Author Archives: Faye

Crayola Magic Doodle Review ~ #CrayolaBloggers

During the Summer holidays the kiddywinks had a pretty awesome delivery from Crayola as part of their #CrayolaBloggers programme, two exciting new products from their Doodle Magic range.

No one likes crayon, pen or pencil on their walls and Doodle Magic from Crayola allows your child to be as creative as they want to be without mess!  The new range includes both a full size Doodle Magic Colour Mat and a Doodle Magic Colour Pack.

The full size Doddle Magic Colour mat is an impressive 3ft by 2ft and can be used on the floor, on a table or can even be hung from a wall.  Included with it are 4 watercolour makers, an eraser and a cloth.  The mat can be rolled up and has a handy external pocket with elasticated straps inside to hold pens and the eraser as well as a small pocket for the cloth.

Craoyla Magic Doodle

 

The watercolour markers are a little fainter than their packaging but the colours are still fairly vivid and the four variety of markers included are plenty to create a wonderful drawing or in Joseph’s case scribble/doodle.

Crayola Doodle Magic

 

The watercolour markers will remain on the mat until wiped away and this is done simply with the eraser tool filled with water and a drop of washing up liquid.  With a quick swipe of the eraser and wipe with the dry cloth the Doodle Magic Colour mat is ready for your next piece of art!

Crayola Doodle MagicCrayola Doodle Magic

The Doodle Magic Travel Pack works in exactly the same as the larger mat but is obviously smaller, has a hard surface and folds making it ideal for holidays and car journeys.

Crayola Doddle Magic

Both Imogen and Joseph have created lots of wonderful drawing on the Doodle Magic mats and the travel pack came in really handy over the holidays during long trips in the car.  As they’re completely mess free it’s a huge with me me too!

The Crayola Doodle Magic range starts from as little as £5.99 and is available from Amazon more information on Doodle Magic can be found at www.crayola.co.uk

One Direction Swap Watch Review

I don’t think there are many young girls who haven’t fallen for at least one of the lads from One Direction and Imogen certainly isn’t one of them!  Even at 6 she’s bopping around her room singing to their songs and nags and nags for posters to put on her wall!  So obviously then she was thrilled with the latest product she received from Flair’s Cool Create range, a One Direction Swap Watch.

Inside the box you’ll find over 70 accessories to deign and make your very own 1D watch including 1 watch face, 5 watch face trims, 5 watch surrounds, 5 watch straps, 3 coloured cord, 1 elasticated cord, plenty of different coloured beads and full, easy to follow instructions.

One Direction Swap Watch

 

Imogen got started straight away choosing her favourite strap, face trim and surround and assembling it within a couple of minutes.

One Direction Swap Watch

As well as the 5 brightly coloured plastic straps there is also coloured cord that can be plaited together and elasticated cord with lots of different beads to create different looks.

One Direction Swap Watch

The set is aimed at children aged 7+ and at 6 Imogen did need a little help with the plaited and beaded straps but she’s very crafty and soon learnt what she needed to do and insisted I leave her to it.

One Direction Swap Watch

At £14.99 I think the Swap Watch is great value for money, the watch is of great quality and it can be tough to find a decent watch at under £15. Imogen has gone back to the swap watch time and time again throughout the summer holidays redesigning it to suit her mood and her outfits and there is plenty of elasticated and coloured cord to do so.

Shopkins Review

Imogen has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Shopkins to the UK for quite some time so her year was made last week when an exciting delivery arrived from Flair, The Shopkins Small Mart Supermarket Playset and a Shopkins 12 pack!

Shopkins Supermarket

Shopkins are small and very cute collectible characters, they take the form of pretty much anything that you’ll find in the supermarket from food items to make up and beauty items.

Shopkins

There are over hundred available to collect with new characters being released every 3 months.  They are available in 2, 5 and 12 packs and with pack starting from £2.99 they are pocket money friendly. In each pack there will be a certain amount of “hidden characters” and this adds the great element of surprise which Imogen seems to love.  Also included a collectors guide which will tell you the name of your character and also how rare they are.  Imogen was trilled to find the Ultra Rare D’lish Donut, who has a glittery finish, hidden inside her 12 pack!

D'lish Donut

The Supermarket Playset is the perfect addition to your Shopkins with a checkout with working conveyor belt, fun chute slide, shopping bags and a shopping trolley.  It can also be used for storage or display of your Shopkins with the handy and plentiful shelving.

Shopkins Supermarket

Imogen has played with the Shopkins both with and without the playset non stop since they arrived and has discovered that they make pretty awesome accessories for her Barbie size dolls.

Shopkins

She’s very adamant on collecting the entire range and has been keeping her bedroom spotlessly clean in order to get the necessary funds.  There are also other playsets in the series including a bakery stand, fruit and veg stall and a vending machine all of which are at the top of her Christmas list already.

We’ve struggled to find Shopkins in store anywhere yet but keep an eye out becuase I’m sure they’ll be everywhere very, very soon but in the meantime they are available from www.flairplc.co.uk

Joseph takes on the Andrex Clean Challenge

With Joseph starting pre-school tomorrow, during the Summer holidays we’ve been busy preparing him for this very moment.  He’s learning to get himself dressed and practicing having lunch from his lunchbox and generally trying to be a little more independent.

There are loads of things that I’ve worried about as I get ready to send him off to nursery.  Will he be encouraged to eat the fruit in packed lunch?  Will he share nicely with the other children?  Will he wash his hands after using the toilet?  Will he be able to wipe his own bottom?  With the answer to the last two questions definitely being no I jumped at the chance to take part in the Andrex Clean Challenge.

Andrex Clean Routine

It appears that I was not alone in my fears with research from Andrew showing that 63% of parents don’t feel that their children are ready to clean themselves properly without adult supervision when they first go to school.  40% admit to still wiping their children’s bottoms well past their first year at primary school and sometimes up to the age of 7!  With just one gram of poo potentially containing 10,000,000 viruses and 10,000,000 I turned out bathroom into a toilet training bootcamp with the help of goodies from Andres getting Joseph ready for that all important first day at nursery.

For the past week Joseph has been taking the Andrex Clean Challenge, carefully studying the laminated guide stuck on the back of our bathroom door before going through through the five steps of the Andrex Clean Routine and rewarding himself with a start on his chart for each of the steps he’s done.

Andrex Clean Challenge

He’s responded really well to the challenge and I now feel very confident in packing him off knowing full well that he’ll be able to manage the toilet, clean himself properly and wash his hands all by himself.  The reward chart has been a massive help as has the guide which will remain in place in our bathroom as a gentle reminder to everyone.

More information about the Andrex Clean Routine can be found in the Andrex Clean Report here.

Interplay Mad About Ponies Party Review

Last year were were lucky enough to review Interplay’s Fairy Princess Craft Party set, we were massively impressed and thrilled to be asked to review another of their craft party kits the Mad About Ponies Party.

The party kits contains everything you’ll need to entertain up to 6 children for approximately 1 and a half hours making them great for playdates and birthday parties.  The Mad About Ponies kit contained 6 Resin-cast ponies, 15 pots of paint (in 5 different colours), paint brushes, pencils and score sheets, pre-printed rosettes and jumps, dice, double sided sticky pads and instructions complete with game ideas.

Interplay Mad About Ponies Party

Firstly Imogen and Joseph (dressed in their football kits so that they looked like jockeys – apparently!) painted their horses.  The kit has a total of 15 pots of paint in 5 different colours and they cleverly in groups so that 2 children can share.  Inside the instructions are images of different breeds of horse to use as a guideline.  Imogen decided hers would be Bay whilst Joseph’s would be a Piebald.

Interplay Mad About Ponies Party Interplay Mad About Ponies Party

The Paint takes around 15 minutes to dry so during this time we named our horses, Joseph’s was named “Dave” and Imogen’s “Emily”, and prepared the jumps, rosettes and scorecards for the games.  Interplay suggest having a beauty contest at this stage to judge the “Best Turned Out” Pony but but quite frankly I couldn’t chose between the two so we skipped this part.

Interplay Mad About Ponies Party

With the ponies dry it was time for the games to begin.  Their are three suggested games in the instructions including a show jumping game and two different styles of race both involving the dice.

Interplay Mad About Ponies Party

We played all of the games but both Imogen and Joseph weren’t really interested in keeping scores or declaring winners instead just randomly presenting their horses with rosettes as and when they felt like it.  This was great because there was no sibling rivalry which is always a problem when playing games.  I think if Imogen was to play with a group of friends her age they would all be a lot more interested in competing with their horses.

 

Interplay Mad About Ponies PartyJust like the Fairy Princess Party the Mad About Ponies Party kit is great value for money at just £19.99, it managed to keep Imogen and Joseph occupied during the holidays for a whole afternoon and they have played with the ponies and jumps many times since.  It’s a great idea for an at home, low cost birthday party and I’m seriously considering an Interplay Pirate Party for Joseph’s birthday in January.

Splash About UV Float Suit Review

Both of the kiddywinks love the water and whilst Imogen is now pretty much swimming without armbands Joseph still needs a little help.  We’re very lucky to have access to both indoor and outdoor pools where I work and a large proportion of our Summer holidays was spent in the water either there or at home in the paddling pool.

Pool

At the beginning of the holidays Splash About sent Joseph the ultimate in swimwear in the form of their UV Float Suit.  Given the choice of a range of colourful designs, Joseph finally opted for the Funky Fish.

Funky Fish UV Float SuitThe float suit has 16 removable buoyancy floats which will allow you to adjust the buoyancy as your child’s confidence grows and completely removed when no longer needed.  They are simply slipped out of the bottom of elasticated pockets.  It leaves arms and legs free to kick and splash without any restrictions and holding him just the right way for swimming,  Joseph really enjoyed this new found freedom and was soon moving independently in the water.

Splash ABout Float Suit

As well as being a swimming aid the float also has SPF50+ protection both in and out of the water, providing coverage for arms, legs and troublesome shoulders.  It’s lightweight, quick and easy to wash and dry and the added benefit of UV protection makes it ideal for holidays.

Splash About Funky Fish Float Suit

The suit is available in sizes 1-2, 2-4 and 4-6 years.  I opted for 4-6 years for Joseph (3 and ¾) and I quite glad I did as the sizing does seem a little small but it is also important to remember that float suits do need to fit snuggly.

Priced at £29.99 I personally think the Splash About Float Suit is great value for money being swimwear, swimming aid and a UV suit all in one and an essential holidays.  Joseph has certainly has his money’s worth over the Summer and will continue to on our weekly swim.

They told me time flies…

As I cradled newborn Imogen in my arms, they told me.   I didn’t quite believe them, after all she was so small, so helpless.  “Enjoy her whilst she’s young, time flies” they said and by jove hasn’t it? Before I knew it she was a big sister to Joseph and starting pre-school. Imogen Tomorrow is Joseph’s first day in pre-school and his turn to start the long and exciting journey into education and for some reason I am finding it a lot harder to “let go” of my youngest, my baby boy. Baby Joseph In three years, nine months and 4 days Joseph has grown into a loving, independent, determined little boy with a love of cars, Octonauts, biscuits and of course, his big sister! Joseph Another thing Joseph loves is cuddles, and although at sometimes it can be a little tiring having a toddler chasing you around the house screaming “Hug, hug, hug!” It is one thing I’ll never, ever deny my kids.  So as well as embracing the moment of proper squeezy hugs, I’ve ironed, washed dishes as well as attempting to get dressed and put make up on all one handed with a little boy on my hip clinging on for a cuddle. Joseph & Imogen Fairy are encouraging Mums to embrace every moment whilst you can with their #PowerofSoft campaign, after all time flies and soon, like me, you’ll be packing them off for their first day of school.  I know that whilst your knee deep in nappies and spend most of the day with sick on your shoulder it seems a long long way away but believe me it really isn’t.

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Sing-a-long with Netflix

Imogen has always been a bit of a diva.  She’s a very self confident little girl who often tells me that she was born for the stage.  This September, as an addition to her ballet classes, she starts musical theatre on recommendation from her dance school.  She’s really looking forward to it and can’t wait to star in her first production.

Imogen has always loved a musical and she can often be found in her room watching her favourites and choreographing her brother unsuccessfully!  During the rainy days of the Summer holidays she’s been watching quite a few on Netflix.  One of the ones she’s watched over and over and over again is All Stars.

All Stars

All Stars is a UK made film starring Theo Stevenson (from Horrid Henry: The Movie), who Imogen does have a little bit of a crush on.  The story tells the story of two children who bring together a group of misfits and put on an ambitious dance show in order to save their youth centre from demolition.  There’s an awful lot of music and great dancing as well as a story line that kept Imogen gripped until the end.  A lovely heart warming family film that we’d highly recommend.

Other musical titles that Imogen has added to her “ones to watch” list are Pop Star and Standing Ovation.

Pop StarsStanding Ovation

The gaiety of Imogen’s viewing choices has certainly had an influence on my own evening viewing with Dream Girls scheduled for this evening, to accompany a pile of school uniform labelling and labelling.

Dream Girls

There are plenty of other musicals on Netflix, perfect for a bit of light-hearted, dance around your living room type entertainment including the classic Hello Dolly staring the legend Barbra Streisand and Sister Act 2 with Whoopie Goldburg.

Hello DollySister Act 2

Bloom Pops Flower Design Studio Review

Back at the beginning of the Summer Imogen was lucky enough to review the Cool Bandz from  Flair’s Cool Create range and during the school holidays she’s been busy testing out a couple more of their creative sets.  The latest of of these was the Bloom Pops Flower Design Studio. The Bloom Pops Flower Design Studio is suitable for children aged 5+ and comes with 1 Bloom Pop Maker, 6 sticky pads, 6 flower bases, 6 silicone buttons, 18 flower spacers, 1 unpopper tool, 1 display tree, 45 sparkly gems, 2 sheets of fabric flower petals and instructions. Bloom Pops If you’ve seen the Bloom Pops television advert then you’ll know the phrase “Pick! Stack! Pop!” and that is simply what you need to do to create your very own Bloom Pop flower. You’ll need to start bu putting one of the flower bases onto the station and then chose your fabric shapes and stack them up using one of the blue spacers in between each one. Bloom Pops Once you have finished designing your Bloom Pop place one of the silicone buttons in the centre and place Poppi on top.  Press down on Poppi’s head and she’ll press your Bloom Pop together. Once put together you can add the sparkly gem stickers and one of the double sided sticky pads to the back so that you can wear your creation like a badge. Bloom Pops You can also use the swirls of the tree’s branches to display your Bloom Pops for all to see.  The display tree does sit nicely in the base station but it can also freestand, so Imogen has put hers in pride of place in her bedroom to show off her Bloom Pops.  Bloom Pops
Imogen has loved creating with the Bloom Pops Flower Design Studio and has made a variety of different combinations thanks to the large amount of accessories included in the set. Bloom Pops can simply be unpopped with the handy unpopper tool and the pieces repopped together but there are only 6 bases and buttons limiting the amount that you can make in one go.

Bloom Pops
Overall the Bloom Pops Flower Design Studio has been a big hit and has easily keep Imogen occupied during the wet days of school holiday, she’s added Bloom Pops to cards for friends, decorated photo frames with them and accessorised her favourite outfits with them.  The Bloom Pops Design Studio is available from Flair priced at £19.99.

Playmobil City Action Construction Review

A couple of weeks ago I told you all about the awesome Playmobil Fairies toys that Imogen received as part of the Playmobil Playologists programme and now it’s the turn of the City Action Construction toys that Joseph has been lucky enough to test out.

Joseph’s bundle contained the Road Roller with Asphalt set (4048) and the Large Front Loader (5469).  As always, he was keen to get them set up straight away and I was really pleased to see that they needed very little assembly, he’s not the most patient of people.

Playmobil City Action

The Front Loader is an impressive size, measuring approximately 33 cm in length, and comes with one construction worker figure along with a removable hat.  It has large rubber tyres with plenty of tread, allowing it to be pushed along any type of surface.  The figure fits nicely inside and his hand can grab onto the steering wheel and because the vehicle is articulated it can easily be pushed around corners.

Playmobil Large Front Loader

The front loader’s basket can, of course, lift up and down and this is easily done with the yellow handle just behind it.  Much to Joseph’s delight the bonnet of the front loader also lifts up revealing it’s engine.

Playmobil Large Front Loader

The Road Roller and Asphalt set contains two pieces of road, which can be connected together and fits with other Playmobil roads in the series, two construction figures, road barriers, road cones, “men at work” signs and a road roller.

Playmobil Road Roller with Asphalt

Joseph loves setting up the road, barriers and signs ready to fix imaginary holes in the road.  Just like the front loader, the road roller is articulated and the figures will sit nicely inside and even on the bumpiest of rides don’t fall out.  Joseph’s only frustration is that the rollers are a little stiff and don’t turn around when pushed on a smooth surface.  This is somethings that he’s learnt to live with it and now doesn’t seem to bother him.

Playmobil Road Roller with Asphalt

Both of the toys work well together and Joseph is delighted with them, spending hours playing creatively with them.  He’s now eager on the collecting the entire City Action range and has added dump trucks and excavators to his expanding Christmas wish list.  Just like all Playmobil toys they quality made and withstand an awful lot of rough play, Joseph seems to bash these around an awful lot and they aren’t showing any signs of that.

The Front Loader is priced at £29.99 and the Road Roller and Asphalt set is amazing priced at just £11.25 and both are available from www.playmobil.co.uk.

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