Toys we play with including reviews


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!’


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.


Nintendo blogger

It is with enormous pleasure that I can tell you we have been selected to be part of the Nintendo UK Family Blogger network, you can imagine the twins are beside themselves with joy as am I to be working with such a fantastic brand!

Nintendo has been a family name for me since 1999 when my older children, Thomas and Megan were huge fans of the Game Boy and had consoles very similar to the one below. These consoles went everywhere with us and I remember the Millennium New Year’s Eve – an historical moment in time spent with family and friends, all of the kids were sat around with consoles in their hands trying to beat the scores of the others. Some things never change do they?

Game Boy

Nintendo has come on leaps and bounds since then proving time and time again to be a fabulous toy for children to play with and the twins have had them for a number of years now. It’s a toy that grows with your child as you change the games and move on to more difficult ones.

I had a Nintendo DS before the girls, they were infants and not interested at the time. I played Brain Games on it when I could snatch a moment out of my busy twin mummy days but I had to pass it over once they realised what it was and what they could do with it. I invested in a Tinkerbell game and a Disney Princess game and that was the last I saw of my console, in fact it wasn’t long before we bought a second one so the girls could have one each.

Girls playing Nintendo

As part of our Starter pack Nintendo have kindly sent us the New Nintendo DS model along with some Super Mario cover plates as seen above where the girls have a quick go before going to school. The plates are very simple to put on and you need a tiny screwdriver to fit them in place. There are plenty of plates to choose from for all tastes.

Meet the Amiibo gang


They also sent a couple of Amiibos from the Animal Crossing game. I must admit I was pretty confused as to how to use them but I watched a video on YouTube, which seems to be my major way of learning anything these days and I discovered how cool they are.

Amiibos are a brand new way to interact with your Nintendo characters and games. If you touch your Wii U GamePad’s NFC touch point with the figure while playing certain games, data on the chip will be transferred into the game and used in a range of ways. As you play, your figure’s data will also be updated, so keep playing to make your amiibo unique!

Why choose a Nintendo?

  • They are small and easy to carry in a backpack.
  • They are great for little hands to start getting their first introduction to consoles.
  • A Nintendo will grow with your child, there are games for all ages and each game has many different levels to unlock
  • They are perfect for journeys, no more ‘Are we there yet?’ as children are kept amused on their gadgets. Just make sure you have the chargers with you!

We shall be bringing you lots of news throughout the year of what is happening and why it may be of interest to you.

Bess Nintendo car

micro scooter Sprite

The girl’s very first Micro scooters were Mini Micro Original Microscooters, the three wheeled ones and they very quickly got the hang of them as you can see in the sweet video below that we made when they were 3 and a half years old, my goodness, where does the time go?

They used their Mini Micro scooters every single day. They would scoot to and from preschool, they would come with us on holidays and were perfect for trips to the beach when we wanted to go for a walk, as small children often have ‘My legs are aching‘ moments but a scooter takes all that away as they scoot ahead and call out to you to hurry up.

We reached a point when they grew out of their scooters, they got too tall for them and Santa brought two new scooters one year with Tinkerbell on them and only two wheels.

The Mini Micro Original Scooters

Then back in January Micro Scooters got in touch asking if we’d like to review their fabulous Micro Sprite Scooters. What perfect timing, just as the spring is about to arrive and the days get longer. Plus we had been talking about getting new scooters as they really are excellent to have, smaller than bikes to pack for weekends away and when we go camping they are perfect for roaming around the campsites and getting us from A to B.

The Micro Sprite Scooter

micro scooter

The Micro Sprite Scooter comes compact in a box and the box has a cut out on the side making it easy to carry around which I thought was an excellent idea.

It is constructed quickly and effortlessly in a few moves and is ready to go in less than five minute. In fact once they were ready of course the twins wanted to try them out.

Luckily they are used to skating now, not like the early days in the video at the top, they were off in seconds and racing around with huge smiles on their faces. We took them over the old runway close to our home and they skated up and down enjoying the sunshine on their faces.

Dad had a go at trying to recreate some of the stunts he used to do as a kid, the bunny hop was one he tried to teach the girls and by the end of our trip they were starting to get the hang of it. I can see lots of You Tube videos coming our way as they start to learn more stunts.

We took them home later that day with lovely pink flushed cheeks from being in the fresh air and exercising and the knowledge that they had both really enjoyed themselves.

I’ve seen the adult scooters and have considered investing for me and dad as the girls tend to go really fast now. As you can see in the video above they race off ahead and dad and I have to up our pace to keep up with them! It does mean however that we can get a good walk without the twins complaining their legs hurt.

I am very impressed with the Micro Sprite Scooter. It is carefully made with a lot of attention to detail, you can tell it is very good quality and that it will last the test of time hands down. There are lots of patterned decks to choose from with many colours and designs.

We like the stand which stops it sliding all over the place and the girls quickly learnt how to flick it up and down with their foot before setting off.

micro scooter westgate on sea

Micro Scooter helmets

If you visit the website Micro Scooters have plenty of accessories to choose from. They sent us through the two helmets you see here which the girls adore, they are their favourite colours and sparkle too! What more can a girl wish for? They are adjustable and should fit securely. We have forgotten to use them on occasions but on the whole I tend to ask them to put them on

Disclosure: We were sent two scooters and two helmets for the purpose of this post.

Lego Friends photo booth

I am really enjoying the girls at the moment as we move into the Year 3 life and they grow a little further away from being ‘my babies’. One of the new things in their life is music, pop music and learning the words to go with the songs, singing along in the car, watching X Factor on a Saturday night and generally discovering a whole new world.

This new found form of expression has lent to many a rendition of Let It Go! in the garden with lots of acting too, much to the delight of our neighbours. We’ll often be driving along and a song will come on the radio as the girls start to guess who it’s by

1 twin: ‘Taylor Perry!’

Another twin: ‘NO!! Katy Perry.’

Me: ‘Actually girls it’s Taylor Swift.’

They have taken up Performing Arts too which means they get to sing in a group and learn more about using their voices. In fact there is a lot of practising of singing and dancing in the house right now, we have a Tapathon coming up in November, a ballet exam in December and Presentation Night for the singing in December too. I’ve noted they also incorporate all this new found love into role play via their LEGO Friends set.

Heartlake Grand Hotel

A while back we were sent the LEGO Friends limousine and  singer sets. The girls really enjoyed making them together and when they are up in their bedroom I hear them making stories up with their LEGO friends girls and spending hours up there, playing quite happily together.

At the weekend we visited Legoland in Windsor again, it was a glorious day and the rest of the UK turned up too, it was packed. The girls spent ages in Castaway Camp which is the amazing adventure playground, they had a go at Driving School (currently their favourite ride) We went on a Laser raid ride and Mia’s riding school in Heartlake City before heading off to a very special LEGO Friends party in the Legoland hotel.

private jet lego

There was lots of singing and dancing with prizes to be won (fabulous LEGO Friends Popstar sets.) There were glitter tattoos, nail varnish and colourful hair pieces to be fitted in your hair. BUT the best bit was the karaoke booth where the girls went in and performed Let It Go (of course). We had a DVD handed over to us and they love watching themselves, you should hear the giggles!

My favourite booth of the day was the photo booth where the three of us went in and had a photo taken with silly wigs and sunglasses on. A lovely memory of a fantastic day, thank you LEGO Friends Popstars.

Disclosure: We were invited to the Lego Friends party and given tickets to Legoland so we could tell you all about the Lego Friends Popstar sets.

When the twilight moon is in the sky, the Zelfs appear in a secret garden called Zardenia where they share their special powers.

zelf toys

There are 19 to collect and we’ve been sent two for this review, aren’t they cute? The girls were delighted to open the boxes and find the Zelf’s. It’s the perfect kind of small toy for 7 year olds who like collecting small things and like brushing hair and making hairstyles.

The beauty is that each one is different and has it’s own character and story.

I’ve seen the girls play make up stories with them and play for hours as the Zelfs go about their tale.

I have a feeling that this is the kind of collection that can make it through all of childhood, you know the one you look fondly back on and can’t bear to throw out or give away as it’s just too cute? I bet you’ve got something stashed in the loft from back in the day too right?

And so it looks like we shall be starting a collection of Zelfs, do you think you will be?

Take a look at the character profiles below and see if you don’t smile.

Koolah – Koala Zelf

Zelf bio: This Zelf’s a real bed head! Leaf it up to her and she’ll choose to snooze every time. Goodbye stress, it’s time to rest! She’s the Zelf from Down Under who loves a sleep over.

Fabitat: Gum Leaf Garden sling

Zelf power: Nap time. A little rest can be a big releaf!

Birthday: Hug an Australian Day – April 26th

Sneak-A-Boo – Monster Zelf

Zelf bio: This Lil’ Zelf used to scare herself! But now She’s daring to do some real scaring! She makes her friends shake like a quake. And when she teams up with Elfa, watch out! It’s Double Trouble!

Fabitat: The Scary Hairy Boo-tique

Zelf Power: Daring. Go on, get scary! Dare’z ya!

Birthday: Fright Day the 13th

Disclosure: We were sent the two Zelfs you see for the purpose of this review