Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Brick 2016 Review

Brick 2016 Review


If you have been reading for a while you might remember that last year we had a really good day out at Brick Live. As you can imagine I was very excited to be invited back to attend the 2016 show and is was great knowing a bit more about what to expect this time.

We arrived a little while after the show had started and got in very quickly. We were immediately greeted by some amazing LEGO- there was Halloween LEGO set, a huge Scooby Doo, loads of train tracks, villages and Lottie's favourite- a huge Beauty and The Beast set. We spent ages looking at the amazing things the master builders had made and then went off and started joining in the fun  ourselves.






We made LEGO houses to put on the map of the UK,  designed cars to test on the speed ramps, joined in with making a Giant pumpkin and a huge mosaic picture, all before diving into the huge LEGO pits to build whatever we wanted.


That painful moment when you stand on a LEGO brick!


We then moved to the back of the show were all the stalls were and where we discovered the most amazing LEGO model ever- a massive copy of a DFDS ship-it was awesome! I asked the lady if they were going to make small versions to buy but she thought they wouldn't be able to - I really hope the do though. They could sell them in the ships restaurants and reception and it would make our journey to France go much quicker.


Once we had admired the ship and done some colouring we went to have a look at what the retailers were selling.

There was literally everything a LEGO fan could ever want to buy- t-shirts, jewellery, limited edition LEGO sets and even LEGO bedroom furniture!

There were some really amazing things there though- we really liked the 3D Funky Faces people who can make you a LEGO version of yourself- these were awesome. They looked like they should feel squidgy but were actually hard and are proper LEGO people. We are definitely saving up for these!

I also loved the Base Ace 3D Play Platforms which we mentioned last year- I had been saving my pocket money so I was finally able to get a set. This is such a great way to play with LEGO figures and vehicles and lets you create allsorts of games- I have had some amazing battles with mine! I am hoping to convince my sister to spend her pocket money that she has saved on a different set and then we can get an extension kit to connect the two... but I don't know how her LEGO friends characters will survive against an invasion from my Stormtroopers!


My awesome Base Ace 3D Play Platform
It was nearly time to go home but there was just enough time for Lottie to go and learn a dance routine with the LEGO friends, which she loved doing.


Being 'photobombed' by the LEGO Friends!

Once again BRICK was an awesome day out- we all had fun, played lots, built loads and came home with some fab stuff too! If you get chance to go to the next one it is a great day out for LEGO fans of any age.





Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Ready, Steady, Dough Swirly Whirly Sweets Review

Ready, Steady, Dough Swirly Whirly Sweets Review


We had quite a busy half term but at the end we were all struck down with coughs and colds and decided to have a quiet day at home doing Arts and Crafts. This can sometimes be a bit tricky as it can be difficult finding something we can all do together with me being 8, Lottie 5 and Sam being a toddler who is keen on wrecking things.

The Entertainer must have known though because at lunchtime there was a knock on the door and a large parcel arrived- the lovely people there had kindly sent us a big Ready, Steady Dough Swirly, Whirly Sweets set to review.




I hadn't played with this sort of thing for quite a while but Lottie was keen we got started straight away so while Mum put Sam up for his nap I got the instructions out and started putting it together. It was really straightforward to set up and I had it ready in no time so we were soon able to get started using the set.

The main sweet machine allowed you go push the dough through and it turned a thick tube of dough into a neat balls, you can do it as plain or we preferred to mix it togethed make them multi coloured. You can then leave these as ball shaped sweets or use the presser to make them into sweets that are like a box of chocolates.


After this we used the icing piece which made a long straight very thin piece of dough- we like this because if you kept putting dough in before you pulled it off you could make it really long! We used these long pieces to wrap together and stick on the sticks to make lollies. There was also plates and knives in the set so you can make your own design and set them up.

 


I think the set would make great Christmas present for children slightly younger than me- I enjoyed it far more than I expected to and found it quite fun to roll out dough and make shapes, but my sister absolutely loved it. When Sam woke up he joined in too- he was too heavy handed for the sweet machine as we were worried he might break it but he loved rolling the dough and using the icing bit so I think this set is perfect for 3 to 6 year olds but will also be enjoyed by children who are both younger and older.

Thanks The Entertainer, we had a lovely afternoon trying the Ready Steady Dough Swirly Whirly Sweets set and actually all managed to play together without arguing!


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Collections!

Collections for Kids and a Competition!

So far this Autumn I have collected over 300 conkers and this has got me thinking of all the other collections I have enjoyed over the last couple of years, I am only collecting from a couple of ranges at the moment but these are my top five pocket money collections for children age 5 to 10.

5. Shopkins - My sister is obsessed with Shopkins and there are loads to collect, there are different toys that you can get to go with them. She has a shopping set but you can also just get the bags with the characters in to play with them.

4. Trash Pack- I don't collect these any more but when I was a bit younger I really liked Trash pack- they are a bit like Shopkins but more revolting and I liked then ones that came in their own little bins!

3. Topps Star Wars cards- I haven't got loads of these but I like them and would like to start collecting these properly. They are good fun to play a game with

2. Match Attax- I have collected these every year since I was 5 and really enjoy filling up my folder. I haven't managed to fill a book completely but got really close last year and I enjoy doing swaps with my friends.

1. Star Monsters- These are our absolute favourite collectibles at the moment. They are good for lots of age groups as both me and my little sister are enjoying collecting them together. I like the fact that you get two in a bag each time along with a sticker for just £1. We have already got some really good ones but I like to check each bag before I buy one to see if it feels like it could have a 'rare' inside!

Our 'Rare' Star Monsters

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Everyone Needs a Giant T-Rex!

Everyone Needs A Giant T-Rex!

We were lucky enough to meet some of the people from Kids@Play over the weekend and had chance to see some of their amazing toys.

Tucked away in the corner was an extremely large but very well behaved T-Rex, he was sitting safely out of the way and seemed to manage to avoid scaring too many people throughout the day. When we got to the end of the day we were lucky enough to be given our very own inflatable dinosaur.

As you can imagine my Mum had a few concerns about adding the newly named Trevor the T -Rex to our toy collection but having seen how much fun we have had with him today she is surprisingly ok with him having his own space in our house!

It was Lottie's birthday party today and we couldn't miss the chance to show off our Giant Inflatable T-Rex... he greeted everyone at the door and as more people arrived we all hid behind him and roared at the next arrivals. Then he had great fun joining in with the dancing  - unsurprisingly he was a regular winner at musical statues.


video

The T-Rex stood up to bring played with by fifteen five year olds, being dragged around the dance floor before Batman, Spider-Man and the Hulk attempted to beat him up and looks as good as when he came out of his box.

I love the T-Rex, he is great fun and good for both for decoration and imaginative play.  I am not sure how my Mum is going to feel when she meets him in the middle of the night but I would recommend him for any children age 5 plus. It's great that you can deflate him and re-inflate him when you want to play as it makes it a much more practical toy- although I am very tempted to fill him with helium, hold on tight and see what happens!

If all our fun has made you realise that what you are missing from your home is your very own Giant T-Rex you will be pleased to know you can buy one here!


Watch Out Sam! He's after you!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The End of The Summer Holidays

The End of The Summer Holidays


I can't believe it's the end of the Summer Holidays and that we are back to school tomorrow. I am looking forward to getting back to seeing my friends and starting all my clubs again but I am a bit nervous about having a new teacher and doing harder work- especially as last year's spellings were very tricky.

I had great fun over the Summer though. I especially enjoyed our holiday to France and plan to write about some of our favourite places to visit in the area and I loved Sportfest again. I really liked doing a couple of days of multisport activities and was surprised by how much I enjoyed and learnt at my first aid course.

The only thing I had on my list that I really wanted to do but we haven't managed was to go to the seaside. We hoped we would be able to do this in France but it was over 38C and just too hot to take my baby brother so we will have to try and visit one in England before it gets too cold.

Now we are thinking about going back to school we will have a lot less time for doing things at home but over the next term I would like to carry on doing lots of sport- I can't wait until hockey starts at the weekend, keep reading lots of books- I have really liked getting different fact books out from the library and have become very interested in learning about World War Two and I would like to try and be better at getting on with my homework and reading as soon as I get it so I don't have to worry about it at the last minute... we'll see though!


Image result for back to school free images





Timmy Failure: Sanitizited for Your Protection Book Review

Timmy Failure: Sanitized for Your Protection Book Review


I have just finished reading the latest Timmy Failure book by Stephan Pastis and I think it is the funniest yet!

This time Timmy is on a mission to find YIP YAP's missing money and stop the dreaded Corrina Corrina but travelling across America to Chicago he is forced to join forces with his former criminal nemesis Molly Moskins (who is a little bit in love with Timmy and very annoying) as his sidekick polar bear Total is in disgrace.

Timmy, Molly and Total have to make a brave escape from their parents to hunt the criminal down- they leave a trail of destruction behind them and unfortunately they don't quite cover their tracks as well as they could. Fortunately the money is recovered in the end and Timmy can be happy that another case has been 'solved'- even if he is now grounded!

Like the other books in this series this is a perfect read for anyone age 7 plus, the chapters are short and there are lots of pictures to break it up. The illustrations are really funny and add as much to the story as the writing itself. Don't worry if you haven't read the others yet- whilst it is definitely worth reading them it isn't a problem if you read them out of order as they all work well by themselves rather than having to be read as a series.

I would give this book 5 stars and can't wait for the next one- I hope Timmy and Molly team up again as this was really funny.



Cover Image

Monday, 15 August 2016

More Outdoor Fun with Bigjigs

More Outdoor Fun with Bigjigs

Our garden needs a lot of work but we are slowly starting to get it sorted out and have been enjoying spending much more time outside this year than we have been able to before. We have already had some fun Bigjigs toys to test that were great for using outdoors and were pleased the toys we were sent this month to review were also for getting outside with.

We have been sent the Bigjigs foot walkers which we both really like. They have a jungle design and we both really like these. They are designed for children age three plus and are ideal for children age 3 to 5 but are still just big enough and sturdy enough for me to use and both Lottie and I really like them. They are quite steady and more comfortable than the plastic bucket ones you can get and we have both been using them a lot. I like the jungle design which makes them good fun- especially when I am chasing Sam on them!



We also received the Bigjigs Natural Wooden Quoits set. This was perfect timing as it arrived just before we were due to go camping for a night. As it didn't take up much space I was allowed to take these along and we all enjoyed playing with them.














The Quoits are very easy to put together and everything just twisted in to place making it easy for kids to set up on their own and amazingly it all fits back in the box nicely too which means that you won't be hunting round for all the pieces later on. This is a good game for all the family as you just change the distance each age has to throw from- although I wasn't sure about Sam being allowed to walk up to it and put his hoop on rather than throwing it!

Once again we really liked these garden toys from Bigjigs, I have played with toys similar to both of these before but feel like these are much nicer and will last a lot longer than other ones we have seen. We all had lots of fun with them.

Ten things I would like to do during the Summer Holidays!

Ten Things I Would Like to do During the Summer Holidays!

Well it's been ages since I have written anything- Sam was poorly at the beginning of the holidays with Scarlet Fever and my Mum didn't have much chance to help me type anything up and then we have been making up for missed time by being very busy since then!

So somehow we are now half way through the holidays and it is going fast. At the beginning I wrote myself a list of things I would like to do over the Summer but instead of just posting that like I was going to I can now see how I am doing with working through the list.

1) Have some lie-ins. My parents say we all need some rest over the Summer and are trying to get us to sleep in until at least 7:30. I find this really hard as I am always wide awake by 6:45am but have been trying and was even still asleep at nearly 8am the other day... we will probably all let Mum and Dad sleep in but not until the day we are going back to school! -so kind of on this one!

2) Play a new board game- we play lots of games at home but I was wanting to find something new to play. We haven't managed this at home but Lottie and I went to our friend's house the other day when Mum was at work and we played a game called Tsuro there which is a strategy game- I really liked this and would like to play it with my Dad. I can tick this off my list!

3) Play with LEGO- I have done this every single day so far so I can definitely check this on my list!

4) Build a den- we have made some epic dens so far this holiday- the Gigi Bloks have been awesome for this and we have also made a pretty impressive one in the garden using a clothes horse, some chairs, a football goal and a load of blankets. Checking this one off too!

5) Go to the beach- we haven't done this yet. I hope we can manage this when we are on holiday though

6) Have a water fight- we have had the water pistols out but not had a full on water fight yet... I am working on my Mum to invite lots of people around the day before we go back to school for one- wish me luck!

7) Help with some DIY- I asked my Dad if he would let me help with some jobs and he let me have a go at building some new units we had got, it was much easier than I expected and I managed to build all four by myself. I was very pleased with them and we now have all our arts and craft things set out separately.

8) Do the library reading challenge. I am working on this- I have read 8 books so far and we are going to the library later so I hope I will get some more stamps today.

9) Try a new sport- we were lucky enough to go to Sportfest again this year (that's a whole other post though!) and tried several new sports- I especially liked Rugby.

10) Learn a new skill- I hadn't decided what I wanted this to be when I added it to my list but I think I can check it off because I did a first aid course and have learnt the recovery position and different bandages as well as some other things- I would like to do another longer course now.

I think I am doing quite well at the things on my list- I hope we will get the other things done, especially the water fight!

What are you or your children hoping to do over the Summer?


Friday, 15 July 2016

Bigjigs Toys- Sharing the Fun!

Bigjig Toys - Sharing the Fun!


We recently had our latest mission from Bigjigs and were excited to see we had been sent some games to try. We were given the mission of share the fun which was perfect as we always have a family game night on a Saturday and we were ready for some new games to try.

 
 
We settled down with our drinks and treats as normal and decided to start with the Bigjigs Stacking Tower Game. The bricks are great- they are brightly coloured and a good weight to build up and move out and the game is really good fun, we liked the fact that you roll a dice to see which colour brick you have to remove as it makes it trickier and more exciting than it would be otherwise. We soon had to move all the treats when we realised how competitive it was going to get and just how far the tower would fall when it tumbled! This is a good game because you can easily play it over and over again and no one really feels like the loser (which is good when playing with my four year old sister who doesn't take well to not winning!) My baby brother loved watching this game from his highchair and clapped every time the bricks tumbled. My top tip would be to find an extra piece of cardboard so you can use it along with the brick box to stack the tower really neatly and make the game last longer. This game is great for anyone age 4 upwards right up to any age.





















 
We then got out the Memory Game which I think is ideal for children age around 3-6 but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it as it is a really good test of your memory and concentration. The pictures on the game are of Mummy animals which have to be matched to the baby animals. Lottie loved this game, the pictures are really nice and it really made her think. I think this would be a really lovely present for a child around my sister's age but because the disks with the pictures on are thick and good quality they would also be easy to hold and not damage for younger children too. Lottie also got this game out when her friend came over the other day and they had great fun, there was no arguing and they even worked together a bit.


 

We loved sharing the fun with our family and friends and think these games are really good- they are both the high quality we have come to expect from Bigjigs products and were great entertainment.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Mini Mudder - A new obsession!

Mini Mudder - A New Obsession!


I haven't written recently as I have been really busy but I thought it was time to share my day out at the Fruitshoot Mini Mudder with you as that has kick-started a new obsession for both me and my Dad!

We have been going running together a lot since because I have decided I want to do it again and Dad has decided he really wanted to do the adult course next year- it has inspired me to do a family fun run to raise money for charity and we have also been marshals at a charity event over the weekend, I think we will be doing lots more running from now on!

So what was it about the Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder that has made me so keen on running? It was AWESOME! We arrived early in the morning at the beautiful Belvoir Castle in Grantham. I didn't know what to expect but we were greeted, given our Adventure Squad T-shirts and taken over to the right area where we got to meet explorer Ed Stafford who is their ambassador- we had some fab photos with him and he was really good at hanging off the obstacles when all of the children's arms started to ache and we ended up dropping down!




Soon it was time to get warmed up , say our pledge and then we were off. To start with I was a bit worried about falling over and hurting myself but I soon got used to it and ended up having a great time ploughing through the mud! We went round the course four times and some of it was just good fun and other obstacles were a real challenge. I liked the tunnels and swapped between going through head first and feet first, the bars were good too but my absolute nemesis was the ramp we had to run up and climb over-I found it really slippery and difficult but it was great and I loved the feeling when I finally managed to do it!



     


At the ended we were awarded a celebratory Fruit Shoot and got given our sweat bands. I found out that the adults collect these and get different colours depending on how many courses they have done and I have decided I want to do the same so am planning on trying to do lots of these. It was really good- my friend and I had an amazing time and really enjoyed it- even the showers were funny- we had to go and hose ourselves down before we were allowed to get in the car!



If you think you would like to take part in a Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder (and you definitely should) you can find information about them here








Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Bigjigs In The Garden - Play Patrol Review

Bigjigs In The Garden

Bigjigs Flower Press and Twigz Gardening Tools Review

Our recent delivery from BigJigs arrived at the perfect time for us to enjoy over a sunny weekend in the garden. 

Last year Dad painted a shed and decorated the inside of it to turn in to a playhouse for me and Lottie and on one side we have built a bug hotel and on the other side we are making a little flower and vegetable patch so we were thrilled to recieve a box of Twigz My First Gardening Tools.

 

The Bigjigs Flower Press and
Twigz My First Gardening Tools

The tools are really nice, they are quite strong and there is a good selection- we had a bucket, gardening gloves, a spade, a fork and a mini rake so were able to do everything we needed. We started by planting some tomatoes up in growbags and then did some work digging in our little patch of the garden. We both had a potato from a growing competition at school to plant so we have done that and we have also got the area ready to plant some flowers we have chosen at the farm shop.


 



I really liked the tools, they are easy to use and worked well, I think these are great for getting kids interested in getting out in the garden.

We were also sent a Bigjigs Flower Press. I didn't get much of a look in with this as Lottie loved it so much she just wanted to press everything she could find! It was quite easy to use- just pick some flowers, leaves or petals and put them inside a folded sheet of paper. We found it worked best when we left the flowers for at least a week to dry out but I liked the fact that you could add several different sheets of paper at the same time to dry lots of different flowers.

 
Being allowed to look at the flower press
under Lottie's strict instructions!


When we unscrewed the press and took out the flowers we just gently took them off the paper- they were very fragile to handle but dried really well. These looked really nice so we decided to do something with them- we found a plain jar and covered it with glue and then stuck the flowers on carefully and then glued over them and it worked really well to decorate it.

 

The flowers immediately after
opening the press
The flowers after removing from
 the paper in the press
 










    
I thought this looked really effective and now we have had a practice I would like to try some other pots- we would probably press them a little longer and also try ones without the stems as they stuck better. I would choose brighter colours than Lottie did next time to see how they come out. I like the idea of making a bookmark using leaves too. 
 
Making good use of our artwork
 to store treats!
Our first attempt at decorating with the
pressed flowers













Lottie loved the flower press and I think there are lots of fun craft projects you could do with it at different times of year.

 
 

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Dr. Seuss book reviews and a chance to win!

Dr. Seuss book reviews and a chance to win!


As you may already know we love a Dr. Seuss book in our house- I really don't think you ever get too old for them and there is something quite fun about getting to grips with the rhyming and tongue twisting.

We were very pleased to be sent copies of Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat In The Hat and Fox in Socks to share and review. My favourite is The Cat In The Hat which we used to read at bedtime when I was little and Lottie really liked Green Eggs and Ham because she hadn't heard it before- we think our baby brother, Sam liked that one too as he clapped every time he heard the words 'Sam-I-Am' but that could have been that he just liked hearing his name over and over again! We also really liked Fox in Socks and had fun making Mum read that one over and over again as it is a real tongue twister.




If you haven't read the books they all all well worth a try- they are all good for reluctant readers or children who are just starting to get confident reading, Lottie is trying to read Green Eggs and Ham out loud while we write this and she is just about managing, so they are good for new readers as well as being fun for older children.

Fox in Socks is all about how the Fox in Socks teaches Mr Knox some of the quickest, slickest tongue twisters in town- it is so funny to read and slightly confusing but really good.



Green Eggs and Ham is all about trying something new- Sam-I-Am wants his friend to try Green, Eggs and Ham and he doesn't want to take no for an answer, his friend is certain he doesn't like them and won't try them anyway at all but eventually he gives in and to his great amazement actually likes them. This is another great Dr. Seuss book which teaches you a bit of a lesson- if you try something new you might like it.




The Cat In The Hat is about when The Cat In The Hat comes to visit Sally and her brother and basically makes a huge mess of their house while their Mother is out which then needs sorting out...they just don't know if they should tell their Mother.

The stories themselves are great for children of all ages but probably best suited for 4-8 year olds and the illustrations are awesome too, they really make the stories jump out. 

If you are looking for a good book for a new reader then I would recommend you take a look at any of the Dr. Seuss books.

Enter our competition for your chance to win one of these great books.


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Friday, 13 May 2016

Countdown to Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder

Countdown to Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder!


In just 7 days I will be going to bed early to get ready for a very exciting day out but before that I am getting in training! Next weekend grown ups across the Midlands will be taking part in the Tough Mudder Mud Run and at the same time kids get to take part in the Ultimate Obstacle Adventure- the Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder. The one mile course has 10 obstacles and I can't wait!


The Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder Course at Henley April 2016

Being an 8 year old boy I don't mind getting mucky but I think the Mini Mudder will take that to a whole new level! The obstacles look awesome but I am a bit nervous to see how difficult they are. The course is designed for children age 7 to 12 who are at least 3 ft 5 tall so I don't think it will be too easy and it looks like we will need to work as a team to get round but it will be fun to meet some other people and see if we can manage the challenge.

I am going to be part of the Adventure Squad and the people at Fruit Shoot have sent me a great goody bag to get ready for the event- I have cones, beanbags and markers so am going to have lots of fun creating challenges in the garden this weekend to get in practice and I dragged my Dad out for a run round the nearby lakes this evening - it was very cold and blowy but not really muddy enough!

I can't wait until next weekend!!

The Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder is taking place at several locations from now until September and you can find out more here

There are some amazing photographs from the Henley event the other week and I will be back to share my own pictures after next week- Mum isn't looking forward to the washing though! 

Wish me luck!










Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Tidy by Emily Gravett - A Review

Tidy by Emily Gravett- Our Book Review


We have read a few of Emily Gravett's books before and I loved her illustrations on a book we reviewed earlier in the year so were very pleased to be asked to review her new book 'Tidy'.

Pete the badger lives in a forest and likes things neat but in the end Pete takes his need to be tidy a bit too far and it is only after he makes too many changes he realises his forest was actually better the way it was before.

This book has some really lovely illustrations - we especially liked the one of the fox having his fur groomed by badger using a hedgehog! 

It is really well set up for younger children to enjoy the pictures and to try and sound out some of the words, each page is interesting with plenty to look at and it rhymes all the way through which we really liked and Lottie spotted straight away when I read it out loud.

We also liked the front cover which is quite special because it is cut out and it looks like badger is deep in his forest.

This is a really nice story with a good message which I have enjoyed sharing with my sister, I would recommend it for children age 3 upwards. Lottie is planning on taking it to school tomorrow to show her classmates so I am sure they will all enjoy looking at it too.

You can order your own copy here