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Casdon Dyson Ball Vacuum Cleaner Review

Both Imogen and Joseph love role play and it’s both a massive and important part of their play.  They have a dedicated area in their playroom which has been set up just for this with cookers, fancy dress, medical sets and tool boxes.  Casdon recently added to their “Home Corner” with the rather fabulous Dyson Ball vacuum cleaner.

Casdon Dyson Ball

The Casdon Dyson Ball toy vacuum cleaner is suitable for ages 3 to 8 and needs 3 size C batteries (not included) to work and is a realistic replica of it’s counterpart with great features to mimic mum or dad.

There is a red button on the front of the vacuum cleaner that will start realistic sounds and send the brightly coloured foam beads spinning around the cylinder to replicate the cyclone action.

Casdon Dyson Ball

The Casdon Dyson Ball also has real life suction action and this is again paired with realistic sounds.  Simply turn the vacuum cleaner on at the back, give it a push around on it’s large, maneuverable ball and you’re away!  We tore up some small pieces of paper for Imogen to vacuum up and although the suction isn’t instant it did pick it all up.

Casdon Dyson Ball

The debris that’s picked up is conventionally transferred into a small box which sits at the back of the vacuum cleaner for easy disposal.

Casdon Dyson BallThe kiddywinks love the latest addition to their playroom and it’s actually encouraged them to tidy it up!  It’s a great size perfect for 4 year old Joseph, who’s slightly dinky, and Imogen who is a very tall 7 and it’s really easy for them to operate and push around.  They love the realistic sounds which really add to their enjoyment without being over powerful and too loud.

The Casdon Dyson Ball is available from Amazon priced at around £25.00 and just one of the great range of Little Helpers range available from Casdon which can be seen here.

Swashbuckle Magazine Review

Ahoy there Shipmates!  Today sees the release of the brand new magazine from the popular CBeebies programme Swashbuckle.  Lucky boy Joseph was given a sneaky pre-release glimpse, he loves the show so was obviously extremely excited by it’s arrival.

Swashbuckle Magazine

The magazine’s editor is Early Years Education expert Steph Cooper and it’s been written to support the Early Early Curriculum.  There are puzzles, stories, colouring pages, games and plenty of stickers all cleverly designed to make learning fun.

Swashbuckle Magazine

Joseph needs to work on his control of a pencil and there was plenty of opportunities for some great pirate themed practice either by tracing words or ticking boxes in the Swashbuckle magazine that he thoroughly enjoyed.

Swashbuckle Magazine

This first issue has an amazing 77 stickers and finding their place, solving puzzles and answering questions with them along the way, was Joseph’s favourite thing.

Swashbuckle Magazine

Like most children’s magazines there is also a free gift and this issue has three of them!  A foam pirate hat, wheel spinner and a chest full of pirate treasure!

Swashbuckle Magazine

About a week after the magazine’s arrival he’s still enjoying it.  Either going back to look at pictures, asking for the stories to be read or finishing some colouring in and we’ve yet to try out the smoothie recipes included.  There’s also an amazing competition for you to win the chance to have Gem, Cook, Line and Sinker visit your school for a day of Swashbuckle adventures.

The Swashbuckle magazine is available now from all good newsagents and priced at £2.75 which quite a lot cheaper than some of the children’s magazines available and great value for money.

Plasticine Review

We’ve had our fair share of wet and blustery days over the past couple of weeks so an awesome Plasticine delivery from Flair was perfectly timed to amuse the kiddywinks.  Their huge bundle of goodies included a great selection from the range including a Funtubulous tub, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Squidgems as well Basix, Fluro and Colourmax modeling clay.  I have very fond memories of Plasticine as a child and it’s always been the preferred modeling material in our house simply because it doesn’t dry out.

First out of the box, at Joseph’s request, was the TMNT Squidgem.  This contains both green and brown Plasticine and cardboard press-out accessories all wrapped in a blind bag.  Joseph’s had Michelango, his favourite, and he quickly got stuck in modelling him and adding his trademark mask and nunchucks.

Plasticine Squidgem  Plasticine SquidgemThe kiddywinks love anything in a blind bag and at £1.49 each they’re a great pocket money toy that they’d both love to see more of.

Imogen them decided that she’d open up the Funtubulous Tub which contains 7 bumper sized sticks of individually wrapped Plasticine and four cutters.

Plasticine Funtubulous

Joseph used his Plasticine to create these scary looking fellows who now sit on his bedroom window sill in a bid to scare off monsters.  Plasticine

Whilst Imogen decided that she’d have a go at recreating her beloved collection of Shopkins!


Here’s the results!

Slick Breadstick  Slick Breadstick

D'Lish Donut

D’lish Donut

Popsi Cool

Popsi Cool

Modelling Shopkins has since become a favourite hobby of hers and she’s even created a few new characters of her own!
With prices starting from just 99p Plasticine makes a great pocket money or stocking filler toy and is great for all of those “I’m bored” moments!

Cra-Z-Sand Deluxe Playset Review

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.

Disney Princess Palace Pets Walking and Wiggling Pet Review

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.

Walking and Wiggling Palace Pet

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.

Walking and Wiggling Disney Princess Palace Pet


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.

Disney Princess Palace Pet Walking and Wiggling Pet

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.

Disney Princess Palace Pet walking and Wiggling Pet


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.

Peppa Pig Holiday Time Sunshine Villa Review

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.

Peppa Pig Holiday Time 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!

Peppa Pig Holiday Time Sunshine Villa

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.

Peppa Pig Holiday Time Sunshine Villa

Peppa Pig Holiday Time Sunshine VillaPeppa Pig Holiday Time Sunshine Villa


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.

Peppa Pig Holiday Time Sunshine Villa

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!

Peppa Pig Holiday Time Sunshine Villa

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!

The Peppa Pig Holiday Time Sunshine Villa is one of the playsets available in the Peppa Pig Holiday Time range and is available from Character Options priced at £29.99.


Crayola Colour Alive Review

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.

Colour Alive Colour Alive

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!

Crayola Colour Alive

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.

Crayola Colour Alive

Crayola Colour Alive Crayola Colour Alive

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.

Schleich Mini Dinosaurs Review

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.

Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion Review

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!

Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion

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.

Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion

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.

Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion

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!

Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion

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.

Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion

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.

The Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion is available from Character priced at £29.99.

Disney Frozen Elsa’s Magic Snow Sleeve Review

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!

Elsa's Magic Snow Sleeve

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.

Elsa's Magic Snow Sleeve

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.

Elsa's Magic Snow SLeeve

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.

Elsa's Magic Snow Sleeve

Elsa's Magic Snow Sleeve

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.

Elsa's Magic Snow Sleeve

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.

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