Friday, 7 July 2017

Make Way for the MOKURU Craze!

The Fidget Spinner which pretty much became a household name overnight now has a new rival in the form of the MOKURU, a handheld wooden fidget toy which has originated from Japan. At first glance it looks like a wooden cylinder and you could be forgiven for thinking what is the big deal all about it but give it a go and you will realise just how addictive it is.


When it first arrived I started rolling it back and forth but after watching a YouTube clip and seeing some tricks I progressed to making triangle and square patterns with it but have yet to master flipping it up on my hand.  I will get there though as this innocent little wooden toy is seriously addictive and I find myself drawn to it every time I see it. It has that therapeutic factor, a form of stress relief as you flip it back and forth and makes you want to keep practicing. Check out some of this very cool tips and tricks video I found on YouTube below.



Get Ready for the MOKURU Craze

My entire family have gotten on board with the MOKURU craze, even the dog who is desperate to get in on the action. I think the big thing about this fidget toy is it's appeal to all ages from the little ones like my 4 year old twins who love playing with it on the kitchen floor and flipping it back and forth between each other, to the kids like my 7 year old whose obsession with his fidget spinner has been replaced by the MOKURU and he is loving flipping and tipping and spinning it with his friends in the playground (who are all desperate to get their own), and then of course there are us big kids who like the challenge and competitiveness of learning new tricks not to mention the stress relief of simply rolling it back and forth. I really fancy getting hold of another one and trying to more complex tricks. The twins are determined to be MOKURU Masters one day, maybe I can be too.


Design

I love the simple design of the MOKURU which it's designer Masakazu Node worked hard to ‘create the perfect size, shape and materials’ and took inspiration from a fountain pen lid which he had noticed children playing with during class. It is crafted out of beech wood, small enough to fit in your pocket so has the portability factor and comes in black or, as the Japanese say, Genbu, green (Matcha), orange, (Kirin) white (Byakko), red (Suzaku), blue (Seiryu) and yellow (Inazuma).


Make way for the MOKURU

Already a big hit in many markets around the world, including Japan and Hong Kong,  beginners can simply tip over the toy, let it flip and catch it with their fingers or flip it to draw a triangle or square.  MOKURU masters can use five MOKURU at once with one hand. Claimed to help focus and concentration, imagination and alleviate stress, MOKURU fits into your pocket. The MOKURU is available to buy from Amazon and Smyths Toys, word of warning though there are fakes out there so make sure you get a genuine one.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Cadson Little Shoppers Pick n Mix Sweet Shop Review

This Cadson Little Shoppers Pick n Mix Sweet Shop is a toy of dreams for little kids as not only does it let them role play the whole sweet shop experience but it comes with actual real sweets! When I first showed the twins the Pick n Mix Sweet Shop set there were squeals of delight and when they opened the box and found two jars full of brightly coloured midget gems and dolly mixtures they couldn't believe their eyes asking me if "they really were real".

The twins couldn't wait to get playing with the Pick n Mix Sweet Shop! 

Putting the Pick n Mix Sweet Shop to the Test

The Cadson Little Shoppers Pick n Mix Sweet Shop comes with everything you need to set up a sweet shop including bank notes and coins, display tray, working weighing scales, sweetie scoop and the all important and very yummy jars of sweets and lollipops to sell. It is bright and colourful, just as you would expect a sweet shop to be and is easy to assemble and take apart for storage if necessary. I also liked the fact that you can wipe down and wash the areas where you empty the sweets as they tend to get a bit sugary. 


Like other Cadson Little Shopper and Little Helper toys this set really is true to life and lets kids pretend to be grown ups and role play out the whole process of being shopkeepers and shopping in their favourite store. It has been so cute watching them play their little "Shopkeeper" and "Shopper" roles, welcoming each other to the store, selecting the sweets, scooping them out and then paying for them. We made some little paper bags to pop the sweets they buy in which was a fun craft activity to do and they have been designing a whole lot more of them for use when their big brother and friends come to shop.


The Pick n Mix Sweet Shop is very well thought out for the target age range and helps to develop key life skills in a fun and engaging way that they will definitely not tire of. My twins have been loving this, just take a look at their video clip.


Where to Buy

The Cadson Little Shoppers Pick n Mix Sweet Shop has an RRP of £12 and is available to buy from a range of toy retailers including Smyths and online from Amazon where it is currently a bargain price of £7.98. 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

It's Tonka Tinys Time

I have something awesome to tell you about today, the Tonka Tinys range which are new for this year to mark Tonka's 70th Anniversary and includes mini playsets, Tonka Tiny Blind Box Garages and the Tonka Tinys Three Pack of vehicles. We were lucky enough to have been set the Tonka Tinys Car Crush and Escape Playset and two Tonka Tiny Blind Box Garages which have been given a massive thumbs up from my three especially Zachary who not only loves trucks, cars and diggers but collectibles too which makes these palm sized vehicles perfect for him.


Tonka Tinys Vehicles

Tonka Tinys as the name suggests are Tonka vehicles in miniature, Zachary loves their small size as he can pop his favourite little Tonka truck in his pocket and bring it everywhere with him meaning he is always ready for a new adventure. There are currently twenty-two Tonka Tinys vehicles to collect including police pickups, Quarry Dump Trucks and even helicopters with new waves on the way to extend the fun. I like the fact that each vehicle comes with its own garage for storing and stacking which offers even more play possibilities and keeps them safe when not in use.




Tonka Tinys Car Crush and Escape Playset

The  Tonka Tinys Car Crush and Escape Playset which we have been putting to the test has definitely proven to be a hit. It may be small but it is big on features including a working crane, car crusher and catapult allowing your little one to crush and launch away to their heart’s content. The good news is the playset is easy to assemble, you just slot the crane and a few other pieces into place and it is ready to go. We have been putting it to the 'boisterous play stress test' and I can confirm the quality and design is durable enough to withstand everything my three had to throw at it.


One thing which I really like about this Tonka Tinys range is the fact that the the Car Crush and Escape and the Blast and Dash Quarry playsets can be connected to together to expand your very own Tonka Tinys world and all the Tonka Tiny vehicles are compatible which means you can grow your collection at your own pace.


As a parent, the size and the features are a big winner for me and makes Tonka Tinys the perfect toys to pop in a bag and bring on holidays or if we are visiting friends or relatives. They say good things come in small packages and this is definitely true of the Tonka Tinys range.

Where to Buy

You can find the Tonka Tiny Car Crush and Escape playset and the Blast and Dash Quarry playset for sale in the usual toy retailers and on Amazon with an RRP of £9.99. The Tonka Tiny Blind Box Garages make fantastic pocket money toys priced at £2.49 per blind garage and can be found in toy stores such as Smyths Toys.  The Tonka Tinys range is aimed at ages 5+.

*Disclaimer: I was sent the a Tonka Tinys playset and 2 Blind Box Garages in exchange for a review. All views and opinions are my own and unbiased. 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Bugs in the Kitchen Fun for National Unplugging Day

I think a lot of us parents (and kids) are guilty of spending a little more time than is desirable on our gadgets, be that phones, tablets or laptops. My three kiddies have a lot of love for their iPads and it does at times cause me concern which is why I think National Unplugging Day on the 25th June and pledging to #GoGadgetFree and spend the day from sun-up to sun-down without any technology is such a great idea. I'm not going to lie it will be hard not reaching for my iPhone to mindlessly scan through Facebook or check out Instagram and Twitter but I am willing to give it a go. So who else is with me?

Bugs in the Kitchen for National Unplugging Day

If the weather is as sunny as it has been lately, we will be spending a lot of time outdoors in the garden splashing in the paddling pool and having water fights. Another one of our favourite things to do as a family is play board games and the great thing is these can be done inside or out. We have recently been sent a pretty awesome one called Bugs in the Kitchen which comes with a Hexbug Nano who whizzes about a cutlery maze.


The aim of the game is to catch the bug in a trap and earn a token each time you do until a winner is declared. It is a very fun game which is great for developing logic and reasoning skills. You throw a die to discover which utensil you can turn and then by turning knives, forks and spoons you can direct the bug into the trap. Check out the video below to see the game in action.



Our Verdict

The kids have been playing Bugs in the Kitchen for weeks now and are yet to get bored of it, it's fantastic and I have to admit I really enjoy playing with it too.


It was easy to set up, first you pop out the cards which the kids did super quickly, you then slot in the plastic cutlery parts to make the maze and you are ready to go.


The game is aimed at age 6+ but the twins, who have just turned 4, really enjoy playing it with their big brother Ben who is 7. I have to admit I am seriously impressed with their moves at times and  I love watching them figure out their next best move, not to mention the celebrations when the bug is trapped. It is definitely a great game for teaching actions and outcomes.


Where to Buy

Bugs in the Kitchen by Ravensburger is available to buy at all the usual toy retailers including Amazon, Argos, Smyths Toys and more.  Amazon currently have it on sale for £16.98 which is great value so well worth grabbing while you can. 


Monday, 12 June 2017

The First Rose

Today as I left Tuco out in the garden I noticed a burst of pink above the trampoline, I went out to investigate and discovered the most perfectly pink rose had bloomed.


Our neighbours gave us a gift of this rose plant over 4 year ago when the twins were born but at the time we were so busy with our little preemies in SCBU it nearly died before we finally planted it in the corner of the garden. To be honest I hadn't held out much hope of it ever flowering, but every year it has grown taller and taller despite now being in the shade of the trees which have also been maturing and growing taller and the addition of the trampoline in front of it blocking more light. It was such a lovely surprise this morning to discover it had finally bloomed. This first rose is a perfect pink colour that brightens up the garden and better still there are lots of little buds growing alongside it, getting ready to bloom. It has most certainly brightened up my Monday.