Toys, Bikes & Gift Reviews
Harry's Review: My 7-year old loves constructing things but finds LEGO very fiddly and hard to deconstruct if he's made a mistake so the Revell Junior Kit was an absolute delight. He managed to create the Police Car all on his own using the very clear instructions and tools. He was over the moon! Once complete, the car is very sturdy and has been played with for hours and hours without coming apart. A great idea - we will look for more kits for future birthdays...
Designed for ages 4+, the multi award-winning Revell Junior Kit bridges the gap between Playsets and Construction Toys. Available from Amazon and all good toy stores. For details visit http://juniorkit.revell.de/en/, @RevellGermany or Facebook.com/revell.
Scarlett's Review: This is a great idea as my kids love sand art ...but it's SO MESSY! With the Sand Shaker, everything is contained so no mess. You can add up to four colours of sand to the shaker and you choose to release them once you have removed the relevant colour-coded paper to reveal the sticky part. It's great fun shaking...shaking...shaking to make sure the picture is coloured - the kids loved this bit (and no sand all over the carpet). Fab idea and it takes quite a while to make one picture so the set lasts for a long time.
The Sand Shaker offers girls and boys, ages 5 and many creative possibilities with coloured sand. Depending on the age of the child, the works of art can be created by different approaches: Stage 1: from lasered creative templates can the protective foil, step by step. The underlying, self-adhesive surface is then "sanded" in Sand Shaker. Stage 2: solid color preprinted designs are wetted by Gluepen with glue and sprinkled color by color with the sand in a shaker. Animal motifs or funny cartoon faces can get with accompanying stickers the perfect finish after that. Step 3: With Glue pen and own motives. Most preferably, the favorite motif first vormalen with pencil and then continue working with glue and sand. The imagination knows no limits! Available from all good toy stores. For details visit www.revell.de/en.
Electronic Drum Mat from Hawkin's Bazaar
Sam's Review: What a brilliant idea! My son has always wanted a drum kit and we just don't have the room so this was so perfect. Josh loved the Drum Mat and was playing away within seconds of opening the box. It takes no setting up whatsover and there are various options for background music (or none at all). We could also plug in the mp3 player and he was able to drum along to his favourite pop tunes. Just one note - it's not possible to play without everyone else hearing. We thought the headset was a type of headphone, but it is a microphone for the player to sing along with. Great product otherwise!
Built for young children to enjoy with adult supervision, the Electronic Drum Mat is available at Hawkins Bazaar. The mat is battery operated and can be used practically anywhere thanks to its roll-up nature. The mat features four drums and three cymbals so they can enjoy a full range of sounds. You can even add a CD or MP3 player to provide a backing track for them to play away. Most mercifully of all, there’s a volume button so you can turn things down if they kick up a racket! Check out the drum mat here.
Move & Groove from Coiledspring Games
Kate's review: The game is a family game that gets older siblings involved and encourages the younger ones to participate. The pouch to hold the cards it a great idea, especially when taking on a holiday! We have played it a LOT and my older daughter loves it just as much as her little sister! It is a fun interactive, educational game. Only negative is that the cards are very bendy and for an 18 month old may not last long! Overall a fun game."
Move & Groove is the perfect first game for toddlers! Designed to inspire movement, creativity, laughter and learning, it's a fun way to introduce the basics of game play and the joy of movement without the pressure of competition. The rules are simple; throw the plush cube to determine colour, choose a matching coloured card and perform the given move. There's no right or wrong way to boogie so players can use their imagination while improving balance, coordination and flexibility. The perfect game to build confidence and celebrate all the things your little one does so well! Find out more at http://coiledspring.co.uk. Also available on Amazon.
Why we love it:
• Helps children develop balance, co-ordination & flexibility
• Non-competitive play means it’s fun for all
• Perfect for siblings to play together
Sorgenfresser Worry Eaters
Beth's review: I'm sure my children are like thousands of others in that they always seem to have a list of reasons as to why they can't sleep/are frightened/have odd thoughts they can't get out of their heads/etc.... Yet now they are all eaten up with the Worry Eater! As well as being an adorable soft toy (they do look super-cute popped up on the bed) they are extremely effective and my children took to the idea immediately. Great care is taken writing the 'worry' down on paper to pop into the Worry Eater's mouth. It's all then forgotten and - as if my magic (ie. mummy) - the note and the worry along with it has been 'eaten' by morning. We can also then chat about what is bothering them at a more suitable time than bedtime. Genuis! We wouldn't be without one...
Sorgenfresser Worry Eaters: Children often have troubles and don't always tell their parents about them. Psychologists and teachers recommend Worry Eaters as a waste bin for problems – a problem shared is a problem halved after all! Children simply write or draw their troubles and feed them into the zip mouth of the Worry Eater. The idea is that when a parent or carer finds the note or drawing, they are then aware of any worries and can talk to their children about them. Worry Eaters are also brilliant for eating nightmares - but don't forget to supplement their diet with plenty of cuddles! More details at http://coiledspring.co.uk/product/wanda-worry-eater. Also available on Amazon
Why we love them:
• Sorgenfresser give comfort and reassurance
• GOLD Medal Winner - Best Soft Toy - Independent Toy Awards 2013
• SILVER medal winner - Best Soft Toy - Loved By Parents Awards 2013
Hayley's Review: "Well where to start... My little boy has taken to this FirstBIKE balance bike so much since he's had it - he is literally glued to it! It's really lightweight and easy for him to control and the brake is great as it isn't sharp so it doesn't jerk (or throw him off!) The adjustable seat is also a really handy feature as my young one is small for his age and he loves the basket on the front - very useful to put a drink in, etc. This is a must-have balance bike to get your young one on two wheels in no time!"
FirstBIKE: Over the past 10 years, bike experts have been recommending that when teaching young children to ride a bike, we replace heavy pedal bikes and stabilisers, with lighter training bikes called ‘balance bikes’. Balance bikes, such as the ones offered by FirstBIKE, have no pedals so children use their feet to balance and propel themselves along. Unlike kids on pedal bikes with stabilisers, children on balance bikes can ride for several miles at a time and run up hills - all while having fun and boosting their self-confidence. To see FirstBIKE in action and view all the available colours and models, visit www.first-bike.co.uk.
Click below to read the 'What's On 4 Little Ones #getonyourbike feature - Martin Balhar, chief executive officer of FirstBIKE has kindly offered his Top Tips on getting your child started riding a bike >>> http://www.whatson4littleones.co.uk/getonyourbike.asp
The DINO BITE monster action game (age 4+, rrp £19.99) is fearsome fun for everyone – and is, of course, especially popular with boys. A large green leaf covers twenty tiny, helpless Dino-babies who’ve been stolen from another dinosaur’s nest, by a huge T-Rex dinosaur. You’ve come to rescue them, but beware… the Dino will try to grab you, roaring out loud and lunging terrifyingly forward!
Claire's Review: Lovely Game for little ones, easy to put together and clip T Rex inplace. The dinosaur jumping made all of us jump!! My 3.5 year old was a bit scared by the leaping dinosaur, but was happy to help the dino babies escape. He struggled with the tweezers to get hold of the babies, so hooked them out instead. Lots of fun and screeching (although that was mainly mummy who jumped nealry everytime T Rex jumped!) Lovely game that has entertained other little boys who have come to play.
Magic Tooth Fairy Game
The MAGIC TOOTH FAIRY board game (age 5+, rrp £19.99) ‘magically’ changes teeth into gold coins! When you land on a ‘Go To Bed’ space, place a tooth under the Magic Pillow, plunge the Tooth Fairy wand… and hey presto, when you lift up the pillow, the tooth has gone and in its place is a shiny gold coin! Both girls and boys become enthralled with this game – and it’s fun for the grown-ups to play with them, as well.
Paula's review: Both my children aged 3 and 6 were very excited when I showed them this game, and they were keen to help set it up. It is quick and simple to set up and both kids enjoyed sticking their plastic teeth in their plastic mouths. The game is quite simple to play and we all soon got the hang of it - it says on the game suitable for ages 5+ but with a little help my 3 year old played along quite happily. The most exciting bit of the game (according to the kids) is where you get to put your teeth under the magic pillow and it changes into a gold coin - they were both fascinated with this idea and were keen to keep playing so they could get to this bit. It was a great game which both ages could enjoy.
It’s an elephantastic fun-for-all! Everyone loves playing the famous and great value DOH NUTTERS action game (rrp £14.99, age 4+). Using your bespectacled ‘big ears’ trunk mask, you and the other players frantically scoop up all of your own coloured doughnuts as fast as possible. The first one is easy, the next harder - and with the final doughnut, tension reaches an all time high!
Angela's Review: I was so looking forward to giving this game a whirl! What could be more fun than putting on a mask and having a whole load of fun. When the product arrived I was very impressed with the bright packaging and on opening the box and tipping out contents was even more impressed with the bright colours of the masks and rings. At first was very hard to get the donuts to slip over the trunk but after one of us discovered the knack to this it became a very fast paced and competitive game. There is a knack but I’m not going to spoil your fun trying to figure this out. Hard for little ones to keep rings on while attempting to get other rings so we adapted so kids could sit the captured ring to side. A well made and fun product!
Kids Baz Bag by BeanBagBazaar
Children can sit on this huge bean bag in up to four different seating positions, making this one of the most versatile kids’ bean bags available. It can be used as a giant floor cushion, an upright chair, a lounger or a canoe seat. The Kids Baz Bag® is made using 100% waterproof polyester which means you don’t have to worry about spillages - they run right off! It also means that sticky finger prints can be wiped away quickly and easily with a damp sponge. This waterproof fabric also means that the bean bag can be used outdoors in the summer months either as a garden sun lounger or sun chair bean bag.
Sarah's review: From the minute this big, bright, and brilliant bag arrived, it has been much used and loved! My daughter (aged 8) has loved discovering new ways to sit on it and has had lots of fun using it - the best discovery was using it to sit on whilst sliding down our stairs... cue much giggling! The Baz Bag is really comfortable and can be used as a seat in a variety of positions or just as a lovely big floor cushion. It's lightweight too which means it can easily be carried around the house but sturdy enough to withstand lots of use! The bag is a lovely bright colour and very easy to keep clean with it's waterproof and 'kid proof' covering, and we are looking forward to using it outside too as the weather improves. Think we will have lots of fun with this and we are sure it will last for years to come!
The All About Party Bags Magical Bag contains everything any mini-magician could wish for, available in a choice of coloured cellophane bags with curling ribbon. The awesome delights inside include a magic wall walker insect which miraculously tumbles down any smooth vertical surface mimicking the action of a real insect and a magic painting book in which colours appear after simply sweeping a paintbrush dipped in water across the page. Also included is a wipe-clean magic slate, a classic childhood favourite , and a magical magnetic picture containing iron filings and a magnet pen for hours of fun. Sweets can be included as an optional extra if desired.
Carrie's review: As we all know, the party bag is the sole reason most children go to parties!
I requested to try the 'Magical Party Bag' from the selection available. The bag would have been £1.80 to purchase. My initial impression of the party bag was that it was nice and colourful and well presented.
The contents were pretty standard party bag type items, with the addition of the Chinese finger trap which I have not seen in party bags my children have been given before. Both children have spent hours throwing the tumbling wall-walker man at every available surface!On the whole I would say the bags were not bad value for the money, easy for busy parents planning a party and the range of themed bags available was very varied. It saves you the hassle of making up your own party bags but don’t bother with the chocolate!
Read me Violet
Read With Me Violet is an interactive plush puppy designed to build early reading skills. Violet offers an interactive story time experience filled with learning activities that build early reading comprehension, listening and vocabulary skills. Children simply press a button on the collar and choose one of five books. As the pal reads them the story aloud, children build comprehension skills and early vocabulary. They also learn about the relationship between print on a page and the story as they turn the pages and listen to 70+ spoken questions and audio responses. Parents can switch Violet into Sleepy Time mode to select a read-aloud story or eight minutes of lullabies.
Trish's Review: This friendly interactive toy provides many learning activities for children aged 2-5 years of age. Violet is a puppy made out of soft and brightly coloured material which the children loved to hold and cuddle. This toy builds up their ability to listen and follow the interactive instructions when listening to the stories. The books are hard board and robust, which allow younger children to look at them independently. The books are very colourful and simply illustrated. They teach children about every day activities and topic's which children come in contact with every day.
Tech Too Smart Phone, Tablet, Keys and Remote Control
For parents, losing your gadgets and technology to your toddlers is an all too familiar situation. KD UK is here to help and has introduced Tech Too – realistic child-proof versions of a smartphone, a tablet, a bunch of keys and a remote control. Each Tech Too item has educational benefits, teaching pre-schoolers about colours, numbers, the alphabet, phonics, spelling, and even first words in French! The Kooky Keys feature a fun flip-out car key; My First Remote Control offers discovery and quiz modes, as well as a French option; the Smooth Touch Smartphone introduces animals and numbers; And the Alphabet Tablet helps children begin to recognise letters, sounds and spelling.
Charlene's Review: We found this product very similar to the real thing and both my children enjoyed playing with it. Although its made for small children my 6 year old found it interesting as its bilingual and I found him learning to count along with it in French! Interested to see what the Alphabet tablet can do.
Razor Berry Scooters
Here comes the fun! The kids are out of school and full of energy. If you’re worried about how to keep them entertained, look no further than these top Scooters from re:creation, which promise oodles of outdoor fun! Walking is so last year! Scooting on the Razor Berry is the coolest way to travel and get kids exercising the fun way. Aimed at girls and boys aged 6+, the Razor Berry has a cool skateboard style deck and comes in three juicy colours – raspberry, gooseberry and blueberry!
Sam's review (10yrs): I recently received one of Razor Berry's cool scooters! I wrote this review so people know how brilliant they are. I received the 'blueberry' scooter which is blue and orange but you can have other funky bright colours too! The scooter has 2 wheels, it's very good to improve your balancing skills and I have had hours of fun. Mum and Dad like it as it gets me out of the house. Yep this company make cool & funky scooters, so don't delay buy a Razor Berry product today!
Dad's review (Not 10yrs!): The Razor Berry scooter is excellent! Well made and very sturdy, it's very colourful and attractive to the eye. The scooter ticks all the right boxes from a parent's perspective. A sure fire winner of a gift idea to encourage your kids to get outside and enjoy some fresh air!.
LeapFrog’s Scribble and Write
LeapFrog’s Scribble and Write, helps children learn how to write upper and lowercase letters and numbers in a mess free environment – a perfect addition from Santa’s sleigh on Christmas morning. This innovative product has an easy-to-grip stylus pen to fit perfectly in little hands and provides instant accuracy feedback on shapes and proper stroke order along the way. Suitable for children aged three plus, this device also helps children explore letter sounds, counting and much more. It uses a retraceable surface and is easily portable to allow little ones to play and practice wherever they go.
Eva's review: I got the Scribble and Write for my 4 year old daughter who has just started learning to recognize and write letters at school. It teaches lower and upper case letters and numbers 1-10 by tracing the lights with a stylus with easy to follow instructions. Children can interact by stamping their feet, patting their tummies or clapping their hands e.g. 3 times after writing number 3. When finished writing, you move the slider at the bottom to rub it out and start again. It is a very sturdy and durable toy. We already have Leapfrog Count & Draw which she loves - it is very similar but teaches numbers, shapes and has early maths games. Overall, very educational toy which helps my daughter practice writing and keeps her occupied, so brilliant on those long car journeys.
The Real Wonders of the World
The Real Wonders of the World, from Lonely Planet Books 'Not for Parents' series, combines colourful illustrations, insightful images and fascinating facts to take readers on the craziest world tour ever, via stupendous structures, extreme escapades, luxurious extravagances, hi tech marvels and dangerous and haunted locations. Other titles in the 'Not for Parents' series include The Travel Book, How to be a World Explorer, Extreme Planet, New York, Rome, London, Paris, Great Britain, Australia, USA and China. Lonely Planet’s Not for Parents children’s series is designed for children aged 8-12 to help kids to understand the world through interesting and quirky information and illustrations.
Alexandra's 's review: This book is fabulous, full of fantastic pictures and trivia to get children interested in the World and asking questions! Laid out beautifully, this is truly a book to take pride of place on any bookshelf. The nature of the content is stimulating and educational but importantly entertains and provides plenty of fun, with subject matter including Harry Potter, fast cars, Brazil, Mexico etc, man-made islands on recycled materials... In short my son (9yrs) loves it, a ‘must’ for any family household. And though the cover proclaims: "Not for parents" adults won’t be able to stop themselves from diving in. ENJOY!
Logo Billionaire board game from Drummond Park
Fresh from the creators of the LOGO series, Children will love building up a fortune with this ‘brand’ new concept from the UK’s leading independent games company, Drumond Park. Bursting with a massive selection of huge, instantly recognisable, everyday UK brands, it’s a thrilling, colourful card and cash collecting board game, where everyone joins in the financial fun, racing to become the first LOGO Billionaire.
Eve's 's review: Logo Billionaire is a colourful board game and when it arrived, my kids (11 and 7) could not wait to unwrap it to start a game. The rules are easy to follow and my kids quickly got the hang of the game. Basically, the first player to make £1billion wins but if you risk it all you could end up ‘Bust’. It’s well thought out as there are more complex rules so we can tailor the game in relation to players’ ages. Logo Billionaire relies on a healthy slice of luck so anyone can win. It has provided hours of fun, ensuring it will remain a family favourite for some time to come.
Seedling Design Your Own Sword Kit
Be imaginative, be creative with your very own personally designed sword. You can be a knight, a warrior, a messenger of peace with this unique Seedling Wooden Sword Kit, which comes with its own paints and brushes. Your child will have so much fun!
Sonia's review: The quality of this product is fabulous. My son (7yrs) had a great time creating and adding his own design to his new sword. It’s a great toy to engage kids and encourages creative thinking. Now that it looks like a cool pirate’s sword my son is having a whale of a time as Pirates of the Caribbean around the house. Who needs Johnny Depp?