Scotland Yard Board Game for National Unplugging Day

This year’s National Unplugging Day is being held on Sunday 25th June 2017 and they are asking parents around the UK and beyond to pledge to #GoGadgetFree and spend the day from morning till night without any technology.  I think this will really help bring families together for some fun without glancing at their phones or tablets every five minutes!  To celebrate going gadget free we have been trying out the Scotland Yard game from Ravensburger and I have to say we spent most of last Sunday playing this, laughing, having fun and enjoying each other’s company.

Notorious criminal Mr X is on the run in Central London. Can Scotland Yard’s finest detectives track him down, or will he escape forever?

One player takes on the role of Mr X, whilst other players take on the role of detectives and work as a team to try to find him. Mr X only reveals his location every 5 moves, but the detectives can get clues as to his location by looking at his travel log, which reveals his chosen method of transport. The detectives also move around the board using taxi, bus and underground tickets, and must try to surround Mr X, and then move to his hidden location to catch him and win. But the detectives don’t always win and Mr X can escape to any of the 199 locations shown on the detailed map of Central London!

The game consists of a large quality playing board depicting the streets of London.  Between the 200 stops are taxi routes, bus routes and train lines.  Mister X has unlimited use of any of these but each of the detectives has a limited amount of tickets so has to use their method of transport between destinations wisely as they try to locate Mister X

Mister X has a board on which he records his movements but all the other players can only see is his mode of transport before he pops up on the board at certain points.  Everyone wanted to be Mister X so we took turns on each game.  You get a special cap to wear to try and hide your eyes from the board so other players can’t guess by your eyes where you are looking.

The game was faster paced than I expected and actually a lot of fun.  We all loved the game and played it over and over.  Both children and adults found the game appealing although you do need to be the recommended 8yrs plus to really get to grips with strategies when moving in order not to get caught out.  We did play a simpler version for our youngest little boy and he loved joining in on the action.

I’d really recommend this game for families as it offers something for everyone along with a bit of healthy competition between the detectives and Mister X.  The detectives can discuss tactics between each other which gets the family talking and the time soon went buy and none of us had touched any technology throughout the play.  Scotland Yard is a great game to play for National Unplugging Day with the aim to #GoGadgetFree.  Give it a try, it’s lots of fun and great to get back to good old fashioned board game family times!

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

Air Hogs E-Charger Dragon from Spin Master

Air Hogs E-Charger Dragon from Spin Master is aimed at children ages 8+ and is a sturdy well built plane that charges in just 30 seconds allowing it to fly up to 100 yards through the sky.   The children were keen to try it out so we headed out to an open space to see how far it could fly.

The plane is easy to fly and charges really quickly.  The charger requires 3 x AA batteries and then it’s ready to go.  Once you are ready to fly you simply unfold the charging pin on the top of the charger, push it into the charging port on the underside of the plane and hold the button on the charger in for 30 seconds.  As soon as you remove the charger you can hear the power in the plane waiting to be released into the air.

We found you do need to throw it quite well into the air and let it catch the wind but when you do get a good throw – wow!!  This thing really does fly!

It was hard to film it in action because it was sunny and it flew so fast but I managed to get a couple of short clips of the plane in flight.  The children loved it when it twisted and turned through the sky and it definitely went some distance so really do make sure you are in a good open space.

We thought the power on this plane was great and really gave it a boost to fly through the sky.  Once it lands you do need to charge it up again for the next flight but for us it was a challenge to see what flight paths we could get it to do.  When it went well, it really goes for it but it is definitely set at the correct age guidelines.  My 9yr old and husband were quite able to set this off in the air, although my 6yr old struggled but being aimed at 8+, this made sense.

Overall the Air Hogs e-charger is a great gadget toy for the over 8’s that gets them running around in the fresh air chasing after the plane as well as a lot of fun watching it zooming the sky.

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

Emojito Party Game from Tactic Games – Family Fun

Emojito party game from Tactic is a fun family game where you imitate emotions whilst the other players guess which one you are trying to be.  With a game board, set of full colour emotion cards and player pieces, it’s a fun, fast paced game that certainly brought smiles, giggles and lots of “Can we play again?” comments to our house.

Recommended for ages 7+ I knew my two children would enjoy Emojito.  My daughter is 9 and my son is 6 but he is very humourous, funny and enjoys things such as making faces so I knew he’d be able to join in and we could accommodate the game around him.  The children were eager to set the game up which consists of a game board, player pieces, a dial for each player to mark their guess on (this stops any cheating or people changing their mind) and a good sized deck of emotion cards.  The cards are really bright and colourful using animals to demonstrate each emotion. 

The idea of the game is to pick a card and that is the one the player has to try and imitate, and then you place that along with a further six cards around the board.  The other players then have to guess which of the seven cards you are trying to be and put the relevant number on to their dial.  Everyone then shows each other the number they have chosen and anyone that guesses correctly gets to move around the board.  Each time you pass the chequered line you collect a ‘trophy’ card (any card that is in play on that round) and the eventual winner is the first person to collect five trophy cards.

Once we got into play mode, the kids loved it.  Making and imitating faces was so funny and the other players were giggling away trying to guess which card they were trying to be.  We had lots of fun and ended up playing this many times over consecutive days and it’s now a regular game that comes out to play several times a week.

We found the Emojito game to be really fun, creating great interactions with each other and caused lots of laughter and enjoyment.  Both children loved creating different emotions and it was certainly a bit different from other games we already own which maintained interest and kept them engaged in the game play!

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

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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