Monday, 20 November 2017

Childhood Memories in the Making

I love those times when I see my kids just being together, happy and content in each others company, not necessarily doing a lot but sharing a moment. A few nights ago while I was helping Zoey with her reading homework, Zachary climbed into bed with Ben and I found them like this, with Ben reading to his little brother, totally unprompted with Zachary hanging on his every word.

It was one of those heart swell moments where you can see your childrens memories being made in front of your eyes, the ones you know they will remember. I can't help but think that one day Zachary will fondly talk about how his big brother used to read to him and Ben recount the times when his little brother idolised him so much he wanted to snuggled up to listen to him read. 

Friday, 17 November 2017

Buggaloop - Fun for all the Family

We have had so much fun playing Bugs in the Kitchen since we got it last summer that I couldn't wait to put the latest and greatest version of it by Ravensburger called Buggaloop to the test. Zachary was the first to spot a TV advert for the game when it was released and had his little heart set on it so I was really excited to show him it when it arrived. It was definitely met with cheers and a race to get it out of the box as quickly as we could.

What is Buggaloop

In Buggaloop the aim of the game is to get your little bugs across the trash yard without getting caught by the HEXBUG cockroach who scurries up the loops and tries and catch them.

It all gets a bit crazy, and definitely exciting when the HEXBUG comes along and moves your bug clean off it's path.

Included in the game is a HEXBUG nano, the 3D game board complete with 2 loops, 12 bug tokens, a dice and the all important instructions.

Our Verdict

We had some serious fun and laughter while playing Buggaloop, it is one of those games that keeps you on your toes as the HEXBUG is completely erratic in how he moves which means no one's bugs are safe while playing.

Ben who is 8 and the twins who are 4 years old really love this game. It is suitable to 2-4 players and although it says it is for ages 6 years +, the twins have had no problem following the instructions and playing it. It has quickly become a must play game on playdates and all the kids friends love it too so I think it will be making it's way on to a lot of Christmas lists around here.

Where to Buy

Buggaloop has a RRP of £29.99 and is available to purchase from all the usual toy retailers including Amazon where it is currently reduced in price so grab it while you can! 

*Disclaimer: I received Buggaloop in exchange for a review. All views and opinions are my own and unbiased. 

Hape's George Luck Ark Puzzle Review

We love puzzles in this house and have accumulated quite a few over the years but none as impressive as the George Luck Ark Puzzle which we were sent for review. George Luck puzzles by Hape Toys are beautifully made multi-layer wooden puzzles created using non-toxic finishes, water based paints and only the highest quality child safe materials. The Ark wooden puzzle design is stunning, it is cleverly filled with all the animals that were saved on the Ark which fit perfectly together to make up this colourful design.

Puzzle Time

The George Luck Ark puzzle is one that will challenge children of all ages as they piece together the animal shapes which is great for developing logical thinking as well as fine motor skills, dexterity and hand eye coordination. It also has the added educational benefit of helping children to learn and discover more about the magnificent animals who were saved from the flood by the ark in the famous bible story.

The twins really loved this aspect of the puzzle and have been asking lots of questions about the the different animals onboard. They found it quite amusing to think that in order to fit them all they could have been stacked on top each other, especially as the elephant, who they agreed was the heaviest, is on top and the poor little snail is at the bottom which lead them to be a little concerned over his shell. This most certainly was an interesting insight into my two 4 year olds thought processes, not to mention a good way of working on basic maths skills such as weights and measures along with counting skills as the twins had fun estimating how many animals they thought would fit in the Ark and then counted them when the puzzle was complete.

Our Verdict

I loved this George Luck Ark puzzle the minute I saw it, it definitely has parent appeal as it is so stunning to look at and makes a wonderful addition to any child's room. It is one of those toys that I have earmarked to keep and pass down to future generations as it will definitely stand the test of time. It wasn't just me who loved it though, the kids have given it a massive thumbs up. It is challenging so keeps them engaged and you can easily add extra to the puzzle making process through introducing some fun maths elements like we did. Zoey and Zachary have made this puzzle over and over again since getting it which is proof enough to me that it is a hit. 

Hape's George Luck Ark Puzzle is recommended for ages 6-10 years although my 4 year old twins have completed it many times so I think younger kids at Reception stage will also love it. It is available to purchase from Amazon with an RRP of £39.99 although I have spotted it is currently reduced so grab it while you can, it would make a very special Christmas gift. 

*Disclaimer: I received the George Luck Ark Puzzle in exchange for a review. All views and opinions are my own and unbiased. 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Meet the Awesome Little Green Men

Readers will know that we love collectables, especially if they come in blind bags and boxes so we were more than happy to check out the latest collectible range to hit the UK called Awesome Little Green Men.

Awesome Little Green Men Starter Pack

We were sent the Awesome Little Green Men Green and Blue Starter sets. Each Starter Pack comes with four figures (three of which are visible and one blind), 4 dog tags, 1 chain, and a collector's poster which makes the pack a perfect way to collect four Men from one branch. They are very cool little soldiers and vehicles which instantly appealed to my boys.

They especially loved the Blind Boxes, there is always so much excitement when it comes to opening them and revealing who is inside.

The Awesome Little Green Men Fun Continues

These are more than just collectables though as if you head over to the Awesome Little Green Men site you will find the fun continues with episodes featuring all your favourite Blue and Green Infantries to watch, a Battle Game to download and play, profile details for each of the recruits to help you build the strongest troop and win the battle and more.

The boys have really enjoyed looking through all the different recruits profiles online. There have been a lot of conversation and discussions over who are the best, with wish lists being made up for their armies so I think it is safe to say these collectibles definitely go beyond the brilliant toy range and are a fab new modern twist on the classic kids game of playing with toys soldiers.

Where to Buy

Awesome Little Green Men are available to buy for the usual toy retailers including Amazon and Very with an RRP of £12.99 and are suitable from 6 years. These Little Green (and Blue) Men are definitely Awesome!

*Disclaimer: I received Awesome Little Green Men Green and Blue Starter sets for review. All views and opinions are my own and unbiased. 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Family Games Night Fun with Boom Blast Stix & Five Night's at Freddy's

Sometimes it is really nice to just knock off the TV, turn on some music, put out a selection of yummy snacks and have a good old family games night. We definitely don't do this often enough so when I was sent Boom Blast Stix and Five Nights at Freddy's to review I figured it was the perfect opportunity to arrange one.

Five Night's at Freddy's

The kids were very excited at the thought of playing some new games and insisted we play Five Night's at Freddy's first. I have to admit my first reaction upon seeing the box was that it looked a bit scary, but this is exactly what drew the kids to it. The game brings one of the world's most popular scary video games to life in a 3D form.

To play the game players take it in turns to spin the spinner wheel to determine how many and what colour of pizza tokens they must steal from Freddy's tray as he snoozes. Whenever a player wakes and disturbs Freddy, he jumps up and screams at the player eliminating them from the game. Play continues until there's only one player left in the game.

His scream definitely makes you jump but it is a funny kind of fright if you know what I mean. The kids love the suspense and surprise of this game as did we, it is a great game to play as a family and would also make a fun party game for big kids too , especially for those who remember the original video game.

Boom Blast Stix

Boom Blast Stix is a fantastic family game and one that I can see us playing lots at weekends and over Christmas. In the almost rocket shaped box you will find 40 sensitive interlocking springs that when put together can explode at any time. The aim of the game is to stack as many pieces as you can on top of the lid before they go off. 

It is a bit like an exploding version of Jenga or Kerplunk and the suspense is awesome not to mention addictive. The game is so unpredictable, you will never have the same game twice. The kids love playing it when they get home from school and the laughter and excitement that is generated when they do is lovely to see. Boom Blast Stix is not just a kids game though as adults will enjoy playing it just as much as children, have to admit the thought has crossed my mind that this would make a perfect drinking game. 

Our Verdict

We have loved putting these two games to the test and our family games night was a perfect way to do so, we will be having a lot more of these in the future. Both of these games were a lot of fun to play as a family and a great combination together, Boom Blast Stix is full of suspense while Five Night's at Freddy's is sure to keep you on your toes. If you are looking for new games to play over Christmas I can highly recommend them, just beware that if you have little kids that scare easily it might be best to wait until they are a bit older to play Five Night's at Freddy's. 

Where to Buy

Boom Blast Stix has an RRP of £14.99 and Five Nights at Freddy's  has an RRP of £24.99 with both available to buy online from Character as well as the usual toy retailers and Amazon.