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Geosafari Kidnoculars review

By Lottie age 7

I was sent a pair of Learning Resources Geosafari Kidnoculars to review. Very quickly Sam decided he absolutely loved these and I haven’t had very much chance to use them since!

The Geosafari Kidnoculars are really good. As well as being a pair of binoculars they also have ear pieces that amplify sounds so you really feel like you are close to nature.

Kidnoculars give you 3 x magnification so you can spot things really well. We like that they are bright coloured and that you can wear them around your neck when you are out on an adventure. My Mum says they are very well made (Sam has dropped them a couple of times and they have been fine) and that the strap for around your neck is a safety strap so we can’t hurt ourselves.

You can change the volume of the sounds if you want to hear them a little bit better or if you don’t want it to be too loud.

Sam has absolutely loved these Geosafari Kidnoculars, he has taken them everywhere; in the garden, on nature walks and even to France when we went away for the weekend- he liked using them to look at the birds at the seaside and the boats at the port. He has also taken them to show and tell at nursery and all his friends loved having a turn with them.

Sam said- “Lottie, can you tell everyone I LOVE my Kidnoculars”

The Geosafari Kidnoculars are aimed for children age 5 to 9 and I think that is perfect. We both really loved these and even Luke wanted a turn. I think these will be a brilliant toy for the Summer holidays, we will be taking them with us on lots of days out and adventures.

Thanks to Learning Resources we have a pair of Geosafari Kidnoculars to give away to one lucky winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: We were lucky enough to be gifted a pair of Geosafari Kidnoculars to review but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

 

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Luke’s breakfast muffins

My Mum made some fruity breakfast muffins for me for SATs week and I really liked them so I have been experimenting with adding different fruit and sometimes chocolate.

They are really quick to make and can even be frozen, they are delicious for breakfast.

130g plain flour

85g caster sugar

35g porridge oats and an extra sprinkle for the top

1 tsp of baking powder

2 eggs

125g unsalted butter, melted

2 bananas mashed

1 apple grated

A handful of raisins or chocolate chips.

 

Sift all the dry ingredients except the porridge oats.

Stir porridge oats in.

Beat the eggs, sugar and melted butter

Fold the egg mix into the dry ingredients

Add the fruit you have picked and then mix in any additional items such as chocolate chips.

Spoon into muffin cases

Sprinkle a few extra oats on the top

Bake for 18-20 minutes at 160C

 

 

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The Tiger Who Came to Tea Live at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre

By Lottie age 7 with a little help from Mum

Sam and I were very excited to go and see The Tiger Who Came to Tea at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre yesterday. Artspod had invited us to review it and we couldn’t wait!

Sam has that book for a bedtime story at least once a week and he loves it, it’s definitely a favourite in our house. I was very surprised it could be a show because I thought it might be a bit too short but they had made it just right with a few extra surprises to the main story.

Lottie and Sam tiger

Aylesbury Waterside is a really nice theatre, it’s big but not huge or scary and very new and clean looking.

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We arrived and got some drinks and treats and went and found our seats. We had a really good view of the stage. The set was like a proper kitchen, it looked really good!

Sam had never been to the theatre before and he was a bit scared and worried it would be too noisy but was excited too.

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When the show started the actors- Sophie, Sophie’s Mum and Sophie’s Dad all came running through the audience waving and saying hello and did a hello song which was good as Sam soon stopped being scared.

They told the story of The Tiger Who Came to Tea together and it was very good and really funny.

Sophie’s Daddy was very silly and he tried to put his shoes in the toaster which was very funny! I liked it when his toast popped up as he was going to work and he caught it in his bag.

It was really clever because when the tiger ate the all food and drank all the drink because it all really disappeared! It looked like a very simple set but it was really surpising because there were lots of secret bits. I also liked how they used things to make other things- like using the table and chairs as their car! I really don’t know how Sophie’s Mummy’s shopping basket got filled with food- that was amazing!

There were lots of chances for the children to join in with singing and dancing and they were all jumping up and down and being excited. I didn’t see any that were scared at all, not even the very tiny children- the Tiger seemed like a very friendly Tiger!

My favourite bits were the funny bits (but I can’t tell you them all or it wouldn’t be a surprise when you go) and when the stars came out at night, that was so pretty.

We really enjoyed watching The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Sam said it was all magic and said he would like to go the theatre again- he asked Mummy ‘what else do they do there?’ so I think he wants to go back soon!

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We managed to get a program at the end which had a brilliant huge poster, some colouring and some activities in. Sam is taking it for show and tell at nursery tomorrow. Mum also treated us to our own proper The Tiger Who Came to Tea tigers, they are so cute and very cuddly!

We loved the show and think it is perfect for children age 2 or 3 upwards, my Mum thought it was ‘lovely and really well done’ so I think even adults will enjoy taking their children to this one.

I can’t wait to go back to Aylesbury Waterside Theatre again soon.

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Disclaimer: We were lucky enough to be gifted tickets by Artspod and Aylesbury Waterside Theatre but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

 

 

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World Tetris Day 2019

Did you know it was World Tetris Day last week? We love Tetris in our house- my Dad used to play it when he was a kid and I got Tetris Dual one year for Christmas which Lottie and I play loads. It’s the 35th birthday of Tetris!

We were really excited to hear that a new game called Tetris Speed has been launched. This is a card game and involves putting one card face down in the middle of the table and dividing the rest of the cards up between the players. The first card is turned over and you’re away. Each card has a picture on it of a Tetrimino piece and then a smaller picture depicting the next piece to be laid, the race is on for the players to search through their hand and find the next piece the quickest, the player who puts all their cards down first is the winner.

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Tetris Speed  is huge fun and had us in fits of laughter trying to beat each other, it’s much harder than you think for what looks like such a simple game- you can’t take your eye off the pile for a second or the other player will be ahead of you. There’s no turn taking either, it’s each player for him or herself! Lottie was running along really well and getting  rid of card after card when suddenly she couldn’t go and I could so I got the momentum- literally anyone can win if they are fast enough. Even though I won twice in a row and dinner was ready Lottie was still asking to play again! I am going to have to beat her again this evening!

We think this is a fab game for all the family, it doesn’t take too long to play but is loads of fun and because it’s in a box we can take it out and about with us too. It’s kind of like Tetris meets snap but for big kids- you really do have to use your memory! You can also make it bigger if more people want to play by adding a second set of cards in which is a brilliant idea.

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We do still love Tetris Dual though and play it quite a lot, we reviewed this with some friends last year and you can find the full review here but were lucky enough to be sent another copy which we were excited to pass on to Lottie’s best friend Emily and her little sister, Isla, for them to try.

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Emily and Isla loved it as much as us, they had a great time playing after school the other day. Isla is nearly 6 and Emily is nearly 8 and they found it perfect to play together.

They told us it was like a jigsaw that you had to really think about but also at the same time had to stop the other person getting their jigsaw finished!

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We love the fact that Tetris are always coming up with new ways that you can play for a game that has been around such a long time and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

The people at Ideal and Norton PR have kindly given us a copy of both Tetris Dual and Tetris Speed to give away to one lucky family, so don’t miss our competition below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Disclaimer: We were gifted Tetris Dual and Tetris Speed but all thoughts and opinions are our own

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UK Games Expo 2019

We had a great day out at the UK Games Expo at the NEC today. This was our first time visiting a games convention and it was awesome.

I couldn’t believe how many games there were and so many great ideas for games that you would have never think of.

We knew there would be chances to play games but literally we could have spent a week there and not managed to try everything we wanted.

The people working on the stands were brilliant, they all knew the games well and were able to show you what to do so you didn’t have to spend ages working out rules and they joined in playing with us which was good fun.

I wanted to have a look at strategy games, I really liked the look of them and would like to get into playing them. I think they might be a bit complicated just yet but I hope as I get older to give them a try. I love the idea of how they expand and evolve as you play them and there were some amazing accessories you could get at the show.

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We were surprised at how many games there were that were suitable for us all to play as a family even with Sam being only just 4. We had a lot of fun playing some silly games and also some slightly more complicated games and he loved being involved.

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We all had our own favourites that we managed to try or chat to people about today- Sam loved playing Deep Sea Adventure on the Zatu games stand, we all had fun with that and think that would be a great one for us to play as a family. He also desperately wanted to play the Silly Sausage game on Ideal Games’ stand but we had run out of time.

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I really enjoyed Lost Galaxy by Rudy Games which was played using an app which guides you through and teaches you what to do. I would like to get that one soon.

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Lottie absolutely loved the look of the new Ravensburger Disney Villainous game- it makes a change from the normal princess games! Unfortunately they had sold out and all the tables were busy with people testing it so we didn’t get to play but she is definitely putting it on her birthday wish-list! They also had a couple of Harry Potter themed games she liked the look of so these will be worth looking out for.

Mum and Dad regretted not going back and buying a copy of Reveal which was a game with no questions and only answers. We had fun trying out some of the questions and they think it will be a good game to play at Christmas so I think we might be ordering a copy. We all really liked seeing the original version of the game that the creator had made for his family to play. It’s amazing to see how a game starts off.

There was also a few other things to see like places selling clothes and jewellery. There was a stall called Geekycool selling handmade jewellery that Lottie loved- lots of Star Wars and Harry Potter things turned into jewellery, Sam didn’t want to leave because he really wanted the figures! They were good, we hadn’t seen anything like it before and the man said he is able to make the items with any character if they are able to be got hold of so my Mum thinks this would make a good presents for Lottie’s friends.

There was loads of other games that we had a great time trying quickly and lots that we only got to have a quick look at but I think we all have a huge list of new ones we would like to play!

We will definitely be going back to the UK Games Expo next year and will probably try and go for the whole weekend to make sure we can see it all, it was well worth a visit for a family day out.

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Disclaimer- We were gifted Press Passes for the event but our review of the day and our comments about individual games are all our own thoughts

 

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Ooze Labs- Slime Experiments Review

By Lottie age 7

I love slime, I really like making it but my Mum doesn’t let me very often because it is MESSY!

We were sent a selection of Ooze Lab slime experiments by Thames and Kosmos to try out and we think this is the perfect way to make slime.

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You get everything you need in a test tube except the water and scissors to open the packet with and it is really straightforward to do. The instructions are very easy to follow. You just stand the test tube in it own lid support it with a piece of cardboard that you get especially for this.

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You then follow the instructions to make your slime, there is a bit of mixing and a lot of shaking and then some special instructions like putting the test tube under a light to make the glow in the dark version.

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The instructions have some interesting facts and information in them that I liked reading.

It was really easy to make the slime. They are £4 each for one of the experiments and they do lots of different types- glitter slime, heat reactive slime, glow in the dark and sunshine slime. My Mum thinks these would be really good to give out instead of party bags.

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They are great fun, the slime is really stretchy and it makes brilliant rude noises when I squidge it!  I think the full Ooze Labs Chemistry Station looks awesome too.
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Enter our competition thanks to Thames and Kosmos for a chance to win two sets of your own!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Disclaimer: We were sent the Ooze Labs Slime kits for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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How to make a compass

By Lottie age 7

We are learning about magnets and forces at school and one of our homework choices was to make a compass which I really liked doing.

To make a compass you need:

A needle or paper clip

A cork or something that floats

A magnet

Some water

  1. You need to make the needle magnetic. To do this you need to rub the needle at least 50 times along the magnet in the same direction
  2. Get a grown up to cut off a small circle of the cork
  3. Carefully push the needle through the cork
  4. Float the compass in a small bowl of water. Make sure it isn’t in any wind and the needle should move to point to North and South. You can then use the sun and shadows to work out which is which and mark east or west (or you can do what I did and cheat by using a ready made compass to check!)

If you were out in the wild you can also use fur or hair to make the needle magnetic.

Also if you didn’t have a cork you could use a leaf to float it.

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May the Fourth Be With You…

Happy Star Wars Day!

We have been watching lots of Star Wars parody songs on YouTube and playing with Star Wars LEGO tonight. I wanted to  watch the films again but my little brother is too young so my Mum won’t let him- I don’t think he will be scared he already knows all about them from books and games, he knows all the characters and what happens to them all so I think he will probably be alright!

Here are some of my favourite Star Wars jokes;

How did Darth Vader know what Luke was getting for his birthday?  He felt his presents!

Why did Anakin Skywalker cross the road? To get to the other side!

What do Gungans keep things in? Jar Jars!

Why is Yoda so good at gardening? He has green fingers!

What’s a Jedi’s favourite toy? – A Yo-yo-da

I would love to hear any Star Wars jokes you know!

 

Sam’s birthday cake from the other day

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What Lottie Loves…Learning Resources Measure Mate Review

Review by Lottie Age 7 with some help from Mum…

We were sent a Learning Resources Measure Mate to review and I had lots of fun using it in the garden over the Easter weekend.

The Measure Mate is for children age 4 + and can be used outdoors. It is very easy to put together and I managed to do it all by myself. It has a measure, a trundle wheel, a spirit level, a measuring stick and two bits you can measure between called callipers. It also comes with a bag to keep it in when you take it apart and some nice stickers to decorate it with.

When I had made the Measure Mate I took it out in the garden. I liked using it to measure how big the garden is with the trundle and had fun measuring things up for the flower garden that I am planting. I used the callipers to measure lots of different things I found.

I really enjoyed using the Measure Mate and I have had fun both inside and outside with it. I have been using the measuring stick to measure everyone’s feet and I got to use the spirit level the other day when I was helping my Dad.

This Summer I am going to make a herb planter with a pallet and will be able to use my Measure Mate to help make it!

This will be a really useful tool that I think I will use a lot.

Note from Mum

Lottie had a great time playing with the Measure Mate. Whilst it’s not cheap at around £32 it is well made and will last, more importantly fired her interest in measures . This is an area of maths that has never really caught her attention before- anything that gets them learning practically is well worth considering.

It’s ideal for children age 4 plus- younger children will use it more as a toy and slightly older ones will be able to expand on what they have learnt at school in a fun way.

 

Disclaimer: We were sent a Learning Resources Measure Mate for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are our own

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The Titanic Detective Ageny by Lindsay Littleson

It’s our turn on The Titanic Detective Agency blog tour today and we really enjoyed this one.

Written by Lindsay Littleson The Titanic Detective Agency is historical fiction and I really liked the fact it was based around the stories of real people.

I imagined it was going to focus on the sinking of the Titanic straight away. Most books seem to start with people boarding it and waving goodbye and then go straight to the crash but The Titanic Detective Agency reminds you that the people on board were real people and that this was a huge adventure for them. You see how excited they were, and how quickly being stuck on a ship with just adults for company got boring for the children  and also realised how seasick some people were, it reminds you that these were just normal people off to start their new lives.

To pass the time until she starts her exciting new life in America, 12 year old Bertha and her new younger friend Madge form The Collyer-Watt Detective Agency. They soon find two mysteries ready and waiting for them to investigate. Firstly there is Mr Hoffman who has two young sons and acts very strangely when talking about his wife who he says died a year ago. Yet the smallest boy, who is only a toddler, remembers her which seems strange to Bertha and even more unusually Mr Hoffman won’t let anyone speak to his sons directly, using the fact that they speak only French to hide behind.

The next mystery comes in the form of Johan, a poor Swedish teenager, who is having to travel alone to join his Father in America. Johan seems to have found a treasure map but it’s in English and he needs help to translate. Bertha is keen to be involved in the hunt for treasure. For her this is a bit of fun but for Johan this could be everything. The big question is whether the mysteries will be solved in time.

You really get into the stories of these people and begin to like them. You can imagine how alone and scared Johan must feel- he is just a couple of years older than me and yet he is crossing the ocean all alone, sharing a cabin in the lower decks with people who resent him being so sick. You get a glimpse of what it was like day to day, the meals, playing games, reading and church services and begin to see what the journey would have been like.

Lindsay Littleson really makes you realise how differently people were treated in 3rd Class to 2nd Class. It’s so strange to think that people in 3rd class where made to line up and be inspected for lice and other illnesses and yet people in 2nd were allowed on even with awful illnesses like consumption.

When the ship hits the Iceberg, even though you know what is going to happen, Littleson really builds the sense of fear. You genuinely felt like you could be there, feeling the cold water seeping into your shoes and not tying your laces in order to get out quickly, trying to find a lifeboat and a way to escape. You want to shout at the 2nd class passengers who don’t realise the water is already pouring in on the lower decks.

Once again you see the awful differences between how the classes are treated. How can the ship have been allowed to travel without lifeboats for all the passengers? How could people be so uncaring that lifeboats were launched half empty?

The sinking of the unsinkable ship is awful, so vivid and well written and you can feel the shock when the women and children realise their husbands and sons are not going to survive.

This book could never have a ‘happy ending’ but Bertha does realise that strength and bravery comes in many forms and whilst her Mother may not be an aviator or an explorer, she is the one holding everything together when everyone else is falling apart. The reader is also reminded that treasure can come in many different forms too.

I really enjoyed this book and passed it to my Mum who liked it so much she read it all in one night. My little sister Lottie has now started to read it too. They have been learning about the Titanic last term at school and this is a great book for bringing it to life for her.

I think this book is ideal for confident readers age 7 plus and would be good to be read as a class book alongside the topic but is also great for anyone to read as it is well written and keeps your attention throughout.

Make sure you check out the other stops on the blog tour to find out what other bloggers thought of The Titanic Detective Agency.

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of The Titanic Detective Agency to review but all thoughts are my own.