Our first Sharky & George Trip
We’re incredibly excited..
We’re incredibly excited about the launch of our partnership with Sharky & George, and after months of mum focus groups, brainstorming and planning, there was just one final thing to do – a live test. What better lab rats than the boss’s 5-year-old twin girls, the most critical double act since grumpy old men Statler and Waldorf heckling the Muppets from their theatre box.
Sharky & George Fun Packs
We duly packed the prototype Sharky & George fun packs, including all the potential games, goodies and gadgets on the short list, and headed for the airport, destination: Zighy Bay in Oman. Incidentally, there were no gender concerns for this test mission – one of the twins is the biggest tomboy imaginable, once kicking and screaming like an angry octopus to avoid putting on a pretty bridesmaid’s dress before we reached a compromise agreement – she’d wear the dress, but also a pair of khaki shorts underneath. Needless to say, these were flashed at every available opportunity, much to the bride’s annoyance.
The Airport Terminal
So, to the first potential flashpoint, the airport terminal, and the first deployment of a key Sharky & George idea: the Departure Lounge Olympics. Out came one of the girls’ new stopwatches (courtesy of S&G, naturally) and the instructions on what to do. ‘Fastest time to return to base with a cup of water’, ‘fastest circuit of the departure lounge on one foot,’ and so on. The girls loved it, bar one small competitive spat – when does the concept of ‘it’s the taking part that counts’ kick in, I wonder?
On the Plane
So far, so life saving. On to the plane and it was time for a spot of Airplane Bingo, with the girls circling the various things on their (wipe clean, reusable) cards. A stewardess with brown eyes, tick; something beginning with the letter ‘o’, tick; someone with a moustache, tick.
The Arts & Crafts Elements
But it was in situ at Zighy Bay that the real benefits emerged. There’s an excellent Kids’ Club at the hotel, and I’m a big kid of a dad anyway so the twins were kept busy, but when it looked like they needed some downtime the arts and crafts elements (finger puppet making kits, medal making packs, make your own T-shirt kits…) in the fun pack proved a godsend, and the suggestions for beach games (a tennis ball for a sand rollercoaster, long jump competitions) were also brilliant. The girls’ favourite? The towel race, where each person has two towels and places one in front of the other to race across the beach. The finish line chosen by the twins was always the beach bar selling ice creams, bizarrely.
The Final Conclusion
Now any old cynic could think ‘well he would say everything was amazing, wouldn’t he?’ so I leave the final feedback to Waldorf and Statler, aka Siena and India, themselves. ‘That was the bestest holiday EVER,’ said Siena. Top marks for enthusiasm, young lady, but 3 out of ten for grammar. ‘Can Sharky & George come and live with us?’ asked India. I may be biased, but I’ll take those as two big fat thumbs up, and the twins’ mum and I also absolutely benefitted from more R&R time as the girls were so contentedly playing for much of the time.
Original Travel and Sharky & George
Now I’m off to help the girls load up their ‘trickography’ photos on the new Original Travel/Sharky & George Facebook page. I haven’t the heart to tell them that their ones won’t be eligible to win the prize (to be announced shortly) at the end of the year for the best one.