Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magic Set – Review

The Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magic Set available from Hello Direct website is a really fabulous wooden set suitable for the ages of 8+.  It’s a case of what you see is what you get, no excessive packaging, no plastic pieces, a beautifully crafted wooden magician’s box that contains ten classic tricks and illusions.  With a bit of fine motor skills practice, you will soon have a little magical performer in the recipient of this wonderful toy.

The tricks can all be stored in the box when not in use which is really handy.

Tricks and illusions included are:

  • Disappearing ball
  • Magic coin box
  • Secret silks
  • Great escape
  • Magic number prediction
  • Money maker
  • Egyptian prediction
  • Vanishing zone
  • Cylinder squeeze
  • Vanishing coin

I love that the wooden storage box for the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magic Set doubles up as a magicians stage as well to perform all of your magic from and gives you a place to hide your tricks and conceal your hand movements as you prepare them.

I also love the presentation of the instruction sheet.

On to the magic tricks and I think just by looking at the picture you can tell that these are all well made and sturdy due to them being made of wood. They are all painted with bright, fun designs to really help make your magic come to life. My boy who is 8 was immediately struck with all the pieces and couldn’t wait to turn himself into a magician.

The Vanishing Coin trick and the Secret Silks where big hits with my little boy and he couldn’t wait to show everyone once he’d learnt how to do them. Having such well thought out pieces in the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magic Set makes the tricks look really effective and the bright colours help make the show realistic and magical.

We found the instructions easy to follow and once you understand how a magic trick works it’s just a case of perfecting your moves to make your audience really believe in the illusion you are performing.

One of my boy’s favourite illusions was the Vanishing Zone, in which he passed his magic wand and attached scarf but we couldn’t actually see it when it went through the middle of the box – amazing!

I can honestly say I was very impressed with the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magic Set. I love that it’s made of wood, the pieces are sturdy and help create a really entertaining magic show.  My boy is currently practicing all of the tricks to do a big magic show for relatives next time they visit and I can’t wait to watch it.

If you are looking for a gift for a child of 8+, then I think this is brilliant and one that will last.  It’s well worth checking out the Hello Direct website as they cover a vast array of baby and children brands such as Melissa & doug, Casdon, Brio, Fisher Price, Hauck, Hape to name just a few!

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.

Irish Fairy Door Perfect for Tooth Fairy Visits

The Irish Fairy Door Company make high quality wooden fairy doors perfect for little ones to bring the magic of fairy life into their homes and gardens.  My little 6yr old is a great believer in all things such as Santa, the Easter Bunny and of course the tooth fairy which he has been desperate to leave a tooth for but has yet to have lost one of his milk teeth, although I knew a fairy door would be perfect for him.

The Irish Fairy Door comes with everything you need to make a perfect home for a fairy and encourage lots of imaginative fun with little children.  We received the blue arched fairy door to try out and I knew my little Mister B would love setting it up as a few days prior he had the start of his first ever wobbly tooth!

The set is well thought out and comprehensive in the pieces included.

  • Wooden fairy door
  • Stepping stones
  • Notepad
  • Bottle with stopper and key inside
  • Welcome guide
  • Fairy lease agreement

Mister B was thrilled with the set when it arrived and amazingly got his first wobbly tooth a few days before it actually arrived so was very excited to set this up ready for the tooth fairy.  He was thrilled with the door and set it up on the skirting board outside his bedroom (at my suggestion thinking it will be easier to access than inside his room!).  The door is of very good quality, all wood with great detail that even Mister B commented on about how much he liked.  It can be used indoors or outside (just requiring a coat of varnish to help weatherproof) but ours was going to be inside as Mister B’s whole focus was on the tooth fairy.

The Fairy Welcome Guide is a lovely bright booklet that follows a story of a grandfather explaining to his grandchildren about the life of fairies and how to set up the door and believe in the little visitors.

The Fairy agreement is a scroll outlining your responsibilities which is really sweet and lovely.

Mister B wasn’t too bothered about the two above items and favoured the cute little key in a bottle and the stepping stones.  In fact we had a bit of a meltdown at the prospect that the fairy would take the key away and that would be how you knew she had visited!  So we decided that the fairy probably wouldn’t take the key and just use it when she arrived.

Mister B spent that day setting up his fairy door and was really excited with all the pieces.

Within a week or two his wobbly tooth fell out!!  I have never seen so much excitement and he couldn’t wait to put his tooth on one of the stepping stones ready for the tooth fairy to find at night whilst he was sleeping.  He wrote a cute little note on the note paper and left it all set up ready to check out again in the morning.

Of course we didn’t want to take away the key due to upsetting him, so left the bottle on it’s side with the cork stopper out and the key on the floor.  His tooth was gone and a £1 coin had appeared on the stepping stone instead.  Also the note he left against he wall was on the floor which totally convinced him that the tooth fairy had read it.

Overall this set of a fairy door from The Irish Fairy Door Company has been a total success.  My little boy really believes in the tooth fairy and his whole experience of losing his first tooth has been a pleasurable one that has been very much  enhanced by the fairy door.  He is a total believer and having a special place to leave his tooth meant so much to him.  He can’t wait to lose another one now and write a new note for the fairy.  This is a great concept that brings so much excitement, fun and memories to children – well worth checking out!

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

Family Fun Playing Croquet in the Garden

A great game for friends and family of all ages is croquet, the perfect fun for all ages and great for garden gatherings, bbq’s etc.  The Sandford croquet set from Big Game Hunters is a high quality wooden set that I knew all the family would enjoy.

CroquetThe set comprises of:

  • 2 adult size mallets
  • 2 smaller junior mallets
  • 2 full size balls
  • 2 junior balls
  • 6 metal hoops
  • 1 wooden winning post
  • Carry bag to carry and store the set.
  • Rules

The bag to store the set in is really useful, keeps all the parts together and makes it easy to carry around, although I have to warn you that it is very heavy.  This is because all the parts are solid wood, so really are the best quality.

Croquet 2I like the way the set is designed for a family with a combination of adult and child mallets and the same with the ball sizes which are again solid wood.  Everything is beautifully made so you really are paying for what you get with this set retailing at £99.99.

It was then time to try it out which the children were itching to do so we invited the grandparents over for an afternoon of tea, cake and croquet.  What I love about this game is that it reaches all ages, young or old, it brings families together.  My parents in their late sixties joined in along with my children aged 8 and 5.

Croquet 4The children thoroughly enjoyed playing croquet even if we did play to our own rules, but we kept it simple and fun and it was a big hit with everyone.  This is definitely a family game and really brings about a bit of competitiveness that everyone can enjoy.

Croquet 3The quality of the set comes through when you are playing and it feels good to play with, it’s all very sturdy, looks nice and everything is a good size.

We’ve really enjoyed playing this game as a family through three generations and know it’ll be something that will come out on any dry days for a bit of fun and entertainment.
All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.




Casdon Wooden Beach Villa Play Set – Review

Casdon Wooden Beach Villa Play Set is a completely fold up self contained playset that you can pack up and take along with you with carry holes in the top.

casdonThe playset has two fold down sides to set the scene and inside two floors with stairs going up to the top floor.  The scenes on the open sides depicts a beach to help bring this set to life and aid young ones imaginations.

casdon 5There are also a number of accessories included, from a beach bar to stools, bed, tv, windsurf board, sun loungers, palm trees, two wooden figures plus a few more.

casdon 2I love how the playset can be packed up to just a small size box with all the contents inside for portable play and also to keep things tidy.

casdon 6Children can really let their imaginations go with this set, as 4 yr old Mister B did.  He had lots of adventures especially with the wind surfer!  There are plenty of pieces included to use to play although Mister B did add in his own boat so that both figures could go sailing off to sea!

casdon 4Being wooden this Casdon Beach Villa playset set is sturdy and durable, there are no small pieces to break off and everything that is glued together feels strong.  Aimed at children 3-6 years it really is something for those who love using their imagination through play as my son does.

There are other wooden playsets of a similar style to this one available from Casdon, including a Castle and Pirate playsets, so be sure to check them out!

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

Hape Rock A Bye Cradle for Dolls – Review

The Hape Rock A Bye Cradle is a toy that will appeal to every young child that loves to play with dolls. Hape, a German toy company, have created this gorgeous, high quality wooden Rock A Bye Cradle to rock your dolls to sleep in that I’m sure will be the envy of any little girl.

This beautifully crafted cradle is made from wood with painted end panels.  It comes flat packed in five pieces that require minimal assembly to create a sturdy, made to last toy.  The wood has a really smooth finish which reflects the high standards from Hape.

Cradle1The cradle is aimed at children aged 3+, and is a toy that encourages imaginative play, creativity and role playing.  It also helps to boost social skills through communication and cooperation with others.

My two children aged 5 and 2 (almost 3) have had hours of fun with this already.  Using it along with a dolls pram they have taken dolls for walks then brought them back to feed them and rock them to sleep.  They done some great role playing, being a family with their babies and although at times they have wanted to do the same thing at the same time with the cradle, they have had to learn to share and cooperate with each other.

Cradle2The cradle comes with an included pillow and quilt/mattress in a pretty pink, which have added to the play value.  There are also some lovely details in the little plastic rattle rings on the bars of the cradle for dolly to play with and also the ability to rock the cradle from side to side.

Please watch our short video of the Rock A Bye Cradle from Hape:

This is a beautiful toy, that I’d highly recommend.  The Rock A Bye Cradle from Hape would be a hit with any little girl. (oh and boy – Mister B loved feeding his doll a bottle then tucking her in the cradle for a sleep).

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.