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

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

YO KAI WATCH

On April 29th this year Nintendo 3DS launched a brand new game that has taken Japan by storm, YO-KAI WATCH. Nintendo sent us a complimentary game to have a go at to let you all know what we think about it. Well since I uploaded it onto their consoles, I’ve not had a look in. In fact when their friend came on a playdate they all sat happily on the sofa playing YO-KAI until we had to leave the house. It’s one of those games, ‘Just a bit more mum!’

YO-KAI WATCH

If you haven’t heard of this phenomenon yet, you soon will so let’s take a look at what it’s all about

In Springdale there are mysterious forces behind everyday problems. From always feeling hungry to spending too much money or saying something mean accidentally, behind all these common problems there are very likely to be a mischievous Yo-kai to be found.

Yo-kai are charming, funny, outrageous characters that can be found everywhere, living in their own secret world from our own, and with a habit of causing a lot of weird problems for people – often with hilarious results.

To protect the town, players will need to befriend as many Yo-kai as they can; with a little luck and some good tactics, they can be befriended and relied on for help, but many have their own problems that need solving too. Yo-kai such as Jibanyan, an abandoned cat with an affinity for fighting trucks who just wants to impress his old owner, or Komasan, a mild-mannered Yo-kai who needs a hand finding his lost brother.

As the new owner of the powerful Yo-kai Watch, a watch with a lens that allows the normally hidden Yo-kai to be seen, players must solve the mysteries of the Yo-kai, get to the root of these issues and protect Springdale.

It sounds simple doesn’t it? In fact it kept the girls gripped as they struggled initially to find any Yo-kai but persistence is the name of the game and you should have heard the elation when they discovered their first. Of course after that they wouldn’t put the game down and the consoles have been on charge ever since.

Yo Kai Watch

In addition to the main story there are hundreds of additional quests littered throughout Springdale just waiting for players to find them. Exploring and finding these quests are all part of the fun: Springdale is a vast town with a number of shops, parks, a forest, and even more secret locations to be discovered. Completing these additional quests will help players level up their Yo-kai to an even stronger level, and sometimes find even more new Yo-kai to recruit! Existing Yo-kai can also be combined using Yo-Kai Fusion to create new unique and powerful members of your party – some of which cannot be found any other way.

yo kai watch

How to play YO KAI WATCH

Players must have a strategy as battling the powerful Yo-kai bosses will keep even the best players on their toes. All Yo-kai possess their own unique abilities, called Soultimate Moves, that when unleashed can swiftly turn the tide of battle. Players will need to carefully manage their party on the Nintendo 3DS touch screen to swap their Yo-kai in and out of battle, judge when to use their Soultimate Moves, and wisely use items to keep their Yo-kai in good condition. Friends can also pit their best Yo-kai teams against each other by battling via local wireless play.

yo kai watch

What’s YO KAI WATCH about?

The YO-KAI WATCH game is about hundreds of sometimes cute, sometimes spooky, and usually mischievous Yo-kai that inhabit our world. Yo-kai are not ghosts, monsters or creatures. Yo-kai are, quite simply, Yo-kai. They cannot be seen by the human eye, but they are everywhere. Whether born from the soul of a deceased human, or an everyday object discovering its higher purpose, their personalities are distinctly humanlike.

yo kai watch

 

Disclosure: We received a download code for the purposes of writing this review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own. We are part of the Nintendo Family Blogger Network. Images used with permission.