Sip n Sound Farmyard Animal Straws

Sip n Sound Farmyard Animal Straws from Flair are a fun new interactive range of straws for children, that along with the fun element also encourage health benefits by using a straw as opposed to a cup.  In the Farmyard Animals range there are four straws to choose from, Horse, Cow, Sheep and Pig.

Each straw is quite solid and easily slides inside the animal so can simply be removed for washing.  The animals stay put at whatever height you put them on the straw although we did find you need a sturdy cup to use them with so they don’t tip the cup over.

The children’s faces were all smiles when they saw them and they couldn’t wait to try them out, not quite knowing what was going to happen.  When they heard the animal sounds as they drank through the straws they were in fits of giggles and thought they were really funny!

The straws are great fun and the children love using them, it certainly encourages them to drink plenty of liquid everyday as they kept asking for refills so they could use the straw again.  Also drinking through straws is much better for oral health and helps prevent tooth decay.

So what did the kids think:

Mister B – “They are amazing – I love them, can I try a different one now?”

Miss M – “Brilliant, they are really funny, can we use them for dinner later please?”

As you can see the Sip n Sound animal straws have been a success with my children and they can’t wait to share them with their friends when they come round.  Being reusable and easily washable I think these will get many months of use!

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

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.

Date Delivered – Date Night in a Box

Date nights can be easily missed the longer you’ve been together especially if you have children and don’t have a babysitter on hand.  So Date Delivered have come up with the perfect solution, a date night in a box delivered to your door monthly, quarterly or even as a one off!

The set up is simple and you can fill out your preferences on food, drink, activity likes and dislikes to help them tailor a box towards you and your partner.  We received a ‘Guess the Grape‘ box to try out and see what we thought.  The box came excellently packaged and presented, it really did feel special and as if plenty of thought had gone into it.  Our box consisted of three mini bottles of wine, each inside a cloth bag so that you couldn’t see what it was along with two packs of Soffle’s spring onion and Italian cheese Pitta Chips.  You also get a set of cards, one giving you wine tasting tips, some cards describing different grape flavours, a fact card about wine and some game instructions.

The box definitely made us sit down together in the evening, rather than doing our own thing and on pouring the first glass of wine we were laughing as we tried to pick flavours out of the wine (as much as we like drinking wine, trying to guess what grapes it is made from is a whole different ball game!).  The cards helped with ideas and it was funny listening to the flavours each other thought was in the wine.  Alongside this we had the Soffle’s Pitta Chips which all I can say were utterly divine.  They just melted in the mouth, had a delicate flavour and were the perfect accompaniment to a glass of wine – I’d definitely purchase these again if I saw them for sale somewhere.  We enjoyed each small bottle of wine before moving onto the next one, making the game last throughout the evening and keeping the conversation going.

So what did we think of the box?

We like the concept of the box and definitely thought that it made us spend time together and have a laugh.  Some of the wine facts made us giggle especially knowing we actually get through rather an astonishing amount of grapes throughout the year!  Having the little grape guessing game to play rather than just drinking the wine encouraged conversation rather than doing our own thing on an iPad etc.  The snack was also the perfect accompaniment and the boxed package came beautifully presented.

At £33.95 a box, I do think this is quite high for what’s included, although having the whole package boxed up and delivered to your door is the bonus and means you don’t have to plan anything yourself.  Also the card prompts included turn the night from just eating and drinking to a fun night full of conversation and laughs.

If you struggle to fit in date nights then maybe a box from Date Delivered would change that and make you spend more time with your other half, whether it’s while the kids are still up or once they’ve gone to bed.  It certainly makes you spend quality time with each other that can often be missed in a relationship!

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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Christmas Crafts with Baker Ross

Christmas decorations made by the children are so lovely to see and they love making them, so what could be easier than some cute little festive kits from Baker Ross.   They have some really lovely ones to try out this year and my two children have spent the last week or so beavering away after school getting them ready to hang throughout the house.  With everything from scratch art, sewing, sticking and colouring available they really do get to try out different skills and produce some beautiful, fun pieces.

wp_20161126_10_28_58_pro-1Eager to start making decorations the children have been busy creating, loving every minute of putting these simple to use kits together.  The scratch art caught both their eyes and they were engrossed in scratching the black overlay to reveal rainbow colours underneath.

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The results of the scratch art are incredibly effective and we have these pinned up on our kitchen wall to brighten it up over the festive season.

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Miss enjoyed making the padded reindeers and I was really pleased at how she just got on with the sewing herself.  All I had to do was tie knot in the end of the wool for her.  I think these look absolutely fabulous and are decorations that we will treasure for many years bringing them out again as they look so cute and effective!

6tag_051216-200956The Santa and Elf foam sticky packs are really simple to assemble and kept the children occupied for ages creating all different combinations of glasses, hats, gloves etc. on the character templates.  Again they look fabulous and I can’t wait to string them along my front room to add to the festive feel!

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Again, more successful crafting with Baker Ross, the kids love the kits, they are minimal mess and the results are incredibly fantastic.  I know our house will look bright, colourful and festive this year!  Why don’t you get your kids crafting with Baker Ross kits for the festive season?

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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Addict A Ball Game for All Ages

When Addict A Ball arrived at our door I knew it’d have us all fascinated, frustrated and intrigued for hours, and it hasn’t disappointed.  With the name Addict, it certainly lives up to this and all the family have tried for hours to complete and although we can get further all the time, the end still defies us.

addict-a-ballThe game is enclosed within a giant plastic ball and consists of a maze which goes every way imaginable.  There is a small silver ball which you have to get from one end to the other.  The maze is marked with numbers along the way which you have to follow and it guides you through.  There are three starting points, so if you keep getting stuck at a certain point, you don’t have to go right back to the beginning, you can step in at the second or third starting points.

addict-a-ball-2To get through involves a lot of twisting and turning to balance the ball along it’s path and just a slight wobble can make the ball fall off of it’s track.  The game is aimed at all ages and both my 8yr old daughter as well as us adults have all spent much time playing with this.  It’s one of those things where you are determined to get further than the last person and the challenge keeps you motivated to keep trying and trying again until you succeed.addict-a-ball-3

The plastic around the ball has a slight flexibility to it, to prevent it from cracking if it has dropped so it is very durable.  This game has widespread appeal and is something you keep coming back to in order to out do your previous attempt.  I imagine this would make a wonderful Christmas present for any family who like a challenge and being suitable for all ages means this is a very versatile gift!

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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The Original Stretch Armstrong – Review

The Orginal Stretch Armstrong is an iconic child’s toy from the 1970’s that has been brought back to life for children of today.  The toy can be pulled and stretched in all sorts of ways up to 4 times it’s original size.  You can even tie his arms and legs into knots and twist him up, knowing that he will always revert back to his original form afterwards.06028 Stretch Armstrong ABS2

The doll itself is 30cm tall and he looks rather chunky.  The first thing I noticed when I removed him from the box is how heavy he is, more so than I was expecting.  He also feels rather strange, with soft maleable limbs that almost feel like rubbery putty.  The children were intrigued and couldn’t wait to try him out.

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He’s initially quite tough to stretch, but once you know what you are up against you know to give him a good hard pull and his limbs extend.  I was amazed how tall and skinny he got but as soon as you let go, he just pings back into shape.

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Here’s daddy and Miss M seeing how tall and skinny they can make him.

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Once they got started they couldn’t stop and had fun contorting poor Stretch Armstrong into all sorts of poses.  It became a bit of a challenge to see what they could do next with him.

stretch armstrong 2Finally they wrapped him all up and he stayed in position without any assistance, but as soon as you start unwrapping his limbs they full straight back into shape.

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The toy proved to be fun and certainly very different from other toys we’ve tried so was captured the children’s imagination as to what we could do with him.  If you fancy trying out The Original Stretch Armstrong, he can be purchased from Character Online.

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.

 

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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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Crazy Cafe Game by Tactic Games – Review

Crazy Cafe by Tactic Games is a new fast paced, fun game that young children will love.  The thought of pulling a tablecloth off a table is always something you dream of doing, but would get you into trouble in real life!

CRAZY CAFEThe game comes in a clever box, where the bottom tray of the box turns over to become the table.  Included are a red gingham table cloth and various pieces of plastic crockery to use in turns during the game.  There is also a spinner which determines your moves.

crazy cafe 2There are six options on the spinner which are either to add one or two objects to the table, stack one or two objects to the table, remove one item from the table or the ever elusive “Pull!!” the tablecloth off the table.

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The object is to manage to pull the tablecloth away leaving the items intact on the table, a total of three times to become the overall winner.  My children loved the concept of this and couldn’t wait to have a go at pulling the cloth away.  They did get a little disheartened at how hard it was to spin to have a go at pulling the tablecloth as most of the options are aimed at building up the items on the table and obviously the more items that are on there, the harder it is to pull it off.

crazy cafe 4Overall the game is fun and something my 5yr old loved and wanted to play again and again.  He absolutely loved pulling the tablecloth off when he got the chance, I just wonder if there should be two options on the spinner to pull the tablecloth as that is the aspect that keeps the children playing.

I think this game is great for younger children as they think it’s fun and it gets them used to turn taking and used to following instructions on the spinnner.  It was a hit with my 5yr old and he wants to play it all the time, so I’d say he’s in the perfect age range for this game.

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

Christmas Craft with Baker Ross

A great time of year to do craft with the children is Christmas, as the children can decorate the house in all their lovely creations and give the house a festive feel.  As usual Baker Ross have come up with some really simple but effective crafts for children that didn’t disappoint and have kept the children occupied over recent weeks.

Baker RossWe started with some peg angels which are so much easier to make than they look and I think the finished decoration is really pretty and effective.

Baker ross 2All the pieces are sticky backed and simply stick around the peg to make the angel.  A dab of glue for the hair and some ribbon to hang her up by her wings, and there you have it, a sparkly, festive angel to hang up and enjoy.  The children were quite pleased with these and couldn’t wait to start crafting some more!

Baker ross 3We then tried our hand at some lanterns and again these were easy to do, but gave us a really effective result.  The black background is pre cut and the children enjoyed pressing out the shapes.  Then simply glue a coloured tissue onto the back and fold the lantern into shape.

Baker ross 5They have a loop at the top so we are planning on hanging them on some ribbon to adorn the house this Christmas.  With the coloured tissue behind the windows, these look great against held up to the light.

Baker ross 6The foam Snowman house kit was great fun and Miss M really enjoyed assembling it along with sticking the decorative shapes around the outside.  The pieces simply pressed out of foam sheets, which Mister B did before passing them to Miss M to build.  Again I have to say how effective this looks once finished and has taken pride of place in our front room windowsill for the festive season.

Baker ross 4The children love these thick card tree decorations which simply required decorating in any way they chose.  They love the Deco pens from Baker Ross and used them to come up with their designs.  These look pretty hanging from our mantelpiece or could easily be hung from the tree as they come with pre attached gold threads.

Baker ross 7We’ve had lots of fun with the Baker Ross Christmas craft selection and would highly recommend them.  There are so many more available that it’s well worth checking out the website and finding some to suit your children.  I love the idea of children making their own decorations, it’s fun to do and they love seeing the results of their efforts pinned up for everyone to see.

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

Cool Create Chocolate Bar Maker – Review

Cool Create Chocolate Bar Maker is every kids dream, making their own chocolate bars and my two children couldn’t wait to give this a try.

chocolate barThe set contains lots of accessories and moulds to get you started, all you need to add is chocolate and your favourite toppings/fillings.

What you get:

  • 1 x Choco Easy Squeeze
  • 1 x Deco Nozzle
  • 1 x Large Sharing Mould
  • 1 x Large Swirl Top Mould
  • 2 x Fun Size Smooth Mould
  • 3 x Mould Inserts (6 Designs)
  • 8 x Cello Wrappers
  • 1 x Sharing Cavity Blister
  • 1 x Smooth Cavity Blister
  • 1 x Alphabet Blister
  • 1 x Recipe Booklet

chocolate bar 2To get started you need to need to break up some chocolate into the Choco Easy Squeeze and place it in the microwave to melt.  We then picked a mould to use and added mould inserts into the yellow moulds. These have a pretty pattern on which will come out on the top of your chocolate bar and with six to choose from there are lots of variations to make.  Once the chocolate has melted, you can remove the lid and squeeze the chocolate into the moulds.  The children both loved this part.  To save using too much chocolate and to make it more interesting we added some Cheerios and biscuit pieces to add texture and make it crunchy.

chocolate bar 3Once you have filled your mould, you need to put it in a freezer to set.  The moulds soft which made the chocolate bars really easy to turn out once set although I did have to help the children with this. You can then add any additional decorations should you wish and there is a this nozzle included if you want to add further melted chocolate in perhaps another colour across the top.

I think the chocolate bars looks really impressive once finished and the children were so pleased with their results.  You even get some wrappers to put them in which is great to keep them in if you aren’t eating them all straightaway or if you give one as a gift.

chocolate bar 4The children thoroughly enjoyed using this Chocolate Bar maker kit from Cool Create, and the finished products tasted good, although didn’t last long!  The set is reusable again and again, as long as you buy more ingredients therefore I think it was great value and something we will bring out and do from time to time.  This would make a great gift and is a fun activity that children will love to do!

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