Micro-Scooter Love

She may never ride the bicycle again. . .

We were super excited to review the Maxi Micro-Scooter this month, and my older daughter (age 4, a fairly tall age 4) was just the girl for the job! The specs say it’s for children weighing up to 50kg, so it looks to last around here for several years. She was given an Ozbozz for Christmas last year and she used it a little, but I saw nothing like what I’ve seen in the past few days. The girl is zooming away, using the brake to slow down and stop, and doing tricks! The Maxi Micro-Scooter is stable under her feet and quick. We’ve had it for two weeks and we’ve been around the neighbourhood and in the parks with it. It’s easy to transport in the car boot and very light, so I don’t mind carrying it if I have to. My niece (8 years old) and nephew (9 years old) in the USA both have Micro-Scooters and they love them as well. They were really excited to find out how we liked it. Evidently, it’s THE scooter to have, even on the other side of the Pond. And I do see why.

Compared with the other scooters we’ve had in the house, the Micro-Scooters are clearly better designed for action (and looks). Both of my girls had a Little Tikes 2-in1 as their first scooter, which was good in that they could sit on it or stand, but it was stiff plastic. At £29.99, it was a good value, but I do think they would have had more use out of the Mini Micro-Scooter, had they had it instead. The Little Tikes scooter doesn’t turn at all really, so it’s only good for going in straight lines, but at least it was sturdy underfeet. We also have the Ozbozz “My First Scooter” which is VERY heavy (and so I never like to carry it), not to mention unstable. My daughter fell many times in the early days–even with all four wheels on! Luckily, she is not the type of child to give up. It appears to ride roughly over city pavement. You can hear the wheels banging and knocking over every bump. Not good.

The Maxi Micro-Scooter glides along. . .  quickly! Even at speed or down hill, my four-year old is able to control it. Our three-year old who got the Mini Micro-Scooter for her birthday last month is also happily scooting along.

Maxi Micro-Scooters are priced from £99.95. If you want a fancier model or accessories, you’ll pay up to £123.95. Micro-Scooter offers free delivery on the product and spare parts are easy to come by. These scooters also offer excellent resale value on eBay, so it’s definitely worth buying it new and getting several years’ use out of it.

We met up with some of our Mumsnet friends who also got Micro-Scooters to review at Tumbling Bay playground at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park over the Easter holidays. The kids had a ball. It was a cloudy day, so we had this amazing place mostly to ourselves. I think they had fun!

Expert Tips: Capturing Those “Perfect” Moments

We recently met local photographer Claudine Yap. As a new mum to a two-month old son, she’s making a transition in her photography career from event photography to children and family portrait photography, offering on-location shots or studio shots.

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Based in Buckhurst Hill, she shoots in her bespoke studio or on location for your family.

She specialises in recording the feelings of family life: joy, wonder, happiness, quiet contemplation, and great good humour. Shooting newborns, babies, children and family, she aspires to create a fun and relaxed environment during her photo shoots to bring out the very best in people.

We asked her to give her suggestions for taking our own family photos. We thought this might come in handy as the Christmas season approaches.

  1. I always advise my clients to put plain, bright-coloured clothes on their children, especially if the pictures are taken outdoors, because patterned clothing can sometimes add distraction to the picture on an already busy background. Of course we think you should still go for the shot of the whole gang in Christmas jumpers in front of the tree, but for those special moments, less really might be more.
  2. If possible, always use natural light – near windows if you’re indoors and indirect natural light like under a tree if you are outdoors on a sunny day to avoid harsh light on your subject. Cloudy days usually offer the perfect lighting. Lucky us–we’ve got plenty of those. The light should always be in front of the subject unless aiming for a ‘silhouette’ look. Try to avoid using flash as this can cause red-eye and harsh-looking light on your subject.
  3. It helps to have another parent or “favourite” around to help with getting them to smile. Usually by talking and playing with the children helps. And try to schedule around nap and meal times to avoid erm unpleasant moments.
  4. Take multiple shots at a time to avoid missing out on capturing what could be your child’s best expression and best moments!
  5. Get down to their eye level and see the world from their perspective.
Good luck and remember to have fun! Patience is required to get the perfect shot. You know what we mean.
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If you’re still not convinced that you can swing it, why not give Claudine a call. She’s running a special offer on Mumsnet Local, which you can find on our Offers page. The price in the Offer is based on photography in London and Essex. She is happy to travel further afield, and will give a quotation for that expense.
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Meeting the Purple Pumpkin

Sometimes you meet some really lovely people on the Internet. This week, whilst preparing for this week’s newsletter, I made a terrific find: thepurplepumpkinblog.co.uk!

Blogger Michelle Ordever has an amazing photographic and writing talent, making the Purple Pumpkin lovely to look at and a worthwhile read.

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We’ve used her beautiful, serene depiction of Fairlop Waters sailing lake for this month’s Redbridge home page. It’s part of her blog entry in which she woke up at the crack of dawn to watch the historic Olympic torch relay leg at Fairlop. Do have a mini-scroll down memory lane: The Olympic-Torch at Fairlop Waters park.

Thanks Michelle! And we’ll definitely be checking back in with you.

If You Went Down in the Woods Today. . .

2014 Hainault Forest Easter Egg Trail, organised by the Woodland Trust

. . .yes, you would have seen bears (carved ones, of Yogi and Boo-Boo Bear). On this, the first ever Easter Egg Trail in Hainault Forest, organised by the Woodland Trust, we also saw a panoply of beasts and birds carved into the woods.

The North-western end of Hainault Forest has a one-mile long walking trail which is home to the Trust’s annual Halloween ‘Monster’ Trail and, now, a delightful Easter trail for families. The trail is accessible for buggies and most wheeled vehicles. There are some narrow bridges, but detours are available.

Bunnies in the woods

Bunnies in the woods

The Hunt was free to anyone who requested a ticket; the Trust asked only for donations. And thanks to Derek Wright of the Trust for organising a ticket for us at the very last minute.

Enjoy the photos and play along to see if you can spot some of the carved creatures, done by local chainsaw carvers and willow bark sculptors.

 

 

 

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Happy Easter from Yogi, Boo Boo, Emelia and Liesl

Happy Easter, from Yogi, Boo Boo, Emelia and Liesl