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The Adventures of Abney & Teal Magazine Review

On Thursday a brand new pre-school magazine hits the shelves featuring none other than the CBeebies favourites Abney & Teal and we were given an exclusive sneak preview!

Abney & Teal Magazine

There are 35 full colour pages to the magazine which is choc-a-bloc with activities to help develop early years learning.  Joseph, who desperately needs to practice his pencil control and learn his numbers had lots of fun with the Abney & Teal’s Counting Workbook which takes over 8 pages of the magazine.  He loved counting and then tracing over the numbers with great care and attention and took great pride in sticking on his “well done” sticker once he’d completed each page.

Abney & Teal Magazine

Other activities included are coloring pages, puzzles, mazes and there are also Abney, Teal & Neep puppets to cut out and create.  The centre of the magazine pulls out to revel a lovely four week reward chart with a sticker scene to complete with the large sticker sheet included.  The reward chart has a daily task to be achieved which as well as including small easy to do chores, such as making my bed look tidy, include fun activities to be done together.  Today’s task was to learn a new song so we’ve all been singing Five Little Ducks!

Abney & Teal Magazine

Imogen has thoroughly enjoyed reading the Abney & Teal magazine to Joseph, especially the story “A sleepless night” which she read without any help at all, well done Imogen!

Abney & Teal Magazine

Just like many children’s magazines the front cover features a free gift and this, the first issue, features a musical set comprising of a small guitar and recorder.  There are also competitions to enter and a page for you to do your own drawing to send in and possibly be featured in the next issue.

The Adventures of Abney & Teal is available from Thursday 23rd October priced at £2.99 and can be found in most newsagents and supermarkets UKMums.tv are also running a competition to win a six months subscription here.

 

Disney Princess Palace Pets Royal Carriage & Fashion Tails Review

Earlier this year Imogen reviewed the Palace Pets Pamper & Beauty Salon from Character, it’s still a very much loved and played with toy and was lucky enough to accompany Imogen to school on the last day of the school year.  Imogen has since built up an impressive collection of the furry tailed Disney Princess companions and was delighted when the latest Palace Pets playset arrived for her to review, the Royal Carriage.

Disney Princess Palace Pets Royal Carriage

The Royal Carriage comes with Furry Tail Friend Teacup, Cinderella’s Puppy who is ready to make an entrance at the royal ball with her sunglasses and petticoat accessories.

Disney Princess Palace Pets Royal Carriage The carriage is very beautiful with some lovely attention to detail, Imogen loves the tiny bluebirds on the front.  It has some lovely features which include a flip down table with tea pot and tea cup for refreshments on the go but flip it up and it’s a mirror!

Disney Princess Palace Pets Royal Carriage There is also a roll out carpet for your Palace Pets to make a grand entrance, however this is fairly flimsy and can be very difficult for little hands to slide in and out.

Disney Princess Palace Pets Royal Carriage

 

Imogen was also sent a “Beauty” Palace Pets Fashion Tails.  Beauty is Aurora’s kitten and she comes with three interchangeable tails which she can decide to wear depending on her mood.

Disney Princess Palace Pets Fashion TailsImogen loves playing with Beauty with the Pamper & Beauty Salon playset, arriving by carriage of course, for a full makeover, brushing her chosen tail and getting her ready for parties.

Disney Princess Palace Pets

Both of the playsets have been a huge hit with Imogen who has played with them non stop since they arrived.  The Palace Pets Royal Carriage is priced at £17.99 and the Fashion Tails (Beauty or Teacup) are priced at £9.99 and I think they’re great value for money, IMogen has certainly has her money’s worth of play with them already.

There’s a growing range of Palace Pets available from Character on their website www.character-online.com with prices starting from as little as £5.99.  IMogen is very keen to complete her collection at Christmas with Treasure (Ariel’s Kitten) and the much coveted and apparently impossible to get hold of Sultan (Jasmine’s tiger).

Imaginext Lion’s Den Castle Review

Joseph’s love affair with Imaginext started earlier this year with DC Super Friends Batcave, it’s one of his most played with toys and he’s been lusting after a lot of the Fisher Price Imaginext range for quite some time.  I’m sure that you can imagine the delight on his face when the Imaginext Lion’s Den Castle arrived for him to review.

Imaginext Lion's Den Castle

The castle is an impressive size at about 60 cm wide and 40 cm tall and takes the form of a lion with the main door forming it’s mouth and the lion’s paws creating secret dungeons.  The playset comes with:

  • Two knight figures
  • A green lizard figure
  • A lion figure
  • A throne
  • 2 shields
  • 2 helmets
  • 2 axes
  • A king’s crown
  • A crossbow with six disks.

The toy castle needs no assembly and comes with the 2 AA batteries already installed, so it’s ready for play straight away.

Imaginext Lion's Den Castle

There are four levels to the castle and plenty of fun features that come with lights and sound effects.  There are turn disks scattered around the castle that will activate the castle’s “defense mode”, shutting the lion’s mane and jaws and activating the lion’s paws grabbing who or whatever might be in their path!

Imaginext Lion's Den Castle

There are also three shields on the front of the castle that when hit with one of the disks from the cross bow (or pressed) will collapse the throne room floor or open the lion’s jaw and collapse one of the castle’s tower’s bringing down it’s defenses ready to be stormed!

Imaginext Lion's Den Castle Imaginext Lion's Den CastleImaginext Lion's Den Castle Imaginext Lion's Den Castle

There is also a jail cell with a secret escape trap door that is also activated with the shields.

Imaginext Lion's Den Castle Imaginext Lion's Dan Castle

 

Joseph loves the castle and has played with it every day since it arrived, most of the time Imogen will join in on the fun with the pair taking it in turns to be the baddie or trying to storm the castle as an evil twosome!

Imaginext Lion's Den CastleAs with the entire Imaginext range, the Lion’s Den Castle is well made, well designed and durable.  The sound effects are great and very realistic and one of Joseph’s favourite things about the castle.  It’s been great for simulating imaginative play and it will certainly be getting an awful lot of play in our house.

Suitable for ages 3+ The Lion’s Den Castle is priced at around £50 and there are plenty of accessories and compatible extras that can be purchased separately.

Fireman Sam Ocean Rescue DVD Review

Joseph is like most three year old little boys and loves anything to do with a fireman, fire engine or any vechile with a light or ladder on top. Fireman Sam is one of his favourite TV characters and he was very pleased when he was recently sent and awesome bundle of Fireman Sam goodies which included the latest Fireman Sam DVD, Fireman Sam Ocean Rescue.

 

Fireman Sam Ocean Rescue

The DVD has a total running time of 65 minutes and contains 6 bite sized Fireman Sam episodes including:

  • All at Sea
  • Whale Watch
  • The Pontypandy Cup
  • Turtle Hunt
  • The Treasure Trap
  • Stage Fright

The first episode, All at Sea, sees the opening of Pontypandy’s new Ocean Rescue Centre and the introduction of new characters Ben the coastguard and the Sparks family.  There are also two awesome new water vehicles introduced in this episode, Titan and Juno the Jet Ski.

In other episodes Pontypandy’s bad boy Norman Price sets off in search of a rare sea turtle and gets himself and Mandy lost and Norman (it’s nearly always him!) and James get lost in fog while looking for buried treasure in The Treasure Trap.

Joseph’s favourite episode has to be Turtle Hunt as it combines everything that he loves, the sea, sea creatures and Fireman Sam although we have watched the entire DVD several times since it arrived and he still enjoys it all!

Fireman Sam: Ocean Rescue is available now with an RRP £12.99.

Panda Soft Drinks Review

Who remembers Panda Pops?  I have lovely memories of my primary school headmaster dishing them out at the school disco and making various Panda Pop mocktails with varying success!

Well, they’re back but this time with a few changes.  The new product range has been expanded and now contains still juice drinks, flavoured still waters and litre bottles of squash.  What’s better is that they’re made with only natural colours and flavourings and contain no added sugar.

The kiddywinks were sent a selection to try out along with some awesome Panda goodies (I just love the retro style lunchbox – why can’t you buy these anymore?)

Panda Drinks

The flavoured still water “Panda Splash” is available in two flavours, Orange and Pineapple and Blackcurrant and the still juice is available in Raspberry or Blackcurrant.  Imogen and Joseph carried out a testing session where Imogen declared the Raspberry as her favourite while Joseph preferred the Panda Splash Blackcurrant.  All are equally refreshing and at 250ml and with re-closeable sports cap lids they’re the perfect size for lunch boxes or picnics.

Panda drinks are available from all major supermarkets nationwide with 6 packs of drinks priced at £1.99 and litre bottles of squash very reasonably priced at 99p.

Teksta Kitty Review

This year Character have expanded their range of Teskta Robotic pets and added a robotic Kitty and T-Rex to the Teksta family.  Imogen was the very, very lucky recipient of a lovely new Teskta Kitty who arrived last week and was promptly called Katy.

Teksta Kitty

The Teskta Kitty is a 4th generation robotic kitty who will respond to your voice, hand actions and even lights.  She does this with sensors that are located along her body and head that know if she’s being stroked, spoken to or played with and she’ll react to these.  You can tell how your Teskta Kitty is feeling by here eye patterns as well as her sounds, she’ll purr, cry, whine and meow just like a real kitten!

Teksta Kitty Emotions

She comes with a small robotic mouse which you can use to make your Teksta Kitty do tricks, if you hold the mouse above her head she will sit and beg for it.

Teksta Kitty

The mouse is also magnetic and kitty can hold it on her mouth and she’ll feed on it and she will also pounce on it!

Teksta Kitty

You can also train Kitty with the Teksta app, which is available on the Apple App Store (iPad series. iOS 5.0 or aboved) or Google Play (Android 3.0 platform or above).  Using the app Kitty can dance, sing, feed her different types of food including milk and fish, teach her new tricks, set an alarm for her to wake you up in the morning (which has come in very handy) and even compose a new song on the piano for your kitty to sing to!

Imogen has quickly learnt how to play with Katy the Teksta Kitty to make her happy and is teaching her new tricks all the time.  She’s a lot of fun without the app but obviously does a lot more with it and that helps improve her value for money.  Imogen and Katy have quickly become best friends and the pair will often be found in her room playing together or having cat conversations! I love the fact that she’s responsive to light and goes to sleep when it’s dark, otherwise I swear Imogen would be up all night with her!

Teksta Kitty

As the Teksta Kitty is robotic her movements can be quite noisy, aside from the “normal” cat noises that is, at first this bothered me no end but you do get used to it and I honestly don’t think that Imogen or Joseph have actually noticed it at all.  I’ve videoed Kitty and Imogen doing tricks but I’m having technical issues at the moment but this video will show you what she can do.

Priced at around £59.99 they’re not cheap toys but Imogen has had so much fun with her since she arrived that I really think they are worth it, whilst she won’t replace a real pet in anyway it’s a great way to get your child to learn the responsibility of a pet without any of the vet or food bills!

Teskta Kitty is available from Character and is suitable for children aged 5+.

Tom & Jerry Tricky Trap House Review

Imogen and Joseph love the cartoon capers of Tom and Jerry (occasionally they remind me of the pair too) so were thrilled when Flair sent them their Tom and Jerry Tricky Trap House to review.

Tom & Jerry Tricky Trap House

The house has two floors and five rooms (three upstairs and two downstairs), a veranda, a Tom and a Jerry figure, furniture and accessories and a removable rocket. It comes pretty much ready assembled, it’ll just take a couple of minutes to remove the house from the packaging and and set the accessories in place.

Tom and Jerry Tricky Trap House

Dotted around the house are 10 mechanical “traps” so that Tom and Jerry can either trick or trap each other.  Upstairs there’s a shower with fall through floor, wonky legged grand piano, a falling chandelier and downstairs there are more traps with the “exploding” fridge, spring up floor and blast through door!

Tom and Jerry Tricky Trap House Tom and Jerry Tricky Trap House

Tom and Jerry Tricky Trap House

 

Imogen and Joseph’s favourite part has to be the removable rocket, which Jerry can hide inside and then blast off away from Tom!

Tom and Jerry Tricky Trap House

 

The house is a good size and can be folded away neatly at the end of play, although you will need to arrange the furniture quite cleverly to do so.  The house itself and a couple of the accessories to appear to be a little bit flimsy, for example Imogen was playing with the patio swing and managed to snap the back off of it and I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve put the legs back on the piano. Having sad that both Imogen and Joseph has loved playing with it, taking it in turns to be Tom and Jerry and trying to trick each other but personally I’d like to see it made a little better.

Octonauts Gup-S Polar Exploration Vehicle Review

Joseph is the ultimate Octofan and since last Christmas, and the arrival of his first gup, he’s built up a vast collection of playsets, gups, figures and sea creatures normally carrying a select few around with him in a bucket!  Top of his Christmas list this year was Gup O, all three of the Octo Repair Crew and the amazing Gup S.  Well, just like it does most years in our house Christmas came a little bit early when Joseph returned from nursery to find Gup S waiting for him.

Octonauts Gup S

Just like all of the gups the Gup S takes the form of a sea creature this one being a Narwhal.  It comes with one Captain Barnacles figure, who is very cutely dressed in a snow suit, two mini skis, a narwhal, an iceberg and three interchangeable tools, an ice drill, jackhammer and a claw.  The Gup S needs very little assembly and comes with the 3 AAA batteries needed pre-installed so it’s ready to play with within seconds of being released from it’s box.

Octonauts Gup S

Gup S is two exploration vehicles in one with the front “Octo-Sled” able to be separated from the “Octo-Shuttle”.  The Octo-Sled is perfect for quick explorations and features an ice drill on the front, these can be swapped around with the rescue tools on the mini skis as well making any ice rescue easy!

Octonauts Gup S

The Octo-Shuttle is the main component of Gup S and has a an “Anti freeze warming system” for when it gets too cold, this lights up the Octo-Shuttle’s floor, a creature warming tank and retractable treads on the bottom making for ease of movement on any Polar surface.

Octonauts Gup SOctonauts Gup S

There are also two mini-skis included which will each stand a figure on the back, these can be fitted with the interchangeable rescue tools and used to free the narwhal from the iceburg and take her back to the safety of Gup S.

Octonauts Gup S

Joseph has played with quite literally nothing else since the Gup S arrived and we all think it’s pretty awesome.  His favourite thing is that it will actually interact with this play as the gup will recognize when the Octo-Sled is unattached and Captain Barnacles voice will tell him what he needs to do.  For example if you leave the gup open for too long Captain Barnacles will say “Oh no! The ship is getting too cold we’re losing power, sound the octo alert.  Activate anti freeze system”  The Octo alert will sound and then the floor of the gup will light up.  When the gup is closed Captain Barnacles will announce “Good work Octonauts let’s head back to the Octopod and warm up”

Octonauts Gup S

The Octonauts Gup S Polar Exploration Vehicle has to the ultimate gup, it’s versatility leads to a great range of play and quite simply hours and upon hours of play.  With an RRP of £35 I think it’s great value for money and would make an awesome Christmas present for any Octofan.

Beados Quick Dry Design Studio Review

Imogen has been getting quite crafty recently with the new Beados Quick Dry Design Studio that our friends at Character sent over for her to review.

Beados Quick Dry Design Studio

Beados are small beads that magically join together with water that can be used to create a whatever takes your fancy.  The Quick Dry Design Studio comes equipped with:

  • 500 Beads1
  • AQuick dry design station
  • Tweezer pen
  • 2 bead trays
  • Water sprayer
  • 6 design templates
  • 2 suction cups
  • 1 display stand
  • 1 connector bead
  • 1 bead storage tray
  • Instructions

Beados Quick Dry Design Studio

To create masterpiece firstly place your chosen template underneath one of the bead trays, then using the tweezer pen pick up your chosen Beado and place on the tray.

Beados Quick Dry Design Studio

You’ll then need about to spray your design with the water sprayer about 5-6 times then pop underneath the fan on the design studio for anything from 15-30 minutes to dry.

Beados Quick Dry Design Studio

The Beados Quick Dry Design Studio has built in storage, which I love as it keeps everything in place, however the bead tray does not have a lid and twice now we’ve had Beado spillage on the floor which is not easy to pick up!  The suction cups and display stands are great for showing off creations and it’s something I haven’t seen before on similar kits.

Imogen loved the fan, meaning that her designs could dry quickly and we 2 tray included in the kit she could easily create another whilst waiting for the first to dry, a proper production line!

Beados Quick Dry Design Studio

 

There are plenty of Beados included in this kit but refill kits (£4.99), theme packs (£7.99) and activity packs (£14.99) are available as well as these very cool Pod Pens that are included in the starter pack.

Beados Starter PackThe Beados Quick Dry Design Studio is available from Character priced at £19.99 and comes highly recommended from us, Imogen is already saving for the “Ballet Concert” theme pack and we already have plans to make some Beado Christmas tree decorations.

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

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