Nov 23

Review of Bellz

We love games, board games, video games, even made up games; especially this time of year when it is darker in the evening and we just want to cosy down each night with something fun. We were very happy to add Bellz from Spinmaster to our collection and give it a test run!Photo 17-11-2016, 18 57 58When the game arrived the kids couldn’t wait to play. The bells definitely attracted them to it.  In the box you get 40 bells, a double ended magnet and a travel pouch. The bells come in different sizes and in four different colours, they are fairly light but not too flimsy. The magnet has a smaller magnet one end and a stronger one the other and the travel pouch actually becomes the playing board too. Photo 17-11-2016, 18 58 47The idea of the game is to collect all of your own colour (of which there are 10) but you are not allowed to collect any other colour. You take it in turns until one of you has all your colour. You can select which magnet you use – sometimes the bigger one is too strong for what you are going for so you need the weaker one. Photo 17-11-2016, 18 59 47It is a simple game to play and it is also a lot of fun. The rules are simple and children can follow well. I love the fact that we can play as a family or the kids (aged 6 and 8) can play just the two of them.  You can simplify it further by just playing who can collect the most bells (regardless of colour).

The travel pouch is fantastic for storage (everything fits in) and is a great size for travel. We will definitely be taking it when we go away to hotels or to families houses to keep the kids entertained. Photo 17-11-2016, 19 02 48The Monkey and the Mouse often get it out to play and I only know because of the bells jingling and the giggling! They have so much fun playing it and has said that they definitely think other children would love it too!

Nov 19

Country Kids in Kent

Last weekend we have a fab weekend away visiting friends, it was so nice to catch up and watch Monkey and Mouse interacting with their gorgeous little boy. Another thing it did was reignited a want for fresh air. I haven’t joined in Country Kids for ages, not for a lack of want – just circumstance.

Last weekend we made two visits to the wood to walk their lovely dog. We built Dens, looked at mushrooms, ran, walked and played on rope swings (even I had a go). It was awesome!!

Here is some snaps, they are not the best photos as it was drizzling with rain. The rain didn’t matter though it was just good to be outside, to have fun and to breathe!

Country Kids

Nov 18

Photos of Furby #FurbyFriday

We have been really lucky that we have had a Furby Friend with us over the past few weeks, to be fair I haven’t seen him much – he has been off with Monkey and Mouse having fun.

Monkey particularly has taken to him and has been doing all sorts with him, I will do a full review next week but Monkey has been taking some photos, so I thought I would share them! 15134245_10157826528405445_1936640115_nMonkey loves to teach the furby music, furby ‘dances and sings’ along and they have so much fun together, he has even had a go at the French Horn!! There is a video of this fun on my instagram too! 15151416_10157826528480445_2097823453_nKeep your eye out for the review!

Nov 02

Nottingham Comic Con

Last weekend saw Nottingham Comic Con’s 4th event; it is an event that hubby and I organised and run (with an awesome team of volunteers made up of family and friends who support our big ideas). This year was incredible, so many people have told us that they had a blast and that they can’t wait till next year.

The aim is to celebrate small press comics and individuals who are out there making their own, we have some professional artists join us too and we raise money for charity. It is an awesome day and so much fun. I am absolutely shattered from it but it is totally worth it.

In the future I am going to blog about some of the awesome artists we have with us and some of the comics I have discovered through doing this awesome event (I tell you 15 years ago I would have laughed if you said I would be interested in comics).

So for now, here is a small selection of photos from the day!

These are but a few photos, there are more. You will notice that some are by Tom and Charlotte Martin , they were the photographers for the day and did an amazing job – please do check them out!

Nov 02

Brightlings Review

Mouse (like many other children I guess) has a biggish collection of dolls that seems to be ever increasing, She loves her dolls and loves to have more dolls when she finds something a little different from the ones she has. 14914562_10157739382385445_692392370_nBrightlings are interactive Plush dolls that sing and talk, they come in three colours (Pink, Purple and Teal) and they are sooooo cute! Mouse was very happy when ours arrived, especially because she was pink and she named her ‘Sparkle’ – immediately they were friends. Monkey thought that it was a bit young for him and a bit ‘girly’.

The Brightling requires 3 x AAA which were included (a major plus point in my eyes as it means you can play as soon as you get it).  Her face lights up and the mouth ‘moves’ when she speaks or sings. 14963044_10157740496455445_371533108_n

There are three modes to use the Brightling in –  ‘Play’, ‘Music’ and ‘Repeat’ and Mouse enjoys them all!

In the play mode your Brightling talks, she says loads of different things (over a hundred phrases) and I quite often hear Mouse and Sparkle chatting away in what seems like a conversation. When in Record sparkle can record and repeat what you say and when in Music mode; the brightling creates songs in different styles.  Mouse loves to hear Sparkle Beatbox!

In fact Mouse loves to do almost anything with Brightling, she knows that the bath probably wouldn’t be good though because of the batteries! 14914599_10157740495260445_1519403077_n

The Brightling is really easy to use, her hands, ears and tummy hold buttons that you use to make her do things and she provides lots of fun. Her voice can change  tones by the direction you hold her in and her face lights up bright and several different colours!

Although her the front of her head/face is hard, she is soft enough to cuddle, her body is all push and squidgly. I quite often find Sparkle in Mouse’s bed with her, snuggled up and being cuddled. 14914594_10157740495935445_999469073_nThe Brightling is very well made and doesn’t look like she will fall apart or break anytime soon. There are no parts on her that are worrying and being aimed at 4 years and up is perfect. The best thing about the Brightling dolls are that they are a little bit unique, we have not seen anything looking like them before and the fact that you can interact with them make them even more fun!

Sorry for the bad quality video (and the fact it seems to have recorded in portrait) but I just wanted to show you a brief clip of the sound and fun of the Brightling.

Mouse genuinely loves her new doll, she likes the fact she is different to her others dolls, that she can talk to her and that she is pink! When I asked her what she thought about her, she said that ‘sparkle is the best!’ and that she was ‘awesome’. Another favourite from Spinmaster – and definitely one that is going to be loved for a long time!

Nov 01

Airhogs Remote Control Thunderbird 2 – Review

3…..2……..1……..Thunderbirds are go!!

Thunderbirds are a classic, something that our parents, Daddy and I and now the kids have all experienced and enjoyed within our child hoods! Of course, they have changed in their look but ultimately it is the Thunderbirds and they are fantastic!

The Airhogs Remote Control Thunderbird 2 arrived in the house and I am not sure who was more excited the kids, Daddy or Grampsy!! 14958803_10157738605885445_1044123206_nIn the box you get the Thunderbird itself, a remote control and a cable.  Within the remote control there is another cable. First impressions are good – it looked like a thunderbird and definitely looked like something that the kids would want to get their hands on straight away!14958508_10157738655430445_576820969_n

When we first took it out of the box I was slightly concerned at how durable it would be as it felt really light and looks like it is made of polystyrene. I wondered how many crash landings it would take for it to break.

The remote control takes 4 AA batteries (not included) and you charged the thunderbird from the remote control (via a wire that is attached to it}. This takes a while but not too long; there is a light to indicate when it is finished charging and ready to play with! You can also charge vis the USB cable that is included which can be handy.  14937899_10157738714695445_1743106203_nNext up was to give it a fly………yep I said fly! Underneath it looks a little like what i imagine a hover craft to be like, you switch on both the remote and the ship and then you play. We found that starting on a flat surface (such as a table or Lino floor) is the best, it does work starting on carpet – but not as well. 14958725_10153834216586780_345048635_n

The actual flying has taken some getting used to but now both Monkey and Mouse can do it – practice really does make perfect (I still can’t do it as well as them though).

I needn’t have worried about the durability, the thunderbird has dropped out of the sky quite a few times and spent some time hitting the floor (especially when I am in control or maybe I should say not in control) and so far it has not broken at all, not one bit of damage.

The Thunderbird 2 is aimed at 8 years old and above but I have to say that Mouse (aged 6) has the flying down to a fine art and loves it as much as her 8 year old brother!

We love this toy and already have children in the family saying that it is on their Christmas list; the Monkey and the Mouse are both asking what other flying toys you can get. A firm favourite from Spinmaster! We would definitely recommend it to others.

Oct 25

#FrubesMoves Challenge

This Summer we went to watch the Angry Birds Movie, the Monkey and the Mouse absolutely loved the film and the characters are definitely some of their favourites for the year.
Both Monkey and Mouse love dancing too and actually they are both naturals at it, not really sure who they get it from! Earlier in the year they took part in a talent show and they pulled off some wicked moves including the robot!  They have always loved music and often have been found dancing in places where no one else is dancing!
P5050382They haven’t had any formal lessons, actually they haven’t had any informal ones either!! They learn from others that they know and what they see around them – I have had to reply acts on the TV or internet so they can watch the moves.
I love dancing, I love music, dancing makes me feel young, free and fun. I love a little wiggle in line with the beat, but I dont get to do it very often!
It is funny really because both Daddy and Grampsy say they don’t like dancing but when there is a party or a wedding they both end up busting some moves on the dance floor!03.7 DancingThis photo is of Grampsy, maybe the kids get some moves from him after all! Although they have a lot of awesome moves themselves and they are not shy about showing them off!

Dancing away their energy usually means that Monkey and Mouse end up needing a snack; Frubes have a range of good products that work. Monkey and Mouse love the Frube products and the fact that Angry Birds are on the packaging is a bonus for them! I don’t mind the children having treats but I like food with aspects of ‘good for them’, Frubes have Vitamin D and Calcium – both of which are good for strong bones. Just want my little dancers need!
Frubes have created a squawksome dance-off between the Angry Birds and mischievous Pigs. Staunch enemies in the film, the dance off between the Birds and Pigs means you and your family can settle the feud for good – pick a side and find out who is the ultimate dancer!Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 23.01.05As a family we choose to egg on the birds every time, I don’t know if thats because we think we are birds or we just like the good guys! You can change the background and the music of your scene and then you select your dancer/s and set them to work.Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 23.01.36
If you want a go visit angrybirds.frubes.co.uk to see who wins!
“This post is an entry for BritMums’ #FrubesMoves Linky Challenge, sponsored by Frubes < https://angrybirds.frubes.co.uk// >

 

Oct 21

Review of the Harmonica Set from RainbowColours.com

You may have read our review of the Giant Piano Mat from RainbowColours.com and heard about how we loved it, well this is the second set we have tried from RainbowColours.com – the Harmonica Set!thumbnail_IMG_1849

Within the set you receive a Metal 4 hole harmonica in the key of C, Harmonica Case, the Rainbow Colours book and 4 colour coded stickers.  thumbnail_IMG_3358

This set is designed to give the easiest possible approach to learning the Harmonica and as we found with the Piano, colours play a great part in it. You have four stickers to place above the Harmonica ‘holes’ – each coloured is a certain musical note.

Then using the coloured stickers and the coloured musical notes, you can start to learn the Harmonica (something both of the children have been asking to do for a few weeks – so perfect timing for us!).14800034_10157687162970445_1721031353_o

The book is aimed at children aged 3-15 years and it suits both Monkey (8) and Mouse (6), both can follow it and they are enjoying the learning!

The book has well-known songs in it that increase in difficulty as you go through the pages; one thing I really like is that at the end there are some blank music sheets in the back for the children to have a go at writing there own songs!14803259_10157687163105445_1560635815_o

We really love this set and are tempting the idea of buying another so they have one each, also perfect for a gift for birthdays and Christmas

Keep your eyes peeled as when they allow me to record their harmonica playing I will share that too!rainbow22

Oct 21

Giant Piano Mat from Rainbow.com Review

There is a lot of music in our house, we are all big fans and there are instruments all over the place. Monkey has just taken up French Horn at school and last year both Monkey and the Mouse saved their pennies to buy guitars. So I have to say when anything Musical arrives, my two go a little hyper!thumbnail_IMG_1843

This box arrived from RainbowColours.com and as soon as they saw it, they grinned and jumped and couldn’t wait to dive into it. I mean if you think about it, what is more exciting than a giant piano mat? Music that is giant – can’t get any better can it!?

Within the box is the mat itself and six song cards, there are no batteries included but it takes (((())))) which luckily we had in the house so we were able to play straight away.thumbnail_IMG_3362The piano is designed to give an easy approach to learning the piano; it uses coloured musical notes and keys to make it simple.  All you have to do is follow the coloured musical notes as they are on the song cards and you will feel like a professional pianist.  The cards are lovely and bright, easy to follow and have well-known songs on them.  It seems that Happy Birthday is a very popular song in our house – I feel like I have heard it on all of my non-birthdays!thumbnail_IMG_1848

There are 24 coloured touch sensitive keys which give off great sound and are perfect for the children to play on. With it being a giant floor piano, ideally you use your feet, but Mouse likes to kneel down and use her hands; the keys are sensitive enough that you can do this with ease too!

The Piano comes with eight instrument sounds and to add even more fun you can record and play back your music and hear how awesome you are!

Bonus points for parents are that there is a volume button on the piano so that means that you can turn it down if need be, it is educational and fun and it folds away back into the box for easy storage which in my head hat is a massive plus point! thumbnail_IMG_1847

It is a lovely toy that my two have managed to play nicely together with – there has been no arguing over it (although I am not daft enough to think this will never happen!).  Both Monkey (aged 8) and Mouse (aged 6) have taken to this and love playing with it….i definitely have two budding musicians on my hands!

They are able to use it with ease and without too much guidance; sometimes they follow the cards and sometimes they just throw their caution to the wind and use their imaginations – either way it fills my house with fun and laughter and that’s exactly what we all like.

I actually think this works well in a home, but think it would work equally as well in a pre-school, school or for a childminder; it would bring music to their learning and is a great size for more than one child to join in. The easy to follow teaching of songs would be a happy addition for them too!

 

Oct 18

Pencil Pets Puppies Review

The Monkey and the Mouse love all things creative, they really like to make new things!  They also seem to have a hobby of collecting pens and pencils!  With this is mind it seems that the Craftbox Pencil Pets Puppies from Interplay may be perfect for them!14796206_10157669290355445_1048370581_oThe idea is that you can personalise your pencil and create your own Pencil Pets. The kit comes with everything you need to make them including two pencils, the topper head and various accessories to add to them. There are glasses and hats and all sorts of stickers to pretty them up and make it just yours! 14800034_10157669289845445_2068790983_oBoth Monkey and Mouse were very happy to join in and they chose their pencils, they shared the kit really well taking it in turns to pick the accessories to add to them. Neither wanted any ideas and were able to decorate them without too much guidance. The heads were a little fiddly to put together and we did help a little to line up the holes but other than that it is a kit that Kids could do themselves.

All the contents are child-safe and the pencils are recycled which is always a bonus and the parts on the topper are interchangeable, you can swap the glasses for a moustache or the chef’s hat for a princess crown.  My two used the extra stickers for decorating other things too!

Monkey and Mouse were very happy with their designs and once I had got my photo, they ran off to sharpen them and since these have become their favourite pencils to draw with!! 14647246_10157669289030445_362583457_o

Christmas is coming and I am sure even those  who are not wanting to think about it can’t help but spy things and think ‘that’s a good stocking filler’ and this is definitely one of those things. A great price for something that the kids can create themselves and then keep and use. I already have a couple of friends children in mind that would love these!

There are other kits in the Pencil Pets Puppies range and if you are more of a cat person – they have them too!

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