Sunday, 18 December 2011

Galt Magic Science Kit

This fun Magic Science set contains 10 Magical activities for the trainee wizard! Make your own mysterious, shimmering magic wand, learn about famous wizards and cast spells as you mix up bubbling, colour changing, glowing potions in your test tube cauldron!
Set Contains:

·         3 test tubes and stand
·         1 clear tube wand
·         2 wand caps
·         Citric acid 20g
·         Bicarbonate of soda 50g
·         Red cabbage juice powder 3g
·         Cross-linked polyacrylamide crystals 28g
·         12 colour tablets
·         Zinc sulphide 2g
·         Pair of goggles
·         Medium and small scoops
·         Pipette
·         Purple paper
·         Star stickers
·         Goldenrod paper
·         Science and activity guide

My little Scientist has had most of the Galt Science sets and they’ve all been a huge hit. As Chick has so many of these sets we gave this one to After School club to review and they came up with the attached video, complete with child falling off his chair in the last 10 seconds!!!



Retails at £12.99 and is aimed at ages 10+. Available from Toys R Us instore and online.

Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Play Doll

The blurb: Girls will love these gorgeous Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Dolls! When their last stitch was sewn they came to life, taking on the personalities that come from the fabrics that made them.
Jewel Sparkles was made from remnants of a real princess' dress. She is very graceful, a little bit bossy, and loves to dance and wear sparkly clothes. She also has a Persian cat.

Chick is probably a little bit too old for this now but it doesn’t change the fact that she loves it!! Our doll is a ‘Jewel Sparkle’ doll and what I love about her is that she looks kind of like a rag doll but is actually really sturdy!! Throw in a cool website and Chick is a massive fan!! The other thing that I like about this is that it encourages kids to use their imagination and in this day and age I think it’s a good thing!
She comes with a brush, hair accessories and a little cat that has a curly tail that matches the doll’s hair.  I much prefer this to the old fashioned styling dolls with the grungy hair that gets all clumpy when you’ve brushed it  few times. Jewel has plastic hair that doesn’t tangle and can be curled or straightened and then twisted back around. Add bows, ribbons or hair jewels for more fun.

Aimed at 4+ years and retailing at around £39.99 (although TRU have £10 off at the moment!!) I think this will be a big hit with girls everywhere this year so get yours now before they sell out. A whole range of extra Lalaloopsy accessories are also on sale. Available from Toys R Us online and instore. Remember to check out the hundreds of brilliant reviews over at the Toybox.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Pumpaloons

The blurb: Race your opponents to pump air into your 3ft tall inflatable characters which bob and weave as the slowly rise up. The first pumpaloon to fully inflate and sound its whistle is the winner! A great game for 2 – 4 players.

This is a brilliant game and should definitely be on Christmas lists across the land. It’s super easy to set up and put away and can be used by all ages. We’ve challenged most people to try and beat us and had some great fun. Chick has also inflated the pumpaloons and dressed them as mini people in a whole variety of fashion outfits!!!

As the blurb says the game is a race to inflate your Pumpaloon first and can be amazingly competitive but in a super fun way. The only downside that we found was that one of the pumps wasn’t great but the manufacturer sent us a replacement for it and it’s been fine since.



We would both highly recommend this and I’m pretty sure we’ll be using it on Christmas day when the whole family is together. It retails at £14.99 which I think is a good price considering how much we’ve used it. Available online and instore from Toys R Us.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Scraperfoil Gift Set


The blurb: The Scraperfoil Gift Set by Reeves includes three Scraperfoil titles, which can be mastered by scraping away the pre-printed outlines and by adding some individual touches of your own. Each pack contains: 3 pre-printed board, 2 scrapertools, 1 practice piece with full set of instructions, all presented in stylish silver packaging to compliment the range.

The idea is that you scrape off the grey print to get to the silver underneath. Once it’s done you get a lovely silver ‘etching’.  The pictures are quite detailed and I found that you had to concentrate but it wasn't too difficult.......Chick unfortunately wasn’t interested in doing this after the first 5 minutes, but to be honest she isn’t a big fan of concentrating!!!


You may remember back in July that we reviewed the ‘RainbowScraper Foil’ kit and were distinctly unimpressed with the scraper as it was plastic and didn’t work very well. Thankfully the scraper that comes with this set is made of metal and it makes a real difference to the detail of the pictures.


The set came with 3 different pictures and 2 scrapers so could be shared. I think this would make a lovely present for slightly older children and is suggested for ages six years and up. Retails at around £11.99 and available instore from Toys R Us.



Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Hello Kitty at WHSmith

I'm generally quite picky about what I choose to review, and the majority of things I do say yes to are for Chick. She is one very lucky girl, (as her bursting at the seams bedroom will attest too) but she has one true love in the world which is stationery!! If you tell her that she can roam the aisles in WHSmith just looking at paper, pens, folders and rubbers then she is a very happy girl..... and if you let her move onto the book section or actually buy her stuff then it makes her weekend!!

So when WHSmith asked me if I would like to review some of their 'Hello Kitty' stationery I didn't think about turning it down for a second!! I actually love the 'Hello Kitty' range anyway as their products are perfect for girls of Chick's age. They are useful, bright, pretty and she thinks that they are grown up but I like the fact that the images are all so innocent and lovely, whilst bright and funky. So when this little bundle arrived I was really delighted:


So colourful and lovely!! We got a really cool pen that has some kind of mini slide show on top, a little figurine and a folder.....which will be useful for keeping the reams of paper in that my lovely girl writes on every day!!!

We also got an address book, a notebook and a pot of pencils which I've actually put away for her Christmas stocking but I know that she will be more than thrilled with them on Christmas morning:


May need to buy a couple more of the folders to keep her future masterpieces in though :-)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Monopoly Electronic Banking


The blurb: Monopoly is the classic property trading board game. It’s the game about dealing in big money and getting rich quick! Swipe your bank card to transfer money - it couldn’t be easier!
Starting from the famous “GO” space, move around the board, buying and selling properties, building apartments and hotels as you go. Watch out for players landing on your property – they owe you rent! And don’t forget to collect £2,000,000 every time you pass “GO”! That’s right, £2 Million… on your Bank Card!
The places have changed to reflect the real London of today that we all know and love – from Bishopsgate to Kensington Palace Gardens. Choose from a range of new movers including a mobile phone, roller blade, or even a cheeseburger!
I’m a firm believer that every family should own at least one version of Monopoly. It’s great for some good old family rivalry and also for use during power cuts!!!
What I like about this version:
Updated board so Chick recognises the places in London
Updated counters....I’m all for a bit of moving forward
Being able to collect rent from the properties.....bring it on.
Having high rise buildings
Makes it a much quicker game
Collecting £2 million every time you pass go!!! I like having so much money!
What I don’t like:
There is no cash!!! What?? The fun of Monopoly for me is getting everyone else’s wads of cash! A bank card just doesn’t give you the same thrill!! However that may just be me as Chick doesn’t appear to be unduly bothered!
Updated counters....I’m all for a bit of moving forward but I much prefer the dog and the top hat to the skateboard or mobile phone!
The game includes:
·         1 x Gameboard
·         1 x Banker Unit
·         6 x Movers
·         2 x Dice
·         32 x Green Apartments
·         12 x Red Hotels
·         28 x Title Deed Cards
·         16 x Chance Cards
·         16 x Community Chest Cards
·         6 x Monopoly Bank Cards
·         Game Rules & Instructions

The only extra thing that you need is two AA batteries to make the cash machine work. 

Aimed at ages 8+ which I feel is right. Obviously younger children can play with some help and guidance. Available from Toys R Us at £21.99 and thoroughly recommended for Christmas!


Monday, 21 November 2011

Hello Baby Direct - Jelly Kitten Skidaddle Giraffe

hellobabydirect.co.uk is an online nursery shop selling a wide range of nursery furniture, baby toys, travel and safety products and range of other goods.  Now obviously Chick is a bit old to need any baby toys or nursery furniture but I do have a baby Niece who we love to spoil so hellobabydirect sent us this very cute, soft, stripey Jelly Kitten Skidaddle Giraffe:


Chick has loads of Jelly Kitten stuff from when she was younger and even though it’s been played with a lot it’s all still in great condition.  The giraffe is the sweetest thing and comes with a Velcro loop to hang it from a pushchair or cot. It also has two rings on each foot that make a clinking sound which little  ones will love.

Looking around the website there are hundreds of products to choose from and all the big names are there too including Phillips Avent, Tomy, Little Tikes, Polar Gear, Tutti Bambini and Safety 1st to name but a few. Even better is that delivery is free on orders over £50 so you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your lounge!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Jack and Jill Game Giveaway


The blurb: Race up the hill and be the first to reach the well in this fun Jack & Jill counting and colour matching game. Roll the dice to climb the hill and be the first player to reach the well to win the game. But be careful, spin the spinner and you might fall down to the bottom and have to start all over again!

I’ve always been a big fan of board games, not just for the kids but for the whole family. I’m a big fan of spending quality time together playing. Obviously it doesn’t always end happily especially when I’m a competitive Mum and Chick is an only child ;-)

This game is a perfect board game for younger children. It’s bright and colourful and easy to play. It also has different levels of the game so you play either by colours or by numbers according to your child’s development level. 



Available to buy instore or online from Toys R Us at £8.99.

To enter all you need to do is check out the Toys R Us page on Facebook and have a look around at the amazing reviews in the Toybox and then leave me a comment here letting me know that you've done so. Alternatively you could copy and paste the following on Twitter:

I’d like to win the Jack & Jill game with @TRUToyologists and @AdventuresEM at http://adventuresofanenglishmumreviews.blogspot.com/

Closing date is Sunday, 27th November at 5pm. Good Luck :-)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Shark Chase Game


The Blurb: Are you ready for the Shark Attack? Players scramble with excitement and fear as they roll the dice looking for their colours. The motorised shark chomps and chases all the fish around the game board! Each player tries to out-swim the shark and their friends to be the last surviving fish to win the game!  Suitable for 2-4 players.
This is a really easy game to set up - which is always a bonus. It’s bright and colourful and very easy to play and Chick really enjoys playing this. We’ve played it several times and it’s always accompanied by lots of shrieking and laughter. Chick filmed the video so it’s a bit shaky:



It needs 2 AA batteries so isn’t too expensive to run. It’s aimed at ages 5+ but smaller children could definitely play with a bit of help setting up the game. The only downside from my point of view is the price. I think for what it is £19.99 is a lot of money. Having said that however we have played with it quite a lot and Chick likes it and would give it 4 out of 5.
Available online or instore from Toys R Us. Don’t forget to check out all the fabulous review over on the Toybox before you think about buying the kids Christmas presents.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Pinypon Travel Pack Gift Set Giveaway

Do you fancy winning a couple of new toys in the run up to Christmas??? We just received the last Toys R Us Toyology box for this year (booooo hiss) and I have two great prizes to giveaway.....one today and another tomorrow!!

PinyPon Travel Pack Gift Set

Pinypon loves to travel! She loves to visit all the trendy cities - such as New York and Paris and it's much more fun when you travel with a friend! There's so much to see and do.

Contents:

2 Pinypon Dolls

1 Pet

30 Accessories

3 Postcards

Sets are available from Toys R Us instore.  To enter all you need to do is check out the Toys R Us page on Facebook and have a look around at the amazing reviews in the Toybox and then leave me a comment here letting me know that you've done so.

Closing date is Sunday, 27th November at 5pm.



Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Susan Lewis - One day at a time giveaway

As I mentioned over on the main blog yesterday I have FOUR copies of Susan’s latest book to giveaway which isn’t even released until Thursday!!!


The blurb about the book: 

She was only nine when her world fell apart. The struggle to understand took a lifetime. In 1960s Bristol, Susan's family was like any other with its joys and frustrations, and fierce loyalties. Then tragedy struck and left a legacy that was to last a lifetime. Susan was only nine when her mother died.

A year later she was sent away to school. She didn't want to go, and didn't understand why she had to. In her struggle to cope with an uncertain world - a world where nothing seemed to make sense any more - she pushed away the one person she loved best, her father. It wasn't until adulthood beckoned that she realised that, in order to turn their relationship around, she had to learn to love - and trust - again.

This is Susan talking about writing the book and how difficult but therapeutic it was to write:




To enter all you need to do is pop over to Susan’s Facebook page and say hi and then leave me a comment below letting me know that you’ve done so.

Closing date is Sunday, 13th November at Midnight and winners will be chosen at random after this time. Good Luck!!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Pinypon 6 Figure Set

The blurb: This great PinyPon 6 Figure set is perfect for hours of creative fun. Comes complete with 4 Pinypon dolls, 2 pets and 30 accessories.
Pinypon dolls can be customised with the latest accessories and hair styles giving them a completely different, unique look.
To go with the Pinypon caravan that I reviewed last week, we also received a bonus pack of six Pinypon figures. They come with all kinds of accessories and are all mix and match.
They are quite sturdy figures that are all interchangeable. You can change the hair, faces, clothes and make them male or female. I really like the whole Pinypon set as it encourages imanginative play and although these are relatively pricey at £14.99 think that the kids will definitely get the use out of them.

These would be better as an addition to one of the other sets i.e. the caravan or the car but they can be used as a stand alone toy too. Available online or instore from Toys R Us.


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Pinypon Caravan

The blurb: Take your Pinypon doll and her pet on a caravan adventure. This pretty flower caravan comes complete with a surfboard, a boat with a slide, deck chairs for relaxing in and even a little pool with a shower that really squirts out water.
Pinypon dolls can be customised with the latest accessories and hair styles giving them a completely different, unique look.
Includes:
·         1 x Caravan
·         1 x Pinypon Doll
·         1 x Pinypon Pet
·         2 x Deck Chairs
·         1 x Table
·         2 x Surfboards
·         1 x Pool with working shower
·         Sheet of Stickers

When I first saw this in the box I thought about giving it to my old friends at the hospital as I presumed that Chick was too old for it. Turns out I was completely wrong!! She caught a glimpse of it when I was trying to do something else and had it away and open quicker than I could say ‘no’!!! 

Out of everything that we’ve had so far this has definitely had the most use.  I’m not sure if they have a clever advertising campaign (as Chick knows all the words) but according to her, the buzz on the playground is that these are the toys to ask for at Christmas.


The set is mainly plastic and seems well made. It comes with a few annoying little pieces but actually is pretty cool. Everything folds up and can be put away inside the caravan so it stores very easily.

Chick loves that it’s compact but also everything else about it. The fact that you can add water and make the shower actually work, the fact that the dolls come with different hair, faces, clothes and accessories. Every time she’s had a friend round they’ve had the set out and been role playing. As I say I thought that she’d be too old for it but I can’t recommend it highly enough from her point of view.


The set is aimed at ages 4+ which I think is fine and as I say Chick is almost 9 and has used it constantly. Smaller children could use the caravan and dolls but you would have to take out the tiny pieces.

Retails at £24.99 and is available from Toys R Us online or instore.


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

K'Nex Dinosaur Model Set

The blurb: The K'Nex Dinosaurs 20 Model Building Set is packed with 326 parts to build a T-Rex, Brontosaurus, Pterodactyl and more. Then bring them to life with the motion-activated sound brick!
Instructions and building ideas are included for over 20 different dinosaur models, ranging from beginner to more challenging. Or, use your imagination and create your own dinosaur.
This is an amazing set and although it doesn’t interest Chick at all, I think it’s definitely a worthwhile investment. We gave it to some friends to test and they said:
Pros:
-          Batteries are included
-          Easy to use and can be used with other sets (i.e. Lego)
-          Great for boys and girls that love dinosaurs
-          Good price
-          Makes a roaring sound (even though it’s a bit feeble!!)
-          Durable and solid

 Cons:

-          Some fiddly parts for younger children

-          Instructions aren’t the best and aren’t included for all the dinosaurs – although are downloadable.

-          More bits to tread on ;-)

It’s aimed at ages 5+ which we both thought was fine. Older children can obviously complete the dinosaurs on their own and need much less parental help. The set retails for £19.99 which is really reasonable for a set of this kind. Available instore or online from Toys R Us.


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

B.I.G Powerhand

The blurb:  The B.I.G Power Hand is a cool new way for boys to roleplay. This over-sized hand moves just like a real hand, allowing them to pick things up, scratch their backs, and just about anything else they can do with their real hands. The B.I.G Power Hand open up  a lot of imaginative play possibilities. The B.I.G Power Hand features a form-fitting glove with an adjustable strap, spring-loaded joints for life-like articulation, an opposable thumb and rubberized grips on the fingers for enhanced gripping power.

I don’t know if it’s because I’m a girl but I truly don’t understand the appeal of this!! For review purposes I roped in not only Chick but her Uncles Nick (27) and Ben (19) and cousin Sebastien (21) so that we could get a few different points of view. Much to their disappointment none of the grown up boys could get their hand into the extremely small glove (even more frustrating for Nick after it had taken him 10 minutes to try and get it out of the box!!) although it fitted Chick (8) perfectly.


It’s made mainly of plastic and moves via the use of strings attached to the glove and the joints of the fingers (as you can see in the picture above). It’s not at all difficult to use and after a few practise finger wiggles Chick could pick things up and move them around. She played with it on and off for a couple of days but since then it’s just been left on the floor. You can buy extra accessories for the hand to customise it but I would see first how much they used it.

Available to buy instore from Toys R Us. Don't forget to check out all the other amazing reviews on the Toybox.