i-SPY Books for Kids

i-SPY books for kids from Collins are a great way to entertain children especially when out and about, on long journeys or visiting new places. Pocket sized and packed with over sixty colour pages of things to spot along with useful facts, they are sure to keep children entertained.

With a lot of long journeys for us at this time of year I knew the children would love to try out the i-SPY On a car journey and i-SPY On a road trip books.  We will also be going on a ferry in a couple of months so I knew that the i-SPY On a ferry would be a hit with them then and keep them occupied.  They already been checking out the pages and seeing what they remember from the ferry last time and can’t wait to take it with them on our trip.

The books come with true to life photos of things to spot relevant to the theme of each book so it’s really easy to tell what you are looking for and tick it off once you’ve found it.   There’s even a points system where by each picture is worth a certain number of points which you can add up and apply online for a certificate when you reach 1000 points.  They’ll also send you a badge through the post – a nice little touch that gives that added bit of motivation to keep finding things!

My two children were excited when they caught sight of the new i-SPY books having been fans after using them several times previously and before we had even left the house they were flicking through deciding which things they really wanted to spot when we were out and about.  Just a few days later we embarked on a 260 mile round journey to visit their cousins so this was the perfect road trip to check the books out on.  One had On a car journey, the other had On a road trip and it proved great fun listening to them spotting things and helping each other out along with describing signs for me to look out for in order to help them.

The i-SPY range of books have always been popular with us and we’ve had a combination of both travel and nature themed books which always create a buzz with the children that not only encourages them to learn but they have great fun at the same time.

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.

Join in to Win with National Board Games Week (May 8th-14th)

With National Board Games week coming up during 8th to 14th May 2017, it’s time to get all your family favourite games out of the cupboard and enjoy some fun, quality time together.  I know my children are fond of board games and it really is something that all ages and generations can enjoy together.  We’ve been trying out Boggle recently which the children have loved and made me giggle at some of the words they find!

If you are really into competing then The National Board Games Championships are being run by Pork Farms, in association with the Micropub Association and games supplied by Hasbro. You can get involved by attending heats at your nearest participating micropub, with winners moving through to semi-finals and grand finale during National Board Games Week (May 8th-14th) along with travel and accommodation provided by Pork Farms. You can find out more at HERE.

You can also join in the fun from your own home by hosting a board games night, using whatever board games you have in the cupboard . Just sign up HERE and Pork Farms will email you a free games night pack nearer the time, which contains things like printable winners certificates. Then for a chance to win a stack of board games and a year’s supply of pork pies just share photos of your board games night with Pork Farms through social media and their website.

Boggle from Hasbro was a bit hit with us and I loved the way the children were learning words and spellings but having immense fun at the same time.  Board games are always a hit with every member of a family no matter what the ages and really brings people together for some quality time.  Dig out all your games, have some fun and join in with National Board Games Week!

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

My Fairy Garden from Interplay Toys

My Fairy Garden website is a delightful place that children can visit and get to know the fairies that live in the various Fairy Garden toys.  From Belle who comes with Fairy Garden to Lily who comes with Lilypad Gardens, they all have their own style and personality to go with their houses.

As you can see with Lilypad Gardens above, the set is lovely and child friendly, perfect for introducing children to gardening as they can grow something in the pot and play with the accessories each time they water the plant.  I just love the large saucer for this set that excess water will go into, there are little lily pads to float in the water and the drawbridge comes down for the fairy to walk across – how cute!

Each set is different and features it’s own fairy, you can find out about them all on the website as well as lots of other activities.  There are printable colouring sheets, spot the differences, ideas of things to make such as a twig ladder for the fairies to use.  There are also fun online games and quizzes.  Well worth trying out the Which Fairy are you quiz? to see which fairy you are most like.  It’s a simple multiple choice quiz which will give you the answer in minutes.

We also love the Flower Puzzle game, with 10 levels to get through.  You have to match different pairs of flowers up without crossing the path of another pair.  Both my children have sat down playing this with much fun trying to get further through the levels each time.  Why not give it a try – great for rainy day fun!

If your child loves fairies then make sure you check out the My Fairy Garden website for lots of fun, games and more!

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Read and Play Dinosaur Activity Pack – Review

The Read and Play Dinosaur Activity Pack from Miles Kelly has been a huge hit here with 5yr old Mister B.  It really is packed full of activities that have fully engaged him and he has returned to the pack time after time.

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The box opens out to reveal a pile of contents including a story book, an activity book, a puzzle and two precut sheets of accessories.  What’s really clever about this box is that the flaps and the inside all contain things to do which you’ll see further down the review, but also the box is a great place to store everything at the end of play.

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We started reading the story book ‘Rex gets a Scare’ which is perfect for young children with full colour pages and lots to look at which also keeps my 5yr old entertained as he likes to tell me everything that he sees going on through the pictures.  The story follows Rex, a large green dinosaur who shouldn’t be scared of anything but finds he gets scared by flowers and bees.  He has lots of dinosaur friends around him though to support along the way.

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The activity book is packed full of puzzles and games that my little boy loved from mazes, dot to dot, spot the difference and even a fun ‘Scramble and Slide’ game that he loves to play.

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The box itself opens up to become a dinosaur play scene.  There are some press out sheets to create dinosaur models of Rex and his friends which we sat and made together.  My little boy could then play with his model dinosaurs on the play scene which he really enjoyed.miles-kelly-dinosaur-7

The flaps of the box fold over to reveal a couple of board games, ludo and draughts.  The counters for these can be popped out of one of the pre cut sheets and my little boy loved the dinosaur discs.  Prior to this my little boy wasn’t aware of the rules of draughts but it is now a game he enjoys and happily plays.

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One of his favourite parts of this set was the puzzle.  I think because it was round it had extra appeal, but it is also a really good thickness that will last unlike a lot of puzzles in book sets like this.

Overall I think that the Read and Play Dinosaur set is excellent and has been thoroughly enjoyed here along with being packed with good quality pieces that have been well thought out and are perfect for young dinosaur fans.

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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Chrono Bomb Game Review & Giveaway

Chrono Bomb is an exciting game from IMC Toys that creates excitement and fun for children as they weave their way through the unique combination of strings that you set up in order to reach the end before the bomb goes off.  With numerous set ups possible it really is down to your imagination on creating a mission ready for the game to begin.

chrono bomb imageThe box contains a bomb unit with timer, six clamps, of which one attachs to the sensor and another has the reel of string on.  There are also 8 object cards and two special cards which are used to pick up as you make your way through the course, although there is also an app that can be downloaded with a couple of further variations of the game on it for extended play.  The bomb unit does require 3 AAA batteries to play.

chrono bomb 1Each clamp needs to be set in place and although they are fairly flexible to move around, you do need to find the right thickness of furniture to attach them too.  We didn’t really have anywhere suitable so set up in the garden using garden chairs and this worked just fine.  The first two clamps have to be level in order to balance the sensor but after that you can zig zag the string up and down to create a varied course.  It does require an older person or parent to assist with this although my 8yr old soon got the hang of setting up a course.

chrono bomb 2There are two variations of the game plus the ones on the app, but my children occupied themselves in many ways with their own variations and it managed to keep them entertained for most of the afternoon trying to trick each other out!

Here’s our video of the game in action:

For you chance to win a Chrono Bomb game, just fill in the Gleam form below:

Chrono Bomb game

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.

Happy 7th Birthday Miss M and Frozen party game ideas

New Year’s Day is my daughter Miss M’s birthday so we always start the New Year with birthday celebrations.  This year we had a quiet, relaxed day, spending time with family for lunch, birthday cake and Miss M opening her presents.  I really can’t believe where the last seven years have gone!

Maisy 2She was insistent on having a Frozen themed birthday party this year, in particular she wanted to wear the Frozen dress up costume that we reviewed a couple of months ago.

partyWe played the usual party games, pass the parcel, musical statues etc but I wanted to find a few different games and after having a google, I came up with these variations on games to which I put a frozen twist.

Musical Icebergs – I cut the edges off of sheets of white paper to make them look a bit more geometrically shaped and these were the icebergs.  When the music played the children had to dance around.  When the music stopped each child had to stand on one of the icebergs.  Then remove an iceberg so that in the next round one child is out until you get down to just one child left who is the winner.

Ice Jewels – For this I had a toy princess ring for each child which I froze in heart shaped silicon cake moulds to create ice shaped hearts with treasure trapped inside.  To rescue the treasure, each child had to melt the ice with their hands until they found their ring.  This could be variated and I put a little Squinkie car in one for my son.

Dress up as Olaf – I put the children into two teams and each team have to turn one member into Olaf.  I bought some value toilet roll which they used to wrap one team member up in, and also add a woolly hat and scarf to them.  You could judge one team to be the winner but I decided to let this just be a bit of fun which they loved and then turned the room into a snowball fight afterwards!

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Dressing up as Olaf was great fun, there were lots of giggles and excitement throughout.  Mister B has now asked to play this game at his next party!

The ice jewels also proved very popular, I wasn’t sure everyone would want to sit melting ice between their hands but they loved it, and it kept them quiet and occupied for a while.  I gave them trays to melt the ice over and handed towels out so they could dry their hands during it.  They got quite competitive towards the end as their blocks got smaller seeing who could finish first.  I’d definitely use this game again.

party 3Overall the party was a great success and all the children seemed to enjoy themselves.  I think the small effort in trying some games that were a bit different kept the girls occupied and they were intrigued to find out what we were playing next.

Miss M had a fabulous birthday and party and now it’s all over until next year.  She has become so grown up over the last year, I’ve really noticed a difference in her behaviour and mannerisms.  She’s also had an amazing year at school.  I hope 2015 is another fabulous year for her and she succeeds in all she wants to do!

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Stocking Filler ideas – Review

Stocking Fillers is a great website full of all those small items, such as games, toys and fun things that are perfect for filling stockings this Christmas.  With a wide range to choose from, the site is easy to navigate as it’s broken down into different price points as well as boys, girls, adults etc.  There also is something for everyone making it the one stop shop for stocking fillers.

stocking fillersI chose a selection of items for my children that I don’t think will disappoint.  The quality on all the items seems good value for the price and it was easy being able to order a box full of goodies from one place.

There were plenty of branded items to choose from such as Corgi diecast cars and Crazy Soap which is always a hit in the bath!  I also picked up some coloured Bath Tint tablets to change the colour of the bath which sound like fun.

My daughter enjoys a game of noughts and crosses on paper and I spotted a little wooden set using hearts and flowers which looked quite sweet, games never disappoint my children so I’m sure we’ll have lots of fun for such a simple item.

For Mister B who’s 4, I think the dinosaur stick will be fun, by turning it over it makes a dinosaur “roar”.  The Secret Message Pen will be a hit for Miss M as she loves writing little notes and the fact that we can’t see them will turn it into a fun game for her.

I think the Stocking Fillers website is a great place to pick up all those last minute little bits and pieces that fill us with joy each Christmas morning.  Why not take a look yourself?

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

 

 

Mad About Ponies Craft Party – Review

Mad About Ponies Party Box is a party kit in a box for up to six children full of activities and fun!  Aimed at lasting for approximately one and half hours, it should keep a group of children occupied and entertained, whist having fun and games.

ponies 1The set comprises of

  • 6 Resin-cast ponies
  • Double sided foam sticky tabs
  • Pots of paint (5 colours)
  • Pre-printed card jumps
  • Paint brushes
  • Dice
  • Pencils
  • Score sheets
  • Pre-printed card rosettes

All children seem to love horses and the sight of paint pots is always a winner.  They couldn’t wait to get started and you can see my children below happily painting!

ponies 2I was really surprised at how much all the children loved getting artistic with their horses, really paying attention to detail with the colours.  They were all totally engrossed in their painting and produced some wonderfully painted horses!

ponies 3We then had some food while the paint dried on the horses.  Also supplied in the Mad About Ponies set were some cardboard fences, rosettes, sticky pads and a large dice.  We folded the fences in half and set them up in a star like shape as a course for the horses to jump around.

ponies 4Included in the party set are three game ideas along with six score cards and pencils.  The children were eager to mark down the names of their horses along with the scores.  We had lots of names such as Daisy,  Patch and Spotty!

The games were fun to play with the number you roll on the die determing whether you can jump a fence or not.  The children loved moving the horses around making cute noises and saying “giddy up”.

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I think a really nice finishing touch for the end of the games is the rosettes for first and second place.  There are some little sticky squares included which can be stuck to the back of a rosette and then placed on the horses.  The children really loved these and they added to the fun.

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Mad about Ponies is a really great party in a box, it has everything from a fun painting activity to games suggestions to play with the horses and some little accessories with the fences and rosettes.  I think all children would enjoy this and it’s nice that each child can take a horse home after that they designed themselves.

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