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.

The World of David Walliams Gangsta Granny Stash the Swag Board Game – Review & Giveaway

The World of David Walliams Gangsta Granny Stash the Swag Board Game from Paul Lamond Games is a fantastic game for fans of David Walliams books and that includes my two children who read each new title as it is released.  With World Book Day on the 7th March this year it’s a fantastic time to get reading and being able to play a game associated with a book is always a lot of fun and helps bring your favourite characters to life.  With Gangsta Granny among my children’s book collection they were excited by the prospect of a board game featuring team Granny & Ben on a mission to stash the Crown Jewels without being caught by the Queen.

The Gangsta Granny board game is presented in a fantastic tin which a great way to store the parts ensuring they last making it a durable game to play over and over again.

In the tin you will find:

  • Game board
  • 4 Granny & Ben play pieces
  • 1 Queen play piece
  • 24 Jewel tokens
  • 2 Dice

The aim of the game is to collect all the letter ‘jewels’ to spell out the word GANGSTA but watch out because the Queen is on the prowl and if you get caught by the Queen before stashing your jewels, they all have to be returned!

Each player moves by rolling both dice and moving the number on the white one themselves and the number on the black one for the Queen, therefore with everyone moving the Queen ahead each time she gets around the board quite quickly chasing everyone for their jewels. When you do catch a jewel of your colour you can stash it in your player’s piece until you pass the swag bag and can put it safely on the appropriate letter in the word Gangsta.

We found this Gangsta Granny Stash the Swag game fun and something that all the family enjoyed.  With four of us this game was perfect although can be played with between 2-4 players at a time.  Suitable for ages 7+ meant that this was perfect for all of us as my youngest is 8 and he really enjoyed this and particularly got excited as the Queen chased us all around the board and loved crossing the board using the secret passageways.  We found game play to last around an hour as although it seems easy enough to collect your Gangsta jewels, the Queen is always hot on your heels to steal them!

When someone does manage to collect all of the jewels and spell out the word ‘Gangsta’ they become the winner of game!

If you’d like the chance to win a copy of the board game Gangsta Granny Stash the Swag from Paul Lamond games then just complete the Gleam widget below:

Gangsta Granny board game

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.

Slime, Gelli Baff and SnoBall fun with Zimpli Kids – Review

Do your kids love playing with Slime, Gelli and Fake Snow?  Then Zimpli Kids have the answer to all of their messy play dreams with simple, easy to use products that kids love and parents don’t have to worry about too much mess.  We were sent to review a selection of their products to try out and see what we thought.

The Slime Baff is a really easy to use slime kit made by simply adding a sachet to a bath of water and stirring around until it thickens up and becomes….. SLIME!!  The children were excited at this and happily got their arms in to stir around the green, gooey looking water and they loved feeling it turning into slime, not quite believing that I was actually going to let them get into an entire bath full of slime!  (For me though, this seems like a contained way to play, keeping all the mess in one place)

Once in the bath it was impossible to contain their excitement swishing the slime around, stretching it in to the air and showing each other what they could do with it!

Here’s a short slime video to show you the slime in action and my 8yr old’s thoughts on Zimpli Kids Slime Baff after he’d come out of the bath tub and I think I can safely say it was a complete hit and something they’d definitely do again.  What I love about it is when they have finished playing (about an hour later), you just dilute the slime a little bit before letting it run down the plug hole.  I then transferred the children across to the shower for a rinse off and their daily wash. Simple!

***********************************************

Next up from Zimpli Kids is Gelli Baff which is a firm favourite with us having first tried it back in 2013 with my then 6 yr old.  She’s now 11 and loved it just as much this time and my boy who just admired from afar last time as a toddler but this time got completely stuck in and thoroughly enjoyed himself.

With the Gelli Baff you simply stir the coloured sachet into the water, the solution gradually thickens up to produce a jelly like consistency.  As you can see below we made it quite thick at first and slowly added more water to get it to a soft textured mixture that the children enjoyed sitting in as it was warm and loved feeling it endlessly running through their fingers.

The children found this relaxing but fun and when you’ve had enough you simply add the sachet of salt to dissolve the mixture before letting it run down the plughole.

***********************************************

Our final product to share from Zimpli Kids is SnoBall Play which is a small sachet that when mixed with water creates a fake like snow substance allowing you to mould snow balls and have a snow ball fight.  Seeing as we rarely get snow in the South West, the children were delighted to try this one out.

Mixing with water produced a soft mouldable snow like substance that the children were really excited with.  Despite the weather being damp and cold, we had a brief sunny spell so they got outside and started making their snow balls.  All I could hear was excitement and laughter as they attempted to hit each other.

The SnoBall Play went down a treat with my two and they were constantly entertained and giggling until the snow ran out!  They then came in and despite the snowy substance being left on the lawn I didn’t have to worry as it’s degradable and a couple of days later I noticed that it had all disappeared.

Overall I have to say that all of the Zimpli Kids products have provided much enjoyment, fun, laughter and all round entertainment for my children.  The products are different from their normal toys and activities, all kids love a tactile substance to get their hands into and who doesn’t love a good old snowball fight?

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.

Ravensburger Break Free Game – Review

Break Free from Ravensburger is a fast paced interactive game best suited to ages 6+.  It involves chaining yourself up in a handcuff which is attached via a chain to other players and then being the first to unpick the lock and Break Free.

The Break Free game pieces consists of 4 special padlocks with chains, 12 unique locking puzzles that you insert in the to base of the handcuff – 4 of each level, 4 lockpicks and 12 tokens.  To play the game all players (can be played by 1 to 4 at a time) put one of the puzzle pieces (green for easy, yellow for a bit harder and red for tricky) into their padlock then attach the padlock to their wrist. You clip all the ends of the chains together and are then ready to begin.

The idea is in each round, the first player to unpick their lock, takes the highest numbered token, the next player takes the next highest token and so forth.  So the first round you all start with green which is the easiest and work upwards.

What I really liked about this game is that all four of us could join in, mummy, daddy, 10yr old and 8yr old.  We were really were all at equals trying to unpick the locks and although sometimes you though you got the knack, in the next round you would struggle again.

It certainly got competitive with everyone eager to unlock their padlocks and be the first!

Another aspect that I liked about this Ravensburger Break Free game is that within each level, all the lock puzzles have different sequences within them, so if someone works out a quick way to turn their pick to make their way through the lock, then if you play the game again and mix the pieces up, they are likely to have a different route to follow to unpick the lock which keeps everyone on their toes.

Even though the 8yr old got a little frustrated on the harder levels at times, you can see he is thrilled here when he beat his older sister.  The kids also loved it when daddy got stuck sometimes just going round in circles and not actually unlocking his handcuff so they had to help unpick his lock at the end – of course mummy succeeded in coming in the top two places in most rounds!

Break Free by Ravensburger is a fun family game that all ages can join in or the kids can just play alone.  My boy even enjoyed having a go on his own although I think he was trying to hone his unpicking technique for future rounds.  We like this with it’s fast paced competitiveness and the excitement it brings – a good one to add to Santa’s list I think!

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

Mix-Up Clay – the Non-Messy Craft Activity – Review

Mix-Up Clay from Alphabet Pie is a unique mess free clay and colouring tints that are a winner with kids and adults alike.  It’s hard to imagine a substance that doesn’t make a mess especially when colour is involved so I had the art mat on the table in case but actually the Mix-Up Clay proved to be as clean and friendly as it suggested and a great pliable play substance for all ages.  My 7 and 10 yr olds were both keen to have a go so I divided the pack of clay between them and let them create!

They found the white Mix-Up Clay substance to be very lightweight, soft and easy to manipulate making it suitable for really young ones.  They loved pulling it apart, rolling it into balls and seeing how far they could stretch it. The tints are incredible, you just take a small piece on the end of your finger and mix it into the white clay and knead it around until the colour spreads throughout.  By adding further tint you can strengthen the colours to form really bright bold colourways.  You are given the three primary colours along with black and this enables you to create any colour you want, so for example my children mixed a bit of yellow and blue tint on a piece of clay to create green.

It wasn’t long before shapes started forming and my 7yr old began with some eyes for his creation.  He decided to make some fruit shapes, an apple and banana whilst the 10yr old make a monster!

I have to say I’m really impressed with their finished clay pieces which then require around 6 hours drying time.  The whole process couldn’t be more simple and mess free – mould your clay, colour it as you wish, then let you design air dry!  Throughout the entire process your fingers stay clean, non sticky and don’t pick up any of the colour of the tints.  The clay doesn’t crumble into little pieces as you pull it apart so you really do end up with a mess free table as well as clean hands – a fantastic unique product that I’ve not come across before.

The finished designs are really lightweight, almost with a foam like weight to them so it’s easy for children to carry them around without them being too delicate.  My impressions of Mix-Up Clay are very favourable and it definitely kept my two children occupied for a while and they both loved it’s ease of use in both manipulating the clay and also the simple ability to colour it.  I love it due to it’s mess free nature and it’s definitely something I’d purchase again for them, perfect for indoor crafting any time, any day!

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

Incredibles 2 100 Piece Puzzle from Ravensburger

Incredibles 2 is due out in cinema’s on 13th July 2018 and brings us the fun loving family of superheroes who love to fight crime and beat the villains.  With baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superhero powers it’ll be fun to see how he gets on in this adventure helping the others.  To celebrate the release, Ravensburger have produced this fun new 100 piece puzzle aimed at 6 years plus.

My boy aged 7 was excited when he saw this and couldn’t wait to get started.  I know he is able to do this unaided and despite him asking for help initially, I just verbally guided him and let him put all the pieces in place.  He started with the edges and soon got to grips with finding pieces and before long was flying along at his own pace.

The finished Incredibles 2 puzzle is a really good size and looks great on the floor or table.  The individual pieces are also well sized and great for little hands.  The size of the pieces also allows for more recognition of what area of the puzzle it may belong too, e.g. the writing across the bottom was easy to spot on pieces and one of the first edges my boy completed.

As you can see my boy was thrilled to complete the puzzle and felt proud that he had achieved it all by himself.  I love watching them do simple things like puzzles as it gets their brain working and takes them away from technology for a while.

On the other hand, don’t forget to head to the big screen from 13th July onwards to catch the new Incredibles 2 film and see the adventures of this superhero family in action!

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

5 Reasons to Replace Your Lawn with Artificial Grass

Artificial grass has come a long way in the last few years and is increasingly popular for those of us that aren’t overly keen on garden maintenance as it offers the look of a fresh green luscious lawn but without the ugly weeds and most importantly the need to cut the grass on a regular basis.

With young children around who always want to play outside then I can definitely see several advantages to having artificial grass in your garden and so here’s my top 5 reasons for converting your traditional lawn to artificial grass:

  1. MAINTENANCE FREE – no need to mow the lawn and keep the kids out the way of the electrical wires whilst doing so.
  2. NO WEEDING – Your artificial lawn will be hassle free, no weeding and feeding to keep you lawn in optimum condition.  It will look perfectly green and clean no matter the weather – no fading blades during the Summer – just a luscious green lawn all year round.
  3. POLLEN FREE – Say NO to allergies with artificial grass, your sneezes and runny eyes will be a thing of the past with a lawn free of pollen pests.
  4. KIDS CAN PLAY – Normally I wait until my lawn has dried out after a shower before I let the kids out to play to prevent the grass turning into a soggy, muddy mess.  With fake grass you can let them out as soon the rain has passed knowing that your ‘lawn’ will stay as good as knew.
  5. NO MUDDY FOOTPRINTS IN THE HOUSE – well this has got to be a bonus, dragging mud and dirt through the house has to be one of my kids favourite pastimes but with artificial grass, dirt will be kept to a minimum and there certainly shouldn’t be any signs of muddy footprints entering the house!

So if the points above haven’t convinced you to try out some artificial grass in your garden then I don’t know what will but what I do know is that these days you have a pretty amazing choice of of styles and designs to choose from, be it short and neat, long and tufty, thick and rich – the choice really is yours and that also means that even if your next door neighbour opts for artificial grass too, then their garden won’t look the same as there’s so many varieties out there now.  If  you are thinking about a clean style and maintenance free future for your garden then check out artificial grass now!

This is a sponsored post.

Head Over Heels Gymnastics – Books & DVD Review

Head over Heels Gymnastics is a fantastic new way to learn, practice and perfect your gymnastics skills in your own home.  Whether you are a beginner, a bit more advanced, have lessons already or just want to learn alone from home, then these guides for children are incredibly user friendly, simple to follow and progress at a good rate to see your child learn, improve and be challenged!

We received Head over Heels Gymnastics Volume 1: Boys & Girls Floor Skills book which really does incorporate all the moves a young gymnast will encounter in there first few years.  My daughter has been attending weekly gymnastics lessons for the last couple of years and loves it so much that she practices at home (notably with headstands on her bed, and feet up against the painted wall) when she is able.  The book is extremely well thought out and has been designed perfectly for someone to follow step by step to ensure they get the move/position correct.

The first major bonus of this book is the spiral binding of the book along with the fact that it has a 3D element that allows it to stand up so you can view it as you perform the moves – this is a fantastic feature and really enables the book to be used as you practice.

The book is very clearly laid out with a contents page so you can go directly to the skill you wish to practice or if you start from the beginning it takes you through a warm up then gradually guides you from simple moves to those more challenging and even helps you with mini routines at the end.  What I like about this book is that it comes with full colour photographic pictures guiding you through each move so you can see exactly how to perform and accomplish them to your best ability.  The step by step guides are brilliant and I can’t fault them, you can see every move, there are arrows to guide you and in some cases crosses to show you if you are doing the wrong thing. I also love the ‘post it’ style notes that give you all the hints and tips you need to perfect the move.

As much as my daughter is ultra sporty and partakes in all sports be it rugby, football, swimming, athletics etc. her elegance has never been her strongest point but I love the fact that she enjoys gymnastics as it gains her a lot of strength and flexibility skills. So here is her interpretation of some of the gymnastic skills from the Head over Heels Gymnastics book.

She loved doing this in the garden as she had more room and could run around doing things like cartwheels as well which I usually dread when she does indoors as I fear her feet hitting the light fittings!  She was able to see the book and flip over the page as she wished.

We also received a dvd Volume 3: The Floor Beam which is equally as fanatastic as the book. Even if you don’t have any sort of floor beam at home, you can simply use your floor.  We just put two gym mats down leaving a gap in between which represented the beam and my daughter tried to stay in the gap. What I liked about the dvd are that there are various age children showing you the moves and you can literally just copy and follow them as they do things.  It’s really broken down step by step and moves at a slow pace guiding you as you go.  Miss M has had a few tries at this and enjoys following it.  I was surprised by how much content is on it and think for anyone child who really wants to gain experience then this is a great dvd to have to practice at home with.

Overall I have to say I’m impressed with the Head over heels about… Gymnastics! set of books and dvds.  There’s very little in the way of books to guide you in this sport so this really a unique range and across the set there really is something for every little budding gymnast out there – so go check them out!

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

Meccano 10 in 1 Rally Racer – Review

Meccano 10 in 1 Rally Racer is a fabulous kit with ten different variants on the build along with a Meccablock motor inside so your vehicles can travel along once built.  With a suggested age of 8+ this is great for those keen to build and improve on their S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills.

With 159 parts to the Rally Racer from Meccano, some of them quite small, it’s a good idea to have some small pots or a tray to tip the bits onto, which not only helps you find what you need but prevents them from rolling off the table.

My 10yr old built this model herself completely unaided and was perfectly able to do so.  There are a few tricky parts to tighten up but if you use the tools provided then it makes it so much easier (as I had to remind her several times when she was trying to put bolt on in a place that was hard to reach!).

The build is fairly straight forward for someone used to this kind of construction but is also satisfying once built.  Not only does this set produce a model, but it’s a working model and if you put batteries inside of the motor you can actually allow your vehicle to move along by itself!

My daughter was thrilled with her first build and is delighted to find that when she breaks it apart she doesn’t have to build the same one again as there are nine other different variations on the model to try.

This Meccano set is great in all aspects, it’s quality pieces, it’s fun to build, you can build multiple variants of the model and it’s packed with loads of S.T.E.M. skills for your child to think about and use during the creation.

My daughter loves these Meccano sets and finds they hold her interest and she’s always keen to see the end design.  With an rrp of £19.99 this can be found at most good retailers so keep your eye out for a great value product and toy that mid range kids will love!

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