Bunchems! 3D Creations Fun for Kids

Bunchems! from Spin Master are clever little colourful balls that stick together and can be built up to create 3D structures simply and easily.  Just as quick you have built one, you can also pull it apart and rebuild into something totally different.  My children have been eyeing this up over the last few months so I knew they’d be eager to try them out and have fun seeing if they were as good as they thought from the adverts!

We received a Mega Pack and Under the Sea glow in the dark pack of Bunchems! to try out.  Within these sets there are plenty of coloured pieces to start playing with a long with what I thought was a good selection and variety of accessories which can be stuck onto your creations to add personality and bring them alive.

My 6yr old who has been eager to try these for a while, got stuck straight in and was building things all by himself.  I was really impressed at how easy and quick they are to build and certainly kept both him and his 9yr old entertained all afternoon.  The circle pieces have tiny hooks on the end of the spikes which simply hook together as you push them close.  There are also small holes in one side which the accessories attach to.

Within just a few minutes my little boy had recreated this rather cute bird that he saw on the front of the box.  He was very proud of it and I was amazed he made it so quickly and independently.

Before long I was being shown lots of wonderful creations – they all look fabulous!

I think Bunchems! are great and perfect for a range of ages although I’d say my 6yr old enjoyed them the most.  They are non messy and great to do on a table or tray and can just be stored in a box when play has finished (we found a lidded plastic box perfect).  For a different way to craft, create and have fun, then Bunchems! are a great toy to try out.

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

Loopdeloom Weaving Craft Tool

Loopdeloom from MAPS Toys is a unique loom system with pegs that spin around to make the weaving process ultra quick enabling you to produce a woven piece in just a couple of hours. The kit comes with one loom, 15 pegs and a ball of rainbow coloured wool.  The instructions are very clear to follow and show you how to set up and use the loom, whilst directing you to Youtube videos for more in depth instructions to make specific items.

My 9yr old daughter was excited to try this and although it looks a little complex, it’s aimed at ages 8+ so we were keen to give it a try.  I helped her to set it up which was basically just assembling the pegs alternate ways in the loom base and then cutting pieces of wool for the warp strands and clipping them into the top of each peg.

It really then is just a simple case of slipping a strand of wool across the top and pulling it down between the pegs.  Then turn the lever at the bottom which spins the pegs around and put the yarn across the other way down the center of the pegs.  This method is incredibly fast and so easy Miss M picked it up instantly and couldn’t wait to get stuck in creating her piece independently.

Every morning before school and every evening in her pyjamas she could be found with the loom adding another batch of rows.  I even had a go myself and found it really relaxing and enjoyable especially when you can see progress in your work so quickly.  When the pegs are filled with rows of weaving I couldn’t believe how easy it was to extend the piece by simply lifting out each peg, sliding down the weft (horizontal strands) until they go further down the warp (vertical) strands and then put the peg back into place. It literally took a couple of minutes and off you go again, no messing around with any ends of wool, and you can continue like this until you have covered the entire length of the warp strands.

Before long Miss M had a wonderful piece to show us – it looks amazing and feels so soft and thick.  Because it was her first attempt at using the Loopdeloom she hadn’t really planned what to make as we weren’t sure how it would turn out but we are really impressed with the results.  She has decided to use this first piece as a mat on her bedside table but can’t wait to try out something else soon.

The Loopdeloom is a brilliant crafting tool that is very simple to use.  It can also be joined up to another Loopdeloom which will enable you to weave wider pieces of work.  Likewise you can remove pegs from this one to make a narrower piece if you wish.  It is so versatile and with a little imagination you can create lots of woven pieces such as scarves, bags etc.

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

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Magic Dip Design Art Centre

The Magic Dip Design Studio from Character Toys is aimed at ages 8+ and allows children to be creative and cleverly marbleise any object or material of their choosing.  The set allows children to choose their own colours and create a unique design every time before easily clearing the ink away and starting again.

wp_20161119_10_54_11_proThe set contains:

  • 1 Design Art Station
  • 6 colour paint bottles
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 small bowl
  • Glossy spray
  • Glitter
  • Stirrers
  • A pair of tweezers
  • A glove
  • A7 greeting cards
  • A5 greetings cards
  • Gems
  • Glitter
  • String

It’s quite a simple concept although is quite tricky to get right and you have to work quickly hence the age guide.  The art station is simple to assemble and set up and makes a nice working area to keep your tools on and work from .  To start you need to fill one of the bowls with water.  It is then as simple as squirting drops of coloured ink onto the water, we found 2 or 3 colours worked best and then using the stirrer to swirl the inks together to make a pattern.

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We started by dipping large simple items such as the bracelet and headband.  My 8yr old daughter enjoyed this and soon got the hang of it.  The dyes sit on the surface of the water so as you dip an item in, the dye lifts like a skin and wraps itself around the object.  Any surplus dye left on the water can easily be removed with the stirrer tool afterwards and the water is ready to add another set of coloured dyes to.

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Miss M then tried some trickier smaller beads which she had to be careful holding with the tweezers.  These actually worked really well and she made a really pretty bracelet when they were dry using the string included in the set.
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Miss M tried various combinations of colours and dipped different objects included in the set such as a picture frame and some birthday cards and gift labels.  Although these were essentially cardboard, they did have a shiny surface and were completely able to be dipped briefly into the water to get a coating of the coloured dyes.magic-dip-dye-5

One thing you do have to do is make sure you work quite quickly as the dyes dry so you need to know what colours and item you are dipping before you start.  Also when you dip the object you need to give it one dip and out otherwise you will ruin the pattern.  It is quite simple though and once you’ve had a couple of goes, you’ll know exactly what you are doing.magic-dip-dye-6 I think the finished results look really effective, better than we expected when we first started. The set includes some gems and glitter to jazz up your items and make them even prettier.magic-dip-dye-7 We were quite impressed with the results we got on some of the gift labels above, particularly the brightly coloured one.wp_20161120_13_02_33_pro A great selection of handmade goodies that you can keep yourself or give away as gifts.  You can also use any objects of your own to dip and make other tie dyed items.  There is plenty of dye included in the set and we only used a small amount to do the above objects so the craft set can be used several times over with other objects. wp_20161120_13_54_39_pro

Here is Miss M showing off her headband and bangle.  She really enjoyed the Magic Dip Design Studio and was definitely the right age for it.   For any young craft fans out there, this is fun and a little different – a great one for Christmas lists!

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

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IDO3D Vertical Design Studio – Review

IDO3D Vertical Design Studio is a unique way to build 3D creations using specially filled gel pens and a UV light to dry your designs as you work.  There are several sets available and we received the Vertical drawing set to try out which my children were quite pleased with as they have seen it advertised on TV and were quite fascinated by it.

ido3dThe set consists of 4 3D drawing pens in various colours, 1 light attachment, a few plastic accessories and an instruction sheet.

ido3d-2The kit is aimed at children aged 6+, so my 8yr old had go by tracing one of the templates from the instructional sheet.  There is a clear sheet of plastic that you lay on top of this for the gel to sit on until dry.  At first my daughter tried to use the pen with the light switched on but we found that the gel was drying instantly and she ended up with a row of little hard lumps of gel rather than clean lines, so we found it easier to draw the design with the pen and then go over it with the light afterwards to set it.ido3d-3Once the gel has set, you can easily lift it from the plastic sheet and you can join creations together using the gel like you would glue then using the light to set it.  As you can see Miss M really had a good go at trying lots of designs. ido3d-4The pens are quite hard to press and you do need to give your fingers a rest after a while.  Mister B who is 5 (6 in 2 weeks time) tried it out but found it too hard and gave up.  I did help him make a smiley face though which he was rather pleased with.   ido3d-5Miss M found it a bit little fiddly to assemble things as everything was a bit tacky along with our fingers so I did help her with this.  We also found it tricky to get any intricate detail like it shows on the box but I do think we had a good go and ended up with a pair of funky glasses and a little trinket basket. ido3d-6

Based on how my children found this kit, I would definitely say it’s best suited to the slightly older ages rather than than as low as 6, as suggested on the box.  This craft kit is something different and a great project for them to try out.  Why not check out IDO3D, it could make a great Christmas present for someone!

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

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Aquabeads Design Creations Beginners Studio

Aquabeads are a brand we’ve never tried before although have done very similar crafts, so were keen to see how these faired.  When Come Round offered us the chance of holding a party to share Aquabeads with some of the children’s friends we couldn’t wait to get inviting and have a few friends round for some Aquabeads fun.

aquabeadsMy two children were keen to get started so helped me set things out ready to show our guests when they arrived.  To keep everyone happy we gave everyone an Aquabeads mini playset and a few demo packs to do as we had enough of these for everyone.  I have to say I was really impressed with the mini packs as they are small and compact but once you open them up, there is a good choice of beads and you can make quite a few mini creations with the set.  My little boy couldn’t resist making the turtle as this is his favourite animal.

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Here’s my two children in action, busy beading away and they loved spraying the water on at the end and seeing the result of their work.  What I like about Aquabeads is that the designs come to life really well and by just placing a few beads together you get a lovely finished piece.

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Once everyone had made a few creations I put them out on a couple of trays in the garden to dry and it was really sunny and warm.

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Once we’d had fun at the party with the mini kits, it was time to check out the Aquabeads Beginners Studio.  This is a large kit with over 800 beads and a really useful storage case.  It has a pretty shooting star style tray area to house all your different beads with extra storage underneath for all the extra accessories.  The lid comes off to become your work station with an attached template with a slit behind to put your design sheets.

aquabeads-4We really loved the bead pen that comes with this.  Although you can easily do the designs with your fingers, the pen makes it a whole lot easier and the children loved using it.  My children spent the rest of the day after the party making designs with the beginners studio and I’d definitely recommend it as a great kit for anyone interested in Aquabeads.

aquabeads-5This set includes four sheets of designs although you can of course make your own up. The beads in this set are also a mix of plain solid coloured round beads and translucent jewel beads which gives a really nice mix and finish to the creations.  All the finished pieces are brightly coloured and really give children a sense of achievement.

september-blogThis is a really fun craft that helps with fine motor skills and following a pattern.  It also covers a range of ages too, as the designs can range from simple to complex, anything goes with Aquabeads!  The other parents of children that came to try Aquabeads were really impressed and loved the little creations their children made and took home so they were an all round hit with everyone.

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What’s great is that you can get refill packs of Aquabeads so if you do have the beginners studio then you can refill your beads at any time and continue making fun designs!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review and also share with others as part of our Come Round party.

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Gemmies Design Studio Crystal Creations – Review

Gemmies Design Studio is a fun craft kit for children aimed at ages 6+.  It allows you to make crystal creations such as cute dogs, teddies, fish and more.  It also comes with a storage unit and station to make your designs on meaning it’s an all in one craft kit that children will enjoy.

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The kit comes with a design station that has a pull out drawer underneath.  This is comes divided into sections to store your beads in.  There are also gem style pots on top to hold further beads and loops.  There is a removable light up stand that requires two AA batteries.  Other accessories include six design cards, a tool to stretch your loops and various packs of beads and loops.

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My daughter who is 8yrs old enjoyed following the design cards and putting the correct colour and combination of beads onto each loop.  She found it easier and preferred to use the included tool to do this, but I found it easier to just use my fingers, either method works fine though.

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Miss M  could easily make small combinations of beaded loops but did require a little assistance from me to join some of the bigger sections together to make the final creation, so I do think that younger children would struggle too, although I do think that 7-8 years can do the majority of it themselves.

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What I found amazing though was that from a flat section of loops covered in the gem beads, you then fold it round and join particular beads and a recognisable 3D shape appears which really does look really fantastic.  So that you know where to join the beads there are bright orange beads that you place initially within the pattern but are then removed when you make the join.  This is a really clever idea and makes it simple to know where sections join up.

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My daughter loves her new Gemmies dogs and they take pride of place in her bedroom.  You can display them on the included light up stand or they will stand on their own elsewhere.  I think this kit is really clever and very different to any other craft kits we’ve tried.

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We’ve absolutely loved Gemmies and think it’d make a great gift for anyone who loves to craft and loves their gems!  I think it’s lovely that you get to make something to keep and it is something that will last.  The beads are secure and the finished designs hold together very well.  Why not try a kit like this 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.

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Cool Cardz Scratcheez – Review

Cool Cardz Scratcheez is a great new craft set from Cool Create, where children can make, design and laminate fun cards to give their friends, family or keep for themselves.  The set has an added feature with scratchable stickers that you can place on top of the laminate and friends can scratch it off to reveal a secret message.

 

CLA00000 Cool Cardz Scratcheez Pack

The set comes with the following:

  • Boho Chic handbag design studio
  • 20 laminates
  • 20 cards
  • 2 sparkling ring stampers
  • 2 Boho Chic themed sticker sheets
  • 1 Colour Scratch Off Stickers sheet
  • 1 Message Scratch Off Stickers sheet
  • 48 gems
  • 1 felt pen
  • 1 scratching tool

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I thought there were quite a few accessories with this kit and my daughter immediately wanted to get stuck in creating some cards.  What I really liked was that the set can all be packed away inside the handbag shaped case, which is also home to the laminator tool.  This keeps everything tidy and also makes it portable to take to friends houses etc.

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The idea is you select a card, all of which have a muted background design and then you create a design, picture or message on the card.  You can also add pretty stickers to add to the look.

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You then take a laminating pouch, open it up and put each half through the yellow laminator tool.  Place your card inside and slide the yellow part over which basically peels a paper layer from the pouch to reveal a sticky side which sticks the pouch together containing the card inside.

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Then on top of the laminated card you can add gems and the special scratcheez stickers.  This can cover a message that will only be revealed once the design is scratched off .  There are also black stickers that you can scratch off to reveal a pretty design using the stick and they have a coloured rainbow effect behind.

cool cardz 5My daughter has really enjoyed making the Cool Cardz and has started making some for her school friends.  This is a fun, different kit that she’s really found enjoyable.  Refill kits are available which is a great idea and ou can also get ones based on different themes.

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

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Kinetic Sand Bakery Boutique Patisserie – Review

Kinetic Sand Bakery Boutique Patisserie from Spin Master is a sand making delight where you can create your own bakery items out of moulded sand and display them in the cleverly designed box that opens out into a bakery window display.

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The kit contains everything you need, including two bags of brightly coloured sand, a selection of moulds and some cardboard pieces to add to the lid of your box and create your bakery display.  The box is simple to assemble providing shelves to put your creations on and a centrepiece in the middle for a showstopper cake!

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The children couldn’t wait to get stuck into the sand as the texture is really quite therapeutic between your fingers, and being non sticky it’s a pleasure to work with.  The moulds are quite easy to operate, you just need to pack them tightly, give them a few taps and they do produce some really precisely moulded shapes.  There are also two press out cutters which work really well once you get used to them.  You need to hold the plunger up as you press down and then lift the shape out.

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As you can see below, the children’s creations kept coming and they quite quickly filled the shelves with their cakes.  They enjoyed trying to make each one different and see what different combinations they could come up with.  The cakes held together quite well and as long as you don’t touch them too much they will stay as they are until you break them up again.

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I think the finished bakery display looks great and the children were certainly proud of their efforts.  I think having a backdrop to put their items on really made a difference and added to the play value.

kinetic sand bakery 5What’s great about this kinetic sand is that once you made something, you can break it up again and start again, which makes this playset great value for money as I know it is something my children will come back to again and again!

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

Fairy Garden from Interplay – Review

Fairy Garden from Interplay is a really cute playset allowing for plenty of imagination creating a little world for your fairy to live in and then watch her garden grow.  The set begins as a craft kit and then turns into scene where you can watch the grass grow and play with various pieces moving them around.

WP_20160528_15_59_34_ProThe Fairy Garden comes with the pot, all the accessories and grass seeds, you just need to add a small amount of soil.  It is designed to be kept inside so you can watch it everyday, water it as necessary and cut the grass if desired.

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Miss M was eager to get started and used her little garden trowel to fill her shallow pot with soil.  The first job is then to construct the house which is made of glittery foam pieces which just attach together although she did require a little assistance to get it right but it did look pretty once built.

Fairy garden

Once you’ve put the house in it’s position on once side of the pot, there is a bag of brightly coloured stones to lay out in front of the house as it’s path and a large shell to bury on one side to be the fairy’s pond which you can later fill with water.  There’s a rather cute washing line to put up with a blanket and mini pegs, a toadstall and then a mouse who lives in the garden along with the fairy herself to place wherever you please.

Fairy garden 3Miss M really enjoyed putting the garden together, there are also some plastic flowers on stems to push into the soil and the last job is to sprinkle the uncovered soil in grass seed. As a twinkly final touch there are some glittery stars to make your garden sparkle.

Fairy garden 4With this set aimed at age 4+, you would need parental assistance to put this together.  Miss M is 8 and enjoyed it but did need me to guide her and assist in a few small areas like assembling the house and putting the washing line together.

She was thrilled just a few days later when she spotted the grass starting to grow and was surprised how tall it had got already.  She is hoping to give it a trim in a few more days.

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Overall we’ve enjoyed Fairy Garden from Interplay, it’s cute, it’s fun, it gives children something to create and look after and enjoy for more than just one day!

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

Bead-Kids Bracelet Kits – Review

Bead-Kids offer bead making jewellery kits, ideal for parties, party bags and gift ideas. We were sent the Dolphin Friendship Bracelet kit for 8yr old Miss M to try out and see what she thought.

bead kitsThe kit comes in a handy little box, that’s divided into sections and keeps everything separated and easy to find.  The box being transparent makes it easy to see what you get and where it is.  I like that the packaging is minimal but recyclable, we will definitely keep and use the little sectioned box for other craft bits.

bead kits 2The kit contains enough materials to make three friendship bracelets, each with their own charm.  There are three lengths of suede cord, three silver charms, a small bag of silver beads, organza bag and instructions.  The pieces are all of a good quality so do make a lovely bracelet that girls will love to wear.

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Miss M couldn’t wait to get started, threading the beads and charms onto the cord.  We then needed to follow the instructions to tie the knots at each end.  We did get a little confused as to which diagram we were refering to, but I soon worked it out and showed Miss M what to do.  She then had a go herself on the other bracelets.

bead kits 4I think the finished bracelets look fantastic and great for young girls to wear.  Miss M is thrilled with hers and has picked the blue fish one as her favourite!

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The organza bag that comes in the set makes a nice place to store the bracelets or use as a gift if you are giving one away.  Miss M has decided to keep her favourite bracelet herself and give the other two away to her two best friends at school, as they are friendship bracelets after all.

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