Toys we play with including reviews

LeapPad 3 review – so good I can’t get a look in!

LeapPad 3

The latest product to arrive from LeapFrog HQ for review is the LeapPad 3 which has been recently launched. We know our way around the LeapPad as we’ve been lucky enough to get to know them from the initial launch passing through the LeapPad 2 and the LeapPad Ultra. We’ve reviewed lots of games and apps too and this time is no different.

LeapPad 3

My initial thoughts on the LeapPad 3 are – it is lighter and more manageable for little people and this is a very good thing.

Secondly the screen is smaller than the LeapPad Ultra but this has had no effect on the twins wanting to revert back to previous models.

The third noticeable difference is the stylus as it now has a soft end and is thicker to hold.

The model comes with a rechargeable adapter and a lead to attach it to the computer for downloading games and apps plus uploading pictures and videos to your gallery.

Start up

A very simple process that is completed in minutes. Once again you are able to choose a game to upload free of charge, this time around we chose Kat’s Maths – errific Magic show the girls LOVED it and have played on it non stop until they finished the entire game. In fact they liked it so much I had to buy it for the other devices as the one chosen on set up cannot be shared.

The charge lasts a long time on the LeapPad 3 and was excellent for journeys in the car and short breaks for keeping the children amused.

By uploading all the other games we have onto the LeapPad 3 I have noticed they have re discovered the joy of this tablet and have spent hours on it since. I have since bought some other apps for them to play with too.

Holi and Oli Viking Adventure, Leap School In the Kitchen with Hap and Pentathlon games.

WiFi and Leap Search

In all honesty my two haven’t really played with this much after the initial searching and watching videos, they tend to play the games on the device more than anything else, however it is a fun element and what’s more parents can be certain that all the web content has been screened so it is kid friendly. It’s a nice way to introduce children to the internet knowing they are safe.


I have to say the LeapPad 3 has been an enormous hit in the house and we have had to put some strict sharing time in place as even if all the games are exactly the same on each device they both want to play with the LeapPad 3.


The LeapPad 3 RRP £89.99 and is available from most toy shops and department stores.

Disclosure: We were sent a LeapPad 3 to review as part of our LeapFrog ambassadorship and for the purpose of this post.

One Direction swapwatch

One Direction Swapwatch


The twins have now moved up to year 2 and although they’re not entirely sure what One Direction is, they’ve heard the name mentioned in the playground for a while now and they know everyone likes One Direction. I’m happy for them to stay just a little bit longer without discovering boy bands and music as I know from experience that once they do discover this brand new world they grow up that tiny bit more and I lose my babies.

However, they have the t shirts and they considered getting the school bag before opting for a Frozen rucksack. I know it won’t be much longer so I was happy to accept the review and sit back and watch them.

Needless to say when the box arrived of the One Direction Swapwatch kit they were eager to discover what it is all about.

This is a fun gift for One Direction fans over the age of 7 who like craft and jewellery too. It’s also good for those young fashionistas who like to chop and change their look.

one direction swapwatch game

The One Direction swapwatch kit comes with one watch face showing the faces of the famous boy band One Direction. Then there are 5 multicoloured watch straps, 5 different coloured surrounds, 3 coloured cords, 1 elasticated cord, 9 square beads, 13 tube beads, 26 round beads and 8 connector pieces. Basically an infinity of options to keep your happy 1D fan amused for hours.

The basic watch strap has the watch face, a surround and a strap but with the beads and cord or elasticated cord you can make gorgeous beaded versions. You will see a version with no watch face in the photo above as they are going to share the watch and make pretty bracelets with what’s leftover.

If it keeps them happy, that’s fine by me.

Suitable for ages 7 and above.

RRP £14.99

Bloom Pops review

Bloom Pops game
For any small person who likes crafting Bloom Pops will make an ideal gift.

It’s really simple pick your favourite fabric petals, stack them to look really cool and then pop! You can also add gems to personalise them.

The Bloom Pops is aimed at girls aged 5+ and in fact we sent our review pack over to Italy for my granddaughter to play with as she was 5 this August.
Bloom Pops push I think this game is easy enough for a 5 year old to use on their own without too much intervention from a parent and that makes this game, in my eyes, an excellent idea. It gives the child full autonomy of choice of fabrics and the to make their own flowers.

There is a Bloom Pops display tree where you can show off your latest designs and also the colourful flower making station doubles up as a handy storage solution, keeping all the bits in one place.
Bloom Pops flower

Everything you need is contained in the Bloom Pops game, a character figure tool to assemble the flowers, assorted flower petals, colourful buttons and sparkly stones to decorate.

Hours of fun and a beautiful way to keep young minds and hands busy with something they can enjoy later too, making birthday cards or giving them as presents to their friends.

Bloom Pops flower

Here’s a view of Bloom Pops on Amazon

Disclosure: We were sent a Bloom Pops game for the purpose of this review

Bop-it! Beats #toyreview

Bop-It Beats

Every home in the land should have a Bop-It! surely it’s the family game you drag out at family parties and pass around sniggering at he or she that can’t get past four moves. Well now there is Bop-It! Beats, the new addition to the Bop-It! family, we were sent one to review and I thought the girls wouldn’t get it.

I imagined they’d get bored of it quickly … oh how wrong I was.

We took it camping with us the first time to try it out as dad lit the barbecue, yes he was at it again and I was pleasantly surprised to see the girls arguing over whose turn it was. As I sipped my Lindeman’s Chardonnay in complete bliss I stipulated the ground rules, once you made a mistake you had to pass on the Bop-It! Beats to your sister.

Bop-It Beats

To start with they could only get four or five ‘bops’ right but as the evening went on and more Chardonnay was poured they got better and better in fact Alice reached 39 Bops and Bessie was close behind her.

Bop-It! Beats

Plays popular songs including ‘Pound the alarm’ by Nicki Minaj and ‘Levels’ by Aviici but one of the amusing factors of Bop-It! Beats for me was the voice telling you what to do.

The four actions are Spin It! Scratch It! Flip It! Bop It! There are two discs on each side similar to vinyl records which you spin and scratch. When he tells you to Bop It! you whack the Bop It button on the side and when you hear Flip It! you turn the game over to the other side and continue following the instructions.


Bop-It Beats

It’s when you get it wrong that the voice starts taking the mick …

‘Have you got two left hands?’

‘Let’s forget that happened.’


Ahhh – first time spinning?

This guy really adds a touch of humour to the game and we really enjoyed playing with it. It’s makes a great campfire game to pass around. If you are impressed with dad’s fire making skillz check out our Certainly wood review for more information- their natural firelighters make it so easy. bop it beats in box Disclosure: We were sent a Bop-It! Beats for the purpose of this review. Made by Hasbro RRP £21.99

LeapFrog encourages activity with LeapBand


I want to tell you about this event and the new LeapFrog product the LeapBand as we were invited along but it clashed with Camp Bestival so we had to turn it down.

It was held at London Zoo and Greg Rutherford and Beth Tweddle were present and hands on with the kids whilst the children learnt how to use their new Leapbands.

The LeapBand is a bracelet/watch activity tracker for children. It has over 50 different activities and challenges which track the child’s movements so the more active they are the more points they earn. There are also a choice of 8 virtual pets which can be nurtured with healthy treats. As the child earns points through play and activity they unlock new games, challenges, levels of play and virtual rewards for their on screen pet.


Greg Rutherford, fresh from winning Gold for England at the Commonwealth Games said: “As an athlete and, more importantly as a future dad, I know how vital it is to inspire kids to get active and a big part of that is making physical activity fun and rewarding, which LeapBand is perfect for.”

Three-time World Champion and Olympic bronze medalist, Beth Tweddle MBE said: “It’s important to give all children the opportunity to try new and different ways of being active. LeapBand is a great, fun way to get kids moving and learning healthy habits. It would be amazing if more little ones were inspired to be future champions after learning that being active is loads of fun!”

LeapBand has an aspirational fit-band style designed with kids in mind. High-tech features include a built-in accelerometer, high-resolution colour screen, rechargeable battery and water-resistant design, making it the ultimate activity wearable for kids. The device also doubles up as both a digital and analogue watch.

In addition to the active play on LeapBand, the fun is extended with a free downloadable companion app called the Petathlon™ Games. In the app, kids can compete as their virtual pet in six mini-games like archery, surfing and bobsledding to win extras including medals and new tracksuits for their virtual pet. The Petathlon Games app is available for download to Wi-Fi enabled LeapPad tablets from LeapFrog as well as an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.**

The LeapBand activity tracker (RRP £29.99, for children 4 to 7 years old) comes in green, pink, blue and orange, online and is available major UK retail locations. Additional activities and challenges are free and available for download via LeapFrog Connect for LeapBand.

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