson’s 1964 book Moominsummer Madness and as the boys and their Dad have read MOST of Tove Jansson’s Moomins Books they were chuckling along and all said that it was a great adaption.

Moomins Review


Moomins Review

Tove Jansson’s much-loved Moomins are brought to life on stage with the ensemble’s fabulous puppetry, songs and and great humour. Moominsummer Madness is part of Tove100, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Tove Jansson.

To book at the Polka Theatre, SW19 click here.
Follow them on twitter here @polkatheatre.

Follow Ali on twitter as @incredibusymum and for more posts like this one… Erm, and funnily enough on Google+Facebook and Pinterest! Pop over to say hello x Like it? Pin it! and come say hello at too x
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father's day

SmartFlex Card Case for Samsung Galaxy S4

Well, it’s not often I bang on about technology is it? I have to say though, after a month or so of using my SmartFlex Card Case for my Samsung Galaxy S4 I have to tell you…SmartFlex Card Cases for Samsung Galaxy S 4

You ALL have to get one of these! How many times do I drop my phone on the floor? (Every other time I am juggling bags, and front door keys) and HOW many times do I shout *Has anyone seen my Oyster Card?!!* JUST before I leave the house to jump on the Tube…KidsChaos-Phone-cover-review-back

I love that I can just keep my Oyster card in the back of the ‘phone case, and if I’m out on the town, I can pop in a credit card or some ‘folding-money’ (can’t say that without singing the Fall‘s f-olding money).

So I actually have Britmums Live to thank for this case. The lovely people at Speck Products popped an iPhone 5 case in my goody bag last year, and were sweet enough to swap it for a SmartFlex case for my Samsung Galaxy S4. Thank you Speck and Britmums 🙂 It’s an *ace case*…

Ali also blogs over on and is a new lover of Instagram too… pop over and say hello! 

theatre reviews

We are so lucky to live within walking distance to one of the UK’s best children’s theatres so were delighted when the Polka Theatre announced their new production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.


I went along with my 9yo son, and his best friend – and they were engaged from the minute they sat in their seats – the set is delightful! Well done to Ti Green – it’s a spectacle, from the nursery attic room, to the rose garden, she has brought a contemporary twist to this Victorian classic.

Alice-Kids-ChaosOur Alice (played by Ebony Feare) was the children’s favourite character, smiley, confident, brave and bright (and sometimes sitting in the seats beside us!) Ebony‘s physicality is incredible, she has a way of moving which actually has you believing that she is changing size….!
On further discussion, and a post-show browse through the (rather superb) programme, each of the players had praise heaped upon them!

The children agreed that the cast are indeed very talented. Each actor plays several characters in Wonderland (see, that programme is VERY useful!): Nia Davies (Mother, Mouse, Duchess, Dormouse and Card Five), Robert Saunders (Dodo, Cook, Mad Hatter and Cryphon), Dale Superville (White rabbit, Eagle, Caterpillar, Card Two and Mock Turtle), Gehane Strehler (Sister, Duck, Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts and Child) and Sam Worboys (Parrot, March Hare, Kings of Hearts and Dad).

Director Rosamunde Hutt’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is “true to the original; full of nonsense, startling characters and situations that can be rather frightening”.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Polka Theatre - 21 November 2013By Simon Read (based on Lewis Carroll)Songs and music by Martin WardCast includes Nia Davies, Ebony Feare, Robert Saunders, Gehane Strehler, Dale Superville, and Sam Worboys.We loved the costumes – Katie Lias, the costume designer, really helps us to believe in the characters, the simplicity of the Cheshire Cat through to the spectacle of the Queen of Heart’s BEAUTiful dress (pictured), the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle – (my favourite was the Duck… I want that dress!) – Such fabulous sing-a-long songs – we left with a spring in our step, and talked about the production ALL the way home.

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Polka Theatre, Wimbledon presents Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 
22 Nov 2013 – 15 Feb 2014

Adapted by Simon Reade
Based on the novel by Lewis Carroll
Music by Martin Ward
Director Rosamunde Hutt
Set Designer Ti Green
Costume Designer Katie Lias
Composer Martin Ward
Movement Director Lawrence Evans
Simon Reade Adapter
Arnim Friess Lighting and AV Designer
Illustration by Manuel Šumberac


SOoo My boys age 9 and 10, LOVE Skylanders, what’s new…..? They have an “Intendowee” (yep, that’s what they thought it was called… bless their innocence.) And sadly, this is the thing (the Nintendo Wii) that gets ‘banned’ when behaviour is not QUITE as good as it should be in the KidsChaos household…

Skylanders Swap Force Kids Chaos review

So imagine my delight when the new Skylanders Swap Force arrived on our doorstep – great! And yes, the behaviour this last week has been impeccable in anticipation of trying it out for size. We even had the camera handy when they were pulling the packaging off – oh their faces!!

I asked them to ‘review’ it for me, and so they did.

So, to explain their review-methodology….At school, when they are reviewing/critiquing their young colleagues’ work, they use the method of “Two Stars and A Wish” – 10yo asked if that would be OK, and hoped that nobody would mind the “Wish” (which essentially, is the one “positive” thing they’d wish for to improve the product in question… )

Skylanders-review-KidsChaosThere were lots of “Stars” compliments – which included the much-improved graphics compared to the original Skylanders (he hoped that Skylanders wouldn’t mind him saying that)… the fact you can now JUMP, measured very highly, and both boys agreed that it’s brilliant that you can create LOADS of their OWN characters by swapping heads and bodies. There have been certainly a LOT more playdates at our house this week, and all of the kids have been massively enamoured (once the homework has been finished clearly…).

Which leads us to the “Wish” – They would like to be able to play with more than two players, and hope that the “Portal of Power” will soon be available with enough room for four figures please… that said, they’ve all played beautifully, encouraging their friends, and have shared so nicely, that the Wii may not be banned for some time chez nous!

Want to see the boys talking about their new favourite toy? Worth watching just for their excitement on opening the packaging! click here to watchnmsf2013

Oh, by the way, I’m also on too… Erm, and funnily enough on Google+Facebook and Pinterest! Click here for the latest KidsChaos Competition, and Pop over to say hello x This has been a commissioned post.

kids, life

KidsChaos-plan-for-thorpe-parkThe boys had been behaving well all week, homework done, on time, thumbs up from their teachers, they’d got dressed and to school on time EVERY day for the week (without me losing my voice ‘reminding’ to clean teeth, pack sports kits etc), so it was time to break it to them…. carry on like this for another five days, and next weekend we’ll take you to Thorpe Park!

The boys pored over the Thorpe Park website, planning which rides they would be going on, and in which order… this took quite some planning as 8yo is not quite tall enough for some of the scarier rides (he’s just under the 1.4m limit at 1.3m – however, there are LOTS of rides he CAN go on at that height, equally scary if you ask me!)


So we packed some snacks, and waterproofs, and set off for a day of fun.

KidsChaosThorpeParkTALLMy personal highlights were all fairly ‘water-based’ so I’d say if you CAN take waterproof trousers too, do! I hung out with 8yo, and started with Depth Charge, (picured below, a couple of times!) followed by Flying FishLoggers Leap (damp), Rumba Rapids(soggy), and the SOAKING WET Tidal Wave.

Another favourite of mine, which took some doing to get me on there… was the Detonator. 8yo said it was more fun going on there with me, than with Daddy, as I actually enjoyed it and queued up straight away to go back on! Gut wrenching, but a GREAT view from the top! 8yo and I LOVED RUSH too, so make sure you ask for a blue wristband for your child as you enter the park, this denotes that he is tall enough for a 1.3m ride, and speeds things up.

Meanwhile 10yo and his Dad went on ALL of the ‘extreme thrills’ rollercoaster rides that he listed as his PLAN for the day, so he had the best day EVER apparently!

(and yes, they both braved it backwards on the Swarm!)

So a great day all round, we’ll definitely be going again, and 8yo will be pestering me on a weekly basis to see if he’s 1.4m yet!

There are a few offers on at the mo, to help families to make savings when visiting: Pick up a Frijj to take advantage of a 2-for-1 coupon offer when booking tickets. Check out more information on their Facebook page.

We were lucky enough to be given our tickets by Thorpe Park, however if you book tickets seven days or more in advance you can save 30% – adults from £30.24, children from £23.52 (under 12)

We drove, as we’re only half an hour away, however, if travelling by train, South West Trains website offer online discounts on entry too.

We heartily recommend it for a day out, take waterproofs, and plan your day, would be a great day out for half term – see you there!

Ali, KidsChaos.

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Awesome rides at THORPE PARK
Check out interesting facts on some of THORPE PARK’s top rides!