A Review of Diggerland Devon – A Great Day Out For Kids!

If you are looking for a fun day out for the kids this Summer then I can highly recommend Diggerland Devon as a thoroughly fun and entertaining place that will keep the children occupied throughout the day.  I took my daughter age 11 and son age 8 and found they were both of the optimum age to enjoy the majority of rides, even driving solo which was amazing although there was plenty going on for younger ones too!

With four Diggerland parks located across the UK, from Devon to Durham, Yorkshire to Kent there’s somewhere for everyone to visit across the country.  With the Devon park just a 70 minute drive for us, we arrived for the 10am opening on a fabulously sunny day.

Top Tip: Don’t forget your suncream if it’s a sunny day as you will be outside for the majority, if not all of you time in the park !

After passing through the Diggerland reception and onto the main park layout we first came across some smaller style but real life diggers that have really fun games attached to them.  Providing you are the minimum height even fairly young children can control these and you can sit there playing Hook a Duck, Skittles or search for Buried Treasure.

Here they are playing Dippy Duck,

And when it came to skittles, it was a game of fastest first!

Or if you really want to get stuck in, how about jumping on board a JCB digger and digging up piles and piles of mud! My two both had fun controlling these for a while.

For a bit of fun the family can all enjoy at the same time is the Groundshuttle where you sit in a special carriage on the front of a JCB Teleporter and get bumped and elevated as it drives around an uneven course raising you a little higher every now and again.

The Mini Tractors were an instant hit with my two as they could physically drive these by themselves around the track.  Miss M was fairly good but I went in the back of Mister B’s drive and I think he managed to hit every bump along the track, but it was all good fun and they loved being in control of a vehicle.

Joyrider, a Diggerland Police 4WD SUV was an amazing opportunity for the children where they got to sit in the driver’s seat and drive around the small course, twisting and turning their way behind the wheel.

Continuing on the kids self drive theme are the Dumper Trucks which have a good size muddy track to drive around. I have to be honest I was surprised that they are allowed to drive these on their own subject to minimum height restrictions but my 8yr old did brilliantly – I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for them.  Even if your child is below the required height or perhaps just a toddler, they can always travel around on your lap so everyone gets a chance to ride around.

Although if you think that looked cool, apparently these JCB Robots are the best!  Absolutely awesome to drive over the bumpy, muddy course, these were definitely a winner with my two and I have to say we returned to them many times over the day.

A big highlight of Diggerland is Spindizzy a ride not for the faint hearted as you take a secure seat in the bucket of this digger and get spun around high up in the air.  To keep you on your toes it suddenly stops every now and again before starting to spin in the alternative direction.

One of my personal favourites is the Skyshuttle, a JCB that extends 50 feet into the air giving you amazing views across the entire park.

Stack Attack was a fun but challenging ride in which you drive about in your own digger trying to move tyres from one stack to another.  This is something my 8yr old, 11yr old and my husband all enjoyed having a go of several times across the day.

What I love about Diggerland is that there is something for everyone, whether your child is younger or older, you know that they can sit on your lap on some rides or depending on height can drive diggers independently which is a pretty cool thing to do.

For the younger guests there are Mini Landrovers which my boy just managed to sneak into being on the borderline height (but he loved them!).  Further to that for toddlers is the most amazing Little Tikes area – I have to say I was super impressed with this area, there were far more vehicles than my photo shows but for little ones it’s pretty amazing.  On top of that is a sand pit literally packed with little play diggers – for my boy a few years ago this would have been paradise!

As well as the above you have an indoor play area complete with soft play and bouncy slides but we didn’t even venture inside there is so much to do outside which is where my children would rather be.

There is also an extensive outdoor play area with picnic tables and a large grass area, ideal for a lunchtime break from digging!

I’ve left one of the little hidden gems until last – Crazy Carts were in the top 3 rides for my children. They are little electric carts that little whizz across the metal surface allowing you to do crazy spins.  My children found them so much fun and we ventured over to them multiple times during the day so that they could have another go, a ride that could easily be missed so if you do go to Diggerland, be sure to check these out!

I think you can tell my children thoroughly enjoyed their day at Diggerland Devon.  It is packed with rides that are unique and thoroughly entertaining giving children some fantastic and different opportunities.  I also found the park really clean and tidy and being in the countryside it had a peaceful atmosphere.  We did get the perfect sunny weather for being there which helped make it a fantastic family day out but it is definitely somewhere that I would recommend visiting with children as I’m sure that would love it as much as my two did!

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.

Keeping the Kids Active with Garden Games from Addo Play

With the warmer weather and drier days upon us it’s great to get the children outdoors and enjoying the fresh air.  When at home it’s good to have things to encourage them to go out in the garden away from technology and Addo Play have an Out and About range of simple garden toys that are great value for money and can be played both in the garden or taken out with you to the park, beach etc.  All toys are available from The Entertainer toy shop.

We were sent a few items from the range to try out:

The Mini Soccer Goal is actually a really lovely set for young budding footballers.  I’d say this is more aimed at younger players although I’m surprised at how much fun my two children have had playing with this. It comes as a set which includes push together poles and corner pieces, anchor pegs, a small football and pump.

My children have had so much fun with this over the last couple of weeks. My 8yr old isn’t a huge football player at school but really enjoyed kicking the ball into the goal himself – a great way for him to keep occupied and moving about outside.  He also played with his football mad sister and they created little obstacle games to play to get the ball into the goal.  They’ve literally had this out everyday that it’s been dry and sunny in the garden which is great to see.

Next up is the Racket Set which comes with two rackets, a ball and a shuttlecock.

I like that this comes with two ways to play, either ball or shuttlecock and the bats themselves look really nice with a soft padded handle.  My children got stuck in straight away with these playing along the garden.  I actually think these would be great to take on holidays for either an open space at the beach or a park – a great activity that adults can join in too for a bit of family outdoor fun!

Finally we tried out the Baseball Bat & Ball set which was a surprising hit.  I wasn’t sure how much they would play with this but it’s actually been a fantastic addition to our garden games collection.

The children used the bat to create a mini game of rounders in the garden.  They put some cones down as markers, asked daddy and me to join in and we played our own little version of rounders, trying to run around the cones before the others got our ball back to one of the bases.

Whilst playing on their own they just practiced bowling the ball and improving their batting technique!

Overall these garden games are great value for money and simple sports that children will enjoy and keep them active.

Check out these and more at The Entertainer toy shop now!

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

Kersplatt! – The Fun Family Board Game

Kersplatt! is a fun new game release from Paul Lamond Games and one that has been thoroughly enjoyed here with the exciting aspect of splatting other players dough pieces!  The game consists of a brightly coloured playing board, a deck of cards and four coloured pots of dough.  Requiring 2-4 players and a suggested age of 6+, my two children aged 7 and 10 were keen to play along with mummy and daddy and see if they could splat our pieces and win.

The board for Kersplatt! is well made and folds into quarters for storing in the box.   Each player needs to choose a colour, red, blue, yellow or green and the idea is to make yourself some dough characters and move these around the board without being splatted.  Once you get two onto your home space you are declared the winner. To play you take turns in turning a card over and this determines your move to a space of either the colour or number you turn over.  Or you may turn a card that allows you to Kersplatt! another persons playing piece.  The kids loved this element of the game and thought it was hilarious splatting another player on the board.  All of the squashed pieces remain on the board and those squares are out of action which means it makes it quicker to get your pieces around to the home spaces as the game goes on.

With two kids ready to play, we got started.  With four of us playing it made it fun and competitive and was actually a game we all really enjoyed and would happily play again (well we already have a few times!).  The kids thought it was great to create your own pieces and we ended up with some fancy creations that they were sad to see get Kersplatted! but that’s the nature of the game.  A great family friendly game that is simple to play but fun and keeps kids entertained on rainy days, evenings or just when you are looking for something exciting to play!

For your chance to win a copy of the board game Kersplatt!, just fill in the entry form below:

Kersplatt! game

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

Stretch Vac Man and Stretch XRay

If you’ve heard of the Original Stretch Armstrong then get ready to meet his arch enemies, Stretch Vac Man and Stretch XRay from Character Toys.  These also come in smaller 7 inch sizes which actually makes them more child friendly in terms of holding, carrying and stretching them.

The figures are both very soft and stretchy and you can literally stretch them in any way you want to.  They simply just pop back to their original shape when you let them go.

Vac Man has a unique quality in that he has a valve on the top of his head that you can pump up and down to remove all of the air out of him, leaving him with a lumpy texture that is poseable and stays that way until you press the valve to fill him up with air again.

He can be stretched either whilst pumped up or pumped down so there are multiple ways to try playing with the Vac Man.

My children found XRay Man to be exceptionally squidgy and stretchy and loved pulling him apart to get a closer glimpse of his insides.

It is even possible to tie his legs up although I had to be quick with the photos because he soon reverts to his normal self.

My kids found the new 7 inch Stretch characters great fun and it gave them a laugh as well as entertaining them for a while.  They are easy to carry around and I often find them sitting on the sofa giving one of the figures a stretch or working together to see how far they can stretch a set of arms or legs.

If you are looking for a toy that provides a bit of fun and entertainment then do check out the Stretch characters and don’t forget to follow along on the Stretch Armstrong PopJam channel or on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

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

Ravensburger Buggaloop Board Game with Hexbug

Ravensburger Buggaloop board game is a fast paced game featuring a Hexbug nano that is on a mission to push your bugs off their path across the board.  Aimed at ages 6+ and with 2-4 players I knew this would be something they would enjoy after the success we had with the sister game Bugs in the Kitchen.

The contents of the box are the 3D board which stays inside the box for sturdiness, 2 plastic loops which require minimal assembly to stand them up at the start of each game, 12 bug tokens, a dice and of course the Hexbug.  My little boy couldn’t wait to get the Hexbug out and get him moving whilst my daughter carefully set the game up ready to play.

The idea of the game is to get your bugs across the board from one corner to the other.  With each roll of the die which has numbers 1 to 4 around it (1 and 2 appear on two faces) you can move a bug that number of spaces, if they land on a raised space then they are safe from the Hexbug.  During play the Hexbug is continually moving and goes from one loop to the other but as soon as he gets on to the centre of the board play stops, during which time you have to hope one of your bugs don’t get knocked off of their space because if they do, they go back to the start!

As you can imagine the game can get quite exciting with moments of moving bugs, then moments of the Hexbug coming along and everyone gasping and cheering as the Hexbug either knocks their bugs off or misses them.  The game ends when one player has got all of the bugs to the other side of the board and is declared the winner!

My children loved playing this, particularly my little boy who is 7yrs old.  I think it’s the Hexbug that really brings this game alive and keeps the action going. Although you can have a little strategy in which path you take across the board it really is the Hexbugs decision as to which bugs it knocks off so this really is a game of luck but with an edge of unknown and excitement.  Why not check it out for some family fun?

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

LinkIt – the fun family fast paced Card Game

LinkIt is one in a series of card games aimed at ages 6+ and for between 2 and 8 players.  The fast paced games consists of a series of cards covered in pictures and you have to find a link between two of the pictures.  The unique game has been designed to help children sharpen visual perception and language skills in a fun and competitive atmosphere.

The cards in LinkIt are circular making them a bit different but user friendly and I really like the storage tin that they come in.  This is brilliant and makes it great for storage and an ideal travel game.  With two children aged 9 and 7 I couldn’t wait to have a play and see how they found it.

There are two sets of cards, orange and blue backed which need separating, the orange go in the centre of the table and the blue are dealt out between the players.  All the cards have colour images on and the idea is to find a matching image between your top card and the top card in the central deck.  As easy as it sounds, it can be tricky to find one as the images vary in size across the cards and it takes a bit of quick thinking to find a pair.

The sort of pairs you need to find are things like a baby and bottle, football and goal, camel and desert, rabbit and carrot, mouse and cheese etc.  The first couple of rounds took a little getting used to the pairs but we soon all got the hang of it and everyone was eager to find a match with their card. We found it fast paced, competitive but fun and a game the children wanted to play again and again.  Although they find it fun it really does help sharpen their perception and learn to spot things quickly and I found my 7yr was as able as the adults in this game with his eagerness to win.  Over the last few weeks we have played this multiple times and being quite a quick game, you can fit in a round anytime.

The LinkIt game is great fun, in particular my 7yr old thought it was the brilliant and is now one of his favourite games.  I love it because it’s quick, light hearted fun for all the family and being compact and in a tin makes it a top travel game – we’ll definitely be taking this on our 4 hour train trip next week!

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

Gingersnap Lightbox & Extra Letter Packs

Gingersnap lightboxes are one of the fun, new trends in interiors this year and sure to be a hit at Christmas as they would make the ideal gifts for many.  Being able to customise and change the lettering, gives them a vast array of uses, from a simple slogan or quote to a fun message for friends and family.

With various styles of Gingersnap lightboxes available I received the A4 black lightbox to check out and review along with two extra letter packs.  The lightbox is simple to use with a easy on/off switch on the side.  You do need to add either 6AA batteries or you can use an adaptor (not included).  I opted for batteries and it’s lasting well so far.  The unit has three lines which you can slot in the transparent backed letter, numbers and symbols to create your unique message or quote.  This lightbox comes with 85 black pieces to slot in and create a retro cinematic feel sign.

The extra letter packs that are available are in my opinion just brilliant!  They really add to the variations and fun of the messages and quotes that you can write adding personality and colourful fun.  I received the coloured letters, numbers and  symbols pack as well as the emoji pack which each contain 120 pieces.  I absolutely love them and there are so many that I can’t show you them all here but there really is something for everyone and every occasion.  I couldn’t wait to start using them and enjoying seeing the messages around my house.

We’ve found lots of occasions to use the lightbox so far and try to change the message every few days.  My little boy has even got stuck in and asked to put a message on the lightbox when I wasn’t looking.  He then showed me and it said ‘I love you’ followed by all the emoji’s he felt represented that – so sweet.

Overall I love the lightbox, it looks on trend and modern around the house and adds a bit of light which attracts attention to it from guests.  I love being able to change the message and can see it getting lots of use throughout the year.  If you haven’t already got one then they would be a great little purchase but with Christmas coming up they would also make great gifts so check out Gingersnap to see which is your favourite and which you might buy as gifts this year!

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

Play Fun Speedy Doc Game

Play Fun Speedy Doc is a family friendly game aimed at ages 8+ with quick paced rounds of questions where you all have to think of answers until someone duplicates or can’t think of one.  The Doc himself runs the games and controls who starts, how much time you have and how many ‘zeros’ the loser of each round should take.

The game required no setting up other than batteries being inserted and the ‘zero’ cards being pushed out of the perforated card.  I love that there is a handy storage space in the back of Speedy Doc to keep them safe and use as required during play.  There is a simple on/off switch on the back of the doc and then he is ready to go.  You don’t really need to read the instructions other than how to get him to repeat something or pause the game as he guides you through and takes control of the game.

To control Speedy Doc you press lightly on his head, so to start a game someone presses his head and then he starts the first round.  He will tell you which player should start by saying something like ‘the player with the longest hair’ and tell you whether to continue left or right.  He’ll then ask a question such as ‘name a sport you can play at school’ or ‘name countries beginning with B’ and then you go round giving your answer.  After you speak you need to press the doc’s head and then it’s the next player but beware, if you take too long to give your answer, he will time you out and that will be the end of the round.  He’ll then tell you how many ‘zeroes’ to take before proceeding with the next round.  After several rounds he’ll declare the end of the game and the person with the least zeroes is the winner!

To keep things interesting Speedy Doc with make random changes in the game such as switching the order of the players or telling the player who just got a ‘zero’ to give it to another player.  We found the game fast paced and fun, with lots of silly answers coming out as we tried to think of ideas for the answers.  You can tell the doc if someone duplicates or says a wrong answer and he’ll end that round.  Being suitable for ages 8+ is probably right as younger ones aren’t able to think of enough answers to keep up, although my almost 7yr old joined in and we let him off for some of his answers to involve him in the game.  My 9yr old enjoyed it though (well maybe not when she got a zero) but it does bring out the competitive side in people but also gets you using your brain and thinking of things to answer the question. We enjoyed it and think it’ll be a great game to bring out on Saturday nights and at Christmas when we can have lots of family fun!

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

Smiggle opens it’s 100th UK Store

Smiggle an Australian stationery brand has hit the UK by storm over the last year or so, with it’s 100th store opening last weekend at the Drake Circus shopping centre in Plymouth.  I was invited along to take a look around and see what exciting goodies the store has to offer as although I’ve heard and seen glimpses of the store online I’ve never actually visited one in person.

The first thing you can’t fail to notice as you enter the store are the neatly lined rows of brightly coloured goods, almost so many you don’t know where to look first.  It’s like being a kid in a sweet shop as you eye up the rows of treats wondering which one to choose first.  The shop is very pleasing on the eye and although similar items are spread across the store they are displayed in a colour coded manner.

Whether you want pink, purple, blue or aqua, Smiggle has it all but not only are their products colourful, they are oozing with fun designs and unusual features that stand out from traditional stationery products.  The range of pencil cases is vast and they are packed with cute details that it’s hard to choose between them.  I thought the range of drinks bottles were particularly fun and quirky being made of squeezy silicone that can be rolled up when empty to save space!

Not only do they have lots of bright and pastel colours but they also have a vast range of blues, greens and blacks so there really is something to suit everyone’s tastes. They had a good selection of lunch bags that looked really cool and perfect for keeping your food protected ready for lunchtimes.

Something I haven’t mentioned is that a lot of the products are actually scented with fun fruity fragrances,  you can’t fail to pick up something without having a sniff, making it that much more appealing to drop into your basket to buy.  Of the more unusual products that I spotted were some fun glittery silicone digital watches that display the time when you press them and some funky headphones that kids will love.  There were also some fun animal shaped water spray fans to keep you cool in the Summer, I really liked these as did my children.

A new range to hit Smiggle shops is ‘besties’, a collection of six limited edition character pencil cases and key rings in pastel shades with cute faces.  We tried out a key ring below which was scented in strawberry and we can’t stop sniffing it!

A really different style of pencil case which will really keep you organised is the one above, a small carry style bag with a handle and zip up pocket on the back.  You can unzip three sizes to reveal a fold out section with four sides to slot all of your pens and pencils into – no more searching around in the deep depths of a traditional pencil case for your favourite pen.  We also tried the Neon scented gel pens which as you can imagine smell very fruity.  Each come in a different shade and fruit scent and they also come in a handy snap close case.  They also work incredibly well giving a really vibrant shade to write with.

Overall I’m really impressed with Smiggle, not only for the amazingly bright and scented range of products available but also the quality seems to be good, the pens are lovely to write with, the pencil cases are well thought out with lots of zips and pockets and the keyrings among other things smell delicious.

Whether you are young or a little bit older and love stationery then be sure to check out your nearest Smiggle store for a really fun stationery experience that can’t fail to make you smile with it’s bright, happy vibe.

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

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.