Little Live Pets Butterfly Jungle Fashion – Review

Little Live Pets Butterfly Jungle Fashion is one of the new Series 2 range of butterflies from Character Options, a collection of butterflies that magically come alive and flutter their pretty wings in your hand.  They come in a choice of six designs:

  • Jungle Fashion
  • Frozen Iceland
  • Precious Paris
  • Tropical Beauty
  • Cherry Blossom
  • Precious Wings

little live butterfly

The Little Live Pets Butterfly Jungle Fashion has a brightly coloured body and wings that immediately appealed to 7yr old Miss M, and she couldn’t wait to get the butterfly out to play.

The butterfly comes with a base, a suction window holder and requires 2 AA batteries for the base.  The base is a solid sturdy piece that the butterfly happily sits on and “feeds”.  Once the butterfly has fed, you can place it in your hands and watch it flutter.  The more you feed and play with your butterfly, the longer and smoother the sequence of flutters will be on your hand.

little live butterfly 2

Both my children have become really attached to this butterfly which I wasn’t expecting but after school each day, they make sure they let the butterfly feed then have a flutter in their hands.  It has become like a little pet for them that they take turns in interacting with.  I think the bright, attractive design helps as my daughter tried one last year but wasn’t so keen.

I think this is a great little interactive toy that encourages children to look after something.  I’ve ensured they are gentle with it so as not to crush it’s wings and taught them how to handle it with care.

little live buttefly 3

The Little Live Pets Butterfly Jungle Fashion has been a hit with us and Miss M likes to put the butterfly in the sucker holder on her bedroom window at night.  I think if your child enjoys this then they are pretty good value for money.

Overall a cute little interactive toy that’s well made and is fun for children!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and the butterfly was sent to us in order to write the review.

Doc McStuffins Carry-Along Clinic Playset Review

Doc McStuffins Carry-Along Clinic Playset from Flair is a large fold out playset that easily folds away into a carry along box with a handle.  It is very eye catching in bold pink and purple colours with a very glittery pink lid!  Aimed at children aged 3+ and a toy that is suited to both boys and girls I knew my children would love this as they are keen on any kind of doctor related role play toys.  Although the Doc McStuffins Clinic is predominantly feminine colours, 3yr old Mister B wasn’t fazed by this at all and got has had endless play with this.

doc mcstuffins playset 1The case unfolds to reveal a clinic set up with a table to put patients on to the left, a Lambie figure to examine which comes sitting on here and to the right is a sink with a turnable tap that clicks around.

In the centre are are the doctors equipment, a syringe, a thermometer, otoscope and a stethoscope.  The first three instruments handily clip on to the back wall and the stehoscope fits into a slide out drawer underneath.

You do have to balance the doors not too wide apart otherwise the unit tends to tip backwards, alternatively I just propped it up against a cupboard to save any frustrations that the children had with it.

doc mcstuffins playset 2Also on the inside of the is an interactive panel with four different character panels that slide in.  The panel can be used as it sits on the lid or taken off and held in the child’s hands or on the floor.  There are buttons to press and the panels light up showing the characters ailment and suggests which medical instrument to use to help them get better.

Mister B was particularly fascinated by this especially the song from the tv show which he sings along to and now knows every word to.  He can’t help but sing with a huge grin on his face and with the accent!

doc mcstuffins playset 3All all the parts are made of plastic, they all feel strong and well made which is good as I think they will get lots of play value so they need to be durable.  I like the way that the playset folds up with all the pieces contained inside.  The carry handle is nice so that the child can carry it along to any medical emergency they come across.

doc mcstuffins playset 4My two have loved playing with this although not without a little bickering as to who is going to have which instrument, but they did learn to share and played well together.  There are endless possiblities for play whether they gave medical attention to Lambie, Miss M’s dolls or even giving each other a medical examination!

doc mcstuffins playset 5The Doc McStuffins Clinic Playset is definitely an impressive size and a good, durable build.  There’s various pieces to keep the children entertained and I’m sure this will be a must have Christmas present for some, with it’s glittery lid and bright pink and purple features, I’m sure there’s many little girls out there that would love this!

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





Hallmark Interactive Gifts – Review

Hallmark is a brand I’ve always liked for greetings cards, they have great designs and are of a good quality so I was pleased to try out some of their new interactive gifts aimed at children.  We received the Until We Hug Again teddy bear along with two interactive storybooks, All Aboard and Fairy Grandmother.

hall4The Interactive story books come complete with batteries.  They are operated by an on/off button on the top of each one and they work by reacting to certain lines you say within the book.  Each page highlights the last line in a different colour and this is to prompt you to read this line clearly as the book will respond and often ask the child a question as to what to do next.  You need to make sure your child responds clearly and quite quickly to enable the book to keep interacting.

All Aboard is a book about a train journey to Celebration city with Connor the conductor.  Connor interacts with you, getting you to make decisions about which way to go, or to point out where something is.  The book usually gives you two options and depending on your answer will respond accordingly.  Unfortunately a cow gets stuck on the track but with your help, you can get the cow to move to allow the train to continue it’s journey.

hallmark 1Mister B who is 3 loved being able to talk to the book and make decisions for Connor.  It’s a really entertaining idea and totally different to any other book we have seen.

Miss M who is 6 was really excited about reading A day at Fairy Grandmother’s.  The brightly coloured illustrations immediately caught her eye and she actually did quite well at reading the story herself.  The story follows your adventure as you visit the Fairy Grandmother at her castle and get to choose what to eat and help her look for her lost wand in her garden full of delightful sweet treats where you even come across a friendly dragon.

hallmark  2Both of these Hallmark interactive books would make excellent gifts for children.  We have been really impressed with them, they really engage the children in the storyline and it’s a really unusual and different concept for a character in a book to respond to things you say and ask questions.  My children both enjoyed the interaction and couldn’t wait to hear what was said next.  The books are a good, large size too being just slightly bigger than A4, and all pages are full colour with bold interesting pictures, plenty to look at and talk about.


The Until We Hug Again bear is a fantastic idea, a great gift and would be really special if you ever had to be apart from a little one, whether it’s just for the weekend or longer.  The bear was an instant hit with Miss M who hasn’t stopped cuddling him.  The quality of the bear is really good, it’s well made and feels lovely and soft to touch.  Standing at around 11 inches it’s a good size too.

hallmark 3The bear has the ability to record a message that can be played by pressing the heart on the bear’s tummy.  To record a message you simply press the record button on the foot and say your message.  This will then play back each time the heart is pressed and a new message can be recorded at any time.  If you want to save the message you have recorded you simply slide a switch in the battery compartment to lock it.

I recorded a message for Miss M to tell her I love her and wishing her a good nights sleep.  She takes it to bed each night for cuddles and can listen to my voice whenever she wants.  She has really taken to this bear and it has come everywhere with us.  A truly special gift for a child, ideal for parents or grandparents to give to a child close to them.

We’ve really enjoyed all these Hallmark interactive gifts. As you can see below the Until We Hug Again teddy has had trips to the park and the children enjoyed listening to Nanny reading them the interactive books and she was just as impressed with them too!

hallmark 4If you are looking for a special gift for a child then why not check out Hallmark?

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


GeoSafari Talking Bug Net – Review

GeoSafari Talking Bug Net from Learning Resources is a great way for children to learn facts and information about bugs, something most children are intrigued by and love to touch and explore.

The GeoSafari Talking Bug Net comes with a talking bug net which is well made and a good size, 28 x 14cm.  This requires 3 AA batteries.  There are two buttons on the handle, one for fun facts and the other for quiz, which tests your knowledge on bugs.

Bug net 2There are also six good quality plastic bugs included which the bug net cleverly recognises when placed inside.

These are:

  • Praying Mantis
  • Spider
  • Ladybird
  • Grasshopper
  • Bee
  • Butterfly

The net has two ways to play, you can either drop a bug in the net and listen to over 60 included bug facts or take the quiz, which was our preferable option, where we were given a fact about a bug and had to put the correct bug into the net.

The net cleverly recognises which bug you place into the net and tells you whether you are right or wrong.  You get two chances to get the question correct before it moves onto a new question.

The GeoSafari Talking Bug Net is aimed at ages 4-8 years, perfect for 6 yr old Miss M who was eager to have a go.  It was Easter weekend when we gave the bug net a good testing so Miss M comes complete with a little Easter bunny face!

Bug netMiss M enjoyed playing the quiz on the bug net and was thrilled when she put the right bug in the net.  The questions were challenging, I couldn’t answer them all myself, but this became the learning element of the game.  We were all learning at the same time and you could see the thinking process in Miss M’s head as she tried to decide which bug fitted the question.  When I knew the answer I’d try to prompt her but it was great to see her building on her knowledge as we played.

Miss M was unfamiliar with two of the bugs in the set, the grasshopper and the praying mantis so that gave us immediate talking points.  The Talking Bug Net is a great way to gain new knowledge, facts and information about bugs, from simple to more advanced facts.  If you press the button for fact learning mode, you place a bug in the net and it tells you something about the bug.

In the quiz mode the type of questions can be anything from “Which bug has 8 legs?” to “Which bugs hibernate over the winter?”.  By listening to some facts first, you can put your new found knowledge to the test with the quiz, a fun and interactive way to learn.

We really enjoyed trying out the GeoSafari Talking Bug Net, a fun educational toy that can be played alone or with others.  You can play it for as long or short a time as you want, so it’s a great way to fill any spare time and gain a bit of new knowledge.  The only thing we found a little frustrating was that after you had two attempts at the question, it moves onto a new question without informing you of the answer which sometimes left Miss M wondering which bug was correct.

Overall this would be a good toy for any avid little bug hunters out there to build up their factual knowledge on these creepy, crawlie creatures.  It also helps children to recognise and distinguish the mini beasts through their colours, number of legs and whether it has wings etc.

A simple, but fun and interactive way of learning that children enjoy!

Why not take a look at the GeoSafari Talking Bug Net over on the Learning Resources website?

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

Hot Dots – Let’s Learn! Maths – Interactive Learning for Children!

Hot Dots is an interactive learning system from Learning Resources that children can play independently.  It consists of a talking pen which is used against multiple choice answers in a book to encourage learning and reinforcement of skills already learnt.

Hot DotsWe were sent the Hot Dots – Let’s Learn! Maths set which comprises of one talking pen and three interactive work books.  The pen is brightly coloured and chunky so not easily lost.  Little hands love to hold it and it is used to answer questions throughout the books.  The books are well made, with durable glossy pages and being spiral bound means it’s easy to turn pages, keep them flat when open and see everything on the page.

Hotdots1In the Maths set of Hot Dots, the three books cover Addition Subtraction and Time Telling and using just the numbers from 0-20, means they are the perfect introduction into basic Maths and great for those in their first couple of years at school.  Miss M who is 5 could do the first couple of pages in these fairly easily but then they became more challenging.  She did a lot of counting on fingers to work out the answers but with the repetition of doing these books again and again means that hopefully she will finally be able to carry out these sums in her head.

What I really loved about the concept of the interaction and Miss M knowing whether she was right or wrong, meant that she could sit independently and work through the books.  She loved finding out whether she was right or wrong and determined to get to the right answer.  If I noticed she kept getting the wrong answers, it gave me an opportunity to sit down with her and talk her through the harder sums before letting her move on through the books.


I liked the idea of the time telling book which is included in this set – it makes it a bit different.  There are various pictures of clocks and you have to select the time that is showing on the clock.  Miss M gets very muddled with telling the time so I’m hoping this will help her get to grips with the basics.  I think we have mastered o’clock and half past now so we have had some success.

Being a handy size, the Hot Dots Maths set can be used anywhere, great for long journeys in the car, sitting in bed before night time, or just sitting at home.  I’m hoping that by using these over the school holidays, Miss M will keep up with the basic Maths skills she has learnt in foundation class at school and increase her knowledge a little further before starting back in Year 1 this September.

What I also like about the Hot Dots range is that once you have a talking pen, you can buy extra sets of activity cards for children to work through covering many areas such as phonics, vocabulary, science, grammer and spelling.  The age ranges vary on each set so this is something that can grow with your child and be used over many ages.

We like Hot Dots and think it is a great learning tool for children – Miss M has already packed it in her suitcase for our family holiday this weekend.  I think it’s a great back up to what they learn in school and gives them the independence to learn on their own.  To find out more check out the Hot Dots range on the Learning Resources website.

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.