Getting Creative with Duck Tape

Duck Tape has become incredibly desirable over the last few years with an every increasing selection of patterns and designs available.  My daughter loves playing with it trying to make things and it’s a great craft she can sit and do with literally just a roll of tape or two.  We received a selection of the latests designs to try out.

duck-tapeMiss M had her friend round who also enjoys crafting with Duck Tape and they decided to make a storage box.  I was a little sceptical as to how durable this would be, but her friend new the best way to tackle it and build up layers to create strong sides and a box that could be used.

duck-tape-2They decided to create each side out of a different patterned tape and got to work.  They also made a base and then carefully assembled it together using more Duck Tape. The result is a beautifully durable box which I was really impressed with as they made it all on their own. duck-tape-3We then decided to make some bookmarks as with both of my children being avid readers they are forever looking for a bookmark to use.  We simply used the wide tape and folded it over on itself several time to give it strength and there you have it, perfectly useable bookmarks.  Miss M even made hers double sided with two different tapes whilst my youngest Mister B opted for a spooky ghost covered tape that has a special property of being glow in the dark! duck-tape-4

We’ve had lots of fun with Duck Tape and made some useful things.  The range of designs is so vast now, it’s well worth checking out for all your household needs and crafting fun!

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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Having Fun with Nick Jr Ready Steady Dough

My children have always liked playing with dough, they love the feel of it between their fingers and quite frankly just love the idea of cutting, moulding, rolling and basically being creative as they like with it.  So they were excited when they found out that we would be trying out some of the new sets from Addo Play, which are available to purchase from The Entertainer toy shop.

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The children were delighted to spend an evening after school last week in Ready Steady Dough heaven with a multitude of colours and tools at their disposal which kept them occupied for several hours.  They had plungers, shape cutters, a rolling pin, moulds and a rather cool squeezy machine.

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The Squeezy Shape Station was a big hit, having lots of different shapes through which you can squeeze your dough by pressing down the large easy to press lever.  It had them in giggles at first seeing large spaghetti like shapes oozing out of the machine which gave them new textures to squidge and press together between their fingers rather than a large lump of dough.

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Also included in this set and the Lots of Pots set are a couple of plungers so we had four different ones in total which work on a similar basis for smaller amounts of dough at a time. They loved watching it come out the other side, such a simple thing but fascinating for them as they saw the dough transform which they could use to be creative with or squidge back together.

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5yr old Mister B soon got into the flow of things and was making himself special super power bracelets as well as other crazy things as his imagination flowed.

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Miss M squeezed out a big thick line of white dough which she turned into the number eight, to represent her age.  Meanwhile Mister B had made his own dinner – a pot of purple pasta!

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Miss M then made some thinner strands with the Squeezy Shape Station which she used to practise her plaits.  It wasn’t long before she came up with her own unique creation which she was really proud off.

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As you can see both children thoroughly enjoyed their evening of dough fun and will have much enjoyment with it again in the future.  These sets are good fun, great value and have hours of entertainment in them as they can be used time and time again.  Why not check out the Nick Jr Ready Steady Dough range available from The Entertainer right now?  Some great Christmas and Birthday ideas!!

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

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Pom Pom WOW! Decoration Station – Review

Pom Pom WOW! is the lastest craze in kids crafting and the Decoration Station is a fun filled kit with everything you need to design and colour pom poms as well as create fun pictures and designs.

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The set comes in a handy fold up carry case contains all the decorative equipement along with pom pom holders for a number of the pom poms included.

The contents are:

  • 75 Pom Pom’s
  • 85 Adhesive dots
  • 1 x adhesive roll dispenser
  • 1 x glitter glue pen
  • 2 x markers
  • 1 x paintbrush
  • 4 x watercolours
  • 4 x stamper pads
  • 1 x pipette
  • 1 x blotting cloth
  • removable trays
  • instruction leaflet

It only takes a few minutes to put everything together when you open the set and 8 yr old Miss M was eager to help me set it up ready to use.  We do like that it all folds away for easy storage and is self contained so you don’t loose and bits.

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It was then time to try it out and I have to say Miss M became totally engrossed in colouring her pom poms in various ways.  She loved trying out the stamper, glitter, pens but her favourite had to be the pipette which you could add some watercolour too and squeeze drops onto an unopened pom pom to give it a tie dye effect.

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Once you’ve decorated your pom poms, it’s time to use the to create a picture or decorate something with them.  Miss M decorated a wooden picture frame and loved the idea of attaching a sticky dot to each pom pom then removing the tube and puffing the pom pom out!  Even 5 yr old Mister B joined in and wanted to create his own pom pom to add to the frame.

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Miss M loved both decorating her pom poms in various ways as well as sticking them on to things, it really kept her occupied and she sat down for quite a while playing with the different options.  She certainly enjoyed it and has asked to do it again another day.

Here is her finished picture frame:

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You can find out more about Pom Pom WOW! on their pages on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

The Pom Pom Wow! set are available in all large toyshops (The Entertainer, Toys R Us, Smyths)  or online at www.character-online.com.

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

Yummy Nummies Mini Magic Pizza & Cookies

Yummy Nummies  from Character Options are the latest craze from Japan, where kids get to create mini food treats that taste and look just like the real thing!

Yummy NWe received the mini Pizza and Cookie sets to try out.  Each pack consists of sachets of powder constitute, a plastic mould, and the relevant miniature utensils that are required.  All you need to add are scissors to open the sachets and cold water to add to the powders.

yummyEach kit is simple to put together and just requires the powders to be mixed with water and placed in the appropriate moulds which are then microwaved for anything between 10 and 30 seconds.  Various toppings are added to complete the foods made.

yummy 2What is really unusual about this craft is that it is edible, and not only can you eat it, but each part of the food, tastes like it actually should.  My children loved creating these and with each pack making up to ten items, meant they could both have a go at creating the miniature foods.

yummy 3Once we’d finished, the children couldn’t wait to try them.  I think their faces in the picture above shows how much they enjoyed them, the cookies in particular were their favourite.  I did taste them myself and although they are edible, they are just a bit of fun and a craft that the children enjoyed.

Here is a video of us making the Yummy Nummies:

Yummy Nummies are sure to be the latest craze to hit the UK and I’m sure children will be keen to have a go too when they see it advertised.  There are lots of different things to make such as chicken nuggets, cupcakes, doughnuts and even chocolate bars.  Why not check them out, available from Toys R Us as well as other retailers.

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

Gears! Gears! Gears! Movin’ Monkeys Building Set – Review

Gears! Gears! Gears! is a fabulous range of creative, building sets using tactile gears and cranks to wind the pieces round, creating a magical moving scene.  We received the Movin’ Monkeys set from Learning Resources to play with.

movin monkeysThe Movin’ Monkeys set comprises of 136 pieces which includes base plates, coloured gears, cranks, tree parts, monkeys and a sticker sheet to decorate some of the gears.  There is also a very easy to follow instruction booklet which allows you to build the entire scene as shown on the box.  The instructions are clear and broken down into manageable sections.

movin monkeys 5 Miss M immediately got to work building the first tree and added the gears.  This gave her a little bit of a challenge to follow the build instructions and construct the pieces correctly.  To build the whole set is quite a challenge for a young person and although this set is aimed at age 4+, I’d definitely suggest a slightly older age would be better.  Miss M is 6 and I feel this is a great construction set for her and something very different to the normal construction toys you see.  She did require some guidance and assistance but I’m sure she’ll improve each time she plays.

movin monkeys 2Mister B decided to take it upon himself to build the palm trees.  He gathered all the necessary pieces and within a few minutes he proudly showed off his bit of construction work!  He was so pleased with his trees and carefully held onto them until the rest was built so he could put them in their correct places.

movin monkeys 3The pieces slot together quite easily although quite firmly so the set is quite durable and doesn’t fall apart easily once built.  Once we had constructed the full build, it looked like a brightly coloured jungle scene and both children were eager to see what happened next.  The next step was to add the monkeys which can be hung from numerous trees and branches either by the hooks on their hands or tails.  Then it was time for the magic – would it work?  Miss M slowly turned the handle on one of the gears and very cleverly all the cogs starting turning at the same time, the monkeys starting moving, spinning and swinging around the trees and my two children looked upon their Movin’ Monkeys jungle scene in amazement!

movin monkeys 7Both were keen to take turns in turning the gears and have fun moving the monkeys around to hang from different places, the Movin’ Monkeys construction set certainly gave good play value for a while once it was built.

movin monkeys 6What I like about Movin’ Monkeys is that it is both a construction set and then can be played with as well.  You can be creative and build any design you like out of the set, however big or small.  On her own Miss M likes to build just a small tree structure that she can get turning and is quite fascinated watching it move.  This allows her to be creative independently and as she gets older she’ll become more confident in building bigger jungle scenes.

You can watch Movin’ Monkeys in action here:

Overall I think Movin’ Monkeys is an interesting, fun construction set that a child aged 6+ would get the most value out of.  It’s made from brightly coloured, durable plastic pieces and has lots of fun features for the monkeys to play on.  Being a large set with a lot of pieces, this enables you to be versatile with the building and use your imagination to create a different design every time.

movin monkeys 4A great bonus of this set is that it is compatible with any other Gears! Gears! Gears! sets so you can join them up and make a huge moving scene!  Why not try a set today and see how creative you can be with moving gears?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and Movin’ Monkeys was sent to us in order to write the review.

HAMA Beads – Crafty Activity Fun – Review

With a daughter who is a huge craft fan, it’s good to try a variety of activities and one we were keen to try is HAMA beadsDKL Marketing kindly sent us the giant set comprising of 6000 beads with endless opportunities of things to make, the limit is your imagination!

HAMAThe HAMA beads box was big and immediately got a thumbs up from Miss M.  It looked very excited, lots of beads, a good variety of things to make, and a craft toy that would give lots of value due to the amount of things to do.

Miss M couldn’t wait to get stuck in and make a crocodile for her brother who had chosen that as his favourite picture from the front of the box.

The HAMA beads are simple to place on the peg boards, just following the designs in the pictures.  Included in this set are three peg boards, a crocodile shape, rabbit and a basic square which gives you the freedom to create anything you want.  Having lots of simple designs is better for younger children so that they don’t get bored doing a large piece and also get to see the finished result sooner.  Miss M is 5 yrs old and did require some guidance on starting off and I also needed to keep check on her during to make sure she wasn’t going off track with the design she was trying to make.  It is a lovely activity that she can sit and do independently though and she enjoyed the challenge of trying to complete each one.

HAMA 2Once all the beads are in place on a peg board, the magic really happens.  After covering it in some special paper you can iron the creation which melts the beads.  This bonds them together allowing you to remove the finished piece from the board.

HAMA3We’ve so far copied designs from the box and picture sheet included but we have many ideas to make other things.  With such a vast number of beads in the box, there are endless possibilities and you can have ago at anything.  Miss M would like us to try a cat and we are also going to do her initials.

One thing that did slightly disappoint was that although we had a good range of colours in the box, we didn’t have a yellow, or a fleshy pink, and practically all the suggested designs contains one of these colours.  Miss M in particular found this very frustrating initially but I explained that she could do them in any colour she wanted and just to swap a colour in the picture for one of her choice.

HAMA5This is a great activity that can be done throughout the year – great for those dull, rainy days when you are stuck indoors!  It also has plenty of beads so will last a long time depending on the rate your child works through them, but can easily be packed away between designs and got out again at a later date.  It is also something that can grow with your child as they go from copying designs to creating their own.

We’d recommend HAMA beads as a great crafting activity that helps with fine motor skills, creativity and encourages concentration.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

No Mess Play Foam from Learning Resources – Review and win

When I was sent No Mess Play Foam to review from Learning Resources, I was very intrigued.  Would it really be no mess?  How well would it stick together?  Would there be little balls of foam all over the floor?

1906 PF Combo 8 PkMiss M who is 5 was very keen to try the Play Foam – she loves anything crafty and was eager to get her fingers on this new and exciting looking texture.  The first thing I noticed was how pliable the balls of foam were and you can literally mould them into shapes, pull it apart and stick it back together.  In fact it seemed incredibly sticky but the bizarre things was there was no stickiness on your fingers or to anything else.  Wow – quite amazing, I was definitely impressed, the “No Mess” quality of this product really is true.

Foam 1Mister B absolutely adored testing his fingers in the Play Foam and together they had sausage rolling races and really helped them interact and have fun.  The colours will merge if you mix the individual colours together which did eventually happen to ours, but this didn’t phase my little ones in the slightest and they continued to play with this day after day.

Foam 2A few days later I came home to find daddy playing with the Play Foam, creating different shapes such as a pear, turtle, duck, rowing boat!!  The children were fascinated by his creations and it really spurred them on to have a go at trying different ideas for themselves.

Foam 3We’ve had lots of fun with No Mess Play Foam as it really is different to anything else we’ve tried.  We’d highly recommend everyone to give it a go – lots of sticky fun with no mess – what more could you ask for!!

If you fancy trying a pack for free then why not enter the Learning Resources competition to WIN 1 of 5 packs on their Facebook page.  Entries close on Friday 7th June 2013.

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All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.