Ravensburger Buggaloop Board Game with Hexbug

Ravensburger Buggaloop board game is a fast paced game featuring a Hexbug nano that is on a mission to push your bugs off their path across the board.  Aimed at ages 6+ and with 2-4 players I knew this would be something they would enjoy after the success we had with the sister game Bugs in the Kitchen.

The contents of the box are the 3D board which stays inside the box for sturdiness, 2 plastic loops which require minimal assembly to stand them up at the start of each game, 12 bug tokens, a dice and of course the Hexbug.  My little boy couldn’t wait to get the Hexbug out and get him moving whilst my daughter carefully set the game up ready to play.

The idea of the game is to get your bugs across the board from one corner to the other.  With each roll of the die which has numbers 1 to 4 around it (1 and 2 appear on two faces) you can move a bug that number of spaces, if they land on a raised space then they are safe from the Hexbug.  During play the Hexbug is continually moving and goes from one loop to the other but as soon as he gets on to the centre of the board play stops, during which time you have to hope one of your bugs don’t get knocked off of their space because if they do, they go back to the start!

As you can imagine the game can get quite exciting with moments of moving bugs, then moments of the Hexbug coming along and everyone gasping and cheering as the Hexbug either knocks their bugs off or misses them.  The game ends when one player has got all of the bugs to the other side of the board and is declared the winner!

My children loved playing this, particularly my little boy who is 7yrs old.  I think it’s the Hexbug that really brings this game alive and keeps the action going. Although you can have a little strategy in which path you take across the board it really is the Hexbugs decision as to which bugs it knocks off so this really is a game of luck but with an edge of unknown and excitement.  Why not check it out for some family fun?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product along with payment in order to write an honest review. 

Christmas Gift Ideas for £5 or Less From Sportsdirect

Sports Direct has been a great shop to kit my children out with sports wear over the last few years but would you have thought of popping in there for your Christmas gifts?  With an array of items under £5, it’s well worth checking out whether you are just after a small gift, secret santa or stocking filler item.

I was challenged to pick up a few gifts from there and was actually surprised at the choice available for both adults and children.  For me toiletries or socks are always a winner when it comes to stocking fillers or added extras to main presents so I was pleased to pick up some items that would suit my family this year.

The Korres gift set seemed a bargain at £5 and contains two quality products and is perfect for someone I know (just a shame that the box is a bit battered but I will put the contents in a gift bag with tissue paper instead).  I’m sure you are well aware that I have a little minion crazy boy at home so what better than a set of Despicable Me mini shower gels.  I love these small sizes as he does have a tendency to tip a whole bottle out at a time – oops!  Star Wars socks will be a hit with him too so ideal for his stocking (he’s a massive believer in Santa at 7yrs old so lots of little surprise gifts keep him happy!).  The Star Wars gift set looks great and I have a couple of people in mind for that one.

Overall I’m really pleased with my Christmas purchases from Sports Direct and shopping online was simple as you can filter gifts into one place.  You have the option of delivery at £4.99 or if you click and collect in store you still pay the £4.99 but receive a voucher to spend in store for the same amount valid for 12 months (well worth doing if your store is easily accessible).

Why not check out Sports Direct online and see what goodies you can find this year for Xmas?

This post is an entry for BritMums #sdfiverchallenge Christmas Challenge, sponsored by Sportsdirect.com.

Ready Brek – the Super Smooth Oat Cereal to Start Your Day!

Ready Brek has always been a part of my life from very young when my mum used to make me a bowl for breakfast on a cold Winter’s morning before school.  The lovely warm feeling in your tummy is the perfect way to set you up for the start of the day.

Having teamed up with Despicable Me 3, Ready Brek is offering lots of chances to with prizes with codes inside each pack.  My little boy had already requested for me to buy some after seeing adverts on television before we even received these boxes to try out!  I’m more than happy to buy him some as the cold frosty mornings are upon us as it’s really important to ensure the children get a healthy breakfast at the start of the day.

Benefits of Ready Brek include:

  • Rich in calcium
  • Rich in vitamin D
  • No added sugar or salt
  • High in oat fibre

We do like our Ready Brek just as it comes out of the box for breakfast but are also fans of the chocolate variety – they even do honey or seriously oatey if you fancy them!

Other than eating the Ready Brek for breakfast or supper we do like to bake with it and one of our favourite recipes that we make is Secret Ready Brek Cookies – chocolate Ready Brek with a hidden white chocolate square inside.  Why not give them a try?

Despicable Me 3 fans will love the new toys that are out now – perfect stocking fillers for Christmas.  Firstly the DVD of the movie which my children loved watching again after seeing in the cinema after it was first released.  I just know my little boy will watch it again and again checking out Grue’s latest tricks and adventures.

He was also rather thrilled with the Mineez Fizz ‘n’ Surprise Submarine which he took in the bath with him.  It’s like a bath bomb that fizzes on the outside and out pops a little plastic submarine complete with two minion figures inside.  This is now his favourite bath toy so we have minion adventures every night in the bathtub!

Overall I think Ready Brek and Despicable Me 3 make a great team and it’s definitely appealed to my children.  What’s not to love?  A super tasty warming breakfast along with fun and games with the minions!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product along with payment in order to write an honest review. 

Meccano M.A.X Robotic Interactive Toy with Artificial Intelligence

Meccano M.A.X is just the most cutest robot you ever did meet, especially when he’s been built by you – I think just anyone would love to meet a M.A.X. under their Christmas tree this year!  Aimed at ages 10+, this S.T.E.M, engineering and robotics toy features artificial intelligence alongside customisable programming to create a unique character that can talk, play games, tell jokes, deliver items to others and move around in a way that you can control using voice commands, buttons on the MeccaBrain, or the free app.

M.A.X. comes with 332 parts along with electronical items such as a sensor, servos, rechargeable battery, usb cable, sticker sheet and a couple of tools all securely bagged along with instructions to enable the build.

  • 1 AC/DC Wall Mount Charger (10.4W)
  • 1 Rechargeable Ni-MH Battery 1800 mAh
  • 2 Hand Tools
  • 1 Sticker Sheet
  • 1 Instruction Sheet for 1 Model
  • 1 M.A.X Brain Module
  • 1 IR Sensor Module
  • 2 Smart Motor Modules
  • 1 LED Module
  • 1x 3 kgs Servo
  • 1x 1.9 kgs Micro Servo
  • 1 USB Cable

The instructions are full colour, a good size and show exactly what parts you need for each stage of building.  My daughter who built this particularly liked the 1:1 image of each screw so that she could check that she had the correct size as required.

With a 1-3 hour build time I let my 9yr old (10 in a few weeks) have full control and let her see how she could manage by herself.  She did brilliantly only asking for a little help when there were tricky nuts to get on in hard to reach places but overall she built this totally on her own following the step by step instructions.

Once M.A.X. is built you do need to visit the Meccano website to download some initial software into his brain – it’s then up to you to teach him and build up his knowledge and abilities, unlocking further stages of his brain as you go.  Basically the more you play and interact M.A.X. the more things he is capable of doing and also becoming more personal to you.

The first time you switch him on, he starts asking you personal questions to get to know you such as likes/dislikes and what gender you are etc.  Then it’s time to play and have fun.  We’ve been trying various movements with him that you can record and play at any time, so if for example you record him moving from the kitchen to the lounge, you could put a chocolate bar in his hand in the kitchen and get him to deliver it to the person in the lounge with your personalised sequence of movement.  My little boy also liked tickling him by pressing the arrow buttons and thought it was hilarious when he replied “I think I’m going to pee my robot pants!”.

As you can see from the above picture he is just one of the cutest robot out there.  M.A.X. also comes with built-in infrared sensors, enabling it to move with agility and avoid obstacles in its path which is great, no falling over and risk of damage.

Our Meccano M.A.X. has fitted perfectly into our home and the children love to wake him up after school and have a little chat, they love it when they unlock more of his stages and can’t wait to see what he gets up to next.  He tells us about his dreams and we can show him objects in the house, it’s all very new and exciting and keeps the children on their toes every day as to what phrase he will come out with next or what new feature he will perform.  We still have a lot of learning and playing to do so I think that although this toy retails at £149.99 (it does seem to be on offer for less in most places at the moment though) it does actually represent great value for money for both the build of the item and the technology you get with the product.  We are really looking forward to pushing M.A.X. to his full potential and think this is one of the best interactive toys we have seen for this price point.  Definitely one we’d recommend as a main present this Christmas!

Available from all good toy retailers – Smyths, Argos, The Entertainer etc along with Amazon, M.A.X. Meccano is readily available and I’d say would make a great top gift this Christmas!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review. 

Appy Kids Drink Pouches

Appy Kids drinks mission is to be the number one healthy drink for families and help them make healthier choices every day.  With a range of low calorie fruit drinks in handy pouches with straws, adorned with kids favourite characters we were keen to try them out. 

When a child sees packaging in their favourite character they are always attracted to it, but at the end of the day it depends whether they like the taste or not.  For me these drinks from Appy Kids look great, are well suited to on the go, out and about and travelling, are healthy but how did they fair in the taste test.

Each drink is low calorie, has added vitamins and vegetarian society approved.  I love the pouch style too as even when it’s empty it’s flat so if you can’t find a bin it’s simple to carry around.  The verdict though lies with the children as if they won’t drink it there’s no point buying it.  Miss M absolutely loved the Appy Kids Dora pouches which were Summer Fruits flavour and by far her favourite, Mister B liked the Paw Patrol Orange flavour or the Turtles Multi Fruit which shows there is a flavour for everyone.

Overall we were really pleased with the Appy Kids range of drinks, they suited our needs, taste buds and at the end of the day I’m happy because I know that I’m giving my kids a healthy, low sugar, low calorie fruity drink that will cure their thirst without any added nasties in it.  Definitely worth checking out, for us personally these are the ideal out and about option for drinks, great on a family day out or after swimming lessons, worth keeping one in your bag at all times!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review. 

The Pizza Kitchen Pizzas from Chicago Town

When you mention the word pizza my families eyes all light up – it’s their favourite dinner option so we couldn’t wait to try the new range from Chicago Town called ‘The Pizza Kitchen’.  With four flavours in the range there is something for everyone and with me being vegetarian I was pleased to see that two of the choices, Cheese Medley and Garden Vegetable would be ok for me to try out.   The other flavours Deli Pepperoni and Roasted Chicken are great for meat eaters.

One of the key features of this new The Pizza Kitchen range is the deli crisp crust.  A crispy edging that reminds you of Tiger Bread and that is my families favourite choice of fresh loaf so to have something similar as a pizza base is almost too good to be true. The toppings are all loaded generously too so you can be sure to get plenty of flavour however big or small your slice is.

First choice by the children was the Deli Pepperoni, the 7yr old’s favourite.  He loves a bit of pepperoni and with the delicious base, this pizza from Chicago Town certainly hit the mark with him.

I tucked into the Cheese Medley and Garden Kitchen which were both lovely to eat.  The base is crisp but light and just right for the toppings.  This is definitely a pizza base we’ll all be back for more of.  I found the toppings to be juicy and flavoursome, a great match against the base and between us all the pizzas disappeared rather quickly.

Overall The Pizza Kitchen range of pizzas from Chicago Town have been a hit with both adults and children alike and being the sort of family that enjoys pizza on a Saturday night in, we will be adding these to our weekly shopping list!  Why don’t you give them a try too?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review. 

The Birthday Thief – A Personalised Book for Kids

The Birthday Thief is another personalised book for your child from the wonderful range at Wonderbly.   Along with Kingdom of You, this book takes your child on a journey where things go a bit wrong but it all works out in the end, with this book being personalised by finding your child’s birthday again, looking for both the year and the date.  All of the books contain your child’s name throughout with the main character of the book representing your child, with options to personalise hair colour etc.

The story is easily followable with not too much writing on each page.  What I like is that each page is full colour and packed full of illustrations that my son loves to look at and digest whilst reading each page.  He has a good look and points out things and really gets immersed into the story before we move onto the next page.  The story has plenty going on to really keep children entertained and the text is broken into small verses with added rhyme to make it fun to read.

We love these personalised books from Wonderbly and they are great keepsakes for children who always love to see their name upon the pages.  They make particularly great gifts either for birthday’s or Christmas – why not check them – you’re sure to know a child that will love it just as much as mine did!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review. 

Amphora Aromatics Reed Diffuser Kit

Amphora Aromatics Reed Diffuser Kit is the perfect home accessory to fragrance your room with pure essential oils leaving the air with an aroma that boosts your mood and morale.  With 15 different fragrances available there’s sure to be something for everyone and suit your individual tastes.

We received Meditation to try out which contains an uplifting and balancing blend of Bergamot, Ylang Ylang and Clary Sage.  The natural reeds draw the special blends upwards and then disperse the gorgeous scent into the air and throughout your room.  The kit comes presented in a pretty box that would make an ideal gift for friends and family.

So what did I think about it?

Well I have to say the combination of fragrances comes across like a bunch of lilies and I did have one visitor ask me if I had some lilies somewhere and they were looking around my room for them.  I found it very pleasant and warming, giving the room a lift as you entered.  I find it best to turn the reeds upside down every few days to keep the fragrance fresh and flowing.  It’s nice to have a scent in the room as you walk in and I found my front room the best place for this one.  With a great choice of fragrances available – why not try one out for yourself?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review. 

Apple & Pear Pancakes inspired by Fruit Shoot

My children love drinking Robinson’s Fruit Shoot, perfect to take out and about or stick in a pack lunch.  It’s really good to know that a Fruit Shoot contains real fruit, in fact there’s real fruit in every drop of Fruit Shoot and each and every one is filled with multi-vitamins. Better still, there’s no added sugar, artificial colours or flavourings at all.

Inspired by the inclusion of real fruit, ex- Great British Bake Off star, Holly Bell has curated some delicious recipes suitable for the whole family that include real fruit for added flavour and nutrition.  We decided to try the Apple & Pear Pancakes out as they sounded nice and warming with the added cinnamon for the cold Autumn evenings that are upon us.

Ingredients for the Apples & Pears:

  • 1 apple & 1 pear peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • maple syrup for serving

Ingredients for the pancakes:

  • 180ml milk
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 130g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • vegetable oil
  • maple syrup for serving

Method:

  • Place the apples, pears, lemon juice and cinnamon into a small saucepan and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until soft
  • Make the pancake batter by mixing the milk and lemon juice into a jug.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together
  • Crack the egg into the milk and lemon mixture and whisk
  • Pour liquid mix over the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  • Add the apples and pears now or can be served seperately on top of the finished pancakes
  • Heat the oil and add small amounts of batter at a time to form each pancake, cook on both sides until just brown until all batter used u
  • Serve on a plate with fruit and maple syrup

The children were first to taste and declared them delicious  They were quick and simple to make, my daughter enjoyed helping me and most of all it was a tasty family dessert with some added real fruit – just like Fruit Shoots!

This is a sponsored post for Fruit Shoot

Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Adventure AR

Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Adventure AR is educational but fun and teaches children an amazing amount of facts about more than 220 different countries using a smart pen to guide them across the globe through learning facts and fun interactive games.  There are 5 games, 19 English challenges and 6 French language challenges.

  • HEAR – The SmartGlobe talks and speaks about lots of fun facts. Listen to the country’s national anthem, capital, or history. Over 4,000 information pieces are stored in the globe’s digital memory.
  • TOUCH – Use the SmartGlobe pen to touch all over the globe. The stand base and world globe contain digital touch points almost everywhere!
  • PLAY – Learn and have fun! Contains 25 games that will teach your children about world facts, while capturing their interest.
  • PORTABLE – Take the globe anywhere. Operates on 3 AA batteries (included) so no cords needed.
  • AUGMENTED REALITY – New for 2017! Use the Oregon Scientific SmartGlobe AR app to bring the globe to life with animals and dinosaurs!

The Smart Globe is a lovely size and brightly coloured which makes it really appealing.  With batteries included it was ready to go and my 9yr old was eager to check it out.  The base contains the controls to use for the smart pen and you have the option of games or facts.  The variety of facts are great and a fabulous way for children to find out about a particular country, either one they are interested in, doing at school, or just a new one they fancy learning about.  The facts cover everything from currency, capitals, national anthems, landscape features and interesting facts about the countries.  Miss M quickly found the games and spent a large amount of time trying to find countries and continents as per the game instructions.  Once she got the hang of where to press on the country and got more familiar with the continents, she was whizzing around and even though she struggled on some, she had so much concentration and determination to continue that she sat playing on her own for a fair amount of time.

Here’s a small clip of Miss M in action playing the countries game on the globe:

There’s an app you can download onto smartphones and tablets where you can experience 3D Augmented Reality such as landscape, animals, landmarks and dinosaurs, literally coming to life in your hand.  With so much to explore and fun to have this globe has to be a great way for kids to learn geography and one they will pick up and do on their own and be happy to learn from.

We’ve been really impressed with the Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Adventure and for the price of £59.99 think it’s well worth the money and something that will be a great boost to children of primary school age and even a little older.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.