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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

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.

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.

CBeebies Sweet Dreams with Squidge Review and Giveaway

In our house the CBeebies bedtime hour means just that, with baths normally already done 6pm-7pm means time to unwind, catch up with Iggle Piggle, do a spot of reading and of course enjoy the CBeebies bedtime story.  At the very end of this, right before it goes off air, the CBeebies Bedtime Song is played and the kiddywinks toddle off to bed.  I have long believed that the song has magical powers!  Now, thanks to Golden Bear, the kiddywinks have their very own Squidge (I’ve always wondered what his name was) ready and willing to sing them to sleep at the press of a button!

CBeebies Sweet Dreams with Squidge

Sweet Dreams with Squidge is super soft and comes dressed in his nightcap ready for bed, he’s around 23cm so a lovely size to cuddle or even use as a pillow as Joseph likes to do.

CBeebies Sweet Dreams with Squidge

With a simple press of the little star shaped button, Squidge will sing the CBeebies Bedtime Hour song and softly glow with different coloured lights to soothe your little one off to sleep.  Squidge is suitable for ages 10 months plus and takes 3AAA batteries which are included and can be replaced.

Joseph has quickly become very attached to Squidge and as well as taking him to bed every night he carries him around everywhere, usually swinging him from his nightcap.  It’s a great toy but sadly there is no volume control and I personally think it’s a little bit too loud to soothe anyone to sleep, although this doesn’t seem to actually be the case!  In an attempt to quieten Squidge down a little I have placed a small piece of tape over the speaker and this has done the trick.

CBeebies Sweet Dreams with Squidge

CBeebies Sweet Dreams with Squidge is available from Amazon priced at £19.99 and you can see him in action here.

Golden Bear are giving Me and My Kiddywinks readers the chance to win 1 of 3 Sweet Dreams with Squidge toys in our latest competition.  For your chance to win please enter via Rafflecopter below, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Back to School Review Round Up

With less than two weeks until the kiddywinks head back to school are you prepared?  I’ve put together some of my best Back to School finds that should ease the last minute rush just a little.

Imogen and Joseph were each sent a rucksack from LamaLoLi.com, a website choc-a-bloc with branded and fully licensed clothing and accessories for the whole family, Imogen chose Disney Princess and Joseph Disney Planes.

LamaLoLi Rucksacks

Both of their chosen rucksacks have a 3D print effect on the front with Joseph’s featuring Dusty, Rochelle and Ripslinger and Imogen’s with Rapunzel and her Palace Pets horse Blondie.  From a practical point of view they have a grab handle and thick, padded straps to make even the heaviest load comfortable to carry.  At 28 x 23 x 10 cm they are the perfect size for lunch boxes leaving room for a waterproof too.

LamaLoLi Rucksack

There’s a great selection of bags of every style as well as pencil cases and some lovely stylish coats perfect for the Autumn and they can all be found on www.lamaloli.com

I was recently introduced to Smash’s Nude Food Movers on a trip to Sainsbury’s where I managed to bag a bargain with these Triple Snack Tubes at just 67p each!  I was amazed at the quality and genius design which are ideal for break time snacks as well as providing a solution to Imogen’s hummus problem.  Now she carries hummus in one, carrot and cucumber sticks in another and mini breadsticks in the third!

Nude Food Movers Triple Snack Pots

Being so impressed with the quality and design, I chose the Mini Rubbish Free Lunch Box for Joseph’s nursery lunch box.  It features two separate compartments, a sandwich “seatbelt” and two removable, leak proof pods.  We’ve been practising eating lunch from it this week and mightily impressed!

Nude Food Movers Mini Rubbish Free Lunch BoxNude Food Movers Mini Rubbish Free Lunch Box

You can see the entire Nude Food Movers online here www.nudefoodmovers.com.au/ and they are available in the bigger UK supermarkets.

Imogen is a lot like me and has always been obsessed with stationery, this year she has chosen the Butterfly range from Sainsbury’s to start the new school year with.  The matching range is huge and includes everything from calculators to notebooks.  Most of the Back to School stationery now has up to 70% off so make sure you check it out.

Butterfly metal tube pencil set alt £3.99Butterfly multi pocket pencil case

We’re also hoping to find stock of the obviously hugely popular pink satchel at Sainsbury’s before September because apparently the school’s green book bag simply just isn’t cool enough for school!

Pink Satchel

If you’re still on the hunt for school uniform then don’t forget to check out the TU range at Sainsbury’s and do it before 25th August as there’s is 25% ALL TU clothing and that’s a massive saving.  The full range of Sainsbury’s Back to School can be seen at www.sainsburys.co.uk/backtoschool

Back to School with Blacks

As well as the start of the new school year September also means the start of Autumn and that usually brings a downturn in the weather.  School runs become cold, wet and blustery and far less enjoyable.  Luckily Imogen will be prepared this year thanks to Blacks, the outdoor specialists, who sent her through a selection of goodies for the new school year.

Back to School with Blacks

Included in her package were a pair of Peter Storm Wellies, an Osprey Koby Daysack and a Peter Storm 3 in 1 Jacket. Imogen fell instantly in love with the wellies which are mainly purple with a pink trim and spots which apparently makes them very Disney Frozen and pleased her no end.  They have a nice tread on the outer sole to prevent from slipping and will be perfect for puddle jumping on the way home from school.

The Osprey Koby Daysack is just the right size for her and with it’s multitude of pockets, both inner and outer, it will be ideal for carrying her books and lunch to school.  It’s also waterproof with comfortable, padded straps and will be very handy for field trips where she has to be prepared for eventuality and that means a heavy bag!

Back to School with BlacksBack to School with Blacks

Lastly, the Peter Storm 3 in 1 Jacket has to be my favourite, currently on sale at just £25, it is every coat that your child will need for every season.  The jacket has a warm inner fleece with pockets that can either be worn by itself or zipped inside the waterproot outer shell.  The shell has a hood, which can be zipped away when not in use and can, of course, be used without the fleece.  It’s a great versatile jacket and worth every penny which is why I’ve already brought Joseph a blue one!

Back to School with BlacksBack to School with Blacks

To make sure your little one is prepared for all weathers this school year head over to www.blacks.co.uk.

Playmobil Fairy Island and Unicorn Carriage Review

As Playmobil Playologists, Imogen and Joseph came home to a VERY exciting delivery a few weeks ago.  Playmobil PlayologistsJoseph was the lucky recipient of some construction toys from the City Life range (the review of his toys will follow shortly) and Imogen had a fabulous bundle of new additions to the Playmobil Fairies range, the Unicorn Carriage with Butterfly Fairy and the Fairy Island with Jewel Fountain.

Naturally Imogen was keen to get started straight away and set up the playsets all by herself following the step by step instructions.

Playmobil Playologists

Firstly she put together the Unicorn Carriage which, of course, we all know is the ONLY way that fairies travel when they are tired of flying.  The carriage and the unicorn both have some beautiful details, like the flower design on the wheels and the stick on gems that decorate both.  There is also a gem that sticks onto the butterfly fairy’s dress and she also has a magical staff, detachable wings and a flower stand.

Playmobil Unicron Carriage

Next Imogen put together the Fairy Island, this is a little more complex to put together than the carriage but only took her about 15 minutes in total.  Fairy Island includes two fairy figures, a unicorn foal, swans and signets and birds.

Playmobil Fairy Island

The Fairy Island has lots of lovely features the two most prominent being the weeping willow tree and the light up jewel fountain.  The jewel fountain takes 3 AAA batteries, and these aren’t included, and will emit a colour changing glow through the jewel stones that are placed on top.  The petals that surround the fountain fold down so that the fairies can protect their best kept secret.

Playmobil Fairy Island

Other lovely features include the flower carousel, where the fairies can stand and spin, a glow in the dark lantern and a pendant that hangs beautifully from the flower trellis but can also be added to a necklace and worn as a pendant.

Playmobil Fairy Island

These two sets work beautifully together, Imogen especially likes the fact that she has a Mummy and a baby unicorn and adores the light up jewel fountain.  She will happily sit and play with her Playmobil fairies for hours using her imagination to make up stories involving magic spells, evil queens and secret potions that the fairies brew in the fountain.

The Playmobil Fairies range is available to purchase and view in full on the Playmobil website www.playmobil.co.uk

Cool Bandz Review

I’ve forgotten just how many loom bands I’ve picked off the floor and out of my hoover and the hours that I have spent trying to teach Imogen the latest designs that she’s seen on Youtube so I was really relieved when she was sent a Cool Bandz kit from our friends at Flair.

Cool Bandz

Cool Bandz are laminated bands a lot like the wrist bands that you get at concerts and festivals so Imogen declared them as super cool even after a quick glance at the box!  Inside the box is the Cool Bandz unit, 24 pre cut wrist band strips, 12 clips, a sheet of stickers and a sheet of gems and a roll of adhesive tape. Cool Bandz

It’s simple to set up with the tape needing putting into the dispenser and then the dispenser popping onto the unit.  Once assembled the unit has a lift up lid at the front with a long slot for the bands and two large compartments for clips, stickers and gems.  In a house as chaotic as ours this is great for keeping everything in one place.

Cool Bandz

To make a Cool Bandz all you need to do is select a band, there are plenty to chose from, and decorate it with stickers and or gems.  Then simply push the band through the tape dispenser from the left hand side as far as you can then pull on the tape at the right hand side until all of your band has been laminated.

Cool Bandz Cool Bandz

Then you simply need to punch a hole in each end of the band using the punch at the back of the unit and snap a clip on to keep it in place.

Cool Bandz  Cool Bandz

The clips included are re-useable so once you tire of one band or it doesn’t match an outfit you can simply store the band in the box and use the clip on another.  Imogen loves the Cool Bandz and quickly used up all of the band strips that were included in the box but we’ve since been using wrapping paper, magazines and Imogen’s original artwork in the Cool Bandz maker.  It’s a lovely set that she’s been back to again and again so far over the Summer holidays making Cool Bandz for everyone!

Cool Bandz

Cool Create Cool Bandz are available from Flair priced at £19.99 and if you haven’t yet signed up then joint the Cool Create Club now, there are competitions and the chance to have your child’s craft showcased on the Cool Create wall.

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