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since 29/07/2008


Character Peppa Pig Peppa World of Playsets 10/03/2012

Peppa Pig World Of Non-Playsets

Character Peppa Pig Peppa World of Playsets When I was shopping for Christmas presents last year for my 3 year old daughter, I was not really sure what to buy, but whilst browsing the Boots website on their 3 for 2 offers I saw this Peppa Pig World of Playsets – boasting a 6 in 1 playset that also stacks together, with 1 Peppa figure included. Priced at £29.99 I thought it would be an impressive set and with my daughter being a Peppa fan I decided to buy it. When it arrived I was disappointed to say the least at the size of it; the box was quite big but once inside, the house seemed positively tiny and I was wondering how big the other ‘houses’ were that were stacked inside the main house! Well I can tell you, for £29.99, you really do not get a lot for your money. The Houses House One The main house I presume is Peppa’s family home, it is yellow and stands at approximately 33cm tall. The front section is hinged and opens out to reveal the other houses/shops inside; once you take these out you are left with an empty shell of a house – the depth is 4cm so there is not a lot of room for a child to actually ‘play’ with Peppa and any other Peppa figures they may have. There are no levels in the house apart from a flap midway up on each side of the opening parts which form some sort of second floor, but again these are only 4cm in depth (and only about 10cm wide) so it is difficult for a child to get any real play out of it. There are stickers on the inside of the house to show where the kitchen would be and the bedrooms ...

Barbie KIDS 29/02/2012

It's Electric

Barbie KIDS When my two daughters saw their cousin’s vibrating toothbrushes over Christmas, they immediately started pestering me because they wanted one too. I am not really keen on electric toothbrushes, preferring a bit of elbow grease and good scrubbing to keep their teeth clean, but with the constant wittering and moaning from them both, I eventually caved in and bought them one each to coincide with my eldest’s birthday in mid January. When I was browsing for them in Asda, I realised the Colgate ones only came in two designs – Barbie or Spiderman, and with me having two girls this caused me a bit of a dilemma - I could not get them both the Barbie one because they would get them mixed up; so my eldest drew the short straw and ended up with Spiderman, whilst my youngest received the Barbie version.It’s BigThe toothbrush itself is quite a lot larger than normal children’s toothbrushes, although the size of the head is about the same size as a standard head, but it’s only the top circular section that vibrates, which to be honest did concern me. The handle of the toothbrush is rather large but I presume this is because it houses the 2 x AAA batteries (which come supplied with the unit). The on/off button is located on the handle and is really easy to press, and both of my children (aged 3 & 5) can do this with ease. Overall, in my opinion the brush is a bit out of proportion and I would have liked to have seen a smaller handle. It’s LoudWhen my children first used their new ...

Magnetic My First Calendar Chart 27/02/2012

Today Is A Sunny Day

Magnetic My First Calendar Chart My 5 year old daughter is obsessed with the weather, whether it’s going to be a sunny day, or if it’s raining or heaven forbid snowing; she is also really interested in the seasons and is always saying that she wishes it could be summer every day. She also often pesters me to know how many sleeps it is until a particular day, or how many sleeps it is until we do this or that etc. And since she started school she has become very much aware of the days of the week – with Saturday and Sunday being her favourites! So when I saw this calendar whilst browsing for Christmas presents last year, I didn’t hesitate to buy it knowing it would be something she would enjoy, and be able to keep track herself of what day it is, what season we are in and what the weather is like! ***My First Magnetic Calendar*** This is a calendar with a difference; it is designed specifically for children. The calendar is a thick board which can be hung on the wall and is about 40 x 30 cm in size. On the board you will find numerous chunky magnets for your child to move around each day in accordance with the weather and what day of the week and month it is, and also what season we are in. On the left hand side are the months of the year, down the right hand side are the days of the week and some numbers for the date. Along the bottom are the 4 seasons and 6 different weather types (partly cloudy, sunny, snow, cloudy, rain, sleet). These are all magnetic and can be moved about the board with ease. Down the ...

KSG Junior Sequin Puppy Picture Kit 25/02/2012

A Sequin Puppy

KSG Junior Sequin Puppy Picture Kit My 5 year old daughter received this for her birthday, and has been slowly working her way through it ever since. These Sequin Art kits come in a variety of different designs, but the one my daughter received was a picture of a puppy. In the kit you get a brightly coloured picture (about A4 size), a polystyrene block (just a bit bigger than the picture and about 2cm thick), all the sequins you require and rather a lot of pins, for fixing the sequins to the picture. The idea is that you secure the picture onto the polystyrene block using some of the pins provided, and then you can begin fixing your sequins to the picture using the pins to create your masterpiece. It’s very straightforward because the picture is actually made up of lots of different coloured little circles so you know exactly where to position your sequins and which colour to use. The set is recommended for children aged 6 and above and I would say that is about right, because it is quite fiddly trying to get a pin through the tiny hole in the centre of the sequin. And although my 5 year old is quite capable, she does struggle sometimes with the pins and sometimes pushes them into the polystyrene at an angle instead of straight down, which can then cause problems when you are positioning the adjacent sequins. She can also only manage about 5 or 6 sequins before her finger tips start to hurt! It’s a nice activity for a parent and child to do together so that the child does not get sore fingers, i.e. the adult ...

Mattel Octonauts Octopod Playset 07/02/2012

Octonauts To The Launch Bay!

Mattel Octonauts Octopod Playset My 5 year old daughter is a massive Octonauts fans and the one thing she really wanted for Christmas was the Octopod playset. Octonauts For any of you that don’t know, Octonauts is a children’s cartoon, broadcast on Cbeebies, aimed at preschool and young children. The Octonauts are a group of 8 different creatures who explore the ocean. They have a base called the ‘Octopod’ and this is from where they conduct most of their underwater adventures and missions. The main characters are Captain Barnacles (a polar bear), Kwazii (a cat), and Peso (a penguin); also in the crew are a dog, otter, bunny and an octopus, you will also find a funny creature called a ‘Vegimal’ which I believe is part animal, part vegetable – these critters help out around the Octopod. The Octopod When I searched for the Octopod playset I was shocked to discover it was £35, which I thought was quite expensive, and then found it was sold out almost everywhere – so I knew it was a desirable toy and £35 was obviously a price many parents were willing to pay! Luckily I managed to locate one from Boots, and it was in the 3 for 2 offer, so I perhaps didn’t end up paying the full £35 for it which I was quite pleased about. It came in a huge box so I presumed the toy was going to be massive, but once opened we realised the toy is a relatively small compared to the size of the box. I seem to remember a certain amount of assembly was required when we got it out of the box, but my husband deals with this side of ...

Cars And Trucks And Things That Go - HarperCollins 02/02/2012

Watch Out For Goldbug

Cars And Trucks And Things That Go - HarperCollins I remember my Mum reading Richard Scarry books to me when I was a kid, and I remember starring in wonder at the intricate and detailed illustrations and seeing what I could spot each time I looked at his books. So when I saw three Richard Scarry books for £4.99 on a discount book website, I just couldn’t resist – I bought them for my kids, honest! And amongst this set was ‘Cars & Trucks and Things That Go’, which is a particular favourite of my youngest daughter, who is 3 years old. Cars And Trucks And Things That Go This book is an A4 sized paperback with 48 pages, so it is pretty big and long, so it is not for very young children because I do believe it would be just lost on them. Inside you will find every sort of vehicle imaginable from cars, delivery trucks, hay wagons, sports cars, tankers, trains, construction vehicles, and plenty of made up ones too, including a Pickle Truck, and my daughter’s favourite the Doughnut Car. Story Time There is a story running through the book and it is based on Ma, Pa, Pickles & Penny Pig and their journey to the beach to have a picnic. Along the way they meet various characters such as Dingo Dog who is on the run, and Officer Flossy who is close on his tail. You will also see Mistress Mouse and her Repair Truck pop up at various points fixing broken down vehicles; along with many other characters and cars. Although there is a long running story throughout the whole book, each page also tells a mini story of its own, but it’s up ...

Frustration Re-Invention 23/01/2012

It's Frustrating That They've Changed It!!

Frustration Re-Invention Well Frustration is a game that reminds me of my childhood, and what a lot of happy memories it sparks off in my mind. Being one of 4 children, we spent many a Sunday afternoon playing games, and to be honest when we all get together we still enjoy a good games night (with the added benefit of alcohol these days...) Anyway, my 5 year old daughter is a massive games fan, and she received this for Christmas, which I was very excited about! But when we opened the box, to my horror it has completely changed from when I was a child (some 20 or so years ago now – eek am I really that old??) Instead of the clear plastic game board, the plastic moulded slots for your pegs, and the dome in the middle which you push with great force to get the dice to jump, we now have a game board constructed from white plastic and cardboard (yes cardboard!) and the dome in the middle looks the same, but to make the dice jump you have to use one of four paddles located around the edges of the board (also known as the ‘slam-o-matic’). And also there is not just the one dice, there are now two dice – one with numbers on and one with a Genie on. Yes, they could not leave the game alone, a game that clearly worked and has done for years, they decided to jazz it up a bit and add confusion to the game by including a ‘Genie’. I will move onto the Genie a bit later on. ==Game Contents== Within the box you will find the game board which is made from white plastic and cardboard and has slots around the edges ...

Spin Master Zoobles Blossoming Garden Play Set 19/01/2012

Time For Zoobles

Spin Master Zoobles Blossoming Garden Play Set My 5 year old daughter received this Zoobles set for Christmas. Zoobles are something which I had never heard of, and neither had my daughter, so it stayed in the box for a few days before we finally got around to opening it up to have a look. Zoobles Well as far as I can tell, Zoobles are another phenomenon whereby children can collect hundreds of these toys, and also create an online community with them if they so wish. I could not find much information about them on the official website, that was basically just an interactive site where you can look at the different lands and creatures and play games, but I did find some information on a Facebook page, of all places! And apparently Zoobles live in a faraway land, and they have the magical ability to transform from tiny balls into cute creatures. The way they transform from a ball into a creature is through ‘popping’ open to surprise you, but they only way they can pop open is by being placed onto their magnetized ‘Happitat’ which activates something on the ball and it flicks open like a series of petals to reveal a cute character underneath. There are hundreds of these characters to collect, and also numerous playsets. Zoobles Blossoming Garden Playset The set that my daughter received was this garden/shower playset, and in it you get one Zooble (Iris), and a plastic habitat which has a slide, a shower and two ‘Happitat’ locations where the character can be activated from ball to creature. Also with the set you received a ...

Ocean In My Pocket Coral Reef Playset 18/01/2012

Ocean In My Pocket

Ocean In My Pocket Coral Reef Playset My eldest daughter, now aged 5, loves all things tiny and has a vast range of Puppy in my Pocket toys which she plays with frequently. A well meaning relative bought her some Ocean in my Pocket toys (tiny sea creatures), thinking they were the same thing, which they are in a way...but at the end of the day they are not dogs. Anyway, despite my initial reservations my daughter loved these little creatures and kept them separate from her Puppies, but she still enjoyed playing with them regularly. So Christmas was looming and she had somehow got wind of a play set that you could buy for use with these Ocean in my Pocket toys – the Ocean In My Pocket Coral Reef – and she requested it from Santa. The RRP is £20 which I thought was way over the top for what you get, but we managed to get it half price from Toys R Us, so I was rather pleased with that! But I have since noticed it is still ‘HALF PRICE!’ so perhaps this is a selling ploy and the true value is this ‘sale price’... ==Coral Reef== The coral reef is a smallish plastic play set which is designed to look like a coral reef but whether it resembles a real coral reef or not I have no idea, you also get a Killer Whale family included (Mum & 3 babies) - I’m actually starting to think a Killer Whale family is an odd set to come with a coral reef, perhaps a tropical fish style family would have been more appropriate, anyway I digress. The main part of the set is a giant clam shell which opens out to reveal a see-saw, there is ...

VTech KidiCommunicator 10/01/2012

Walkie Talkies for Kids

VTech KidiCommunicator Last year whilst trying to figure out what to buy my kids for Christmas, I was browsing through the Boots website, and they had the usual 3 for 2 offer on toys. So I found a toy for each child, and then of course I had to find a third toy to get use of the offer. I could not find anything that would suit either of them, until I stumbled upon these Vtech Walkie Talkies (or KidiTalkie as Vtech have now labelled them). I had a quick read of the description and decided they would be a good buy for the kids, with 3+ being the recommended age I thought my children aged 3 & 4 would have a lot of fun with them. In the pack you get two walkie talkies, one blue and one orange, both are identical apart from the colour. The units look very child friendly with them being chunky and rubberised (designed to withstand dropping), with a large display and easy to push buttons on the front. Not only are they walkie talkies, but they have 3 built in games, and the ability to send messages, pictures and e-cards between the devices. So if the kids get bored of asking each other what they are doing and where they are in the house, they can send each other messages or play the games. When my kids opened these on Christmas Day I was pretty keen to set them up and have a go (I mean who doesn’t love walkie talkies?!), but the kids didn’t seem particularly interested, they were just another toy to add to ever growing toy mountain. But once all the mess and hysteria was out of the way, we got them out ...

Disney Princess Shoes Giftset 09/01/2012

Shoes For Girls

Disney Princess Shoes Giftset I've got two daughters, aged 4 & 3 and have so far managed to successfully evade the whole Disney Princess phenomenon, apart from a few bits and bobs here and there that have slipped through the net. Neither of my daughters has been thrust with the notion that 'you are a girl so you must want to be a Disney Princess'. However, recently my eldest has started school and has been mixing with miniature Princesses who have Princess lunch boxes, Princess drinks, Princess hair bobbles, Princess gloves, Princess shoe get the idea; so she has obviously made friends with children who are Disney Princess mad, and consequently developed a liking for pretty, fluffy Princess-like things. These shoes are something she plays with whenever she visits her friend's house, and they are something she really wanted for I gave in, and when I saw them in B&M Bargains for £10, I was pretty chuffed to be honest because I have only ever seen them for about £18 in other stores. Shoes?....With Heels....For Children...??? In the set you get 4 pairs of plastic shoes, in red, pink, yellow and blue. The shoes are slip-ons with open toes and a small heel (about an inch) - the heel is in my opinion too high for young children, but what can you do? Each shoe has a disc on the toe with a different Princess on, I recognise Snow White and Cinderella, but who the other two are I have no idea, but I presume most Princess lovers would know straight away who they are! And this disc has ...

Early Learning Centre Honey Bee Tree Game 06/01/2012

Buzzy Bees

Early Learning Centre Honey Bee Tree Game My kids got this game for Christmas, and we love games in this house so it was a welcome gift. The Game Honey Bee Tree is from The Early Learning Centre and is for children aged 3 and above (perfect as my kids are 3 & 4). It is very similar to the classic game of Kerplunk but I suppose you could say it is ‘jazzed’ up a bit to make it more interesting for the younger participant. Inside the box you get a transparent honey pot, an old oak tree, a tray/tree base, 32 leaves & 30 bees. All items are plastic, and the honey pot, tree trunk and tray base fit together to form the bulk of the game. The honey pot is covered in holes, and these are where you insert your leaves (as you would insert your sticks in Kerplunk). Once the leaves are all inserted, you then chuck in all your bees, hoping than none fall through the gaps before the game has even started. Now you are ready to play. Up to 4 players can take part and you each take it in turns to pull a leaf out of the honey pot, trying as hard as you can not to dislodge any bees. The tree trunk is hollow and has one opening at the bottom, so if any bees come loose they will tumble down the tree trunk and into the tray at the bottom. There are 4 sections in the tray, so when it is your turn you must turn the tree so that the opening is in line with your section on the tray, so if you do happen to dislodge any bees, they will fall into your section. The player with the least amount of bees at the end of the game is the ...

The Orb Factory Jewels Sticky Mosaics 05/01/2012

Very Sticky Mosaic Fun

The Orb Factory Jewels Sticky Mosaics This was one of my 4 year old daughter’s many Christmas presents, and something with which she has had a lot of fun. Sticky Mosaics are exactly what they sound like, a set of pictures which you complete with the provided sticky mosaic pieces. I think Sticky Mosaics are available in many different styles and themes, but the one my daughter received was ‘jewels’ which just means as well as the foam mosaic pieces, you also get some jewels to jazz the pictures up a little bit. In the Box Inside the box we found 5 different A4 sized cardboard designs which at first glance just looked like a lot of squares on the page, but when you inspect them you can see a picture which is broken down into tiny squares, each with a number inside; 5 plastic hangers (for hanging your completed pictures on the wall); and 3700 sticky foam and jewel pieces (I have not counted them, I got this information from the box). The pictures consist of a unicorn, mermaid, castle, princess and a flowery scene. The foam pieces are set onto small square pieces of paper, and are colour coordinated – so all the pink pieces are together, green pieces are together etc. The jewels are kept separately. Also in the box we found a colour coded ‘key’ which helps when creating your pictures, because all the pre-designated squares on the designs have a number inside, and you need to know which colour this number refers to. For example, 1=yellow, 2=orange, so if you see a 2 on the design, you know that it should be ...

Chad Valley Hooked 13/12/2011

Hook Line and Sinker

Chad Valley Hooked I bought this game from a Charity shop for £1, I was chancing it a bit because the box was battered but I was working on the reasoning that they wouldn’t be selling it if it was faulty. I was so excited because I never had a game like this when I was a kid, so I wanted my children to have something that I never did. Hooked The game ‘Hooked’ is a simple fishing game for 2-3 players, and comprises of a large blue plastic pond which is square but the hollow in the middle is round, 12 plastic fish (4 red, 4 pink and 4 yellow) which have mouths that can open and close, and 3 plastic fishing rods. The game requires a D sized battery (the big fat ones). How To Play To play the game you place all the fish into the pond and switch it on. The fish will then start moving around the pond, quite erratically, and their mouths will also open and close. I think this works on some magnetic mechanism that is working underneath the pond, and obviously the fish must be magnetic too so they are pulled around the pond at random. There are two ways to play the game. The first way to play is for each player to catch the fish which are the same colour as their rod (so the red rod catches the red fish etc) and the first person to catch all their fish is the winner. The second method of play is to catch fish at random and when all the fish have been caught, each player adds up the points on the labels on the underside of their fish. The person with the highest score is the winner. Our ...

Amazon Kindle Keyboard Wi-Fi Only 07/12/2011

I've No Idea Why It's Called A Kindle

Amazon Kindle Keyboard Wi-Fi Only I’ve had my Kindle for 4 months now (I paid for it using my Ciao earnings, thanks Ciao!) and I love it. And although I wouldn’t say the reading experience is much more superior to that of reading a paperback, it’s the storage solution it provides (instead of piles of books gathering dust) and the fact that you can have a book you want within seconds of seeing it on the Amazon website; it’s these two points that I find the most appealing. I’ll just point out here that I own the Kindle Keyboard (Wi-Fi) version (the one with the small keyboard at the bottom), and I paid £111. I see the newest version is just £89 but does not have the keyboard; I have no idea how that works. Getting To Know My Kindle The Kindle came nicely packaged in a cardboard box, and within the box was the Kindle, a power adapter and a USB cable. Also included was a very brief instruction booklet, this was brief because a detailed instruction manual can be found actually saved onto the Kindle itself, but I suppose you need to know how to charge it up and turn it on before you can locate said manual! I was quite surprised as to how small and lightweight the Kindle was, I certainly expected it to be a bit thicker and more substantial, it actually felt like it wasn’t the real deal, but I can assure you it is. The actual size of the product is 190mm x 123mm x 8.5mm and weighs just 247 grams, I know this not because I have weighed and measured it myself, but because I just read it on the Amazon website, where ...
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