Toys

Toys we play with including reviews

unicorn 3D puzzle Ravensburger

We haven’t done a puzzle in ages and it’s a task that once we start we really enjoy completing. I’d go as far to say puzzles are therapeutic and great for stilling the mind and creating at the same time.

Ravensburger continues to be a huge favourite of ours, we’ve been using them for years, and we have been asked to review some of their latest 3D puzzle range.

This will be a new challenge for the girls, working out how to make a 3D puzzle and the beauty of these jigsaws is that the finished puzzle is also a handy object that they can use and keep in their bedroom. No more breaking it up to put it back in the box!

There are many different kinds of 3D puzzles, the first that I ever saw were of buildings, like Big Ben which we gave as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago to my nephew, who loved it. The latest range of 3D puzzles includes unicorns, and we love unicorns in our house so we were delighted to take a look at them

3D puzzle Ravensburger

Discover unique puzzle fun in the third dimension with 3D Puzzles from Ravensburger! Thanks to ourEasy Click Technology, the plastic puzzle pieces fit together precisely. Create stunning 3D objects with individually shaped and bendable puzzle pieces – no glue required!

There are four products in the unicorn range, a vase, a vanity box, a jewellery tree and a pencil holder. The puzzles are different sizes and this may help you decide which one to get judging on the age of the child.

Unicorn Vase – It’s aimed at children 9+ but the twins, who are 8 can do this with a little help. There are 216 pieces in the box and the finished vase stands 24 cms high. There is also a water container to place inside so your vase can hold real flowers.

unicorn 3D puzzle Ravensburger

Unicorn Vanity Box – Also aimed at children 9+ and also has 216 pieces. The finished dimensions of the box are 23 x 16 x 13 cms (LxWxD) and there are some handy plastic containers that sit inside to hold the objects you wish to place in it. The box is perfect for hairbrushes, hair bands and paraphenalia, nail varnishes, make up and jewellery.

unicorn 3D puzzle Ravensburger

Unicorn jewellery Tree – The jewellery tree is aimed at children 8+ and contains 108 pieces. The finished product is a flat picture of the unicorn held in a pink and purple plastic stand with branches to the sides which can hold all manner of bracelets and necklaces, plus the tray at the bottom can hold hair grips and bows, rings or earrings.

3D puzzle verdict

I think they are really cool gifts, they will keep children occupied whilst they are constructing their toy and afterwards they are able to use the product in their room and be rewarded daily by their creative efforts.

This is a toy that challenges the brain, keeps children occupied and away from screens and also offers a purpose once completed. They are reasonably priced

One last mention, if unicorns aren’t your thing then you might like the owl range.

Disclosure: I was sent a selection of puzzles to review from the unicorn range, all opinions are my own.

Project Mc2 dolls

Being part of the Netflix #StreamTeam has meant we have discovered a whole new meaning to watching television. Each of us has our own area where we can find programmes suited to us individually, one of the twin’s favourites is Project Mc2.

In fact Project Mc2 is a huge hit amongst girls their age and also parents. When I was a kid I played for hours with a couple of Cindy dolls. I would change their clothes and role play with them. But dolls have come along way for today’s kids, we now have a group of geek chic fashion dolls to play with that not only allow girls to change their clothes but also encourage them to role play intelligent games, not just, ‘What shall I wear today?’ of ‘I’m going to a party, I need a new lipstick.’

The group of friends are McKeyla McAlister, Adrienne Attoms, Bryden Bandweth and Camryn Coyle and they are on a secret mission to make sure that tween girls (and boys) know that cool is smart and to love S.T.E.A.M subjects (that’s science, technology, engineering, art and maths). The new season launched over the summer on Netflix presents two new recruits, Devon D’Marco and Ember Evergreen and together the group of girls complete undercover missions, as part of secret organisation NOV8. Their missions uncover themes such as hacking, cyber bullying, anarchy and the threat of technology blackouts.

I love the underlying message of the show that allows girls to think they too can be super heroes and change the world.

We have been sent two dolls to review and as the girls opened the parcel you could hear shouts of glee as they discovered the contents. We were sent Adrienne and her bath fizz experiment and Ember who comes with a hanging garden to make.

Here’s a quick run down of each doll and the experiment they are presenting.

McKeyla’s Glitter Light Bulb
The show’s main character comes with her own glitter light bulb experiment – that shows how simple tap water can actually conduct electricity. Mix water and food colouring, add glitter and glycerine and watch as it really lights up!

Adrienne’s Bath Fizz
Culinary chemist Adrienne teaches children how to make their own bath bomb in this innovative kit. Using citric acid (because it is a solid) and baking soda – plus optional ingredients such as glitter, sprinkles and food colouring – in the mould provided. Guaranteed to make your bath more fun!

Project Mc2 dolls

Bryden’s Panda Speaker
Tech genius Bryden comes with a Panda speaker – you just have to complete the electrical circuit to make the music play. Feed an apple slice to the panda to play your favourite song!

Devon’s Puffy Paint
One of the new members, Devon teaches you how to mix household ingredients such as flour, water and salt to make ‘puffy paint.’ The salt forms crystals when the paint dries (to make it sparkly) and the process of the water evaporating makes it appear ‘puffy’.

Ember’s Garden
Learn about the science of gardening with Ember’s Terrarium (an aquarium for plants). Add rocks, soil and seeds to see the water cycle in action and learn why it is essential to plant life.

Project Mc2 dolls

Project Mc2 products

Another couple of products to keep in mind with the upcoming gift season that shan’t be mentioned yet –

Project Mc2 Ultimate Spy Bag (SRP £39.99)

The Ultimate Spy Bag – as worn by Adrienne Attoms in the show contains a forensic fingerprinting kit, an air blower disguised as a perfume bottle, a magnifying glass hidden in a make up compact, a torch hidden in a nail polish bottle, a secret message launcher disguised as a lipstick, test tubes and much more!

A.D.I.S.N – Advanced Digital Intelligence Spy Notebook (RRP £24.99).

Just like McKeyla McAlister become a secret agent with your own personal, digital notebook. With fun phrases directly from the character in the TV show, a booklet containing secret missions, hidden compartments and a special NeRDy bracelet. The Notebook also ties into the free app, Project Mc2 Case Files, for even more action.

Ultimate Lab Kit (RRP £49.99).

Conduct your experiments on the go with this ultimate lab kit! Unzip the “bag” to reveal over 30 pieces, including a real microscope, test tubes, lab flasks, safety goggles and more! Using household ingredients, you can perform over 15 experiments with this clever kit.

Play games and find out all the information at www.projectmc2.com

Disclosure: We were sent two dolls for the purpose of this post. all opinions are my own.

 

Disney Art Academy

 

Disney Art Academy

Our latest review for the Nintendo 3Ds is Disney Art Academy which is guided art lessons whilst drawing some of the most popular Disney characters. If your child has ever said, “I can’t draw’, then this one is for them as following the mini lessons using the stylus you quickly see your drawing of the Disney and Pixar characters come to life.

It’s also a fantastic game for children who can draw and want to improve their skills, even mums and dads can have a go!

Characters to choose from include Disney princesses, Mickey Mouse, Nemo and WALL-E, the twins particularly liked drawing Olaf, everyone’s favourite snowman.

When you first pick up the game the level of difficulty is simple, tracing lines and filling in with colours. as you go along you are taught about expressions and portraits. There are some excellent tips included for young artists, like where to place the eyebrows and how a slight angle to the mouth can change an entire facial expression showing the emotion of the character.

As you go through the lessons you are taught how to use layers, it’s a great base for future users of Photoshop!

The beauty is, when the kids are in bed you too can have a go and learn some great drawing techniques and as there are no user profiles you won’t be messing with their levels – just don’t save your work over theirs!

The more characters you complete, the more you find and the more you are enticed in to learn and develop your skills.

  • Playable on: Nintendo 3DS
  • PEGI: 3+

Perfect for rainy days over the holiday or for quiet moments.

Wii U Premium Pack and Mariokart

Wii U Mario Kart Premium Pack

A second fantastic addition to our Nintendo games this summer has been the Wii U Premium Pack. Straight out of the box, it is so simple to set up and connect to your Nintendo account that we were up and running right after breakfast.

Mario Kart 8 is pre installed and very simple to work the controls to discover where it is. One simple click and we were in.

Since then the girls have been playing daily, absolutely loving the race track, the music and the fun character Mario. Dad has to wait for the girls to go to bed to get a look in and can’t wait to tell them in the morning how he got on.

As part of the Nintendo UK Family Blogger Network, we look forward to bringing you news of lots more products both for the Nintendo 3Ds and the Wii U.

Disclosure: The above mentioned products were sent to us for the purpose of this post, we are part of the Nintendo UK Family Blogger Network.

Nintendo blogger

micro sprite scooter

Back in March we were sent through two Micro Scooters to review and I can honestly say we wouldn’t be without them. We take them in the car, the girls use them when they accompany us when walking Baxter and they have become a vital piece of the girl’s lives. Seriously. Thank goodness the Flytes turned into scooters too so they could scoot all the way around the airports earlier this year in Lanzarote.

Scooters are ageless too, from the moment they can walk up into teendom and beyond, plenty of grown ups have been spotted scooting around airports recently.

micro scooter

One certain lady who has been in my thoughts recently is Georgia on my mind, a beautiful teen who scooted without a helmet and fell, hitting her head. She was rushed into hospital and underwent brain surgery which, thank goodness, has been successful but this is a huge reminder to all scooters and parents out there to WEAR A HELMET.

I am a bit lazy about helmets thinking, they won’t go  fast, or I am with them but Georgia proves that the silliest of falls can be bad and even fatal. So I resolve to force the girls into their helmets now. Just watch Georgia’s mum’s video when she first explained to the world what had happened, you’ll soon be shoving helmets on your kids as they walk out the door.

Please take look at Emma (Georgia’s mum) page Don’t be vain protect your brain and help spread the word.

Halfords have a fabulous range of scooters and accessories that you can browse online or instore and helmets are all prices so there really is no excuse.

Scooter tips and tricks

Of course now the girls are able scooter-ers (is that even a word?), dad has been teaching them bunny hops, a move he remembers from his own scooting days. However we need to have more skills these days and I just love these infographics that Halfords have come up with. There are three levels of tricks to learn which should see the kids through to the end of the holidays for sure.

I know my two are going to have a lot of fun trying them out and it will give them something else to do on a lazy summer day when they declare ‘Im bored!’

Click on them and print them off for easy access to them, or save as an image on your phone.

Easy scooter tricks

Halfords_Scooter_Infographic-1

Medium scooter tricks

Halfords_Scooter_Infographic-1

 

Hard scooter tricks

Halfords_Scooter_Infographic-1

 

Staying Safe on a scooter

Halfords_Scooter_Infographic-1

 

Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with Halfords

 

Zinc flyte Scooters

Every now and then a genius product comes on to the market and we are all wowed by the simplicity and the brilliance behind it, Zinc Flyte is one of those products.

The twins have Micro Scooters and we wouldn’t be without them, where we used to hear, ‘My legs hurt.’ or ‘I don’t want to walk.’ we can now present them a scooter and walk for as long as we like; Scooting saves legs and gives the added thrill of going faster than your parents.

I always find the walk from check in to the aeroplane can be one of those tiresome passages but it has to be done and I’ve often had to pick the children up when smaller or coerce them along with bribes and all sorts just to get to the plane on time. Let’s face it, sometimes it can be a fifteen minute walk or more.

When Zinc Flyte got in touch they had launched a mini Flyte scooter and were about to launch a midi version. They asked us if we’d like to try out a couple and I jumped at the chance as I could already see it was a genius idea. I really hoped it would be easy to use and do what it set out to do too. Where the Trunki was perfect for toddlers, this was spot on for the next stage of travelling kids.

The Flytes arrived and were unpacked. Apart from taking off the protective plastic there was little else to do, our cabin bags were ready to go. Oh hang on, first we must decide what to put in them.

Zinc Flyte Scooter

What is a Zinc Flyte?

The Zinc Flyte is a sturdy bag that opens in half by unzipping it around the edge. The bottom half of the case has a lining which can be zipped up to hold all of the contents neatly in place. There is also an elastic strap to hold any bulk still too. The other half has a pocket that can hold books and wallets. In total a 25 litre capacity and that is enough toys for a week or two on holiday. The beauty of the zinc Flyte is that the dimensions fit in with the international cabin size guidelines so once you have scooted to the aeroplane you can then fold the scooter up and pop your case in the overhead lockers. Genius!

Zinc Flyte Scooter yellow

What’s a Zinc Flyte made of?

The Zinc Flyte is surprisingly flexible and sturdy at the same time. It is not a rigid case but a softer more pliable material that is also sturdy enough to support bumps and ‘good use.’

How does the Zinc Flyte scoot?

Here comes the really clever bit. The case is ‘sat’ on the front of the scooter and when placed upright it stands on the two wheels with the handlebars coming out of the top of the suitcase on an extendable rod and locking into place. There is a small central button on the handlebars that you click to unlock the them and slide them back down to the top of the suitcase.

The deck is connected to the wheels on the bottom of the suitcase and with a swift and easy movement of pulling the board upwards, it unlocks and opens downwards at a 90 degree angle to the suitcase, giving you the deck to scoot on. When the scooting is over and the bag needs packing away, a simple pulling outwards will unlock the deck and it can then be folded upright

The bag also has a handy handle on the top which allows a parent to pick it up and carry it if you get to steps or obstacles.

Weight

It is sturdy and yet is easily held and lifted above your head to go into a cabin locker. It weighs approximately 3.6 kilos.

I wonder if they will be making adult ones any time soon as my girls loved theirs.

 

Disclosure: We were sent two Zinc Flyte Scooters for the purpose of this post, all opinions are my own.