Judging by what Joseph brings home from nursery in his pocket and shoes he spends a lot of time with with sand in nursery! He’s also lucky enough to have a pretty awesome sand and water pit in the garden at home as well, which he loves. Sadly though the British weather doesn’t always allow it to get used. With this in mind I jumped at the chance to review Character’s latest Cra-Z-Art product Cra-Z-Sand.
Cra-Z-Sand is a mess free modelling compound with a unique non-toxic, anti-bacterial formula. It is suitable for use both indoors and outdoors and never dries out! The deluxe playset contains a 700g bag of Cra-Z-Sand (which is available in a variety of colours), a plastic playtray, a roller, a knife, a scoop and a scraper.
The Cra-Z-Sand has a weird texture, a little like soft, sandy Playdoh but it’s also quite light and almost fluffy and will run through your fingers like actual sand.
It’s really easy to mould and will retain it’s shape very well. Sadly there aren’t any moulds included in the set which we did find slightly disappointing but the Kiddywinks used their imaginations (and some flags) to build their creations. Imogen and traditional sandcastle and Joseph “Lots and lots of mountains for pirates”
The best thing in my opinion about Cra-Z-Sand is the fact that is mess free. Should any fall on the floor or on furniture then it can quickly be scooped up and popped back in the tray. It’s moudable ability is also very handy when it comes to tidying away at the end of play aw well, simply mush it all together and it’ll fit nicely back inside the bag it came in!
The Kiddywinks love the Cra-Z-Sand and we’ll definitely be adding some different coloured sand and possibly a themed pack to their collection. The Cra-Z-Sand range is available to purchase from Character and prices start from as little as £4.99.
It’s no secret that Imogen loves the Palace Pets. Her collection is already vast and she was thrilled to add to it with Treasure, Ariel’s Kitty, from the latest Walking and Wiggling collection.
Inside the box is Treasure, a mini hair brush, storybook and a long, pink ramp to launch her. This is slightly confusing as it’s only to be used for demonstration purposes in the box so has no use at all after you’ve removed it from the box.
Treasure is a beautiful strawberry blonde kitty, to match Ariel her owner, with a white streak in her tail and a sparkly, purple and aqua skirt. Just like the other Palace Pets she also has a removable tiara, moveable head and a fluffy, brushable tail with a pretty bow at the base.
To make your Walking and Wiggling Palace Pet walk and wiggle all you need to do is pull her back and let her go. She’ll then effortlessly glide along wiggling her tail behind her. Like all pull back toys, she doesn’t fair well at all on carpet but as long as she’s on a hard, flat surface you won’t be disappointed.
Imogen loves the story book that’s included. As well as a brief bio of each pet they also have a short story of how each pet met their princess.
Treasure and Cinderella’s puppy Pumpkin are currently the only Walking and Wiggling pets available but I’m sure that Character will expand the collection soon and Imogen can’t wait to see what’s next from Palace Pets!
There’s a huge range of Palace Pets and playsets available from Character with prices starting as little as £4.99.
Earlier this year Joseph was very lucky to receive Grandpa Pig’s Holiday Boat from the new Peppa Pig Holiday range. It’s still a very much loved toy, especially at bathtime, and so he was thrilled to add to his collection with the Peppa Pig Sunshine Villa.
The playset comes with Peppa and George figures dressed in their swimming costumes as well as a huge array of accessories to make their holiday villa complete including Bunkbeds with ladder, shower cubicle, barbecue, table, deck chair and parasol, sun lounger, dinosaur paddling pool and even a matching dinosaur swim ring for George!
The Holiday Villa has a kitchen and lounge over looking the pool on the first floor and a set of freestanding stairs will take Peppa and George up to their bedroom and shower room. As well as the freestanding furniture there are also pieces moulded into the house such as the kitchen units, toilet and bathroom sink.
Joseph loves the barbecue with it’s flip over lid and reversible grill and Daddy Pig (from another playset) will more often than not be found stood at it cooking whilst the rest of the Pig family frolic in and around the pool.
Another favourite of his is George Pig’s swim ring which looks exactly like Mr Dinosaur, as does the paddling pool complete with duck and sailing boat!
At the end of play the Sunshine Villa also double as a handy storage case with all of the figures and accessories tucking away neatly inside. There’s an easy open clip at the side to hold it together and a lovely chunky carrying handle as well. When packed up it’s not that much bigger that a beach read novel as is ideal for taking away on your own holiday!
As Crayola Bloggers we recently had the honor of checking out their newest addition Colour Alive! Imogen, who is some what of a YouTube addict, has been watching videos of Colour Alive for a while now and so was suitably excited about it’s arrival.
On the surface the Colour Alive pack look very much like an ordinary colouring book and comes with six washable Crayola markers as well as a special effect marker, again these look incredibly “normal”. However when combined with the Crayola Colour Alive app (which is available for free on iOS and Android) your child’s creation really do come to life!
Firstly you’ll need to download the app and scan your special effects markers into the app to unlock them. When that’s done you’ll need to colour in your favourite character using the markers remembering to add special effects with the special markers where you like.
Finally scan the page of your book using the app and press the special effects button to see your “Fire Breath” or “Pixie Dust” or the 4D button to see your character come to life. You then have the chance to take a selfie with your creation, share it or save it for later.
I have to say that I was amazed by Colour Alive, I’m not quite sure what I expected but it certainly wasn’t seeing a 4D fairy uncurl on a leaf and start to flap her wings or see a fire breathing dragon flying around my kitchen! Needless to say the kiddywinks have have endless fun with their Colour Alive books and characters and can’t wait to collect the other books in the Colour Alive series.
There are currently four books available Enchanted Forest, Mythical Creatures, Barbie and Skylanders. They are available from Amazon with an RRP of £6.99.
Joseph, like many boys his age, loves dinosaurs. He has huge plans to turn his bedroom pre-historic, is quickly learning all of their names and has mastered his scary dinosaur ROAR!!! For all of these reasons he was thrilled to receive a handful of Schleich’s new Mini Dinosaurs for the purpose of this review.
We’ve always loved Schleich because their hand painted attention to detail is second to none and even on the smaller scale these pint-sized pre-historic deliver the same quality as they’re larger cousins.
Joseph’s favourite is the Stegosaurus, who has named Steve, mainly because he likes his colors and big spines.
There are a further nine in the complete mini dinosaur collection including the Spinosaurus, Velociraptor and the impressive looking and impossible to pronounce Anhanguera.
Ranging in size from around 5 to 8cm they’re perfect for hiding in the pocket of your school trousers or coat in order to show off to friends and priced at £2.99 they make a great pocket money toy.
The collection is available to view in it’s entirety here and there’s a host of interesting facts available about each dinosaur as well.
One of my all time favourite cartoons as a child, and one of the only ones I’ll watch without protest now, is Scooby Doo. The kiddywinks share my love of Scooby, Shaggy and the rest of the gang and we’ll normally snuggle up with an episode just before bed. We were recently asked if we’d like to receive the Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion from Character and they, of course, jumped at the chance!
The great news is that the playset needs no batteries and very little assembly but like most toys nowadays you’ll need a screwdriver to remove it from the packaging. The Mystery Mansions only comes with one figure, Scooby of course and he’s a great size at 5 inches. He has fully movable limbs and a head and his trademark gormless expression.
There are two floors to the mansion and a huge number of spooky features with movable parts to scare along the way. There’s a loose stone outside the front door that will fling the front doors open, a critter trying to escape from the cellar and as you make your way up the stairs be really careful not to reveal the evil clown hiding underneath.
There is also a trap door upstairs next to the mirror but as flexible as Scooby may be we can not get him to squeeze through, perhaps he needs to lay off the Scooby Snacks for a while!
Joseph’s favourite features are the swinging chandelier and cannon, commonly known as a boomer, in our house. Pull off the middle front window and it can pretty much rotate 360 degrees, allowing you to fight ghouls at every angle.
Both Imogen and Joseph love the playset but Joseph has probably had the most enjoyment out of it. I honestly thought that there only being one figure would bother them but it hasn’t been the case and he’s had endless hours of enjoyment from it.
Imogen is still massively into Frozen and with the release of the new Frozen short Frozen Fever on 27th March in front of Disney’s Cinderella I am sure that her passion for anything Elsa and Anna will continue for some time. Just recently Imogen was asked to review the ultimate Elsa roleplay accessory from Flair, Elsa’s Magic Snow Sleeve and she received a beautiful Deluxe Elsa dress from Rubies along with it!
Inside the box of Elsa’s Magic Snow Sleeve is a material sleeve which matches Elsa’s traditional blue dress, the snow sprayer unit, a can of snow spray and a refillable water bottle sprayer as well as useful instructions.
The snow sprayer bracelet fits onto the wrist with an adjustable strap which is then covered with a snowflake shaped clasp. The spray can of snow or the refillable water canister then clips in underneath. The idea is then to lift your wrist to “Let it go” and shoot “ice” and “snow” just like Elsa.
The snow spray is essentially what I remember to be silly string so we took Imogen into the garden to have a play knowing full well it would be messy. Messy is indeed right but fun, oh my goodness yes! Imogen decided that she was going use her magic to transform our tree into something more at home in a winter wonderland and essentially that’s what she did.
She seemed to find it very tiring lifting her wrist to spray the snow after a while and this was even harder for the water, which needs a constant pumping action, so she used her other hand to lift the front of the sleeve instead.
Here she is as Elsa in action!
I think the idea is great and Imogen has undoubtedly had an awful lot of fun with the snow sleeve, however she very quickly emptied the can of snow spray and I can’t seem to find refills anywhere at the moment. The water spray is great and being refillable is a bonus but it just isn’t enough fun as the snow, perhaps that will all change when the weather warms up slightly though.
Priced at £29.99 it isn’t cheap (but then is anything Frozen related?) but it’s definitely awesome and Imogen has of course loved it. As soon as I can I’ll be getting my hands on some more of Elsa’s Magic Snow and hopefully we’ll turn the whole garden Frozen. Elsa’s Magic Snow Sleeve will be available from Flair very soon.
The latest DreamWork’s movie “HOME” is due to hit the big screen at the end of the month, just in time for the Easter break, and it’s bound to be a box office smash! We saw the trailer during February half term when we went to see Big Hero 6 and the kiddywinks have been desperate to see it ever since. In celebration of the impending release Flair have released a fine selection of HOME toys to enable you to recreate the magic at home.
The selection is vast but instantly a clear favourite of Imogen’s was the Dancing Plush Oh. Oh features three songs and four well known phrases from the movie including the memorable “Oh no, my hands are in the air like I just do not care!”. Oh will spin and dance around to the music shuffling his pods and waving his arms around as he goes. At £29.99 he’s the most expensive from the collection but he’s great fun and as he’s nice and soft – great to hug too.
Another popular choice was the Boov Mood Ears. Available in six different colours they are soft and comfortable to wear (apparently) but bendy, allowing you to show your own mood. This is Joseph’s best “angry” BOOV and he does an awesome “naughty” as well.
Other pocket money toys from the range include 2″ Mood Friends. There are 18 styles to collect: 15 assorted Oh expressions, Pig, Captain Smek and Baby Boov.
Also available are Colour Changing Figures and Mood Bubbles that appear in gold alien pods with moody friends such as Grumpy Oh, Bashful Oh and Loving Oh.
Joseph’s favourite from the selection is the Shusher Wand. Just like the dancing Oh, this has recognizable sounds and phrases from the film with the added bonus of opening at the top to reveal a light up Captain Smek! Along with the Boov Ears Joseph really feels in charge with it!
There is also a wide variety of plush toys available starting from £6.99 up to £19.99 for the talking ones. The smaller are 13″ in size and have great likeness to their screen counterparts.
All of the toys listed above (and more) will be available from Flair very soon but if you fancy winning your chances of winning some then @UKMums.tv are taking over Twitter between 1pm and 2.30pm tomorrow with their #HOMEtheMOVIE Twitter frenzy and they’ll be giving away a toy from the selection every ten minutes!
Friday night is girl’s night in our house. After two days at nursery Joseph normally slopes off to bed early and Imogen and I enjoy spending quality time together with a movie, treats and a little bit of a pamper. This Friday was no different expect that we treated ourselves to a soothing Orbeez Hand Spa thanks to Character Options.
Inside the box you’ll hand the hand spa, 600 Orbeez, a 3 in 1 nail care tool and full instructions. It’s very easy to assemble you’ll just need to install 4AA batteries (which aren’t included) and to clip the waterfall spout to the back of the hand spa.
Then fill the hand spa with about half of the Orbeez beads and clean warm water, making sure not to over fill it.
There’s a large on/off switch at the front of the hand spa and when turned on the water and Orbeez swirl around like a whirlpool and then cascade down the waterfall at the back.
Once you’re finished simply pout the contents of the hand spa into a colander or sieve and turn the spa upside down to drain. The Orbeez can be stored back in the resealable bag they came in.
Imogen loves the Orbeez Hand Spa and it’s come out at least three times a week since it arrived. She’ll spend a lot of time playing with the water and chasing the slippery Orbeez beads around the spa and I don’t blame her it’s great fun but also surprisingly relaxing. And yes, I have been known to whip it out myself once she’s in bed!
Little Live Pets were one of Imogen’s most wanted toys of 2013 and subsequently became one of her most played with toys from Father Christmas. They have recently released series 2 of the Little Live Pets and there are some very cute additions to the hugely popular range.
As well as new butterflies and birds there are three Owl Mum and Baby duos, the Heartwing, Nightstar and Graceling families. Imogen was overjoyed to receive the Heartwing family from Character to review and named hers Betty and Barney.
They are a gorgeous looking pair with big eyes, beautifully decorated wings and soft, felt like bodies. Both come with batteries installed ready to play and are easily operated with an on/off switch on their chests.
There are lots of different ways to play with them, firstly the Mother Owl (Betty) will feed her baby (Barney) when they are placed with their beaks together. Barney will feed and burp when he’s full and then then hoot a happy song, Mum will then join in.
Placed together the two will also sing and hoot along together. Apparently there are 55 songs, owl and baby bird calls but Baa Baa Black Sheep does seem to be a favourite of Betty’s and Barney’s Rock a Bye Baby. Betty will sing more when she is stroked and Barney will respond to being cradled in the palm of your hand.
Betty, the Mummy Owl, has the added benefit of a record button on her chest and can record about 10 seconds of voice which can be played back by pressing the button again. Imogen found this highly amusing especially and still using it to request drinks and snacks or demand that her brother leaves her room.