Ok parents listen up, if you’re looking for a birthday (or dare I say it Christmas) present for a bike loving child then this is the post for you. In fact it doesn’t even need to be a bike as the Mini Hornit will attach to any bike, scooter or balance bike in just a few seconds. You may remember that I reviewed its big brother the Hornit dB140 almost exactly a year ago and was impressed with how well it was made, its simple construction and how loud it was. So when Hornit offered me the chance to review their new product aimed at children I said yes and then immediately asked if they could send 2, after all no one wants to be the dad who gets just one child a present do they?
Henry and Matilda absolutely love their Mini Hornit’s, in fact they love them so much that they ran down the batteries in 3 days whizzing around the garden on their balance bikes. Now don’t interpret that to mean that the Mini Hornit has poor battery life, I’d actually say that’s very good battery life given how much they used them and I found them with the lights left on on a number of occasions. Top tip though, when you replace the batteries you have to push the large button on the back to turn the Mini Hornit back on, definitely don’t email the company to tell them it’s broken, only an idiot would do that.
The design of the Mini Hornit is great, so easy to use and no fiddly bits which is perfect when you know a child is inevitably going to want to take it off and put it back on at least 100 times a day. On the bottom of the Mini Hornit are 2 rubber wings that simply wrap around the handle bars and then push the fixing points through the holes in the wings. It also comes with a remote trigger that attaches in the same way and can be put next to the child’s hand at the end of the handlebars. This makes using it much safer when on the move.
I’ll let Henry give you the full demo:
My grown up Hornit had just 2 sounds whereas the mini version has 25 different sounds, my favourite by far is the trumpet whereas Henry seems very contented with a simple bell noise. They have great fun working their way through them though and pretending to be either a police car or fire engine with the siren sounds. The Mini Hornit also has a light on the front which can be either green or white and either constant or flashing. My 2 may not need that from a safety perspective as they don’t cycle at night or on roads, but for older children who do this would be perfect and is very bright.
The Mini Hornit comes in 4 different colour combinations and costs £19.99, really good value for such a well made and designed product in my opinion. What’s more if you enter 646420 at the checkout on the Hornit shop you’ll get 20% off your purchase, don’t say I don’t look after you!
We have spent quite a lot of time over the last couple of months playing hunt the combine; it may be man made but I think it’s one of the great seasonal events and of course a chance to behave like a little boy again watching and talking about tractors. We live next door to a farm so Matilda and Henry get a front row seat to watch the tractors coming in with their trailers full of grain and then disappearing off again to the fields. I love being in the outdoors as you know so a mini adventure that involves being outdoors and free is hard to beat in my book.
It all started back in June with the Barley harvest, then the farmer moved onto rapeseed, then wheat and finally the flax seed which he’s only just finishing collecting. Quite fascinating watching each field go from fully grown plants to nicely ploughed rows in the space of a few days and those guys definitely work hard. This may be a mini adventure but it’s been going on most of the summer either from our garden, on walks along footpaths or when out in the car. We were the annoying people stopped on the country lanes watching another harvester whir around a field with the children complaining if we didn’t stay long enough.
Combine harvesters have always fascinated me, such amazing machines, and it seems my 2 little monsters are equally fascinated. What’s been really fun is that we have a book called Tremendous Tractors by Tony Mitton which tells the story of what each type of tractor can do and the full process of harvest from planting the seeds to harvesting them. It’s one of Henry’s favourites and we read it loads, but over the past few months we’ve been able to show him the tractors in real life doing each of the things. We spot the harvester of course but also the tractors doing baling (with their different shape bales) and he can tell the difference between a plough and a harrow. Not bad for 2.5 I reckon and he’ll spend hours sat on top of his slide looking over the fence at the farm.
I’m not sure they quite understand yet how the grain is then made into bread, but beginning to educate them on the food chain is something I really believe in. The same reason I like getting them involved in growing vegetables, important for them to understand where food comes from. But I did take them on a little walk into a field after the combine had been through and we picked up some of the wheat that was on the floor so they could look at the little grains on the end of the stalk. Maybe next year we might collect some and try to grind some of our own flour?
The best day of our adventure may have been one of the last, Henry was up early one Saturday (nothing new there) so I took him out with me at 6am to walk Bracken. The farmer had left the blades for the combine in the field next to the path so we went in to have a look. Not sure I’ve ever got so close to the blades before but it was great showing Henry how they worked. Pretty perfect father son time I think.
Did any of you get out and play hunt the combine? Do you have budding farmers at home? What mini adventures have you been on this summer?