One of the things I love about winter is cuddling up with my children on the sofa snug under a blanket, watching a film while the fire roars and the cold, winter wind rattles the windows from outside. Or, when you're feeling under the weather and you can snuggle down beneath a blanket, curling up on the sofa while others bring you tea and snacks, and generally just taking care of your every whim. Or perhaps that latter one is just wishful thinking...
If you can't tell, I think blankets are, in general, ace. There's something really lovely about wrapping yourself up in one. As a parent, they come in so useful when your children are ill and I should know; in the last few weeks both Sophia and Dexter have battled through chickenpox only to succumb to winter coughs and colds (which they've just so happened to pass on to me, joy of joys). My children have therefore spent an inordinate amount of time, snuggled under a blanket on the sofa, while I dutifully take their temperature and bring them drinks, snacks and medicine.
The other thing when children are ill, of course, is that they don't have the energy to do much (hence the reason for spending so much time lying on the sofa). And let's face it, even the widest DVD collection isn't going to stop it getting pretty dull after a while. Well, there's a new blanket in town that will keep kids snug and could help guard against any illness-related boredom. It's called the CuddleUpPet. Check it out...
At first glance, it looks like one of those awful animal skin rugs. You know the ones I mean, the rugs made of real skin and fur with the poor animal's head attached (like a polar bear-skin rug). When I first saw it, I worried that it might send the wrong message to my children that these sorts of animal skin rugs are acceptable. But, I quickly dismissed that idea from my mind. After all, it's my job as a parent to teach them right from wrong, to educate them on such issues and help them to develop their morals and ideals. Plus, how else is a blanket puppet supposed to look?!!
The CuddleUpPet is a fun, versatile toy/blanket. There is an entire range from elephants and bears to crocodiles and dogs. As you can see, ours is the CuddleUpPet Pink Poodle. I have to say, it's come in very handy these last few weeks what with Sophia and Dexter having an unlucky few weeks in the health department. The blanket is 71cm wide, large enough for a small child to wrap themselves up in it and is velvety soft, making it so comfortable.
[Update as of 17/11/12: I fear my description of the blanket being "velvety soft" may give you the wrong impression that the blanket is made from velvet. The blanket is a fleecy one which keeps you snug and warm, and is so soft. This is why I described it as I did.]
But, it's more than just a blanket; it's also a puppet. The mouth of the animal is firm but overall, the head is soft, covered in the same fabric as the blanket. It's easy enough to manipulate the animal's mouth, you just stick your hand into the hole at the base of the animal head and away you go.
Sometimes one of the children would be lying on the sofa with the CuddleUpPet over them and I would take control of the head. At other times, I'd take control of the puppet head while draping the blanket over my arm or my head, pretending that it was a proper dog. Sophia and Dexter thinks its so funny.
I'll be adding a video of this as soon as I can because I think that's the best way to really show you what the CuddleUpPet is like. Unfortunately I've not been able to do this yet due to various illnesses taking root in my home. But I will, I promise. So, watch this space.
You can buy a CuddleUpPet from The Entertainer for £20. They are suitable for children aged from 18-months-old and there's a wide range of animals to choose from.
Please note: I was sent a Pink Poodle CuddleUpPet for free in return for this review. All opinions are my own and are 100% honest.