My First Bananagrams – Review

My First Bananagrams is a variation of the original Bananagrams game, designed to make the game simple for younger players from age 4 upwards.  With a variety of games and activities that the tiles can be used for, children can learn whilst having fun and playing educational games.

bananagrams-2The tiles come in a simple zip up banana shaped bag.  This is really useful and keeps all the pieces together for storage.  It also opens nice and widely so that it’s easy for little fingers to help tidy away at the end of play.bananagrams-3The Bananagrams set comprises of 80 high quality single tiles and 13 combination tiles.  There are brightly coloured and differently coloured to help younger children recognise their letters.  Therefore letters such as p’s, b’s and d’s will always be different colours.  The letters are all small letters which are what preschool children learn to recognise first and the tiles also have a small line at the bottom to identify which way up the tile should go. Vowels are also easily seen by being coloured yellow.

bananagrams-4Both my children aged 5 and 8 were eager to have a play and we started with some simple letter recognition ideas that we found on the instruction sheet such as finding the letters in your name, finding each letter of the alphabet and making small little rhyming words such as cat and mat.  We then had a go at the main game, although gave Mister B some assistance being the youngest.  He was really good at finding words, he just needed a little help to link them together.

bananagrams-5The game is a race to use up all your letters and you can have unlimited swaps from the centre.  It is fast paced and fun and get’s everyone excited and competitive during play.  Of course you can slow things down for younger players and even help them to maintain their motivation to play with letters.

A fun game that all the family can join in with or little ones can explore the letters and make words on their own.  The game is available from Amazon and other toy retailers.

See a bit more about Bananagrams in our video below:

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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Tractor Ted Easter Activity Book – Review and Giveaway x 5

Tractor Ted is a cute green tractor that lives in Tractorland and gives children a great insight into tractors and farming life through a series of books, dvd’s, clothing and more.  We were exciting to receive Tractor Ted’s Activity Book 2, a special Easter edition of the series of activity books from Tractor Ted.

TT Easter Book coverMy first impressions of Tractor Ted’s Activity Book 2 were really good. Firstly I loved the quality of the book, a high gloss cover and thick, durable pages inside covered in brightly coloured illustrations.  Also the size of the book is quite handy compared to usual children’s activity books, as it’s easy to carry around and gives younger children just a one activity per page to concentrate on.Tractor Ted 1It’s aimed at Early Years children and I feel that Mister B who’s 3 and a half next month is the perfect age to carry out the activities within the book.  I also feel that the activities have been well thought out and put together, giving a great variety but also being of an appropriate level for Mister B to do.

The book shows children about farming and all things related to Easter time, such as baby animals and Easter themed recipes.  There are also counting activities, colours, matching, mazes, recipes, colouring in, writing skills and baby animal recognition.  I am really impressed with the variety and quality of this activity book.

Tractor Ted 2Mister B has loved looking through this book, taking in the information from the pictures and really having a good practice of his writing skills.  Even big sister Miss M joined in beside him copying the same words on a piece of paper and guiding him through the writing.  She’s also keen to try out the recipes at the back of the book, being an eager cook.  I can honestly say I’d recommend this book for a 3/4 year old to get to grips with pen skills and learn about animals and farming.  Of course Mister B was loving all the tractors and enjoyed picking out his favourite coloured ones.

Tractor Ted 3Tractor Ted have kindly offered 5 copies to give away to my readers, so if you have a little one who’d love to learn more about farming, baby animals and boost their writing skills then why not enter to win one below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UK only
Winners will be selected by Rafflecopter at the end of the giveaway.
Winners will be contacted within 48 hours of the giveaway ending and if I am unable to make contact within 14 days, then I may pick an alternative winner.
Your details will be passed to Tractor Ted who will be responsible for sending out the prize.

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

Mr Tumble’s Big Book of Counting – Review

Mr Tumble has undoubtedly been one of my children’s favourite television stars.  They have both sat glued to his television programmes and love joining in as much as they can.  Miss M has started to grow out of him but is keen for her younger brother Mister B to have the same fun with Mr Tumble that she has enjoyed over the years.

Mr Tumble bookMr Tumble’s Big Book of Counting, a new lift the flap book from Egmont arrived for us to review, and Miss M’s eyes lit up as she showed Mister B through the pages, seeing if he knew his numbers.

The book teaches children to count up to 5 with each number spanning a double page with a flap that opens out to make a triple size page.  Each page contains a large number image with traceable finger lines, a little rhyme and bright colourful pictures with items to count relating to the number on the  page.  The book also makes use of the different Tumble family characters to include, Fisherman Tumble, Grandad Tumble, Aunt Polly and more.

Mr Tumble

Mister B, who is 3, enjoyed the book and was able to recognise the numbers and enjoyed counting the objects.  The flaps proved a hit too as he was intrigued to see what was underneath.  This a large hardback book with thick card pages.  With it’s bold, bright illustrations it’s perfect for any little Mr Tumble fan out there and a great way to get to grips with numbers!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received a copy of the book in order to write the review.

Woolly and Tig App – Review

Woolly and Tig is a favourite programme with my two children.  Both my 3 and 5 yr old are always keen to watch it when it’s on and love the DVD!  So when we got the chance to try the Woolly and Tig App, I was eager to see what it was like.

With free play where you can tickle Woolly, stroke him and count with him or structured play where there are 10 activities to do with Woolly such as wash him, brush his teeth or help him get dressed, there is a good selection of things to do.  Mister B who is 3 loved this app, his favourite activities being washing muddy Woolly, or fun in the snow where you get to create a snowman.  Miss M who is 5 loved to help her younger brother but is at the top age range for this and there wouldn’t be enough to occupy her and keep her engaged. Woolly and Tig app pic

As a pre school app this is perfect for getting young children to practice doing everyday things and getting into the habit of doing them daily.  For example it’s good to get children to brush Woolly’s teeth, then go and brush their own.

The app has bright, clear, simple images to help engage children and is simple to use, my 3 year old was able to work out how to do most things with little instruction.  It was great to see him excited about finishing the tasks and feeling a sense of achievement.

Another option on the app is to schedule times to do things and the children will be reminded by the app when they need to do certain tasks.

Woolly and Tig App

The Woolly and Tig app is available from the iTunes store for £2.99.  You can find it here.

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.

 

Spaghetti with the Yeti – Children’s Book Review

Spaghetti with the Yeti is a fun, new children’s picture book from Egmont.  The story follows a young boy George who is on a mission to find a yeti, taking along with him a tin of spaghetti to see if the yeti likes it.

Spahetti with the Yeti from egmont press

The Spaghetti and the Yeti book is perfect to read to little ones with bright, interesting illustrations covering each page and a couple of rhyming storylines to go with it.  The rhyming makes it easy to read and fun for the children to listen to.  As George sets off to find a yeti, he comes across various other creatures along the way – each of which 5 yr old Miss M thought were hilarious and had her in fits of giggles looking at the illustrations.  She even attempted to read the book to herself which was really good and then read it to her little brother.

Spaghetti with the Yeti Egmont bookWe really enjoyed this book and it had a lovely ending with George finally finding a very friendly yeti and they sit down together to share his tin of spaghetti.  Spaghetti and the Yeti is great entertainment for young children either during the day or at bedtime – this one has been picked for the bedtime story pile every night so far!

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.

 

Alphablocks Phonics Next Steps Volume 2 DVD – Review

Knowing how much my two enjoy watching Alphablocks on CBeebies I was delighted to be sent the new Alphablocks Phonics Next Steps Volume 2 DVD from Abbey Home Media to review.  The DVD contains 86 minutes of entertainment ideal for preschoolers – both my 2 and 5 year old will happily sit down watching this.

Alphablocks vol 2For those who are new to Alphablocks:

The Alphablocks are 26 living letters who fall out of the sky and discover that if they hold hands and make a word, it comes to life. When words are magic and anything is possible, it’s an adventure, songs and games all the way!

My children love watching Alphablocks and it always keeps them entertained.  The episodes are full of brightly coloured images that are fun to watch.  With 5 yr old Miss M in her first year at school she already know her phonics but uses this as a way to practice them and says the phonic sounds as she sees them come up on the screen.  She also loves saying as many words as she can think of that start with the letter on each Alphablock as they appear.

What I like about the Alphablocks Phonics Next Steps Volume 2 DVD is that it introduces some of the harder sounds to really help children recognise all of the phonetic alphabet along with simple word formation.

Two year old Mister B loved imitating the sounds made by the Alphablocks and was encouraged by his big sister to really take in what he was seeing – a fun way of learning without realising it for younger ones.

Alphablocks pic

We really enjoyed watching Alphablocks Vol 2 DVD and would definitely recommend it!!

The DVD is out now available from all good stockists.

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.

Woolly and Tig – First Day DVD Review

When Woolly and Tig first started on CBeebies, I have to admit I never took much notice of it but I kept noticing Miss M mention it and get all excited, telling mummy to be quiet as it was one of her favourite programmes.  So when we were sent a copy of the new Woolly and Tig DVD  by Abbey Home Media to review I knew it would be a hit.

WoollyIt follows a young girl called Tig and her cuddly spider Woolly who go about their day doing different things.  Woolly is always there to support and encourage Tig in things she does like when she doesn’t want to wash her hair, won’t share her toys with her friends or has to learn how to adapt to a new baby brother being in the house etc..  Definitely lots of lessons to be learnt here in a fun, friendly way.

My two have loved watching this DVD over and over – I’m quite surprised at how many any times this DVD has been played but if it’s sending out good messages and they enjoy it, then it’s fine by me!  I would say the ideal viewing ages for this are between 2 and 5.

The NEW Woolly and Tig – First Day DVD is available to purchase now from all good DVD stockists.

Find out more at www.abbeyhomemedia.com
You can also catch up with Abbey Home Media on Twitter or Facebook

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.

 

Alphablocks : Phonics First Steps DVD – Review

What could be better than getting children to learn alongside watching the tv?  Miss M loves watching television, more than I’d ideally like, but there are times when a little bit of tv keeps her entertained and occupied and gives mummy time to do some housework.  So the NEW DVD that’s just been released from Abbey Home Media, Alphablocks : Phonics First Steps, is perfect.

Alphablocks

Not only does it provide an entertaining cartoon, but each episode is centred around a certain set of sounds and each of the Alphablocks characters repeats it’s sound throughout the programme as it is used to make a word alongside other letters.  This is great as it can either be watched and enjoyed as 2 year old Mister B does, although he has now started to repeat some of the sounds which is a great start to phonics for him.  Or Miss M who now has a knowledge of phonics, gets the opportunity to practise and recognise the various sounds and try to say the words as she sees them before hearing them being sounded out.

“Based on best-practice phonics, your child will laugh and learn with the little letter people and their adventures, songs and all kinds of fun and games.”

With 18 episodes to watch on this Alphablocks DVD, therir is plenty to keep little ones occupied.  Also included is a Alphablocks alphabet poster which is rather fun and brightly coloured.  We have stuck this up alongside Miss M and Mister B’s reward charts so they see it everyday and Miss  has been very good and used it to practice her phonic sounds of each letter.

Overall I think this is a fun, yet educational DVD that is ideal for preschoolers or those in the early years of school.

Find out more at www.alphablocks.tv or at www.abbeyhomemedia.com
You can also catch up with Abbey Home Media on Twitter or Facebook

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.

Magic Moves Electronic Wand – Review

The first thing Miss M said when she saw the Magic Moves Electronic Wand, was “Wow a microphone – can I have a go please mummy?”.   And how appropriate that when she switched it on, after a couple of presses of the button it asked her to Sing like a rock star, so that is exactly what she did.

Wand

The Magic Moves Wand captured both 5 yr old Miss M’s and 2 yr old Mister B’s attention right away with it’s easy to hold, brightly coloured design that lights up and flashes as you use it.  With each press of the button you are asked to carry out command such as Stomp like a dinosaur, Swoop like an eagle, Hop like a frog, Leap like a lion, Zoom like a jet etc.

The idea of the wand is to promote activity in children and it certainly did that – my two never sat down the whole time they were playing with it and it is a toy that has come out each day.  With 90 different commands it keeps them engaged and occupied while I can sit back and watch them having fun and giggles and also the odd battle as to who is going to control the wand!

Promoting creative movement, gross motor skills, and physical activity in children, I think the Magic Moves Wand is an excellent toy that young children love and will keep them entertained.  It’s great to just pick it up each day when they are feeling sluggish and get them jumping and dancing around.

To win your own Magic Moves Wand, check out the Learning Resources Facebook page as they have a competition to win one.  Closes on 1st March 2013 so get your entry in now!!

To see Miss M and Mister B in action with the wand – check out the video below:


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.