Category Archives: Toys

Blogmas Day 9: Our Annual Visit To Harrod’s Christmas Grotto

Yesterday we drove into London to visit Father Christmas on our annual grotto visit to Harrods. It has become a tradition for us to go to the Harrods Grotto and we have been going since 2012. I booked our slot back in September. You have to have a Harrods reward card and depending on what you spend in store throughout the year you are then given a tier and the higher your tier, the earlier the email you get to book your slot. This year I had to pay £20 per child to book and every year previously it had been £10 per child and then you got the money back on your Harrods reward card to spend in store. We would usually let the Oscar and Archie pick a decoration each. This year though I asked when we arrived about the £40 going back on the card and I was told they had changed it and you didn’t get it back anymore. This surprised me but I thought maybe the gift would be different and maybe that is why you now have to pay double the amount per child and not get it back to spend in store anymore.

When we arrived we checked in and waited and then we were greeted by Robin the Elf who did a few magic tricks and jokes and then we went into the Fairy and Elf airport. The Elf’s taught the children some sign language which was nice, asked them what they wanted for Christmas and then all the children had to hunt for envelopes around the room and post them for them. Then we walked into a room with three giant swans in them. Each family sat in a swan and we watched a video on the walls of the room and time travelled to Christmas day and then back to December the 8th. The boys were then given a Fantastica grotto time pilot licence.

We then went in to see Father Christmas. The room didn’t look as Christmassy as usual but the boys didn’t notice. Father Christmas was really nice and chatty, asking the boys what they would like for Christmas and congratulating Oscar on learning to ride his bike this year and asked Archie about starting nursery. He then gave them a Harrods grotto gift bag with a 2018 teddy bear inside and a giant chocolate coin. We then had our photo taken with him. We went outside and chose our photo which cost £14.50 for a large photo and you get a download code so you can have it on your phone too.

To be honest I am not to sure why they decided to charge more as the gift was the same size as last year and the grotto itself was a lot smaller. Afterwards we headed to the toy department to have a look around then went for lunch at our favourite, Honest Burger. Overall Oscar and Archie had a lovely day and really enjoyed it. I thought it wasn’t as good as last year and over priced really. Would we go again, of course its a tradition for us now and I will book again next year so we can get our annual photo.

Zoggs DC Super Heroes Range & Our Trip To Coral Reef

Last week we went on an exciting trip after school to Coral Reef Waterworld in Bracknell. We were kindly invited by Zoggs to celebrate the launch of their new DC Super Heroes range. The range comprises of swimwear for the whole family, a surf rider, goggles, water wings, swim toys, armbands, kickboards and swim hats.

When we arrived at Coral Reef the boys were so excited and couldn’t wait to get into the pool. It is only half an hours drive from us, I couldn’t believe we hadn’t visited before. We got changed into our new swimwear from Zoggs in the changing village which was huge and very clean and then headed into the pool. I fell in love with my swimming costume which not only looks great but is from the Ecolast range. The swimming costume is made from eco-friendly chlorine resistant fabric that is made from plastic waste material recycled from the ocean, I absolutely love this range from Zoggs!

Within Coral Reef Waterworld there are four interactive water slides, an erupting volcano, a pirate ship, toddler area, rapids, jacuzzi and an adults only spa so there’s something for everyone. Archie loved the pirate ship and spent most of the time here going up and down the slide. He also really enjoyed the toddler area with the little slides and activities.

We all went on the water slides which were fantastic! At the top you can pick which theme you like and the slide then lights up the colours of the theme you have picked. Archie was tall enough to go on a couple of the slides too which was great. On one of the slides you have to hit the lights on the way down and your time is recorded on the board at the bottom of the slides. Oscar loved this!

The erupting volcano is great fun too. An alarm sounds and then the volcano erupts spraying water out of it at some pace I might add, it pushed me right across the pool much to the boys amusement. Oscar rode the Batman surf rider around the rapids which he loved and he flew around them.

The new Zoggs DC Heroes Range is being stocked on the Zoggs website and in Everyone Active Leisure Centres. Luckily Archie swims twice a week at an Everyone Active leisure centre nearby, so I will be picking up some of the swim toys there for fun stocking fillers for the boys. Oscar loves the splash balls and when we are on holiday we always take one with us, who knew such a small ball could provide so many hours of fun! The justice league Superhero Soakers would make great gifts too!

Both the boys love swimming and between them spend three hours a week swimming. Archie loves his new Superman shorts and couldn’t wait to show all his friends at his lessons.

Thank you so much to Zoggs and Coral Reef for a wonderful evening and to Warner Brothers for the boys amazing goodie bag!

 

We were gifted all of the Zoggs products and entry into Coral Reef.

Poopsie Unicorn Slime Surprise Review

Last week we were kindly sent the Poopsie Unicorn Slime Surprise to review and as Archie loves making slime with Oscar I knew he would find it fun. When it arrived I absolutely loved the packaging and the whole surprise element of it.

Archie unwrapped it and as you peel back the outer cardboard all of Poopsie’s accessories are attached to the card. She comes with over 20 surprises; 4 Unicorn Food slime packets, 4 Unicorn Magic packets and 1 packet of Unicorn Sparkle, a Poopsie key chain where you can store your slime, an exclusive bottle, a unicorn shirt & nappy, a spoon, a hair brush, a cleaning tool and a measuring cup. Everything you need to make your unicorn slime poo and to also keep her clean so you can use her as a doll as well.

Inside the box is then your surprise Poopsie Unicorn. There are four different Unicorn’s to collect. Archie got Rainbow Brightstar.

We laid everything out ready and then followed the step by step instructions provided. They are easy to follow and Archie enjoyed mixing the unicorn food and drink and feeding it to her. He managed to help me mix everything and be involved in the whole process which made it much more fun and engaging for him. It is for children over 3 years old.

He then found it hilarious as he shook her and then placed her on the potty and he watched her poop! The slime is then made in the potty, you leave it for 10-15 minutes to set and then you can play with it.

Cleaning Poopsie was easy and I flushed her through with warm water and used the cleaning brush. I had read before hand not to leave it and wash her straight away otherwise it is harder to clean.

Archie really enjoyed getting creative and making his unicorn slime, he found it great fun. It is a great toy and is easy and fun to use.

The Poopsie Unicorn Slime Surprise has an RRP of £49.99 and is available at Smyths, The Entertainer and Argos. It was recently ranked in the Dream Toys Top 12 Toys for Christmas this year so grab yours before they sell out!

You get enough packets to feed and make more slime and when you run out you can purchase more when needed. I also noticed Poopsie Pooey Puitton bag which you can purchase which is full of unicorn magic, unicorn crunch, glitter and colouring to make the ultimate slime!

 

We were gifted the Poopsie Unicorn Slime Surprise for the purpose of this review.

Our Parents vs Kids Little Tikes Family Games Night

To celebrate the launch of the brand new Little Tikes Board Game collection we were kindly sent the ultimate game package to have the best Parents vs Kids Family games night. The boys were really excited when I told them we were having a games night complete with brand new Little Tikes games, a movie and a take away.

We live in rather a competitive household so there was fighting talk even before the games began! We were sent two games out of the new range; Crazy Blender and Hot Hoops.

The Crazy Blender game is so much fun! You simply shuffle the cards and give each player three each and then turn the blender on that swirls around and around. Archie went first and he called out the fruit on his card and then threw it into the crazy blender, the next player then has to follow on with the last fruit the last player called and if they don’t have a card with that fruit on it they take on from the card pile. If they still don’t have the fruit you move onto the next player. As the game goes on it gets harder to throw your cards into the Crazy Blender and some fly out which the next player has to then have. The player with no cards left is the winner. It is such an easy game to play and even Archie who is 3, 4 in a couple of months played along easily too.

This is a great family game and so much fun, when the cards were flying around Oscar and Archie found it hilarious. Having quite a wide age gap of five years it is sometimes difficult to find games we can all play together, but the Crazy Blender is perfect and we really enjoyed playing it. The game itself is aimed at children aged 5+ but like I said Archie played along easily. It has an RRP of £16.99 and would make the perfect Christmas gift and the perfect family game to play on Christmas Day! It is available now at Argos, Smyths Toys and Amazon.

We were also sent a chalkboard to keep track of the scores. At the end of playing rounds of Crazy Blender the boys had taken the lead.

Our second game is called Hot Hoops. This was so easy to set up, you simply have to add a few sticker decals but then you are ready to play. This is a two player game so we went head to head, Parents vs Kids. You can also play the game on your own, practising like Archie has been doing ever since we opened it. He loves this game!

You simply have to aim your basketball into the hoop, each player starts with two balls and when you get the ball in the hoop it goes through a tube to your opponents side of the game. The player will no balls on there side of the court wins. This games is so much fun, the competitiveness really came out in the boys and the adrenaline was pumping when they couldn’t score and they were rushing to try and score again before we did. There little faces were so funny!

This is also a great game that you can take with you to play at family and friends houses as it folds up neatly, has storage underneath for the balls and a carry handle. It is each to store in the playroom cupboard too.

Hot Hoops has an RRP of £19.99 and is sold at Argos, Smyths Toys and on Amazon. I can see this being a supper popular game for Christmas as it is perfect for the whole family as well as being a one player game you can play on your own with too.

At the end of the evening the boys won!

We then sat down to watch a film on Netflix and ordered a Chinese of the Just Eat app.

We had such a fun family games night thanks to Little Tikes and it is something we all really enjoyed as a family and will be making it a weekly weekend fixture from now on.

Thank you Little Tikes!

This post is in collaboration with Little Tikes UK.

Our NumNoms Smoothie Movie Night

Last night we had a lovely chilled evening after school. The boys had pizza for dinner and then a bath and then came back downstairs for our very own NumNoms Smoothie Movie Night. We were sent a lovely package last week full of goodies for the perfect movie night. The boys snuggled under their new fleecy throw, tucked into their sweeties and we downloaded The Greatest Showman as we hadn’t watched it before.

As well as our movie night treats we were also sent the new Num Noms Snackables Silly Shakes Maker Play set. Archie was so excited when he opened the box and the play set smelt amazing! The set is made up of a sweet kitchen where you can mix up slime shakes. You use the mixing bowl to put the jelly base into and then add your choice of scented colouring and glitter or sprinkles. Archie then slotted the mixing bowl back into the kitchen and mixed up his slime recipe.

You then pull out the oven shelf tray and transfer your slime mix into the plastic shake dispenser. This rotates and you can fill the dispenser with all different coloured slime shakes. The set comes with three mini silly shakes cups and you then use the the special dispenser to fill up your shake cup.

Its a great play set to get involved in ‘messy play’ and Archie loved making different shakes in different colours and then starting all over again. The pieces are easy to clean as everything slots in and out of place to keep your set looking great.

If your children, like mine love making and playing with slime this would make such a fantastic Christmas gift. Archie also plays with it along with his other NumNom toys when were not making the slime shakes. All of the NumNom toys make the playroom smell amazing. The Num Noms Snackables Silly Shakes Maker Play set has an RRP of £39.99 and includes everything you need to make your slime shakes. You get the jelly base, two glitter toppings, two colouring tubes, three shake cups plus a special edition NumNom.

We were also sent a NumNoms light surprise in a jar, which has a gorgeous smelling NumNom plush inside and a light surprise edition NumNom inside too. A great stocking filler at only £12.99.

Archie is a big fan of NumNoms and has been since we went to a special event back in April and he has played with them ever since. He loves how each one smells different and whenever were in Smyths Toys we always pick up a mystery pack to add to his growing collection. Again the mystery pack or the starter packs would make great stocking fillers.

We had the best Smoothie Movie night thanks to NumNoms UK!

 

We were sent the above mentioned products so we could have our NumNoms Smoothie Movie night and for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and my own.

My Top Christmas Advent Calendars For Kids 2018

With less than one hundred days until Christmas (95 to be precise) and the shops filling up with all their Christmas decorations, I have already started my planning for the festive season. Next week I can book our annual trip to Harrod’s Christmas Grotto and slots are already open with Pines and Needles to book your Christmas Tree delivery, so the planning starts now!

I have been looking at Advent Calendars for both Oscar and Archie. They both get a chocolate calendar and a toy advent calendar. Last year they had a Playmobil one and a Lego one, which they loved!

This year there are so many great advent calendars on the market to choose from but here are my favourites;

This one we will be getting for Oscar as he is Smiggle obsessed. It is £25 and has £40+ worth of goodies inside. If you find one of the 25 lucky tickets hidden inside the Calendars you can win a £500 Smiggle shopping spree! These flew off the shelves last year so your best to buy it now and hide it away.

For Archie this Christmas we have got the Schleich 97702 – Wild Life Advent Calendar 2018. He loves animals and whenever we go to the toy shop he always chooses another Schleich animal to add to his growing collection. It is £24.99 And features 24 compartments containing gifts of Schleich Wildlife toys and accessories. He will love it!

LEGO 60155 City Advent Calendar 2017 Construction Toy. Lego sell a variety of different advent calendars all with 24 gifts inside. We had a Lego one last Christmas and Oscar loved it! They start at around £20.

For the creative children Play-Doh and Crayola have a fantastic advent calendar this year. The Crayola 04-6808-U-000 Christmas Advent Calendar Kit is Packed with craft projects, homemade gifts, finger puppets, and colouring activities, this set helps kids get into the spirit of Christmas. It is £19.99. The  Play-Doh Advent Calendar is £15 and features 24 hidden surprises. The calendar comes with several small pots of Play-Doh including two glittering colours for a festive touch, with a new addition/accessory to discover every day.

Playmobil Advent Calendar Santas Workshop. Playmobil also sell a variety of advent calendars.Oscar has had this one before and over the 24 days you build up a Santa’s workshop play scene. It’s a really lovely calendar! It is £19.99 and has 106 pieces inside.

This advent calendar would have been my dream as a child! The Barbie advent calendar is £35.00. In the Barbie Advent Calendar as well as Barbie herself over the 24 days it includes everything she needs to be a ballerina, baker, ice skater, pet vet and professional skier. It helps kids to understand different careers while living the magic of opening a present each day! I love this one!

This is the perfect advent calendar for your little car lover! It is around £19.99 and Contains 8 different Hot Wheels vehicles, plus stickers and surprise accessories.  Hot Wheels Advent Calendar with Mini Cars Toy Mattel

The Happyland advent calendar is perfect for the younger children from 18 months. It is £25 and as you can see comes with lots of toys inside to make up the Christmas play set. It’s very cute!

So these are my advent favourites for Christmas 2018! I hope you enjoyed the post and maybe have got some inspiration for your little one’s calendar this year. Expect lot’s of Christmas posts coming your way soon!

This post may include affiliate links

Fisher Price Imaginext DC Super Friends Battle Batcave Review

A couple of weeks ago the boys were kindly sent the new Fisher Price Imaginext DC Super Friends Battle Batcave to review. Both Oscar and Archie love Batman and couldn’t wait to get it out of the box when it arrived!

As soon as it was unpacked and ready to play with the boys sat down in the playroom to play. The Battle Batcave comes with two characters; the Joker and Batman himself and four weapons. They chose who was who and then went to battle. They simply have to press the trigger to make the Joker and Batman spin around and then you move the controller with the character on it backwards or forwards to defend yourself. When the front of one controller touches the back of the other the loosing character flies in to the air. Archie found this hilarious.

The Battle Batcave is for children aged three to eight which is perfect for both of the boys and its a great toy for siblings or friends to play together. It was sweet watching Oscar teach Archie how to play and they battled for ages over and over again. Watching Oscar and Archie get so excited when playing as they wanted to win was so funny.

Putting the Batcave together was really simple and attaching the characters to their controllers is easy too, so easy Archie managed to do it easily so the game could go on rather than me or Oscar having to keep helping him every time the character came off.

The Imaginext Batman has an RRP of £36.99 but at the moment is reduced to only £19.99 at Smyths Toys. Oscar and Archie really love this toy and enjoy playing with it together. It’s lovely to have a toy that they can both play and share time with together! I would really recommend the Fisher Price Imaginext DC Super Friends Battle Batcave. It is also small enough (17″ x 14″) and the controllers fold in that you can take out with you to family and friends. You can also buy extra figures to add to the battle which are sold separately, which Oscar wants to collect so they can have a full on Justice League battle with teams.

You can also add to your fun by adding any of the other Fisher Price Imaginext DC Super Friends play sets.

My Top Toys & Games To Take On Your Travels

With the holidays in full swing and only a couple of months until the Summer holidays I thought I wad write about the top toys and games that the boys love to take on our travels. From a long car journey in the UK for a few nights away or a flight abroad, when you have children keeping them entertained is crucial to a peaceful journey.

Archie is three so keeping him entertained is obviously a little harder at the moment then Oscar who is eight. So here are my top 10 toys and games to take on your travels……

Both the boys love arts and crafts and the Crayola Colour Wonder colouring books are great. They are completely mess free so great for in the car or on an aeroplane so they don’t accidentally get any pen anywhere. I also take them into restaurants on holiday for entertaining them at the table whilst waiting for our meals. Smyths Toys stock the books that come complete with the ‘magic’ pens and have an RRP of £6.49. I always keep a few of the books in the cupboard so I always have one when needed.

An obvious one is Lego. I always buy a couple of little boxes of Lego and Duplo before we go away. They are great for getting the boys to sit quietly in the shade for half an hour and build something.

Great-Nanny brought Archie a Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet which is fantastic. The tablet is £129.99 and comes with a 2-year worry-free guarantee, 1 year of Fire For Kids Unlimited app download and a Kid-Proof Case, available in Blue, Pink and Yellow. For the money its a great deal and we have downloaded so many different apps. On my profile on it I have also downloaded Netfilx and some movies for Archie on Amazon Video. He loves it and plays little educational games on it, watches episodes of his favourite programmes and he likes having something like that of his own when Oscar is playing on his Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch is a great gaming console. We got it for Oscar for Christmas. It can be used at home in the playroom TV using the docking/charging station or as a handheld when out and about. The controls also detach from the device and using the inbuilt stand you can play against a friend using the device as a screen. He absolutely loves it and as he has never been into using an Ipad or a tablet likes to use his ‘screen’ time playing games like Mario Kart and Super Mario. The Switch is £279.99 and the games are around £40 each.

For an Easter gift Archie got the Masha and the Bear playhouse playset. He loves the programme and watches it on Netflix and we saw a TV advert for the playhouse and Archie really wanted it. He never asks for anything so we got it for him. Why it is on this list is because its nice and small and all fits inside it self and closes so you can take it on your travels. I didn’t know this when I ordered it but its brilliant and fits in my handbag!

Last year I brought some fantastic car road tape from We Are Kidly and stuck some on the aeroplane tray so Archie could play with his cars. I also used it on the sun lounger and on our hotel room floor. It comes off easily leaving no marks behind and the air hostess on the plane couldn’t believe how long it kept Archie entertained and what a genius idea it was. It is £11 for a roll and as well as road they also do a train track tape.

We love Orchard Toys and have tons of their games but they also sell different mini travel games for toddlers which are great. Archie loves playing games and doing puzzles so have mini versions to take away with you is a great idea. Oscar will join in too even if it is a bit easy/young for him.

Orchard Toys Animal Match Mini/Travel Game Orchard Toys Llamas in Pyjamas Mini / Travel GameOrchard Toys Little Bug Bingo Mini / Travel Game

When it comes to games Oscar loves Cluedo and Monopoly and games like that. But recently he has fallen in love with Top Trumps. We have a few sets of cards now, sports cars, predators and dinosaurs. They are the perfect size to fit in your bag and we take them to Nanny and Grandad’s on the weekend so they can play too. It is the perfect family travel game.

I hope you have found this useful and it’s given you a few ideas of how to keep your children entertained whilst traveling! Happy holidays!

All New PJ Masks Series 2 on Disney Jnr & Competition

Both Oscar and Archie love PJ Masks, in fact Archie’s 3rd birthday had a PJ Masks theme. They watch the episodes over and over again, but now the PJ Masks Series 2 is only less than a week away from bursting on to your screen and we have been lucky enough to preview the first two episodes! The boys loved them and they have watched them over and over again. Il be pleased when it’s on TV on Wednesday so I can reclaim my laptop.

The new series will be airing on Disney Junior this Wednesday the 28th March at 4.30pm with each new episode airing weekly after that on a Wednesday at 4.45pm. We can’t wait to see the rest of the series! It is not to be missed!

Episode 1, Moonfizzle Balls sees Lunagirl putting people in a trance with her Moonfizzle balls. The PJ Masks have to find and collect all of the balls but with Owlette and Gecko ending up in a trance too its up to Catboy to save the day.

Episode 2, Soccer Ninjalinos is where the Ninjalinos plan to splat the whole city. Can the PJ Masks save the city from the Night Ninja and the Ninjalinos?!

We were also kindly sent some PJ Masks goodies. Some party supplies to have our viewing party, a Catboy and Gecko mask each to wear and play, a blind bag with a PJ Masks figure in it to add to their collection, a 60 pc glow in the dark puzzle which Oscar really enjoyed doing as he’s really into puzzles at the moment and a carry along art set and stamp and sticker set where both the boys sat and drew some great PJ Masks pictures, using the pens, paints, stickers and stamps.

To watch the new episodes in comfort we were also sent an inflatable chair to sit in and the most amazing Catboy car shaped duvet which looks fantastic. As Archie has a double bed we gave it to his best friend Roman who absolutely loves his new bedding!

We love the PJ Masks party supplies, in fact Archie’s 3rd Birthday was PJ Masks themed and I brought lots of the party range. It’s fantastic. It is Archie’s favourite TV show.

I have also been given an amazing PJ Masks bundle to give away to one of my lovely readers. It includes an Owlette mask, Gecko plush toy, a selection of the party range and blind toy bag. Simply enter below to be in with a chance of winning. Good luck! And don’t forget to tune in on Wednesday at 4.30 on Disney Jnr.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

This post is in collaboration with PJ Masks UK

Cars 3 Radio Control Ultimate Lightning McQueen Review

Last month we were asked if the boys would like to review the new Cars 3 Radio Control Ultimate Lightning McQueen to celebrate the launch of Cars 3 coming out on DVD. The boys love Cars and we took them to see the Cars 3 movie at the cinema. With both of the boys super interested in cars and they love to play with remote control cars I knew they would love the new Lightning McQueen.

The Radio Control Ultimate Lightning McQueen is no ordinary remote control car! This 3 channel radio controlled Ultimate vehicle have full movement and are 1:16 scale. The controller is a steering wheel which made it easier for Archie to get used to and be able to use. Oscar obviously found it easier to control and had it speeding around the kitchen. It will be great in the Summer on our garden patio, skidding and drifting.

The control has the basic steering functions, a ‘rev up’ function where you can see Lightening McQueen shake as you rev up the engine. When driving the car you can make it drift around corners and do doughnuts. Oscar loves it! Another feature is the smoke button. You fill up the small tank underneath the car with water and then when you press the button you can watch as you burn rubber by blowing smoke behind their tyres. Its really effective and makes it seem really real.

When you get too close to a wall, you can hit the brakes and watch as the car stop in time, the brakes top almost instantly. As well as all of these amazing features the Lightening McQueen has lights and sounds too.

This is a great toy for any Disney Cars fan or any car fan in general. The boys have had hours of fun and as you learn to control the car you can perform more and more stunts and tricks.

The Radio Control Ultimate Lightning McQueen 1:16 car has an RRP of £59.99 and is available HERE.